New Coptic Fragments of 2 Timothy & Titus

In the most recent Journal of Biblical Literature, Brice C. Jones has published an article on three new Coptic papyrus fragments that witness text of the Pastoral Epistles.

Brice C. Jones, “Three New Coptic Papyrus Fragments of 2 Timothy and Titus (P.Mich. inv. 3535b)”. Journal of Biblical Literature, no 2 (2014): 389–397.

The article provides discussion and transcriptions of the fragments. Text on the fragments are:

  • Fragment 1: 2 Tim 2:14–18; 2:26–3:3
  • Fragment 2: 2 Tim 1:6–11; 1:18–2:6
  • Fragment 3: 2 Tim 4:18–20; Titus 1:7–9

Jones hesitates to provide dates any more specific than “sometime between the fourth and sixth centuries” (392).

I have yet to really read the article, but any time fragments of NT text are located, it is an important thing. Thanks to Brice C. Jones (see his blog) for his work in publishing these fragments.

New Article on Coptic Papyrus Fragments of 2 Timothy & Titus

Brice Jones has published an article titled, “Three New Coptic Papyrus Fragments of 2 Timothy and Titus (P.Mich. inv. 3535b),” [full text in pdf] in the latest issue of the Journal of Biblical Literature. The article publishes for the first time the extant remains of a Sahidic Coptic papyrus codex containing portions of 2 Timothy 1–4 and Titus 1 along with paleographical analysis and commentary.


P46 and the Pastoral Epistles

At the Society of Biblical Literature meeting Edgar Battad Ebojo presented a paper titled, “P46 with the Pastoral Epistles: A Misleading Proposal? Reinvestigating the Evidence of the Missing Last Pages of P46” P46 is an early significant document containing Paul’s letters (plus Hebrews) which is missing its last pages ( It has commonly been stated that the document would not have had enough pages to include the Pastoral Epistles, and, therefore, this is evidence that the Pastorals were not considered Pauline at this early date. However, in 1988 Jeremy Duff published an article [“P46 and the Pastorals: A Misleading Consensus?” NTS 44 (1998): 578-590]
arguing that the Pastoral Epistles would fit because the scribe was beginning to squeeze more words in per page in the last pages we have.

Ebojo provided meticulous examination of P46, character count, per line, variations, etc. The detail was impressive. He demonstrated subjectivity in the work of much of the preceding discussion and ended with the suggestion that P46 is not the place to look for information on the authorship or canonicity of the Pastoral Epistles.

Ebojo’s work was exemplary in its detail and helpful in its modesty in its claims.

Early(ish) Witnesses to the Pastoral Epistles

I&rsquot;ve recently taken the time to work through the contents of papyri and uncials dated 5th century and before, from a few different sources. I was pleasantly surprised at the number of MSS witnessing the Pastoral Epistles.

MS Date Contents
P32 ca 200 (Comfort & Barrett: 150-200) Titus 1.11-15; 2.3-8
01 (Sinaiticus) 5th century 1Ti, 2Ti, Titus
02 (Alexandrinus) 5th century 1Ti, 2Ti, Titus
04 (Ephraemi) 5th century 1Ti 1.1-3.9; 5.20-6.21; 2Ti 1.1-2; Titus 1.1-2
016 5th century 1Ti 1.1-3, 10-13; 1.19-2.1, 9-13; 3.7-9; 4.1-3, 10-13; 5.5-9, 16-19; 6.1-2, 9-11, 17-19; 2Ti 1.1-3, 10-12; 2.2-5, 14-16, 22-24; 3.6-8, 3.16-4.1, 8-1, 18-20; Titus 1.1-3, 10-11; 2.4-6, 14-15; 3.8-9
048 5th century 1Ti 5.5-6.17, 20-21; 2Ti 1.4-6, 8; 2.2-25; Titus 3.13-15
061 5th century (Tisch: 4th-6th) 1Ti 3.15-16; 4.1-3; 6.2-4, 5-8
088 5th-6th century Titus 1.1-13
0240 5th century Titus 1.4-8
0241 5th-6th century 1Ti 3.16-4.3, 8-11

Dates are from NA27 unless otherwise specified.

My sources include:

Comfort & Barrett, $amz(0842352651 The Text of the Earliest Greek New Testament Manuscripts). [Logos Version]

Tischendorf’s Novum Testamentum Graece, Editio Octavo Critica Maior, prolegomena volume [Logos Version]

NA27 Appendix I, Codices Graeci et Latini in hac editione adhibiti.

Comfort, Metzger, Omanson, NET and Westcott & Hort

[NB: Cross-posted from my personal blog, ricoblog. — RB]

In a post on my personal blog I threatened to do some comparisons between Comfort, Metzger, Omanson’s rewrite of Metzger and (where applicable) Westcott & Hort’s "Notes on Selected Passages". First, the list of books:

  • Comfort: $amz(141431034X New Testament Text and Translation Commentary) (Tyndale, 2008)
  • Omanson: $amz(1598562029 A Textual Guide to the New Testament) (German Bible Society, 2006) This is a "geared towards translators" edition of Metzger’s Textual Commentary.
  • Metzger: $amz(1598561642 A Textual Commentary on the Greek New Testament, Second Edition) (United Bible Societies, 1994)
  • NET: $amz(0737500611 NA27/NET Diglot) (Biblical Studies Press, 2004). I realize that the non-diglot NET has more notes and may have greater coverage, but the diglot is the only edition I have to hand at present.
  • Westcott & Hort: $amz(159244198X The New Testament in the Original Greek: Introduction and Appendix) (Vol. 2). (MacMillan & Co., 1896)

In this post, I’ll provide a list of readings covered in the book of First Timothy. I may expand upon some of the readings in subsquent posts. In this list, the following abbreviations are used: C = Comfort; O = Omanson; M = Metzger; NET = NET Bible TC notes; WH = Westcott & Hort

  • 1Ti 1.1: C O M NET
  • 1Ti 1.4a: C O M
  • 1Ti 1.4b: C O M NET WH
  • 1Ti 1.12: C
  • 1Ti 1.15: O M
  • 1Ti 1.17a: C O M
  • 1Ti 1.17b: C M NET
  • 1Ti 2.1: C O M
  • 1Ti 2.7a: C O M NET
  • 1Ti 2.7b: C
  • 1Ti 3.1 segmentation: O
  • 1Ti 3.1: C M WH
  • 1Ti 3.3: C M
  • 1Ti 3.16 segmentation: O
  • 1Ti 3.16: C O M NET WH
  • 1Ti 4.3: WH
  • 1Ti 4.10: C O M NET
  • 1Ti 4.12: C M
  • 1Ti 5.4: C
  • 1Ti 5.5: C
  • 1Ti 5.16: C O M NET
  • 1Ti 5.18: C O M
  • 1Ti 5.19: M WH
  • 1Ti 5.21: C
  • 1Ti 6.3: C M
  • 1Ti 6.5: C O M NET
  • 1Ti 6.7: C O M NET WH
  • 1Ti 6.9: C O M
  • 1Ti 6.13: C O M NET
  • 1Ti 6.17: C O M
  • 1Ti 6.19: C O M
  • 1Ti 6.21a: C O M NET
  • 1Ti 6.21b: C O M
  • 1Ti subscription: C M

Interesting standouts: First, Comfort’s coverage is most thorough in number of variations handled. Outside of the "segmentation" issues only noted by Omanson, Comfort misses 1Ti 1.15; 4.3; 5.19. These are areas that are of some text-critical interest, but not necessarily where differences arise in translation. Items that Comfort alone handles include 1Ti 1.12; 2.7b; 5.4, 5, 21.

Westcott and Hort don’t intend to be comprehensive (they only have 140 pages for the whole NT), but it is interesting that in 2 of the 5 places they show up, Comfort is silent: 1Ti 4.3; 5.19. The discussion in 1Ti 5.19 is about how a phrase in the Greek text is not found in some extant Latin witnesses. In the case of 1Ti 4.3, it is simply difficult extant text. While these are issues, it is pretty obvious that these sorts of things don’t really fit the target that Comfort (and Omanson) are trying to hit. W&H give text-critical information to text critics; Comfort and Omanson translate the text-critical information for a larger audience. Metzger sort of sits in the middle of both.

I may dig further into some of these, particularly those that have examples in every listed source (perhaps 1Ti 1.4b or 1Ti 6.7? 1Ti 3.16 is so well-known as to be over-analyzed), just to compare the level of discussion and style of notes each edition has. Let me know if you’re interested in that sort of thing.

Second Clement and First Timothy

So, I’ve been reading Second Clement lately. Today, while looking at 2Cl 3 in $amz(080103468X Holmes’ Apostolic Fathers), and I noticed an interesting—in light of 1Ti 2.4—variant. Convienently, we only have Second Clement extant in two Greek editions (and one Syriac). So I’m assuming that Holmes has been exhaustive in his variants (outside of orthographical issues) between Codex Alexandrinus (5th century) and Codex Heirosolymitanus (9th century).

Here’s Holmes’ text (with interesting section in bold):

Τοσοῦτον οὖν ἔλεος ποιήσαντος αὐτοῦ εἰς ἡμᾶς—πρῶτον μέν, ὅτι ἡμεῖς οἱ ζῶντες τοῖς νεκροῖς θεοῖς οὐ θύομεν καὶ οὐ προσκυνοῦμεν αὐτοῖς, ἀλλὰ ἔγνωμεν διʼ αὐτοῦ τὸν πατέρα τῆς ἀληθείας—τίς ἡ γνῶσις ἡ πρὸς αὐτόν, ἢ τὸ μὴ ἀρνεῖσθαι διʼ οὗ ἔγνωμεν αὐτόν; (2Cl 3.1, Holmes Greek)
Seeing, then, that he has shown us such mercy—first of all, that we who are living do not sacrifice to dead gods, nor do we worship them, but through him have come to know the Father of truth—what else is knowledge with respect to him if it is not refusing to deny him through whom we have come to know him? (2Cl 3.1, Holmes English)

Holmes follows Alexandrinus (which is usually, apart from orthography, a smart idea, according to none other than J.B. Lightfoot). But note Heirosolymitanus’ reading:

Τοσοῦτον οὖν ἔλεος ποιήσαντος αὐτοῦ εἰς ἡμᾶς—πρῶτον μέν, ὅτι ἡμεῖς οἱ ζῶντες τοῖς νεκροῖς θεοῖς οὐ θύομεν καὶ οὐ προσκυνοῦμεν αὐτοῖς, ἀλλὰ ἔγνωμεν διʼ αὐτοῦ τὸν πατέρα τῆς ἀληθείας—τίς ἡ γνῶσις της αληθειας, ἢ τὸ μὴ  αὐτόν διʼ οὗ ἔγνωμεν; (2Cl 3.1, Heirosolymitanus)

Haven’t thought much about the deletion/pronoun shift at the end of the verse, but note how “knowledge concerning him” in Alexandrinus is “knowledge concerning the truth” in Heirosolymitanus. That evokes 1Ti 2.4:

ὃς πάντας ἀνθρώπους θέλει σωθῆναι καὶ εἰς ἐπίγνωσιν ἀληθείας ἐλθεῖν. (1Ti 2.4, NA27)
who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.(1 Ti 2:4, ESV)

Of course, there are some explanations for the Heirosolymitanus reading. της αληθειας echoes the earlier phrase, “father of the truth”; it could be a scribe’s errant duplication of that phrase. But that doesn’t necessarily account for the balance of changes, does it? The balance of the changes in this verse, I’d guess, force consideration of a deliberate change, not an errant one. That is, it seems to me the balance of the changes make the first change work. In that light, who knows which one is the better reading? In this case, we have the “majority rules” trump card — the Syriac witness supports Holmes’ reading.

 I scanned the rest of the variants to see if there might be some gnostic vibe to the differences in Greek editions, but didn’t see any. My guess is that Holmes (and Lake, and Lightfoot) is right.

But still interesting to think about nonetheless. It also goes to show why familiarity with period texts (in this case, Apostolic Fathers and the New Testament) helps so much when thinking about text-critical issues.

More on 0259 and 0262; or, Parchments with First Timothy Content

I blogged about this back in May and fully meant to follow up then, but life as a new father has been busy. Here are some background posts:

Those posts only have excerpts of the study I did on the variants in those passages and what the parchments might say about them. My fuller notes are in this PDF file: Treu Papyri.pdf (536.29 KB). I should’ve posted it two months ago, but oh well.

Of course, I’m interested in any feedback anyone might have. Thanks!

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.

Treu Papyrus 3605: 1Ti 1.4-5, 6-7

I blogged a little while back about papyri with content from First Timothy. I’ve found some time to poke around the articles. Jim West has graciously agreed to help me by translating the relevant sections from German into English; when that material is available I’ll post it on the blog as well.

But I simply couldn’t wait any longer and had to do some blogging about this. So here is P3605 from Kurt Treu’s article:

Kurt Treu, “Neue neutestamentliche Fragmente der Berliner Papyrussammlung”, Archiv für Papyrusforschung 18, 1966. p. 36.

Update (2007-05-21): I sent an email to Peter Head (Evangelical Textual Criticism) to refer him to this stuff and hopefully get a little more information. He kindly responds:

Just a note that P. Berlin 3605 is NT 0259 and P. Berlin 13977 is 0262. So they are both in Aland, KL (the 1994 edition anyway), but are obviously on parchment, not papyrus (despite their location in the Papyrussammlung!).

Thanks, Dr. Head!

This papyrus fragment is from the 6th or 7th century. Below I’ve typed Treu’s transcription and have presented it as an image to preserve formatting, etc.

Perhaps the most interesting reading in the papyri is οικονομιαν in line 2. P3605 supports the NA27 reading, against J.K. Elliott who here follows the reading of D’s first hand and Irenaeus, οικοδομην.* Elliott rejects οικονομιαν, contending that it came about as a replacement for οικοδομην. He bases his judgment on the list of atticisms found in Phrynichus** which contains οικοδομη (οικοδομημα) as objectionable. Thus, reasons Elliott, scribes replaced οικοδομην with the less objectionable (and fitting NT/PE style) οικονομιαν (cf. Tt 1.7 and also Col 1.25; Eph 1.10, 3.2; 1Co 9.17).

But Elliott’s reasoning—reject the word because it is on a list of atticisms—is as arbitrary as rejecting a reading because it is the longer reading or because it is not the most difficult reading. These are guidelines that come about as a result of witnessed trends, not hard-and-fast rules. The whole picture must be examined, and the quality and witness of MSS supporting οικονομιαν (Sinaiticus, Alexandrinus, and several other uncials: FGKLPH) must also contribute to the decision. P3605 supports that already overwhelming evidence.

I’ve been working through all variants I can find for this section of text (largely from Treu’s article, Elliott’s work in the Pastorals, NA27 and Tischendorf) and will have a PDF with discussions like on these variants available for download at some future point.

Also, in the hopefully not-too-distant future I’ll blog about one more reading in P13977 (1Ti 1.15-16) and provide a transcription of that papyri as well.

* Elliott, J.K. The Greek Text of the Epistles to Timothy and Titus. (Studies and Documents 26). Salt Lake City: University of Utah Press, 1968. p. 19.

** For Phrynichus’ list, see Chrys C. Caragounis, The Development of Greek and the New Testament: Morphology, Syntax, Phonology and Textual Transmission. Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2007. pp. 125-137.

Two Papyri Witnessing First Timothy 1

I previously mentioned I’d located a copy of the following:

Title: ARCHIV FÜR PAPYRUSFORSCHUNG und verwandte Gebiete. Begründet v. U. Wilcken. Band 18.
Description: Hrsg. v. Fr. Zucker. Leipzig, Teubner, 1966. Gr.-8vo. 2 Bl., 122 S., 1 Bl., 6 Tafeln. OKart. (unaufgeschnitten). (OP 0006) Enthält u.a.: E. Wipszycka: Das Textilhandwerk und der Staat im römischen Ägypten.- K. Treu: Neue neutestamentliche Fragmente der Berliner Papyrussammlung.- R. Koerner: Eine griechisch-christliche Grabinschrift aus Nubien.- Ders.: Eine Weihinschrift aus der Zeit Ptolemaios V. sowie ein ausführliches Urkundenrefarat des Herausgebers.

This was originally mentioned in J.K. Elliott’s text-critical work on the Pastorals; Luke Timothy Johnson further mentions it in a footnote, though he also mentions he was unable to find a copy. Thanks to the magic of the internet, I was able to locate a copy and my curiosity got the best of me.

Today’s mail brought the journal from a bookseller in Germany. Treu’s article publishes a number of NT papyri, some of which are in Aland’s Kurzgefaßte Liste, others of which aren’t (at least as of 1966, the journal publication date).

Two of these papyri — neither on Aland’s list — witness First Timothy.

  • P3605: 1Ti 1.4-7. From Fayyum area. 6/7th century
  • P13977: 1Ti 1.15-16. ca. 7th century

An unexpected surpise — there’s even a plate with an image of P13977. The image quality isn’t great, but it’s better than nothing. There are transcriptions along with brief apparatus and discussion in Treu’s article.

There is nothing earth-shattering in these papyri, though the orthography in P13977 is crazy — like some ancient version of “hooked on phonics”. I’ll blog in the future on each of them; no real time to do so right now. I’ll see what I can squeeze in over the next while.

Update (2007-05-21): I sent an email to Peter Head (Evangelical Textual Criticism) to refer him to subsequent posts on this material and hopefully get a little more information. He kindly responds:

Just a note that P. Berlin 3605 is NT 0259 and P. Berlin 13977 is 0262. So they are both in Aland, KL (the 1994 edition anyway), but are obviously on parchment, not papyrus (despite their location in the Papyrussammlung!).

Thanks, Dr. Head!