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The NT and Early Papyri: New publication

January 24, 2013

I’m pleased to have in today’s post my contributor’s copy of a new volume on the relevance of papryi (both biblical and non-biblical) for interpretation of the NT:  Papyrologie und Exegese:  Die Auslegung des Neuen Testaments im Licht der Papyri, ed. Jens Herzer (WUNT 2/341; Tuebingen:  Mohr Siebeck, 2012).  The publisher’s page on the volume is here.  The volume offers published versions of papers given at a special symposium organized under the auspices of the Corpus Judaeo-Hellenisticums Project (led by Karl-Wilhelm Niebuhr, the project web-site here).

My own paper leads off the volume:  “The Early New Testament Papyri:  A Survey of Their Significance,” pp. 1-18.  (I’ve placed a pre-publication version of this paper under the “Selected Essays” tab on this blog-site, “NT Papyri”).  I review early NT papyri, the amount of NT text that they collectively preserve (for each of several NT writings), their provenance, their text-critical significance (engaging previous discussions such as that my my former teacher, E. J. Epp), and other historical issues (e.g., preference for the codex, nomina sacra, evidence of settings in which these writings were read).

The other essays (all in German, except for one) are by Joachim Hengstl (on judicial terminology in Greek papyri and the relevance for NT interpretation), Reinhold School and Margit Homann (on ancient “letter-culture”), Peter Arzt-Grabner (on the the political situation of Judaism in the first century in light refrences in  Greek papyri), Karl-Heinrich Ostmeyer (on the Greek term “politeuma” in the NT and “politeuma-papyri” from Herakeopolis), Roberta Mazza (“The Papyrological Commentary of the Gospel of Mark: Themes, Issues and Some Results of a Work in Progress”), and Martin Meiser (the description of healings in early Jewish and NT literature).

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4 Comments
  1. Sir i too read your book The Earliest Christian Artifacts: Manuscripts And Christian Origins, it is brilliant read and a through scholarly disposal of the topic at hand

    In your book on page 3 you say ” Among these pre-Constantinian manuscripts, a small but growing number are dated as early as the second century, and these second-century manuscripts now constitute the earliest extant artifacts of Christianity.”

    Sir is this statement still stands today or are there new finds which predate this .

    • I know of no additional manuscript dated to the 2nd century published since my Artifacts book. Keep in mind that the dating of literary manuscripts is a matter of comparative palaeographical judgement (whereas “documentary” texts, such as letters, contracts, etc. typically have a date written in them).

  2. Matthew G. Zatkalik permalink

    Am enjoying finding out all kinds of ‘things’ from your book The Earliest Christian Artifacts. It is my first exposure to this significant information.

    • Always nice to hear from readers! The Artifacts book was intended to introduce a wider circle of scholars and other readers to the nature and importance of various data connected with earliest Christian manuscripts.

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