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Jewish and Christian Scripture as Artifact and Canon (The Library of Second Temple Studies) Paperback – December 29, 2011
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Chapters 'of interest' featured. -Journal of Ancient Judaism
About the Author
Craig A. Evans (Ph.D., Claremont) is Payzant Distinguished Professor of New Testament, Acadia Divinity College Wolfville, Nova Scotia, Canada.
H. Daniel Zacharias is a Lecturer at Acadia Divinity College, Nova Scotia, Canada.
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Hurtado has one of the most interesting essays, pointing out that reading texts was clearly a feature of early Christianity. In terms of the number of fragments, the Gospel of Matthew and John left behind the most fragments, perhaps indicating more preference for those Gospels. As far as the claim that the Gnostics showed a preference for the Gospel of John, resulting in a lack of preference for John among the proto orthodox, but a recent study by Charles Hill proved that John was favored among the groups of proto orthodox.
The codex and the nomina sacra were common in early Christianity.
Hurtado argues that texts "were laid out with a view to ease the reading of them. They typically have very generous margins, and spacing between the lines, and the letters are of good size and carefully written" ( 78). Hurtado argues he even sees spacing in the Ryland fragment that indicates an attempt to make reading easier.
Lange points out that "prophecy is not exclusive to Israel but can be found all over the ancient Near East" (p 13).
Schwendner's essay is interesting, as he tries to figure out the rate of conversion through all sorts of methods. He comments on a possible connection to magic and some Christians by the finding of an amulet which claiimed to protect the holder from fever.
Charlesworth finds, in many 2nd and 3rd century Christian texts, evidence of the extra spacing that Hurtado also found. He even finds extra spacing in some of the Qumran texts. Lending and borrowing of texts was common in the ancient world, especially among friends, and there seems evidence also among early Christians. The Christian centers of manuscript production were Rome, Antioch, Caesaria, and Alexandria.
Shellberg discusses how recent archaeological findings show Jewish immersion pools, miqwehs, which was first found in Masada, Today we know of 60 immersion pools. P. Oxy. 840 shows clear evidence of water installations in Palestine, and 'their relevance for temple rituals" (p 185).
Head has an essay on letter carriers in ancient Jewish material, from the Bar Kokhba 'Cave of Letters', Josephus, and Rabban Gamaliel's letter to his brothers.