ï~~Bulletin of the American Society of Papyrologists 47 (2010) 339-340
Peter Arzt-Grabner, Ruth Elisabeth Kritzer, Amphilochios Papathomas, and Franz Winter, with two contributions by Michael Ernst,
with the assistance of Ginther Schwab and Andreas Bammer, 1.
Korinther. Papyrologische Kommentare zum Neuen Testament 2.
Gottingen: Vandenhoeck und Ruprecht, 2006. 576 pages. ISBN 978 -3-525-51001-8.
More than a century ago Adolf Deissmann first published his influential
Licht vom Osten. Das Neue Testament und die neuentdeckten Texte der hellenistisch-romischen Welt (1908), which brought recently discovered papyri and
inscriptions to bear on the understanding of the literary and social history of
early Christians. A decade later James Moulton and George Milligan began
publishing fascicles of their The Vocabulary of the Greek Testament Illustrated
from the Papyri and Other Non-Literary Sources (as a single volume: 1930),
which, by situating early Christian Greek in the context of the vernacular of
the Hellenistic period, effectively put to rest the notion that the language of the
New Testament was "the language of the Holy Ghost." Since that time it has
been a challenge for scholars of early Christianity to keep track of the virtual
flood of finds of papyri and their publication. An Australian project led by
G.H.R. Horsley and latterly by S.R. Llewelyn, New Documents IllustratingEarly
Christianity (1981-) continues to publish a small selection ofpapyrological and
epigraphical documents with potential bearing on early Christian language
and social forms.
The volume under review can be viewed as the fruit of a century of papyrological research, but instead of being organized as a lexicon or as an anthology of papyri, the Papyrologischer Kommentar is framed as a verse-by-verse
commentary that uses evidence from documentary papyri to clarify matters
of lexicography, formulaic speech, and legal and social issues. It is, of course,
much more ambitious than the first volume in the series, on Philemon, which
at 336 words is more comparable in typical length to many papyrus letters than
is 1 Corinthians' 2889 words. And unlike the first volume, Philemon (2003),
which was the work of Peter Arzt-Grabner, the second volume is a collaborative
effort between Arzt-Grabner and three other scholars, including Amphilochios Papathomas, whose complementary study Juristische Begrife im ersten
Korintherbrief des Paulus. Eine semantisch-lexikalische Untersuchung auf der
Basis der zeitgenossischen griechischen Papyri (2009) has just been published.
The commentary offers both a careful - almost exhaustive - analysis of the
vocabulary of 1 Corinthians, citing more than 3300 papyrus texts. For example,
Arzt-Grabner and his collaborators adduce BGU 14.2376.2 (36/5 BCE), [ <p'
le]piwg toi 6vtoc v AXcav6pcia AXtdv6pov and CPR 7.1.3 (7-4 BCE):