Wednesday, January 18, 2012

New fragment of Romans 9 and 10

Reported on CNN is a newly identified papyrus fragment of Romans 9 and 10. Also news of something to do with Cambridge and the Codex Climaci Rescriptus. I know a little more about that and will share before too long...

41 comments:

  1. The papyrus was upside down! :)

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  2. Does anyone know what exactly is in this new papyrus for Romans? The video claims it is a second century manuscript. Is this verified?

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  3. Is this the rough draft of Romans 9 and 10 which was composed about 170 by a Valentinian-leaning proto-orthodox scribe for anti-marcionite purposes?

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  4. Here's my screenshot from the CNN video... which I rotated for proper viewing. The report said it had Romans 9 & 10. I can easily spot kappa, tou, omicron, upsilon on the bottom line which makes me think that's from either Rom 9:10, 12, 21 or 10:5. I wish the news banner didn't block some of the image, and I wish we could see the other side. I've googled a good bit but can't find any other images, probably since this was merely a CNN interview, not so much a report.

    http://tinyurl.com/79jxkwt

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  5. St Paul to the Romans, 9:19-21, a wild guess of some letters.

    1 τω γα]ρ̣ β̣ουλ̣[ηματι αυτου τις αν-
    2 θεστηκεν ω α]ν̣ε̣ συ τι[ς ει ο ανταπο-
    3 κριν̣[ομε]νος τω [θω μη ερει το πλασμα τω πλασαντι
    4 τι με εποι]ησας ου[τως η ουκ εχει εξουσιαν ο κεραμευς
    5 του πηλου] εκ του [αυτου φυραματος ...

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  6. Not too sure about the first couple of lines anon. Not sure about the line lengths and letters.

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  7. I agree with Peter. Lines do not match closely enough.

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  8. I looked at the image shown in the CNN news, flipped it horizontally and vertically, and I think the image shows

    ]οι ουν[ instead of ]ρ̣ β̣ουλ̣[ (1st line)
    ]νθεστη[ instead of ]ν̣ε̣ συ τι[ (2nd line).

    someone else may reconstruct it from there, but here's my two cents, namely, something like this:

    1 ερεις μ]οι ουν[ τι ετι μεμφεται τω γαρ β̣ουληματι
    2 αυτου τις αν]θεστη]κεν ω ανε συ τις ει ο ανταπο-

    3 κριν[ομε]νος τω [θω μη ερει το πλασμα τω πλασαντι
    
4 τι με εποι]ησας ου[τως η ουκ εχει εξουσιαν ο κεραμευς
    5 του πηλου] εκ του [αυτου φυραματος ...

    apparently no variation from the NA27 text that I can detect with a quick look ...

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  9. Why is this "new" material presented in such a manner? Does not this collector recognize the need for good publication? I have tried to contact these folks several times concerning a fragment which they claim to possess of I Cor.. but no reply. Have they properly preserved and recorded these documents? Does anyone know anything about their resident scholar? The whole traveling exhibit idea is suspect, something seems fishy.
    Mr. G. S. Dykes

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  10. Okay, I now know more of Dr. Carroll. Some info on him here:

    http://explorepassages.com/carroll

    Still, paying $19.00 per person, to see a scrap from a distance is not satisfactory. Still trying to contact these folks.
    Mr. Dykes

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  11. I've been told that this papyrus fragment was found within a mummy mask with other fragments as well. A former student of mine was the one who made the identification, although I don't have more info than that on the find. She did not do the dating of the fragment, just the identification of the text if I've understood correctly.

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  12. I rearranged some letters in my reconstruction, and noted that I forgot to write μενουνγε in my earlier post. With a little reshuffling it can fit the lines (2nd one), so this papyrus is possibly the oldest witness to its inclusion (contra P46vid DFG).

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  13. To say that a papyrus of this date "was found within a mummy mask" beggars belief.

    There is also a story about a Coptic gospel fragment emerging from mummy coverings:
    http://www.baylor.edu/pr/news.php?action=story&story=100064

    One day they might find a recipe for garum (fish-sauce) -- green, preferably.

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  14. I am the "former student" of Bill Warren who held the very piece im my hands and identified the verses. To read that something "begs belief" is a bit sad to read on a blog like this. This eas done in a scholarly setting. Moreover to have people judge the manner in which this was made public and talk about how it does not follow proper publication procedure is rather unbecoming. This is an evangelical TC blog, right? Or am I mistaken? The Word was on CNN! Furthermore, why not be discrete? Steve Green gave millions. We ought to follow proper ethics. Yes, I know the text. Patience.

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  15. CNN most likely staged this event and used Green to boost its image amongst its liberal audience. Now they can boast that they are not anti-Christian!! I look forward to its proper publication. I do not look forward to paying Mr. Green to see his traveling business or exhibit. Until it is properly published all theories are suspect.
    Mr. Dykes

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  16. Well, I was there when we "harvested." For people who are on a blog that says to be "evangelical" I must say that the responses are saddening. It was something for the general public. The BBC has actually filmed a similar "event." And, yes, publications will follow. No need for demeaning people or spouting about "having to pay." The public comes with hundreds of thousands at the time. There actually will be a showing in the Vatican for several weeks (with the pope seeing it on Feb 29). Just let it be. Isn't the whole point that the Word is made attractive to the world? Why make it a "liberal thing." Never forget your goal.

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  17. And, NO, CNN had NOTHING to do with the event. This was at Baylor University, led by research professors. This was actually not the first time. Some of the methodology is overseen by research professors at Cambridge.

    The stuff people presume . . . .

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  18. What begs belief is that a papyrus *of this date* is said to have come from a mummy mask. If the 'new fragment of Romans 9 and 10' dates from when it is presumed to date, that is, not before the second century, this would be an extremely late example of papyrus cartonnage (to avoid confusion: a 'mummy mask' that produces a papyrus can be called 'cartonnage').

    The issue of the date of cartonnage came up in this blog last year; see the posts by G. W. Schwendner in

    http://evangelicaltextualcriticism.blogspot.com/2011/04/early-manuscript-of-hebrews-discovered.html

    That story related to the same collection and the same institution as the one now. The same collection, institution and type of material ('mummy coverings') are reported to have yielded "a fourth-century A.D. (C.E.) Coptic Gospel text". This would be by far the latest example of such cartonnage. There is 4th-century 'cartonnage' but it comes from book covers such as those from Nag Hammadi, not from mummy cases.

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  19. more links about passages
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BhWtHHIBpPg&feature=player_embedded

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=endscreen&NR=1&v=K1SsJWmXszs

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  20. The real poblem is blogs like these in which people guess and jump to conclusions, along with people who type up new items. The Hebrews fragment? Nah, I held it in my hand last Monday and read it. This is what happens when people get excited--one person makes a possible identification of one sentence and says, "This part is a verse from Hebrews" and everything indicates 2nd century. Next, before one knows it students and those attending strat talking about a Hebrews Mss. Then these blogs start their guess work. In the end? I know who does the work and I know what it really is. So please stop your judgmental stuff and realize that thinks leak and hit the "gossip circuit." And for the wise guy about the cartonnage, please know that world-renown Egyptologists are involved. Some mummy masks (to use a lay term) are ealier and some are later. I am not so sure about the identification of a Coptic Gospel with a 4th centure date. It is preliminary. To be sure, for those who like to be judgmental--the collection owns some 100 different cartonnages and certainly knows the difference. And as to the demeaning comment about a traveling exhibit . . . . Would you say the same for a huge display of the DSS? Or the upcoming exposition in the NY museum of art (I was in St. Catherine's Monastery in the Sinai and saw several of the books and mss that were packed for "travel"). And, really, a 6-week exposition in the Vatican is some "traveling exhibition that is fishy"?

    Here is a fact: the finds are so many and so incredible that I think that preliminary comments are leaking and make it to blogs like these and are making it from one student to another. Not the best idea. However, the Greens (sorry that you are so envious, whoever you are), are wonderful and generous people. The scholars have struck a deal with a TOP NOTCH publisher and a series will be produced. Once that one is produced, you can start your commentary. Until then, realize that gossip will always be there and that things are posted--even on websites--that are tentitive at best.

    Mr. Dykes, I have held the 1 Cor. piece in my hands as well. They are simply too busy to answer people. In time, publications will have to do. I think that Michael Holmes worked on it.

    People like Dirk Obbink at Oxford oversee the papyri project. Certainly, you are aware of the reputation of people like Obbink?

    So, why not preserve the dignity of EVANGELICAL TC and give these finds some time. Stop the hunt for bits and pieces and just wait.

    I am working on an early Heb 9 fragment that is untouched. Certainly, I am inclined to date later rather than early.

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  21. To anon: Could you be so kind as to tell us living "overseas" how many new fragments there are under study? I find it interesting if we will have something new for Romans, 1 Corinthians, and even Hebrews. Anything else to look forward to?

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  22. Several comments on this post, probably by one person, have suggested that the evangelical ethos of this blog is being betrayed.

    One should, of course, distinguish between the blog team and others who comment. We ask them to respect its ethos and delete obscene and extremely offensive comments.

    So far we have not seen fit to delete comments just because they're wrong-headed, ill-informed or ungracious.

    Several members of the blog are involved with the Green Collection.

    I can't see what's wrong with posting a link of obvious interest to CNN, producing a preliminary blog edition, capturing screen-shots, etc. This is the sort of thing blogs are best at--breaking news. They're obviously not great places when they descend into negative analyses of people's motives.

    The most welcome comments to this particular post will be ones which add to the body of publicly available information about this fragment of Romans or other unpublished papyri.

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  23. I think that many (most?) early NT manuscript dates have been assigned without significant solid, scientific evidence, so I have to confess some initial skepticism which I hope will be eliminated with a conference paper presentation or a timely publication. Typically, the defense of such dates is an appeal to how famous the scholar was and how manuscripts they dated (Bell, Grenfell, Hunt, Roberts, Turner). Too much scholar, too little evidence, and lots of room for (evanglelical) minimalists like myself to become uncomfortable. I have the highest hopes that the Green Foundation initiative will impress me on this issue.

    Perhaps, Scott Carroll would do a guest post on our blog discussing how he dates manuscripts? I am particularly interested in the precise nature of his dating, and am wondering if it would be more accurate to assign a larger range.

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  24. I think that in general we need to be aware that textual identifications can emerge very rapidly - scrap of papyrus, see a nomen sacrum, figure out enough text to search a concordance and then fit the surviving text to some known literature, in this case, as stated, Romans 9 (presumably the side we can see) and ch 10 (presumably the other side). This can take minutes in a straightforward case (and be very exciting).
    Any date assigned to this in the initial excitement is clearly preliminary and provisional. And a proper and detailed assessment of the date in view of the palaeography and provenance (let alone the recent meta-discussions of the difficulty and complexity of dating early Christian literary texts) will clearly take a lot more time. (And even then opinions will quite likely differ.)
    There are perhaps particular conflict of interest issues for private owners of early Christian papyri to face in dating manuscripts in their ownership and it will be interesting to see how the Greek Collection scholars handle that.
    From what I have seen (which is not enough to form a considered judgement) I would think a third century date would be a genuine possibility. For a broadly similar hand see P113.

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  25. I do not think the Green collection is in any way obliged to reveal information. I think that, indeed, preliminarly dating must be done with care. The demeaning comments are what makes blogs like these unpleasants. Decent discussions are great. Yet the Green collection nor Scott Carrell do not "owe" anyone anything.

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  26. Just two thoughts on that 'anon'.
    1. Re "I do not think the Green collection is in any way obliged to reveal information." I agree. But the issue here is that the Green Collection has chosen to reveal information, and done so on in such a way as to label the fragment as the oldest known portion of the book of Romans on CNN. It is not particularly surprising if people who are interested in the NT text say "that is an interesting claim, I wonder what the evidence is?" This could be anticipated.

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  27. One of the too many anonymous posts says:

    "The real poblem is blogs like these in which people guess and jump to conclusions ..."


    and an other:
    "The demeaning comments are what makes blogs like these unpleasants."


    Dear Anonymous,
    Is the irony lost on you that you are defending the in and of itself noble cause of proper scholarly publication anonymously?

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  28. 2. Re "The demeaning comments are what makes blogs like these unpleasants." I wish you could clarify what are 'demeaning'. Some of the (other) anonymous comments have raised the temperature a little. It seems to me that we've gathered here a fair bit of information and discussion relevant to the topic.

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  29. Sorry my comment overlapped with Dirk's. We've probably both got back from lunch!

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  30. Anon: "The demeaning comments are what makes blogs like these unpleasants."

    I agree to some extent, but, as Peter Williams explained, the blog team members write the main posts, but the commentary field is open for anyone (evangelical or not). And we have chosen not to moderate comments unless they are "obscene and extremely offensive" as Peter explains (and we have done that in the past, but seldom).

    There are many advantages to allow for an open-minded discussion, although there is always the risk of derailing.

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  31. I am one of the anynomous commentators here. Demeaning comments? Fish sauce. Traveling exhibition as fishy -- judgment without info.

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  32. Maybe I am missing something here, but it seems to me that the purpose of the CNN story was achieved. If in fact the purpose was to raise awareness of these discoveries and to get people excited about it...then the mission was accomplished as evidenced by the fact that folks here captured the image, flipped it right side up, and then interacted with the letters on the fragment.

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  33. Green Collection has now discovered at least 4 NT papyri, none of which have been published in a scholarly publication. These are, with dates given in the popular media:
    1. A 2nd century frg. with Hebrews 11
    2. A 2nd century frg. with 1 Corinthians 8-10
    3. A 2nd century frg. with Matthew (see http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UtDWQsby_0g at about 2 minutes into the 5 minute video where Scott Carroll notes "A week ago discovered the earliest text of the Gospel of Matthew")
    4. A middle of 2nd century frg. with Romans 8-9
    In addition to these there is possibly 1 frg. of the OT, noted as "ancient passages of Samuel found in a mummy’s wrappings written in Jesus’ home language within 2 generations of His lifetime" (see http://www.oeta.tv/video/2427.html)

    That all 4 NT papyri are dated early is surprising and might raise questions as to why none are dated later as would be expected if the MSS shared a similar age range as P1-127. If their dating holds up perhaps the all early dates might be explained as unlike most of P1-127 their source is not the rubbish heaps of Oxyrhynchus and other towns, but cartonnage. Any thoughts?

    Regards,
    Matthew Hamilton

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  34. It does seem that the Green Collection has tens of papyri, rather than just four, and that these four have been publicised because their date was felt by the GC to be particularly early. That obviously could leave the impression that all the papyri are (held to be) early.

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  35. I was at a debate tonight at UNC Chapel Hill with Dr. Bart Ehrman and Dr. Dan Wallace. Dr. Wallace announced that the earliest manuscript is of Mark and has been dated to the 1st century by probably the best in the business (a non-Christian as well). He mentioned a manuscript of Luke that rivals the date for P52. He said there are 18 new discoveries in all. He stated that from what he has examined these texts did not change anything that we didn’t already know. He also said he wasn’t at liberty to say much more.

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  36. Dr. Wallace also said they would be published in a year.

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  37. Great news! There will have great value for us even if they don't change anything. Confirming textual results is equally fascinating.

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  38. oops.. "they will have..."

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  39. If 18 new discoveries are all NT and all from cartonnage then at least 6 are 2nd or even 1st century NT papyri - a ratio of very early papyri that differs from P1-128.

    A couple of points
    1. Only 1 LXX papyrus mentioned yet - I wonder how many have also been found but not announced as OT MSS (apart from the Dead Sea Scrolls) rarely rate a mention in the news
    2. 18 NT papyri in just over 2 years - how many more can we expect in the next few years as the Green Scholars Initiative gets into full swing?
    3. If the technique developed by Scott Carroll has so far found 18 NT papyri, how many more can be found in the cartonnage of other collections when the technique is applied there?
    4. Can we expect a mass of academic papers over the next few years that discuss the date of the NT papyri by not just their own features but also by the dating of the non-biblical papyri they are found with in each piece of cartonnage?

    Matthew Hamilton

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  40. I made an error in my post when I wrote there are 18 new manuscript discoveries in all. I misheard Wallace during the debate. He said we now have a total of 18 2nd century manuscripts. Wallace just posted on his blog giving his thoughts about the debate and the information he shared on the new discoveries. You can read it at the following link. http://www.reclaimingthemind.org/blog/2012/02/wallace-vs-erhman-round-three/#more-10266

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  41. Regarding Stephen's correction - 6 or 18 early NT MSS - either way the findings of the Green Collection are very impressive, are still only in the early stages of discovery (so 18 in the next few years is quite possible), and if the earlyness of the dates is confirmed with 6 out of 6 very early then the contrast to P1-128 is significant

    The Greens and Scott Carrol are to be congratulated


    Matthew Hamilton

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