Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Wallace on Patmos, Kozani and Meteora

Earlier in this month, Dan Wallace and his CSNT team visited Patmos and took photos of MSS there, among which was at least one unregistered New Testament MS (a leaf of an uncial lectionary). I had previously discovered this MS in the binding of another MS, and asked Dan to look for it, which he did. I am awaiting a Greg.-Aland number from the INTF. Read Dan's brief report here.

Just a few days ago, the team heading for the Meteora monasteries (quite a lot of MSS there) made a detour to a small town, Kozani, and, yes, found new MSS. Read that report here.

The first scholar to research the monasteries of Meteora was the Swedish traveler Jacob Jonas Björnståhl (1731-1779). Just like Wallace he was looking for Greek New Testament MSS, and indeed he found them, but some he had to dig out. They were in such bad condition that he had to sip vinegar to be able to stand the odour. I know that he also wrote his signature in at least one of the GNT MSS which he found very significant, so I hope Dan and his team notice that signature.

Björnståhl tragically died during his journey in Thessaly (although not in Meteora, but in Volo). Many MSS that he had acquired during his travels were donated to Uppsala University Library, including some GNT MSS. Many of his other papers (letters, etc) are deposited in an archive in the University Library in Lund. For example a letter of recommendation from a Greek bishop to those monasteries in Meteora, without which Björnståhl would not have been able to enter. This was a time when the Turks plundered the churches and monasteries, and it was not an easy thing for a European to be admitted there.

In a few weeks I will present a paper at the SNTS in Lund on the MSS in Sweden, including an excursus on Björnståhl, and maybe I will find something in the archive to show (if they admit).

1 comment

  1. Dan Wallace continues to be the "Indiana Jones" of NT TC. Great work, Dan, and Tommy as well!

    Bill Warren