Talk:Codex Ephraemi Rescriptus

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Good article Codex Ephraemi Rescriptus has been listed as one of the Language and literature good articles under the good article criteria. If you can improve it further, please do so. If it no longer meets these criteria, you can reassess it.
November 21, 2011 Good article nominee Listed
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This page is confusing, were the treatise written first, or the biblical text. Someone more knowledgeable than I should fix it.

GA Review[edit]

This review is transcluded from Talk:Codex Ephraemi Rescriptus/GA1. The edit link for this section can be used to add comments to the review.

Reviewer: Yllosubmarine (talk · contribs) 18:53, 4 November 2011 (UTC)

Hello, I have volunteered to review this article for GA. If you're willing to wait a couple more days, I will complete my review within the next day or two. Thanks in advance for your patience. While you're waiting, however, perhaps you'd like to help reduce the backlog? María (habla conmigo) 18:51, 3 November 2011 (UTC)

While I admit this is not my area of expertise, I see some issues throughout the article -- mainly dealing with the prose -- which will be detailed in full below. Here is how it stands against the criteria:

  1. Well-written: See issues below.
  2. Factually accurate and verifiable: Yes.
  3. Broad in its coverage: Maybe, see questions below.
  4. Neutral: Yes.
  5. Stable: Yes.
  6. Illustrated, if possible, by images: Yes.
  • The manuscript is lacunose. -- What does this mean?
  • Originally the whole Bible seems to have been contained in it. I'm not sure this sentence works, since its structure makes it seem like a fragment. Perhaps expand upon this thought and flesh it out more; is it connected to the previous short sentence re: lacunose?
  • It receives its name, as a codex in which the treatises of Ephraem the Syrian, in Greek translations, were written over ("rescriptus") a former text that had been washed off its vellum pages, thus forming a palimpsest. -- This makes little sense, and again it has to do with the sentence structure. The way I understand it, the manuscript was originally another text/codex, but then the Greek translations of the treatises of Ephraem the Syrian were written over ("rescriptus") the washed-off vellum, creating a palimpsest? And this is where the manuscript receives its name? If so, I would reword it so this information is disseminated in two sentences, so it's not so confusing.
  • Tischendorf in 1840-1843 -- Who is Tischendorf? Link? The lead is overall very confusing, especially to the average reader who won't know what many of these complicated words/terms are without proper context. Because the lead section stands alone per WP:LEAD, make sure to summarize the article as a whole: many people only read the lead section, make sure it has a good showing.
  • Is it Codex or codex? Consistency throughout.
  • The letters are medium-sized uncials. -- link Uncial script maybe?
  • The nomina sacra are abbreviated in rather unusual way -- Be careful not to editorialize. What makes the nomina sacra "unusual"? Compared to what?
  • by counting the lines we can prove that it was not in the book -- No "we", it's bad form. Scholars/experts have proven?
  • by counting the lines we can prove that it was in the work. -- See above.
  • The manuscript probably was written in Egypt before the middle of the fifth century. -- Why is this information listed here, when it's present in the "History" section further below?
  • It was written by at least two scribes, according to Tischendorf three scribes (A, B, C) -- There's Tischendorf again: who?
  • Probably it was housed in the Caesarea library. -- "It was probably..." also, just so it's clear, maybe add (from its article): "Caesarea library, the library of the Christians of Caesarea Maritima in Palestine in ancient times." This will save the reader clicking over to the library's article.
  • Two correctors have been very busily at work on codex. -- Again, watch the editorializing: very busily. "It is thought that two correctors previously worked on the codex"?
  • In the 6th century the first corrector worked on the codex (probably in Palestine). The second corrector worked in the 9th century in Constantinople. These points (time frame and place) should probably be added to the first mention of these correctors, just so context is given upfront. Combine the sentences. "...worked on the codex, one in the 6th century (probably in Palestine), and the other in the 9th century in Constantinople."
  • Is it codex or Codex? Consistency throughout.
  • It belonged to Cardinal Niccolo Ridolpho – in codex Rodulphus – († 1550). -- Who and what?
  • The older writing was first noticed by Pierre Allix. -- Who? How did he get his hands on it? Context, context, context.
  • According to Bentley's Correspondence, it took two hours to read one page. Bentley paid Wettstein £50. This collation was used by Wettstein in his own Greek New Testament of 1751–1752. Wettstein made also the first description of the codex. -- Similar to what I've mentioned before, short sentences are unnecessary here. Combine where necessary, and watch the split infinitives: "also made", not "made also".
  • Various editors made occasional extracts from the manuscript but Tischendorf was the first who read it completely (Old and New Testament) -- Aha! Now I know who Tischendorf is, and there's the first linking of his name. This needed to happen ages ago in the article.
  • Tischendorf worked by eye alone, and naturally his deciphering of the palimpsest's text was less than perfect. -- Editorializing: "naturally"
  • According to Swete it was not a single manuscript. Can this be expanded? I'm not sure this is where the article should end -- what do other people say about this?
  • The formatting here is inconsistent, author names especially.
  • What sort of impact has this codex has on biblical scholarship? The lead states that it "forms one of the codices for textual criticism on which the Higher criticism is based," but I don't see where in the article this is expanded upon.
  • Can any more be said about its present location, such as where in the library it is kept?
  • Have any important biblical scholars noted its importance/legacy, used it in studies, etc.?

To sum up, the main issue with the article is the state of the prose. Most of what I've pointed to are the major issues, but it's problematic throughout, and highly inaccessible. I imagine that it's difficult to write such a scholarly article, especially when a very non-expert audience is intended, but I believe it can be dumbed down enough. Just don't be afraid to describe the who-what-how, etc. The more in-text context you provide, the less times the reader has to click over to another article to read an explanation.

Like I said, I'm not an expert. However, compared to Codex Sinaiticus and a few others I've glanced at, it seems rather incomplete. I don't know if more can be added, but if information in the way that I describe above can be added, then it would greatly benefit the article. Otherwise, I question if this article is truly "broad in its coverage". I'm going to place this article on hold until my comments have been addressed. Let me know if you have any questions! María (habla conmigo) 15:22, 7 November 2011 (UTC)

I will try to explain, why it is important manuscript (one of the four Great uncials, cited in every critical edition even with readings of correctors - only five manuscripts are cited in that way). I see only one problem - nomina sacra abbreviated in unusual way. It means abbreviations are different than in usual manuscripts. Standard of abbreviations we can see in the article nomina sacra - they are shorter (ΙΗΣ → ΙΣ). If I will explain this in the article it will unreferenced OR. Every reader who will compare abbreviations of this manuscript with this article will see difference. It is easy, but Tishcendorf, Gregory, Metzger, and other authors do not explain that. Thanks for your patience. Aha, I missed "Pierre Allix". Perhaps it is all. Leszek Jańczuk (talk) 13:31, 9 November 2011 (UTC)
Okay, just let me know when you're done tinkering. I see a few grammatical errors have been introduced, so if you don't mind it may be easier for me to just do a small c-e once you're ready for another review?
As for the nomina sacra, I completely understand; OR should most definitely not be introduced, but if you have a source saying that the "abbreviations are different" than in other notable manuscripts, that may be easier to understand than "unusual". To me, "unusual" denotes a judgement, whereas "differs from others" sounds factual. That is, of course, if you have a source to back it up. Furthermore, the abbreviations noted after the sentence (IHΣ IHY XPΣ ΧPY ΠΑP ΣTH) look like gibberish to me, which is why I asked for a little more context. If there is none to be found in the sources, then how to improve this sentence so the meaning becomes clear? María (yllosubmarine) 15:08, 9 November 2011 (UTC)
Perhaps I can find these explanations in book of Hurtado "The Earliest Christian Artifacts" (usual and unusual nomina sacra), one chapter of it is about "nomina sacra". At the end section "History" I have added:
"The manuscript is cited in all critical editions of the Greek New Testament (UBS3, UBS4, NA26, NA27). In NA27 it belongs to the witnesses consistently cited of the first order. Even readings of correctors (C1, C2, and C3) are regularly cited in critical editions (as in Sinaiticus, Vaticanus, Bezae, and Claromontanus)." Leszek Jańczuk (talk) 15:22, 9 November 2011 (UTC)
Cool, that definitely helps provide some much-needed legacy info. It looks like you're headed in the right direction. :) Like I said, just let me know when you'd like me to take another look; I don't want to step on your toes. Great work so far! María (yllosubmarine) 20:50, 9 November 2011 (UTC)
If I may ask, what's the status on this? Are you ready for me to review it again? María (yllosubmarine) 13:27, 14 November 2011 (UTC)
Yes. I have explained the nomina sacra. Is it clear enough? Leszek Jańczuk (talk) 18:00, 14 November 2011 (UTC)

The nomina sacra description is definitely improved, although there are still a few unaddressed issues. I've done some copy-editing throughout, just to help move things along. If I've made any errors or changed the meaning of anything, please do fix! :) Here are a few things left to work on:

  • Since the article has been expanded somewhat, the lead could stand to be expanded a little as well; maybe mention more about the text's description, and some of the differences between it and the other uncials?
  • There is still the inconsistency of "Codex" vs "codex" vs "codex" throughout the article. I'm guessing that "codex" (lowercase and no italics) is the correct version, since it's used more often? Please make consistent throughout.
  • The nomina sacra are abbreviated in an unusual way: -- this makes more sense, but would it help (and be within the scope of the sources) if we were to add "in an unusual way compared to the other four great uncials", or similar wording? My point is that it would be useful to say, compared to what, makes this codex unusual.
  • Under Interpolations, I'm not sure the repetition of "It has/reads" works here. What is "it"? "The manuscript/codex" might be a better choice, what do you think?
  • The older writing was first noticed by Pierre Allix, a Protestant pastor -- when?
  • Is there a reason Tischendorf's portrait is resized to 120px? I think it could very well be the default size, since the text is substantial.

Almost done! Great work so far. María (yllosubmarine) 14:25, 15 November 2011 (UTC)

In "nomina sacra" I have added translation. "It reads" is used in textual critic literature and probably it is unfamiliar for usual reader, I changed it into more popular "It has reading". "Codex" (capital) is used only in names of the manuscripts (Codex Vaticanus, Codex Alexandrinus), or I missed a something. Yes, in the lead codex was written in italic. Ancient manuscript often used abbreviations and ligatures. There were some standards and some unusual forms. Usual forms are given in the article nomina sacra. ΠΑΡ is very unique for (usual is ΠΗΡ). Pierre Allis - I do not know date, no one knows - the beginning of the 18th century. Yes, size of image was too small. Leszek Jańczuk (talk) 03:03, 18 November 2011 (UTC)
Cool, thanks. For future reference, it may help to interpose your replies between the reviwer's comments. :)
  • The Codex vs. codex can be seen here: "There are only 209 leaves of the Codex surviving, of which 145 belong to the New Testament and 64 to the Old Testament. The codex measures 12¼ in/31.4-32.5 cm by 9 in/25.6-26.4 cm."
  • "It has reading" is worse, and is also grammatically incorrect. My original point is that "it" is confusing -- what is "it"? The manuscript? Text? Codex? "The manuscript/codex/text reads..." would be fine.
Once these two issues are addressed, I'll be happy to promote to GA. Thanks for your patience. María (yllosubmarine) 13:09, 18 November 2011 (UTC)
I'm not sure if the radio silence means you've finished, or you still plan to do more tinkering. Update? María (yllosubmarine) 13:15, 21 November 2011 (UTC)
I do not know what to do with "it reads". It was accepted by other reviewers, it is used in literature. It reads - the text of the manuscript, the original text, before corrections. Leszek Jańczuk (talk) 13:21, 21 November 2011 (UTC)
Okay, if the wording is used consistently in similar articles, with no other complaint, then I suppose "it reads" is acceptable. I still think it's unnecessarily vague and repetitive, but it's GA we're aiming for here, not FA -- no need for "brilliant" prose. :) I believe my major concerns have been addressed, so the article can now be promoted. Thanks for your hard and dedicatedwork, the article has much improved. María (yllosubmarine) 13:27, 21 November 2011 (UTC)