Re: [GTh] Two Improbabilities in the GJW Fragment
- Response to Wieland and more for David:Wieland: As to the ink test, I have to apologize for bad wording.I was trying to say what you did, but it didn't come out right.As to Fecht, he died in 2006, according to King's paper.David: A possibility occurred to me after sending off my note.If the GJW fragment is from a dialogue in which Jesus is talkingto the disciples about his childhood, then the expected frequencyof 'my mother' would be substantially greater than its actualfrequency in the NHC or NT. This is small consolation, though,since the possibility seems remote. Furthermore (if I may addanother oddity), it seems odd that the scribe's lettering wouldchange so dramatically from one side of a leaf to the other.Not only are the letters somewhat taller, but the space betweenlines is larger. King says that the writing has been judged to befrom the same hand, and if that's so, it rules out multiple scribes,but the recto has 8 lines, while the verso has only room for 7.Why did the scribe decide to space his lines differently onthe two sides of the fragment? (I don't think this can have beendue to the varying direction of fibres on the two sides, as Ican find no evidence of that in the NHC facsimiles.)Mike Grondin
- At 10:09 PM 9/30/2012, Mike Grondin wrote:
ran out of room, and realized that he was going to run out of room several pages before the end, which he dealt with by decreasing the size of the letters, narrowing the margins, squeezing more lines on each page, etc. Writing size is tailored to the amount of space available. So, the obvious indication is that the scribe needed to get more on the page where the line spacing is tighter.
...Why did the scribe decide to space his lines differently on
the two sides of the fragment...
Take a look at P46, in which the scribe
Northern Arizona University
PS In case it didn't survive transmission through cyberspace, the words "Scribe ran out of room" were written above with increasingly smaller type.
- Hi Ian,Many thanks for your link to McGrath's blog entry on Pannanen's critique ofWatson. I had been intending to reference both that and Michael Peppard'scritique, because I think we should listen to both sides, but never got aroundto it. (Peppard's critique is linked to in McGrath's expression of concern aboutWatson's method on Sept 26th:)http://www.patheos.com/blogs/exploringourmatrix/2012/09/are-reports-of-the-death-of-the-gospel-of-jesus-wife-greatly-exaggerated.htmlI read both Peppard's and Pannanen's critique, thinking at the time that thelatter was much stronger than the former. I wasn't able to judge Pannanen'sargument properly, though, since I couldn't understand the Greek withoutfurther research, and I never got to that. I did notice that he tied a singleletter at the end of his fragment to a certain text, and that seemed rather inthe nature of parody, as Mark suggests. Since then, I've become less entrancedwith Pannanen's view, for two reasons: (1) Watson has since revised his paperto incorporate Andrew Bernhard's results, thereby mooting Pannanen's majorobjection that Watson had linked the fragment to several different texts (or inone case, none), and (2) in the interchange between Pannanen and UlrichSchmidt in the comments attached to the McGrath blog-entry you supplied,Schmidt seemed to have the best of it, as Pannanen admits:"Ulrich Schmid is absolutely right in claiming that the "real"(i.e. "palaeographically sound") context for this fragment is Jh 5.46.But that has nothing to do with my argument here."To which I would respond that it has very much to do with Pannanen's argument,in that he presented his "analysis" of the Koln fragment as a counter-exampleto Watson's kind of analysis. It could only be a counter-example, however,if the main contents of the Koln fragment didn't in fact come from Jh 5.46.Furthermore, Watson claims certainty only about derivation, which is exactlythe case with the majority of the Koln fragment as I understand it.A couple other comments:1. It's not 'neigh-saying', it's 'nay-saying'. Or was that perhaps a tongue-in-cheekvariation on Watson's term? At any rate, it's probably an implicit admissionof the way things are going so far that Watson uses the polarizing term'nay-sayers', while the 'nay-sayers' (who actually don't strike me for themost part as rigid adherents of that position) aren't similarly driven touse the term 'yea-sayers'.2. I think it's unfortunate, though perhaps unavoidable, that disagreementsabout the Secret Gospel of Mark are being brought into the picture.It's probably well-known that Watson argued against the authenticityof that text (as did Stephen Carlson), but I don't think that anyone shoulduse their position on SGM to confirm their position on GJW, or vice-versa.IMO, this just invites the polarization involved in the SGM debate to carryover unchanged into discussions of GJW.Mike Grondin
- Hi Bob,The same thing happened in NH Codex II, wherein the scribe realized thathe wouldn't have enough room for the last tractate, so the writing becamevery cramped, with more lines per page. In fact, the density of lettering onthe recto of GJW is very similar to that of NHC II,7 (contrary to my state-ment early on that the writing didn't look cramped). But that would imply,would it not, that the verso of the GJW fragment was inscribed before therecto? And that in turn raises the question of whether there was a usualpractice, and, if so, what that was, and what might happen to disrupt it?Oh, BTW, you and others will no doubt notice (and be dismayed) thatmy last note to the list suffered the problem of varying fonts whichcouldn't be corrected. Don't know why, but when I paste somethinginto a note, my emailer (Outlook Express) not only picks up the pasted fontthereafter, but allows only partial (and unexpected) changes to it. The onlyfix I can think of is to do the pasting only after I've put some verbiage oneither side of where it's going to go. (Anybody have another solution,contact offlist.)Mike
- At 12:37 AM 10/1/2012, Mike Grondin wrote:
...But that would imply,
would it not, that the verso of the GJW fragment was inscribed before the
recto? And that in turn raises the question of whether there was a usual
practice, and, if so, what that was, and what might happen to disrupt it?
It is hard to say, either way, unless it can be established that one side is a continuation of the text on the other side. But either way, it would depend on how much space the scribe needs to write (or copy) the words he needs to fit into the space. Normally, I suppose, the amply-spaced side would come first. requiring a more cramped spacing on the other side to complete the text in hand. This assumes bad planning. But suppose on the other hand excellent planning of a multi-page document, so that the scribe gets down to the last page and discovers that he has more space than he needs?
WRT "usual practice," that would imply a body of work from which one might calculate the "normal" number of lines per page, and the "normal" number of letters per line. I could see this vary according to many different considerations, rendering it difficult to establish what "normal" means. In the case of P46 and NHC II,7, there is enough additional text to determine what is "normal", for that manuscript. But we don't have that for GJW, unless by reference to your collated copy of GTh :-)
Northern Arizona University
- Bob,I've learned a few things that may clarify some of the questions raised inour latest discussion, although in the end it seems that no further progresscan be made in answering those questions (I'll say why below). With respectto 'recto' and 'verso', I have to start by admitting that I had a wrong idea ofwhat those terms meant. I thought it had to do with the direction of the fiberson papyrus, but no - except perhaps in special cases like the GJW fragment.As you and others probably know quite well, in an open book (or codex), therecto is simply the page (not leaf) on the right, the verso the page on the left.How, then, could it have been determined that the recto of the GJW fragmentwas the side with the most visible writing and the horizontal fibres, while theother side was the verso? I suspect that there must be a scholarly conventionfor orphan fragments, and that that convention, whatever it is, must have beenused for the GJW fragment. The reason I say this is that it isn't possible todetermine recto/verso in a papyrus fragment by direction of fibres alone, inspite of the fact that it may at first seem so from what James Robinson wrotein the Preface (p.xv) to the Facsimile Edition of Codex II:
fibres> In the usual construction of a quire, the sheets lie with horizontal> facing upward and folding inward.Here's the problem: Even if nothing happens to disrupt this orderly arrangementof the pile of blank papyrus sheets (and something did in Codex II, BTW), thesituation will be this:1. In the first half of a quire, recto = vertical fibres, verso = horizontal, but2. in the second half of the quire, recto = horizontal fibres, verso = vertical.Anyone doubting this should do or imagine the following: Take a few sheetsof typing paper, place them in a pile long-side vertical, label the front side ofeach sheet "HF" (for 'horizontal fibres'), then fold the pile of sheets in halfvertically (to form a "quire"). You'll see that in the very middle of the quire,both verso and recto sides are "HF", resulting in the above reversal.It follows, then, that even if every scribe followed exactly the samepractice in handling papyrus sheets, we still wouldn't be able to determinerecto/verso from the papyrus fibres alone, because we wouldn't knowwhether an orphan fragment was from the first half of a book (assumingit was from a codex) or the second half. Whether the best side of theGJW fragment was called the 'recto' because it has horizontal fibres,or because it's the best side, I don't know, but it must have been dueto some convention or other.With respect to the question of which side was inscribed first, my examinationof those facsimiles of the NH codices that I have doesn't show a patternof increasing letter-sizes and/or decreasing lines per inch when there's spaceleft on the last page. Sometimes an end-prayer or some such is added, othertimes the space is just left blank. Admittedly, the sample is small, since I don'thave all the facsimiles, and the last page is missing or obscured in some, butfrom what I can tell, the more probable direction (when there is one) is fromlooser to tighter lettering and spacing, rather than vice-versa.Mike
In Response To: Mike Grondin
On: Recto and Verso
Mike: , in an open book (or codex), the recto is simply the page (not leaf) on the right, the verso the page on the left.
Bruce: That works out, but isn’t the sense rather recto = front, verso = back, even in a bit of papyrus that was never bound? Then the recto would be the first side written, and the verso would be the second. Text would be assumed to be continuous from recto to verso.
E Bruce Brooks
University of Massachusetts at Amherst
bound?> Bruce: That works out, but isnt the sense rather recto = front,> verso = back, even in a bit of papyrus that was never
verso> Then the recto would be the first side written, and the> would be the second. Text would be assumed to be continuous> from recto to verso.Assuming that the relevant meaning of the Latin words rectusand versus was 'right' and 'turned' (or 'opposing', but not 'left'),I suppose that the OAD definition could be improved by sayingthat the recto is the page on the right (in an open book), while theverso is the back of that (i.e., the opposite side of the leaf, or thenext thing you come to when you "turn the page"). I agree thatthe equivalent formulation 'front/back' is better, though, becauseit has the virtue of being easier to remember, and is applicable alsoto non-book-related fragments, as you say. The GJW fragment isa case, however, where both sides are inscribed, but we can't tellwhich side was the "front" (assuming authenticity, of course). SoI figure that the powers that be must have followed some specialrule for cases like this, say "best side = front = recto"?Mike
Here’s something I wrote here https://sites.google.com/site/inglisonmarcion/Home/what-did-p46-originally-contain re. P46:
“The extant portion of P46 is in the form of a single quire, i.e. it was created by laying sheets of papyrus on top of each other and then folding them in the middle, much like a modern magazine. The outer (verso) sides of the sheets have vertical fibers, and the inner (recto) sides have horizontal ones. The text also flows as in a magazine, from verso to recto, until at the center (which consists of two recto pages from the same sheet of papyrus) it switches to flowing from recto to verso. The edges of the leaves were trimmed so that they were aligned, thus making the inner leaves smaller than the outer ones.”
So, as I understand it, recto and verso have nothing to do with left and right.
David Inglis, Lafayette, CA, 94549, USA
- [from David Inglis]:
nothing to do with left and right.> ... as I understand it, recto and verso haveWell, I think you'll find that the dictionary definitions of 'recto' and'verso' indicate otherwise. This, for example, from the AHD:recto: "The right-hand page of a book or front side of a leaf ...[Latin recto ... ablative of rectus, right, straight.]"verso: "The left-hand page of a book or the reverse side of a leaf ...[Latin verso ... ablative of versus, turned.]"'Inner/outer' will do as well if we understand 'inner' as 'facing themiddle' and if we're talking about a fragment from a book.Mike G.
- At 11:41 PM 10/2/2012, Mike Grondin wrote:
...Anyone doubting this should do or imagine the following: Take a few sheets
of typing paper, place them in a pile long-side vertical, label the front side of
each sheet "HF" (for 'horizontal fibres'), then fold the pile of sheets in half
vertically (to form a "quire"). You'll see that in the very middle of the quire,
both verso and recto sides are "HF", resulting in the above reversal.
It follows, then, that even if every scribe followed exactly the same
practice in handling papyrus sheets, we still wouldn't be able to determine
recto/verso from the papyrus fibres alone, because we wouldn't know
whether an orphan fragment was from the first half of a book (assuming
it was from a codex) or the second half. ...
and then he wrote
recto: "The right-hand page of a book or front side of a leaf ...
[Latin recto ... ablative of rectus, right, straight.]"
verso: "The left-hand page of a book or the reverse side of a leaf ...
[Latin verso ... ablative of versus, turned.]"
Your middle paragraph above is the best. However, I suspect that other considerations may be involved.
I've always thought of recto/verso simply as front/back but, as you point out, if all you have is a fragment, you don't really know which is which. I suspect that the matter is settled by the first publisher of the fragment. If s/he calls one side recto and the other verso, then that's the way it gets cited in the literature, even if it is "wrong."
BTW, this is all ethnocentric, isn't it? Consider what would be "recto" or "verso" in a book written in Chinese.
Northern Arizona University
- [from David Inglis]:
of a single quire, i.e. it was created> The extant portion of P46 is in the form
and then folding them in the> by laying sheets of papyrus on top of each other
(verso) sides of the sheets> middle, much like a modern magazine. The outer
sides have horizontal ones. The text> have vertical fibers, and the inner (recto)
recto, until at the center (which> also flows as in a magazine, from verso to
of papyrus) it switches to> consists of two recto pages from the same sheet> flowing from recto to verso."I should have mulled this over longer before posting a response. It nowappears to me that the above is wrong with respect to recto/verso. Thoseterms don't apply to sheets, but to the two leaves of a sheet after it's beenfolded in half. At the center of a magazine (which is a great example, BTW),you don't have two recto pages, but verso and recto, just like at any otherlocation to which the magazine is opened. Thus, as I said earlier, and contrathe above, verso/recto aren't related to the direction of fibres (in papyrus).Mike
- Mike, I'm still not happy with this recto-verso thing. I think it's clear (to me anyway) that in the case of single papyrus sheets, the recto is the 'front' and the verso is the 'back,' as defined by the direction of the fibres, and there is no issue of left or right. The question then is whether this definition carries over to sheets that are folded in half. I strongly suspect that, at least in papyrus codices (where there was still a physical difference between the two sides of a sheet) it did.
Here I enlist the help of Comfort & Barrett, who on pp 270-271 of 'The Text of the Earliest Greek Manuscripts' (2001 edition) give the text of "leaf 52 recto" of P46, immediately followed by "leaf 53 recto" (this is the middle of the codex). How and when the meaning changed, I don't know, but I suspect the publishing industry had something to do with it. Note that the definition of recto and verso currently depends on whether the text is read from left to right, or from right to left. Also, I believe that in single printed sheets it STILL refers to front and back.
David Inglis, Lafayette, CA, 94549, USA
--- In firstname.lastname@example.org, "Mike Grondin" <mwgrondin@...> wrote:
> [from David Inglis]:
> > "The extant portion of P46 is in the form of a single quire, i.e. it was created
> > by laying sheets of papyrus on top of each other and then folding them in the
> > middle, much like a modern magazine. The outer (verso) sides of the sheets
> > have vertical fibers, and the inner (recto) sides have horizontal ones. The text
> > also flows as in a magazine, from verso to recto, until at the center (which
> > consists of two recto pages from the same sheet of papyrus) it switches to
> > flowing from recto to verso."
> I should have mulled this over longer before posting a response. It now
> appears to me that the above is wrong with respect to recto/verso. Those
> terms don't apply to sheets, but to the two leaves of a sheet after it's been
> folded in half. At the center of a magazine (which is a great example, BTW),
> you don't have two recto pages, but verso and recto, just like at any other
> location to which the magazine is opened. Thus, as I said earlier, and contra
> the above, verso/recto aren't related to the direction of fibres (in papyrus).
- > Mike, I'm still not happy with this recto-verso thing.Me either, David, but I think I see a way through the confusion.Based on a couple things I've read this afternoon, it now seems to methat papyrologists have a special meaning for these terms that doesn'tcarry over into - indeed contradicts in some situations - the use of thesame terms in, say, printing or codicology in general. First, from theUniversity of Michigan Papyrus Glossary:
Generally, recto> The term recto denotes the 'front' side of a papyrus.> refers to the side of a papyrus roll which would be written on first, where
writing. This can also be> the papyrus fibers ran horizontally, parallel to the
when rolled up.> thought of as the side of the papyrus that would be insideThen from Larry Hurtado, The Earliest Christian Artifacts, p.44, fn.4:
writing> In many cases, what survives is as little as a single piece of
portion of> material. But papyrologists can often judge whether it is a
part> a larger manuscript ... If the writing on one side appears to be
leaf> of the same text as that on the other side, we probably have a
with> from a codex. If there is writing only on the "recto" (the side
part of a roll.> the papyrus fibres running horizontally), then it is likelySo, yes, papyrologists evidently use the terms with respect to both sheetsand leaves, and the (horizontal) direction of fibres on the best side of theGJW fragment is evidently why it was called the 'recto'. One can't, as I did,appeal to dictionary definitions of 'recto/verso', since they're apparentlynot only inapplicable to papyrology, but actually contradict its judgementsupon occasion. (Ex: what we might intuitively think of as the "front side" -hence the recto - of a papyrus leaf may have vertical fibration, hence wouldbe verso to the papyrologist. That's because they think in terms of the"front side" of papyrus in general, not of individual leaves in a codex.So they take a couple of perfectly good words and turn 'em inside out, eh?)Mike Grondin