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3992Re: [lxx] Division of the books in the Septuagint: TAN Early Christian Scrolls

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  • Robert Kraft
    Nov 13 8:24 AM
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      Most of my excursions into the question of early Christian literary formats are in the context of continuities and supposed discontinuities between what was happening in Jewish literary practices and what happened as Christians developed things further. A good sample of my approach can be found in the presentation at http://ccat.sas.upenn.edu/rak//temp/Connect-Dots.html --
      "Connecting the Dots: Early Jewish and Early Christian Greek Evidence in Context"

      Part of the argument is that both Jews and Christians  seem to be experimenting with codex format as early as the 2nd century, in a transition from the earlier world of scrolls, although the scroll format also continued alongside of the primitive codices. My summary statement is:

      "With regard to Christian scribal practices, while there are developments beyond what the Greek Jewish materials demonstrate (e.g. elaboration of punctuation schemes, expansion of nomina sacra uses, widescale adoption of the codex), it seems no longer possible to speak simply of Christian innovation in scribal practices, or to create specifically Christian "social history" from the observed phenomena. Continuities from Jewish practices to Christian are what we should expect, in light of early Christian history in general."

      Lots of supporting evidence can be found in the associated essays indexed at 
      For example: "A large part of the problem is the fact that codex technology became generally available about the same time that Christianity was becoming an identifiable movement (2nd and 3rd centuries). All earlier literature, Jewish or not, is in scroll format." Or, "Christians continued to use the roll format well after codices became popular, and clearly codices came to be used among Jews at some point, but there is little clarity or agreement on the history of such developments."

      But since my main interests have been in the surviving evidence for transition from scroll to codex in the ancient worlds (including expecially Judaism and Christianity), and since very little has survived from the first century of "Christian" existence, I have not tried to say much about earliest Christian practices beyond the observation that earliest Christian writing habits are assumed to have followed Jewish patterns of the same time -- that is, continuation of scroll format.

      emeritus Bob

      On 11/11/2013 10:05 PM, andrew fincke wrote:

      My humble apologies, Bob.  Where can I find the opinion you expressed in print?  online?
      Andrew Fincke

      To: lxx@yahoogroups.com
      From: kraft@...
      Date: Mon, 11 Nov 2013 11:30:46 -0500
      Subject: Re: [lxx] Division of the books in the Septuagint


      This is a tangent, but I'm puzzled by this comment, since I'm convinced that the works later collected to create the "New Testament" anthology began as scrolls. They only later were transformed into the codex formats in which they survived.
      "Contra Bob, emeritus, who feels that the New Testament neither physically nor chronologically suited the scroll format.

      Bob Kraft, emeritus!

      On 11/11/2013 10:43 AM, andrew fincke wrote:

      Dear Philip,

      The Hebrew's tough. For what You did to the ears it has כָּרִיתָ, i.e. karita or καριτα in Greek letters.  The word is from the root כרה, which means “dig” as in “dig a grave” (Gen. 50:5) or “dig a well” (Gen. 26:25) or “dig a pit” (Psalm 57:7).  “Digging ears” is a problem that LXX solved by transposing the letters κρτ to κτρ to get κατηρτίσω “youfashioned.”  A κετερ i.e. Hebrew keter (כֶתֶר) is a “crown,” something placed over the ears.  The implication is that “You crowned Me” in conjunction with the scroll mentioned in verse 8 suggests the New Testament and its crowned Hero proclaiming the abolition of animal sacrifices.  Contra Bob, emeritus, who feels that the New Testament neither physically nor chronologically suited the scroll format.



      From: philipengmann@...
      To: lxx@yahoogroups.comk
      Date: Sun, 10 Nov 2013 04:50:55 -0800
      Subject: Re: [lxx] Division of the books in the Septuagint

      Dear Listees,

      forgive my ignorance, but why does NETS Psalm 40[39]: 7[6] b read, "ears you fashioned for me?"

      Many thanks,

      Philip Engmann

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