Re: [Synoptic-L] American size printer-paper
- 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
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.
Dr. Peter M. Head
36 Selwyn Gardens
Cambridge CB3 9BA
Tel: 01223 566607
Fax: 01223 566608