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Abstracts

This chapter offers an overview of the emergence and significance of the editorial and scribal nomina sacra practice in Christian New Testament, Septuagint, and Pa-tristic texts. It is argued that the system of nomina sacra was devotional and creedal in character (an embryonic creedal pattern engrafted onto the text), and that the scribal practice helped structuring the biblical manuscripts also by means of arith-metical textual patterns, consisting of word frequencies associated with the divine Name. It is suggested that these paratextual features may have implications for tex-tual criticism and the ongoing dialogue between biblical and theological studies. An appeal is made for making these originally highlighted nomina sacra visible in pre-sent-day (Greek) New Testaments.

In: Studies On The Paratextual Features Of Early New Testament Manuscripts
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Abstracts

In Gal 6:11 Paul calls attention to his handwriting. “See with what large letters I am writing to you with my own hand.” This feature does not appear elsewhere in his writings. The question addressed is why Paul called attention to his “large letters” in Galatians. Are there patterns in the surviving documentary papyri that can possibly shed light on what Paul intended to convey by calling attention to his “large letters”? The conclusion is that there is no need to import back into his day anachronistic comparisons to modern writing practices. His inviting us to look at his large letters is an ironic appeal to his own humility that brags not in his accomplishments (includ-ing handwriting), but in the redemptive work of his Savior, Jesus.

In: Studies On The Paratextual Features Of Early New Testament Manuscripts

Abstracts

Building upon the authors’ prior work, this chapter examines how composite cita-tions were (or were not) differentiated from “normal” citations in all extant New Testament papyri and a selection of majuscule manuscripts (Sinaiticus, Vaticanus, Alexandrinus, Bezae, Claromontanus, and Boernerianus). To determine this, we examine the different ways that scribes (and readers) signal text citations using par-atextual features. The frequency of these features increases over time and, as a result, subsequent readers were more likely to include paratextual elements to signal a cita-tion of a text. Furthermore, the sophistication of their readings, as well as their recognition of composite citations, also increases over the centuries.

In: Studies On The Paratextual Features Of Early New Testament Manuscripts

Abstract

Marginal glosses in early papyrus and parchment fragmentary copies of the Greek New Testament are attested in over 20% of the corpus and provide a fascinating insight into the transmission, function, reception, use, re-use, and editorial activities that a manuscript has undergone. The variety and scope of paratextual features include titles, content summaries, pericope headings, punctuation marks, textual variants, transitional markers, pagination, decoration, topic descriptions and several more. The width of margin or interlinear space does not appear to be a factor in the frequency, quality, or extent of the marginal note. The present research provides a catalogue and classification of these marginalia, and a discussion of several implica-tions for scribal practice, textual transmission, and interpretive insight.

In: Studies On The Paratextual Features Of Early New Testament Manuscripts

Abstract

The primary aims are to illumine further our understanding of the properties of these tiny books and their functional purposes within the early Christian movement. It begins by examining the characteristics that (generally speaking) distinguish min-iature codices from other small documents, such as amulets. However, given the diversity of evidence, the distinction is not absolute, as some documents can be both a miniature codex and an amulet. In light of the overlap between these two catego-ries, a number of “hybrid” manuscripts are examined that disrupt attempts at simple classification. Finally, this chapter explores the function of miniature codices, noting that they served several different purposes: private reading, portability, expression of devotion, and protection/healing.

In: Studies On The Paratextual Features Of Early New Testament Manuscripts
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Abstracts

One important difference between early New Testament manuscripts and modern editions is punctuation. Most ancient manuscripts are written in scriptio continua and do not use punctuation. Conversely, modern editions of the New Testament use punctuation as reader aids. However, modern punctuation is interpretation. For instance, the punctuation may disambiguate passages which were intentionally am-biguous or polyvalent. Modern punctuation functions as authoritative and, looking at the Gospel of John, it appears there are cases where modern punctuation points the reader in a direction that is either not the most probable understanding of the text or even philologically improbable. In consequence there may be cases where punctuation is pointless or misses the point.

Open Access
In: Studies On The Paratextual Features Of Early New Testament Manuscripts

Abstracts

Paragraph marks and initials structure the text of the Bible in the Coptic tradition. This article is based on the complete manuscript tradition of the Gospel of John in Sahidic and minor Coptic dialects (173 manuscripts) and serves as a starting point for further research. First, it examines how the positioning of initials and para-graphoi correlate to pericopes in lectionaries and liturgical typika. It further exam-ines what changes occur between very early and very late-dated manuscripts.

In: Studies On The Paratextual Features Of Early New Testament Manuscripts
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Abstracts

A majority of the earliest New Testament manuscripts are found in scriptio continua, which omits any paragraph markers. However, a few major majuscules, such as Co-dex Sinaiticus, contain use of ekthesis, or reverse indentation, apparently function-ing as some sort of paragraph marker according to the scholarly consensus. This study begins by examining the linguistic descriptions of “paragraph” and seeks to apply a notion of paragraph to the Greek text of Galatians in Codex Sinaiticus as a test case. The conclusion is that based on the proposed definition of the elusive par-agraph, the ekthesis in Galatians of Sinaiticus reflects some type of paragraph delimi-tation to help divide the letter in some organized fashion.

In: Studies On The Paratextual Features Of Early New Testament Manuscripts