Monday, March 17, 2008

Ferrini Liquidation Stock: Manuscripts for sale

Four separated out pages from a tenth-century lectionary manuscript and a piece of the sixth century Coptic Gospel book are among other items for sale in an auction of some of Bruce Ferrini's stock ( click on the first photo). For more info see the article in the Ohio news (here), which also mentions some material not for sale:

"The auction does not include the three most valuable and controversial segments of Ferrini's disputed collection. An ongoing legal battle has yet to sort out the true owner of these items, worth millions:

  • A batch of biblical artifacts that include fragments from the Book of Exodus and the Letter of Paul to the Colossians. It also includes part of the controversial Gnostic manuscript known as the Gospel of Judas.
  • A large marble Assyrian relief believed to have belonged to Alexander the Great.
  • Fragments of the Dead Sea Scrolls, whose display at the John S. Knight Center in 2004 devolved into a contentious public squabble, with court injunctions and lawsuits over missing money, unpaid bills and claims of fraud."



  1. The last time we reported on Ferrini on this blog was two years ago when I told about my "undiscovery" of 2866 which turned out to be identical to the already registered MS 2483. Ferrini had bought that MS in France and sold it to the Norwegian collector Martin Schoyen.

    It turned out (after Peter Head had remarked about the discrepant number of folios between 2483 and 2866) that eight pages had gone missing (I verified this). After having now seen what has happened to this lectionary (from which four pages are now being sold separately), it seems likely that Ferrini detached the last pages in order to sell them to someone else.

    Read more here:

  2. I can not access the site today. Yesterday, I had a peek at the Coptic MSS, and it seems to me that the dating on the Sahidic parchment is too early. Was it listed as 4-5th century? I would guess that the majority of Sahidic parchments were produced in the 6-8th centuries. The majority of MSS from the White Monastery are from the later part of this period, according to most estimations. Caveat emptor.

  3. Looking over the photo of the lectionary at the auction-site, I noticed that it has a variant at Jn. 4:51: instead of PAIS, it has hUIOS.

    Just in case the right people don't purchase this lectionary, maybe some ruthless person should cut-and-paste the photos of the pages of the lectionary, so that some record of its contents will be sure to survive, and will be able to be studied at leisure.

    Yours in Christ,

    James Snapp, Jr.
    Minister, Curtisville Christian Church
    Tipton, Indiana (USA)

  4. I have a question about these auctioned lectionary leaves being part of MS GA 2483. Since (1) 2483 is a minuscule, while this MS is a lectionary; (2) the date of 2483 is XIII, while this is X; (3) 2483 is single column while this is double column; (4) 2483 has 33 lines per page while this has 20; (5) the dimensions of 2483 are 21.7 x 15.4 cm, while this manuscript is 24.75 x 18 cm, how can these leaves be part of 2483. Nothing matches. It is of course possible that these 8 leaves were in the back of 2483 but as a separate manuscript. But in that case, they would not get the Gregory-Aland number 2483, since they are a lectionary.

    In any event, since CSNTM has posted images of four of the leaves (which were photographed when the leaves were in the possession of Lee Biondi), we would like to have this matter resolved.

  5. Dear Dan, I did not say in my comment that this lectionary was GA 2483, I only said that the last time we reported on Ferrini on this blog was when I discovered that 2866=2483. That MS has nothing to do with these leaves. Sorry about the misunderstanding. Maybe it is my Swedish English style again...

  6. Tommy, that makes sense. My faulty conclusion. Is it safe to assume then that the four leaves that were sold at auction belong to an uncatalogued lectionary?

  7. Dan, yes I would assume that.

    Nevertheless, it is not easy to be certain when such leaves come to the surface. In two cases I have personally found pages of MSS that turned out to be missing parts of already catalogued MSS in the Liste.

  8. Yes, of course. What I meant was that as far as we know, this is an uncatalogued MS. INTF could demonstrate otherwise, but as of yet it is not a known manuscript.

    By the way, thanks for the tip on Patmos 225. We were able to photograph the majuscule lectionary leaf in the back a couple of weeks ago. We had to use UV light to shoot it because of how badly damaged the text was. But we can read the whole thing now. I'll be sending that info to Muenster soon.