Monday, April 30, 2018

Glossary of Textual Criticism: N-Z

Nomina sacra (singular:  nomen sacrum):  sacred names which were usually written in contracted form by copyists.  Usually the contractions consist of two letters – the first letter of the word and the final letter – but in some manuscripts the contractions have a three-letter form.  The terms Κυριος (“Lord”), Θεος (“God”), Ιησους (“Jesus”), and Χριστος (“Christ”) are almost always contracted, with a horizontal line written over them.  References to the three Persons of the Trinity – Πατηρ (“Father”), Υιος (“Son”), and Πνευμα (“Spirit”) – are also contracted in most manuscripts.
            With less uniformity, terms that were associated with titles of Christ are also contracted, such as “Man” (due to the title “Son of Man”), “David” (due to the title “Son of David”), and “Savior.”  Most copyists also contracted the words “Israel,” “Jerusalem,” “Mother,” and “Cross.” 
   
Novum Testamentum Graece:  A compilation of the Greek text of the New Testament equipped with (a) symbols in the text which convey specific kinds of textual variants, and (b) a basic textual apparatus listing the main support for the adopted reading, and for rival readings.  Eberhard Nestle published the first edition of NTG in 1898, drawing on three independent, but similar, compilations by other scholars (specifically, Tischendorf, Westcott & Hort, and Weymouth).  In 1927, Eberhard Nestle’s son, Erwin Nestle, took over the task of editing the thirteenth edition of the compilation, changing the textual apparatus so as to include a more detailed presentation of evidence, listing manuscripts, versions, patristic writers, compilations by earlier editors, and theoretical recensions that had been posited by researcher Hermann von Soden.
            Kurt Aland was given supervision of the compilation in 1952, and its textual apparatus was expanded considerably.  The NTG achieved relative stability in 1979, and was now known as the Nestle-Aland NTG.  The text of the 26th edition was basically retained in the 27th edition, although the textual apparatus was changed (and some Byzantine witnesses were removed from the apparatus) and miscitations were corrected.  In the 28th edition (2012), only about 35 textual changes were introduced, all confined to the General Epistles.
            The 28th edition of NTG, though technically an eclectic compilation, has a very strong Alexandrian character, differing only slightly from the 1881 compilation of Westcott and Hort.       

Nu ephelkustikon:  The Greek letter nu (ν) placed at the end of a word before another word that begins with a vowel, and at the end of sentences.  Also called moveable nu.

Overline:  A horizontal line added above characters to signify that the letters underneath it are to be read as numerals or as a nomen sacrum.   An overline at the end of a line of text represents the letter nu.

Paratext:  Features in a manuscript other than the main text, such as illustrations, notes, canon-tables, chapter-titles, arabesques, and marginalia. 
           
Paleography:  The science of studying ancient handwriting and inscriptions.  Paleography is useful for estimating the production-dates (and in some cases the locale) of manuscripts by making comparisons between the handwriting they display and the handwriting of dated documents.  Paleographers also study inks and paratextual features of manuscripts.  Paleographically assigned production-dates should generally be given a range of 50 years both before and after the assigned date, on the premises that (a) copyists tended to write in basically the same script throughout their careers, (b) a typical copyist’s career lasted 50 years, and (c) we cannot determine if a copyist wrote a specific manuscript at the beginning, or end, of his career. 

Palimpsest:  A manuscript which has been recycled, and contains two (or more) layers of writing.  The parchment of a palimpsest has been scraped once, in its initial preparation, and later scraped again, when someone scraped off, or washed off, the ink, in order to reuse the newly blank parchment to hold a different composition.  (The word is derived from Greek:  palin, again, and psaw, scrape.)  The text that was written first on a palimpsest is called the lower writing; the more recently written text is called the upper writing.   The application of ultraviolet light (and multi-spectral imaging) can in some cases make the lower writing much more visible than it appears to be in normal light. 

Papyrus:  (plural:  papyri)  Writing-material made from tissues derived from the inner layer of papyrus plants.  Papyrus-material tended to rot away in high-humidity climates, which is why practically all surviving New Testament papyri were found in Egypt, where the humidity-level is lower.  Manuscripts made of papyrus (such as Papyrus 5, part of which is shown here) are also called papyri.

Parablepsis:   The phenomenon which occurs when a copyist’s line of sight drifts from one set of letters to an identical or similar set of letters, skipping the intervening text.  This may occur due to homoioarcton, homoeoteleuton, or simple inattentiveness.

Provenance:  The place from which a manuscript came. 

Quire:  A collection of bifolia (usually four) which have been stacked and folded together in the process of codex-production.

Recto:  The side of a leaf in a manuscript that is viewed when the outer margin is to the viewer’s right.

Rubric:  Text written in red, usually found in the margins, mainly serving to label portions of the main text.  Rubrics may include chapter-titles, the lectionary apparatus, and miscellaneous notes.

Ruling:  Horizontal lines and vertical borders added to writing-material as guidelines for the text which was intended to be written upon it.  Hundreds of different ruling-patterns have been identified.  They vary in complexity, depending on how much supplemental material was intended to accompany the main text.       

Scriptorium:  A manuscript-making center, usually located in a monastery.

Stichometry:  A calculation of the number of standard lines (about 15 or 16 syllables), or stichoi, of text in a book or book-portion.  The conclusions of New Testament books are sometimes accompanied by notes mentioning the book’s length, in line-units.   This suggests that such manuscripts were copied by professionals who were paid on a per-stichos basis. 

Singleton:  a single folded bifolium in a manuscript – a quire consisting of a single sheet. 

Staurogram:  A combination of the Greek letters tau and rho, thought by some researchers to be a pictogram of Christ’s crucifixion.
  
Textual Apparatus:  Notes in a compilation, listing variants and the witnesses that support them.  Witnesses are usually listed in the order of uncials, minuscules, versions, and patristic references.  In the textual apparatuses of the Nestle-Aland Novum Testamentum Graece and the UBS Greek New Testament, Byzantine witnesses tend to be presented collectively.

Textus Receptus:  This term is generally used to refer to the base-text of the 1611 King James Version.  It is also used to refer to any of the compilations of the Greek text of the New Testament published in the 1500s and early 1600s, beginning with Erasmus’ first edition in 1514, continuing with the Complutensian Polyglot, several editions by Stephanus, several editions by Beza, and the 1624 and 1633 editions by the Elzevirs, the last of which was declared to be “the text received by all.”  These compilations were not entirely identical but all contained a basically Byzantine text influenced by readings selected from the editors’ materials, which included important witnesses such as minuscule 1, minuscule Codex Bezae (D), Codex Regius (L), and Codex Claromontanus.  
            The 1551 edition issued by Stephanus is notable for the introduction of verse-numbers, essentially the same enumeration still used in most English New Testaments.

UBS Greek New Testament:  A compilation of the Greek text of the New Testament prepared by a team working for the United Bible Societies.  Now in its fifth edition (2014), the UBS Greek New Testament contains the same text presented in the 28th edition of the Nestle-Aland Novum Testamentum Graece.  The textual apparatus of the UBS Greek New Testament covers far fewer variant-units (about 1,400), but in far greater detail.  Bruce Metzger (1914-2007), a member of the UBS compilation-committee, wrote A Textual Commentary on the Greek New Testament, explaining the committee’s text-critical general approach and specific decisions.   

Uncial:  A manuscript in which each letter is written separately and as a capital.  These are also known as majuscules.  Many uncials, are identified by sigla (singular:  siglum) such as the letters of the English alphabet, letters of the Greek alphabet, and, for Codex Sinaiticus (À), the Hebrew alphabet.  All uncials are identified by numbers that begin with a zero. 

Verso:  The side of a leaf in a manuscript that is viewed when the outer margin is to the viewer’s left.

Watermark:  In medieval paper, a design embedded in the fibers of the paper, visible when a page is held up to light.  Watermarks often indicate where the paper was made.

Western Order:  The arrangement of the four Gospels as Matthew, John, Luke, and Mark.  This order is found mainly in representatives of the Western Text, such as the Old Latin Gospels and Codex Bezae.

Western Text:  A text-form, or forms, characterized by expansion, harmonization, and simplification in comparison to other text-types.  Codex Bezae and the Old Latin version are the primary and most extensive witnesses to Western readings, but several early patristic writers frequently utilize Western readings as well. 

Zoomorphic Initial:  An initial which takes the shape of an animal or bird.


            If readers would like to suggest other terms that should be considered for inclusion in this glossary, you are welcome to do so in the comments.

Friday, April 27, 2018

Glossary of Textual Criticism: D-M


(Continuing the Glossary of Textual Criticism)

Diorthotes
: The proof-reader and general overseer of the production of manuscripts in a scriptorium.  

Dittography:  A scribal mistake in which what should be written once is written twice.  This can describe the repetition of a single letter, a line, or even (rarely) a whole paragraph.
Eusebian Canons:  A cross-reference system for the Gospels, devised by Eusebius of Caesarea to help readers efficiently find and compare parallel-passages (and thematically related passages).  The basic idea is that numbers were assigned to every section of every Gospel, and each number was put into one of ten lists, or canons, in a chart at the beginning of the Gospels.  The first list presented the identification-numbers of passages in which parallels exist in all four Gospels; the tenth list presented the identification-numbers of passages which appear in one Gospel only, and lists 2-9 present the identification-numbers of passages in combinations of Gospels (such as Matthew+Mark+Luke).  The Eusebian Canons were often prefaced by Eusebius’ composition Ad Carpianus, in which an explanation was given of how to use the cross-reference chart.  In some Greek manuscripts, some Latin manuscripts, and especially in Armenian manuscripts, the Eusebian Canons are elaborately decorated.  In a few deluxe copies, the text of Ad Carpianus appears within a quatrefoil frame.
            Also, in some manuscripts, the copyists have put extracts from the Canon-tables below the main text, relieving the reader of the need to consult the Canon-tables in order to identify parallel-passages.  This is called a foot-index, because it appears at the foot of the page.
           
Euthalian Apparatus:  A collection of supplemental study-helps and systems of chapter-divisions for Acts and the Epistles, developed by an individual named Euthalius (who to an extent adopted earlier similar materials prepared by Pamphilus).  Little is known about Euthalius and the extent to which his initial work has been adjusted and expanded by others; the detailed analysis Euthaliana, by J. A. Robinson, remains an imperfect but valuable resource on the subject.

Family 35:   A cluster of over 220 manuscripts which represent the same form of the Byzantine Text.  Wilbur Pickering has reconstructed its archetype.

Flyleaves:  Unused pages at the beginning and end of a manuscript.  In some cases, these pages consist of discarded pages from older manuscripts, glued into or onto the binding. 

Genre distinction:  The practice of recognizing each genre of literature in the New Testament (Gospels, Acts, Epistles, and Revelation) as having its own transmission-history.

Gregory’s Rule:  An arrangement of the pages of a manuscript in such a way that the flesh-side of the parchment (i.e., the inner surface of the animal-skin from which the parchment was made) faces the flesh-side of the following page, and the hair-side of the parchment (i.e., the outer, hair-bearing surface of the animal-skin from which the parchment was made) faces the hair-side of the following page.  Only a few manuscripts, such as 059, do not have their pages uniformly arranged in this way.  (Named after C. R. Gregory.)

Harklean Group:  A small cluster of manuscripts which display a text of the General Epistles which is related to, and strongly agrees with, the painstakingly literal text of the Harklean Syriac version (which was produced in A.D. 616 by Thomas of Harkel, who made this revision of the already-existing Philoxenian version (which was completed in 508 as a revision/expansion of the Peshitta version) by consulting Greek manuscripts in a monastery near Alexandria, Egypt which he considered especially accurate).  The core members of the Harklean Group are 1505, 1611, 2138, and 2495.  Some other manuscripts have a weaker relationship to the main cluster, including minuscules 429, 614, and 2412. 
            Although the Greek manuscripts in the Harklean Group are all relatively late, they appear to echo a text of the General Epistles which existed in the early 600s, and perhaps earlier, inasmuch as Codex Sinaiticus (produced c. 350) contains in the third verse of the Epistle of Jude a reference to “our common salvation and life,” a reading which appears to be a conflation between an Alexandrian reading (“our common salvation”) and the reading of the Harklean Group (“our” (or “your”) “common life”). 
                   
Headpiece:  A decorative design accompanying the beginning of a book of the New Testament in continuous-text manuscripts, and sometimes accompanying the beginnings of parts of lectionaries.  These may sometimes be extremely ornate, especially in Gospel-books.

Homoioarcton:  A loss of text caused when a copyist’s line of sight drifted from the beginning of a word, phrase, or line to the same (or similar) letters at the beginning of a nearby word, phrase, or line.  Often abbreviated as “h.a.

Homoioteleuton:  A loss of text caused when a copyist’s line of sight drifted from the end of a word, phrase, or line to the same (or similar) letters at the end of a nearby word, phrase, or line.  Often abbreviated as “h.t.  (Many short readings can be accounted for as h.t.-errors, such as the absence of Matthew 12:47 in some important manuscripts.)

This detail from Lectionary 1963
features a simple headpiece, a rubric,
an initial, and an incipit before the text of
Matthew 5:42-43.
Initial:  A large letter at the beginning of a book or book-section, especially one enhanced by special ornateness and color.  In some Latin codices an initial may occupy almost an entire page.

Interpolation:  Substantial non-original material added to the text by a copyist.  Although patristic writings utilize several saying of Jesus that are not included in the Gospels, Codex Bezae is notable for its inclusion of interpolations in Matthew 20:28 and Luke 6:4.  Due in part to Codex Bezae’s text’s tendency to adopt longer readings, Hort proposed in the 1881 Introduction to the Revised Text that Codex Bezae’s shorter readings in Luke 24 are original, and that in each case, the longer reading is not original, despite being supported in all other text-types.  Hort labeled D’s text at these points “Western Non-Interpolations.”        

Itacism:  The interchange of vowels, such as the writing of ει itstead of ι, ε instead of αι, and ο instead of ω.   

Jerusalem Colophon:  A note which, in its fullest form, says, “Copied and corrected from the ancient manuscripts of Jerusalem preserved on the holy mountain.”  Fewer than 40 manuscripts have this note, including Codex Λ/566, 20, 117, 153, 215, 300, 565, 1071, and 1187; in 157 it is repeated after each Gospel.  

Kai-compendium:  An abbreviation for the word και, consisting of a kappa with its final downward stroke extended.

Kephalaia:  Chapters.  In most Gospels-manuscripts, each Gospel is preceded by a list of chapters:  Matthew has 68 chapters; Mark has 48, Luke has 83, and John has 18 or 19.  Chapter-titles typically appear at the top (or bottom) of the page on which they begin, with the chapter-number in the margin.

Lacuna:  A physical defect in a manuscript which results in a loss of text.

Lectionary:  A book consisting of sections of Scripture for annual reading.  Scripture-passages in lectionaries are arranged according to two calendar-forms:  the movable feasts, beginning at Easter, contained in the Synaxarion, and the immovable feasts, beginning on the first of September (the beginning of the secular year), contained in the Menologion.   
 
Lectionary Apparatus:  Marginalia and other features added to New Testament manuscripts in order to make the manuscripts capable of being used in church-services for lection-reading.  These features usually include a table of lection-locations before or after the Scripture-text.  Symbols are inserted in, or alongside, the text of each passage selected for annual reading:  αρχη for “start,” “υπερβαλε” for “skip,” “αρξου” for “resume,” and τελος for “end.”  Rubrics are sometimes added to identify readings for Christmas-time and Easter-time, and holidays considered especially important by the scribe(s).  Incipits, phrases to introduce the readings, often appear alongside the beginning of lections, or alongside the rubric in the upper or lower margin.  

Letter-compression:  A method writing in which letters are written closer to each other than usual, and some letters are written in such a way as to occupy less space than unusual,  This indicates that the scribe was attempting to reserve space.  It occurs especially on cancel-sheets made to remedy omissions by the main scribe.

Majuscule:  A manuscript in which each letter is written separately and as a capital.  These are also known as uncials.  Many majuscules, or uncials, are identified by sigla (singular:  siglum) such as the letters of the English alphabet, letters of the Greek alphabet, and, for Codex Sinaiticus (À), the Hebrew alphabet.  All uncials are identified by numbers that begin with a zero. 

A rare full-page miniature
in GA 2370 at the
Walters Art Museum -
Christ Blessing the Apostles
.
Miniature:  An illustration, often (but not always) situated within a red frame.  The term has nothing to do with the size of the illustration; it is derived instead from the red pigment, minium, which was often used to render the frame around the picture.  (This pigment was famously used in the Book of Kells to make thousands of small dots in the illustrations.)  Miniatures of the evangelists frequently appear as full-page portraits, showing each evangelist in the process of beginning his written account; John is typically pictured assisted by Prochorus.       

Minuscule:  A manuscript in which the letters of each word are generally connected to each other.  The transition from majuscule, or uncial script, to minuscule script, occurred during the 800s and 900s, and was led by Theodore the Studite.  Uncial script was still used, however, for lectionaries in the following centuries. 

Mixture:  A combination of two or more text-types within the text of a single manuscript.  When mixture occurs, it normally is manifested as readings from one text-type sprinkled throughout a text which otherwise agrees with another text-type.  In block-mixture, distinct sections represent distinct text-types.  Codex W exhibits block-mixture; in Matthew and in Luke 8-24 its text is almost entirely Byzantine, but other text-types are represented in the rest of the Gospels-text.   
[Continued]
  

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Glossary of Textual Criticism: A-C


“Understandest thou what thou readest?”
That was Philip’s question to the Ethiopian eunuch in Acts 8:30, as rendered in the KJV.  Every field of scientific study involves some specialized terms, or jargon, which might initially be difficult to understand, and New Testament textual criticism is no exception.  It is easier when you know the jargon.  The website of the Hill Museum & Manuscript Library offers a helpful multi-part review of terminology relevant to the study of Latin manuscripts.  The British Library’s online glossary of terms used in its descriptions of illuminated manuscripts is also informative.  And Robert Waltz’s Encyclopedia of New Testament Textual Criticism includes a very thorough review of the terminology used in this field.  Here is the first of several parts of a concise introductory list of some of the technical terms used in New Testament textual criticism, with their definitions.   

Alexandrian Text:  The form of New Testament text which was dominant in Egypt in the early church, displayed most accurately by Codex Vaticanus and the early Sahidic version.  Since papyrus tends to naturally rot away except in low-humidity climates such as the climate of Egypt, almost all surviving papyrus manuscripts – especially the ones found as the result of excavations in or near Oxyrhynchus, Egypt – support the Alexandrian Text.  Where Alexandrian readings deviate from the Byzantine Text, the Alexandrian reading frequently has internal characteristics that commend it as original.  In some cases, however, Alexandrian variants can be plausibly attrributed to scribal carelessness and conscious editing.  The Nestle-Aland compilation of the Greek New Testament, the primary basis for most modern English versions (the ESV, CSB, NIV, NLT, etc.) is mainly based on the Alexandrian Text.    
Ammonian Sections:  The segments into which the text of the Gospels was divided for identification in the cross-reference system developed by Eusebius of Caesarea.  There are 355 sections in Matthew, 234 in Mark, 343 in Luke, and 232 in John – at least, these are typical.  This system of text-segmentation is named after Ammonius of Alexandria, who, according to Eusebius in his letter Ad Carpianus (which often precedes the Canon-Tables), developed a cross-referencing method in which the text of Matthew was supplemented by the parallel-passages, or the numbers of parallel-passages, in the other Gospels.  It was Eusebius, however, who developed the Sections as we know them, for they cover passages in Mark, Luke, and John that are not paralleled in Matthew.
            In very many Gospels-manuscripts, the Section-numbers appear in the margin alongside the text, accompanied by the canon-number (written below it, separated by a horizontal line).  The numerals are typically written in red.  It is not unusual to see that in the text itself, the first letter on the first line after the beginning of a Section is given special treatment – either by being written larger, or by being written in different ink (often red) slightly to the left of the left margin, or both.    

Bifolio:  A sheet of writing-material (whether parchment, or papyrus, or paper), vertically folded in the middle so as to form four pages upon which text could be written.  Typically, groups of four bifolium were combined – picture a stack of four flat sheets; then picture them vertically folded, all at once, so as to form a small blank 16-page book.  Such a 16-page book is called a quire, or quaternion.  (Quires could take other forms – consisting of different numbers of sheets – and could be supplemented and repaired in a variety of ways.) 
Another way to picture a quire is as a booklet consisting of eight leaves, or folios, each leaf consisting of the front (recto) and back (verso) of half of a bifolio.  To prepare books large enough to contain all four Gospels, or large enough to contain the book of Acts and the Epistles, or even the entire New Testament, quires were sewn together to make a multi-quire codex.  Not all quires consisted of only four sheets – for example, Papyrus 45 is a single-quire codex; all its sheets were laid flat in a single stack before being sewn together.      

Breves:  chapter-summaries, especially those that appear in Latin manuscripts.  Some forms of breves appear to have originated very early in the Old Latin transmission-line, including one form – developed in the mid-200s or slightly thereafter – that includes a reference to the pericope adulterae (John 7:53-8:11, which is absent from most early Greek manuscripts of the Gospel of John) in its usual location in the text of John.   

Byzantine Text:  The Greek text of the New Testament that is supported by a strong majority of manuscripts, as represented in the Byzantine Textform compiled by Robinson and Pierpont.   This form of the text was dominant in Constantinople and its environs (i.e., Byzantium) from the 400s onward.  Many Byzantine readings are supported by patristic testimony from the 300s and earlier; the Gothic version and the Peshitta version also provide strong (but not uniform) support for the Byzantine Text. Compared to the Alexandrian Text, the Byzantine Text tends to be longer and easier to understand.  This is, however, a general description; there are variant-units in which the Alexandrian reading is longer.
            When Westcott and Hort issued the 1881 Revised Text, Hort maintained that all distinctly Byzantine readings (which he described as “Syrian,” reckoning that the core of the Byzantine Text had previously been developed at Antioch, in Syria) should be rejected, on the grounds that the Byzantine Text as a whole was the product of a recension, that is, a carefully edited form of the text made by someone – perhaps Lucian of Antioch – whose editorial work consisted of selecting variants from exemplars drawn from Alexandrian and Western transmission-lines.  Readings that deviated from the Alexandrian and Western variants, Hort theorized, must have originated in the mind of the editor who produced the Antiochan text.  Since Hort proceeded to reject the Western Text as having been thoroughly contaminated by expansions, the 1881 Revised Text was almost 100% Alexandrian at points where these three major forms of the text disagree – and distinctly Byzantine readings, despite being supported by almost all surviving Greek manuscripts, were very few and far between.
            Hort’s theory, however, was greatly weakened by the discovery – in papyrus manuscripts which had been excavated in Egypt, and which appeared to have been produced before or during the lifetime of Lucian of Antioch – of readings which did not agree with the flagship manuscripts of the Alexandrian Text, nor with the Western Text.  This implied that whatever the origins of every distinctive Byzantine reading might be, they could not all have originated during the undertaking of a recension made in the late 200s or early 300s, because at least some distinctive Byzantine readings already existed at that time.  If the Lucianic recension ever happened, it had to involve the consultation of not only Alexandrian and Western exemplars, but also exemplars containing at least some Byzantine readings – in which case, Hort’s basis for rejecting all distinctive Byzantine readings falls to the ground. 
            Nevertheless, even after the discovery of distinctive Byzantine readings in Egyptian papyri, the heavily Alexandrian Revised Text continued to be promoted, especially in Nestle’s Novum Testamentum Graece, and in the United Bible Societies’ Greek New Testament, which are the primary base-texts currently used by most translators.  In A Textual Commentary on the Greek New Testament, author Bruce Metzger – a member of the UBS compilation-committee – defended over 1,000 rejections of Byzantine readings that have an impact on translation.

Caesarean Text:  The form of the text of the Gospels displayed in manuscripts 1582, 1, and some Armenian and Georgian manuscripts.  The testimony of manuscripts 1 and 1582 is augmented by support from an assortment of other manuscripts including 118, 131, and 209).  Researcher Kirsopp Lake established that the distinct readings shared by 1, 118, 131, and 209 descend from a shared ancestor in 1901 in the volume Codex 1 of the Gospels and Its Allies.  (The recognition of 1582 as a member of the same family – and as its best Greek representative – came later).  This cluster of Greek manuscripts is called family 1,  and is generally (but not always) characterized by its members’ unusual treatment of the pericope adulterae:  the passage is put after the end of John 21, having been uprooted and transplanted as the note in 1 and 1582 explains: 
“The chapter about the adulteress:  in the Gospel according to John, this does not appear in the majority of copies; nor is it commented upon by the divine fathers whose interpretations have been preserved – specifically, by John Chrysostom and Cyril of Alexandria; nor is it taken up by Theodore of Mopsuestia and the others.  For this reason, it was not kept in the place where it is found in a few copies, at the beginning of the 86th chapter [that is, the 86th Eusebian Section], following, ‘Search and see that a prophet does not arise out of Galilee.’”
            The Caesarean Text is also notable for referring to “Jesus Barabbas” in Matthew 27:16-17.   Advocates of the genuineness of this reading argue that early Christians suppressed it, considering it to be embarrassing that a criminal such as Barabbas had the same name as the Messiah.  Others have noted that appearance of the name “Jesus in this passage may have originated when an early scribe accidentally repeated the letters ΙΝ at the end of the word ϒΜΙΝ in verse 17, and this was misunderstood as the contraction for the word Ιησους (that is, “Jesus”). 
            It is evident that a Caesarean Text exists for all four Gospels.  It is less evident that there is a Caesarean Text of Acts and the Epistles; however, minuscule 1739 represents a distinct transmission-line, and it was copied by the same copyist who made minuscule 1582, so this should not be ruled out.  

Cancel-sheet:  a parchment sheet, folded in the middle and written on both sides, so as to constitute four pages of a manuscript, made to replace the work of the main copyist.  The most well-known examples of cancel-sheets are in Codex Sinaiticus, including the bifolium that contains Mark 14:54-Luke 1:76 (without Mark 16:9-20).       

Catena:  A commentary consisting of a series of comments by patristic authors who accompanies the Biblical text.  Unlike commentaries written by a single author, a catena combines extracts from the writings of several authors, forming a chain (Latin:  catena) of comments.  The identity of the writer being quoted is sometimes, but not always, written in the vicinity of his comments.  The earliest known Greek catena is in Codex Zacynthius (040, Ξ), an incomplete copy of the Gospel of Luke.
           
Codex (plural:  Codices):  A handmade book. 

Colophon:  a note added to the text of a manuscript.  The contents of such notes can vary; the most useful colophons are those which mention the year and location where the manuscript was produced.  They may also convey the name of the scribe, the name of the patron who sponsored the manuscript’s production, and even declare a curse against whoever might think about taking the manuscript away from the library to which it was entrusted. 

Commentary manuscripts:  A manuscript in which the text of a commentary by one individual accompanies the Biblical text.  Such material is similar to a catena, especially since although a commentary may be written by a single individual, that individual may make free and generous use of the works of other commentators, sometimes acknowledging his source and sometimes not.  As Robert Waltz mentions in his article on Commentaries in the online Encyclopedia of New Testament Textual Criticism, manuscripts with commentaries tended to have one of two forms:  one in which the commentary frames the text, and one in which segments of the text and segments of the commentary alternate.  Frame-commentaries were capable of accompanying texts unrelated to the commentary itself; alternating-commentaries, meanwhile, were always copied at the same time as the Scripture-text they accompany.  For this reason, whenever the same alternating-commentaries accompany the same text, their testimony should be “boiled down,” so to speak, to the testimony of their shared ancestor.
            Some commentaries were more popular than others.  For the Gospel of Matthew, John Chrysostom’s commentary was most popular; for Mark, the Catena-Commentary of Victor of Antioch (a.k.a. the Catena in Marcum) was widely disseminated (and sometimes wrongly attributed to other authors/compilers such as Cyril of Alexandria or Peter of Laodicea).  The commentary of Titus of Bostra was the dominant commentary on Luke.  And for the Gospel of John, copies of both the commentary by John Chrysostom and the commentary by Theophylact are abundant; the latter appears mainly in the alternating format.  Among the other commentators whose work accompanies the New Testament text in some manuscripts are Andreas of Caesarea (in specially formatted copies of Revelation), Andreas the Presbyter (in some copies of Acts and the Epistles),  Oecumenius, and Euthymius Zigabenus.        

Conflation:  a reading which is a combination of two earlier readings.  The presence of conflations implies that the text containing them emerged later than the text that contains its component-parts.  Eight apparent conflations in the Byzantine Text of the Gospels, comprised of component-parts that appear to be combinations of component-parts consisting of Alexandrian and Western readings, were a major part of Hort’s case against the Byzantine Text. 
            However, conflations appear in major representatives of all text-types, not just in the Byzantine Text.  In Codex Sinaiticus, in John 13:24, where the Alexandrian Text reads και λεγει αυτω ειπε τις εστιν and the Byzantine Text reads πυθεσθαι τις αν ειη, Sinaiticus’ text appears to combine those two phrases, reading πυθεσθαι τις αν ειη περι ου ελεγεν, και λεγει αυτω ειπε τις εστιν.  A conflation also appears in Codex Vaticanus at Colossians 1:12:  the Western Text reads καλεσαντι, the Byzantine Text reads ικανωσαντι, and Vaticanus reads καλεσαντι και ικανωσαντι, a combination of the Western and Byzantine readings.  And in Codex D, a conflation appears in John 5:37:  the Alexandrian Text (supported by Papyrus 75) reads has εκεινος μεμαρτυρηκεν, and the the Byzantine Text (supported by Papyrus 66) reads αυτος μεμαρτυρηκεν; the reading in Codex Bezae is εκεινος αυτος μεμαρτυρηκεν and this is precisely what would be produced by a copyist wishing to preserve two different readings in two different exemplars.
            Researcher Wilbur Pickering, in Appendix D of his book The Identity of the New Testament Text, investigates several more cases of apparent conflation in non-Byzantine manuscripts; while some of his examples are capable of more than one explanation, it seems sufficiently clear that the appearance of conflations in a manuscript or text-type cannot validly condemn the entire text-type as late or as posterior to other text-types.

Conjectural emendation:  A reading which is proposed as original but is not supported in any extant Greek manuscript.  The apparatus of the 27th edition of the Nestle-Aland Novum Testamentum Graece mentioned many of these from a wide variety of sources, but only one was adopted in the text (in Acts 16:12).  In the 28th edition, all mentions of conjectural emendations were removed from the apparatus – and one conjectural emendation was adopted into the text of Second Peter 3:10, altering the meaning of the sentence.   
[Continued]

Saturday, April 21, 2018

Meet 0269: A Little-known Uncial Fragment

0269
Right-side up

            Uncial 0269 is a somewhat unusual manuscript:  it is a one-leaf fragment embedded within another manuscript, Codex Blenheimus (0133, a.k.a. Codex ϒ (Upsilon), and known previously – before the discovery of Codex Washingtoniensis – as Wg).  Codex Blenheimus is a palimpsest:   its parchment pages were used in the 1400s as the material out of which a Menaeon was made.  (A Menaeon is a Greek Orthodox service-book – in this case, the services for the month of February).  Before its parchment pages were used for that purpose, they had been part of a Gospel-codex. 
Some time before the pages were recycled, a damaged page was repaired by some who had access to a strip of parchment pages from another Gospels-manuscript – one that had been produced in the 800s.  It is that strip, containing text from Mark 6:14-20, that constitutes 0269.  It was glued to the damaged page of 0133; as a result, 0269 has more text visible on one side than the other.  The lower writing on 0269 is upside-down compared to the upper writing. 
J. Harold Greenlee transcribed the text of 0269 in an article that was published in 1976 in Studies in New Testament Language and Text, a volume prepared to commemorate the 65th birthday of George D. Kilpatrick.  Greenlee had the benefit of ultraviolet light when making his transcription.  Digital images of 0269 are online (as the outer part of fol. 23 of Codex Blenheimus) but without ultraviolet light the lower writing is extremely difficult to read.  The accompanying pseudo-replica may give readers some idea of what it looked like before it was recycled.  
This pseudo-replica reconstructs
the appearance of Mark 6:14b-20
in two columns of text in 0269.
Small blue letters and verse-numbers
are supplied.  (Based on Greenlee's
transcription.)
    
The text of 0269 is distinctly Byzantine.  Its only variations from the text of the Robinson-Pierpont Byzantine Textform are orthographic:  ἀπεκεφάλησα instead of ἀπεκεφάλισα in 6:16, and ουτον instead of αυτον; this second variation, however, should not be readily accepted, inasmuch as Greenlee stated that the line containing it was read from the opposite glued-on side of the parchment; in addition, Greenlee did not mention it when listing non-Textus Receptus readings in 0269.  Meanwhile, 0269 disagrees frequently with Codex Vaticanus: 
v. 14 – 0269 reads ελεγεν; B reads ελεγον
v. 14 – 0269 reads εκ νεκρων ηγερθη; B reads εγηγερται εκ νεκρων
v, 15 – 0269 does not read δε after the first αλλοι
v. 15 – 0269 reads εστιν; B does not.
v. 16 – 0269 does not read ὁ before Ἡρωδης
v. 16 – 0269 reads ειπεν; B reads ελεγεν
v. 16 – 0269 reads οτι; B does not
v. 16 – 0269 reads εστιν; B does not
v. 16 – 0269 reads εκ νεκρων after ηγερθη; B does not
v. 17 – 0269 reads τ[ην γυ]ναικ[α]; B initially did not include these two words, but was then corrected to include them.

Nor does 0269’s text agree particularly with the Western flagship manuscript of the Gospels, Codex Bezae, which reads ελεγοσαν in v. 14, βαπτιστης in v. 14, εγηγερται εκ νεκρων in v. 14, omits προφητης ως in v. 15, reads εκ νεκρων after Ιωάνην in v. 16, includes και βαλεν in v. 17, transposes the last two words in v. 17, and reads σε in v. 18. 
Considering this data, it seems quite justifiable to call shenanigans regarding the Alands’ assignment of this fragment to Category III, as if it has a text that is mixed or unusual; its text should be confidently regarded as Byzantine. 


Saturday, April 14, 2018

Five Palimpsests

Mark 16:14-20 in Codex C,
with later Greek text
written over it.
            Today, let’s take a look at some palimpsests among the New Testament manuscripts.  What is a palimpsest?  A palimpsest – so-called because the parchment has been scraped twice; once in the course of the manuscripts’s initial production, and again when it was recycled; the term is derived from the Greek words πάλιν (again) and ψάω (scrape) – is a manuscript that has been recycled.  After the manuscript was initially produced, someone came along, took it apart, and removed the writing by washing and/or scraping it off the parchment, so that the parchment could then be used as writing-material for another composition (sometimes even another copy of part of the New Testament). 
This happened especially (but not exclusively) in places where writers did not know Greek and/or did not have the means to buy (or to easily buy) new parchment.  We are able to read palimpsests because the recyclers’ efforts to scrape away the ink were frequently only partly successful; ink embedded in the parchment-material was not so easy to erase completely.  Sometimes the lower writing (the older writing) is in the same format as the upper writing (the more recent writing that covers the older writing), but in other cases, it is upside down or sideways compared to the upper writing – and this can vary in the same palimpsest.   
            Over 50 palimpsests are continuous-text uncial manuscripts with text from the New Testament.  Here are five of them: 
Codex Ephraimi Rescriptus (C, 04) is an important manuscript made in the 400s.  In the 1100s, someone recycled its pages, and used them as writing-material for a Greek translation of some of the writings of Ephraem the Syrian, written in Greek minuscule script.  That is how the manuscript obtained its name.  For many years, European scholars attempted to read the lower writing, but with limited success.  Finally in 1843-1845, Constantine von Tischendorf (who is perhaps best-known for his acquisition of Codex Sinaiticus) carefully transcribed the text of Codex C, representing part of the Old Testament in the Greek Septuagint version (Job, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Solomon, and the apocryphal book Wisdom of Solomon) and almost every book of the New Testament (except Second Thessalonians and Second John).  Tischendorf also noticed the corrections in the text, introduced by three distinct persons in the 500s, 900s, and (probably) the 1200s. 
            Tischendorf’s work, while excellent, could be improved or at least double-checked (as R. W. Lyon attempted in 1958) by the use of multi-spectral imaging.  Hopefully this will be done before the manuscript’s Greek text becomes completely illegible as result of the harmful chemicals that were used upon it in the 1830s in attempts to make its lower writing easier to read.    
           
Codex Nitriensis (R, 027):  In the 700s, a monk named Simeon needed parchment to make a copy of the Syriac composition Against the Impious John the Grammarian, by Severus of Antioch.  To obtain the parchment, a few old Greek manuscripts were recycled:  a manuscript of Homer’s Iliad from the 400s, a manuscript of Euclid’s Elements from the 600s, and a manuscript of the Gospel of Luke from the 600s.  This manuscript was once in the impressive library of the monastery of St. Mary Deipara, which was located in the Nitrian Desert in Egypt; this is why it is called Codex Nitriensis. 
This digitally enhanced
image shows text from
Luke 16 in Codex R (027).
            After this manuscript was purchased, William Cureton (the same researcher who discovered and published the Curetonian Syriac manuscript) published its text of part of the Iliad in 1851.  Its text of Luke was studied by both Samuel Tregelles and Constantine Tischendorf; the latter published it in 1857 in his series Monumenta Sacra Inedita, volume 2 (beginning on page 56 of the downloadable file), and each page’s contents are identified in his transcription. 
Now housed at the British Library (and catalogued as Add. MS 17211), Codex R has been rebound so that the opening pages contain the portion which has text from the Gospel of Luke in the lower writing.  Tischendorf managed to not only transcribe the text but also the Eusebian Section-numbers and the marginal note seen here (which accompanies text from Luke 16 but relates to the parable of the Prodigal Son which was on the preceding page).  On some pages, quite a bit of the Greek text, written in two columns per page, is in the margins and is not obscured by the Syriac upper writing; on other pages practically all of the Greek text is thoroughly eclipsed.  Some of the British Library’s digital images of pages of Luke have been helpfully indexed.
A study of the text of R by Robert Waltz indicated that there is considerable mixture in R’s essentially Byzantine text, especially in chapters 13, 14, and 15.  It is one of the relatively few manuscripts which do not include Luke 22:43-44.  Despite the importance of Codex R, the compilers of the 27th edition of the Nestle-Aland Novum Testamentum Graece deliberately stopped citing it, as stated in the Introduction of that edition.   
           
Codex Guelpherbytanus A (024, Pe) and 026 Codex Guelferbytanus B (026, Q) are two early Greek witnesses to the Byzantine text of the Gospels.  They are often consulted together, because each one was recycled when someone in the 700s used their pages for writing-material with which to make a copy of the Latin text of Isidore of Seville’s Etymologies, a.k.a. Origins, a highly significant work in its own right.  
            The person who prepared this palimpsest also recycled pages from a Latin-Gothic copy of Romans (this text is known as Codex Carolinus, a.k.a. Beuron 79) and the lower writing dates to the 500s or 600s), a Vulgate copy of the book of Judges, a Vulgate copy of Job, a copy of Ambrosiaster’s Commentary on Romans, and a copy of the Roman author Galen’s composition On the Properties of Foods.
Tischendorf gave 024 and 026 his attention and transcribed then both:  024’s text of portions of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John is recorded in Monumenta Sacra Inedita, Volume 6, published in 1869, following the title-page on digital page 276.  Tischendorf’s transcript of 026’s text of portions of Luke and John (especially Luke) follows digital page 310 in Monumenta Sacra Inedita, Volume 3, published in 1860. 
            Unfortunately, few individuals other than readers of Tischendorf’s publications (in which most of the introductions and notes were written in Latin) seem to have paid much attention to Codices 024 and 026.  Bruce Metzger did not mention them in the chapter Important Witnesses to the Text of the New Testament in his textbook The Text of the New Testament.  026, but not 024, was consulted for the Tyndale House edition of the Greek New Testament.  Hopefully this neglect will not last long.  A complete index of 024 and 026 (facilitating comparisons between the online digital images of the manuscript, and Tischendorf’s page-by-page transcript) is available as a free download among the files stored at the NT Textual Criticism group on Facebook.
            (Those who page through the digital page-views may also notice Isidore’s comments and diagrams about the spherical shape of the earth, the moon’s rotation around the earth, etc.)  
           
On this page from Codex Zacynthius (040),
an excerpt from the writings of Cyril of Alexandria
stands in the upper and lower margins. 
The text of Luke is written in different lettering. 
The old parchment was reused to make a medieval lectionary, written in black and ink.
Codex Zacynthius (040, Ξ) is two New Testament manuscripts in one:  the upper writing is Lectionary 299, produced in the 1200s or 1300s.  The lower writing contains, in uncial script, text from the first half of the Gospel of Luke, and was probably written in the 700s, although some researchers have proposed that it was made in the 600s or even the 500s.  The text of Luke is framed by a  catena-commentary in the margins; the excerpts from patristic writings are also written in uncials, but the letters are smaller and vertically elongated so as to avoid confusion between the Scripture-text and the patristic excerpts. 
Included among the patristic writers cited in the catena – Chrysostom, Origen, Isidore of Pelusium, Titus of Bostra, Cyril of Alexandria (especially) and more – is Severus of Antioch, who wrote in the 500s (the same person whose composition constitutes the upper writing in Codex Nitriensis); this may seem to weigh in against the idea that the catena in Ξ was made during or very shortly after his lifetime; on the other hand, Severus’ name was erased, which suggests that the manuscript was read and used by someone who was apparently not altogether willing to attribute helpful comments to Severus on account of his problematic Christological views.  
            One of the notable features of Codex 040 was noticed by Samuel Tregelles in his 1861 publication of its contents:  chapter-divisions, accompanied by the letter Ψ, are the same as those found in Codex Vaticanus.  This suggested to Tregelles what a detailed study of its text confirmed:  it often agrees with the Alexandran uncials.  At Luke 4:8, for example, Ξ is allied with Vaticanus and Sinaiticus by not including the phrase “Get behind Me, Satan” (Υπαγε οπισω μου σατανα).    
Tregelles avoided using chemicals to restore the text, preferring instead to use “every clear day for about four months” – by which I deduce that he held the pages up to sunlight (or else used a mirror to catch the sunlight and project it onto the pages) to see the lower writing.  Modern-day researchers are using new methods, including multi-spectral imaging, to continue to investigate the text of this palimpsest.

[Readers are encouraged to use the embedded links in this post to explore additional resources.]