Re: [Synoptic-L] Scrolls of Paul's letters or synoptic gospels?
- "Brian E. Wilson" wrote:
>This is something of a problem for me. Yes, I agree that Paul asked his
> Stephen Carlson wrote --
> >Quite interesting. P12 is therefore not evidence of Paul's letters
> >being copied on rolls, but nonetheless evidence for individual
> >letters being written to Christians on a roll -- even in the 3rd
> >century, when the codex format was already entrenched for Christian
> The difference is that the letters of Paul were Christian books
> which he asked to be transmitted to all concerned. They were intended as
> books for publication in that sense. Christians writing in Greek did
> write letters on rolls if these were not intended for publication.
that his letters be shared, or at least so it seems in Colossians, but I
question whether Paul had a sense that his letters should be read as
formal books. Others wrote letters of instruction to various folks,
(you're example of Jerome, for instance, Cicero, Ovid) and used the
letter format, and so I ask again, what evidence is there that Paul
viewed his works as formal publications which would affect, from the
moment he began the letter, what format he used.
> Early Christians writing in Greek were very strongly indeed constrainedI would as well, and I apologize if I've not been clearer about it.
> to write their Greek-Christian BOOKS on codices contrary to the very
> strong convention of non-Christians to write their BOOKS on rolls. I
> would suggest that this is what requires an explanation.
What is important for your point here is to a. demonstrate that it is
likely, not just possible, that the Christian documents were penned on
codices at inception and b. explain why early Christians went
non-conventional in light of the trends we see in early Christian
literature to show that Christians are not weird, cannablilistic,
aberrations from ROMAN society, but rather they are the same as the
other Romans, they just believe in a better, (i. e. the best, the only)
And as Dr. Carlson has so succinctly put it, you're position has much to
commend it if it were applied to when the Pauline corpus is treated as a
whole unit, rather than individual letters.
- This discussion of whether New Testament documents were written on scrolls
or codices has gone on for a long time (among a small number of
participants). Most of us have lost track of the significance of the
discussion for understanding the synoptic gospels. It seems to me that
exchanges such as the one below are becoming more frequent in this thread
and add little of substance to our work together.
I'd like to remind you of our purpose. "Synoptic-L is an academic list
devoted to scholarly discussion of the Synoptic Gospels. Its purpose is to
provide a forum for questions relating to the exegesis of Matthew, Mark and
/ or Luke, using and analysing the standard critical tools and methods,
with a special emphasis on the interrelationships among the Synoptics."
While I agree with Mark Goodacre that we often need to "lighten up a bit"
and not take ourselves too seriously, and while I certainly think that a
little banter now and then is a good thing, there comes a point when we
need to recognize, especially in a thread that has gone on this long, that
one should ask, "do my comments here make a serious contribution to the
ongoing discussion for which this list has been created?" Remember that you
are asking hundreds of colleagues to devote some their time to reading what
you have written.
I'd like to ask that colleagues pause a moment before "firing off"
responses such as these, perhaps to raise the kind of questions that I do
Thomas R. W. Longstaff
Crawford Family Professor of Religious Studies
Colby College, Waterville, ME 04901 USA
Member of the Advisory Committee of Synoptic-L
At 06:21 PM 5/19/00 +0100, Jacob Knee wrote:
>I hypothesize that Philemon was written on a roll. Which fact disconfirms
> > -----Original Message-----
> > From: owner-synoptic-l@... [mailto:owner-synoptic-l@...]On
> > Behalf Of Brian E. Wilson
> > Sent: 19 May 2000 11:29
> > To: Synoptic-L@...
> > Subject: [Synoptic-L] Philemon
> > You also state that "the burden of proof is on the one with the
> > extraordinary hypothesis to come up with the clear and convincing
> > evidence". I think this is the most revealing statement you make. There
> > is no burden of proof on anyone. Proof enters nowhere whatsoever into
> > this matter. The idea that Paul wrote Philemon on a codex is a
> > **hypothesis**. If you want to shoot down a hypothesis there is one, and
> > only one way of doing so. That is to point to an observed phenomenon
> > which is a difficulty for the hypothesis. I am still waiting for you to
> > point to such an observed phenomenon.
> > Best wishes,
> > BRIAN WILSON