Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Codex Laudianus, GA 45, GA 46, GA 57, and Friends

The Gatehouse at the
Bodleian Library.
            Sir Thomas Bodley (1535-1613) was the namesake of the second-largest library in Great Britain:  the Bodleian Library, on the campus of Oxford University.  This is the Hotel California of libraries; once a book enters the Bodleian Library, it can never leave.  The library currently contains over 12 million books, plus hundreds of pictures, sculptures, coins, and one stuffed crocodile. 
            It is also home to many Greek manuscripts – mostly ancient classical works – including some Greek New Testament manuscripts.

            Codex Laudianus (Ea, 08) is the most important Greek New Testament manuscript in the Bodleian Library.  It is a manuscript of the book of Acts, probably from the 500’s, written in matching columns of Latin and Greek on each page.  This manuscript was donated by Archbishop William Laud.  It was used in Sardinia (where someone wrote a note on it, mentioning the location), and later, after being taken to England, it was used in the early 700’s by the notable historian, theologian, and translator known as the Venerable Bede, who mentioned many of its unusual readings, including downright unique readings in Acts 4:10, 5:30, and 7:16. 
            Codex Laudianus is the earliest extant Greek manuscript that contains Acts 8:37, on fol. 70v, (although the verse was used in the 180’s by Irenaeus in Against Heresies 3:12:8, by Cyprian in the mid-200’s in Testimonies 3:12:43, by Augustine in Sermon 49:11, and by some other patristic writers, and is found in the Coptic Glazier Codex (G67)).  Textual critic David C. Parker has commented on some corrections in this manuscript.

Two other Greek manuscripts housed at the Bodleian Library are online:
            MS Barocci 31 is GA 45, a fairly ornate manuscript of the Gospels (with portraits of the Evangelists) from the late 1200’s.
            Matthew (Image 21, fol 7r)
            Mark (Image 245, fol. 119r)
            Luke (Image 389, fol. 191r)
            John (Image 635, fol. 314r)

            MS Barocci 29 is GA 46, which has been assigned to a wide variety of production-dates; the current guess is to the early 1300’s. 
            Matthew (Image 63, fol. 31r)
            Mark (Image 239, fol. 118r)
            Luke (Image 359, fol. 177r)
            John (Image 563, fol. 277r)

            The Bodleian Library houses several New Testament uncials – including Codex Γ (036), known as Codex Tischendorfianus IV, and Codex Λ (039), known as Codex Tischendorfianus III, and 0134 (Selden Supra 2, fol. 177-178) (text from Mark 3 and 5) – and over thirty minuscules (including GA 47, 557, and 558).  A lectionary is also online at the Bodleian’s website:  MS Barocci 197, a palimpsest.

            Some important versional manuscripts are also kept at the Bodleian Library, including the MacRegol Gospels, also called the Book of Birr (A replica of this manuscript is in the library of Birr, Ireland).
           
             Nearby at Magdalen College, Magdalen College MS 9 is GA 57, a Greek manuscript from the late 1100’s which contains every book of the New Testament except Revelation.  Here is a basic index of GA 57:   
            Matthew (Image 10, fol. 3r)
            Mark 1:11 (Image 74, fol. 35r)  (The first page of Mark is missing, but you can see traces of the imprint left by the initial “A” of Mark 1:1 in the margin on this page.  Ultraviolet light might reveal more.)
            Luke (Image 116, fol. 56r ) 
            John (Image 187, fol. 91v)
            Acts (Image 236, fol. 116r)
            James (Image 303, fol. 149v)
            First Peter (Image 310, fol. 153r)
            Second Peter (Image 317, fol. 156v)
            First John (Image 322, fol. 159r)
            Second John (Image 329, fol. 162v)
            Third John (Image 331, fol. 163v)
            Jude (Image 333, fol. 164v) 
            Romans (Image 335, fol. 165v)
            First Corinthians (Image 359, fol. 177v)
            Second Corinthians (Image 382, fol. 188r)
            Galatians (Image 398, fol. 196r)
            Ephesians (Image 406, fol. 200r)
            Philippians (Image 414, fol. 204r)
            Colossians (Image 420, fol. 207r)
            First Thessalonians (Image 426, fol. 210r)
            Second Thessalonians (Image 432, fol. 213r)
            First Timothy (Image 436, fol. 215r)
            Second Timothy (Image 442, fol. 218r)
            Titus (Image 447, fol. 220v)
            Philemon (Image 450, fol. 222r)
            Hebrews (Image 452, fol. 223r)
            Psalms (Image 470, fol. 232r)

            This manuscript received some attention from Orlando Dobbin in his 1854 book about Codex Montfortianus on page 29; Dobbin noted that it supports “Lord and God” in Acts 20:28, “God was manifested” in First Timothy 3:16, and the non-inclusion of the Comma Johanneum in First John 5:7.  Another presentation of GA 57 is online, with thumbnail-pageviews.
            Magdalen College is also home to Magdalen College MS Greek 7 (part of GA 1907) – a copy of Romans and First Corinthians.

            Perhaps the most famous New Testament manuscript on the premises of Magdalen College is Magdalen College MS Greek 17, better known as Papyrus 64, which consists of small fragments with text from Matthew 26.  The late Carsten Peter Thiede proposed that these fragments were extremely early – from the first century!  He also claimed that a few manuscript-fragments found among the Dead Sea Scrolls were the remains of New Testament texts.  The evidence for his position has been called into question by other researchers; nevertheless Papyrus 64 is unquestionably the earliest Greek manuscript of the text that it contains.  Stay tuned for a post focused on Papyrus 64, Papyrus 67, and Papyrus 4.

            Earlier this year, A Catalogue of Greek Manuscripts of Magdalen College, Oxford was released.  Readers who are curious about the diverse Greek manuscripts housed at Magdalen College may wish to obtain a copy.


No comments: