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Re: [textualcriticism] a little brain teaser

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  • George F Somsel
    I was noting the abbreviations too. If you look at the first line of indented text, you will note what could be taken to be EF hELPIDI The problem is that
    Message 1 of 34 , Jan 6 3:25 PM
      I was noting the abbreviations too.  If you look at the first line of indented text, you will note what could be taken to be
      EF' hELPIDI
      The problem is that ELPIS does not have a rough breathing so when EPI appears with ELPIS in the dative (ELPIDI) it is ἐπʼ ἐλπίδι (EP' ELPIDI).

      ----- Original Message ----
      From: Jack Kilmon <jkilmon@...>
      To: textualcriticism@yahoogroups.com
      Sent: Saturday, January 6, 2007 5:47:47 PM
      Subject: Re: [textualcriticism] a little brain teaser

      The attempts at nomina sacra on lines 3 and 4 tells me that the writer..er.. perpetrator. ..was looking at a facsimile of a NT mss..or several, perhaps from Metzger, but I find it hard to believe that even someone who knows zilch about Greek could not duplicate at least two words end to end.  The phi that starts line 7 is awful and some omegas look like W's.  If I were to guess, in this season of Da Vinci Code nonsense stimulating interest in ancient texts, some New Agey scam artist was "channeling" Jesus or Paul (never mind the Nomina Sacra) or John for a gullible audience.  Maybe some evangelical was "writing in tongues."  Maybe Daniel can help by telling us where he got the thing.
      ----- Original Message -----
      Sent: Saturday, January 06, 2007 3:31 PM
      Subject: Re: [textualcriticism] a little brain teaser

      I've been noticing some of the same points, but I'm not quite ready to yell, "Scam!" just yet.  I've been trying to search for passages containing some of what I thought I observed in the text, but have been coming up blank.  I wonder if this is even a copy of a NT text.

      ----- Original Message ----
      From: Jack Kilmon <jkilmon@historian. net>
      To: textualcriticism@ yahoogroups. com
      Sent: Saturday, January 6, 2007 1:51:11 PM
      Subject: Re: [textualcriticism] a little brain teaser

      ----- Original Message -----
      From: "Daniel B. Wallace" <csntm@runbox. com>
      To: <textualcriticism@ yahoogroups. com>
      Sent: Saturday, January 06, 2007 3:23 AM
      Subject: [textualcriticism] a little brain teaser

      Attached is a JPEG photo (done by a hand-held camera, but nevertheless
      sufficient for our purposes; believe me, the actual document is no clearer!)
      of a facsimile on the verso of a modern papyrus, presumably of an ancient
      text. I'd like to get opinions on several things: What text is on the
      facsimile? Where does it deviate from standard Greek texts, and why? What
      suggestions can you offer paleographically? Why is half of the text
      indented? Why is the handwriting so gloppy and bizarre? Finally, any
      hypotheses as to what, exactly, the modern facsimile is a copy of?

      I have my thoughts, but decided to subject the document to this august body
      first before I made a fool of myself. Plenty of time to do that later!

      Daniel B. Wallace
      Executive Director
      Center for the Study of New Testament Manuscripts

      There is not a complete Greek word followed by another. I see
      MARTYRE..... on line two (witness?) and the nomina sacra for God QY on line 3
      and APOKALY...on line 9. The presence of colons and an exclamation mark
      (line 8) tells me this is either a scam or a prank. It is scrawled
      deliberately since no one's Greek can be this bad. There are few enough
      words that are discernable like AUTW and ALLA but no two discernable words
      together. It has to be a joke/


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    • Daniel Buck
      In a message dated 1/11/7 7:15:46 AM, Dan Wallace wrote:
      Message 34 of 34 , Jan 12 2:08 PM
        In a message dated 1/11/7 7:15:46 AM, Dan Wallace wrote:

        << can someone who does not know Greek--in fact, recreates the text
        so poorly that he or she produces chicken scratches where letters
        are meant to go--create a meaningful nomen sacrum?>>

        I welcome the opportunity to risk making a fool of myself, for I do
        not feel that we have at all exhausted the subject.

        I was able to enter this study far enough along to read through all
        the posts to date in a single sitting, knowing in advance (from its
        presence in the Files) that P46 somehow would enter into the

        It's interesting how many learned minds proffered their wisdom
        before someone finally stated the obvious: this papyrus is a hand-
        drawn pseudofacsimile of a precise sheet of a celebrated ancient
        manuscript. Looking at the two images now, I can see that without a

        Addressing some other questions that do not perhaps lend themselves
        to so satisfactory a conclusion, I approached this mss as someone
        fluently literate only in the Latin alphabet, but able to decipher
        the standard forms of half a dozen other scripts.

        What immediately leaped out to me was the word "POISON" in the
        fourth line. Upon closer inspection, however, it turned out to be an
        optical illusion; the 'N' is not really 'IS'. So my first theory,
        that the scribe was literate in English, was tossed out.

        Moving down that line, though, I can see that the scribe could not
        have been familiar with Greek letters or Nomina Sacra. Each letter
        is drawn as s/he best perceives it to have stood in the original,
        and only incidently do these result in legible Greek characters.
        Note that the superscript is broken in between the letters UU rather
        than forming a solid line. Many characters are broken up in this way
        due to the poor quality of the exemplar. 'H' is mistaken
        for 'N', 'U' for 'O', etc.

        In an interesting reverse of the usual process, note the NS for QU
        in the 3rd line. The superscript is unbroken in the original, but
        broken in the facsimile. This lends credence to the intermediate-
        copy hypothesis. But looking more closely, it would appear that the
        break may have been caused by a dirty lens on Dan Wallace's digital
        camera. Suffice it to say, we are dealing with a multi-generational
        copy here!

        I have one question: How can we be sure that this final copy is a
        printout rather than a ms? The rough surface of papyrus would seem
        to preclude such a consistent laydown of ink. Has any analysis been
        done of the ink?

        Daniel Buck
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