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New Testament manuscripts
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Uncial 02
Folio 65v from the Codex Alexandrinus contains the end of the Gospel of Luke with the decorative tailpiece found at the end of each book.

Folio 65v from the Codex Alexandrinus contains the end of the Gospel of Luke with the decorative tailpiece found at the end of each book.
Name Alexandrinus
Sign A
Text New Testament
Date 400-440
Script Greek
Now at British Library
Size 32 x 26 cm
Type Byzantine text-type in Gospels, alexandrian in rest of NT
Category III (in Gospels), I (in rest of NT)
Hand elegantly written but with errors
Note close to \mathfrak{P}74 in Acts, and to \mathfrak{P}47 in Rev

The Codex Alexandrinus (London, British Library, MS Royal 1. D. V-VIII; Gregory-Aland no. A or 02, Soden δ 4) is a 5th century manuscript of the Greek Bible,[n 1] containing the majority of the Septuagint and the New Testament.[1] It received the name Alexandrinus from its having been brought by the Eastern Orthodox Patriarch Cyril Lucaris from Alexandria to Constantinople.[2] Wettstein designated it in 1751 by letter A,[3] and it was the first manuscript to receive thus a large letter as its designation.[4]

Along with the Codex Sinaiticus and the Vaticanus, it is one of the earliest and most complete manuscripts of the Bible. It derives its name from Alexandria where it resided for a number of years before being given to the British people in the 17th century. Until the later purchase of the Codex Sinaiticus, it was the best manuscript of the Greek Bible deposited in Britain.[n 2] Today, it rests along with Codex Sinaiticus in one of the prominent showcases in the Department of Manuscripts of the British Library.[5]

Contents

Contents

The codex (Latin), book (English), is in quarto, and now consists of 773 vellum folios (630 in the Old Testament and 143 in the New Testament), bound in four volumes (279 + 238 + 118 + 144 folios).[6] Three volumes contain the Septuagint, Greek version of the Old Testament, with the complete loss of only ten leaves. The fourth volume contains the New Testament with 31 leaves lost.[7]

The codex contains almost a complete copy of the LXX, including the deuterocanonical books 3 and 4 Maccabees, Psalm 151 and the 14 Odes. The "Epistle to Marcellinus" attributed to Saint Athanasius and the Eusebian summary of the Psalms are inserted before the Book of Psalms. It also contains all of the books of the New Testament, in addition to 1 Clement (lacking 57:7-63) and the homily known as 2 Clement (up to 12:5a). The books of the Old Testament are thus distributed: Genesis — 2 Chronicles (volume first), Hosea — 4 Maccabees (volume second), Psalms — Sirach (volume third).[8] The New Testament - volume fourth - books follow in order: Gospels, Acts of the Apostles, General epistles, Pauline epistles (Hebrews placed between 2 Thesssalonians and 1 Timothy), Book of Revelation. Previously, General epistles were placed before Acts of the Apostles. They changed their positions after rebinding.[9]

There is an appendix marked in the index, which lists the Psalms of Solomon and probably contained more apocryphal/pseudepigraphical books, but it has been torn off and the pages containing these books have also been lost.

Colophon at the end Epistle of Jude. According to this colophon Acts of the Apostles follows General epistles

Due to damage and lost folios, various passages are missing or have defects:

  • Lacking: 1 Sam 12:17-14:9 (1 leaf); Ps 49:20-79:11 (9 leaves);[10] Matt 1:1-25:6 (26 leaves); John 6:50-8:52 (2 leaves); 2 Cor 4:13-12:6 (3 leaves);[1] 1 Clement 57:7-63 (1 leaf) and 2 Clement 12:5a-fin. (2 leaves);[11]
  • Damaged: Gen 14:14-17, 15:1-5, 15:16-19, 16:6-9 (lower portion of torn leaf lost);[12]
  • Defects due to torn leaves: Gen 1:20-25, 1:29-2:3, Lev 8:6,7,16; Sirach 50:21f, 51:5;[8]
  • Lacunae on the edges of almost every page of the Apocalypse.[13]
  • The ornamented colophon of the Epistle to Philemon has been cut out.[14]

Verses the scribe did not include:

It is an important witness for the Pericope Adultera (John 7:53-8:11), though the pericope is located on the lost two leaves (John 6:50-8:52), by counting the lines we can prove that it was not in the book - there was not room for it (as in Codex Ephraemi).[11][20][21]

Description

List of κεφάλαια to the Gospel of Mark

The manuscript measures 12.6 by 10.4 inches (32 by 26 cm) and most of the folios were originally gathered into quires of eight leaves each. In modern times it was rebound into quires of six leaves each. The material is thin, fine, and very beautiful vellum, often discoloured at the edges, which have been damaged by age and more so through the ignorance or carelessness of the modern binder, who has not always spared the text, especially at the upper inner margin.[22] The vellum has been fallen into holes in many places, and since the ink peels off through age whensoever a leaf is touched a little roughly, no one is allowed to handle the manuscript except for good reasons.[23]

The text in the codex is written in two columns in uncial script, with between 49 and 51 lines per column[1] and 20 to 25 letters per line.[12] The beginning lines of each book are written in red ink and sections within the book are marked by a larger letter set into the margin. Words are written continuously in a large, round' and well-formed uncial hand, with no accents and only some breathings (possibly added by a later editor). The letters are larger than those of the Codex Vaticanus.[24] There is no division of words, but some pauses are observed in places in which should be a dot between two words.[24] The poetical books of the Old Testament are written stichometrically.[6] There are no accent and breathing marks, except a few added by a later hand, but the punctuation was written by the first hand.[6] The Old Testament quotations in the text of New Testament are marked on the margin by the sign 〉.[25]

The only decorations in the manuscript are decorative tailpieces at the end of each book (see illustration) and it also shows a tendency to increase the size of the first letter of each sentence. The capitals at the beginning of the sections stand out in the margin as in codices Ephraemi and Basilensis.[26] Codex Alexandrinus is the oldest manuscript which use the capital letters to indicate new sections.[27]

The interchange of vowels of somewhat similar sound is very frequent in this manuscript. The letters Ν and Μ are occasionally confused, and the cluster ΓΓ is substituted with ΝΓ. This may be an argument which points to Egypt,[28] but it is not universally conceded.[29] A lot of iotacistic errors occur in the text; for example, αὶ is exchanged for ε, εὶ for ὶ and η for ὶ. It has not more iotacisms than other manuscripts of the same date.[30]

The handwriting of the text from the beginning of Luke to 1 Corinthians 10:8, differs from that of the rest parts of the manuscript. Some letters have Coptic shapes (f.e. Α, Μ, Δ, and Π). The letters are more widely spaced and are a little larger than elsewhere. Delta has extended base and Pi has extended cross-stroke.[23] Numerals are not expressed by letters except in Apocalypse 7:4; 21:17.[30] In the past the codex had been judged to be carelessly written, with many errors of transcription, but not so many as in the Codex Sinaiticus, nor more than in the Codex Vaticanus.[30] Besides the other corrections by later hands there are not a few instances in which the original scribe altered what he had first written.[31]

The majuscule letters have elegant shape, but a little less simple than those in the Sinaiticus and Vaticanus codices.[32] These letters, at the end of a line, are often very small, and much of the writing is very pale and faint.[22] The letters are smaller and more faint.[13] The punctuation is more frequent, usually on a level with the top of the preceding letter, while a vacant space, proportionate to the break in the sense, follows the end of a paragraph.[32] At the end of each book the colophon is ornamented by pretty arabesque from prima manu.[32] There are found the Ammonian Sections with references to the Eusebian Canons stand in the margin of the text of the Gospels.[6] It contains divisions into larger sections - κεφάλαια, the headings of these sections (τίτλοι) stand at the top of the pages. The places at which those sections commence are indicated throughout the Gospels, and in Luke and John their numbers are placed in the margin of each column. To all the Gospels (except Matthew, because of lacunae) is prefixed a table of κεφάλαια.[33]

The various sections into which the Acts, Epistles, and Apocalypse were divided by Euthalian apparatus and others, are not indicated in this manuscript. A cross appears occasionally as a separation in the Book of Acts. A larger letter in the margin throughout the New Testament marks the beginning of a paragraph.[33]

The number of scribes were disputed in the past. According to Kenyon's opinion there were five scribes, two scribes in the Old Testament (I and II) and three in the New (III, IV, and V).[34] Skeat and Milne, who had better tools for comparison, argued there were only two or possibly three scribes.[35][n 3] Present scholars agreed in that case.[n 4]

Many corrections have been made in the manuscript, some of them by the original scribe, but majority of them by a later hands.[6] The corrected form of text agrees with codices D, N, X, Y, Γ, Θ, Π, Σ, Φ and the great majority of the minuscule manuscripts.[6] Kenyon observed that Codex Alexandrinus had been "extensively corrected, though much more in some books than in others". In the Pentateuch, whole sentences were erased and a new text substituted. Kings was the last corrected of the books.[36] In the Book of Revelation only 1 from its 84 singular readings was corrected. This is in stark contrast with Codex Sinaiticus, in which 120 of the Apocalypse's 201 singular readings were corrected in the 7th century.[37][n 5]

The each leaf has the Arabic numeration, set in the verso of the lower margin. The first survived leaf of Matthew has number 26. The 25 leaves now lost must have been still extant when that note was written.[23]

Textual features

The end of the 2 Epistle of Peter and the beginning of the 1 Epistle of John in the same column

Textual critics have had a challenging task in classifying the Codex, with the exact relationship to other known texts and families still disputed. The Greek text of the codex is of uneven value.[1] It is a representative of the Byzantine text-type in the Gospels and the Alexandrian text-type in the rest books of the New Testament, though with some Western readings. Kurt Aland placed it in Category III in the Gospels, and in Category I in rest of the books of the New Testament.[1] The Byzantine text of the Gospels has a number of Alexandrian features, it has some affinities to the textual family Family Π. Soden associated the text of the gospels with Family Π, though it is not a pure member of this family.[38] It is the oldest example of the Byzantine-type text.[5] According to Streeter it is the earliest Greek manuscript the gives us approximately the text of Lucian the Martyr, but small proportion of the reading seems to be earlier.[39]

Alexandrinus follows the Alexandrian readings through the rest of the New Testament, however, the text goes from closely resembling Codex Sinaiticus in the Pauline epistles, to more closely resembling the text of a number of papyri (\mathfrak{P}74 for Acts, \mathfrak{P}47 for the Apocalypse). The text of Acts frequently agrees with the biblical quotations made by St. Athanasius.[40] The gospels are cited as a "consistently cited witness of the third order" in the critical apparatus of the Novum Testamentum Graece, while the rest of the New Testament is of the "first order." In Pauline epistles it is closer to Sinaiticus than to Vaticanus. In General epistles it represents different subtype than Sinaiticus and Vaticanus both.[29] In the Book of Revelation it agrees with Codex Ephraemi against Sinaiticus and Papyrus 47.[1] In the Book of Revelation and in several books of the Old Testament, it has the best text of all manuscripts.[6] In Old Testament its text often agree with Codex Sinaiticus.

In Luke 4:17 Alexandrinus has textual variant ἀνοίξας (opened) together with the manuscripts B, L, W, Ξ, 33, 892, 1195, 1241, 547, syrs, syrh, syrpal, copsa, copbo, against variant ἀναπτύξας (unrolled) supported by א, Dc, K, Δ, Θ, Π, Ψ, f1, f13, 28, 565, 700, 1009, 1010 and other manuscripts.[41]

In John 1:39, it has the unique reading ωρα ην ως εκτη (about the sixth hour), instead of ωρα ην ως δεκατη (about the tenth hour), as found in all other manuscripts.[42]

In Acts 8:39 instead of πνεῦμα κυρίου (spirit of the Lord) it has unusual textual variant πνεῦμα ἅγιον ἐπέπεσεν ἐπὶ τὸν εὐνοῦχον, ἄγγελος δέ κυρίου ἥρπασεν τὸν Φίλιππον (the Holy Spirit fell on the eunuch, and an angel of the Lord caught up Philip) supported by several minuscule manuscripts: 94, 103, 307, 322, 323, 385, 453, 467, 945, 1739, 1765, 1891, 2298, 36a, itp, vg, syrh.[43]

In Acts 11:20 the manuscript has textual variant Ἔλληνας (Greeks) together with the manuscripts \mathfrak{P}74, corrector c of Sinaiticus, and Codex Bezae, against Ἑλληνιστάς (Hellenists) supported by the rest of manuscripts except Sinaiticus (εὐαγγελιστάςEvangelists).[44] In Acts 15:18 it has variant γνωστῶν ἀπ᾿ αἰῶνος τῷ κυρίῳ τὸ ἔργον αὐτοῦ supported only by \mathfrak{P}74.[45]

In Acts 20:28 it reads του κυριου (of the Lord) together with the manuscripts Papyrus 74 C* D E Ψ 33 36 453 945 1739 1891.[46][n 6]

In 1 Timothy 3:16 it has textual variant ὃς ἐφανερώθη (he was manifested) supported by Sinaiticus, Ephraemi, Boernerianus, 33, 365, 442, 2127, 599, against θεός ἐφανερώθη (God manifested) (Sinaiticuse, A2, C2, Dc, K, L, P, Ψ, 81, 104, 181, 326, 330, 436, 451, 614, 629, 630, 1241, 1739, 1877, 1881, 1962, 1984, 1985, 2492, 2495, Byz, Lect).[47][48]

In 1 John 5:6 it has textual variant δι' ὕδατος καὶ αἵματος καὶ πνεύματος (through water and blood and spirit) together with the manuscripts: Codex Sinaiticus, 104, 424c, 614, 1739c, 2412, 2495, 598m, syrh, copsa, copbo, Origen.[49][n 7] Bart D. Ehrman identified it as Orthodox corrupt reading.[50]

In Revelation 1:17 it has unique reading πρωτοτοκος (firstborn) instead of πρωτος (the first).[51]

In Revelation 5:9 it has ἠγόρασας τῷ θεῷ (redeemed to God). This textual variant is supported only by Ethiopian manuscripts, and has no other Greek manuscript with it.[52]

Text of Luke 12:54-13:4 in Codex Alexandrinus

Provenance

Place of origin

The manuscript's original provenance is unknown. Traditionally Alexandria is pointed as a place of its origin and it is the most probable hypothesis.[53] Cyril Lucaris was the first who pointed Alexandria as the place of origin of the codex. This popular view based on an Arabic note from 13th or 14th century, on folio 1 reads: "Bound to the Patriarchal Cell in the Fortress of Alexandria. Whoever removes it thence shall be excommunicated and cut off. Written by Athanasius the humble."[54] "Athanasius the humble" is identified with Athanasius III, Patriarch of Alexandria from 1276 to 1316.[55]

F. C. Burkitt questioned this popular view as the first. According to Burkitt, the note reads: "Bound to the Patriarchal Cell in the Fortress of Alexandria. He that lets it go out shall be cursed and ruined. The humble Athanasius wrote (this)."[56] The manuscript had been found on Mount Athos, and the manuscript might have been taken to Egypt by Cyril in 1616, and that all the Arabic writing in the manuscript could have been inserted between that date and 1621, when Cyril was elected Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople.[56] On this suppposition "Athanasius the humble" might have been "some person of Cyril's staff who had charge of his library". According to Burkitt's view the codex was found on Athos, but it was written in Constantinople, because it represents a Constantinopolitan text (now known as the Byzantine text).[56] This hypothesis was supported by Kirsopp Lake.[57]

Frederic G. Kenyon opposed to the Burkit's view and argued that Cyril firmly believed in the Egyptian origin of the codex.[58] A. S. Fulton, the Keeper of the Department of Oriental Printed Books and Manuscripts (in British Museum), in 1938 re-examined the Athanasius note, and gave it as his opinion that on palaeographical grounds it could be dated 13th to 14th century and that the 17th century was uscluded. In 1945 T. D. Moschonas published a catalogue of the library of the Patriarch of Alexandria, in which he printed two Greek notes, both from 10th century manuscripts of John Chrysostom, inserted by the Patriarch Athanasius III. The two notes must have been written between 1308 and 1316. Although the note in the Codex Alexandrinus is entirely in Arabic, and therefore no identity of hand the Greek notes can be expected, the similarity of wording leaves no doubt that this also is the work of Athanasius III.[59]

According to Skeat the note in the codex indicated that the manuscript had not previously been in the Patriarchal Library in Alexandria. The manuscript was carried from Constantinople to Alexandria between 1308 and 1316, together with two mentioned above manuscripts of Chrysostom. It remained in Alexandria until 1621, when Cyril removed it once to Constantinople. Whether was originally written, in Constantinople or in Alexandria, is another question. Skeat did not try to give the answer on this question ("if any future scholar wisches to claim a Constantinopolitan origin for the Codex Alexandrinus, it is at least open to him to do so").[60][n 8] This view was supported by McKendrick, who proposes Ephesian provenance of the codex.[61]

A 17th century Latin note on a flyleaf (from binding in a royal library) states that the manuscript was given to a patriarchate of Alexandria in 1098 (donum dedit cubicuo Patriarchali anno 814 Martyrum), although this may well be "merely an inaccurate attempt at deciphering the Arabic note by Athanasius" (possibly the patriarch Athanasius III).[62] The authority for this statement is unknown.[34]

Date

According to an Arabic note on the reverse of the first leaf of the manuscript, the manuscript was written by the hand of Thecla, the martyr, a notable lady of Egypt, a little later than the Council of Nice (A.D. 325).[7][63] Tregelles made another suggestion, the New Testament volume has long been mutilated, and begins now in the twenty-fifth chapter of Matthew, in which chapter the lesson for Thecla's Day stands. "We cannot be sure how the story arose. It may be that the manuscript was written in a monastery dedicated to Thecla."[63] Tregelles thought that Thecla's name might have on this account been written in the margin above, which has been cut off, and that therefore the Egyptians imagined that Thecla had written it.[64] Cyril Lucaris believed in Thecla's authorship, but the codex cannot be older than from late 4th century.[34]

Codex Alexandrinus contains the Epistle of Athanasius on the Psalms to Marcellinus, it cannot be considered earlier than A.D. 373, and it is terminus post quem. In the Acts and Epistles we cannot find such chapter divisions, whose authorship is ascribed to Euthalius, Bishop of Sulci, come into vogue before the middle of the fifth century.[23] It is terminus ad quem. The presence of Epistle of Clement, which was once read in Churches recalls to a period when the canon of Scripture was in some particulars not quite settled. It is certain that the writing of the manuscript appears to be somewhat more advanced than that of the Vaticanus or Sinaiticus, especially in the enlargement of initial letters. It is also more decorated, though its ornamantations are already found in earlier manuscripts.[34]

Codex Alexandrinus was written a generation after codices Sinaiticus and Vaticanus, but it may still belong to the fourth century. It cannot be later than the beginning of the fifth.[65]

In Britain

Cyril Lucaris, one of the former owners of the codex

The codex was brought to Constantinople in 1621 by Cyril Lucar (first a patriarch of Alexandria, then later a patriarch of Constantinople). Lucar was involved in a complex struggle with the Turkish government, the Catholic Church, and his own subordinates. He was supported by English government and presented the codex to James I in 1624, as a gratitude for his help.[29] The codex was presented through the hands of Thomas Roe (together with minuscule 49), the English ambassador at the court of the Sultan. King James died before the manuscript started for England, and the offer was transferred to Charles I in 1627.[66] It became a part of the Royal Library, British Museum and since 1973 of the British Library. It was saved from the fire at Ashburnam House (the Cotton library) on 23 October 1731, by the librarian, Bentley.

Collations end editions

Fragment from Woide's facsimile edition (1786), containing text of John 1:1-7

Richard Bentley made a collation in 1675. The Epistles of Clement of the codex were published in 1633 by Patrick Young, the Royal Librarian. A collation was made by Alexander Huish, Prebendary of Wells, for the London Polyglot Bible (1657). The text of the manuscript was cited as footnotes.[6]

The Old Testament was edited by Ernst Grabe in 1707-1720,[67] and New Testament in 1786 by Carl Gottfried Woide, in facsimile from wooden type, line for line, without intervals between the words, precisely almost as in original.[68] Unfortunatelly Woide made some mistakes, e.g. in 1 Tim 3:16 he edits ΘΣ ἐφανερόθη, and combats in his prolegomena the opinion of Wettstein, who maintained that ΟΣ ἐφανερόθη was the original reading, and that the stroke, which is some lights can be seen across part of the Ο, arose from part of a letter visible through the vellum.[69] Part of the Ε on the other side of the leaf does inserted the O.[70] Another errors of Woide were made in the Epistle to Ephesians - the substitution of ἐκλήθηθε for ἐκλήθητε (4:1) and πραόθητος for πραότητος (4:2).[70]

Woide's errors were corrected in 1860 by B. H. Cowper, and E. H. Hansell, with three other manuscripts, in 1864.[12][71] The Old Testament portion was also published in 1816-1828 by Baber, in three folio volumes.[72] The entire manuscript was issued in photographic facsimile by the British Museum, under the supervision of E. M. Thompson in 1879 and 1880.[5] F. G. Kenyon edited a photografic facsimile of the New Testament with reduced size in 1909. The text of the Old Testament followed four parts in 1915.[34]

Textual criticism

The British Library

According to Bentley this manuscript is "the oldest and best in the world". Bentley assumed that by supplementing this manuscript with readings from other manuscripts and from the Latin Vulgate, he could triangulate back to the single recension which he presumed existed at the time of the First Council of Nicaea.[73][74] Wettstein high esteemed the codex in 1731, but he changed his high opinion in 1751 and was no longer a great admirer of it. He came to the conviction that Athos was the place of its origin, not Alexandria.[75] Michaelis also did not esteem it highly, either on account of its internal excellence or the value of its readings. The principal charge which has been produced against the manuscript, and which had been urged by Wettstein, is its having been altered from tha Latin version.[68] Michealis contrargumented, that transcriber who lived in Egypt should not have latered the Greek text from a Latin version, because Egypt belonged to the Greek diocese, and Latin was not uderstood there. Woide, who defended the Greek manuscripts in general, and the Codex Alexandrinus in particular, from the charge of having been corrupted from the Latin.[68] Woide discerned two hands in the New Testament.[76]

Griesbach agreed with Woide and contributed Michelis point of view. If this manuscript has been corrupted from a version, it is more reasonable to suspect the Coptic, the version of the country in which it was written. Between this manuscript and both the Coptic and Syriac versions, there is a remarkable coincidence.[68] According to Griesbach the manuscript follows three different editions: the Byzantine in the Gospels, the Western in the Acts and General epistles, and the Alexandrian in the Pauline epistles. Griesbach designated codex by letter A.[68]

Tregelles explained the origin of the Arabic inscription, on which Cyril's statement appears to rest, by remarking that the text of the New Testament in the manuscript begins with Matthew 25:6, this lesson (Matthew 25:1-13) being that appointed by the Greek Church for the festival of St. Thecla.[23]

Importance

It was the first manuscript of great importance and antiquity of which any extensive use was made by textual critics,[34] but the value of the codex was differently appreciated by different writers in the past. Wettstein created a modern system of catalogization of the New Testament manuscripts. Codex Alexandrinus received symbol A and opened the list of the NT uncial manuscripts. Wettstein announced in his Prolegomena ad Novi Testamenti Graeci (1730) that Codex A is the oldest and the best manuscript of New Testament, and should be basis in every reconstruction of the New Testament text.[77] Codex Alexandrinus became a basis for criticizing the Textus Receptus (Wettstein, Woide, Griesbach).

See also

Notes

  1. ^ The Greek Bible in this context refers to the Bible used by Greek-speaking Christians who lived in Egypt and elsewhere during the early history of Christianity. This Bible contained both the Old (translation) and New Testaments in Koine Greek.
  2. ^ Scrivener in 1875 wrote: "This celebrated manuscript, by far the best deposited in England". F. H. A. Scrivener, Six Lectures on the Text of the New Testament and the Ancient Manuscripts which contain it (Deighton, Bell, and Co: Cambridge; London, 1875), p. 51.
  3. ^ Kenyon in 1939 noticed: "this seems to ignore certain marked differences of script". F. G. Kenyon, Our Bible and the Ancient Manuscripts (London 1939).
  4. ^ Metzger, Aland, Hernández, Jongkind and other. See: T. C. Skeat, The Provenance of the Codex Alexandrinus, JTS VI (1955), pp. 233-235; Juan Hernández, Scribal habits and theological influences in the Apocalypse, p. 101.
  5. ^ Of course there is more than 1 correction in the Book of Revelation, but there is only 1 singular reading corrected. See: Juan Hernández, Scribal habits and theological influences in the Apocalypse, Mohr Siebeck, 2006, p. 102
  6. ^ For the another variants of this verse see: Textual variants in the Acts of the Apostles.
  7. ^ For the another variants of this verse see: Textual variants in the First Epistle of John.
  8. ^ In The Codex Vaticanus in the Fifteenth Century Skeat wrote: "The Codex Alexandrinus, carried to Egypt in the early fourteenth century..." (T. C. Skeat, The Codex Vaticanus in the Fifteenth Century in: The collected biblical writings of T. C. Skeat, p. 133).

References

  1. ^ a b c d e f Kurt Aland, and Barbara Aland, The Text of the New Testament: An Introduction to the Critical Editions and to the Theory and Practice of Modern Textual Criticism, transl. Erroll F. Rhodes, William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, Grand Rapids, Michigan, 1995, p. 107, 109.
  2. ^ Tregelles, Samuel Prideaux (1856). An Introduction to the Critical study and Knowledge of the Holy Scriptures. London. p. 152. 
  3. ^ J. J. Wettstein, Novum Testamentum Graecum editionis receptae cum lectionibus variantibus codicum, vol. 1, 1751.
  4. ^ C. R. Gregory, "Canon and Text of the New Testament" (1907), p. 340.
  5. ^ a b c Bruce M. Metzger, Bart D. Ehrman, "The Text of the New Testament: Its Transmission, Corruption and Restoration", Oxford University Press (New York - Oxford, 2005), p. 67.
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h Bruce M. Metzger, Manuscripts of the Greek Bible: An Introduction to Greek Palaeography, New York, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991, p. 86.
  7. ^ a b F. H. A. Scrivener, Six Lectures on the Text of the New Testament and the Ancient Manuscripts (Cambridge, 1875), pp. 51-52.
  8. ^ a b Henry Barclay Swete, An Introduction to the Old Testament in Grek (Cambridge 1902), p. 125.
  9. ^ Westcott, "Canon", Appendix D. XII.
  10. ^ Würthwein Ernst (1988). Der Text des Alten Testaments, Stuttgart: Deutsche Bibelgesellschaft, p. 85.
  11. ^ a b C. R. Gregory, "Textkritik des Neuen Testaments", Leipzig 1900, vol. 1, p. 30.
  12. ^ a b c C. R. Gregory, "Textkritik des Neuen Testaments", Leipzig 1900, vol. 1, p. 29.
  13. ^ a b Juan Hernández, Scribal habits and theological influences in the Apocalypse, Mohr Siebeck, 2006, p. 102.
  14. ^ E. M. Thompson, Facsimile of the Codex Alexandrinus: New Testament and Clementine Epistles (London 1879), p. 4.
  15. ^ Bruce M. Metzger, A Textual Commentary on the Greek New Testament (Deutsche Bibelgesellschaft: Stuttgart 2001), p. 99; see also UBS3, p. 193.
  16. ^ Bruce M. Metzger, A Textual Commentary on the Greek New Testament (Deutsche Bibelgesellschaft: Stuttgart 2001), p. 151. See also: UBS3, p. 305.
  17. ^ Bruce M. Metzger, A Textual Commentary on the Greek New Testament (Deutsche Bibelgesellschaft: Stuttgart 2001), p. 189.
  18. ^ Bruce M. Metzger, A Textual Commentary on the Greek New Testament (Deutsche Bibelgesellschaft: Stuttgart 2001), pp. 315, 388, 434, 444.
  19. ^ Bruce M. Metzger, A Textual Commentary on the Greek New Testament (Deutsche Bibelgesellschaft: Stuttgart 2001), p. 476.
  20. ^ C. R. Gregory, "Canon and Text of the New Testament" (1907), p. 343.
  21. ^ Bruce M. Metzger, A Textual Commentary on the Greek New Testament (Deutsche Bibelgesellschaft: Stuttgart 2001), p. 187.
  22. ^ a b Thomas Law Montefiore, Catechesis Evangelica; bring Questions and Answers based of the "Textus Receptus." (London, 1862), p. 267.
  23. ^ a b c d e Scrivener, Frederick Henry Ambrose (1894). A Plain Introduction to the Criticism of the New Testament, Vol. 1. London: George Bell & Sons. p. 102. 
  24. ^ a b S. P. Tregelles, "An Introduction to the Critical study and Knowledge of the Holy Scriptures", London 1856, p. 153.
  25. ^ C. R. Gregory, "Canon and Text of the New Testament" (1907), p. 342.
  26. ^ Scrivener, Frederick Henry Ambrose (1894). A Plain Introduction to the Criticism of the New Testament. 1. London. p. 132. 
  27. ^ Eberhard Nestle and William Edie, "Introduction to the Textual Criticism of the Greek New Testament", London, Edinburg, Oxford, New York, 1901, p. 59.
  28. ^ S. P. Tregelles, "An Introduction to the Critical study and Knowledge of the Holy Scriptures", London 1856, p. 155.
  29. ^ a b c Robert Waltz, Encyclopedia of Textual Criticism.
  30. ^ a b c Scrivener, Frederick Henry Ambrose (1894). A Plain Introduction to the Criticism of the New Testament, Vol. 1. London. p. 104. 
  31. ^ F. H. A. Scrivener, Six Lectures on the Text of the New Testament and the Ancient Manuscripts (Cambridge, 1875), p. 55.
  32. ^ a b c F. H. A. Scrivener, Six Lectures on the Text of the New Testament and the Ancient Manuscripts which contain it (Deighton, Bell, and Co: Cambridge; London, 1875), p. 52.
  33. ^ a b S. P. Tregelles, "An Introduction to the Critical study and Knowledge of the Holy Scriptures", London 1856, p. 154.
  34. ^ a b c d e f Frederic Kenyon, Our Bible and the Ancient Manuscripts (London 1939).
  35. ^ Milne H. J. M. and T. C. Skeat, The Codex Sinaiticus and the Codex Alexandrinus (London, 1951, 1963).
  36. ^ Kenyon, Codex Alexandrinus, 10.
  37. ^ Juan Hernández, Scribal habits and theological influences in the Apocalypse, Mohr Siebeck, 2006, pp. 102-103.
  38. ^ Lake, Kirsopp. Family Π and the Codex Alexandrinus. The Text According to Mark, London 1936.
  39. ^ H. C. Thiessen, Introduction to the New Testament, William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, Grand Rapids, Michigan 1976, p. 45.
  40. ^ H. Nordberg, "The Bible Text of St. Athanasius", Arctos, acta philologica Fennica, n.s. III (1962), pp. 119-141.
  41. ^ Bruce M. Metzger, A Textual Commentary on the Greek New Testament (Deutsche Bibelgesellschaft: Stuttgart 2001), p. 114.
  42. ^ NA26, p. 249.
  43. ^ Nestle-Aland, Nobum Testamentum Graece, 26th edition, p. 345; Bruce M. Metzger, A Textual Commentary on the Greek New Testament (Deutsche Bibelgesellschaft: Stuttgart 2001), p. 316.
  44. ^ Eberhard Nestle, Erwin Nestle, Barbara Aland and Kurt Aland (eds), Novum Testamentum Graece, 26th edition, (Stuttgart: Deutsche Bibelgesellschaft , 1983), p. 461.
  45. ^ Eberhard Nestle, Erwin Nestle, Barbara Aland and Kurt Aland (eds), Novum Testamentum Graece, 26th edition, (Stuttgart: Deutsche Bibelgesellschaft , 1983), p. 475.
  46. ^ NA26, p. 384.
  47. ^ Bruce M. Metzger, A Textual Commentary on the Greek New Testament (Deutsche Bibelgesellschaft: Stuttgart 2001), pp. 573-573.
  48. ^ 1 Timothy 3:16 in Codex Alexandrinus at the Bible Research
  49. ^ UBS3, p. 823.
  50. ^ Bart D. Ehrman, The Orthodox Corruption of Scripture, Oxford University Press, Oxford 1993, p. 60.
  51. ^ Eberhard Nestle, Erwin Nestle, Barbara Aland and Kurt Aland (eds), Novum Testamentum Graece, 26th edition, (Stuttgart: Deutsche Bibelgesellschaft, 1991), p. 634.
  52. ^ UBS3, p. 848.
  53. ^ Juan Hernández, Scribal habits and theological influences in the Apocalypse, p. 100.
  54. ^ McKendrick, Scot "The Codex Alexandrinus: Or the dangers of being a named manuscript" in The Bible as a Book: The Transmission of the Greek text ed. S McKendrick & O. A. O'Sullivan; London: British Library & New Castle, 2003.
  55. ^ T. C. Skeat, The Provenance of the Codex Alexandrinus, in: The collected biblical writings of T. C. Skeat, p. 119.
  56. ^ a b c F. C. Burkitt, Codex Alexandrinus JTS XI (1909-1910), pp. 603-606.
  57. ^ K. Lake, Family Π and the Codex Alexandrinus (London 1937), p. 9.
  58. ^ F. G. Kenyon, Reduced facsimole of the Codex Alexandrinus (1909).
  59. ^ T. C. Skeat, The Provenance of the Codex Alexandrinus, in: The collected biblical writings of T. C. Skeat, p. 120.
  60. ^ T. C. Skeat, The Provenance of the Codex Alexandrinus, in: The collected biblical writings of T. C. Skeat, p. 121.
  61. ^ Scot McKendrick, The Codex Alexandrinus or The Dangers of Being A Named Manuscript, in The Bible as Book: The Transmission of the Greek Text (ed. Scot McKendrick and Orlaith A. O'Sullivan; New Castle, Del: Oak Knoll, 2003), pp. 1-16.
  62. ^ Westcott, "Canon", Appendix D. XII. p. 8
  63. ^ a b C. R. Gregory, "Canon and Text of the New Testament" (1907), p. 341.
  64. ^ S. P. Tregelles, "An Introduction to the Critical study and Knowledge of the Holy Scriptures", London 1856, pp. 152-153.
  65. ^ F. H. A. Scrivener, Six Lectures on the Text of the New Testament and the Ancient Manuscripts (Cambridge, 1875), p. 54.
  66. ^ F. H. A. Scrivener, Six Lectures on the Text of the New Testament and the Ancient Manuscripts (Cambridge, 1875), p. 50.
  67. ^ Frederic G. Kenyon, "Handbook to the Textual Criticism of the New Testament", London2, 1912, p. 73.
  68. ^ a b c d e T. H. Horne, An Introduction to the Critical Study and Knowledge of the Holy Scriptures, (New York, 1852), vol. 1852, p. 224.
  69. ^ J. J. Wetstein, Novum Testamentum Grecum, Amsterdam 1751, vol. 1, p. 8-22; also Bianchini, Evangeliarium quadruplex, Rome 1749, 1. part, vol. 2, pp. CDXCVIb-CIXCIXb
  70. ^ a b S. P. Tregelles, "An Introduction to the Critical study and Knowledge of the Holy Scriptures", London 1856, p. 156.
  71. ^ B. H. Cowper, "Notitia codicis Alexandrini, Recud. cur. notasque adjecit" (London, 1860).
  72. ^ Eberhard Nestle and William Edie, "Introduction to the Textual Criticism of the Greek New Testament", London, Edinburg, Oxford, New York, 1901, p. 58.
  73. ^ William L. Petersen, What Text can New Yestament Textual Criticism Ultimately Reach, in: B. Aland & J. Delobel (eds.) New Testament Textual Criticism, Exegesis and Church History (Pharos: Kampen, 1994), p. 137.
  74. ^ R. C. Jebb, Richard Bentley (New York 1882), p. 163.
  75. ^ J. J. Wettstein, Novum Testamentum Graecum editionis receptae cum lectionibus variantibus codicum manuscripts (Amsterdam 1751).
  76. ^ Codex Alexandrinus at the Catholic Encyclopedia.
  77. ^ Marvin R. Vincent, A History of the Textual Criticism of the New Testament (The Macmillan Company: New York, 1899), p. 91.

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A most valuable Greek manuscript of the Old and New Testaments, so named because it was brought to Europe from Alexandria and had been the property of the patriarch of that see. For the sake of brevity, Walton, in his polyglot Bible, indicated it by the letter A and thus set the fashion of designating Biblical manuscripts by such symbols. Codex A was the first of the great uncials to become known to the learned world. When Cyril Lucar, Patriarch of Alexandria, was transferred in 1621 to the Patriarchate of Constantinople, he is believed to have brought the codex with him. Later he sent it as a present to King James I of England; James died before the gift was presented, and Charles I, in 1627, accepted it in his stead. It is now the chief glory of the British Museum in its manuscript department and is on exhibition there.

Codex A contains the Bible of the Catholic Canon, including therefore the deuterocanonical books and portions of books belonging to the Old Testament. Moreover, it joins to the canonical books of Machabees, the apocryphal III and IV Machabees, of very late origin. To the New Testament are added the Epistle of St. Clement of Rome and the homily which passed under the title of II Epistle of Clement -- the only copies then known to exist. These are included in the list of New Testament books which is prefixed and seem to have been regarded by the scribe as part of the New Testament. The same list shows that the Psalms of Solomon, now missing, were originally contained in the volume, but the space which separates this book from the others on the list indicates that it was not ranked among New Testament books. An "Epistle to Marcellinus" ascribed to St. Athanasius is inserted as a preface to the Psalter, together with Eusebius's summary of the Psalms; Psalm 151 and certain selected canticles of the Old Testament are affixed, and liturgical uses of the psalms indicated. Not all the books are complete. In the Old Testament there is to be noted particularly the lacuna of thirty psalms, from 5:20, to 80:11; moreover, of Genesis 14:14-17; 15:1-5, 16-19; 16:6-9; I Kings 12:20-14:9. The New Testament has lost the first twenty-five leaves of the Gospel of St. Matthew, as far as chapter 25:6, likewise the two leaves running from Jn 6:50, to 8:52 (which, however, as the amount of space shows, omitted the formerly much disputed passage about the adulterous woman), and three leaves containing II Corinthians 4:13-12:6. One leaf is missing from I Clement and probably two at the end of II Clement. Codex A supports the Sixtine Vulgate in regard to the conclusion of St. Mark and Jn 5:4, but, like all Greek manuscripts before the fourteenth century, omits the text of the three heavenly witnesses, I Jn 5:7. The order of the Old Testament books is peculiar. In the New Testament the order is Gospels, Acts, Catholic Epistles, Pauline Epistles, Apocalypse, with Hebrews placed before the Pastoral Epistles. Originally one large volume, the codex is now bound in four volumes, bearing on their covers the arms of Charles I. Three volumes contain the Old Testament, and the remaining volume the New Testament with Clement. The leaves, of thin vellum, 12 3/4 inches high by 10 inches broad, number at present 773, but were originally 822, according to the ordinary reckoning. Each page has two columns of 49 to 51 lines.

The codex is the first to contain the major chapters with their titles, the Ammonian Sections and the Eusebian Canons complete (Scrivener). A new paragraph is indicated by a large capital and frequently by spacing, not by beginning a new line; the enlarged capital is placed in the margin of the next line, though, curiously, it may not correspond to the beginning of the paragraph or even of a word. The manuscript is written in uncial characters in a hand at once firm, elegant, simple; the greater part of Volume III is ascribed by Gregory to a different hand from that of the others; two hands are discerned in the New Testament by Woide, three by Sir E. Maunde Thompson and Kenyon -- experts differ on these points. The handwriting is generally judged to belong to the beginning or middle of the fifth century or possibly to the late fourth. An Arabic note states that it was written by Thecla the martyr; and Cyril Lucar the Patriarch adds in his note that tradition says she was a noble Egyptian woman and wrote the codex shortly after the Nicene Council. But nothing is known of such a martyr at that date, and the value of this testimony is weakened by the presence of the Eusebian Canons (d. 340) and destroyed by the insertion of the letter of Athanasius (d. 373). On the other hand, the absence of the Euthalian divisions is regarded by Scrivener as proof that it can hardly be later than 450. This is not decisive, and Gregory would bring it down even to the second half of the fifth century. The character of the letters and the history of the manuscript point to Egypt as its place of origin.

The text of Codex A is considered one of the most valuable witnesses to the Septuagint. It is found, however, to bear a great affinity to the text embodied in Origen's Hexapla and to have been corrected in numberless passages according to the Hebrew. The text of the Septuagint codices is in too chaotic a condition, and criticism of it too little advanced, to permit of a sure judgment on the textual value of the great manuscripts. The text of the New Testament here is of a mixed character. In the Gospels, we have the best example of the so-called Syrian type of text, the ancestor of the traditional and less pure form found in the textus receptus. The Syrian text, however, is rejected by the great majority of scholars in favour of the "neutral" type, best represented in the Codex Vaticanus. In the Acts and Catholic Epistles, and still more in St. Paul's Epistles and the Apocalypse, Codex A approaches nearer, or belongs, to the neutral type. This admixture of textual types is explained on the theory that A or its prototype was not copied from a single manuscript, but from several manuscripts of varying value and diverse origin. Copyist's errors in this codex are rather frequent.

Codex Alexandrinus played an important part in developing the textual criticism of the Bible, particularly of the New Testament. Grabe edited the Old Testament at Oxford in 1707-20, and this edition was reproduced at Zurich 1730-32, and at Leipzig, 1750-51, and again at Oxford, by Field, in 1859; Woide published the New Testament in 1786, which B. H. Cowper reproduced in 1860. The readings of Codex A were noted in Walton's Polyglot, 1657, and in every important collation since made. Baber published an edition of the Old Testament in facsimile type in 1816-28; but all previous editions were superseded by the magnificent photographic facsimile of both Old and New Testaments produced by the care of Sir E. Maunde Thompson (the New Testament in 1879, the Old Testament in 1881-83), with an introduction in which the editor gives the best obtainable description of the codex (London, 1879-80).

Portions of this entry are taken from The Catholic Encyclopedia, 1907.







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