• Would this slander also include telling something that is true to someone who does not need to know in order to defame the character of the person being talked about?
    1. Jason, this commentary was withdrawn from FaithLife. I published a greatly revised edition last year with Fontes Press.
    2. Thank you, I have still enjoyed the commentary!
  •  — Edited

    I have enjoyed our 10 day journey in reading NT mss but I must end my involvement due to the new semester and other responsibilities. I will miss our interactions. I close with a larger image of Jude1-5 from Codex Alexandrinus, the 4th oldest complete copy of Jude. Click on the BW image to see it a bit larger. All the elements are here that we have discussed. Note the indents at vv 1, 3, 4, 5 and the IC nomen sacrum in v 5, last line. Happy reading!
    1. Thanks. I recommend 2 books by Philip Comfort. Encountering the Manuscripts Earliest New Testament Texts (transcipts)
    2. Oh yes, Mahlon. you certainly have my permissions to post on your blog.
    3. Thanks!
  • Here is Jude 5 from the NA28: Ὑπομνῆσαι δὲ ὑμᾶς βούλομαι, εἰδότας ὑμᾶς ἅπαξ πάντα ὅτι Ἰησοῦς λαὸν ἐκ γῆς Αἰγύπτου σώσας τὸ δεύτερον τοὺς μὴ πιστεύσαντας ἀπώλεσεν. Below is Jude 5 in p72. Good luck in reading it. Note the faint read line where the first word starts and the red line where the verse ends. Now take note of the two underlined nomina sacra, θC XΡC, or "God Christ." This is called a "singular reading" because it is found in no other Greek manuscript. Image courtesy of CSNTM.
    1. Hi Dr. V. I was reading in Comfort's "Encountering the manuscripts", pg 223, regarding the nomina sacra XPC, or what he calls the "longer contracted form". He mentions P78 of Jude, dated early 4th century, and which contains a fragment of Jude. I went over to the CSNTM site to study P78. I could not locate the contracted form (the papyri are very difficult for me to read, but I'm trying!). If I'm on a rabbit trail here, my apologies. Anyway, I saw the first half of verse 5, but it cuts off right before the spot we are looking at. Anyhow, with the longer contracted form existing (per Comfort) in a manuscript of the same date, would this possibly explain from a dating standpoint why we see the longer contracted form of XPC along with IC in P72? Here is the link. http://www.csntm.org/manuscript/zoomify/GA_P78?image=P78_0003b.jpg&page=0#viewer
    2. Here is the entire transcription of p78 from another of Comfort's books: 4γιαν και τον μο νον δεσποτην και κ̅ν̅ ημων ι̅η̅ν̅ χ̅ρ̅ν̅ αρνουμενοι· 5ϋπο μνησαι δε ϋμας βουλομε αδελφο̣ι̣ [verses 5b–7a missing due to the loss of four leaves or one folio] 7αιωνιου δικην επεχουσαι 8ομοιως μεντοι και ουτοι ενϋπνειαζομε νοι σαρκα μεν μι αινουσιν κυρει οτητα δε αθετου σιν δοξαν̣ δε [βλα Text of the Earliest New Testament Greek Manuscripts
    3. Cool. Thanks!
  •  — Edited

    We jump to Jude 5 - for a reason. This is where reading a Greek manuscript can make text criticism come alive because you can SEE the issue that critics are discussing. Below are images of Codex Sinaiticus and Vaticanus. First notice in Sinaiticus, line 4, the first word is KC, the nοmen sacrum for κυριος. Now note Vaticanus, middle of line 4, the word is IC, the nomen sacrum for Ιησους. Also notice the two dots in the right margin which point out knowledge of a variant reading. The scribe of B was aware of the KC variant reading. Thus we have the two oldest uncials, א and B, disagreeing on whether it was the Lord or Jesus who brought them out of Egypt and then destroyed the unbelievers. NA27 had κυριος but one of the new readings in NA28 is Ιησους. We are not going to solve this issue here (see Wasserman argument below), but being able to read the mss shows how a scribe could inadvertently mistake KC for IC, because their similarities as nomina sacra are not there in their full spellings! More later on the "singular" reading of p72 at this point. Thanks to BW for the images.
    1. Two thoughts, which are really questions: 1). In looking at my NA27 (I don't have my NA28 with me), I noticed that there is a variant reading of the nominative, masculine, singular article with ΚΥΡΙOC in the text. In the literature, does this impact the development of the differences we see between ΚC and XC? 2). Can we determine whether or not certain nomina sacra were used interchangeably to reflect a theological conviction of the scribes? In other words, when a scribe would had seen KC, could they had written in IC without being necessarily an error, since they were thinking "κυριος = Ιησους" hence "ΚC = IC"?
    2. New idea to me, Mahlon. My first response is "no" I don't think so. If anything, I think it was a confusion between the two, not an instance of seeing them both the same. One theological comment. Even accepting that κυριος was original, the author would not be denying that the referent is Jesus. I think that the similarity of the two nomina sacra contributed to a variant reading, Now, which one was the original? For your consideration: Jesus was present at the exodus according to 1 Cor 10:4 & 9.
    3. BTW: I like the "amen" button. In your posting of P72 and getting to look at my NA28, there are certainly a whole host of options in terms of nomina sacra. To me it seems the wide variety of nomina sacra among the variants is asserting all the more the theological conviction among the scribes. I'm going to review Comfort's discussion of these nomina sacra. I'm enjoying this site. Keep em' coming. Blessings!
  • Take a look first at Jude 3: Ἀγαπητοί, πᾶσαν σπουδὴν ποιούμενος γράφειν ὑμῖν περὶ τῆς κοινῆς ἡμῶν σωτηρίας ἀνάγκην ἔσχον γράψαι ὑμῖν παρακαλῶν ἐπαγωνίζεσθαι τῇ ἅπαξ παραδοθείσῃ τοῖς ἁγίοις πίστει. (NA28) Now how it looks in Codex Sinaiticus:
    1. You are doing fine, Jeannie.
    2. Two questions about line 8. I notice that instead of ΓΡΑΨΑΙ (like in Vaticanus), Siniaticus as ΓΡΑΦΙΝ. 1). Am I reading that correctly? 2). Is this a case of itaicism, with it being an alternate spelling of γραφειν (ΓΡΑΦΕΙΝ)? I say this because I noticed that the variant reading γραφειν (per NA27) is found only in א,Ψ and minuscule 1505.
    3. Yes, Mahlon, correct.
  •  — Edited

    Today's lesson is a brief one. It is Jude 2 which reads as follows in the NA28: ἔλεος ὑμῖν καὶ εἰρήνη καὶ ἀγάπη πληθυνθείη. We will then see the text in p72, B, and א. Click on each image to enlarge it. 1. Find the initial word ελεος in the middle of the first line of p72. 2. Both p72 and א again evidence itacism in omitting the ε in πληθυνθείη. Note that the א scribe omitted the theta and then added it back in. However, he may have planned it that way to get the iota on the same line! 3. Note in p72 how similar the two etas and the nu are in the second line in the word εἰρήνη. Note in p72 how uncials are starting to give away to cursives with the scribe's combining the alpha and iota in the καὶ at the end of line 1. 4. In א notice the rough breathing mark over the initial upsilon in ὑμῖν. These began to be added in the Hellenistic Period (300BC-300AD). The breathing marks and accents were added to Vaticanus later. Since there is not too much earthshaking here, I will add as a comment below a list of Jude's triads, like the three virtues in this verse.
    1. What a treat. I feel like I am in a textual studies class. Would like to copy over, and document on a reference manager!
    2. I don't see where Sinaiticus added the ε back in? I just see the θ immediately before the ι. Am I missing what you are saying? This is a great idea for a forum! Thanks!
    3. Well put, Jason. You have picked up an error. I meant to write that he first omitted a theta and then added it back in, or maybe intended it to be that way. I will try to make that correction. DrV
  •  — Edited

    OK, we have been looking at Sinaiticus and Vaticanus on Jude 1. Now we look at the oldest copy of Jude, p72, dating to 300AD or a bit earlier. It is a challenge because the scribe was not as skilled as those two large codices. Perhaps it would be good to compare the text with the more familiar Greek font in an earlier post. Then follow along with my attempt to help you read p72. Image courtesy of CSNTM. Sorry if it is not clear. The manuscript isn't either.
    1. Yes, I should not have assumed the "recognizability" of the uncial upsilon which looks so much like the English Y. Thanks for pointing this out! And yes, that is the definition of "itacism" that I am using.
    2. Just want to say thank for the observations, Dr Varner and Mahlon Smith. I am following along, and I hope to get better at these observations. This helps me understand the scribal work behind the text, and the textual history.
    3. Permit a theological observation. All three terms which Jude uses to describe his readers can be viewed as coming from Isaiah's Servant Songs. There Israel is described as called, loved and kept by God (called: Isa 41:9; 42:6; 48:12, 15; 49:1; 54:6; loved: 42:1; 43:4; cf. 44:2 LXX; kept: 42:6; 49:8). As we think about textuality, let us not forget inter-textuality! And also not forget the LXX!
  •  — Edited

    Read a Biblical manuscript with me. What strikes you about Jude 1 in Sinaiticus? Maybe this will help: Ἰούδας Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ δοῦλος, ἀδελφὸς δὲ Ἰακώβου, τοῖς ἐν θεῷ πατρὶ ἠγαπημένοις καὶ Ἰησοῦ Χριστῷ τετηρημένοις κλητοῖς· Images courtesy of Bible Works and Vatican. Transcription courtesy of Logos/Faithlife.
    1. Thank you for starting this group Dr Varner. Very fascinating for a beginning biblical languages student like me. Very interesting to see the image of the manuscript, and to begin to understand the work of the scribe.
    2. OK, look at the Vaticanus image. You may have to click on "Show previous replies" 1. Instead of indentation, the first letter of ΙΟΥΔΑC (uncial iota) is decorated in the margin. This different style works against the suggestion that א and B were part of the 50 mss commissioned by Constantine. While similar in text type, they differ physically in just too many ways. 2. Keep in mind that later scribes also worked on this manuscript. For example, the accents were added later (14th cent?). Actually some scribe also strengthened each stroke of the ms. 3. Not surprisingly there are also nomina sacra. The original scribe did not have as many scrunched line endings because he tried to end words at the end of the line. This was not always possible. Note the end of line 3 where the ptcp ἠγαπημένοις is broken at the alpha so as not to begin the next line with a vowel. 4. MOST IMPORTANTLY. Note the two dots (diaresis) in the right margin of line 3. This signifies that the scribe (maybe the original one, not definite) was aware of a textual variant at this point. Undoubtedly this is the ptcp ηγιασμενοις which is found in K L P and most minuscules, including the Textus Receptus. Metzger writes that this was "modeled upon 1 Cor 1.2, and was introduced by copyists in order to avoid the difficult and unusual combination ἐν θεῷ πατρὶ ἠγαπημένοις."
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