Article in The Ancient Near East Today

ANE Today Article

The April 2019 edition of The Ancient Near East Today is carrying a very nicely illustrated article about my book, God’s Library. You can check it out at their site.

Posted in Archaeological context | 1 Comment

Kenyon’s Editions of the Chester Beatty Biblical Papyri Online

Kenyon Beatty Papyri Fasc 1In addition to digital images of many of their manuscripts, the Chester Beatty Library in Dublin has also made available the text and plates of Frederic Kenyon’s editions of the Beatty Biblical Papyri. As I have noted before, these volumes are extremely difficult to find on the used book market, so this is a fantastic development. Many thanks to the people at the Beatty Library in Dublin! I can’t find an organized set of links to the pdf files, so I’ve made one below. Please use the comments to let me know if there are problems with any of the links. Continue reading

Posted in Chester Beatty Papyri | 7 Comments

Pachomian Letters

Beatty W 145 Pachomius

Among the images recently posted online at the Chester Beatty Library are a number of copies of the writings of the Egyptian monk Pahom (usually called by his Latinized name, Pachomius) and his followers. Pachomius established a monastery near Faw Qibli (ancient Pbow) in the 330s. The letters of Pachomius himself have long been known in the form of a Latin translation made by Jerome early in the fifth century, which was transmitted through the centuries and survives in several manuscripts, the oldest of which comes from the ninth century. But in the 1950s, copies of the letters of Pachomius and his followers preserved in Coptic (and occasionally Greek) surfaced on the antiquities market. The manuscripts are generally assigned to a much earlier period (some perhaps as late as the seventh century but one possibly as early as the late fourth century). These manuscripts are notable for their curious formats. Some are copied on oddly shaped strips of parchment; others are copied on long narrow rolls of parchment, while others are written in very broad columns on papyrus rolls.

These items have been rather challenging to study because of a lack of access of good images. This has now changed. Continue reading

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“Bodmer Papyri” at the Chester Beatty Library in Dublin

Beatty NPG 1942

Sir Alfred Chester Beatty; image source: National Portrait Gallery

I’ve mentioned before that the term “Bodmer Papyri” can be a little misleading, both because the ancient collection that scholars call the “Bodmer Papyri” includes some items that are not kept at the Fondation Martin Bodmer in Geneva and because many of the items that are at the Fondation in Geneva do not come from this find. Several other institutions hold pieces that are believed to come from this same ancient collection. The most important of these locations is the Chester Beatty Library in Dublin. Although Chester Beatty is more well known to scholars of early Christianity for his acquisition of the “Chester Beatty Biblical Papyri” in the early 1930s, Beatty continued to buy manuscripts from Egypt into the 1950s, and some of the items he purchased in the mid-1950s belong to the same ancient collection as the “Bodmer Papyri.” The Chester Beatty Library has recently (quietly) put online a large selection of images of manuscripts from their collection, including some of these “Bodmer” pieces. The Beatty holdings of “Bodmer Papyri” include the following: Continue reading

Posted in Bodmer Papyri, Chester Beatty Papyri, P.Bodmer II | 5 Comments

Visiting the University of Oslo

I’m spending the next couple weeks visiting the University of Oslo, specifically the Faculty of Theology. I’ll be meeting with the research groups here in New Testament and Early Christianity and Coptic Texts and Manuscripts. On Thursday, April 4, I’ll be giving the Oslo Lecture in New Testament and Early Christian Studies. The title of my talk is “Manuscripts: The Problem with the Synoptic Problem.” You can see the full details of the lecture here. If you happen to be in Oslo, drop by!

Posted in New Testament | 2 Comments

The Cast in “Greek Papyri”

Oxyrhynchus Papyri

Many thanks to Ann Hanson for helping to identify the figures in the “Greek Papyri” film featured in my last post. Starting from the beginning of the film:

The voice reading the selection from Winckelmann’s account of the Herculaneum papyri at about the 4 minute mark is that of Otto Skutsch (University College London): Continue reading

Posted in Oxyrhynchus Papyri | 7 Comments

The Film “Greek Papyri”

Greek Papyri

Thanks to a notice from an anonymous commenter, I am thrilled to report that the film “Greek Papyri–The Rediscovery of the Ancient World” is now available on Youtube. The film was produced in 1971 by the Greek and Latin Departments and the Slade School of Fine Art at University College London. It was directed by Mirek Dohnal and features some fantastic archival footage of the British papyrologists of the day. The film is mentioned in an exhibition catalog by T. S. Pattie and E. G. Turner, The Written Word on Papyrus: An Exhibition Held in the British Museum 30 July – 27 October 1974 (British Library Board, 1974). Continue reading

Posted in Mummies, Mummy cartonnage, Oxyrhynchus Papyri | 3 Comments