Monday, July 07, 2008

Metzger's Copy of Stephens' 3d ed. (1550) and a Papyrus Fragment (LXX) on Sotheby Auction, July 8

One of the items, lot 36, in Sotheby's Continental and Russian Books and Manuscripts Auction (Sale L08403) in London tomorrow, July 8, is a copy of Stephens' third edition of the Greek New Testament, printed in 1550, formerly owned by Bruce Metzger among others.

On the same day, in the Western & Oriental Manuscripts Auction (Sale L08240), a papyrus fragment with Septuagint Psalms 70 and 71 , which formerly belonged to the private collection of the Austrian conservator Dr. Anton Fackelmann (1916-85) is offered.

Update: Thanks to Wieland Willker who noted that the text of the fragment is LXX Psalms 69-70. Sothebys apparently has the wrong information.

Second update:The Stephen edition was sold for 3,250 GBP, and the papyrus fragment was sold for 17,500 GBP.


  1. This is actually LXX Psa 69-70.
    I am wondering what the text is in the first line of 70:1.
    It appears to be too long.

  2. LXX Psalms 69-70 is what we know as Psalms 70 & 71.

    Psalms is the only book of the Bible to have both ancient and modern chapter numbers, and they are off by one between chapter 9 (to which the LXX adds chapter 10) and chapter 147 (half of which the LXX includes in chapter 146).

    This can cause a lot of confusion in the identification of Greek & Latin Psalms, especially as some modern Bibles still follow this system.

  3. Daniel,

    thank you. This fact is obvious for biblical scholars, and I suppose ought to be so for most speculants on such an item.

  4. Wieland,
    I think what you mean is that the text of B 03 won't fit on the line in the mss. Obviously there is a textual variant here. It appears to me that the title of Psalm 71 (what you would refer to as 70:1) is simply "PSALMOS TW DAUID" on its own line, centered on the page.

    It's interesting that there is no verso pictured or referred to, which could indicate a one-sided scroll.

  5. Yes, the first line possibly reads
    Ψαλμος τῷ Δαυιδ

    Then the next line reads (probably):
    ὁ θεός ἐπὶ σοὶ ἤλπισα μὴ καταισχυνθείην εἰς τὸν αἰῶνα

    But after David, normally the words υἱῶν Ιωναδαβ καὶ τῶν πρώτων αἰχμαλωτισθέντων appear. i don't think that the line is long enough for that, except it is written somewhere in the margin.

    The description says "12 lines on recto and 14 lines on verso", so this is a codex.
    Has this fragment been published?

  6. Wieland, I am not certain, but I certainly would presume that the papyrus has been published since Anton Fackelmann was the former owner. Fackelmann was formerly in charge of the Vienna papyrus collection.

  7. I don't think this has been published. Rahlfs-Fraenkel, Verzeichnis lists three LXX mss in the private collection of Fackelmann, but none of them match this one (2177 is Ps 117.26-27; 2178 is Ps 118.22-40; 863 is Sir. 29.13-26). Of these three it says that they were purchased in Cairo in 1969.

  8. Wow, the LXX fragment has been sold for 17,500 GBP!

    If it's not published, perhaps one could/should contact the buyer?

  9. The buyer is M.Francois Antonovich, 7 rue Max Blondat, 92100 Boulogne Billancourt, France

  10. Francois Antonovich
    7 rue Max Blondat
    92100 Boulogne Billancourt