Chart: Greek Manuscripts of the Shepherd of Hermas (Pre-7th Century)

For a recent term paper I needed to catalogue the contents of the 24 extant Greek manuscripts (pre-7th century) of the Shepherd of Hermas. I’ve written here about the Shepherd’s significance from the 2nd to 4th centuries CE before, but for this paper I was interested in all of the Greek manuscripts we have before Latin became the primary language of both the Church at large and the Shepherd’s use/preservation.

The Shepherd of Hermas in Codex Sinaiticus (Herm. 92.2 [Mand. 9.15.2]).
I was surprised to find that no one had really put together the relevant information in a list or chart. Appendix 1 in Larry Hurtado’s The Earliest Christian Artifacts: Manuscripts and Christian Origins (pgs. 224-225) only extends to the early fourth century, as he’s primarily interested in the pre-Constantinian period. But he doesn’t list contents of the manuscripts.

I built off the graph Hurtado started, adding all other manuscripts through the 6th century CE with a number of additional fields. For one thing, the Shepherd uniquely uses two systems of numbering/citation—one continuous, with chapters numbering 1 to 114, and another that breaks the chapters up into sections of 5 Visions, 12 Commandments/Mandates, and 10 Similitudes.[1] I list the contents of each manuscript using both notational forms, given that both still carry currency and are recommended by SBL in citation of the Shepherd. I’ve also linked to each manuscript fragment’s entry in the exceedingly useful Leuven Database of Ancient Books, or LDAB, and to each manuscript’s free and open online access, where available. Without further ado (click image for full chart):

Click the image for full chart (PDF).

I hope that this chart is useful to other scholars and interested persons. In the future I may add where the critical editions of each manuscript can be found, but LDAB has much of this information even if it is sometimes difficult to decipher. Let me know if you see any errors that require fixing.

Offline Citations

[1] Because this is so wonky, we who study the Shepherd even get our very own Appendix in the SBL Handbook of Style! See Appendix D of the 2nd ed., pgs. 331-332.


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