Weihos Bokos https://weihos.eu Treasure hunt in ancient writings! Wed, 19 Sep 2018 21:18:35 +0000 en-GB hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.8 Book review: God’s Library — Brent Nongbri https://weihos.eu/2018/09/book-review-gods-library-brent-nongbri/ https://weihos.eu/2018/09/book-review-gods-library-brent-nongbri/#respond Wed, 19 Sep 2018 21:18:35 +0000 https://weihos.eu/?p=1304

Brent Nongbri became my favourite papyrologist after he argued for 𝔓75 being 4th century. Its earlier date-range in the 2nd-3rd centuries had puzzled me.

Now we read about this new book, modestly named “God’s Library — the archeology of the earliest Christian manuscripts”, that “Brent Nongbri […] demonstrates that much of what we thought we knew about these books and fragments is mistaken”.

Surely that depends on what we were thinking.

God’s Library provides us with an introduction to various ways of dating manuscripts: by the binding, by the ink, by 14C-analysis, by the script, by colophon and by the other manuscripts it was found together with. It proceeds to discuss the uncertainty of each method. Chapter 4 gives a detailed account of the discovery of the Chester Beatty group of papyri, chapter 5 presents the Bodmer papyri and chapter 6 the Oxyrhynchus papyri. These chapters also provides tables with facts about each manuscript and discusse their probable production date.

A testimony to Brent Nongbri’s studiousness is the column titled “Material”, which for the Beatty papyrus mss has the same entry for each row. Can you guess it?

Continuing to chapter 7 “Fabricating a Second-Century Codex of the Four Gospels”, it doesn’t tell us how to do that, fortunately.


A central opinion expressed in this book is that mss should be dated younger than their most likely age rather than on the optimistic side, because if a manuscript has an early date, its museum will not want to risk exposing it to a 14C-analysis and risk having its date revised so that it becomes less attractive for visitors.

Another reason could be that some scribes were conservative and held on to a writing style that was popular a century ago. Would Christians do this? I think so because Christians are sometimes a bit conservative …

And I was advancing in Judaism beyond many of my own age among my people, so extremely zealous was I for the traditions of my fathers. — Paul, Galatians 1:14, ESV.

Towards the end of the book there are 70 pages of notes that you should read, then 30 pages of bibliography, an index and a conversion table between 𝔓X and their abbreviations. The magnifying glass pictured on the cover of the book would be excellent for reading the notes.


On pages 270-271 we read:

And the topic of conflicts of interest brings us to the other leitmotif of this book: the commercial trade in ancient artifacts. The antiquities market has cast a shadow over this whole study, obscuring the archeological knowledge that we most wish to access. The market is the enemy of archaeologists, but at the same time, it is often the source of their objects of study.

This inimical attitude towards markets and private ownership saddens me. The Egyptian antiquities market isn’t completely free. A manuscript can be split among the persons who discovered it precisely because there is not a single person who owns the site and who’s ownership is respected.

A free antiquities market is particularly good when there are historical questions that are controversial and that the government wants to answer in a specific way. For example, where I live it is important to maintain that Christianity arrived to all parts of the country at around the same time and that no Goths have been here. A few miles away, there’s a medieval fort dating to the 12th (or maybe 13th) century, but the place has been inhabited since bronze-age. During excavations, a “Gothic cross” was found in the soil. However, after it was kept by a state-controlled museum for a while it got lost.

If we return to the book, God’s Library is not a must-read in order to have faith in the transmission of the biblical text for two reasons. 1) There are lots of people who keep track of ancient mss and who will sound the alarm if they are fake, such as this blog: https://lyingpen.com/, and 2) we shouldn’t have too much faith but do textual criticism and discover a purer text.

But it is a good read which covers most of the subject of biblical papyri from Egypt.

In Sweden God’s Library is available from Bokus, among others. Also, bookmark Brent Nongbri’s blog — Variant Readings.

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Exodus and Exit everywhere and look at Matthew 6:19 https://weihos.eu/2018/08/exodus-and-exit-everywhere-and-look-at-matthew-619/ https://weihos.eu/2018/08/exodus-and-exit-everywhere-and-look-at-matthew-619/#respond Sun, 05 Aug 2018 21:35:31 +0000 https://weihos.eu/?p=1281 I was transcribing some Gothic and noticed that Codex Argenteus has two different words for stealing in verse 19 and verse 20 respectively of Matthew chapter 6. These verses aren’t particularly known for textual variants. Here’s ESV to give you an idea what we’re talking about:

19“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, 20but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal.

Confused flower

In verse 19, the word was hlifand. It must be a relative of the Greek verb κλέπτειν kleptīn with the same meaning and Latin clepere.

In verse 20, the word was stiland, from which we have to steal in modern English and stjäla in Swedish.

So, the first word has connections to Greek and Latin, whereas the second word has connections to modern and medieval Germanic languages. Hmm. Could it be that hlifan is the older word, slipping out of usage around Wulfila’s age, and stilan being the new word? Or could it be that hlifan was from a rather literal translation and stilan was copied from another manuscript featuring a purer Germanic vocabulary?

Verse 20 begins a Eusebian canon with a parallell passage in Luke 12:33. Verse 19 has no parallell in the other gospels. Should we ask why Luke included verse 20 or why he excluded verse 19, or both?

Christian Classics Ethereal Library has a Catena in English translation which features among others a pseudo-Chrysostom, that is not the real John Chrysostom but a fan of him or someone with a similar ethos and writing style:

Pseudo-Chrys.: Another reading is: “Where moth and banqueting consume”. — http://www.ccel.org/ccel/aquinas/catena1.ii.vi.html

And Wikipedia says:
“The idea of heaven as a storehouse for spiritual treasures existed before Jesus, being found in several Jewish works of the period […] It has been noted that the verse may specifically be an encouragement to alms giving” — https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Matthew_6:19%E2%80%9320

This might be more true for verse 20 than 19.


Ni huzdjaiþ ïzwis huzda ana airþai·
Don’t collect your savings on earth,

(Assuming a Hebrew or Aramaic origin of the gospel, rather than “on earth”, ἐπὶ τῆς γῆς/ana airþai may have translated בארץ as reconstructed by Delitzsch and others. We should therefor reckon with the possibility it can mean in [the]land/in [the] country rather than on [the] planet earth. C.f. ex. Exodus 9:22 LXX.)

þarei malo jah nidwa frawardeiþ·
where moth and rust corrupt

jah þarei þiubos ufgraband jah hlifand·
and where thieves dig up/in and steal

ïþ huzdjaiþ ïzwis huzda ïn himina·
But collect your savings in heaven,

þarei ni malo nih nidwa frawardeiþ·
where neither moth or rust corrupt

jah þarei þiubos ni ufgraband nih stiland·
and where thieves don’t dig up/in or steal.

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Immigration in Sweden and in Swedish bibles https://weihos.eu/2018/06/immigration-in-sweden-and-in-swedish-bibles/ https://weihos.eu/2018/06/immigration-in-sweden-and-in-swedish-bibles/#respond Sat, 23 Jun 2018 18:09:44 +0000 https://weihos.eu/?p=1250 Will you, dear reader, excuse another vain post about this wretched country?

There are elections upcoming scheduled 9 September (2018) and the all-eclipsing issue is migration. The two largest parties used to be Socialdemokraterna (the Socialists) and the Moderates (moderate socialists). These two parties have led one political bloc each, and have taken turns accepting more and more immigrants into the 10-million-inhabitant state, against some fierce popular resistance.

Now as it happens, Socialdemokraterna is also the party which has the most influence over the church which was until year 2000 run by the government, and which has, for a legacy, more than half the population as members. Year 2000 is also the year when a government commission released a bible paraphrase which was intended to become the “leading bible-text for the Swedish language area”. It is called Bibel2000.

One of its many features is it renders MT: גר/ LXX: προσήλυτος as ‘immigrant’, in Swedish ‘invandrare’.

A consequence is it becomes hard for Christians to argue in favour of a more restrictive migration policy, since the burden of loving the גר/προήλυτος as commanded in Torah is substantial, and whereas Christians aren’t bound by the law, it teaches them the principles and reasoning of God, so it cannot really be ignored.

The word ‘immigrant’ is rare in bible translations. Perhaps this is because the Christian’s perspective is global, which means that the prefix im- in ‘immigrant’ usually doesn’t make sense.

However the similar prefix shows up in the latin word advena, used a lot by Jerome in these places. Where the Old Latin version can be recreated from patristic and other authors who quoted it, ‘proselytus’ shows up in nine passages and ‘advena’ in six, in Sabatier’s edition.

Among the words in Greek that corresponds the best to ‘migrant’ would be μετανάστης ‘refugee’ and πάροικος ‘exile’, as Moses described himself while he lived in Midian (Exodus 2:22). Παροικία as a noun was used too to describe that which the Israelites were subject to when they were forced to migrate to Babylon and later encouraged to return (Ezra 8:35).

As גר ger has a related verb גור gur, meaning ‘to sojourn’/’to tarry’, it would not be farfetched to think that a ger could be a traveller of some sort. There exist many sorts of travellers, for example a stateless nation who live in the Nordic countries are called “The Travellers”, there are travelling salesmen, doctors, refugees, missionaries, proselytes and pilgrims, to mention but a few. Translating גר by ‘migrants’ or ‘immigrants’ risk excluding these groups from the hospitality that the law seems to demand for their sake.

In contrast, the Divine Liturgy of St Chrysostom’s tradition reads:

Ὑπὲρ πλεόντων, ὁδοιπορούντων, νοσούντων, καμνόντων, αἰχμαλώτων καὶ τῆς σωτηρίας αὐτῶν, τοῦ κυρίου δεηθῶμεν.
For seafaring [men], wanderers, ill, sick, captives and their salvation, let us pray to the Lord.

The mass-migration that fashion Europe of today has led to some forms of travelling getting harder. There are biometric passports, border controls, digital video surveillance, face recognition, more crime, more policemen, DNA-profiling, bodily searches and all sorts of anti-terror measures that weren’t needed back when Europe was mostly democratic.

So, in summary, somebody is probably very proud right now for having fooled most Swedish Christians by simply rewriting their holy scriptures. And it is dire.

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Perspective on biblical passages that mention (or not) homosexuality https://weihos.eu/2018/02/perspective-on-biblical-passages-that-mention-or-not-homosexuality/ https://weihos.eu/2018/02/perspective-on-biblical-passages-that-mention-or-not-homosexuality/#respond Sat, 17 Feb 2018 23:01:11 +0000 https://weihos.eu/?p=1216 We will look into these items:

1. Did The Law prescribe death penalty for gays?
2. Some textual issues in the New Testament
3. What is the essence of this matter?

1. Did The Law prescribe death penalty for gays?

There exist various law-traditions such as “Common law” versus “Civil law”. One variant is to have a scribe sit next to the king and note the most typical cases in a scroll. Next, the scribe would copy the scroll and hand out one copy to each judge in the kingdom. If the judge could write (likely) he would note his own precedential cases below those of the king or in the margin. When a new person was ordained judge, he would want as complete a law-book as he could get, so he may wish to copy two or three of the other judges’ scrolls. As a result, he would have the original laws and cases as doublets and a number of judgements and sentences that disagreed.

If we look at Torah — The Mosaic Law as recorded in Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy — we see this very pattern. For example, if we compare Leviticus chapter 18 with chapter 20:

(NETS) Chapter 18   Chapter 20
18:17a You shall not uncover the shame of a woman and her daughter. 20:14 He who takes a wife and her mother — it is transgression of the law
18:23 And you shall not give your bed to any quadruped for sowing to bring defilement on it, nor shall any woman stand before any quadruped so as to be mounted, for it is loathsome. 20:15,16a And he who gives his sleeping-with to a quadruped, by death let him be put to death, and you shall kill the quadruped. And a woman who shall approach any animal for her to be mounted by it — you shall kill the woman and the animal
18:16 You shall not uncover the shame of your brother’s wife; it is your brother’s shame. 20:21 He who takes the wife of his brother — it is impurity; he has uncovered his brother’s shame; they shall die childless.
18:22 And you shall not sleep with a male as in a bed of a woman, for it is an abomination. 20:13 And he who lies with a male in a bed for a woman, both have committed an abomination; by death let them be put to death; they are liable.

Obviously these are the same laws but with death penalty in chaper 20. Chapter 18 has the sentence at the end of the chapter in verse 29, but curiously it states a different reason for why the various listed deeds should not be performed:

Do not defile yourselves in any of these ways. […] otherwise the land will become angry with you when you defile it, as it became angry with the nations that were before you. — Leviticus 18:24a,28, NETS.

Let’s leave it hanging and compare Leviticus 19:23-26 with Deuteronomy 18:9-10!

Leviticus Deuteronomy
23 Now when you enter into the land that the Lord your God is giving you 9 Now if you enter into the land that the Lord your God is giving you,
and plant any kind of tree for food, then you shall thoroughly purify its uncleanness; three years its fruit shall be impure to you; it shall not be eaten. 24 And in the fourth year all its fruit shall be holy, laudable to the Lord. 25 But in the fifth year you shall eat the fruit, its yield is an increase for you; it is I who am the Lord your God.
26 Do not eat on the mountains.
  you shall not learn to act according to the abominations of those nations. 10 There shall not be found among you one who cleanses his son or his daughter by fire,
And you shall not practice ornithomancy or divination by means of birds. one who practices divination, one who acts as diviner, one who practices ornithomancy, a sorcerer

It is said about bronze-age Israelite king Saul that he “had put the mediums and the necromancers out of the land” (1 Samuel 28:3, ESV). From the way the medium at En-dor answered, we can be sure that her trade carried a death penalty: “Surely you know what Saul has done, how he has cut off the mediums and the necromancers from the land. Why then are you laying a trap for my life to bring about my death?”.

It looks like Saul broke with a preceding tradition of not killing mediums and necromancers, which would be unlikely if the Mosaic law already insisted on their death. So, while it says they are an abomination (Deut. 18:12), just like Leviticus 18:22 says of homosex, they were probably not killed until Saul took office.

This suggests a thesis: Leviticus chapter 20 dates to Saul’s reign or later.

While the thesis is not easily falsifiable or verifiable, it does mean that it is speculative or irresponsible to claim that the Mosaic Law would prescribe death penalty for homosexual people. For God can only be held responsible for the original law that he gave to Moses.

2. Some textual issues in the New Testament

1 Timothy 1:10

ESV: … the sexually immoral, men who practice homosexuality, enslavers, liars, perjurers, and whatever else is contrary to sound doctrine …

Greek: … πορνοις αρσενοκοιταις ανδραποδισταις ψευσταις επιορκοις και ει τι ἑτερον τη ὑγιαινουση διδασκαλια αντικειται …

Gothic: horam, _________, mannans gaþiwandam, liugnjam, ufarswaram, jah jabai hva aljis þizai hailon laiseinai andstandiþ

Where the lines are is where a Gothic expression for homosexuality would be expected.

Romans 1:27

24 Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, 25 because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen.

26 For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; 27 and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error.
— ESV.

Here we have two paragraphs starting with “Διο/Δια τουτο παρεδωκεν αυτους ὁ Θεος εν/εις”, as if a scribe was unsure which variant was the original one and therefore kept both, with the most likely reading first.

Elisabeth Cutler’s reconstruction of Paul’s letter to the Romans according to Marcion’s version has interesting stuff. Marcion produced the first known widely circulated edition of the New Testament, less than 100 years after the books were composed. The reconstruction is based on Tertulliani and Epiphani criticism towards Marcion’s teaching, where they quote a lot from Marcion’s edition.

In Adversus Marcionem, book V, chapter 13, Tertullian cites 1:16,17, comments on the verses and cites 2:2. Then he goes on to complain about the many verses Marcion has excised and returns to commenting these verses.

But how many ditches Marcion has dug, especially in this epistle, by removing all that he would, will become evident from the complete text of my copy. I myself need do no more than accept, as the result of his carelessness and blindness, those passages which he did not see he had equally good reason to excise. For if God will judge the secret things of men, both those who have sinned in the law and those who have sinned without the law […]

This means some of the verses that we read in Romans chapter 1 and/or chapter 2 weren’t there in at least one very ancient version.

3. What is the essence of this matter?

The essence of the matter is the ancient strategy that goes by the name “Divide & Conquer”.

Various groups and ideologies fight for power and influence in the political cosmos. In order to win, they must prevent other groups from settling their conflicts and teaming up. Some of these groups that might team up are Christians, Jews, Muslims, Heathens, Hindus, scientists/engineers, gays, ethnic minorities and workers/slaves.

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Gothic comparisons use dative case https://weihos.eu/2017/12/gothic-comparisons-use-dative-case/ https://weihos.eu/2017/12/gothic-comparisons-use-dative-case/#respond Sun, 31 Dec 2017 22:22:46 +0000 https://weihos.eu/?p=1204 What we are talking about are statements like:

You know better than me.

Some people would have you say “You know better than I.” Similarly in Sweden it is argued that the base of the comparison shouldn’t be dative, because we have abolished that long ago, but should be nominative in analogy with a continued clause “… better than I know.”

However, people keep using dative, saying:

Du vet bättre än mig.

Thus the official languages of the kingdoms of Sweden and Great Britain (+N.I.) do comparisons with nominative case or “no case”, whereas the actual people in some places use dative. We may ask which tradition is the most solidly rooted in Germanic and Indoeuropean tradition, and answer the question by looking at a handful of examples from various more or less old European languages.

First goes Old English, represented by the Lindisfarne gospels and 17th century English from King James’ Version:

D̶onne gað he, J hym to-genimð sefen oðre gastes wyrse þonne he, J ingangende hyo cardigeð þer …
Then goeth he, and taketh with himselfe seuen other spirits more wicked then himselfe, and they enter in and dwell there …
— Matthew 12:45a.

So, Old English actually uses nominative with þonne ‘than’, but the much later KJV uses dative.

How about Gothic? Matthew 12:45 has not been preserved but there are plenty of other verses:

OE: Se þe æfter me toward ys he is strengre þanne ich — Matthew 4:11.
Goth: Qimiþ swinþoza mis sa afar mis — Mark 1:7.
KJV: There cometh one mightier then I after me — Mark 1:7

King James Version uses nominative here. The Gothic version uses dative almost exclusively. Thomas O. Lambdin notes an exception in his Introduction to the Gothic Language, lesson 20:

Goth: Ïþ azetizo ïst himin jah airþa hindarleiþan þau witodis ainana writ gadriusan
KJV: And it is easier for heaven and earth to pass, than one tittle of the law to fail.
Greek: ευκοπωτερον δε εστιν τον ουρανον και την γην παρελθειν η του νομου μιαν κεραιαν πεσειν
— Luke 16:17.

Here Gothic uses þau + accusative. It is hard to say whether this use of accusative is normal Gothic or if it simply preserved the construction with η + accusative that was used in the Greek version. For Greek uses either accusative or genitive in comparisons of this kind.

Next, let’s look at Old Norse. Terje Faarlund’s The Syntax of Old Norse (p 104) helps us with an example:

þykkir engum jafnmikit sem Njáli fóstra hans
nobody feels this as much as Njal, his foster father

Yes, it is dative. However perhaps a more relevant example using än:

at engi jarl væri meiri ok frægri en Sigurðr
that no earl was greater and more famous than Sigurd


I am not sure what the dative of ‘Jacob’ is in Old High German, but this looks nominative:

“Ne bistu liuten kelop mer than Jacob” — John 4:12, paraphrased ca year 850.

How about Latin?
Quam can be used with most cases. If quam isn’t used, ablative is the normal case for comparison.

So we have a difference here between Gothic (dative) and Old English + Old Norse + German (nominative). It seems hard to escape the possibility that parts of present day Sweden and England have preserved Gothic practices where everyone else used nominative.

Are there any more Germanic languages that used cases other than nominative for comparison?

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The Salty Sower https://weihos.eu/2017/11/the-salty-sower/ https://weihos.eu/2017/11/the-salty-sower/#respond Sat, 11 Nov 2017 22:18:20 +0000 http://www.weihos.eu/?p=1179 What is the best way of reading John’s gospel in Greek? From P66 of course. Even the spelling mistakes are divine, except when they aren’t.
I was considering the political risk in running a business within a certain formerly democratic state when my eyes fell on John 4:36-37 in this most ancient document …

Ὁ θεριζων μεισθον λαμβανει και συναγει καρπον εις ζωην αιωνιον· ϊνα ὁ σπιρων ὁμου χαιρη και θεριζων·
Εν γαρ τουτω ὁ λογος εστιν αληθινος ὁτι ἁλος εστιν ὁ σπειρων και αλλος ὁ θεριζων·
Added rough breathings and capital letters.

The reaper receives payment and collects the fruit unto generations of life, so that the sower can rejoice like the reaper.
For in this, the word is genuine that: “A salty one there is who sows and another who reaps”.

The difference between P66 and other manuscripts is a λ — αλος ‘salty’ vs αλλος ‘another’. Now salt was used by the ancients, patriarchs and kings, to enter agreements. They would eat salt together. If we trust in laws and agreements we will be more likely to sow in the sense of investing, but not particularly likely to reap as Isaiah 65:21-22 hints.

But what if this is not about investment? Salt was used in Israel to flavour sacrifices. But a sacrifice wouldn’t rejoice would it? Perhaps it would if it weren’t sacrificed, like Isaac in Genesis chapter 22. Otherwise it’s surprisingly hard to find people on the street who rejoice because they haven’t been sacrificed recently. It is also a bit challenging to find an article about chanterelles which mentions how to sow them and not just how to eat them.

In a sense reaping and sowing are opposite actions. When it comes to wheat or chanterelles, sowing is more enriching for a third party. When it comes to human souls, reaping is so much more essential for the survival of mankind and mother earth, so if you are somewhat old and there is room in your heart, why not accept a disciple?

By the way, the usual text says: “There is one who sows and another who reaps.”

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Independent Swedish Media https://weihos.eu/2017/05/independent-swedish-media/ https://weihos.eu/2017/05/independent-swedish-media/#respond Mon, 15 May 2017 21:11:16 +0000 http://www.weihos.eu/?p=1148 Somewhat off the topics of this blog, as most people in Sweden today are unable to find even a single newspaper that is independent of the parties that are represented in parliament, and as this situation has turned the state into a reality-averse bubble, here’s a selection of relatively independent media.

Comments? = Are comments usually allowed; according to which comment system?
G = Google/Blogspot, W = WordPress, ✔︎ = In-house.

Free? = Is all content free or does some content require subscription?

Ac.? = Are they independent of state financed academic institutions?

Company/Ass. (Brands) Comments? Free? Ac.? Link
Cornucopia? G ✔ ✔ http://cornucopia.cornubot.se
In Beijing W ✔ ✔ http://inbeijing.se/bulletin/
Blendow (Dagens Juridik) ✔ + ✔ http://www.dagensjuridik.se
IDG ✔ ✔ http://www.idg.se
Spanaren ✔ ✔ http://spanaren.se
I Öst ✔ ✔ https://iost.nu
Curie ✔ ✔ Nope http://www.tidningencurie.se
Forskning och Framsteg ✔ Nope http://fof.se
FT News Gr. OÜ (Fria Tider) + ✔ http://www.friatider.se

Comments to this article that mention or suggests news papers or media sites that receive grants from the state (Presstöd/Partistöd), that publish whole articles from the monopoly news agency or that are controlled within the so called Public Service [sicut] framework, will be removed as the topic is independent media. Comments that suggest news sites that might really be independent are most welcome, as are corrections.

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New Testament Papyrus chart https://weihos.eu/2016/11/new-testament-papyrus-chart/ https://weihos.eu/2016/11/new-testament-papyrus-chart/#respond Sun, 20 Nov 2016 21:01:55 +0000 http://www.weihos.eu/?p=1136 nt-papyrusattest-w

Click for full size.
Papyrus fragments are typically dated paleographically to a span of 50 years, so their location within this chart should be understood as very approximate. A few mss were left out, either because they contain very few words or because, as is the case with P98 of Revelation chapter 1, they are unusually difficult to date.

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Children — Barn https://weihos.eu/2016/09/children-barn/ https://weihos.eu/2016/09/children-barn/#respond Fri, 30 Sep 2016 23:06:21 +0000 http://www.weihos.eu/?p=1123 Don’t worry! I won’t post pictures of mine. Perhaps because I don’t have any, or perhaps because I care about my readers.

A few brief reflections however …

If you are a woman and want to know if a man likes children or not, ask him! Don’t ask another man “Does X like children?”, or actually, you can ask that question but ask the man himself too, then you’ll find out if the first guy is a liar. If another man says X doesn’t like children, there’s still 90 % chance that he does — at least his own.

In Yorkshire barn is a dialectal word for children. In Sweden barn is the word in standard language. In Gothic it’s barn. In Syriac it’s yalud (infant) or taly. However son is bar ܒܪ . Coincidence?

Skäggebarn is a new word in Swedish. It is made up of two pieces — skägg = beard, barn = barn. And then there is the connecting vowel. Swedish doesn’t use as many connecting vowels as Danish and Scanian so the form skäggbarn could have been expected, and indeed it occurs but rarely perhaps even more often than skäggebarn (corrected based on feedback from a reader).

A skäggebarn is a man aged above 18, who travels to a foreign country (such as Sweden) and upon asylum claims that he has lost his ID-card and that he is x years old, where x << 18. This simple deception has been well known for at least five years and it is not clear why the migration authority insisted on getting fooled in the face of criticism. Today, they have been ordered by the government to switch to a restrictive extreme, as if a car driver who has been in the left roadside ditch could make up for her mistake by slipping into the right one as well.

I found it curious that /e/ was used for connecting vowel here. Some investigation revealed that the forms with /e/ were mostly used by people from central Sweden. Scanians used /a/ at least as often. The connecting vowels are not completely understood. I suggest /a/ is partitive and /e/ is locative or instrumental. Lucazin1 suggest it is genitive and should be /a/ for masculine and neuter nouns, and /e/ for most feminine except some old irregular ones. In this case our rules agree and it should be skäggabarn in Scanian.

1 Utkast till ortografi över det Skånska språket, tabell 12.1 sid 124.

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With Lorries in Traffic — Q&A https://weihos.eu/2016/08/with-lorries-in-traffic-qa/ https://weihos.eu/2016/08/with-lorries-in-traffic-qa/#respond Mon, 08 Aug 2016 11:12:28 +0000 http://www.weihos.eu/?p=1116 Why did the lorry flash its high beams?
When a lorry passes another, it is usually hard for the passing driver to know when the rear end of his trailer has passed and it is safe to move back to the right lane. The one who gets passed will therefore often flash the high beams as a signal indicating when it is time to change lanes.

Other resons may include: salute a friend, signal to an oncoming to switch to low beams, mistake when fumbling for another control and a signal that something is wrong with the vehicle ahead.

How best to pass?
Start out from a point ca 20 meters behind the lorry. If you are closer, its driver won’t see you and you won’t see what happens ahead of the lorry. When you have decided to pass, you accelerate for one or two seconds while blinking, then move to the passing lane and keep accelerating. It isn’t remarkably dangerous to drive beside a lorry in a two-laned road, but it will be easier for everybody if the overtaking is done quickly and decisively.
Texas Department of Transportation recommends:
“Always leave at least four car lengths between the back of your car and the front of any large truck you pass”. This is because lorries have longer breaking distance than person cars, so if you need to jam the brakes, the lorry will need this extra distance to stop. Swedish lorries usually have good brakes, so in practice the risk is not much higher if we move back 15 meters in front of the lorry than 20 meters, and almost all drivers handle this well.
A driver of a car shouldn’t have to keep track of a lorry’s blind spots. However in this case consider that a passing car or motorcycle dwells for a moment in a blind spot to the left of the driver’s cab. If they cut in front of the lorry immediately after passing, it can trigger the truck driver’s brake reflex, and if it happens often, the driver will become jaded, which is dangerous.
Consider not overtaking if it slopes downhill or if on top of a hill. Lorries otherwise driving 80 km/h will often reach 90 or 100 km/h when it descends. Then they don’t want to brake because they save almost €10 on fuel by keeping the speed. It is a saving for the environment too as you are well aware.

Can I pass in this roundabout?
Some roundabouts have so broad carriage ways that a driver of a private car may get the impression that they have two lanes. They haven’t, unless two lanes are marked in the asfalt. If the roundabout is small, it won’t be possible for a 13m long trailer to keep within a lane of normal width, so the road is broadened. That’s why it is ill-timed to pass trucks, 18-m trailers or busses in such small circuses. Even in roundabouts with short radius but two lanes marked will it be appropriate to avoid a position alongside tractor or trailer. If the roundabout is large — of the kind that is common outside the towns — and has two lanes, then dwelling next to a lorry or bus will be fine.

Truck with trailer in small roundabout

The orange in the picture is a truck with a trailer. It has to be all the way out to the traffic islands and the edge of the road with its nose to make the left rear wheel clear the curb that marks the inner edge of the road in many roundabouts (see the red rings). A car could easily pass another car, but is better to refrain and treat the roundabout as having just one lane.

A novelty is some municipalities having marked two lanes even in very small roundabouts. Such decisions aren’t necessarily based on more consideration than you as a road-user is expected to perform in a fraction of a second when sharing a circus with a truck. So think for yourself, think out of the box and don’t take for granted that a lorry can stay within a single lane.

What are the risks when overtaking?
There may be something along the right edge of the road that compel the lorry to move to the passing lane or brake. If it rains, a lorry with dual wheels can splash an amazing amount of water on your car and push you off course, and if you were in lee beside the lorry you might be hit by sudden winds when passing. So, keep both hands on the wheel!

Extra passing lane uphill
A max-loaded lorry with trailer can weigh 64 tons in Sweden. It is hard to keep 80 km/h uphill with such a burden. This has been solved in some places by, as long as the slope lasts, providing an extra lane for lighter cars who want to pass heavier trucks.

Lorries and slip roads to motorways
When entering a motorway, one is supposed to adjust one’s speed to that of the traffic on the motorway and find a gap to slip into. Here it is easy to make the mistake to adjust one’s speed to a lorry. However if the max velocity is 120 km/h and a car entering the motorway brakes to move in behind the lorry, it will slip in at approximately 60 km/h. Driving so slow for no good reason should be avoided.
If you find yourself alongside a lorry and you are past the middle of it, feel free to drive faster than it and take the place in front of it.

One of the major reasons why we should blink when exiting roundabouts is because it takes ca 7 seconds for a lorry to accelerate up to 25 km/h and get out with the whole trailer in the circus.
In a heavy traffic roundabout, consequently, the truck will get stuck without getting in. But if any of the cars in the circus blink out, it will give the lorry a chance to accelerate.

If you come from a road that a lorry will turn on to, it may happen that the truck slows down and flashes its high beams. It means you should move first, because it would be hard for the lorry to bring its trailer on to the smaller road without using the space where you are. Remember to give way to other traffic as you go.

Truck flashes high beams to say, please you go first

Pedestrian crossings
It costs a lot of money to brake and accelerate with a lorry, so if you stand at a zebra crossing and a truck brakes, it is time to cross immediately.

Reversing lorries
If a lorry turns on hazard lights in an ordinary street, it will probably reverse. If you are behind it and the reversing lights illuminate, don’t hesitate to pass.
When a truck with dolly and trailer reverse, the driver needs space to move the front of the truck to the right and to the left in order to make the trailer move in the right direction. So, if you see a lorry reversing across a street, even if you are in a hurry, it will get out of your way faster if you leave three meters distance while waiting for it to get off the road.

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