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A Sixth Century Greek New Testament Manuscript Reused for a Pahlavi Text


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Posted 08 August 2015 - 10:46 AM

A Sixth Century Greek New Testament Manuscript Reused for a Pahlavi Text
 
8/4/2015
 
P.Vindob. G 19802
 
"Over the years, I have encountered a number of bilingual Christian manuscripts. And I have even seen a number of interesting palimpsests written in different languages. But I have to say that I had never seen a Greek and Pahlavi (Middle Persian) manuscript—at least until now! Meet P.Vindob. G 19802 (Vienna, Österreichische Nationalbibliothek): three partial folios from a significant sixth century Greek New Testament parchment codex (known as GA 0225 among New Testament scholars). The surviving pages of the codex contain portions of 2 Corinthians. Not long after the composition of this text, a Persian scribe tore (at least) a bifolium (=two folios, four pages) from the codex, sewed on an additional sheet (see example of the sewing at right), and wrote a Pahlavi text at right angles in black ink across the Greek text (now the scriptio inferior). The Persian scribe did not efface the Greek text. Instead, the scribe knew that the comparably smaller Greek script would not get in the way of the large brush strokes, so he/she did not go to the trouble of washing the Greek text off the parchment. Nonetheless, the thick black strokes of the ink make the Greek text difficult to decipher at times."
 





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