begin-title/end-title

Banyai Banyai at t-online.de
Sat Feb 17 04:52:10 EST 2001


I didn´t expect to return to the subject so soon, but since I incidentally 
stumbled over new evidence concerning the subject, I no longer regard my 
hypothesis about the origins of the begin-title/end-title, lying in the 
bureaucratic practice to note the subject of a papyrus roll as well at its 
beginning as at the manuscripts end, as ill-demonstrated.

I may remind to those reading this post, that I brought the jewish practice of 
calling the individual bible books after their beginning secntences in connection 
with that same hypothetic bureaucratic procedure.

Reading the admonitions of Ipuwer, an Egyptian papyrus pertaining probably to the 
2-nd intermediate period (the same rough period to which I attribute the Exodus 
story), I stumbled, as I just mentioned, over the same end-title practice. The 
beginning of the manuscript is too damaged to be able to say if anything like the 
begin-title once occured.

Its end reads:"This is what Ipuwer said, when he answered the majesty of the 
All-Lord: ....". This is the only place where the name of the author, Ipuwer 
appears, and the end-title means so much as "these were the words of Ipuwer ..." 
in the manner the end-titles in Numbers or else occur.

I find this interpretation of the begin-title/end-title as being of great 
importance for our understanding of the genesis of a number of biblical texts, 
which are in consequence to be regarded as mere conglomerate of shorter "scratch" 
texts, pasted together by means of an anecdotical "Rahmen-Handlung" by some late 
historian.
 
And it proves to be a serious challenge for those of us insisting too much on a 
dependence of the biblical historical writing on the elenistic and greek 
history-writing (supposed to be somehow contemporary). I just state in a short 
manner: we can not identify this practice of pasting and stucking together 
documentary pieces on such a scale and consequence in the work of any greek 
historiograph.

All the best,

Michael Bányai




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