Here is a small excerpt from the most recent chapter of “The Matter of the Text”, a book I am working on at the moment. This comes from early in chapter 5 “Incense and Ointment: Smell and the Absent Body/Text”

As I read Luke 23:55–24:3 onscreen at the head of this chapter, there is no scent that I can detect, neither of paper nor machine. My paper NRSV bears only a faint scent. My Greek New Testament a little more. The relative absence of scent in relation to the material artefact is one aspect of the elision of the artefact in interpretation. Another absence appears in the discussion of textual variants.  The NRSV ends 24:3 with “they did not find the body”, following a minority of ancient manuscripts. A small number also have the qualifier “of Jesus” describing “the body”. A majority of ancient manuscripts have “the body of the Lord Jesus”. Behind the discussion of the textual variant are ancient material artefacts, one might expect with their own scents conveying something of their materiality, from P75 (Papyrus Bodmer XIV and XV), dated to the early third century CE through the major codices, Sinaiticus, Alexandrinus, and Vaticanus, to much later uncials, such as 0124, which each include the phrase tou kuriou Theou. These artefacts, physically absent from the textual apparatus making reference to them, attest to a strange moment in these Lukan writings concerning the absence of the body. The women come expecting to find a dead body, but do not. By describing this body as “the body of the Lord Jesus”, the writings anticipate the appearance of the risen body. There is no “odor of the resurrection” in these accounts, except in the aromatic spices that remain closed in their flasks (as the icon Myrrh Bearers suggests) in the hands of the women who have no body to anoint.