P. Berlin 13977 (NT 0262): 1Ti 1.15-16

A few days ago I blogged about NT 0259 (P. Berlin 3065) which covers 1Ti 1.4-5, 6-7. Today I’ll blog a bit about NT 0262 (P. Berlin 13977). According to Peter Head (contra Elliott) these fragments are parchments, not papyrus. I don’t have the experience to tell the difference, but I trust Dr. Head’s judgment on such matters.

First, an image of NT 0262. According to Treu, this is a 7th century MS. The below is a digital photo of a plate in Kurt Treu, “Neue neutestamentliche Fragmente der Berliner Papyrussammlung”, Archiv für Papyrusforschung 18, 1966.

NT 0262 (P. Berlin 13977), 1Ti 1.15-16

Next, Treu’s transcription of 0262 (P. Berlin 13977). Note the unique orthography. Actually, it’s pretty wacky and is heavily phoneticised.

NT 0262 (P. Berlin 13977), 1Ti 1.15-16. Transcription by K. Treu

Treu also provides a normalisation of the transcription. Below is a table that compares the transcription with the normalisation. Treu’s normalisation matches the NA27 letter-for-letter. The bold areas in the left column note major orthographical deviations (i.e., big-time mis-spellings).

NT 0262 (P. Berlin 13977), 1Ti 1.15-16; transcription and normalisation

πιστος or ανθροπινος?

The phrase πιστος ο λογος is formulaic in the Pastorals. It occurs 5x (in NA/UBS) though instances in 1Ti 1.15 and 3.1 are debated; some witnesses have ανθροπινος ο λογος in 1Ti 1.15 and/or 3.1. Thus the reading of 0262 (P. Berlin 13977) may shed some light on the problem.

Treu’s reconstruction of the first word in 0262 (P. Berlin 13977) aligns with NA27. Elliott, not even mentioning the earliest and best MSS that support πιστος, reads ανθροπινος here and in 1Ti 3.1. Lock, in his 1924 ICC volume on the Pastorals, also reads ανθροπινος in 1Ti 1.15 and 3.1.* Tasker, in the Greek text of the New English Bible, reads πιστος in 1Ti 1.15 but ανθροπινος in 1Ti 3.1.** Lock and Elliott treat the two readings (1Ti 1.15 and 3.1) together though the evidence for each reading is not the same. Textual evidence for the variant in 1.15 is scant and only reflected in a handful of Latin witnesses; evidence for the variant in 3.1 is marginally better with only one Greek witness (the original hand of D) and a smattering of Latin witnesses.

0262 (P. Berlin 13977) does not testify to the whole word, but based on Treu’s reconstruction, it witnesses πιστος. The hand is not a well-practiced hand, and it is difficult to discern the –τος of πιστος. Help comes in the first line of column II, where προτος is witnessed. Comparing the –τος in both instances, one can make out the –τος at the start of column I. The strokes can be confirmed again by comparing with Χριστος in column I line 3. Unfortunately, the papyrus contains no –νος sequence (ανθροπι-νος) to compare against for complete verification.

Thus all indications are that 0262 (P. Berlin 13977) supports the commonly-accepted reading of πιστος ο λογος in 1Ti 1.15.

* Lock, W. (1924). A critical and exegetical commentary on the Pastoral epistles (I & II Timothy and Titus) (xxxvi). Edinburgh: T. & T. Clark.

** R.G.V. Tasker. New English Bible Greek Text.

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