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.