Thursday, April 26, 2007

The earliest mss of the Greek OT

If you go to Robert Kraft's directory here you can see a whole range of images of the earliest fragments of the Greek OT. It would be useful if someone compiled an index of the biblical texts on this page.

7 Comments:

Peter M. Head said...

The first one is said to be unidentified, but it looks like there is enough text there to locate it somewhere. Perhaps it has since been identified, or ETCers should be able to figure it out.

Eric Rowe said...

I couldn't find a general description of the list. If he has these all linked to a website somewhere, that link would be great to have also.
Do you know if he makes any claim as to how exhaustive this list is for the period he covers, or if he says exactly what period that is?
The reason I ask is because I thought that at least one of the Freer mss was a Greek OT ms from the 2nd century.

Eric Rowe said...

According to a blurb on the Smithsonian's website (which may or may not be right), it's a 3rd century AD ms of the minor prophets. But that's still at least near the range of some of Kraft's images.

Eric Rowe said...

I find it interesting that any intro to NT TC will have a full chapter devoted to the use of patristic quotations. But intros to OT TC don't. Granted, we're talking about something that is also in Greek not Hebrew, so such evidence would combine the problems attached to using version evidence with those attached to using quotations. But, despite the items on this list of images (and not on the list as the case may be), it's still the case that the oldest ms evidence for Greek texts of the OT are the great Uncials. This means that in a great many cases, the quotations of the OT in the NT and in the early fathers are the very oldest evidence we have of Greek texts of the OT passages being quoted. To be sure, Septuagint specialists have been dealing with this data all along. But I don't think others with a more general interest in OT TC often give it much thought. I would think that these quotations from the early period would be especially important, because they would (hopefully) convey readings that belonged to the diverse array of Greek OT texts in circulation prior to the major official translations (A, Θ, S) and redactions (Origen's 5th column, Lucian) getting things under control.

Eric Rowe said...

I meant to say, "the oldest ms evidence for Greek texts of MOST OF the OT are the great uncials [i.e. ms evidence for those parts that aren't included in the mss on Kraft's list together with whatever other old mss that aren't on his list]."

Tommy Wasserman said...

ER: "According to a blurb on the Smithsonian's website (which may or may not be right), it's a 3rd century AD ms of the minor prophets."

The fragmentary papyrus codex (Washington MS V; Rahlfs W; Ziegler [Göttingen edition] W; Kenyon X; van Haelst 284; Aland [Repertorium 1] 08) dates to the mid-third-century.

Anonymous said...

"Peter M. Head said...

The first one is said to be unidentified, but it looks like there is enough text there to locate it somewhere. Perhaps it has since been identified, or ETCers should be able to figure it out."

The latest on 4Q126 is that it is still not identified, and may or may not be of the Septuagint. Dimant "Old Testament Pseudepigrapha at Qumran", in The Bible and the Dead Sea Scrolls, p. 467 believes it is not biblical, while Ulrich "Septuagint", in Encyclopedia of the Dead Sea Scrolls, p.867 believes "As yet it cannot be determined whether the unclassified text of 4Q126 was part of the Septuagint, though the Greek Paraphrase of Exodus most likely was not considered such".

"Eric Rowe said...

I couldn't find a general description of the list. If he has these all linked to a website somewhere, that link would be great to have also.
Do you know if he makes any claim as to how exhaustive this list is for the period he covers, or if he says exactly what period that is?
The reason I ask is because I thought that at least one of the Freer mss was a Greek OT ms from the 2nd century."

The images are linked to the web article by Kraft "Greek Scribal Culture in Early Jewish and Early Christian Settings, Continuities and Discontinuities". A fuller list of all the early LXX MSS is Kraft's web article "Some observations on Early Papyri and MSS for LXX/OG Study"

Matthew Hamilton