Hermas - Visions - Commandments - Mandates - sections in 1859 Simoneidos, and New Finds

Steven Avery

We may also place Codex Athous material here.


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1859 Hermas from Simonides - dual numbering system - papyri fragments



Codex Sinaiticus, s. IV

Visions l,l,l - Mandates lVf3,6;

The Shepherd is formed by
five Visions ,
twelve Commandments (Mandates)
ten Parables (Similitudes)

65:5-66:6 67:1-68:5
91:4-93:5 93:6-95:5

Steven Avery

CSP Correction

new testament scholarship worldwide
nov 10, 2014

new finds and the shepherd of hermas
The new finds at st. Catherine's monastery in 1975 found a section from towards the end of the shepherd of hermas.
You can see quire 95, 4 pages, folio 1 and 8 here
Hermas online
65.5-68.5 (from parable 6,7.8)
91.4-95.5 (part of parable 9, which is 78-110)
Codex sinaiticus project
"there are fragments of a leaf containing parts of hermas, similitudes 6.5.5-66.6, and a complete leaf with ix.14.4-18.5."
From what i can tell (your thoughts appreciated) the csp description needs tweaking. It is all all one leaf, there are four pages with lacuna, two numbering systems are mixed, 6.5.5. Is 65.5 and it goes to 68.5 not 66.6. However, i could be missing some things. I'll write to the csp after checking if there is any feedback here.
Hermas has a dual referencing system, it can either be numbered as one book of 114 chapters or as:
visions (five)
mandates or commandments (twelve)
similitudes, or parables. (ten)
The textexcavation site of ben smith is very helpful with the layout.
The shepherd of hermas
This find means that the sinaiticus ms. Likely had the full hermas at one time.
And now that the text is easily available, since it was so excellently placed online in 2009, i wonder if there has been any scholarship on this section. (granted there was some earlier availability.)
Two areas that i would find of special interest would be
1) relating the new finds text to the assertions by the learned scottish scholar james donaldson (1831-1915) that the hermas text showed signs of being influenced by a medieval latin source. Donaldson was working with the original tischendorf accusations against the codex athos-lipsiensis of simonides. Donaldson thought that the retraction by tischendorf was overdone, and the latinized concerns actually did apply to both the athos-lipsiensis and abbreviated sinaiticus texts (donaldson also had major concerns about barnabas, linguistic and also, as with hermas, an earlier publication.)
2) simply comparing the text to athos-lipsiensis.
And i wonder if there has been much discussion and conjecture as to why and how hermas got "chopped" up i that way. If you are familiar with the genesis new finds, it is clear that there is some connection of new finds material to the handling by tischendorf and/or uspensky. So i have a theory
Steven avery
you can see some discussion of this hermas and barnabas linguistic and manuscript issues that swirl around sinaiticus on:
Bible criticism and history forum
sinaiticus - hermas, barnabas linguistic, history anomalies
It is easier to place details on a forum of that nature. The issue raised in this post, the likely dumping of the mass of hermas, was placed on one post in the thread:
Hermas in the new finds - full book, mostly dumped? - nov 8, 2014
And you will see a thread about another rather amazing aspect of sinaiticus:
Codex sinaiticus - the white parchment friderico-augustanus http://earlywritings.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=1017
The facebook forum approach is great for quick communication, and takes pictures well, however readability is a bit low
Please feel free, though, to make any comments here.

Steven Avery

In 1907, from Kirsopp Lake

first, second, third, fourth, seventh, and eighth leaves of the original MS., are still preserved in the library of the monastery of St Gregory (Mt. Athos)

...fifth, sixth, and ninth, are in the University library at Leipzig, and the last of the ten leaves is missing
Thus those three would have been the purer ones from the Simonides 1855 text.

In 1859 Simonides, now discredited, published what he asserted to be the text of the last leaf, but no one regarded this seriously until its claims were revived by Hilgenveld (Hilgenfeld) and Dräscke. (Dresssel). ... . In 1880 Prof. Lambros had been on Mount Athos and was shown by Father Victor the six leaves in the monastery of St. Gregory; in 1883 he sent his pupil Dr. Georgandas to copy the text, and the result of a meeting between Prof. Lambros and Dr. Armitage Robinson in Athens was the publication of a collation of Dr. Georgandas’ transcript with Simonides’ copy, together with introductions by Dr. Armitage Robinson and Prof. Lambros.

This publication cleared up certain points. It proved beyond further dispute that the copy which Simonides sold to Leipzig was not the original, and that that found by the police was his actual transcript; that the last leaf was not in existence on Mount Athos, and that the conclusion published by Simonides was worthless.

Kirsopp Lake 1907

PLATE I - VIS. I —VIS. II 8. 2
PLATE II - VIS. II. 8. 2 —VIS. III 5. 5
PLATE III - VIS. III. 5. 5 —11. 3
PLATE IV - VIS. III 11. 3 — MAND. II 6
PLATE V - MAND. II. 6 — MAND. V. 1. 6

Leaf 5 = not reproduced (Leipzig).
Leaf 6 = not reproduced (Leipzig).

PLATE IX - SIM. VIII. 4. 3 — 9. 4
PLATE X - SIM. VIII. 9. 4 —IX. 4. 6
PLATE XI - SIM. IX. 4.6—10.2
PLATE XII - SIM. IX. 10.2-15.1

Leaf 9 = not reproduced (Leipzig).
Leaf 10 = not reproduced (missing).


The solution to the puzzle, it appears to me, is simply that Lake does not reproduce the three Leipzig leaves. One leaf = two pages, and of course each plate in a book can capture only one page, not an entire leaf. So the six leaves from St. Gregory will take up twelve plates, which is what Lake has in his book. The gap between plates VIII and IX would be leaves 5 and 6, which are at Leipzig, as is leaf 9. Here is the layout:

Leaf 1 = plates I and II (St. Gregory).
Leaf 2 = plates III and IV (St. Gregory).
Leaf 3 = plates V and VI (St. Gregory).
Leaf 4 = plates VII and VIII (St. Gregory).
Leaf 5 = not reproduced (Leipzig).
Leaf 6 = not reproduced (Leipzig).
Leaf 7 = plates IX and X (St. Gregory).
Leaf 8 = plates XI and XII (St. Gregory).
Leaf 9 = not reproduced (Leipzig).
Leaf 10 = not reproduced (missing).

Hope this helps.
Ben. C . Smith
Why are the first 7 Similitude chapters missing, including part of 8 ? (includes New Finds first section.)

There are 10 Similitudes, so the missing page should be the 9th from 15.1 up to the its final chapter 33 and the short 10th 4 chapters

1. 50.
2. 51.
3. 52.
4. 53.
5. 54-60.
6. 61-65.
7. 66.

8. 67-77.
9. 78-110.
10. 111-114.


Hermas New Finds online
65.5-68.5 (from parable 6,7.8) - part is missing and part could be on plate 9, but unlikely
91.4-95.5 (part of parable 9, which is 78-110) - likely plate 11

First section, if we can find Leipzig pages or use an edition like 1863 Dressel, can be compared to these Greek papyri (two other fragments are very small)
Michigan papyrus 129 (M), century III. Greek (contains 51.8-82.1) - this includes the first leaf
-- Berlin papyrus 6789, century VI, (contains 67.1-12) - a part of the first leaf

Second section, in addition to Athous, can be compared only to a small fragment
-- Amherst papyrus II 190, century V or VI, Greek, in seven fragments including 94.1, 3-4;

This could be closely connected to Athous, or it could be closely connected to Vulgate or Palantine.


The publication that does some collation of this nature (without, apparently, theorizing the text-source work for Sinaiticus)

(2010-11) Cecconi, Paolo - Il Pastore di Erma e i nuovi fogli del codex Sinaiticus.


going to publications like the 1863, where the Greek is 572-637

1856 - Tischendorf
1857 - Dressel
1863 - Dressel
1867-1868 - Zahn
1873-1881 - Hilgenfeld
1870 - Hoole
1872 - Heyne
1877 - Harnack Gebhardt
1888 - Lampros - Collation
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Steven Avery

More on the Berlin Papyrus

The New Finds section of Hermas are good chunks of two leafs, four pages, from Parables:
65:5-66:6 67:1-68:5
91:4-93:5 93:6-95:5

The Loeb edition mentions this Berlin papyrus, which does overlap the Hermas New Finds section, verso of the first leaf:

Berlin papyrus 6789, century VI, (contains 67.1-12) - Loeb description

P. 6789: Hermas, Pastor, Similitudines VIII 1,1—12

This might be too fragmentary to be of assistance?