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Re: Composite Abbreviation Symbol in Codex 01 at Mk 2:3

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  • James Snapp, Jr.
    Greetings Brice: The overlined delta is indeed the numeral 4. Regarding the dots on each side, I don t have any insights except to note that when Sinaiticus
    Message 1 of 4 , Jun 1, 2009
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      Greetings Brice:

      The overlined delta is indeed the numeral "4." Regarding the dots on each side, I don't have any insights except to note that when Sinaiticus was written, the way in which numerals were represented was shifting, and the double-dotted overbar is probably an experimental hybrid or bridge between the old style of numeral-representation, and the up-and-coming style.

      Milne & Skeat offer some thoughts about numeral-representation in Aleph in Scribes & Correctors.

      Yours in Christ,

      James Snapp, Jr.
    • Peter M. Head
      I have discussed this and shown some examples at The Gospel of Mark in Codex Sinaiticus: Textual and Reception-Historical Considerations TC: A Journal of
      Message 2 of 4 , Jun 2, 2009
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        I have discussed this and shown some examples at ‘The Gospel of Mark in Codex Sinaiticus: Textual and Reception-Historical Considerations’ TC: A Journal of Biblical Textual Criticism (SBL on-line journal) 13 (October 2008), 1-38: http://rosetta.reltech.org/TC/vol13/Head2008.pdf, pp. 13-15

        Peter


        At 06:29 30/05/2009, you wrote:
        As I was collating several MSS of Mark chapter 2, I noticed one particularly interesting symbol at the end of Mark 2:3.  I was using as a base text Stephanus' 1550 edition of textus receptus (TR) which reads:

        2:3 KAI EPXONTAI PROC AUTON PARALYTIKON PHERONTES AIPOMENON YPO TESSAPWN 2:4 KAI...

        At this passage in codex 01, there is a composite symbol in the 2nd column in the middle of the 26th line down in between the words YPO and the KAI which begins 2:4. This symbol is a delta + two dots + a bar atop the letter. The word here in between YPO and KAI should be TESSAPWN as is evident in other Alexandrian MSS like 03. The image I was using is from CSNTM.org. Here is that image: http://images.csntm.org/Manuscripts/GA_01/GA01_019a.jpg. The delta is very consistent with the other deltas on the page, appears to be the same color ink (though judgment of this is slightly limited on account of the uncertainty of digital imaging), clearly appears to be the same hand and is in a natural position within the line.

        My first thought was that this might be an umlaut which could have implications that the scribe knew of some variant at this spot of the MS and he knew so by comparing the exemplar with some other MS. I conversed with Philip Payne about this, who has done extensive work on umlauts in codex 03. Payne's first impression was that it "looks like a deliberate composite, one that presumably other readers at the time might understand as an abbreviated symbol," but admitted that he was unaware of what it might have meant precisely. (He also informed me of the updated nomenclature, where umlaut/umlauts has been replaced with distigme/distigmai.) The bar plus the two dots made me think that this was something more than a simple abbreviation until I found one other such instance of this composite symbol. It is at Matthew 24:31, last column, 29th line down. Here is that image: http://images.csntm.org/Manuscripts/GA_01/GA01_014b.jpg. Like its use in Mark 2:3, the symbol in Matthew replaces the word TESSAPWN. So, it became obvious that this was an abbreviation and, as Payne later wrote to me, it is simply an abbreviation for the number four...delta being the fourth letter in the alphabet, thus, TESSAPWN.

        One note worth mentioning. The bar that is a component of the symbol in Mark 2:3 (and Matthew 24:31) is quite common indeed for abbreviations (e.g., nomina sacra). But why the two dots? Is anyone aware of other symbols in codex 01 that has this same make-up, namely, a Greek letter + two dots + a bar? I am well aware of other numeric abbreviations with *only* the bar. I am interested in learning about the the two dots that have the appearance of a diaresis/distigme and knowing their significance/purpose for this particular type of abbreviation. Do the dots mean something more? Do other MSS outside of 01 have a similar composite symbol?

        Brice Jones





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        Peter M. Head, PhD
        Sir Kirby Laing Senior Lecturer in New Testament
        Tyndale House
        36 Selwyn Gardens
        Cambridge CB3 9BA
        01223 566601
      • virtuoso07
        Dear Peter, Thanks for providing your article. You write on page 15, They [the numerical abbreviations] are marked off with dots, perhaps to set this usage
        Message 3 of 4 , Jun 4, 2009
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          Dear Peter,

          Thanks for providing your article. You write on page 15, "They [the numerical abbreviations] are marked off with dots, perhaps to set this usage off as different from the nomina sacra, which share the overlining." I think you are probably right here. But, it is interesting that there is such a wide variety of numerical representations with no real consistency. If the dots do "set this usage off as different from the nomina sacra," then why are there so many examples of numerical abbreviations with just a letter/multiple letters + a bar and no dots, which do resemble nomina sacra? There must be a reason for the inconsistency. Why is there a mixed bag of abbreviations, considering that all three ways in which numbers were written- a letter/multiple letters + a bar, a letter/multiple letters + bar + two dots, and in full- seem to be penned by the original scribe, i.e., the dots are not the product of a diothortes? I think it would be helpful to press this issue further if there is presently no full treatment of these dots, and focus specifically on the significance of the dots that have the appearance of a distigme or diaeresis. Why were the dots used sometimes and at other times not? Were the dots used with specific numbers? Do you know of anyone who has explored the significance of the dots at length?

          Sincerely,
          Brice Jones

          --- In textualcriticism@yahoogroups.com, "Peter M. Head" <pmh15@...> wrote:
          >
          > I have discussed this and shown some examples at 'The Gospel of Mark
          > in Codex Sinaiticus: Textual and Reception-Historical Considerations'
          > TC: A Journal of Biblical Textual Criticism (SBL on-line journal) 13
          > (October 2008), 1-38:
          > http://rosetta.reltech.org/TC/vol13/Head2008.pdf, pp. 13-15
          >
          > Peter
          >
          >
          > At 06:29 30/05/2009, you wrote:
          > >As I was collating several MSS of Mark chapter 2, I noticed one
          > >particularly interesting symbol at the end of Mark 2:3. I was using
          > >as a base text Stephanus' 1550 edition of textus receptus (TR) which reads:
          > >
          > >2:3 KAI EPXONTAI PROC AUTON PARALYTIKON PHERONTES AIPOMENON YPO
          > >TESSAPWN 2:4 KAI...
          > >
          > >At this passage in codex 01, there is a composite symbol in the 2nd
          > >column in the middle of the 26th line down in between the words YPO
          > >and the KAI which begins 2:4. This symbol is a delta + two dots + a
          > >bar atop the letter. The word here in between YPO and KAI should be
          > >TESSAPWN as is evident in other Alexandrian MSS like 03. The image I
          > >was using is from CSNTM.org. Here is that image:
          > >http://images.csntm.org/Manuscripts/GA_01/GA01_019a.jpg. The delta
          > >is very consistent with the other deltas on the page, appears to be
          > >the same color ink (though judgment of this is slightly limited on
          > >account of the uncertainty of digital imaging), clearly appears to
          > >be the same hand and is in a natural position within the line.
          > >
          > >My first thought was that this might be an umlaut which could have
          > >implications that the scribe knew of some variant at this spot of
          > >the MS and he knew so by comparing the exemplar with some other MS.
          > >I conversed with Philip Payne about this, who has done extensive
          > >work on umlauts in codex 03. Payne's first impression was that it
          > >"looks like a deliberate composite, one that presumably other
          > >readers at the time might understand as an abbreviated symbol," but
          > >admitted that he was unaware of what it might have meant precisely.
          > >(He also informed me of the updated nomenclature, where
          > >umlaut/umlauts has been replaced with distigme/distigmai.) The bar
          > >plus the two dots made me think that this was something more than a
          > >simple abbreviation until I found one other such instance of this
          > >composite symbol. It is at Matthew 24:31, last column, 29th line
          > >down. Here is that image:
          > >http://images.csntm.org/Manuscripts/GA_01/GA01_014b.jpg. Like its
          > >use in Mark 2:3, the symbol in Matthew replaces the word TESSAPWN.
          > >So, it became obvious that this was an abbreviation and, as Payne
          > >later wrote to me, it is simply an abbreviation for the number
          > >four...delta being the fourth letter in the alphabet, thus, TESSAPWN.
          > >
          > >One note worth mentioning. The bar that is a component of the symbol
          > >in Mark 2:3 (and Matthew 24:31) is quite common indeed for
          > >abbreviations (e.g., nomina sacra). But why the two dots? Is anyone
          > >aware of other symbols in codex 01 that has this same make-up,
          > >namely, a Greek letter + two dots + a bar? I am well aware of other
          > >numeric abbreviations with *only* the bar. I am interested in
          > >learning about the the two dots that have the appearance of a
          > >diaresis/distigme and knowing their significance/purpose for this
          > >particular type of abbreviation. Do the dots mean something more? Do
          > >other MSS outside of 01 have a similar composite symbol?
          > >
          > >Brice Jones
          > >
          > >
          > >
          > >
          > >
          > >------------------------------------
          > >
          > >Yahoo! Groups Links
          > >
          > >
          > >
          > Peter M. Head, PhD
          > Sir Kirby Laing Senior Lecturer in New Testament
          > Tyndale House
          > 36 Selwyn Gardens
          > Cambridge CB3 9BA
          > 01223 566601
          >
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