The “Passages” speakers series videos continue to yield insights into the early formation of the Green Collection, and in particular this papyrus of 1 Samuel that I have mentioned before. The usual format of these “Passages” talks involves extended introductory and concluding remarks given by people associated with the Green Collection. When Scott Carroll was present (not off in Europe purchasing artifacts), he was generally involved in these aspects of the presentations. In his introductory remarks to a talk on C.S. Lewis by Charles Bressler given on 27 March 2012, Carroll described his upcoming travel plans with Jerry Pattengale. I have transcribed the relevant sections:
“Jerry and I fly tomorrow to Oxford. . . [Then Jerry comes back], and I go to Istanbul for one day. Because in Istanbul, something showed up. If you’ve gone through the papyri collection, you’ve seen the papyrus of 1 Samuel, that’s in the second–the first, the first room that’s there. That’s really rare. And it’s only a portion of large amounts that we have. And it came, I discovered it in a thingamajig. Alright? And there are about four thingamajigs. And I discovered 1 Samuel and Homer and all kinds of things inside the thingamajig. And maybe you’ve seen the video showing the dismantling of mummy cartonnage. Well, another thingamajig showed up that is in the hands of the person who sold us the other four thingamajigs. And so I need to go and look at it carefully to see how it might relate–Does that make sense?–see how it might relate to 1 Samuel. And there may yet be more to be discovered.”
So apparently the “cartonnage ” containing 1 Samuel and the Iliad was purchased from a dealer in Istanbul. This is not especially surprising, given that Carroll was known to work with a dealer (or dealers) from there. This has been well documented in Candida Moss and Joel Baden’s Bible Nation (pages 28-36) and Roberta Mazza’s investigations into a Green Collection papyrus containing part of Galatians in Coptic. So, I would echo Mazza’s questions: “How many of the Green Collection’s thousand or so papyri come from the Turkish dealer in question? And how many of the Green papyri have been donated to the Museum of the Bible?” Both are good questions. The Museum of the Bible displays only a relatively small number of papyrus manuscripts. What has become of the other Green Collection papyri? More questions to ponder.