The Order Of Events In Matthew And Mark -- By: J. F. Springer

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 079:315 (Jul 1922)
Article: The Order Of Events In Matthew And Mark
Author: J. F. Springer


The Order Of Events In Matthew And Mark

J. F. Springer

A Problem and Its Solution In Two Parts

In order that we may be in position rightly to judge of the reasonableness of the foregoing explanations, it will be necessary that we have before us certain facts and probabilities as to ancient rolls and codices. The five explanations assume that misplacements might occur and be perpetuated; that the variation of the block size from 101.3 to 129 words is not excessive; that the small average size of block, 111.6 words, is permissible; and that interruptions in the continuity of the writing material might coincide with eleven selected points of division in the text. It is advisable that all these questions be discussed in the light of what is at present known.

It is particularly to be noted that not all five of the explanations are required. One is, in fact, sufficient. At the same time, the case is much stronger, if all may be shown to be possible in the first Christian century.

The Roll

We have rolls dating from very ancient times indeed. There is thus no bar at all to assuming that all through the first Christian century rolls were in common use for the preservation of literary compositions. And such rolls might be either of papyrus or of parchment.

It is a matter of some interest whether rolls were at times made up by gumming together loose sheets that had already received the writing which was to be preserved. Sir E. Maunde Thompson in the article on Manuscript in the present or eleventh edition of the Encyclopaedia Britannica says:

“In writing the text of a work, the scribe might choose

to make use of separate sheets of papyrus, κολλήματα, schedae, and then join them to one another consecutively so as to make up the roll;”

Whether it was actually customary to proceed in this way, first inscribing the loose sheets and then gumming them into a roll, I am unable to prove. It is in itself not at all improbable, as this citation from the pen of a most experienced palaeographer tends to show. Apparently, he thought it so probable as not to require proof.

[Since the writing of the preceding paragraph, but prior to its actual publication, proof has come to hand. 1 am indebted to Prof. H. A. Sanders for a reference to the Digest of Justinian, 32.52.5, where there is mention of (perscripti libri) nondum conglutinati. This occurs in what is to be viewed as an excerpt from Domitius Ulpianus, and so carries us back to a date not later than 228 A. D., when this jurist died. Accordingly, we have here very good...

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