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Professor Matthew Black, the first editor of New Testament Studies, died on October 2, 1994 at the age of 86. He had been in failing health for several months. A former Principal of St Mary's College in the University of St Andrews, he was widely recognised as one of the most distinguished New Testament scholars of his generation.
Among the materials utilised to reinforce the cover of Codex VII from Nag Hammadi there are three inscribed papyrus fragments containing definite dates: a receipt dated 341 A.D., another of 346, and a deed of surety dated to 348. This provides a clear and unambiguous terminus a quo for the manufacture of this codex, although the fixing of a more precise date remains problematical. We do not know how long a receipt would be retained before it was discarded for use as scrap. As it happens, there is one case among the fragments from the cover of this codex in which the recipient of a letter has used the verso for a letter of his own. Neither however is dated, so that we do not know the interval between them. They therefore provide no help in this respect.