Thursday, September 08, 2011

Bodmer “Miscellaneous” or “Composite” Codex?

As Peter mentions in the previous blogpost, Brice Jones has published an article in JGRChJ 8 (2011) on ‘The Bodmer ‘Miscellaneous’ Codex and the Crosby-Schøyen Codex MS 193: A New Proposal.’ Congratulations to him for the successful publication!

I have actually had some correspondence with Jones about these codices, but was not quite aware then that he would eventually write an article on the subject (by then he was preparing a presentation for a graduate seminar at Yale). Anyway, he asked me at one point, in reference to my 2005 NTS article on the subject,”Papyrus 72 and the Bodmer Miscellaneous Codex,” NTS 51 (2005): 137-54, whether it was necessary to call this Bodmer Codex (which among other writings contains P72, with 1-2 Peter and Jude) a ‘miscellaneous’ codex, since there appear to be several different viable themes of this codex and not just one, and whether we should not stick with Turner’s initial judgment of the Bodmer Codex as a “composite” codex.

I replied:
It is very important that you read a later study which is focused on the question your raise, i.e., about a possible theme and “miscellaneous” vs. “composite”.... I wrote that later study together with Tobias Nicklas, didn’t I send you a reference to that? Anyway, my NTS article is mainly focused around the question how the codex was made up of several earlier collections - so that in itself speaks against one pervasive theme (which I point out). On the other hand, it is clear to me that the separate parts were produced in a proto-orthodox environment (if I may use the term “proto-orthodox”), in which Christology apparently is important. This does not mean that Christology is a theme - did I say that? There are liturgical connections between earlier parts of the collection, by the way. But, please read my other essay on the Bodmer Misc. Codex.

No, I don’t believe we should call it a composite. In the later essay we suggest that it is something in between. But read it an[d] come back.
Nevertheless, Jones suggests in his now published article that I have argued “for a general christological theme” of this codex (p. 12).

So, in this blogpost I will try to clarify and develop my standpoint, which I briefly tried to convey in that reply cited above. I realize that I have not been “black or white” on this particular issue, especially not in my NTS article, and perhaps consciously so, since I find this codex and its make up to be both fascinating, but at the same time a bit mysterious.

First, as I wrote in my NTS article:
The final collector may have had one particular theme in mind, but more probably this person somehow found a common denominator in the texts, and, therefore, Martin’s original proposal of an apologetic collection does not have to be dismissed as being too general a characterization. In fact, several characteristics typical of incipient orthodoxy are prominent in the texts, especially in the area of Christology.
And in the conclusion of the same article:
Several scholars have suggested that there were certain theological reasons for the composition, and, indeed, the texts of the codex betray the influence of incipient orthodoxy, but to single out one specific theme is problematic, since the codex is made up of several earlier collections.
I hope it is clear by now that I have not argued for *one single theme* uniting these writings and motivating that they were collected together. I did say, as Jones points out in his article, that a collector may have seen a “common denominator” in the texts. I think it is clear, however, that “one particular theme” is not the same thing as *a final collector* seeing in these texts (brought together from earlier collections) “a common denominator.”

There are, I suggest, some features that unite more or less all the texts in the collection – they are not just like any random collection of writings. So is “composite” a suitable term? And, perhaps more significant, are the two general categories “composite” and “miscellany” clear and adequate to represent what we find in extant multi-text MSS?

As I replied to Jones, I have suggested, in a subsequent essay, which I have co-written with Tobias Nicklas in German (which Jones refers to in footnote 15), that the Bodmer codex is something in between “composite” and “miscellany” (as these terms are usually defined). I am a bit surprised that this suggestion is not discussed or mentioned in Jones’ recent article.

In any case, Jones refers in his article to E. G. Turner’s discussion of “composite codices” (pp. 14-15). In his famous The Typology of the Codex Turner states:
Lying behind the title ‘composite’ given to these two codices [including the Bodmer codex in consideration] that scribes did not care to waste writing material and would wish to fill any free pages left over at the end of a codex. Even if the matter chosen as filling was too long, in a quire of multiple gatherings additional gatherings could be added if required. (Typology, 81).
So, is this the kind of sole (pragmatic) motivation lying behind the collection of writings brought together in the Bodmer codex under consideration? “– I mustn’t waste any writing material when copying this work I want to copy (and/or collect).” I think not.

Turner then, by the way, goes on to problematize the notion of “composite codices” as he compares them with some papyrus rolls that are heterogenous in content. For example he refers to BM Pap. 133+134. The first part of this roll contains nine columns of a speech of Hyperides. After a blank space of about 30 cm. a second scribe copied the Third Letter of Demosthenes. Turner then considers the difference between such rolls, and composite codices containing heterogeneous material as the Bodmer codex concluding that one should probably see in the latter “a growing recognition of the comprehensive character of a codex” (p. 82).

Interestingly, in the same monastic library, to which this Bodmer codex belonged, there were in fact a number of classical texts, most often not bound together with theological or liturgical texts, but, significantly, there is at least one exception to this rule (I just quickly browsed the inventory). One codex contains Cicero’s in Cantilinam (in Latin); Psalmus Responsorius (in Latin); A Greek liturgical text; Alcestis (in Latin). Should the Bodmer Misc. Codex be classified in the same category as such a collection of diverse material found in this codex?, i.e., a composite codex? I think not.

Let me now cite a most useful recent dissertation by Eva Nyström (Uppsala University), “Containing Multitudes: Codex Upsaliensis Graecus 8 in Perspective” from her second chapter titled “Composite Books and Miscellanies”:
What expectations do modern readers generally have of books and the contents of books? When we go to the bookstore and browse, we usually find inside the covers one novel, or one biography, or a manual over one kind of technical equipment; the book is probably written by one author or maybe by more than one author but collaboratively, as in the collective novel. But there are other models: a book can hold the collected works by one and the same author, or a choice of those works (or just part of one work—when the work in its entirety is too long to fit into just one volume). It can be a collection of essays by different authors but over a common theme. It could cover, say, Polish poetry from the interwar period. Whenever there are more than one text in the book, we can easily find a common denominator [sic!] for the text collection. What we do not expect to find is a book which contains one text on computer programming, followed by one text on effective bargaining, followed by George Orwell’s Animal Farm, followed by an enumeration of household remedies against migraine or ulceritis. I might, as a reader, be interested in all of these things, but they do not belong in the same book.

There was a time, however, when a book could cover subjects as diverse as those mentioned above. (p 38)

The coherent miscellany is but one variety of many in the area of multitext books, and if we wish to assess how these books reflect on the reading habits and transmission of texts, we must see to the whole field. We do need to take into account these other appearances of multitext books: the school exercises, the re-use of manuscripts, and the later additions of new text(s) to a scroll or codex. It has to do with the expectancy of the reader (and of the scribe): what you have seen in other places, namely in composite books, seems less farfetched when you are up to create a “miscellany proper,” i.e. an intentional copying of different authors and texts into the same container. What is crucial is the function of the book. (p. 41)
Note the focus here on the reader’s expectation and function.

Further Nyström points out the need to be aware of the possible different stages behind the production of a book making the issue even more complex (something which I attempted in my NTS article):
The reason why it is so important to establish the structure or stratigraphy of multitext books is the large variation in how handwritten books were created, and also the fact that codices are not stable entities. They can be—and often are—rebound, and concomitant changes in the structure can take place: parts of the original book may be lost or deliberately left out, other parts may be added, the internal order of the quires may be confused, or new texts may be added on blank pages long after the primary text or text collection was created. To analyze the text(s) in such a manuscript without awareness of the “archaeology” is a precarious undertaking. It is problematical to draw any conclusions as to how texts belong together. Likewise one cannot unconditionally assume that facts of origin and date in one part of the manuscript are transferable to other parts: this has to be established for each part individually. (p. 43)
Nyström also refers to the terminological confusion of these very terms, “composite” vs. “miscellany” (and others):
Many of the terminological discrepancies originate in different ways of dealing with this complexity. An obvious example is the term miscellany or miscellaneous codex which seems to have been given as many definitions as there are scholars in this area. Should this term cover all kinds of multitext books, both the structurally homogeneous and the composite codices? Should it designate only the contentually heterogeneous or should we include other possible text combinations as well: different texts by the same author (corpora), different kinds of texts which have a common use (e.g. liturgical text collections)? Would collections of excerpts qualify, or must the texts be complete? I have tried to avoid this problem by using the overall term “multitext book” for the whole field, regardless of structural differences and regardless of how similar or diverse the texts seem.

Some prefer to use the term miscellany in contrast to the composite, so that the miscellany would always be monomerous or at least homogenetic, i.e. produced in the same circle and approximately at the same time.
I wholly agree with Nyström that there appears to be significant confusion about these terms. If we, however, use “miscellany” in contrast to “composite” as I did in my NTS article, I maintain that the Bodmer codex under consideration is something more than a composite, and that it was produced in basically the same proto-Orthodox Christian circle. In another NTS article by Barbara Aland on the same codex, “Welche Rolle spielen Textkritik und Textgeschichte für das Verständnis des Neuen Testaments? Frühe Leserperspektiven,” (NTS 52 [2006]: 303-318), Aland, actually goes further than I did, as she comments on the codex and the reception of its collected texts (again note the focus on the reader’s/user’s perspective) concluding:
Fazit: Wir fassen in dem Sammelcodex des 3./4. Jh ein Kapitel aus der frühen Rezeptionsgeschichte der gesammelten Texte. Wenn wir die Signale der Texte und ihrer Zusammenstellung beachten, weisen sie uns auf die Absicht des Sammlers hin. Er hat die Texte im Sinne einer produktiven Rezeption gelesen und durch seine sinnschöpfende Zusammenstellung bestimmte theologische und ethische Aussagen an seine Adressaten vermittelt: Abweisung der Häresie, Preis des Gottes und Erlösers Christus, Trost für die Leidenden in seiner Nachfolge. Historisch gewinnen wir damit eine neue ‘Quelle’ für das Christusverständnis des 3./4. Jahrhunderts. Textkritisch gewinnen wir das Verständnis für einen frühen Schreiber. Wir können davon ausgehen, dass er an den besprochenen Stellen die Gottheit Christi bewusst betonen wollte. (p. 310)
I have not been as bold as Aland about the motivation and identification of the final collector (I did propose the scribe of P72 as one possible candidate), but I do maintain that the Bodmer codex under consideration is definitely something more than a composite as Turner defines the term; as I conclude in the subsequent essay co-written with Tobias Nicklas, Theologische Linien im Codex Bodmer Miscellani?, in Tobias Nicklas and Thomas J. Kraus (eds.), New Testament Manuscripts: Their Texts and their World (Boston: Brill, 2006), 161-88, here freely translated from German:
If you compare the Bodmer Misc. Codex with other “Sammelcodices” – particularly with those from the same extensive finding [probably a Pachomian library] – then it occupies a middle position between codices which individual texts have been brought together rather consciously, united by one specific [leitenden] theme, and those [individual texts] which display no connection. (p. 185)


  1. Thanks Tommy,

    I remain a bit puzzled about our use of the two key terms here as if 'miscellaneous' was a natural antonym for 'composite' in this context. And using 'miscellaneous' for a collection with a strong thematic unity is also extremely odd in my opinion. I would think of this codex as a composite miscellany with some interesting common features.

  2. Looking for common features is fun, but is readerly generated. Don't forget:
    Ohman (?)

  3. Was that the longest post ever?-)

  4. Thank you for your reply Dr. Wasserman, and thank you Dr. Head for mentioning my article. I respond below to a few issues raised by Dr. Wasserman.

    First, it is still not clear to me, Dr. Wasserman, what you mean when you say the final collector "may have had one particular theme in mind." In your NTS article, you suggest that "section II was once part of a different collection" (p. 147). If the final collector had one particular theme in mind and brought together these texts from a previous collection, and if "several characteristics typical of incipient orthodoxy are prominent in the texts, especially in the area of Christology," (p. 147), then how is this not an argument for a single-theme? As I mention in my article, on the one hand you seem to want to stay away from a single-theme approach. On the other hand, you argue for a "common denominator" between the texts and a "Christological tendency" on the part of the scribe of P72. You say that since "P72 has been ascribed a Christological tendency...this could well be in line with those theological reasons that may have led him to collect all of the writings in the codex" (p. 148). I cannot help but conclude from this that what you mean is that the scribe of P72 (whom you argue is most probably the final collector [p. 148]) has brought texts together that share a Christological "theme." If this Christological "common denominator" is not a theme, then what would you call it? You also say in your response that there are some features that “unite all the texts in the collection.” I appreciate that you shy away from the idea of a specific thematic coherence (such as “body”), but you still argue for a (Christological) coherence and this is made clear by your repeated use of words and phrases such as “unite,” “theological connections,” “common denominator,” “theological (or Christological) tendency.” You even recommend “a more detailed survey of the literary and theological connections between the writings of the codex…” (p. 148).

    In your later article with Nicklas you settle on a middle position, arguing that the Bodmer Codex is something in between composite and miscellaneous. However, I do not think you have clearly defined this middle ground. In my opinion, your conclusions about the “Christological tendencies” and “common denominator” of the codex strongly tend toward a “miscellaneous” classification (as these terms are usually defined). I think this is more “black and white” than you seem to admit.

    Regarding Turner’s idea of not wasting writing material, you ask on the blog, “[I]s this the kind of sole (pragmatic) motivation lying behind the collection of writings brought?” I have never said that it was the sole motivation, but it seems to me to complement the collecting process of heterogeneous material, especially since texts were added to the end of some codices, such as those found in the Crosby-Schoyen codex and BM Ms. Or. 7594.

    What I have primarily tried to draw attention to is the fact that the Bodmer Codex is not the only codex in which random Christian texts appear; there are in fact many others. In the codices which I mention on p. 17 as well as others, no apparent connection exists. I have also strongly considered Wisse’s analysis of the translation efforts of private Greco-Egyptian Christians:

    “This period [250-350 CE] is characterized by a number of uncoordinated translation efforts into various dialects serving, it would seem, mainly the interests of private Greco-Roman Christians. This would explain the production of MSS that include a curious selection of, or excerpts form, several OT and NT writings” (see the citation on p. 17 of my article).

  5. [The previous post was too long, so I continue here.]

    If we consider the possibility that the monks of the Pachomian monastery at Dishna were heavily involved in making copies and translations of Christian texts for their community, then this might help explain the curious selections in multi-text codices. Moreover, if we compare the Bodmer Codex with other Christian multi-text codices of roughly the same time period, it becomes obvious that the Bodmer Codex was not unique in its inclusion of various writings. There are many other codices which include completely random selections, (see the codices on p. 17 of my article and their contents in the footnotes). Given that the practice of including random texts in a single codex was somewhat widespread, I argue that we no longer need to think of the production of the Bodmer Codex in terms of what the collector had in mind or what "common denominator" he saw in the texts. Rather, I am arguing that we should consider these codices to be the result of an effort to establish codices in which there was as much desired material as could possibly fit.

    In any case, I think you are right that the modern categories “composite” and “miscellany” are confusing. I myself would be interested to know when the terms entered the modern scholarly discussion and especially who was the first person to make the distinction between them. I found that at times not everyone seems to understand the distinction in the same way.

  6. Tommy, perhaps you might consider collating my two responses here and posting them on the main blog page for readers' convenience.

  7. Unfortunately I do not have time for a long debate on this issue, I spent too much time yesterday, amidst teaching duties and research. But I will briefly reply.

    To Peter: yes, you are right that the terms may sound odd, and maybe that is the reason for the terminological confusion, but the terms, "composite" and "miscellany" are used in this particular way in the literature, in this case specifically by E. G. Turner who applied it to this codex and I felt it necessary to relate to his opinion (and Haines-Eitzen who had subsequently drawn from Turner).

  8. To Timo Flink: Perhaps it was. It will, however, not be divided into several parts (as you know we have had to do that several times). Also I doubt that we will reach "Peter's 50 comments" on this one.

  9. To Brice Jones: First, thanks for replying.

    You start by citing only half a sentence out of context which is unhelpful:

    "... may have had one particular theme in mind."

    Let me provide the context to this citation:

    "Kim Haines-Eitzen expressed a slight dissatisfaction with Martin’s ‘rather general explanation’ of the motive behind the collection, and she singled out the theme of the body as ‘perhaps the most pervasive’ in the texts of the codex and offered several examples from the texts. The body is certainly an important theme in the codex; however, one may well hesitate to call it ‘the most pervasive’. Since the final codex is probably made up of earlier collections, an identification of one single pervasive theme seems problematic. The final collector may have had one particular theme in mind, but more probably this person somehow found a common denominator in the texts, and, therefore, Martin’s original proposal of an apologetic collection does not have to be dismissed as being too general a characterization."

    So in this context I am dealing with Haines-Eitzen's proposal of one specific theme, and I am saying that the final collector *may* have had one theme in mind (as Haines-Eitzen has argued, and specifically singled out the body as such a theme) – I cannot say this is impossible, since I cannot look into this person's mind, and, as you know, it is a way of showing respect for the scholar you argue with (yes, it is possible ... but ...). Nevertheless, I say in the same sentence, the part you didn't cite, that *more probably* the person somehow saw in these texts a common denominator, and then I am also giving some credit to Martin's original proposal, that the collection (of earlier collections) could have filled an apologetic function.

  10. I thought this context was clear enough. I am arguing with another scholar who was very specific about one theme, and I think it is unlikely (not least given my reconstruction of its production), but I cannot say with 100% confidence that Haines-Eitzen is wrong (I normally do not when I argue with other scholars – in fact in this case you may be right, but I think you are wrong).

    The focus of my NTS article is to look at the production stages of the codex. I am suggesting that Turner was wrong in his codicological analysis (which, by the way, may have made him even more confident to label the codex a "composite" finding codicological links which are in reality uncertain), and it seems that most scholars now agree that Turner was wrong in his analysis.

    So if there are different codicological units, why were these earlier collections brought together in one codex? It did not save any writing material to produce this final collection.

    When I asked if it is suitable to see as the "sole motivation" for the final collection the desire not to waste any material, you reply that you do not see it as the sole motivation – that is progress (although in the same breath you point to two other codices).

    I asked that question, because it relates to the very definition of a composite codex which you work with (i.e., Turner's defintion, which you cite on p. 12 in your article). You conclude your article by saying that "the BC and CSC are composite codices, which have no common internal theme" (p. 19) and, further, that the term "composite" "better represents these codices for what they are – multi-text codices with no common theme" (p. 20).

    Again you seem to insist that composite = no common theme; miscellany = one common internal theme. And you read into my text that if a final collector (e.g., the scribe of P72, as I proposed one candidate) saw a common denominator in these texts (reader/function oriented), that is equal to the texts having one common internal theme.

    Why not several themes which would fit an apologetic purpose (note *function*), where several writings are aparently characterized by a high Christology. This latter fact, by the way, is what made me say that the scribe of P72 is a good candidate.

  11. So, a common theme is not the only reason for organizing texts in a single container; it is only an example (see my definition on p. 142), a common genre is another example, etc (see Nyström's discussion).

    Bottom line is that I maintain that "composite codex" (as defined by Turner) is not a suitable term for this codex we are now discussing; it is too loose.

    Again, I think a final collector saw a common denominator in these texts and decided to bring them together for a purpose other than the sole material aspect. The reason is that the texts are more or less homogeneous. Perhaps the collector just thought these writings would fill an edifying function for the congregation.

    As you can see, this very general motivation is not far from what you describe as "desired material", but for me, in this case, this is something more than just collecting any writing of interest (in whatever genre). Again I think "composite" is a suitable term for a codex found in the same library which contains classical works mixed with liturgical – you certainly do not expect to find them together.

    Again I think Nyström's focus on function is useful. If we can look at a codex like this and say that this must have been used by (proto-orthodox) Christians; it must have filled a function in their circle, then I think "miscellany" is a bit better than "composite", but I am not very happy with the terminology.

    That was hopefully my last word on this issue.

  12. Tommy, thank you for taking time out of your day to discuss. I apologize for leaving out the context of the one comment here on the blog; it is, however, in its fuller proper context in the article on p. 11. Just a few last comments on my part.

    You say: "'[C]omposite' is a suitable term for a codex found in the same library which contains classical works mixed with liturgical – you certainly do not expect to find them together." I agree with you. My only question is this: would we "expect" to find writings such as Titus and Isaiah together (P.Mich. 3992), Jonah and Acts (BM Ms. Or. 7594), Ecclesiastes and 1 John (P.Mich. 3520), or Jude and Psalms (P.Bodm. VII-IX)? Would the presence of one classical work be the sine qua non of a *true* composite codex? You say that that the texts of the Bodmer Codex "are more or less homogenous." I suppose you may also say that the texts of P.Mich. 3992 and the other codices mentioned above are homogenous, and this is perhaps possible, depending on your definition of homogenous. Admittedly all of these are all biblical texts, but does that necessarily mean they are homogenous? I would submit that it does not. Is it possible that these heterogenous texts (with different genres, contents, themes, etc.) could still "fill an edifying function for the congregation" without the scribe seeing in them any sort of common denominator? I think so. In my own article, I was suggesting that using the term "miscellany"—which you define as a codex with "several texts of different authors, but more or less homogenous (e.g. sharing a common theme) ... organized in a single container" (p. 142)—is not very helpful, since the texts within most multi-text codices, including the Bodmer Codex, do not share a common theme. Composite may be a better alternative, whether or not one agrees with Turner's initial codicological judgement.

    Thank you again, Tommy.


  13. Very briefly: It may be difficult in reality to put this or that codex in one of two categories (to be black or white as I phrased it). The presence of classical texts mixed with biblical makes in a factual example which I referred to would make it easier for me to label such a codex "a composite" withouth having studied it in detail.

    If, on the other hand, we find a codex made up of several earlier collections in independent codicological sections, and in this case all are theological works (yes, most reflect a high Christology), the likelihood increases that their binding together in one container had some kind of purpose other than just collecting texts of interest. I think "composite codex" in Turner's definition (which you work with) is not adequate.

    I regret we could not have this fruitful discussion before you wrote the article. I think it could have improved your arguments, definitions, and references, whether you choose to disagree with me or not on these issues.

  14. I have to admit that I agree with Peter. The use of terminology is confusing. Perhaps we really should stick with "multitext book".

  15. "Composite" and "miscellaneous" may need further work in definition, and they may represent two ends of a spectrum on which the Bodmer codex may be placed, but they still serve a purpose to understand differences between scribes in their selection - purposeful or accidental - of which texts went into which MS.

    The alternative of not using these terms but "multitext book" is the risk that all variations of scribes selecting books becomes lumped together, potentially even works such as P46 could be seen as "multitext books"

    Matthew Hamilton
    Sydney, Australia

  16. Matthew, what would you then do when neither "composite" nor "miscellaneous" apply?

  17. To Timo's question – unsure of when neither of those terms (or a point someway between them) would be applicable. My understanding is MSS might be divided in multiple ways, and leaving aside the problem of how to class non-comprehensive and non-continuous texts (writing exercises, etc), "Multitext books” only provides a basic contrast between MSS with a single text and MSS with two or more texts. It needs to be divided into texts with apparent homogeneity and apparent heterogeneity, with the MSS displaying apparent heterogeneity divided further into a spectrum of composite MSS and miscellaneous MSS.

    Early examples of homogeneous MSS include the following where there are two or more texts drawn from basically the same part of the Bible
    P4/64/67: Mt and Lk. Uncertain if from same codex
    P15/16: I Cor and Php. Uncertain if from same codex
    P30: I Thess and II Thess
    P45: Mt, Mk, Lk, Jn, and Acts
    P46: Rom, Heb, I Cor, II Cor, Eph, Gal, Php, Col, and I Thess
    P49/65: Eph, I Thess
    P53: Mt and Acts. Uncertain if from same codex and if remains from comprehensive texts
    P75: Lk and Jn
    P92: Eph and II Thess
    0172: Mt and Lk
    P.Balaizah 22+23: Eph, James, I Peter, I Jn. Coptic – a bit les homogeneous than other MSS listed here, all NT epistles but a mixture of Pauline and non-Pauline
    Unpublished MS with Letters of Paul: Gal, Eph, Col, I Thess, Heb. Coptic
    Vien.Nat.bib.K 8650+P.Fay.Copt.2: James and Jude. Coptic
    P.Baden IV 56+P.Heid.Inv.G 1020a: Ex and Dt
    P.Beatty VI+P.Mich.5554: Num and Dt
    P.Beatty IX et al.: Ezek, Dan, Bel and the Dragon, Susanna, and Esther – a bit less homogeneous than other MSS listed here
    P.Antin.I 8+II 210: Pv, Wisdom of Solomon, and Ecclesiasticus
    Washington MS of the Minor Prophets: Hos, Amos, Micah, Joel, Obad, Jonah, Nah, Hab, Zeph, Hag, Zech and Malachi. Also another text but this added at a later date – so the initial codex is a homogeneous “Multitext book” but the later addition may make it a heterogeneous “Multitext book”

    (to be continued: Matthew Hamilton)

  18. (Continuation)
    Early examples of heterogeneous MSS that include texts from different parts of the Bible or from the Bible and from outside of the Bible include:
    P6: Jn, James, I Clement. Bilingual Greek-Coptic
    P72: Acts of Phileas, 11th Ode of Solomon, Protovangelium Jakobi, 3 Corinthians, Psalms, Jude, I Pet and II Pet, Homily on the Passion, and Christian hymn
    P.Schoyen 2649 (Greek)+2648 (Greek)+2651+MS with Isaiah (Coptic)+2650 (Coptic): Lev, Joshua, another text, and Isaiah, tipped into a codex of Mt. Unfortunately I haven’t seen the recent publication of P.Schoyen II so am unaware how the relationship of these MSS is currently understood
    P.Beatty XV: Ps and Acts of Phileas
    Hamburg Staats-und Universitatsbibliothek Pap.bil.1: Acta Pauli, Song of Songs, Lamentations, and Ecclesiastes. Bilingual Greek-Coptic
    BM inv.2486+P.Montserratt II inv.84: Song of Songs and Aristide’s Apologia
    P.Bodmer XLV+XLVI+XLVII: Daniel, Susannah, apocryphal text, and Thuycides
    P.Bodmer III: Gen and John. Coptic
    BM.Or.7594: Dt, Jonah, and Acts. Coptic. The text of Apocalype of Elijah added at a later date in unused space at the end of the codex.
    Chester Beatty ac.1389: Joshua and Tobit. Coptic
    P.Mich.inv.3992: Ps, Isaiah, Jn, I Cor, Titus. Coptic. Unpublished and basically codicologically unstudied so Jones’ listing it with heterogeneous texts might be premature.
    P.Mich.Inv.3520: Ecclesiastes, II Peter and I Jn. Coptic
    Crosby-Schoyen MS.193: Homilia in passionem Christi, extract from II Macc., I Peter, Jonah, and a liturgical hymn. Coptic

    As to which of the above are composites cf. miscellanies – that needs further consideration. Some of the heterogeneous MSS might have themes and patterns to be discerned, but the mixtures might sometimes just be explained as the constraints of what the writer has available to them when they were writing, what the writer was interested in when they were writing, how much available writing space they had when they were writing, and what might be usefully salvaged from other codices that were damaged or dismembered – and this last point may require an understanding of the cost of binding books where two or more books might just have been bound together to because they economically could be, not because they shared a common theme or purpose.

    Matthew Hamilton
    Sydney Australia