Chapter I


first duty of the student who is seeking the true text of the New Testament is obviously to collect and examine the witnesses to that text. Whatever professes to be the Greek New Testament is a witness to its text. Thus we observe that copies of the Greek Testament are our primary witnesses to its text. The first duty of the textual critic is, therefore, to collect the copies of the Greek Testament, and, comparing them together, cull from them all their various readings. He will not only acquire in this way knowledge of the variations that actually exist, but also bring together, by noting the copies that support each reading, the testimony for each, and put himself in a position to arrive at an intelligent conclusion as to the best attested text. It is obvious that no external circumstances, such as the form of the volume in which it is preserved, or the mechanical process by which it is made, whether by printing or by hand-copying, will affect the witness-bearing of a copy to the text it professes to represent. Printed copies of the Greek Testament are per se as valid witnesses to its text as manuscripts; and had we no manuscripts we should not despair of attaining a

good text from printed copies alone. Nevertheless, the universal consent by which printed copies are set aside and manuscripts alone used as witnesses rests on sound reason. The first printed Greek Testament was completed in 1514, and hence all printed copies are comparatively late copies, and therefore presumptively inferior as witnesses of the original text to the manuscript copies, almost all of which are older than the sixteenth century. Still more to the point: all printed copies have been made from the manuscript copies, and therefore, in the presence of the manuscripts themselves, are mere repeaters of their witness, and of no value at all as additional testimony to the original text. Wherever the printed copies agree with the manuscripts, they have been taken from them, and add nothing to their testimony—they are collusive witnesses; wherever they present readings that are found in no manuscript, this is due either to accidental error, and is therefore of no value as testimony, or to editorial emendation, and represents, therefore, not testimony to what the original New Testament contained, but opinion as to what it must have contained. In no case, therefore, are printed copies available as witnesses, and the manuscript copies alone are treated as such.

Alongside of the manuscripts as the primary witnesses to the New Testament text may be placed, as secondary witnesses, translations of the Greek Testament into other languages. Although a version does not reproduce the text, but only the sense which that text conveys, yet, so far as it is an accurate rendering, we can reason back from the sense conveyed to the text that conveys it. No doubt we could not reproduce the text of the New Testament from versions alone, even though we could gain from them the entire sense of the volume. No doubt, too, the ability of a version to witness on special points will depend on the genius of the language into which the Greek has been transmuted. For example, the Latin can seldom testify to the presence or absence of the article. But in conjunction with Greek manuscripts, and when regard is paid to the limitations of the various tongues in which they exist, the testimony of versions may reach even primary importance in the case of all variations that affect the sense. Especially in questions of insertion or omission of sections, clauses, or words, they may give no more uncertain voice than Greek manuscripts themselves.

For use as a witness to the text of the Greek Testament it is absolutely necessary that a version should have been made immediately from the Greek and not from some other version. In the latter case it is a direct witness only to the text of the version from which it was made, and only in case of the loss of that version can it be used as a mediate witness to the Greek text. Furthermore, it is desirable that a version shall have been made sufficiently early for its witness to be borne to the Greek text of a time from which few monuments of it have come down to us. Ordinarily a version is made from the Greek manuscripts in current use at the time, and if this time be so late that we have the manuscripts themselves, the version runs too great risk of delivering simply collusive testimony (like printed copies) to be of much use in criticism. The English version, for example, although taken immediately fiom the Greek by Tyndale in 1525, and repeatedly revised by the Greek since, is of inappreciable value as a witness to the Greek text, on account of the lateness of its origin. The use to which a version may be put in textual criticism depends still further on the exactness with which it renders the Greek; a slavishness of literal rendering which would greatly lessen its usefulness as a version would give it only additional value as a witness to the Greek text. For example, the Harclean Syriac version, which must have been a trial to the flesh of every Syrian reader who tried to make use of it, reveals its underlying Greek text as perhaps no other ancient version is able to do. Under such safeguards as these, the ancient, immediate versions of the Greek Testament may be ranged alongside of the manuscripts as co-witnesses to its text.

Still additional testimony can be obtained to the text of special passages of the Greek Testament by attending to the quotations made from the Greek Testament by those who have used it or written upon it. Whenever a reputable writer declares that his Greek Testament reads thus, and not thus, for as much of the text as it covers his assertion is equal in value as a witness, to a Greek manuscript of his day. And the ordinary quotations from the Greek Testament by early writers are, so far as they are accurately made, of real worth as testimony to the texts current in their time. As in the case of versions, patristic evidence will vary in value—with the age of the father who makes the quotation, with the accuracy with which he ordinarily quotes, and even with the character of the work in which the quotation occurs. For example, a citation in a polemic treatise, bent mayhap to fit the need, will be primd facie less to be depended on, in the minutiae of the wording, than a lengthy quotation in a commentary copied out for the express purpose of explaining its very words. So far, however, as this patristic evidence is available at all, and can be depended on, it is direct evidence as distinguished from the indirect character of the evidence of translations, and cannot be neglected without serious loss.

The collection of the evidence for the text of the New Testament includes, thus, the gathering together of all the manuscripts of the Greek Testament, of all the ancient, immediate translations made from it, and of all citations taken from it by early writers; the comparing of all these together and noting of their divergences or "various readings "; and the attaching to each "various reading" the list of witnesses that support it. The labour required for such a task depends, of course, on the wealth of witnessing documents that exist and need examining, or "collating," as it is technically called. If, for instance, we were dealing with the first six books of the "Annals" of Tacitus, the task would be an easy one; there would be but a single manuscript to examine, no version, and before the fifteenth century but a single quotation. In the New Testament, on the other hand, the number of known manuscripts cannot fall below two thousand; at least a dozen early versions must be taken account of and the whole mass of patristic literature must be searched for quotations. In the "Annals" of Tacitus, again, as we have but a single manuscript and nothing to collate with it, we should have no various readings at all, while in the New Testament we must needs face, before the work of collation is more than half completed, nob less than two hundred thousand; whence it is easy to see, we may remark in passing, that this great number of various readings is not due to greater corruption of the New Testament text than is ordinarily found in ancient writings, but to the immensely greater number of witnessing documents that has come down to us for it, over and above what has reached us for any other ancient work whatever. It is also immediately apparent, however, that no one man and no one generation could hope to bring to completion the task of collecting the various readings of the New Testament with the full evidence for each. As a matter of fact, this work has been performing now, by a succession of diligent and self-denying scholars, since the undertaking of Walton's Polyglot in 1657. Already in Mill's day (1707) as many as 30,000 various readings had been collected; and from Bentley and Wetstein to Tischendorf, Tregelles, and Scrivener, the work has been prosecuted without intermission, until it has now reached relative completeness, and the time is ripe for the estimation of the great mass of evidence that has been gathered. It must not be inferred from this that all the known manuscripts of the New Testament have even yet been collated; only a small minority of the whole number have been accurately examined, much less entirely collated, and every year additions are made to the mass of facts already known. But now, at length, enough have been collated to give us knowledge of the general character of the whole, and to place the testimony of all the oldest and most valuable in detail before our eyes. The scholar of to-day, while beckoned on by the example of the great collators of the past to continue the work of gathering material as strength and opportunity may allow, yet enters into a great inheritance of work already done, and is able to undertake the work of textual criticism itself as distinguished from the collecting of material for that work.

The results of the collations that were made before the publication of those great works have been collected and spread orderly before the eye of the student in the critical editions of the Greek New Testament edited by Dr. Tregelles and Dr. Tischendorf. With the "digests of readings " given in these works the beginner may well content himself. He will discover later that such digests have not been framed and printed without some petty errors of detail creeping in, and will learn to correct these and add the results of more recent collations. But he will understand more and more fully every year that he prosecutes his studies, what monuments of diligence and painstaking care these digests are, and how indispensable they are for all future work. Every student who purposes to devote any considerable time to the study of this branch of sacred learning should procure at the outset either Dr. Tregelles' The Greek New Testament, edited from Ancient Authorities, with the Various Readings in full, etc. (London, 1857—1879, in 4to parts); or else, and preferably, Dr. Tischendorf'a Novum Testamentum Greece ad antiquissimos tesles denuo recensuit, etc. Editio octava critica maior (Leipzig, 1869—1872, 2 vola. 8vo). A "minor" edition of Tischendorf, described as "edilio critica minor ex viii. maiore desumpta" (Leipzig, 1877, 1 vol. thick 12mo), contains an excellent compressed digest, and will suffice for the needs of those who can ill afford the large edition, or who can put but little time on the study of this subject. One or another of these.three editions is, however, little less than a necessary prerequisite for the profitable study of textual criticism.

The compression with which the evidence for the various readings is given in the digests makes the notes of a critical edition appear little less than insoluble enigmas to the uninitiated eye, and renders it necessary to give the beginner some hints as to their use. Let us take a sample note at random. We open Tischendorf's eighth edition at Mark i. 11, and find his text to run: Ko.l tfxavrj Ik rS>v ovpavtav' crti el 6 vcos fto-u 6 dyamjTos, ev crol eiSo/ojera. On this the notes stand aa follows :—

"11 (frunrij cum N*D ff2' mt . . . 9 Ln Ti add eyevero cum NCABLP unc11 al fere omn if1 (sed b de txelo facia est) vg cop syrutr al; item a venit vox, f vox venit; 28. 2Pe g1' rjKovcrOrj post ovp. (:: Mt

Ko.i iSou (fxa. e. T. ovp. \eyovcra, Lc Kcu tfitavrjv ef ovp. yeveo-Oai) \ ev iroi (Gb.) cum NBDs1' LPA1.13. 22. 33. 69 al plus25 a c ff»- (et. ff1 utTld) g2- 1 vg

copschw Syrsch etp text armio jg^ go ... 5- o' a> cum

Am unc8 al pi b d (in quern complacui) g1- (f qui mihi bene complacuisti) :: ita Mt, ev croi et.

Lc; cf et. evg. Ebion. ad Mt 3, 17 | ewSoKijo-a

cum NABD*KLMUII al pi . . . D2EF1TVTA

al pm ijuSoK."

We observe first that the language of the notes is Latin, but that every word is abbreviated which can be abbreviated, and the compression goes so far as to omit even the point which usually stands at the end of a contracted word. We note next that a vertical line, thus |, divides between notes on different words; so that there are three separate notes on verse 11,—one on $u>vij, one on lv croi, and one on evSoKijcra. A series of points, thus . . ., marks the transition from the evidence for one reading to that for a rival reading. Next we note that the testimony is cited by means of symbols, either letters or numerals, representing the witnessing documents, the full names of which would extend the note to unmanageable proportions, as well as present so poor a mark for the eye as to double the labour of using the digest. The abbreviations of Latin words as well as all symbols peculiar to this book are explained in a preliminary list prefixed to the volume. With this much of explanation we may manage to read the cypher before us thus:—

"ifxavrj [i.e. without any verb, as the latter half of the note tells us, is read in the text above, in accordance] with [the testimony of the following witnesses, to wit—]." Then follow the symbols of the witnessing documents, two of which in this case (those represented by the two capital letters, N*D) are Greek manuscripts; and the other two each a MS. of a Latin version. The break made by the row of points indicates the passage over to the other side of the evidence, where we read: "9 [a conventional symbol, indicating here the editions of the New Testament published by Eobert Stephens in 1550 and the Elzevirs in 1624, together with those of Griesbach (1827) and Scholz (1830)], Ln. [i.e. Lachmann's edition, 1842], Ti. [i.e. Tischendorf's earlier edition, 1859, called his seventh] add eyevcro [so that they read (fxair)j iyivero] with [the following witnesses, to wit—]". Then again follows the enumeration of the witnesses by symbols. In this case five Greek manuscripts are named, under the symbols, N*, A, B, L, P, with the additional information that "eleven other uncials [i.e. Greek MSS. written throughout in large letters] and nearly all other" Greek MSS. join in this testimony. With the symbol "itpl" the enumeration of the versions commences, this symbol representing the " Itala," or Old Latin version, while the t1 tells us that the statement here made holds good of most (plerisque) of its MSS. in opposition to the one cited (under the symbol ft'2-) on the other side. The divergent reading of the Old Latin MS., b, is then particularly stated in parentheses, and the enumeration proceeds with the citation of the Vulgate Latin version (vg.), the Coptic version (cop.), both Syriac versions (syr"*) and the intimation that other versions yet (al = aliis) might be added. Next, after a semicolon, more particular quotation is given of peculiar readings which yet appear to make for the insertion of eyevero, viz., " Likewise [the Old Latin MS.] a [reads] venit vox, [the Old Latin MS.] f, vox venit." After another semicolon other peculiar readings are given, thus: "[Two Greek MSS. written in small letters and cited as] 28. 2**, [and one Old Latin MS. cited as] g1 [read] rjKovcrOrj after oup[avii>v]." Finally, in parentheses, the parallel passages from Matthew and Luke are given as briefly as possible, and we find ourselves against the perpendicular line which tells us that we are at the end of this note.

The next note concerns the reading iv croi, and tellf us:—" ev croi ([commended also by] Griesbach), [is read above in accordance] with [the testimony of the following uncial manuscripts of the Greek Testament, viz., those cited by the symbols] N,B,Dfr,L,P,A, [and the following, written in small letters, viz., those cited by the symbols] 1, 13, 22, 33, 69, and more than 25 others, [as well as of the following MSS. of the Old Latin version, viz., those cited as] a, c, S2-, (also [et. = etiarn], apparently ff-,) g2,1, the Vulgate Latin version, the Coptic version according to Schwartze's edition, the Syriac version according to Schaaf's edition [of the Peshitto], the text of the Syrian version according to White's edition [of the Harclean], the Armenian version according to Zohrab's edition, the Ethiopic version, and the Gothic version." At this place we reach the points, and pass over to the reading and evidence on the contrary part:—"Stephens, 1550, Elzevir, 1624, Scholz and Griesbach's text [all this is included in the sign 9] [read] ev ia with A,r,II, and eight other uncial and most other Greek MSS., [as well as with the Old Latin MSS. cited as] b, d ([which latter reads] in quern complacui), g1 (f [reads] qui mihi bene complacuisti)." The information is then added that the parallel in Matthew reads ev io, while in Luke ev croi is read, to which is added: "Compare also the Ebionite Gospel [as quoted in the note] at Matt. iii. 17," where, sure enough, we find a long quotation from this apocryphal book, taken from Epiphanius.

The third note is briefer, and only tells us: "evSoKrjo-a [is read above] with [the uncial MSS.] N, A, B, D*, K, L, M, U, II, and most others, while [the uncial MSS.] D2, E, F, H, V, T, A, and very many others [read] ijtSoKijo-a." The difference, it will be observed, turns on the presence or absence of the augment.

The reader has probably not waded through this explanation of these notes without learning something more than the mere knack of unravelling their contractions and extending their implications. He has learned, doubtless, that there are two classes of Greek manuscripts, the one written in large letters and cited by capital letters as symbols, and the other written in small letters and cited by numerals as symbols. Above all else, however, he is likely to have learned that digests of readings are useless to those who knownothing about the things digested. He has not read even these few notes without feeling that he must know something about these manuscripts and versions and fathers (for it is a mere chance that no father is quoted on Mark i. 11), if he is to deal with their testimony. We may assume, therefore, that he is the better prepared by a sight of the digest to go with us in our next step, and learn something about our three classes of witnesses.

1. Greek Manuscripts Of The New Testament.

The most astonishing thing about the manuscripts of the New Testament is their great number: as has already been intimated, quite two thousand of them have been catalogued upon the lists,—a number altogether out of proportion to what antiquity has preserved for other ancient books. The oldest of them was written about the middle of the fourth century; the youngest after the New Testament had been put into print. The products of so many ages, they differ among themselves in numerous particulars: the material on which they are written, the character in which they are written, the divisions that have been introduced into the text or indicated on the margin, the punctuation they have received, and the like. The oldest cop}' that has survived to our day, it will be observed, was made quite two centuries or two centuries and a half after the latest book of the New Testament was given to the world. There can arise no question among them, therefore, as to the autographs of the sacred books. However we may account for it, the autographs disappeared very early; perhaps the brittleness of the papyrus (2 John 12) on which they were written and the constant use to which they were put, combined with the evil fortunes of a persecuted Church and a piety which knew nothing of the sacredness of relics, to destroy them very rapidly. At any rate, except in a rhetorical burst of a Tertullian, we hear nothing of them in the primitive Church, and an Irenseus and an Origen were, like us of to-day, forced to depend solely on the oldest and most accurate copies.

In attempting to classify this vast mass of material, the first and sharpest line that is drawn concerns itself with the contents of the manuscripts, and separates those which give a continuous text—of whatever extent—from those that contain only the Church lessons drawn from the New Testament. The latter are called "Lectionaries," and number several hundreds, dating from the eighth to the sixteenth and even seventeenth centuries; they form a subordinate class of manuscripts, which will engage our attention at a later point. The continuous manuscripts are much more numerous, but differ greatly among themselves in the extent of their contents. Only a few contain the whole New Testament, and some are small fragments that preserve only a few verses or even words. Most of them, doubtless, never contained the entire New Testament, but were, when complete, manuscripts of one or more of the portions into which the bulkiness of a written copy and the costliness of hand-made volumes caused the New Testament to be divided in early times. This circumstance leads to the apportioning of our extant manuscripts into classes, according to the parts of the New Testament that they contain; and following the indications of the early custom, the New Testament is divided, for critical purposes, into four sections—viz. (1) the Gospels, (2) the Acts and the Catholic Epistles, (3) the Epistles of Paul, and (4) the Apocalypse. The manuscripts for each of these sections are counted separately, and symbols assigned to them independently. It hence happens that when a manuscript contains more than one section it may be represented by different symbols in its several parts, while conversely the same symbol may represent different manuscripts in the several sections. Thus, for example, D in the Gospels is Codex Bezee, while D in Paul is Codex Claromontanus, a related but entirely different manuscript; B in the Gospels is the Great Codex Vaticanus, the oldest and most valuable of our manuscripts, while B Ln the Apocalypse is the late and inferior Codex Vaticanus 2066; on the other hand, A of the Gospels is the same codex as G in Paul; and 13 of the Acts is the same with 33 of the Gospels and 17 of Paul; and 69 of the Gospels is the same as 31 of Acts, 37 of Paul, and 14 of the Apocalypse. On the other hand, N, A, and C represent the same codices throughout the four parts, and 1, 3, 5, 6, etc., are the same codices in the Gospels, Acts and Paul. The list for each of the four parts is redacted, in a word, in entire independence of the others, and must be treated independently. The conveniences that arise from this arrangement are manifold; while very small inconvenience results, except when we wish to speak of a manuscript in a context that gives no hint of the portion of the New Testament to which it belongs. Usually it is easy to use its name in such cases; when this is inconvenient, a kind of shorthand method of distinguishing it has been suggested, which consists in placing a small numeral at the bottom (not at the top, liks an exponent,—this means something very different) of the symbol, designating it as the second, third, or fourth manuscript of that symbol in the lists, the parts being counted, of course, from the Gospels on. Thus, D without numeral means Codex Bezse, which contains the Gospels and Acts; and D.2 Codex Claromontanus, which contains the Epistles of Paul. In like manner E means Codex Basiliensis of the Gospels, while E2 means Codex Laudianus 35 of the Acts, and Ej Codex Sangermanensis of Paul. Or again, B is the Great Codex Vaticanus, and includes the Gospels, Acts, and Paul, while B2 is Codex Vaticanus 2066, and contains the Apocalypse. Another method of somewhat more clumsily securing the same result is to place at the top of the symbol an abbreviated indication of the portion of the New Testament in which the manuscript bears this symbol, thus: BaPoc.) pew. act, D paui, and the ljjjg No such distinguish

ing marks are needed in citing the manuscripts in the direct business of textual criticism, for which purpose their classification and symbolising were invented: the passage that is under discussion determines the section, and the bare symbol is sufficient to identify each manuscript.

Another sharp division line that separates the manuscripts into great and well-marked classes concerns itself with the character or handwriting in which they are written. By this division the manuscripts are parted into two very unequal bodies, called respectively "Uncial MSS." and "Minuscule (or, more improperly and conf usingly, 'Cursive ') MSS." The former includes all those manuscripts, less than a hundred in number, which are written throughout in that kind of half-capital character which is technically known as uncial; they are designated in the lists and cited in the digests by the capital letters of the Latin, Greek, and Hebrew alphabets as symbols: A, B, C, D, etc., T, A, E, H, 5, etc., N. The latter class includes all other manuscripts, about two thousand in number, all of which are written in a character that more closely resembles the small letters of our ordinarily printed Greek and hence is appropriately called minuscule (or more improperly, cursive); they are designated in the lists and cited in the digests chiefly by Arabic numerals as symbols: 1, 2, 3, 4, 527, etc. The importance of this classification resides not so much in its great formal convenience as in the fact that it separates the manuscripts according to their age. No known uncial MS. of the continuous text was written later than the tenth century, and no known minuscule (cursive) was written earlier than the ninth; so that the tenth century forms a sharp division line between the two classes. The introduction of the minuscule hand in the ninth century is not only proved by the earliest dated books existing in that hand—viz., Codex 481 of the Gospels, dated 7th May, 835, the Bodleian Euclid, dated 888, and the Bodleian Plato, dated 895—but is oddly illustrated by Codex A of the G-ospels, which comes to us from the ninth century, and is written partly in uncials and partly in minuscules. Nevertheless, few specimens of the minuscule hand of the ninth century exist among manuscripts of the Greek Testament. In the tenth century they become numerous, and in the eleventh they have entirely displaced uncial codices for the continuous text; though the conservatism of ecclesiastical institutions is illustrated by the continuance of the uncial hand in use for the lectionaries through the eleventh century, of which age even important dated copies exist. By this classification there are thus set apart from one another the few, old, uncial copies, and the many, late, minuscule copies, and a separate set of symbols assigned to each. Even in the brief digests we may see these two bodies of codices marshalled in separate regiments, as it were, and are enabled to estimate them accordingly at a glance.

The chronological effect of classifying codices by the handwriting employed in them is due to the fact that handwriting, like language and all else human, is subject to gradual change and undergoes historical development, so that its stages of growth mark progressive epochs. In the development of the Greek book-hand three strongly marked stages are to be distinguished,—the stages of Capitals, Uncials, and Minuscules. But contemporary with these book-hands there was also in use, running in parallel development, a current or cursive hand for the more familiar and rapidly written documents of business or private life. And it was this cursive hand that became the real parent of each new book-hand, so that from the cursive capitals grew up the uncial book-hand, and from the cursive uncials the minuscule book-hand. The development waa . always, thus, the resultant of the co-working of two forces, one pushing towards ease in writing, the other towards ease in reading,—the one securing fluency, the other legibility. Next after these, the most powerful force that affected the development of

writing seems to have been change in the material on which the writing was wrought. The lapidary capitals, the angular shapes of which were peculiarly suitable to the art of stone-cutting, became graceful, light, curved uncials when written with a pointed reed on the friable substance of the papyrus-paper, which constituted the usual material of books in the centuries immediately preceding and following the commencement of our era. These semi-cursive, rapid and light lines were no sooner transferred to the hard, smooth surface of vellum than they acquired the firmness and regularity which makes the bookhand of our earliest vellum manuscripts (about the fourth century A.d.) the most beautiful known; although it began to degenerate almost as soon as formed, under the temptation which the smooth surface offered to broaden and coarsen the strokes. Once more, so soon as the uncial cursive of common life was transferred from the papyrus of business writings to the vellum of books, it acquired firmness and regularity, and became the beautiful minuscule of the ninth and tenth centuries,—only, however, to enter in its turn on a long course of gradual change and debasement. No Greek writing has come down to us in capitals ; they are confined in extant books to titles, superscriptions, and the like. The earliest extant remains of Greek literature and of Greek private writing alike (second century B.c.) present us with truly uncial writing, but with an uncial which is as yet so largely cursive as to hint of a recent origin. The uncials reach their highest beauty, so far as our monuments allow us to trace them, about the fourth century A.d.; and the gradual changes which they undergo, the coarsening that came in in the sixth century, the oblong and oval shapes that were introduced together with a sloping writing in the seventh century, and the like, are among the most trustworthy guides of the palseographer in determining the age of a manuscript. In like manner the growth of the minuscule hand is traceable through four marked and many less striking changes that furnish landmarks to the student. The details must be left to works on palseography; and it will suffice for us to have indicated them thus briefly, while we insist only on the broad distinction between the uncials and minuscules as great classes,—the former embracing, in general, the Biblical manuscripts written from the fourth to the tenth century, and the latter those written from the tenth century until the printing-press put a stop to hand-copying altogether.

As has been already hinted, the very material on which a manuscript is written may become of importance as a criterion of its age. It is perhaps certain that the New Testament autographs were written on the paper made from the Egyptian papyrus (cf. 2 John 12), which appears to have been the ordinary literary vehicle of the time. This paper could be manufactured in small sheets only, which were glued together at the side edges into long ribbons, thus forming rolls, and then written upon with a reed pen in short columns running across the roll, a column to each of the original sheets. To "open " such a book was simply to roll up the long ribbon at one end, simultaneously allowing it to unroll at the other; thus a long succession of short, narrow columns, corresponding to our pages, would pass before the eye of the reader in a not inconvenient arrangement. This papyrus-book seems to have been in use pretty universally during the first ages of the Christian era, and papyrus continued to be used by Greek scribes as a writing material as late as the ninth century. No very early papyrus manuscripts of the New Testament have come down to us; some meagre fragments of the fifth century containing a few words from 1 Corinthians (cited as Q), and a seventh (?) century fragment of Luke's Gospel, possibly from a lectionary, brought to light by Wessely in 1882, are about all that we have as yet knowledge of, although it is understood that there are more among the Fayum papyri at Vienna. The columnar arrangement of our oldest New Testament manuscripts on vellum appears to be a reminiscence of the appearance of an open papyrus roll and a witness to a desire to retain on vellum the familiar appearance of a many-columned sheet of papyrus. Codex N has four columns to each page, so that at every opening it offers a view of eight narrow parallel columns. Codex B has three columns to a page, and several manuscripts have two. When vellum took the place of papyrus as a literary vehicle, the stiffness of the new material, which lent itself ill to rolling, necessitated a change in the form of the book, which now became a "codex," or, in other words, assumed the form of bound leaves as in our ordinary books. Papyrus leaves are rarely found so bound, and always interleaved with vellum at intervals, to give stability to

the whole. Cotton paper made its appearance in the Western world in the eighth century; the first specimen of a New Testament manuscript written on it is a lectionary of the ninth century. It did not, however, become a serious rival of parchment until it was itself largely displaced by rag or linen paper, which was introduced in perhaps the twelfth century, and came into general use in the fourteenth, although parchment was never entirely displaced until after the invention of printing. Occasionally (e.g. Codex Leicestrensis) parchment and paper both enter into the composition of a book.

Throughout the whole history of vellum books the practice more or less prevailed of supplying parchment for new books by washing out the writing from old sheets, which were thus made available for renewed use. So destructive of literary monuments did this occasionally become that it was necessary at the end of the seventh century, for instance, to forbid the destruction of perfect manuscripts of the Scriptures or the Fathers by a synodal decree. The passage of time brings out again, perhaps by a chemical action of the atmosphere, though often very faintly, the lines of the older writing in such twicewritten codices—unless, indeed, the erasure was performed by some such perfect method as rubbing down the softened surface of the vellum itself with pumicestone. Such codices are called "codices rescripti," or "palimpsests," and some of our most valuable texts, classical and Biblical alike, are of this kind. For example, the precious Codex Ephraemi at Paris, so called because the top (later) writing contains the works of Ephrem the Syrian, is a palimpsest of a fifth-century New Testament (cited as C). So also Codex Z at Dublin consists of some very valuable sixth-century fragments of Matthew peeping out from beneath some patristic writings. Ib- E, E, Wb-e- *' are other New Testament examples. The deciphering of such erased writing is a difficult and painful task, even with the assistance of chemical mixtures for bringing out the faint lines.

The difficulty of consulting a manuscript New Testament in the earliest ages was largely increased by the total lack of all those aids to the eye which later editing has gradually invented, and introduced into or attached to the text. The earliest manuscripts, and no doubt the autographs, were written even without divisions between the words. The unbroken succession of letters ran from the beginning to the end of each line, and the division of these letters into words, clauses, sentences, and paragraphs, was left to the good sense of each individual reader. Each book of the New Testament, by this arrangement, stood as a single word, and, at each opening of the papyrus roll or vellum codex, a series of solid columns alone confronted the eye. The difficulty which an untrained eye would find in reading such a text must not be taken as a standard for the readers of that day, but it is obvious that reading was a severer task under such circumstances than it is now. Let the student exercise himself in dividing into its words and clauses the following passage, the line divisions of which are those of Codex Vaticanus (B):



We have no means of discovering when editorial care began to be expended in inventing helps to easy reading and introducing them into these unbroken columns. No existing manuscript is wholly without such helps, although the oldest have them rarely and fitfully. Even our oldest manuscript, Codex Vaticanus (B), which comes to us from the early fourth century, occasionally marks a break in the sense by a point at the height of the top of the letter or by a little blank space, and begins a new paragraph now and then by allowing the first letter of the line to project a little beyond the edge of the column. But it has no capital letters, no divisions between the words, no further punctuation, no breathings, no accents. Our next oldest manuscript, Codex Sinaiticus (N), which also is as old as the fourth century, allows the letter that begins the new paragraph to stand entirely outside the column, and, like B, has a single point irregularly for punctuation; but it, too, lacks all breathings, accents, further punctuation, and divisions between words. In Codex Alexandrinus (A), of the fifth century, capitals (that is, larger letters than those in the text) occur in the margin at the beginning of paragraphs. In Codex Claromontanus (D2), of the sixth century, although the text is continuous, the words are divided in the inscriptions and subscriptions of the several books. Breathings and accents do not occur until later; the latter probably not until the eighth century. Thus gradually the text took upon itself more and more of the helps to easy reading which are now in universal use, until the later minuscules were furnished almost as fully as modern printed copies.

The most interesting attempt of early times to provide a handy edition of the New Testament, account of which has come down to us, was that made by Euthalius, a deacon of Alexandria, who published an edition of the Epistles of Paul in A.d. 458, and, shortly afterwards, a similar edition of the Acts and Catholic Epistles. His editions furnished a complete system of prologues, prefaces, lists of quotations sacred and profane found in the books, and catalogues of chapters and ecclesiastical lections. In addition to this, the lections and chapters were marked in the margin of the text itself, where also every fiftieth line (or o-rt^os) was indicated by its appropriate numeral. Whether he also broke up the text into short lines of varied length designed to aid in public reading—each line (called "colon" or "comma ") forming a sense-clause —is more doubtful, but appears possible. At all events, it is important that we do not confuse the orixot, which Euthalius certainly accurately counted and numbered, with the cola or commata with which he may also have busied himself. Just as the "em" of a modern printing office is a fixed affair and the unit of measurement for the work done by the compositor, so in ancient times the Oti^os was a line of set length, according to the number of which included in any writing, in whatever line-lengths it was actually written, the length of the book was estimated and the pay of the scribe calculated. The actual length of the standard Greek {rri^os appears to have been that of the average hexameter line; and it is apparent at once that accurately to estimate these and mark every fiftieth one on the margin of New Testament MSS. presented a means of referring to each passage which would be independent of the form of the particular manuscript. The name o-rt^os was often applied also to the comma or colon, which differed from the O-ti^os, technically so called, not only in having to do with the sense, but also in being of varied length. It was to the writings of the orators and other books much used in public reading that the colon-writing was first applied. Thence it was taken over into the poetical books of the Old Testament, and Jerome proposed to introduce it into the prophets. Whether Euthalius introduced it into the New Testament or adopted it into his edition of the New Testament books or not, it first appears in extant New Testament codices not long after his time. The great examples of it are Codex Bezse (D) of the Gospels and Acts, and its companion, Codex Claromontanus (D2) of the Pauline Epistles, as well as H3 of Paul. As these clause-lines varied much in length, the writing in such manuscripts is far from compact, and much vellum is wasted; hence, sometimes these "crTi'xoi" are divided from one another by a point, and the manuscript written solidly. Such a manuscript is K of the Gospels.

Euthalius is not to be accounted the inventor of ths lessons or the chapters which he marked in his editions. He nowhere claims to be their author, and he records two separate schemes of chapter-division in the Acts. When the New Testament was first divided into chapters we have no data for determining. Clement of Alexandria already speaks of pericopes, Tertullian of capitula, and Dionysius of Alexandria of K€(f>d\ai.a. Our oldest manuscripts already bear them on their margins, and have inherited them from a past older than themselves. For example, the chapters in Codex Vaticanus (B) for Paul's Epistles are numbered consecutively throughout the book, and although Hebrews stands immediately after 2 Thessalonians in the Codex, the numerals attached to the chapters prove that they were adopted from a manuscript in which Hebrews stood next after Galatians. Again, this same Codex (B) presents two separate systems of chapters for Paul and tho Acts and Catholic Epistles alike, which could scarcely be unless both had been older than it. The most important of the chapter-divisions in the Gospels is that which apparently became the commonly accepted one (found in A, C, N, R, Z, etc.), and which is called the TtVAot from the circumstance that the "titles" of these chapters are gathered into tables at the beginning of each Gospel or written at the top or foot of each page. To these riVAot correspond in Acts and the Epistles the Kei£a\aia of Euthalius. A still more interesting division in the Gospels is that which goes under the name of the Eusebian (or Ammonian) sections and Eusebian canons, the object of which appears to have been harmonistic. Each Gospel was divided into shorter or longer numbered sections: 355 in Matthew, 233 in Mark, 342 in Luke, and 232 in John. Then ten tables or lists were formed called "canons," the first of which contained all the passages common to all four Gospels; the second, third and fourth those common to any given three; the fifth to the ninth inclusive those common to any two, and the tenth those peculiar to one. By attaching to the number of each section in the margin of the text the number of the list or " canon" to which it belonged, a very complete harmonistic system, or at least system of reference to parallel passages, resulted. Thus,

opposite John xv. 20 was written _ or „ —

1 o

whence we learn that this is the 139th section of John, and belongs to the third canon; on turning to the canons, the third is found to contain passages common to John, Matthew, and Luke, and in it, opposite John 139 we find Matthew 90 and Luke 58. It is easy to turn to these sections in the text and read the parallel passages to John 139. Codex A of the fifth century is the oldest codex that preserves this system complete. 0, D, and many others, have the sections, but not the canons. Sometimes the harmonistic information is entered on the margin of each page. No codex which has any part of this system at first hand can be older than Eusebius.

The early history of the lections drawn from the Greek Testament is very obscure. At an early period, however, it became the custom to mark the beginning and end of each in the margin of continuous copies of the Greek Testament, -which were thus redacted for use in public service. This was one of the excellences of Euthalius' editions. The earliest MS. which possesses a table of the lessons prefixed to the text is probably Codex Cyprius (K), of the ninth century; and the arrangement of such tables for Acts and the Epistles is apparently claimed to himself by Euthalius. Many Greek MSS. after the eighth and

ninth centuries mark the beginning of the lections '

with the word dpxv or * <>r iV, and the end with

the word Te'\os or , or re inserted into the text,

but written in coloured, commonly vermilion ink. It became the custom also to insert in the margin rubrics dire«ting the substitution of words for the text as it stood, in the public reading. For example, in Luke x. 24 we read, "And behold a certain lawyer arose," but the margin directs us to read, "A certain lawyer came to Jesus, tempting him and saying: Master," etc. So at Luke x. 22 we are directed to read, "And turning to His disciples, He said." Naturally enough, from these MSS. many erroneous readings crept out of the margin into the text itself. Codex 7 of the Gospels presents a very perfect specimen of a manuscript redacted for liturgical use.

A glance like this over the origin of the various divisions that have been introduced into the New Testament text can scarcely fail to impress the student with the unauthoritative character of them all. Least of all can the ordinary divisions of our modern Bibles into chapters and verses be permitted to affect our free treatment of the text. No one of the ancient divisions found in the manuscripts passed over into modern Bibles. Our chapters were invented apparently by Stephen Langton (»}• 1228), and were first applied to the Latin Vulgate, only thence finding their way gradually into the printed Greek Testament. Our verses were made by Robert Stephen "inter equitandum," on a journey from Paris to Geneva, and were first introduced into the Greek Testament published by him in 1551. The inspired text consists of the simple succession of letters, and must be separated into words and sections and paragraphs by each scholar for himself.

No attempt was made to give to the earlier MSS. any further beauty than that which resulted from the use of the best materials and the exquisitely neat and regular writing. The vellum of Codex Sinaiticus (n) is made from the finest antelope skin, and that of B, A, D£, N is not unworthy of comparison with it; while the regularity and beauty of the hand in which these manuscripts are written challenge the admiration of all beholders. Ornamental capitals and colophons were, however, soon introduced, and red ink was used for variety in them as well as in various rubrics and the like. The most sumptuous of the early manuscripts are the "purple manuscripts," the vellum of which is dyed purple or crimson and the text written upon it in silver and gold. Jerome scoffed at such "editions de luxe," as possessing more external splendour than inner excellence. Several of the most valuable codices of the Old Latin version (as, e.g., those cited as b, f, e, i), as well as tha famous Codex Argenteus of the Gothic version, belong to this class. The purple MSS. of the Greek Testament come mainly from the sixth century: such are N, S, *. Of these S (Codex Rossanensis) is especially noteworthy, inasmuch as it is adorned also with a collection of miniatures, and is the earliest New Testament manuscript so ornamented, and shares this honour with only one other Biblical manuscript, a purple codex of Genesis at Vienna. The art of dyeing MSS. was revived under Charlemagne and his successors, giving us a series of minuscule purples of the ninth and tenth centuries, such as the St. Petersburg codex, lately published by. Belsheim, and the second purple codex discovered at Berat by the Abbe Batiffol.

With these preliminaries, we may proceed next to catalogue the Uncial Manuscripts that have come down to us. There have, at the present writing, been placed on the lists some eighty-nine of them all told, which are cited by the following symbols:—

NAB BApoc C DEVT-Act- Dpaul E EAct- Epaul F Fpau-
F"- G GAot [Gp^ = A] Gb- H HAct- IP""1

Jl. jb J£ J£Cath. Paul ^ LAot~ Cath- 1>aul

M MP11U1 N N1- Npaul O Oa'b-c'd e'te' Opaul

Qb. Paul p pAct. Cath. Paul. Ajiuc. Q QPaul R RPaul g f rpb.c.d.c.f. fpwoi "JJ Y' \ya.b.c.d.c.f.g.h. X Y Z

r A [=Gpaul] ®».b-o-d-ofe-h- AhIIs * = 89

separate copies.

Ob2 P2 Q2 ^2 = 2°. to which Zahn's Codex is to be added, making 21.

Uncial MSS. of the Apocalypse :—

N A B2 C P2 = 5.

They are distributed according to the centuries iu which they were written as follows :—

'Uncial MSS. of the fourth century :—

Uncial MSS. of the sixth century:—

D D2 E2 H3 I** N Na 03 O , Oc P K Tb T"-6 Z
@c.c.f.g. ^ [$ and Zaun's Codex?] = 24.

Uncial MSS. of the seventh century:—
Fa G2 I6-6- Od T* ®"'h- E2 = 9.

Uncial MSS. of the eighth century:—
B2 E L W*b Y 0* H = 8.

Uncial MSS. of the ninth century:—

E3 F F2 Gb G3 H2 K K2 L2 M M2 N.2 O O*f* T2
T1 V Wc-d."-'-*-11 X T A A H = 31.

Uncial MSS. of the tenth century:—
G H Ob S U ®" = 6.

Very many of these MSS. are the merest fragments. N alone contains the whole New Testament. B contains the whole up to the middle of Hebrews, and thence lacks part of Hebrews, the Pastoral Epistles, Philemon, and the Apocalypse. A contains all but a few chapters. C contains fragments of nearly every book. On the other hand, many manuscripts have received such marginal or other correction by the first or later hands as to give us practically manuscripts within manuscripts. These various hands are usually quoted by numerals, letters, or asterisks placed at the top of the letter symbolising the MS., though these must not be confounded with the compound symbols given in the list above (such as IL11 Ib Na O"-b-c- etc.), which represent separate fragments classed thus together under one symbol for convenience' sake. All other signs attached to the top of the symbol besides those enumerated in the lists above, represent different hands which have been correcting the manuscript designated by the symbol. Thus D* D** D***, or D* D2 D3, or D* Db Dc would be three ways (all of which are in use) of designating D as originally written (D*), and the corrections of the second (D**, D2, or Db) and third (D***, D3, or Dc) hands. If no hand has corrected the reading the manuscript is cited simply as D; where it is cited as D*, this advertises to us that a correction may be looked for elsewhere in the digest. The correctors of our oldest manuscripts, such as B, R, C, are of importance. B2 is of the fourth century; B3 of the tenth or eleventh; C2 of the sixth; and C3 of the ninth, N has been corrected by very many hands, which are cited by Tischendorf by the following system: Na is of the fourth century; Nb is of the sixth; four separate correctors of the seventh century are cited as Nc, Ncb, Nco, Scc*; N6 is of the twelfth century. How manuscripts came to be furnished with such series of successive corrections may be readily understood if we will only bear in mind the different conditions under which a manuscript came into and continued in being from those governing a printed book. Not unfrequently the fortunate owner of a copy, on obtaining access to another, would compare the two more or less accurately throughout, and enter the differences; and thus (as has happened in the case of 67 of Paul as compared with 67**) has given himself on the margin a far better text than his copy contained in itself.

It would be of interest to add here a brief technical description of each of the MSS. named by symbol above. The beginner may, however, dispense for the time with matter of this sort; and when he feels the need of it, it is better for him to seek it where it can be found in full. The best source of such information is the Prolegomena to Tischendorf's eighth edition, which have been prepared by Dr. Caspar Ren6 Gregory, and published by Hinrichs (in Latin) at Leipzig. The most comprehensive treatise of the sort in English is Dr. Scrivener's "Plain Introduction to the Criticism of the New Testament," third edition (Cambridge: Deighton, Bell, & Co., 1883), in connection with which must be used the little pamphlet, called "Notes on Scrivener's 'Plain Introduction, etc.'" chiefly from the memoranda of the late Professor Ezra Abbot, and published by Dr. Thayer (London: Ward, Lock, & Co.). It will be sufficient here to give a compressed list of the uncial manuscripts.

(1) Uncial MSS. of the Gospels.

N. Sinaiticus, nunc Petropolitanus. Sscc. IV. Contains the whole New Testament.

A. Alexandrinus Londinensis. Sasc. V. Contains the

whole New Testament, except Matthew i. 1 to xxv. 6; John vi. 50 to viii. 52; and 2 Corinthians iv. 13 to xii. 7.

B. Vaticanus Eomse. Ssec. IV. Contains the whole

New Testament, except Hebrews ix. 14 to xiii. 25; 1 and 2 Timothy, Titus, Philemon, and the Apocalypse.

C. Ephraemi Syri rescriptus Parisiensis. S:cc. V.

Contains fragments of all the books, except 2 Thessalonians and 2 John.

D. Bezse Cantabrigiensis. Ssec. VI. Contains tho

Gospels and Acts, with some small lacunas.

E. Basiliensis. Ssec. VIII. Contains the Gospels with


F. Boreeli Rheno-Traiectinus. Ssec. IX. Contains the

Gospels with lacunas.

F*. Margo Octateuchi Coisliniani Parisiensis. Ssec. VII. Contains fragments of the Gospels, Acts, and Pauline Epistles.

G. Seidelii Londinensis. Ssec. IX. or X. Contains

the Gospels with lacunse. II. Seidelii Hamburgensis. Ssec. IX..or X. Contains

the Gospels with lacunse., Petropolitani rescripti. Sfec. V., V., VI., VI.

Contain fragments of the Gospels. Ib. Londinensis rescriptus. Ssec. V. Contains a fragment of John. K. Cyprius Parisiensis. Scec. IX. Contains the whole

of the Gospels. L. Regius Parisiensis. Ssec. VIII. Contains the

Gospels with lacunse. M. Campianus Parisiensis. Ssec. IX. Contains the

whole of the Gospels. N. Purpureus. Ssec. VI. Contains fragments of the

Gospels. Na. Cairensis. Ssec. VI. Contains fragments of

. Mark. O. Moscuensis. Ssec. IX. Contains fragments of


Qa.b.c.a.c.f.g. Guelferbytanus, Bodleianus, Veronensis, Tuiicensis, Sangallensis, Moscuensis, Parisiensis. Sasc. IX., X., VI., VII., IX., IX., IX. Contain the hymns of Luke i. and ii.

P. Guelferbytanus rescriptus. Ssec. VI. Contains fragments of the Gospels.

Q. Guelferbytanus rescriptus. Ssec. V. Contains fragments of Luke and John.

R. Nitriensis, nunc Londinensis, rescriptus. Ssec. VI. Contains fragments of Luke.

S. Vaticanus Romaa. Sasc. X. Contains the Gospels.

T. Borgianus Romse. Ssec. V. Contains fragments of Luke and John.

Tb.c.d.c.t Petropolitanus, Porfirianus Chiovensis, Borgianus Romas, Cantabrigiensis, Mellsise Horneri. Ssec. VI., VI., VII., VI., IX. Contain small fragments of the Gospels.

Twot- Woidii. Sasc. V. Contains fragments of Luko and John.

U. Marcianus Venetus. Ssec. IX. or X. Contains the Gospels.

V. Moscuonsis. Sasc. IX. Contains the Gospels up to John vii. 39, with some lacunas.

^ya.b.o.d.c.f.g.h. Parisiensis, Neapolitanus Borbonicus, Sangallensis, Cantabrigiensis, Oxoniensis et Atho., Oxoniensis, Londinensis, Oxoniensis. Saac. VIII., VIII., IX., IX., IX., IX., IX., IX. Contain fragments of the Gospels.

X. Monacensis. Sbdc. IX. or X. Contains fragments of the Gospels.

Y. Barberinus Romas. Sa?c. VIII. Contains a fragment of John.

Z. Dublinensis rescriptus. Ssec. VI. Contains fragments of Matthew.

r. Tischendorfianus IV. Ssec. IX. or X. Contains the Gospels with lacunse.

A. Sangallensis. Ssec. IX. or X. Contains the Gospels, except John xix. 17—35.

®*. Tischendorfianus Lipsiensis. Ssec. VII. Contains a fragment of Matthew. Petropolitani et Porfiriani Chiovenses. Sax;. VII., VI., VII. or VIII., VI., VI., VI., IX. or X. Contain fragments of tho Gospels.

A. Tischendorfianus III. Oxoniensis. Ssec. IX. Contains Luke and John.

H. Zacynthius Londinensis. Ssec. VIII. Contains fragments of Luke.

II. Petropolitanus. Ssec. IX. Contains the Gospels with lacunse.

2. Rossanensis Purpureus. Ssec. VI. Contains Matthew and Mark, except Mark xvi. 14—20.

4>. Beratinus Purpureus. Ssec. VI (?). Contains the Gospels of Matthew and Mark with lacunse.

(2) Uncial MSS. of the Acts and Catholic Epistks.

N A B C D. See under these same symbols for the


E. Laudianus Oxonionsis. Sasc. VI. Contains Acts with lacunse.

Fd. See under the same symbol for the Gospels.

G. Petropolitanus. Ssdc. VII. Contains a fragment of Acts.

Gb. Vaticanus Romse. Ssec. IX (1). Contains fragments of Acts.

H. Mutinensis. Ssec. IX. Contains Acts with lacuna>

I2-6-6-. Petropolitani rescript!. Saac. V., VII., VII Contain fragments of Acts.

K. Mosouensis. Ssec. IX. Contains Catholic Epistles and Pauline Epistles, with lacunas in the latter.

L. Angelicus Eomse. Ssec. IX. Acts with lacunse, Catholic Epistles entire, and Paul's Epistles up to Hebrews xiii. 10.

P. Porfirianus Chiovensis. Sasc. IX. Contains Acts, Catholic Epistles, Paul's Epistles, and the Apocalypse, with lacunse.

(3) Uncial MSS. of the Epistles of Paid.

N A B C. See under the same symbols of the Gospels.

D. Claromontanus Parisiensis. Ssec. VI. Contains

the Epistles of Paul.

E. Sangermanensis, nunc Petropolitanus. Ssec. IX.

Contains Paul with lacunas.

F. Augiensis Cantabrigiensis. Ssec. IX. Contains

Paul with lacunse, except Hebrews. Fa. See under this symbol in the Gospels.

G. Bcernerianus Dresdensis. Ssec. IX. Contains

Paul with lacunas, except Hebrews. H. Parisiensis, Moscuensis, et al. Ssec. VI. Contains

fragments of Paul. I2. Petropolitanus. Ssec. V. Contains fragments of

1 Corinthians and Titus. K. See under this symbol of Acts and Catholic

Epistles. L. See under this symbol of Acts and Catholic


M. Londinensis et Hamburgensis. Ssec. IX. Contains fragments of 1 and 2 Corinthians and Hebrews.

N. Petropolitanus. Sasc. IX. Contains fragments of Galatians and Hebrews

O. Petropolitanus. Ssec. VI. Contains a fragment of 2 Corinthians.

Ob. Moscuensis. Ssec. VI. Contains a fragment of Ephesians.

J?. See under the same symbol of Acts and Catholic Epistles.

Q. Porfirianus Chiovensis Papyraceus. Ssoc. V. Contains fragments of 1 Corinthians.

R. Cryptoferracensis. Smc. VII. Contains a fragment of 2 Corinthians.

[S ?]. Parisiensis. Suec. IV.—VI. Contains fragments of 1 Timothy.

(4) Uncial MSS. of the Apocalypse.

H AC. See under the same symbols for the Gospels.
B. Vaticanus Romse. Ssec. VIII. Contains the

P. See under the same symbol for the Acts and

Catholic Epistles.

It ought to be noted that W« above is given the symbol Y by Dr. Scrivener; that the symbol $ is used by Dr. Scrivener to designate a codex which has been since found to contain no part of the New Testament, and by Gebhardt to designate the reconstructed common parent of the minuscules 13, 69, 124, 346; that T' is Dr. Scrivener's Evangelistarium 299; that B of the Apoc. is cited by Dr. Tregelles by the symbols L and Q; and that the symbols Ga, O*-c-d . of Tregelles' Supplement represent the codices cited here as G2, O2, R2, N2, respectively.

The Minuscule MSS. of the New Testament, while far more numerous than the uncials, are later, and therefore, as a class, of less importance. About thirty of them contain the whole New Testament, and many contain more than one section of it. They range in date from the ninth to the sixteenth century inclusive, and present several well-marked types of writing, on the ground of which they are separated by palseographers into at least four classes. They differ in the general character of the text which they exhibit less widely than the extent of time which they cover might lead us to expect. Only about one hundred and fifty of them have as yet been fully collated, although many more have been partially collated, and enough of this work has been done to give us a general knowledge of them as a class. They are cited for critical purposes, for the most part, by Arabic numerals. Full lists of them, with the information concerning each that has been thus far made public, may be found in the third edition of Dr. Scrivener's "Plain Introduction." The second volume of Dr. Gregory's Prolegomena to Tischendorf, which is to contain an account of the minuscules, is not yet published, but is expected to greatly increase both the extent and the accuracy of our knowledge.

The following are some of the most interesting of the minuscules:—

(1) Miniscule Codices of the Gospels.

1—118—131—209. Basiliensis, Oxoniensis, Vaticanus, and Venetus. So*. X. (?), XIII., XI., XI. or XII. Four closely related codices, the joint authority of which preserves for us an ancient common original.

13—09—124—346. Parisiensis, Leicestrensis, Vindobonensis, and Mediolanus. Ssdc. XII., XIV., XII., XII. Four codices which Professors Ferrar and Abbot have shown to be descended from a single not very remote common original. 22. Colbertinus Parisiensis. Saac. XI. 28. Colbertinus Parisiensis. Ssec. XI. 33. Colbertinus Parisiensis. Sasc. XI. (= Acts 13,

Paul 17).

59. Cantabrigiensis. Ssec. XII. 66. Londinensis. Sosc. XII. 81. Petropolitanus. Saac. IX. Cited by Tischendorf

as 2Pc.

102. Cantabrigiensis. Sasc. XIV. (= Acts 102 [k"°r], Paul 27 [kscr]). Cited by Tischendorf as wscr. 157. Urbino-Vaticanus. Ssec. XII. 201. Londinensis. Ssec. XIV. (= Acts 91, Paul 104, Apoc. bscr). Cited sometimes as m9" in tho Gospels, and pscr in Acts and Paul. 238. Moscuensis. Ssec. XI. 346. Mediolanus. Saac. XII. 604. Londinensis. Ssec. XI. or XII.

(2) Minuscule MSS. of the Acts and Catholic


13. The same as 33 of the Gospels. 27, Londinensis. Ssec. XV. (= Paul 33). 29. Genevensis. Ssec. XL or XII. (= Paul 35). 31, Leicestrensis. Ssec. XIV. (= Gospels 69, Paul

37, Apoc. H).

36. Oxoniensis. Sseo. XIII. 40. Alexandrino-Vaticanus. Ssec. XL (= Paul 46,

Apoc. 12).

44. (= Scrivener's 221). Sasc. XII. (= Paul 265). 61. Londinensis. Ssec. XL Cited also as low and


G8. Upsal. Ssec. XL (= Paul 73).' '69. Guelferbytanus. Ssec. XIV. (= Paul 74,

Apoc. 30). 102. Same as 102 of the Gospels. Cited sometimes

as kscr. 110. Londinensis. Ssec. XII. (= Paul 252). Cited

by Tischendorf as ascr, and Scrivener's 182. 112. Londinensis. Ssec. XV. (= Paul 254). Cited

by Tischendorf as cm, and Scrivener's 184. 137. Mediolanus. Ssec. XL (= Paul 176).

(3) Minuscule MSS. of Paul's Epistles.

5. Parisiensis. Ssec. XII. (= Gospels 5, Acts 5),

6. Parisiensis. Ssec. XL (= Gospels 6, Acts 6) 17. Same as Gospels 33.

23. Parisiensis. Ssec. XI.

27. Same as Gospels 102. Cited sometimes as kscr.

31. Londinensis. Ssec. XL (= Acts 25, Apo^ 7\

37. See under Acts 31.

39. Oxoniensis. Ssec. XI. or XII. (= Acts 33).

46. See under Acts 40.

47. Oxoniensis. Ssec. XI. or XII.

67. Vindobonensis. Ssec. XII. (= Acts 66, Apoc. 34). The corrector of this MS., marked 67**, is very valuable. 73. See under Acts 68. 80. Vaticanus. Ssec. XI. (= Acts 73). 137. Parisiensis. Ssec. XIII. (= Gospels 263, Acts

117, Apoc. 54).

221. Cantabrigiensis. Ssec. XII. (= Gospels 44 ">, Acts 111). Cited as oscr by Tischendorf.

(4) Minuscule MSS. of the Apocalypse,

1. Reuchlini. Ssec. XII. The only one used by

Erasmus, 1516. 7. See under Paul 31. 14. See under Acts 31.

38. Vaticanus. Ssec. XIII.

47. Dresdensis. Sasc. XI. (= Gospels 241, Acts

140, Paul 120). 51. Parisiensis. Ssec. 'XIV. (= Gospels 18, Acts

113, Paul 132). 82. Monacensis. Ssec. XI. (= Gospels 179, Paul

128). 95. Parham. Ssec. XII. or XIII. Cited sometimes

as gsor.

The Lectionaries are rightly assigned a secondary place among the MSS. of the New Testament, both because they do not give the continuous text and occasionally change the text they do give arbitrarily, to fit it for detached reading, and because they are comparatively late in date. The earliest lectionaries hitherto known date from the seventh and eighth centuries, although the papyrus fragment which Wessely published in 1882 may come from a century earlier. Lectionaries may be either uncial or minuscule, and uncial writing occurs among them a century later than in manuscripts of the continuous text. No line of division is drawn among them on the ground of handwriting, however, but all are classed together, and cited by Arabic numerals, like minuscule copies of the continuous text. They are divided into two classes on the ground of contents, called Evangeliaria or Evangelistaria (which contain lessons from the Gospels), and Praxapostoli, or sometimes Lectionaria (which contain lessons from the Acts and the Epistles). Dr. Scrivener, in the third edition of his "Plain Introduction," brings the catalogue of the former up to 414, and that of the latter up to 127. A number of them are, however, twice counted, being Euchologies or' and containing both the evayye\tov and the Upwards of eighty of the lectionaries on our lists are written in uncial letters. Lectionaries have hitherto been less used by critics than could be desired. It is not to be hoped, doubtless, that very much material of the first value can be obtained from documents so late, and representing a system of lessons which itself cannot be traced farther back than the latter part of the fourth century. But the results of the little work already expended on them are, within the limits of legitimate hope, very encouraging.

2. Versions Of The New Testament.

The number and variety of early versions of the New Testament are a matter of wonder second only to the number of Greek MSS. that have come down to us. Wherever Christianity penetrated, the evangelists carried the Divino word in their hands, and gave it to the people in their own tongues; and although the languages in which these early versions were written have now in every case become obsolete, the versions remain to us, sometimes still in use in public worship, sometimes extant only in long-forgotten and fragmentary codices, as witnesses to the popular character of early Christianity, as well as to the text of the New Testament that was read and honoured in the primitive ages of the Church. The value of the testimony of the versions is much enhanced by the fact that several of them were made at an ago far earlier than our most ancient MSS. of the Greek text. The Syriac, Latin, and Coptic speaking peoples all had translations of the New Testament in the second century, and fragments at least of these versions are still extant. The Abyssinians and Goths received the New Testament in their own tongues at about the time when our oldest remaining Greek MSS. were penned; at about the same time the older Syriac and Latin versions were revised to suit them to enlarged use and conform them to tho texts most esteemed at the time. But little later the Armenians obtained a national Bible, and other Syriac revisions or translations were made. The result is that textual science can make use of some dozen ancient versions which are superior, or but little inferior, in point of age, to our best and oldest Greek MSS.

Some of the drawbacks to the use of versions in textual criticism have been mentioned on a previous page: the greatest difficulty yet remains. Before the testimony of a version can be confidently alleged, its own text must be settled, and we must be careful lest we quote, not the testimony of the version itself, but that of some scribe's error as he copied one of its MSS. It is a fact, however, that the text of none of the early versions has as yet been satisfactorily restored; and hence the use of versions hitherto in textual criticism is liable to as much doubt as may result from this circumstance. That this is not as fatal to all successful use of the early versions as it might seem at first sight, will be evident when we consider that the same scribal errors are not likely to occur in the two lines of transmission—that, namely, of the Greek MSS. themselves, and that of MSS. written, say for example, in Syriac. Consequently when MSS. and versions are used together they may correct, to a measurable degree, each other's errors. Nevertheless, the versions were liable, throughout their whole transmission, not only to change and error in the line of their own development, but also to constant correction by contemporary Greek MSS. Often successful appeal may be made from the later or printed text of the versions to their earlier and better MSS.

It is only a partial escape, however, that we can make from this difficulty, by quoting the various MSS. of a version in the criticism of the Greek text, as it has become the custom to do with the Latin versions. So far as these MSS. vary from one another because of revision by the Greek, each is, no doubt, a witness for a Greek text; but this may be a Greek text of the date of the MS. itself, or of the date of any of its ancestors, back to the very origin of the version. The MSS. of the versions ought primarily to be quoted only for the texts of the versions themselves; and only when their original texts have been reconstructed, and the history of their transmission has been traced out, can their readings and the readings of the various MSS. which profess to represent them be adduced with perfect confidence in the criticism of the Greek text. That the history of the versions has not been wrought out fully in any case, and that a really critical edition of any of them is yet to frame, are circumstances which are not indeed fatal, but are very serious drawbacks to the use of versions in criticism, and little less than an open disgrace to the Biblical science of the day.

A few word? need to be added on the character and, so far as it has been recovered, the history of the chief versions.

(1) Two Latin versions have long been in use in criticism, distinguished by the names of the "Old Latin" (quite commonly but improperly called also the "Itala"), and the "Vulgate," for which Tischendorf uses the abbreviations "It." and " Vg." These versions are not, however, two in the sense that they are independent of each other: the Vulgate, so called because it has long been the Latin version in common and ecclesiastical use, was rather a revision of the already existing Latin version, often very slightly altered, and was made by the great Biblical scholar Jerome at the end of the fourth century. The habit of distinguishing sharply between the Vulgate and the Old Latin, while necessary so far, obscures the fact that the text of the Vulgate differs from that of certain of the MSS. cited under the category " Old Latin" far less than the " Old Latin" MSS. differ among themselves. This great diversity among the Old Latin MSS. has necessitated their detailed quotation in the digests of readings for the Greek Testament, and may be observed on almost every page where their witness is borne at all. The MSS. of the Old Latin are designated in the digests by the small letters of the alphabet: thus, a (Codex Vercelleusis of the fourth century), b (Codex Veronensis of the fourth or fifth century), c (Codex Colbertinus of the eleventh or twelfth century), d (the Latin part of Codex Bezso, D, of the sixth century), e (Codex Palatinus of the fourth or fifth century), and the like. There are about thirty-eight separate codices of this class known, of which some twentyfour belong to the Gospels (some such as a2.n.o.p.r.s., containing only small fragments), seven to the Acts, four to the Catholic Epistles, nine to Paul, and three to the Apocalypse. The MSS. of the Vulgate are cited by short abbreviations of their names,—thus, am (Codex Amiatinus, of the sixth to ninth century), fuld or fu (Codex Fuldensis, of the sixth century), tol (Codex Toletanus, of the eighth century), for (Codex Forojuliensis, of the sixth century), harl (Codex Harleianus of the seventh century), etc.

Under such circumstances, the tracing of the history .of the Latin versions and the formation of critical texts of them has proved so difficult as hitherto to be impossible. This much only has been certain. A Latin version existed as early as the second century. It was already old and established in the use of the people when Tertullian wrote, at the end of the second century, and must, therefore, have been made, in whole or part, as early as the middle of that century. The complexion of this early version, current in North Africa, is easily observed from the quotations from it made by Tertullian, so far as his quotations from the Latin can be disentangled from those that he took directly from the Greek, and especially from the quotations made from it by Cyprian, who appears to have used it only. The extant MSS. embodying this same type of text can safely be assigned to the African Old Latin. Whether this African New Testament lay at the root of all the Old Latin MSS., or not, has been a disputed question. On the one hand it has been urged that the diversity of the texts is, on this supposition, remarkable. On the other, that their manifold variety, as well as the testimony of Jerome and Augustine alike to the existence in their day of "tot exemplaria pene quot codices," or (as Augustine phrases it) "Latinorum interpretum infinita varietas," is best explained by the great licence of individual

correction of a common basis, so that the root was one though the branches were so diverse. In this "interpretum numerositas," Augustine commends a text which he calls the "Itala" as preferable to the others, inasmuch as it was "verborum tenacior cum perspicuitate sententise"; and this name has hence been applied to the Old Latin as a whole (against the example of Augustine, who so names a specified type of the Old Latin), or else to some special form of it, more frequently of late to what appears a revision that was current, chiefly in North Italy, in the fourth century. It was under the spur of this confusion of texts that Jerome (about 383) undertook his revision, which won its way at length into the position of a vulgate about the end of the sixth century.'

More recent investigations have shed new light on several dark points in this history, and we are now able to trace, at least tentatively, the outlines of the development of the Latin versions in such a way as to give the testimony of its different MSS. a more defined place in textual criticism. It is still uncertain whether one or two parent stocks lie at the base of the Old Latin MSS., but the Old Latin testimony is very distinctly that of two strongly marked types. Their divergence has been obscured by the immense amount of mixture that has taken place between the two as represented even in the earliest codices, as well as by the great licence of individual alteration which has affected all lines of descent. These two versions may be called the African and the European. The former is represented by the fiftheentury Codex Bobiensis (k), at a later stage of development by the beautiful fourth or fifth century Codex Palatinus (e), and at a still later stage by the Speculum Augustini (m), in the Gospels. To it also belong the palimpsest fragments of the Acts and Apocalypse cited as h, and of course the quotations of Tertullian (when not taken from the Greek), Cyprian, as well as Optatus, and (for the Apocalypse) Primasius. The European is represented by the great mass of the codices, the oldest of which are a, b, d, f. The African text is as old as the second century; the age of the European is less certain, but some of its MSS. belong to the fourth century, and the version itself must be as old as the opening of the fourth century or end of the third at the latest. There is good evidence to show that the European Latin was made the object of various revisions during the course of the fourth century, the final product of which may be called the Italian Latin all the more appropriately that it seems to be this text that was preferred by Augustine, if we may judge from the quotations in many of his works. To the unrevised European Latin may be assigned, in the Gospels, Codices a, b, c, ff, h, i, r, and some other fragmentary or mixed texts, and in the Acts g. To the Italian revision belong f, q, in the Gospels, r, r2, rs in Paul, q in the Catholic Epistles, and perhaps g in the Apocalypse. Jerome's further revision seems to be based on the Italian revision, and in the Gospels on a text very closely related to that of Codex f, which, in parts at least, received only a very surface revision. Instead of two Latin versions, we thus appear to have the testimony of no less than three or four to take account of in textual criticism: one of the second century—the African; one of the end of the third or beginning of the fourth—the European; a somewhat later revision of the European—the Italian; and finally, the revision of the Italian which Jerome carried through at the end of the fourth century—the Vulgate.

By attending to the distribution of the codices among the various forms of the Old Latin, as indicated above, some light is thrown on the testimony as drawn out in detail in our digests. We can, not infrequently, separate already the testimony of the several forms, and allow weight to the groups accordingly. A critical edition of even the Vulgate is, however, still a desideratum. The revision of the current texts undertaken by Alcuin in the eighth century, and that ordered by the Council of Trent, had this as their object. But the work has been badly done, and the Clementine Vulgate of 1592 is anything but a critical text.

(2) The early history of the Syriac versions is even more obscure than that of the Latin, but from a different cause. Here we have an almost entire lack of material. The Peshitto version (or as its name imports, the "simple" version) well deserves the title of the Syriac vulgate, since it was the common translation in use among all the Syrian sects throughout the whole of the flourishing epoch of Syrian history, and continues to-day the ecclesiastical version of their heirs. So admirably has its text been guarded, that it remains substantially the same in the later MSS. as it stands in the oldest MS. of the Peshitto that has survived to our time (the Codex Additionalis 14459 of the British Museum, fifth century), or even as it is extracted in the quotations of Ephrem of the fourth century. This venerable and most admirable version bears, however, traces of having received the form which it has so long preserved with such well-justified tenacity through a revision which may be dated at some time between A.d. 250 and 350. Accordingly, the considerable fragments of a version of the Gospels which were recovered by Dr. Cureton from one of the MSS. brought by Archdeacon Tattam from the Nitrian desert in 1842, have been recognised by most scholars to contain an older form of the Peshitto. The venerable codex, written about the middle of the fifth century, which contains these fragments is now in the British Museum, while the version itself which it contains is clearly not independent of the Peshitto, and almost equally clearly older than it, and is assigned by most scholars to the second century. Its great age has been oddly confirmed by the discovery of Tatian's "Diatessaron" (a Gospel-harmony of the second century), which is found to be based on this version. How much of the New Testament was included in this oldest Syriac (which is appropriately called from its discoverer, the "Curetonian Syriac") cannot be confidently determined. Fragments of the Gospels only have as yet come to light. The Peshitto, if we confine this name to the form the version took after its late third or early fourth century revision, has never contained the four smaller Catholic Epistles (2 Peter, 2 and 3 John, and Jude) or the Apocalypse, it is uncertain whether by inheritance or as a result of a revision of the canon contemporary with the revision of the text.

A somewhat different reading of the earliest stages of the history of the Syriac versions has been lately commended to scholars by the very careful studies of Baethgen. The dependence of the Peshitto on the Curetonian may be said to be demonstrated by him; but he supposes the Curetonian to be based upon Tatian instead of the source from which he drew, and assigns it to about A.d. 250, while the Peshitto revision is dated by him about the middle of the fourth century. We venture to leave the question of the relation of the Curetonian to Tatian undecided, as not of essential importance for our present purpose.

Another Syriac version, not altogether independent of the Peshitto, was made in the early sixth century (a.d. 508) by the Chorepiscopus Polycarp, under tho patronage of Philoxenus, Bishop of Mabug 01 Hierapolis. This version has left very few traces of itself in its original form, though the Gospels of it may have been recently recovered in a MS. brought to notice by Prof. Isaac H. Hall, and the property of the Beirut Syrian Protestant College. It was subjected to a thorough revision by Thomas of Harke) in 616, who added to its margin readings from several Greek MSS. belonging to an Alexandrian library, and which prove to be valuable. In this form it has come down to us in numerous MSS. It contains all the New Testament except the Apocalypse, and as its characteristic feature is excessive literality, it is everywhere useful as a witness to its underlying Greek text. It goes without saying that its margin presents additional evidence, and is to be taken account of as fully as the text itself.

Yet another Syriac version, and one which may be independent of the Peshitto, has been partially preserved for us—chiefly in some lesson-books. It is assigned by Tischendorf to the fifth century. Its dialect is very peculiar; and as it has been supposed to represent a region lying contiguous to Palestine, the name of Jerusalem Syriac has been given to the version. Besides the lessons from the Gospels, only a few verses from the Acts are known.

The Syrian versions thus include: one from the second century—the Curetonian; a revision of this from the late third or early fourth century—the Peshitto; one from the opening of the sixth century, with its revision early in the seventh—the PhiloxenoHarclean; and one which is doubtingly assigned to the fifth century—the Jerusalem. In Tischendorf's digests these versions are cited as follows: syrcu = the Curetonian; syrhr = the Jerusalem; syr8c11 = the Peshitto according to Schaaf's edition; syrp = the Harclean according to the edition of White; syrntr =both of these last two. Other critics make use of other abbreviations which will be found explained in their editions.

(3) From the early Egyptian Church two independent versions have come down to us, both of which appear to have been made, in part at least, in the second century, and both of which contained the whole New Testament, although treating the Apocalypse as a sort of appendix to the volume. This last circumstance may hint to us the time when these versions were finished—i.e., in the middle of the third century, when the Apocalypse was brought into dispute in Egypt, as we learn from Dionysius; or it may be the result of speculation taking effect upon an already completed version. Of these two versions, that which was made for use in Lower Egypt appears more faithfully to follow the details of the Greek, and may be a few years the older; it is called, variously, the Memphitic, the Bahiric, or, confusingly appropriating the name that is broad enough to embrace both versions, the Coptic. Tischendorf cites it by the abbreviation "cop." The version that was current in Upper Egypt is known as the Thebaic or Sahidic (cited by Tischendorf by the abbreviation "sah."), and is perhaps more faithful to Egyptian idiom than its sister; only fragments of it have been as yet recovered. Some of the lacunse in the Thebaic version may be supplied by using a third Coptic version, about 330 verses of which from John and Paul are known, and which is not taken directly from the Greek, but is an adaptation of the Thebaic to another dialect, from which the version itself is known as the Bashmuric or Fayumic (cited by T schenclorf by the abbreviation "bash.").

(4) The early history of the Abyssinian Church ia very obscure; but its version, the Ethiopic, was certainly made directly from the Greek, and dates probably from the fourth century, although its earliest extant MSS. appear to be as late as the fifteenth century. This version is smooth and flowing, and yet faithful, and contains the whole New Testament. From the same age with the Ethiopic comes the Gothic version, made in the middle of the fourth century by the great apostle of the Goths, Ultilas. We possess the Gospels and Paul's Epistles (except Hebrews) with lacunas, in codices that carry us back as far as the sixth century. The Armenian version, which contains the whole New Testament, was translated from the Greek about A.d. 433, under the patronage of Sahak, the patriarch, and apparently, in part at least, by the hand of Miesrob, the inventor of the Armenian alphabet. The printed editions are good, but not critically satisfactory, and it is necessary frequently to appeal from them to the MSS. To these the Slavonic version, made in the ninth century, may perhaps be added.

If we arrange this list of versions according to age, we obtain the following series of versions which may be used in textual criticism of the Greek text:—

Versions of the early or middle second century, two, —the African Latin and the Curetonian Syriac.

Versions of the end of the second century, two,—the Memphitic and Thebaic.

Versions of the late third or early fourth century, two,—the Peshitto Syriac and European Latin.

Versions of the middle or late fourth century, four, , —the Gothic, the Italian Latin, the Vulgate Latin, and the Ethiopic.

Versions of the fifth century, two,—the Armenian and the Jerusalem Syriac.

Versions of the sixth century, one,—the Philoxenian Syriac.

Versions of the seventh century, one,—the Harclean Syriac. Versions of the ninth century, one,—the Slavonic.

3. Early Quotations From The New Testament.

The copiousness of the material to be derived from

the quotations of early writers is liable to both over

and under-estimation. The whole tone of the writing

of the early Christian authors is Scriptural; but it is

none the less often very difficult to make use of their

allusions in the criticism of the text. Many verses,

and some of these such as present important critical

problems, are scarcely quoted at all by them. Others

are frequently quoted, and in an immense variety of

forms. Probably nearly the whole teaching of the

New Testament, in one form or another, could be

recovered from the writings of the fathers; but this

would be too much to say of its text. In addition to

the obvious hindrances to their use in textual criticism

which have been already pointed out, two require to

"\have especial emphasis laid upon them: the looseness

Jwith which the fathers usually quote, and the evil

/fortune which has attended the transmission of their

I works to our own day.

A physical cause lies at the bottom of much of tho looseness of patristic quotation. There were no handy reference Bibles in those days, no concordances, no indices; and books were dear, and not at all times within reach. For brief quotations memory was necessarily relied on; and thus the habit of depending on memory fixed "itself. Even very long quotations Tan often be but little trusted in their details, and in general it is unsafe to draw from a father a reading which is not supported by some MS. or version, except in those comparatively rare cases in which he tells us that such or such a reading actually stood in codices within his knowledge. And at the very best, it must be carefully borne in mind, that when the reading of a father has been settled, and it is determined that he has actually drawn it from a Greek MS., its value is no more than it was as it stood in the MS. No matter how strongly a father asserts it to be the true reading, or the reading of the best and oldest MSS., it is after all but a MS. reading—of one or more codices according to the evidence in hand, and the value of the further assertions of the father will depend on our estimate of his ability and opportunities to form a critical opinion.

Time has dealt very sorely with patristic writings in general, and with the citations from Scripture contained in them in particular. Scribes and editors have vied with one another in conforming their quotations to the texts current in later times, and not infrequently the text that actually stands written is in conflict with the use made of it in the context. Above all other evidence, the evidence of the fathers needs sifting and critical reconstruction before it can be confidently used. Let us add that the remains of the earliest fathers that survive to our day are the merest fragments of the literature of their age, and in some very important instances have reached us only in Latin or Syriac translations of their original Greek. In this last case a new problem faces the critic: Has the translator rendered the Scriptural quotations that stood before him in the text, or requoted them from his own version? In the former case the value of the quotations ranks with that of versions of the New Testament; in the latter they are primarily witnesses to a version, and only secondarily, through that version to the testimony of which they add nothing, witnesses to the Greek text. Yet, which process the translator has followed can be settled in each individual instance only by a critical inquiry. In general, it is a safe rule to suspect all quotations in a translation from a Greek father which conform to the national version of the translator.

Of course, Greek fathers alone are direct witnesses to the Greek text. To these are to be added those Latin and Syriac writers who can be proved to have made use of the Greek text. So far as their quotations from the Greek can be sifted out from their quotations from their own versions, these are testimonies that will rank independently alongside of versions, while the rest will be testimonies only to the versions used by them, and through them indirectly to the Greek. The quotations of Latin and Syriac fathers in general are, of course, of this latter sort. Ante-Nicene Greek remains are not very copious. Only for the seventy-five years embraced between A.d. 175 and 250, when we have Irenseus, Hippolytus, Clement of Alexandria, and especially Origen, are we supplied with r ny abundance of testimony. Methodius later in the third century, and Eusebius early in the fourth, furnish very valuable material; while Cyril of Alexandria is the most noteworthy writer for critical

use that the fifth century gives us. The commentaries of the early Church may justly be expected to afford very important material, but unfortunately the commentaries that have been preserved from the first four hundred years of early Christianity are not numerous. We have Origen's commentaries: on a good part of Matthew partly in the Greek and partly only in a condensed Latin translation; on a small portion of Luke in Latin; on much of John in the Greek; on Romans in Latin; and on some parts of 1 Corinthians, Ephesians, and some other books. Then we have Theodore of Mopsuestia's commentaries on the lesser Epistles of Paul in a Latin translation, and Chrysostom's homilies on Matthew, John, Acts, and Paul in the Greek. The next century gives us Theodoret on Paul, and Cyril of Alexandria on the Gospels and Paul. And numerous fragments from several authors are preserved in Catenae, The value of such Latin commentaries as that of Primasius on the Apocalypse, or such Syriac ones as that of Ephrem on the Gospels, is wholly with reference to the respective versions on which they are based; from the former nearly the whole of the African Apocalypse has been recovered, and from the latter a considerable knowledge of Tatian's " Diatessaron."

The number of ecclesiastical writers that are catalogued for critical purposes considerably exceeds one hundred. From all of these occasional citations are drawn, but very few of them have been thoroughly put under contribution to critical science. Griesbach pretty thoroughly explored the pages of Origen, and Tregelles did miuh for Eusebius, and Dean Burgon has enlarged our knowledge of patristic citations in many directions. But much yet remains to be done, both in extracting their readings from the writings of the fathers and in testing the readings that now stand in the editions or MSS. by the context, before we can flatter ourselves that the work is much more than well begun. The fathers are cited by abbreviations of their names, and the Latin and Greek evidence is very much jumbled together in the digests. The following brief list of the names that are best worth our attention in the digests is borrowed from Dr. Westcott. The more important fathers are marked by small capitals; Latin fathers by italics:—

The student is now in a position to understand better than formerly the notes which we quoted from Tischendorf's digest. Let us take another example, however, and ask: Shall we read in John vii. 8, "I go not up to this feast," or " I go not yet up to this feast"? Tischendorf states the evidence thus:—

Ovk cum NDKMI I 17** 389 pscr abceff2-!2' vg cop syrcu arm seth. Porph ap Hier2-747 TaUats

Epiph447 Chr8-328 Cyr4-401 9 (= Gb Sz) Ln

ouiro> cum BLTXTAA unc7 al pier fgqvgcod "Mq (ap. Ln) go sah syr9* et? (etniggraic) ethr (Syriace nunc non) Bas Etl> 283.

A glance enables the reader to perceive that "not" is read by the uncial copies N, D, K, M, II; by the minuscules 17**, 389, pscr; by the Old Latin copies a, b, c, e, ff2>, I2, which include both those of the African and those of the European type; by the Vulgate Latin, the Coptic (i.e. the Memphitic), the Curetonian Syriac, the Armenian, and the Ethiopic versions; and by Porphyry as cited by Jerome, Epiphanius, Chrysostom, and Cyril, at the places in their works indicated by the small numerals. On the other side, oinrto is -read by the editions included under the symbol $•—i.e., by Stephens and Elzevir, but not by Griesbach and Scholz (for that is the meaning of ";= Gb. Sz."), and also by Lachmann in accordance with the testimony of the uncial copies B, L, T, X, F, A, A, and seven others; of most other (i.e. minuscule) MSS.; of the Old Latin codices f, g, q (i.e. the Italian Latin); of MSS. of the Vulgate Latin cited by Lachmann; of the Gothic and Sahidic (= Thebaic) versions; of Schaaf's edition of the Syriac (Peshitto), "White's edition of the Syriac (Harclean), as well in the Greek margin as in the text, and the Jerusalem Syriac; and of Basil at the place indicated by the numerals.

The student may not yet be in position to decide between the readings with any confidence; but he can, at least, understand now the testimony. He can do more: he call classify it at a glance into its various sorts,—uncials, minuscules, versions, fathers. And he can even analyse it according to age, thus:—

For Ovk there are—

Uncial MSS. of the fourth century, one: N.
„ „ „ sixth century, one: D.
„ „ „ ninth century, three: K, M,T.
Minuscule MSS., three: 17**, 389, pscr.
Versions of the second century, two (three):
Memph., Syrcu (Afr. Lat.).
,, „ „ fourth century, three: Europ.

Lat., Vg., ^Eth.

„ „ „ fifth century, one: Arm. Fathers of the late third century, one: Porphyry. „ „ fourth century, two: Epiphanius,


„ „ fifth century, one: Cyril of Alexandria. For ovn-ia there are: —

Uncial MSS. of the fourth century, one: B.
„ „ ,, fifth century, one: T.
„ „ ,, eighth century, two: L
(and E).

Uncial MSS. of the ninth century, six: X, F, A,L

(and F, V). „ „ „ (tenth century, four: G, H,


Minuscule MSS., almost all.
Versions of the second century, one: Thebaic.
„ „ fourth century, four: It. Lat.,
Ygcod. aii,., Go-, Syrsch

„ „ fifth century, one: Jerusalem

Syriac. „ „ seventh century, one: Syr.p etmg


Fathers of the fourth century, one: Basil.

Such an analysis carries us an appreciable distance towards a decision as to the relative value of the support given to each reading. Yet it falls short of a decision. If numbers of witnesses are to rule, "not yet" must receive the palm; if age is to rule, the division is pretty even between the two; if weight and value of the witnesses is to rule,—the student is not yet in position to have an opinion. Whence we may learn that it behoves us next to turn from the matter of criticism to its methods—that is, to put this query to ourselves: "How are we to proceed in order to reach a really grounded decision as to the weight of evidence for each of these two readings?"