« Prev Chapter VIII. The Purport of Ancient Scholia, and… Next »

CHAPTER VIII.

THE PURPORT OF ANCIENT SCHOLIA, AND NOTES IN MSS. ON THE SUBJECT OF THESE VERSES, SHEWN TO BE THE REVERSE OF WHAT IS COMMONLY SUPPOSED.

Later Editors of the New Testament the victims of their predecessors’ inaccuracies.—Birch’s unfortunate mistake (p. 117).—Schol’s serious blunders (p. 119 and pp. 120-1).—Griesbach’s sweeping misstatement (pp. 121-2).—The grave misapprehension which has resulted from all this inaccuracy of detail (pp. 122-3).

Codex L (p. 123).—Ammonius not the author of the so-calledAmmonianSections (p. 125).—Epiphanius (p. 132).—“Caesarius,” a misnomer.—“The Catenae,” misrepresented (p. 133).

IN the present Chapter, I propose to pass under review whatever manuscript testimony still remains unconsidered; our attention having been hitherto exclusively devoted to Codices B and א. True, that the rest of the evidence may be disposed of in a single short sentence:—The Twelve Verses under discussion are found in every copy of the Gospels in existence with the exception of Codices B and א. But then,

I. We are assured,—(by Dr. Tregelles for example,)—that “a Note or a Scholion stating the absence of these verses from many, from most, or from the most correct copies (often from Victor or Severus) is found in twenty-five other cursive Codices193193   Printed Text, p.254..” Tischendorf has nearly the same words: “Scholia” (he says) “in very many MSS. state that the Gospel of Mark in the most ancient (and most accurate) copies ended at the ninth verse.” That distinguished Critic supports his assertion by appealing to seven MSS. in particular,—and referring generally to “about twenty-five others.” Dr. Davidson adopts every word of this blindfold.

1. Now of course if all that precedes were true, this department of the Evidence would become deserving of serious 115attention. But I simply deny the fact. I entirely deny that the “Note or Scholion” which these learned persons affirm to be of such frequent occurrence has any existence whatever,—except in their own imaginations. On the other hand, I assert that notes or scholia which state the exact reverse, (viz. that “in the older” or “the more accurate copies” the last twelve verses of S. Mark’s Gospel are contained,) recur even perpetually. The plain truth is this:—These eminent persons have taken their information at second-hand,—partly from Griesbach, partly from Scholz,—without suspicion and without inquiry. But then they have slightly misrepresented Scholz; and Scholz (1830) slightly misunderstood Griesbach; and Griesbach (1796) took liberties with Wetstein; and Wetstein (1751) made a few serious mistakes. The consequence might have been anticipated. The Truth, once thrust out of sight, certain erroneous statements have usurped its place,—which every succeeding Critic now reproduces, evidently to his own entire satisfaction; though not, it must be declared, altogether to his own credit. Let me be allowed to explain in detail what has occurred.

2. Griesbach is found to have pursued the truly German plan of setting down all the twenty-five MSS.194194   Viz. Codd. L, 1, 22, 24, 34, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41,—108, 129, 137, 138, 143, 181, 186, 195, 199, 206, 209, 210, 221, 222. and all the five Patristic authorities which up to his time had been cited as bearing on the genuineness of S. Mark xvi. 9-20: giving the former in numerical order, and stating generally concerning them that in one or other of those authorities it would be found recorded “that the verses in question were anciently wanting in some, or in most, or in almost all the Greek copies, or in the most accurate ones:—or else that they were found in a few, or in the more accurate copies, or in many, or in most of them, specially in the Palestinian Gospel.” The learned writer (who had made up his mind long before that the verses in question are to be rejected) no doubt perceived that this would be the most convenient way of disposing of the evidence for and against: but one is at a loss to understand how English scholars can have acquiesced in such a slipshod statement for well nigh 116a hundred years. A very little study of the subject would have shown them that Griesbach derived the first eleven of his references from Wetstein195195   Wetstein quoted 14 Codices in all: but Griesbach makes no use of his reference to Reg. 2868, 1880, and 2282 (leg. 2242?) which = Evan. 15, 19, 299 (?) respectively., the last fourteen from Birch196196   Variae Lectiones, &c. (1801, p. 225-6.)—He cites Codd. Vatt. 358, 756, 757, 1229 (= our 129, 137, 138, 143): Cod. Zelada (= 181): Laur. vi. 18, 34 (=186, 195): Ven. 27 (= 210): Vind. Lamb. 88, 39, Kol. 4 (= 221, 222, 108): Cod. iv. (leg. 5?) S. Mariae Bened. Flor. (= 199): Codd. Ven. 6, 10 (= 206, 209.). As for Scholz, he unsuspiciously adopted Griesbach’s fatal enumeration of Codices; adding five to the number; and only interrupting the series here and there, in order to insert the quotations which Wetstein had already supplied from certain of them. With Scholz, therefore, rests the blame of everything which has been written since 1830 concerning the MS. evidence for this part of S. Mark’s Gospel; subsequent critics having been content to adopt his statements without acknowledgment and without examination. Unfortunately Scholz did his work (as usual) in such a slovenly style, that besides perpetuating old mistakes he invented new ones; which, of course, have been reproduced by those who have simply translated or transcribed him. And now I shall examine his note “(z)197197   Nov. Test. vol. i. p. 199.”, with which practically all that has since been delivered on this subject by Tischendorf, Tregelles, Davidson, and the rest, is identical.

(1.) Scholz (copying Griesbach) first states that in two MSS. in the Vatican Library198198   Vat. 766, 757 = our Evan. 137, 138. the verses in question “are marked with an asterisk.” The original author of this statement was Birch, who followed it up by explaining the fatal signification of this mark199199   Quo signo tamquam censoria virgula usi sunt librarii, qua Evangelistarum narrationes, in omnibus Codicibus non obvias, tamquam dubias notarent.Variae Lectiones, &c. p. 225.. From that day to this, the asterisks in Codd. Vatt. 756 and 757 have been religiously reproduced by every Critic in turn; and it is universally taken for granted that they represent two ancient 117witnesses against the genuineness of the last twelve verses of the Gospel according to S. Mark.

And yet, (let me say it without offence,) a very little attention ought to be enough to convince any one familiar with this subject that the proposed inference is absolutely inadmissible. For, in the first place, a solitary asterisk (not at all a rare phenomenon in ancient MSS.200200   In Cod. 264 (=— Paris 65) for instance, besides at S. Mk. xvi. 9, occurs at xi. 12, xii. 38, and xiv. 12. On the other hand, no such sign occurs at the pericope de adulterá.) has of necessity no such signification. And even if it does sometimes indicate that all the verses which follow are suspicious, (of which, however, I have never seen an example,) it clearly could not have that signification here,—for a reason which I should have thought an intelligent boy might discover.

Well aware, however, that I should never be listened to, with Birch and Griesbach, Scholz and Tischendorf, and indeed every one else against me,—I got a learned friend at Rome to visit the Vatican Library for me, and inspect the two Codices in question201201   Further obligations to the same friend are acknowledged in the Appendix (D).. That he would find Birch right in his facts, I had no reason to doubt; but I much more than doubted the correctness of his proposed inference from them. I even felt convinced that the meaning and purpose of the asterisks in question would be demonstrably different from what Birch had imagined.

Altogether unprepared was I for the result. It is found that the learned Dane has here made one of those (venial, but) unfortunate blunders to which every one is liable who registers phenomena of this class in haste, and does not methodize his memoranda until he gets home. To be brief,—there proves to be no asterisk at all,—either in Cod. 756, or in Cod. 757.

On the contrary. After ἐφοβοῦντο γάρ, the former Codex has, in the text of S. Mark xvi. 9 (fol. 150 b), a plain cross,—(not an asterisk, thus , but a cross, thus +),—the intention of which is to refer the reader to an annotation on fol. 151 b, (marked, of course, with a cross also,) to the effect that S. Mark xvi. 9-20 is undoubtedly 118genuine202202   Similarly, in Cod. Coisl. 20, in the Paris Library, (which our 36,) against S. Mark xvi. 9, is this sign . It is intended (like an asterisk in a modern book) to refer the reader to the self-same annotation which is spoken of in the text as occurring in Cod. Vat. 756, and which is observed to occur in the margin of the Paris MS. also.. The evidence, therefore, not only breaks hopelessly down; but it is discovered that this witness has been by accident put into the wrong box. This is, in fact, a witness not for the plaintiff, but for the defendant!—As for the other Codex, it exhibits neither asterisk nor cross; but contains the same note or scholion attesting the genuineness of the last twelve verses of S. Mark.

I suppose I may now pass on: but I venture to point out that unless the Witnesses which remain to be examined are able to produce very different testimony from that borne by the last two, the present inquiry cannot be brought to a close too soon. (“I took thee to curse mine enemies, and, behold, thou halt blessed them altogether.”)

(2.) In Codd. 20 and 300 (Scholz proceeds) we read as follows:—“From here to the end forms no part of the text in some of the copies. In the ancient copies, however, it all forms part of the text203203   ἐντεῦθεν ἔως τοῦ τέλους ἔν τισι τῶν ἀνριγράφων οὐ κεῖται· ἐν δε τοῖς ἀρχαίοις, πάντα ἀπαράλειπτα κεῖται.—(Codd. 20 and 300 = Paris 188, 186.).” Scholz (who was the first to adduce this important testimony to the genuineness of the verses now under consideration) takes no notice of the singular circumstance that the two MSS. he mentions have been exactly assimilated in ancient times to a common model; and that they correspond one with the other so entirely204204   See more concerning this matter in the Appendix (D), ad fin. that the foregoing rubrical annotation appears in the wrong place in both of them, viz. at the close of ver. 15, where it interrupts the text. This was, therefore, once a scholion written in the margin of some very ancient Codex, which has lost its way in the process of transcription; (for there can be no doubt that it was originally written against ver. 8.) And let it be noted that its testimony is express; and that it avouches for the fact that “in the ancient copies,” S. Mark xvi. 9-20formed part of the text.”

119

(3.) Yet more important is the record contained in the same two MSS., (of which also Scholz says nothing,) viz. that they exhibit a text which had been “collated with the ancient and approved copies at Jerusalem205205   At the end of S. Matthew’s Gospel in Cod. 300 (at fol. 89) is found,—ὐαγγέλιον κατὰ Ματθαῖον ἐγρ8άφη καὶ ἀντεβλήθη ἐκ τῶν Ἱεροσολύμοις παλαιὼν ἀντιγράφων, ἐν στίχοις β̄φ̄ῑδ̄ and at the end of S. Mark’s, (at fol. 147 b)—
   εἰαγγέλιον κατὰ Μάρκον ἐγράφη καὶ ἀντεβλήθη ὁμοίως ἐκ τῶν ἐσπουδασμένων οτίχοις ᾱφ̄ς̄ κφαλαίοις σ̄λ̄ξ̄

   This second colophon (though not the first) is found in Cod. 20. Both reappear in Cod. 262 ( = Paris 53), and (with an interesting variety in the former of the two) in [what I suppose is the first half of] the uncial Codex Λ. See Scrivener’s Introduction, p. 125.
.” What need to point out that so remarkable a statement, taken in conjunction with the express voucher that “although some copies of the Gospels are without the verses under discussion, yet that in the ancient copies all the verses are found,” is a critical attestation to the genuineness of S. Mark xvi. 9 to 20, far outweighing the bare statement (next to be noticed) of the undeniable historical fact that, “in some copies,” S. Mark ends at ver. 8,—but “in many does not”?

(4.) Scholz proceeds:—“In Cod. 22, after εφοβοῦντο γάρ + τέλος is read the following rubric:”—

ἔν τισι τῶν ἀντιγράφων ἕως ὧδε πληροῦται ὁ εὐαγγελισ`τής· ἐν πολλοῖς δὲ καὶ ταῦτα φέρεται206206   = Paris 72, fol. 107 b. He might have added, (for Wetstein had pointed it out 79 years before,) that the same note precisely is found between verses 8 and 9 in Cod. 15 ( = Paris 64,) fol. 98 b..

And the whole of this statement is complacently copied by all subsequent Critics and Editors,—cross, and “τέλος,” and all,—as an additional ancient attestation to the fact that “The End” (τέλος) of S. Mark’s Gospel is indeed at ch. xvi. 8. Strange,—incredible rather,—that among so many learned persons, not one should have perceived that “τέλος” in this place merely denotes that here a well-known Ecclesiastical section comes to an end! . . . As far, therefore, as the present discussion is concerned, the circumstance is purely irrelevant207207   See more at the very end of Chap. XI.; 120and, (as I propose to shew in Chapter XI,) the less said about it by the opposite party, the better.

(5.) Scholz further states that in four, (he means three,) other Codices very nearly the same colophon as the preceding recurs, with an important additional clause. In Codd. 1, 199, 206, 209, (he says) is read,—

“In certain of the copies, the Evangelist finishes here; up to which place Eusebius the friend of Pamphilus canonized. In other copies, however, is found as follows208208   Cod. 1. (at Basle), and Codd. 206, 209 (which = Venet. 6 and 10) contain as follows:—
   ἔν τισι μὲν τῶν ἀντιγράφων ἕως ὧδε πληροῦται ὁ Εὐαγγελιστὴς, ἕως οὖ καὶ Ἐυσὲβιος ὁ Παμφίλου ἐκανόνισεν· ἐν ἄλλοις δὲ ταῦτα φέρεται· ἀναστὰς, κ.τ.λ.

   But Cod. 199 (which = S. Mariae Benedict. Flor. Cod. IV. [lege 5], according to Birch (p. 226) who supplies the quotation, has only this:—

   ἔν τισι τῶν ἀντιγράφων οὐ κεῖνται [?] ταῦτα.
.” And then comes the rest of S. Mark’s Gospel.

I shall have more to say about this reference to Eusebius, and what he “canonized,” by-and-by. But what is there in all this, (let me in the meantime ask), to recommend the opinion that the Gospel of S. Mark was published by its Author in an incomplete state; or that the last twelve verses of it are of spurious origin?

(6.) The reader’s attention is specially invited to the imposing statement which follows. Codd. 23, 34, 39, 41, (says Scholz,) “contain these words of Severus of Antioch:—

“In the more accurate copies, the Gospel according to Mark has its end at ‘for they were afraid.’ In some copies, however, this also is added,—‘Now when He was risen,’ &c. This, however, seems to contradict to some extent what was before delivered,” &c.

It may sound fabulous, but it is strictly true, that every word of this, (unsuspiciously adopted as it has been by every Critic who has since gone over the same ground,) is a mere tissue of mistakes. For first,—Cod. 23 contains nothing whatever pertinent to the present inquiry. (Scholz, evidently through haste and inadvertence, has confounded his own 121“23” with “Coisl. 23,” but “Coisl. 23” is his “39,”—of which by-and-by. This reference therefore has to be cancelled.)—Cod. 41 contains a scholion of precisely the opposite tendency: I mean, a scholion which avers that the accurate copies of S. Mark’s Gospel contain these last twelve verses. (Scholz borrowed this wrong reference from Wetstein,—who, by an oversight, quotes Cod. 41 three times instead of twice.)—There remain but Codd. 34 and 39; and in neither of those two manuscripts, from the first page of S. Mark’s Gospel to the last, does there exist any scholion of Severus of Antiochwhatever. Scholz, in a word, has inadvertently made a gross misstatement209209   It originated in this way. At the end of S. Matthew’s Gospel, in both Codices, are found those large extracts from the “2nd Hom. on the Resurrection” which Montfaucon published in the Bibl. Coisl. (pp. 68-75), and which Cramer has since reprinted at the end of his Catena in S. Matth. (i. 243-251.) In Codd. 34 and 39 they are ascribed to “Severus of Antioch.” See above (p. 40.) See also pp. 39 and 57.; and every Critic who has since written on this subject has adopted his words,—without acknowledgment and without examination. . . . . Such is the evidence on which it is proposed to prove that S. Mark did not write the last twelve verses of his Gospel!

(7.) Scholz proceeds to enumerate the following twenty-two Codices:—24, 34, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41, 108, 129, 137, 138, 143, 181, 186, 195, 199, 206, 209, 210, 221, 222. And this imposing catalogue is what has misled Tischendorf, Tregelles and the rest. They have not perceived that it is a mere transcript of Griesbach’s list; which Scholz interrupts only to give from Cod. 24, (imperfectly and at second-hand,) the weighty scholion, (Wetstein had given it from Cod. 41,) which relates, on the authority of an eye-witness, that S. Mark xvi. 9-20 existed in the ancient Palestinian Copy. (About that Scholion enough has been offered already210210   See above, pp. 64, 65..) Scholz adds that very nearly the same words are found in 374.—What he says concerning 206 and 209 (and he might have added 199,) has been explained above.

But when the twenty MSS. which remain211211   22-3 (199, 206, 209) = 19 + 1 (374) = 20. undisposed of have been scrutinized, their testimony is found to be quite 122different from what is commonly supposed. One of them (No. 38) has been cited in error: while the remaining nineteen are nothing else but copies of Victor of Antioch’s commentary on S. Mark,—no less than sixteen of which contain the famous attestation that in most of the accurate copies, and in particular the authentic Palestinian Codex, the last twelve verses of S. Mark’s Gospel were found. (See above, pp. 64 and 65.) . . . . And this exhausts the evidence.

(8.) So far, therefore, as “Notes” and “Scholia” in MSS. are concerned, the sum of the matter proves to be simply this:—(a) Nine Codices212212   viz. Codd. L, 1, 199, 206, 209:—20, 300:—15, 22. are observed to contain a note to the effect that the end of S. Mark’s Gospel, though wanting “in some,” was yet found “in others,”—“in many,”—“in the ancient copies.”

(b) Next, four Codices213213   * Cod. A, 20, 262, 300. contain subscriptions vouching for the genuineness of this portion of the Gospel by declaring that those four Codices had been collated with approved copies preserved at Jerusalem.

(c) Lastly, sixteen Codices, (to which, besides that already mentioned by Scholz214214   Evan. 374., I am able to add at least five others, making twenty-two in all215215   viz. Evan. 24, 36, 37, 40, 41 (Wetstein.) Add Evan. 108, 129, 137, 138, 143, 181, 186, 195, 210, 221, 222. (Birch Varr. Lectt. p. 225.) Add Evan. 374 (Scholz.) Add Evan. 12, 129, 299, 329, and the Moscow Codex (qu. Evan. 253?) employed by Matthaei.,)—contain a weighty critical scholion asserting categorically that in “very many” and “accurate copies,” specially in the “true Palestinian exemplar,” these verses had been found by one who seems to have verified the fact of their existence there for himself.

(9.) And now, shall I be thought unfair if, on a review of the premisses, I assert that I do not see a shadow of reason for the imposing statement which has been adopted by Tischendorf, Tregelles, and the rest, that “there exist about thirty Codices which state that from the more ancient and more accurate copies of the Gospel, the last twelve verses of S. Mark were absent?” I repeat, there is not so much as one single Codex which contains such a scholion; 123while twenty-four216216   2 (viz. Evan. 20, 200) + 16 + 1 + 5 (enumerated in the preceding note) = 24. of those commonly enumerated state the exact reverse.—We may now advance a step: but the candid reader is invited to admit that hitherto the supposed hostile evidence is on the contrary entirely in favour of the versos under discussion. (“I called thee to curse mine enemies, and, behold, thou hast altogether blessed them these three times.”)

II. Nothing has been hitherto said about Cod. L.217217   * Paris 62, olim, 2861 and 1558. This is the designation of an uncial MS. of the viiith or ixth century, in the Library at Paris, chiefly remarkable for the correspondence of its readings with those of Cod. B and with certain of the citations in Origen; a peculiarity which recommends Cod. L, (as it recommends three cursive Codices of the Gospels, 1, 33, 69,) to the especial favour of a school with which whatever is found in Cod. B is necessarily right. It is described as the work of an ignorant foreign copyist, who probably wrote with several MSS. before him; but who is found to have been wholly incompetent to determine which reading to adopt and which to reject. Certain it is that he interrupts himself, at the end of ver. 8, to write as follows:—

SOMETHING TO THIS EFFECT
IS ALSO MET WITH
:

“All that was commanded them they immediately rehearsed unto Peter and the rest. And after these things, from East even unto West, did Jesus Himself send forth by their means the holy and incorruptible message of eternal Salvation.

BUT THIS ALSO IS MET WITH AFTER
THE WORDS, ‘FOR THEY WERE AFRAID:

“Now, when He was risen early, the first day of the week218218   z See the facsimile.—The original, (which knows nothing of Tischendorf’s crosses,) reads as follows:— ΦΕΡΕΤΕ ΠΟΥ ΚΑΙ ΤΑῩΤΑ - Πάντα δὲ τα παρη γγελμενα τοῖς περι τοη πετρον συντομως εξη γγιλαν - μετα δὲ ταῦτλ καὶ αὐτος ὁ ῑς̄, ἀχρι δυσεως καὶ ἀχρι δυσεως ἐξαπεστιλεν δι αὐτων το Ἱὲρον καὶ Ἁφθαρτον κη ρυγμα - της αἰῶ νιου σωτηριας - εστην δε και ταῦτα φερο μενα μετα το ἐφοβουνυο γαρ - αναστὰς δὲ πρωῖ πρωτη σαββατου.
   i.e.—φέρεταί που καὶ ταῦτα.

   Πάντα δὲ τὰ παρηγγελμένα τοῖς περὶ τὸν Πέτρον συντόμως ἐξήγγειλαν· μετὰ δὲ ταῦτα καὶ αὐτὸς ὁ Ἰησοῦς ἀπὸ ἀνατολκῆς καὶ ἄχρι δύσεως ἐξαπέστειλεν δι᾽ αὐτῶν τὸ ἱερὸν καὶ ἄφθαρτο κήρυγμα τῆς αἰωνίου σωτηρίας.

   Ἔστιν δὲ καὶ ταῦτα φερόμενα μετὰ τὸ ἐφοβοῦντο γάρ.

   Ἀναστὰ;ς δὲ πρωῒ πρώτῃ σαββάτου
,” &c.

124

It cannot be needful that I should delay the reader with any remarks on such a termination of the Gospel as the foregoing. It was evidently the production of some one who desired to remedy the conspicuous incompleteness of his own copy of S. Mark’s Gospel, but who had imbibed so little of the spirit of the Evangelical narrative that he could not in the least imitate the Evangelist’s manner. As for the scribe who executed Codex L, he was evidently incapable of distinguishing the grossest fabrication from the genuine text. The same worthless supplement is found in the margin of the Hharklensian Syriac (A.D. 616), and in a few other quarters of less importance219219   As, the Codes Bobbiensis (k) of the old Latin, and the margin of two æthiopic MSS.—I am unable to understand what Scholz and his copyists have said concerning Cod. 274. I was assured again and again at Paris that they knew of no such codex as “Reg, 79a,” which is Scholz’ designation (Prolegg. p. lxxx.) of the Cod. Evan. which, after him, we number “274.”.—I pass on, with the single remark that I am utterly at a loss to understand on what principle Cod. L,—a solitary MS. of the viiith or ixth century which exhibits an exceedingly vicious text,—is to 125be thought entitled to so much respectful attention on the present occasion, rebuked as it is for the fallacious evidence it bears concerning the last twelve verses of the second Gospel by all the seventeen remaining Uncials, (three of which are from 300 to 400 years more ancient than itself;) and by every cursive copy of the Gospels in existence. Quite certain at least is it that not the faintest additional probability is established by Cod. L that S. Mark’s Gospel when it left the hands of its inspired Author was in a mutilated condition. The copyist shews that he was as well acquainted as his neighbours with our actual concluding Verses: while he betrays his own incapacity, by seeming to view with equal favour the worthless alternative which he deliberately transcribes as well, and to which he gives the foremost place. Not S. Mark’s Gospel, but Codex L is the sufferer by this appeal.

III. I go back now to the statements found in certain Codices of the xth century, (derived probably from one of older date,) to the effect that “the marginal references to the Eusebian Canons extend no further than ver. 8:”—for so, I presume, may be paraphrased the words, (see p. 120,) ἔως οὗ Εὐσέβιος ὁ Παμφίλου ἐκανόνισεν, which are found at the end of ver. 8 in Codd. 1, 206, 209.

(1.) Now this statement need not have delayed us for many minutes. But then, therewith, recent Critics have seen fit to connect another and an entirely distinct proposition: viz. that

Ammonius

also, a contemporary of Origen, conspires with Eusebius in disallowing the genuineness of the conclusion of B. Mark’s Gospel. This is in fact a piece of evidence to which recently special prominence has been given: every Editor of the Gospels in turn, since Wetstein, having reproduced it; but no one more emphatically than Tischendorf. “Neither by the sections of Ammonius nor yet by the canons of Eusebius are these last verses recognised220220   Nec Ammonii Sectionibus, nec Eusebii Canonibus, agnoscuntur ultimi versus.—Tisch. Nov. Test. (ed. 8va), p. 406..” “Thus it is seen,”


125a

125b

THE opposite page exhibits an exact Fac-simile, obtained by Photography, of fol. 113 of Evan. Cod. L, (“Codex Regius,” No. 62,) at Paris; containing S. Mark xvi. 6 to 9;—as explained at pp. 123-4. The Text of that MS. has been published by Dr. Tischendorf in his “Monumenta Sacra Inedita,” (1846, pp. 57-399.) See p. 206.

The original Photograph was executed (Oct. 1869) by the obliging permission of M. de Wailly, who presides over the Manuscript Department of the “Bibliothèque.” He has my best thanks for the kindness with which he promoted my wishes and facilitated my researches.

It should perhaps be stated that the margin of “Codex L” is somewhat ampler than can be represented in an octavo volume; mob folio measuring very nearly nine inches, by very nearly six inches and a half.


136

proceeds Dr. Tregelles, “that just as Eusebius found these verses absent in his day from the best and most numerous copies (sic), so was also the case with Ammonites when he formed his Harmony in the preceding century221221   Printed Text, p. 248..”

A new and independent authority therefore is appealed to,—one of high antiquity and evidently very great importance,—Ammonius of Alexandria, A.D. 220. But Ammonius has left behind him no known writings whatsoever. What then do these men mean when they appeal in this confident way to the testimony of “Ammonius?”

To make this matter intelligible to the ordinary English reader, I must needs introduce in this place some account of what are popularly called the “Ammonian Sections” and the “Eusebian Canons:” concerning both of which, however, it cannot be too plainly laid down that nothing whatever is known beyond what is discoverable from a careful study of the “Sections” and “Canons” themselves; added to what Eusebius has told us in that short Epistle of his “to Carpianus,”—which I suppose has been transcribed and reprinted more often than any other uninspired Epistle in the world.

Eusebius there explains that Ammonius of Alexandria constructed with great industry and labour a kind of Evangelical Harmony; the peculiarity of which was, that, retaining S. Matthew’s Gospel in its integrity, it exhibited the corresponding sections of the other three Evangelists by the side of S. Matthew’s text. There resulted this inevitable inconvenience; that the sequence of the narrative, in the case of the three last Gospels, was interrupted throughout; and their context hopelessly destroyed222222   The reader is invited to test the accuracy of what precedes for himself:—Ἀμμώνιος μὲν ὁ Ἀλεξανδρεὺς, πολλὴν, ὡς εἰκὸς, φιλοπονίαν καὶ σπουδὴν εἰσαγηοχὼς, τὸ διὰ τεσσάρων ἡμῖν καταλέλοιπεν εὐαγγέλιον, τῷ κατὰ Ματθαῖον τὰς ὁμοφώνους τῶν λοιπῶν εὐαγγελιστῶν περικοπὰς π9αραθεὶς, ὡς ἐξ ἀνάγκης συμβῆναι τὸν τῆς ἀκολουθίας εἱρμὸν τῶν τριῶν διαφθαρῆναι, ὅσον ἐπὶ τῷ ὕφει τῆς ἀναγνώσεως..

The “Diatesaaron “of Ammonius, (so Eusebius styles it), has long since disappeared; but it is plain from the foregoing account of it by a competent witness that it must 127have been a most unsatisfactory performance. It is not easy to see how room can have been found in such a scheme for entire chapters of S. Luke’s Gospel; as well as for the larger part of the Gospel according to S. John: in short, for anything which was not capable of being brought into some kind of agreement, harmony, or correspondence with something in S. Matthew’s Gospel.

How it may have fared with the other Gospels in the work of Ammonius is not in fact known, and it is profitless to conjecture. What we know for certain is that Eusebius, availing himself of the hint supplied by the very imperfect labours of his predecessor, devised an entirely different expedient, whereby he extended to the Gospels of S. Mark, S. Luke and S. John all the advantages, (and more than all,) which Ammonius had made the distinctive property of the first Gospel223223   Ἵνα δὲ σωζομένου καὶ τοῦ τῶν λοιπῶν δι᾽ ὅλου σώματός τε καὶ εἱρμοῦ, εἰδ̥ναι ἔχοις τοὺς οἰκείους ἑκάστου εὐαγγελιστοῦ τό πους, ἐν οἷς κατὰ τῶν αὐτῶν ἡνέχθησαν φιλαληθῶς εἰπεῖν, ἐκ τοῦ πονήματος τοῦ προειρημένου ἀνδρὸς εἰληφὼς ἀφορμὰς, καθ᾽ ἑτέραν μέθοδον κανόνας δέκα τὸν ἀριθμὸν διεχάραξά σοι τοὺς ὑποτεταγμένους.. His plan was to retain the Four Gospels in their integrity; and, besides enabling a reader to ascertain at a glance the places which S. Matthew has in common with the other three Evangelists, or with any two, or with any one of them, (which, I suppose, was the sum of what had been exhibited by the work of Ammonius,)—to spew which places S. Luke has in common with S. Mark,—which with S. John only; as well as which places are peculiar to each of the four Evangelists in turn. It is abundantly clear therefore what Eusebius means by saying that the labours of Ammonius had “suggested to him” his own224224   * This seems to represent exactly what Eusebius means in this place. The nearest English equivalent to ἀφορμή is “a hint.” Consider Euseb. Hist. Eccl. v. 27. Also the following:—πολλὰς λαβόντες ἀφορμάς. (Andreas, Prolog. in Apocalyps.).—λαβόντες τὰς ἀφορμάς. (Anastasius Sin., Routh’s Rell. i. 15.). The sight of that Harmony of the other three Evangelists with S. Matthew’s Gospel had suggested to him the advantage of establishing a series of parallels throughout all the Four Gospels. But then, whereas Ammonius had placed alongside of S. Matthew the dislocated sections themselves of the 128other three Evangelists which are of corresponding purport, Eusebius conceived the idea of accomplishing the same object by means of a system of double numerical references. He invented X Canons, or Tables: he subdivided each of the Four Gospels into a multitude of short Sections. These he numbered; (a fresh series of numbers appearing in each Gospel, and extending from the beginning right on to the end;) and immediately under every number, he inserted, in vermillion, another numeral (I to X); whose office it was to indicate in which of his X Canons, or Tables, the reader would find the corresponding places in any of the other Gospels225225   κανόνας . . . . διεχάραξά σοι τοὺς ὑποτεταγμένους. This at least is decisive as to the authorship of the Canons. When therefore Jerome says of Ammonius,—“Evangelicos canones excogitavit quos postea secutus est Eusebius Caesariensis,” (De Viris Illust. c. lv. vol. ii. p. 881,) we learn the amount of attention to which such off-hand gain statements of this Father are entitled.
   What else can be inferred from the account which Eusebius gives of the present sectional division of the Gospels but that it was also his own?—Αὕτη μὲν οὖν ἡ τὼν ὑποτεταγμένων κανόνων ὑπόθεσις· ἡ δὲ σαφὴς αὐτῶν διήγησις, ἔστιν ἧδε. Ἐφ᾽ ἑκάστῳ τῶν τεσσάρων εὐαγγελίων ἀριθμός τις πρόκειται κατὰ μέρος, ἀρχόμενος ἀπὸ τοῦ πρώτου, εἶτα δευτέρου, καὶ τρίτου, καὶ καθεξῆς προϊὼν δι᾽ ὅλου μέχρι τοῦ τέλους τοῦ βιβλίου. He proceeds to explain how the sections thus numbered are to be referred to his X Canons:—καθ᾽ ἕκαστον δὲ ἀριθμὸν ὑποσημείωσις διὰ κινναβάρεως πρόκειται, δηλοῦσα ἐν ποίῳ τῶν δέκα κανόνων καίμενος ὁ ἀριθμὸς τυγχάνει.
. (If the section was unique, it belonged to his last or Xth Canon.) Thus, against S. Matthew’s account of the Title on the Cross, is written 335/I: but in the Ist Canon (which contains the places common to all four Evangelists) parallel with 335, is found,—214, 324, 199: and the Sections of S. Mark, S. Luke, and S. John thereby designated, (which are discoverable by merely casting one’s eye down the margin of each of those several Gospels in turn, until the required number has been reached,) will be found to contain the parallel record in the other three Gospels.

All this is so purely elementary, that its very introduction in this place calls for apology. The extraordinary method of the opposite party constrains me however to establish thus clearly the true relation in which the familiar labours of Eusebius stand to the unknown work of Ammonius.

130

For if that earlier production be lost indeed226226    “Frustra ad Ammonium aut Tatianum in Harmoniis provocant. Quae supersunt vix quicquam cum Ammonio aut Tatiano commune habent.” (Tischendorf on S. Mark xvi. 8).—Dr. Mill (1707),—because he assumed that the anonymous work which Victor of Capua brought to light in the vith century, and conjecturally assigned to Tatian, was the lost work of Ammonius, (Proleg. p.68, § 660,)—was of course warranted in appealing to the authority of Ammonius in support of the last twelve verses of S. Mark’s Gospel. But in truth Mill’s assumption cannot be maintained for a moment, as Wetstein has convincingly shewn. (Proleg. p.68.) Any one may easily satisfy himself of the fact who will be at the pains to examine a few of the chapters with attention, bearing in mind what Eusebius has said concerning the work of Ammonius. Cap. lxxiv, for instance, contains as follows:—Mtt. xiii. 33, 34. Mk. iv. 33. Mtt. xiii. 34, 35: 10, 11. Mk. iv. 34. Mtt. xiii. 13 to 17. But here it is S. Matthew’s Gospel which is dislocated,—for verses 10, 11, and 13 to 17 of ch. xiii. come after verses 33-35; while ver. 12 has altogether disappeared.
   The most convenient edition for reference is Schmeller’s,—Ammonii Alexandrini quae et Tatiani dicitur Harmonia Evangeliorum. (Vienna, 1841.)
,—if its precise contents, if the very details of its construction, can at this distance of time be only conjecturally ascertained,—what right has any one to appeal to “the Sections of Ammonius,” as to a known document? Why above all do Tischendorf, Tregelles, and the rest deliberately claim “Ammonius” for their ally on an occasion like the present; seeing that they must needs be perfectly well aware that they have no means whatever of knowing (except from the precarious evidence of Catenae) what Ammonius thought about any single verse in any of the four Gospels? At every stage of this discussion, I am constrained to ask myself,—Do then the recent Editors of the Text of the New Testament really suppose that their statements will never be examined? their references never verified? or is it thought that they enjoy a monopoly of the learning (such as it is) which enables a man to form an opinion in this department of sacred Science? For,

(1st.) Where then and what are those “Sections of Ammonius” to which Tischendorf and Tregelles so confidently appeal? It is even notorious that when they say the “Sections of Ammonius,” what they mean are the “Sections of Eusebius.”—But, (2dly.) Where is the proof,—where is even the probability,—that these two are identical? The Critics cannot require to be reminded by me that we are absolutely 130without proof that so much as one of the Sections of Ammonius corresponded with one of those of Eusebius; and yet, (3dly.) Who sees not that unless the Sections of Ammonius and those of Eusebius can be proved to have corresponded throughout, the name of Ammonius has no business whatever to be introduced into such a discussion as the present? They must at least be told that in the entire absence of proof of any kind,—(and certainly nothing that Eusebius says warrants any such inference227227   Only by the merest license of interpretation can εἰληφὼς ἀφορμάς be assumed to mean that Eusebius had found the four Gospels ready divided to his hand by Ammonium into exactly 1165 sections,—every one of which he had simply adopted for his own. Mill, (who nevertheless held this strange opinion,) was obliged to invent the wild hypothesis that Eusebius, besides the work of Ammonius which be describes, must have found in the library at Caesarea the private copy of the Gospels which belonged to Ammonius,—an unique volume, in which the last-named Father (as he assumes) will have numbered the Sections and made them exactly 1165. It is not necessary to discuss such a notion. We are dealing with facts,—not with fictions.,)—to reason from the one to the other as if they were identical, is what no sincere inquirer after Truth is permitted to do.

It is time, however, that I should plainly declare that it happens to be no matter of opinion at all whether the lost Sections of Ammonius were identical with those of Eusebius or not. It is demonstrable that they cannot have been so; and the proof is supplied by the Sections themselves. It is discovered, by a careful inspection of them, that they imply and presuppose the Ten Canons; being in many places even meaningless,—nugatory, in fact, (I do not of course say that they are practically without use,)—except on the theory that those Canons were already in existence228228   For proofs of what is stated above, as well as for several remarks on the (so-called) “Ammonian” Sections, the reader is referred to the Appendix (G).. Now the Canons are confessedly the invention of Eusebius. He distinctly claims them229229   See above, p.128, note (f).. Thus much then concerning the supposed testimony of Ammonius. It is nil.—And now for what is alleged concerning the evidence of Eusebius.

The starting-point of this discussion, (as I began by remarking), is the following memorandum found in certain ancient MSS.:—“Thus far did Eusebius canonize230230   See above, p. 125.;” which 131means either: (1) That his Canons recognise no section of S. Mark’s Gospel subsequent to § 233, (which number is commonly set over against ver. 8:) or else, (which comes to the same thing,)—(2) That no sections of the same Gospel, after § 233, are referred to any of his X Canons.

On this slender foundation has been raised the following precarious superstructure. It is assumed,

(1st.) That the Section of S. Mark’s Gospel which Eusebius numbers “233,” and which begins at our ver. 8, cannot have extended beyond ver. 8;—whereas it may have extended, and probably did extend, down to the end of ver. 11.

(2dly.) That because no notice is taken in the Eusebian Canons of any sectional number in S. Mark’s Gospel subsequent to § 233, no Section (with, or without, such a subsequent number) can have existed:—whereas there may have existed one or more subsequent Sections all duly numbered231231   As a matter of fact, Codices abound in which the Sections are noted without the Canons, throughout. See more on this subject hi the Appendix (G).. This notwithstanding, Eusebius, (according to the memorandum found in certain ancient MSS.), may have canonised no further than § 233.

I am not disposed, however, to contest the point as far as Eusebius is concerned. I have only said so much in order to shew how unsatisfactory is the argumentation on the other side. Let it be assumed, for argument sake, that the statement “Eusebius canonized no farther than ver. 8” is equivalent to this,—“Eusebius numbered no Sections after ver. 8:” (and more it cannot mean:)—What then? I am at a loss to see what it is that the Critics propose to themselves by insisting on the circumstance. For we knew before,—it was in fact Eusebius himself who told us,—that Copies of the Gospel ending abruptly at ver. 8, were anciently of frequent occurrence. Nay, we heard the same Eusebius remark that one way of shelving a certain awkward problem would be, to plead that the subsequent portion of S. Mark’s Gospel is frequently wanting. What more have we learned when we have ascertained that the same Eusebius allowed no place to that subsequent portion in his Canons? The new fact, (supposing it to be a fact,) is but the correlative 132of the old one; and since it was Eusebius who was the voucher for that, what additional probability do we establish that the inspired autograph of S. Mark ended abruptly at ver. 8, by discovering that Eusebius is consistent with himself, and omits to “canonize” (or even to “sectionize”) what he had already hypothetically hinted might as well be left out altogether? (See above, pp. 44-6.)

So that really I am at a loss to see that one atom of progress is made in this discussion by the further discovery that, (in a work written about A.D. 373,)

Epiphanius

states casually that “the four Gospels contain 1162 sections232232   τέσσαρά εἰσιν εὔαγγέλια κεφαλαίων χιλίων ἑκατὸν ἑξηκονταδύο. The words are most unexpectedly, (may I not say suspiciously?), found in Epiphanius, Ancor. 50, (Opp. ii. 54 B.).” From this it is argued233233   By Tischendorf, copying Mill’s Proleg. p. 63, § 662:—the fontal source, by the way, of the twin references to “Epiphanius and Caesarius.” that since 355 of these are commonly assigned to S. Matthew, 342 to S. Luke, and 232 to S. John, there do but remain for S. Mark 233; and the 233rd section of S. Mark’s Gospel confessedly begins at ch. xvi. 8.—The probability may be thought to be thereby slightly increased that the sectional numbers of Eusebius extended no further than ver. 8: but—Has it been rendered one atom more probable that the inspired Evangelist himself ended his Gospel abruptly at the 8th verse? That fact—(the only thing which our opponents have to establish)—remains exactly where it was; entirely unproved, and in the highest degree improbable.

To conclude, therefore. When I read as follows in the pages of Tischendorf:—“These verses are not recognised by the Sections of Ammonius, nor by the Canons of Eusebius: Epiphanius and Caesarius bear witness to the fact;”—I am constrained to remark that the illustrious Critic has drawn upon his imagination for three of his statements, and that the fourth is of no manner of importance.

(1.) About the “Sections of Ammonius,” he really knows no more than about the lost Books of Livy. He is, therefore, without excuse for adducing them in the way of evidence.

133

(2.) That Epiphanius bears no witness whatever either as to the “Sections of Ammonius” or to “Canons of Eusebius,” Tischendorf is perfectly well aware. So is my reader.

(3.) His appeal to

Caesarius

is worse than infelicitous. He intends thereby to designate the younger brother of Gregory of Nazianzus; an eminent physician of Constantinople, who died A.D. 368; and who, (as far as is known,) never wrote anything. A work called Πεύσεις, (which in the xth century was attributed to Caesarius, but concerning which nothing is certainly known except that Caesarius was certainly not its author,) is the composition to which Tischendorf refers. Even the approximate date of this performance, however, has never been ascertained. And yet, if Tischendorf had condescended to refer to it, (instead of taking his reference at second-hand,) be would have seen at a glance that the entire context in which the supposed testimony is found, is nothing else but a condensed paraphrase of that part of Epiphanius, in which the original statement occurs234234   Comp. Epiph. (Ancor. 50,) Opp. ii. 53 C to 55 A, with Galland. Bibl. vi. 26 C to 27 A..

Thus much, then, for the supposed evidence of Ammonius, of Epiphanius, and of Caesarius on the subject of the last Twelve Verses of S. Mark’s Gospel. It is exactly nil. In fact Pseudo-Caesarius, so far from “bearing witness to the fact” that the concluding verses of S. Mark’s Gospel are spurious, actually quotes the 16th verse as genuine235235   Galland. Bibl. vi. 147 A..

(4.) As for Eusebius, nothing whatever has been added to what we knew before concerning his probable estimate of these verses.

IV. We are now at liberty to proceed to the only head of external testimony which remains undiscussed. I allude to the evidence of

The Catenae.

“In the Catenae on Mark,” (crisply declares Dr. Davidson,) “there is no explanation of this section236236   Vol. i. 165 (ii. 112).—It is only fair to add that Davidson is not alone in this statement. In substance, it has become one of the commonplaces of those who undertake to prove that the end of S. Mark’s Gospel is spurious..”

134

“The Catenae on Mark:” as if they were quite common things,—“plenty, as blackberries!” But,—Which of “the Catenae” may the learned Critic be supposed to have examined?

1. Not the Catena which Possinus found in the library of Charles de Montchal, Abp. of Toulouse, and which forms the basis of his Catena published at Rome in 1673; because that Codex is expressly declared by the learned Editor to be defective from ver. 8 to the end237237   See Possini Cat. p. 363..

2. Not the Catena which Corderius transcribed from the Vatican Library and communicated to Possinus; because in that Catena the 9th and 12th verses are distinctly commented on238238   Ἐφάνη πρῶτον Μαρίᾳ τῇ Μαγδαληνῇ. [= ver. 9.] ταύτην Εὐσέβιος ἐν τοῖς πρὸς Μαρῖνον ἑτέραν λέγει Μαρίαν παρὰ τὴν θεασαμένην τὸν νεανίσκον. ἢ καὶ ἀμφότεραι ἐκ τῆς Μαγδαληνῆς ἦσαν. μετὰ 0ὲ ταῦτα δυσὶν ἐξ αὐτῶν περιπατοῦσι. καὶ τὰ ἑξῆς [= vers. 12] τοὺς ἀμφὶ τὸν Κλέοπαν, καθὼς ὁ Λουκᾶς ἱστορεῖ, (Possini Cat. p. 364):—Where it will be seen that Text (κείμενον) and Interpretation (ἑρμηνεία) are confusedly thrown together. “Anonymus [Vaticanus]” also quotes S. Mark xvi. 9 at p.109, ad fin.—Matthaei (N. T. ii. 269),—overlooking the fact that “Anonymus Vaticanus” (or simply “Anonymus”) and “Anonymus Tolosanus” (or simply “Tolosanus”) denote two distinct Codices,—falls into a mistake himself while contradicting our learned countryman Mill, who says,—“Certe Victor Antioch. ac Anonymus Tolosanus huc usque [sc. ver. 8] nec ultra commentantur.”—Scholz’ dictum is,—“Commentatorum qui in catenis SS. Patrum ad Marcum laudantur, nulla explicatio hujus pericopae exhibetur..

3. Still less can Dr. Davidson be thought to have inspected the Catena commonly ascribed to Victor of Antioch,—which Peltanus published in Latin in 1580, but which Possinus was the first to publish in Greek (1673). Dr. Davidson, I say, cannot certainly have examined that Catena; inasmuch as it contains, (as I have already largely shewn, and, in fact, as every one may see,) a long and elaborate dissertation on the best way of reconciling the language of S. Mark in ver. 9 with the language of the other Evangelists239239   See above pp. 62-3. The Latin of Peltanus may be seen in such Collections as the Magna Bibliotheca Vett. PP. (1618,) vol. iv. p. 330, col. 2 E, F.—For the Greek, see Possini Catena, pp. 359-61..

4. Least of all is it to be supposed that the learned Critic has inspected either of the last two editions of the same 135Catena: viz. that of Matthaei, (Moscow 1775,) or that of Cramer, (Oxford 1844,) from MSS. in the Royal Library at Paris and in the Bodleian. This is simply impossible, because (as we have seen), in these is contained the famous passage which categorically asserts the genuineness of the last Twelve Verses of S. Mark’s Gospel240240   See above, pp. 64-5, and Appendix (E)..

Now this exhausts the subject.

To which, then, of “the Catenae on Mark,” I must again inquire, does this learned writer allude?—I will venture to answer the question myself; and to assert that this is only one more instance of the careless, second-hand (and third-rate) criticism which is to be met with in every part of Dr. Davidson’s book: one proof more of the alacrity with which worn-out objections and worthless arguments are furbished up afresh, and paraded before an impatient generation and an unlearned age, whenever (tanquam vile corpus) the writings of Apostles or Evangelists are to be assailed, or the Faith of the Church of Christ is to be unsettled and undermined.

V. If the Reader will have the goodness to refer back to p. 39, he will perceive that I have now disposed of every witness whom I originally undertook to examine. 1Ie will also, in fairness, admit that there has not been elicited one particle of evidence, from first to last, which renders it in the slightest degree probable that the Gospel of S. Mark, as it originally came from the hands of its inspired Author, was either an imperfect or an unfinished work. Whether there have not emerged certain considerations which render such a supposition in the highest degree unlikely,—I am quite content that my Reader shall decide.

Dismissing the external testimony, therefore, proceed we now to review those internal evidences, which are confidently appealed to as proving that the concluding Verses of S. Mark’s Gospel cannot be regarded as really the work of the Evangelist.

136
« Prev Chapter VIII. The Purport of Ancient Scholia, and… Next »
Please login or register to save highlights and make annotations
Corrections disabled for this book
Proofing disabled for this book
Printer-friendly version





Advertisements



| Define | Popups: Login | Register | Prev Next | Help |