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Re: books in codex format

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  • Jack Kilmon
    ... I think a number of issues come into play here. When we look at the DSS, the number of fragments that are from codices are very few and those being the
    Message 1 of 2 , Feb 1, 1999
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      Brian E. Wilson wrote:

      > Graham Hamer wrote -
      > >
      > >I feel to say that Christians used the codex "from the beginning" is
      > >going beyond the available evidence.
      > >
      > I agree. But any hypothesis goes beyond the available evidence,
      > otherwise it would be just a string of data. What matters is whether the
      > hypothesis fits well all the available data. The hypothesis that
      > Christians used the codex from the beginning fits the fact that the use
      > of the codex for books in Greek written by Christians was
      > extraordinarily wide-spread. A very early and very important event in
      > the origins of Christianity is needed to explain this.
      > >
      > >The questions which I think would shed light on the issue are: in what
      > >form did Greek speaking Jews use their scriptural texts, be it the LXX
      > >or any other version?
      > >
      > All extant Jewish copies of the LXX on papyrus were written on rolls.
      > Jews were required to write their Hebrew/Aramaic scriptures on rolls,
      > preferably of leather. I know of no indication of any Jewish copies of
      > LXX books or MT books written on codices of papyrus (or animal skin).
      > The title "Dead Sea Scrolls" is accurate - they were not codices.
      > >
      > >What evidence is there for the use of the codex by non-Christian groups
      > >during the period?
      > >
      > We are talking about the use of the codex for **books** . Codices
      > (wood/ivory/parchment/papyrus) were used for notes, accounts, documents,
      > and so on, by all and sundry. Writing about books, Harry Gamble states -
      > "Among the non-Christian manuscripts that can be dated to the second
      > century the codex is poorly represented in comparison with the roll"
      > ("Books and Readers in the Early Church" page 65). I would suggest that
      > although Gamble may not be the last word on this, here he rightly
      > represents the general opinion of papyrologists.

      I think a number of issues come into play here. When we look at the
      DSS, the number of fragments that are from codices are very few and
      those being the Greek texts from 4Q and 7Q. Additionally, most of
      these seem to be either opisthographs or rescriptae. This tells me
      that Greek texts, even the LXX was not considered "sacred."
      The use of scrolls for scripture was apparantly an halakhic issue
      perhaps because the Torah, as considered penned by Moses, was
      on scrolls.

      The NT writings were not considered scripture, either by their
      authors or the earliest community of Yeshuine Jews. I suspect,
      therefore, that the codex was not the vehicle for "sacred" scripture
      for Jews.

      Jack
      jkilmon@...
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