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Re: [textualcriticism] Re: Freer Gospels (W 032)

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  • Timothy Arthur Brown
    Dear George, Bruce and I were unable to substantiate even a single one of Woodard s claims. T. A. Brown Franconia, New Hampshire USA
    Message 1 of 26 , Jun 7, 2006
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      Dear George,

      Bruce and I were unable to substantiate even a single one of Woodard's claims.

      T. A. Brown
      Franconia, New Hampshire  USA



      George F Somsel wrote:
      What about the alleged upside down Aramaic text.  Is there anything there to which he might refer or is this made up out of whole cloth?
       
      _____________

      Timothy Arthur Brown <t.a.brown@...> wrote:
      Hello,

      Bruce Prior and I are in the process of finishing up pre-press work on the Freer Gospels transcription now.  You can expect to see an edition available at this year's SBL annual meeting in Washington, DC.  The new images I alluded to are, as far as I know, still intended for public release this November as well.  The newest images are those taken by the Freer/Sackler photography department and I think it's safe to assume that this image library will be published by the Freer/Sackler Gallery itself.

      And now concerning Woodard's "Kodex W". . . Bruce and I first learned of Woodard's theories a couple of years ago.  The claims are wild, but we agreed that such claims, regardless how unbelievable, ought not be automatically rejected simply because they do not conform to our current understanding of the manuscript.  We had at our disposal the tools and access necessary to examine these claims, so we decided to do so.  We were in contact with Lee Woodard by phone and by e-mail and we each had a copy of his book.  Becoming thus fully informed of his claims, we examined high resolution images of the relevant parts of the codex and were unable to substantiate any of Woodard's theories.  Since this examination, I have had opportunity to access the original at the Freer Gallery and must still conclude that Woodard's ideas are without merit.

      Sincerely,

      T. A. Brown
      Franconia, New Hampshire  USA



      mr.scrivener wrote:
      ------------ --------
      Dear Mr. Brown:

      In this message (last year), you mentioned publishing transcriptions
      of Codex W, as well as a possible new Facsimile edition available on
      disk by the '2006 SBL Meetings..'. Well, its June 2006, and I was
      wondering how your projects are coming along.

      ------------ --------- -
      Also, is anyone aware of the following website, which claims to have
      discovered 'seals' or 'signatures' of the scribes who wrote Codex W
      (the Gospel mss)?

      http://www.washingt on-codex. org/woodard_ kodex_article_ 1.htm

      Althoug h the site makes many wild claims, and dates the Gospel Codex
      W too early, surely just the existance of these 'seals' at the
      beginning and end of each gospel in the codex require a thorough
      investigation and proper explanation.

      Any ideas?

      Curiosity is killing me here...
      Eeyore

      ------------ --------- ---------
      --- In textualcriticism@ yahoogroups. com, Timothy Arthur Brown
      <t.a.brown@. ..> wrote:
      >
      >
      > Hi Michael,
      >
      > After responding to your question about published photographs, I
      reread
      > your message and noticed that you also asked about transcriptions.
      >
      > Bruce Prior and I are working on full transcriptions and collations
      of
      > two of the Washington MSS at this moment -- The Gospels MS, about
      which
      > you've inquired, and the Deuteronomy/ Joshua MS. Both
      transcriptions are
      > scheduled for publication by the 2006 SBL meetings in Washington,
      DC.
      >
      > These transcriptions follow the layout of the original manuscripts
      > closely. We have even taken pains to measure and represent the
      spaces
      > which the scribe has often used to separate phrases. Word spacing
      has
      > been added for clarity, however, and whenever it has been necessary
      to
      > use editorial judgments, an explanation appears in the footnotes.
      >
      > T. A. Brown
      > Franconia, New Hampshire USA
      >
      >





      george
      gfsomsel
      _________

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    • mr.scrivener
      Greetings Mr Wasserman: I have two leads for you: (1) the Jude inscription looks painfully like the Egyptian practice found in Christian Magic amulets and
      Message 2 of 26 , Jun 7, 2006
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        Greetings Mr Wasserman:

        I have two leads for you:

        (1) the Jude inscription looks painfully like the Egyptian practice
        found in 'Christian Magic' amulets and small scrolls. I suggest you
        start with the two following books as an introduction to the subject:

        Ancient Christian Magic (Coptic texts of ritual power) Edited by
        Meyer & Smith (Harper Collins 1994), and

        Medicine, Miracle & Magic in NT Times by H.C. Kee.(Cambridge UP 1986-
        1990)

        Also useful might be:
        Paganism & Christianity 100-425 C.E. A Sourcebook Macmullen & Lane

        The writing of religious texts backwards or in patterns was very
        common throughout Egypt and the Aegean in the period.

        (2) Studying Vaticanus I have come to the conclusion that the 'NT'
        Obelisk (the one you describe is a lemniscus =dot/dot)has a variety
        of uses but mostly as a generic indicator of an accidental omission
        corrected in the margin. there is a good introduction to the changes
        in meaning over periods and places here:

        http://www.christianforums.com/t2994963-asterisk-and-obelus-three-
        different-usages.html





        --- In textualcriticism@yahoogroups.com, Tommy Wasserman <tomwas@...>
        wrote:
        >
        > I have come across a large number of scribal peculiarities through
        the
        > years. Here are two which someone might help me with:
        >
        > 1) in an MS the final AMHN (in Jude) is written backwards on three
        > lines:
        >
        > HN
        > M
        > A
        >
        > Has anyone seen anything similar?
        >
        > 2) In some minuscule MSS there is a sign in the margin, •/•, plus a
        > reading. I interpret the sign as an "obelus periestigmenos." The
        > question is whether this sign has the same function over time, i.e.
        in
        > the early uncials and in the minuscules, respectively. In short, I
        am
        > not sure if it unequivocally refers to a correction of the text (or
        > might be a reference to an alternative reading).
        >
        > Any ideas?
        >
        > With regards
        >
        > Tommy Wasserman
        > Centre for Theology and Religious Studies
        > Lund University
        > Sweden
        >
      • mr.scrivener
        Dear Mr. Brown: Thank you for your prompt reply: However, you seem to have left an ambiguity - Mr Woodward s ideas may be without merit, but are the marks just
        Message 3 of 26 , Jun 7, 2006
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          Dear Mr. Brown:

          Thank you for your prompt reply:
          However, you seem to have left an ambiguity -
          Mr Woodward's ideas may be without merit,
          but are the marks just dust specks, imperfections in the photos,
          or actual scribal scribbles, whatever their meaning?
          Could you clarify?

          Still perplexed,
          Eeyore.

          --- In textualcriticism@yahoogroups.com, Timothy Arthur Brown
          <t.a.brown@...> wrote:
          >
          > Hello,
          >
          > Bruce Prior and I are in the process of finishing up pre-press work
          on
          > the Freer Gospels transcription now. You can expect to see an
          edition
          > available at this year's SBL annual meeting in Washington, DC. The
          new
          > images I alluded to are, as far as I know, still intended for
          public
          > release this November as well. The newest images are those taken
          by the
          > Freer/Sackler photography department and I think it's safe to
          assume
          > that this image library will be published by the Freer/Sackler
          Gallery
          > itself.
          >
          > And now concerning Woodard's "Kodex W". . . Bruce and I first
          learned of
          > Woodard's theories a couple of years ago. The claims are wild, but
          we
          > agreed that such claims, regardless how unbelievable, ought not be
          > automatically rejected simply because they do not conform to our
          current
          > understanding of the manuscript. We had at our disposal the tools
          and
          > access necessary to examine these claims, so we decided to do so.
          We
          > were in contact with Lee Woodard by phone and by e-mail and we each
          had
          > a copy of his book. Becoming thus fully informed of his claims, we
          > examined high resolution images of the relevant parts of the codex
          and
          > were unable to substantiate any of Woodard's theories. Since this
          > examination, I have had opportunity to access the original at the
          Freer
          > Gallery and must still conclude that Woodard's ideas are without
          merit.
          >
          > Sincerely,
          >
          > T. A. Brown
          > Franconia, New Hampshire USA
          >
          >
          >
          > mr.scrivener wrote:
          >
          > > --------------------
          > > Dear Mr. Brown:
          > >
          > > In this message (last year), you mentioned publishing
          transcriptions
          > > of Codex W, as well as a possible new Facsimile edition available
          on
          > > disk by the '2006 SBL Meetings..'. Well, its June 2006, and I was
          > > wondering how your projects are coming along.
          > >
          > > ----------------------
          > > Also, is anyone aware of the following website, which claims to
          have
          > > discovered 'seals' or 'signatures' of the scribes who wrote Codex
          W
          > > (the Gospel mss)?
          > >
          > > http://www.washington-codex.org/woodard_kodex_article_1.htm
          > > <http://www.washington-codex.org/woodard_kodex_article_1.htm>
          > >
          > > Although the site makes many wild claims, and dates the Gospel
          Codex
          > > W too early, surely just the existance of these 'seals' at the
          > > beginning and end of each gospel in the codex require a thorough
          > > investigation and proper explanation.
          > >
          > > Any ideas?
          > >
          > > Curiosity is killing me here...
          > > Eeyore
          > >
          > > ------------------------------
          >
        • Wieland Willker
          ... I think in Vaticanus it represents a correction. In Vaticanus also exists a wavy sign (vertical ~) which might indicate an explanation of some kind:
          Message 4 of 26 , Jun 8, 2006
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            Tommy Wasserman wrote:
            > 2) In some minuscule MSS there is a sign in the margin, •/•,
            > plus a reading.

            I think in Vaticanus it represents a correction.

            In Vaticanus also exists a wavy sign (vertical ~) which might indicate an explanation of some kind:
            http://www-user.uni-bremen.de/~wie/Vaticanus/dittographies.html
            (image on the right)

            Just for completeness sake, in Vaticanus also another sign appears once:
            http://www-user.uni-bremen.de/~wie/Vaticanus/wordorder.html


            Best wishes
            Wieland
            <><
            ------------------------------------------------
            Wieland Willker, Bremen, Germany
            mailto:willker@...-bremen.de
            http://www.uni-bremen.de/~wie
            Textcritical commentary:
            http://www.uni-bremen.de/~wie/TCG/index.html
          • Tommy Wasserman
            ... Thank you mr. scrivener (is that your real name?). Sorry I was not clear - the MS in question is a medieval Greek continuous-text minuscule with no other
            Message 5 of 26 , Jun 8, 2006
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              mr.scrivener wrote:

              >
              > Greetings Mr Wasserman:
              >
              > I have two leads for you:
              >
              > (1) the Jude inscription looks painfully like the Egyptian practice
              > found in 'Christian Magic' amulets and small scrolls.

              Thank you mr. scrivener (is that your real name?). Sorry I was not
              clear - the MS in question is a medieval Greek continuous-text
              minuscule with no other signs of "magic" use whatsoever, a subject of
              which I am otherwise quite familiar with.

              > I suggest you
              >
              > (2) Studying Vaticanus I have come to the conclusion that the 'NT'
              > Obelisk (the one you describe is a lemniscus =dot/dot)has a variety
              > of uses but mostly as a generic indicator of an accidental omission
              > corrected in the margin. there is a good introduction to the changes
              > in meaning over periods and places here:

              I found the following information about the symbol in "Transformed Into
              His Image" in Grace Theological Journal 2.2 (Fall 1981) 230-31 which
              made me hesitat to equal the function to that in the early uncials:

              A partial explanation of the symbol is given by Diogenes
              Laertius (iii, 66). He names and describes the use of various signs in a
              text of Plato; in regard to this sign he says: "the obelos
              periestigmenos is for random
              rejections (of passages)." Nowhere has ↓ been found among literary
              papyri of Classical
              authors.

              The use of both signs, however, is frequent in Biblical and
              Christian papyri. Codex Sinaiticus and Codex Vaticanus demonstrate
              the frequent use of both signs, sometimes together and sometimes
              separately, but always where a correction has been made. When
              used together, ↓ stands in the margin and •/•. marks the precise place
              in
              the line for the correction.

              Henry A. Sanders notes the use of •/•. in some biblical manuscripts
              dated to the fourth or early fifth century, marking the location
              of the omission and then repeated in the margin giving the words to
              be supplied.

              An exact parallel to P.Rob. inv. 28 is described in P. Tura, where ↓
              and •/•. stand together in the margin at the beginning of the part to be
              supplied.

              A somewhat later function of •/• is described by Isidore (A.D. 602-
              36), bishop of Seville (1.21): Lemniscus, id est, virgula inter geminos
              punctos jacens, opponitur in his locis, quae sacrae Scripturae
              interpretes
              eadem sensu, sed diversis sermonibus transtulerent, "The
              lemniscus, that is a stick lying between two points, is placed in those
              places which the interpreters of Holy Scriptures transcribe in the
              same sense, but with different expressions."

              end of citation

              With regards

              Tommy Wasserman
              Centre for Theology and Religious Studies
              Lund University
              Sweden
            • Timothy Arthur Brown
              Hello, The claims that Woodard makes are so numerous that a full response would require more attention than his ideas deserve. To answer you generally, some
              Message 6 of 26 , Jun 8, 2006
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                Hello,

                The claims that Woodard makes are so numerous that a full response would require more attention than his ideas deserve.  To answer you generally, some of what Woodard is seeing is offset, that is, ink which has cross-printed from the facing page; in other instances he is reading things into mere stains in the parchment; sometimes he's attributing special significance to the quite typical scribal decorations of a colophon; and he even finds minute hidden messages in the ragged shapes of letters that have suffered the effects of time and use.

                I hope it is clear that Bruce Prior and I investigated Woodard's claims because we feel responsible to consult secondary sources in our work and, for the sake of thoroughness, needed to make a careful, open-minded examination of Woodard's work as well.  As it turns out, Woodard's work proved unworthy of the time we invested in it.

                If you would like more detail, you could purchase Woodard's book (though I dislike the idea of giving him undue encouragement) and then purchase the new set of images which will hopefully be made available before the end of the year.  This will enable you to examine his claims yourself.

                Yours sincerely,

                T. A. Brown
                Franconia, New Hampshire  USA



                mr.scrivener wrote:

                Dear Mr. Brown:

                Thank you for your prompt reply:
                However, you seem to have left an ambiguity -
                Mr Woodward's ideas may be without merit,
                but are the marks just dust specks, imperfections in the photos,
                or actual scribal scribbles, whatever their meaning?
                Could you clarify?

                Still perplexed,
                Eeyore.

                --- In textualcriticism@ yahoogroups. com, Timothy Arthur Brown
                <t.a.brown@. ..> wrote:
                >
                > Hello,
                >
                > Bruce Prior and I are in the process of finishing up pre-press work
                on
                > the Freer Gospels transcription now. You can expect to see an
                edition
                > available at this year's SBL annual meeting in Washington, DC. The
                new
                > images I alluded to are, as far as I know, still intended for
                public
                > release this November as well. The newest images are those taken
                by the
                > Freer/Sackler photography department and I think it's safe to
                assume
                > that this image library will be published by the Freer/Sackler
                Gallery
                > itself.
                >
                > And now concerning Woodard's "Kodex W". . . Bruce and I first
                learned of
                > Woodard's theories a couple of years ago. The claims are wild, but
                we
                > agreed that such claims, regardless how unbelievable, ought not be
                > automatically rejected simply because they do not conform to our
                current
                > understanding of the manuscript. We had at our disposal the tools
                and
                > access necessary to examine these claims, so we decided to do so.
                We
                > were in contact with Lee Woodard by phone and by e-mail and we each
                had
                > a copy of his book. Becoming thus fully informed of his claims, we
                > examined high resolution images of the relevant parts of the codex
                and
                > were unable to substantiate any of Woodard's theories. Since this
                > examination, I have had opportunity to access the original at the
                Freer
                > Gallery and must still conclude that Woodard's ideas are without
                merit.
                >
                > Sincerely,
                >
                > T. A. Brown
                > Franconia, New Hampshire USA
                >
                >
                >
                > mr.scrivener wrote:
                >
                > > ------------ --------
                > > Dear Mr. Brown:
                > >
                > > In this message (last year), you mentioned publishing
                transcriptions
                > > of Codex W, as well as a possible new Facsimile edition available
                on
                > > disk by the '2006 SBL Meetings..'. Well, its June 2006, and I was
                > > wondering how your projects are coming along.
                > >
                > > ------------ --------- -
                > > Also, is anyone aware of the following website, which claims to
                have
                > > discovered 'seals' or 'signatures' of the scribes who wrote Codex
                W
                > > (the Gospel mss)?
                > >
                > > http://www.washingt on-codex. org/woodard_ kodex_article_ 1.htm
                > > <http://www.washingt on-codex. org/woodard_ kodex_article_ 1.htm>
                > >
                > > Although the site makes many wild claims, and dates the Gospel
                Codex
                > > W too early, surely just the existance of these 'seals' at the
                > > beginning and end of each gospel in the codex require a thorough
                > > investigation and proper explanation.
                > >
                > > Any ideas?
                > >
                > > Curiosity is killing me here...
                > > Eeyore
                > >
                > > ------------ --------- ---------
                >


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