Papyrology


Though I am not an expert in the field of papyrology, like the fine bloggers at Evangelical Textual Criticism, I am quite interested in the field.  After posting Brandon Wason’s index to the online images of P46 a few days ago, I’ve decided to focus on two particular leaves for this post.  Both 3560,  which contains Rom 16.4-13 and 3559 • Rom 15.29—16.3 have features which I find interesting. 

First, Romans 16:7 discusses one of the most important women in the New Testament, Jounian who is described along with Andronicus as “relatives who were in prison with me; they are prominent among the apostles, and they were in Christ before I was.”  P46 is interesting because it has Ioulian instead of Iounian.  I did not notice this variant until recently during a project on P46 and I was a bit surprised.  However, Robert Jewett in his recent, and massive, commentary on Romans seems to have a good answer.  Since Ioulian appears in 16:15, perhaps the scribe got confused and put Ioulian in 16:7 as well.

Second, there is an intriguing colon that appears just before the beginning of Romans 16:1 in 3559 • Rom 15.29—16.3.  This oddity has prompted some, such as T. W. Manson, to conclude that the scribe intentionally marked off Romans 16 because he was hesitant about adding it.  Thus, these scholars further postulate that Romans 16 was not a part of Paul’s original letter and that Romans was originally intended as a circular letter intended for many communities.  Then only at a later date was Romans 16 added.  However, Harry Gamble in his fine monograph The Textual History of the Letter to the Romans concludes that Romans 16 was in fact part of Paul’s original letter.  Though I agree with Gamble’s conclusion I am still intrigued by this colon.  Perhaps one of the papyrologists at Evangelical Textual Criticism would care to weigh in with their thoughts on this colon.

Here is the same image with the colon circled.

Many moons ago Brandon Wason on his old blog Novum Testamentum put together a list of links for the different leaves of P46 available online.  That blog is now defunct and although Brandon has created a new blog Sitz im Leben this list does not appear on his new blog.  Luckily, a few years ago, Suzanne McCarthy extracted Brandon’s list from the internet archives.  Every so often I hunt for this list so I decided to reprint it on my site.  So my thanks goes out to Brandon for creating the list and Suzanne for saving it from extinction.

Yesterday I posted my schedule for Tuesday morning at SBL.  Rather than post all of the interesting Monday sessions in one massive post, I’ve decided to break up the posts by session.  There are a number of interesting Monday morning sessions and individual papers which I will list below.  However, I will not be able to attend any of these sessions as I will be on a panel of graduate students discussing important elements of being a PhD student.  If you are a new PhD student, are interesting in becoming a PhD student, or simply want to see me in action you should consider attending this panel.

Things I Wish I Knew about a Ph.D.
11/23/2009
9:00 AM to 10:30 AM
Room: Bayside A – SH

Ryan Carhart, Claremont Graduate University, Presiding
Alicia Myers, Baylor University, Panelist
Ingrid Lilly, Western Kentucky University, Panelist
Kevin Scull, University of California-Los Angeles, Panelist

For anyone interested in Pauline studies Monday morning will be difficult.  The Pauline Epistles group is practically required for all Pauline scholars and A. Andrew Das always does excellent work.  However, the Paul and Scripture group has two top tier scholars, Sumney and Fee, presenting on Colossians and 2 Timothy.  Finally, as one highly interested in papyrology, and especially P46, I recommend the Papyrology and Early Christian Background group.  The final paper, P46 and Its Numerals, sounds intriguing.  My panel ends at 10:30 which may provide me the chance to catch the last paper of a session.  I’m not sure which I will choose yet; but I am leaning towards the P46 paper.

Pauline Epistles

11/23/2009
9:00 AM to 11:30 AM
Room: Rhythms Ballroom 1 – SH

Mark Reasoner, Bethel University, Presiding
Jason A. Staples, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Gentiles Who Keep the Law: Paul’s Law-Keeping Gospel (25 min)
Christopher R. Bruno, Wheaton College
“God Is One” and the Inclusion of the Gentiles in Romans 3:30 (25 min)
Akio Ito, Tokyo Christian University
‘The Spirit is Life’ or ‘the Spirit is Alive’? (25 min)
Ian W. Scott, Tyndale Seminary (Canada)
‘This is Your Intellectual Worship': Logikos in Romans 12:1 and Paul’s Deliberative Ethics (25 min)
A. Andrew Das, Elmhurst College
“Praise the Lord, All You Gentiles”: The Encoded Audience of Romans 15:7-13 (25 min)

 

Paul and Scripture
11/23/2009
4:00 PM to 6:30 PM
Room: Oak Alley – SH

Theme: The Disputed Paulines

Christopher D. Stanley, St. Bonaventure University, Presiding
Jerry L. Sumney, Lexington Theological Seminary
Writing “In the Image” of Scripture: The Form and Function of Allusions to Scripture in Colossians (10 min)
Discussion (60 min)
Break (10 min)
Gordon D. Fee, Regent College
God`s Sure Foundation: “Paul`s” Use of Scripture in 2 Timothy (10 min)
Discussion (60 min)

Papyrology and Early Christian Backgrounds
11/23/2009
9:00 AM to 11:30 AM
Room: Studio 9 – MR

Peter Arzt-Grabner, Universitat Salzburg, Presiding
Michael Theophilos, University of Oxford
A New Fragment from Oxyrhynchus: A Christian Letter of Introduction and the Abuse of Hospitality (20 min)
Discussion (10 min)
Lincoln Blumell, Tulane University
Counting Christians: Onomastic Considerations and the Christianization of Fourth-Century Egypt (20 min)
Discussion (10 min)
Robert A. Kugler, Lewis and Clark College
Peton, a Judean of the Herakleopolite Nome, Contests Paying Double Rent on Farmland (P.Heid.Inv. G 5100) (20 min)
Discussion (10 min)
David M. Moffitt, Duke University
New Papyrological Evidence Regarding the Meaning of the Term Proselyte (20 min)
Discussion (10 min)
Don Barker, Macquarie University-Sydney
P. Beatty 2 (P46) and its Numerals (20 min)
Discussion (10 min)

Well “borrowing” a page from Brandon Wason’s Sitz im Leben site I decided to post a bit of a manuscript quiz of my own.  Please do not comment with the name of the manuscript.  I am curious to know how many people recognize this particular one on sight.  There’s no need to look it up and then click yes, this is just a test of how many people instantly recognize this particular manuscript.

greek manuscript

Yesterday the new issue of JBL arrived in my mailbox and this is always a good day for me.  After perusing the cover the following articles are related to Paul or just look interesting.

Douglas A. Campbell – 2 Corinthians 4:13: Evidence in Paul That Christ Believes

Matthew V. Novenson – The Jewish Messiahs, the Pauline Christ, and the Gentile Question

Thomas A. Wayment – A Reexamination of the Test of POxy. 2949

I actually already read the article by Wayment as I am always drawn to articles about the various papyri.  For my taste it wasn’t too interesting.  It examines the reconstruction of POxy. 2949 and attempts to determine wether it is the same version of the Gospel of Peter as another manuscript.  While somewhat boring it does include a fun footnote in which Dieter Luhrman questions whether or not Foster had actually seen the papyrus in question.  By noting that the papyrus is not in the location that Foster claimed, Luhrman seems to be calling out Foster in a pretty serious manner.  Nothing like some accusations to liven up an otherwise dry article!  Yet one more reason you should always read the footnotes, my undergraduate students skip them and miss all the best material.

Papyrology is an interest of mine and thus theories that are either based on or bolstered by evidence from a single manuscript are quite interesting to me.  In preparing for my course on Paul and Ancient Letter Writing this week I came across one such theory I had not noticed before.

This week we are working with 1 Cor 14:33b-35 and William Walker’s work on interpolations.  In doing so I ran across Phillip Payne’s work in which he asserts that the bar-umlaut in the Codex Vaticanus indicates that the passage is a textual variant.  Thus, providing some manuscript evidence that the passage in an interpolation.  In my own examination of the manuscript I can indeed confirm that there is a bar-umlaut at the start of 14:33b.  However, I have not done any in depth work on this manuscript overall.  I was thus quite excited when I saw this post on the Evangelical Textual Criticism blog stating that Edward D. Gravely has finished his dissertation on  “The Text Critical Sigla in Codex Vaticanus.”  Perhaps I will be fortunate to have him read this post and shed some light on this topic.

A second fascinating manuscript oddity is found in p46.  After Romans 15 there is a benediction and a colon before the start of Romans 16 (here is a website with some further details and a plate).  This has been taken by some such as T.W. Manson as evidence that the colon indicates everything after it was missing in some manuscripts.  Furthermore, Manson concludes that there were indeed copies of Romans without the greetings contained in Romans 16 and that Paul’s letter was sent to other communities as a last will and testament. 

It seems rather dubious to extrapolate theories from an oddity in one manuscript, but they are certainly interesting.  I must admit I would enjoy honing my papyrology skills under someone like Peter Head for a summer so I could have a bit more experience in this arena.  Unfortunately, UCLA’s papyrologist retired before I could take anymore courses with him but I will always think fondly of the courses I took in Greek Papyrology and Greek Paleography.

Thanks to the folks over at Evangelical Textual Criticism I was inspired today to exercise my manuscript reading skills.  The book I most enjoy turning to for examples of clear manuscripts is Bruce Metzger’s oversized book, Manuscripts of the New Testament: An Introduction to Greek Paleography

Metzger’s fine work begins with an introduction to Greek paleography and includes chapters on the Greek alphabet, pronunciation, book making, transcribing manuscripts, dating of manuscripts, and others.  The chapter on transcribing manuscripts provides useful charts which list the different letter shapes that appear during different time periods.  Moreover, there are extra charts addressing the different letter combinations used in miniscule manuscripts.  For anyone that can read Greek but has no experience with reading miniscule manuscripts, I challenge you to read one without a chart.

Perhaps more importantly, the work contains 45 plates from the most important manuscripts.  The manuscripts covered range from the earliest NT papyri scraps such as p52 to the important uncials such as the Codex Sinaiticus to fifteenth century miniscule manuscripts.  The plates are clear, large, and excellent for anyone seeking to hone their papyrology and paleography skills.  My only complaint is that the plates are black and white, but they still look great.  Additionally, each plate is accompanied with pertinent information about each manuscript such as: current location of the manuscript, size, folios, date, and other interesting features. 

So whether you are looking to learn to read NT manuscripts, hone your skills, or simply like to look at the most famous NT manuscripts, Manuscripts of the New Testament is worth owning.

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