Septuagintal daydreams: corpus papyrorum graeco-judaicarum?

I’ve been working on a couple of (overdue) lexical articles for a new LXX lexicon edited by E. Bons and J. Joosten (Mohr Siebeck). In the process, apart from realizing that I am no lexicographer, it struck me that it could be useful to have an updated version of the Tcherikover-Fuks Corpus papyrorum judaicarum (CPJ) – now almost 60 years old – but one that focused specifically on Jewish Greek *literary* papyri (broadly conceived to include parchment MSS as well), as opposed to documentary papyri.

A quick glance at Tov’s index to the DJD series indicates the following list of non-documentary Greek texts from Qumran and surrounding areas. As far as I recall, the only one of any length is the Greek minor prophets scroll, so perhaps it wouldn’t be worth doing, even if it would be nice to have a cheap edition of that one, important as it is for the history of the LXX text (cf. Barthélémy’s famous study, Les devanciers d’Aquila and Tov’s edition in DJD 8).

4Q119 = 4QLXXLev.a

4Q120 = 4QpapLXXLev.b

4Q121 = 4QLXXNum

4Q122 = 4QLXXDeut

4Q126 = 4QUnidentified Text gr

4Q127 = 4Qpap paraExod gr

4Q361 = 4QpapUnidentified Fragment gr

7Q1 = 7QpapLXXExod

7Q2 = 7QpapEpJer gr

7Q3m 7Q5 = 7QpapBiblical text? gr

7Q4, 7Q8, 7Q11-14 = 7QpapBiblical text? gr (papEn gr?)

7Q6, 7Q7, 7Q9, 7Q10, 7Q15-18 = 7QpapUnclassified frags. gr

7Q19 = 7QpapImprint gr

Mur 108 = Mur papPhilosophical Text gr

Mur 109 = Mur papLiterary Text gr

Mur 110 = Mur papLiterary Text gr

Mur 111 = Mur papLiterary Text gr

Mur 112 = Mur papLiterary Text gr

Mur 156 = MurChristian Liturgical Text gr

Mur 157 = MurMagical Text gr

8Hev 1 = 8HevXII gr, Greek minor prophets scroll

Mas 739 = Mas papLiterary Text? gr

Other unidentified Greek texts:

Nar 1, 3 = Nar papUnidentified Text A and B gr?? 8Hev 4 = 8Hev papUnidentified Text gr; XHev/Se 70-72, 74-169; Hev/Se? 1-57

Most of these texts are clearly Septuagint-related, as in fact are most of the early Jewish Greek manuscripts more broadly. Robert Kraft has done very interesting work collecting data about such manuscripts (see here and here). There is always the difficult question, once one pushes into the second century and beyond, of how to distinguish Jewish from Christian manuscripts, and much ink has been spilled in debates about whether there are specifically Jewish or Christian scribal practices (e.g., the use of nomina sacra, etc.). Those questions would need answering, of course. But if one focuses for the moment on the LXX material up to the 2nd century, it would include:

PRyl 458 = Dt 23-28

PFouad 266a = Gen 3-38

PFouad 266b = Deut 17-33

PFouad 266c = Deut 10-33

POxy 3522 = Job 42

POxy 4443 = Esth 8-9

PBarc inv 2 = Ps 14

PYale 1 = Gen 14

P.Chester Beatty VI = Deut 1-6

Heidelberg Univ. Bibl., Inv. Pap. Graec. no. 8 = Deut 29

PBaden 56b = PHeid Gr 8 = Exod 8/Deut 29

PSchoyen 2649 = Lev 10

PSI 1989 = Ps 1

PBodl 5 = Ps 48-49

PAntinop 7 = Ps 81-82

POxy 656 = Gen 14-27

PCollHorsley = Exod 4

P.Chester Beatty VI = Num-Deut

P.Schoyen 2648 = Josh 9-11

PBarc 3 = 2 Chr 29-30

PSI 8.921 = Ps 77

P.Leipzig 170 = Ps 118

P.Princ. Garrett/Bell 2G = Isa 23

P.Berlin 6772 = Isa 36-37

And then Kraft’s list goes on to mention other LXX MSS to the 5th century, together with other non-Septuagintal manuscripts. One  would also, naturally, want to compare J. van Haelst’s Catalogue des papyrus littéraires juifs et chrétiens (which also needs to be updated – and translated?), and Kurt Treu’s article on ‘The Significance of Greek for Jews in the Roman Empire’.

If one were solely interested in, say, the text of the LXX, one could theoretically get all this information from the Göttingen apparatus. But the manuscripts themselves are of interest, and to set the scriptural manuscripts between the same covers as other Jewish Greek literary manuscripts would be illuminating. It would be a nice project to have someone do a three or four volume edited collection of new editions of all these early MSS, with individual contributors offering new editions, followed by a couple edited volumes of studies on the theme.

Maybe some intrepid soul can propose a Corpus papyrorum graeco-judaicarum as a research project, secure some funding, and hire postdocs and doctoral students to pursue it?


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