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Re: TC Question: Closeness of Autographs and Copies

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  • james_snapp_jr
    Steve Raine, SR: Would it be accurate to say that extant biblical manuscripts (portions) are closer in date to autographs than those of any other ancient
    Message 1 of 5 , Feb 1 6:29 PM
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      Steve Raine,

      SR: "Would it be accurate to say that extant biblical manuscripts
      (portions) are closer in date to 'autographs' than those of any other
      ancient document?"

      No. P52, containing text from John 18, might feasibly come within three decades of the composition-date of the Gospel of John. But its date, sometimes assigned to "c. 125," is difficult to pin down. P52 can only be assigned a date palaeographically, and its date could be in the 150's or 160's as easily as in 125. (See Noghbri's HTR article about P52 for details.)

      Meanwhile, Oxyrhynchus Papyrus 412 contains, on one side, the concluding text of Julius Africanus' composition "Kestoi." "Kestoi" was dedicated to Emperor Alexander Severus, who reigned in 225-235. (And Africanus died in 240.)

      On the other side of the same page is the text of a document from the reign of Claudius Tacitus (r. 275-276). Figuring that it is unlikely that anyone would disassemble and re-use a brand new copy (unless there was something terribly wrong with it), Oxyrhynchus Papyrus 412 is probably a first-generation copy of "Kestoi."

      Plus, the answer may depend in part on what one calls a "document." If, besides literary texts, we include letters in the definition (and some of the books of the NT are letters), then we have many autographs of documents, consisting of various letters, receipts, etc.

      Yours in Christ,

      James Snapp, Jr.
    • Jonathan C. Borland
      Dear List, A tangent of the original post, but related to the subject matter, is M. A. Robinson s claim in the appendix article to his and Pierpont s The New
      Message 2 of 5 , Feb 1 9:59 PM
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        Dear List,

        A tangent of the original post, but related to the subject matter, is M. A. Robinson's claim in the appendix article to his and Pierpont's The New Testament in the Original Greek: Byzantine Textform, "The Case for Byzantine Priority" (p. 542-3), that there is a shorter Alexandrian form of Homer and a longer (perhaps "Western"?) form of Homer, but that the mainstream Vulgate text did not change much. The critically produced shorter Alexandrian form could not change the dominant form, and the longer forms, in the words of Homeric scholar Thomas Allen, "withered of themselves."

        First, do current Homeric scholars still hold to the basic view of Allen (and Robinson) above? Second, what do you think of Robinson's analogy between the Alexandrian critical endeavors upon the classical texts and those of the New Testament?

        Jonathan C. Borland




        On Feb 2, 2010, at 4:33 AM, Kevin W. Woodruff wrote:


        Steve:
         
        Yes, P52 dates within 50 years of John's Gospel
         
        Venetus A of Homer's Illiad is dated to about 10th century CE and so is almost 1800 years after Homer.
         
        The earliest papyrus fragments of the Odyssey are in the 3rd century BC and Homer lived ca. 850 BCE.
         
        Kevin

        Prof. Kevin W. Woodruff, M.Div., M.S.I.S.
        Library Director/Reference Librarian, Assistant Professor of Bible, Greek, Theological Bibliography and Research
        Tennessee Temple University/Temple Baptist Seminary, 1815 Union Ave. 
        Chattanooga, Tennessee 37404, United States of America
        423/493-4252 (office) 423/698-9447 (home) 423/493-4497 (FAX)
        Cierpke@prodigy. net http://pages. prodigy.net/ cierpke/woodruff .htm

        --- On Mon, 2/1/10, Steve Raine <sp1raine@earthlink. net> wrote:

        From: Steve Raine <sp1raine@earthlink. net>
        Subject: [textualcriticism] TC general question
        To: textualcriticism@ yahoogroups. com
        Date: Monday, February 1, 2010, 2:27 PM

         
        Hi folks--

        Would it be accurate to say that extant biblical manuscripts 
        (portions) are closer in date to 'autographs' than those of any other 
        ancient document?

        Thanks,
        Steve


      • James Spinti
        Jonathan, Homeric scholarship is in a flux--as it has been ever since Milman Parry came up with his oral poetry theory over 70 years ago. But, that being said,
        Message 3 of 5 , Feb 2 2:09 PM
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          Jonathan,

          Homeric scholarship is in a flux--as it has been ever since Milman Parry
          came up with his oral poetry theory over 70 years ago. But, that being
          said, by the time you get to the Alexandrian period there is a bit more
          agreement. As far as I know, the majority opinion is still that the
          Alexandrian editors did not affect the vulgate text of the Iliad or
          Odyssey. The Alexandrians produced their own texts for their needs; the
          vulgate text was produced for sale and reading, not analysis in the way
          the Alexandrians did it.

          But, I'm not convinced that you can compare the case of the Homeric
          epics with the biblical text. The cultural settings of the two are
          different enough that I doubt the textual transmission would be the
          same.

          My $.015,
          James

          ________________________________
          James Spinti
          Marketing Director, Book Sales Division
          Eisenbrauns, Good books for more than 30 years
          Specializing in Ancient Near Eastern and Biblical Studies
          jspinti at eisenbrauns dot com
          Web: http://www.eisenbrauns.com
          Phone: 574-269-2011 ext 226
          Fax: 574-269-6788

          -----Original Message-----
          From: textualcriticism@yahoogroups.com
          [mailto:textualcriticism@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Jonathan C.
          Borland
          Sent: Tuesday, February 02, 2010 12:59 AM
          To: textualcriticism@yahoogroups.com
          Subject: Re: [textualcriticism] TC general question



          Dear List,

          A tangent of the original post, but related to the subject matter, is M.
          A. Robinson's claim in the appendix article to his and Pierpont's The
          New Testament in the Original Greek: Byzantine Textform, "The Case for
          Byzantine Priority" (p. 542-3), that there is a shorter Alexandrian form
          of Homer and a longer (perhaps "Western"?) form of Homer, but that the
          mainstream Vulgate text did not change much. The critically produced
          shorter Alexandrian form could not change the dominant form, and the
          longer forms, in the words of Homeric scholar Thomas Allen, "withered of
          themselves."

          First, do current Homeric scholars still hold to the basic view of Allen
          (and Robinson) above? Second, what do you think of Robinson's analogy
          between the Alexandrian critical endeavors upon the classical texts and
          those of the New Testament?

          Jonathan C. Borland




          On Feb 2, 2010, at 4:33 AM, Kevin W. Woodruff wrote:




          Steve:

          Yes, P52 dates within 50 years of John's Gospel

          Venetus A of Homer's Illiad is dated to about 10th century CE and so is
          almost 1800 years after Homer.

          The earliest papyrus fragments of the Odyssey are in the 3rd century BC
          and Homer lived ca. 850 BCE.

          Kevin

          Prof. Kevin W. Woodruff, M.Div., M.S.I.S.
          Library Director/Reference Librarian, Assistant Professor of Bible,
          Greek, Theological Bibliography and Research
          Tennessee Temple University/Temple Baptist Seminary, 1815 Union Ave.
          Chattanooga, Tennessee 37404, United States of America
          423/493-4252 (office) 423/698-9447 (home) 423/493-4497 (FAX)
          Cierpke@... http://pages.prodigy.net/cierpke/woodruff.htm

          --- On Mon, 2/1/10, Steve Raine <sp1raine@...> wrote:



          From: Steve Raine <sp1raine@...>
          Subject: [textualcriticism] TC general question
          To: textualcriticism@yahoogroups.com
          Date: Monday, February 1, 2010, 2:27 PM



          Hi folks--

          Would it be accurate to say that extant biblical manuscripts
          (portions) are closer in date to 'autographs' than those of any
          other
          ancient document?

          Thanks,
          Steve
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