These are either Hebrew or Greek; we shall treat of them separately, referring for details to subordinate articles, where they are discussed more copiously.
I. Jewish Manuscripts. —
1. These are divided into
(a.) Synagogue rolls or sacred copies, and (b.) Private or common copies.
(a.) The synagogue rolls contain the Pentateuch, the appointed sections of the prophets, or the book of Esther, which last is used only at the Feast of Purim. The three are never put together, but are written on separate rolls. They are in the Chaldee or square Hebrew character, without vowels and accents, accompanied with the puncta extraordinaria, and having the unusual forms of certain consonants. The parchment is prepared in a particular manner by the hands of Jews only, and made from the hides of clean animals, which, when duly wrought, are joined together by thongs made out of the same material. They are then divided into columns, the breadth of which must not exceed half their length. These columns, whose number is prescribed, must be of equal length and breadth among themselves, and contain a certain number of lines, each line having no more than three words. The Talmud contains strict rules concerning the material, the color, the ink, letters, divisions, writing instrument, etc., which are closely followed, especially in the Pentateuch. These rules are extracted from the Talmud, and translated in Adler's Judaeorum Codicis Sacri rite scribendi leges, etc. (Hamburg, 1779, 8vo). The minuteness of such regulations renders it a most irksome task for the sopher or scribe to write out a synagogue roll. The revision of the Torah, as the synagogue roll is often called, must be undertaken within thirty days after its transcription, else it is unfit for use. Three mistakes on one side or skin are allowable; but should there befour, or should there happen to be an error in the open and close sections of the law, in the position of the songs in Exodus 5 and Deuteronomy 22, which are the only portions of the Pentateuch written in poetical lines, then the whole copy is worthless. The great beauty of penmanship exhibited in these synagogue copies has always been admired. They are taken from authentic exemplars, without the slightest deviation or correction. Seldom do they fall into the hands of Christians; since, as soon as they cease to be employed in the synagogue, they are either buried or carefully laid aside, lest they should be profaned by coming into the possession of Gentiles.
(b.) Private MSS, are written partly in the square or Chaldee character, partly in the Rabbinical. They are held in far less esteem than the synagogue rolls, and are wont to be denominated profagne (pesulim). Their form is entirely arbitrary. They are in folio, quarto, octavo, and duodecimo. Of those written in the square character, the greater number are on parchment, some on paper. The ink of the letters is always black, but the vowel points are usually written with ink of a different color from that of the consonants. Initial words and letters are frequently decorated with gold and silver colors. The prose parts are arranged in columns; the poetic in parallel numbers. Some copies are without columns. The columns are not always occupied with the Hebrew text alone; for a version is frequently added, which is either written in the text after the manner of verses, or ill a column by itself; or in the margin in a smaller character. The number of lines is not prescribed by the Talmud. The upper and lower margin are filled with the Great Masorah, and sometimes with a rabbinical commentary; as also with prayers, psalms, and the like. The external margin is for corrections, scholia, variations, notices of the haphtaroth (sections from the prophets), parshioth (sections from the law), the commentaries of the rabbins, etc. The inner margin, or that between the columns, is occupied with the Little Masorah. The single books of the O.T. are separated from one another by spaces. except the books of Samuel, Kings, Chronicles, Ezra, and Nehemiah, which are written continuously. The sections of the law and prophets are generally marked. In the MSS. of different countries the books are differently arranged. These copies generally pass through various hands before they are finished. The consonants proceed from the sopher or scribe. When the same person writes both consonants and vowels, as is frequently the case — he never makes them at the same time — the former are finished before he begins to append the latter. The Keris in the margin uniformly proceed from the vowel-writer. It is probable that these copies were in no instance made by Christians.
The square character employed in the MSS. of which we have spoken has varieties. The Jews themselves distinguish in the synagogue rolls — 1. the Tam letter, with sharp corners and perpendicular coronulee, used among the German and Polish Jews; 2. the Velske letter, more modern than the Tam, and rounder, with coronulae, particularly found in the sacred copies of the Spanish and Oriental Jews. SEE OLD TESTAMENT.
2. The age of Hebrew MSS. is not easily determined. It is true that they often contain subscriptions giving an account of the time when they were written, and the name of the scribe, or also of the possessor. But these accounts are often ambiguous, occasionally incorrect. Where they are altogether wanting it is still more difficult to discover the age. In the latter case the character of the writing, the color of the ink, the quality and complexion of the parchment, the absence of the Masorah, of the vowel- points, of the unusual letters, etc., have been chiefly rested upon. Still, however, such particulars are uncertain marks of age.
The oldest Hebrew MS. known to Kennicott or De Rossi was 634 of De Rossi, a mere fragment, containing small portions of Leviticus and Numbers. According to its former possessor, it belongs to the 8th century. So much uncertainty attaches to the internal marks adopted by these two Hebraists that the ages to which they assign several Hebrew MSS. are gratuitous. Since Pinner examined a number of MSS. belonging to the Bible Society of Odessa, older ones are now known. (For the dates of his MSS., see below.) In the imperial public library at St. Petersburg there is a collection of Hebrew MSS. made by Mr. Firkowicz, containing several very ancient ones. The oldest date is in a roll found in a Karaite synagogue in the Crimea, viz. A.D. 489; but that date is very suspicious. Several fragments of rolls give, as the dates of purchase or dedication, A.D. 639, 764, 781, 789, 798, 805, 815, 843, 848.
3. A few of the oldest Hebrew MSS. may be briefly described here. We begin with the Helali or Hillel Codex (סֵפֶר הֵלָאלַי), one of the most ancient and most celebrated codices of the Hebrew Scriptures, which derived its name from the fact that it was written at Hilla (הֵלָאלָה), a town built near the ruins of ancient Babel. Others, however, maintain that it was called Hilali because the name of the man who wrote it was lillel. But whatever uncertainty there may be about the derivation of its name, there can hardly be any doubt that it was written A.D. 600, for Sakkuto tells us most distinctly that when he saw the remainder of it (cir. A.D. 1500) the Codex was 900 years old. His words are, "In the year 4956, on the 28th of Ab (1196, better 1197), there was a great persecution of the Jews in the kingdom of Leon from the two kingdoms that came to besiege it. It was then that the twenty-four sacred books which were written long ago, about the year 600, by R. Moses ben-Hillel (on which account the Codex was called Hilali), in an exceedingly correct manner, and after which all the copies were corrected, were taken away. I saw the remaining two portions of it — viz. the earlier and later prophets-written in large and beautiful characters, which were brought to Portugal and sold in Africa, where they still are, having been written 900 years ago. Kimchi, in his Grammar on Nu 15:4, says that the Pentateuch of this Codex was extant in Toleti" (Juchassin, ed. Filipowski, Lond, 1857, p. 220). The Codex had the Tiberian vowels and accents, Masorah and Nikud glosses, and it served up to A.D. 1500 as a model from which copies were made. The Codex which Haja had in Babylon about A.D. 1000 was conveyed to Leon, in Spain, where the greater part of it became a prey to the fury of the martial hosts who sacked the Jewish dwellings in 1197. The celebrated grammarian, Jacob ben-Eleazar, fixed the renderings of the Biblical text according to this Codex, and the older philologians frequently quote it. Comp. Grätz, Geschichte der Juden (Lpz. 1859), 6:132, 229; Fürst, Geschichte des Karäerthums (Leipzic, 1869), 1:22, 138; Kimchi, Radicum Liber ed. Biesenthal et Lebrecht (Berolini. 1847), p. 26. SEE JACOB BEN-ELEAZAR.
No. 1, Pinner. This is a Pentateuch roll on leather, containing the five Mosaic books complete. It has no vowels, accents, or Masorah. The roll consists of forty-five pieces. As to the form of the letters, it differs considerably from the present style. This is particularly מלז ג ב א. The variations in the text from the Masoretic recension are few and inconsiderable. The MS., according to the subscription, was corrected in the year 580, consequently the roll must have been written upwards of 1280 years. It was brought from Derbend, in Daghestan, and is now at St. Petersburg. If the subscription be genuine, it is the oldest MS. known, except that one in the Firkowicz collection dated 489. (See Rule, Karaites, p. 100 sq.)
No. 634, De Rossi, quarto. This is but the fragment of a MS., containing Le 21:19 - Nu 1:50. It is on parchment, without the vowel-points, Masorah, or Keris. It, has also no interval between the parshioth or sections. But there are sometimes points between the words. It belongs, in De Rossi's opinion, to the 8th century, and is corroded by age. The character of the letters is intermediate, approaching the German. It is now at Parma.
No. 5, Pinner. This is a roll of the Pentateuch, but incomplete. The writing begins with Nu 13:19. The form of the letters is very different from the present style. It is carelessly written, words and letters being frequently omitted. The subscription states that it was written A.D. 843.
No. 11, Pinner. This is a fragment of a synagogue roll, beginning with De 31:1. The date is 881.
No. 503, De Rossi, in quarto. This is a MS. of the Pentateuch, made up of different pieces. It begins with Ge 42:15, and ends with De 15:12. There is a chasm in it from Le 21:19 to Nu 1:50, because De Rossi separated this portion, thinking it to be older than the rest, and characterized it as an independent fragment by the No. 634. The vowel-points are attached, but not throughout, evidently by the same hand as that which wrote the consonants. There are no traces of the Masorah or Keris. Sometimes its readings have a remarkable agreement with those of the Samaritan text and ancient versions. De Rossi places the various pieces of which it is made up in the 9th and 10th centuries.
No. 3, Pinner, small folio. This MS. contains the greater and lesser prophets, on 225 leaves. Every page is written in two columns, between which, as well as below, and in the outer margin, stands the Masorah. Every column contains twenty-one lines. After each verse are two points, to which, without any interval, a new verse succeeds. The vowels and accents, as well as the greater and lesser Masorah, are wholly different from the Masoretic. The former are placed above the consonants. The first page has a twofold pointing, viz. above and below, but this does not occur again except occasionally in verses or words. From Zec 14:6 to Mal 1:13 there is no punctuation, and the first three verses of Malachi alone have been pointed much later in the manner now usual. The whole Codex is very correctly written. The form of the consonants differs considerably from the present text. The various readings of this MS., according to Pinner's collation, are numerous and important. The date is 916. Two others in the same collection, Nos. 15 and 17, have the same vowel and accent system, i.e. the Babylonian or Eastern, which originated in the 6th century, and from which, in the 7th, that of the Western, or the school of Tiberias, was developed. Pinsker has written ably on the subject Zieitlung in das Babylonisch-Hebrsische Punktationsystem, etc., Wien,
1683), reviewed by Furst in the Zeifschrsflt der cealuschen morgenlandischen Gesellschaft, 18:314 sq.
No. 13, Pinner, folio. This is an incomplete MS., consisting of 115 leaves, on good parchment, containing 2 Samuel from 6:10 to the end, and the books of Kings. Each page has three columns, between which, as also at the sides of the text, stands the Masorah. The vowels and accents are different from those now in use. The text has many and important readings; and the Masorah deserves to be examined. Two points stand after each verse; and 2d succeeds 1st Kings without a vacant space between. An inscription states that the MS. was purchased in 938. It is obviously an important codex.
Codex 590, Kennicott, folio. This MS. contains the Prophets and Hagiographa on parchment. The text has the vowel-points, but apparently from a later hand. The margin does not exhibit the Masorah, but variations are noted here and there. Some books have the final Masorah. The separate books have no titles, and they are arranged in the oldest order, Jeremiah and Ezekiel coming before Isaiah, and Ruth before the Psalms. According to the subscription, it was written A.D. 1019, or 1018 by another reckoning. The MS. is in the imperial library of Vienna.
Pinner, small folio. A MS. containing the Pentateuch, Prophets, and Hagiographa, on good parchment. Every page has three columns, except in Psalms, Job, and Proverbs, where there are but two. The text is furnished with vowels and accents, two points standing after each verse. The letters and accents are like those in No. 3 of Pinner. The Great and Little Masorah are in the margins. Being a Karaite MS., it has not been written with great accuracy. Words and verses are sometimes repeated. It is highly ornamented with gold and silver colors. The Codex states that it was written in Egypt in the year 1010.
The most important and oldest Hebrew MSS. collated by Kennicott, Bruns, De Rossi, Pinner, and others, are described in Davidson's Biblical Criticism, 1:346 sq.; and his Text of the Old Testament considered, etc., p. 98 sq. See also the third section of Tychsen's Tentamen de svariis Codicum Hebraicorum Vet . est. SS. generibus, etc. (Rostock, 172, 8vo), in which the learned writer examines the marks of antiquity assumed by Simon, Jablonski, Wolf, Houbigant, Kennicott, and Lilienthal, and shows that the Masorah alone is a certain index for determining the age and goodness of Hebrew MSS. See also the same writer's Beurtheilung der
Jahrzahlen in den Hebriaisch-Biblischen Handschriften (Rostock, 1 786, 8vo), in which the mode of determining the age of MISS. adopted by Kennicott, Bruns. and Do kossi is rejected; and Schnurrer's Dissertatio Inauguralis de Codicnum Hebraeorumn Vet. Test. cetate . diculter determinandas (Tübingen, 1772, 4to), reprinted in his Dissertationes Philologico-Criticae (Gotha and Amsterdam, 1790, 8vo).
Private MSS. written in the Rabbinical character are much more recent than the preceding, none of them being older than 500 years. They are on cotton or linen paper, in a cursive character, without vowel-points or the Masorah, and with many abbreviations.
The MSS. found among the Chinese Jews are partly synagogue rolls, partly private copies, whose text does not differ from the Masoretic. The Pentateuch of the Malabar Jews, brought from India to England by the late Dr. Buchanan, and described by Mr. Yeates, resembles, on the whole, the usual synagogue rolls of the Jews, except that it is written on red skins. Its text is the Masoretic, with a few unimportant deviations.
Eight exemplars are celebrated among the Jews for their correctness and value. They are now lost, but extracts from them are still preserved. From Jewish writings, and from the margin of some MISS., where a reference is made to them, we learn that they were highly prized for their singular accuracy. They formed the basis of subsequent copies. They are,
1. The Codex of Hillel (see above); 2. The Babylonian Codex; 3. The Codex of Israel; 4. An Egyptian Codex; 5. Codex Sinai; 6. The Pentateuch of Jericho; 7. Codex Sanbuki; 8. The book Taggin.
For a more copious account of Hebrew MSS. we refer to Eichhorn's Einleitung (Introduction), vol. 2; Kennicott's Dissertatio generalis; Walton's Prolegomena to the Polyglott, separately edited by Dathe and Wrangham; Tychsen's Tentamene; De Rossi's Variae Lectiones Vet. Test. etc.; and his Scholia critica in V. T. libros, etc.; De Wette, Lehrbuch der Historisch-Kritischen selinleitun.g; Davidson's Treatise on Biblical
Criticism; and his Introd. to the Old Test., in Horne. SEE OLD TESTAMENT.
II. Manuscripts of the Greek Testament. —
1. Those that have descended to our time are either on vellum or paper. The oldest material was the Egyptian papyrus, but even so early as the 4th century the N.T. was written on the skins of animals. This writing material continued in use till the 11th century, when paper began to be employed. Till the 10th century, MSS. were usually written in capital or uncial letters; then the cursive character came into use. The most ancient copies have no division of words, being written in a continued series of lines. Accents, spirits, and iota, postscribed or subscribed, are also wanting.
2. The whole of the N.T. is contained in very few MSS. Transcribers generally divided it into three parts; the first, containing the four Gospels; the second, the Acts of the Apostles and the Epistles; the third, the Apocalypse of St. John. The greatest number of MSS. are those which have the four Gospels, because they were most frequently read in the churches. Those containing the Acts and Epistles are also numerous. Such as have the book of Revelation alone are extremely few, because it was seldom read in public.
Greek codices are not often complete in all their parts. They have many chasms. Again, some contain merely detached portions of the N.T., or sections appointed to be read on certain days in the churches. Such codices are called ἀναγνώσεις or ἀναγνώσματα in Greek; in Latin, lectionaria. Those containing lessons from the Gospels are called evangelistaria; such as were taken from the Acts, πραξαπόστολοι; those from the epistles, epistolaria or ἀπόστολοι.
Several MSS. are accompanied with a Latin translation interlined, or in a parallel column. Such have been called bilinigues .
3. We shall now advert to the uncial MS. of the Greek Testament, and to those usually quoted in the examination of the controverted passage 1 John v. 7. The former are marked with the letters of the alphabet, A, B, C, etc.; the latter by the Arabic numerals, 1. 2, 3, etc. (in some late critics by small letters, a, b, c, etc.).
The number of uncial MSS. remaining, though great when compared with the ancient MSS. extant of other writings, is inconsiderable. (See the table in 4. below.) Tischendorf (N.T. Praef. cxxx) reckons 40 in the Gospels, of which 5 are entire, B K MU; 3 nearly entire, ElA; 10 contain very considerable portions, A C D F G H V X F A; of the remainder, 14 contain very small fragments, 8 fragments more (I P Q R Z) or less considerable (N T Y). To these must be added א (Cod. Sinait.), which is entire;(H), a new MS. of Tischendorf (Not. Cod. Sin. p. 51-52), which is nearly entire; and Ξ (Cod. Zacynth.), which contains considerable fragments of Luke. Tischendorf has likewise obtained 9 additional fragments (1. c.). In the Acts there are 12, of which 4 contain the text entire (א A B), or nearly so (E2); 5 have large fragments (C D II2 G2= L2 and P2), 3 small fragments. In the Catholic Epistles 7, of which 5, lא B K2 G2 —lare entire; 2 (C P2) nearly entire. In the Pauline Epistles there are 18: 1 (א) entire; 3 nearly entire, D2 L2 P2; 7 have very considerable portions, A B C E3 F2 G3 K2 (but Eis of little account); the remaining 7 some fragments. In the Apocalypse 5: 3 entire (א A B2), 2 nearly entire (C P2).
According to date these MSS. are classed as follows:
Fourth century: א B.
Fifth century: A C, and some fragments.
Sixth century: D P R Z E2 D2 H3, and 9 smaller fragments.
Seventh century: Some fragments.
Eighth century: El(A) Ξ B2, and some fragments.
Ninth century: F K in V X rA II H2 G2 =L2 F G2 K2 M2 P2, and fragments.
Tenth century: G HU (En).
A complete description of these MSS. is given in the great critical editions of the N.T.: here those only can be briefly noticed which are of primary importance.
א, Codex Sinaiticus (Cod. Frid. Aug. of the Sept.) at St. Petersburg, obtained by Tischendorf from the convent of St. Catherine, Mount Sinai, in 1859. The fragments of the Sept. published as Cod. Frid. Aug. (1846) were obtained at the same place by Tischendorf in 1844. The N.T. is entire, and the Epistle of Barnabas and parts of the Shepherd of Hermas are added. The whole MS. was published in 1862 by Tischendorf, at the expense of the emperor of Russia. It is probably the oldest of the MSS. of the N.T., and of the 4th century (Tischendorf, Not. Cod. Sin. 1860). SEE SINAITIC MANUSCRIPT.
A, Codex Alexandrinus (British Museum), a MS. of the entire Greek Bible, with the Epistles of Clement added. It was given by Cyril Lucar, patriarch of Constantinople, to Charles I in 1628, and is now in the British Museum. It contains the whole of the N.T. with some chasms: Mt 1; Mt 25:6, ἐξέρχεσθε; Joh 6:50, ἵνα, 52, λέγει; 2Co 4:13, ἐπίστευσα 12:6, ἐξ ἐμοῦ. It was probably written in the first half of the 5th century. The N.T. has been published by Woide (1786, fol.), and with some corrections by Cowper (1860, 8vo). Compare Wetstein, Proleg. p. 13-30 (ed. Lotzc). SEE ALEXANDRIAN MANUSCRIPT.
B. Codex Vaticanus (No. 1209), a MS. of the Greek Bible, which seems to have been in the Vatican Library almost from its commencement (cir. A.D. 1450). It contains the N.T. entire to Heb 9:14, καθα; the rest of the Epistle to the Hebrews, the Pastoral Epistles, and the Apocalypse were added in the 15th century. Various collations of the New Test. were made by Bartolocci (1669), by Mico for Bentley (cir. 1720), whose collation was in part revised by Rulotta (1726), and by Birch (1788). An edition of the whole MS., on which Mai had been engaged for many years, was published three years after his death in 1858 (5 vols. 4to, ed. Vercellone; N.T. reprinted, London and Leipsic). Mai had himself kept back the edition (printed 1828-1838), being fully conscious of its imperfections, and had prepared another edition of the N.T., which was published also by Vercellone and others in 1859 (8vo). This was revised by Tischendorf (Lpz. 1867). The whole of Codex B is to be published by authority of the pope, and the N.T. part has already appeared (Rome, 1868), nearly complete. The MS. is assigned to the 4th century (Tischendorf, N.T. p. 136-149). SEE VATICAN MANUSCRIPT.
The Apocalypse in these last editions is taken from Codex Vaticanus, 2066 (formerly Codex Basilianus, 105), in the Vatican Library. It belongs to the 8th century (see Tischendorf's N.T. p. 142 sq. [7th ed.]).
C, Codex Ephraemi rescriptus (Paris, Bibl. Imp. 9), a palimpsest MS. which contains fragments of the Sept. and of every part of the N.T. In the 12th century the original writing was effaced, and some Greek writings of Ephraem Syrus were written over it. The MS. was brought to Florence from the East at the beginning of the 16th century, and came thence to Paris with Catherine de Medici. Wetstein was engaged to collate it for Bentley (1716), but it was first fully examined by Tischendorf, who published the N.T. in 1843; the O.T. fragments in 1845. The only entire books which have perished are 2 Thessalonians and 2 John, but lacunae of greater or less extent occur constantly. It is of about the same date as the Codex Alex. SEE EPHRAEM MANUSCRIPT.
D. (of the Gospels), Codex Bezae (University Library, Cambridge), a Graeco-Latin MS. of the Gospels and Acts, with a small fragment of 3 John, presented to the University of Cambridge by Beza in 1581. Some readings from it were obtained in Italy for Stephens's edition, but afterwards Beza found it at the sack of Lyons in 1562, in the Monastery of St. Irenmeuts. The text is very remarkable, and, especially in the Acts. abounds in singular interpolations. The MS. has many lacunse. It was edited in a splendid form by Kipling (1793, 2 vols. fol.), but so imperfectly that it has been published anew under the care of the Rev. F. H. Scrivener (Cambr. 1864, 4to). The MS. is referred to the 6th century. Comp. Credner, Beitrlage, 1:452-518; Bornemann, Acta Apostolorunm, 1848; Schulz, De Codice D, Cantab. 1827. SEE CAMBRIDGE MANUSCRIPT.
D2 (of the Epistles), Codex Claromontanus, or Regius (in the Imperial Library at Paris, 107), marked by the same letter of the alphabet as the preceding, but containing a different part of the N.T., viz., all Paul's Epistles with the exception of a few verses. It is a Greek-Latin MS., written stichometrically, with accents and breathings, but without division into words. According to Montfaucon, it belongs to the 7th century, but Tischendorf assigns it to the 6th. The text was edited by the latter scholar in 1852, and is very valuable. Various correctors may be traced, but it is not always easy to distinguish them. The first readings are of course the principal ones (see the prolegomena to Tischendorf's edition). SEE CLERMONT MANUSCRIPT.
E (of the Gospels), Codex Basiliensis (K, 4:35 in the public library at Basle). It contains the Gospels, with a very few chasms in Luke's. In some parts smaller writing has taken the place of the older. It belongs to the middle of the 8th century, and was collated by Tischendorf in 1843. See his description in the Studien und Kritiken for 1844. SEE BASILEAN MANUSCRIPT.
E2 (of the Acts), Codex Laudianus, a Greek-Latin MS. in the Bodleian Library at Oxford. The text is written stichometrically. It contains the Acts, and has a hiatus from 26:29 to 28:26. Its age is the end of the 6th century, as Tischendorf supposes; or the 7th, as Wetstein prefers. The readings are very valuable. Hearne published an edition at Oxford (1715, 8vo), and Tischendorf proposes to publish it more correctly in a future volume of his — Monumenta Sacra; but Scrivener has undertaken a new edition. SEE LAUDIAN MANUSCRIPT.
E3 (of the Epistles). Codex Sangermanensis (in the Imperial Library of St. Petersburg), a very incorrect transcript of the Codex Claromontanus, and therefore possessing no authority or importance. It appears to belong to the 10th century.
F (of the Gospels), Codex Boreeli, now in the library of Utrecht, containing the Gospels, but with many chasms. It was collated and described by Heringa, whose work was published by Vinke (1843). The MS. belongs to the end of the 9th century. SEE BOREELS MANUSCRIPT.
Fa, Codex Coislinianus, containing a few fragments of the Gospels, Acts, and Epistles, found among the scholia of Codex Coislin. 1, which has the Octateuch, with the book of Kings. They were edited by Tischendorf in his Monumenta Sacra inedita (1846), p. 400 sq. The fragments belong to the 7th century. SEE COISLIN MANUSCRIPT, 1.
Fb, in the British Museum, 17,136, a rescript fragment from the Nitrian 'desert, containing a few places of John's Gospel, which were deciphered and published by Tischendorf in his Monum. ined. vol. 2:The text agrees with the most ancient and best authorities. Tischendorf assigns the fragment to the 4th century; it rather belongs to the 5th.
F2 (of the Epistles), Codex Augiensis, a Greek-Latin MS. of St. Paul's Epistles, in the library of Trinity College, Cambridge. It wants the Epistle to the Hebrews in Greek, and Ro 1:1-3:18. Dots are inserted between many of the Greek and Latin words. The text is ancient and valuable. It belongs to the 9th century. In 1842 and 1849 it was collated by Tischendorf, and edited by Scrivener (1859). SEE AUGIAN MANUSCRIPT.
G (of the Gospels), Codex Harleianus (5684 in the British Museum), a MS. of the four Gospels, but inperfect. in many places. It belongs to the 9th or 10th century, and was collated by Tregelles and Tischendorf.
G, (of the Epistles), Cod. Boernerianus, a Greek-Latin MS. of Paul's Epistles, now in the Royal Library of Dresden. It has the same chasms as F, Augiensis, with which it agrees remarkably, so that both texts seem to have proceeded from the same copy. They belong to one country and age — probably to Switzerland and the 9th century. Matthaei published it in 1791, 8vo. SEE BOERNER MANUSCRIPT.
H (of the Gospels), Codex Seidelii, II, a MS. of the four Gospels in the public library of Hamburg. It is imperfect in many places, belongs to the 9th or 10th century, and was collated by Tregelles in 1850.
H, (of the Acts), Codex Mutinensis (196 in the Ducal Library of Modena), a MS. of the Acts, with considerable gaps. Its age is the 9th century. From Ac 27:4 till the end was supplied in uncial letters in the 11th century. The Pauline and Catholic Epistles were added in cursive letters in the 15th or 16th century. Tischendorf collated it in 1843.
H3 (of the Epistles), Codex Coislinianus (202 in the Imperial Library at Paris). This MS. contains fragments of Paul's Epistles. It consists only of twelve leaves, two which it formerly had being now at Petersburg. Another leaf was recently brought by Tischendorf from Mount Athos, containing Col 3:4-11. The fifteen leaves should be put together. It has been collated by Tischendorf, who intends to publish it all. It belongs to the 6th century. SEE COISLIN MANUSCRIPT, 2.
I, a MS. in the library of St. Petersburg, found by Tischendorf on his travels in the East. It is a rescript, containing the remains of seven very ancient MSS. exhibiting parts of the Gospels, Acts, and two Pauline Epistles. Tischendorf thinks that the first, second, and third belong to the 5th century. All are edited by him in the first volume of Monumenta Sacra, p. 1, etc.
Ib. See Nb.
K (of the Gospels), Codex Regius, or Cyprius (now 63 in the Imperial Library of Paris). It, contains the four Gospels complete, belongs to the middle of the 9th century, and was accurately collated by Tischendorf in 1842. SEE PARIS MANUSCRIPTS.
K, (of the Epistles), Codex Mosquensis (98 in the Library of the Holy Synod at Moscow), containing the Catholic and Pauline Epistles. It belongs to the 9th century, and was collated by Matthaei.
L (of the Gospels), Codex Regius (62 in the Imperial Library at Paris), containing the Gospels entire with the exception of five places. The text of this codex contains very old and good readings, agreeing remarkably with B. It belongs to the 8th century, and was published by Tischendorf in his Monumn. Sacra, 1846, p. 57. SEE PARIS MANUSCRIPTS.
L2 (of the Acts and Epistles), Codex Bibliothecae Angelicae (A 2,15 in the library of the Augustine monks at Rome), a MS. containing the Acts, Catholic Epistles, and those of Paul. It begins with Acts viii, i0, and ends with Heb 13:10. Its age is the 9th century. It was first collated with care by Fleck; afterwards by Tischendorf and Tregelles.
M (of the Gospels), Codex Regius (48 in the Imperial Library of Paris), containing the Gospels entire. This MS. has been transcribed by Tischendorf, but is not yet published. He assigns it to the latter part of the 9th century. SEE PARIS MANUSCRIPTS.
M2 (of the Epistles), two fragments; one at Hamburg, the other at London. The former contains some parts of the Epistle to the Hebrews; the latter, portions of the Epistle to the Corinthians. Both were published by Tischendorf in his Anecdota Sacra, p. 174 sq. The text is both ancient and valuable.
N (of the Gospels), Codex purpureus, the fragment of a MS., of which four leaves are in the British Museum, six in the Vatican, and two at Vienna. Tischendorf has recently found 33 leaves more. containing about a third of the entire Gospel of Mark, between 6:53 and 15:3. The letters were silver on purple vellum. They are larger and rounder than in A B C. The text is in two columns. The Ammonian sections and Eusebian canons are placed in the margin. All contain portions of the Gospels. The contents of the twelve leaves were published by Tischendorf in his Monumenta inedita, who assigns the fragment to the end of the 6th century. SEE PURPLE MANUSCRIPT.
N2 (of the Epistles), a fragment consisting of two leaves, with Ga 5; Ga 6, and Heb 5; Heb 6:Assigned by Tischendorf to the 9th century.
Nb [Tisch. Ib] (Brit. Mus. Add. 17, 136), a palimpsest of the 4th or 5th century, deciphered by Tregelles, and published by Tischendorf (Mon. Ined. vol. ii).
Nc. a few fragments, now at Moscow, of the Epistle to the Hebrews. Tischendorf thinks they may be of the 6th century, but Matthaei did not state enough to determine their age.
O, a small fragment, consisting of two leaves, containing 2Co 1:20-ii. 12, belonging to the 9th century.
O1, Codex Mosquensis (120, at Moscow), a fragment consisting of eight leaves, containing a few parts of John's Gospel; probably of the 9th century. Matthoei published the text.
Oa, the two hymns, Lu 1:46-55,68-79, in a Latin MS. containing the grammar of Pompeius. They are written in uncial Greek letters, and belong to the 9th century. Tischendorf published them in his Anecdota sacrac et profana, p. 206 sq.
Ob, the same two hymns, together with a third, Lu 2:29-32, in a Psalter in the Bodleian Library, No. 120, belonging to the 9th century. See Tischendorf, Anecdota, p. 206.
Oc, the hymn of Mary, Lu 1:46-55, contained in the Verona Psalter, and belonging to the 6th century. The Greek is in Latin letters. It was published by Blanchini in the Psalterium duplex appended to his Vindiciae calonicarum Scripturarum (Romae, 1740).
Od, the three hymns of Luke i and ii, as contained in the Psalter of Turin, written in gold and silver letters, belonging to the 7th century. Tischendorf is about to publish the entire Psalter.
Oe, the same three hymns in a St. Gall Codex. 17, written partly in Greek and partly in Latin. Tischendorf assigns the MS. to the 9th century.
P (of the Gospels), Codex Guelpherbytanus, A (in the library of Wolfenbüttel), a palimpsest MS. containing fragments of the Gospels. In 1762 Knittel published all he could read. In 1854 Tischendorf succeeded in deciphering almost all the portions of the Gospels that exist, which he has published in his Monumenta Sacra inedita (1860). See below, Q.
P2 (of the Acts and Epistles), a MS. of the Acts, Catholic and Pauline Epistles, and Apocalypse, belonging to the library of bishop Uspenski in St. Petersburg. This is a valuable palimpsest, consisting of upwards of 300 leaves. Though belonging to the 9th century, the text, except in 1 Peter and Acts, agrees with that of the oldest codices. The Epistles were published in 1865, and the Acts and Rev. in 1869, by Tischendorf, in his Monum. Sacra.
Q, Codex Guelpherbytanus, B, another palimpsest, containing fragments of Luke and John's Gospels, discovered by Knittel, and published with the last fragments. Tischendorf is about to re-edit it in a more complete and accurate state. According to him, P belongs to the 6th, and Q to the 5th century. SEE WOLFENBUTTEL MANUSCRIPTS.
Q', a papyrus fragment, containing parts of 1 Corinthians i, vi, vii, belonging to the 5th or 6th century.
R, a rescript MS. belonging to the British Museum, brought from the Nitrian desert, with many other codices, chiefly Syriac ones. The Syriac text of Severus of Antioch was written over it. The forty-eight leaves contain parts of Luke's Gospel. The writing is in two columns; and the Ammonian sections have not the canons of Eusebius. Tischendorf published almost the whole text (for some of it is illegible) in his Monumenta Sacra inedita, vol. 2. Dr. Wright found three leaves overlooked by Tischendorf, of which he gave an account in the Journal of Sacred Literature for January, 1864. It is assigned to the 6th century, but may belong to the 7th.
S, Codex Vaticanus, 354. This MS. contains the four Gospels entire. It is in the Vatican Library, where Birch carefully collated it twice for his Greek Testament. A subscription to it states that it was written A.D. 949. See Tischendorf, in the Annales Vindobon. (1847), where a fac-simile better than those of Blanchini and Birch is given.
T, Codex Borgianus (1 in the library of the Propaganda at Rome), a MS. of thirteen leaves, containing fragments of John's Gospel. The Greek text has a Thebaic translation by its side. Giorgi published the text in 1789 at Rome. Tischendorf, who inspected the MS. and made a facsimile of it, assigns it to the 5th century. SEE BORGIAN MANUSCRIPT.
Tb, six leaves, containing Joh 1; Joh 2; Joh 3; Joh 4, belonging to the 6th century.
Tc, two leaves, containing Mt 14; Mt 15, belonging to the 6th century. The writing and text resemble those of the Borgian fragments.
Td, fragments of Matthew, Mark, and Luke, from Borgian MSS. of the 7th century.
Ts, Fragmentum Woideanum, a few leaves, Greek and Sahidic, whose text was edited by Woide (contained in the Appendix to the Codex Alexandrinus, 1799). The one contains Lu 12:15-13:32; the other, Joh 8:33-42. Tischendorf has discovered that these fragments are parts of T, published by Giorgi. Hence they belong to the same time.
U, Codex Venetus Marcianus, formerly Nanzianus (in St. Mark's Library at Venice), a MS. of the Gospels complete, with a text elegantly written. It was first collated accurately by Tischendorf in 1843, and again by Tregelles in 1846. According to Tischendorf it belongs to the end of the 9th or to the 10th century.
V, Codex Mosquensis (in the library of the Holy Synod at Moscow), a MS. of the four Gospels, with several chasms. From Joh 7:39 has been supplied by a more recent hand of the 13th century, in cursive letters. It belongs to the 9th century, and was twice collated by Matthaei.
Wa, two leaves at the end of Codex Regius, now in the Imperial Library of Paris. They contain Lu 9:34-47; Lu 10:12-22, and are the fragment of a continuous MS. of the Gospels belonging to the 8th century. Tischendorf has edited the whole in his Monumenta Sacra inedita.
Wb, Codex Neapolitanus rescriptus, consisting of fourteen leaves which contain fragments of the first three Gospels as old as the 8th century. Tischendorf edited some verses of it in the Annales Vindobonenses (1847); and it is described by Scotti. Tischendorf supposes that the leaves belong to the same MS. as Wa.
Wc, three leaves at St. Gall, containing fragments of Mark and Luke. They are a sort of palimpsest, the writing having been effaced, though nothing new was written over. Tischendorf; who copied, and intends to edit these fragments, assigns them to the 9th century.
Wd, fragments of Mark's Gospel, 7, 8, 9, found in Trinity College, Cambridge, belonging to the 9th century.
X, Codex Monacensis, in the library of the University of Munich, containing fragments of the four Gospels. Commentaries of several fathers, especially Chrysostom, accompany the text, except Mark's. It belongs to the 9th or 10th century. Between Joh 2:22; Joh 7:1, is supplied by a later hand of the 12th century. The MS. was collated by Tischendorf and Tregelles. SEE MUNICH MANUSCRIPT.
Y, Codex Barberinus, No. 225, six leaves containing fragments of John's Gospel, belonging to the 8th century, copied by Tischendorf in 1843, and published in his Monumenta Sacra inedita, 1846. They are now in the Barberinian Library at Rome.
Z, Codex Dublinensis, in the library of Trinity College, Dublin, a palimpsest, containing fragments of Matthew's Gospel, and belonging to the 6th century. The text of this MS. presents ancient and valuable readings. It was published in facsimile by Barrett, 1801, 4to, and Tregelles has since (1853) deciphered the remainder (Printed Text, p. 166 sq.). SEE DUBLIN MANUSCRIPT.
Γ, a MS., now in the Bodleian Library, consisting of 157 leaves large 4to. It contains Luke's Gospel entire, and parts of the other three. The form of the letters resembles the Codex Clyprius or K. Tischendorf, who got it in the East, assigns it to the 9th century. He collated and described it in Anecdota sacra et profana.
The second half of this MS. has recently been found, containing the greatest part of Matthew and John. The date is 844.
Δ. Codex Sangallensis, a Greek-Latin MS. in the library of St. Gall, containing the four Gospels entire, with the exception of Joh 19:17-35. It is very similar in character to G (Cod. Boerneriansus), both belonging to the same age and country, i.e. they were written in the monastery of St. Gall, in Switzerland, in the 9th century. Rettig published it at Zürich, in fac-simile, in 1836. This MS., with the codices Augiensis and Boernerianus, are portions of one and the same document. SEE GALL, ST., MANUSCRIPT.
θ. Codex Tischendorfianus I, in the library of Leipzic University, consisting of four leaves, of which the third is almost decayed, containing a few fragments of Matthew's Gospel. Tischendorf assigns them to the end of the 7th century. He published the contents in his Monumenta Sacra inedita, p. 1, etc.
θb, a fragment, containing six leaves, with Mt 22; Mt 23, and Mark 4, belonging to the 7th century.
θc, two leaves, containing Mt 21:19-24, and Joh 18:29-35, belonging to the 6th century.
θd, a small fragment of the 8th century, containing Luke xi.
θe, a fragment of Matthew 26, of the 6th century.
θf, four leaves, containing Mt 26; Mt 27; Mr 1; Mr 2. Of the 6th century.
θg, a fragment of John vi, belonging to the 6th century.
θh, a Greek-Arabic MS., containing three leaves, with Mt 14; Mt 25, belonging to the 9th century.
Λ, a MS. in the Bodleian Library, containing the Gospels of Luke and John entire. It consists of 157 leaves, and belongs to the 9th century. Tischendorf and Tregelles have collated it.
Π, a valuable MS. of the Gospels, almost complete, brought by Tischendorf from Smyrna to St. Petersburg. It belongs to the 9th century. (See Tischendorfs Notitia editionis codicis Bibliorum Sinaitici, etc., p. 51.)
Ξ, Codex Zacynthius, a palimpsest containing fragments of Luke's Gospel, belonging to the committee of the British and Foreign Bible Society. It is of the 8th century, and is accompanied by a catena of the 13th. Tregelles transcribed and published the fragments (1861). SEE ZACYNTHIAN MANUSCRIPT.
Such are the uncial MSS. hitherto collated. Their number is not great, but every year is adding to it. There are known upwards of a hundred uncials, including evangelistaria and apostoli. (See the table below.)
4. The number of the cursive MSS. (minuscules) in existence cannot be accurately calculated. Tischendorf catalogues about 500 of the Gospels, 200 of the Acts and Catholic Epistles, 250 of the Pauline Epistles, and a little less than 100 of the Apocalypse (exclusive of lectionaries); but this enumeration can only be accepted as a rough approximation. Many of the MSS. quoted are only known by old references; still more have been "inspected" most cursorily; few only have been thoroughly collated. In this last work the Rev. F. H. Scrivener (Collation of about 20 MSS. of the Holy Gospels, Camb. 1853; Cod. Aug. etc., Camb. 1859) has labored with the greatest success, and removed many common errors as to the character of the later text. His summary is as follows:
Among the MSS. which are well known and of great value the following are the most important:
A. Primary Cursives of the Gospels: 1 (Act. 1; Paul. 1; Basileensis, K. 3:3). 10th cent. Very valuable in the Gospels. Collated by Roth and Tregelles.
33 (Act. 13; Paul. 17; Paris, Bibl. Imp. 14). 11th cent. Coll. by Tregelles.
59 (Coll. Gonv. et Cai. Cambr.). 12th cent. Coll. by Scrivener, 1860. but as yet unpublished.
69 (Act. 31; Paul. 37; Apoc. 14; Cod. Leicestrensis). 14th cent. The text of the Gospels is especially valuable. Coll. by Tregelles, 1852, and by Scrivener, 1855, who published his collation in Cod. Aug. etc., 1859.
118 (Bodleian. Miscell. 13; Marsh 24). 13th cent. Coll. by Griesbach, Symnb. Crit. i, ccii sq.
124 (Caesar. Vindob. Nessel. 188). 12th cent. Col]. by Treschow, Alter, Birch.
127 (Cod. Vaticanus, 349). 11th cent. Coll. by Birch. 131 (Act. 70; Paul. 77; Apoc. 66; Cod. Vaticanus, 360). 11th cent. Formerly belonged to Aldus Maanutius, and was probably used by him in his edition. Coll. by Birch.
157 (Cod. Urbino-Vat. 2). 12th cent. Coll. by Birch. 218 (Act. 65; Paul. 57; Apoc. 33; Caesar-Viadob. 23). 13th cent. Coll. by Alter.
238, 259 (Moscow, S. Synod. 42, 45). 11th cent. Coll. by Matthlei.
262, 300 (Paris, Bibl. Imp. 53, 186). 10th and 11th cent. Coil. (?) by Scholz.
346 (Milan, Ambros. 23). 12th cent. Coll. (?) by Scholz. 2pe (St. Petersburg. Petropol. 6:470). 9th cent. Coll. by Muralt. (Transition cursive.)
cscr, gscr (Lambeth, 1177, 528, Wetstein, 71). 12th cent. Coll. by Scrivener. pscr (Brit. Mus. Burney, 20). 13th cent. Coll. by Scrivener. wscr (Cambr. Coll. SS. Trin. B. 10:16). 14th cent. Coll. by Scrivener.
To these must be added the Evanglelistarium (B. M. Burney, 22), marked yscr, coll. by Scriveler. (Cut, fig. 4.)
The following are valuable, but need careful collation: 13 (Paris, Bibl. Is-p. 50). Coll. 1797. 12th cent. (Comp. Griesbach, Symb. Crit. i, cliv-clxvi.) 22 (Paris, Bibl. Imp. 72). 11th cent.
28 (Paris, Bibl. Insp. 379). Coll. by Scholz.
72 (Brit. Mus. Harl. 5647). 11th cent.
106 (Cod. Winchelsea). 10th cent. Coll. by Jackson (used by Wetstein), 1748.
113,114 (Brit. Mus. Harl. 1810, 5540). 126 (Cod. Guelpheribytanus, 16:16). 11th cent. 130 (Cod. Vaticanus, 359). 13th cent. 209 (Act. 95: Paul. 138; Apoc. 46; Venice, Bibl. S. Marci. 10). 15th cent. The text of the Gospels is especially valuable.
225 (Vienna, Bibl. Insp. Kollar. 9, Forlos. 31). 12th cent. 372, 382 (Rome, Vatican. 1161. 2017). 15th and 13th cent. 405, 408, 409 (Venice, S. Marci, i. 10, 14,15). 11th and 12th cent.
B. Primary Cursives of the Acts and Catholic Epistles:
13=Gosp. 33, Paul. 17.
31= Gosp. 69 (Codex Leicestrensis).
65=Gosp. 218. 73 (Paul. 80. Vatican. 367). 11th cent. Coll. by Birch. 95. 96 (Venet. 10, 11). 14th and 11th cent. Coll. by Rinck. 180 (Argentor. Bibl. Sem. M.). Coll. by Arendt.
loti=pscr 61 (Tregelles, Brit. Mus. Add. 20,003). 11th cent. Coll. by Scrivener. See cut, fis. 2.
ascr (Lambeth, 1182). 12th cent. Coll. by Scrivener. cscr (Lambeth, 1184). Coll. by Sanderson ap. Scrivener. The following are valuable, but require more careful collation:
5 (Paris, Bibl. Imp. 106).
25, 27 (Paul. 31; Apoc. 7; Paul. 33. Brit. Mus. Harl. 5537, 5620). Comp. Griesbach, Symb. Crit. 2:184,185.
2) (Paul. 35; Genev. 20). 11th and 12th cent. 36 (Coll. Nov. Oxon.). 40 (Paul. 46: Apoc. 12. Alex. Vatican. 179). 11th cent. Coll. by Zacagni.
66 (Paul. 67). 68 (Paul. 73, Upsal). 12th and 11th cent. 69 (Paul. 74; Apoc. 30; Guelph. 16:7). 14th and 13th cent.
81 (Berberini. 377). 11th cent. 137 (Milan. Ambros 97). 11th cent. Coll. by Scholz.
142 (Mutinensis, 243). 12th cent.
5. MSS. are sometimes divided by the critics of Germany into, 1. Such as were written before the practice of stichometry, a mode of dividing the text in lines or clauses. SEE STICHOMETRY. 2. The stichometrical. 3.Those written after stichometry had ceased. So Hug and De Wette, in their Introductions to the N.T. According to this classification, א, A, B, and C belong to the first class; D, D2, etc.. to the second; and by far the greatest number to the third. We have alluded to them under the two great heads of uncial and cursive.
In examining MSS. and comparing their characteristic readings, it is not easy in every instance to arrive at the true original form of a passage. Many circumstances are to be taken into account, and many cautions to be observed. They are more useful in detecting interpolated passages than in restoring the correct reading. The reading of an older MS. is preferable cceteris paribus. In determining the age of a MS. internal marks are chiefly followed, such as the form of the letters, the divisions, abbreviations, the nature of the lines, the presence or absence of the accents, etc. These particulars, however, are not safe criteria. Age alone is not sufficient to insure the value of the text of a MS. The copyist may have been guilty of negligence or inattention. In proportion to his accuracy or carelessness the authority of the codex will be greater or less. Again, a document certainly copied from one which is very ancient will have greater authority than an earlier taken from another of no great antiquity. Thus a MS. of the eqihth century may have been directly copied from one of the fifth, and consequently the former will be entitled to greater estimation than one belonging to the 7th century transcribed from one of the 6th. In determining the value of a codex, it is usual to refer to the country where it was written. Griesbach and others prefer the African; Scholz, the Constantinopolitan. Those written in Egypt are the best. With respect to Hebrew MSS., it is admitted by all that the Spanish are the best. The Italian, again, are superior to the German. The reading contained in the greater number of MSS. is preferable to that of a less number. Mere majority, however, is not a safe criterion. A majority arising from independent sources, or, in other words, of those belonging to different recensions, can alone be relied on as decisive. But here critics are not agreed as to the number of recensions belonging to Greek MSS. Some have proposed four, some three, others two. Besides, the same MS. may belong to a different recension in different parts of itself. In others, the characteristic readings of two or three recensions are mingled together, rendering it difficult to determine which recension or family preponderates. Hebrew MSS. belong to one and the same recension. It is true that some have distinguished them into Masoretic and Ante-masoretic, but the existence of the latter is a mere fiction. One great family alone, viz. the Masoretic, can be distinctly traced. Since the time of Lachmann's first edition, greater importance has been attached by N.T. critics to the age of MSS. It has been the object of his followers in the same department to adhere for the most part to the oldest copies. This is right within certain limits. The true text of the N.T., as far as we can now obtain it, lies in the MSS. of the 4th till the 8th centuries, accompanied and modified by the testimony of ancient versions and fathers during that period. But within this period we can easily distinguish MSS. of a second order in goodness, viz. E, F, G, H, K, M, S, U, V, from those of the first class, א, A, B, C, Z (see Davidson's Biblical Criticism, vol. ii). SEE CRITICISM, BIBLICAL.