Category Archives: Codicology

A New Project: The Early History of the Codex

A busy semester is now winding down, and I’m happy to announce that in August, I’ll be kicking off a new, five-year project: The Early History of the Codex: A New Methodology and Ethics for Manuscript Studies (EthiCodex) based here … Continue reading

Posted in Codices, Codicology, Radiocarbon analysis | 7 Comments

The Eusebian Apparatus in Codex Sinaiticus

The Eusebian apparatus for the gospels has been getting some much deserved attention in the last few years. This remarkable system for navigating the parallel material in the gospels has formed the topic of a very useful monograph by Matthew … Continue reading

Posted in Codex Sinaiticus, Codicology | 1 Comment

Back When Single-quire Codices Were Strange

Since the discovery and publication of the Nag Hammadi codices, the single-quire codex format has become very familiar to papyrologists and historians of the book. It’s interesting, however, to recall that there was a time when the idea of an … Continue reading

Posted in Book binding, Codices, Codicology, Oxyrhynchus Papyri | 1 Comment

Hugo Ibscher Trading Cards

When I was a kid, I enjoyed collecting sports cards. In those days (early 1980s), the cards came in wax-paper wrappers with a flat rectangular piece of so-called “chewing gum” that was so stale and hardened that it would shatter … Continue reading

Posted in Codicology, Mummy cartonnage | 6 Comments

BnF Copte 135E and Codex Construction

After a recent conversation about early Coptic codices with Alin Suciu, I spent some time with the several distinct manuscripts catalogued under the designation “Copte 135” at the Bibliothèque nationale de France, the so-called Akhmim Papyri. There are some really … Continue reading

Posted in Book binding, Codices, Codicology | Leave a comment

The Cotton Genesis

I was reminded this week about one of the wonderful early Christian manuscripts that really didn’t get the treatment it deserved in my book God’s Library–the so-called Cotton Genesis. This small parchment codex was part of a collection amassed by … Continue reading

Posted in Codices, Codicology, Cotton Genesis | 2 Comments

Publication of the Tchacos-Ferrini Mathematical Codex

I see that later this month we can expect the publication of the Tchacos-Ferrini mathematical codex (LDAB 10719, now dubbed by the editors P.Math.). This codex travelled the antiquities market along with a papyrus codex of Exodus in Greek, a … Continue reading

Posted in Bruce Ferrini, Codices, Codicology, Find Stories, Frieda Tchacos, Tchacos-Ferrini Codices, Tchacos-Ferrini Exodus Codex, Tchacos-Ferrini Math Codex, Tchacos-Ferrini Pauline Epistles Codex | 1 Comment

A New Article on Palaeographic Dating of Codices

The latest issue of Journal for the Study of the New Testament contains a group of articles that emerged from an SBL session in 2016 arranged by Roberta Mazza on problems of dating ancient manuscripts. In addition to Roberta’s introductory … Continue reading

Posted in Codices, Codicology, Palaeography | 5 Comments

Ryan Kaufman on the Ending of John 20 in P.Bodmer 2

In a paper recently posted to, Ryan Kaufman engages with some of my hypotheses about the ending of the Gospel According to John in P.Bodmer 2. His suggestions are excellent and in fact offer a simpler explanation for some … Continue reading

Posted in Bodmer Papyri, Codices, Codicology, P.Bodmer II | 6 Comments

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 … Continue reading

Posted in Berlin Coptic Proverbs Codex, Bodmer composite codex, Bodmer Papyri, Codices, Codicology | 1 Comment