Talk:Rylands Library Papyrus P52

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Discussion copied from Gospel of John without editing[edit]

I've added a starter article on the Rylands parchment, entitled P52, that might serve as a better place to insert some of the arguments surrounding the dating of the extant record. I've tried to make it a fairly simple and balanced presentation of the parchment, but feel free to pick away at it! -sm

  • I'll add an explicit statement that fuller details are to be found at the entry for P 52. We better come up with a less cryptic title than P 52, does everyone agree? I notice that here and at the new entry there is now no reference to the fact that the fragment was bought on the antiquities market. Was it not bought on the market? Wetman 02:17, 22 Jul 2004 (UTC)
    • It's unclear where the fragment came from. It was likely the result of excavations at Benhesa. As far as coming up with a less cryptic title, I think it's probably best to use the standard parchment designation. As an alternative, the Rylands designation might be acceptable (GP457), but most people searching for info on it will likely know the P52 designation.--Michael Lee 03:33, 22 Jul 2004 (UTC)
  • "P52" is an accession number. Like all such numbers, it is meaningful only in the context, in this case, of the John Rylands Library collection of manuscripts: Rylands Library Papyrus P52 will be more reader-friendly, and I shall move it. P52 remains as a redirect, so nothing is lost. The P does not stand for "parchment" but for papyrus, as a glance as the illustration confirms. I shall make that simple change too. It is not unclear that the papyrus was bought on the antiquities market, unless I misremember. That I'll leave for now. Wetman 05:41, 11 Oct 2004 (UTC)

Oldest Codex fragment?[edit]

Is it (probably)? if so, the article should say so. I have just added it in this guise to codex ("may be ..."). Thxs Johnbod 15:50, 11 January 2007 (UTC)

possibly, but a judgment call, rather than a published finding. Codices are used for literary texts - which rarely carry a specific date; unlike contracts, letters, petitions etc. So it is not really possible to say for certain that one 2nd century codex manuscript fragment is earlier than another. There is more detail in Turner "The Typology of the Early Codex". TomHennell 01:43, 12 January 2007 (UTC)
a bit more detail, taken from Turner; and from Roberts & Skeat "The Birth of the Codex (Oxford University 1983) by Robert A Kraft;
"A fragment of a Latin parchment codex of an otherwise unknown historical text dating to about 100 CE was also found at Oxyrhynchus (POx 30; see Roberts & Skeat 28). Papyrus fragments of a "Treatise of the Empirical School" dated by its editor to the centuries 1-2 CE is also attested in the Berlin collection (inv. # 9015, Pack\2 # 2355) - Turner, Typology # 389, and Roberts & Skeat 71, call it a "medical manual." TomHennell 11:32, 12 January 2007 (UTC)
Thanks, I'll add that to "codex"; someone should stick it in here, since it seems to be the earliest bit of codex with an article in WP. I'll leave that for a bit in case someone else wants to. Johnbod 13:42, 13 January 2007 (UTC)
By the way, how can they tell it's from a codex? Johnbod 00:16, 14 January 2007 (UTC)
becase its written on both sides with successive portions of text - hence anyone reading it would have to turn a page over to do so, something that is only possible with a codex TomHennell 00:46, 14 January 2007 (UTC)
Of course, thanks. I take it the "by Robert kraft" above is from his draft "Codex & Canon" thing on the web? Johnbod 00:48, 14 January 2007 (UTC)
yes TomHennell 01:16, 14 January 2007 (UTC)

Usefulness of p52[edit]

Here are two citations I found using google:

  • [1]: " However, it should be noted that we really know nothing about the textual affiliations of this manuscript, which contains roughly 118 legible letters." ... " it should be noted, however, that P52 is so short that it plays no real role in the critical apparatus."
  • [2] "It is unfortunate that P52 is but a small fragment and not useful as a witness to the form of the Fourth Gospel in it's "First Edition.""

and a more scholarly source

  • [3] "The text form of the papyrus is generally unexceptional. There are no significant variants apart from the probable omission of the second eij~ tou`to in John 18.37, since there is probably not enough space on the line to contain the words. For the most part, therefore, the completion of the lines of the fragment has been relatively uncontroversial. The main significance of the papyrus has generally been thought to lie in its very early date and the clear implications this must have for the dating of John’s gospel itself."

But I agree with Wetman. We say that it is a small fragment, and because that vast majority of John is missing, we cannot use P52 to tell us about the form of the text in the missing parts. Do any scholars cite P52 to settle any of the big textual debates in John? Of course not. But here are your requested citations. The text should be restored in the article, but to avoid edit warring I will not do it myself. Thanks.-Andrew c 06:47, 13 January 2007 (UTC)

Removed comment[edit]

"- Unfortunately, P52 is not a valuable attestation to the form of John's Gospel extant at the time of the writing of the parchment. The fragment contains so few lines that it is not useful for comparison to later documents containing a more complete record of the work."

I believe this above statement is derogatory. It remains that a scholar has to make that connection before it is placed in a wikipedia article. That is the meaning of OR. An argument from silence is no validation for speculation. The comment serves no purpose then to to end the article with a derogatory unsourced comment. The value of the fragment (or any fragment for that matter) is to hopefully validate the time or point of existence or history of the text it is a fragment of. Since the contents of the fragment indeed are the same words as the biblical text they are named after why are we questioning the value of the fragment (or any fragment) at all? Why are people posting speculation on how this fragment should be valued or unvalued? IF the fragment is validate it will be valid for these reasons, there is no need to speculate on how it has a diminished purpose within a framework or any other role that it or anything MIGHT do or be or play. To say that it "not useful for comparison to later documents" is completely outside of what should and should not be in the article. It is obviously enough of a fragment to 1) identify it and 2) compare it to the original text (and yes later text) enough to identify it. So the statement is incorrect. The fragment contains enough to identify. The statement is contradiction to body of the article. Why is this not obvious? To fight over this statement and then also revert war over it, to me is a sad commentary on wikipedia. I have better things to do and I would hope you would also. LoveMonkey 10:09, 16 January 2007 (UTC)

Please keep in mind that no scholar is stating that the words it contains are out of sequence or a radical departure from the linguistics of the period or the original text or later text. So why the debate? Why is the comments being allowed? What scholar or scholars are saying that the fragment or any fragment should have barring on the "form" of a document in order to have value? What scholars have went to such a level with any text that appears to be entact enough to identify? Where is this criteria coming from? LoveMonkey 10:30, 16 January 2007 (UTC)

Also if you check the source given in the comment above by clicking the link this is the text that says just important the fragment is not what is being quoted above 3

CHRISTOPHER M. TUCKETT, Theology Faculty Centre, 41 St Giles, Oxford OX1 3LW, UK
Abstract
The Rylands fragment of John (PRyl 457, usually known as P52) is widely acclaimed in the standard textbooks as the oldest surviving fragment of the text of the NT. At the time of the publication of the editio princeps, it was dated to the first half of the second century. fn1 Some doubts have been cast on this in recent years and a slightly later date (second half of the second century) proposed. fn2 Nevertheless it is widely agreed that the fragment is one of the earliest NT manuscripts that we possess.

Please explain how ones goes from the statement I just posted to the one that was originally sourced to it? Also date would mean the fragment does have comparison bearing on later documents, if for dating purposes only. LoveMonkey 10:37, 16 January 2007 (UTC)

And here once again from Andrew c's own sources that he obviously wishes to misrepresent because he just did it repeatly.1

Aland and Aland list P52 as a normal text. However, it should be noted that we really know nothing about the textual affiliations of this manuscript, which contains roughly 118 legible letters. The most noteworthy feature of the manuscript is its age -- though even this should be taken with some caution. How certain can a paleographic determination be when it is based on so small a sample?
The story of the manuscript is well-known. Acquired by Grenfell in Egypt in 1920, it went unnoticed among many other manuscript fragments until 1934, when C. H. Roberts recognized that it contained part of the Gospel of John. Impressed with the antiquity of the writing, he hastily published a booklet, An Unpublished Fragment of the Fourth Gospel in the John Rylands Library. Despite some caution among scholars about his early and precise dating, almost all accept that it comes from the second century -- simultaneously proving that the codex form and the Gospel of John were in use by that date.

To have the comment that the fragment is useless to confirm ANY text is obviously POV and OR. If I am wrong please explain 1) where I went wrong and 2) how you read all of this including the misquotes and context shenanigans? LoveMonkey 10:44, 16 January 2007 (UTC)

If your issue was the section was worded poorly, then you should have just edited it, instead of blanked it. Deja vu (only vice versa, eh?) I have tried to address your concerns in another edit. Your quotes are all red herrings. Pointing out that P52 is early has nothing to do with whether we can use the missing sections to for textual criticism. I honestly do not believe I was cherry picking my sources. Read the quotes that I supplied. They are not out of context. If my edit is still unacceptable, please try to reword it in light of the provided sources. Thanks for working with me.-Andrew c 15:40, 16 January 2007 (UTC)
I think there's some misunderstanding here. The disputed text at this point reads "Because P52 is so small, and thus the vast majority of the gospel is missing, the fragment is not useful for settling textual disputes regarding the form of the missing sections." Basically, that means if there's a dispute whether to read που or του in a section of the text not found in P52 (i.e. most of the gospel), the fragment doesn't help establish a reading. That's all the sentence implies; it doesn't contradict what the article already says about the early date of the text or the codex form.
The disputed sentence could probably be rephrased more clearly, and could use a footnote; but the underlying thought seems uncontroversial and supported by scholarship. --Akhilleus (talk) 16:48, 16 January 2007 (UTC)
This segment seems unduly biased towards a later date. Why do most papyrologists view this as being dated earlier? Surely, these scientists do not rely solely on shaky ground, as this article would have us believe, if they make claims of the date as they do. More input on the reasoning behind the earlier date needs to be examined. Even if the evidence is restricted to the pen being found only between 50 and 150 CE, this idea needs to be expounded upon in the text here. P52 is not credibly used as an evidence for anything I have read thus far other than the date of authorship. This is a huge bit of evidence potentially discrediting late dating of the Gospel, but is not of textual criticism balue because of its size.

74.193.228.115 00:44, 22 February 2007 (UTC)

The problem is - if you are intersested not in the likely date of P52, but in the latest date it can possibly be; then you need to acknowledge the possibility that it dates into the second half of the second century at least. No papyrologist is surprised by that - but it does raise problems for those biblical text critics who would wish to use this "latest possible date" to "discredit late dating of the Gospels". Sorry, it does not work that way. The most likely date for P52 remains sometime around 125 CE, as that is the date of the nearest comparitor hand. There are, howevever, as Nongrbi has shown, closeish comparitor hands dated both before 90 CE and after 150CE. So we cannot rule out a much later (or earlier) date. However, in so far as most textual critics indeed have a personal faith agenda (as they tend to) then their imperative to demonstrate an early date for P52 rather evaporated when the Egerton papyrus was re-dated to the beginning of the third century i.e. it did not really matter for them what date is attached to P52 ( as we have plentiful papyrus witnesses to John anyway in P90, P66 and P75 ) - but they would be a bit embarassed if the Egerton Gospel (which is distinctly heterodox but Johannine) were shown to have an earlier date than the earliest witness to canonical John. TomHennell 02:27, 22 February 2007 (UTC)

the issue[edit]

The issue is Andrew c keeps reverting other peoples' postS but fighting over unneeded commentary like this completely useless comment that is unneeded even as a reword. It is also apparent that Andrew c likes to misrepresent his own sources....

This is what one of his own sources stated that he used to support the text originally.

"The story of the manuscript is well-known. Acquired by Grenfell in Egypt in 1920, it went unnoticed among many other manuscript fragments until 1934, when C. H. Roberts recognized that it contained part of the Gospel of John. Impressed with the antiquity of the writing, he hastily published a booklet, An Unpublished Fragment of the Fourth Gospel in the John Rylands Library. Despite some caution among scholars about his early and precise dating, almost all accept that it comes from the second century -- simultaneously proving that the codex form and the Gospel of John were in use by that date.

And here is the useless, derogatory text I removed.

"- Unfortunately, P52 is not a valuable attestation to the form of John's Gospel extant at the time of the writing of the parchment. The fragment contains so few lines that it is not useful for comparison to later documents containing a more complete record of the work."'

The source states exactly the opposite of Andrew c's text.

Now he has done a 3 revert and gosh has yet to atone for his unethical behavior all the while blaming me. LoveMonkey 01:07, 17 January 2007 (UTC)

Please relax and have a cup of tea. I did not write the article text you keep quoting, and I did not revert 3 times. You fact tagged the section without comment (here or in your edit summary). You were reverted by Wetman. Instead of discussing that further, you simply blanking the content you found objectionable. Before I even touched the article, I came to talk and posted the 3 citations above that support the claim that textual critics do not use P52 to settle textual disputes for verses outside of John 18:31-37 (in other words, it cannot attest to the form of the text in the missing sections). I waited 2 days with no comment, so I restored the text that you had blanked. 15 hours after that you blanked the section again, and finally came to talk. I read what you wrote, replied to it, and tried to create a version that addressed your concerns, while accurately representing the sources. By this time, Akhilleus stepped in to give a 3rd opinion and rewrote the text according to another source. I am currently satisfied with the state of this disputed section, and am a little confused why you posted what you did above. I think you misunderstand what 'codex form' means. It means that the codex (a 'book' if you will, with text written on both sides, as opposed to the scroll) was in use in the 2nd century. It doesn't mean that we know whether or not any of the words αυτοις, οτι, or παλιν appear at John 8:28 in P52. I believe the wording was confusing, which is why I changed it, and Akhilleus changed it even further. Hopefully we have cleared things up. If not, please address specific concerns with the current article text. Thanks.-Andrew c 01:49, 17 January 2007 (UTC)
(edit conflict with Andrew c) LoveMonkey, I think you're misunderstanding what was intended by the disputed sentence. Admittedly, it wasn't and perhaps still isn't written very clearly, but the discussion on this talk page, especially the quotes that Andrew c gave above, should have made it very clear that the sentence was intended to pertain to textual criticism. In the judgment of scholars, p52 doesn't have enough information to help us solve any disputes about how the text of John should be read--it's too short. That's all the sentence is trying to say. Andrew c has nothing to apologize for, in my opinion--I certainly don't see a 3RR violation here. In addition, I would urge you to be more reluctant to accuse people of "unethical behavior", because it's unnecessarily inflammatory. --Akhilleus (talk) 01:52, 17 January 2007 (UTC)

The issue P2[edit]

Once again both wordings are unnesessary and are unneeded. There is zero debate on if it is a fragment and if it is or it is not small. But there are scholars who disgree that with this Statement that I removed.

"- Unfortunately, P52 is not a valuable attestation to the form of John's Gospel extant at the time of the writing of the parchment. The fragment contains so few lines that it is not useful for comparison to later documents containing a more complete record of the work."'

As I showed from Andrew c's own source.

The story of the manuscript is well-known. Acquired by Grenfell in Egypt in 1920, it went unnoticed among many other manuscript fragments until 1934, when C. H. Roberts recognized that it contained part of the Gospel of John. Impressed with the antiquity of the writing, he hastily published a booklet, An Unpublished Fragment of the Fourth Gospel in the John Rylands Library. Despite some caution among scholars about his early and precise dating, almost all accept that it comes from the second century -- simultaneously proving that the codex form and the Gospel of John were in use by that date.

Now the original statement was not only WRONG period but I have used one of Andrew c's own sources to show that the statement is wrong. Why try to save something that is wrong. Why not remove it rather the rework or reword it? Where does it this idea come from that if something is shown to be wrong that it should stay until it can be reworded? As for yet another of Andrew c's directives toward me and or suggestions. Sure I'll have some tea, right after you stop insisting on have a unneeded and unnecessary comment in the article.

Andrew c need not blame or point any criticism at me for asking that a statement (that is wrong) be sourced and or calling him to task for defending the incorrect statement and also reposting without my request for a source. Edits 1, 2, 3

Why did Andrew c revert the statement but not the source request I attached to it? Why did Andrew c revert the statement and do nothing himself to reword it at first? Why is the either version of the statement needed at ALL? Is the policy not The obligation to provide a reliable source lies with the editors wishing to include the material, not with those seeking to remove it. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Verifiability Now have some tea and read the policy. Why am I having to waste time arguing over this.

Or for the matter the useless remaining statement

"Because P52 is so small, and thus the vast majority of the gospel is missing, the fragment is not useful for settling textual disputes regarding the form of the missing sections?"

No one is denying at times the rules need to be discarded but this is not one of those times. The editors perpetuating and defending this are being counter productive. My points are simple the statement should have been removed since as it stood it could not be source. My request for a source should have never been removed nor should the removal have been defended. Once the statement was reinstated (which it should never have been without the request for a source) the statement should have then been reworded then not now. I saw need to reword a POV, OR and incorrect statement nor should anyone. LoveMonkey 06:38, 17 January 2007 (UTC)

Honestly, I would recommend another cup of tea, plus re-reading the comments by me and Andrew above. You still don't seem to understand what the disputed statement says, and you're simply repeating comments you've already made.
Perhaps it will help to restate the point of the disputed sentence: P52 only contains verses 18:31-33 and 37-38, so the fragment doesn't help establish the text of the rest of the gospel. In other words, if scholars disagree whether a word in John 3:2 reads τε or τῆ, p52 doesn't help resolve that dispute. If it's unclear what I mean by "establish the text" then perhaps it may help to read textual criticism. --Akhilleus (talk) 06:56, 17 January 2007 (UTC)

Tell it to Jimmy[edit]

Honestly I recommend the words of Jimmy Wales himself to both of you.
" Jimmy Wales has said of this: "I can NOT emphasize this enough. There seems to be a terrible bias among some editors that some sort of random speculative 'I heard it somewhere' pseudo information is to be tagged with a 'needs a cite' tag. Wrong. It should be removed, aggressively, unless it can be sourced. This is true of all information, but it is particularly true of negative information about living persons."
Honestly there must be a different wikipedia then the one he is talking about. Because when I try to defend and institute Jimmy's own direction I am told "too bad, have a cup of tea". LoveMonkey 07:12, 17 January 2007 (UTC)

Actually, more important than the tea is the advice to read carefully. You still don't seem to have read what Andrew c and I are saying, nor do you seem to have noticed that the statment in the article is sourced. --Akhilleus (talk) 07:16, 17 January 2007 (UTC)

Please post the statement that is under debate between me and Andrew c. You have now changed the statement to something completely else. LoveMonkey 07:21, 17 January 2007 (UTC)

So wait, you want to prolong an argument about something that's no longer in the article? What's the point of that? --Akhilleus (talk) 07:25, 17 January 2007 (UTC)
So wait you haven't read anything I have posted. LoveMonkey 07:30, 17 January 2007 (UTC)

Statements under debate are these[edit]

1. "- Unfortunately, P52 is not a valuable attestation to the form of John's Gospel extant at the time of the writing of the parchment. The fragment contains so few lines that it is not useful for comparison to later documents containing a more complete record of the work."'
2. Because P52 is so small, and thus the vast majority of the gospel is missing, the fragment is not useful for settling textual disputes regarding the form of the missing sections. LoveMonkey 07:26, 17 January 2007 (UTC)

#1 isn't in the article anymore, it's pointless to talk about it.
#2 is in the article, is sourced, is correct, and makes a valuable though minor point. Perhaps the wording could be improved. --Akhilleus (talk) 07:30, 17 January 2007 (UTC)
#1 I was defending myself for removing it. You know the entire section above about me blanket editing.
#2 This statement was not made by the sourced scholar and I have been repeatly posting where statements made by the scholar run counter to the orginal statement and also the reword.

CHRISTOPHER M. TUCKETT - Theology Faculty Centre, 41 St Giles, Oxford OX1 3LW, UK
Abstract
The Rylands fragment of John (PRyl 457, usually known as P52) is widely acclaimed in the standard textbooks as the oldest surviving fragment of the text of the NT. At the time of the publication of the editio princeps, it was dated to the first half of the second century. fn1 Some doubts have been cast on this in recent years and a slightly later date (second half of the second century) proposed. fn2 Nevertheless it is widely agreed that the fragment is one of the earliest NT manuscripts that we possess.

LoveMonkey 07:35, 17 January 2007 (UTC)

Neither statements are needed in the article. The scholar sourced never made the statement posted to them. So why can I not FINALLY remove the current statement. POV,OR can be removed they need not be reworded. LoveMonkey 07:37, 17 January 2007 (UTC)

Once again if the scholar did not make the statement being attributed to them the statement is OR and needs to be removed NOT REWORDED. LoveMonkey 07:43, 17 January 2007 (UTC)

Have you read anything of Tuckett's article besides the abstract, which you seem to have quoted about 3 times now? The second paragraph begins "The text form of the papyrus is generally unexceptional. There are no significant variants apart from the probable omission of the second eis touto in John 18.37, since there is probably not enough space on the line to contain the words. For the most part, therefore, the completion of the lines of the fragment has been relatively uncontroversial." In other words, P52 is not very helpful for textual criticism; similar statements are made by [4] and [5], both of which Andrew c quoted above.
As an aside, could you please stop creating so many new sections? It makes it quite difficult to maintain a discussion. Thanks. --Akhilleus (talk) 08:05, 17 January 2007 (UTC)

No directives Please[edit]

And as I have pointed out. It is OR to put into CHRISTOPHER M. TUCKETT's mouth, "Because P52 is so small, and thus the vast majority of the gospel is missing, the fragment is not useful for settling textual disputes regarding the form of the missing sections." He did not say this. It is that simple. The statement is not needed as the previous statement was not needed. If you really have to have a statement literially post Tuckett's and see if it adds to the article (which it won't because it too is unneeded.) LoveMonkey 08:30, 17 January 2007 (UTC)

I have redrafted the contentious para to be closer to Tuckett's discussion, and to be rather more positive in tone. I have also taken the opportunity to point out the overlap with P66. TomHennell 15:14, 17 January 2007 (UTC)

Thanks for the rewrite. I think LoveMonkey made a valid point that the sentence wasn't accurately reflecting Tuckett. However, the other citations that Andrew c provided support the paragraph in its present form, so I'll add them; after I have a chance to look at some printed sources on NT textual criticsm, I'll probably be able to replace the references to websites with references to books. We may also want to supply a citation for the overlap with p66. --Akhilleus (talk) 15:43, 17 January 2007 (UTC)
overlap with P66 is apparent in the critical apparatus to Nestle-Aland Novum Testamentum Graece: Nestle-Aland Novum Testamentum Graece (2006) Hendrickson Publishers, ISBN 1-59856-172-3. There is also some overlap between the verso of P52 and the recto of P90, usually dated late 2nd Century, and the next oldest witness to John. P90 (which is nearly as fragmentary as P52) is cited in Nestle-Aland 27 TomHennell 02:00, 20 January 2007 (UTC).
Thanks for the references. I'm not too sure how to put in a reference to the App. Crit.--I think I'd rather have a reference to an article or monograph. But this doesn't appear to be a matter of great urgency. --Akhilleus (talk) 03:37, 20 January 2007 (UTC)

All Right[edit]

" P52 is small, and although a plausible reconstruction can be attempted for most of the fourteen lines represented, nevertheless the proportion of the text of the Gospel of John for which it provides a direct witness is necessarily limited, so it is rarely cited in textual debate.[1] The verses included in P52 are also witnessed in Bodmer Papyrus P66 - usually dated to the beginning of the 3rd century CE - but, in the amount of text preserved, it has not proved possible to determine whether P52 represents an example of the same proto-Alexandrian text-type." Much better.. Good job Tom! Thanks LoveMonkey 05:19, 18 January 2007 (UTC)

So what does it say?[edit]

Would someone please add to the article an explanation of what the text on this fragment is believed to say? There's plenty of discussion on what it is, but nothing on what the words are. - Brian Kendig 14:23, 15 July 2007 (UTC)

Ok, this is complete original research on my part. I used this webpage and Bibleworks 6 to figure out this rough transliteration. Because it is a fragment, most of the words are cut off. And because the fragment isn't in English what I did was to cut off the English words that are cut off (but keep in mind this isn't entirely accurate because a 4 letter word in English can be a 9 letter word in Greek. Anyway, this is what it "says", IMO.
[recto]
... the Judea.. ou...
... no one that the w...
...oke signifyin...
...ie e...
...rters the p...
... and ca...
...e...

[verso]
... this born ...
...orld that wit...
...f the voi...
...aid unto...
...d thi...
... the J...
...to ...

-Andrew c [talk] 15:10, 15 July 2007 (UTC)


Not bad Andrew - Here's what it says in the Greek Word order but in English. The words in bold are the words extant, the words/letters in brackets " [ ] " are what would be there if the Greek words/letters were intact in the manuscript:
[recto - John 18:31-33]
[judge Him". Said to him]
the Jews "To u[s not it is possible to kill
no one." So that the w[ord of Jesus might be fulfilled what he
said signifyin[g what kind of death he was about to
die. We[nt into then again the prator
ium the P[ilate and he called the Jesus
and he [said to Him, "You are the King of the J
e]w[s?" Answered Jesus "From yourself you]


[Verso - John 18:37-38]
[ng are You?" Answered the Jesus "You say that]
king I Am. I for th]is ha[ve]been born
and I have come into the wo]rld so that I might
testify the truth. All those being] from the tr[u
th hears of me the voice."] Says to Him
the Pilate, "What is truth?" A]nd this
having said, again he went out to] the J[e
ws and said to them, "I but] not [one
find in Him cause. It is but cus]


That is basically what it says :)
I am disappointed that nothing has yet been published as an interlinear of the Greek manuscripts of the first three centuries so then people could actually see what the oldest manuscripts said originally. Stephen Walch 16:13, 15 July 2007 (UTC)

That's all really neat, but it does little good on the Talk page. Does anyone know of a source which can be referenced so that the translation can be added to the article? - Brian Kendig 20:41, 15 July 2007 (UTC)

If I stuck what I just did on a website, could we reference that? (I do recall seeing many references on Wikipedia to websites where it's just the authors words) Stephen Walch 09:52, 16 July 2007 (UTC)
Unfortunately, that would be considered original research and therefore unacceptable. I'll spend some time looking through sources and see if I can't find something we can't cite or quote. -Andrew c [talk] 14:37, 16 July 2007 (UTC)
I have only been able to find books with transcriptions of the Greek words, but never a translation. I think it's about time we got someone to publish a book that contains Greek manuscripts with a subsequent translation of what it says. I also find it rather odd that this fragment has been known to be from John's Gospel yet there doesn't seem to have been anything published with a translation of it. Stephen Walch 17:11, 16 July 2007 (UTC)

The quote below is lifted from Robert Waltz's New Testament Encyclopedia site; what it makes clear - I think - is that the textual issues raised by P52 are not readily translateable into English. TomHennell 00:16, 16 July 2007 (UTC)

"Description and Text-type Aland and Aland list P52 as a normal text. However, it should be noted that we really know nothing about the textual affiliations of this manuscript, which contains roughly 118 legible letters. The most noteworthy feature of the manuscript is its age -- though even this should be taken with some caution. How certain can a paleographic determination be when it is based on so small a sample?

The story of the manuscript is well-known. Acquired by Grenfell in Egypt in 1920, it went unnoticed among many other manuscript fragments until 1934, when C. H. Roberts recognized that it contained part of the Gospel of John. Impressed with the antiquity of the writing, he hastily published a booklet, An Unpublished Fragment of the Fourth Gospel in the John Rylands Library. Despite some caution among scholars about his early and precise dating, almost all accept that it comes from the second century -- simultaneously proving that the codex form and the Gospel of John were in use by that date.

The surviving fragment is only about 9 cm. tall by 6 cm. wide at its widest, counting lines makes it appear that the pages contained about eighteen lines of about 32 letters per line. This implies a page size of about 22 cm. by 20 cm.

Textually P52 tells us little. The complete text is transcribed below: recto OIIOUDAI HME OUDENAINAOL PENSHMAINW QNHSKEINIS RIONOP KAIEIP

 IW 
 verso

TOG NN AI SMONINAMARTU

 THSALHQE
 LEGEIAUTW
   ITOUT
   TOUSI
     MI 


As noted, it appears that P52 had about thirty characters per line. If so, then the likely reconstruction of the surviving lines is as follows (surviving characters shown in upper case, the rest in lower)

recto OI IOUDAIoi HMEin ouk exestin apokteinai OUDENA INA O Logos tou iu plhrwqh on ei- PEN SHMAINWn poiw qanatw hmellen apo- QNHSKEIN IShlqen ouk palin eis to praitw- RION O Pilatos kai efwnhsen ton in KAI EIPen autw su ei o basileus twn iou- daIWn...

verso (...leus) eimi egw eis touTO GegNNhmAI kai elhluqa eis ton koSMON INA MARTU- rhsw th alhqeia pas o wn THS ALHQEi- as akouei mou ths fwnhs LEGEI AUTW o pilatos ti estin alhqeia kaI TOUTo eipwn palin exhlqen pros TOUS Iou- daious kai legei autois ego oudeMIan

Observe the mis-spellings of HMEin (line 1r), IShlqen (line 4r).

Perhaps more interesting are the uses of the name of Jesus in lines 2r and 5r. Was the name abbreviated? This is an important and difficult question. Looking at the verso, we find the following line lengths: 28, 30 (38 if eis touto is included), 29, 28, 29, 28, 31. In the recto, if "Jesus" is abbreviated, we have 35, 31, 31, 33, 28, 30; if it is expanded, 35, 34, 31, 33 (28 if we omit palin), 31, 30. This is problematic, as the average line lengths on recto and verso are distinctly different -- 29 for the verso, 31.33 or 32.33 for the recto. If we consider only the recto, using the long forms produces less deviation for the line lengths (standard deviation of 1.97; it is 2.42 if we use the short lengths). However, if we take all thirteen lines we can measure, using the abbreviations produces the lesser deviation (2.14, with a mean line length of 30.1; without abbreviations the mean is 30.5 and the deviation 2.30). On the whole, then, it is perhaps slightly more likely that the manuscript used the nomina sacra than not, but it is absolutely impossible to be dogmatic.

As far as interesting variants go, P52 tells us little. The following is a list of variants to which it attests (note that these are all either idiosyncratic readings or of trivial importance, often both):

18:32 ina o logos tou ihsou plhrwqh P52-vid P66-vid rell; W sa ac2 pbo pc ina plhrwqh o logos tou ihsou 18:32 on eipen P52-vid c rell; * omits 18:33 palin eis to praitwrion P52-vid P66-vid B C* Dsupp L W X D f13 579 1071 844 lat; P60-vid A Cc (N Y) D 087 565 700 892supp eis to praitwrion palin; 33 1424 eis to praitwrion (P52 might support this reading; with palin this line is longer than it ought to be, but without it it is too short). 18:37 kai elhluqa P52 (or other reading omitting 5-10 letters); rell kai eis touto elhluqa 18:38 legei autw P52 rell; P66 legei oun autw By the nature of the case, P52 cannot help us with the variant add/omit egw (after eimi in verse 37).

Other Symbols Used for this Manuscript Bibliography The bibliography for P52 is too extensive to be tracked here. The basic article is the C. H. Roberts item (An Unpublished Fragment of the Fourth Gospel in the John Rylands Library) mentioned above. For more popular works on the subject see the lists below.

Collations: Collations of P52 are common -- and often rather optimistic in their readings of almost obliterated letters. Many include reconstuctions of the text as well. The following list includes some of the less scholarly, but more widely available, reconstructions: Finegan, Encountering New Testament Manuscripts, pp. 85-100 (text, recontruction, and comparison with other manuscripts) Metzger, Manuscripts of the Greek Bible, p. 62 (includes reconstructed text) Salmon, The Fourth Gospel: A History of the Text, pp. 50-53 2

contradictory dating in the article[edit]

One part of the article states that the age of the fragment ranges from middle of the first to the middle of the second, and another part of the article states that being of the first is highly unlikely... Which is ocrrect? -- Cimon Avaro; on a pogostick. (talk) 15:34, 23 December 2007 (UTC)

Nongbri and dating[edit]

I cannot at present access the Nongbri article, but I don't think that any of the third century comparitor hands that he examined were at all close to P52. I do recall that he demonstrated that the Hadrianic hands that Roberts propose as comparitors did indeed provide the closest match to P52, adding more from around the same date; but also that a Michigan papyrus (P.Mich. inv. 5336, an Egyptian petition dated from its addressee to 152 CE), was sufficiently close that its evidence could not be ignored. Adding a 50 year margin to 152 takes you to the beginning of the third century. Nongbri's general point is not that the writing of P52 has any late 2nd or 3rd century characteristics, but that 2nd century letter forms in general were both more varied, and more persistent, than paleographers had tended to assume. "Older" and "newer" hands appear to have overlapped in time much more than had previously been allowed for. If P52 were to have been written in the late 2nd or early 3rd century, then it can only have been by an older scribe writing in a hand that would have been old-fashioned when he learned it; but Nongbri shows that this is not a possibility that can be entirely discounted. But can someone check the original article? TomHennell (talk) 09:31, 16 April 2009 (UTC)

No access yet to Harvard Theological Review vol. 98 at JSTOR, or I'd have tried to help. --Wetman (talk) 22:03, 16 April 2009 (UTC)
The final sentences of his conclusion answers your question, I think (emphasis original):

What I have done is to show that any serious consideration of the window of possible dates for P52 must include dates in the later second and early third centuries. Thus, P52 cannot be used as evidence to silence other debates about the existence (or non-existence) of the Gospel of John in the fi rst half of the second century. Only a papyrus containing an explicit date or one found in a clear archaeological stratigraphic context could do the work scholars want P52 to do. As it stands now, the papyrological evidence should take a second place to other forms of evidence in addressing debates about the dating of the Fourth Gospel.

If you want a more specific conclusion of his, just ask. Srnec (talk) 03:34, 17 April 2009 (UTC)

- to make the issue a bit clearer:

my problem is with the recent unsigned edit which states of Nongbri's paper; ..there are also examples of hands with similar characteristics dated as late as the third century and that a prudent margin of error must allow a wider range of possible dates for the papyrus:. My recollection is that Nongbri did look at hands as dated as late as 220, but that these were not very similar to p52 (in the para quoted he says that none was a "dead ringer"). So, in my recollection, the latest text with strong similarities is dated c152, although the preponderance of similar texts are dated between c95 and c130. Nongbri's argument that a third century date for P52 could not be ruled out would then derive from adding 50 years to 152 - to allow the possibility that the scribe of the Michaigan petition might have been a youngster, who then carried on writing in the same style for the rest of his life. If so, the unsigned edit misrepresents Nongbri, and should be reverted. But I would really like to check the original first, at currently cannot access it.

There is a further point that has been raised by Daniel Wallace challenging Nongbri's absolute statement that, paleography is not the most effective method for dating texts. Wallace says that where, as in P52, there is no archeological context for a text, and no dating indicator in the text itself, then a paleographic date is the only date available, and hence neccessarily, must be for this fragment the most effective dating method. Nongbri is saying that because a late 2nd or early third date for P52 remains a possibility, we should ignore the paleographic judgement that a first-half 2nd century date is highly probable (which, given Nongbri's extensinve survey of comparitors, few paleographers would dispute). TomHennell (talk) 09:19, 17 April 2009 (UTC)

The quotation you're looking for is: "I have not radically revised Roberts’s work. I have not provided any third-century documentary papyri that are absolute “dead ringers” for the handwriting of Π52, and even if I had done so, that would not force us to date P52 at some exact point in the third century" (46). Other than that I don't see where Nongbri argues that a third-century date for P52 could be derived from adding 50 years to 152. The closest he comes (that I can find) is: "This kind of precision dating defies the realities of scribal activity. The productive writing life of a scribe was probably around thirty or thirty-five years. Add to that the fact that the scribal profession was an apprenticed trade, with students learning a particular style from a teacher, and we find that a given hand may be present over multiple generations of scribes. Thus the “rule of thumb” should probably be to avoid dating a hand more precisely than a range of at least seventy or eighty years. The evidence presented below bears out this reasoning." (fn 27) And "We would also do well to remember the standard rule of thumb for precision in paleographic dating. Turner writes, “For book hands, a period of 50 years is the least acceptable spread of time”." (fn26) He does say that the similarites between P52 and the Michigan text (c.152) "are as close as any of Roberts’s documentary parallels" (41). The parallels between his later comparandi and P52 seem less extensive but he does not actually say anything that would mean that "the latest text with strong similarities is dated c152, although the preponderance of similar texts are dated between c95 and c130". At least, I can't find where. Srnec (talk) 01:24, 18 April 2009 (UTC)
thanks Smec that adds light to the issue on Nongbri's use of the "50 year" rule of thumb. What I don't recall, and was wanting to check, was whether Nongbri states explicitly that there are "examples of hands with similar characteristics dated as late as the third century" which is what is said of the article in the recent edit? My recollection is that his third century comparitors had as many dissimilarities as similarities. He states that P. Mich. inv. 5336 (dated 152) is as similar to p52 as Roberts's comparitors, and I believe also suggest P. Amh 2.78 (dated 184) as a less close comparitor. Hence, in my recollection, Nongbri's statement that the window of possible dates for P52 must extend into the "later second and early third centuries" derives from adding a margin of error to his second century evidence, rather than from the characterstics of any dated third century papyrus.
I think that this website - which covers Roberts, Deissmann, Schmidt and Nongbri - provides quite a good summary of the current state of the debate: http://digilander.libero.it/Frances.or/ManoscrittiNT/P52.htm
The chronology that commanded wide agreement dated the manuscript 125-150 AD; but knowing that the piece could possibly be located earlier or later, it was decided to propose a broad-based dating, 98-170 AD, where "98" is the limit imposed by ad quem A. Deissmann. Note that no account was taken of the proposed date and the later terminus post quem of Schmidt (195 AD) and Nongrbi (early third century), which although plausible, are isolated positions. TomHennell (talk) 16:01, 18 April 2009 (UTC)

recto- verso[edit]

The two photographs of P-52 are mislabeled. Whoever posted them got the verso and recto sides reversed.

(Look at the margins—that's your first clue.)

Whoever can edit that, please do.

peace

Quixie

Ó —Preceding unsigned comment added by 70.162.238.215 (talk) 21:39, 27 June 2010 (UTC)

First, let's agree that recto is front, and verso is back. Next, let's agree that John 18:31 comes before John 18:37 (and thus, if they were to appear on front and back of the same leaf, that 31 would be on the front/recto and 37 on the back/verso). If we can agree to all this, let's look directly at the text of the image: File:P52 recto.jpg. What is the first letter you see? You don't even have to know Greek. It's Ο. Next, look at File:P52 verso.jpg. The first letter is cut off, but then we can see Τ followed by Ο. You with me so far? Then look at the transcription in the article, found at Rylands Library Papyrus P52#Greek text. Does the recto/John 18:31 start with Τ or Ο? Same question for the verso/John 18:37. Keep in mind, in the transcription found in the article, only the bold letters survive in the manuscript. So, when you compare the text in the actual manuscript to the transcription, which one do you think is the front and which one do you think is the back?
All that said, I'd like to hear your rationale for why you think we have it backwards. What is the margin clue you are alluding to? -Andrew c [talk] 21:53, 27 June 2010 (UTC)

weird font[edit]

Why is used this format \mathfrak{P}52 instead of P52, wich seems more natural. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 200.90.241.24 (talkcontribs) 15:12, 5 July 2010

If you look at academic texts which deal with the New Testament papyri, i.e. [6] or [7] or [8] they more common than not, use a blackletter P to designate the prefix/abbreviation for papyrus. Why are we using math code to illustrate that? That is a good question. Unicode has blackletter designations, but that requires the end user have a special font, where perhaps the mathcode forces it or displays it better? My preference would be to stick with unicode, as the math code is a bit bulky and not it's intended use, but I'm totally willing to hear justification for it's use. -Andrew c [talk] 19:19, 5 July 2010 (UTC)

CE and AD for dates: Manual of Style[edit]

Years are numbered according to the traditional western Dionysian era (Common Era).

AD and BC are the traditional ways of referring to these eras. CE and BCE are becoming more common in academic and some religious writing. No preference is given to either style.

Do not use CE or AD unless the date or century would be ambiguous without it (e.g. "The Norman Conquest took place in 1066" not 1066 CE or AD 1066). On the other hand, Plotinus was a philosopher living at the end of the 3rd century AD.

BCE and CE or BC and AD are written in upper case, unspaced, without periods (full stops), and separated from the year number by a space or non-breaking space (5 BC, not 5BC).

Use either the BC-AD or the BCE-CE notation, but not both in the same article. AD may appear before or after a year (AD 106, 106 AD); the other abbreviations appear after (106 CE, 3700 BCE, 3700 BC).

Do not change from one style to another unless there is substantial reason for the change, and consensus for the change with other editors.

from the section on dates in the Manual of Style TomHennell (talk) 10:39, 9 December 2010 (UTC)

Carbon copy curious[edit]

The article talks a lot about dating and that is just talk, i.e. hot air. Where is the C-14 radio-dating result for P-52? The fragment has a lot of empty white space, which is not important and can be cut away to burn for C-14 sampling. 82.131.128.129 (talk) 10:38, 11 March 2012 (UTC)

Doubt whether a C-14 date would resolve anything; the arguments about date essentially come down to a difference of around 25 years (125 CE or 150 CE?). C-14 won't date within that level of precisons (nor will paleography, but that is what many commentators have tried to claim). TomHennell (talk) 17:38, 11 March 2012 (UTC)

Variety of English[edit]

British English seems the obvious choice but apart from it being in a library in England I am not sure what indicates this. There is still some American usage like "alternate" but I have not gone through the whole text. If there was a definitely British or definitely American version in the past perhaps that would help to settle it.--Felix Folio Secundus (talk) 13:34, 14 March 2012 (UTC)

Probably mainly because the most substantial work of scholarship on the fragment is still Roberts's original paper in the Bulletin of the JRUL. TomHennell (talk) 00:55, 15 March 2012 (UTC)

This Statement Needs a Cite[edit]

"But the difficulty of fixing the date of a fragment based solely on paleographic evidence allows a much wider range, potentially extending from before 100 CE past 150 CE." — Preceding unsigned comment added by 74.95.43.249 (talk) 20:42, 11 September 2013 (UTC)

doneTomHennell (talk) 09:28, 12 September 2013 (UTC)

Orsini and Clarysse[edit]

I have added a para with the Orsini and Clarysse article; but I'm not altogether sure of this. They trash Nongbri's work in its entirety (without even allowing him the grace of a citation for his article on P52). Nor do they cite Roberts monograph. Perhaps there is some sort of paleographic point-scoring here to which the rest of us are not privy. But (although their findings for P52 don't seem to differ substantially from the general consensus) it does seem that their overall systematic approach is worth noting. I would be happy to remove the whole para if other editors think it add nothing of substance.TomHennell (talk) 08:38, 10 October 2013 (UTC)

I have reworked this para, better to clarify the counterpart approaches of Orsini/Clarysse and Nongbri. While both studies reject the early datings proposed by Comfort and Barrett, it is important, in my view, to make it clear that their respective methods are incompatible; as are their conclusions on the dating of P52. TomHennell (talk) 14:29, 11 March 2014 (UTC)
Good work from editor 71.114.238.86 in adding in Don Barker's article from 2011. I have rearranged the discussion into sequential order (although presumably Barker and Orsini/Clarysse overlap in the press, which is why they do not cite one another). However, Orsini and Clarysse do explicity criticise Barker's over-wide datings for other NT manuscripts, in terms which suggests they have little respect for his scholarship. Which, from the perspective of phrasing the article, may perhaps require an assessment of which of the two rival 'graphic stream'approaches carries the greater academic weight. My current impression is that the position of Orsini/Clarysse is closer to the current consensus, and have rephrased the para accordingly. But what do others think? TomHennell (talk) 12:54, 12 March 2014 (UTC)
An unnamed editor has proposed that the Barker reference should change to "They criticise Don Barker for assigning dates they regard as too early"; on the basis that this accords better with Orsini and Clarysse's actual wording. The problem, however, is that the point of contention here relates to the narrowness of Cavallo's (and hence Orisini/Claryss's) dating, rather than their proposed dates being late or early. On the parchment in question, Barker proposes "a rather broad date for P. Oxy. 1353 from early III to mid IV". Of course this doesn't refer here to P52, but Barker's point is the same in both instances; he states that there are insufficient clearly dated exemplars literary hands to assume (as Cavallo does) that the more highly developed forms of any hand are generally later than the less developed forms. Hence, in Barker's view, all forms of a literary hand could occur equally at any time during the centuries during which that hand may be evidenced; and consequently most paleographic dating ranges should be much wider than Cavallo and his followers are willing to allow. TomHennell (talk) 16:29, 9 May 2014 (UTC)