JiscMail Logo
Email discussion lists for the UK Education and Research communities

Help for MEDIEVAL-RELIGION Archives


MEDIEVAL-RELIGION Archives

MEDIEVAL-RELIGION Archives


MEDIEVAL-RELIGION@JISCMAIL.AC.UK


View:

Message:

[

First

|

Previous

|

Next

|

Last

]

By Topic:

[

First

|

Previous

|

Next

|

Last

]

By Author:

[

First

|

Previous

|

Next

|

Last

]

Font:

Proportional Font

LISTSERV Archives

LISTSERV Archives

MEDIEVAL-RELIGION Home

MEDIEVAL-RELIGION Home

MEDIEVAL-RELIGION  September 1998

MEDIEVAL-RELIGION September 1998

Options

Subscribe or Unsubscribe

Subscribe or Unsubscribe

Log In

Log In

Get Password

Get Password

Subject:

Re: A Brief History of the Bible - 3 (comments)

From:

[log in to unmask] (Robert Kraft)

Reply-To:

[log in to unmask]

Date:

Wed, 30 Sep 1998 15:52:57 -0400 (EDT)

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (165 lines)

Just a few, mostly technical, comments to Bill East's 3rd installment:
 
> A Brief History of the Bible - 3
> 
> Hello again on this feast of St Jerome, doyen of biblical scholars!  And
> thanks to Carolyn for her very helpful remarks about his work in today's
> posting.
> 
> If you look at the critical apparatus of an edition of the Greek Bible - Old
> or New Testament - you will find that the editor has consulted a large
> number of manuscripts, which will be listed in the following order:  
> 
> 1, Papyri, indicated by the sigla p1, p2, p3, p4 etc.  These tend to be
> quite early in the tradition - third or fourth centuries of the Christian era.

Actually, the "p#" siglum is used for NT but not for LXX/OG. For the
latter, numerical designations have been assigned by the Goettingen LXX
project in the range 800-900, and in Psalms, 1000-1299 and 2000 and up
(with some confusion; Rahlfs edited Psalms very early in the project). 
Thus the papyrus fragments of an early Greek roll of Leviticus among the
Dead Sea Scrolls (4QLXXLev\b) are number 802 in the standard Goettingen
designation.

On the dating, there are a significant number of papyri both for NT and
for Jewish scriptures that predate the 3rd century ce. For convenient, if
slightly out of date now, lists and brief descriptions, see J. van Haelst,
<t>Catalogue des Papyrus Litte/raires Juifs et Chre/tiens</> (Sorbonne
1976). He lists about 40 examples dated paleographically up to about the
year 200 ce, most of which are "biblical."

> 2, Uncials, i.e. Vellum codices in the Uncial ("inch high") script, a large,
> clear script.  

The terms "uncial" and "majuscule" tend to get used interchangeably. Most
of the papyri are also in "uncial" lettering (seperate letters, as in hand
printing as opposed to script-flow). The distinction here is not in the
style of writing, but the size of codex. Prior to the 4th century, the
extant MSS and fragments contain a single book, or perhaps a small
collection of books (e.g. minor prophets, or letters of Paul, or two
gospels); from the 4th century onward, there are numerous "large-scale"
codices such as are described below. Most are on parchment or vellum
(specially treated leather), although some large papyri codices also
survive from this period. 

> The earliest of these is of the fourth century.  Most of
> these are indicated by Roman letters - A, B, C, D, etc.  When the Roman
> letters run out, they are denoted by Greek letters, and then when the Greek
> letters run out, by numbers beginning with zero - 046, 047 etc.  

The convention of starting such designations with "0" is not, to my
knowledge, used in LXX/OG studies. Some upper case Roman letters do
multiple service, designating different uncial MSS in different books or
sections of LXX/OG (few LXX/OG MSS contain the entire collection of Jewish
scriptures); upper case Greek letters are also used; and also a few normal
arabic numbers (e.g. 13, 23, 27, 39, 43, 156, 188, etc. according to
Jellicoe's <t>Septuagint and Modern Study</> (Clarendon 1968). It can be
quite confusing at times, partly because of the way such designations have
developed (or not) over the centuries of textcritical study.

> One of the
> most significant uncials is usually denoted by the Hebrew letter Aleph, or
> alternatively by the Roman letter S.  I shall have to use S, as my e-mail
> facility isn't very good at Hebrew letters.

Codex Sinaiticus, that is.

> 
> 3, Minuscules.  The minuscule script is medieval in origin, and most of the
> minuscules cited in the apparatus before me are 12th century in origin,
> though some are 10th or 11th, and some are later.  Minuscules are denoted by
> a number: 1, 2, 3, 4 . . .  2321, 2322.  There are quite a lot of these.

"Minuscule" and "cursive" are usually interchanged, and refer to
relatively smaller letters (like our "lower case")  that are often joined
(ligatured) within words. Indeed, word division, which is rare in the
majuscules, becomes more normal in the minuscules, which seldom date
before the 9th century (about the same time that the use of papyri was
being replaced by paper) -- although non-literary use of "cursive" writing
goes way back in documentary papyri, etc.

> 
> After these primary witnesses, the editor may consult ancient versions (such
> as the Latin versions), lectionaries, quotations in the Fathers, early
> printed editions.
> 
> The number of witnesses cited may run into many hundreds, but a quite small
> number of the really significant ones will be the real basis of the text.
> Rahlfs' edition of the Septuagint is based mainly on "B" (Codex Vaticanus),
> "S" [ = Aleph] (Codex Sinaiticus), and "A" (Codex Alexandrinus).

Rahlfs is a step towards a truly comprehensive critical edition, for which
the various volumes of the Goettingen LXX should be consulted. Another
point worth making here is the attempt by textual editors to group related
MSS so that a single siglum represents many itentical witnesses (e.g. 
<italic>O</> designates the reading found in a number of "Origenic"
[influenced by Origen's work] MSS in the Goettingen volumes). So one needs
not only to be aware of individual MS sigla, but also of "families." 

> 
> I have it in mind to mention the more important manuscripts, in
> chronological order, not of their creation, but in the order in which they
> became known to scholars and so became an influence on the text of our
> modern bibles.  This may seem an odd way of doing things, but it will save
> me doing it all over at a later stage.
> 
> The earliest printed Bibles were Jewish editions of the Hebrew Scriptures.
> I regret that my knowledge of them is confined to what is said in the
> Cambridge History of the Bible, vol.3, p. 48ff., to which I refer those who
> are interested.
> 
> The first printed edition of the Greek New Testament was published by
> Erasmus in March 1516.  Actually it was a close run thing, for Cardinal
> Ximenes was at the time working on a far grander project, the 'Complutensian
> Polyglot' at the University he had founded at Alcalá ("Complutum" is the
> Latin for Alcalá - God knows how).  This edition printed the Hebrew, Latin
> and Septuagint in parallel columns.  The editors wrote:  'We have placed the
> Latin translation of Blessed Jerome as though between the synagogue and the
> Eastern Church, placing them like the two thieves one on each side, and
> Jesus, that is the Roman or Latin Church, between them.'  (!!!)
> 
> The first printed edition of the whole Bible was the Aldine Press edition of
> 1518/19. This consisted of an edition of the Septuagint by Andreas Asolanus,
> established from manuscripts in Cardinal Bessarion's collection in the
> library of St Mark at Venice, together with Erasmus's edition of the NT.
> 
> Neither Erasmus nor Ximenes offered what we would regard as a critical text.

At some point, it might be useful to note that "critical text" can mean at
least two rather different things -- "diplomatic" reproduction of a valued
MS (or family)  with extensive notes on other readings; "eclectic"
composition drawing the supposedly "best" readings from wherever they may
be found (including controlled conjecture), and listing alternatives in
the notes. Most of our most respected editions tend to be eclectic, but
not without a fight! (Goettingen editions of LXX/OG are eclectic, while
the "Larger Cambridge Septuagint" of a century ago was diplomatic).

> Erasmus was no great shakes as a textual critic, and he knew only a few
> late, minuscule MSS.  The Complutensian editors used MSS obtained from the
> Vatican library, the library of St Mark at Venice, and from the private
> collection of Ximenes.  What they did not use was the best biblical MS in
> the Vatican library, the Codex Vaticanus, usually designated as "B".  We'll
> discuss that MS next time.
> 
> Bill.

Good Luck to us! It is a challenge to arrive at a balanced view of the
textually heterogeneous collection of works that comes down to us in any
of the great 4th/5th century codices! What an often overlooked impact the
technological transition from rolls to small codices to the great codices
had on these issues! But that's all part of the educational task, so let's
press onward. 

Again, with great appreciation for these efforts, and hopes that this 
nuancing of some of the information will prove helpful.

Bob
-- 
Robert A. Kraft, Religious Studies, University of Pennsylvania
227 Logan Hall (Philadelphia PA 19104-6304); tel. 215 898-5827
[log in to unmask]
http://ccat.sas.upenn.edu/rs/rak/kraft.html


%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%

Top of Message | Previous Page | Permalink

JiscMail Tools


RSS Feeds and Sharing


Advanced Options


Archives

August 2019
July 2019
June 2019
May 2019
April 2019
March 2019
February 2019
January 2019
December 2018
November 2018
October 2018
September 2018
August 2018
July 2018
June 2018
May 2018
April 2018
March 2018
February 2018
January 2018
December 2017
November 2017
October 2017
September 2017
August 2017
July 2017
June 2017
May 2017
April 2017
March 2017
February 2017
January 2017
December 2016
November 2016
October 2016
September 2016
August 2016
July 2016
June 2016
May 2016
April 2016
March 2016
February 2016
January 2016
December 2015
November 2015
October 2015
September 2015
August 2015
July 2015
June 2015
May 2015
April 2015
March 2015
February 2015
January 2015
December 2014
November 2014
October 2014
September 2014
August 2014
July 2014
June 2014
May 2014
April 2014
March 2014
February 2014
January 2014
December 2013
November 2013
October 2013
September 2013
August 2013
July 2013
June 2013
May 2013
April 2013
March 2013
February 2013
January 2013
December 2012
November 2012
October 2012
September 2012
August 2012
July 2012
June 2012
May 2012
April 2012
March 2012
February 2012
January 2012
December 2011
November 2011
October 2011
September 2011
August 2011
July 2011
June 2011
May 2011
April 2011
March 2011
February 2011
January 2011
December 2010
November 2010
October 2010
September 2010
August 2010
July 2010
June 2010
May 2010
April 2010
March 2010
February 2010
January 2010
December 2009
November 2009
October 2009
September 2009
August 2009
July 2009
June 2009
May 2009
April 2009
March 2009
February 2009
January 2009
December 2008
November 2008
October 2008
September 2008
August 2008
July 2008
June 2008
May 2008
April 2008
March 2008
February 2008
January 2008
December 2007
November 2007
October 2007
September 2007
August 2007
July 2007
June 2007
May 2007
April 2007
March 2007
February 2007
January 2007
December 2006
November 2006
October 2006
September 2006
August 2006
July 2006
June 2006
May 2006
April 2006
March 2006
February 2006
January 2006
December 2005
November 2005
October 2005
September 2005
August 2005
July 2005
June 2005
May 2005
April 2005
March 2005
February 2005
January 2005
December 2004
November 2004
October 2004
September 2004
August 2004
July 2004
June 2004
May 2004
April 2004
March 2004
February 2004
January 2004
December 2003
November 2003
October 2003
September 2003
August 2003
July 2003
June 2003
May 2003
April 2003
March 2003
February 2003
January 2003
December 2002
November 2002
October 2002
September 2002
August 2002
July 2002
June 2002
May 2002
April 2002
March 2002
February 2002
January 2002
December 2001
November 2001
October 2001
September 2001
August 2001
July 2001
June 2001
May 2001
April 2001
March 2001
February 2001
January 2001
December 2000
November 2000
October 2000
September 2000
August 2000
July 2000
June 2000
May 2000
April 2000
March 2000
February 2000
January 2000
December 1999
November 1999
October 1999
September 1999
August 1999
July 1999
June 1999
May 1999
April 1999
March 1999
February 1999
January 1999
December 1998
November 1998
October 1998
September 1998
August 1998
July 1998
June 1998
May 1998
April 1998
March 1998
February 1998
January 1998
December 1997
November 1997
October 1997
September 1997
August 1997
July 1997
June 1997
May 1997
April 1997
March 1997
February 1997
January 1997
December 1996
November 1996
October 1996
September 1996
August 1996
July 1996
June 1996
May 1996
April 1996


JiscMail is a Jisc service.

View our service policies at https://www.jiscmail.ac.uk/policyandsecurity/ and Jisc's privacy policy at https://www.jisc.ac.uk/website/privacy-notice

Secured by F-Secure Anti-Virus CataList Email List Search Powered by the LISTSERV Email List Manager