Wednesday, October 18, 2017

MS Contents: NT Text and Material Document

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Perusal of the LDAB over the past several days has yielded some interesting results in researching the contents of “NT MSS.” In the process, it has become clear that the Nestle-Aland edition and, even the Liste, describe MS contents in an unhelpful way, if one is looking at their listings for documentary evidence within the MSS. If one is looking at matters from a NT text perspective, then these resources helpfully supply the contents within MSS for the NT books.

For example, we are told in NA 27-28, that P6 (04C [= Liste] or 05C [= LDAB]) contains sections of John. The Liste confirms this and adds James 1:13-5:20. Now, if one reads all of the entry in the Liste, one will find the LDAB number with a link to its entry. What one finds on this page is different from the Liste’s page. Here, we are not even told the MS is P6. We are given archive and library numbers (Strasbourg, Bibliothèque Nationale P. k. 362 + Strasbourg, Bibliothèque Nationale P. k. 375 -379 + Strasbourg, Bibliothèque Nationale P. k. 381 + Strasbourg, Bibliothèque Nationale P. k. 382 + Strasbourg, Bibliothèque Nationale P. k. 384) and are also told that the contents of the MS include 1 Clement 1-26 (Copt.), James 1-13 (Copt.; note the mistake in reference numbers that are corrected by the Liste to James 1.13-5.20), Gospel of John 10, 11-13 (Gr.-Copt.; the Liste has more to say about the exact contents). Both the Liste and the LDAB provide links to the other’s site, which is helpful.

By using both databases, we learn P6 contains sections of John (Gr.-Copt.), James (Copt.), and 1 Clement 1-26 (Copt.). NA lists only the Greek portions of the MS. NA does not list the evidence of James because it is probably in Coptic (I have not checked this). The Liste includes all evidence for the text of the NT. Most interestingly, LDAB includes 1 Clement (Copt.) as part of this “NT MS,” while neither the Liste nor NA provide that information.

I’m not sure there’s a perfect database out there designed to meet all of our needs. At this point, it will be helpful to realize there are several wonderful, free resources on the Web to aid us in our varied research endeavors.

8 comments :

  1. Another useful feature of the LDAB is that you can search MSS by script. So oe can search all the MSS that have an Alexandrian Chancery hand and further narrow the search by specific centuries.

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    1. Yes, one can have all kinds of fun.

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  2. Actually, the LDAB entry does tell you that the MS is P6. Under 'Catalogues', you'll find that the MS in question is listed as 'Van Haelst 0451' and also 'Nestle-Aland P6 Aland NT6'.

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    1. Oh cool! I missed that. Thanks.

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    2. You should buy Herr Malik a cup of coffee. He deserves it.

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  3. I too have noted several errors in both the Liste and LDAB, when compiling my own set of metadata for the Center for New Testament Restoration http://greekcntr.org. I have looked at both those sets of data as well as the holding institutions and other publications, but even then I am under no illusions that my data is error free either. My data is linked to Trismegistos number (which is the “parent” of LDAB and links to LDAB), and offers additional information such as provenance (if it is known) and links to TGN. Here is what my metadata looks like for P6 https://greekcntr.org/transcripts/GA10006.htm. More detail certainly could be added to it as well.

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    1. Thanks, Alan. I was not aware of your database. Thanks for sharing.

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