Sunday, January 25, 2009

Named Letter-Carriers among the Oxyrhynchus Papyri

In the recent issue of JSNT 31.3(2009): 279-299, Peter Head has an article on named letter-carriers among the Oxyrhynchus papyri.


"This paper analyses the role played by named letter-carriers among Greek personal letters in the Oxyrhynchus papyri as possible background for Pauline practice, and within the context of recent proposals concerning the role of the letter-carriers within Pauline practice. Around forty letters are discussed, with three examples analysed in more depth (P.Oxy. 113; P.Oxy. 3313; P.Oxy. 3505). It is seen that, when named and identified within the letter, the letter-carrier frequently supplements the written communication with some oral supplement. Against some recent proposals no evidence is found in support of the view that the letter-carrier ever read the letter itself to the recipient."


  1. Not sure that this has much to do with textual criticism.

  2. It has to do with the related field of papyrology, and the important Oxyrhynchus material, not to mention the fact that we regularly feature this productive and prominent author on this blog (I hope he doesn't mind).

  3. I notice that another older but still very important article by this author is now available online slightly updated:

    "Some Recently Published NT Papyri from Oxyrhynchus: An Overview and Preliminary Assessment" Tyndale Bulletin 51 (2000): 1-16.

    online at

  4. If you want to discuss this article, one could do so at this blog: