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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
        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 3 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
        • 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 4 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 5 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 6 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 7 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 8 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 9 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 10 of 20 , Feb 1 1:56 AM
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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 11 of 20 , Feb 1 1:44 PM
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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 12 of 20 , Feb 4 5:15 PM
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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 13 of 20 , Feb 5 1:22 AM
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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 14 of 20 , Feb 5 8:38 AM
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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 15 of 20 , Feb 5 8:58 AM
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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 16 of 20 , Feb 6 12:33 AM
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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 17 of 20 , Feb 7 9:01 AM
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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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