Tuesday, May 08, 2012

The amulet of Mark 1:1-2

Discussion on the previous post has turned to this Oxyrhynchus amulet of the opening of Mark, lacking 'son of God'. I post the image here to facilitate examination and discussion. To see a higher resolution image go here.

18 Comments:

Myrto Theocharous said...

Interesting... It also reads ΩΣ instead of ΚΑΘΩΣ!

Darrell said...

The primary reason I raised a question regarding this fragment is because we seem to have such a disparity in excitement between a fragment like this and the fragment of a continuous text manuscript. This fragment receives no GA number and little attention even though, unless I missed something, it is the oldest witness to the first two verses of Mark. It employs nomina sacra (using the first two letters and the last letter, rather than just the first and last), and it has interesting textual variants that would seem to contribute to the apparatus of the critical text. Yet because it is an amulet, it gets basically ignored.

Darrell said...

I just realized that this amulet was briefly mentioned a few of years ago here with the idea that more blogging about it would follow:

http://evangelicaltextualcriticism.blogspot.com/2009/11/home-from-sbl-2009.html

But it doesn't appear we ever discussed it here thereafter, supporting my suggestion that amulets tend to be forgotten :-)

Brice Jones said...

Darrell,

Tommy Wasserman has written briefly on this papyrus in his recent article, "The 'Son of God' Was in the Beginning (Mark 1:1)," JTS 62.1 (April 2011): 20-50. See especially pgs. 23-25. Stanley E. Porter has recently lamented over the neglect of amulets in NT TC, and has proposed a two-tier system of manuscript classification that would allow amulets and other non-continuous texts to be brought into the critical discussion about the text of the NT. (See Porter, "Textual Criticism in Light of Diverse Textual Evidence for the Greek New Testament: An Expanded Proposal," 2006). There are confusions related to the standard classification of MSS (i.e., papyri, uncial, minuscule, lectionary) as Porter has shown over the years, and I have been told that Münster is aware of the difficulties.

Darrell said...

Thanks Brice. I will look forward to reading Tommy's article.

Geoff Smith said...

I was hoping this papyrus would reinvigorate debates about the relative value of noncontinuous biblical texts in New Testament text criticism. I am happy to see that it is getting the attention it deserves. Thanks Darrel!

Tommy Wasserman said...

The SBL presentation of this amulet by Geoff, and, of course, Peter Head's excitement – he sat next to me – stimulated the writing of my article on Mark 1:1, in which I devote a section to this papyrus. I will post the relevant excerpt separately tomorrow.

maurice a robinson said...

The old Gregory-Dobschütz list had categories for both Ostraca (Gothic "O") and Talismen (Gothic "T"), each followed by a superscript numeral like the papyri. These lists, however, appear to have been abandoned around the 1920s. It is probably high time to bring them back into play.

Darrell said...

I was just reading a brief summary of what was cataloged, and apparently by 1933 there were 9 talismans and 25 ostraca cataloged. No doubt there are many more by now. One wonders if Aland would have dropped them if he had one like P.Oxy. 5073.

http://www.skypoint.com/members/waltzmn/OstracTalis.html

Tommy Wasserman said...

Please consult:

Theodore de Bruyn, "Papyri, Parchments, Ostraca, and Tablets Written with Biblical Texts in Greek and Used as Amulets: A Preliminary List," in T.J. Kraus and T. Nicklas (eds.), Early Christian Manuscripts: Examples of Applied Method and Approach (Texts and Editions for New Testament Study 5; Leiden: Brill, 2010), 145-190.

Peter M. Head said...

For those who are interested I have an article on these matters as well: ‘The Other Greek Witnesses to the New Testament (Ostraca, Inscriptions, and ...?)’ in The Text of the New Testament in Contemporary Research: Essays on the Status Quaestionis (eds M.W. Holmes & B.D. Ehrman; NTTSD; Leiden: E.J. Brill, 2012?, 2nd edition [forthcoming]
(not 100% sure if that is the title).

Peter Malik said...

Btw, it wouldn't hurt if the Status Quaestionis volume actually appeared in the foreseeable future

Peter M. Head said...

Yes. I don't have any current info on that part of the future.

Tommy Wasserman said...

I am sure we will have some more information in Chicago where there will be a whole session devoted to this volume.

Peter M. Head said...

Presumably it is meant to be published by then.

Peter M. Head said...

Perhaps Professor Holmes will enlighten us.

Anonymous said...

The second edition of The Text of the New Testament in Contemporary Research: Essays on the Status Quaestionis should be nearly at the page-proof stage, and yes, the publisher is very aware of the need to have it ready before the SBL meeting in November.
thanks,
Mike

(with apologies for the "anonymous" sign-in; my Google account is not happy with me today, for some reason)

Peter Gurry said...

Lets hope it gets (re)published by SBL for much cheaper!