I blogged a little while back about papyri with content from First Timothy. I’ve found some time to poke around the articles. Jim West has graciously agreed to help me by translating the relevant sections from German into English; when that material is available I’ll post it on the blog as well.

But I simply couldn’t wait any longer and had to do some blogging about this. So here is P3605 from Kurt Treu’s article:

Kurt Treu, “Neue neutestamentliche Fragmente der Berliner Papyrussammlung”, Archiv für Papyrusforschung 18, 1966. p. 36.

Update (2007-05-21): I sent an email to Peter Head (Evangelical Textual Criticism) to refer him to this stuff and hopefully get a little more information. He kindly responds:

Just a note that P. Berlin 3605 is NT 0259 and P. Berlin 13977 is 0262. So they are both in Aland, KL (the 1994 edition anyway), but are obviously on parchment, not papyrus (despite their location in the Papyrussammlung!).

Thanks, Dr. Head!

This papyrus fragment is from the 6th or 7th century. Below I’ve typed Treu’s transcription and have presented it as an image to preserve formatting, etc.

Perhaps the most interesting reading in the papyri is οικονομιαν in line 2. P3605 supports the NA27 reading, against J.K. Elliott who here follows the reading of D’s first hand and Irenaeus, οικοδομην.* Elliott rejects οικονομιαν, contending that it came about as a replacement for οικοδομην. He bases his judgment on the list of atticisms found in Phrynichus** which contains οικοδομη (οικοδομημα) as objectionable. Thus, reasons Elliott, scribes replaced οικοδομην with the less objectionable (and fitting NT/PE style) οικονομιαν (cf. Tt 1.7 and also Col 1.25; Eph 1.10, 3.2; 1Co 9.17).

But Elliott’s reasoning—reject the word because it is on a list of atticisms—is as arbitrary as rejecting a reading because it is the longer reading or because it is not the most difficult reading. These are guidelines that come about as a result of witnessed trends, not hard-and-fast rules. The whole picture must be examined, and the quality and witness of MSS supporting οικονομιαν (Sinaiticus, Alexandrinus, and several other uncials: FGKLPH) must also contribute to the decision. P3605 supports that already overwhelming evidence.

I’ve been working through all variants I can find for this section of text (largely from Treu’s article, Elliott’s work in the Pastorals, NA27 and Tischendorf) and will have a PDF with discussions like on these variants available for download at some future point.

Also, in the hopefully not-too-distant future I’ll blog about one more reading in P13977 (1Ti 1.15-16) and provide a transcription of that papyri as well.

* Elliott, J.K. The Greek Text of the Epistles to Timothy and Titus. (Studies and Documents 26). Salt Lake City: University of Utah Press, 1968. p. 19.

** For Phrynichus’ list, see Chrys C. Caragounis, The Development of Greek and the New Testament: Morphology, Syntax, Phonology and Textual Transmission. Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2007. pp. 125-137.