ἡμετέρῳ χα(ίρειν). ἔπεμψά σοι
ἄλλας δύο ἐπιστολάς,
διὰ Νηδύμου μίαν , διὰ
μίαν · λοιπὸν οὖν ἔλα-
βον παρὰ το(ῦ) Ἄραβος τὴν
ἐπιστολὴν καὶ ἀνέ-
γνων καὶ ἐλυπήθην.
This is a much discussed letter BGU IV. 1079 (= CPJ II 152; White, LAL, No. 87; Sel. Pap. I 107; W.Chr. 60) because of the later reference to 'the Jews'. But the opening is interesting for a number of reasons:
- reference to earlier correspondence often (as here) identifies the letters by their respective carriers: 'I sent two other letters to you, one through Nedymos, one through Kronios the swordsman'.
- here we find explicit, what I think is implicit in the use of ἔπεμψά σοι ... διὰ, that is that it refers to the letter carrier.
- παρὰ is used for receipt of a letter by the agency of a letter carrier: 'Finally, then, I received your letter from the Arab ...'
- the received letter is read by the recipient (not by the letter carrier, this never happens!)
- the author uses λοιπὸν very early in a much longer letter (cf. 1 Cor 1.16; 7.29; Phil 3.1 - also late in letters: 2 Cor 13.11; Phil 4.8; 2 Thess 3.1; 2 Tim 4.8).