Bob sent me the following privately, which was kind of him. I post it
since the record should be set as straight as we can in our current state
of ignorance, and not get skewed by over-interpretations of insufficient
>You wrote, among other things, regarding the book of Revelation:
> > there was an extensive effort to exclude it, esp after the montanists in
> > the mid 2nd cn. it is actually excluded from most surviving copies of the
> > NT in greek from the 4th to the 12th cns. and has virtually no role in the
> > greek orthodox liturgy, as opposed to a more prominent one in the latin.
>This is a very deceptive claim, at best, and probably flat out incorrect.
>Very few manuscripts containing more than a section of NT books have
>survived; indeed, the heyday for mega-codices of "the bible" was the 4th
>and 5th centuries, which produced Vaticanus (B), Sinaiticus (Aleph),
>Alexandrinus (A), and Ephraimi rescriptus (C). All of these include
>Revelation, except B, which is mutilated at the end. The only other Greek
>manuscript of which I am aware that includes the remainder of the NT but
>not Revelation is Psi from the 8th-9th century (Athos).
i acknowledge my largely second-hand knowledge in this matter, and those
statements wd footnote to secondary sources. if any one has more
information, or further reflections both on the mss. issue, and on the
liturgical one, i'd greatly appreciate hearing about it.
>There are some manuscripts that contain Acts and the letters but not
>Revelation or the Gospels, mostly from the 8th-9th century. One of these
>also includes Revelation (but not the Gospels), namely "P" = Porfirianus.
>Someone might argue that Revelation has been excluded from the others, but
>then so have the Gospels!
or: revelation falls thru the cracks btwn collections of the gospels and
collections of the letters. Has anyone looked closely at the codicological
dossier on revelation? i know that in medieval (esp early medieval codices,
revelation does not consistently appear at the end of the text, but in
about 25% of the cases, is sprinkled thruout the NT canon.
>Of course, there were debates over Revelation, as Eusebius clearly attests
>(among others). Before the 4th century, there was no developed technology
>for collecting all "NT" writings under one cover,
not clear what you mean.
>so our evidence for the
>earlier period comes from lists, discussions, etc., not from actual
what's the relationship btwn the two? how close or far from the ms record
does the theological and liturgical evidence bring us?
>After the 5th century, few manuscripts have
>survived that contain more than a portion of the NT. Perhaps I'm missing
>something, but I don't see how your statement (above) can be supported
>from the manuscript evidence.
agreed. i return to agnosticism on the subject. what about a symposium on
the codicology of early xn and jewish millennial texts -- Revelation,
Baruch, Irenaeus, Barnabas, some of the Qumran.