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RE: tc-list Re: codex

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  • Mark and Wendy Proctor
    I m probably mentioning the obvious here, but it might be a good idea to check Harry Y. Gambe s *Books and Readers in the Early Church: A History of Early
    Message 1 of 9 , Oct 30, 1997
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      I'm probably mentioning the obvious here, but it might be a good idea to check Harry Y. Gambe's *Books and Readers in the Early Church: A History of Early Christian Texts* (New Haven: Yale U. Press, 1995) on this subject. Unless I'm mistaken, Gamble argues that the codex was not a Christian "invention," but that it was used more by Christians than others. Why? It seems that the collection of the Pauline letters and the subsequent need for an efficient way of binding this material in a usable format precipitated the widespread use of the codex form in early Christian circles. If Gamble is right, this would push the appearance of Christian codices back into the latter part of the first century.

      Hope this is of some assistance,

      Mark Proctor

      ----------
      From: Professor L.W. Hurtado[SMTP:hurtadol@...]
      Sent: Thursday, October 30, 1997 4:15 AM
      To: tc-list@...
      Subject: tc-list Re: codex

      To the best of my knowledge, refs. to the use of
      codices in the lst-2nd cents (other than the indications of Christian
      appropriation of the format) signal the following:
      --Use of the codex for non-literary purposes/writings, such as
      notebooks, study-copies of literary works, documentary texts, etc.
      --Experimentation with the codex in a few cases for liteary works,
      with a view toward making "pocket" editions. Martial's ref. for
      example seems to refer to the particular advantage of a codex for
      reading while en route.
      Thus, the Christian innovation with the codex appears as follows:
      --a MUCH more regularised/standardised appropriation/usage of the
      codex. The % figures given by Roberts & others who have worked on
      the question are undeniable.
      --a particular FAVORING of the codex for what became their
      "scriptures", both OT & NT writings. Christian copies of other
      Christian writings survive, and a number of them are NOT in codex
      form. The Christian favoring of the codex seems not easily accounted
      for merely as an act of convenience (e.g., to make "pocket
      editions"). It looks quite deliberate and purposeful. Problem is
      trying to find clear indications of the purpose!

      L. W. Hurtado
      University of Edinburgh,
      New College
      Mound Place
      Edinburgh, Scotland EH1 2LX
      Phone: 0131-650-8920
      Fax: 0131-650-6579
      E-mail: L.Hurtado@...
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