Manufacturing Square Papyrus Codices: Two Ways to Cut the Roll

When trying to understand the process of making small format papyrus codices, it is sometimes tricky to figure out how the papyrus bifolia were cut from the roll. For books that are more tall and narrow, like the Nag Hammadi codices, it is generally clear that the bifolia were cut from a roll with a height equal to that of the bifolia. But for codices whose height is smaller than that of the typical roll, there are other possibilities. Some of the newly available images of the Bodmer nicely illustrate one of them. Continue reading

Posted in Berlin Coptic Proverbs Codex, Bodmer composite codex, Bodmer Papyri, Codices, Codicology | Leave a comment

Images of the Bodmer Papyri Online

Bodmer Papyri SiteI’m happy to announce that as part of the ongoing work of the Bodmer Lab, images of the Greek and Coptic manuscripts from Egypt held at the Fondation Martin Bodmer are now available online. The website remains a work in progress, but the bulk of the images are now available, and the site is live. A couple points to note as you use the site: Continue reading

Posted in Bodmer Papyri, Codices | 4 Comments

An Old Quote from Frank Moore Cross on Unprovenanced Artifacts

Fake Dead Sea Scroll

A Fake “Dead Sea Scroll” in the Museum of the Bible Collection

I’ve just returned from a stimulating week at the University of Agder. I had loads of interesting conversations about a number of topics, many of them stemming from the Museum of the Bible’s admission that (at least) five of their recently purchased, unprovenanced “Dead Sea Scroll” fragments are fake. This admission has inspired a number of reactions in various online forums, the most interesting of which have less to do with the fact of the forgeries (which have been suspected by The Lying Pen project and others for some time) and more to do with the ethical issues involved in the purchase (by collectors) and publication (by scholars) of unprovenanced artifacts. Continue reading

Posted in Antiquities Market, Dead Sea Scrolls, Fakes and Forgeries, Frank Moore Cross, Palaeography | 4 Comments

P.Bodmer II as Possible Evidence for the Circulation of John without Chapter 21

P66 Plate 145 Descreened

In the most recent issue of the journal Early Christianity (vol. 9, 2018), I have an article that bears on one of the classic “problems” of New Testament interpretation. I’ve given some background on the issues in previous posts here and here. So finally, here is the abstract of the article: Continue reading

Posted in Codices, New Testament, P.Bodmer II, Textual criticism | 5 Comments

Fake Dead Sea Scrolls at the Museum of the Bible

MoB DSS Nehemiah

It has been a truly fascinating day for me at the University of Agder. After spending Monday morning and afternoon listening to sharp and informative talks by Matthew MongerIngrid Breilid GimseJosephine Munch Rasmussen, and Årstein Justnes on the probability that many recently published “Dead-Sea-Scrolls-like fragments” are forgeries, the Museum of the Bible has just earlier this evening confirmed that five of their Dead Sea Scrolls are fakes.   And now we await the testing of the rest of the alleged Dead Sea Scroll fragments in the collection…

Posted in Dead Sea Scrolls, Fakes and Forgeries | 1 Comment

Visiting the University of Agder

I’m excited that next week I’ll be heading to the University of Agder in Norway to visit the research project, “The Lying Pen of Scribes: Manuscript Forgeries and Counterfeiting Scripture in the Twenty-First Century,” best known for its incisive investigations into the so-called “post-2002 Dead-Sea-Scrolls-like fragments,” such as the detailed review of the Museum of the Bible’s Scrolls fragments by Årstein Justnes. Continue reading

Posted in Fakes and Forgeries, Rylands Papyri | 2 Comments

The Corrections in P.Bodmer II

In an earlier post, I mentioned an article I just published on John 21 and provided a little background on the issues concerning the “endings” of the Gospel According to John. Before I can finally move on to a summary of the article itself, I need to provide just a little more background of a different sort.

This second piece of necessary information has to do with some of the textual peculiarities of P.Bodmer II, the well known papyrus codex containing the Gospel According to John in Greek. It is one of the earliest well preserved copies of the Gospel. It was published in two parts in the late 1950s and early 1960s (for a fuller discussion of the codex, see my 2014 article).

One of the first things that scholars noticed about the book was the high number of corrections it contained. Continue reading

Posted in P.Bodmer II, Textual criticism | 4 Comments