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The Bilingual Character and Liturgical Function of “Hermeneia” in Johannine Papyrus Manuscripts

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A New Proposal

image of Novum Testamentum

AbstractIn contrast to previous studies, this article argues that the use of ἑρµηνεῖαι in a group of Johannine papyrus manuscripts is fundamentally characterized by their occurrence in bilingual manuscripts or manuscripts influenced by a bilingual social setting (Greek-Coptic or Greek-Latin). Rather than seeing them as some sort of biblical commentary or oracular statements used for divination, it is suggested that, in light of their bilingual character, the Johannine ἑρµηνεῖαι functioned as liturgical tools to facilitate early Christian worship services needing to accommodate the use of two languages within a particular community.

Affiliations: 1: Springfield, IL


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