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Re: codices

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  • 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 1 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 2 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 3 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 4 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 5 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 6 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 7 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 8 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 9 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 10 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 11 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 12 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 13 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 14 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 15 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 ***
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                                • 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 16 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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