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Junia in the manuscripts

July 4, 2012

Even though it is exciting to see the real thing, it really is better, much better to be able to view manuscripts online. Now, I can sit in any coffee shop and practice reading Byzantine Greek. This is Romans 16:7, a familiar passage, starting with the last letter of the first line.

ἀσπάσασθε Ἀνδρόνικον καὶ Ἰουνίαν
τοὺς συγγενεῖς μου
καὶ συναιχμαλώτους μου,
οἵτινές εἰσιν ἐπίσημοι ἐν [τοῖς ἀποστόλοις,
οἳ καὶ πρὸ ἐμοῦ γέγοναν ἐν Χριστῷ.]

This is from MS 5116 in the British Library, where it has been since the latter part of the 18th century. (Also mentioned in this book published in 1802.)

Belonged to the monastery of Constamonitou on Mount Athos (ff 162-165): + Ἡ παροῦσα βίβλος ὑπάρχει ἐκ τῆς μονῆς τοῦ Κώνσταντος καὶ εἴ τις ἀποξενώσει αὐτὴν ἐχέτω τὰς ἀρὰς τῶν τιη’ (πατέρων) καὶ τοῦ ἁγίου Στεφάνου. Νεόφυτος ἱερομόναχος (monocondyle? signature). Belonged to the physician and collector Richard Mead (1673-1754), and to the physician, classical scholar and collector, Anthony Askew (1722-1774). Purchased at Askew’s sale, 15 March 1785.

In order to read this easily, you really need to look at Greek Letter Forms and Letter Combinations. It’s even better to look at the convoluted fonts in Erasmus 1519 and 1521 and Stephanus 1550 printed Greek New Testaments. It’s hard to believe that these were fonts and not calligraphy!
And if you want to complain that I am writing about Junia again, it is a concession, to make these fonts easier to read. We know what to expect, so the foreign letters  make some sense.  The character that resembles a triple omega in ἀσπάσασθε is actually a sigma and pi combination. The pi looks like an omega with a line across the top. However, in the word ἀποστόλοις, in the second image, the pi has the shape we have come to expect with the omicron attached as a subtle loop. But then the sigma and tau are combined in the stigma.

The Evangelical Text Criticism blog has just announced a NT Manuscript app. I have downloaded it but don’t find it that useful as it doesn’t offer enough information about the contents of the manuscripts. I think I must be missing something. I don’t know the manuscripts by number well enough to pick one out. Also from the British Library, here is Junia in the Codex Sinaiticus, at the end of the second line. (A new book on the Codex Sinaiticus advertised here.) In this manuscript the final nu is represented by the superline.

One final detail is the annotation which accompanied Erasmus text and Latin translation.

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9 Comments leave one →
  1. July 4, 2012 8:58 am

    The character that resembles a triple omega in ἀσπάσασθε is actually a sigma and pi combination. The pi looks like an omega with a line across the top. However, in the word ἀποστόλοις, in the second image, the pi has the shape we have come to expect with the omicron attached as a subtle loop. But then the sigma and tau are combined in the stigma.

    Great, if subtle, point. A proper reading of the letters isn’t always what we want to make of them.

  2. July 4, 2012 1:29 pm

    And if you want to complain that I am writing about Junia again

    No complaint here. There are simply not enough posts on this important, vital topic.

  3. July 6, 2012 8:53 pm

    Theophrastus, not to commandeer this excellent post, but here are three more on Junia (my newborn daughter’s name):

    http://abramkj.wordpress.com/2012/06/13/junia/
    http://abramkj.wordpress.com/2012/06/29/junia-is-not-alone-review-of-scot-mcknight/
    http://abramkj.wordpress.com/2012/06/30/another-junia/

  4. Suzanne McCarthy permalink*
    July 6, 2012 9:24 pm

    Hi Abram,

    I am delighted that Junia is coming back into use!! I read your posts, and the books you mention – I am also not sure that “murdered” is the right word – but something needs to be said.

    Have you heard of Junia Theodora?

    https://bltnotjustasandwich.com/2012/06/24/junia-theodora/

    Also, Linda Belleville lists 10 occurences of Junia on tombstones.

  5. July 7, 2012 2:34 pm

    Hi, Suzanne, this is great! Thanks for the link.

    I’d not heard of the tombstones… same Junia as in Romans 16:7? Where could I find out more?

  6. Suzanne McCarthy permalink*
    July 7, 2012 2:59 pm

    Not the same Junia, just other Junia’s. There was an original claim that Junia (Iounia), in Greek, was rare. However, Linda Belleville demonstrated that it was not.

    Belleville’s article

    http://www.michaelsheiser.com/TheNakedBible/Belleville%20Romans%2016-7.pdf

    My post on Junia Theodora

    https://bltnotjustasandwich.com/2012/06/24/junia-theodora/

    If you search this blog for “Junia” you will probably find about 20 posts on the topic!

  7. July 8, 2012 6:19 am

    Thanks, Suzanne! I just found the 10-part series on Junia… great stuff! Working my way through it, and you’ll see a trackback here where I mention it on my blog. Glad to be able to read all this.

Trackbacks

  1. More on Junia | Words on the Word
  2. July 2012 Biblical Studies Carnival « Reading Acts

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