Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Another Judas, certainly not the betrayer...

Judas is now in focus, but there were more than one Judas...

The superscript to Jude is not a part of the text proper, and therefore it was subject to considerable expansion by scribes; some scribes apparently were afraid that the readers would think that the apostle Judas was the author; hence, the superscript of MS 581 reads: αλλος ιουδας ου μη δε ο προδοτης την επιστολην πασιν εθνεσιν γραφει.

Another curious note on a "Jude-confusion":
In The Crosby-Schoyen Codex MS 193 in the Schoyen Collection (ed. J. E. Goehring; CSCO 521; Leuven, 1990), J. Robinson has a chapter on the history and codicology of the Coptic MS, in which he mentions on p. xxxv a brief article that appeared in New York Times, where it was announced that the University of Mississippi had acquired two biblical MSS, among which was the "Book of Jude." When I read this, I mailed J. Robinson asking him about this reference, but he referred me to C. W. Hedrick who had helped him with that material. It turned out that Hedrick, like Robinson, had no idea about that MS either and he replied, "The description of MC [Mississippi Codex] II is on p. xxxvi in Goehring the contents of MC I are listed in note 24 ... Perhaps the reporter got the report confused?" Probably the reporter mixed up the contents of the Mississippi codices with the Bodmer miscellaneous codex (with P72) in Bodmer's collection. I haven't read the original New York Times' article, so I don't know more details.

UPDATE: John McChesney-Yong sent me the original article in New York Times, "TWO ANCIENT MSS. BEING DECIPHERED" (NYT, Feb 12, 1956. pg. 107). The University had bought the two codices for $5,000. The editing of the MSS was entrusted to Allen Cabaniss and William W. Willis.

Today one of these codices is in the Schøyen collection, see: http://www.nb.no/baser/schoyen/4/4.1/413.html. Here we read that one of the original editors, William Willis, subsequently came into possession of a fragment of the codex! (After 1952, there were 41 fragments, very sad...)


  1. Good stuff, Tommy. Glad to have some biblical discussion after all this GofJ stuff. I note that GofJ has, however, just become of real interest to us on the basis of what Roger Pearse says on Wieland Willker's list:

    "Few people seem to be aware that the codex containing the ps.Gospel
    of Judas came with a second codex containing further texts:

    - the 'Book of Exodus' in Greek
    - 'Letters of Paul' in Sahidic dialect and a
    - 'Mathematical Treatise' in Greek."

    So the Sahidic Paul and the Greek Exodus ought to receive some further discussion.

  2. Thanks Pete,

    Yes, and that is another codex. Both codices were offered by the infamous manuscriptdealer Ferrini to the Norwegian collector Martin Schøyen some years ago (perhaps he is now regretting that he did not make the purchase) - details (and original fax from their correspondence) are available at Pearse's informative site:

    Apparently, that bargain did not take place. However, at least one other bargain was actually made between the two (Ferrini and Schøyen), which has remained unnoticed til now, but on which I have interesting information, but more details about that in a separate post.