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Re: [lxx] numbering the psalms

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  • Timothy Beach
    Being far from a scholar myself, and feeling privileged just to have the opportunity to listen in on your dialogues, I will opt for asking a question that may
    Message 1 of 10 , Jan 16, 2013
      Being far from a scholar myself, and feeling privileged just to have the
      opportunity to listen in on your dialogues, I will opt for asking a
      question that may (or may not) lead you discovering an answer to your
      question. Having heard that monasteries (where many Christian scribes
      lived) routinely chanted (and still chant) the whole of the Psalter in a
      week - it was and is a major part of the monastic offices (both east and
      west) - might the chapter/verse divisions been useful to them more than any
      others in ancient Christendom?

      Timothy Beach, M.Div.
      Taichung, Taiwan


      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • James Miller
      ... Some questions for you, Bill. First, what is the evidence upon which your assertion that the chanting and singing of these same psalms in Jewish worship
      Message 2 of 10 , Jan 18, 2013
        On Fri, 18 Jan 2013, dr.beel wrote:

        > The liturgical-practice-explanation is persuasive only on the assumption that numbering the psalms is a practice that liturgical recitation and chanting of them makes necessary. But we know this isn't the case, because the chanting and singing of these same psalms in Jewish worship during antiquity doesn't seem to have required numbering them. If ancient Christians found it necessary to number the psalms in order to find their place in the liturgy, why didn't ancient Jews?
        > And: indeed the imperial codices like Sinaiticus include a 151st psalm, but with the superscription carefully pointing out that this psalm is "outside the numbering (arithmou)." Here again it is only in a Christian MS, not a Jewish one, that the psalter is even referred to in terms of numbering its chapters. For both communities the psalms were central to liturgical life, yet only one of them numbered the psalms. Does Christian liturgical use fully explain this phenomonenon?

        Some questions for you, Bill. First, what is the evidence upon which your
        assertion that "the chanting and singing of these same psalms in Jewish
        worship during antiquity doesn't seem to have required numbering them" is
        based? Can you point to some Jewish liturgical manuscript from the period
        that lacks numbering? Some ancient testimonial about how Jewish worship
        was conducted that rules out such? I am curious to know that first of all,
        since such a dearth of evidence about worship practices of the period
        seems to me to obtain.

        Furthermore, surely you are aware that the Hebrew Psalms readily divide,
        by internal indications, into 5 sections? The later chapter divisions
        coincide, in relevant areas, by the way, with those divisions. The
        diapsalma of the LXX Psalms--which sometimes correspond to a "selah" in
        the Hebrew text--could also be mentioned as other possible division
        points. Would you maintain that none of these larger-scale division
        schemes had any sort of liturgical significance? If so, on what basis?

        So, in answer to the question "If ancient Christians found it necessary to
        number the psalms in order to find their place in the liturgy, why didn't
        ancient Jews?" I would ask: how do we know they didn't just have a
        differing numbering system for Psalms? One that involved, at the least, 5
        sections?

        The more important question I have for you is whether you've ever
        considered carefully the Psalms complex in the fifth-century imperial
        codex A(lexandrinus)? If so, what do you make of the navigational
        materials, especially the Epistle to Marcellinus and the "Canon of Psalms"
        prefaced at the beginning? The clear purpose of both, it seems to me, is
        to direct the worshiper in finding the relevant portions for various
        devotional uses.

        Do you think those were composed contemporaneously? The Letter to
        Marcellinus seems to date to the 4th century, so at least that part of the
        complex certainly predates Codex A. Then again, another part of the
        complex, the Hypothesis, has been attributed to the 4th century churchman
        Eusebius. Moreover, Codex A's Psalm divisions, so far as I am aware, match
        the divisions found in Codices S and B, which both date to the 4th
        century. Why would we, then, not interpret those earlier Psalm books in
        light of the more expanded one found in Codex A, assuming that all were
        liturgical in character? And why not assume that similar navigational
        texts, though not included in those manuscripts, might have been known and
        used for these, too?

        Granted, this does not provide irrefutable proof that the referenced
        divisions and numbering were introduced for liturgical purposes. But it
        does give strong indication that, by the 4th century, the divisions served
        a liturgical or devotional function. And we have certainly not ruled out
        the possibility that the divisions were introduced for liturgical or
        devotional purposes--either the divisions seen in Christian manuscripts,
        or those inhering in the Hebrew text of the Psalms.

        I would be happy to learn more about this matter, so if you have further
        evidence to present, please do so. I do not maintain, by the way, that
        other factors could not help to explain the Christian numbering of Psalms.
        But I do think that dismissing the possibility of a liturgical or
        devotional role in the process is wrong. I cannot tell for certain if
        that's what you're trying to do.

        James
      • James Miller
        First an informational question: are you, Bill, the one who made the original inquiry? I ask because this is not clear owing to the differing e-mail address
        Message 3 of 10 , Jan 19, 2013
          First an informational question: are you, Bill, the one who made the
          original inquiry? I ask because this is not clear owing to the differing
          e-mail address used in the last couple of postings. It would be helpful to
          me to know whether I am communicating with the original question's poser,
          or with someone else who shares an interest.

          On Sat, 19 Jan 2013, dr.beel wrote:

          > I am trying to account for the ubiquitous ancient Christian practice of
          > referring to the psalms by number in contrast with the utter absence of
          > ordinal reference to the psalms among ancient Jews.

          Thank you for clarifying further the nature of your inquiry. I am
          beginning to understand better the specific character of your query, which
          is interesting. I hope Joel, who wrote his dissertation on number
          symbolism in patristic thought--I think with specific reference to
          Evagrius of Pontus--may have some input on this matter as well.

          I will also see if I can get Dr. Georgi Parpulov, who has done in-depth
          research on the Byzantine Psalters, involved in this discussion. He is not
          a list member, but I have conducted an e-mail correspondence with him in
          the past and so can contact him to solicit his input. This seems a matter
          which might interest him.

          I will respond to parts of your response in this note, and others likely
          in some future note.

          > I think you may be right in suggesting that the Christian practice
          > resulted from several cultural influences. We might consider the
          > well-established Greek scribal practice of numbering sections of
          > literary works. Christians from the educated classes of Greco-Roman
          > society were familiar with the lyric epic tradition commonly featuring
          > numbered sections; it may be that the psalms were viewed as the
          > Christian lyric counterpart, complete with the gnomic values such
          > literature offered, and so the psalms took on numbers like the numbered
          > sections of Homer and Menander.

          About all I can say here is that these are interesting observations. I
          have not researched the lyric epic tradition in any depth, having only
          touched on it very superficially in my dissertation (which dealt with the
          Biblical Odes tradition). Do you see any significance that may be peculiar
          to the Christian tradition in the number 150?

          > In any event, you asked some questions, James, and here are my replies
          > for your consideration. You asked, "Can you point to some Jewish
          > liturgical manuscript from the period that lacks numbering?" Yes. All of
          > them. No machzor or siddur MS that I know of numbers any biblical psalm
          > despite the fact that psalms and portions of psalms comprise a good deal
          > of the content found in them. The earliest Hebrew psalter MSS also lack
          > numbers for the psalms. The earliest rabbinic sources lack numbers for
          > the psalms. Psalm-numbering is absent from the Jewish commentary
          > tradition altogether until later midrashim, and makes its first
          > appearance within an actual psalms MS only in the 11th century. It is on
          > the basis of its utter absence from the body of evidence that I submit
          > that during Antiquity Jewish liturgical use of the psalms did not
          > include ordinal (numbered) reference to them.

          All the materials you reference are fairly late if I'm not mistaken, i.e.,
          they post-date the rise and flourishing of Christianity; correct? I know
          that the earliest rabbinic sources are thought to offer witness to much
          earlier practice and custom. But the era in which they were put to writing
          is probably no earlier than about 200 C.E., correct? I ask because, if
          that is the case, then it seems to me that, strictly speaking, we are
          discussing Jewish worship of the centuries C.E.; inferences can be made as
          to earlier worship practices, but they remain just that--inferences.

          Now, if we are speaking of Jewish worship from the era in which this
          material was reduced to writing, then must we not allow the possibility
          that these sources convey a tradition that is, to some degree, in reaction
          against Christian practice (and its possible use of numeration)? In other
          words, Judaism in this era is attempting to distinguish itself as starkly
          as is possible from the novel sect that claimed to arise from it.

          This is an argument from silence and does not go very far toward
          conclusively proving anything. And, not being in any sense expert in
          Jewish worship practices in any era, I may be making some fundamental
          conceptual errors. It may, nonetheless, be worth considering.

          > You asked, "what do you make of the navigational materials, especially
          > the Epistle to Marcellinus and the "Canon of Psalms" prefaced at the
          > beginning [of A]?" The Eusebian Psalms-canon simply lists the hypothesis
          > to each numbered psalm. I see nothing there particularly liturgical.
          > Your mention of the Epistle to Marcellinus actually demonstrates my
          > point: Athanasius constantly refers to psalms by their numbers, but in
          > no instance is the reference to anything liturgical; instead Athanasius
          > is recommending personal devotional application as therapy for the soul.

          I would disagree regarding the "Canon of Psalms" section and I believe you
          are mischaracterizing it. That section is, to my understanding, patently
          liturgical, or at least devotional. It enshrines a monastic worship
          practice--not clearly communal, which is why I say it may be
          devotional--such as that practiced by monks in 4th century lower Egypt
          (Robert Taft discusses this monastic practice in his "Liturgy of the
          Hours," though he does not associate it with the referenced section from
          Codex A: so far as I know I am the only one who has thus far made that
          association). Perhaps you are confusing the "Canons of Psalms" with the
          Hypothesis of Psalms, which is a separate part of the preface? I recently
          photographed the pseudo-facsimile of Codex A (Baber) and can upload a
          photo of the column in question for your inspection, if you'd like: I
          would be happy to be proved wrong if I have somehow misconstrued it.

          > might have been known and used for these, too?" If you are talking about
          > the psalms-division into five books, this is not peculiar to Christian
          > psalters; as you know, it is found also in Hebrew psalters yet with no
          > liturgical function attributed to it anywhere in the Jewish tradition.
          > What, then, makes it liturgical in the Christian Bible? If you are
          > talking about division into discrete psalms, obviously this is true also
          > of the Hebrew psalter, and again without any liturgical function
          > attached to it in any Jewish source from antiquity. Same question
          > applies: what makes the numbering of discrete psalms a liturgical
          > practice?

          A question (as much for me as for you): when we use the term "liturgical"
          in reference to Jewish worship, are we speaking of communal worship as
          opposed to individual prayer (for the latter of which we would, instead,
          use the referent "devotional")? I admit to some fundamental unclarity on
          my part in this discussion regarding these terms. The elephant in the room
          here with respect to Jewish worship is whether what is done in synagogues
          since about 70 C.E.--which I understand to be a barely adequate stand-in
          for what was formerly done in the Temple--really qualifies as liturgical.
          If that question be answered in the positive, then we approach comparing
          apples with apples with regard to the question of the presence or absence
          of Psalm numbering and its liturgical applicability in Christianity and
          Judaism. If answered in the negative, the comparison may well be
          wrong-headed.

          In summary, it seems you would maintain that Psalm numeration is of a
          non-liturgical origin, and that the already-existing numeration was later
          (by the 4th century, as I am maintaining) adapted into liturgical use,
          correct? You seem to allow that the numeration played a role in worship,
          but you are inclined to search elsewhere for its origin, yes?

          > I am grateful for this exchange over the question of individual
          > psalm-numbering. I hope to learn more from it.

          Ditto. I did some research recently in preparation for writing an
          introduction to a Psalter and reviewed a bit of historical development, so
          it's still a subject fairly fresh in my mind. Hopefully I can continue to
          contribute and learn as well.

          By the way, have you looked at the Psalms of Solomon to see whether they
          might shed any light on your numeration query? I can't point to anything
          specific regarding them apart from the fact that they can be viewed as
          perhaps transitional between Judaism and Christianity.

          James

          >
          >
          > --- In lxx@yahoogroups.com, James Miller wrote:
          >>
          >> On Fri, 18 Jan 2013, dr.beel wrote:
          >>
          >>> The liturgical-practice-explanation is persuasive only on the assumption that numbering the psalms is a practice that liturgical recitation and chanting of them makes necessary. But we know this isn't the case, because the chanting and singing of these same psalms in Jewish worship during antiquity doesn't seem to have required numbering them. If ancient Christians found it necessary to number the psalms in order to find their place in the liturgy, why didn't ancient Jews?
          >>> And: indeed the imperial codices like Sinaiticus include a 151st psalm, but with the superscription carefully pointing out that this psalm is "outside the numbering (arithmou)." Here again it is only in a Christian MS, not a Jewish one, that the psalter is even referred to in terms of numbering its chapters. For both communities the psalms were central to liturgical life, yet only one of them numbered the psalms. Does Christian liturgical use fully explain this phenomonenon?
          >>
          >> Some questions for you, Bill. First, what is the evidence upon which your
          >> assertion that "the chanting and singing of these same psalms in Jewish
          >> worship during antiquity doesn't seem to have required numbering them" is
          >> based? Can you point to some Jewish liturgical manuscript from the period
          >> that lacks numbering? Some ancient testimonial about how Jewish worship
          >> was conducted that rules out such? I am curious to know that first of all,
          >> since such a dearth of evidence about worship practices of the period
          >> seems to me to obtain.
          >>
          >> Furthermore, surely you are aware that the Hebrew Psalms readily divide,
          >> by internal indications, into 5 sections? The later chapter divisions
          >> coincide, in relevant areas, by the way, with those divisions. The
          >> diapsalma of the LXX Psalms--which sometimes correspond to a "selah" in
          >> the Hebrew text--could also be mentioned as other possible division
          >> points. Would you maintain that none of these larger-scale division
          >> schemes had any sort of liturgical significance? If so, on what basis?
          >>
          >> So, in answer to the question "If ancient Christians found it necessary to
          >> number the psalms in order to find their place in the liturgy, why didn't
          >> ancient Jews?" I would ask: how do we know they didn't just have a
          >> differing numbering system for Psalms? One that involved, at the least, 5
          >> sections?
          >>
          >> The more important question I have for you is whether you've ever
          >> considered carefully the Psalms complex in the fifth-century imperial
          >> codex A(lexandrinus)? If so, what do you make of the navigational
          >> materials, especially the Epistle to Marcellinus and the "Canon of Psalms"
          >> prefaced at the beginning? The clear purpose of both, it seems to me, is
          >> to direct the worshiper in finding the relevant portions for various
          >> devotional uses.
          >>
          >> Do you think those were composed contemporaneously? The Letter to
          >> Marcellinus seems to date to the 4th century, so at least that part of the
          >> complex certainly predates Codex A. Then again, another part of the
          >> complex, the Hypothesis, has been attributed to the 4th century churchman
          >> Eusebius. Moreover, Codex A's Psalm divisions, so far as I am aware, match
          >> the divisions found in Codices S and B, which both date to the 4th
          >> century. Why would we, then, not interpret those earlier Psalm books in
          >> light of the more expanded one found in Codex A, assuming that all were
          >> liturgical in character? And why not assume that similar navigational
          >> texts, though not included in those manuscripts, might have been known and
          >> used for these, too?
          >>
          >> Granted, this does not provide irrefutable proof that the referenced
          >> divisions and numbering were introduced for liturgical purposes. But it
          >> does give strong indication that, by the 4th century, the divisions served
          >> a liturgical or devotional function. And we have certainly not ruled out
          >> the possibility that the divisions were introduced for liturgical or
          >> devotional purposes--either the divisions seen in Christian manuscripts,
          >> or those inhering in the Hebrew text of the Psalms.
          >>
          >> I would be happy to learn more about this matter, so if you have further
          >> evidence to present, please do so. I do not maintain, by the way, that
          >> other factors could not help to explain the Christian numbering of Psalms.
          >> But I do think that dismissing the possibility of a liturgical or
          >> devotional role in the process is wrong. I cannot tell for certain if
          >> that's what you're trying to do.
          >>
          >> James
          >>
          >
          >
          >
        • Robert Kraft
          This is a great topic for further research (a dissertation, perhaps). And thanks to all who have contributed thus far. Here I add a few very quick
          Message 4 of 10 , Jan 19, 2013
            This is a great topic for further research (a dissertation, perhaps).
            And thanks to all who have contributed thus far. Here I add a few very
            quick observations:

            1. The Qumran evidence needs to be reexamined, with reference to the use
            of numbers regarding the Davidic corpus (he composed so many psalms,
            etc., in various connections), and the variant order of materials in
            some of the scrolls (apparently not in accord with the later 5
            book/scroll division?).

            2. Justin's several references include numberings from psalms that would
            be on different sections of the 5 book/scroll division (Psalms 49, 46,
            98, 44, 95, and 21); does this mean that there was a single very large
            Psalm scroll (or a specific Psalms codex) at his disposal?

            3. Justin's quotations and numbering are in discussion (real or not)
            with a Jewish audience, which may imply that they were also familiar
            with the numbering in Justin's mind. And why not? Most of what early
            Christians knew about Jewish Greek scriptures came from their Jewish
            parentage.

            4. It is possible that the specific numbers were added to Justin's
            original text by copyists to make the references more specific. This is
            not an infrequent phenomena in the transmission of such materials, and
            the textual base for Justin's Dialogue is exceptionally weak. Elsewhere,
            Justin most often refers simply to "David" as a prophet or hymnist --
            see the Apology, for example.

            5. Other second century Christian materials need to be explored for
            similar numbering -- a quick survey of Irenaeus Against Heresies shows
            only a couple of such specifics, in book 4, sections 3 (Ps 101) and 17
            (Ps 50 and its predecessor). But of course Irenaeus was not only
            transmitted in the original Greek (now largely lost) but was translated
            to the surviving Latin (and Armenian?).

            Lots more can be done with this fascinating probe into such literary
            habits and their transmission. My own take on it is that the "school"
            context needs to be explored more closely, as in Justin's discussions
            with Trypho's group. Clearly that (scholarly study, and polemics) is
            another major area beyond group "liturgy" or private uses in which Jews
            and their Christian offspring shared interest.

            Bob Kraft, Emeritus UPenn

            On 1/19/2013 1:49 PM, James Miller wrote:
            >
            > First an informational question: are you, Bill, the one who made the
            > original inquiry? I ask because this is not clear owing to the differing
            > e-mail address used in the last couple of postings. It would be
            > helpful to
            > me to know whether I am communicating with the original question's poser,
            > or with someone else who shares an interest.
            >
            > On Sat, 19 Jan 2013, dr.beel wrote:
            >
            > > I am trying to account for the ubiquitous ancient Christian practice of
            > > referring to the psalms by number in contrast with the utter absence of
            > > ordinal reference to the psalms among ancient Jews.
            >
            > Thank you for clarifying further the nature of your inquiry. I am
            > beginning to understand better the specific character of your query,
            > which
            > is interesting. I hope Joel, who wrote his dissertation on number
            > symbolism in patristic thought--I think with specific reference to
            > Evagrius of Pontus--may have some input on this matter as well.
            >
            > I will also see if I can get Dr. Georgi Parpulov, who has done in-depth
            > research on the Byzantine Psalters, involved in this discussion. He is
            > not
            > a list member, but I have conducted an e-mail correspondence with him in
            > the past and so can contact him to solicit his input. This seems a matter
            > which might interest him.
            >
            > I will respond to parts of your response in this note, and others likely
            > in some future note.
            >
            > > I think you may be right in suggesting that the Christian practice
            > > resulted from several cultural influences. We might consider the
            > > well-established Greek scribal practice of numbering sections of
            > > literary works. Christians from the educated classes of Greco-Roman
            > > society were familiar with the lyric epic tradition commonly featuring
            > > numbered sections; it may be that the psalms were viewed as the
            > > Christian lyric counterpart, complete with the gnomic values such
            > > literature offered, and so the psalms took on numbers like the numbered
            > > sections of Homer and Menander.
            >
            > About all I can say here is that these are interesting observations. I
            > have not researched the lyric epic tradition in any depth, having only
            > touched on it very superficially in my dissertation (which dealt with the
            > Biblical Odes tradition). Do you see any significance that may be
            > peculiar
            > to the Christian tradition in the number 150?
            >
            > > In any event, you asked some questions, James, and here are my replies
            > > for your consideration. You asked, "Can you point to some Jewish
            > > liturgical manuscript from the period that lacks numbering?" Yes.
            > All of
            > > them. No machzor or siddur MS that I know of numbers any biblical psalm
            > > despite the fact that psalms and portions of psalms comprise a good
            > deal
            > > of the content found in them. The earliest Hebrew psalter MSS also lack
            > > numbers for the psalms. The earliest rabbinic sources lack numbers for
            > > the psalms. Psalm-numbering is absent from the Jewish commentary
            > > tradition altogether until later midrashim, and makes its first
            > > appearance within an actual psalms MS only in the 11th century. It
            > is on
            > > the basis of its utter absence from the body of evidence that I submit
            > > that during Antiquity Jewish liturgical use of the psalms did not
            > > include ordinal (numbered) reference to them.
            >
            > All the materials you reference are fairly late if I'm not mistaken,
            > i.e.,
            > they post-date the rise and flourishing of Christianity; correct? I know
            > that the earliest rabbinic sources are thought to offer witness to much
            > earlier practice and custom. But the era in which they were put to
            > writing
            > is probably no earlier than about 200 C.E., correct? I ask because, if
            > that is the case, then it seems to me that, strictly speaking, we are
            > discussing Jewish worship of the centuries C.E.; inferences can be
            > made as
            > to earlier worship practices, but they remain just that--inferences.
            >
            > Now, if we are speaking of Jewish worship from the era in which this
            > material was reduced to writing, then must we not allow the possibility
            > that these sources convey a tradition that is, to some degree, in
            > reaction
            > against Christian practice (and its possible use of numeration)? In other
            > words, Judaism in this era is attempting to distinguish itself as starkly
            > as is possible from the novel sect that claimed to arise from it.
            >
            > This is an argument from silence and does not go very far toward
            > conclusively proving anything. And, not being in any sense expert in
            > Jewish worship practices in any era, I may be making some fundamental
            > conceptual errors. It may, nonetheless, be worth considering.
            >
            > > You asked, "what do you make of the navigational materials, especially
            > > the Epistle to Marcellinus and the "Canon of Psalms" prefaced at the
            > > beginning [of A]?" The Eusebian Psalms-canon simply lists the
            > hypothesis
            > > to each numbered psalm. I see nothing there particularly liturgical.
            > > Your mention of the Epistle to Marcellinus actually demonstrates my
            > > point: Athanasius constantly refers to psalms by their numbers, but in
            > > no instance is the reference to anything liturgical; instead Athanasius
            > > is recommending personal devotional application as therapy for the soul.
            >
            > I would disagree regarding the "Canon of Psalms" section and I believe
            > you
            > are mischaracterizing it. That section is, to my understanding, patently
            > liturgical, or at least devotional. It enshrines a monastic worship
            > practice--not clearly communal, which is why I say it may be
            > devotional--such as that practiced by monks in 4th century lower Egypt
            > (Robert Taft discusses this monastic practice in his "Liturgy of the
            > Hours," though he does not associate it with the referenced section from
            > Codex A: so far as I know I am the only one who has thus far made that
            > association). Perhaps you are confusing the "Canons of Psalms" with the
            > Hypothesis of Psalms, which is a separate part of the preface? I recently
            > photographed the pseudo-facsimile of Codex A (Baber) and can upload a
            > photo of the column in question for your inspection, if you'd like: I
            > would be happy to be proved wrong if I have somehow misconstrued it.
            >
            > > might have been known and used for these, too?" If you are talking
            > about
            > > the psalms-division into five books, this is not peculiar to Christian
            > > psalters; as you know, it is found also in Hebrew psalters yet with no
            > > liturgical function attributed to it anywhere in the Jewish tradition.
            > > What, then, makes it liturgical in the Christian Bible? If you are
            > > talking about division into discrete psalms, obviously this is true
            > also
            > > of the Hebrew psalter, and again without any liturgical function
            > > attached to it in any Jewish source from antiquity. Same question
            > > applies: what makes the numbering of discrete psalms a liturgical
            > > practice?
            >
            > A question (as much for me as for you): when we use the term "liturgical"
            > in reference to Jewish worship, are we speaking of communal worship as
            > opposed to individual prayer (for the latter of which we would, instead,
            > use the referent "devotional")? I admit to some fundamental unclarity on
            > my part in this discussion regarding these terms. The elephant in the
            > room
            > here with respect to Jewish worship is whether what is done in synagogues
            > since about 70 C.E.--which I understand to be a barely adequate stand-in
            > for what was formerly done in the Temple--really qualifies as liturgical.
            > If that question be answered in the positive, then we approach comparing
            > apples with apples with regard to the question of the presence or absence
            > of Psalm numbering and its liturgical applicability in Christianity and
            > Judaism. If answered in the negative, the comparison may well be
            > wrong-headed.
            >
            > In summary, it seems you would maintain that Psalm numeration is of a
            > non-liturgical origin, and that the already-existing numeration was later
            > (by the 4th century, as I am maintaining) adapted into liturgical use,
            > correct? You seem to allow that the numeration played a role in worship,
            > but you are inclined to search elsewhere for its origin, yes?
            >
            > > I am grateful for this exchange over the question of individual
            > > psalm-numbering. I hope to learn more from it.
            >
            > Ditto. I did some research recently in preparation for writing an
            > introduction to a Psalter and reviewed a bit of historical
            > development, so
            > it's still a subject fairly fresh in my mind. Hopefully I can continue to
            > contribute and learn as well.
            >
            > By the way, have you looked at the Psalms of Solomon to see whether they
            > might shed any light on your numeration query? I can't point to anything
            > specific regarding them apart from the fact that they can be viewed as
            > perhaps transitional between Judaism and Christianity.
            >
            > James
            >
            > >
            > >
            > > --- In lxx@yahoogroups.com <mailto:lxx%40yahoogroups.com>, James
            > Miller wrote:
            > >>
            > >> On Fri, 18 Jan 2013, dr.beel wrote:
            > >>
            > >>> The liturgical-practice-explanation is persuasive only on the
            > assumption that numbering the psalms is a practice that liturgical
            > recitation and chanting of them makes necessary. But we know this
            > isn't the case, because the chanting and singing of these same psalms
            > in Jewish worship during antiquity doesn't seem to have required
            > numbering them. If ancient Christians found it necessary to number the
            > psalms in order to find their place in the liturgy, why didn't ancient
            > Jews?
            > >>> And: indeed the imperial codices like Sinaiticus include a 151st
            > psalm, but with the superscription carefully pointing out that this
            > psalm is "outside the numbering (arithmou)." Here again it is only in
            > a Christian MS, not a Jewish one, that the psalter is even referred to
            > in terms of numbering its chapters. For both communities the psalms
            > were central to liturgical life, yet only one of them numbered the
            > psalms. Does Christian liturgical use fully explain this phenomonenon?
            > >>
            > >> Some questions for you, Bill. First, what is the evidence upon
            > which your
            > >> assertion that "the chanting and singing of these same psalms in Jewish
            > >> worship during antiquity doesn't seem to have required numbering
            > them" is
            > >> based? Can you point to some Jewish liturgical manuscript from the
            > period
            > >> that lacks numbering? Some ancient testimonial about how Jewish worship
            > >> was conducted that rules out such? I am curious to know that first
            > of all,
            > >> since such a dearth of evidence about worship practices of the period
            > >> seems to me to obtain.
            > >>
            > >> Furthermore, surely you are aware that the Hebrew Psalms readily
            > divide,
            > >> by internal indications, into 5 sections? The later chapter divisions
            > >> coincide, in relevant areas, by the way, with those divisions. The
            > >> diapsalma of the LXX Psalms--which sometimes correspond to a "selah" in
            > >> the Hebrew text--could also be mentioned as other possible division
            > >> points. Would you maintain that none of these larger-scale division
            > >> schemes had any sort of liturgical significance? If so, on what basis?
            > >>
            > >> So, in answer to the question "If ancient Christians found it
            > necessary to
            > >> number the psalms in order to find their place in the liturgy, why
            > didn't
            > >> ancient Jews?" I would ask: how do we know they didn't just have a
            > >> differing numbering system for Psalms? One that involved, at the
            > least, 5
            > >> sections?
            > >>
            > >> The more important question I have for you is whether you've ever
            > >> considered carefully the Psalms complex in the fifth-century imperial
            > >> codex A(lexandrinus)? If so, what do you make of the navigational
            > >> materials, especially the Epistle to Marcellinus and the "Canon of
            > Psalms"
            > >> prefaced at the beginning? The clear purpose of both, it seems to
            > me, is
            > >> to direct the worshiper in finding the relevant portions for various
            > >> devotional uses.
            > >>
            > >> Do you think those were composed contemporaneously? The Letter to
            > >> Marcellinus seems to date to the 4th century, so at least that part
            > of the
            > >> complex certainly predates Codex A. Then again, another part of the
            > >> complex, the Hypothesis, has been attributed to the 4th century
            > churchman
            > >> Eusebius. Moreover, Codex A's Psalm divisions, so far as I am
            > aware, match
            > >> the divisions found in Codices S and B, which both date to the 4th
            > >> century. Why would we, then, not interpret those earlier Psalm books in
            > >> light of the more expanded one found in Codex A, assuming that all were
            > >> liturgical in character? And why not assume that similar navigational
            > >> texts, though not included in those manuscripts, might have been
            > known and
            > >> used for these, too?
            > >>
            > >> Granted, this does not provide irrefutable proof that the referenced
            > >> divisions and numbering were introduced for liturgical purposes. But it
            > >> does give strong indication that, by the 4th century, the divisions
            > served
            > >> a liturgical or devotional function. And we have certainly not
            > ruled out
            > >> the possibility that the divisions were introduced for liturgical or
            > >> devotional purposes--either the divisions seen in Christian
            > manuscripts,
            > >> or those inhering in the Hebrew text of the Psalms.
            > >>
            > >> I would be happy to learn more about this matter, so if you have
            > further
            > >> evidence to present, please do so. I do not maintain, by the way, that
            > >> other factors could not help to explain the Christian numbering of
            > Psalms.
            > >> But I do think that dismissing the possibility of a liturgical or
            > >> devotional role in the process is wrong. I cannot tell for certain if
            > >> that's what you're trying to do.
            > >>
            > >> James
            > >>
            > >
            > >
            > >
            >
            >



            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          • James Miller
            ... Thank you for the clarification. ... I have sent him an e-mail, but got a vacation reply. I hope he will take interest and contribute to this discussion. I
            Message 5 of 10 , Jan 19, 2013
              On Sat, 19 Jan 2013, dr.beel wrote:

              > "Are you, Bill, the one who made the original inquiry?" Yes. I apologize
              > for the confusion. I am very new to the LXX list serve, and still
              > learning how to post properly.

              Thank you for the clarification.

              > I am currently in email conversation with Joel Kalvesmaki. I would value
              > any input from Dr. Parpulov. Thanks for these suggestions.

              I have sent him an e-mail, but got a vacation reply. I hope he will take
              interest and contribute to this discussion. I believe his input would be
              of value to all interested in this topic.

              > the 150 number for the psalter. In the Jewish tradition there is minimal
              > attention to the 150 number, partially because the Hebrew Psalter
              > configures the psalms differently than a 150-psalm total, depending on
              > the MS in question.

              Where can we read about how these Hebrew Psalters are configured? I would
              like to know more about this.

              > "Perhaps you are confusing the "Canons of Psalms" with the Hypothesis of
              > Psalms, which is a separate part of the preface?" Yes, I have confused
              > the two. If you can provide an image of the A column containing the
              > Psalms-Canon I would be grateful. Thanks much.

              I will upload images to our group's site soon. You should get an e-mail
              notice (which goes out group-wide) about that. I am including a very
              poor-quality scan from the old photo-facsimile edition of the portion of
              interest from Codex A as well as the far more legible rendering from
              Baber's pseudo-facsimile.

              > On the Christian side, again Athanasius is instructive, since his letter
              > to Marcellinus presupposes the psalms as spiritually active for the
              > individual Christian on a personal basis. Yet Athanasius also speaks of
              > the music to which the psalms are set for singing?clearly a reflection
              > of their communal/liturgical function.

              Taken against the backdrop of other Athanasian writings, especially the
              Life of St. Anthony, it seems to me the Letter reflects to some extent
              Egyptian monastic prayer practice. The line between devotional and
              liturgical appears blurred in this setting, since sometimes the monks
              chanted alone in their cells, while sometimes they gathered to read them
              communally. It seems to me that, excluding the eucharistic service, the
              prayer-reading was essentially the same whether read privately or in the
              company of fellow monastics. In any case, this monastic worship clearly
              had its influence on corporate worship outside the monasteries. Taft's
              book on the hours (among other of his books and articles) sketches this
              out--though I am of the opinion, for whatever that's worth, that he draws
              too sharp a distinction between monastic and non-monastic (epitomized in
              the so-called cathedral rite) worship practices.

              > use, correct?" I am not yet sure. Christians seem to have been the first
              > to number the psalms, perhaps in in response to liturgical needs and
              > influenced by the sections-numbering precedent well attested in the
              > Greek literary tradition. That tradition might not have been an
              > influencing factor for the Jews in their liturgical life with the
              > psalms, and so Jews went with a first-line quotation practice rather
              > than a numbering system by which to identify any given psalm. In any
              > event, by the time of Hilary (who himself pointed out that it was not
              > the practice of the Jews to number the psalms) the psalm-numbers had
              > taken on symbolic significance.

              I hope you will keep us apprised of your research in this area. It's a
              topic that is certainly of great interest to me. Are the superscriptions
              themselves evidence of the first-line quotation practice?

              James

              > --- In lxx@yahoogroups.com, James Miller wrote:
              >>
              >> First an informational question: are you, Bill, the one who made the
              >> original inquiry? I ask because this is not clear owing to the differing
              >> e-mail address used in the last couple of postings. It would be helpful to
              >> me to know whether I am communicating with the original question's poser,
              >> or with someone else who shares an interest.
              >>
              >> On Sat, 19 Jan 2013, dr.beel wrote:
              >>
              >>> I am trying to account for the ubiquitous ancient Christian practice of
              >>> referring to the psalms by number in contrast with the utter absence of
              >>> ordinal reference to the psalms among ancient Jews.
              >>
              >> Thank you for clarifying further the nature of your inquiry. I am
              >> beginning to understand better the specific character of your query, which
              >> is interesting. I hope Joel, who wrote his dissertation on number
              >> symbolism in patristic thought--I think with specific reference to
              >> Evagrius of Pontus--may have some input on this matter as well.
              >>
              >> I will also see if I can get Dr. Georgi Parpulov, who has done in-depth
              >> research on the Byzantine Psalters, involved in this discussion. He is not
              >> a list member, but I have conducted an e-mail correspondence with him in
              >> the past and so can contact him to solicit his input. This seems a matter
              >> which might interest him.
              >>
              >> I will respond to parts of your response in this note, and others likely
              >> in some future note.
              >>
              >>> I think you may be right in suggesting that the Christian practice
              >>> resulted from several cultural influences. We might consider the
              >>> well-established Greek scribal practice of numbering sections of
              >>> literary works. Christians from the educated classes of Greco-Roman
              >>> society were familiar with the lyric epic tradition commonly featuring
              >>> numbered sections; it may be that the psalms were viewed as the
              >>> Christian lyric counterpart, complete with the gnomic values such
              >>> literature offered, and so the psalms took on numbers like the numbered
              >>> sections of Homer and Menander.
              >>
              >> About all I can say here is that these are interesting observations. I
              >> have not researched the lyric epic tradition in any depth, having only
              >> touched on it very superficially in my dissertation (which dealt with the
              >> Biblical Odes tradition). Do you see any significance that may be peculiar
              >> to the Christian tradition in the number 150?
              >>
              >>> In any event, you asked some questions, James, and here are my replies
              >>> for your consideration. You asked, "Can you point to some Jewish
              >>> liturgical manuscript from the period that lacks numbering?" Yes. All of
              >>> them. No machzor or siddur MS that I know of numbers any biblical psalm
              >>> despite the fact that psalms and portions of psalms comprise a good deal
              >>> of the content found in them. The earliest Hebrew psalter MSS also lack
              >>> numbers for the psalms. The earliest rabbinic sources lack numbers for
              >>> the psalms. Psalm-numbering is absent from the Jewish commentary
              >>> tradition altogether until later midrashim, and makes its first
              >>> appearance within an actual psalms MS only in the 11th century. It is on
              >>> the basis of its utter absence from the body of evidence that I submit
              >>> that during Antiquity Jewish liturgical use of the psalms did not
              >>> include ordinal (numbered) reference to them.
              >>
              >> All the materials you reference are fairly late if I'm not mistaken, i.e.,
              >> they post-date the rise and flourishing of Christianity; correct? I know
              >> that the earliest rabbinic sources are thought to offer witness to much
              >> earlier practice and custom. But the era in which they were put to writing
              >> is probably no earlier than about 200 C.E., correct? I ask because, if
              >> that is the case, then it seems to me that, strictly speaking, we are
              >> discussing Jewish worship of the centuries C.E.; inferences can be made as
              >> to earlier worship practices, but they remain just that--inferences.
              >>
              >> Now, if we are speaking of Jewish worship from the era in which this
              >> material was reduced to writing, then must we not allow the possibility
              >> that these sources convey a tradition that is, to some degree, in reaction
              >> against Christian practice (and its possible use of numeration)? In other
              >> words, Judaism in this era is attempting to distinguish itself as starkly
              >> as is possible from the novel sect that claimed to arise from it.
              >>
              >> This is an argument from silence and does not go very far toward
              >> conclusively proving anything. And, not being in any sense expert in
              >> Jewish worship practices in any era, I may be making some fundamental
              >> conceptual errors. It may, nonetheless, be worth considering.
              >>
              >>> You asked, "what do you make of the navigational materials, especially
              >>> the Epistle to Marcellinus and the "Canon of Psalms" prefaced at the
              >>> beginning [of A]?" The Eusebian Psalms-canon simply lists the hypothesis
              >>> to each numbered psalm. I see nothing there particularly liturgical.
              >>> Your mention of the Epistle to Marcellinus actually demonstrates my
              >>> point: Athanasius constantly refers to psalms by their numbers, but in
              >>> no instance is the reference to anything liturgical; instead Athanasius
              >>> is recommending personal devotional application as therapy for the soul.
              >>
              >> I would disagree regarding the "Canon of Psalms" section and I believe you
              >> are mischaracterizing it. That section is, to my understanding, patently
              >> liturgical, or at least devotional. It enshrines a monastic worship
              >> practice--not clearly communal, which is why I say it may be
              >> devotional--such as that practiced by monks in 4th century lower Egypt
              >> (Robert Taft discusses this monastic practice in his "Liturgy of the
              >> Hours," though he does not associate it with the referenced section from
              >> Codex A: so far as I know I am the only one who has thus far made that
              >> association). Perhaps you are confusing the "Canons of Psalms" with the
              >> Hypothesis of Psalms, which is a separate part of the preface? I recently
              >> photographed the pseudo-facsimile of Codex A (Baber) and can upload a
              >> photo of the column in question for your inspection, if you'd like: I
              >> would be happy to be proved wrong if I have somehow misconstrued it.
              >>
              >>> might have been known and used for these, too?" If you are talking about
              >>> the psalms-division into five books, this is not peculiar to Christian
              >>> psalters; as you know, it is found also in Hebrew psalters yet with no
              >>> liturgical function attributed to it anywhere in the Jewish tradition.
              >>> What, then, makes it liturgical in the Christian Bible? If you are
              >>> talking about division into discrete psalms, obviously this is true also
              >>> of the Hebrew psalter, and again without any liturgical function
              >>> attached to it in any Jewish source from antiquity. Same question
              >>> applies: what makes the numbering of discrete psalms a liturgical
              >>> practice?
              >>
              >> A question (as much for me as for you): when we use the term "liturgical"
              >> in reference to Jewish worship, are we speaking of communal worship as
              >> opposed to individual prayer (for the latter of which we would, instead,
              >> use the referent "devotional")? I admit to some fundamental unclarity on
              >> my part in this discussion regarding these terms. The elephant in the room
              >> here with respect to Jewish worship is whether what is done in synagogues
              >> since about 70 C.E.--which I understand to be a barely adequate stand-in
              >> for what was formerly done in the Temple--really qualifies as liturgical.
              >> If that question be answered in the positive, then we approach comparing
              >> apples with apples with regard to the question of the presence or absence
              >> of Psalm numbering and its liturgical applicability in Christianity and
              >> Judaism. If answered in the negative, the comparison may well be
              >> wrong-headed.
              >>
              >> In summary, it seems you would maintain that Psalm numeration is of a
              >> non-liturgical origin, and that the already-existing numeration was later
              >> (by the 4th century, as I am maintaining) adapted into liturgical use,
              >> correct? You seem to allow that the numeration played a role in worship,
              >> but you are inclined to search elsewhere for its origin, yes?
              >>
              >>> I am grateful for this exchange over the question of individual
              >>> psalm-numbering. I hope to learn more from it.
              >>
              >> Ditto. I did some research recently in preparation for writing an
              >> introduction to a Psalter and reviewed a bit of historical development, so
              >> it's still a subject fairly fresh in my mind. Hopefully I can continue to
              >> contribute and learn as well.
              >>
              >> By the way, have you looked at the Psalms of Solomon to see whether they
              >> might shed any light on your numeration query? I can't point to anything
              >> specific regarding them apart from the fact that they can be viewed as
              >> perhaps transitional between Judaism and Christianity.
              >>
              >> James
              >>
              >>>
              >>>
              >>> --- In lxx@yahoogroups.com, James Miller wrote:
              >>>>
              >>>> On Fri, 18 Jan 2013, dr.beel wrote:
              >>>>
              >>>>> The liturgical-practice-explanation is persuasive only on the assumption that numbering the psalms is a practice that liturgical recitation and chanting of them makes necessary. But we know this isn't the case, because the chanting and singing of these same psalms in Jewish worship during antiquity doesn't seem to have required numbering them. If ancient Christians found it necessary to number the psalms in order to find their place in the liturgy, why didn't ancient Jews?
              >>>>> And: indeed the imperial codices like Sinaiticus include a 151st psalm, but with the superscription carefully pointing out that this psalm is "outside the numbering (arithmou)." Here again it is only in a Christian MS, not a Jewish one, that the psalter is even referred to in terms of numbering its chapters. For both communities the psalms were central to liturgical life, yet only one of them numbered the psalms. Does Christian liturgical use fully explain this phenomonenon?
              >>>>
              >>>> Some questions for you, Bill. First, what is the evidence upon which your
              >>>> assertion that "the chanting and singing of these same psalms in Jewish
              >>>> worship during antiquity doesn't seem to have required numbering them" is
              >>>> based? Can you point to some Jewish liturgical manuscript from the period
              >>>> that lacks numbering? Some ancient testimonial about how Jewish worship
              >>>> was conducted that rules out such? I am curious to know that first of all,
              >>>> since such a dearth of evidence about worship practices of the period
              >>>> seems to me to obtain.
              >>>>
              >>>> Furthermore, surely you are aware that the Hebrew Psalms readily divide,
              >>>> by internal indications, into 5 sections? The later chapter divisions
              >>>> coincide, in relevant areas, by the way, with those divisions. The
              >>>> diapsalma of the LXX Psalms--which sometimes correspond to a "selah" in
              >>>> the Hebrew text--could also be mentioned as other possible division
              >>>> points. Would you maintain that none of these larger-scale division
              >>>> schemes had any sort of liturgical significance? If so, on what basis?
              >>>>
              >>>> So, in answer to the question "If ancient Christians found it necessary to
              >>>> number the psalms in order to find their place in the liturgy, why didn't
              >>>> ancient Jews?" I would ask: how do we know they didn't just have a
              >>>> differing numbering system for Psalms? One that involved, at the least, 5
              >>>> sections?
              >>>>
              >>>> The more important question I have for you is whether you've ever
              >>>> considered carefully the Psalms complex in the fifth-century imperial
              >>>> codex A(lexandrinus)? If so, what do you make of the navigational
              >>>> materials, especially the Epistle to Marcellinus and the "Canon of Psalms"
              >>>> prefaced at the beginning? The clear purpose of both, it seems to me, is
              >>>> to direct the worshiper in finding the relevant portions for various
              >>>> devotional uses.
              >>>>
              >>>> Do you think those were composed contemporaneously? The Letter to
              >>>> Marcellinus seems to date to the 4th century, so at least that part of the
              >>>> complex certainly predates Codex A. Then again, another part of the
              >>>> complex, the Hypothesis, has been attributed to the 4th century churchman
              >>>> Eusebius. Moreover, Codex A's Psalm divisions, so far as I am aware, match
              >>>> the divisions found in Codices S and B, which both date to the 4th
              >>>> century. Why would we, then, not interpret those earlier Psalm books in
              >>>> light of the more expanded one found in Codex A, assuming that all were
              >>>> liturgical in character? And why not assume that similar navigational
              >>>> texts, though not included in those manuscripts, might have been known and
              >>>> used for these, too?
              >>>>
              >>>> Granted, this does not provide irrefutable proof that the referenced
              >>>> divisions and numbering were introduced for liturgical purposes. But it
              >>>> does give strong indication that, by the 4th century, the divisions served
              >>>> a liturgical or devotional function. And we have certainly not ruled out
              >>>> the possibility that the divisions were introduced for liturgical or
              >>>> devotional purposes--either the divisions seen in Christian manuscripts,
              >>>> or those inhering in the Hebrew text of the Psalms.
              >>>>
              >>>> I would be happy to learn more about this matter, so if you have further
              >>>> evidence to present, please do so. I do not maintain, by the way, that
              >>>> other factors could not help to explain the Christian numbering of Psalms.
              >>>> But I do think that dismissing the possibility of a liturgical or
              >>>> devotional role in the process is wrong. I cannot tell for certain if
              >>>> that's what you're trying to do.
              >>>>
              >>>> James
              >>>>
              >>>
              >>>
              >>>
              >>
              >
              >
              >
            • Joel Kalvesmaki
              As James mentions below, I ve done some research on number symbolism. I ll register here some comments and questions, to supplement those from James and Bob.
              Message 6 of 10 , Jan 22, 2013
                As James mentions below, I've done some research on number symbolism. I'll
                register here some comments and questions, to supplement those from James
                and Bob.

                First of all, I'm really happy to see some interest in the general culture
                of numeration. There has been quite a lot of work on the culture of
                arithmetic, geometry, and the other mathemata, but not a lot of work has
                gone into the culture of ancient numbering, which doesn't have the cachet
                more complex disciplines garner.

                What types of literary units were numbered throughout the ancient
                Mediterranean? I can think of the numeration of books (say of Homer), but I
                don't think I've yet run into pre-Christian numeration of literary units
                smaller than books. OK, I take that back. There were ancient pre-Christian
                lists that provided how many papyrus lines a work would take up. (Scribes
                charged by the line.) This bit of evidence has been recently used in an
                interesting point-counterpoint between Kennedy 2010 and Gregory 2012,
                concerning whether Plato structured his dialogues numerically.[1] I side
                with Gregory. But even if there is something to Kennedy's idea, he is
                working with a numeration that reflects the medium, not the internal
                literary organization. And that's a big difference from the Psalter
                numeration we're discussing.

                OK, this has just inspired another counterexample. We know that lines of
                poems were numbered (see above; the practice is attested elsewhere). If the
                Psalms were considered to be poetry, why weren't the lines also numbered?
                Or were they? Has anyone here encountered ancient or medieval references to
                line numbers in the Psalms?

                I have one more counterexample--prognostic texts, where numbers were used
                to locate answers to sets of thrown dice or lots. But let's set that aside
                for now. The stuff is really tough to date, and a discussion of
                purpose/function would take us too far afield. But it nevertheless reminds
                us that we should address this question more broadly in the context of all
                literature (prose, poetry; secular, religious; 2nd c. and before). If
                there's a general absence of literary-unit numeration, one has to wonder
                why. And if not, which texts? It would be important to see why some texts
                get numbering and similar ones don't.

                I've mentioned in personal correspondence with Dr. Yarchin my best
                explanation for the data, which might be worth summarizing and extending
                here. The sources mentioned by Kraft and Yarchin place Psalm numeration
                squarely in the 2nd century. One asks, of course, why? A basis in number
                symbolism is to be discounted. This phenomenon appears in the 4th century,
                perhaps the 3rd (I await the edition of the newly discovered homilies on
                the Psalms by Origen <http://www.themedievalacademyblog.org/?p=914>, to
                find out if 4th c. exegetes were being inspired by O). My best guess is
                that 2nd-c. numeration served to facilitate shared selective reading. The
                best context to look for an explanation would be liturgical practice, where
                one finds both selective reading and a shared need. (No doubt scholars of
                the 1st c. would need to read and discover passages selectively, but there
                was no need for this to be a shared activity. In marking up texts from
                their library, a writer needed to merely to devise an arbitrary system of
                discovery. We have parallels in the marginalia of medieval manuscripts and
                archive documents.)

                This being a discussion list, it seems appropriate to offer one more
                speculative explanation. What if Psalm numeration developed in response to
                the transfer from scroll to codex around the 1st c.? It seems that the
                scroll format would lend itself well to preservation of individual verses
                and couplets of the Psalms, because one need not stick to a specific line
                width in composing a column. In fact, a scroll might visually preserve cues
                that would facilitate quick discovery of individual Psalms in liturgical
                use. But a codex, with pages of fixed width, seems to require either a book
                with perfectly cut pages, the waste of space on the page (expensive), or,
                to save money, the transformation of poetry to a prose form. We see
                examples of the prose-formatted Psalms in PYale 1 (see Bob Kraft's
                useful chronological
                list of papyri <http://ccat.sas.upenn.edu/rak/earlylxx/earlypaplist.html>).
                Unfortunately, I don't see any examples of early scrolls (only codices)
                with the Greek psalms, so I can't test this hypothesis. My codex
                speculation doesn't replace my earlier liturgical explanation, but it
                pushes that liturgical practice to a time before the move from scroll to
                codex.

                This is guesswork. I hope others corroborate these intuitions or show them
                as utter balderdash.

                Best wishes,

                jk

                [1] Kennedy, John Bernard Jnr., *Plato’s Forms, Pythagorean Mathematics,
                and Stichometry<http://personalpages.manchester.ac.uk/staff/jay.kennedy/Kennedy_Apeiron_proofs.pdf>
                *, APEIRON: a Journal for ancient Philosophy and Science (Online Journal),
                2010. Responded to by Andrew Gregory, "Kennedy and Stichometry—Some
                Methodological Considerations" Apeiron (2012): 157-79.



                --
                Joel Kalvesmaki
                kalvesmaki.com


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