Tuesday, June 22, 2010
For general orientation to this series of posts see here (with forward links).
Siegfried Kreuzer, 'Papyrus 967' in Die Septuaginta - Texte, Kontexte, Lebenswelten: Internationale Fachtagung veranstaltet von Septuaginta Deutsch (LXX.D), Wuppertal 20.-23. Juli 2006 (ed Martin Karrer & Wolfgang Kraus; WUNT 219; Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2008), 64-82.
P967, discovered in 1931 in Aphroditopolis is a significant pre-hexaplaric text of the 2nd century CE. It originally covered the text of Ezekiel, Daniel (including Susanna and Bel and Dragon) and Esther. Its form is also a valuable witness to the conditions of codex development at the time.
Two hands are observed in the papyrus: one for Ezekiel and one for Daniel and Esther. Due to the nomina sacra, P967 is considered a Christian codex, however this is not always a good criterion since that is also a Jewish phenomenon.
Of interest is the chapter divisions in the text by Greek capital letters, which are believed to be original - not a later addition.
Moreover, Ezekiel's chapter 37 does not follow 36, but it follows 38. Also 36 has a shorter text (minus 36:23-38). The transposition makes resurrection taking place at the end of time, after Gog and Magog! (p. 73) Kreuzer favours the explanation that the minus would mean that a later addition is found in the Hebrew text (p. 74). Moreover, the LXX mss which agree with the MT against P967 represent a later revised text, with P967 attesting the OG.
The next transposition is Dan 7 and 8 coming immediately after ch. 4. This places the two visions from the time of Belshazzar before his death in ch. 5.
In Dan 7:13, the "son of man" Aramaic text agrees with Theodotion's version (εως του παλαιου των ημερων). P967, however, confirms the LXX text (ως παλαιος ημερων). The Son of man form and the ancient of days form apply to the same person. This is probably the original text, not a Christian change, while Theodotion's version seems to be a revision towards the Aramaic text.
Kreuzer's article is very valuable, not only for its discussion of the text-historical development of the Biblical text, but also for the photographs of the papyrus provided.