b-greek-digest V1 #823

b-greek-digest             Monday, 14 August 1995       Volume 01 : Number 823

In this issue:

        Matt 16:13 
        On Quoting E-Mail
        more on Jn 1:1c 
        Re: Papyrologists and alledged earliest Gospel fragm. 
        more Qumran scrolls?
        Re: Matt 16:13
        Did I miss anything? 
        homoiomati anthropon genomenos
        Re: Colwell Rule
        Re: Papyrologists and alledged earliest Gospel fragm.
        Alleged earliest gospel fragment (long)


From: Kenneth Litwak <kenneth@sybase.com>
Date: Sun, 13 Aug 95 22:26:09 PDT
Subject: Matt 16:13 

  I'd appreciate a little help with the syntax of Mt 16:13.
1.  Why is Tina used, instead of tis, given that the logical subject of a
question would normally, I would  think, be in the nominative?
2.  Should this be rendered "Whom do they say the Son of Man to be? ??
3.  If einai is the verb which goes with ton (uion tou anthrwpou, is 
this a case of an accusative subject for an infinitive, or is it an
excedption to the rule that eimi takes nominatives?
Thanks in advance.

Ken Litwak
Bezerkley, CA


From: David Moore <dvdmoore@dcfreenet.seflin.lib.fl.us>
Date: Mon, 14 Aug 1995 08:48:27 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: On Quoting E-Mail

"James D. Ernest" <ernest@mv.mv.com> wrote:

>I myself would be VERY hesitant to quote in print any e-mail posting,
>whether private or to a list, without first giving the person
>in question the opportunity to modify the remarks to be quoted, or
>even to decline to be quoted at all.  Some of the lists these days have
>really interesting contributions from folks with scholarly reputations.
>Some of the interest is due to the willingness of these people to
>write more experimentally or colloquially online than in print.
>I can't think of any wetter rag to throw over this still-new kind of
>forum than the threat that a careless or tentative offhand remark might
>end up being "outed" into the print world by someone else.  In some cases
>it might be perfectly clear that the statement to be quoted
>is uncontroversial and consistent with its author's printed opinions
>or both, but in general I would say:  get permission.  E-mail is not
>print, and the same rules (in my humble opinion, of course) don't apply.

=09I must apologize for initiating a tempest in a teapot over this
matter.  The material I posted is from another list (not original with me,
as James implied).  I posted it here simply because it has to do with the
medium which we employ on this list and felt it might be of general
interest.  Upon thinking more about the matter, I must say I do not
advocate quoting anyone's e-mail messages or e-mail posts without first
requesting permission in reference to the portion to be quoted.  What
Prof. Hobbs mentioned, by way of example: that he had been contacted for
permission to quote from his posts seems like a reassuring and courteous
protocol for anyone to follow who might want to cite some portion of an
e-mail message into some other medium.

David L. Moore                             Southeastern Spanish District
Miami, Florida                               of the  Assemblies of God
dvdmoore@dcfreenet.seflin.lib.fl.us           Department of Education


From: Roland Milanese <Romilan@intacc.web.net>
Date: Sun, 13 Aug 1995 22:08:09 DST
Subject: more on Jn 1:1c 

I would like to offer a few thoughts concerning the recent contribution by John
Albu, apparently a statement from the NWT translators defending their
translation of John 1:1c as  "the Word was a god." How should we translate
John 1:1c? A consideration of some of the major English translations indicates
a preference which apparently discounts the arguments offered by the NWT

KJV, NASV, NIV, JB: The Word was God

NEB: what God was, the Word was

John Albu has taken the time and trouble to e-mail us this lengthy text, and
the discussion offered in defence of the NWT does merit a response. I have
taken the bulk of this text and interspersed it with my objections,
concessions, and suggestions for clarification:

<Careful translators recognize that the articular construction of the noun points to an identity, a personality, whereas a singular anarthrous predicate noun preceding the verb points
to a quality about someone.>

objection: A singular anarthrous predicate noun, when referring to a person, does not always point to a QUALITY about that person. According to Colwell, definite predicate nouns which precede the verb usually
lack the article, and proper names regularly lack the article in the
predicate. See, for example, Jn19:21 "don't write HO BASILEUS of the Jews, but
that he said "BASILEUS EIMI of the Jews." The second occurrence of BASILEUS
must be regarded as being just as definite as the first occurrence.

<Therefore, John's statement that the Word or Logos was "a god" or "divine" or "godlike" does not mean that he was the God with whom he was.>

objection: The translation "a god" is a contradiction of the monotheistic
teaching of scripture.

objection: "godlike" is an insufficient translation because it is not
distinctive enough; specifically, it can be descriptive of various faithful
human beings, whereas the context of Jn 1:1-18 has the uniqueness of the Word
in view - the MONOGENHS Son of God.

concession: HO LOGOS is not HO QEOS of 1:1b

clarification: The logical argument for distinguishing the Word from HO QEOS
mentioned in 1:1b is from the use of PROS in 1:1b, which there indicates the
Word was separate from HO QEOS; furthermore, HO QEOS in 1:1b is to be
understood as God the Father.

<It merely expresses a certain quality about the Word, or Logos, but it does
not identify him as one and the same as God himself.>

clarification: It does not identify the Word as one and the same person as God
the Father.

<In the Greek text there are many cases of a singular anarthrous predicate noun
preceding the verb, such as in Mr 6:49; 11:32; Joh 4:19; 6:70; 8:44; 9:17;
10:1, 13, 33; 12:6. In these places translators insert the indefinite article
"a" before the predicate noun in order to bring out the quality or characteristic
of the subject. Since the indefinite  article is inserted before the predicate
noun in such texts, with equal justification the indefinite article "a" is
inserted before the anarthrous the.os' in the predicate of John 1:1 to make it
read "a god.">

objection: There is not logically equal justification unless every case of a
singular anarthrous predicate noun preceding the verb is translated with the
indefinite article "a" before the predicate noun: "many cases" does not equal
every case.

objection: The grammar of NT Greek is not fixed so rigidly, nor is its lexicon
so similar to English, as to be able to impose a single rule for the
interpretation and translation of every occurrence of a singular anarthrous
predicate noun.

objection: Even if no external evidence of grammatical ambiguity existed,
contextual considerations are the basis for the interpretion of any text; and
by the way, it is this basis which also allows for many of the creative and
innovative uses of language.

<The Sacred Scriptures confirm the correctness of this rendering.>

objection: No scriptural evidence is offered to support this claim. In fact,
the evidence is to the contrary: To say that the Word was "a god" violates the
immediate context, which presents the Word as the creator of all things. Nor
does it do justice to the gospel as a whole, which claims the same honor for
the Son as is given to the Father (5:23; 20:28). Nor does it honor the context
of scripture which teaches that there is one true god and that all other
so-called "gods" are idols (Is 43:10,11; 1Cor 8:4-6; 1Jn 5:20,21).

<In his article "Qualitative Anarthrous Predicate Nouns: Mark 15:39 and John
1:1," published in Journal of Biblical Literature, Vol. 92, Philadelphia,
1973, p. 85, Philip B.Harner said that such clauses as the one in John 1:1,
"with an anarthrous predicate preceding the verb, are primarily qualitative in
meaning. They indicate that the logos has the nature of theos. There is no
basis for regarding the predicate theos as definite." On p. 87 of his article,
Harner concluded: "In John 1:1 I think that the qualitative force of the
predicate is so prominent that the noun cannot be regarded as definite.">

comment: As far as translators are concerned, this should immediately raise
the question of how to best encode the quality of being QEOS into English.
Should we use a noun? If do, which noun? Moreover, qualities are described in
different ways in English. Consider, for example,the nouns honesty, virtue,
truth, kindness. If we wish to describe the qualities that a person has, we
could say "He is caracterized by honesty, virtue, truth, and kindness." But
more commonly we would use the adjective forms and say "He is honest,
virtuous, true, and kind."If we choose to use a noun to translate QEOS we must
choose one that is qualitative; otherwise we should probably choose an
adjective. One qualitative noun that we have in English is the word "deity,"
which, although it can can be a definite, concrete noun, properly corresponds
to the form of the abstract noun "humanity." The adjective "divine" is a
second possible translation choice. We might thus translate Jn 1:1c as "the
Word was deity" or "the Word was divine."

<Following is a list of instances in the gospels of Mark and John where 
various translators have rendered singular anarthrous predicate nouns 
occurring before the verb with an indefinite article to denote the 
indefinite and qualitative status of the subject nouns:>

objection: The list is not representative of the full story for at least two reasons.

First, the list overlooks instances where the indefinite article "a" is not
used in translation.

Second, the list simply reflects a generalization commonly made in Greek
grammars, in which different semantic constructs represented by singular
anarthrous predicate nouns tend not to be distinguished. For example, Zerwick
says, with reference to predicate nouns, that

<<the predicate commonly refers not to an individual or individuals as such, but to the class to which the subject belongs, to the nature or the quality predicated of the subject; e.g. Jo
1,1 ... which attributes to the Word the divine NATURE.>>

This general comment does not clearly distinguish between the ideas of class and quality. Membership in a class does not strictly denote a quality. Some anarthrous predicate
examples denote "one representative of a class/group of like things; one of
many who are together called Xs." In Jn 10:33, when we read SU ANQRWPWN WN
translated "you, who are a man," we understand "you who are one of many called
men." There is not a great difference between this and "you who are human." In
this case, to be a member of a class is to share the attributes that make the
class a class. However, when we read Ac 28:4 FONEUS ESTIN HO ANQRWPOS we
cannot translate "the man is murderous." The Barbarians suspect that Paul is
being punished because he is a murderer, one of many who are called murderers
because of their actions. So then, membership in a class does not strictly
denote a quality. And when we come to Jn 1:1c, shall we say that the Word is
one member of a class of beings who are called "gods?"

I don't think so, and neither did those translators who translated those
versions referred to above. Nevertheless, people interested in distributing
the Bible and other Christian literature could perhaps take a lesson from the
Watchtower Society, which makes available its literature at such low cost.

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From: Paul Moser <PMOSER@cpua.it.luc.edu>
Date: Mon, 14 Aug 95 10:37 CDT
Subject: Re: Papyrologists and alledged earliest Gospel fragm. 

Thiede's view has not found wide acceptance.  For an overview of
the debate and a somewhat sympathetic treatment, see O. Betz &
R. Riesner, *Jesus, Qumran, and the Vatican* (Crossroad, 1994).
One obvious problem is that Thiede has to change some of the
fragment's letters to get apparent agreement with Mark's gospel.
- --Paul Moser, Loyola University of Chicago.


From: Vincent Broman <broman@np.nosc.mil>
Date: Mon, 14 Aug 95 08:46:50 PDT
Subject: more Qumran scrolls?

Someone posted asking about a rumor that "more Dead Sea scrolls"
had been found.

In saturday's and sunday's paper I saw news stories that
reported that in the Qumran area more man-made caves had been found,
but the find had been kept secret until an excavation team of
archeologists were in place, so that plunderers would not scoop them.
The excavation should start this fall, and prompt publication was
promised.  The Israelis want to hurry the process so that discoveries
can be made before the area gets turned over to Palestinian control.
The Palestinians regard this as Israeli plundering of Palestinian
cultural artefacts.

Vincent Broman,  code 572 Bayside                        Email: broman@nosc.mil
Naval Command Control and Ocean Surveillance Center, RDT&E Div.
San Diego, CA  92152-6147,  USA                          Phone: +1 619 553 1641


From: "Carl W. Conrad" <cwconrad@artsci.wustl.edu>
Date: Mon, 14 Aug 1995 11:20:31 -0500
Subject: Re: Matt 16:13

At 12:26 AM 8/14/95, Kenneth Litwak wrote:
>  I'd appreciate a little help with the syntax of Mt 16:13.
>1.  Why is Tina used, instead of tis, given that the logical subject of a
>question would normally, I would  think, be in the nominative?
>2.  Should this be rendered "Whom do they say the Son of Man to be? ??
>3.  If einai is the verb which goes with ton (uion tou anthrwpou, is
>this a case of an accusative subject for an infinitive, or is it an
>excedption to the rule that eimi takes nominatives?
>Thanks in advance.

(1) TINA is used here because LEGOUSIN is here a verb governing the
indirect discourse/acc. + inf. construction. If the question had been
phrased directly, it  WOULD have been: TIS ESTIN hO hUIOS TOU
ANQRWPOU?--but here the big antiththesis is what OTHERS say of J's identity
and what the DISCIPLES say, so the construction is indirect discourse.
(2) You could translate it this way literally, but I'd say that's archaic
(I wish it weren't, but in fact nobody actually talks that way, and the
literal translation is altogether archaic in English; therefore: "Who do
they say the Son of Man is?" {I really think that the governing principle
on case of pronouns nowadays is: if it PRECEDES the verb, even if it's
technically the object of the verb, make it nominative; if  it FOLLOWS the
verb (even if it's technically speaking a predicate word), make it
accusative. Hence: "It is me." Does anybody still say, "It is I" in polite
(3) Yes, it is an instance of acc. subject of the infinitive.

Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics, Washington University
One Brookings Drive, St. Louis, MO, USA 63130
(314) 935-4018
cwconrad@artsci.wustl.edu  OR cwc@oui.com
WWW: http://www.artsci.wustl.edu/~cwconrad/


From: Kenneth Litwak <kenneth@sybase.com>
Date: Mon, 14 Aug 95 09:23:07 PDT
Subject: Did I miss anything? 

   Although I sent a message last night to this list, I determined that,
doubtless due to my system's flaky mail server, I was unsubscribed
during the last week apparently, so if you posted a response to my
question from yesterday, I didn't see it and won't, unless you can
resend it to me.  Thanks.

Ken Litwak
Bezerkley, CA


From: "Larry W. Hurtado" <hurtado@cc.umanitoba.ca>
Date: Mon, 14 Aug 1995 11:32:44 -0500 (CDT)
Subject: homoiomati anthropon genomenos

Working now on a short piece on Phil. 2:5-11, and required to produce my 
own translation, I'm wondering if others can help me in considering a 
novel, and possibly totally off-base translation option for v. 7--"en 
homoiomati anthropon geneomenos".  There are good reasons for the more 
common understanding, as "homoiomati" referring to a "likeness" of the 
human Jesus to other humans.  I'm wondering taking "en homoiomati 
anthropon" as modifying "genomenos" (taking "geneomenos" as = "born" as 
e.g., in Gal. 4:6).  That is, could "en homoimati anthropon" mean "being 
born in human manner/fashion"??  

Larry Hurtado, Religion, Univ. of Manitoba


From: YOUNG@cstcc.cc.tn.us
Date: Mon, 14 Aug 1995 13:22:09 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Re: Colwell Rule

Dear Friends,
    Permit me to respond to Eric Weiss' post of 10 August mentioning
my treatment of the Colwell Rule to John 1:1.  One problem in applying
the Colwell Rule as I noted on page 65 (*Intermediate NT Greek*) is
to determine when a noun is definite.  The Colwell Rule must have this
information in order to work; the Rule does not itself establish that
a noun is definite as Paul Dixon has clearly articulated.  To attempt
to establish QEOS is definite solely on the basis of the Colwell Rule
is an abuse of the Rule.

    First, I suggested (p. 66), and this could be contested, that QEOS
is definite because it was thought of by the early Christian community
as monadic.  I find this especially appealing since much of the 
primitive Christian thought was informed by Jewish thought (cf. Deut.

    Second, the position of QEOS before the verb HN is probably due to
its being fronted.  This clause initial position gives special emphasis
to QEOS that it would not have if it were in the clause final position.
The author is calling attention to Christ's deity and in so doing is
setting forth his theme that runs throughout the book.

    Third, we can apply the Colwell Rule (Definite predicate nominatives
do not have articles when preceding the verb) to confirm that the 
anarthrous QEOS does not mean the noun is non-differentiated, or one
of many of the same class (a god).  Of course, if QEOS were definite
in its own right (being monadic), then the Colwell Rule would be
unnecessary to show it is not non-differentiated.

    I fully realize that my proposal (which is partially based on
Kuehne's series of articles) presents a paradox of faith (the Word was
with God, and the Word was God).  It is questionable to think that we
MUST resolve all biblical paradoxes, especially those involving the
Godhead.  God is indeed a mystery.  But if a reasonable explanation
of some aspect is presented, then we should listen.  Thus I am very
open to the idea of the anarthrous QEOS being qualitative (a view I
taught for many years) and find Paul Dixson's four reasons (5/24/95
post) for a qualitative QEOS provocative and worthy of more study.

Richard A. Young

[Note: I am not actually a subscriber to B-Greek.  My wife is, and
she relays messages to me at Emory.  So my responses may be a little
slower than others.  Her email address is young@cstcc.cc.tn.us]


From: "Carl W. Conrad" <cwconrad@artsci.wustl.edu>
Date: Mon, 14 Aug 1995 13:34:56 -0500
Subject: Re: Papyrologists and alledged earliest Gospel fragm.

I cite some pieces of information that I got from Ioudaios-L postings
regarding this article from last spring:

Thiede's article on P64 has been reprinted (with corrections) in  _Tyndale
Bulletin_ 46 (1995): 'Papyrus Magdalen Greek 17 (Gregory-Aland  P64: A
Reappraisal'. The same volume includes an article by Philip W.  Comfort,
'Exploring the Common Identification of Three New Testament  Manuscripts:
P4, P64 and P67', and another article by Thiede, 'Notes on  P4'. A response
to Thiede is promised for the next issue (November,  1995).

Furthermore, I am asking for permission to post here the text of two
significant disscussions of the Thiede article that were posted to
Ioudaios-L in March and May of this year:

One is a note by Stuart Pickering, originally posted March 2, 1995 and with
the subject-heading: "Magdalen College Matthew." This was re-posted to
Ioudaios-L on May 21, 1995. The second is a rather thorough discussion by
Sigrid Petersen posted to Ioudaios-L on May 24, 1995. If I get permission I
shall re-post both of them here. Otherwise, those equipped with
web-browsers may find and read these on-line at:


Both of these discussions are skeptical of Thiede's dating of the papyrus.

Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics, Washington University
One Brookings Drive, St. Louis, MO, USA 63130
(314) 935-4018
cwconrad@artsci.wustl.edu  OR cwc@oui.com
WWW: http://www.artsci.wustl.edu/~cwconrad/


From: "Carl W. Conrad" <cwconrad@artsci.wustl.edu>
Date: Mon, 14 Aug 1995 13:52:35 -0500
Subject: Alleged earliest gospel fragment (long)

Here, cited with Sigrid Petersen's permission is her discussion of the
fragment and Thiede's argument regarding same, reposted from Ioudaios-L,
May 24, 1995:

Date: Wed, 24 May 1995 01:10:03 -0400 (EDT)
From: Sigrid Peterson <petersig@ccat.sas.upenn.edu>
To: ioudaios-l@lehigh.edu
Subject: Re: Matthew fragment
Message-ID: <199505240510.BAA16852@ccat.sas.upenn.edu>

The following "article" is Copyright 1995 Sigrid Peterson, all rights
reserved, and may be quoted only with permission of the author.

The following has been prepared without checking the corrections in
Thiede's article which has also been published in the Tyndale Bulletin. I
have appreciated the nudging from Dierdre Good, and the opportunity to
discuss Roberts's and Thiede's views with Dr. Robert Kraft.

- ----------------------------------------------------------------------
 I am writing in reply to Dierdre Good's nudging and to requests on
ioudaios-l for some (further) discussion of Carsten P. Thiede's
reassessment of three fragments of a manuscript of Matthew.

The fragments Thiede discusses are all from P. Magdalen Greek 17
(reclassified from P. Magdalen Greek 18), and are designated as {P}64 in
the list of codices in my Nestle-Aland 26 Greek-Latin NT. There it is dated
"ca. 200," in accordance with Colin Roberts's publication and redating of
the fragment, to be found in Harvard Theological Review 46, 1953, pp.
233-7, plate [HTR]. Thiede's article is called "Papyrus Magdalen Greek 17
(Gregory-Aland {P}64): A Reappraisal," and appears in Vol. 105 of
Zeitschrift fu%r Paleographie und Epigraphik, pp. 13-20, and Plate IX.


As I understand the varied news accounts, Thiede called a press conference
in December of 1994 to announce his forthcoming publication of a first
century c.e. fragment of the Gospel of Matthew in a German journal of
papyrology. The fragments were a) newly redated by paleography to the first
 century c.e., around 70 c.e.; b) contained a "stichometrically-plausible"
instance of the nomen sacrum IS in fr. 1, recto, line 1, Mt 26.31; and  c)
therefore, first century followers of Jesus thought of him as divine,  as
bearing a name requiring special treatment in gospel accounts.


In his article in ZPE, Thiede does not address the implications of his
redating and reconstructions of the {P}Magdalen Gr. 17 fragments. The
fragments Thiede discusses are all from P. Magdalen Greek 17 (reclassified
from P. Magdalen Greek 18), and are designated as {P}64 in the list of
codices in my Nestle-Aland 26 Greek-Latin NT. There it is dated "ca. 200,"
in accordance with Colin Roberts's publication and redating of the
fragment, to be found in Harvard Theological Review 46, 1953, pp. 233-7,
plate [HTR]. Thiede's article is called "Papyrus Magdalen Greek 17
(Gregory-Aland {P}64): A Reappraisal," and appears in Vol. 105 of
Zeitschrift fu%r Paleographie und Epigraphik, pp. 13-20, and Plate IX.

There is no argument or discussion in the ZPE article of point c) above.
Such a claim *does seem to have been made by Thiede in his press
conference, in some fashion. In turn, the media have omitted any critical
distinctions and said things like, "new papyrus fragment shows that
followers of Jesus knew he was divine."

Someone associated with ZPE responded to mention of the flap on the  papy-l
list by noting that Thiede had put together some material that deserved to
be aired. This is indeed the case. In the article Thiede confined himself
to the following points:

* The fragments comprising {P}64, formerly known as  {P}Magdalen Gr. 18,
and so listed in Van Haelst's <i>Catalogue</>, must be renumbered as Gr. 17
instead. Thiede's description of the error is not clear, but perhaps
relates to his request to view Gr. 18, which turned out to be a tiny
unrelated scrap. The Magdalen College Library now gives {P}64 the number
Gr. 17.

* {P}64 and {P}67 from Barcelona (P.Barc. inv. 1) are part of the same
manuscript, but this manuscript should not be linked with fragments of Luke
known from {P}4. Pickering thinks the association should not be abandoned
so quickly. {P}4 is  also known as P. Paris Bibl. Nat. Suppl. Gr. 1120. To
quote C. H. Roberts, "There can in my opinion be no doubt that all these
fragments come from the same codex which was reused as  packing for the
binding of the late third century codex of of Philo." [<b>Manuscript,
Society and Belief in Early Christian Egypt</>, Oxford University Press,
1979, p. 13.]

* Nestle-Aland has mislabeled the contents of the {P}Magdalen Gr. 17
fragments, which Roberts labeled correctly. It is a matter of Mt 26.31
appearing on a different fragment (fr. 1,  recto) from Mt 26.32-33 (fr. 2,
recto). Verso listings are  correct.

* Four variant readings, most of which Stuart Pickering has discussed more
adequately than Thiede. However, the scribal error of GALEGLAIAN for
GALEILAIAN, `Galilean,' of Roberts (1953) is reported by Thiede to have
been misprinted in Roberts (1962) [`Complementary Note,' in R. Roca-Puig,
Un Papiro Griego del Evangelio de San Mateo, Barcelona\2/1962, 59-60.] This
 transcription reads, as Thiede reports, GALIGLAIAN, to  which Roberts
added a note "`v.33, vel GALEILAIAN." Thiede transcribed GALEGLAIAN (op.
cit., p. 20). In discussing  the article with Robert Kraft, he mentioned
that it was  apparent that the papyrus does *not* have a gamma before the
lambda, but rather an iota. Close attention to the  photos of Roberts
(1953) indicates that what has been taken as a crossbar to a gamma is
probably a flaw in the papyrus, and only the vertical line (of an iota)
should be read.

* Thiede gives the history of dating the fragment, starting with its
acquisition by the Rev. Charles B. Huleatt at Luxor in 1901. Huleatt
suggested third century; a librarian reported that  A. S. Hunt thought the
fourth c. was more likely. Hunt, together with Grenfell, assigned
manuscripts which came from codices to third century or later. Roberts
(1953) dared to question this, and reassigned {P}64 to ca. 200, based on
paleography. Roberts (1953) announced that he had obtained the agreement on
the dating of Bell, Skeat, and Turner, major names in paleography of Greek
manuscripts. As Pickering notes, Thiede does not say *why* these notables
were incorrect in their collective paleographical  judgment as to the date
of {P}64.

* Thiede omits to note that {P}64 is clearly in two columns; he obscures
this in his transcription, though the accompanying plate is similar to
Roberts (1953) in presentation. Roberts (1953) in contrast notes the
two-column format, and clearly labels his transcription according to

* Thiede argues that *new* papyri, published since Roberts (1953) allow the
consideration of an earlier date. He mentions  the Greek Minor Prophets
Scroll, now called 8HevXIIgr, published in DJD VIII, Ed. by E. Tov, 1990,
paleographically dated by P. Parsons. Thiede also mentions texts from
Herculaneum (until 79 c.e. -- the eruption of Vesuvius) and a recent
publication  (Kim, Biblica, 1988) that lowers the date of Bodmer-Chester
Beatty papyrus II ({P} 46) from ca. 200 to ca. 100 c.e.   He then adduces
likenesses of individual letters to these  early papyri from various parts
of the Mediterranean. As  Stuart Pickering indicated, most of this work is
unsound in its reliance solely on individual letter forms. I would add that
Thiede sees resemblances between serifed letters from serif-style mss  and
'plain' letters from {P}64, where the overall style is also lacking in
serifs or other ornamentation.

A sound investigation of the possibility of redating an individual ms would
assemble a group of related ms wihout regard to their date, and then
attempt to place the specific ms within a series of mss. This is a method
which has led to good results with  the paleographical dating of the
Hebrew-Aramaic mss of the Dead Sea. Where there are few examples, as with
the Greek mss of the Dead Sea, precise paleographical comparisons cannot be
made, and dating is very hazardous. This is the case with the Greek Minor
Prophets Scroll (8HevXIIgr). To use this ms as a basis for dating another
ms, as Thiede has done, is to compound the unreliability of paleographical
dating. In contrast to the method I have  sketched, Thiede appears to have
proceeded by assembling  materials which *might* be datable to the first
century, and  then found individual letter forms from the Matthew fragments
which are not unlike letter forms in his samples chosen only by their date.
Such a method as Thiede's does not have what  scientists call "face
validity." There is no reason to think  that the the investigator has been
striving for objectivity,  when the methodology is so closely related to
the results obtained.

While the initial methodological error of A. S. Hunt with  respect to
dating {P}64 - the Matthew fragments - occurred  because he and Grenfell
believed that codices did not appear until the third century (Roberts,
1953:234), codicological  information is important and relevant. No one
disputes that these fragments come from a codex. Eric G. Turner's
investigation  of the codex in <b>The Typology of the Early Codex</>,
University of Pennsylvania Press, 1977, sets a lower bound for codex
development as the second century c.e. (p. 4), based on the dating of
"Christian" materials, with Greek literary codices becoming prevalent a
century later. Thiede does not call for, nor address, the implications of
his findings for codicology. Should Turner's dates for codices be lowered?
Thiede does not say.

* Thiede concludes his argumentation with a discussion of <italics> nomina
sacra</>. He argues that Kim's lowered dating of {P}46, which has clear
<i>nomina sacra</>, supports Roberts's speculations that <i>nomina sacra</>
were used in the first century c.e. Roberts did not redate his list of
early papyri to support his contention, however. [Source is C. H. Roberts,
<b>Manuscript, Society and Belief in Earliest Christian Europe</>, Oxford
Univ. Press, 1979.] This material is included because Roberts (1953) and
Thiede (1995) both reconstruct <i>nomina sacra</> in unclear or missing
portions of the fragments of {P}64. Whereas Roberts (1953) is
methodologically within bounds in reconstructing <i>nomina sacra</> for a
date of ca. 200 c.e., because a fair amount of other evidence exists to
support the practice, Thiede (1995) is methodologically less  secure in
reconstructing <i>nomina sacra</> for a date around 70  c.e., since he
relies on their plain existence only in Kim's  redating of {P}46 (Bodmer

Both the media presentation of I above, and Thiede's article in ZPE depend
on the perception of <i>nomina sacra</> in the text of these fragments of
Matthew 26, and specifically on the <i>nomen sacrum</> IS for


Thiede contributes greater precision to the specification of {P}64, as {P}
Magdalen Gr. 17, rather than Gr. 18.  He notes Roberts's (1962) changed
reading of GALEGLAIAN to GALIGLAIAN, or perhaps GALEILAIAN, which is
helpful, as the source is not widely available. However, he still reads
GALEGLAIAN in his own transcription. While he notes the relationship with
the fragments in Barcelona, he did not obtain photos and include them in
his argument. He also provides no reason for dropping {P}4 - the Paris Luke
fragment which Roberts (1979) assigned to the same ms.

His redating on paleographical grounds is seriously flawed in four ways.
First, he does not indicate how four great paleographers could all concur
on a lowered redating of the Matthew fragments to a date ca. 200 and still
be in error. Second, he compares letters in these fragments from Egypt
[Luxor is purchase place, hand compares with {P}4, from Philo codex
binding] with material from Herculaneum in Italy (that may be from ca. 40
b.c.e. on provenance grounds, with a terminus ad quem of 79 c.e.) and from
Qumran in The Land, and from elsewhere in the wilderness of the Dead Sea
(NaHal Hever). Third, he compares individual letters without an
appreciation of the characteristics of their formation or the hands of
which they are a part. Fourth, his assembly of mss for comparisons is not
a coherent set, and was apparently chosen primarily as a group of mss
which *could* be dated in the first century c.e., regardless of their
other features.

Thiede did not recognize that a two-column codex such as {P} 64 -- Magdalen
Gr. 17 -- has no similarly-constructed examples with which to  be compared.
He does not recognize the need to provide some explanation  for the
appearance of a two-column codex at least a century earlier than  all other
examples of two-column codices. See Turner, op. cit.

Finally, Thiede (1995) and Roberts (1953) both transcribed the fragments as
 thought they contained <i>nomina sacra</>, and as though the use of
<i>nomina sacra</> was not restricted to <gr>KURIOS, KURIE</>, or
<gr>QEOS, QEOU</>, but rather extended to abbreviations of <gr>IHSOUS</>.
However, and I must state this emphatically, there is no visible support
for reconstructing <gr>nomina sacra</> of IS or IH. That is to say, almost
no ink-papyrus combination exists for the areas where these have been
indicated. In working out the stichometry, using the available text of
Matthew 26 in the relevant verses, I was able to supply alternative lines
in every case where Thiede proposed abbreviation or suspension (use of
first and last letters), except for the proposed use of letters instead of
a word to signify the number 12. There, I agree, the stichometry (line
length) is such that IB (Greek letters standing for 12) must be read. This
was also Roberts's (1953) transcription.

Specifically, in the case of Fr. 2, verso (Mt 26.10), Thiede reconstructs a
first line as
             __        <gr> [oISeipenau]t[o]i[sti]    16-letter stich

There are at least two problems with this reconstruction. First, the
column is missing both beginning letters and ending letters. Second,  there
are no letters on papyrus for this line. At most, there are two dots, which
might be the bottoms of letters, and if they are the bottoms of letters,
those letters just might be the indicated t and i of Thiede's line 1.

In the case of Fr. 3, recto (Mt 26.22-23) both Thiede and Roberts
reconstruct a line with KE, for <gr>KURIE</> of "Is it I, Lord." Thiede
               .. .     <gr>[eimi]KEod[eapokri]</>   15-letter stich

That there is a line of text here in the papyrus is apparent. What it might
contain is not at all clear. The only clear line follows, with both
beginning and end of the stich missing. The possibilities for
reconstruction are numerous; Thiede's line is not supported by the
miscellaneous ink in various spots on the line.

In the case of Fr. 1, recto (Mt 26.31) many might argue that the name
<gr>IHSOUS</> *must* be suspended, using IH, or abbreviated, using IS, in
order for the line lengths to come out right. I would point out that we
have a line clearly beginning <gr>autoiso.....</> and a following line that
is 16 letters long, (Thiede counted 17) consisting of one word,
<gr>skandalisqhsesqe</>, with the words following in the text appearing  on
the line below. The text we now have suggests that the first line  would
read <gr>autoisoiesouspanteshumeis</> for an impossible 25  letters.

Thiede suggested <gr>autoiso[ISpantes]</>         at 15 letters.
I suggest that   <gr>autoiso[iesouspantes<gr>     at 19 letters is

This possibility exists because the word <gr>autois</> extends into the
margin by one letter, and the following five letters occupy the space taken
by only four in the following line. This would mean that a line of  19
letters would come out no longer than a line of 16 or 17 letters, yet could
still contain the name <gr>IHSOUS</> written out. Something has to be done
to fit the first line into the column. That it has to be done using an
abbreviation or suspension of <gr>IHSOUS</> is not automatically the case.

It is a plausible solution, however, for a manuscript considered in
relationship with other two-column codices and other manuscripts containing
 <i>nomina sacra</>, which Thiede does not do.


Thiede's 1995 article suggests a lowered date for {P}64 -- P. Magdalen Gr.
17 -- by arguments which are methodologically unsound. His further argument
that there are <italics>nomina sacra</> used in place of <gr>IHSOUS</> and
<gr>KURIE</> is an extremely flimsy one. These fragments of papyrus do not
witness directly to the reconstructions with recognizable inked letters on
physical papyrus. The layout of visible letters in one case supports
Thiede's (and Roberts's) observation that the text contains Greek letters
which represent the numeral 12, rather than the Greek word for 12. In the
other cases, other plausible reconstructions of the lines are also
possible. In the absence of more data, such as the Barcelona fragments
might provide, these fragments do not provide any firm evidence for the
existence of <i>nomina sacra</> in either Roberts's date of ca. 200, or
Thiede's 1st century dating.

Sigrid Peterson   UPenn   petersig@ccat.sas.upenn.edu

Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics, Washington University
One Brookings Drive, St. Louis, MO, USA 63130
(314) 935-4018
cwconrad@artsci.wustl.edu  OR cwc@oui.com
WWW: http://www.artsci.wustl.edu/~cwconrad/


End of b-greek-digest V1 #823


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