[b-greek] Re: Original NT in Greek?

From: John Lupia (jlupia2@excite.com)
Date: Wed Apr 25 2001 - 19:05:44 EDT

John N. Lupia
501 North Avenue B-1
Elizabeth, New Jersey 07208-1731 USA


In Response to Mr. Jack Kilmon:

You said:
> >Roberts also published on P67 (Barcelona), 2 fragments containing
> >of
> >Mt 3 and 5 from the same scribe and codex. Another portion of this same
> >codex is P4 in
> >Paris, also obtained in Luxor.

Let me begin my response by providing a little background to the

A curious find occurred when in 1889 during an excavation at Koptos, modern
Quft in Upper Egypt, Pere Vincent Scheil discovered a papyrus codex of Philo
Judaeus dating to the third century. However, in the leather binding the
padding was found to consist of papyrus fragments from an older roll. These
turned out to be from Luke's Gospel, and obviously predate the codex by at
least a century. See P. Vincent Scheil, "Archéologie, Varia," RB 1 (1892):

First, you said P4 was discovered at Luxor. A very serious blunder and
impossible to reconcile with your clever insinuation that you actually
personally physically examined under microscope P4 at Paris, nonetheless P64
at Oxford and P67 at Barcelona.

Second, Fr. Scheil never mentions the simult discovery in this binding of
P64/67. You have now completely left the realm of credibility. However,
your saying that Roberts has made this as an assertion that P64/67 were part
of the stuffing in this binding would make the late renown Colin Henderson
Roberts, M.A. (Oxon.), F.B.A.,(1909-1990) look like the most irrational and
grossly incompetent lying papyrologists of all time. The actual citation
for Roberts is, which you never gave (very unprofessional by the way) :
Manuscripts, Society and Belief in Early Christian Egypt (Schweich Lectures
1977, Oxford 1979) 13, cf. 8n. 1. Roberts back in 1977 parroted Aland's
then 9 year old 1966 thesis, and totaly unaware skipped over his
reservations cited in Studien zur Überlieferung des NT und seines Texts
(Berlin, 1967), and further parroted in response to J. van Haelst (whom I
also cited in my previous posting) who just a few months before had
published his book at Paris. Roberts blind to his omissions perpetuated his
own mistakes in the book he co-authored with Skeat (1983) already cited by
me. Uncritically, this was, unfortunately, taken up by Philip W. Comfort ,
The Quest for the Original Text of the NT (Grand Rapids, 1992) 81-83.
Theide gives his reasons for rejecting them on pages 68-69. However, most
especially, Comfort retracted his belief that P4 formed a group with P64/67
in his article: "Exploring the Common Identification of Three Manuscripts:
P4, P64, and P67," Tyndale Bull. 46.1 (1995) 43-54.

Third, The completely exhaustive bibliography for P4 cited by K. Aland
Repertorium der Griechischen Christlichen Papyri I. Biblische Papyri
(Berlin, 1976) 219-220 never cites anything published by Colin H. Roberts.
Aber, auf die seite 219 Aland gesagt: " . . .bis auf Formatrekonstruktion
gröBte Ähnlichkeit mit P64 u P67" Conversely, Pere Vincent Scheil is never
cited under either P64 nor P67.

Moreover, You said:

> Besides Colin Roberts who knows these fragments intimately, I have
>examined each myself.  The letters on all three papyri are shaped and
stroked >*identically!!*  Roberts states that ALL THREE are part of the same
codex >used as stuffing for the binding of a late 3rd century  Philo codex.
 Its true that >in 1965 Aland listed them all as part of the same codex but
he never gave a >reason for listing them separately afterward.  For a
complete history of this >situation, see Comfort and Barrett Pgs 33-61.

I rest my case. However, to satisfy the scholars on the list I will
continue to respond to the very statements you make.

First, it was Peter Weigant who first made the suggestion that P4 be grouped
with P64/67, as I already gave notice to in my previous posting.

Second, Aland DID give an explanation about the similarities which is what
the 1966 (not 1965) paper was about !!!!

In regards to the Comfort and Barrett citation again refer to Comforts
retraction cited above (1995). Moreover, a little background is in order
for the uninitiated:

D.C. Parker wrote a very negative and critical review published online in
the very fine ejournal Text Criticism. This was followed up by the two
author's reply to Parker's criticisms. I would like to add that they say
they did examine P4 at Paris twice for a period that adds up to 5 days. I
believe THEM unlike others who'd have us believe they are on their level.

D.C. Parker's review of Philip W. Comfort and David P. Barrett, eds. The
Complete Text of the Earliest New Testament Manuscripts. Grand Rapids:
Baker, 1999. Pp. 652 + 41 plates. ISBN 0-8010-2136-7. US $49.99.

The full text is found online in the ejournal TC the pertinent citation I
give completely cited below:

First, as a preliminary comment, I point out Parker's critique numbered 6.
The entire text of it goes beyond the P4/64/67 argument but is very a propos
since it opens up to scrutiny their methods and thoughts of how they group
together other papyri 49/65 rather blithely. Even the recent suggestion by
Handley regarding P77/103 in W. E. H. Cockle, editor, P. Oxy LXV (London,
1997), was taken as matter of fact, belies a slipshod manner of scholarship.
I'd like to further point out that Parker failed to pick up the fact that
Comfort (1997) retracted his 1995 retraction about P4/64/67.

Second, the appropriate texts you say are: "see Comfort and Barrett Pgs
whereas the citations below clearly identify the appropriate texts as page
85. The credence you deserve at this point is no longer even moot.

Third, after all is said and done, WHO is the ONE that has National Enquirer
scholarship???? Certainly not my colleague Peter Carsten Theide.

"What a tangled web we weave, when at first we deceive!!!!"

6. The precise number of separate papyri continues a matter of debate. Quite
properly, Comfort treats 4/64/67 as a single entity. But not all
identifications have been generally accepted. That 15 and 16 have the same
scribe is a matter which has been debated. Comfort believes that they belong
together. Unfortunately, he only says that 'a close study reveals their
common identity' (p. 85). Without properly set out grounds for the view, one
is not able to refute it properly. The plate of 16 is not terribly good,
and, if the hand is the same as that of 15, then the two photographs must be
to different scales, so one is not much the wiser from the information
provided. This question will have to be looked at separately. There is a
little more detail when we come to 49/65. I remain to be convinced, however,
that these two leaves share a common scribe. Alpha is quite different in
appearance and formation, and that alone should give one pause for thought.
It is a pity that there is no beta in 65 for comparison with the small bowed
form in 49. However, there is no room here for a proper comparison, which
again will need to be undertaken elsewhere, so I content myself with
declaring the matter sub iudice. The identity of 77 and 103 (P. Oxy.
64.4403), considered possible by the editors of this recent Oxyrhynchus
volume (Handley et al., eds. 1997: 6), is affirmed as 'far more likely than
not' (p. 599) by Comfort, who brings textual as well as palaeographical
evidence into play.

Rest in Peace,

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