ï~~Bulletin of the American Society of Papyrologists 46 (2009) 251-253
T.J. Kraus, Ad Fontes: Original Manuscripts and Their Significance for
Studying Early Christianity. Selected Essays. Texts and Editions for
New Testament Study, Vol. 3 Leiden and Boston: E.J. Brill, 2007. xxvi
+ 272 pages. ISBN 978-90-04-16182-5.
This is a collection of thirteen pieces, eleven of them previously published
elsewhere. The first is an introduction to the whole, describing how the author
came to manuscript studies and how the collection is arranged. Chapter Two
is a translation into English of "'Pergament oder Papyrus?' Anmerkungen zur
Signifikanz des Beschreibstoffes bei der Behandlung von Manuskripten" (NTS
49, 2003, 425-432). The third chapter is an argument for the importance of
studying manuscripts as well as printed editions, taking the example of the
Vienna fragments of P45. The fourth studies POxy. 5.840, with a discussion of
the terms amulet and miniature codex. The fifth deals with P.Vindob. G 2325
(probably a fragment of the Gospel of Peter). Chapter Six is a commentary on
P.Vindob. G 35835 (on the final judgment).
Chapters Seven to Nine are all reprints of articles first published in English; their themes are related: "Literacy in Non-Literary Papyri from GraecoRoman Egypt"; "Slow Writers"; and the meaning of daypac atrot in Acts 4.13.
Chapter Ten is newly published here, and is on the same theme, dealing with
The remaining three chapters are again translations from published German articles. Chapter Eleven discusses P Oxy. 63.4365 and the lending of books
in the fourth century; Chapter Twelve, the meaning of Paul's writing in his own
hand in Philemon 19; and Chapter Thirteen revisits 7QS and the claim that it
is a fragment of Mark.
Every chapter has addenda, giving the author's afterthoughts on the topic,
and a bibliography. There are indexes of ancient texts, manuscripts, selected
modern authors, and subjects.
The most evident thing about this collection is that Kraus' lively enthusiasm for manuscripts shines through. It is to be hoped that it will be passed
on to others.
This should be remembered when considering two other aspects of the
book. The first (and this applies particularly to the articles first published in
English here) is that, most unfortunately, the writing is often very opaque or
even unintelligible. Sometimes it reads like German sentences made with English words. What is one to make of something like: "However it is important
to point at all the variant readings that are to be integrated in the forthcoming
major edition (Editio critica maior) in order to illustrate that the apparatus