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codices

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  • 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 1 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 2 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 3 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 4 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 5 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 6 of 20 , Feb 6, 1999
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                Peter Head commented on a posting from Brian Wilson -
                >I believe that a thorough check of early Christian books in Greek will
                >hardly support your assumption of consistent patterns in terms of
                >paragraph division (one could easily find examples of: large lettering
                >of the first letter of the new paragraph, large lettering of the first
                >letter of the next line after a paragraph division, marginal
                >outdentation (one, two or three spaces), large spaces, new lines,
                >continuous script etc.). Once that "distinctive" is gone...
                >
                Peter,
                I did not say that there was a consistent pattern in terms of
                paragraph division in early Christian writing in Greek, but only that
                large lettering of the first letter of a new paragraph is observed in
                such writing, just as I said that numbered pages of codices are observed
                in Greek Christian books though not that they were necessarily found in
                all of them. The large lettering of the first letter of a new paragraph
                is not found in non-Christian literary books in Greek, but is found in
                Christian books in Greek. The "distinctive" has not gone, therefore.
                >
                >...and [once] parallels between "cipher numbers" and the Documentary
                >papyri from Egypt are recognised (Turner, GMAW, 15),...
                >
                The parallels between cipher numbers in early Christian books in Greek
                and the documentary papyri do not explain why early Christian books have
                cipher numbers whereas Greek literary books do not (apart from no more
                than three known exceptions, only two of which were known to E. G.
                Turner, the third being published since his death.) In GMAW page 15,
                Turner draws a sharp contrast between documentary papyri and literary
                papyri. The former are accounts, rough drafts of contracts, lists of
                expenses, students notes, and so on. The latter are pukka books written
                in professional hands possibly with marks showing that stichometric
                checks have been carried out, and copying mistakes carefully corrected.
                The "literary manuscripts" (as Turner calls them) of Greek literary
                books do not (apart from no more than three known exceptions) use
                cipher numbers. The documentary papyri do. It is therefore precisely the
                'parallels between "cipher numbers" (in Christian **books** in Greek)
                and the Documentary papyri' which need explaining. The parallels are the
                problem. Why did Christian scribes choose to use cipher numbers
                frequently in their **books**, even in their Scriptures - the books of
                the LXX -, when non-Christian scribes almost invariably used cipher
                numbers only in documents which were not literary books? Here we have
                another distinctive, then. Christians writing books in Greek frequently
                used cipher numbers, whereas non-Christians writing their literary books
                in Greek did not (apart from no more than three known exceptions.)
                >
                >...we are left with pagination (hardly a Christian distinctive!)
                >
                To my knowledge, all papyrus codices of books written in Greek and
                having the pages of the codex numbered, are books penned by Christians.
                This is a "distinctive", surely.
                >
                >nomina sacra (uniquely Christian but with Jewish antecedents)
                >
                I actually referred to "superscripted Nomina Sacra" . I do not know of
                any supposedly "Jewish antecedents" of the Nomina Sacra which are
                written with a superscript line above them. If, Peter, you can find
                superscript lines written above supposedly "Jewish antecedents" of the
                Nomina Sacra, then I am sure a great many scholars would love to hear
                the details from you. Not all of them, by the way, would accept that the
                Nomina Sacra in Greek had "Jewish antecedents". I would suggest that
                superscripted Nomina Sacra in Greek are another distinctive, then.
                >
                >and the use of the codex (popular among Christians but with Roman
                >antecedents).
                >
                The codex has antecedents even earlier than you suggest. It was used for
                notes, accounts, legal records, rough drafts, and so on, centuries
                before Jesus came on the scene. The interesting question about the codex
                is not when or how it originated, but why Christians almost invariably
                used the codex for their **books** when writing in Greek, including even
                books of the LXX, their Scriptures. This "strong preference" of
                Christians for the codex format for their books in Greek is the opposite
                of the strong preference for the roll format for books in Greek by non-
                Christian scribes. This is a further "distinctive", then.

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

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

                Best wishes,
                BRIAN WILSON

                E-MAIL : brian@...
                SNAILMAIL ; Rev B. E. Wilson, http://www.twonh.demon.co.uk
                10 York Close, Godmanchester, *** SEE HOMEPAGE FOR FIRST DRAFT OF PAPER ***
                Huntingdon, Cambs, PE18 8EB, UK Comments please, either off-List or on-List
              • Brian E. Wilson
                Brian Wilson wrote - ... Dave Hindley commented - ... Dave, I was not trying to **deduce** a link between characteristics of early Christian books and a
                Message 7 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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