Someone wrote in:
Do you know offhand how many copies (even approximately) we have of Josephus' "Antiquities of the Jews"? I'm in a discussion with a Christ-myther who seems to be under the impression that we have only one copy. I know we have more than that, but I've been googling to find out how many we have and can't find anything. Thanks.
This was fairly easy to find from the Loeb Classics:
“I am assuming your discussion is about the mentions of Jesus (at 18 and at 20), so I will give the data for THIS half of JA (since it circulated in two halves in antiquity, due to size):
Here are the mss used for the old Loeb Classics volume—No.326 (there are more than that now, but these are still the main ones):
“in this volume, with Book XI, we reach the second half of Antiquities which, as Dr. Thackeray stated in the Introduction to Volume IV, was anciently bisected (or divided into pentads) in the mss. The authorities on which the text of Ant. xi.-xx. is based are as follows.
P Codex Palatinus bibl. Vat. nr. 14, cent, ix or x ; it contains Ant. xi.-xvii. and Vita.
F Codex Lanrentianus plut. 69, cod. 20, cent. xiv ; it contains Ant. i.-xv. (cited as L in the first half of Ant.).
L Codex Leidensis F 13, cent, xi or xii; it contains Ant. xi.-xv.
A Codex bibl. Ambrosianae F 128, cent, xi ; it contains Ant. xi.-xx. and Vita (with lacunae).
M Codex Medicaeus bibl. Laurentianae plut. 69, cod. 10, cent, xv ; it contains Ant. i.-xx. and Vita (the text of Ant. i.-x., dating from cent, xiv, was not used by Niese).
V Codex Vaticanus gr. nr. 147, cent, xiv ; it contains Ant. iii.-xv. (originally i.-xv. ; there are also lacunae in xiii.-xv.).
W Codex Vaticanus gr. nr. 984, dated 1354 a.d. ; it contains Ant. xi.-xx. (also B.J. and an epitome of Ant. i.-x.).
E Epitome (see Introduction to Volume IV).
Lat. Latin version (see Introduction to Volume IV).
Zon. Zonaras's Chronicle (see Introduction to Volume IV).
Exc. Excerpta Peiresciana et Ursiniana (see Introduction to Volume IV).”
So that’s at least 11 major manuscripts, with scores more of bits-and-pieces.
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