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Re: codices

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  • Mark Matson
    ... Jeremy, Jack: Harry Gamble in Books and Readers in the Early Church (p. 63 ff) suggests that the compilation of Paul s letters into a compendium was the
    Message 1 of 20 , Jan 29, 1999
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      Jeremy Duff wrote:
      >
      > While your argument that the Christians used codices because they were easy
      > for referencing ('an "easy find-it" format') sounds persuasive to moderns to
      > whom rolling scrolls seem ridiculous, I have two problems with this.
      >
      > 1. Why did nobody else go for this "easy to find" format. For example. Why
      > did the Alexandrian scholars writing commentaries and doing textual
      > criticism on Homer and others not develop this format? Surely, if you are
      > writing a commentary, the one thing you want is an easy to find, easy to
      > refer to forma?. There need would be as much as the Christians'.Similarly
      > why did Jew not use this format for their scriptures since the evidence for
      > them having lectionary readings is as strong as for the Christians? Why
      > indeed are all the non-scriptural second century texts written on scrolls?
      > Surely if Irenaeus was used to codices as a useful format for referencing,
      > when writing something like his Against Heresies he would have written in a
      > codex rather than on scrolls.
      >
      > 2. Why did the Christians write their codices with no paragraphing of any
      > sort. If you were concerned enought about easy of finding to change to a
      > completely new format (codex rather than scroll) then why did people not
      > adopt some simply system of paragraphing (i.e. bars in the margin, text
      > beginning in the margin which we do find in some scrolls from the period)
      > which would make finding your place so much easier?
      >
      > Thus the motivating factor for Christian use of codices cannot have been a
      > desire for an "easy to find format" - we must find other reasons.

      Jeremy, Jack:

      Harry Gamble in "Books and Readers in the Early Church" (p.
      63 ff) suggests that the compilation of Paul's letters into a
      compendium was the generating event that gave rise to the Christian
      preference for the codex. In this regard he cites two reasons:

      1. A codex would easily have allowed all the letters to have been
      conveniently (and perhaps more cheaply- although this is
      questionable) assembled and transported.

      2. The format of the codex would have allowed for easy
      cross-referencing. Gamble makes the point that this would have been
      unimportant for the gospels, for instance, but with various Pauline
      letters, the need for moving back and forth would have been more
      important.

      This last feature is essentially the same as Jack's "easy to find"
      format, and I think may still be a good argument for the rise of the
      codex, notwithstanding the lack of paragraphing.

      By the way, Jack, Gamble argues that "membrana" were parchment
      codices, possibly notebooks. The word "membranas" is a latin loan
      word, suggesting a word unavailable in greek -- for parchment rolls
      he would as easily and more clearly have used "diphtherai". The
      codex notebook was, he argues, a Roman invention. Biblia might have
      been scrolls, but membrana were codices.

      Mark
      Mark A. Matson, Ph.D.
      Asst. Director, Sanford Institute of Public Policy
      Adjunct Professor of New Testament
      Duke University
      Durham, NC 27713
      (919) 613-7310
    • Mark Matson
      ... Jeremy: Agreed that from a pure standpoint the early codices don t inherently make material easy to find. But they do signfiicantly make it easier to
      Message 2 of 20 , Jan 29, 1999
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        >
        > Indeed, Gamble produces interesting suggestions for the adoption of the
        > codex form, as have others. My point is simply that the "easy-to-find"
        > argument doesn't work, contrary to Gamble. All you need to do is open the
        > pages of an early Christian Greek codex and it is extremely obvious that the
        > people who wrote them did not give much thought at all to ease of finding -
        > simple scribal techniques could have achieved ease of finding, but they were
        > not employed, so this can hardly have been the motivating factor for the
        > adoption of the new codex format.
        >
        Jeremy:

        Agreed that from a pure standpoint the early codices don't
        inherently make material "easy to find." But they do signfiicantly
        make it easier to find than if the letters were, say, all written in
        a scroll. Especially any cross referencing would be much simpler.
        Compared to later standards, with notations, no not that easy. But
        still easier.

        I am intriqued by the fact that the codex was not the normal means of
        producing books, suggesting to me that the very production of early
        christian manuscripts was not by professional scribes, but some other
        mechanism -- perhaps the private notebook. In other words, the
        christian book production was private, not formal, and may have been
        aided by the portability of the codices. The image that (I think)
        Bauckham uses is of early codices being transported from community to
        community, where they would be copied for local use before the bearer
        left. If the codex was the initial choice -- it would be reproduced
        in that form.

        Just some further musings.

        mark
        Mark A. Matson, Ph.D.
        Asst. Director, Sanford Institute of Public Policy
        Adjunct Professor of New Testament
        Duke University
        Durham, NC 27713
        (919) 613-7310
      • Jeremy Duff
        Jack, While your argument that the Christians used codices because they were easy for referencing ( an easy find-it format ) sounds persuasive to moderns to
        Message 3 of 20 , Jan 29, 1999
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          Jack,

          While your argument that the Christians used codices because they were easy
          for referencing ('an "easy find-it" format') sounds persuasive to moderns to
          whom rolling scrolls seem ridiculous, I have two problems with this.

          1. Why did nobody else go for this "easy to find" format. For example. Why
          did the Alexandrian scholars writing commentaries and doing textual
          criticism on Homer and others not develop this format? Surely, if you are
          writing a commentary, the one thing you want is an easy to find, easy to
          refer to forma?. There need would be as much as the Christians'.Similarly
          why did Jew not use this format for their scriptures since the evidence for
          them having lectionary readings is as strong as for the Christians? Why
          indeed are all the non-scriptural second century texts written on scrolls?
          Surely if Irenaeus was used to codices as a useful format for referencing,
          when writing something like his Against Heresies he would have written in a
          codex rather than on scrolls.

          2. Why did the Christians write their codices with no paragraphing of any
          sort. If you were concerned enought about easy of finding to change to a
          completely new format (codex rather than scroll) then why did people not
          adopt some simply system of paragraphing (i.e. bars in the margin, text
          beginning in the margin which we do find in some scrolls from the period)
          which would make finding your place so much easier?

          Thus the motivating factor for Christian use of codices cannot have been a
          desire for an "easy to find format" - we must find other reasons.

          Jeremy



          =========================================
          Jeremy Duff
          Junior Research Fellow, St Cross College, Oxford
          Tutor, Wycliffe Hall, Oxford.

          EMail: Jeremy.Duff@...
          Phone: 01865-274218
        • Jack Kilmon
          ... At the point in time when the works were autographed, they were notconsidered scripture but were either letters to individuals, or small communities.
          Message 4 of 20 , Jan 29, 1999
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            David C. Hindley wrote:

            > Message text written by Jack Kilmon
            >
            > >>I don't believe the autographs of any of the NT works, either by the
            > gospelers, epistolographers or Paul, were originally in codex form.
            > There are a number of reasons. First, the codex became popular for
            > Christians for its capacity to present ALL the collated NT works
            > and make them easy to search. Secondly, a codex is an expensive
            > and time consuming task. Most of the single NT works would not take
            > up one quire...making the exercise a waste of time. The few Greek
            > fragments among the DSS that are written on both sides are more
            > "re-used" or opisthographs than codices....hmmmmm, are two
            > Kleenex Kleenices? (g)<<
            >
            > I was always under the impression that the codex was adopted because of its
            > economic use of writing space. But you do have a point that it would have
            > been wasteful for most individual epistles, in spite of the utility of
            > twice the words in the same number of leaves. As for the Greek DSS
            > fragments, unfortunately we do not have enough readable data to determine
            > whether the texts on both sides of the fragments were from the same
            > literary work, so the existance of papyrus fragments written on both sides
            > can mean many things besides your suggestion.
            >
            > >>I think the codex was an invention for the purpose of collating
            > ALL the collected works of the NT either toward the end of the
            > 1st century or the first few years of the second....by the way,
            > just how DO we know that P52 is a fragment of a codex and not
            > an opisthograph?<<
            >
            > "All" may be an overstatement, IMHO, but certainly this was true of groups
            > of the kinds of mss that were eventually canonized. The question I would
            > ask would be "Under what circumstances were NT documents being published,
            > that the codex would be the format of choice?" It was not very common among
            > the pagan and everyday writings that survived, at least not until the 2nd
            > century. What conditions required that several books be published in tandem
            > (usually grouped about Gospels, Pauline epistles, Catholic epistles, etc)?
            > In other words, "Why those groups of books? What purpose were they put to?

            At the point in time when the works were autographed, they were notconsidered
            "scripture" but were either letters to individuals, or
            small communities. Luke may have been a legal brief, i.e.

            When the works were collected and collated together...and I think that
            may have been shortly after the turn of the 2nd century....I think the
            primary use was for oral lectionary reasons by a given community.
            As such, the codex gave the lector ease in locating a specific
            passage rather than rolling out meters upon meters of scrolls.

            > Were these these codices being published in an organized way? Otherwise,
            > how can almost universal adoption of a relatively new standard (the codex)
            > be explained? The traditional models, e.g. of individual copyists copying
            > for the sake of edification of themselves or of the churches meeting in
            > their town, do not adequately explain this phenomenon, IMO.

            The codex of works, the inclusions of which varied depending onthe community or
            "ekklesia," was probably in the charge and care
            of the presbyter who read from it liturgically with certain sections
            read at specific times over the course of the liturgical calendar.

            > Regarding P52, plate 19 of Kurt Aland's "The Text of the New Testament"
            > clearly shows that both sides of the fragment are from a continuous text of
            > the Gospel of John (18:31-22 and 13:37-38, respectively), so that pretty
            > much argues against an opisthograph in this case.

            Such being the case, P52 is our evidentiary terminus a quo for
            NT codex use, it being palaeographically dated to the time of
            Hadrian (117-138) with some argument for as early as the
            late reign of Domitian (95ish). Given the provenance of P52,
            it would seem that it was probably a first generation copy
            from the autograph...it taking at least a while to make it's way
            to Egypt and estimating a date for the 4G autograph as shortly
            after the persecutorial reign of Domitian (97?) during which
            the author of 4G was apparently in the hoosegow.

            By the time 4G was written, all the other gospels and epistles,
            with the exception of some of the pastorals were written
            as well as members of the "collection" (Barnabas, Hermas)
            no longer in the canon. Obviously the need for an "easy find-it"
            format was needed.

            This all still seems to bode for 100ish as the time when
            codices became useful and popular for Christians.

            Jack
            jkilmon@...

            http://www.historian.net
          • Jeremy Duff
            Mark, Indeed, Gamble produces interesting suggestions for the adoption of the codex form, as have others. My point is simply that the easy-to-find argument
            Message 5 of 20 , Jan 29, 1999
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              Mark,

              Indeed, Gamble produces interesting suggestions for the adoption of the
              codex form, as have others. My point is simply that the "easy-to-find"
              argument doesn't work, contrary to Gamble. All you need to do is open the
              pages of an early Christian Greek codex and it is extremely obvious that the
              people who wrote them did not give much thought at all to ease of finding -
              simple scribal techniques could have achieved ease of finding, but they were
              not employed, so this can hardly have been the motivating factor for the
              adoption of the new codex format.

              Jeremy


              =========================================
              Jeremy Duff
              Junior Research Fellow, St Cross College, Oxford
              Tutor, Wycliffe Hall, Oxford.

              EMail: Jeremy.Duff@...
              Phone: 01865-274218
            • Jack Kilmon
              ... To the first issue, I cannot help but surmise that the scroll format for the Torah and other books of the OT had some halakhic basis. The practice still
              Message 6 of 20 , Jan 29, 1999
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                Jeremy Duff wrote:

                > Jack,
                >
                > While your argument that the Christians used codices because they were easy
                > for referencing ('an "easy find-it" format') sounds persuasive to moderns to
                > whom rolling scrolls seem ridiculous, I have two problems with this.
                >
                > 1. Why did nobody else go for this "easy to find" format. For example. Why
                > did the Alexandrian scholars writing commentaries and doing textual
                > criticism on Homer and others not develop this format? Surely, if you are
                > writing a commentary, the one thing you want is an easy to find, easy to
                > refer to forma?. There need would be as much as the Christians'.Similarly
                > why did Jew not use this format for their scriptures since the evidence for
                > them having lectionary readings is as strong as for the Christians? Why
                > indeed are all the non-scriptural second century texts written on scrolls?
                > Surely if Irenaeus was used to codices as a useful format for referencing,
                > when writing something like his Against Heresies he would have written in a
                > codex rather than on scrolls.
                >
                > 2. Why did the Christians write their codices with no paragraphing of any
                > sort. If you were concerned enought about easy of finding to change to a
                > completely new format (codex rather than scroll) then why did people not
                > adopt some simply system of paragraphing (i.e. bars in the margin, text
                > beginning in the margin which we do find in some scrolls from the period)
                > which would make finding your place so much easier?
                >
                > Thus the motivating factor for Christian use of codices cannot have been a
                > desire for an "easy to find format" - we must find other reasons.

                To the first issue, I cannot help but surmise that the scroll format
                for the Torah and other books of the OT had some halakhic basis.
                The practice still survives today for Torah scrolls used in
                synagogues.

                To the second issue, I can't help but think of the issue of portability
                which seems to have been more important to Christians than to
                Jews.

                Jack
              • Jeffrey B. Gibson
                ... Jack, How much does it affect what you re trying to argue here that Chapterization (at least as we know it) wasn t done until c. 1220 by Steven Langdon
                Message 7 of 20 , Jan 29, 1999
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                  Jack Kilmon wrote:
                  >
                  > Jeremy Duff wrote:
                  >
                  > > Indeed, Gamble produces interesting suggestions for the adoption of the
                  > > codex form, as have others. My point is simply that the "easy-to-find"
                  > > argument doesn't work, contrary to Gamble. All you need to do is open the
                  > > pages of an early Christian Greek codex and it is extremely obvious that the
                  > > people who wrote them did not give much thought at all to ease of finding -
                  > > simple scribal techniques could have achieved ease of finding, but they were
                  > > not employed, so this can hardly have been the motivating factor for the
                  > > adoption of the new codex format.
                  >
                  > But Jer, wouldn't you say that the chaptering and versing was a device for
                  > wider distribution of the texts among a larger literate readership? These
                  > very early codices would have been the Bishop's thingy and he was
                  > supposed to be familiar enough with it to find what he wanted. That's why
                  > each community had a specific order of their own.
                  >
                  Jack,

                  How much does it affect what you're trying to argue here that
                  Chapterization (at least as we know it) wasn't done until c. 1220 by
                  Steven Langdon (Langton) and vesification until 1551-1555 by Robert
                  Estienne?

                  Yours,

                  Jeffrey

                  --
                  Jeffrey B. Gibson
                  7423 N. Sheridan Road #2A
                  Chicago, Illinois 60626
                  e-mail jgibson000@...
                • Carl W. Conrad
                  ... I don t know why I am hung up on this, and I guess I can t really prove it, but my impression is that the written text--even the scriptural written text,
                  Message 8 of 20 , Jan 29, 1999
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                    At 3:21 PM -0800 1/29/99, Jack Kilmon wrote:
                    >Jeremy Duff wrote:
                    >
                    >> Mark,
                    >>
                    >> Indeed, Gamble produces interesting suggestions for the adoption of the
                    >> codex form, as have others. My point is simply that the "easy-to-find"
                    >> argument doesn't work, contrary to Gamble. All you need to do is open the
                    >> pages of an early Christian Greek codex and it is extremely obvious that the
                    >> people who wrote them did not give much thought at all to ease of finding -
                    >> simple scribal techniques could have achieved ease of finding, but they were
                    >> not employed, so this can hardly have been the motivating factor for the
                    >> adoption of the new codex format.
                    >
                    >But Jer, wouldn't you say that the chaptering and versing was a device for
                    >wider distribution of the texts among a larger literate readership? These
                    >very early codices would have been the Bishop's thingy and he was
                    >supposed to be familiar enough with it to find what he wanted. That's why
                    >each community had a specific order of their own.

                    I don't know why I am hung up on this, and I guess I can't really prove it,
                    but my impression is that the written text--even the scriptural written
                    text, insofar as it is taken seriously and deemed authoritative and
                    re-written, and yes, even when it is described with the rubric, KAQWS
                    GEGRAPTAI or hWS EN GRAFAIS, even then it is committed to memory rather
                    than checked in one's handy EGXEIRIDION. Can anyone respond to this concern
                    of mine? Would an authoritative text really require a handily-consulted
                    written volume for an early church officer?

                    Carl W. Conrad
                    Department of Classics/Washington University
                    One Brookings Drive/St. Louis, MO, USA 63130/(314) 935-4018
                    Home: 7222 Colgate Ave./St. Louis, MO 63130/(314) 726-5649
                    cwconrad@... OR cconrad@...
                    WWW: http://www.artsci.wustl.edu/~cwconrad/
                  • Jack Kilmon
                    ... But Jer, wouldn t you say that the chaptering and versing was a device for wider distribution of the texts among a larger literate readership? These very
                    Message 9 of 20 , Jan 29, 1999
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                      Jeremy Duff wrote:

                      > Mark,
                      >
                      > Indeed, Gamble produces interesting suggestions for the adoption of the
                      > codex form, as have others. My point is simply that the "easy-to-find"
                      > argument doesn't work, contrary to Gamble. All you need to do is open the
                      > pages of an early Christian Greek codex and it is extremely obvious that the
                      > people who wrote them did not give much thought at all to ease of finding -
                      > simple scribal techniques could have achieved ease of finding, but they were
                      > not employed, so this can hardly have been the motivating factor for the
                      > adoption of the new codex format.

                      But Jer, wouldn't you say that the chaptering and versing was a device for
                      wider distribution of the texts among a larger literate readership? These
                      very early codices would have been the Bishop's thingy and he was
                      supposed to be familiar enough with it to find what he wanted. That's why
                      each community had a specific order of their own.

                      Jack
                    • David C. Hindley
                      Message text written by Jack Kilmon ... notconsidered scripture but were either letters to individuals, or small communities. Luke may have been a legal
                      Message 10 of 20 , Jan 29, 1999
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                        Message text written by Jack Kilmon

                        >At the point in time when the works were autographed, they were
                        notconsidered
                        "scripture" but were either letters to individuals, or
                        small communities. Luke may have been a legal brief, i.e.<

                        But -that's- a whole other matter...!

                        >When the works were collected and collated together...and I think that
                        may have been shortly after the turn of the 2nd century....I think the
                        primary use was for oral lectionary reasons by a given community.
                        As such, the codex gave the lector ease in locating a specific
                        passage rather than rolling out meters upon meters of scrolls.<

                        What model do you base this upon? I mean, what do you mean by "oral
                        lectionary reasons?" Would readings from a lectionary have been the normal
                        format for community worship in 2nd century Christian congregations? You
                        said yourself that the books later collected as the NT were not at this
                        time regarded as "scripture", so why read them in a lectionary like manner?


                        I say this because the footnotes and commentary on the "Hellenestic
                        Synagogue Prayers" in Charlesworth's _The Old Testament Pseudepigrapha_
                        (vol 2, pp 671-697) indicate that many scholars see a close association
                        between Christian worship patterns and the synagogue liturgy. According to
                        the revised Schurer (_History_, vol 2, pp 447-452) the synagogue liturgy
                        included lectionary-like readings from the Torah (with the entire
                        Pentateuch read through a 3 or 3 1/2 year period), and a sermon that
                        expounded the theme of the reading, but I see nothing resembling the
                        practice of reading any non-biblical books in any systematic manner, even
                        as commentary.

                        I would rather propose that the books were grouped for the following
                        reasons:

                        Gospels: Apologetic refutations of charges levelled by the Jewish
                        authorities after the war of 66-70.

                        Acts: For the edification of believers, intended to explain the "history"
                        of Christianity where it was so obviously absent in the works of
                        contemporary writers, especially Josephus.

                        Epistles of Paul: Recruitment of Gentile God-fearers associated with
                        Hellenistic Judiasm to the new Christology of early 2nd century CE Gentile
                        Christianity.

                        Catholic Epistles: Apologetic to answer Christian critics who began to
                        question the artificial "history" of Christian origins as presented in Acts
                        and the Pauline epistles.

                        Revelation: Restatement of ideas, current in the early apocalyptic roots of
                        the Gentile Christian movement, into the mold of the new Christology of
                        later Gentile Christianity.

                        In short, they served as propaganda (in the very best sense of the word),
                        and apologetic, for the evolving Gentile Christian movement.

                        To keep this thread "on topic" I would suggest that apologetic material,
                        such as I propose the Gospels were, can be created in an organized manner.
                        Mark could have been an early draft, used in a variety of ways by a variety
                        of communities, of such an apology. However, as a roughh draft, it was
                        always eclipsed by the more polished, and complete, Gospels that used it as
                        a primary source. That it eventually came into circulation itself may have
                        been an expedient to discredit alternative Gospels that the principal
                        Christian authorities disapproved of (perhaps the "Secret Gospel" suggested
                        by M. Smith's discovery).

                        Dave Hindley
                        DHindley@...
                      • David C. Hindley
                        Message text written by Jeremy Duff ... desire for an easy to find format - we must find other reasons.
                        Message 11 of 20 , Jan 29, 1999
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                          Message text written by Jeremy Duff

                          >Thus the motivating factor for Christian use of codices cannot have been a
                          desire for an "easy to find format" - we must find other reasons.<

                          Perhaps "shock value". The codex was different enough to attract attention
                          when used,which helped promote the "new" and different salvation scheme
                          being spread by Gentile Christians in the beginning of the 2nd century CE
                          (that is, the divine savior figure, Christ).

                          Dave H
                        • Brian E. Wilson
                          Jeremy Duff wrote - ... Jeremy, In The Unbroken Reed. Studies in the Culture & Heritage of Ancient Egypt in Honour of A. F. Shore , ed. C. Eyre, A. Leahy, L.
                          Message 12 of 20 , Jan 30, 1999
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                            Jeremy Duff wrote -
                            >
                            >Why did the Christians write their codices with no paragraphing of any
                            >sort?
                            >
                            Jeremy,

                            In "The Unbroken Reed. Studies in the Culture & Heritage of Ancient
                            Egypt in Honour of A. F. Shore", ed. C. Eyre, A. Leahy, L. M. Leah
                            (London, 1994), Professor Alan Millard of Liverpool University writes -
                            "Papyrologists have long reckoned early Christian books peculiar because
                            they share with Greek business documents from Egypt the use of large
                            initial letters to open paragraphs, a feature not found in regular
                            copies of Greek literary texts."

                            You also wrote -
                            >
                            >If you were concerned enough about ease of finding to change to a
                            >completely new format (codex rather than scroll) then why did people
                            >not adopt some simple system of paragraphing (i.e. bars in the margin,
                            >text beginning in the margin which we do find in some scrolls from the
                            >period) which would make finding your place so much easier?
                            >
                            We find our place in modern books by referring to the page numbers. In
                            fact many early Christian codices also had their pages numbered using
                            cipher numbers, for instance P66 and P963.

                            Also, if you try using early Christian papyri (or, at least, photo-
                            reproductions of them!), I think you will soon discover that there is a
                            very easy way of "finding your place" - and that is to scan the page for
                            the occurrences of the Nomina Sacra and cipher numbers, which stand out
                            clearly because they are marked with a superscript line. Each page has
                            its own "finger-print" defined by the irregular distribution of these
                            superscripted groups of letters in Greek. You soon get to know a page by
                            its superscripts-fingerprint as you use the photo-plates of P45, P66,
                            P75, or whatever papyrus you are examining.

                            I think the superscripted Nomina Sacra and cipher numbers, the pages
                            numbered with cipher numbers, the large initial letter to open a
                            paragraph, and the use of the codex itself for early Christian books in
                            Greek, all go back to a fundamental document of early Christian writing
                            in Greek. They were all there in the beginning, in my view. I would
                            suggest that only a single very important event at the beginning can
                            explain these phenomena becoming so wide-spread in Christian writing in
                            Greek.

                            Best wishes,
                            BRIAN WILSON

                            E-MAIL : brian@... *** HOMEPAGE RECENTLY UPDATED ***
                            SNAILMAIL ; Rev B. E. Wilson, http://www.twonh.demon.co.uk
                            10 York Close, Godmanchester,
                            Huntingdon, Cambs, PE18 8EB, UK
                          • Jeremy Duff
                            Brian, Thank you for your response. ... I am sorry Brian, I am just going to have to disagree with Millard, while accepting that he has more experience of
                            Message 13 of 20 , Feb 1, 1999
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                              Brian,

                              Thank you for your response.

                              >>Why did the Christians write their codices with no paragraphing of any
                              >>sort?
                              >>
                              >
                              >In "The Unbroken Reed. Studies in the Culture & Heritage of Ancient
                              >Egypt in Honour of A. F. Shore", ed. C. Eyre, A. Leahy, L. M. Leah
                              >(London, 1994), Professor Alan Millard of Liverpool University writes -
                              >"Papyrologists have long reckoned early Christian books peculiar because
                              >they share with Greek business documents from Egypt the use of large
                              >initial letters to open paragraphs, a feature not found in regular
                              >copies of Greek literary texts."

                              I am sorry Brian, I am just going to have to disagree with Millard, while
                              accepting that he has more experience of reading papyri than me. Looking
                              this morning very briefly at P46 and P75 I do not see any paragraphing at
                              all. I agree that paragraphing was used in documents, and that is exactly my
                              point - It you had been very concerned about findability, there was a
                              technique already developed that one could adopt (contra Mark Matson who
                              seemed to think that by pointing to the lack of paragraphing I was unfairly
                              comparing with later developments). Perhaps I am missing it in these two
                              codicies, or perhaps all the other early codices have them and these two are
                              unfortunately ones for me to look at, but as far as I can see the earliest
                              Christian codices do not have paragraphing.

                              >Also, if you try using early Christian papyri (or, at least, photo-
                              >reproductions of them!), I think you will soon discover that there is a
                              >very easy way of "finding your place" - and that is to scan the page for
                              >the occurrences of the Nomina Sacra and cipher numbers, which stand out
                              >clearly because they are marked with a superscript line. Each page has
                              >its own "finger-print" defined by the irregular distribution of these
                              >superscripted groups of letters in Greek. You soon get to know a page by
                              >its superscripts-fingerprint as you use the photo-plates of P45, P66,
                              >P75, or whatever papyrus you are examining.

                              I agree completely with this, the Nomina Sacra are a God-send when trying to
                              find your place. I am not trying to suggest that finding one's place in the
                              codices is terribly difficult, but only that I can't understand why if
                              findability was the reason for changing to the codex, they didn't also adopt
                              the already established practice of paragraphing.

                              >I think the superscripted Nomina Sacra and cipher numbers, the pages
                              >numbered with cipher numbers, the large initial letter to open a
                              >paragraph, and the use of the codex itself for early Christian books in
                              >Greek, all go back to a fundamental document of early Christian writing
                              >in Greek. They were all there in the beginning, in my view. I would
                              >suggest that only a single very important event at the beginning can
                              >explain these phenomena becoming so wide-spread in Christian writing in
                              >Greek.

                              Apart from the paragraphing (on which I accept I may be wrong but can only
                              speak from the examples I can look at easily) I agree. The proposals that it
                              has to do with either the earliest Gospel writings (whether Mark or the
                              pre-Markan written source you would probably favour) or the collection of
                              Paul's letters turning up in this format and setting a trend, appears to me
                              to be far more persuasive than arguments which attempt to show why it was
                              'logically' a better format for Christians.

                              Best Wishes,

                              Jeremy


                              =========================================
                              Jeremy Duff
                              Junior Research Fellow, St Cross College, Oxford
                              Tutor, Wycliffe Hall, Oxford.

                              EMail: Jeremy.Duff@...
                              Phone: 01865-274218
                            • David Hall
                              According to Jack Finnegan in LIGHT FROM THE ANCIENT PAST(1946). The scroll was used primarily in the first century while the codex became popular for
                              Message 14 of 20 , Feb 1, 1999
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                                According to Jack Finnegan in LIGHT FROM THE ANCIENT PAST(1946). The
                                scroll was used primarily in the first century while the codex became
                                popular for Christians in the second and third centuries. He quoted
                                Herodotus about the use of sheep skins in Ionia when papyrus was scarce. He
                                quoted Pliny about the form of the papyrus rolls and noted that the sheets
                                were usually about
                                nine inches wide and twenty of these joined at the edges would be fifteen
                                feet long. This size was a standard size sold in the forum. He testified a
                                scroll of Luke would have been about 31.5 feet long and ten inches high. A
                                scroll of Acts would have been a separate scroll. Some letters such as
                                Philemon would have taken a single sheet of papyrus about 9" X10". Biblia
                                was used to describe scrolls.
                                Finegan further expounded on the use of early writing materials and the
                                evidence for his statements documented with references to scraps or larger
                                sections secured by collectors.

                                David Hall
                                quentino@...
                                http://www.erols.com/quentino
                              • Kumo997029@aol.com
                                ... I have suggested that that fundamental document is the bound copy of Mk s manuscript in its reliquary in Alexandria, left incomete, like Schubert s
                                Message 15 of 20 , Feb 4, 1999
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                                  Brian Wilson writes:

                                  > I think the superscripted Nomina Sacra and cipher numbers, the pages
                                  > numbered with cipher numbers, the large initial letter to open a
                                  > paragraph, and the use of the codex itself for early Christian books in
                                  > Greek, all go back to a fundamental document of early Christian writing
                                  > in Greek. They were all there in the beginning, in my view. I would
                                  > suggest that only a single very important event at the beginning can
                                  > explain these phenomena becoming so wide-spread in Christian writing in
                                  > Greek.
                                  >
                                  I have suggested that that "fundamental document" is the bound copy of Mk's
                                  manuscript in its reliquary in Alexandria, left incomete, like Schubert's
                                  Symphony, when the lynch mob dragged in out, Easter, 25 April 68.

                                  Dr. Wilson emboldens me to go on and suggest that the martyrdom of Saint Mark,
                                  founder and hierarch of the Alexandrian church, constitutes the "single very
                                  important event" that he is hypothesizing.

                                  Tertium datur,

                                  Tim Reynolds
                                • Peter Head
                                  ... in ... writing ... in ... I believe that a thorough check of early Christian books in Greek will hardly support your assumption of consistent patterns in
                                  Message 16 of 20 , Feb 5, 1999
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                                    Re the suggestion of Brian Wilson, echoed by Tim Reynolds:

                                    > I think the superscripted Nomina Sacra and cipher numbers, the pages
                                    > numbered with cipher numbers, the large initial letter to open a
                                    > paragraph, and the use of the codex itself for early Christian books
                                    in
                                    > Greek, all go back to a fundamental document of early Christian
                                    writing
                                    > in Greek. They were all there in the beginning, in my view. I would
                                    > suggest that only a single very important event at the beginning can
                                    > explain these phenomena becoming so wide-spread in Christian writing
                                    in
                                    > Greek.
                                    >

                                    I believe that a thorough check of early Christian books in Greek will
                                    hardly support your assumption of consistent patterns in terms of
                                    paragraph division (one could easily find examples of: large lettering
                                    of the first letter of the new paragraph, large lettering of the first
                                    letter of the next line after a paragraph division, marginal
                                    outdentation (one, two or three spaces), large spaces, new lines,
                                    continuous script etc.). Once that "distinctive" is gone and parallels
                                    between "cipher numbers" and the Documentary papyri from Egypt are
                                    recognised (Turner, GMAW, 15), we are left with pagination (hardly a
                                    Christian distinctive!), nomina sacra (uniquely Christian but with
                                    Jewish antecedents) and the use of the codex (popular among Christians
                                    but with Roman antecedents). Wishfull thinking and hypothesising are not
                                    going to get us further without some hard work.

                                    ............................................
                                    Peter M. Head
                                    Oak Hill College
                                    LONDON N14 4PS
                                    peterh@...
                                    ............................................
                                  • Jack Kilmon
                                    ... I agree with Peter in that I do not see some form of standard tracking mechanism that might be traced to some fundamental earlier style. Codex
                                    Message 17 of 20 , Feb 5, 1999
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                                      Peter Head wrote:
                                      >
                                      > Re the suggestion of Brian Wilson, echoed by Tim Reynolds:
                                      >
                                      > > I think the superscripted Nomina Sacra and cipher numbers, the pages
                                      > > numbered with cipher numbers, the large initial letter to open a
                                      > > paragraph, and the use of the codex itself for early Christian books
                                      > in
                                      > > Greek, all go back to a fundamental document of early Christian
                                      > writing
                                      > > in Greek. They were all there in the beginning, in my view. I would
                                      > > suggest that only a single very important event at the beginning can
                                      > > explain these phenomena becoming so wide-spread in Christian writing
                                      > in
                                      > > Greek.
                                      > >
                                      >
                                      > I believe that a thorough check of early Christian books in Greek will
                                      > hardly support your assumption of consistent patterns in terms of
                                      > paragraph division (one could easily find examples of: large lettering
                                      > of the first letter of the new paragraph, large lettering of the first
                                      > letter of the next line after a paragraph division, marginal
                                      > outdentation (one, two or three spaces), large spaces, new lines,
                                      > continuous script etc.). Once that "distinctive" is gone and parallels
                                      > between "cipher numbers" and the Documentary papyri from Egypt are
                                      > recognised (Turner, GMAW, 15), we are left with pagination (hardly a
                                      > Christian distinctive!), nomina sacra (uniquely Christian but with
                                      > Jewish antecedents) and the use of the codex (popular among Christians
                                      > but with Roman antecedents). Wishfull thinking and hypothesising are not
                                      > going to get us further without some hard work.

                                      I agree with Peter in that I do not see some form of "standard"
                                      tracking mechanism that might be traced to some fundamental
                                      earlier style. Codex Sinaiticus was "fit out" with the Eusebian
                                      Apparatus before it left the scriptorium but it appears to my
                                      palaeographical eyes that it was another scribe who penned them
                                      in. This suggests that these ciphers were NOT on the exemplars.
                                      Were they placed at the whim of the scribe or was there a
                                      "template" that was followed?"
                                      Matthew is titled katamaqqaion which appears on each but two folios
                                      or as kata on the left and maqqaion on the right folios. The
                                      books also end with the title before the beginning of the next.
                                      In some case, the title appears on the recto and not the verso.

                                      Matthew "aleph" encloses the genealogy at 1:1-1:16 and "beta"
                                      is the summary at 1:17. "gamma" at 1:18a is the birth
                                      narrative introduction and "delta" is the birth narrative
                                      and "epsilon" appears to highlight an "as written by the
                                      prophets" thingy.

                                      New paragraphs are indicated by extending the unenlarged
                                      uncial letter a tad into the left margin with the preceding
                                      line not completed to the right margin.

                                      I use Sinaiticus as an example because nearly the entire
                                      NT was the work of one of the 3 scribes, the only one that
                                      could spell (g). This brings up an interesting point
                                      on the issue of whether or not the exemplar was a codex
                                      or rolls. Variations from book to book in Sinaiticus
                                      reflect SEPARATE rolls or codices as source exemplars.
                                      Would the primary scribe be using a number of source
                                      codices for his work? Perhaps going with some knowledge
                                      or instruction on what was the best reading from the
                                      various codices? Was he using scrolls instead, each
                                      of which would be expected to be divergent in style
                                      and hand?

                                      To get back to the issue because I'm rambling.....
                                      we have to look at what a codex was used for..and by whom.
                                      The folks sitting in the "pews" did not each have a
                                      codex. There was no "turn to John 3:16" instruction.
                                      It was up to the lector to find his way around and
                                      the "versing" mechanism may have been the liturgical
                                      calendar. I have no trouble finding my way around
                                      my facsimile Sinaiticus although it aint as easy
                                      as my KJV (g). This thread has been useful though
                                      since it has motivated me to look at the various
                                      codices that contain the Eusebian apparatus to see
                                      if there is some standard "pattern" that may have
                                      been the result of some earlier instruction sheet.
                                      Perhaps this has already been done and someone can
                                      give me the reference. Certainly I would expect
                                      it to vary among text families, but we'll see.

                                      Jack
                                      --
                                      ______________________________________________

                                      taybutheh d'maran yeshua masheecha am kulkon

                                      Jack Kilmon
                                      jkilmon@...

                                      http://www.historian.net
                                    • Jeremy Duff
                                      Peter, ... And indeed your own work on manuscripts is a model of detail and accuracy, you dismiss the real evidence too lightly when you imply that there is
                                      Message 18 of 20 , Feb 5, 1999
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                                        Peter,

                                        While I agree with:

                                        >Wishfull thinking and hypothesising are not
                                        >going to get us further without some hard work.

                                        And indeed your own work on manuscripts is a model of detail and accuracy,
                                        you dismiss the real evidence too lightly when you imply that there is
                                        little of interest in:

                                        >the use of the codex (popular among Christians
                                        >but with Roman antecedents).

                                        Of course there are antecedents, but the fact is that the vast majority of
                                        second and third century New Testament manuscripts are on codex, while the
                                        vast majority of non-Christian manuscripts are on scrolls. That is surely
                                        something which demands an explanation, whether or not we feel that the ones
                                        currently on offer are cogent?

                                        Jeremy
                                      • Brian E. Wilson
                                        Peter Head commented on a posting from Brian Wilson - ... Peter, I did not say that there was a consistent pattern in terms of paragraph division in early
                                        Message 19 of 20 , Feb 6, 1999
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                                          Peter Head commented on a posting from Brian Wilson -
                                          >I believe that a thorough check of early Christian books in Greek will
                                          >hardly support your assumption of consistent patterns in terms of
                                          >paragraph division (one could easily find examples of: large lettering
                                          >of the first letter of the new paragraph, large lettering of the first
                                          >letter of the next line after a paragraph division, marginal
                                          >outdentation (one, two or three spaces), large spaces, new lines,
                                          >continuous script etc.). Once that "distinctive" is gone...
                                          >
                                          Peter,
                                          I did not say that there was a consistent pattern in terms of
                                          paragraph division in early Christian writing in Greek, but only that
                                          large lettering of the first letter of a new paragraph is observed in
                                          such writing, just as I said that numbered pages of codices are observed
                                          in Greek Christian books though not that they were necessarily found in
                                          all of them. The large lettering of the first letter of a new paragraph
                                          is not found in non-Christian literary books in Greek, but is found in
                                          Christian books in Greek. The "distinctive" has not gone, therefore.
                                          >
                                          >...and [once] parallels between "cipher numbers" and the Documentary
                                          >papyri from Egypt are recognised (Turner, GMAW, 15),...
                                          >
                                          The parallels between cipher numbers in early Christian books in Greek
                                          and the documentary papyri do not explain why early Christian books have
                                          cipher numbers whereas Greek literary books do not (apart from no more
                                          than three known exceptions, only two of which were known to E. G.
                                          Turner, the third being published since his death.) In GMAW page 15,
                                          Turner draws a sharp contrast between documentary papyri and literary
                                          papyri. The former are accounts, rough drafts of contracts, lists of
                                          expenses, students notes, and so on. The latter are pukka books written
                                          in professional hands possibly with marks showing that stichometric
                                          checks have been carried out, and copying mistakes carefully corrected.
                                          The "literary manuscripts" (as Turner calls them) of Greek literary
                                          books do not (apart from no more than three known exceptions) use
                                          cipher numbers. The documentary papyri do. It is therefore precisely the
                                          'parallels between "cipher numbers" (in Christian **books** in Greek)
                                          and the Documentary papyri' which need explaining. The parallels are the
                                          problem. Why did Christian scribes choose to use cipher numbers
                                          frequently in their **books**, even in their Scriptures - the books of
                                          the LXX -, when non-Christian scribes almost invariably used cipher
                                          numbers only in documents which were not literary books? Here we have
                                          another distinctive, then. Christians writing books in Greek frequently
                                          used cipher numbers, whereas non-Christians writing their literary books
                                          in Greek did not (apart from no more than three known exceptions.)
                                          >
                                          >...we are left with pagination (hardly a Christian distinctive!)
                                          >
                                          To my knowledge, all papyrus codices of books written in Greek and
                                          having the pages of the codex numbered, are books penned by Christians.
                                          This is a "distinctive", surely.
                                          >
                                          >nomina sacra (uniquely Christian but with Jewish antecedents)
                                          >
                                          I actually referred to "superscripted Nomina Sacra" . I do not know of
                                          any supposedly "Jewish antecedents" of the Nomina Sacra which are
                                          written with a superscript line above them. If, Peter, you can find
                                          superscript lines written above supposedly "Jewish antecedents" of the
                                          Nomina Sacra, then I am sure a great many scholars would love to hear
                                          the details from you. Not all of them, by the way, would accept that the
                                          Nomina Sacra in Greek had "Jewish antecedents". I would suggest that
                                          superscripted Nomina Sacra in Greek are another distinctive, then.
                                          >
                                          >and the use of the codex (popular among Christians but with Roman
                                          >antecedents).
                                          >
                                          The codex has antecedents even earlier than you suggest. It was used for
                                          notes, accounts, legal records, rough drafts, and so on, centuries
                                          before Jesus came on the scene. The interesting question about the codex
                                          is not when or how it originated, but why Christians almost invariably
                                          used the codex for their **books** when writing in Greek, including even
                                          books of the LXX, their Scriptures. This "strong preference" of
                                          Christians for the codex format for their books in Greek is the opposite
                                          of the strong preference for the roll format for books in Greek by non-
                                          Christian scribes. This is a further "distinctive", then.

                                          I would suggest, therefore, that a thorough check of early Christian
                                          books in Greek would show -
                                          (1) the distinctive that whereas some Christian books in Greek contain
                                          large lettering of the first letter of a new paragraph, this is not
                                          found in non-Christian books in Greek
                                          (2) the distinctive that whereas non-Christian scribes writing literary
                                          Greek manuscripts did not use cipher numbers (apart from no more than
                                          three known exceptions), yet cipher numbers frequently appear in early
                                          Christian papyrus books in Greek (I do not know of any non-fragment
                                          exceptions).
                                          (3) the distinctive that whereas Nomina Sacra with superscript lines
                                          occur nowhere at all in non-Christian books in Greek, they are found in
                                          all non-fragmentary papyri of Christian books in Greek (Again, I do not
                                          know of any exceptions).
                                          (4) the distinctive that whereas all non-Christian books in Greek
                                          written on codices did not have their pages numbered, some Christian
                                          books in Greek written on codices did have their pages numbered.
                                          (5) the distinctive that whereas a high proportion of non-Christian
                                          literary manuscripts in Greek were written on rolls in the first two and
                                          half centuries CE, in contrast a high proportion of Christian books in
                                          Greek were written on codices.
                                          >
                                          >Wishful thinking and hypothesising are not going to get us further
                                          >without some hard work.
                                          >
                                          Perhaps an even greater priority is to get the facts straight. After
                                          all, can we recognize wishful thinking, or check that hypotheses fit the
                                          data, unless we take the trouble to find out the facts first?

                                          I think the distinctives of early Christian books in Greek point back to
                                          a fundamental document of early Christian writing in Greek. The Papias
                                          tradition concerning a person named Matthew says that the Hebrew/Aramaic
                                          logia were translated. I think the fundamental document of early
                                          Christian writing in Greek was a translation into Greek of the
                                          Hebrew/Aramaic logia of the Papias tradition.

                                          Best wishes,
                                          BRIAN WILSON

                                          E-MAIL : brian@...
                                          SNAILMAIL ; Rev B. E. Wilson, http://www.twonh.demon.co.uk
                                          10 York Close, Godmanchester, *** SEE HOMEPAGE FOR FIRST DRAFT OF PAPER ***
                                          Huntingdon, Cambs, PE18 8EB, UK Comments please, either off-List or on-List
                                        • Brian E. Wilson
                                          Brian Wilson wrote - ... Dave Hindley commented - ... Dave, I was not trying to **deduce** a link between characteristics of early Christian books and a
                                          Message 20 of 20 , Feb 7, 1999
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                                            Brian Wilson wrote -
                                            >
                                            >I think the distinctives of early Christian books in Greek point back
                                            >to a fundamental document of early Christian writing in Greek. The
                                            >Papias tradition concerning a person named Matthew says that the
                                            >Hebrew/Aramaic logia were translated. I think the fundamental document
                                            >of early Christian writing in Greek was a translation into Greek of the
                                            >Hebrew/Aramaic logia of the Papias tradition.
                                            >
                                            Dave Hindley commented -
                                            >I do not follow. I can not see any obvious reasons why the characteristics
                                            >you enumerated would point to some characteristic(s) of Greek translations
                                            >of an attested hypothetical document (the Aramaic/Hebrew logia document of
                                            >Matthew, cited by Papias).
                                            >
                                            Dave,
                                            I was not trying to **deduce** a link between characteristics of
                                            early Christian books and a translation into Greek of the Hebrew/Aramaic
                                            logia of the Papias tradition. I think that it would be a mistake to
                                            start from data and try and deduce a hypothesis from it. I do not think
                                            we can, or should, start from "obvious reasons" in the data. Data does
                                            not provide reasons for its interpretation. What I was doing was putting
                                            forward a hypothesis to fit the data. In my view, this is the way to
                                            proceed. The "distinctives" point back only from the viewpoint of the
                                            hypothesis.

                                            Incidentally, the Aramaic/Hebrew logia document attested by Papias is
                                            indeed attested, and therefore is not hypothetical. Its existence is
                                            "cited", as you say, by Papias. It's existence is not a figment of
                                            anyone's imagination. A hypothetical document is one which is not
                                            attested, and may not have existed at all - for instance the unattested
                                            "Q" in the Two Document Hypothesis.
                                            >
                                            >Are you suggesting that these were in fact characteristics of such a
                                            >document, and that later Christians followed the tradition?
                                            >
                                            Yes. I am indeed suggesting that the Hebrew/Aramaic Logia attested by
                                            Papias were translated into Greek, and that this Translation was the
                                            fundamental document of early Christian writing in Greek. I think this
                                            Translation had the "distinctives" (described above) as characteristics,
                                            and later Christians writing in Greek followed this tradition.
                                            >
                                            >If so, should this not be the topic of a separate thread?
                                            >
                                            In my view, no. My method is not to try and deduce a hypothesis from
                                            data. My method is to put forward a hypothesis and test whether it fits
                                            well all the data. If it does, then it is to be accepted. If it does
                                            not, it is to be rejected. Above, the hypothesis I put forward is that
                                            the fundamental document of early Christian writing in Greek was a
                                            translation of the Hebrew/Aramaic logia of the Papias tradition, and
                                            later Christians followed the tradition of this document. It seems to me
                                            that this hypothesis fits the data well.

                                            A fuller version of this hypothesis is found on my homepage. I would
                                            welcome comments on this, either off-List or on-List as preferred.

                                            Best wishes,
                                            BRIAN WILSON

                                            E-MAIL : brian@...
                                            SNAILMAIL ; Rev B. E. Wilson, http://www.twonh.demon.co.uk
                                            10 York Close, Godmanchester, *** SEE HOMEPAGE FOR FIRST DRAFT OF PAPER ***
                                            Huntingdon, Cambs, PE18 8EB, UK Comments please, either off-List or on-List
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