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INTRODUCTION TO THE GOSPELS
C. The Codex Ephraim. A MS. in the Royal Library in Paris, numbered formerly 1905, at present 9. The first part of it contains some of the smallest Greek works of St. Ephraim Syrus, under which was originally written the whole of the Greek Bible. In the New Testament part, it is mutilated in a great variety of places, which may be seen in Michaelis' Lectures, Vol. II. p. 258. The Greek Version of the Bible which occupied the first part of this MS. has been, as far as was possible, wiped out with a sponge, to make way Ephraim's works : a frequent custom where parchment was scarce and dear. It is supposed by Wetstein to have been written early in the sixth century. It is an invaluable MS. but is, through its great age and bad preservation, almost illegible. See P.
D. The Codex Bezæ, or Codex Cantabrigiensis. It contains the Greek text of the four Gospels and Acts of the Apostles, with the old Itala, or Antehieronymian Latin Version. Wetstein thinks that it is the very copy from which Thomas Charkel, or Heraclius, under the auspices of Philoxenius, formed the later Syriac Version, commonly called the Philoxenian ; but this is a groundless supposition. This MS. is supposed by Wetstein to be of the fifth century: others think it two centuries earlier. A splendid and correct fac simile of the MS. has been printed at Cambridge, by Dr. Kipling, 1793, 2 vols. royal fol.
The readings in this MS. frequently agree with the Latin Versions before the time of St. Jerome, and with the Vulgate. Some have argued that it has been altered from those Latin Versions : but Semler, Michaelis, Griesbach, and Dr. Herbert Marsh, have amply refuted all those arguments. It is one of the oldest MSS. extant; many of the readings by which it is distinguished are found in the Syriac, Coptic, Sahidic, and margin of the Philoxenian Syriac Version. In the main, this is the most important MS. we have of the Gospels and Aets ; and though it has been written at different times, by different hands, yet the original parts may be safely supposed to exhibit the genuine readings of the evangelic and apostolic text, in a larger proportion than in any other MS. extant. I have myself examined this MS. in the public library, at Cambridge ; and am convinced not only of its very high antiquity, but of its great excellency. Every where in my Notes, I have endeavoured to pay particular, attention to the Readings of this MS. Whiston, in his primitive New Testament, Stamford and London, 8vo. 1745, has translated the four Gospels and Acts literally from the Codex Bezæ.
(D.) In St. Paul's Epistles, signifies the famous Codex Claromontanus; it was written in the sixth or seventh century, and has the Itala Version, as well as the Greek text.
E. Codex Basiliensis, Num. B. VI. A MS. of the ninth century: It contains the four Gospels.
(E) In the Acts of the Apostles, signifies the famous Laud MS. No. 3, preserved in the Bodleian Library. It has both the Greek and Latin text; the Latin evidently altered to make it correspond to the Greek. This MS. was printed by Hearne, 8vo. Oxon, 1715. Wetstein supposed it to have been written in Sardinia, about the seventh century. The MS. is written in two columns; the Latin text first : each line is composed of one word, very rarely of two; and the Latin and Greek words are always opposite to each other, which shews that it was written for the use of a person little skilled in either language.
F. Codex Boreeli. This MS. which contains the four Gospels, formerly belonged to Sir John Boreel, Dutch Ambassador at the court of King James I. Where it now is, cannot be ascertained.
(F) Is one of the Coislinian MSS. No. 1. It contains the Septuagint Version of the Octateuch ; and verses 24 and 25, of Acts, chap. ix. It was written in the eighth century.
F. In the Epistles of St. Paul, denotes the Codex Augiensis, written about the ninth century, and now in the library of Trinity College, Cambridge.
G. Codex Wolfius A. This is now one of the Harleian MSS. in the British Museum; and is marked 5684. It contains the four Evangelists, and was probably written before the tenth century. It is a correct and valuable MS.
G. Codex Boernerianus in the Electoral library at Dresden.-It has the Itala Version interlined with the
(G) In the Acts, &c. signifies a MS. in the library of the Augustin Friars at Rome. It has been only partially collated by Blanchini and Birch.
AND ACTS OF THE APOSTLES.
H. Codex Wolfius B. This MS. is very similar to the preceding; and was probably written in the same century. It also contains the four Evangelists.
H. Coder Coislinianus, No. ccii. consists only of fifteen leaves, containing some fragments of St. Paul's Epistles. It was written in the fifth or sixth century..
I. Codex Cottonianus. This MS. contains only four leaves, in which a few fragments of Matthew and John are found. It is written on Egyptian paper of a purple colour ; and is among the Cotton MSS. in the Bris tish Museum, and is marked Titus C. 15.
K. Codex Cyprius, so called because brought from the island of Cyprus. It is at present in the Royal library at Paris. It contains the four Evangelists ; agrees in its various readings with A. B.C. D. Montfaucon supposed it to be of the eighth century; Father Simon, of the ninth.
L. Codex Regius, 62. This very valuable MS. was one of those used by R. Stephens, for his edition of the Greek Testament, fol. 1550, in which it is marked y. It is in the Royal library at Paris, No. 62, and was probably written in the eighth or ninth century. The various readings of this MS. are of great importance; andit is judged by Michaelis to be one of the most valuable MSS. we possess.
M. Codex Regius. This MS. contains the four Gospels ; belongs to the Royal library, Paris, numbered 48, and was written in the tenth century.
N. Codex Vindobonensis, 2. One of the Vienna MSS. It contains only fragments of the book of Genesis, and of Luke, chap. xxiv. K. 13–21, 39–49. and was written in the seventh century..
0. A small fragment of some other MS. and contains the parable of the Pharisee and Publican.
P. Codex Guelpherbytanus, A. One of the Duke of Wolfenbuttle's MSS. It is what is called a Codex Rescriptus, i. e. a book the original writing of which has been spunged out, to make way for some other works ; which in this case happen to be the works of Isidorus Hispalensis. It contains fragments of the four Evangelists, and was written about the sixth century. See under C.
Q. Codex Guelpherbytanus, B. Another of the Wolfenbuttle MSS. containing fragments of Luke and John, written in the sixth century. It is a Codex Rescriptus, like the former; the original writing being spunged out, to make way for the works of Isidorus Hispalensis, as in Codex P.
R. Tubinginse Fragmentum.—This MS. which is preserved at Tubing, contains only a fragment of the first chapter of John. S. Codex Vaticanus, No. 354.–One of the Vatican MSS. written in the
949. T. Fragmentum Borgianum.-It consists of about twelve leaves; begins with John yi. 28. and ends with vii. 23. It is divided into two columns; the first contains the Greek text, the second the Coptic or Sahidic; and is supposed, by Georgi, who has published a large quarto volume on it, to have been written in the fourth century. This fragment is a valuable specimen of the Alexandrian edition.
U. Codex Equitis Nanii Venetiis.—This is one of the MSS. collated by Birch, for his edition of the Greek Testament. It was written in the tenth or eleventh century.
X. A MS. in the public library of Ingolstad ; this is in uncial characters, and has a commentary in small. letters. It appears to have been written in the eleventh century.
These are all the Greek MSS. in square or uncial characters, which are referred to in Wetstein and Griesbach; and which are quoted in these Notes on the four Gospels and Acts. Where any of these letters appear with an asterisk, as C*, it signifies that the reading there quoted, exists not in the text, but in the margin of that manuscript: The MSS. marked A. B. C. D. E. F. G. K. and L. are probably, upon the whole; the best ; and, their readings, the most authentic of all the unciał MSS.
There are many other MSS. written in small letters, and quoted by Griesbach and others, by Arabie nimerals, viz. 1, 2, 3, &c. which, though not equally ancient with several of those in uncial characters, are of great value and importance, and exhibit readings of equal worth with those in the preceding MSS. These, however, I have rarely mentioned by name in my Notes, and only refer to them in this way: e. g. Aets xvii. 26.
INTRODUCTION TO THE GOSPELS
“ ABDE. and more than forty others." Ib. xx. 24. “ ABD. some others,” &c. &c. I thought it was unnecessary to be more particular; as those who could profit most by such information, would naturally have Griesbach at hand; and, by referring to him, would be able to obtain much more satisfaction on the point than the plan on which my Notes were constructed, could possibly afford. It is necessary just to state, that both Wetstein and Griesbach, by quoting different MSS. by the same letter, in the four parts into which they have divided the New Testament : viz. the four Gospels, the Acts and Catholic Epistles, the Epistles of St. Paul, and the Apocalypse, have produced strange and needless confusion : in each of those parts we find a distinct notation of MSS. On this subject Michaelis has justly observed, that “ Wetstein has made it very difficult to remember his notation of MSS. by not retaining the same marks throughout the whole work ; for his letters and figures have a different meaning in the Epistles of St. Paul from that which they have in the four Evangelists; a still different meaning in the Catholic Epistles, and Acts of the Apostles ; and, lastly, they are taken in a fourth sense, in the book of the Revelation.”—Lectures, Vol. II. p. 185–6. This perplexity may appear evident, even in the uncial MSS. and much more in the others, e. g. D. which means the Codex Bezæ in the Gospels and Acts, means the Clermont MS. in the Epistles of St. Paul; and B. the Coder Vaticanus, 1209, in the Gospels, Acts, and Epistles, is the Coder Monachorum, Sti. Basilii, No. 105, in the Apocalypse ; and so of others.
Farther information on this subject belongs, more properly, to the editor of a Greek Testament, than to the province of a commentator. Those who wish to examine this branch of Biblical criticism at large, must consult Mill, Wetstein, Griesbach, Michaelis, and Dr. Herbert Marsh.
A short Account of the different Versions of the New Testament, cited in this work—viz. The Æthiopic,
Arabic, Armenian, Bohemian, Coptic, Gothic, Itala, Persian, Sahidic, Saxon or Anglo-Saxon, Slavonic or Russian, Syriac, and Vulgate ; not in the order of the different ages in which these Versions were made, but in the order of the alphabet.
THE ÆTHIOPIC. It is generally supposed, that the Christian religion was planted in Æthiopia or Abyssinia, so early as the times of the apostles ; but when the Scriptures were translated into the Æthiopic language, is not certainly known. We have the whole of the New Testament in that language ; and it is supposed that this version was made by Frumentius, a Christian Bishop in the fourth century. It is, in very many respects, an important version; and seems to have been made immediately from the Greek text. Its various readings agree with the (A.) the Codex Alexandrinus, and with Origen.
There are different Arabic versions of the New Testament, and they were, probably, as Dr. Marsh conjectures, derived from these four sources-1. Some from the Syriac ; 2. some from the Coptic; 3. some from the Greek ; 4. and some from the Vulgate. When this version was made cannot be determined; but it is generally allowed that there was no Arabic version of the New Testament before the time of Mohammed, i.e. A. D. 620; and that the oldest versions we have of that language, were made between the seventh and tenth centuries. But, if this were really so, how can we well account for the knowledge which Mohammed had of the Gospels, which he terms asil Anjeel, from Evangelium, in different parts of the Koran; see particularly Surat iii. v. 3. which Anjeel, he there mentions, as having come down from God, as well as the 31,93 toorat noin the law, and his own Koran ; and in this same Surat, and many others, he makes several quotations from the Gospels; and,
AND ACTS OF THE APOSTLES.
though he models them, to cause them to suit his own purpose, yet his quotations afford a presumptive evidence that the Gospels did exist in Arabic before his time; unless we could suppose he read them in Greek, Syriac, or Latin ; and none,' even of his own partial followers, have pretended that he understood those languages. As to the story of his having an apostate Christian Monk, called Sergius, with him, who might have supplied him with such quotations, it remains yet to be proved. To me, it seems probable, that a version of the Gospels, at least, did exist before the time of Mohammed; as Christianity did undoubtedly make its way into Arabia, even in the days of the apostles, as may be gathered from the Acts of the Apostles, chap. ii. and from various other testimonies. Whosoever reads the Koran carefully over, in reference to this point, will probably find reason to draw the same conclusion.
There are three principal editions of the Arabic, to which reference is made by Griesbach, and in these notes : 1. That printed at Rome, fol. 1591, which was probably made from the Greek. 2. The version printed in the Paris and London Polyglotts ; but in the latter with additions and corrections. This also was made from the Greek, and not from the Syriac or Coptic, as some have supposed. 3. The edition printed by Erpen, Lugd. Bat. 1616, 4to. taken from two MSS. one of the Gospels, written about A.D. 1271. and another, of the Acts, Epistles, and Revelation, dated A.D. 1342. See Dr. Marsh’s notes to Michaelis, Vol. III. p. 603. This version is supposed to have been formed immediately from the Greek; but interpolated in many places from the Syriac. This of Erpen is the most valuable and genuine edition of the Arabic Testament. These three editions are quoted in Griesbach, and in the following Notes. The first, Ar. Rom. the Arabic Gospels, printed at Rome in 1591. 2. Ar. Pol. the Arabic, printed in the London Polyglott, 1657. 3. Erp. the Arabic New Testament, printed by Erpen in 1616. When all these editions agree in the same reading, Griesbach signifies it by Arr. and I mean the same in these Notes, when I say all the Arabic.
THE ARMENIAN. This version was probably made in the fifth century, or about the year 410; according to the Armenians themselves. The author is universally allowed to have been Miesrob, the same who invented the Armenian alphabet. It appears to have been first made from the Syriac; but having been twice translated from that language, it was last of all translated from the Greek. This is allowed by learned men to be a very valuable version ;
and contains various readings of great importance : but it has not as yet, been accurately collated.
The sacred writings were translated into the Bohemian language by eight Bohemian doctors, who had been sent to Wittemberg and Basil to study the original languages for this purpose. This translation was printed in Moravia, in the year 1539. I know nothing of the merit of this version : Griesbach has given a few readings from it, which he received from professor Dobrowsky, of Moscow.
THE COPTIC. The Coptic was the common language of Ægypt before the invasion of the Sarazens; it is a mixture of the Old Ægyptian and the Greek. Into this language the Scriptures appear to have been translated at a very early period; probably between the third and fifth centuries. The readings of this version are allowed to have a striking affinity to those of the Latin version ; and sometimes to those of the Codex Bezæ; and, according to Wetstein, with Origen, Eusebius, Cyril, and the Alexandrian MS. See Sahidic.
The people to whom the version called Gothic, belonged, had their ancient habitation to the east of the Borysthenes ; but, wandering westward, they settled in Wallachia. Ulphilas, a Cappadocian by birth, who
INTRODUCTION TO THE GOSPELS
lived under the emperors Valens and Valentinian, made this translation immediately from the Greek, (though occasionally, in reference to the Latin versions,) about the middle of the fourth century. Of this version only a mutilated copy of the four Gospels, and a few chapters of St. Paul's Epistle to the Romans, remain. This MS. which was all written in silver letters, and hence called Codex Argenteus, was first discovered in the abbey of Werden in Westphalia; it got afterwards to Sweden, then to the Netherlands; and is now in the university of Upsal. A fine edition of the Gothic Gospels was published by Marshall, together with the Anglo-Saxon, at Dort, 1665, 4to. with a glossary, by Junius : but a better edition was published by Dr. E. Lye, Oxon. 1750. 4to. The fragments of the eleventh, twelfth, thirteenth, fourteenth, and fifteenth chapters to the Romans, edited by Knillel, from the Wolfenbuttle MS. may be found at the end of Vol. II. of Dr. Lye's Saxon, Gothie, and Latin dietionary.
THE ITALA, OR ANTEHIERONYMIAN. Previously to the time of St. Jerome, a great variety of Latin versions of parts or the whole of both the Old and New Testaments, had been made by different persons for their own use ; and these appear to have been as various as the skill and talents of the translators. As none of these had been received into public use in the church, so it is not likely that they had any particular name : but modern times have given the title of Italac, Itala or Antehieronymian, to all such Latin versions. Though the word Itala be of the most dubious authority, yet all allow that, by it, a very ancient Latin translation is intended; but how such a translation became thus denominated, no person can tell ; if, indeed, it have had any such title in ancient times. This title is supposed to be mentioned by St. Augustin, where, speaking of the great variety of Latin versions in early use, he
says : ipsis autem interpretationibus Itala, cæteris præferatur ; nam est verborum tenacior cum perspicuitate sententiæ. “ Among the versions, the Itala is to be preferred, as being more literal, and more perspicuous.” De Doctr. Christ. lib. ii. cap. 11. Dr. Lardner supposes that Itala here, is a mistake for et illa, and reads the passage thus ; 6 and among the translations, let that be preferred which is most literal and most perspicuous.” Dr. Bentley, and some others, were nearly of the same mind. Potter thinks that Itala is an early mistake for usitata, which mistake may be accounted for thus : in ancient times, when MSS. were written in uncial characters, without distinction of words or sentences, a copyist having writtenINIPSISAUTEMINTERPRETATIONIBUSUSITATACAETERISPRAEFERATURNAMESTVERBORUMTENACIORCUMPER SPICUITATESENTENTIAE ; took the first syllable of usitata, on returning to his MS. for the last syllable of the word interpretationibus, which he had just written, and of course read the word itata, which he concluded to be an error for itala ; and hence came the present spurious reading." See Dr. Marsh's notes to Michaelis. This is the most likely of all the conjectural emendations of St. Augustin's text, yet made. This ancient Latin version, by whatever name it is called, is supposed to be the same which is annexed to the Greek text in the Codex Boernerianus, Claromontanus, and Cantabrigiensis. But besides these, there are more than twenty others which Griesbach has noted in his Greek Testament, which contain the same version, or rather a version or versions made before the time of St. Jerome. See the catalogue of them in Griesbach's Testament, Vol. I. Prolegom. pag. xcvii. All these I have quoted under the general name Itala, or Antehieronymian, without specifying the different MSS. in which the reading is contained, e.g. Six copies of the ITALA---several copies of the Italaall the Itala, &c. The principal fragments of this version which still remain, have been carefully collected by Sabatier, in his Billiorum Sacrorum Latince Versiones Antiquæ, fol. Rom. 1743, three vols. ; and by Blanchini, in his Evangeliorum Quadruplex Latinæ Versionis Antiquæ, seu Italicæ, fol. Rom. 1749, four vols. The various readings of these versions, both in those MSS. edited by these learned men, and in the writings of the Latin Fathers, are of great utility in ascertaining the readings of the ancient Greek text, from which they were made ; for many excellent readings abound in these versions, which agree not only with the most ancient Greek MSS. but also with the best versions, particularly the Syriac and the Coptic. It was out of these versions that St. Jerome formed the Vulgate. See VULGATE.