Date of Award

Spring 2012

Degree Type

Open Access Dissertation

Degree Name

Religion, PhD


School of Religion

Advisor/Supervisor/Committee Chair

Dennis R. MacDonald

Dissertation or Thesis Committee Member

Gregory J. Riley

Dissertation or Thesis Committee Member

Gawdat Gabra

Dissertation or Thesis Committee Member

James R. Royse

Terms of Use & License Information

Terms of Use for work posted in Scholarship@Claremont.

Rights Information

© 2012 Daniel B. Sharp


Coptic, Gospel of John, P. Mich. Inv. 3521, Qau el Kebir, Singular Readings

Subject Categories



The aim of this work is to take the methodology developed by Ernest Cowell, and further refined by James R. Royse, of cataloging singular readings of Greek scribes and seek to apply it to Coptic scribes. This study focuses on the text of John found in P. Mich Inv. 3521 and the singular readings of that manuscript. In order to have a basis of comparison, singular readings from two other Coptic versions of John are cataloged as well.1 In total 1619 singular readings have been identified in the three manuscripts.

Following Colwell and Royse, the readings have been further divided into orthographic, sensible and nonsense readings. The sensible and nonsense readings have been further divided and categorized into additions, omissions, substitutions, transpositions and verbal prefixes. All of these entries are then noted in the accompanying database with appropriate commentary so that the reader may format and use the information in a variety of ways.

In addition to the database, detailed commentary has been provided on the singular readings of P. Mich. Inv. 3521 with the following conclusions: Like Greek scribes, Coptic scribes are more likely to omit something than to add something; The category of "transpositions as corrected leaps" which James Royse found useful in his work, has proved unhelpful when dealing with this papyrus; and finally some preliminary analysis about the scribe of P. Mich. Inv. 351 is given.

1 Elinor Husselman, The Gospel of John in Fayumic Coptic (P. Mich. Inv. 3521), The University of Michigan Kelsey Museum of Archaeology Studies (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan, 1962); Rodolphe Kasser, Papyrus Bodmer III: Évangile de Jean et Genèse I-IV, 2 en Bohaïrique (Louvain: Secrétariat du CorpusSCO, 1958); Herbert Thompson, The Gospel of St. John According to the Earliest Coptic Manuscript (London: British School of Archaeology in Egypt, 1924).


The accompanying database (.mdb) and required fonts (.zip) are available for download below.



daniel-sharp-singular-readings-database.mdb (13488 kB)
MS Access Interactive database, requires CS Avva Shenouda font (28 kB)
CS Avva Shenouda font to use with database

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