Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Codex 064 - More Pages at Mount Sinai!

A sample of the Greek text of 064 
(under the Syriac text, which has been
digitally removed from this image.)
            Four pages from Codex 064, dating to the 400s or 500s, are among the manuscripts housed at Saint Catherine’s Monastery.  They are on pages 71 and 72 of the manuscript known as Syriac 7 (accessible, with registration, at the Sinai Palimpsests Project website), and they contain Matthew 26:70-27:7 (on fol. 72) and Matthew 27:30-43 (on fol. 71). 
             Although the Greek text on this palimpsest is partly obscured by the Syriac writing that was written on top of it, most of it can be read without much difficulty once the pages are rotated and magnified onscreen.  The text is formatted in two narrow columns on each page, with 25 lines of text per page.  In this respect it corresponds to the description that J. Rendel Harris gave to several pages which he identified as Fragment #10 in the 1890 book Biblical Fragments from Mount Sinai. 
            The pages that were described and transcribed by Harris as Fragment 10 constitute the uncial 074, which turned out to be part of the same manuscript identified as Codex 064, which consists of two parchment leaves with text from Matthew 27:7-30.  Making things a little more complicated, 064 and 074 are from the same manuscript as the pages which constitute Codex 090, which consists of several pages with text from Matthew 26:59-70, 27:44-46, and Mark 1:32-2:12.  To restate:  064 (at Kiev, Ukraine), 074 (at St. Catherine’s Monastery), and 090 (at the National Library of Russia, in Saint Petersburg) are all from the same codex.
            Now the surviving part of that codex is known to be a little more substantial.  The other day, after I replicated the lower writing on a page from Syriac 7, I asked Elijah Hixson for his impression of the Greek text.  He mentioned that it reminded him of the manuscript at St. Catherine's Monastery that J. Rendel Harris had discovered back in 1890 - 064.  And with a little more investigation, I confirmed that that is exactly what these pages are from.
            The text on one page of Codex 090 ends at Matthew 26:70.  So what we have in the page in Syriac 7 – 72r – that contains Matthew 26:70-27:7 is the page that came immediately after that page of 090.
            The text on another page of Codex 090 begins at Matthew 27:44.  So what we have in the page in Syriac 7/Greek 064 that contains Matthew 27:30-43 – 71r – is the page that came immediately before that page from the portion known as Codex 090. 
            The text in the newly discovered pages of Codex 064 is interesting – more Byzantine than anything else, but with significant variation.  Here are some examples of its readings:
            26:70 – At the end of the verse, 064 reads -σταμαι τι λεγεις – a reading which looks  like an agreement with D, Δ, and f1, but with a transposition.
            26:72 – After ορκου, 064 reads λεγων, a reading shared by Codex D.
            26:73 – After Μετα μικρον δε, 064 reads παλιν, an agreement with f1.
            26:73 – After και γαρ, 064 reads Γαλιλαιος ει και, an agreement with C*.
            26:73 – After λαλια, 064 has προ between σου and δηλόν.
            27:33 – 064 has the word-order κρανιου τοπος λεγομενος, agreeing with À B L 1 1582.
            27:34 – 064 has οξος, agreeing with Byz A W.
            27:34 – 064 has ηθέλησεν, agreeing with À* B D f1.
            27:35 – 064 does not have ινα πληρωθη το ρηθεν δια του προφήτου διεμέρισαντο τα ιμάτια μου εαυτοις και επι τον ιματισμον μου εβαλον κληρον.  Κληρον is followed immediately by και (beginning v. 26) on the same line.
            27:41 – After Ομοιως, 064 reads και, but δε is not present.
            27:41 – Between εμπαίζοντες and μετα, one line of text is filled by  προς αλληλους (a harmonization with Mark 15:31).
            27:41 – 064 includes και Φαρισαίων (agreeing with Byz K Π) and this reading fills exactly one line of text, following another line that also ends in –ων.    
            27:42 – At the end of the verse, 064 reads  πιστευσωμεν αυτω.
            27:43 – At the very beginning of the verse, 064 reads Ει before πέποιθεν, agreeing with D f1. 
            27:43 – 064 does not have νυν after ρυσάσθω, agreeing with A Y Π 157 565.
            Hopefully a full transcription of the pages of Codex 064 in Syriac 7 will be available soon.

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



Daniel Buck said...

So, for 45 years after its discovery this document went unidentified, until a small-church pastor sitting in his home office in rural Indiana linked it to not one, but TWO other numbered uncials in different countries? It's amazing where we have come.

Jim Huffman said...

I think about your comments about the textual discoveries since 1975 (especially around the adulterae pericope) and I echo Mr Buck's statement. Keep up your good work.

Eric Rowe said...

Congratulations for this achievement, and thank you for your work, James.

For those of us who are not at all familiar with the Sinai Palimpsests Project, do you know if they keep records of the details of provenance of these pages any more specifically than just that they were found at St. Catherine's Monastery, such as the following:

What is known about how and where they were kept at the Monastery? I imagine that there is a large gap of total ignorance about these pages from some time in antiquity up to some time in the modern age. But at some point in recent centuries someone found them somewhere in there and decided to catalog them and keep them in some organized way. When this happened was any record made of where they were in the monastery? And how were they kept over the years since that happened?

Odds are that more leaves of this manuscript are still out there waiting to be found.

James Snapp Jr said...

Eric Rowe,
Some of the palimpsests (like these pages from 064, which at first I had mistakenly thought were from the New Finds) are from the collections at St. Catherine's, and others are from the New Finds. The "NF" marker in the name = a New Find.

I don't know of any special notes about provenance other than what is at the site in the descriptions of the MSS.

<< Odds are that more leaves of this manuscript are still out there waiting to be found. >>

The lower Greek writing in Georgian 49 and NF Georgian 19 might be promising places to start.
See and
for samples.

Timothy N. Mitchell said...

This is great detective work James!

Daniel Buck said...

One other thing to note: here are three numbered uncials that all boil down to a single, non-overlapping textual witness to some of the final pages of the Gospel of Matthew. Yet this single uncial has been counted three different ways as a witness against the inclusion of the PA in John. Those who promulgate the idea that there are "hundreds of uncials" that don't witness to a particular reading in a particular chapter of a particular book should recognize that if there is any evil in counting manuscripts rather than weighing them, of all such deeds they are committing the worst of the worst.