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Greek Manuscripts

Greek Manuscripts

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Greek Manuscripts

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  1. Greek Manuscripts

  2. Papyri • Paper made from strips of papyrus reed. • Cheapest, most plentiful writing material – most fragile. • Two layers of papyrus strips laid at right angles, pressed together, and dried. • Sheets pasted side-by-side and rolled into a scroll. • Or folded and sewn into a codex (book-form). • Oldest NT manuscripts (2nd – 8th cent.). • More than 90 NT papyri – most are fragmentary – designated with Px. • Orthography tends to be crude, unprofessional. Papyrus Native to Nile Delta in Egypt Papyrus Scroll From Egypt c. 1000 BC Papyrus Codex Preferred by Christians over the scroll Papyrus Strips Laid in two layers, pressed, and dried

  3. Oldest copy of any portion of NT A fragment of John Found in Egypt Located in Rylands Library Proved that John must have been written by c. 100 P52 (c. 100-150) “Recto” “Verso”

  4. P46 (c. 200) • Oldest copy of Paul’s letters • Omits Pastorals, but includes Hebrews • Places doxology (Rom. 16:25-27) between 15:33 and 16:1 • Supports theory that Rom. 16 is not original One of the “Chester Beatty” Papyri

  5. One of earliest extensive copies of John Located in Bodmer Library (Cologny) John 1:3 reads ouden instead of oude en) P66 (c. 200)

  6. Contains Luke and John Located in Bodmer Library “Text type” is Alexandrian John 1:3 reads oude en instead of ouden) P75 (c. 200)

  7. Uncials • Written in capital letters on parchment. • Skins soaked in lime, scraped, stretched, and dried. • More expensive and durable than papyrus. • “Uncial” was a formal handwriting style using carefully executed, separated block letters (“bookhand”). • Nearly 300 NT uncial manuscripts (3rd – 10th cent.). • Identified with numbers beginning with 0. • Best known/most important uncials also designated with capital letters. • Orthography tends to be more careful, professional. • Emperor Constantine ordered 50 professional copies of Bible in 4th century.

  8. Important fourth-century uncial Contained LXX, whole NT, plus Epistle of Barnabas and Shepherd of Hermas Oldest complete NT manuscript One of our best manuscripts High quality parchment and calligraphy Has four columns per page May have been commissioned by emperor Constantine “Alexandrian” text type Discovered by Tischendorf at monastery of St. Catherine on Mt. Sinai Sinaiticus (a, 01) • John 1:3 • Original hand: ouden (like P66). • Corrector: oude en (like P75). • a* = original hand;ac = corrector; a2 = second corrector; etc.

  9. Alexandrinus (A, 02) • Fifth-century parchment of whole Bible • Includes 3 &4 Maccabees and 1 & 2 Clement • Catholic Epistles come before Paul’s letters • “Text type” is Byzantine in Gospels, Alexandrian in Acts and Paul • Best text of Revelation John 1:3 has oude en (like P75).

  10. Vaticanus (B, 03) • Important fourth-century uncial • Included whole Bible, but parts are missing • Located in Vatican Library • Best witness to “Alexandrian” text type • Note words in margin added by later hand to correct scribe’s omission John 1:3 has oude en (like P75).

  11. Codex Bezae (D, 05) • Fifth-century bilingual codex – Greek on left, Latin on right • Gospels and Acts • Poorly done – errors, misspellings, etc. • “Western” text type • Many additions, amplifications • Acts is 10% longer than normal. • After Lk. 6:4, has saying of Jesus found nowhere else • John 1:3 • Line 1: enegeto for egeneto. • Line 2: ouden (like P66).

  12. Minuscules • Written in lower-case running hand (9th – 14th century). • Nearly 3,000 minuscule manuscripts – vast majority of all manuscripts. • Designated with numbers not beginning with 0. • Tend to be late (medieval) and represent the generally inferior “Byzantine” text-type. • Byz in textual apparatus indicates that a majority of minuscules support a given reading. • The “Textus Receptus,” edited by Erasmus (and revised by Beza and Stephanus), is based on a few very late minuscules. • This text underlies the King James Version.

  13. Ms. 375 • 11th-century “minuscule” • Cursive script in lower-case letters, beginning in 9th century • Large majority of manuscripts are minuscules. • Text type is mostly “Byzantine.”

  14. Greek Gospel Ms. 2 • One of six mss. used by Erasmus • None older than 12th century • Published first printed Greek NT in 1516 • Poorly done, based on inferior mss., many errors • No ms. for closing verses of Rev. – back-translated from Vulgate • Note Erasmus’ corrections for printer at bottom of page. • Erasmus’ text, adapted by Beza and others, became the “Received Text” used by King James translators.

  15. Orthographic Features • Scriptio continua – no spaces between words, sentences, or paragraphs. • GODISNOWHERE • Absence of accents, breathing, and punctuation (rare until c. 8th century). • Use of abbreviations for nomina sacra. • QS = QEOS • IS = IHSOUS • CS = CRISTOS

  16. Manuscript Illumination • Codex Gigas (“giant”) • Largest biblical manuscript • Each page measures about 20 x 36 inches • Written in early 13th century • Sometimes called the “Djävulsbibeln”

  17. Z X Y Hypothetical “Stemma” (Family Tree of Manuscripts) A A B B C D E F G • Reading of B, C, and D has no more weight than one in A alone. • We can’t just count mss. – we have to consider relationships. • Best evidence would be a reading supported by A, (X), and (Y).

  18. Possible “Stemma” of NT “Text Types” Autographs Autographs Autographs Alexandrian Caesarean Western a B Aexcept gosp. P46 P75 etc. Q P37 P45 fam. 1 fam. 13 etc. D W it. P29 P38 P48 etc. Byzantine Agospels S most minuscules (Byz) Textus Receptus