4.0227 Codex (1/38)

Elaine Brennan & Allen Renear (EDITORS@BROWNVM.BITNET)
Wed, 27 Jun 90 17:05:26 EDT

Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 4, No. 0227. Wednesday, 27 Jun 1990.

Date: Tuesday, 26 June 1990 1707-EST
Subject: Codex - Canon Addendum

This is a PS to my note earlier today on Codex - Canon. I forgot to
call attention to the fine study relating to the development of the
codex by Eric G. Turner entitled The Typology of the Early Codex (U.
Penn. Press, 1977). Turner supplies information on much of the hard
evidence important for this discussion; for example, in table 13 he
gives an inventory of codices dated before the 4th century CE (starting
with 2nd century CE). Of the approximately 30 examples of possibly 2nd
century codices, 6 are clearly "Christian" (gospel traditions, etc.), 12
are of Jewish scriptures, and the rest seem to have no Jewish or
Christian clear associations. Interestingly, Turner himself is only
confident about the second century date of 13 of these codices, of which
1 is Jewish scriptures (Ex+Deut; note the "order") and 4 are "Christian"
gospel traditions. He is sceptical (as am I) about the late 1st century
date assigned to P.Yale 1 by Bradford Welles, and would even suggest
"perhaps" (p.95) a 3rd century date for that fragment!

Reference should also be made to Kurt Treu's article on "Die Bedeutung
des Griechischen fuer die Juden im roemischen Reich" ["What Greek meant
for Jews in the Roman Empire"] in KAIROS 15 (1973) 123-144, which seems
to have made little impact on English language studies but is extremely
stimulating and competent. In his preface to the Codex volume, Turner
apologizes for his use of the term "Christian" to mean "Biblical" as

I have used "Christian" as a blanket term to describe theological,
religious, polemical or scriptural works that are obviously not "Greek
literature" [sic! from a classicist's perspective]. I wish I had used a
more neutral terminology. Dr. K. Treu has recently pointed out ... that
a number of anomalies make it less certain than has been generally
supposed that the use of the codex form and certain standardized _nomina
sacra_ are firm evidence that the text concerned is of Christian
ambiance. [Preface, xxii]

As is clear from my earlier note to which this is an appendix, I agree
fully with such caveats!

Bob Kraft, Religious Studies, Penn.