The extant Hebrew text of the Old Testament text is commonly called the Masoretic, to distinguish it from the text of the ancient versions as well as from the Hebrew text of former ages. This Masoretic text does not present the original form but a text which within a certain period was fixed by Jewish scholars as the correct and only authoritative one. When and how this official Masoretic text was fixed was formerly a matter of controversy, especially during the seventeenth century. One party headed by the Buxtorfs (father and son), in the interest of the view of inspiration then prevalent, held to the absolute completeness and infallibility, and hence the exclusive value, of the Masoretic text. They attributed it to Ezra and the men of the Great Synagogue, who, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, were supposed to have purified the text from all accumulated error; added the vowel-points, the accents, and other punctuation-marks (thus settling the reading and pronunciation); fixed the canon; made the right division into verses, paragraphs, and books; and, finally, by the providence of God and the care of the Jews, the text thus made was believed to have been kept from all error, and to present the veritable Word of God. This view of the text prevailed especially when Protestant scholasticism was at its height, and may be designated as the orthodox Protestant position. It was opposed by another party headed by Jean Morin and Louis Cappel, who, in the interest of pure historicity or in Antiprotestant polemics, combated these opinions, maintained the later age of the Masoretic text, and sought to vindicate value and usefulness for the old versions and other critical helps. They fell into many errors in respect to the details of the history of the text and overrated the value of Extramasoretic critical helps; but their general view was supported by irresistible arguments and is now universally adopted. This view, instead of deriving the existing text from a gathering of inspired men in Ezra's time, assigns it to a much later date and quite different men, and, instead of absolute completeness, claims for it only a relative one with a higher value than other forms of the text. A glance at the history of the text will show how this agreement has been brought about.
Concerning the oldest history of the text of the
Old Testament writings there exists almost no positive information. The books were written probably upon skins, perhaps also on linen; as paper was used from very early
times in Egypt, it is possible that it was employed; parchment appears
to have been used later. The roll seems to have
been the usual form (
The difference between ancient and modern texts consisted in this, that the former were written without vowels and accents. The Hebrew writing, like Semitic writing in general, was essentially consonantal; vowels were not written. While the language lived, this occasioned no difficulty to the speakers or readers. No details are at hand concerning the way in which the text was multiplied and preserved; but inasmuch as the writings did not then have in popular estimation the character they came later to possess, it is likely that they were less carefully handled, and that the same amount of pains was not taken in copying them. This statement rests upon the fact that those parts of the Old Testament which we possess in double forms vary in ways that indicate a corruption of the text reaching back to precanonical times when copies were neither made nor corrected so laboriously.
A new epoch commenced after the Exile,
when the holy writings were raised to canonical
dignity and as holy writings were venerated and
handled with ever-increasing care and conscientiousness. This veneration was not accorded to all
Biblical writing at once, but only to that part of the
canon called the law. The epoch begins with Ezra,
and extends to the close of the Talmud, c. 500 A.D.
During this period not only were the form of writing
and the text fixed, but also the pronunciation and
division; in short, the major part of the present
Masorah was collected in verbal form. A change of
an external kind was the development of a sacred
writing, under the influence of the Aramaic character, the so-called "square" or "Assyrian"
character. Jewish tradition ascribes the introduction of the square character to Ezra, and calls
it expressly an Aramaic writing that the Jews
adopted in place of their Hebrew, which they left
to the Samaritans. A study of Assyrian, Persian,
and Cilician seals and coins, of the Aramaic monuments from the third to the first century B.C., and
of the Palmyrene inscriptions from the first to the
third century A.D. has permitted the
tracing of the development of the
present Hebrew alphabet through a
thousand years, back to the eighth
century. Ezra, therefore, may have influenced
the use of the Aramaic alphabet, but the
square character was not developed in his day,
nor for centuries afterward; nor was the Aramaic
alphabet then used outside of the narrow circle
of the scribes. For not only did the Samaritans
retain the ancient script for their Pentateuch, but
among the Jews also it must have been used for
a long time, since it is found on coins down to the
time of Bar Kokba.
The veneration shown for the canonical writings during this period naturally led to a greater care in treatment of them and above all to perception of the necessity of critically fixing the text. As soon as the ancient writings obtained canonical authority, were used in divine service, and became the standard of doctrine and life, the necessity of having one standard text naturally asserted itself. The preparation of such a text began with the law; the other two divisions (the prophets and the hagiographa) became authoritative only in the course of centuries (see CANON OF SCRIPTURE, I), and naturally their text did not receive attention in the earlier period. However, criticism during that period was of little value. There is no doubt that faithful and correct copies existed, especially of such books as were publicly read, but this could not prevent errors and mistakes from creeping into copies which were generally circulated. When Josephus (Contra Apion, I, viii) and Philo (cf. Eusebius, Prparatio evangelica, VIII, vi, 7) speak of the great care bestowed by the Jews upon their sacred writings, this can not be referred to earlier centuries, and concerns more the contents than the linguistic minutiae of the text. In the oldest critical documentsthe Samaritan Pentateuch and the Septuagintthere is evidence (about 500-100 B.C.) to show that the manuscripts most approved and most widely diffused contained many verbal differences. And these variations are not to be charged, as was formerly done, to carelessness or wilfulness on the part of the Hellenistic Jews and Samaritans, but are explained by the lesser importance attached to exact uniformity of text and to the existence of mistakes in the current copies. And when the Septuagint and the Samaritan Pentateuch agree in good readings, and still oftener in bad ones, against the Masoretic text, it may be concluded that these readings were spread by many copies current among the Palestinian Jews, and are therefore not to be regarded as offensive. But after the destruction of Jerusalem, when Judaism was subject to the authority of the rabbis, it became possible to prepare a uniform standard text, although this idea was not realized until many generations had worked upon it. The Greek versions of the second century had already fewer variations from the Masoretic text. Still nearer the latter text is the Hebrew text of Origen and Jerome. The Talmud itself bears witness, by the agreement of its Biblical quotations with the Masoretic text, that the consonantal text was practically finished before the Talmudic era closed. It is not possible to say upon what principles the text was treated; but the way in which the custodians presented the individuality of the several authors, books, and periods is remarkable, and proves that intentional and arbitrary changes of the text were not made by these critics. That they changed passages for dogmatic, especially for Antichristian, reasons, as has sometimes been asserted, has long ago been acknowledged to be a
The development of the pronunciation or of the vocalization and the division of words, verses, and sections kept pace with the settlement of the text. That the ancient writing had no vowel-points has already been stated; but even during this entire period to the close of the Talmud the sacred text was without vowels and other points. The old versions, particularly the Greek, and Josephus depart so widely from the Masoretic text that they could not possibly have used the present pointed text. The expedient which charges the translators with these differences is of no avail, since it is not any one version which alone shows such differences; they all differ. Origen, too, published a Hebrew text in the Hexapla which differed from the Masoretic. Jerome knew nothing about vowel-points, not even the diacritical point making the difference between "s" and "sh." The Talmud and the modern ecclesiastical or ritual manuscripts of the Jews present an unpointed text. There is no doubt that, as Elias Levita stated, the Masoretic system of punctuation is of later origin, and that during this entire period the sacred text was without points. But this does not mean that during the same period the reading of the unvoweled text was still unsettled among the Jews; it must rather be assumed that with the official fixing of the text there was developed also a certain mode of understanding and reading it. Of course time was required to bring it into vogue; but before the end of the period it was so firmly established that Jerome's pronunciation differed very little from the Masoretic, and he was so sure of its correctness that he appeals to it against the text of the versions; and the Talmud gives it throughout correctly. Before the Masoretes the pronunciation was fixed, not yet written, but handed down by word of mouth, although some scholars may have used signs in their books to assist their memory.
Closely connected and mutually dependent were pronunciation and the division of words. The latter must have been finally settled at this period. The sign of division was the small space between words. The final letters, being limited in number, can not be regarded as word-separating signs. Jerome used a text with a division of words and knew the final letters; in the Talmud, Menahot 30a states how large must be the space between the words; the synagogue-scrolls, though still without vowels, have nevertheless the division by spaces, following the custom of the ancient manuscripts from Talmudic time; and the fact that a number of "readings" correct the traditional division of words speaks again in favor of the high antiquity of the division of words in the present texts.
The division into verses is by no means contemporary in origin with the vocalization, but much earlier. The verse division depends in poetry upon the parallelism, in prose upon the division of sentences and clauses. That the latter were not marked in oldest times is certain; in poetical texts the members may have been distinguished either by space or by breaks of the line. This mode of writing poetical texts was formerly general, and is found in the older Hebrew manuscripts; for the poetical texts, Ex. xv; Deut. xxxii; Judges v; and II Sam. xxii, it is even prescribed (Shabbat 103b; Sopherim xii), and is therefore still customary. With the introduction of the Masoretic accents, poetry was written close, like prose. This verse-division was taught in the schools; but no rules are given for its writing, nor did any punctuation-marks indicate it in this period.
Earlier than the division into verses is that into larger or smaller sections; these were more necessary for the understanding of the Scriptures and for their reading in divine worship. Perhaps some of them were in the original text. The sections of the law were at least Pretalmudic; for they are mentioned in the Mishnah and frequently in the Gemara; in the latter they are traced to Mosaic origin; in Shabbat 103b, Menahot 30 care is enjoined as to the sections in copying the law, and therefore they occur also in synagogue-rolls. They are indicated by spacing; the larger sections by leaving the remainder of the line at
From what has been said, it follows that the reading of the text, the vocalization, the division into words, verses, and sections depend upon the gradual settlement by the scribes; their reading can claim neither infallibility nor any absolutely binding power; and though their labor betrays a thorough and correct understanding of the text, the necessity may yet arise when the exegete must deviate from tradition. Extraordinary pains were taken to perpetuate in its purity the text thus divided and vocalized. Signs of this care, such as the rules for calligraphy and for writing the extraordinary points, have already been mentioned. The Posttalmudic treatises Masseket sopherim and Masseket sepher torah contain full details for copying. Nevertheless fluctuations are met with in the Masoretic period, and it must therefore be assumed that learned labor had not yet covered all details or made final settlement.
The third period of the textual history is usually reckoned as extending from the sixth until the eleventh Christian century (when Jewish learning was transferred from the East to North Africa and Spain); it embraces the age of the Masoretes proper, and has for the Bible text in general the same importance as the Talmudic period had for the law. The efforts of the scholars to fix the reading and understanding of the sacred text were overshadowed somewhat by the study of the Talmud. After the close of the Talmud the work was resumed and cultivated in Babylonia and Palestine (at Tiberias). In both schools the work of former generations was continued; but the Palestinians, who acted more independently than the more Talmudically inclined Babylonians, finally got the victory over the Babylonian school. In both schools they were no longer satisfied with a mere oral transmission of rules and regulations, but committed them to writing. There is no continuous history of the men of the Masorah and of the progress of their work preserved; but the marginal notes in ancient Biblemanuscripts and the fragments of other works show that the oldest Masoretes can be traced back to the eighth century. The main effort of this period (as the name Masorcah, "tradition," indicates; see MASORAH) was to collect and to write down the exegetico-critical material of the former period; and this makes sufficiently clear the one part of their work. But the Masoretes also added some new matter. Anxiously following the footsteps of the older critics in their effort to fix and to guard the traditional text, they laid down more minute rules of a linguistic and grammatical character, and in this respect a great part of the contents of the Masorah is indeed new.
They took the consonantal textus receptus just as it stood, and finally settled it in the minutest details, as is seen from the variants which became a matter of controversy between the East and the West, the Babylonians and the Palestinians, which to the number of 216 Jacob ben Hayyim published for the first time in the second edition of the Bomberg Rabbinic Bible; these have reference mostly to the vowel-points. This list of variants, as is now known, is by no means complete. They also appended critical notes to the text, in part derived from the Talmudic period, in part new (especially the "grammatical conjectures"), showing that where, according to the grammar and the genius of the language, one should expect another reading, nevertheless the text must stand. Finally the great majority of the alternative "readings" date from the Masoretes.
The Masoretes fixed the reading of the text by the introduction of the vowel-signs, the accents, and the signs which affect the reading of the consonants (daghesh, mappik, raphe, and the diacritical point to distinguish between the letters "sin" and "shin"). The pronunciation they thus brought about was no invention, but embodied the current tradition. Nevertheless, one can not accept every Masoretic reading as infallible and unchangeable, especially when one considers that the tradition no doubt often fluctuated and that with such fluctuation the less correct reading may often have come into the text. Besides the system found in the majority of manuscripts, there exists another which has only recently become known called the "superlinear" system, because the vowel-signs are placed above the letters; this is found in some Babylonian and South Arabian manuscripts. The same is also the case with the accents.
The division of the text into verses, introduced by the Masoretes, was neither Babylonian nor Palestinian, but one which the Masoretes themselves seem to have established. At the beginning of this period the end of the verses was marked by soph pasuk, and, when the accents mere introduced, by silluk, besides. The old sections were retained, though not recognized as entirely correct, and the old traditional sign for the section, the smaller spacing (the little s in printed texts), was respected. The closed sections were marked in manuscripts and prints by a s, the open ones by a p in the empty space before the initial word. In addition there were introduced the Babylonian division into sections or parashiyoth (in the law) and haphtaroth (in the prophets), for Sabbath public reading. As these sections generally agree with the beginning and the end of an open or closed section, they were marked by a threefold p [i.e., p p p] or s [s s s] in the empty space before the beginning.
But even these efforts could not entirely remove variations. Hence, before the end of this period, the learned either attempted to find out by an elaborate comparison the correct punctuation and to fix it, or marked the important variations in the punctuation, or added a caution to each apparently
As the older scribes had already shown extraordinary solicitude for the preservation of the text and its correct reading by counting its sections, verses, words, letters, and by noting where and how often and when certain words, letters, or anomalies occur in the Bible, which verse is the longest and which the shortest, and like minutiae, the Masoretes of course continued this work, wrote it down, and preserved it in manuscripts.
The punctuation of the text as developed by the Masoretes proved itself so useful and met so well an essential need of those later times that it soon went over into manuscripts and, with the exception of synagogue-manuscripts, almost none were written which did not contain either the pointed text alone or the pointed beside the unpointed. The other Masoretic material was written either beside and below the text of the Biblical books on the margins and at the close of the same, or in separate masorah-collections (see MASORAH).
After the completion of the Masoretic textual work and the collection of the notes having reference to it, no essential change was made in the text; consequently this period is the time of the faithful preservation, multiplication, and circulation of the Masoretic text. An essential innovation was the introduction of the now customary division into chapters, which was invented by Stephen Langton at the beginning of the thirteenth century, and applied to the Vulgate. Isaac ben Nathan adopted it for his Hebrew concordance (1437-38, published 1523), on which occasion the verses of the chapters were also numbered. The chapter-division was first applied to the Hebrew in the second edition of Bomberg's Bible, 1521; the numbering of verses was first adopted for the Sabionetta Pentateuch, 1557, and that of the whole Bible in Athias's edition of 1661 (see below, III, §§ 1-2).
Another feature of this period is that a sufficient number of manuscripts is preserved to give an immediate knowledge of the text. The Hebrew Bible-manuscripts may be divided into two classes, the public or sacred and the private or common. The first were synagogue-rolls, and have been prepared so carefully and watched so closely that the intrusion of variants and mistakes was hardly possible. But they contain only the Pentateuch or the Pentateuch with the five Megilloth or "Rolls" (i.e., Song of Solomon, Ruth, Lamentations, Ecclesiastes, Esther), and the haphtaroth (see above, 2, § 1) in the text of the Masoretes without their additions. These manuscripts are, for the most part, of recent origin, although antique in form, being written on leather or parchment. The private manuscripts are written on the same material, and also upon paper in book form, with the Masoretic additions more or less complete. It is often difficult, indeed impossible, to determine the date and country of these manuscripts. But none of those now known are really very old. The oldest authentic date is 916 A.D. for the codex containing the prophets with Babylonian punctuation, and 1009 A.D. for an entire Hebrew Bible, both of which belong to the Firkowitsch collection in the Imperial Library at St. Petersburg. According to the most recent investigation the MS. orient. 4445 in the British Museum (containing Gen. xxv, 20-Deut. i, 33) may be a little older. As a rule the oldest manuscripts are the more accurate. The number of errors that crept in, especially in private manuscripts, which were prepared without any official oversight, awakened solicitude and led to well-directed efforts to get a pure text by means of collating good Masorah-manuscripts (cf. B. Kennicott, Dissertatio generalis, Oxford, 1780, l-lvi; J. G. Eichhorn, Einleitung, Leipsic, 1803, 136b). In this line the labors of Meïr ha-Levi of Toledo (d. 1244) in his work on the Pentateuch called "The Masorah, the Hedge of the Law" (Florence, 1750; Berlin, 1761) are celebrated.
The art of printing opened a way of escape from copyists' errors, and it was taken very early. The Psalter was printed first, at Bologna in 1477 [on the earlier prints, cf. B. Pick, History of the Printed Editions of the Old Testament, in Hebraica, ix (1892-1893), 47-116], the first complete Bible at Soncino in 1488; Gerson's edition (the edition which Luther used for his translation) followed (Brescia, 1494). Substantially the same text is contained in the first edition of Bomberg's Rabbinic Bible (1517; see BIBLES, RABBINIC), also in the editions of Robert Stephens (1539 sqq.) and of Sebastian Münster. The second independent edition derived from manuscripts is that in the Complutensian Polyglot (1514-17; see BIBLES, POLYGLOT, I). The text has vowels but no accents. The third important recension is contained in the Biblia Rabbinica Bombergiana, ed. II., cura R. Jacob ben Chajim (Venice, 1525-26); it is edited according to the
None of these editions presents the Masoretic text in its original form. The large collections of variants by B. Kennicott, Vetus Testamentum Hebraicum cum variis lectionibus (2 vols., Oxford, 1776-80), more especially by De Rossi, Vari lectiones Veteris Testamenti (4 vols., Parma, 1784-88) and Supplementa ad varias sacri textus lectiones (1798), are valuable for some Extramasoretic readings which they offer, but they are less valuable for critical purposes. More important for textcritical purposes are (besides the work of Meïr ha-Levi, ut sup.) the "Light of the Law" of Menahem de Lonzano (Venice, 1618) and particularly the critical commentary on the Old Testament by Solomon Minorzi (Mantua, 1742-44; Vienna, 1813), the works of Wolf ben Samson Heidenheim, and especially the thorough work on the Masorah by S. Frensdorff (Massora magna, part I, Hanover, 1878, and Oklah we-Oklah, 1864). Of great service were the publication of the works of the oldest Jewish grammarians and lexicographers and the discovery of fragments and publication of codices like that on the prophets of the year 916 (published by Strack, Prophetarum posteriorum codex Babylonicus Petropolitanus, St. Petersburg, 1876). The fruits of these preliminary works are contained in the correct editions of the Masoretic text by Baer and Ginsburg. Baer, who was assisted by Delitzsch, published the Old Testament with the exception of Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy [both editors died without completing their work]. Ginsburg's edition is entitled The New Massoretico-Critical Text of the Hebrew Bible [2 vols., London, 1894. It should be studied with the same author's indispensable Introduction to the Massoretico-critical Edition of the Hebrew Bible (London, 1897)].
Valuable as such correct editions of the Masoretic text are, they represent only a single recension, whose source is the textus receptus mentioned above, which was fixed in the first Christian centuries. With this recession the text-critical and exegetical treatment of the Old Testament can not be satisfied. Before the received text was made canonical there existed different forms of the text, which in many cases stood nearer to the original than that sanctioned by the Jews. The main witness here is the Septuagint, a correct edition of which is an absolutely necessary though extremely difficult task. But Old Testament textual criticism can not be satisfied with a comparison even with this older form of the text. In many cases the corruption of the text is so old that only a criticism both cautious and bold can approximate to the genuine text. In modern times some very important contributions have been made, such as J. Olshausen, Emendationen zum Alten Testament (Kiel, 1826); idem, Beiträge zur Kritik des überlieferten Textes im Buche Genesis (1870); J. Wellhausen, Text der Bücher Samuelis (Göttingen, 1871); F. Baethgen, Zu den Psalmen, in JPT (1882); C. H. Cornill, Das Buch des Propheten Ezechiel (Leipsic, 1886); S. R. Driver, Notes on the Hebrew Text of the Books of Samuel (London, 1890); A. Klostermann, Die Bücher Samuelis und der Könige (Munich, 1887), idem, Deutero-Jesaia (Munich, 1893); G. Beer, Der Text des Buches Hiob (part i, Marburg, 1895); the Sacred Books of the Old Testament (the so-called Polychrome or Rainbow Bible), ed. P. Haupt (Baltimore, London, and Leipsic, 1894 sqq.); and Kettel's edition, Leipsic, 1905-06.
BIBLIOGRAPHY: Besides the introductions to the Old Testament (especially of J. G. Eichhorn, 4th ed., Göttingen, 1823-25; W. M. L. de Wette, 8th ed. by E. Schrader, pp.
111-156, Berlin, 1869; C. H. Cornill, §§ 49-53, Freiburg,
1905; F. E. König, §§ 3-30, 92, Bonn, 1893; C. H. H.
Wright, London, 1891, and W. H. Bennett, ib. 1900) and
the works mentioned in the text consult: J. Morinus, Exercitationum biblicarum de Hebri Grcique textus sinceritate Libri duo, Paris, 1669; L. Capellus, Critica sacra,
Paris, 1860, new edition with notes by Vogel and Scharfenberg, Halle, 1775-86; H. Hody, De bibliorum textibus
originalibus, Oxford, 1705; H. Hupfeld, in TSK, 1830,
1837; A. Geiger, Urschrift und Uebersetzungen der Bibel,
Breslau, 1857; L. Loew, Beiträge zur jüdischen Alterthumskunde, Leipsic, 1870 (deals with materials and products
of writing); H. L. Strack, Prolegomena critica in Vetus
Testamentum Hebraicum, Leipsic, 1873 (very full upon extant and lost MSS., and on the testimony of the Talmud to
the text); A. Kuenen, Les Origines du texte masoretique
(from the Dutch), Paris, 1875; Palographical Society,
Oriental Series, Facsimiles of MSS. and Inscriptions, London, 1875-83 (deals with many important codices of the
O. T.); A. Harkavy, Neuaufgefundene hebräische Bibelhandschriften, St. Petersburg, 1884 (characterizes fifty-one
Hebrew MSS. and fragments); V. Ryssel, Untersuchungen über die Textgestalt und die
Echtheit des Buches Micha, Leipsic, 1887 (198 pages concern the text); G. C. Workmen, The Text of Jeremiah, a Critical Investigation of the Greek and Hebrew, Edinburgh, 1889; T. K. Abbott, Essays
chiefly on the Original Texts of the Old and New Testaments,
London 1891 (on Masoretic and Premasoretic text); F.
Buhl, Kanon und Text des Alten Testaments, Leipsic, 1891,
Eng. transl., Edinburgh, 1892 (useful for beginners); A. Loisy, Histoire critique du texte et des versions de la
Bible, 2 Vols., Paris, 1892-95; F. G. Kenyon, Our Bible and the Ancient MSS., Being a History of the Text and its Translations, London, 1896; W. A. Copinger, The Bible and its Transmission, . . . View of the Hebrew and Greek
Texts, London, 1897; E. Kautzsch, Abriss der Geschichte des
alttestamentlichen Schrifttums, in appendix to his edition
of Die heilige Schrift, Freiburg, 1896, Eng transl. as a
separate work, New York, 1899; T. H. Weir, A Short
History of the Hebrew Text of the Old Testament, London,
1899; R. Kittel, Ueber die Notwendigkeit und Möglichkeit einer
neuen Ausgabe der hebräischen Bibel, Leipsic, 1902;
P. Kahle, Der masoretische Text des alten Testaments nach
der Ueberlisferung der babylonischen Juden, Leipsic, 1902;
T. K. Cheyne, Critica biblica, parts 1-5, London 1903-1905; F. W. Mosley, Psalter of the Church; Septuagint Psalms Compared with the Hebrew, ib. 1905. On the ancient Hebrew and square writing consult: D. von Muralt, Beiträge
zur hebräischen Paläographie und zur Geschichte der
Punktuation, in TSK, 1874; S. R. Driver, Notes on the
Hebrew Text of the Books of Samuel, pp. xi-xxxv, London,
1890; Vollers, in ZATW, 1883, pp. 229 sqq.; L. Blau,
Zur Einleitung in die heilige Schrift, pp. 48-80, Strasburg,
1894; R. Butin, The Ten Nequdoth of the Torah; or the
Meaning and Purpose of the Extraordinary Points of the
Pentateuch, Baltimore, 1906 (an important and scientific
discussion of textual critical value). On the Mesoretic
material in the Talmud and Midrash consult: H. L. Strack,
Prolegomena critica in Vetus Testamentum, ut sup.; L,
Blau, Masoretische Untersuchungen, Strasburg, 1891; idem,
Zur Einleitung in die heilige Schrift, 100 sqq., ut sup. On
the vowels and accents (especially on the superlinear
system) cf. Strack's edition of the Babylonian codex of
the prophets, p vii, ut sup.; idem, Zeitschrift für die gesammte lutherische Theologie und Kirche, 1877, pp. 17-52;
idem, in Wissenschaftliche Jahresberichte über die morgenländischen Studien, 1879, p. 124; J. Derenbourg, in
Revue critique, 1879, pp, 453 sqq.; W. Wickes, A Treatise
on the Accentuation of the Three Poetical Books, 1881; A
Treatise on the Accentuation of the twenty-one so-called
Prose-Books, pp. 142 sqq., London, 1887; G. F. Moore, in
Proceedings of the American Oriental Society, 1888;
D. S. Margoliouth, The Superlinear Punctuation, in
PSBA, 1893, pp. 164-205; A. Buchler, Untersuchungen zur Entstchung
und Entwickelung der hebräischen Accente, Vienna, 1892. On the division into sections, chapters, etc., cf.
REJ, iii, 282 sqq., vi, 122 sqq., 250 sqq., vii, 146 sqq.; Theodor, in Monatsschrift für Geschichte und
Wissenschaft des Judenthums, 1885, 1886, 1887; O. Schmid, Ueber verschiedene
Einteilungen der heiligen Schrift, Graz, 1891. The catalogues of Hebrew MSS. are mentioned in H. L. Strack,
Prolegomena, pp. 29-33, 119-121, ut sup.; idem, in Einleitung in das A. T., p. 182, Munich, 1898; and with special fulness in Ginsburg, Introduction, ut sup.
The autographs of the New Testament very early disappeared, owing to the constant use
of the perishable papyrus; for this appears to have
been the material (II John 12). If they were
really not in the handwriting of the apostles, but
in that of their amanuenses, as Paul's Epistles
generally were (
The external history of the New Testament text for a thousand years prior to the invention of printing can be traced by means of manuscripts. Before the formal close of the canon (end of fourth century) there were probably few single manuscripts of the entire New Testament. Of the three thousand known manuscripts of the New Testament, only about thirty include all the books. Some of those of the fourth and fifth century now preserved contain not only the Greek Old Testament (À, A, B, C), but also writings which, though not canonical, were read in churches and studied by catechumens. Thus, attached to the Codex Sinaiticus (À) were the Epistle of Barnabas and the Shepherd of Hermas; to the Codex Alexandrinus (A), two "epistles" ascribed to Clement of Rome and the so-called Psalterium Salomonis. The four Gospels were most frequently copied, the Pauline Epistles oftener than the Catholic Epistles or the Acts, least often the Apocalypse. The Gospels were usually arranged in the present order, then came the Pauline Epistles, the Acts, and the Catholic Epistles; the Apocalypse always last. The arrangement of the Epistles differed; indeed, there was no model. (On the various arrangements cf. C. A. Credner, Geschichte des neutestamentlichen Kanons, ed. G. Volkmar, Berlin, 1860; C. R. Gregory, Prolegomena, Leipsic, 1884, pp. 131 sqq.; T. Zahn, Geschichte des neutestamentlichen Kanons, Erlangen, 1883, ii, 343 sqq.)
After papyrus had gone out of use, parchment or vellum came in and was used from the fourth to the eleventh century; then came in cotton paper, and afterward linen paper (cf. W. Wattenbach, Das Schriftwesen im Mittelalter, Leipsic, 1896, pp. 139 sqq.). The growing scarcity of parchment led to the reuse of the old skins, the former writing being erased or washed off; and unfortunately it oftener happened that it was a Biblical manuscript which was thus turned into a patristic one than the reverse. Such manuscripts are termed Codices palimpsesti (palimpsests) or rescripti. By the use of chemicals the original text has often been recovered in modern times. The most famous New Testament palimpsest is the Codex Ephraemi (C), of the fifth century, rewritten upon in the twelfth. As papyrus disappeared from use, the book form was generally substituted for the rolls, in manuscripts written on parchment or paper. The books were mostly made up of quaternions, i.e., quires of four sheets, doubled so as to make sixteen pages, less frequently of five, though later quires of six sheets were common. The division of the page into columns was at first retained, two being the usual number (e.g., Cod. Alex.); but in many manuscripts (e.g., Cod. Ephraemi) the lines ran across the page. [Exceptionally, À has four columns, B three.] From the
Divisions of the text were early made for various purposes. In the third century Ammonius
of Alexandria prepared a Harmony of the
Gospels, taking the text of Matthew as the basis.
Eusebius of Cæsarea, in the early
part of the fourth century, availing
himself of the work of Ammonius,
divided the text of each Gospel into
sections, the length of which, varying greatly
Under the number of each section in the margin of the several Gospels was written in red ink
the number of the canon or table to which it belonged. On turning to its place in this table, the
number of the corresponding section or sections
in the other Gospels stands with it, so that the parallel passages may readily be found. For example,
the first verse of Matt. iv forms the fifteenth
Eusebian section; the number two under this
refers to the second canon or table, where it appears
that section fifteen in Matthew corresponds to six in
Mark, and fifteen in Luke; i.e., to
Wholly different in character and purpose from
the Eusebian sections, and probably older, is a
division of the Gospels into sections called titloi,
also kephalaia majora (in Latin manuscripts,
breves), found in most manuscripts from the Alexandrine and the Ephraem (A, C) of the fifth century
onward. Of these sections Matthew
contains 68, Mark 48, Luke 83, John
18. The numbers by which they are
designated in the margin of manuscripts refer to the titles describing their contents at the top or bottom of the page, or in
a list prefixed to each Gospel, or often in both
places. A certain portion at the beginning of
each Gospel is not numbered; for example, the
first chapter in Matthew corresponds with our
chap. ii, 1-15, and is entitled peri tön magön, "Concerning the Magi." There is a similar division
in the Acts and Epistles, to which Euthalius (about
458 A.D.), though not its inventor, gave wide currency by his stichometric edition of these books.
The Apocalypse was divided by Andrew, bishop of
Cæasrea in Cappadocia (about 500 A.D.), into
twenty-four logoi, or chapters, and each of these
chapters into three kephalaia, or sections, the
former number answering to the twenty-four elders
spoken of in the book (
The superscriptions, "Epistle of Paul," "Catholic Epistles," etc., can not be earlier than the fourth century, since they imply a canonical collection. The subscriptions at the end of the Pauline Epistles in many manuscripts are generally ascribed to Euthalius. At least six of these are untrustworthy (I Cor., Gal., I and II Thess., I Tim., Tit.). For the modern divisions of the Bible into chapters and verses see III below.
An ancient division of the text is the lessons, or lections, from the Gospels on the one hand, and the Acts and Epistles on the other, read in the public services of the Church. The history of these is obscure, and they varied much at different periods and in different regions. The lessons for the Sundays and chief festivals of the year seem to have been the earliest; next were added lessons for the Saturdays,
Turning to the internal history of the New Testament text, it is evident that its original purity
was early lost. The quotations of the latter half
of the second century contain readings which agree
with later texts, but are not apostolic. Irenæus
alludes (Hr., V, xxx, 1) to the difference between
the copies; and Origen, early in the third century,
expressly declares that matters were growing worse
(in Matt., xix, 19, vol. iii, p. 671, ed. De la Rue,
Paris, 1733-59), as is proved by the quotations
of the Fathers of the third and fourth centuries.
From this time onward we have the manuscript
text of each century, the writings of the Fathers,
and the various Oriental and Occidental versions, all
testifying to varieties of reading for almost every
verse, which undoubtedly occasioned many more
or less important departures from the
sense of the original text. How came
this? The early Church did not know
anything of that anxious clinging
to the letter which characterizes the
scientific rigor and the piety of modern times,
and therefore was not so bent upon preserving the exact words. Moreover, the first
copies were made rather for private than for public use; copyists were careless, often wrote from
dictation, and were liable to misunderstand.
Attempted improvements of the text in grammar
and style; proposed corrections in history and
geography; efforts to harmonize the quotations
in the New Testament with the Greek of the Septuagint, but especially to harmonize the Gospels;
the writing out of abbreviations; incorporation
of marginal notes in the text; the embellishing
of the Gospel narratives with stories drawn from
non-apostolic though trustworthy sources, e.g.,
Attempts were made by learned Fathers to get the original text; and three men of the third centuryOrigen, the Egyptian Bishop Hesychius, and the Presbyter Lucian of Antiochdeserve mention for their devotion to this object. The last two undertook a sort of recension of the New Testament (cf. Jerome, Epist. ad Damasum); but it is not known exactly what they did, and their influence was small. In regard to Origen, while he did not make a formal recension of the New Testament text, his critical work was of the highest importance. Notwithstanding these diversities, there were, as early as the fourth and fifth centuries, affinities between manuscripts prepared in the same district, which seem to betray certain tendencies, as is proved by the Fathers, the versions, and the Greek manuscripts themselves. Thus critics are justified in speaking of an Oriental and Occidental, or, more correctly, an Alexandrian or Egyptian, and a Latin, as also of an Asiatic or Greek, and a Byzantine or Constantinopolitan text. According to this theory, the Alexandrian was used by those Jewish Christians of the East who already used the Septuagint; particularly was this text preserved and spread by the learned Alexandrian school. The Latin text characterizes not only the manuscripts prepared by Latins, but the Greek manuscripts they used. The Asiatic manuscripts were used chiefly by native Greeks in Greece, or in the Asiatic provinces having intercourse with Greece. The Byzantine manuscripts belonged to the Church of that empire. The latter alone had a certain official uniformity, and were, in the latter centuries, almost the only manuscripts circulated in the empire. This class of manuscripts is also the only one perfectly represented in existing documents, and is the result of the gradual mixture of older recensions under the predominance of the Asiatic or Greek. Each of these recensions is more or less altered and corrupted; so that it is often more difficult to assign a particular reading to its proper class than to find out the original. Finally, the differences and relationships are by far most strongly marked in the Gospels, least so in the Apocalypse, and again are more distinct in the Pauline Epistles and the Acts than in the Catholic Epistles. (Cf. C. Tischendorf, Novum Testamentum Grce, editio academica viii, Leipsic, 1875, pp. xxiv sqq.)
The number of uncial manuscripts of the New
Testament, ranging in date from the fourth to the
tenth century, is 114. This does not include eight
psalters containing the text of the
Cent. IV, 2: À with the whole New Testament; B, Gospels, Acts, Catholic, and Pauline Epistles (mutilated).
Cent. V, 15: A C I1,2,3 Ib Q1 Q2 Tag Twoi b2 d7,10,14.
Cent. VI, 24: D1 D2 E2 H3 I4.7 N1 Na O2 Ob2 P1 R1 Tbceh Z Qcefg S F d11.
Cent. VII, 17: Fa G2 I5.6 R2 Tdimpq Wilmn Qab d12.
Cent. VIII, 19: B2 E1 L1 S2 Tinors Wabk Y Qd Z Y W d6.8.
Cent. IX, 31: E3 F1.2 G2 Gb H2 K1.2 L3 M1.2 O1 P2 Tfk V Wc-ho Xb G D Qh L P d9.
Cent. X, 6: G1 H1 S1 U X b1.
Of these only one, À, has the New Testament entire, and only four others, ABC Y, the greater part of it. The remainder are distributed, according to the principal divisions of the New Testament, as follows:
Gospels, 81: Complete or nearly so, 12: D E K L M S U V G D P W; containing considerable portions, 14: F G H N P Q R X Z L X S F b; containing at most a few chapters or verses, 55: Fa I18.104.22.168 Ib Na O Ta-f.h-r Twoi Wa-o Xb Qa-h d6-12.
Acts, 13: Complete or nearly so, 5: D E L P S; the rest with larger (H) or smaller portions (G Gb Fa I2.5.6 b).
Catholic Epistles, 5: Complete or nearly so, 4: K L P S, and the fragment b.
Pauline Epistles, 20: Complete or nearly so, 7: D E F G K L P; containing larger or smaller fragments, 13: Fa H Ib M N O Ob Q R S Tgs d14.
Apocalypse: besides À A C, B2 contains the complete text; P has some small gaps.
In reference to the character of their text, Tischendorf classifies the uncials as follows: in the Gospels the oldest form of the text, predominantly Alexandrine in its coloring, is found, though with many differences, in À A B C D I Ib L P Q R Tabc X Z D Qcg X; next to these stand Fa N O Wabc Y Qabef. A later form of the text, in which the Asiatic coloring prevails, is presented by E F G H K M S U V G L P Qh, among which E K M G L P Qh, incline most toward the first class. For the Acts and Catholic Epistles, À A B C give the oldest text, to which, in the Acts, D I approach, and, less closely, E G; also, in the Catholic Epistles (except I Pet.), P; while in the Acts, H L P, and, in the Catholic Epistles, K L, come nearest to the later form of the text. In the Pauline Epistles the oldest text is represented by À A B C H I O Q, with the Greco-Latin manuscripts D F G; M P approach this; while K L N stand nearest to the more recent text. The text of the Apocalypse appears in its oldest form in À A C, to which P comes nearer than B (cf. Gregory, Prolegomena, pp. 185 sqq.). Tregelles exhibits the "genealogy of the text" and affinities of the manuscripts in the Gospels in the following form:
|B ' Z|
|C L X 1.33|
|P Q T R I N||A|
|X D 69||K M P|
|E F G S U, etc.|
Westcott and Hort attach a superlative value to B, Tischendorf to À. The same manuscript may differ in character in different parts of the New Testament: thus, A is not so excellent in the Gospels as elsewhere; D is especially good in the Gospel of Mark; À and D agree most closely in the Gospel of John; the cursive 1 is remarkably valuable in the Gospels, but not so in the rest of the New Testament.
The following is a complete list of the 114 uncial manuscripts:
À: Codex Sinaitiens, found by Tischendorf (1844 and 1859) in the Convent of St. Catherine at the foot of Mount Sinai, now preserved in St. Petersburg. Forty-three leaves of the Old Testament portion of the manuscript, known as the Codex Friderico-Augustanus, are in the library of Leipsic University. Besides twenty-six books of the Old Testament, of which five form the Codex Friderico-Augustanus, the manuscript contains the entire New Testament without the least break, the Epistle of Barnabas, and the first third of the Shepherd of Hermas. The Alexandrian copyist has frequently shown his imperfect knowledge of Greek, and his haste. The license in handling the text, common in the first three centuries, is greater than in B A C, though much lees than in D. Nevertheless, the superiority of the Codex Sinaiticus to all other New Testament manuscripts, with the single exception of B, is fully proved by the numerous places in which its reading has the support of the oldest quotations or the most ancient versions. The text is in four columns, which is a unique arrangement. The Pauline Epistles, among which is Hebrews after II Thessalonians, come directly after the Gospels; the Acts and the Catholic Epistles, then the Apocalypse, follow. The date of the codex is the fourth century. It has a special value from the fact that, owing to the corrections it received in the sixth and seventh centuries and later, its pages represent, after a fashion, the history of the changes in the New Testament text. The codex was published (1862) in facsimile type from the Leipsic press, in four folio volumes, at the expense of the emperor of Russia, Alexander II. The edition was limited to three hundred copies. The New Testament part was published separately in a critical edition by Tischendorf, Novum Testamentum Sinaiticum cum epistola Barnab et fragmentis Pastoris etc., Leipsic, 1863, and in a more popular form, Novum Testamentum Grce ex Sinaitico codice omnium antiquissimo, Leipsic, 1865 (cf. C. Tischendorf, Die Sinaibibel, Ihre Entdeckung, Herausgabe, und Erwerbung, Leipsic, 1871; C. R. Gregory, Prolegomena, pp. 16-17; F. H. A. Scrivener, A Full Collation of the Codex Sinaiticus, Cambridge 1867).
A: Codex Alexandrinus, now in the British Museum, presented in 1628 by Cyril Lucar, patriarch of Constantinople,
to Charles I. The New Testament begins with
B1: Codex Vaticanus, no. 1209, in the Vatican Library.
The manuscript contains, besides the Old Testament, the
entire New Testament, with the exception of
B2: Codex Vaticanus 2066 (eighth century), formerly Basilian Codex 105, contains Revelation, was first imperfectly edited by Tischendorf in Monumenta sacra inedita (Leipsic, 1846), and more completely in Appendix Novi Testamenti vaticani ib. 1869). By Tregelles the manuscript was designated Q.
C: Codex Ephrasmi (fifth century), now no. 9 in the National Library at Paris; its text was altered in the sixth century and again in the ninth. In the twelfth century the original writing was washed off to make room for the Greek
D1: Codex Bezæ (about 550 A.D.), from the monastery of St. Irenæus in Lyons, now in the University Library at Cambridge, a present in 1581 from Theodore Beza. It contains, with few lacunæ, the Greek and Latin text of the Gospels and Acts and III John 11-15, stichometrically written, perhaps in Gaul. Edited by Kipling in 1793, but in a far better manner by Scrivener (Bes Codex Cantabrigiensis) in 1864. No known manuscript has so many and so remarkable interpolations. Much study has been given to it, e.g., J. R. Harris, Codex Bez (Cambridge, 1891).
D2: Codex Claromontanus of the Pauline Epistles, including Hebrews (second half of sixth century). Beza found it in the Monastery of Clermont, hence the name; now in the Paris Library. Contains the Greek and Latin text written stichometrically. It was retouched at different times, and exhibits especially two periods of the text. The Latin text represents the oldest version,that of the second century. It was collated by Tregelles in 1849 and 1850, and edited by Tischendorf in 1852 in facsimile.
E1: Codex Basiliensis A. N. III, 12 (750 A.D.), in Basel, a nearly complete manuscript of the four Gospels, collated by Tregelles (1848), also by Tischendorf and J. C. Müller (1843).
E2: Codex Laudianus (end of sixth century), in the Bodleian Library at Oxford, a present from Archbishop Laud in 1636; was brought to England in 668; Bede (d. 735) used it when writing his Expositio retractata of the Acts. It contains an almost complete Greco-Latin text of the Acts; edited in 1715 by Hearne, and in 1870 by Tischendorf in Monumenta sacra inedita, novu collectio, vol. ix.
E3: Codex Sangermanensis, a Greco-Latin manuscript of the Pauline Epistles (end of ninth century), now in St. Petersburg, the Greek text being a clumsy copy of the Codex Claromontanus. Of no critical value except for the Latin text. Sabatier published it in the third part of his Bibliorum sacrorum Latina versio (1749).
F1: Codex Boreeli (ninth century), now in Utrecht University, contains the four Gospels, but with many lacunæ. Full description is given in J. Heringa, Disputatio de codice Boreeliano, ed. H. E. Vinke (Utrecht, 1843).
F2: Codex Augiensis (ninth century), contains Pauline Epistles in Greek and Latin, Hebrews only in Latin, and the Latin is not an exact translation of the Greek. Richard Bentley, bought it at Heidelberg and his nephew presented it to Trinity College, Cambridge. It was collated by Tischendorf (1842), Tregelles (1845), and edited by Scrivener (1859).
Fa: Designates those passages from the Gospels, Acts, and Pauline Epistles written on the margin of the Coislin Octateuch in Paris early in the seventh century. It was edited by Tischendorf in Monumenta sacra inedita (1846).
G1: Codex Harleianus (tenth century), contains the Gospels, defective, now in the British Museum, brought by A. Seidel from the East in the seventeenth century. It was collated by J. C. Wolf (1723), Griesbach, Tischendorf, and Tregelles.
G2: A seventh century fragment of the Acts (ii, 45-iii, 7), brought by Tischendorf from the East in 1859 (see L2).
Gb: Six leaves of a ninth century manuscript now in the Vatican, five leaves edited by Cosza in Sacrorum bibliorum vetustissima fragmenta, iii (Rome, 1877). The sixth leaf was discovered by C. R. Gregory, in 1886.
G3: Codex Boernerianus (ninth century), contains the Pauline Epistles, is now in the Dresden Royal Library, is in Greek and Latin. The Greek text agrees closely with that of F2. It was edited by Matthæi in 1792, partly collated by Tregelles and others (see under D).
H1: Codex Seidelii (tenth century), contains the Gospels, but defectively, now in the Hamburg Public Library, was collated by Tregelles.
H2: Codex Mutinensis (ninth century), contains Acts except about seven chapters, now at Modena, collated by Tischendorf (1843) and Tregelles (1845).
H3: Fragments of a sixth century manuscript of the Pauline Epistles in the edition of Euthalius, of which forty-one leaves have been found; twenty-two are in the National Library at Paris, eight in the Laura Monastery on Mt. Athos, two in the Synodal Library at Moscow, one in the Rumjanzew Museum there, three in the Imperial Library at St. Petersburg, three in the Ecclesiastical Academy at Kief, and two in the University Library at Turin. (Cf. H. Omont, Notice sur un très ancien manuscrit grec, Paris, 1889.)
I1-7: Codex Tischendorfianus II, twenty-eight palimpsest leaves from the fifth, sixth, and seventh centuries, under the Georgian language, in a text related to that of NABC. Seven leaves contain parts of Matthew; two, parts of Mark; five, parts of Luke; eight, parts of John; four, of Acts; two, of Pauline letters. They were discovered by Tischendorf in the East, and by him published in the Monumenta sacra inedita, nov. col., vol. i (1855).
Ib (formerly Nb): Four palimpsest leaves (early fifth century), containing sixteen verses from John xiii, xvi; now in the British Museum; deciphered by Tischendorf and Tregelles, published by the former in Monumenta sacra inedita, nov. col., vol. ii (1857).
K1: Codex Cyprius of the Gospels, complete (middle or end of ninth century); now in the National Library in Paris. Collated by Tischendorf (1842) and Tregelles (1849 and 1850).
K2: Codex Mosquensis of the Catholic and Pauline Epistles (ninth century); brought from Mount Athos to Moscow. Lacks a part of Romans and I Corinthians. Collated by Matthæi.
L1: Codex Regius of the Gospels (eighth century), now in the National Library in Paris, almost complete. Closely related to N and B and the text of Origen. Published by Tischendorf in Monumenta sacra inedita (1846), in facsimile.
L2: Codex Angelicus of the Acts and Catholic Epistles (formerly G), and of the Pauline (formerly I) (ninth century), now in the Angelica Library of the Augustinian monks at Rome. Contains Acts viii, 10, to Heb xiii, 10. Collated by Tischendorf (1843) and Tregelles (1845).
M1: Codex Campianus of the Gospels, complete (end of ninth century), now in the National Library in Paris. Copied and used by Tischendorf (1849).
M2: Codex Ruber of the Pauline Epistles (ninth century). Two folio leaves at Hamburg (Heb. i, 1-iv, 3, xii, 20-xiii, 25), and two at London (I Cor. xv, 52-II Cor. i, 15; II Cor. x, 13-xii, 5). Written in red, hence its name. Edited by Tischendorf in Anecdota sacra et profana (1855, corrected, 1861).
N1: Codes Purpureus (late sixth century), a manuscript of the Gospels on purple parchment in silver letters. Forty-five leaves were early known: thirty-three are in the Monastery of St. John at Patmos, six in the Vatican, four in the British Museum, two in the Imperial Library at Vienna. One hundred and eighty-four leaves more were discovered in a village near Cæsarea in Cappadocia and bought by M. Nelidow, Russian ambassador at Constantinople (cf. C. R. Gregory, in TLZ, 1896, pp. 393-394). The Vienna, London, and Vatican leaves were edited by Tischendorf in his Monumenta sacra inedita (1846), who used the leaves from Patmos (as collated by John Sakkelion) in his Novum Testamentum, ed. viii, critica major. These last were also edited by Duchesne in Archives des missions scientifiques (3 series, iii. 386 sqq.).
Na: Two fragments of a manuscript very much like N1, seen by Tischendorf in the collection of Bishop Porfiri of St. Petersburg; they contain a portion of Mark ix, and came from the library of the Alexandrian patriarch in Cairo.
N2: Two leaves (ninth century), containing Gal. v, 12-vi, 4, and Heb. v, 8-vi, 10, brought by Tischendorf to St. Petersburg.
O1: Eight leaves (ninth century) containing a part of John i and xx, with scholia. Now in Moscow (S. Syn. 29, formerly 120). Edited by Matthæi (1785), and, after him, by Tregelles, with Codes Zacinthius (see below, À), Appendix (1861).
O2: Two leaves (sixth century) containing II Cor. i, 20-ii, 12. Brought from the East to St. Petersburg by Tischendorf in 1859.
Oah: Fragments (sixth century to ninth) containing the hymns from Luke i, 46 sqq., 68 sqq., ii, 29 sqq., now (Oa) in Wolfenbüttel, (Ob) Oxford, (Oc) Verona, (Od) Zurich, (Oe) St. Gall, (Of) Moscow, (Og) Turin, and (Oh) Paris. Oa was edited by Tischendorf in Anecdota sacra et profana (1855),
Ob: Pauline Epistles, a single leaf (sixth century), contains part of
P1: Codex Guelpherbytanus I (sixth century), a palimpsest at Wolfenbüttel, contains a part of all of the Gospels, was edited by Tischendorf in Monumenta sacra inedita, nov. col., vol. vi (1869).
P2: Codex Porphyrianus (ninth century), a palimpsest, contains Acts, Catholic and Pauline Epistles, and Revelation, but with lacunæ; the text of the Apocalypse is especially good. It was brought to St. Petersburg by the Russian bishop Porfiri, and edited by Tischendorf in Monumenta sacra inedita, nov. col., vols. v-vi (1865-69).
Q1: Codex Guelpherbytanus II (fifth century), a palimpsest containing fragments of Luke and John, now at Wolfenbüttel; was edited by Tischendorf in Monumenta sacra inedita, vol. iii.
Q2: Papyrus fragments (fifth century) of I Cor. i, vi, vii, in the collection of Bishop Porfiri, collated by Tischendorf in 1892.
R1: Codex Nitriensis (sixth century), a palimpsest containing parts of Luke, came from a monastery in the Nitrian desert, now in the British Museum, collated by Cureton, then by Tregelles (1854) and Tischendorf (1855), and edited by the last in Monumenta sacra inedita, nov. col., vol. ii (1857).
R2: Codex Cryptoferratensis (late seventh century), a
palimpsest fragment containing
S1: Codex Vaticanus 354 (949 A.D.), containing the Gospels complete, collated by Tischendorf for his ed, viii.
S2: Codex Athous Lauræ (eighth or ninth century), containing Acts, Catholic Epistles, and Rom.,
Ta: Codex Borgianus I (fifth century), fragments containing
Tb: Fragments (sixth century) of John (i, 25-42, ii, 9-iv, 14, 34-50), now at St. Petersburg.
Tc: Fragments, similar to Ta, containing
Td: Fragments (seventh century) of a Greco-Coptic
Te: A fragment (sixth century) containing
Tf: Another fragment (ninth century), also from Upper
Egypt, of a Greco-Coptic evangelistary, containing
Tg: Two fragments (fourth to sixth century) containing
Th: Three leaves (sixth or seventh century) containing
Ti-r: Fragments (seventh to tenth century) of six Greco-Coptic and three Greek manuscripts, containing parts of the Gospels, found in the Schnudi Monastery near Akhmim, Egypt, now in the National Library at Paris, published by E. Amélineau in Notices et extraits, vol. xxxiv, part ii (Paris, 1895), 363 sqq. The text is related to that of Ta.
Ts: Two leaves (eighth to tenth century), also from the
Schnudi Monastery, containing
Twoi: Nine leaves (fifth century) with Greco-Coptic text
U: Codex Nanianus (ninth or tenth century), contains the Gospels, now in the Library of St. Mark, Venice, collated by Tischendorf and Tregelles.
V: Codex Mosquensis (eighth or ninth century), contains
the Gospels nearly complete to
Wa: Two leaves (eighth century) containing parts of Luke ix-x, now in the National Library at Paris, edited by Tischendorf in Monumenta sacra inedita (1846).
Wb: A palimpsest, probably originally belonging with Wa, of fourteen leaves, containing fragments of Matt., Mark, and Luke, found by Tischendorf at Naples and by him deciphered in 1866.
Wc: Three fragments (ninth century) of a Greco-Latin manuscript of the Gospels from Mark ii and Luke i, now at St. Gall, edited by Tischendorf in Monumenta sacra inedita, nov. col., vol. iii (1860).
Wd: Fragments of four leaves (ninth century) containing parts of Mark vii, viii, ix, now in the library of Trinity College, Cambridge, published by Scrivener, Adversaria critica sacra (Cambridge, 1893), pp. xi sqq.
We: Twelve leaves (ninth century) containing parts of John ii-iv, seven leaves in the monastery of St. Dionysius on Mt. Athos (collated by Pusey for Alford), three in the library of Christ Church College, Oxford (examined by Tischendorf), and two in the National Library at Athens (discovered by Gregory in 1886).
Wf: A palimpsest (ninth century) containing part of Mark v, in the library of Christ Church College at Oxford.
Wg: Thirty-six leaves of a palimpsest (ninth century) containing part of the four Gospels, now in the British Museum.
Wh: Two leaves of a palimpsest (ninth century) containing parts of Mark iii, discovered by Gregory in 1883.
Wi: Two leaves (seventh or eighth century) with parts of Luke iv, copied by Gregory in Paris in 1884.
Wk: Two leaves (eighth or ninth century) with parts of Luke xx and xxiii, also copied by Gregory in Paris, 1884.
Wl: Two leaves of a palimpsest (seventh century) containing
Wm: Four leaves of a palimpsest (seventh or eighth century) containing parts of Mark, in the National Library at Paris, discovered by Gregory, 1885.
Wn: Four leaves (seventh century) containing
Wo: Sixteen leaves of a palimpsest (ninth century) containing parts of the Synoptic Gospels, in the Ambrosian Library at Milan.
X: Codex Monacensis (ninth or tenth century) containing numerous fragments of the Gospels and a commentary, in the University Library at Munich. Collated by Scholz, Tischendorf, and Tregelles.
Xb: Fourteen leaves (ninth or tenth century) containing
Y: Codex Barberini 225 (eighth century), six leaves containing parts of John, published by Tischendorf in Monumenta sacra inedita (1846).
Z: Codex Dublinensis rescriptus (sixth century), an important palimpsest with numerous fragments of Matthew, in Trinity College, Dublin. Published in facsimile by Barrett (1801), accurately deciphered by Tregelles (1853), newly edited by T. K. Abbott (Dublin, 1880).
G: Codex Tischendorfianus IV (ninth century) contains large parts of Matthew and Mark. Luke and John are complete. It was found by Tischendorf in the East, part of it is in the Bodleian Library at Oxford, and the larger part at St. Petersburg. It strongly resembles K1.
D: Codex Sangallensis (ninth century), a nearly complete copy of the Gospels (one leaf lacking) with interlinear Latin translation approximating the Vulgate text. It is in St. Gall, possibly copied there, and is possibly the same (for the Gospels) manuscript as G3 (Pauline Epistles). (Cf. J. R. Harris, Codex Sangallensis, Cambridge, 1891.)
Qa: Codex Tischendorfianus I (seventh century), four leaves with parts of Matt. xii-xv, found by Tischendorf in the East in 1844 and 1853, now in the library of the University of Leipsic, edited by Tischendorf in Monumenta sacra inedita, nov. col., vol. ii (1857).
Qb: Six leaves (seventh century) containing fragments of Matt. xxii-xxiii and Mark iv-v, brought by Tischendorf to St. Petersburg in 1859.
Two folio leaves (sixth century) containing
A fragment (eighth century) containing
A fragment (sixth century) containing
Qf: Four leaves (sixth century) containing parts of Matthew and Mark.
Qg: A fragment (sixth century) containing John vi, 13-24, similar to O2.
Qh: Three fragments (ninth century) of a Greco-Arabic manuscript of the Gospels. Qe-h: are all in the collection of Bishop Porfiri at St. Petersburg, and were collated by Tischendorf.
L: Codex Tischendorfianus III (ninth century) containing Luke and John complete, with occasional scholia in uncials on the margin, partly of a critical kind. Now in the Bodleian Library, Oxford; collated by Tischendorf (who brought it from the East) and Tregelles.
Codex Zacynthius (eighth century), a palimpsest containing
P: Codex Petropolitanus (ninth century) of the Gospels complete, excepting seventy-seven verses. Brought to St. Petersburg by Tischendorf from Smyrna.
S: Codex Rossanensis (sixth century), containing Matt. i, 1Mark xvi, 14 and belonging to the chapter of the Cathedral Church at Rossano, written on very fine purple vellum in silver letters, with the three first lines in both columns at the beginning of each Gospel in gold. It is adorned with eighteen remarkable pictures in watercolors, representing scenes is the Gospel history, with forty figures of the prophets of the Old Testament. Its miniatures bear a striking resemblance to those of the celebrated Vienna purple manuscript of Genesis. It numbers a hundred and eighty-eight leaves, some of which have been much injured by dampness. It originally contained the four Gospels. The text, as well as the writing, resembles that of Codex N1 of the Gospels. It was discovered in the spring of 1879, at Rossano in Calabria (Southern Italy), by Dr. Gebherdt of Göttingen and Professor Harnack of Giessen, who have published a full description of it with two facsimiles of the writing and outline sketches of the miniatures, is an elegant quarto entitled Evangeliorum codex Grcus Purpureus Rossanensis (Leipsic, 1880). The illuminations are reproduced in exact facsimile by Antonio Munoz (Rome, 1907). The text seems to hold a position about midway between that of the older uncials and those of the ninth and tenth centuries, agreeing most remarkably with N1, often with ADP, or with D and the Old Latin, against the mass of later manuscripts.
F: Codex Beratinus (probably sixth century), containing Matt. vi, 3Mark xiv, 62, with some lacun, on purple vellum and in possession of the Church of St. George at Berat, Albania, made generally known by P. Batiffol in 1885.
Y: Codex Athous-Lauræ (eighth or ninth century), containing the New Testament except Matthew, Mark i, 1ix, 4, Heb. viii, 11ix, 19, and Revelation, is in the Laura Monastery on Mt. Athos, was examined by Gregory in 1886.
W: Codex Athous Dionysii (eighth or ninth century), containing the four Gospels, is in the Monastery of St. Dionyeius on Mt. Athos, was examined by Gregory id 1886.
b1: Codex Athous Andreæ (ninth or tenth century), containing the four Gospels but with lacunæ, is in the Monastery of St. Andrew on Mt. Athos, was examined by Gregory in 1886.
b2: Codex Patiriensis (fifth century), twenty-one palimpsest leaves containing fragments of Acts and of the Catholic and the Pauline Epistles, now in the Vatican Library, was described by Batiffol (1891), partly read by W. Sanday (1895).
g: The sign attached by Gregory to a fragment of N1 before he knew its relationship.
d6-12, 14: Small fragments (fifth to ninth century) of the Synoptics and I Corinthians in the convent of St. Catharine on Mt. Sinai, discovered by J. R. Harris and published in Biblical Fragments from Mt. Sinai (London, 1890).
Besides the uncials, there are known for the Gospels over 1,200 cursives designated by Arabic numerals, over 950 evangelistaries of which about 100 are in uncial writing, varying in date from the tenth to the twelfth century. For the Acts and the Catholic Epistles there are over 400 cursives, for the Pauline Epistles about 500, and for the Apocalypse 180. Of lectionaries there are known over 260, only a very few of which antedate the tenth century. The following are noteworthy, either because of the value of their readings or for the influence they have had on the text:
1 Gospels, Acts, Catholic and Pauline Epistles: Codex Basiliensis (tenth or twelfth century), especially valuable for the text of the Gospels, contains the apparatus of Euthalius on the Acts and Epistles. Kindred to it in the Gospels are 209, 118, 131.
1 Apocalypse: Codex Reuchlini (twelfth century), used by Erasmus (1516), in the University Library at Basel.
13 Gospels: Codex Parisiensis (thirteenth century), has some lacunæ, was collated by Wetstein, Griesbach, and W. H. Ferrar, and is closely related to 69, 124, and 346, while 543, 788, and 826 belong to the same group.
13 Acts and Catholic Epistles, 17 Pauline Epistles, and 33 Gospels are all parts of the same manuscript (ninth, tenth, or eleventh century), and the text agrees often with that of the best uncials; collated by Griesbach, and Tregelles (1850).
14 Apocalypse, 31 Acts and Catholic Epistles, 37 Pauline Epistles and 69 Gospels are parts of the same manuscript (Leicester Codex, fourteenth or fifteenth century), collated by Tregelles, Scrivener, and Abbott (cf. 13 supra).
34 Acts and Catholic Epistles, 40 Pauline Epistles, 81 Gospels, and 92 Apocalypse are parts of the same manuscript (Codex Montfortianus, sixteenth century), at Trinity College, Dublin, collated by O. T. Dobbin (1854).
47 Pauline Epistles (eleventh or twelfth century), in the Bodleian Library, collated by Tregelles.
95 Apocalypse (Codex Parham, eleventh or twelfth century), belongs among the best witnesses to Revelation, collated by Scrivener.
565 Gospels (ninth or tenth century) in letters of gold on purple parchment, with especially ancient readings in Mark; designated 81 by Westcott and Hort, now in St. Petersburg.
For more than half a century after the invention of printing, the original text of the New Testament remained unpublished. The credit of first printing it belongs to Cardinal Ximenes de Cisneros, archbishop of Toledo, who made it vol. v of his Polyglot Bible (see BIBLES, POLYGLOT, I). The manuscripts depended upon were comparatively modern and of inferior value. Though the volume is dated June 10, 1514, the New Testament was not published before 1521 or 1522, and thus was preceded by the Greco-Latin New Testament of 1516, published by Froben of Basel, and edited by Erasmus, who used as the basis of his text, in the Gospels, an inferior Basel manuscript of the fifteenth century (cod. 2), and one of the thirteenth or fourteenth century in the Acts and Epistles (cod. 2). With these he collated more or less carefully one more manuscript of the Gospels (cod. 1), two in the Acts and Catholic Epistles (codd. 1 and 4), and three in the Pauline Epistles (codd. 1, 4, 7). The oldest of these (cod. 1, tenth century) has a good text in the Gospels; but Erasmus made very little use of it; the others are comparatively modern, and poor. For the Apocalypse he had only a single manuscript of the twelfth century, wanting the last six verses, which he translated into Greek from the Latin Vulgate. In various other places in the Apocalypse he followed the readings of the Vulgate in opposition to the Greek, as he did in a few cases elsewhere. The first edition of Erasmus was sped through the press with headlong haste (prcipitatum fuit verius quam editum, as Erasmus himself says) in order that the publisher, Froben, might get the start of the Complutensian. It consequently swarms with errors.
The next editions which call for notice are those of the great printer and scholar Robert Stephens (Estienne, Stephanus; see STEPHENS), three published at Paris (1546, 1549, and 1550; the first two, in small 12mo, are known as the O mirificam editions, from the opening words of the preface, which is the same in both; the last, a magnificent folio, is called the editio regia), and one at Geneva (16mo, 1551), in which the present division into verses was first introduced into the Greek text (see below, III, § 3). The edition of 1550, notwithstanding its various readings in the margin from fifteen manuscripts and the Complutensian Polyglot, is mainly founded on the fourth or fifth edition of Erasmus. Scrivener has noted a hundred and nineteen places in which it differs from all of the manuscripts used. The text of the edition of 1551 varies but slightly from that of 1550. The four folio editions of Theodore Beza (Geneva, 1565, 1582, 1588 or 1589, and 1598), as well as his five 8vo editions (1565, 1567, 1580, 1590, 1604) follow, for the most part, Stephens's editions of 1550 or 1551, with changes here and there, many of which are not improvements. Stephens's edition of 1551 is commonly spoken of in England as the textus receptus; but on the Continent the first Elzevir edition, printed at Leyden in 1624, has generally received that designation. The expression is borrowed from the preface to the second Elzevir edition (1633), in which occur the words, Textum ergo habes, nunc ab omnibus receptum. The text of the seven Elzevir editions (1624, 1633, 1641, Leyden; 1656, 1662, 1670, 1678, Amsterdam), among which there are a few slight differences, is made up almost wholly from Beza's smaller editions of 1565 and 1580; its editor is unknown. The textus receptus, slavishly followed, with slight diversities, in hundreds of editions, and substantially represented in all the principal modern Protestant translations prior to the nineteenth century, thus resolves itself essentially into that of the last edition of Erasmus, framed from a few modern and inferior manuscripts and the Complutensian Polyglot, in the infancy of Biblical criticism. In more than twenty places its reading is supported by the authority of no known Greek manuscript.
The editions from 1657 to 1830, with the exception of that of Griesbach (see below, § 3), are important, as regards the text, mainly for their accumulation of critical materials. In Walton's Polyglot (London, 1657; see BIBLES, POLYGLOT, IV), Stephens's Greek text of 1550 was accompanied by the Vulgate, Peshito-Syriac, Ethiopic, Arabic, and, in parts of the New Testament, other ancient versions, with a critical apparatus including the readings of Codd. A, D1, D2, Stephens's margin, and eleven cursive manuscripts collated by or for Archbishop Ussher. In Bishop Fell's edition (Oxford, 1675), which reproduces substantially the Elzevir text, other authorities, including readings of the Coptic and Gothic versions, are given in the notes, though the title page (ex plus 100 MSS. codicibus), is very misleading. The edition of John Mill (Oxford, 1707, fol.; improved and enlarged by Ludolph Kuster, Amsterdam, Leipsic, and Rotterdam, 1710), the work of thirty years, marks an epoch in the history of textual criticism by its vast additions to the store of critical material through the collation of the new manuscripts, the collection of readings from the ancient versions, and especially from the quotations found in the writings of the Christian Fathers, and by its very learned and valuable prolegomena. Mill gave his judgment on many readings in his notes and prolegomena, but did not venture to form a text of his own, reprinting Stephens's text of 1550 without intentional variation. The projected edition of the Greek Testament and Latin Vulgate in parallel columns, by the illustrious critic Richard Bentley deserves a brief notice. Proposals for printing were issued in 1720, and a large amount of materials was collected at great expense, including a collation of cod. B (published by Ford in 1799); but the work was never completed. It was to have been founded on the oldest Greek and Latin manuscripts compared with the principal ancient versions and the quotations in the Fathers of the first five centuries. (Cf. A. A. Ellis, Bentleii critica sacra, Cambridge, 1862; R. C. Jebb, Bentley, London, 1882.) The edition of Johann Albrecht Bengel (Tübingen, 1734, 4to), while it had the advantage of some new manuscripts, was specially valuable for its discussions and illustrations of the principles of criticism, and its classification of manuscripts; but, except in the Apocalypse, Bengel did not venture to introduce any reading, even though he believed it unquestionably genuine, which had not previously appeared in some printed edition. His judgment of the value of different readings was, however, given in the margin (cf. E. Nestle, Bengel als Gelehrter, Tübingen, 1893, pp. 39 sqq.). The magnificent edition of Johann Jakob Wetstein (2 vols. fol., Amsterdam, 1751-52), the work of forty years, greatly enlarged the store of critical material by extensive collation of manuscripts and researches into the quotations of the Fathers, and by his description of this material in very valuable and copious prolegomena (reprinted, with additions by Semler, Halle, 1764). He gives also the readings of the chief printed editions which preceded him, and describes them fully. He introduced the present method of denoting the uncial manuscripts by Roman capitals, and the cursives and lectionaries by Arabic figures. Besides the critical matter, Wetstein's edition is a thesaurus of quotations from Greek, Latin, and Rabbinical authors, illustrating the phraseology of
The first edition of Johann Jacob Griesbach was published in 1774-75 (the first three Gospels in synopsis); but it was only in the second edition (2 vols., 8vo, Halle, 1796-1806) that be first made really good use of the materials gathered by his predecessors, and augmented by his own collections. A manual edition was issued at Leipsic in 1805, the text of which, differing somewhat from that of the larger edition, expresses his later critical judgment. Following in the track of Bengel and Semler, Griesbach sought to simplify the process of criticism by classifying his manuscripts and other authorities. He made three classes or recensionsthe Alexandrian, the Western, and the Constantinopolitan or Byzantineto the latter of which the mass of later and inferior manuscripts belongs. Though his system is not now accepted in its details, much truth lay at the bottom of it. His principles of criticism were sound; and in his application of them he displayed rare tact and skill. In 1827 a third edition of the first volume of his Greek Testament was published, with important additions, under the editorship of Dr. David Schulz. Griesbach's Symbol critica (Halle, 1785-93), and Commentarius criticus on Matthew and Mark, parts i, ii, with Meletemata critica prefixed to part ii, Jena, 1798, 1811, are still valuable. A number of manual editions founded on that of Griesbach, but inclining more to the textus receptus, as those of H. A. Schott (Leipsic, 1805,1813, 1825,1839), with a good Latin translation; G. C. Knapp (Halle, 1797, 1813, 1824, 1829, 1840), with a useful Commentatio isagogica, or introduction, and carefully punctuated and divided; J. A. H. Tittmann (ster., Leipsic, 1820, 1828, 16mo; 1824, 1831, 8vo); A. Hahn (Leipsic, 1840, 1841, revised ed. 1861; reprinted at New York, 1842, by Edward Robinson); K. G. W. Theile (ster., Leipsic, 1844, 11th ed. 1875, by O. von Gebhardt), with the variations of the chief modern editors, parallel passages, etc.; also S. T. Bloomfield's Greek Testament with English Notes (London, 1832, 9th ed., 1855, 2 vols., 8vo), mark no progress in criticism beyond Griesbach, but rather a retrograde movement. The same is true of the large edition of the Catholic scholar J. M. A. Scholz (2 vols., 4to, Leipsic, 1830-1836), whose extensive travels and researches in libraries enabled him to add a very large number of new manuscripts (according to Scrivener, 616) to the list of those previously known. But of these only thirteen were collated entire; a few others in the greater part; many in only a few chapters; many more simply inspected, or only enrolled in the list. Scholz was a poor critic, and as an editor and collator incredibly careless. He divided his manuscripts into two classes or recensionsthe Alexandrian and the Constantinopolitan, giving the preference to the latter. But in applying his system, he was happily inconsistent, particularly in his second volume, and at a later period of his life (1845) abandoned it. His edition met with no favor from intelligent scholars; but in England, where Biblical criticism was at its lowest ebb, it was welcomed and praised by many, and its text reprinted.
A new period in the history of textual criticism was inaugurated by the appearance (Berlin 1831) of a small edition of the Greek Testament by the distinguished classical scholar Carl Lachmann, followed by a larger edition, in which the authorities for the Greek text were supplied by Philipp Buttmann, with the Latin Vulgate in the lower margin, critically edited from codd. Fuldensis, Amiatinus, and other manuscripts (2 vols., 8vo, Berlin, 1842-50). Lachmann's aim in these editions was not to reproduce the original text according to his best judgment (for this he deemed conjectural criticism to be necessary in some cases), but to present as far as possible on purely documentary evidence the text current in the Eastern churches in the fourth century as a basis for criticism. He paid no attention to the textus receptus, and used no cursive manuscripts, but founded his text wholly on ancient authorities; viz., codd. A B C D P Q T Z of the Gospels, A B C D E in the Acts and Catholic Epistles, A B C D G in the Pauline Epistles, and A B C in the Apocalypse, with the Latin Vulgate, and codd. a (Vercellensis, fourth century), b (Veronensis, fifth century), and c (Colbertinus, eleventh century) of the Old Latin, for the Gospels, besides the Latin versions of the Greco-Latin manuscripts in the above list; of the Fathers he used Irenæus, Cyprian, Hilary of Poitiers, Lucifer of Cagliari, and, in the Apocalypse, Primasius. His attempted task was not fully accomplished, partly because the text of some of the most important manuscripts which he used (B C P Q, and the Latin Codex Amiatinus) had been but very imperfectly collated or edited, partly because the range of his authorities was too narrow, and partly because he was sometimes, apparently at least, inconsistent in the application of his principles. But he was the first to found a test wholly on ancient evidence (Griesbach disregarded what he deemed unimportant variations from the received text); and his editions, to which his eminent reputation as a critic gave wide currency
Next to be noted are the editions of Tischendorf and Tregelles. Through their combined labors we have a solid basis for a completely critical edition of the Greek Testament in the accurate knowledge, not possessed before, of all manuscripts of the oldest class (not including lectionaries), comprising many newly discovered, among them the Sinaitic of the fourth century. Lobegott Friedrich Constantin Tischendorf spent about eight years of his life in travels in search of manuscripts (for which he visited the East three timesin 1844, 1853, and 1859), or in collating with extreme care or transcribing and preparing for publication the most important of those in the various libraries of Europe which were before known, but had not been published or thoroughly examined. The following uncial Greek manuscripts (see the list above) were discovered by Tischendorf: À G2 I N2 O2 Tb.d G Qa-d L P; first used by him: Fa Ib N1 Ob-f Ob2 P2 Q2 R1.2 Ta.c Wb-e Qe-h; published: À B1.2 C D2 E2 Fa I Ib L1 M2 N1 Oa P1.2 Q1 R1 Wa.c Y Qa; (cf. C. R. Gregory's Prolegomena to Tischendorf's Novum Testamentum Grce, ed. viii, i, Leipsic, 1884, p. 31). His editions of the texts of Biblical manuscripts (including some of the Septuagint) comprise no less than seventeen large quarto and five folio volumes, not including the Anecdota sacra et profana (1855, new ed. 1861), or the Notitia editionis Codicis Sinaitici (1860), two quarto volumes containing descriptions or collations of many new manuscripts; and many of his collations, or copies of manuscripts, remain unpublished.
The titles of Tischendorf's various writings, most of them relating to Biblical criticism, fill pages 7-22 of Gregory's Prolegomena. His first edition of the Greek Testament (Leipsic, 1841) was promising as a first essay, but of no special importance except for the refutation, in the prolegomena, of Scholz's theory of recensions. In the Editio Lipsiana secunda (1849) the critical apparatus was much enlarged, and the text settled on the basis of ancient authority, generally with good judgment. In 1859 appeared the Editio septima critica maior (2 vols.), in which very large additions were made to the critical apparatus, not only from manuscripts, Greek and Latin, but from the quotations in the writings of the Christian Fathers, and the evidence was for the first time fully stated, both for and against the readings adopted. In the first volume, Tischendorf, influenced perhaps by Scrivener, showed a tendency to allow greater weight to the later uncials and cursives than he had done in his edition of 1849; but he soon found that he was on the wrong track; and on the whole, if orthographical changes are included, his edition of 1859 differs more widely from the textus receptus than that of 1849. Its publication was immediately followed by Tischendorf's third journey to the East, and the discovery of the great Sinaitic manuscript, together with the acquisition of much other new critical material. After the publication of the Codex Sinaiticus in 1862, in a magnificent edition of four volumes folio, in facsimile type, with twenty-one plates of actual facsimiles, at the expense of the Russian Government, the edition being limited to three hundred copies, he issued in 1863, in 4to, his Novum Testamentum Sinaiticum, in ordinary type, but representing the manuscript line for line, with full prolegomena; and his Novum Testamentum Grce ex Sinaitico Codice, Vaticana itemque Elzeviriana lectione notata, in 1865, 8vo, with a supplement of additions and corrections in 1870. After some other publications, particularly the second edition of his Synopsis evangelica in 1864, in which the Sinaitic manuscript was first used, he undertook his last great critical edition of the Greek New Testament, Novum Testamentum Grce, editio octava critica maior (issued in eleven parts, i, Leipsic, Oct., 1864, xi, at the end of 1872; collected into two volumes, 8vo, 1869-72). This edition far surpassed all that had preceded it in the richness of its critical apparatus, and, as compared with that of 1859, rests much more on the authority of the oldest manuscripts, particularly the Sinaitic. The preparation of the prolegomena by Tischendorf himself was prevented by his sudden illness and subsequent death, and was entrusted to an American scholar residing in Leipsic, Caspar René Gregory, who had also the valuable assistance of Ezra Abbot. In the interest of the work Dr. Gregory made special journeys through Europe and into the Orient, and was thus enabled to give first-hand descriptions and collations of many manuscripts. It was published in three parts at Leipsic, 1884-94. Besides the works mentioned, the most important publications of Tischendorf pertaining to the textual criticism of the New Testament are: Codex Ephraemi Syri rescriptus (1843, 4to; Old Testament part, 1845); Monumenta sacra inedita (1846, 4to); Evangelium ineditum (1847, 4to); Codex Amiatinus (Vulgate; 1850, new ed.1854); Codex Claromontanus (1852, 4to); Monumenta sacra inedita, nova collectio, vols. i-vi, ix (1855-70, 4to); Novum Testamentum Vaticanum and Appendix Novi Testamenti Vaticani (1867-69, 4to); cf. Responsa ad columnias Romanas (1870, 8vo), also Appendix codicum celeberrimorum, Sinaitici, Vaticani, Alexandrini (1867, 4to); Die Sinaibibel, ihre Entdeckung, Herausgabe, und Erwerbung (1871, large 8vo). His Novum Testamentum triglottum, Grce, Latine, Germanice (Leipsic, 1854, 2d ed., 1865) is a convenient book, the three parts of which were also issued separately, and in various combinations. The Greek is his own text, with the variations of the textus receptus; the Latin, the Vulgate critically revised from the oldest manuscripts, with the variations of the Clementine edition; the German the genuine text of Luther, though in modern orthography. Tischendorf also issued many manual editions of the Greek Testament, the three latest in his lifetime being published in 1875 by Tauchnitz, Brockhaus (to match his edition of the Septuagint), and Mendelssohn (Editio academica septima), respectively. His large editions of 1859 and 1869-72 were issued with the
Samuel Prideaux Tregelles ranks next to Tischendorf in the importance of his critical labors, and in single-hearted devotion to his chosen task. In 1848 he issued a Prospectus for a critical edition of the Greek Testament, the text of which was to be founded solely on the authority of the oldest Greek manuscripts, the ancient versions to the seventh century, and the citations of early writers, including Eusebius. No account was made of the "received text," or of the great mass of cursive manuscripts. Completeness and accuracy in the exhibition of the evidence of the witnesses used were especially aimed at. Like Tischendorf, Tregelles visited (in 1845-46, 1849-50, and 1862) the principal libraries in Europe for the purpose of collating manuscripts the text of which had not before been published. These were the uncials B2 D2 E1 F2 G1 H1.2 Ib K1 L2 M1.2 R1 U X Z G L, the cursives 1, 13, 17, 31, 37, 47, 61, 69, and also Codex Zacynthius (X). In many cases Tregelles compared his collations with those of Tischendorf, and settled the differences by a reexamination of the manuscript. In 1861 he edited the Codex Zacynthius (X), republishing in an appendix the fragments of O. His edition of The Greek New Testament, Edited from Ancient Authorities, with their Various Readings in Full, and the Latin Version of Jerome, was issued in London in seven successive parts: i, Matthew, Mark, 1857; ii, Luke, John, 1861; iii, Acts and Catholic Epistles, 1865; iv, Romans to II Thessalonians (iii, 3), 1869; v, Hebrews (with II Thess. iii, 3-18) to Philemon, 1870; vi, Revelation, 1872. Part vii, Prolegomena and Addenda and Corrigenda, appeared in 1879, four years after his death, edited by Dr. Hort and A. W. Streane. Though Tregelles added far less than Tischendorf to our store of critical material, he did more to establish correct principles of criticism, and his various writings had a wide and most beneficial influence in England. He also published, in 1854, An Account of the Printed Text of the Greek New Testament, with Remarks on its Revision upon Critical Principles, and, in 1856, Introduction to the Textual Criticism of the New Testament, forming part of vol. iv of the tenth and later editions of Horne's Introduction. This volume was also issued separately, and in the eleventh edition of Horne's Introduction (1861) appeared with "Additions" and a "Postscript."
In 1881 appeared The New Testament in the Original Greek. The Text Revised by Brooke Foss Westcott . . . and Fenton John Anthony Hort (Cambridge and London). The American edition (New York) has a valuable introduction by Philip Schaff, with the cooperation of Ezra Abbot. Dr. Schaff also prepared a compact manual of New Testament criticism, A Companion to the Greek Testament and the English Version (New York, 1883), which embodies the substance of this introduction, thoroughly revised. The teat of Westcott and Hort is accompanied by an Introduction and Appendix (1882) in which the authors discuss the need of criticism for the text of the New Testament, the methods of textual criticism, the application of its principles to the text, the nature and details of their edition, and add notes on select readings and orthography, with orthographical alternative readings, and quotations from the Old Testament. In 1895 the text appeared in larger form, and, in 1896, the Introduction in finally revised form. This edition is not accompanied with any critical apparatus; it rather was the object of the authors, by a careful study of the materials furnished by their predecessors, augmented somewhat, however, by their own researches, to trace the history of the text as far as possible; to distinguish its different types, and determine their relations and their comparative value; to investigate the special characteristics of the most important documents and groups of documents; and, finally, to apply the principles of criticism which result from these studies to the determination of the original text. Their view of the genealogical relations of the chief ancient texts excited strong opposition in certain quarters, but their work was recognized as the most important contribution to the scientific criticism of the New Testament text which had yet been made. They distinguish four principal types of text: the Western, characterized by a tendency to paraphrase or to modify the form of expression, and also to interpolate from parallel passages or from extraneous sources, represented especially by D and the Old Latin versions, also in part by the Curetonian Syriac; the neutral represented by B and largely by À, preserving best the original form; the Alexandrian, much purer than the Western, but betraying a tendency to polish the language; and the Syrian, the latest form, a mixed text, borrowing from all, and aiming to be easy, smooth, and complete. They regard B as preeminent above all other manuscripts for the purity of its text; the readings of À and B combined as generally deserving acceptance as genuine, their ancestries having "diverged from a point near the autographs"; and they attach great weight to every combination of B with another primary Greek manuscript, as L C T D X A Z 33, and, in Mark, D. Westcott and Hort (see WESTCOTT, BROOKE FOSS; HORT, FENTON JOHN ANTHONY) began their work in 1853. Their method of cooperation was first independent study, then comparison. The Introduction is chiefly the work of Dr. Hort, whose name is one of the greatest in the history of textcriticism. He carried into the study of the text a large knowledge of church history and patristic theology, and it was this breadth of historical knowledge which made the Introduction the great work it is. The genealogical theory, suggested by Bengel and elaborated by later scholars, was here worked into a truly monumental form. A thorough acquaintance with this book is necessary to the student if he would have a clear insight of the deepest tendencies in the text studies of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries or an understanding of the course taken by text-study in the
Of the many other scholars whose labors have aided in the establishment of the text of the Greek New Testament, the Anglican scholar Frederick Henry Ambrose Scrivener deserves mention especially for his editions and collation of manuscripts. His Plain Introduction of to the Criticism of the New Testament (Cambridge, 1861; 4th ed., by E. Miller, 2 vols., London, 1894) is a standard work. Scrivener was an able defender of the later manuscripts as witnesses to the original text against Tischendorf, Tregelles, and Westcott and Hort. In this contention he had the doughty support of John William Burgon in The Revision Revised (London, 1883). Among Americans, Ezra Abbot and Joseph Henry Thayer; among Hollanders, W. C. Van Manen, J. Cramer, and J. J. Prins; among Frenchmen, P. Batiffol, J. P. P. Martin, and E. Amélineau; among Italians, Angelo Mai, Carlo Vercellone, and J. Cozza; and among Germans, F. Blass, E. Nestle, B. Weiss, E. Riggenbach, and O. von Gebhardt have made important contributions to textual criticism.
When Westcott and Hort published their text
in 1881 and when, in 1882, Hort's masterpiece on
introduction followed, there was a disposition in
some quarters to believe that New Testament
scholarship had come somewhere near a critical
textus receptus. The genealogical theory first
broached by Bengel seemed, after a century and a
half of toil, to have led the student into a definite
path which would surely lead to a final goal. But
significant changes, in feeling if not in opinion,
are beginning to manifest themselves. Westcott
and Hort mark a main epoch in text study. More clearly than their predecessors, they showed that the study
of the text was inseparable from the
study of church history. But the
hypothesis which Hort so powerfully worked out
has to some extent wrought its own undoing. The
lines of study that it suggested have brought to light
so many new facts and so many serious problems
that the tone of certitude at one time in fashion
has passed away. To Scrivener's description of
Westcott and Hort's text as a
few will assent. Yet, beyond question, the situation has materially changed. The "Western
Text" or, to call it by a safer name, the "Syro-Western Text," which Westcott and Hort took
to be a fairly well delineated fact, has become an
imperious problem. The genealogical theory has
fulfilled the chief function of a good working
hypothesis by introducing order into chaos and
pointing to the promising lines of attack upon the
vast body of data awaiting the student. But
genealogical certitude has declined. With its
decline has come a growing disposition to concede
to exegesis a certain right against the overweening
authority of any group of manuscripts, however
imposing. The good text-critic should also be an
accomplished exegete. In Barnnard Weiss the two
qualities are in a measure blended. Hence, at a
critical point like
Monumental work is not at present the order of the day. The searching investigations of the versions, the detailed and comprehensive study of patriotic quotations, larger and clearer knowledge of the mental conditions under which an entire group of texts are likely to have undergone perceptible, even if inconsiderable, changesin a word, a vast amount of labor lies ahead. The doing of it will require a very considerable time. Meanwhile the confidence and finality of a quarter-century ago are to be replaced by a restrained skepticism.
One of the essential prerequisites to intelligent criticism is a thorough study of the occasions of error in manuscripts. This involves a knowledge of paleography and of the history of pronunciation. The similarity of certain letters or abbreviations in their older forms gave occasion to errors which can be only thus explained; and in the corruption of the Greek language, vowels and diphthongs originally distinct in sound were pronounced alike (itacism). A study of the tendencies and habits of transcribers is also involved. Many manuscripts, in the alterations they have received from later hands, illustrate the manner in which the text was corrupted. Among the maxima resulting from such a study, in connection with the consideration of external testimony, are these: (1) The more difficult reading is to be preferred (Bengel's great rule). This applies to those variations which are to be ascribed to design.
The host of "various readings" which an examination of ancient manuscripts, versions, and quotations, has brought to light, perhaps a hundred and fifty thousand in number, alarms some simple-minded people. Analysis at once dispels the alarm. It is seen that a very large proportion of these readings, say nineteen-twentieths, are of no authority, no one can suppose them to be genuine; and nineteen-twentieths of the remainder are of no importance as affecting the sense. Of how much, or rather, of how little, importance, for the most part, the remainder are, can readily be seen by comparing the Revised Version of the New Testament (with its marginal notes) with the text of the Authorized Version, or by an examination of the various readings of the chief modern editors in Scrivener's Novum Testamentum textus Stephanici A.D. 1550 . . . accedunt vari lectiones (8th ed., Cambridge, 1877). The great number of various readings is simply the result of the extraordinary richness of critical resources, Westcott and Hort remark, with entire truth, that "in the variety and fulness of the evidence on which it rests, the text of the New Testament stands absolutely and unapproachably alone among ancient prose-writings."
BIBLIOGRAPHY: On the paleography of the N. T.: S. P. Tregelles, An Account of the Printed Text of the Greek New Testament; with Remarks on its Revision upon Critical Principles, together with a Collation of the Critical Texts of Griesbach, Scholz, Lachmann, and Tischendorf, with that in Common Use, London, 1854; E. A. Bond and E. M. Thompson, Facsimiles of Ancient MSS, ib. 1873-82; W. Wattenbach, Anleitung zur griechischen Palographie, Leipsic, 1877; idem, Schrifttafeln zur Geschichte der griechischen Schrift, 2 parts, Berlin, 1876-77; idem and F. A. von Welsen, Exempla codicum Grcorum litteris minusculis scriptorum, Heidelberg, 1878; idem, Scriptur Grac specimina, Berlin, 1883; N. Gardthausen, Griechische Palographie, Leipsic, 1879; J. R. Harris, New Testament Autographs, in supplement to AJP, no. 12, 1882; idem, Stichometry, New York, 1893; T. W. Allen, Notes on Abbreviations in Greek MSS, with Facsimiles, Oxford, 1889; F. Blass, Palographie, in Handbuch der klassischen Alterthumswrissenschaft, vol. i, Munich. 1892; W. A. Copinger, The Bible and its Transmission, London, 1897; F. G. Kenyon, Our Bible and the Ancient MSS, ib. 1897; idem, Bible Manuscripts in the British Museum, Facsimiles, ib. 1901; C. F. Sitterly, Praxis in Greek MSS of the N. T. The mechanical and literary Processes involved in their Writing and Preservation, New York, 1898; R. Proctor, The Printing of Greek in the Fifteenth Century, no. 8 of Illustrated Monographs, issued by the Bibliographical Society, London, 1900; DB, iv, 944-957.
For the old printers consulton Christopher Plantin: M. Rooses, Christopher Plantin, imprimeur Anvernois, Antwerp, 1884; idem, Christopher Plantin, Correspondance, Ghent, 1886; T. L. de Vinne, Christopher Plantin and the Plantin-Moretus Museum at Antwerp, New York, 1885; L. Degeorge, La Maison Plantin à Anvers, Paris, 1886. On the Stephens: G. A. Crapelet, Robert Estienne, imprimeur royal, Paris, 1839; A. A. Renouard, Annales de l'imprimerie des Estienne ib. 1843; L. Feugère, Essai sur la vie et les ouvrages de Henri Estienne, ib. 1853. On the Elzevirs: C. Pieters, Annales de l'imprimerie Elsévirienne, Ghent, 1860; A Willems, Les Elzévier: histoire et annales typographiques, Brussels, 1880.
Late critical editions are C. Tischendorf, Novum Testamentum Grce, ed. 8. critica major, Leipsic, 1864-72; Prolegomena, by C. R. Gregory, ib. 1884-94, small ed. of text of 8. ed., with selections of readings, ib. 1878; F. H. A. Scrivener and E. Palmer, The Greek Testament with the headings adopted by the Revisers of the Authorized Version, Oxford, 1882; B. F. Westcott and F. J. A. Hort, N. T. in the Original Greek, Am. ed. with introduction by P. Schaff, 3d ed., New York, 1883; W. Sanday, Lloyd's ed. of Mill's Text with Parallel References, Eusebian Canons . . . and three Appendices (published separately, containing variants of Westcott and Hort, and a selection of important readings with authorities, together with readings from Oriental versions, Memphitic, Armenian, and Ethiopic), Oxford, 1889; O, von Gebhardt, Novum Testamentum (with variants of Tregelles and Westcott and Hort), 6th ed., Leipsic, 1894; B. Weiss, Das Neue Testament, Textkritische Untersuchungen and Textherstellung, ib. 1894-1900; F. Blass, Acta Apostolorum sive Luc ad Theophilum liber alter secundum formam qu videtur Romanam, ib. 1896; idem, Evangelium secundum Lucam sive Luc ad Theophilum liber prior secundum formam qu videtur Romanam, ib. 1897; E. Nestle, Testamentum Novum Grce cum apparatu critico, Stuttgart, 1898 (the use of editions with the MS. variants will still be required); Novum Testamentum Grcum, editio Stutgardiana, ib. 1898 (based on collation of Tischendorf, Westcott and Hort, Weymouth, and Weiss; contains for the Gospels and Acts a selection of MS. readings, chiefly from Codex Bez).
Treatises on various phases of the history of N. T. textual criticism are: F. H. A. Scrivener,
A Full and Exact Collation of about twenty Greek MSS of the Holy Gospels
(hitherto unexamined) . . . in the British Museum the
Archiepiscopal Library at Lambeth, . . . with a critical Introduction, Cambridge, 1853; idem,
A Plain Introduction to the Criticism of the New Testament, 4th ed., by E. Miller,
London, 1894 (conservative); O. T. Dobbin, The Codex
Montfortianno, ib. 1854; F. W. A. Bäthgen, Der griechische Text des Cureton'schen Syrers, Leipsic, 1885; J. R.
Harris, The Origin of the Leicester Codex of the N. T., London, 1887; U. J. M. Bebb, Evidence of the Early Versions and Patristic Quotations on the Text of . . . the N. T., in Studia Biblica,
ii, Oxford, 1890; H. C. Hoskier, A Full
Account and Collation of the Greek Cursive Codex Evang.
504, London, 1890 (contains in Appendix C, A full and
exact comparison of the Elzevir Editions of 1624 and 1635);
G. H. Gwilliam, The Material for the Criticism of the Peshitto N. T., in Studia Biblica, iii, 47-104, Oxford, 1891; F. H. Chase, The Old Syriac Element in the Text of Codex
Bez, London, 1893; Mrs. A. S. Lewis, The Four Gospels
translated from the Syriac Palimpsest, ib. 1894; R. C.
Bensley, J. R. Harris, and F. C. Burkitt, The Four Gospels in Syriac transcribed from the Syriac Palimpsest, Cambridge, 1894; G. N. Bonwetsch and H. Achelis, Die christlichen grischischen Schriftsteller vor
Eusebius, Berlin, 1897; E. Miller, The Present State of the Textual Controversy respecting the Holy Gospels, London, 1899 (conservative); idem The Textual Controversy and the Twentieth Century,
ib. 1901; G. Salmon, Some Thoughts on the Textual Criticism of the N. T., ib. 1897; M. R. Vincent,
A Hist. of the Textual Criticism of the N. T., New York, 1899; K. Lake,
The Text of the N. T., London, 1900; F. G. Kenyon,
Handbook to Textual Criticism of the N. T., ib. 1901; idem,
Evidence of Greek Papyri with Regard to Textual Criticism,
ib. 1905. On the Revisers' text consult W. M. Sanday
in Expositor, 1881.
The principles of textual criticism are discussed at length in Hort's Introduction to Westcott and Hort's Greek Testament, London, 1881, where also is found the most elaborate discussion of the Sinaitic and Vatican MSS. On the Sinaitic MS. consult also F. H. A. Scrivener, Collation of the Codex Sinaiticus, 3d ed., London, 1867; C. Tischendorf, Die Anfechtungen der Sinaibibel, Leipsic, 1883; idem, Die Sinaibibel, ihre Entdeckung, Herausgabe und Erwerbung, ib. 1871; idem, Waffen der Finsterniss wider die Sinaibibel, ib. 1863. Convenient manuals are: E. Nestle, Einführung in das griechische Neue Testament, Göttingen, 1897. A valuable collection of editions of the Greek Testament, mostly amassed by the late Dr. Isaac H. Hall, is in the library of Union Theological Seminary, New York.
During the last three years considerable discussion has been aroused on the subject of the text, to which the following are the most important contributions:
For 1902: J. M. Bebb, in DB, iv, 848-855, 860-864; F. Blass, Evangelium secundum Johannem cum vari lectionis delectu, Leipsic; F. C. Burkitt, The Date of Codex Bez, in JTS, vol. iii; F. C. Conybeare, Three Early Doctrinal Modifications of the Text of the Gospels, in Hibbert Journal, i, 96-113; M. D. Gibson, Four remarkable Sinai MSS, in Expository Times, xiii, 509-511; S. K. Gifford, Pauli epistolas qua forma legerit Joannes Chrysostomus, Halle; E. J. Goodspeed, The Haskell Gospels, in JBL, xxi, 100-107; C. R. Gregory, Textkritik des N. T., vol. ii, Leipsic; C. E. Hammond, Outlines of Textual Criticism applied to the N. T., Oxford; J. R. Harris, A curious Bezan reading vindicated, in Expositor, pp. 189-195; idem, On a Recent Emendation in the Text of St. Peter, ib., pp. 317-320; idem, The History of a Conjectural Emendation (ib., pp. 378-390); A. Hjelt, Die altsyrische Evangelienübersetzung und Tatians Diatessaron, in T. Zahn's Forsehungen, viii, 1, Leipsic; K. Lake, Codex 1 of the Gospels and its Allies, Cambridge; idem, Texts from Mount Athos, in Studia Biblica, vol. v, part 2, pp. 89-185, London; A. S. Lewis, Studia Sinaitica XI. Apocrypha Syriaca, London; G. R. S. Mead, The Gospels and the Gospel. Study in most recent Results of lower and higher Criticism, London; A. Merx, Die vier kanonischen Evangelien nach ihrem ältesten becannten Texte. Uebersetzung und Erläuterung der syrischen im Sinaikloster gerfundenen Palimpsesthandschriften, part 2: Erläuterungen, 1st half: Matthäus, Berlin; E. Nestle, The Greek Testament, with Introduction and Appendix on irregular Verbs, by R. E. Weidner, New York; idem, in DB iv, 645-652, 732-741; H. von Soden, Die Schriften des N. T. in ihrer ältesten erreichbaren Textgestalt, vol. i, part 1, Berlin; B. Weiss, Das Neue Testament, 3 vols., Leipsic; H. J. White, in DB, iv, 873-890.
For 1903: L. Blau, Ueber den Einfluss des althebräischen Buchwesens auf die Originale und auf die ältesten Handschriften der LXX, des N. T. und der Hexapla, Berlin; F. C. Burkitt, On Codex Claromonianus, in JTS, iv, 587- 588; idem, The Syriac Interpretation of John xiii, 4, in JTS, iv, 436-438; idem, in EB, iv, 4981-5012; idem, Further Notes on Codex k, in JTS, v, 100-107; W. E. Crum, Coptic Ostraka from the Collection of the Egypt Exploration Fund, the Cairo Museum, and others, London; M. D. Gibson, Four Remarkable Sinai Manuscripts, in Expository Times, xiii, 509-511; J. E. Gilmore, Manuscript Portions of three Coptic Lectionaries, in PSBA, xxiv, 186-191; G. H. Gwilliam, The Age of the Bodleian Syriac Codex Dawkins 3, in JTS, iii, 452 sq.; idem, Place of the Peshitto Version in the Apparatus criticus of the Greek N. T., in Studia Biblica, v, 3, pp. 187-237; K. Lake, Dr. Weiss', Text of the Gospels, in AJT, vii, 249-258; A. Schmidtke, Die Evangelien einer alten Unzialcodex, Leipsic; W. B. Smith, The Pauline Manuscripts F and G, in AJT, vii, 452-485, 662-688; C Taylor, The Pericope of the Adulteress, in JTS, iv, 129-130; B. Weiss, Die Perikopa von der Ehebrecherin, in ZWT, xlvi, 141-158; A. Wright, A Synopsis of the Gospels in Greek, 2d ed., London; O. Zöckler, The Textual Question in Acts, transl. by A. Steimle, New Rochelle.
For 1904: F. Blass, Ueber die Textkritik im N. T., Leipsic; F. C. Burkitt, Evangelion Da-Mepharreshe. The Curetonian Version of the four Gospels, with the Readings of the Sinai Palimpsest and the early Syriac patristic Evidance, 2 vols., Cambridge; Codex Veronensis . . . denuo ed. J. Belsheim, Prague; R. D'Onston, The Patristic Gospels. An English Version of the Holy Gospels as they existed in the second Century, London; J. T. Marshall, Remarkable Readings in the Epistles found in the Palestinian Syriac Lectionary; in JTS, v, 437-445; J. B. Mayor, Notes on the Text of ll Peter, in Expositor, pp. 284-293; idem, Notes on the Text of the Epistle of Jude, ib., pp. 450-460; J. O. F. Murray, Textual Criticism, in DB, extra vol., pp. 208-236; W. Sanday, The Present Greek Testaments of the Clarendon Press, in JTS, v, 279-280; A New Greek Testament, prepared by E. Nestle. Text with Critical Apparatus, London; Novum Testamentum . . . Latine secundum editionem sancti Hieronymi . . . recensuit J. WordsworthH. J. White, part ii, fasc. 2, Actus Apostolorum, Oxford; C. H. Turner, A Re-Collation of Codex k of the Old Latin Gospels, in JTS, v, 88-100.
1905: R. F. Weymouth, The Resultant Greek Text, with readings of Stephens (1550), Lachmann, Tregelles, Lightfoot, and (for the Pauline Epistles) Ellicott, also of Alford and Weiss for Matthew, the Basel ed., Westcott and Hort and Revisers, London, 1892, 3d ed., 1905.
1906: F. H. A. Scrivener, Novum Testamentum, Textus Stephanici, Vari Lectiones of Beza, the Elzevirs, Lachmann, Tischendorf, Tregelles, Westcott and Hort, and the Revisers, London, 1887, ed. E. Nestle, 1906; A. Deissmann, The New Biblical Papyri at Heidelberg, in Expository Times, pp. 248-254.
The literature of the work which is being done may be found year by year in the Bibliographie der theologischen Literatur and in AJT.
The present verses differ in origin for the Old Testament, New Testament, and Apocrypha. In the canonical Testament they appear in the oldest known manuscripts (see above, I, 1, § 7, 2, § 2), though they were not used for citation by the Jews till the fifteenth century. The earlier printed Hebrew Bibles marked each fifth verse only with its Hebrew numeral. Arabic numerals were first added for the intervening verses by Joseph Athias, at Amsterdam, 1661, at the suggestion of Jan Leusden. The first portion of the Bible printed with the Masoretic verses numbered was the Psalterium Quincuplex of Faber Stapulensis, printed at Paris by Henry Stephens in 1509. In 1528 Sanctes Pagninus published at Lyons a new Latin version of the whole Bible with the Masoretic verses marked and numbered. He also divided the Apocrypha and New Testament into numbered verses; but these were three or four times as long as the present ones.
The present New Testament verses were introduced by Robert Stephens in his Greco-Latin Testament of 1551 (see above, II, 2, § 2). Stephens says in his preface that the division is made to follow the most ancient Greek and Latin copies. But it will be difficult, if not impossible, to find any Greek or Latin manuscripts whose divisions coincide very nearly with Stephens's verses. Doubtless he made this division with reference to his concordance to the Vulgate, then preparing, published in 1555. This Latin concordance, like former ones, contains references to the letters A, B, C, D, E, F, G, and also to the numbers of the verses of each chapter "after the Hebrew method" of division. This latter, the preface states, has special reference to an operi pulcherrimo et prclarissimo which he is now printing, which must mean his splendid Bible of 1556-57, 3 vols., containing the Vulgate, Pagninus, and the first edition of Beza's Latin New Testament. Meanwhile, for present convenience, he is issuing a more modest Bible (Vulgate), with the verses marked and numbered. This latter was his Vulgate of 1555 (Geneva)the first whole Bible divided into the present verses, and the first in which they were introduced into the Apocrypha. The text is continuous, not having the verses in separate paragraphs, like the New Testament of 1551, but separated by a ¶ and the verse-number. The verse-division differs in only a very few places from that of 1551; and a comparison shows that the concordance agrees rather with the division of 1551 than with that of 1555. The statement so often made that the division was made "on horseback" while on a journey from Paris to Lyons must be qualified. His son asserts that the work was done while on the journey, but the inference most natural and best supported is that the task was accomplished while resting at the inns along the road.
In other languages the division appeared first as follows: French, New Testament, Geneva, 1552, Bible, Geneva, 1553 (both R. Stephens); Italian, New Testament, L. Paschale (Geneva?), 1555; Dutch, New Testament, Gellius Ctematius (Gillis van der Erven), Embden, 1556, Bible, Nikolaus Biestkens van Diest, Embden, 1580; English, Genevan New Testament, 1557, Genevan Bible, 1560; German, Luther's Bible, perhaps Heidelberg, 1568, but certainly Frankfort, 1582.
In Beza's editions of the Greek Testament (1565-1604) sundry variations were introduced, which were followed by later editors, notably the Elzevirs (1633, etc.); and many minor changes have been made, quite down to the present day.
A very convenient and illuminating "table of ancient and modern divisions of the New Testament," giving the divisions in the Vatican manuscript, the titloi, the Ammonian kephalaia, the stichoi, remata, and the modern chapters and verses, is given in Scrivener, Introduction, i, 68. The titloi, kephalaia and tables of the Eusebian canons are available in such editions as Stephens's Greek Testament of 1550, and Mill's of 1707, 1710. The Greek Testament by Lloyd (Oxford, 1827) and by Mill (1859) give the Eusebian canons. For a synopsis of variations in manuscripts consult J. M. A. Scholz, Novum Testamentum Grce, i, Frankfort, 1830, pp. xxvii-xxix.
The Stephanic verses have met with bitter criticism because of the fact that they break the text into fragments, the division often coming in the middle of the sentence, instead of forming it into convenient and logical paragraphs, an arrangement which has seldom found favor. But their utility for reference outweighs their disadvantage. They should never be printed in separate paragraphs (as in the English Authorized Version), but the text should be continuous and the numbers inserted in the margin (as in the Revised Version).
BIBLIOGRAPHY: C. R. Gregory, Prolegomena, i, 140-182, Leipsic, 1894; the Introductions of Tregelles and Scrivener, ut sup. under II; B. F, Westcott and F. J A. Hort, N. T., Introduction and Appendix, pp. 318 sqq., of Am. edition, New York, 1882; I. H. Hall in Sunday School Times, Apr. 2, 1881. Consult also W. Wright, in Kitto's Cyclopedia of Biblical Literature, "Verse," London, 1845 (the ed. of 1870 is not so good); DCA, ii, 953-967.
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