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Modelling early MS transmission

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  • Timothy John Finney
    Thanks to Vincent Broman and Maurice Robinson for their replies on MS copying parameters. A few more thoughts: Firstly, the critical time for development of
    Message 1 of 1714 , Mar 29, 1996
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      Thanks to Vincent Broman and Maurice Robinson for their replies on MS
      copying parameters. A few more thoughts:

      Firstly, the critical time for development of variants is said to be the
      first two hundred years of transmission i.e. 100 to 300 AD. We have a few
      MSS from this era, mainly papyri from Egypt. (On this point, while vellum
      is more durable than papyrus, papyri, nevertheless, can have a lifetime of
      far more than 30 to 40 years. Take P46 for example.) Is there historical,
      psychological and statistical data that can inform us of likely copying
      frequencies, practices and habits of that time?

      As Vincent noted, population statistics for this era are important.
      Studies have been made on this, and the Alands mention one in their _Text
      of the New Testament_ (off the top of my head, I think that it was by
      Harnack, early this century). I have come across an estimate of the number
      of MSS made based on the number of churches (referred to in Amphoux' book
      on the Text. Sorry about these vague references - I'm not at
      the library.) I also have a vague recollection of seeing a reference to a
      paper in a statistical journal that addressed such problems. Most
      unfortunately, I did not write it down at the time.

      Returning to my call for data rather than speculations, I don't want to
      stifle discussion. Certainly not -- this can lead us to new discoveries!
      But I would like to have a good set of references which give solidly based
      answers to these questions, if such are possible. James Adair is setting
      up a tc bibliography accessible via the tc web page. Perhaps he could
      include a section called

      History, Statistics and Psychology of (early) MS copying

      or suchlike?

      So if you do come across a good, relevant reference, don't be like me and
      assume that you will be able to find it again: write it down and send it
      to this list (with a summary?)

      I would like to say that the idea of discovering the psychology of early
      scribes is not mine: it was mentioned to me by researchers at the Institute
      for New Testament Textual Research (INTF) in Muenster.

      To finish, as far as I know, the only cases of extant copies of extant MSS
      are the two copies of Codex Claromontanus. This would indicate that we
      have but a small number of the total ever made surviving. Assuming that
      copyists did not destroy their exemplars (remembering that a decree was
      once made that forbade the cleaning of Biblical MSS for other writings --
      another reference I should have written down), can you think of how to
      arrive at an estimate of the total number of uncials from this fact?

      Have a good weekend,

      Tim Finney
      Baptist Theological College
      of Western Australia
    • Julian Goldberg
      The complete Hebrew Scriptures (Hebrew Bible) or TANAKH (Torah-Law, Neviim-Prophets, Ketuvim-Writings) based on the Masoretic Hebrew text with vowels and
      Message 1714 of 1714 , Feb 4, 1997
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        The complete Hebrew Scriptures (Hebrew Bible) or TANAKH (Torah-Law,
        Neviim-Prophets, Ketuvim-Writings) based on the Masoretic Hebrew text
        with vowels and cantillation marks in one complete compact black hard
        covered volume which measures 12 cm x 19 cm with over 1360 pages that
        have been arranged according to traditional chapter and verse divisions
        along with larger Hebrew letter printing and thicker paper pages for a
        volume of this size. Each book is $ 20.00 (U.S.) postpaid ($ 15.50 for
        the book plus $ 4.50 for postage) and can be ordered directly from:

        Julian Goldberg, 260 Adelaide St., E., # 215, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
        M5A 1N0.

        Thanks.
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