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6441Re: [textualcriticism] Marcion's Bible Gal 4-24 -26

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  • A. Dirkzwager
    May 11, 2011
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      Since long I find the study by Kim very interesting.
      But I regret that he does not explain, why the manuscripts he mentiones can *not* date from the period in which they are put traditionally. Someone should compare the style of writing not only with first century manuscripts but also with younger ones. That obviously is the task of a papyrologist. I would add a papyrologist with an open mind, not inclined to give more credit to tradition, nor inclined to look for a sensational new theory. Science should be honest, like George's quotation says:

      … search for truth, hear truth,
      learn truth, love truth, speak the truth, hold the truth,
      defend the truth till death.

      But if Kim is right, we have in P46 a manuscript that shows a text that originated shortly after the coming of Paul's letters to Egypt. That can contain the original text, but also a text stylistically adapted, like we can suppose that happened in Egypt. Where P46 *agrees* with DFG, "Western" manuscripts (manuscripts that show how the text *developed* in the region from where the letters came to Egypt), we can be pretty sure to read the original text.

      So I think it is very very very important indeed to investigate the possibility that Kim is right *and* that a later date is excluded.


      A. Dirkzwager
      Hoeselt, Belgium

      Op 11-5-2011 8:37, George F Somsel schreef:

      p 202 P46 (P. Chester Beatty II
      + P. Mich. Inv. 6238)

      Contents most of Paul’s epistles, excluding the Pastorals. The order is as follows: Rom. 5:17–6:3, 5–14; 8:15–25, 27–35; 8:37–9:32; 10:1–11:22, 24–33; 11:35–15:10; 15:11–16:27; Heb. 1:1–9:16; 9:18–10:20, 22–30; 10:32–13:25; 1 Cor. 1:1–9:2; 9:4–14:14; 14:16–15:15; 15:17–16:22; 2 Cor. 1:1–11:10, 12–21; 11:23–13:13; Eph. 1:1–2:7; 2:10–5:6; 5:8–6:6, 8–18, 20–24; Gal. 1:1–8; 1:10–2:9, 12–21; 3:2–29; 4:2–18; 4:20–5:17; 5:20–6:8, 10–18; Phil. 1:1, 5–15, 17–28; 1:30–2:12, 14–27; 2:29–3:8, 10–21; 4:2–12, 14–23; Col. 1:1–2, 5–13, 16–24; 1:27–2:19; 2:23–3:11, 13–24; 4:3–12, 16–18; 1 Thess. 1:1; 1:9–2:3; 5:5–9, 23–28. New reconstructions appear in Rom. 11:2; 15:10; Heb. 7:28; 1 Cor. 1:13–14; 4:10; 5:7–8; 14:15; 15:50; 16:23; 2 Cor. 4:12; 6:2; 11:21–22; Eph. 5:6; 6:18; Phil. 1:1; 3:8. (Each is noted in the text.)

      Date middle second century; see discussion below.

      Provenance the Fayum, Egypt, or perhaps in the ruins of a church or monastery near Atfih (ancient Aphroditopolis)


      Kenyon dated this codex to the first half of the third century. Kenyon’s dating was largely influenced by the handwriting of the stichometrical notes at the end of several of the epistles, which he dated to the early part of the third century. Ulrich Wilcken, who was director of the Vienna library and founder of

      Archiv für Papyrusforschung, thought it belonged to the second century and said it could be dated safely to around a.d. 200. Wilcken suggested this date on the basis of seeing only one leaf. Hans Gerstinger also thought it belonged to the second century.

      Young Kyu Kim proposed a date in the reign of Domitian (a.d. 81–96) based on six criteria:

      1. All literary papyri similar to the exact style of P46 have been assigned dates between the first century b.c. and the early second century a.d. His primary examples are P. Oxy. 1790, P. Oxy. 2337, P. Oxy. 3695, P. Mil. Vogl. 1181, P. Mich. 6789, P. Alex. 443, P. Med. 70.01 verso, and P. Rylands III 550. His secondary examples are P. Mon. Gr. 216, P. Berol. 6926/P. Gen. 100, P. Gr. Berol. 19c, P. Gr. Berol. 29b, P. Oxy. 8, P. Hamb. III 193, and P. Oxy. 3721.

      2. Comparable documentary papyri are dated early: P. Oxy. 211, 270, 318, 320, and 3051.

      3. The handwriting of P46 is an upright, informal uncial of the early type. It is a bookhand, manifesting at times a running hand, giving way here and there to ligatures, while still trying to keep the upper line. Such a style is very rare after the first century. p 205

      4. The finals at the feet of the letters are seen in other manuscripts dated from the last quarter of the third century b.c. to the third quarter of the first century a.d.

      5. The

      εγ-form (before compounds with β, δ, and λ) is very early, as compared with the εκ-form.

      6. The hand of a certain corrector (no. 11, writing

      και) appears in manuscripts from the second century b.c. to the early second century a.d.

      My observation is that most of the manuscripts from the first century that Kim sees as displaying a hand comparable to P46 show some similarities in individual letters but not in overall appearance and therefore do not belong to the same time period as P46. Kim himself admits that several of these manuscripts display an early form of what we see later in P46, especially with respect to the serifs at the bottom and tops of letters.

      Let us take, for example, several of the papyri dated to the first century that Kim cites as illustrating the kind of hand manifested in P46. My observation is that the following manuscripts are too early to be parallel examples of P46:

      P. Med. 70.01 verso (a.d. 55)—several similarities, but earlier than P46

      P. Oxy. 270 (a.d. 94)—some similarities, but not many

      P. Oxy. 2987 (a.d. 78–79)—nascent similarities

      P. Oxy. 3051 (a.d. 89)—a few similarities

      P. Oxy. 3695 (first century a.d.)—many similarities, but not completely identical

      P. Gr. Berol. 6845 (ca. a.d. 100)—a few similarities

      P. Berol. 6926 + P. Gen. 100 (second half of first century a.d.)—a few similarities in small serifs, but not completely identical

      These manuscripts may have, here and there, a few letters like P46, but their overall appearance is earlier.

      Far more similarities are seen in the following manuscripts:

      P. Oxy. 8 (assigned late first or early second century)—very similar morphologically

      P. Oxy. 841 (the second hand, which cannot be dated later than a.d. 125–150 [see plate and discussion in C. H. Roberts, Greek Literary Hands, no. 14])—the handwriting is similar to that found in P46

      P. Oxy. 1622 (dated with confidence to pre-a.d. 148, probably during the reign of Hadrian [117–138], because of the documentary text on the verso)—this early-dated specimen shares many similar features with P46 p 206

      P. Oxy. 2337 (assigned to the late first century)—very similar but probably earlier than P46

      P. Oxy. 3721 (assigned to the second half of the second century, but Kim would date it earlier)—the most comparable of all the manuscripts I have personally seen

      P. Rylands III 550 (assigned to the second century)—a remarkable likeness to P46

      P. Berol. 9810 (early second century)—quite similar (see plate and discussion in Schubart, Palaeographie, Handbuch der Altertumswissenschaft, 1.4.1 [Munich: C. H. Beck, 1925], 29b.)

      Comfort, Philip Wesley and David P. Barrett. The Text of the Earliest New Testament Greek Manuscripts. A corrected, enlarged ed. of The complete text of the earliest New Testament manuscripts. Wheaton, Ill.: Tyndale House, 2001.


      … search for truth, hear truth,
      learn truth, love truth, speak the truth, hold the truth,
      defend the truth till death.

      - Jan Hus

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