Some Observations on the Nomina Sacra of the First Three Centuries

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Jax
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Some Observations on the Nomina Sacra of the First Three Centuries

Post by Jax » Mon Apr 05, 2021 3:33 pm

To begin with the following English letters will be used for Greek unical letters. Sorry for any confusion.

C = Lunate Sigma
A = Alpha
E = Epsilon
H = Eta
Th = Theta
I = Iota
K = Kappa
L = Lambda
N = Nu
M = Mu
O = Omicron
P = Pi
R = Rho
T = Tau
Y = Upsilon
X = Chi
W= Omega

NS = Nomina Sacra

One thing about the NS in the first three centuries is that the NS – ThN, ThC, ThY, and ThW, and KE, KN, KC, KY, and KW are unique as the only NS that uses the contracted form only.

Next up is YE, YN, YC, YY, and YW with the forms YIN, YIC, and YIY found only in p46.

After this we have the contracted forms XN, XC, XY, and XW used at about the same rate as the forms XRN, XRC, XRY, and XRW with only one instance of a XR used in p18.

Also the contracted form IN, IC, IY being on an equal footing with the forms IHN, IHC, IHY with one variant form IHCY found in p37 and two variant forms of IH found in p18 and p45.

There seem to be no other contracted NS other than PC as one example in p22.

P18, p37, p45, and p46 seem to be the texts that have the most variants of contracted forms of the NS with p46 having both contracted and non-contracted forms in the same text as well as PNYMA in non-contracted form PNA, PNI, PNC, and in plain text.

P45 is another example of contracted and non-contracted forms being used in the same text but without non-NS forms being used.
Last edited by Jax on Sun Apr 11, 2021 8:07 am, edited 7 times in total.

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Re: Some Observations on the Nomina Sacra of the First Three Centuries

Post by Jax » Mon Apr 05, 2021 3:36 pm

That's enough for today. If anyone finds anything wrong in my data so far, please speak up so that I can correct it, and of course all replies and input welcome whatever the reason. :cheers:

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Re: Some Observations on the Nomina Sacra of the First Three Centuries

Post by Jax » Mon Apr 05, 2021 3:46 pm

One more note. I am resisting the urge to use anything other than the NS as it is presented in the texts that we have to keep from leading the reader with opinion as to what it means.

ThU probably is Theos but I don't want to contaminate the raw data with needless interpretation.

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Ben C. Smith
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Re: Some Observations on the Nomina Sacra of the First Three Centuries

Post by Ben C. Smith » Mon Apr 05, 2021 4:01 pm

Jax wrote:
Mon Apr 05, 2021 3:33 pm
After this we have the contracted forms XN, XC, XY, and XOm used at about the same rate as the non contracted forms XRN, XRC, XRY, and XROm with only one instance of a XR used in p18.
I am not sure how you are using the terms "contracted" and "noncontracted" in this sentence, as well as in a couple of others. Why would ΧΡΝ, for example, not be a contracted form? If it is complete, what does it mean? If it is incomplete but suspended (instead of contracted), what would the full unsuspended word be?

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Re: Some Observations on the Nomina Sacra of the First Three Centuries

Post by Ben C. Smith » Mon Apr 05, 2021 4:16 pm

Jax wrote:
Mon Apr 05, 2021 3:33 pm
Next up is YN, YC, YY, and YOm with the non contracted forms YIN, YIC, and YIY found only in p46 and a variant YE found in p45.
Also the contracted form IN, IC, IY being on an equal footing with the non-contracted forms IHN, IHC, IHY with one variant form IHCY found in p37 and two variant forms IH found in p18 and p45.
ΚΕ and ΥΕ are not variants, at least not in the same sense that something like ΙΗΣΥ would be a variant of ΙΥ. ΚΕ and ΥΕ are just the nomina sacra for the vocative forms, κύριε and υἵε. They are not as common as the rest because the vocative is not an extremely common noun case: "The vocative is the fifth case of a koine Greek noun, but it is quite uncommon in the New Testament in comparison to the other cases."

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Re: Some Observations on the Nomina Sacra of the First Three Centuries

Post by Jax » Mon Apr 05, 2021 4:38 pm

Ben C. Smith wrote:
Mon Apr 05, 2021 4:01 pm
Jax wrote:
Mon Apr 05, 2021 3:33 pm
After this we have the contracted forms XN, XC, XY, and XOm used at about the same rate as the non contracted forms XRN, XRC, XRY, and XROm with only one instance of a XR used in p18.
I am not sure how you are using the terms "contracted" and "noncontracted" in this sentence, as well as in a couple of others. Why would ΧΡΝ, for example, not be a contracted form? If it is complete, what does it mean? If it is incomplete but suspended (instead of contracted), what would the full unsuspended word be?
Sorry for any confusion. I am simply trying to distinguish between NS that are suspended or not. XN is a contraction while XRN would be a partial contraction because of the Rho after the Chi making it IMO both a contraction and a suspension at the same time. XR is in my opinion a suspension.

Does this make sense?

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Re: Some Observations on the Nomina Sacra of the First Three Centuries

Post by Jax » Mon Apr 05, 2021 4:40 pm

Ben C. Smith wrote:
Mon Apr 05, 2021 4:16 pm
Jax wrote:
Mon Apr 05, 2021 3:33 pm
Next up is YN, YC, YY, and YOm with the non contracted forms YIN, YIC, and YIY found only in p46 and a variant YE found in p45.
Also the contracted form IN, IC, IY being on an equal footing with the non-contracted forms IHN, IHC, IHY with one variant form IHCY found in p37 and two variant forms IH found in p18 and p45.
ΚΕ and ΥΕ are not variants, at least not in the same sense that something like ΙΗΣΥ would be a variant of ΙΥ. ΚΕ and ΥΕ are just the nomina sacra for the vocative forms, κύριε and υἵε. They are not as common as the rest because the vocative is not an extremely common noun case: "The vocative is the fifth case of a koine Greek noun, but it is quite uncommon in the New Testament in comparison to the other cases."
Ah! Cool. I did not know that. I am really glad to know someone like you. :cheers:

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Re: Some Observations on the Nomina Sacra of the First Three Centuries

Post by Jax » Mon Apr 05, 2021 4:48 pm

^ Ok Ben, made the changes. :thumbup:

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Re: Some Observations on the Nomina Sacra of the First Three Centuries

Post by Ben C. Smith » Mon Apr 05, 2021 5:10 pm

Jax wrote:
Mon Apr 05, 2021 4:38 pm
Sorry for any confusion. I am simply trying to distinguish between NS that are suspended or not. XN is a contraction while XRN would be a partial contraction because of the Rho after the Chi making it IMO both a contraction and a suspension at the same time. XR is in my opinion a suspension.
Ah, I see what you are trying to do. Just know that when scholars like Paap and Oikonomides say "suspension," they mean that the ending of the word, whether only the last letter or several letters, is completely missing. So ΧΡΝ would not be a partial suspension or any other kind of suspension, because the last letter is present; ΧΡΝ would be a pure contraction, which simply means that any one or more of the middle letters of the word is/are missing. (Think of "don't" for "do not." We call this a contraction, because one of the middle letters, the second o, is missing.)

Oikonomides does discuss hybrids: abbreviations which are both contractions and suspensions, but ΧΡΝ would not be one of them. He gives the example of ΠΡΒ for πρεσβύτερος, which is a contraction because of the missing epsilon and sigma between rho and beta and a suspension because of the -ύτερος being missing from the end.

To give examples from the US state postal abbreviations, FL would be a suspension for Florida, ME would be a contraction for Maine, and AK would be both a suspension and a contraction for Alaska. (Fla., not a postal abbreviation, would be a contraction for Florida, not a combined contraction and suspension.)

ETA: And yes, by this nomenclature, ΧΡ is definitely a suspension. Not just your opinion.

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Re: Some Observations on the Nomina Sacra of the First Three Centuries

Post by Jax » Tue Apr 06, 2021 6:36 am

Ben C. Smith wrote:
Mon Apr 05, 2021 5:10 pm
Jax wrote:
Mon Apr 05, 2021 4:38 pm
Sorry for any confusion. I am simply trying to distinguish between NS that are suspended or not. XN is a contraction while XRN would be a partial contraction because of the Rho after the Chi making it IMO both a contraction and a suspension at the same time. XR is in my opinion a suspension.
Ah, I see what you are trying to do. Just know that when scholars like Paap and Oikonomides say "suspension," they mean that the ending of the word, whether only the last letter or several letters, is completely missing. So ΧΡΝ would not be a partial suspension or any other kind of suspension, because the last letter is present; ΧΡΝ would be a pure contraction, which simply means that any one or more of the middle letters of the word is/are missing. (Think of "don't" for "do not." We call this a contraction, because one of the middle letters, the second o, is missing.)

Oikonomides does discuss hybrids: abbreviations which are both contractions and suspensions, but ΧΡΝ would not be one of them. He gives the example of ΠΡΒ for πρεσβύτερος, which is a contraction because of the missing epsilon and sigma between rho and beta and a suspension because of the -ύτερος being missing from the end.

To give examples from the US state postal abbreviations, FL would be a suspension for Florida, ME would be a contraction for Maine, and AK would be both a suspension and a contraction for Alaska. (Fla., not a postal abbreviation, would be a contraction for Florida, not a combined contraction and suspension.)

ETA: And yes, by this nomenclature, ΧΡ is definitely a suspension. Not just your opinion.
I find myself wondering, hope this doesn't sound too retarded. As the last letter in something like XRN is there to denote (not sure denote is the best term just the best that I can come up with right now) how the name or title is used grammatically in a sentence is it fair to call it a contraction?
What I mean is X would be a suspension as would XR but XRN is simply the suspension XR with an N added to conform to the rules of Greek grammar.

Does that make any sense at all? Before you throw your hands up in despair just remember that I am still learning and have a long way yet to go. :cheers:

Edit: am reading this now https://ancientgreek.pressbooks.com/chapter/7/

Edit: Oi Vey! My brain hurts now.
Last edited by Jax on Tue Apr 06, 2021 8:16 am, edited 2 times in total.

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