Monday, August 07, 2017

Cutting and Pasting P66 in Jn 18:34

One of the advantages of images being available:
The NT.VMR transcription of the first words of Jn 18:34 is απεκρινα̣[τ]ο ι̅ς, and the image looks like this (start at the beginning of the first line):

There is not much of the alpha present, and I was wondering how strong the case for the absence of the article with ιησους is. In line 3 there is the sequence ατο and a simple copy and paste gives this image:

It is still possible that there is a correction in the gap in the shape of the addition of an extra ο, but I am fine to cite P66vid for the absence of the article.


  1. You might be able to add some confirmation to the reconstruction by doing the same thing to the same place on the opposite side to see how the expected text fits into the available spacing there.

  2. Next thing you know, some conspiracy advocates will claim intentional photoshopping was used among some early MSS to produce a preferred divergent text -- and Dirk has shown how easily it can be done.

    Otherwise, I concur with Dirk as to the apparent absence of the article at this point.

  3. How confident can we be on the size of that space from the photograph?

    It seems like the way the fragment is shaped, it would be very easy to adjust the angle of the chunk that contains the ι̅ς slightly, and I'm not sure how to tell if the configuration shown is the best one, or how we can know for sure (maybe by the angles of the papyrus fibers?), or how much of a difference that could make.

  4. To be honest, just by following the angle of the line of text in the photograph as it appears on my screen, without careful analysis, it looks like the text to the left of the space angles slightly up and the text to the right of it angles slightly down.

    But the two chunks (sorry if there's a better papyrological word to use here) are just held together by a thread. If we had that fragment physically before us, couldn't we manipulate it to widen that space and take another photograph, without it being clear which of the two photographs better matches with how the text was configured before the papyrus was damaged?

    I know I posted essentially the same question twice, but I thought that the angles of the lines of text were worth mentioning.