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Old 05-01-2001, 09:26 AM   #21
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Ya know, you guys are making it very tempting for me to adopt the rodahi technique, appeal to authorities, refuse to engage in actual arguments, and declare victory over Earl even before it is started.

On the other hand, I would rather discuss the merits of the respective arguments for and against the existence of a real Jesus of Nazareth, so I think I will pass on following rodahi's lead.

Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by TheCandle:

On further reflection, I think this is actually two arguments:
(1) Rodahi is arguing about the importance of authority, and that if sufficient authorities place credence to an opinion, that opnion gains weight over a single, less known authority
(2) Nomad is arguing that whever an opinion is expressed by anybody, it is possible until refuted.</font>
a) This isn't my argument at all. I have refuted each of the arguments put forward by rodahi and shown why they are not convincing. As in my question to SingleDad, please show a single instance where I have appealed to any authority about anything and refused to offer the relavent arguments.

b) This is not a road you fellas are going to want to travel. If I demonstrate the complete and total lack of support that Doherty has for his Jesus Myth theories, and simply state (truthfully and accurately) that no reputable scholar takes his opinions and arguments seriously, the debate will be a very big disappointment all around.

Remember that most axes cut in two directions, and my interest on these boards is to argue not only who has the best and most scholars on his side, but also which has the most convincing arguments. I am then content to let the readers evaluate the arguments for themselves. To do what rodahi has done here may be acceptable in some scenarios, I do not consider it to be acceptable on a discussion board. My view is offer the arguments themselves, or withdraw. Straight line appeals to authority alone do not cut it.

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Unfortunately, Nomad, this seems to be the commonest *theme* of all creationist arguments (says The Candle, certainly a noive in this area). I say X. If you cannot disprove X, it is quite possibly true. This is why authority is so important in the area of *opinion*.</font>
Thank you again for making my point so clearly regarding the Jesus Mythers. At the same time, I am not going to take the easy way out and simply dismiss them (this time) because no serious scholar treats their arguments as valid. If Doherty shows up, I will actually present the arguments themselves, and let the chips fall where they may.

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2"> We all accept no one can know exactly when P46 was written, and I think (perhaps incorrectly) no one here is a paprylogist... QED the opinion of authorites becomes important.</font>
Agreed. But so do their underlying arguments. If the best they have to offer is circular reasoning about no pre-3rd Century document has conflated nomina sacra, therefore no document that has conflated nomina sacra can be dated earlier than the 3rd Century, we are in very deep trouble. Would you agree?

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">I think that rodahi accepts he/she/it is not sufficient authority to even argue with Kim (of unknown authority), but defers to great known scholars (apparently).</font>
He finds their authority sufficient to reject Kim's arguments, yes. But here, in these forums, I have asked if he actually knows why they argue against Kim. If he doesn't know, he doesn't know. C'est la vie. But I would like to see more.

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Solution
(1) Nomad demonstrates he/she/it is of siffucient authority herself/himself/itself to offer opinions on the papyrus</font>
Does this argument mean that only scientists are allowed to talk about arguments and issues? I am not a scientist, but I do know how to spot a bad argument when I see one. If rodahi or anyone else will present such arguments, then we can see for ourselves how convincing they are. This, to me, is a good thing.

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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">(2) Nomad provides evidence of the weight of Kims authority (eg. other papers, degrees from reputable universities, curriculum vitae)</font>
Is truth dependent upon the credentials of the proponent? To some extent I think that this is definitely the case. But as I have said before, when we are discussing radical new ideas, sometimes we have to step back, and see just how solid the reasoning of the scholarly community really is. If we were not prepared to do this, no real progress in any science would ever really be possible would it?

Thanks for your thoughts Candle. I hope you can overcome your double standard here.

Nomad
 
Old 05-01-2001, 10:00 AM   #22
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Since others are jumping in with their opinions on how this thread is progressing, I thought I might do the same.

Though I am not a theist, and really have no vested interest in agreeing with Nomad on a theological basis, it seems to me that he is in the right here. At least in as far as how evidence should be presented in these discussions. For the most part, none of us are experts or authorities in the field of biblical scholarship or paleography. That, however, does not mean that we do not have the ability to rationally weigh the evidence presented to us.

Everyone should feel free to make appeals to authority, especially in a situation where your expertise on the subject is lacking. Having said that, though, you should also be prepared to show that you understand what your authority has to say on the subject by quoting them directly, or better yet, by summarizing or paraphrasing their arguments and evidence.

As far as I can see Nomad has done this by presenting what he believes to be the main thrust of Kims argument. Rodahi, on the other hand, has only made an appeal to authority here, without showing that he understands, or is even aware of, the reasons why his authorities reject Kim. This is either a result of intellectual laziness, a genuine lack of understanding of the arguments involved, or a lack of interest in the topic. If his problem falls into the first two categories, he would do well to research the arguments presented by his authorities, if it is the latter, he would be better served by excusing himself from the discussion.

Now that I have covered that bit, I would like to make my own comments on the subject itself, and without making an appeal to authority.

It would seem that Kims arguments consist of reasons why the MSS in question could be dated to and earlier period than 200CE. However I do not see him providing a reason why it should be assigned to such an early period. As far as I can tell the best we can say in light of Kims arguments is that P46 could be assigned to a date ranging between 79-200 CE. Of course this is just my reaction from the evidence presented here thus far. Rodahi, or Nomad, if either of you (or anyone else for that matter), have any evidence that would more firmly root the dating at either end of the spectrum listed above, I would certainly like to see it.

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[This message has been edited by Ulrich (edited May 01, 2001).]
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Old 05-01-2001, 10:29 AM   #23
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[QUOTE]Originally posted by Nomad:
Ya know, you guys are making it very tempting for me to adopt the rodahi technique, appeal to authorities, refuse to engage in actual arguments, and declare victory over Earl even before it is started.

You continue to misrepresent the actual argument/situation.

1. You appeal to the OPINIONS of ONE unknown person named Young Kyu Kim who published ONE obscure article in Biblica Magazine 13 years ago. I appeal to the OPINIONS of ALL paleographers who have examined P46 AND published BOOKS and NUMEROUS scholarly articles on a wide range of paleographic issues.

2. We don't have any idea who Young Kyu Kim is, much less what his credentials are. I have found ZERO information about him after searching bookstores, journals, and the internet. (Earl Doherty had published a book and is available on the internet to discuss his views. There is a big difference.)

3. I have read Kim's article, explained what P46 is, presented Kim's major opinions and commented on them. You have shown not the slightest evidence that you have actually read Kim's article and can discuss his OPINIONS intelligently.

Nomad: On the other hand, I would rather discuss the merits of the respective arguments for and against the existence of a real Jesus of Nazareth, so I think I will pass on following rodahi's lead.

You continue to misrepresent me. YOU have appealed to the authority of ONE person. I have appealed to the authority of ALL paleographers and presented his major opinions.

Nomad: Is truth dependent upon the credentials of the proponent? To some extent I think that this is definitely the case. But as I have said before, when we are discussing radical new ideas, sometimes we have to step back, and see just how solid the reasoning of the scholarly community really is. If we were not prepared to do this, no real progress in any science would ever really be possible would it?

Are you naive enough to think that paleography is an exact science? It is not. Furthermore, ALL the paleographers who have examined P46 REJECT Kim's OPINIONS. All reasonable people would question Kim's OPINIONS, not those of ALL paleographers.

Nomad: Thanks for your thoughts Candle. I hope you can overcome your double standard here.

Translation: "Since you disagree with my apologetic ramblings you must be using a double standard here."

Earl Doherty is a notch or two above those who regularly win debates with you. He is going to eat you alive.

rodahi

 
Old 05-01-2001, 10:39 AM   #24
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This is not a road you fellas are going to want to travel. If I demonstrate the complete and total lack of support that Doherty has for his Jesus Myth theories, and simply state (truthfully and accurately) that no reputable scholar takes his opinions and arguments seriously, the debate will be a very big disappointment all around.

This is one atheist who will be quite suprised if you don't do that very thing.

I'm open to the possibility that Jesus was a completely mythical figure, but I think I'd rank it up there with the possibility of Bigfoot or the Loch Ness monster.

Course I haven't heard Doherty's case yet, so maybe he's got a little smidgin of something. But he's going to have to be very impressive.
 
Old 05-01-2001, 10:45 AM   #25
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<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by rodahi:

You continue to misrepresent the actual argument/situation.

1. You appeal to the OPINIONS of ONE unknown person named Young Kyu Kim who published ONE obscure article in Biblica Magazine 13 years ago. I appeal to the OPINIONS of ALL paleographers who have examined P46 AND published BOOKS and NUMEROUS scholarly articles on a wide range of paleographic issues.</font>
Right. And so far you haven't explained why these experts believe what they believe. For whatever reason you do not seem to understand this.

Give us their arguments. If they are convincing, we'll go with them. I have already told you this as well.

Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">2. We don't have any idea who Young Kyu Kim is, much less what his credentials are. I have found ZERO information about him after searching bookstores, journals, and the internet. (Earl Doherty had published a book and is available on the internet to discuss his views. There is a big difference.)</font>
Rodahi? You don't know what Doherty's credentials are. Beyond his telling us that he has a Masters Degree in History (no university listed), and has written one popular book (but no articles in serious scholarly journals), we don't really know much about him, do we?

Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">3. I have read Kim's article, explained what P46 is, presented Kim's major opinions and commented on them. You have shown not the slightest evidence that you have actually read Kim's article and can discuss his OPINIONS intelligently.</font>
You have consistently refused to offer the arguments made by the scholars that disagree with Kim. I do not know why you have done this (across four threads now), but it is looking worse and worse.

Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Nomad: On the other hand, I would rather discuss the merits of the respective arguments for and against the existence of a real Jesus of Nazareth, so I think I will pass on following rodahi's lead.

rodahi: You continue to misrepresent me. YOU have appealed to the authority of ONE person.</font>
I have not appealed to his authority. I have given his reasons for rejecting a 2nd Century dating of P46. You have said scholars disagree. Cool. Now just tell us why they disagree.

Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2"> I have appealed to the authority of ALL paleographers and presented his major opinions.</font>
Now please give the scholars reasons for their opinions. I don't know why you are making this so hard rodahi.

Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Nomad: Is truth dependent upon the credentials of the proponent? To some extent I think that this is definitely the case. But as I have said before, when we are discussing radical new ideas, sometimes we have to step back, and see just how solid the reasoning of the scholarly community really is. If we were not prepared to do this, no real progress in any science would ever really be possible would it?

rodahi: Are you naive enough to think that paleography is an exact science? It is not.</font>
Of course it isn't rodahi. I have said the same thing. And this is a big reason why we can and should examine the quality of the arguments advanced. Give us something to look at please. I am a patient guy, but you are trying that patience very seriously.

Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2"> Furthermore, ALL the paleographers who have examined P46 REJECT Kim's OPINIONS. All reasonable people would question Kim's OPINIONS, not those of ALL paleographers.</font>
Got it.

Now just give us their reasons please.

Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Nomad: Thanks for your thoughts Candle. I hope you can overcome your double standard here.

Translation: "Since you disagree with my apologetic ramblings you must be using a double standard here."</font>
Oh dear. At the same time, I am actually coming to accept that ya'll don't see the double standard in action here.

Try picturing a Christian trying to argue based only on what experts say is true, but not offering the arguments themselves. What would be the reaction here?

Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Earl Doherty is a notch or two above those who regularly win debates with you. He is going to eat you alive.</font>
Bring your flags, noise makers and party hat rodahi. Who knows, we might even sell popcorn. In any event, I expect this to be both fun and interesting. I just hope that Doherty elects to show up. At least he is posting regularily and in his usual verbose manner on the Jesus Mysteries Boards again. That means that he is alive and well, and that is a good thing.

Nomad

P.S. Glad to see you have decided who will win already. How open minded of you.
 
Old 05-01-2001, 03:31 PM   #26
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Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Ulrich:

It would seem that Kims arguments consist of reasons why the MSS in question could be dated to and earlier period than 200CE. However I do not see him providing a reason why it should be assigned to such an early period. As far as I can tell the best we can say in light of Kims arguments is that P46 could be assigned to a date ranging between 79-200 CE. Of course this is just my reaction from the evidence presented here thus far. Rodahi, or Nomad, if either of you (or anyone else for that matter), have any evidence that would more firmly root the dating at either end of the spectrum listed above, I would certainly like to see it.</font>
Hi Ulrich

First, thank you.

Secondly, you raise an interesting question, and one that I have wondered about as well. I think a large part of the problem is that like most scientists, papyrologists and palaeographologists do not like uncertainty and inexactitude. Most are willing to conceed a = or - 50 year range around dates they assign to various MSS, but still want to be as accurate as possible within this range. To admit that they can't hit the mark within a 100 or more years would leave them looking very exposed to the charge of being about as accurate as a meterologist telling you what the weather will be like next week. One must not discount the power of professional pride in science.

Sometimes we can put reasonably accurate upper limits on a date range. Documents found in the Qumran caves, for example, cannot be dated later than 68AD when the community abandoned them. At other times we find tell tale signs within the document itself that show us that it could not be from an even later date (i.e. late 3rd to 4th Century).

So far as I am aware, maybe dating P46 so somthing between 100 and 200AD is the best that we can do. If that is the case, then scholars are likely to just split the difference and date it to c. 150 and call it a day. I doubt too many people would be thrilled by such a compromise. At the same time, I hard pressed to see why much else would change in the fields of textual criticism, papyrology and palaeography with a redating of P46. Most likely, a few egos would be bruised, and people would move on. That is what happened when P52 blew away the argument for a late 2nd Century dating of the Gospel of John, and that is likely to be what would happen with P46.

Peace,

Nomad
 
Old 05-01-2001, 04:41 PM   #27
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Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Ulrich:
Since others are jumping in with their opinions on how this thread is progressing, I thought I might do the same.

Though I am not a theist, and really have no vested interest in agreeing with Nomad on a theological basis, it seems to me that he is in the right here. At least in as far as how evidence should be presented in these discussions. For the most part, none of us are experts or authorities in the field of biblical scholarship or paleography. That, however, does not mean that we do not have the ability to rationally weigh the evidence presented to us.

Everyone should feel free to make appeals to authority, especially in a situation where your expertise on the subject is lacking. Having said that, though, you should also be prepared to show that you understand what your authority has to say on the subject by quoting them directly, or better yet, by summarizing or paraphrasing their arguments and evidence.

As far as I can see Nomad has done this by presenting what he believes to be the main thrust of Kims argument. Rodahi, on the other hand, has only made an appeal to authority here, without showing that he understands, or is even aware of, the reasons why his authorities reject Kim. This is either a result of intellectual laziness, a genuine lack of understanding of the arguments involved, or a lack of interest in the topic. If his problem falls into the first two categories, he would do well to research the arguments presented by his authorities, if it is the latter, he would be better served by excusing himself from the discussion.

Now that I have covered that bit, I would like to make my own comments on the subject itself, and without making an appeal to authority.

It would seem that Kims arguments consist of reasons why the MSS in question could be dated to and earlier period than 200CE. However I do not see him providing a reason why it should be assigned to such an early period. As far as I can tell the best we can say in light of Kims arguments is that P46 could be assigned to a date ranging between 79-200 CE. Of course this is just my reaction from the evidence presented here thus far. Rodahi, or Nomad, if either of you (or anyone else for that matter), have any evidence that would more firmly root the dating at either end of the spectrum listed above, I would certainly like to see it.

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[This message has been edited by Ulrich (edited May 01, 2001).]
</font>
1. Do you know who Young Kyu Kim is? If you don't, then join the club. No one else does either. Do you know what his credentials are? Again, no one else does either. To my knowledge, Kim is not qualified to give an opinion on P46.

2. Are you familiar with the periodical Biblica Magazine? It is so obscure I cannot find even the tiniest bit of information about it. I have looked. And, yet, this is the ONLY place Kim has been published.

3. Have you read Kim's article, "Palaeological Dating of p46 to the Later First Century?" I have and I can tell you straight out, his methodology is flawed and extremely biased. I plan to offer more specific commentary on it.

4. Do you think you would fully understand Kim's arguments and implications on such things as "ligature," "iota adscriptum," "nomina sacra," etc.? Letter forms, unique letter characteristics, sacred names, etc. form ONLY a fractional portion of what a scientific paleographer scrutinizes in attempting to ascertain the approximate date of an ancient MS. Most of Kim's conclusions are based ONLY on his OPINION (related to a small number of factors), not verifiable scientific fact. The FACT is, no scholar, to my knowledge, agrees with Kim's conclusions.

5. Are you familiar with the opinions of T.C. Skeat, Colin H. Roberts, Eric G. Turner, Harold I. Bell, Bruce W. Griffin, or F. G. Kenyon? They have analyzed the MS P46 and unanimously dated it to 200 CE (or have rejected Kim's dating). Charles B. Huleatt and A. S. Hunt dated P46 to either the third or fourth century. As a matter of fact, there is no good reason why P46 cannot date from the fourth century. For the most part, it is a matter of OPINION, not verifiable factual evidence.


With respect to the "intellectual laziness" comment, I can only say that I have read Kim's article (and there is no evidence that Nomad has). I have, for several days now, attempted to find a serious scholarly commentary on the paleographic dating of P46 and NOTHING is available. I do know that Bruce W. Griffin presented a paper at an SBL
meeting 1996 entitled "The Palaeographical Dating of P-46" and refuted Kim. If you know how I can get a copy, let me know. I have already tried. Apparently, MOST, if not all, scholars do not think Kim's conclusions are worthy of comment.

Lastly, please read "What is P46?"

rodahi




[This message has been edited by rodahi (edited May 01, 2001).]
 
Old 05-01-2001, 07:39 PM   #28
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quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Originally posted by rodahi:
How is P46 dated? Among other considerations, the size and type of script or writing helps experts date this MS. Generally, paleographers estimate the time period when ancient documents were written based on the various characteristics of the scribe’s particular script. The script of each MS is compared to that of other MSS whose dates are known or approximated. This enables the experts to give a dating that is accurate to within about 25-50 years. (Paleography is more subjective than objective and more of an art than a science.) All scholars, to my knowledge, date this ancient MS to around 200 CE. Why is this? F. G. Kenyon, U. Wilcken, Colin H. Roberts, T. C. Skeat, H. A. Sanders, M. W. Haslam, A. Debrunner, P. W. Skehan, F. Danand, and other paleographers, have compared the script characteristics of P46 with those of other MSS that date to the first centuries of our era. Their unanimous conclusion, based on expert paleographic analysis, is that P46 dates to circa 200 CE.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Nomad: As rodahi has noted, one of the most important methods of dating a papyrus is by using other similarily dated MSS and testing both the writing style's, grammar, and the like, and establishing a probable date range.

Paleographers use numerous ways of ascertaining the date of the papyrus and the ink written on it. The ones you mentioned are only a few.

Nomad: The problem, of course, is that if the assumptions for the dates of all of the known papyri from a given period in time are wrong, then all other papyri dated using the same methods will also be incorrectly dated.

Why would anyone presume that ALL paleographers are "wrong?" I don't understand that type of illogic.

Nomad: Allow me to offer an example:

Pretend that at some very distant point in the future (say 2000 years from now), they start finding remnants of our society, including our cars. Let's say that they find what they think is a 57 Chev. After that, it stands to reason that any other car that they find that looks the same as their 57 Chev will also be called a 57 Chev. The problem is obvious. What if it wasn't a 57 Chev, but rather, a 49 Chev? ALL of the vehicles that look the same will be incorrectly dated, and heaven help the poor sap that dares to suggest that maybe they got all the dates wrong because the underlying assumptions that dated the FIRST vehicle to 1957 was wrong.


False analogy. No one has demonstrated that ALL paleographers (I don't include Kim because I don't know his training) who have dated P46 to 200 CE or later are wrong.


quote:
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It should be noted that a person known only as Young Kyu Kim (academic credentials unknown) published a very brief article in an obscure periodical (“Palaeographic Dating of p46 to the Later First Century,” Biblica Magazine, Vol. 69, No. 2, 1988). Kim looked at photographic plates of P46, compared what he saw with other SELECTED MSS, and came to some rather startling conclusions. In his OPINION virtually all paleographers who had examined (as of 1988) P46 were mistaken as to its date. Furthermore, many paleographers were mistaken as to the correct date of some of the MSS Kim selected to compare with P46. How do we know all these paleographers were mistaken? Kim says so.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Nomad: Now, this is a dramatic over simplification of course.

It is a statement of the FACTS.

Nomad: Kim dared to challenge the fundamental assumptions of the textual critics. The assumptions that they labour under are almost as old as the science itself, and challenging the premises of any science can be an especially intimidating challenge. Few are up to it in any field.

It isn't the fact that Kim made a "challenge" to "the fundamental assumptions of the textual critics" that has caused ALL paleographers to reject his dating of P46. It IS his erroneous OPINIONS and flawed methodology, as well as his obvious WISH to date P46 early. His work cannot be considered scientific.

Nomad: Never the less, just because his ideas are new or revolutionary, obviously Kim cannot claim that they are right merely because he has made them. His arguments will stand or fall on their merits.

Kim's "arguments" have already fallen. Find someone who takes him seriously.

rodahi

 
Old 05-01-2001, 08:02 PM   #29
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I just thought I'd throw this into the mix for whatever it's worth. Philip Wesley Comfort (Ph.D, D.Litt. et Phil.), visiting professor at Wheaton College, takes Young Kyu Kim's early dating seriously enough to include it in the text and bibliography of at least one of his excellent books - Early Manuscripts & Modern Translations of the New Testament (1990).

In the book, Comfort gives quite a bit of space to each papyri and for the dating of P46 he says: "Usually dated c. 200, but assigned a late-first-century date by Kim in Biblica 69 (1988): 248-257."

Comfort is a good scholar, so I'm interested to see that he mentions Kim's conclusions. Maybe there's something to Kim's early date for P46...

Ish
 
Old 05-01-2001, 08:13 PM   #30
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BTW, rodahi, you mention the supposed obscurity of the periodical Kim published in, called Biblica, and that you can't seem to find it.

Well, scholarly journals are not easy to find, but it is not as obscure as you might think.

Open up John P. Meier's A Marginal Jew that you've been reading and turn to page 446. You'll find the Biblica periodical listed in the right hand column almost midway down.

This section of Meier's book is labled on the previous page as "8. Abbreviations of Commonly Used Periodicals, Reference Works, and Serials." (w/my emphasis added)

Also, if you haven't found Biblica, where did you read Kim's article? Is it on the internet somewhere? I'd like to read it.

Looking at the ancient texts is my specialty, so I'd love to check out Kim's arguments. Kenyon's work, Chester Beatty Papyri fasciculus III, contains photographs of the complete P46 codex if anyone is interested in the actual text.

Ish


[This message has been edited by Ish (edited May 01, 2001).]
 
 

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