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The Early Codex Book

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Recovering Its Cosmopolitan Consequences

image of Biblical Interpretation

In 1933 Frederic Kenyon was one of the first to note the early Christian addiction to codex books. As later scholars confirmed, Christian communities reproduced their sacred literature in a way that differed from the largely scrolled Greco-Roman bibliographic cultures of the first centuries of the Common Era. Book historians and scholars of biblical literature alike have developed a range of competing theories in order to better understand this peculiarity. By evaluating their claims, a number of clarifications can be made in order to demonstrate the codex’s sensitivity to Jewish scribal practices as well as its capacity to include a cosmopolitan diversity of texts. Through these clarifications the codex book form itself can provide vital interpretative insights into early biblical literature and the longer history of the book today.

Affiliations: 1: University of Newcastle, Australia


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