Tuesday, December 31, 2019

GA 804 Looked Like a Gospels-Manuscript - Except For This!

            In October 2014, I wrote about GA 804, a small Gospels-manuscript from the 1000s with a text that often agrees with K and Π.  This manuscript, housed in Athens at the Hellenic Parliament Library, was digitized by a research-team from the Center for the Study of New Testament Manuscripts.
            Today, I want to zoom in on the contents of the ten pages in GA 804 that appear after its Eusebian Canon-tables and chapter-list and immediately before the text of Matthew.  These pages (viewable at the CSNTM website) were once part of a different manuscript – a lectionary, containing assorted extracts from various New Testament books.  They contain Galatians 4:4-7 (a Christmastime reading), First Corinthians 9:19-22, First Corinthians 10:1-3 (part of a lection for the ceremonial Blessing of the Water on January 5), Titus 2:11-14, Titus 3:5-7 (these two segments from Titus form part of a lection for January 6, Epiphany), Hebrews 7:7-17 (a lection for February 2), and Hebrews 2:11-18 (a lection for Good Friday).  The last page of the lectionary (on which the last part of Hebrews 2:18, after περασθείς, can still be read) was reused to contain an illustration (now badly faded) of the apostle Matthew. 
            Let’s briefly sift through the text, ignoring most of the many itacisms, and looking at its readings especially at points where the Byzantine Textform has a reading different from NA27.  A few other readings are also recorded:

Gal. 4:6 – 804 does not have ὁ Θς before το πνα
Gal. 4:6 – 804 has ημων instead of υμων, agreeing with P46 À A B C
Gal. 4:7 – 804 has αλλ’ instead of αλλα, agreeing with Byz
Gal. 4:7 – 804 has θυ δια χυ, agreeing with Byz
I Cor. 9:20 – 804 has ως υπο νομον, agreeing with Byz
I Cor. 9:21 – 804 has θω, agreeing with Byz
I Cor. 9:21 – 804 has Χω, agreeing with Byz
I Cor. 9:22 – 804 has Και at the beginning of the verse
I Cor. 9:22 – 804 has ως, agreeing with Byz
I Cor. 9:22 – 804 has τα, agreeing with Byz
I Cor. 9:23 – 804 has Τουτο, agreeing with Byz
I Cor. 9:24 – 804 has Η before ουκ
I Cor. 9:26 – 804 has δε after Εγω
I Cor. 9:26 – 804 has πϊκτευω instead of πυκτευω
I Cor. 9:27 – 804 has αλλ’ instead of αλλα, agreeing with Byz
I Cor. 10:1 – 804 has δε, agreeing with Byz
I Cor. 10:1 – 804 has ηλθον instead of διηλθον, agreeing with 1241s
I Cor. 10:2 – 804 has εβαπτισθησαν, agreeing with NA. 
I Cor. 10:3 – 804 has an h.t. error:  the scribe’s line of sight went from the first occurrence of το αυτο to the second occurrence, skipping the intervening words.  (This indirectly supports the Byzantine reading)
Titus 2:11 – 804 has η σριος, agreeing with Byz
Titus 2:13 – 804 has πρς instead of σωτηρος
Titus 2:13 – 804 has Ιυ Χυ, agreeing with Byz
Titus 2:14 – 804 has εαυτον before λαον, instead of εαυτω
Titus 2:14 – 804 has καλλων instead of καλων
Titus 3:4 – 804 has φιλανια 
Titus 3:5 – 804 has ελειον, agreeing (with itacism) with Byz
Titus 3:5 – 804 has ανακενησεως instead of ανακινώσεως
Titus 3:6 – 804 has γενώμεθα instead of γενηθωμεν
Titus 3:7 (lection-segment concludes at the end of the verse)
Heb. 7:9 – 804 has επως (itacism)
Heb. 7:10 – 804 includes ὁ before Μελχισεδέκ, agreeing with Byz
Heb. 7:11 – 804 has αυτην ενομοθετήτο (agreeing with Byz, sort of)
Heb. 7:11 – 804 has χρειαν instead of χρεια
Heb. 7:11 – 804 has μη instead of ου
Heb. 7:14 – 804 has ουδεν περι ερωσυνης, agreeing (essentially) with Byz
Heb. 7:17 – 804 has μαρτυρειται, agreeing with NA
Heb. 7:17 – 804 does not have οτι
Heb. 7:17 – 804 has ει before ιερευς
Heb. 2:14 – 804 has σαρκός και αιματος, agreeing with Byz

            Thus, we have here the remains of a mostly Byzantine lectionary – with a few readings that stand out:  
● The absence of ὁ Θς in Galatians 4:6 would make this reference to God less explicit.  This shorter reading is supported by B and 1739.
φιλανια in Titus 3:4 is not exactly a textual variant; it is a seldom-seen sacred name contraction; uncontracted, the word is φιλανθρωπία.  (It is featured in the Kacmarcik Codex in a section about nomina sacra contractions.  (Dr. David Calabro tells a little more about the Kacmarcik Codex in this brief video.))
εβαπτισθησαν in I Cor. 10:2 is supported by the formidable array of À A C D (i.e., Claromontanus, not Bezae), Ψ 33 1611 1505.  Yet the usual Byzantine reading, ἐβαπτίσαντο, is supported (with a slight spelling difference) by Papyrus 46 B K et al.  The Tyndale House GNT adopts ἐβαπτίσαντο here, in agreement with a note added by Bruce Metzger in his Textual Commentary, which would mean that those who crossed the Red Sea baptized themselves.
ημων in Galatians 4:6 causes the sentence to refer to our hearts, rather than your hearts.  
● The sacred-name contraction πρς in Titus 2:13 is weird:  uncontracted, this would be Πατρος, “Father” – which does not work very well with Granville Sharp’s Rule in play; a reader of such a sentence might conclude that Paul mean that our God and Father = Jesus Christ.  But this would not be the only instance of a copyist writing the wrong sacred-name contraction.   
μαρτυρειται in Hebrews 7;17 – The Byzantine reading μαρτυρει might have originated in a parableptic error in which the final syllable -ται was accidentally skipped.
ει before ιερευς is not adopted in Hebrews 7:17 in the Nestle-Aland compilation, the Byzantine Text, the Textus Receptus, Pickering’s f35 archetype, or the Tyndale House GNT.  Yet a case could be made for its genuineness:  scribes might naturally insert the equivalent of “are” here, but scribes might just as naturally conform the quotation to the Greek text of Psalm 110 (Psalm 109:4 in the Septuagint) that is being quoted – or omit it accidentally.  The inclusion of ει has early and diverse support from Papyrus 46, K, 1175, and 1739.  

This data should augment and clarify the Informational Document for GA 804 at CSNTM which was drawn up by Daniel B. Wallace.  In addition, the statement “238b–239b: PA; πν is written vertically in red letters between 7.52 and 7.53” should be corrected:  those red letters are not πν; they are υπ, and they are part of the lectionary marginalia instructing the lector to jump (υπερβαλε) ahead to 8:12, where one sees in the margin the instructions for the lector to resume (αρξου).

I do not know if this lectionary has received its own official identification-number.  Perhaps such a step should be delayed until a careful investigation can be made to see if these pages are part of a lectionary which already has an identification-number.

Readers are invited to double-check the data in this post.

I also invite you to read and contemplate some of the Scriptures in these pages – First Corinthians 10:1-3, Galatians 4:4-7, Titus 2:11-14, Titus 3:5-7, Hebrews 2:11-18 – as you celebrate the coming new year 2020!


  1. James,
    You at your best to end the year!
    Happy New Year!


  2. It's quite a peculiar instance that every one of the above mentioned Lectionary readings squares up with a pre-Christian occultic holy day.

  3. Keep writing and investigating!! thank you for your work! https://jn146.org