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Re: The ms dating evidence

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  • Robert B. Waltz
    ... Since this is exactly the sort of post the current alternatives post is designed to suppress, I won t answer at length. But two comments: 1. The evidence
    Message 1 of 9 , Sep 24, 1997
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      On Tue, 23 Sep 1997, Jim Deardorff <deardorj@...> wrote:

      >Having gotten farther along in Metzger's textbook, and with N-A 27 in hand
      >now, it seems to me that the manuscript dating evidence supports the
      >church-father dating evidence to indicate that the Gospel autographs
      >originated relatively late, like around 120-130.

      Since this is exactly the sort of post the current "alternatives"
      post is designed to suppress, I won't answer at length. But two
      comments:

      1. The evidence of the manuscripts, fathers, etc. does not
      *indicate* such a late date; it merely fails to disprove the
      possibility. Manuscripts of a literary work are rarely contemporary
      with it. Consider that the earliest manuscript of Herodotus
      comes from *fifteen hundred years* after it was written....

      2. Our earliest manuscript of John is P52, now dated c. 125.
      On this argument, it would have to be the autograph. Which
      is hardly likely, considering that it was found in Egypt....

      -*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-

      Robert B. Waltz
      waltzmn@...

      Want more loudmouthed opinions about textual criticism?
      Try my web page: http://www.skypoint.com/~waltzmn
      (A site inspired by the Encyclopedia of NT Textual Criticism)
    • Jim Deardorff
      I m trying to learn more about this evidence, the paleography behind it, and the conclusions stemming from it. An article that gets referenced on this is Kurt
      Message 2 of 9 , Sep 29, 1997
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        I'm trying to learn more about this evidence, the paleography behind it,
        and the conclusions stemming from it. An article that gets referenced on
        this is Kurt Aland's 1986 contribution in _Studien zum Text und zur
        Ethik..._, which I'm trying to acquire. Meanwhile, I've noticed that in
        his (translated) 1989 book, The Text of the New Testament_, he states in
        different spots that P52 was written "ca 125", "in the period around A.D.
        125," and "about A.D. 125" twice.

        But then in still another spot, he wrote, "The critical significance of
        P52... lies in the date of 'about 125' assigned to it by leading
        papyrologists. Although 'about 125' allows for a leeway of about
        twenty-five years on either side, the consensus has come in recent years
        to regard 125 as representing the later limit, so that P52 must have been
        copied very soon after the Gospel of John was itself written in the early
        90s A.D.." I gather that this is the consensus Robert Waltz referred to a
        few days ago in expressing the opinion that P52 could have been written no
        later than 125.

        Does someone on the list know if there is some matter of substance that
        argues for "no later than 125" instead of "between about A.D. 100 and 150?
        The argument of silence suggests that K. Aland didn't know of such.

        Jim Deardorff
      • Robert B. Waltz
        ... Please, don t quote *me* as making any sort of authoritative statements about the dates of manuscripts. I am not a paleographer, and I am not in a position
        Message 3 of 9 , Sep 29, 1997
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          On Mon, 29 Sep 1997, Jim Deardorff <deardorj@...> wrote:

          >I'm trying to learn more about this evidence, the paleography behind it,
          >and the conclusions stemming from it. An article that gets referenced on
          >this is Kurt Aland's 1986 contribution in _Studien zum Text und zur
          >Ethik..._, which I'm trying to acquire. Meanwhile, I've noticed that in
          >his (translated) 1989 book, The Text of the New Testament_, he states in
          >different spots that P52 was written "ca 125", "in the period around A.D.
          >125," and "about A.D. 125" twice.
          >
          >But then in still another spot, he wrote, "The critical significance of
          >P52... lies in the date of 'about 125' assigned to it by leading
          >papyrologists. Although 'about 125' allows for a leeway of about
          >twenty-five years on either side, the consensus has come in recent years
          >to regard 125 as representing the later limit, so that P52 must have been
          >copied very soon after the Gospel of John was itself written in the early
          >90s A.D.." I gather that this is the consensus Robert Waltz referred to a
          >few days ago in expressing the opinion that P52 could have been written no
          >later than 125.

          Please, don't quote *me* as making any sort of authoritative statements
          about the dates of manuscripts. I am not a paleographer, and I am not
          in a position to speak of "consensus." (If I used the word, I am
          sorry.) It *is* true that every reference I have ever seen dates P52
          to the second century, and usually to the first half of that century.
          Most seem now to quote Aland's date of c. 125.

          Personally (and this is only personal opinion), I don't think one
          can date anything as small as P52 with an accuracy of +/- 25 years.
          However, the fact that we have so *many* early papyri of John
          (not just P52, but also P66 and many shorter fragments) are extremely
          strong evidence that that book is early.

          -*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-

          Robert B. Waltz
          waltzmn@...

          Want more loudmouthed opinions about textual criticism?
          Try my web page: http://www.skypoint.com/~waltzmn
          (A site inspired by the Encyclopedia of NT Textual Criticism)
        • Jack Kilmon
          ... Jim: It was Adolf Deissmann who was convinced that P52 dated within the reign of Hadrian (117-138) with a probability that it could date to Trajan
          Message 4 of 9 , Sep 29, 1997
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            Jim Deardorff wrote:

            > I'm trying to learn more about this evidence, the paleography behind
            > it,
            > and the conclusions stemming from it. An article that gets referenced
            > on
            > this is Kurt Aland's 1986 contribution in _Studien zum Text und zur
            > Ethik..._, which I'm trying to acquire. Meanwhile, I've noticed that
            > in
            > his (translated) 1989 book, The Text of the New Testament_, he states
            > in
            > different spots that P52 was written "ca 125", "in the period around
            > A.D.
            > 125," and "about A.D. 125" twice.
            >
            > But then in still another spot, he wrote, "The critical significance
            > of
            > P52... lies in the date of 'about 125' assigned to it by leading
            > papyrologists. Although 'about 125' allows for a leeway of about
            > twenty-five years on either side, the consensus has come in recent
            > years
            > to regard 125 as representing the later limit, so that P52 must have
            > been
            > copied very soon after the Gospel of John was itself written in the
            > early
            > 90s A.D.." I gather that this is the consensus Robert Waltz referred
            > to a
            > few days ago in expressing the opinion that P52 could have been
            > written no
            > later than 125.
            >
            > Does someone on the list know if there is some matter of substance
            > that
            > argues for "no later than 125" instead of "between about A.D. 100 and
            > 150?
            > The argument of silence suggests that K. Aland didn't know of such.
            >

            Jim:

            It was Adolf Deissmann who was convinced that P52 dated within the
            reign of Hadrian (117-138) with a probability that it could date to
            Trajan
            (98-117). The foremost palaeographers of this time lined up with
            Diessmann and Roberts (who found the scrap at the Rylands Library.)
            I am not sure what palaeographic parameters contributed to this dating
            but the information on this should be in Deissmann, A. "Ein
            Evangelienblatt
            aus den Tagen Hadrians" in Deutsche allgemeine Zietung 564 (3 Dec 1955).

            Jack


            --
            D’man dith laych idneh d’nishMA nishMA
            Jack Kilmon (jpman@...)


            http://users.accesscomm.net/scriptorium
          • Jim Deardorff
            ... Thanks very much for the information, Jack, which I greatly appreciate. I can understand that a dating estimate of this nature has to be somewhat vague, as
            Message 5 of 9 , Sep 29, 1997
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              On Mon, 29 Sep 1997, Jack Kilmon wrote:

              > Jim:
              >
              > It was Adolf Deissmann who was convinced that P52 dated within the
              > reign of Hadrian (117-138) with a probability that it could date to
              > Trajan
              > (98-117). The foremost palaeographers of this time lined up with
              > Diessmann and Roberts (who found the scrap at the Rylands Library.)
              > I am not sure what palaeographic parameters contributed to this dating
              > but the information on this should be in Deissmann, A. "Ein
              > Evangelienblatt
              > aus den Tagen Hadrians" in Deutsche allgemeine Zietung 564 (3 Dec 1955).
              >
              > Jack

              Thanks very much for the information, Jack, which I greatly appreciate.

              I can understand that a dating estimate of this nature has to be somewhat
              vague, as one never knows if some particular older scribe, for instance,
              may have continued to use an older style of writing after the newer style
              became popular. Or if sacred literature was sometimes penned in an
              outdated style so as to appear more venerable.

              Jim Deardorff
            • Jack Kilmon
              ... I would expect this in Hebrew texts such as the DSS Leviticus Scroll(11D1) or the use of Palaeohebrew by the Zealots but I am not so sure about Greek. The
              Message 6 of 9 , Sep 29, 1997
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                Jim Deardorff wrote:

                > On Mon, 29 Sep 1997, Jack Kilmon wrote:
                >
                > > Jim:
                > >
                > > It was Adolf Deissmann who was convinced that P52 dated within
                > the
                > > reign of Hadrian (117-138) with a probability that it could date to
                > > Trajan
                > > (98-117). The foremost palaeographers of this time lined up with
                > > Diessmann and Roberts (who found the scrap at the Rylands Library.)
                > > I am not sure what palaeographic parameters contributed to this
                > dating
                > > but the information on this should be in Deissmann, A. "Ein
                > > Evangelienblatt
                > > aus den Tagen Hadrians" in Deutsche allgemeine Zietung 564 (3 Dec
                > 1955).
                > >
                > > Jack
                >
                > Thanks very much for the information, Jack, which I greatly
                > appreciate.
                >
                > I can understand that a dating estimate of this nature has to be
                > somewhat
                > vague, as one never knows if some particular older scribe, for
                > instance,
                > may have continued to use an older style of writing after the newer
                > style
                > became popular. Or if sacred literature was sometimes penned in an
                > outdated style so as to appear more venerable.

                I would expect this in Hebrew texts such as the DSS Leviticus
                Scroll(11D1) or the use of Palaeohebrew by the Zealots but I am not so
                sure
                about Greek. The style of P52 seems a tad running-handish compared to
                P46 or P75. The interesting thing about P52, however, is it is a
                fragment
                of a codex which must make it the earliest, or one of the earliest
                known.

                There is a gif of my reproduction of P52 on my web page if you care
                to
                take a peek at the style. Just click on P52 in the left frame. It may
                be that
                the codex is a product of the desire of Christians to collate gospels
                and the
                letters of Paul in one form. There is a train of thought that this took
                place
                in Ephesus just around the turn of the 2nd century and the pseudopauline

                Ephesians was a revised Colossians that acted as a cover letter for this

                collation. Also significant is that P52 was found in Egypt which is
                kind of a
                "far piece" from Asia Minor.

                Of course, there is always the possibility that P52 is not a
                fragment of GJohn
                but of another gospel that used the same pericopae.

                Jack


                --
                D’man dith laych idneh d’nishMA nishMA
                Jack Kilmon (jpman@...)


                http://users.accesscomm.net/scriptorium
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