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Text of the concluding Scholion of Victor of Antioch’s Commentary on S. Mark’s Gospel; in which Victor bears emphatic testimony to the genuineness of “the last Twelve Verses.”

(Referred to at p. 65.)

I HAVE thought this very remarkable specimen of the method of an ancient and (as I think) unjustly neglected Commentator, deserving of extraordinary attention. Besides presenting the reader, therefore, with what seems to be a fair approximation to the original text of the passage, I have subjoined as many various readings as have come to my knowledge. It is hoped that they are given with tolerable exactness; but I have been too often obliged to depend on printed books and the testimony of others. I can at least rely on the readings furnished me from the Vatican.

The text chiefly followed is that of Coisl. 20, (in the Paris Library,—our Evan. 36;) supplemented by several other MSS., which, for convenience, I have arbitrarily designated by the letters of the alphabet as under533533   Reg. 177 = A: 178 = B: 230 = C.–Coisl. 19 = D: 20 = E: 21 = F: 22 = G: 24 = H.—Matthaei’s d or D = I: his e or E = J: his l2 = K: his a or A = L.—Vat. 358: = M: 756 = N: 757 = O: 1229 = P: 1445 = Q.—Vind. Koll. 4 Forlos. 5 = R.—Xav. de Zelada = S.—Laur. 18 = T: 34 = U.—Venet. 27 = V.—Vind. Lamb. 38 = W: 39 = X..

Εἰ δὲ καὶ τὸ “Ἀναστὰς534534   So B—E (which I chiefly follow) begins,—Το δε αναστας. δὲ πρωῒ πρώτῃ σαββάτου ἐφάνη πρῶτον Μαρίᾳ τῇ Μαγδαληνῇ,” καί τὰ ἐξῆς ἐπιφερόμενα, ἐν τῷ κατὰ Μάρκον εὐαγγελίῳ παρὰ535535   B begins thus,—Ει δε και το αναστας δε πρωι μετα τα επιφερομενα παρα. It is at this word (παρα) that most copies of the present scholion (A, C, D, F, G, H, I, J, K, L, M, N, O, P, Q, R, S, T, U, V, W, X) begin. πλείστοις ἀντιγράφοις οὐ κεῖνται536536   So far (except in its opening phrase) E. But C, D, F, H, I, J, K, L, M, N, O, P, T, begin,—Παρα πλειστοις αντιγραφοις ου κεινται [I, ου κειται: J, ουκ ην δε] ταυτα τα [M, O, T om. τα] επιφερομενα εν [D, F, H om. εν] τῳ κατα Μαρκον [B, εν τω παροντι] ευαγγελιῳ., (ὡς νέθα γὰρ ἐνόμισαν αὐτά τινες εἶναι537537   So I, J, K, L, and II. P proceeds,—ως νοθα νομισθεντα τισιν ειναι. But B, C, D, E, F, G, M, N, O, T exhibit,—ως νοθα νομισαντες αυτα τινες [B om. τινες] ειναι. On the other hand, A and Q begin and proceed as follows,—Παρα πλειστοις αντιγραφοις ταυτα τα [Q om. τα] επιφερομενα εν [A om. εν] τῳ κατα Μαρκον ευαγγελιῳ ως νοθα νομισαντες τινες [Q, τινας (a clerical error): A om. τινες] ουκ εθηκαν..) ἀλλ᾽ 289ἡμεῖς ἐξ ἀκριβῶν ἀντιγράφων, ὡς ἐν πλείστοις εὑρόντες αὐτὰ538538   So B, except that it omits ως. So also, A, D, E, F, G, H, J, M, N, O, P, Q, T, except that they begin the sentence, ημεις δε., κατὰ τὸ Παλαιστιναῖον εὐαγγέλιον Μάρκου, ὡς ἔχει ἡ ἀλήθεια, συντεθείκαμεν539539   So D, E, F, G, H, J, M, N, O, P, T: also B and Q, except that they prefix και to κατα το Π. B is peculiar in reading,—ως εχει η αληθεια Μαρκου (transposing Μαρκου): while C and P read,—ομως ημεις εξ ακριβων αντιγραφων και πλειστων ου μην αλλα και εν τῳ Παλαιστιναιῳ ευαγγελιῳ Μαρκου ευροντες αυτα ως εχει η αληθεια συντεθεικαμεν. καὶ τὴν ἐν αὐτῷ ἐπιφερομόνην δεσποτικὴν ἀνάστασιν, μετὰ τὸ “ἐφοβοῦντο γάρ540540   So all, apparently: except that P reads εμφερομενην for επιφερομενην; and M, after αναστασιν inserts εδηλωσαμεν, with a point (.) before μετα: while C and P (after αναστασιν,) proceed,—και την [C, ειτα] αναληψιν και καθεδραν εκ δεξιων του Πατρος ῳ πρεπει η δοξα και η τιμη νυν και εις τους αιωνας. αμην. But J [and I think, H] (after γαρ) proceeds,—διο δοξαν αναπεμψωμεν τῳ ανασταντι εκ νεκρων Χριστῳ τῳ Θεῳ ημων αμα τῳ αναρχῳ Πατρι και ζωοποιῳ Πνευματι νυν και αει και εις τους αιωνας των αιωνων. αμην..” τούτεστιν ἀπὸ τοῦ “ἀναστὰς δὲ πρωῒ πρώτῃ σαββάτου,” καί καθ᾽ ἑξῇς μέχρι τοῦ διὰ τῶν ἐπακολουθούντων σημείων. Ἀμήν541541   So B. All, except B, C, H, J, P seem to end at εφοβουντο γαρ..”

More pains than enough (it will perhaps be thought) have been taken to exhibit accurately this short Scholion. And yet, it has not been without design (the reader may be sure) that so many various readings have been laboriously accumulated. The result, it is thought, is eminently instructive, and (to the student of Ecclesiastical Antiquity) important also.

For it will be perceived by the attentive reader that not more than two or three of the multitude of various readings afforded by this short Scholion can have possibly resulted from careless transcription542542   e.g. οὐκ ἦν δέ for οὐ κεῖνται.. The rest have been unmistakably occasioned by the merest licentiousness: every fresh Copyist evidently considering himself at liberty to take just whatever liberties he pleased with the words before 290him. To amputate, or otherwise to mutilate; to abridge; to amplify; to transpose; to remodel;—this has been the rule with all. The types (so to speak) are reducible to two, or at most to three; but the varieties are almost as numerous us the MSS. of Victor’s work.

And yet it is impossible to doubt that this Scholion was originally one, and one only. Irrecoverable perhaps, in some of its minuter details, as the actual text of Victor may be, it is nevertheless self-evident that in the main we are in possession of what he actually wrote on this occasion. In spite of all the needless variations observable in the manner of stating a certain fact, it is still unmistakably one and the same fact which is every time stated. It is invariably declared,—

(1.) That from certain copies of S. Mark’s Gospel the last Twelve Verses had been left out; and (2) That this had been done because their genuineness had been by certain persons suspected: but, (3) That the Writer, convinced of their genuineness, had restored them to their rightful place; (4) Because he had found them in accurate copies, and in the authentic Palestinian copy, which had supplied him with his exemplar.

It is obvious to suggest that after familiarizing ourselves with this specimen of what proves to have been the licentious method of the ancient copyists in respect of the text of au early Father, we are in a position to approach more intelligently the Commentary of Victor itself; and, to some extent, to understand how it comes to pass that so many liberties have been taken with it throughout. The Reader is reminded of what has been already offered on this subject at pp. 272-3.

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