Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Kreuzer, 'Papyrus 967' (LXX 4)


For general orientation to this series of posts see here (with forward links).

Siegfried Kreuzer, 'Papyrus 967' in Die Septuaginta - Texte, Kontexte, Lebenswelten: Internationale Fachtagung veranstaltet von Septuaginta Deutsch (LXX.D), Wuppertal 20.-23. Juli 2006 (ed Martin Karrer & Wolfgang Kraus; WUNT 219; Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2008), 64-82.

P967, discovered in 1931 in Aphroditopolis is a significant pre-hexaplaric text of the 2nd century CE. It originally covered the text of Ezekiel, Daniel (including Susanna and Bel and Dragon) and Esther. Its form is also a valuable witness to the conditions of codex development at the time.

Two hands are observed in the papyrus: one for Ezekiel and one for Daniel and Esther. Due to the nomina sacra, P967 is considered a Christian codex, however this is not always a good criterion since that is also a Jewish phenomenon.

Of interest is the chapter divisions in the text by Greek capital letters, which are believed to be original - not a later addition.

Moreover, Ezekiel's chapter 37 does not follow 36, but it follows 38. Also 36 has a shorter text (minus 36:23-38). The transposition makes resurrection taking place at the end of time, after Gog and Magog! (p. 73) Kreuzer favours the explanation that the minus would mean that a later addition is found in the Hebrew text (p. 74). Moreover, the LXX mss which agree with the MT against P967 represent a later revised text, with P967 attesting the OG.

The next transposition is Dan 7 and 8 coming immediately after ch. 4. This places the two visions from the time of Belshazzar before his death in ch. 5.

In Dan 7:13, the "son of man" Aramaic text agrees with Theodotion's version (εως του παλαιου των ημερων). P967, however, confirms the LXX text (ως παλαιος ημερων). The Son of man form and the ancient of days form apply to the same person. This is probably the original text, not a Christian change, while Theodotion's version seems to be a revision towards the Aramaic text.

Kreuzer's article is very valuable, not only for its discussion of the text-historical development of the Biblical text, but also for the photographs of the papyrus provided.

Μυρτώ Θεοχάρους


  1. What is the basis for claiming that the use of nomina sacra is also a Jewish phenomenon.

  2. Eric, abbreviation of the name may have been a Jewish practice adopted by Christians. In P. Oxy. 7.1007 (=H.5) the tetragramaton is in the form of a double yod and ΘΕΟΣ in the contracted form. This papyrus was considered Jewish by P. Kahle and K. Treu.
    The author gives epigraphic evidence for this: an inscription in Thessalonica from a Jewish or Samaritan synagogue (4th century). ΚΥΡΙΟΣ is contracted 4 times in the dedication text. Question still unresolved, I guess.
    See the discussion in M. V. Spottorno Díaz Caro, "The Divine Name in Ezekiel Papyrus 967". Pages 213-218 in La Septuaginta en la Investigation Contemporanea. Edited by Natalio Fernández Marcos. Madrid, 1985.

  3. Thanks Myrto!

    And thanks Peter, very, very much for adding tags to the post ;-).

  4. At the SBL in Boston 2008, Ingrid Lilly, Emory University, presented a paper on this MS:

    "Liturgical Function of p967: How Codicological Analysis Sheds Light on Textual Issues in Septuagint Ezekiel."

    It was a good paper. I was able to help her a bit in the discussion concerning the marginal comments where Π stood for ΠΕΡΙ as in P72, and this was followed by a genitive, which Ingrid had interpreted as something else. I cannot remember right now.

    I don't know whether her paper has been published anywhere. I think it was part of her dissertation project.

  5. Her name, by the way, is now Ingrid Esther Lipit-Ishtar.

    Ingrid presents her dissertation project thus:

    "I am working on my Ph.D. at Emory University in Hebrew Bible. My dissertation, entitled 'Two Books of Ezekiel' is a technical project analyzing a specific Greek manuscript of Ezekiel from textual and literary perspectives. This manuscript represents an ancient, alternate edition of the biblical book of Ezekiel, possibly older than the edition we currently know as the MT, translated in all modern Bibles."

    Blog: http://ingridlilly.blogspot.com/

    I have sent her a link to this blogpost.

  6. Tommy, very interesting!
    Thanks for this!

  7. Ingrid E. Lilly6/22/2010 3:58 pm

    Hi Tommy,

    Great to know about this article. ...and thanks for mentioning my work (I've presented several papers now at SBL on p967, in various sections.)

    I've completed my dissertation (now entitled "Papyrus 967: A Variant Literary Edition of Ezekiel,") and the codicology work has been integrated into chapter 6. I am in the process of deciding how to publish it, so I will let you know when I do.

    Also - by the way - my name remains Ingrid E. Lilly. Lipit-Ishtar is only for privacy purposes on facebook, which I use solely for personal contacts. Sorry for the confusion!

  8. Any expert in ANE--and particularly Sumerian--studies would recognize the allusion to the Code of Lipit-Ishtar, published in 1948 by Francis Steele.

  9. Thanks Ingrid for joining in. I am glad to hear you have completed your dissertation and I look forward to seeing it in print.

    Sorry all about the "Lipit-Ishtar-confusion." I guess the Ancient Near East is not my field. In this connection I was only aware of the later Code of Hammurabi. ... and, after all, Lipit-Ishtar is a name :-)

  10. What is the theory as to why Ezekiel, Daniel, and Esther appear together in this codex? They are all "biblical diaspora" literature. Is that significant? In several of the canon lists presented by Swete (Intro. to the OT in Greek), these three books appear near each other (Daniel and Ezekiel are always paired), but I find only one time that they all three appear together without any intervening book--Codex Alexandrinus.

    Since Dr. Lilly's 2008 SBL paper was entitled "Liturgical Function", I presume that she might relate the grouping of these three books to their use in the liturgy?

    Ed Gallagher

  11. Siegfried Kreuzer4/10/2012 5:55 pm

    In may paper I have given an answer to/ or maybe better: discussed this question.
    S. Kreuzer

  12. P.Matr.Bibl. 1 (Ezek 28:19-43:9), published as Fernandez Galiano, M. “Nuevas Paginas del codice 967 del A. T. griego.” Studia Papyrologica 10 (1971): 7-76., has been digitized.
    See https://ministerioreforma.com/la-biblioteca-nacional-digitaliza-el-papiro-de-ezequiel-un-codice-del-siglo-ii/