A Conversation with John D. Turner on Sethian Gnosticism

On October 27, our dear colleague and friend, John D. Turner, passed away. His scholarship influenced so many of us who work (or worked) on Nag Hammadi, early Christian, and Platonic texts.

I knew John since 2002, when we started an extensive email exchange about all things Gnostic. In 2006, when I was working for my PhD at Laval University, we spent together the whole summer in Québec, talking about Sethian Gnostics and Platonic philosophy.

While going through every piece I email I exchanged with John in the early 2000s, I found a lengthy conversation I had with him in 2003 about his work on Gnosticism. If I remember correctly, this appeared in print in a Romanian journal. I decided to publish it on this blog again in John’s memory.

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Alin Suciu: Dear Professor Turner, please tell us a few things about your university years. Whom did you study with? What was your first contact with Gnosticism, a subject to which you have dedicated your scholarly life?

John D. Turner: I attended Dartmouth College from 1956 to 1960, graduating with concentrations in Philosophy and Mathematics. I became interested in religion and theology as a result of attending a seminar offered by Paul Tillich, so after a tour of duty in the Army and a couple of years’ work in a large corporation I attended Union Theological Seminary in Virginia where I concentrated mostly in biblical studies with James Luther Mays and John Bright, receiving a B.D. in 1964 and a Th.M. degree in 1965. Thereupon I entered the doctoral program at Duke University, studying mostly with W. D. Davies, D. Moody Smith, James L. Price, and my eventual dissertation supervisor Orval S. Wintermute. Halfway through the program it became apparent that the scholarship on early Christianity of the late sixties had somehow become moribund with remote prospects for exciting breakthroughs or an original contribution to knowledge, so I shifted my attention to the study of ancient languages and literatures relevant to the study of Mediterranean antiquity. Just at the time I was working on certain Middle Egyptian and Coptic texts, my principal adviser Orval Wintermute returned from a trip to Cairo, bringing with him photographs of Codex II of the Nag Hammadi library. After making my own English translation the Book of Thomas and the Apocalypse of Paul from Böhlig’s Koptisch-gnostische Apokalypsen aus Codex V von Nag Hammadi, I decided to pursue the study of Gnosticism and the Nag Hammadi Codices. I met Hans Jonas and James Robinson at the 1966 annual meeting of the Society of Biblical Literature, and Robinson mailed me photos of Codex XIII, so I translated the Trimorphic Protennoia and sent it to him, and as a result he asked me to join a team of 20-odd younger scholars, mostly American, that he was in the process of assembling for the Coptic Gnostic Project at the Institute for Antiquity and Christianity in Claremont, California.

A.S.: You were a member of the team of researchers which, beginning with 1967, worked in the Coptic Museum in Cairo on the study and replacement of the papyrus pieces and finally on the translation of the Nag Hammadi Coptic Codices. What is worth telling about that period?

JDT: After I took my doctoral exams at Duke, in 1968 I left for Claremont, California under the auspices of a Rockefeller Doctoral Fellowship to write my dissertation on the Book of Thomas. James Robinson had just returned from Europe, where he had managed to obtain photographs of all the Nag Hammadi Codices. We spent the next year using these black and white photographs, in lieu of the originals, to reassemble the somewhat jumbled papyrus leaves together with many fragments into its original order by making paper tracings and cutouts and putting them in stacks to see where the contours lay, trying as best we could match fiber direction and textures in order to reconstruct the original sequence of papyrus leaves and placement of fragments. In 1969-1972 I began work on the papyrus originals in Cairo as an associate of the UNESCO technical subcommittee for the publication of the Nag Hammadi Codices, collaborating with colleagues from France, Germany, Switzerland, and the USA whom I came to know in the course of several trips there. In 1969 I also spent some time in Jerusalem to consult with H. J. Polotsky. By 1973-4 we had everything pretty well placed, and proceeded to send mimeographed transcriptions and translations of these materials to interested scholars throughout the world who had until now been unable to access them.

A.S.: In 1970 you obtained your Ph.D. at Duke University. It was about one of the Christian Gnostic texts, The Book of Thomas the Contender, which would become later your first book (John D. Turner, The Book of Thomas the Contender. Coptic Text with Translation, Introduction and Commentary, Society of Biblical Literature Dissertation Series 23; Missoula, Montana: Scholars Press, 1975). What can you tell us about this first period of your work?

JDT: While at Claremont, I finished my dissertation—the edition princeps of the Book of Thomas the Contender from Codex II—and took a job as Assistant Dean of the Graduate School, and used my spare time to begin critical editions of 6 more of the Nag Hammadi treatises from Codices XI and XIII. I became most interested in the Trimorphic Protennoia and Allogenes, which proved to have Sethian affinities, eventually leading me to develop a specialization in Sethian Gnosticism and especially in its fascinating relationship to the development of Platonic philosophy in the first four centuries of our era. From 1970-75 I taught at the University of Montana as a biblical scholar with a specialization in early Christian literature and history. There I became a colleague of Robert Funk, the executive secretary of the Society of Biblical Literature, who founded the internationally prominent but short-lived Scholars Press and, fifteen years later, the “notorious” Jesus Seminar. At that time I became heavily involved with the Society of Biblical Literature and especially with its recently formed Nag Hammadi and Gnosticism Section. The next year after I had moved to the University of Nebraska to begin a new program in Religious Studies, we released The Nag Hammadi Library in English (Brill and Harper&Row, 1977), the first complete one-volume English translation of all thirteen codices plus the treatises from the Berlin Codex 8502, although my critical edition of Codices XI and XIII did not appear until 1990. Since the late 1980’s, I have been on the steering committee of the Society of Biblical Literature’s Nag Hammadi and Gnosticism Section; during my six-year term as chair, I organized the SBL’s 1995 plenary commemoration of the fiftieth anniversary of the Nag Hammadi discovery (see The Nag Hammadi Library After Fifty Years: Proceedings of the 1995 Society of Biblical Literature Commemoration, ed. J. D. Turner and A. McGuire; Nag Hammadi and Manichaean Studies 44; Brill, 1997).

A.S.: Afterwards you passed on to another subject, bringing some of the most important contributions to the issue of the Sethian branch of Gnosticism, a branch you consider prior to the school of Valentinus. Thus, you wrote in Sethian Gnosticism and the Platonic Tradition, p. 57: “Sethian Gnosticism is the earliest form of Gnosticism for which we possess a great deal of textual evidence”. Could you tell us something about the beginning of your passion for Sethianism and how do you understand the origins of this branch of Gnosticism?

JDT: Throughout the 1980’s, I undertook the English language critical editions of Nag Hammadi Codices XI (The Interpretation of Knowledge, A Valentinian Exposition, Allogenes, Hypsiphrone) and XIII (Trimorphic Protennoia), as well as an updated edition of the Book of Thomas the Contender from Codex II, which were published as volumes #21 (1989) and #28 (1990) in E. J. Brill’s “Nag Hammadi (and Manichean) Studies” series. From my work on the Trimorphic Protennoia and Allogenes, and especially after my friendship with Hans-Martin Schenke, I began to concentrate on Sethian Gnosticism, and so, except for brief encyclopedia articles, I published nothing further on the Book of Thomas until the May 2003 international colloquium on “L’Évangile selon Thomas et les textes de Nag Hammadi” at Laval University in Québec, where I explored the Platonic affinities of that text (to be published as “The Platonic Jesus”). In 1991 I began my lasting association with the Nag Hammadi project at Université Laval in Québec City as visiting research professor and eventually member of the editorial board of the Bibliothèque copte de Nag Hammadi, the French language project to produce critical editions, concordances, and monographs on the entire Nag Hammadi Library. It was during seven summers there that I produced introductions and commentaries to 3 more Sethian treatises, Zostrianos from Codex VIII, Marsanes from Codex X, and a new and improved edition of Allogenes from Codex XI. It was the special philosophical properties of these three treatises—which together with the Three Steles of Seth I call the Platonizing Sethian treatises—that led me into the study of the history of the Platonic tradition and ultimately to my magnum opus to date, Sethian Gnosticism and the Platonic Tradition (Bibliothèque copte de Nag Hammadi, section « Études » 6; Québec: Presses de l’Université Laval; Louvain-Paris: Éditions Peeters, 2001). One of the outcomes of this work is the demonstration that the theological interpretation of Plato’s Parmenides so evident in the Sethian Platonizing treatises Zostrianos and Allogenes (studied in Plotinus’ third century Roman seminar) originated, not with Plotinus, but with his Middle Platonic precursors. During the last ten years, I have focused on the relationship of the Sethian religion to Johannine Christianity and its subsequent crucial involvement in the origins of Neoplatonic metaphysics. I have pursued the former topic in the Johannine seminar of the Studiorum Novi Testamenti Societas (to which I was elected in 1985), and the latter topic in the SBL, where I inaugurated the six-year-long (1992-98) “Gnosticism and Later Platonism Seminar” composed of experts on Greek philosophy and Gnosticism (see Gnosticism and Later Platonism: Themes, Figures, and Texts, ed. J. D. Turner and R. Majercik; SBL Symposium Series 12; Society of Biblical Literature, 2001). I had thus developed another specialty in the history of later Greek philosophy. As a sequel, I went on to inaugurate a new six year seminar, Rethinking Plato’s Parmenides and its Platonic, Gnostic and Patristic Reception, consisting of international authorities in religion, theology, classics, philosophy, patristics, and history who convene at the annual meetings of the Society of Biblical Literature to reexamine the entire question of the place of Plato’s Parmenides in the world of classical and late antique philosophy from Speusippus in the 4th century BCE through Proclus in the fifth century CE. Since this work has been of especial interest to continental, mainly Parisian, scholars, I have given invited lectures on my work on Sethianism and Platonism at the 2002 Paris colloquium on Gnosis and Greek Philosophy commemorating the royal charter granted by Queen Victoria to Université Laval in Québec, and this summer in Paris at the CNRS/EPHE Centre d’études des religions du Livre and at the Collège de France. I also have been asked by the Société d’Édition « Les Belles Lettres » to do a volume La gnose séthienne et les orignes du néoplatonisme for a wider, non-specialist audience.

A.S.: Why do you think we should imagine Sethianism so dynamic? Why couldn’t we imagine that both the Christian and the Platonic expression of Sethianism were in fact contemporary?

JDT: Its consistently innovative character. As Michael Williams (Rethinking Gnosticism, 91-93) has noted, the significant diversity among the Sethian texts as a whole most likely reveals—not so much the writings of a single sect or social group—but rather “indices to a series of related religious innovations.” Some of these eventuated in the formation of Sethian communities, but none with the size or perdurance to become “successful” new religious movements. Sethianism can be thought of as a sequence of fascinating, but “failed,” religious innovations. Thus, the innovative Sethian Christologies that tried to explain the pre-existent Christ as the self-generated son of Barbelo, or—on a lower level—as identical with the ancient Seth who has recently appeared in the guise of Jesus, seem to have resulted in a gradual expulsion of Sethians from the apostolic churches. Since the basic framework of the Sethian picture of the world and its origin had already incorporated Platonic features, subsequent affiliation with Platonist circles such as that of Plotinus would have been a natural move. But again, their innovative multiplication of divine hypostases and apparent disparagement of the physical cosmos and the cause of its origin likely led to increasing exclusion from these circles too.

I cite from my article “Time and History in Sethian Gnosticism,” in the H.-M Schenke Festschrift For the Children, Perfect Instruction: “The designation ‘Platonizing Sethian treatises’ is not intended to deny in any way the vital influence of Platonism throughout the entire Sethian corpus. Even the Sethian treatises of the descent pattern exhibit the influence Platonic doctrine: They distinguish the earthly, visible realm of change and becoming from a transcendent, invisible realm of permanence and stability, and make much use of the associated doctrines of archetype/image and model/copy. And their portrayal—usually a parody—of the world creator is broadly patterned, not only on the initial chapters of Genesis, but also on the demiurgic figure of Plato’s Timaeus. But only the four Platonizing treatises feature a method of enlightenment through a visionary ascent that in effect reascends the chain of being generated by the original emanation of the Barbelo Aeon from the Triple Power of the supreme deity. That is, their approach to enlightenment directly presupposes their distinctive ontology and emanative theogony.”

A.S.: An original contribution of your work is the division of the Sethian corpus in two fundamental patterns: “the descent pattern” and “the ascent pattern”. While the texts influenced by the first pattern would be of Jewish origins, the second would be evidently Platonic… Could you please develop this idea in a few words?

JDT: Of course, it is possible that the ascent and descent patterns were merely alternative—rather than successive—conceptions enlightenment from the beginnings of the Sethian movement, but such an assumption cannot account for the elaborate multiplication of psychic realms and post-mortem conditions of souls in Zostrianos (e.g., VIII 42,10-44,22 and 27,19-28,30; attested also by Plotinus) compared with the rather simpler four-level hierarchy of psychic realms and conditions within the four Luminaries of the Apocryphon of John (BG 64,14-71,2; II 25,16-27,30). I cite again from my Schenke Festschrift article: “There is of course an element of both ascent and descent in all the Sethian treatises. The ‘ascent pattern’ treatises narrate the ascent of an exemplary visionary who achieves enlightenment through cognitive assimilation with transcendent realities. Angels and glories may descend to reveal information, but they raise no one into the light. There are no external antidivine powers to be defeated. In the ‘descent pattern’ treatises that portray enlightenment as a gift conferred by a descending revealer, all but two (the Hypostasis of the Archons and Thought of Norea) associate its advent with a baptismal rite usually called the ‘Five Seals.’ Here, a savior descends, not only to elevate the participants out of corporeal and emotional bondage into the world of light, but also to free them from bondage to hostile external powers. In the descent pattern, salvation is effected by the revealer; in the ascent pattern, the revealers merely explain what is heard and seen by the visionary, but the visionary must actualize the ascent. Platonism from Plato to Plotinus held that the unaided human soul had the power to free itself from the bondage to the material world and unite with the divine, and the Platonizing Sethian treatises are no exception. Approximation to the descent pattern only begins with Iamblichus, for whom the soul’s ascent requires illumination by the lower “visible” gods invoked through theurgical ritual. But no invisible transcendent gods descend to earth.

Although the Platonizing Sethian treatises presume the self-performable character of enlightenment through visionary ascent, both they and the descent pattern treatises clearly affirm the importance of the divine initiative. The divine realities they describe have themselves ordained, authorized, and revealed the salvific rituals or contemplative practices offered for the readers’ emulation. In fact, Zostrianos effects a transition between these two approaches by symbolizing the stages of the visionary ascent as ritual actions such as baptism, anointing, and crowning, even though they have been entirely transposed into the transcendental realm. In reality, every Sethian text is incomplete, for each points beyond itself to its completion by certain actions or cognitions inexpressible in words. They all require actualization by the readers’ own emulation, whether by ritual action, or by contemplative assimilation to transcendent realities.”

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Dumbarton Oaks/HMML Coptic and Syriac Summer School (July 7-August 2, 2019)

Upon the invitation of Fr. Columba Stewart, next summer I will teach an intensive Coptic course in the United States, together with my colleague, Victor Ghica (Norwegian School of Theology, Oslo). The course is funded by Dumbarton Oaks and will be hosted at HMML, Collegeville, Minnesota, between July 7 and August 2. The deadline for applications is February 15, so, if interested, there is still time to apply. We will do lots of Coptic literature and manuscripts! Here follows the official announcement.

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Building on three summers of success, Dumbarton Oaks in collaboration with the Hill Museum & Manuscript Library (HMML) announces an intensive four-week course introducing the Syriac and Coptic languages and paleography in summer of 2019. The program, sponsored and funded by Dumbarton Oaks, will be hosted at HMML, located on the campus of Saint John’s University, Collegeville, Minnesota. The summer school will run from July 7 to August 2, 2019 (arrival on July 6, departure August 3). The audience is doctoral students or recent PhDs who can demonstrate a need to learn Syriac or Coptic for their research.

Approximately ten places will be available for each language. Costs for tuition, housing, and meals will be covered by Dumbarton Oaks. The selected participants will be responsible for their own travel costs to and from Saint John’s University (nearest airport: Minneapolis-St Paul).

The program welcomes international applicants but does not sponsor J visas.

Course Offerings
The Summer School will consist of morning and afternoon sessions Monday-Friday, complemented by guest lectures and other learning opportunities, as well as social events and enjoyment of the beautiful 2700-acre campus with woods, lakes, and notable architecture.

Prior familiarity with basic Syriac or Coptic grammar is not a prerequisite but some preparation will be required before arrival, as directed by the instructors. The courses will include an introduction to paleography and to the study and use of manuscripts, especially those now available in the vHMML Reading Room from HMML’s vast collection of digitized manuscripts.

Following this intensive course, students will be fully equipped to continue reading on their own or to enter reading courses at other institutions.

Faculty for 2019

Syriac: Dr. Robert Kitchen, Regina, Saskatchewan, and Sankt Ignatios Theological Academy, Södertälje, Sweden; Dr. Sergey Minov, University of Oxford.
Coptic: Dr. Alin Suciu, Akademie der Wissenschaften zu Göttingen; Prof. Victor Ghica, Norwegian School of Theology, Religion and Society, Oslo.
HMML Staff, and guest lecturers

Accommodation and Costs
Students will be housed in apartments on the Saint John’s University campus. Each participant will have a private bedroom and bathroom, with shared kitchen and laundry facilities. A meal contract at the student Refectory will be provided. All expenses will be covered by Dumbarton Oaks, apart from travel to and from Saint John’s University. See more about visiting HMML.

Requirements for Admission
Applicants must be either enrolled doctoral students in good standing with a demonstrated need to learn Syriac or Coptic for their research, or recent PhDs, including early-career faculty members, who can demonstrate the value of Syriac or Coptic for their teaching and research. Priority will be given to those who lack opportunities to learn Syriac or Coptic at their own institutions. Those with significant prior study of Syriac or Coptic (e.g., a semester-long class) will not be considered. Those accepted into the program will be informed about resources to help them in their preparation. A basic familiarity with the Syriac and Coptic writing systems and principal script-forms will be presumed upon arrival.

Application Procedure
Applications are due February 15, 2019. The application should include:

A letter of no more than two single-spaced pages describing the applicant’s academic background (including language skills) and an explanation for why learning Syriac or Coptic is important for future research and teaching.
A curriculum vitae.
A transcript of graduate school coursework for those who are currently doing graduate study. This is not required for those who have completed their PhD.
Two letters of recommendation, to be sent separately.

The application letter and recommendations should be addressed to Fr. Columba Stewart, OSB, Executive Director of HMML. Letters and other materials should be sent as email attachments to fellowships@hmml.org with “Syriac [Coptic] Summer School” in the subject line.

Applicants will be evaluated on the basis of previous academic achievement, demonstrated need for intensive study of Syriac or Coptic, and research promise. Awards will be announced in late February 2019, and must be accepted by March 15, 2019.

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Guest Post: Julien Delhez – The Third Hiob Ludolf Centre Summer School in Ethiopian and Eritrean Manuscripts Studies, Mekelle, Ethiopia, 24-29 September 2018

The last week of September, 33 graduate students and faculty members took part in the third summer school on Ethiopian and Eritrean manuscript studies organized by the Hiob Ludolf Centre for Ethiopian Studies (Hamburg). This year, for the first time, thanks to generous support from the Volkswagen Stiftung, the event did not take place in Germany but in Mekelle, Ethiopia, and was organized in cooperation with the St Yared Centre for Ethiopian Philology (Mekelle). The venue was the Axum Hotel.

Summer School

The summer school had been designed to be accessible to a diverse public and did not require previous knowledge in Ge’ez or in any other language of Ethiopia. The event included both theoretical lectures and practical workshops.

The first two days (September 24-25) were dedicated to theoretical presentations. Monday’s lectures included introductions to Ethiopian and Eritrean studies, their methodology and tools, Ethiopian manuscript studies, and codicology and palaeography of Gǝ’ǝz manuscripts. Tuesday comported lectures on Gǝ’ǝz philology and literature, and it ended with four presentations on work-in-progress by summer school participants: Stanislau Paulau (University of Göttingen), Alex Dally MacFarlane (University of Oxford/British Library), Yonas Yilma (Addis Ababa University/ARCCH) and Yeneneh Tariku (Addis Ababa University/Haramaya University).

On the morning of September 26, the participants were introduced to digital resources and TEI XML for Ethiopian manuscript studies. The afternoon of the same day was dedicated to Islamic literature in Ethiopia and Islamic Ethiopian manuscript studies.

September 27 started with theoretical presentations on manuscript cataloguing. Then, in the afternoon, the attendees were split into groups and worked on two Ethiopian manuscripts (in PDF format) which they had to catalogue and describe codicologically, as well as from the point of view of textual content.

This exercise continued in the morning of September 28. Afterwards, the participants were able to have a first-hand experience of the digitization of two Ethiopians manuscripts, with the material that researchers usually resort to when they visit Ethiopian churches or monasteries: sophisticated enough to enable them to take high-quality pictures, but light enough to be carried on even up to monasteries that are difficult to access, e.g. on the top of a mountain.

The last day, September 29, was dedicated to art history and the conservation of manuscripts. The event was closed by a farewell address of Professor Kindeya Gebrehiwot, President of Mekelle University.

The summer school was followed by the International Congress of Ethiopian Studies (1-5 October 2018), which was also organized in Mekelle. Many of the participants therefore prolonged their stay in order to attend both events.

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Call for Applications: Professor of Coptology, University of Münster

Stephen Emmel writes us that, “The University of Münster in Germany is now accepting applications for the position Professor of Coptology (Professor für Koptologie), to begin on October 1, 2019. The deadline for applications is August 15, 2018. For details, see this link (or go to: https://www.uni-muenster.de/de/ and follow the links DIE WWU > KARRIERE > Ausschreibungen, and there you will find two links for the Coptology professorship under “Professuren,” one in English, the other in German).”

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5-day Reading Coptic Course in London

Monday 2 to Friday 6 July

READING COPTIC: THE EARLY TEXTS

with Dr Bill Manley

This is a brand new 5-day course for experienced readers of Coptic. It will concentrate on the great Coptic father Shenoute, as well as one of the intriguing ‘gospels’ discovered in the famous Nag Hammadi library. Studied together these texts will improve your skills and experience as a reader of the Ancient Egyptian language, while exploring some of the most distinctive words and ideas from the foundational century of the Coptic Church.

Course fee: £340

(and attached HERE)

Further information & booking:

+ 44 (0)207 679 3622

bloomsbury@egyptology-uk.com

www.egyptology-uk.com/bloomsbury

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Lecture at Matenadaran, Yerevan, May 12, 2018

I know that some friends and colleagues from Armenia are reading this blog, so I am pleased to invite you to a lecture I will give on May 12, 2018 from 12 o’clock at the Mashtots Institute of Ancient Manuscripts (Matenadaran) in Yerevan.

Evodius

The lecture is entitled “From Fragments to Codices: The Reconstruction of the Library of the White Monastery.” Here is the abstract:

“During the 12th century, an Armenian community settled in the Monastery of Apa Shenoute, commonly known as the White Monastery, situated in Upper Egypt near modern-day Sohag. As a sign of their presence, the Armenians left a series of astonishing frescoes, which document their journey on the Nile, far away from their native lands. Alin Suciu’s paper introduces the monastery where the Armenian community once lived, and the vital role played by its library in the preservation of Coptic literature. During the period when the Armenians lived there, the White Monastery possessed the largest Christian library in Egypt, estimated to ca. 1000 codices. Unfortunately, the manuscripts have survived dismembered and scattered all over the world. As the library of this monastery probably contained copies of most ecclesiastical works existing in Coptic, the codicological reconstruction of its manuscripts is, to a certain extent, coextensive with the reconstruction of Coptic literature. The lecture focuses on the dispersal of the library of the Monastery of Apa Shenoute in modern times, and some of the problems that we encounter in the attempt to piece together its codices.”

The announcement on the Matenadaran website (in Armenian only).

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High-Resolution Images of London, BL Or. 5287(3) = Genesis 3:16-4:4 (Sahidic version)

Genesis 3:16–4:4 (sa 202 [Schüssler])

 

P.Lond.Copt. I 932                                17.4 × 13.9 cm                      probable date: 6th century

British Library Or. 5287(3)                                                                                             Akhmim

Parchment                                                                                           Acquired by B. P. Grenfell

 

These high-resolution photographs are meant to accompany the article of Zuzana Vítková and Hans-Gebhard Bethge, “Parchment BL Or. 5287(3) Revisited: A New Edition of the Sahidic Fragment of Genesis 3:16–4:4 (sa 202 [Schüssler]),” Journal of Coptic Studies 20 (2018) 189-203.

ABSTRACT: In this article, we present a new edition of the Sahidic Coptic biblical manuscript fragment sa 202 (Schüssler’s number in Biblia Coptica), British Library Or. 5287(3), a single parchment codex leaf with Genesis 3:16–4:4. The more legible part of the manuscript was published in the supplementary section of Crum’s Catalogue of the Coptic Manuscripts in the British Museum: London 1905, p. 391 (no. 932). The ink has significantly faded in the worse preserved parts, but many of the letters are readable anyway because they are “engraved” in the parchment due to the scribe’s use of a kalamos. Careful observation, including with the aid of ultraviolet light, has revealed the “lost” verses to a great extent. The article offers the full text of the parchment and its presumed reconstruction where the text remains unreadable as well as its comparison with the only other Sahidic Gen 3 fragment survived, sa 108L (Genesis 3:16–24; Schüssler = sa 16 L [SMR]; Rome, Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana, Borgia copto 109, cass. XXIII, fasc. 99; probably date of origin 14-15th century; ed. Ciasca, Sacrorum Bibliorum Fragmenta 1:1–2).

Recto:

Verso:

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