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Re: [Synoptic-L] American size printer-paper

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  • Peter M. Head
    Prof. Longstaff wrote: We seem to be having a lot of discussion about paper size (hardly a critical topic for synoptic research). Truth to tell, the world
    Message 1 of 7 , Aug 15, 2000
      Prof. Longstaff wrote: "We seem to be having a lot of discussion about
      paper size (hardly a critical topic for synoptic research). Truth to tell,
      the world has a certain diversity and not everyone uses exactly the same
      sized paper."

      I had thought that someone would apply the diverse paper sizes to the
      synoptic problem before long. But now I can't resist.

      We know from Pliny [Nat. Hist. xiii.74-80] that papyrus sheets came in
      different sizes: the best quality was the widest (13 digits for "Augustan",
      lengthened under Claudius to a foot) and the lowest quality was the
      narrowest (6 digits for "emporitic"). We might surmise that Luke would have
      used a higher quality, and therefore wider papyrus than Mark (perhaps even
      that Matthew used a medium width). It is not therefore the length of the
      papyrus roll* that is crucial (even though this is often commented upon),
      but the width: Luke with the widest roll* has the fullest narrative, while
      Mark with the narrowest has the shortest narrative.

      *roll: if it was a codex it would not change the already dubious argument.


      Peter


      Dr. Peter M. Head
      Tyndale House
      36 Selwyn Gardens
      Cambridge CB3 9BA
      Tel: 01223 566607
      Fax: 01223 566608
      email: pmh15@...
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