Monday, January 25, 2010

More on Judas' Sister

Tommy directed me to a recent post by April DeConick discussing the sale of fragments related to the Gospel of Judas Codex on Ebay. Much of what was sold appears to have been scraps of documentary texts. As far as I can gather, there is no evidence that any piece of the Tchacos codex was sold on Ebay; all known fragments are perhaps now in good hands. DeConick calls attention to a Coptic Philippians fragment which she suggests may be part of a sister codex purportedly found with Tchacos. I think that I can support this possibility based on the Ebay image. The transcription reads:

Phil 2:10-11
ⲙⲡⲏⲩⲉ ⲁⲩⲱ ⲛⲉⲧϩⲓϫ]ⲙ ⲡⲕⲁ[ϩ ⲛⲉⲙ ⲛⲉⲧϩⲁ
ⲡⲉⲥⲏⲧ ⲙⲡⲕⲁϩ. ⲛⲧ]ⲉ ⲗⲁⲥ ⲛⲓⲙ ⲉ[ⲝⲟⲙⲟⲗⲟⲅⲉⲓ
ϫⲉ ⲡϫⲟⲉⲓⲥ ⲡⲉ ⲓ̅]ⲥ̅ ⲡⲉⲭ̅ⲥ̅ ⲉⲡ[ⲉⲟⲟⲩ ⲙⲡⲛⲟⲩⲧⲉ

Two factors suggest that this fragment was once part of the Tchacos sister codex (right). First, the scribal hand is very similar, resembling the Nag Hammadi codices and other early Coptic literary texts. Second, this fragment does not abbreviate the Epsilon in the fashion typical to Sahidic manuscripts as in the word ϩⲓϫⲉⲙ above. (Wolf-Peter Funk alerted me to this tendency in the large Colossians fragment). Quick facts on these codices: While the Judas Codex was written in Sahidic with Middle-Egyptian influence, its sister Pauline Epistles Codex was written basically in Sahidic. The Judas Codex has a beautiful biblical uncial hand, while the Sahidic Pauline codex uses an informal literary script.

UPDATE: Martin Heide has blogged concerning an Augsburg exhibition with the Sahidic Pauline epistles manuscript on display. The exhibition website offers an additional image which I assume to be of the Tchacos-related codex (Heb 11, right).

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