Some Observations on the Nomina Sacra of the First Three Centuries

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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 » Wed Apr 07, 2021 4:28 pm

Peter Kirby wrote:
Wed Apr 07, 2021 4:12 pm
Ben C. Smith wrote:
Wed Apr 07, 2021 12:05 pm
Peter Kirby wrote:
Wed Apr 07, 2021 11:42 am
Ben C. Smith wrote:
Wed Apr 07, 2021 9:25 am
Of course, we can see the core set being developed in a rather different direction in the Nag Hammadi tomes, which add supralinear strokes to the names of various important entities (Sabaoth, Adam, Enoch, Gamaliel, and so on), without abbreviating those names. Those tomes abbreviate only Greek loanwords from the set: Christ, Cross, Jerusalem, Jesus, Savior, and Spirit, but not David or Israel. (Father, God, Heaven, Lord, Man, Mother, and Son are rendered in Coptic and never abbreviated at Nag Hammadi.)
Do we have other examples of the full words with supralinear strokes?
I think I have seen some examples (besides at Nag Hammadi), but IIRC they are late and rare.
I see what you mean.

My favorite recent purchase has to be The Center for New Testament Textual Studies: NT Critical Apparatus.

So many of the existing apparatus for the New Testament go through an editorial filter, where it's decided what is most likely to be interesting variations, usually on the basis that it could help translators. This means the nomina sacra variations can be difficult to spot from a typical apparatus. Not with this one! They decided that there's no need to worry about saving space in the digital age. Available only in electronic form, it takes a very liberal approach to listing variants.
Wow, thanks for this! Turns out I had this all along without realizing it as a part of my BibleWorks 10 package. Neat! I had been getting information on the main codices from the Mss tab, but this CNTTS apparatus looks to be far more thorough.
Peter Kirby wrote:
Wed Apr 07, 2021 4:12 pm
Something interesting to me is that the nomina sacra is present in a context where it would apply to someone else, like John:

Luke 3:15
"As the people were in expectation, and all were questioning in their hearts concerning John, whether he might be the Christ (χ̅ς̅)"

The most remarkable thing about the basic nomina sacra, in terms of the NT Greek textual tradition, seems to be how consistent it is!
Yes, Paap goes through and labels the usages as "sacred" (applying to Jesus or God) or "profane" (applying to someone else). A lot of manuscripts try to maintain a difference between such usages, abbreviating the Jesus/God ones but not the "someone else" ones, but there are plenty of exceptions, too, which is how we get a nomen sacrum being used for the Jesus who is also called Justus in various manuscripts of Colossians 4.11, for example. "Lord" often falls into this category, as well, given that it so often refers to human rulers or masters.

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

Post by Jax » Thu Apr 08, 2021 6:48 am

Peter Kirby wrote:
Wed Apr 07, 2021 4:16 pm
Jax wrote:
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
O = Omicron
P = Pi
R = Rho
T = Tau
Y = Upsilon
X = Chi
Om= Omega

NS = Nomina Sacra

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

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

After this we have the contracted forms XN, XC, XY, and XOm used at about the same rate as the forms XRN, XRC, XRY, and XROm 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.
Nice list. What resources are you using to look this up?
Thanks Peter, it's a work in progress. My primary source is the Wikipedia page on the nomina sacra with the primary source texts like p46 etc. for conformation when possible. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nomina_sa ... 20overline.

This list only covers NS that is thought to have been from the first three centuries and I am also looking into how the NS is rendered in Latin, Coptic, and Syriac for this same time period to further flesh out the study.

Syriac is very difficult for me as it isn't as intuitive as Latin or Greek so if you have any insight into how the NS is used, if at all, in Syriac, please let me know.

Lane

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

Post by Jax » Thu Apr 08, 2021 6:58 am

Ben C. Smith wrote:
Wed Apr 07, 2021 4:28 pm
Peter Kirby wrote:
Wed Apr 07, 2021 4:12 pm
Ben C. Smith wrote:
Wed Apr 07, 2021 12:05 pm
Peter Kirby wrote:
Wed Apr 07, 2021 11:42 am
Ben C. Smith wrote:
Wed Apr 07, 2021 9:25 am
Of course, we can see the core set being developed in a rather different direction in the Nag Hammadi tomes, which add supralinear strokes to the names of various important entities (Sabaoth, Adam, Enoch, Gamaliel, and so on), without abbreviating those names. Those tomes abbreviate only Greek loanwords from the set: Christ, Cross, Jerusalem, Jesus, Savior, and Spirit, but not David or Israel. (Father, God, Heaven, Lord, Man, Mother, and Son are rendered in Coptic and never abbreviated at Nag Hammadi.)
Do we have other examples of the full words with supralinear strokes?
I think I have seen some examples (besides at Nag Hammadi), but IIRC they are late and rare.
I see what you mean.

My favorite recent purchase has to be The Center for New Testament Textual Studies: NT Critical Apparatus.

So many of the existing apparatus for the New Testament go through an editorial filter, where it's decided what is most likely to be interesting variations, usually on the basis that it could help translators. This means the nomina sacra variations can be difficult to spot from a typical apparatus. Not with this one! They decided that there's no need to worry about saving space in the digital age. Available only in electronic form, it takes a very liberal approach to listing variants.
Wow, thanks for this! Turns out I had this all along without realizing it as a part of my BibleWorks 10 package. Neat! I had been getting information on the main codices from the Mss tab, but this CNTTS apparatus looks to be far more thorough.
Peter Kirby wrote:
Wed Apr 07, 2021 4:12 pm
Something interesting to me is that the nomina sacra is present in a context where it would apply to someone else, like John:

Luke 3:15
"As the people were in expectation, and all were questioning in their hearts concerning John, whether he might be the Christ (χ̅ς̅)"

The most remarkable thing about the basic nomina sacra, in terms of the NT Greek textual tradition, seems to be how consistent it is!
Yes, Paap goes through and labels the usages as "sacred" (applying to Jesus or God) or "profane" (applying to someone else). A lot of manuscripts try to maintain a difference between such usages, abbreviating the Jesus/God ones but not the "someone else" ones, but there are plenty of exceptions, too, which is how we get a nomen sacrum being used for the Jesus who is also called Justus in various manuscripts of Colossians 4.11, for example. "Lord" often falls into this category, as well, given that it so often refers to human rulers or masters.
That BibleWorks 10 software looks very useful. Do you have a preferred source for buying it?

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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 » Thu Apr 08, 2021 7:26 am

Jax wrote:
Thu Apr 08, 2021 6:58 am
That BibleWorks 10 software looks very useful. Do you have a preferred source for buying it?
They stopped making it. :|

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

Post by Jax » Thu Apr 08, 2021 7:34 am

Ben C. Smith wrote:
Thu Apr 08, 2021 7:26 am
Jax wrote:
Thu Apr 08, 2021 6:58 am
That BibleWorks 10 software looks very useful. Do you have a preferred source for buying it?
They stopped making it. :|
Dang! That CNTTS apparatus looks like exactly what I am looking for. Any ideas?

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Ben C. Smith
Posts: 8864
Joined: Wed Apr 08, 2015 2:18 pm
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Re: Some Observations on the Nomina Sacra of the First Three Centuries

Post by Ben C. Smith » Thu Apr 08, 2021 7:54 am

Jax wrote:
Thu Apr 08, 2021 7:34 am
Ben C. Smith wrote:
Thu Apr 08, 2021 7:26 am
Jax wrote:
Thu Apr 08, 2021 6:58 am
That BibleWorks 10 software looks very useful. Do you have a preferred source for buying it?
They stopped making it. :|
Dang! That CNTTS apparatus looks like exactly what I am looking for. Any ideas?
It is apparently also available for Logos and for Accordance. I have used neither of these, but David seems not to be a huge fan of Logos, unless I am reading too much into his critique.

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

Post by Jax » Thu Apr 08, 2021 8:03 am

Ben C. Smith wrote:
Thu Apr 08, 2021 7:54 am
Jax wrote:
Thu Apr 08, 2021 7:34 am
Ben C. Smith wrote:
Thu Apr 08, 2021 7:26 am
Jax wrote:
Thu Apr 08, 2021 6:58 am
That BibleWorks 10 software looks very useful. Do you have a preferred source for buying it?
They stopped making it. :|
Dang! That CNTTS apparatus looks like exactly what I am looking for. Any ideas?
It is apparently also available for Logos and for Accordance. I have used neither of these, but David seems not to be a huge fan of Logos, unless I am reading too much into his critique.
I wonder what software version that Peter is using?

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Jax
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Joined: Sun Aug 06, 2017 6:10 am

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

Post by Jax » Thu Apr 08, 2021 8:06 am

When I run The Center for New Testament Textual Studies: NT Critical Apparatus. in a search window the first hit is Logos software https://www.logos.com/product/32501/cen ... -apparatus

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

Post by Jax » Thu Apr 08, 2021 8:58 am

Reading up on the CNTTS Apparatus https://www.accordancebible.com/article ... cntts-php/ I don't see any unical. Is unical NS included in the examples?

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

Post by Ben C. Smith » Thu Apr 08, 2021 9:03 am

Jax wrote:
Thu Apr 08, 2021 8:58 am
Reading up on the CNTTS Apparatus https://www.accordancebible.com/article ... cntts-php/ I don't see any unical. Is unical NS included in the examples?
Uncial manuscripts are certainly included, but their typeface is modern and standardized, as per the norm.

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