ΜΟΡΦΗ in Codex Sinaiticus

I am auditing a class in New Testament textual criticism that I never was able to take during my Ph.D. studies. Today in the seminary Reference Room, we worked with several different copies of various kinds of manuscripts. The seminary has two full sized copies of Codex Sinaiticus (known as א), a 4th century complete copy of the Greek Old and New Testament.

My dissertation dealt with the Greek noun μορφή in Philippians 2:6-7. In the first several centuries of the church age, the writing of Greek was in uncial form or what we might call capital letters. Only later did scribes develop the minuscule script or lower case letters. This allowed for faster writing which in the publishing world is time, and time is money! 

Anyway, the term μορφή as it appears in today’s Greek New Testament would have originally been written in this uncial form. It would have looked like this: ΜΟΡΦΗ. The uncials were written in scriptio continua or continuous script (no spaces between words). They also had no breathing marks or polytonic accents. Here is a photo of Philippians 2:6-7 which contains 2 uses of ΜΟΡΦΗ. Can you spot them?

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Categories: μορφή, Philippians 2, Seminary, Textual Criticism

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