Encyclopaedia Biblica/Text and Versions

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
Encyclopaedia Biblica
Thomas Kelly Cheyne and John Sutherland Black
Text and Versions
see Encyclopaedia Biblica for other articles, typographic issues, links to PDF copies, and public domain status

Contents

TEXT AND VERSIONS[edit]

CONTENTS

  • INTRODUCTORY (1).
  • TEXTUAL CRITICISM (2).
  • I. NEW TESTAMENT
    • A. TEXT
      • Authorities (3).
      • Chief MSS (4).
      • Printed editions (5).
      • Textus Receptus (6).
      • Westcott and Hort's theory (7).
      • The three texts (8).
      • Remarks
        • Antiochian revision (9).
        • Pre-Antiochian text (10).
      • Conclusion of discussion (11).
        • Illustrative notes (12).
    • B. VERSIONS
      • i. LATIN.
        • First traces (13).
        • Their origin (14).
        • Classification (15).
        • Gospels (16).
        • Pauline epistles (17).
        • Acts (18).
        • Catholic epistles (19).
        • Apocalypse (20).
        • History of Vulgate (21).
      • ii. SYRIAC.
        • Gospels
          • Three early versions (22).
          • Peshitta (23).
          • Diatessaron (24).
          • Old Syriac (25).
          • Relation of three (26).
          • Relation of Old Syr. to Diatess. (27).
          • Conclusion (28).
        • Acts and Epistles (29).
        • Later Syriac versions (30).
        • Palestinian Syriac version (31).
      • iii. COPTIC AND OTHER VERSIONS.
        • Coptic
          • Date of translation (32).
          • Three versions (33).
          • Age of Bohairic and Sahidic (34)
          • Three compared (35).
        • Armenian (36).
        • Ethiopic (37).
        • Gothic (38).
        • Other versions : Georgian, Slavonic, Arabic (39).
  • II. OLD TESTAMENT
    • A. TEXT
      • Massoretic text (40).
      • Samaritan recension (45).
      • Massoretic vowels (41).
      • Massoretic notes (42).
      • Correction of Massoretic text (66).
    • B. VERSIONS
      • Printed editions (43).
      • List of versions (44).
      • i. GREEK.
        • Septuagint:
          • origin (46).
          • citations (47).
        • Aquila, Symmachus, Theodotion(48-50).
        • Origen's work (51).
        • Three recensions (52).
        • Extant MSS (53).
        • Printed editions (54).
        • Recovery of original Septuagint (55).
      • ii. LATIN.
        • Old Latin (56).
        • Manuscripts (57).
        • Apocrypha (58).
        • The Vulgate (59).
      • iii. SYRIAC AND OTHER VERSIONS.
        • Peshitta (60).
        • Syriac versions from Greek (61).
        • Palestinian version (62).
        • Other versions
          • Coptic (63).
          • Armenian, Gothic, Arabic (64).
          • Targums (65).
  • Bibliography (67)

INTRODUCTION[edit]

1. General limits.[edit]

The exact determination of the original text of the Old and New Testaments is a study which has points of contact with questions concerning both the Canon of Scripture, and the literary sources of the several books. There are instances of a translation acquiring a scriptural authority which has never been accorded to the original, as in the case of ECCLESIASTICUS (q.v.); other books have been the product of successive compilations and revisions, so that it may become a matter of doubt at what stage of its existence it can be said to have been in its 'original' form. Generally, however, the limits of the subject can be marked out by the actual state of extant documents. Thus the criticism of the 'Priestly Code' (P), or of the book usually called JE, as they may have existed before the compilation of the Pentateuch, lies quite beyond textual criticism. Our documents do not carry us back behind the Pentateuch already complete as a single work. On the other hand, the extant texts of the Greek translation of Jeremiah suggest very serious questions as to the collection and editing of his prophecies and as to the authority for the arrangement found in the Hebrew and adopted in the English Bible.

The case stands much the same with the NT. We can learn from the variations of our MSS little that directly bears on the apostolic origin of the Fourth Gospel or the Pastoral Epistles. Even the earliest versions do not take us behind the collection of the four evangelical narratives which together made up the Gospel, or the collection of the thirteen Pauline Epistles. Of the literary fate of the Apostle s letters, of the journeys which they may have made from Corinth to Rome, or from Thessalonica to Philippi, before incorporation into the collected edition, our MSS tell us nothing. There is some evidence that there circulated in the West an edition of the Epistle 'to the Romans', in which the name of Rome was absent from the opening salutation, and there is strong evidence that elsewhere than in the West the name of Ephesus was absent from the Epistle 'to the Ephesians'; but on this one circumstance it is difficult to build. The only real point where textual study touches the 'Higher Criticism' - though it must be confessed that it is an important one - arises when we consider what inferences are to be drawn from the incomplete condition in which the Gospel according to Mk. appears in the best texts. By whomsoever Mk. 16:9-20 was supplied, and at whatever time it was first attached to the Gospel, the fact remains that the genuine text breaks off in the middle of a sentence with all the marks of accidental mutilation. The natural inference, the only inference which would be drawn from a similar state of things in any classical or ecclesiastical writing in which such phenomena were observed, is that all our MSS are ultimately derived from a single copy itself imperfect at the end. 1

But this forms an exception to the class of problems raised, and the subject of this article may with little loss of accuracy be defined to be the history of the text of the books of the Old and New Testaments from the time each became canonical, whether in the Jewish or the Christian church.

The methods of scientific criticism are of course equally applicable to the whole of the Bible. Indeed, in certain branches of textual study the division observed in this article between OT and NT has no significance.

The Old Latin, for instance, and the Egyptian versions are translations of the Greek Bible as a whole ; in such cases the only true divisions are those produced by the mechanical con ditions of transcription. Those books of the Bible which were usually included in the same volume have usually the same literary history. Nevertheless, the division into NT and OT represents for the most part a real distinction. All purely Jewish documents obviously extend to the OT only. Then, again, the Peshitta and the Latin Vulgate are in the OT translations of the Hebrew, and the study of them raises a class of questions quite separate from that raised by the study of the texts of the NT with which they are bound up.

1 Probably it was mutilated elsewhere. 'Boanerges' is too monstrous a form not to be a mere corruption.

2. Textual criticism.[edit]

But the great distinction between the textual study of the OT and that of the NT lies in the very different part which palaeographical error has played in the surviving documents. Accidental mistakes in the chief ancient texts of the NT are rare ; but in the OT they are to be found continually. The inevitable result is that conjectural emendation, which is almost inadmissible in the NT, is in the OT a necessity, and one which can historically be justified.

A few words here on this important subject may not be out of place. Strange and confusing as the appearance of an ancient MS is to our eyes, it was nevertheless clear enough to those who wrote it, and the mistakes in copying which we make are as a rule avoided in old times. The discoveries of very ancient papyrus fragments of classical works have not overthrown but rather confirmed the better class of extant mediaeval codices. As long as a work was frequently read, as long as the scribe was fairly familiar with what he was copying, mere mistakes do not seem often to have been made, and when made were frequently corrected. In rare and unfamiliar writings a perfectly different state of things obtains, and there is then no limit to the perversity of the copyist.

The NT was written by Christians for Christians; it was moreover written in Greek for Greek-speaking communities, and the style of writing (with the exception, possibly, of the Apocalypse) was that of current literary composition. There has been no real break in the continuity of the Greek-speaking church, and we find accordingly that few real blunders of writing are met within the leading types of the extant texts. This state of things has not prevented variations ; but they are not for the most part accidental. An overwhelming majority of the 'various readings' of the MSS of the NT were from the very first intentional alterations. The NT in very early times had no canonical authority, and alterations and additions were actually made where they seemed improvements. The substitution of t\erifj.offvvr]v [eleemosynen] for Smcuoffforiv [dikaisynen] in Mt. 6:1 and the addition of the doxology to the Lords Prayer a dozen verses later are not palaeographical blunders, but deliberate editing.

The literary history of the OT has been very different. While the Canon of the OT was being formed, Hebrew was a dying language, and the political misfortunes of the Jews were of a nature far less favourable to the preservation of ancient documents than the legal persecutions of the Christians. Under Antiochus, under Titus, and finally under Hadrian, the Palestinian Jews suffered all the devastating and uprooting effects of a war for existence, and it is no wonder if, at the close of each of these epochs, the MSS which survived were few and torn, and the scholars who could read them fewer still. Hebrew had become a learned tongue, its place being mostly supplied by the various forms of Aramaic, and it was not ever} Jew who could read the Scriptures in the original, far less spell out correctly a damaged or faulty exemplar. These are the very conditions in which slips of copying are inevitably made and least easily detected. The veneration which the Jews felt for their Scriptures ultimately led them to copy so accurately as to preserve the most obvious blunders in the trans mitted text ; but this antiquarian science came too late.

Nor are we on much surer ground when we come to the only very ancient version - viz., the Greek OT, commonly called the Septuagint. The fable of the seventy translators, each of whom independently agreed in their rendering, may be evidence that the Alexandrian Jews had some common tradition of the meaning of the Law; but if we except the Pentateuch, to which alone the name 'Septuagint' properly applies, the various books of the Greek OT bear all the marks of having been originally the private ventures of untrained scholars. These unsatisfactory translations passed over into the keeping of the Church; but Christian scribes were unable to check corruption in a text which frequently cannot be translated to make rational sense, nor have we any guarantee that the earliest MSS which came into Christian hands were accurate representatives of the original version. Yet from these earliest Christian MSS our copies seem to be descended.

Thus both in the Hebrew original and in the Greek translation there are serious breaks of continuity in the history of the OT, to which the history of the NT offers no parallel. The textual critic is therefore justified, in the case of the OT, in a temperate use of conjectural emendation based

  • (1) on the scientific study of the Hebrew language and
  • (2) on the ascertained usage of the biblical writers in passages where the text is comparatively free from suspicion.

From various causes, but chiefly from the better preservation of the documents, the textual criticism of the NT is at the present time in a more advanced state than that of the OT. Contrary, therefore, to the usual custom, the history of the text of the NT in the original and in translations will precede that of the OT in this article.

I. NEW TESTAMENT.[edit]

A. TEXT[edit]

3. Original authorities.[edit]

The original authorities for the text of the NT may be divided into three classes - viz. , Greek MSS, Versions made from the Greek, and Patristic Quotations. The Greek MSS range in date from the fourth century 1 to the invention of printing, the Versions from the middle of the second century to the ninth. The original form of each version is attested by MSS, some (as in the case of the Old Latin) as early as any known Greek MS, and by the quotations of writers who used the version.

We may point out here the inherent merit of the testimony obtained from versions and patristic quotations, and the counterbalancing difficulties attendant on their use. The most ancient versions of the NT into Latin, Syriac, and Egyptian, are older than our oldest Greek MSS ; wherever, therefore, we can be sure that we have the original form of any of these versions, and wherever we are able to retranslate with certainty that original form into the Greek underlying it, we have a resultant Greek reading possessing a higher direct claim to antiquity than the reading of any single extant Greek MS. But obviously this is not always the case.

i. Until a version has been critically studied we may not assume that any single MS faithfully represents its original form, for the text of the MS may have been revised from later Greek texts. Moreover, the early translations were not always literal, nor can Greek distinctions always be represented in another language, so that retranslation in some cases is a matter of uncertainty.

ii. The testimony derived from quotations in ecclesiastical writers also requires very cautious handling. Many 'Fathers' were not in the habit of quoting accurately, and the text of their works, which in some important instances depends ultimately on a single late MS, is often open to suspicion.

Nevertheless, patristic quotations have a special value to the textual critic. They are as a rule both localised and dated. Where there is reason to believe that the quotation in a writer s work reproduces the reading of his Bible we have in effect a fragment of a MS of the writer's own age and country, which serves as a fixed point in our historical and geographical grouping of the continuous extant biblical texts.

Unfortunately patristic evidence is often lacking just where it is most wanted. The verses most instructive for tracing the literary history of the text of the Bible are rarely those of immediate doctrinal import, and again and again where crucial variations occur the testimony of early Fathers is absent. It is especially difficult to ascertain the true weight of the patristic evidence for omissions.

Most non-Greek Fathers are to be reckoned among the authorities for the version in their vernacular ; but some - notably Tertullian and Jerome - seem often to make independent translations of their own direct from the Greek.

1 Some papyrus fragments from Oxyrhynchus are still earlier, being assigned to the middle of the third century A.D.

4. Chief MSS.[edit]

In quoting authorities, the Greek MSS written in uncial letters (ranging from the fourth to the ninth cent. - or later) are denoted by capital letters, those written in minuscule (ranging from the ninth to the sixteenth cent. ) by numerals. These latter are commonly called 'cursive'. (See WRITING. ) There is absolutely no distinction in critical value between a 'cursive' and an 'uncial' MS.

CHIEF GREEK MSS OF NT

Designation. Place. Contents.
4th Cent.
N [aleph] (Cod. Sinaiticus) S. Petersburg [moved to London in early 20th century] all books complete.
B (Cod. Vaticanus) Rome all books except part of Hebr., Pastoral Epp., and Apoc.
5th Cent.
D (Cod. Bezae) Cambridge Gospels and Acts.
A (Cod. Alexandrinus) London all books.
C (Cod. Ephraem [rescriptus]) Paris fragg. of nearly all books.
6th or 7th Cent.
D2 (Cod. Claromontanus) Paris Pauline Epp.
E2 (Cod. Laudianus) Oxford Acts.
8th Cent.
L (Cad. Regius) Paris Gospels.
9th Cent.
A [delta] (Cod. Sangallensis) S. Gallen Gospels A [delta] and G3 originally formed one book.
G3 (Cod. Boernerianus) Dresden Paul. Epp.
P2 (Cod. Porphyrianus) S. Petersburg all bks. except Gospels.

The following fragmentary uncial MSS are important for the light they throw on the history of the text:-

Z (6th cent.) - fragments of Mt. ; H (8th cent.) - fragments of Lk. ; six fragmentary MSS denoted by T, ranging from the 5th to the 7th cent, and containing portions of the Gospels with a Sahidic translation, which, together with some similar fragments lately published by Amelineau (Not. et Extr. vol. 34), give the type of Greek text current in Upper Egypt.

The most important cursives are : i. In the Gospels, those numbered 33, 157, 28, 565, 700; and the two groups 1-118-131-209 and 13-69-124-346-543. These two groups are composed of the immediate descendants of two lost uncials, each of which would have been as valuable for critical purposes as any but the very chief codices NBDA [aleph b d a].

  • ii. Outside the Gospels a special mention must be made of 61 of the Acts, for the goodness of its text; also of 137, 180, and in the Epp. for the marginal readings cited as 67** (Paul) and 66** (Cath. Epp.).

Cod. 565 (Gregory) is also called 473 (Scrivener, Burgon), and ape (Tischendorf). Cod. 700 (Gregory) is also called 604 (Scrivener, Hoskier). Cod. 543 (Gregory) is also called 556 (Scrivener).

5. Printed editions.[edit]

The history of the printed text of the Greek NT falls into three divisions,

  • i. The first age opens with the editio princeps of Erasmus at Basel in 1516, and includes the early printed editions of Stephanus ((3), 1550), Beza, etc., and the Polyglots. During this period the ordinary form of the text, commonly called the Textus Receptus, was fixed, and the first collections of various readings were made.
  • ii. The second age dates from Mill's edition of 1707. Little change was made in the printed text during this second period; but it is marked by the great collections of variants brought together by Mill, Wetstein, Matthaei, and others. The first attempts towards a systematic arrangement of the material by Bentley, Bengel, and Griesbach also fall within this period.
  • iii. The third age dates from Lachmann's edition of 1831, in which for the first time a modern editor constructed the text from ancient evidence alone, without reference to previous editions. During the last fifty years many very ancient documents have been discovered; many more have been for the first time accurately collated, or edited in full. As a natural consequence the earlier collections of various readings have been almost entirely superseded. The same may be said also of the earlier critical theories, which were based on imperfect data, especially with regard to the primitive forms of the early versions.
6. Textus Receptus.[edit]

The Textus Receptus derives its name from a passage in the preface to the Elzevir edition of 1633. This edition, though really little more than a bookseller's reprint, professed to give the the text as received by the best authorities. 1 As a matter of fact the early editions of the NT were constructed from but few MSS, and those which were chiefly followed were late and of no special critical value. Yet from the very fact that the MSS used were commonplace, these editions give a very fair representation of the ordinary text of the middle ages.

The importance of the Textus Receptus is derived not from the accident that it was the text of the early editions, or of any one of them, hut from the fact that it is in all essentials the text of the NT as publicly read in the Greek church ever since the fifth century. For this reason, in collating the variations of MSS the Textus Receptus (e.g., in Scrivener's reprint of Stephanus) should still be used in preference to any modern critical text.

A complete list of the editions of the NT in Greek is given in 'Tischendorf', vol. iii. pp. 202-287. The two editions which are practically indispensable to the student are those of Tischendorf-Gregory (1869-1894), and of Westcott and Hort (1881). 'Tischendorf' (i.e., the 'editio octavo, critica maior') contains by far the fullest collection of variants of every class, those of the uncial MSS being almost completely recorded. The Prolegomena by C. R. Gregory (who brought the whole edition to a conclusion after the successive deaths of Tischendorf and Ezra Abbot) occupy the third volume, and include full lists and descriptions of all the MSS, versions, and editions. The edition thus forms a complete Introduction to the study of the textual criticism of the NT.

In using it, however, we must remember:-

  • (1) The text is the product of Tischendorf's somewhat arbitrary judgment, and has no special authority;
  • (2) some valuable readings, now only found in minuscules, are not recorded, and must be looked for in earlier editions, such as Wetstein, or even Mill;
  • (3) the readings of the versions, especially of the Oriental versions, are not always given accurately, and they are rarely quoted where their text, though implying a different Greek reading, is not supported by any known Gieek MS.

1 The words of the Preface are: Textumn ergo habes, nunc ab omnibus receptum: in quo nihil immutatum aut corruptum damus.

2 The Introduction to this edition is from the pen of Dr. Hort (section 21). In the following pages it will be cited as Hort, with a reference to the numbered paragraphs.

3 Hort 130.

7. Westcott and Hort's theory.[edit]

The general theory contained in Westcott and Hort's New Testament in the Original Greek (published in 1881, (2) 1896) has formed the starting-point for all subsequent investigation of the textual history of the NT, whether by way of defence or of criticism. It will therefore be necessary to describe the main outlines of this theory at some length. 2

If a text of the NT were formed by taking in each variation the reading of the majority of the Greek MSS, it would be in all essentials identical with that found in the works of Chrysostom, who died in 407, after having lived all his life, except the last ten years, at or near Antioch. 3 . It would also be the text of Theodoret and the other writers of the Antiochian school as well as of later Greek Fathers generally. Such a text would, moreover, be practically identical with the 'Received Text' - that is, the text as first printed by Erasmus in 1516 and repeated with little serious variation till Lachmann s edition in 1831. The text thus formed is called by Westcott and Hort Syrian or Antiochian. Hort commonly uses the term 'Syrian'; but the 'Syrian Text' of the Greek NT is so easily confused with the Syriac version (with which it has nothing to do), that the term 'Antiochian' will be used here instead.

The agreement of the Antiochian text with Chrysostom's shows it to have been in existence as early as the fourth century, whilst the fact that the MSS by which it is supported form in most cases a majority numerically overwhelming, shows that it continued to be the current text of succeeding generations. It does not agree, however, with the text as preserved in our oldest MSS X [aleph] and B or in the Egyptian versions, and still less would it be the text represented by the older forms of the Latin and Syriac versions. The clearest view of the nature of the Antiochian text and of the documents which support it is found in a series of readings called conflate by Hort, where the later text has combined earlier rival variants.

For example:-

1. Lk. 24:53 (after 'and they were continually in the temple')-

(a) blessing God X[aleph]BC*L Syr.sin.-palest Boh.
(b) praising God D e a (b) ff l r Aug.
(d) praising and blessing God A unc.rell minusc.omn c f g Lat.vg Syr.vg-hcl Arm.
('blessing and praising God' Aeth.)

(Latin MSS are represented by italics. For the notation of the Versions and the weight to be given to them, see the sections upon each version.)

Of the three readings here called a, b, and d, either a and b are independent abridgments of d, or d has been made out of a and b. That is, unless d be the original reading it is not a chance alteration or expansion, but a combination of previously existing variants. Now although d has the immensely preponderating numerical majority of witnesses in various regions, it is not supported by the older forms of text in any of the main classes of evidence. In Greek, d is opposed by the three oldest MSS XBC. though it is supported by A, a MS of the fifth century; it is opposed by the African (e) and the European (a b ff r) forms of the Old latin, though supported by the revised texts f g and Jerome's Vulgate ; in the East d is opposed by the Old Syriac (Syr.sin or Ss) and the Palestinian lectionary, though supported by the Syriac Vulgate and the Harclean; finally it is unknown in the Egyptian version.

The analysis of the evidence is fatal to the originality of d, the Antiochian reading ; it must, therefore, be later than a and b, and, if later, must be a mere combination of them.

2. {1} Mk. 8:26 (following Kai aTrecrreiAev ai/rbv eis ol/cor aiiTOv Aeywv [kai apesteilen auton eis oikon autou legoon]).

(a) M))5e U Tr)V KwfiTiv eicre A0T) [mede eis ten koomen eiselthes] (N [aleph])BL 1*-209 Syr.sin Boh. [X [aleph] has fxn [me] for jur)6i. [mede]]
(b) *Yn-aye eis rov O KOV crou KOL /oiijSeia eiTnjs eis TI\V Kuifirjv [*hypage eis ton oikon sou kai medeni eipes eis ten koomen] D (q)
(b2) "Yn-aye olxov crou Kai ta.v eis -n\v Kw/arji i<7-A0fl? ii6e (v Tjrj (CuijiT) [*hypage eis ton oikon sou kai ean eis ten koomen eiselthes medeni eipes mede en te koome] 13-69-346 28 565 (i), and with the omission of ev rfj KWJU.TJ frfff vg [mede en te koome] b ff f vg [also a, nearly].
(b3) MTjSei i eii-ps eis T<\V Kiafirfv [medeni eipes eis ten koomen] (or iv TJJ [en ten koome]) k (c) Syr.hi(mg.) Arm. have a prefixed to b2.
(d) MTjSe eis Tnv Kwunv EicrEAens undE Einns Tivi Ev Tn Kwun [mede eis ten koomen eiselthes mede eipes tini en te koome] ACA[delta] unc.rell minusc.omn. (exc. 8) Syr.vg-hcl (text) Aeth Go.

1 Hort 140.

(Notice that the Old Syriac version has now to be added in both of these examples to the little band which supports the a text adopted by Hort.)

3. Lk. 24:46.

(a) oiJTcos yeypaTrrai naSelt TOV xpi<TTbi> [outoos gegraptai pathein ton christon] XBC*L D Lat.afr-cur (Lat. afr om. ovrui [outoos]) Syr.palest Boh Aeth.
(b) ou ro)? e<5ei miBeiv TOV \pi<TTOV [outoos edei pathein ton christon] minusc 4 Syr.sin (hiat cur) Arm Eus. Theoph.
(d) ovT(o? yyp. (cai oirws eSeL read. TOV xp [outoos gegraptai kai outoos edei pathein ton christon] AC2N rell. f q vg Syr.vg-hcl.

(Part of the verse is illegible in Syr.sin ; but there is no doubt as to the reading. Note that here, as often, the Armenian follows Syr.vg.)

The distribution of documents in these conflate readings is, roughly, as follows. To a belong X[aleph]BL and the Bohairic (or Memphitic) version; to b belong D and the older forms of the Latin versions. The Sahidic (Thebaic) version sides sometimes with a and sometimes with b, as is the case also with the Old Syriac. In a few cases where the Latins side with a, the Old Syriac forms the chief item in the attestation of the b text; but it never sides with d. All other authorities (except fragments) have been influenced by the d text.

The groups of authorities marked off above as a, b, and d, are found to present distinct types of text all through the Gospels. We can thus test their witness chronologically and geographically through the quotations of the Fathers. This examination again is as adverse to the priority of d to a or b as the analysis of the conflate readings. After the fourth century, evidence for d is abundant; before the fourth century it is doubtful or non-existent.

A fourth family (c), independent of b and prior to the Antiochian text (d), is recognised in Westcott and Hort. No document contains it in a pure form; but readings characteristic of it are most frequent in X [aleph], L, T, Z (Mt), A (Mk), £ [xi] (Lk), and in the Bohairic version, in fact in all the documents where a readings are found except B. This text is supposed by Hort to have originated at Alexandria and is called by him Alexandrian. The most constant witnesses for the text called b are the various forms of the Old Latin ; it was therefore supposed by previous investigators to have arisen in the West of Europe, and is still universally known by the name of Western. The a text, which is neither Western nor Alexandrian, nor Antiochian, is called by Hort Neutral.

8. The three texts.[edit]

These three strains - the Western, the Alexandrian, and the Neutral - are the three great divisions into which, according to Hort, the ante-Nicene text of the NT can be divided. The Western text is found everywhere, from the banks of the Euphrates to Spain and to Upper Egypt. The Alexandrian text is witnessed chiefly in Alexandria and Lower Egypt. The Neutral text is not so clearly associated with any local use ; but, as is implied by the name, its subsidiary attestation is found among predominantly Alexandrian documents as opposed to Western corruptions, and among the Westerns as opposed to Alexandrian corruptions. Moreover, not all Western readings are shared by the whole of the Western array, some early Western texts in many cases supporting the Neutral reading where other Western authorities have gone wrong.

Put more concretely, the case may be stated thus : combinations of B (the typical Neutral document) with X [aleph] or L or the Bohairic on the one hand, or with D or the Latins or the Old Syriac on the other, approve themselves as giving the genuine reading. B is thus the central witness for the text ; it is some times right almost alone, and to reject its readings is never quite safe. Instances are also given by Hort of 'ternary variations', where the Western texts have a corruption in one direction and the Alexandrian in another, but B retains the genuine reading, which could not have arisen from either cor ruption and yet explains the origin of both.

Next in excellence to B is X [aleph], which Hort believed to have a text entirely independent of B ; so that the combination BX[aleph], which frequently occurs even in opposition to all other authorities, is practically certain to give the true text. Almost the only exceptions are found in a series of passages found in all except Western documents, which are nevertheless considered by Hort to be no part of the genuine text of the NT. In these passages, called the Western Non-Interpolations, B has gone wrong, and the true text is preserved chiefly by D and the Latins.

The reasons given by Hort for the final supremacy of the Antiochian text are mainly two, one political and the other literary.

'Antioch is the true ecclesiastical parent of Constantinople so that it is no wonder that the traditional Constantinopolitan text, whether formally official or not, was the Antiochian text of the fourth century. It was equally natural that the text recognised at Constantinople should eventually become in practice the standard New Testament of the East' (Hort 195). 'The qualities which the authors of the Syrian [i.e., Antiochian] text seem mostly to have desired to impress on it are lucidity and completeness. . . . New omissions accordingly are rare, and where they occur are usually found to contribute to apparent simplicity. New interpolations, on the other hand, are abundant most of them being due to harmonistic or other assimilation fortunately capricious and incomplete. Both in matter and in diction the Syrian text is conspicuously a full text. . . . The spirit of its own corrections is at once sensible and feeble entirely blameless on either literary or religious grounds as regards vulgarised or unworthy diction, yet showing no marks of either critical or spiritual insight, it presents the New Testament in a form smooth and attractive, but appreciably impoverished in sense and force, more fitted for cursory perusal or recitation than for repeated diligent study' (Hort 187).

The survival of good readings in some late cursives may be accounted for in two ways. Readings from the older texts may here and there have been introduced into a fundamentally Antiochian text from marginal glosses or through the eclectic preferences of scribes. But as late MSS which contain good readings present them in the less read parts of the narrative quite as much as in the more striking sayings, it is probable that these good readings are generally the result of a process of imperfect correction. A MS containing another than the dominant Antiochian text would be corrected to that text, but not as a rule with perfect accuracy. Only in those readings which do not agree with the ordinary text of the Middle Ages can we be certain that such MSS are reproducing the text of their remote ancestors. The minuscules, in short, give little additional authority to the 'received text' where they agree with it, whilst their differences from it are often of critical weight. 1

General remarks.[edit]
9. Antiochian revision.[edit]

It is still held by a few scholars that the Syriac Vulgate is a true product of the second century, and that the version known by the name of the 'Separated Gospels' (called in the above section the 'Old Syriac') is a revision of it. According to this the support given by the Syriac Vulgate to the Antiochian text transfers the evidence for that text from the fourth to the second century. But Syriac patristic evidence for the existence of the Syriac Vulgate (i.e., the Peshitta) in its present form before 411 A.D. is non-existent; whereas the text of the Separated Gospels (or Old Syriac) is actually attested from works of the third and early fourth centuries. (For the proof of this, see below on 'Syriac Versions' 22+}

Another objection which has often been raised is the silence of ecclesiastical writers with regard to the Antiochian revision. It has been said that if there had been prepared at Antioch early in the fourth century a revision of the text of the NT which practically came to supersede all other forms of the text, we should have expected clear references in ecclesiastical writers to so great an event. We hear something about the circumstances which gave rise to Jerome's Vulgate ; should we not find similar references to the Antiochian revision if it had ever taken place?

The parallel here suggested with the history of the Latin Bible is instructive; a closer examination will show that it tells the other way. It is true that we know something about the preparation of Jerome's new translation ; but this is owing to the fact that we possess the correspondence of that energetic and self-assertive personality. Of the reception of his NT we know little, except that his revision of the Gospels seems to have found favour immediately in Africa. A still closer parallel to the silent success of the Antiochian revision is afforded by the history of the Book of Daniel.

Both the Greek and the Latin branches of the church originally received the Book of Daniel in the LXX version, but afterwards discarded this for the version of Theodotion. The change occurred in the Greek-speaking church towards the end of the second century, in the Latin church (at least in Africa) about the middle of the third century. But on events connected with this serious alteration of the traditional text ecclesiastical history is silent, and we are forced to say with Jerome (Praef. in Daniel) 'et hoc cur acciderit nescio'.

A true picture of the general attitude of the fourth century to textual revision is, in the opinion of the present writer, given by the Latin dialogue contra Fulgentium Donatistam, 2 where a Catholic and a Donatist dispute together, the Catholic using the Vulgate throughout the Bible unchallenged, though the Donatist uniformly quotes from an Old Latin text.

1 Hort 196. and especially 334+

2 Migne, 43:763

Against these objections to the theory of the Antiochian revision we may now set the evidence derived from the Sinai palimpsest (Ss), a MS discovered some years after the publication of Hort s work.

Hort's estimate of the Old Syriac had been necessarily derived from Cureton's MS (Sc), the surviving portions of which cover less than half the Gospel text. It seems, moreover, to represent a type of the Old Syriac which has undergone revision from the Greek (see col. 5002). Thus the discovery of Ss has practically for the first time revealed to us the true character of the great version of the Eastern world in its earliest form.

Now Ss is absolutely free from the slightest trace of Antiochian readings. Not one of the characteristic Antiochian conflations is found in it. Moreover, in certain cases where the Latins agree with the 'Neutral' text, but the Antiochian text has an additional clause, this additional clause alone is found in Ss. An instance is given above (section 7) from Lk. 24:46; another may be found at Mk. 1:13, whilst the additions to the true text of Mk. 12:23 and 13:8 have a somewhat similar attestation. These passages do not merely prove that the Old Syriac was uninfluenced by the Antiochian text; they go far to show that a text akin to the Old Syriac was one of the elements out of which the eclectic Antiochian text was constructed. Thus the readings of B and its allies, the readings of the Old Latin and its allies, and now the readings of the Old Syriac, all contribute to explain the phenomena of the Antiochian text ; but the mutual variations of H and the Old Latin and the Old Syriac cannot be explained from the Antiochian text regarded as the genuine original. 1

10. The pre-Antiochian texts.[edit]

In leaving the discussion of the Antiochian revision we leave the region of comparative certainty. Hort's division of the ante-Nicene text into the three strains of Western, Alexandrian, and Neutral, still more or less holds the ground ; but important details of his scheme have incidentally been undermined, and the fresh evidence of Ss is here much less favourable to his presentation of the history of the text. The general tendency of criticism has been to raise the value of the texts which Hort would have grouped under the heading of 'Western'. The channel of early 'non-Western' transmission has been still further narrowed, whilst there have come to light types of early 'Western' texts purer than those which have earned them both their misleading name and their bad reputation.

1. Recent research has decidedly confirmed Tischendorf's assertion that B and X [aleph] came from the same scriptorium.

This was admitted by Hort ; but he thought that the two MSS might have been written in Rome. It now seems almost certain that they both belonged to the great library collected by Pamphilus at Caesarea. 2 We must therefore allow for the possibility that their agreements come from a partial use of the same exemplar. This might happen in several ways ; e.g., the immediate ancestor (or ancestors) of X [aleph] may have been largely corrected to the B text. These considerations do not militate directly against the excellence of the common archetype of BX but they undoubtedly raise once more the very serious question whether these great codices are in every case independent witnesses.

The demonstrable inferiority of B in certain books of the OT, notably Judges and Isaiah (see OT, 'Greek Versions'), maybe held to cast a certain suspicion upon its XT text. But the great Bibles of the fourth century must have been copied from several smaller codices or rolls containing only part of the Scriptures. The textual characteristics, therefore, of B in the Prophets or the Octateuch are by no means necessarily those it exhibits in the Gospels or the Acts.

2. The claims of the Antiochian text to represent the apostolic original are rejected mainly because no clear evidence can be found for it earlier than the fourth century. It is acknowledged by all that the various forms of the 'Western' text were widely spread in the second and third centuries. But where was the 'Neutral' text transmitted ?

1 The latest serious defender of the conflate readings of the Antiochian text is W. Bousset (Texte und Untersuchungen, 11:4:97-102) ; but the emphatic rejection of these readings by Ss has made the refutation of his argument superfluous.

2 See Bousset, TU 11:4:45+; J. R. Harris, Stichometry, 71-89 ; J. A. Robinson, Euthaliana, 36-43.

Hort's answer is unambiguous. 'The Western licence did not prevail everywhere, and MSS unaffected by its results were still copied. The perpetuation of the purer text may in great measure be laid to the credit of the watchful scholars of Alexandria ; its best representatives among the versions are the Egyptian, and especially that of Lower Egypt ; and the quotations which follow it are most abundant in Clement, Origen (Dionysius, Peter), Didymus, and the younger Cyril, all Alexandrians' (Westcott and Hort, smaller ed. 550).

It must, however, be noted that the testimony of our Alexandrian and Egyptian witnesses becomes more and more Western the earlier they are. Of the three great Alexandrian fathers, Origen is more 'Western' than Cyril, Clement is more 'Western' than Origen. 1 Recent criticism has dealt similarly with the evidence of the Egyptian versions. The old arguments for the comparative antiquity of the Sahidic version remain, and new discoveries of ancient fragments of that version and its immediate kindred are made year by year. But in the Sahidic 'the Western influence is often peculiarly well marked'. 2 The Bohairic, on the other hand, is thoroughly non-Western ; but Guidi has shown that this version in its present form, so far from being a product of the third century, is almost certainly not earlier than the sixth. The very existence of a specifically Bohairic literature before the sixth century is extremely doubtful (see section 34).

Yet with all deductions it remains true that the 'Neutral' text receives a larger measure of general support even from the Sahidic version than from the early Latin or Syriac texts. In other words, a predominantly non-Western text was current in Egypt from about Origen's time onwards. We are, moreover, placed in a peculiarly favourable position for studying this type of text owing to the fortunate accident that the Antiochian revision never found favour in Egypt. Until long after the Arab conquest the text found in Egyptian documents, both Greek and Coptic, continued on the whole to be that which Hort has called 'Alexandrian'. This text, though far purer than the Antiochian, is equally with it an artificial eclectic revision; its survival at Alexandria, alone among Greek-speakingcommunities, was no doubt connected with the growth of Egyptian Monophysitism. 3

1 Ibid. 549. The Gospel quotations of Clement of Alexandria have been carefully edited by P. H. Barnard (Texts and Studies, 5:5, 1899).

2 Hort, 550.

3 The form in which the alternative ending to Mk. is exhibited by the 'Alexandrian' text is a good illustration of its highly artificial character. The genuine text of that Gospel breaks off in the middle of a clause at Mk. 16:8 with the words e^oftovvTO yip [ephobounto gar] ... ('for they feared . . . .'); but an ancient text, now represented by the Latin Codex Bobiensis (k), added the following sentence:

'But all that they had been commanded they showed forth in few words to those that were with Peter. Arid after these things Jesus himself also appeared, and from the East even unto the West sent forth by them the holy and incorruptible preaching of eternal salvation. Amen'.

The absence of quotations from Mk. 16:19-20 in Tertullian and Cyprian makes it highly probable that k here, as elsewhere, faithfully reproduces the text of the Gospels current at Carthage up to the middle of the third century. This shorter conclusion evidently presupposes a text which ended at 16:8 as in BX [aleph] and Ss

Most documents of course add to 16:8 the so-called 'last twelve verses of S. Mark', forming vv. 9-20. It is the characteristic of the Alexandrian recension that it gives both conclusions, the longer one being linked to the shorter by a critical note. This composite ending is still extant in five Greek MSS, in some Aethiopic MSS, and in the margins of the Harclean Syriac and of the best MS of the Bohairic, accompanied in most cases by the critical note (see Amelineau, Not. et Extr. 34:2, and the descriptions of * [psi] [Gregory 445], and of -| [dalet] 12 [Gregory 1308], and see also J. R. Harris, appendix to Mrs. Lewis's Cat. of Syriac MSS at Mt. Sinai, 103-104).

3. The 'Western' text, as a whole, has hitherto found few defenders. This is partly due to 'an imperfect apprehension of the antiquity and extension of the Western text as revealed by patristic quotations and by versions' (Hort 170). Hort, whose general estimate of Western readings is no more favourable than that of his predecessors, groups Western characteristics under the three heads of Paraphrase, Interpolation, and Assimilation (Hort 173-175). Notwithstanding this unfavourable verdict, 'Western' documents not unfrequently form the bulk of the attestation for the readings adopted by him. 1 The fact is that the expression 'the Western text' is a misnomer. The Western documents do not present a single recension, like the Antiochian text, or even a body of aberrant readings ; they rather represent the unrevised and progressively deteriorated state of the text throughout the Christian world in the ante-Nicene age. 'Western' readings are accordingly of various types, ranging from the uncorrupted original to the most extreme forms of interpolation and paraphrase. It was a perception of this fact that led Hug as early as 1808 to speak of what is usually called 'the Western text' by the name of KOIVTJ [koine ekdosis]

Much of the bad repute of 'Western' texts comes from the almost universal practice of treating Codex Bezae (D) as their leading representative. But this famous MS, though it contains very ancient elements, is far from being a pure representative of any ancient strain of text. A more just view would be gained by taking, on the one hand, the Latin fragments called Cod. Bobiensis (k) as the best type of the texts early current in the West, and, on the other, the Sinai palimpsest (Ss) as the best type of the texts early current in the East. Both these documents would be reckoned as Western according to the ordinary view ; but it has not yet been proved that they have any common origin later than the archetype of all our extant authorities.

The discovery of the Sinai palimpsest has materially altered our conceptions of the early 'Western' text, One of the chief characteristics formerly assigned to that text was a tendency to admit interpolation; and the presence in the leading 'Western' authorities of a series of interpolations, which must have come from non-canonical sources, seemed to make it obvious that all 'Western' documents were derived from an interpolated copy of the Gospels later than the archetype of BX and their allies. 2 But though the Sinai palimpsest has a thoroughly non-Alexandrian text, not one of these interpolations is found in it. It was the presence of clear errors in all Western documents known to the earlier critics which made them think of a Western recension or edition ; every fresh discovery, therefore, of documents funda mentally Western, but nevertheless free from these errors, makes the theory of a single Western recension less and less probable.

1 Notable instances are Mt. 6:33 [(B)X[aleph]], 7:13 [X[aleph]*], 1835 [BXb min. 2 Orig.], 16:20 [B* codd. ap. Orig.]. The square brackets contain the 'non-Western' attestation of the text of Westcott and Hort. Thus before the discovery of X[aleph] the true text of Mt. 6:33, 7:13 was known from Western documents alone.

2 There are about twenty of these 'Western' interpolations in the Gospels. The chief of them are: Mt. 3:15 (the light at the baptism); Mt. 16:2b-3 ('the face of the sky'); Mt. 20:28 ('seek from little to increase') ; Mk. 16:3 (the angelic host at the resurrection) ; Lk. 6:4 (the man working on the Sabbath) ; Lk. 9:54-55 ('Ye know not what spirit ye are of'); Lk. 22:43-44 (the bloody sweat); Lk. 23:34a ('Father, forgive them'); Jn. 5:4 (the angel at the pool); Jn. 7:53-8:11 (the woman taken in adultery). All these are absent from Ss as well as from BX[aleph], but they appear to belong to the earliest Latin texts. The longer conclusion to the Second Gospel ([Mk.] 16:9-20) is absent from k in addition to BX[aleph] Ss, so that this passage forms no part also of the earliest non-Alexandrian text.

4. One of the arguments employed by Hort in favour of the genuineness of the 'Neutral' text is the intrinsic excellence of the groups containing B, the chief 'Neutral' document. This line of argument is of course quite independent of theories connected with the spread of the Western or of any other ancient text. It is somewhat open, however, to the charge of subjectivity, and the very fact that not all the readings adopted by Hort have found universal favour, proves that the evidence of groups might have been interpreted differently. Salmon (Some Thoughts on the Textual Criticism of the NT, 1897) calls the term 'Neutral' a 'question-begging name' (p. 49), and adds with great truth, if we want a more precise answer to the question what Hort means by "Alexandrian", we shall not be far wrong in saying, those readings which are Alexandrian in their origin and are not recognised by Codex B (p. 51). Yet there is no doubt that the text of B in the Gospels is, generally speaking, an excellent one. Of this there can be no stronger proof than the support it frequently gives to early readings, which, but for the witness of B, would have been dubbed with the fatal epithet of 'Western'. 1 The habitual associates of B are of quite a different character ; so frequently indeed does it agree with such 'Alexandrian' documents as TL and the Egyptian versions, that it has actually been maintained that the Gospel text of B is a transcript of the Egyptian recension of Hesychius (Bousset, TU 11:4:92). But the occasional, yet unmistakable, support which B affords to the Western against the specifically 'Alexandrian' readings is inconsistent with this view. 2

11. Conclusion.[edit]

To sum up, Hort's text of the Gospels is less affected by recent discoveries than his criticism of the documents. As was pointed out above, the readings of BX[aleph] the authorities on which Hort chiefly relied, are often supported by the most ancient form of the Old Latin (k}, or by the most ancient form of the Old Syriac (Ss). These readings are almost always to be preferred, for they represent an agreement between the best 'Western' and the best 'non-Western' texts. 3 The crucial difficulty occurs where all the early 'Western' documents unite against BX, or BXL and the Bohairic. In other words, the question before the textual critic in the immediate future is, Are the oldest forms of the Old Latin and the Old Syriac independent? We may put the question in another form. Accepting Hort's nomenclature, and remembering that 'Western' documents such as k and Ss not unfrequently support B against the specifically Alexandrian text, what grounds have we for thinking that B, or even BX united, is entirely free from Alexandrian corrections? 4 In the portions of the Gospels where k and Ss are both extant, B has the support of one or other of them about four times out of five ; may not B be itself in the wrong in the remaining readings? How far, in fact, can we trust B whether supported by the other Greek MSS or not, in cases where its only attestation among the ancient versions is Egyptian?

The answers to these questions cannot positively be given until a complete analysis has been made of the extant Western variants to the text of BX. It is, however, in the direction here indicated - viz., the preservation of the true text in a considerable number of cases by 'Western' documents alone - that criticism mny ultimately be able to advance beyond the point reached by Hort.

1 E.g., in Lk. 10:1, 10:17, B has 'seventy-two' disciples with the best Latin and Syriac texts, not 'seventy'.

2 There is not the slightest likelihood that the non-Alexandrian readings in B have been introduced into the text of B's ancestors by irregular revision. The probability indeed is all the other way. The few indications afforded by the actual readings of the MS tend to show that 'Western' (or at any rate non-'Alexandrian') readings would have been corrected out, not introduced. The most striking instance is Mt. 27:16-17. In these verses the common text has Bapaj3/3<ii/ . . . Bapa/3/3ai> [barabban ... barabban], but an ancient text (now represented by some good minuscules, a scholion, and the Old Syriac) read I))(ToOi Bapa/3/3ai/ . . . \r\unvv TOV Bapa/S/Sai [iesoun barabban ... iesoun ton barabban]. Now B has Irja-ow [iesoun] in neither place ; but it inserts rbv [ton] before the second BapcgSjSay [barabban]. The obvious explanation is that an ancestor of B had the reading Jesus Barabbas, but the corrector who expunged the word \-r\aovv [iesoun] in both places omitted to delete the article in the second place. Other instances, some what similar, are Mt. 21:31 (ucrrepos [hysteros]) ; Mt. 23:26 (avroG [autou]) ; Lk. 19:37 (iravTiav [pantoon]) ; Jn. 8:57 (eopaices [eorakes]). In such places the 'neutrality' of B is the neutrality of compromise.

3 A striking instance is afforded by the readings connected with the double cock-crowing in Mk. 14. The text adopted by Hort was that of B, a Greek lectionary, and the Bohairic. It is now found also in Syr.sin. The fact that Syr.sin. here agrees with B is a strong confirmation of the correctness of Hort's judgment; at the same time it removes the whole set of variations from the category of places where the true text is preserved in non-Western documents alone.

4 The definite issue is raised, for instance, in Mk. 6:20, where BXL Boh. read TJn-dpei [eporei] for en-oifi [epoiei]. En-oiet [epoiei] (with slight variations) is found in all other documents, including Lat.vt and Syr.vt. If ^jropei [eporei] be not original, it looks more like an ingenious conjecture than a palaeographical blunder.

12. Illustrative texts.[edit]

We may add a few illustrations of passages where the text adopted by WH can be certainly or probably amended.

i. Mt. 68 'your Father knoweth what things ye have need of' irpb rov t)/u.as airijirai avrov [pro tou hymas aitesai auton]. For airr/vat avr6v [aitesai auton] we find dfot^at rb aro/ota [anoixai to atoma] in D h. {1} This picturesque locution has been adopted by Blass and by Nestle (Hastings DB 739a); the slenderness of the attestation may be explained by the desire of avoiding what seemed an undignified expression. All Syriac VSS. support the common text ; but it is worth noticing that in Mt. 5:2 Ss reads 'and he began to say to them' instead of 'and he opened his mouth and taught them, saying. . .'

A somewhat similar variant is to be found in Mt. 7:23, where for o/uoXcry^crw [homologesoo] we find o/uocrw [homosoo] attested by b q vg. codd. pp.lat (incl. de Rebaptismate, 7): Justin Martyr 262, with the African Latin (k [Cyp] also [a] g) and Sc (hiat Ss), have epu [epoo] -i.e. , their text has been assimilated to Lk. 13:27.

ii. Mt. 11:5 KOLL TTTwxol t ayyf\iovTa.i [kai ptoochoi euaggelizontai] omitted by k Ss Diat. vid (i.e., Moes. 100).

These words belong to the genuine text of Lk. 7:22 and are in accordance with Lk.'s accustomed diction. In Mt., on the other hand, the word evayye\ifff6ai [euaggelizontai] never occurs again : if the phrase omitted by k and S be retained, we must almost assume that Mt. is here directly borrowing from Lk. Omit the phrase, and the linguistic difficulty is removed; Mt. gives the actual words of Jesus, whilst Lk.'s addition 'the poor are evangelised' is an early (and correct) interpretation of them. Similarly vo/j.ii<6s [nomikos] in Mt. 22:35 is alien to the diction of the First Gospel and comes from Lk. 10:25: the word is rightly omitted from Mt. by 1-118-209 e Ss Arm Origen lat.

Harmonistic additions are among the most frequent and misleading corruptions of the text, as Jerome was the first to see: 'dum eundem sensum alius aliter expressit, ille que unum e quattuor primum legerat, ad eius exemplum ceteros quoque aestimauerit emendandos' (Ep. ad Damasum}. Other passages where the discovery of Ss has helped to remove additions of this kind are Mt. 21:44 (taken from Lk. 20:18); Lk. 11:33 oiW virb rbv /j.6SLov [oude hypo ton modion] (Mt. 5:15); Jn. 12:8 'For the poor ye have always with you, but me ye have not always' (taken from Mk. 14:7, Mt. 26:11, but omitted in Jn. by D Ss).

iii. Mt. 25:1 'went forth to meet the bridegroom and the bride [last three words italicised]' D 1*-209 124* Latt Syrr (incl. Ss) Arm. This addition is certainly genuine, and in accordance with Oriental custom. The bridegroom goes with his friends to bring away the bride from her father's home; no one is left at the bridegrooms house but a few 'virgins' (i.e., maidservants) to keep watch. In the parable these maidservants represent the church (as in Lk. 12:36), whilst the arrival of the wedding procession with the bridegroom and his bride represents the coming of Christ. Christ is here the bridegroom and the bride; the waiting servants are the church. But the more familiar image was the comparison of Christ to the bridegroom, the church to the bride ; when the Bride had become the stock metaphor for the church, the careless editor had a strong temptation to leave it out in the parable where it does not mean the church.

1 I.e., cod. Claromontanus of the 6th century. D has the itacism ANOlIe- [anoixe]

iv. Mt. 8:32 Kal Trapprjfflq. rbv \oyov i AdXet [kai parresia ton logon elalei]. These words come after the first announcement of the Passion, without variation in Greek MSS. As they stand they are a remark of the evangelist, to which there is nothing corresponding in the parallel passages Mt. 16:21, Lk. 9:22 : either the remark was considered too uninteresting to repeat, or it originally contained something which later writers might regard as unsuitable. For vv. 31-32, Ss Diat{ar} and k have 'the Son of Man must suffer many things . . . and after the third day rise and openly speak the word' - i.e. , they read \a\elv [lalein] or K\a\tif [eklalein] instead of e XdXei [elalei], thereby making the clause part of Jesus' word to the disciples. The central thought, therefore, of the prediction is not the physical miracle but the general victory of the Gospel after the great struggle (cp Hos. 6:2-3). That Jesus did not preach 'openly' after the Resurrection was a reason why the clause should be omitted by Mt. and Lk. , and at a later period should be altered in Mk. ; but the agreement here of our earliest eastern and western texts enables us to restore the original form with confidence.

v. The restoration of the true texts of Acts is a more difficult matter than that of the Gospels owing to the comparative poverty of the evidence. We need especially something corresponding to the 'Old Syriac', by the aid of which we might separate really ancient readings in the Old Latin and in D from those western variants that never had anything beyond a local circulation. Several of the proper names are undoubtedly corrupt. E.g. , lovdaiav [ioudaian] Acts 2:9 is impossible, for Judaea is quite out of place between Mesopotamia and Cappadocia. The African Latin (Tert. adv. Jud. 7, Aug. c. Fund.} substituted Armeniam ; but this is palaeographically unlikely : possibly Lk. wrote TOpAyAiAN [gorduaian] - i.e., Gordyaea, now Kurdistan,

vi. In Acts 4:6 Iwdvvris [iooannes] is a mistake for luvdOas [ioonathas], the true name being preserved only in D, in Berger's Perpignan MS and (as E. Nestle points out) in Lagarde's OS 69:18 : on the other hand the Fleury palimpsest (h) is said to have [Io]hannes, and we may conjecture from the Doctrine of Addai 11:23 that the Old Syriac attested Onias.

vii. In Acts 13:8 the present writer has a strong suspicion that the mysterious name EXi/ios [elymas], for which erot/xos [etoimos] is read or inferred in several Western documents, is a corruption of 6 Xot/xos [o loimos], 'the pestilent fellow' (cp Acts 24:5).

But conjectures of this kind stand on quite a different footing from those restorations of the text which are based on a consenus of the most ancient evidence. If we are to feel any confidence that this or that phrase or variant is the actual word of the original writer, it must be because we can really trace back the phrase in question to the earliest times, not because it happens to have commended itself to some critic of the ancient or modern world.

In addition to Hort's Introduction (above, 7), the following works on NT textual criticism may be recommended. E. Nestle, Introd. to the Textual Criticism of the Greek NT (Theological Translation Library, vol. 13), 1901, F. G. Kenyon, Handbook to the Textual Criticism of the NT, 1901. K. Lake, The Text of the NT (elementary), 1900. G. Salmon, Some Thoughts on the Textual Criticism of the NT, 1897. C. R. Gregory, Textkritik des NT, vol. 1, 1900: this will be a separate edition of the Prolegomena to 'Tischendorf' brought up to date. A new and important work on textual criticism is announced (1902) by H. von Soden.

1 Texts and Studies, 1:2:114.

B. VERSIONS[edit]

I. LATIN[edit]
13. First traces.[edit]

Latin versions of the scriptures can be traced back into the second century. The Scillitan martyrs at Carthage in the year 180 A. D. had in their case of rolls, 'epistles of Paul the just man'. 1 What type of text these MSS may have contained it is of course impossible directly to determine ; but the occasional references of Tertullian (e.g. , adv. Prax. 5) to the translation then in common use are not inconsistent with the belief that it was of the same general type as that found in the many biblical quotations of Cyprian.

To Cyprian, according to the judgment of the latest investigator of his style, 1 the Latin version seemed 'clumsily executed and quite modern'; but he quotes it continually with remarkable accuracy, and never seems to question the correctness of the renderings. The natural inference is that Cyprian in the middle of the third century found a definite Latin text established as an authoritative standard in Cartilage.

We are able to carry back the history one stage farther. The quotations of Novatian, Cyprian's Roman contemporary, give us the text current in Rome, just as Cyprian s quotations give us the text current in Carthage. To them we may add the few verses quoted by the Roman presbyters Moyses and Maximus in their letter to Cyprian (ap. Cypr. Ep. 31, 4). These quotations present marked differences from the Cyprianic text, as well as marked agreements with it ; we are, therefore, justified in assuming for both the Carthaginian and the Roman types a common origin, which at the same time must have been sufficiently remote to allow for the development of the characteristic differences between the two texts.

14. Their origin.[edit]

No tradition of the origin or literary history of the Latin versions seems to have been known even to Augustine or Jerome; it remains an open question whether the first translation was made in Roman Africa, in Italy, or in Gaul. What is certain is that by the middle of the fourth century, Latin biblical MSS exhibited a most confusing variety of text, caused at least in part by revision from later Greek MSS as well as by modifications of the Latin phraseology. This confusion lasted until all the 'Old Latin (or ante-Hieronymian) texts were supplanted by the revised version of Jerome (383-400 A.D. ), which was undertaken at the request of Pope Damasus and ultimately became the Vulgate of the Western church.

We are thus driven back on evidence other than tradition to classify our MSS - to find, if possible, the local texts which they respectively represent. This classification is the more necessary as the primary importance of the Old Latin versions lies in their age. The 'Old Latin' may go back to the second century; but before any particular Old Latin reading can be safely treated as second-century evidence we require at least prima facie proof that the document in which it occurs has a text which has largely escaped revision from later Greek MSS.

15. Classification.[edit]

In classifying our Old Latin authorities each group of books must be treated separately. As a matter of fact, the different groups have had different literary fates. In the Gospels, the Psalms, and Isaiah, we find a maze of aberrant texts; on the other hand, the book of Wisdom seems never to have undergone a thorough revision in later times, and the text of Cyprian's citations here hardly differs from the printed Vulgate.

The necessary starting-point is supplied by the biblical quotations in the Latin Fathers. Some of the evidence, however, derived from this source must be used with great caution.

i. It is rarely possible to take the many scriptural allusions in Tertullian's works as literal representations of the biblical text current in Carthage in his day. They are, in fact, so unlike any surviving type of the Latin versions that it is maintained by Zahn 2 and others that the Bible had not been translated into Latin in Tertullian's time. Even those, however, who place the origin of the Latin Bible earlier than Tertullian admit that he often translates directly from the Greek. A clear instance of this is de Came Christi 20, where Mt. 1:16 is quoted in agreement with the ordinary Greek reading against the combined testimony of all the older Latin texts.

ii. A great uncertainty hangs over the age of the Latin translation of Irenaeus's work against Heresies. If it be contemporary with the author it becomes a primary witness for the Gallican text. Some, however, including Hort, have placed it in the fourth century, and this is undoubtedly the safer view.

iii. One of our chief authorities, the Testimonia of Cyprian (a series of proof-texts from Scripture), was so popular in the Latin church that certain later writers quote from it instead of using the Bible directly. In so far as this is done these writers cease to be independent witnesses. This applies to Firmicus Maternus, Commodian, Lactantius, and in part to Lucifer and Zeno.

1 E. W. Watson in Studio. Biblica, 4:195.

2 Gesch. d. NT Kanons, 1:51-60.

16. The Gospels.[edit]

Fragments at least of eighteen MSS of the Old Latin Gospels are still extant. Of these only one - the Latin of Codex Bezae (d) is a bilingual. Five of these MSS - viz. codd. Vercellensis (a), Veronensis (b), Palatinus (e), Sangallensis (n), Bobiensis (k), as well as d itself, are of the fourth or the fifth century, having therefore been transcribed at a time when the Old Latin was in full church use.

Hort was the first to point out the close connection of the texts of k and e with the many and accurate quotations of Cyprian (died 258). Of these two MSS k is more faithful to the Cyprianic standard than e ; but both are quite on a different plane from the rest of the Latin MSS. We may therefore take the text of k and e as representing the form in which the Gospels were read at Carthage in the middle of the third century before the Decian persecution. The only other non-Patristic authorities which show a distinctive African (i.e., Cyprianic) character are the contemporary corrections in the text of (esp. in Lk. and Mk. ), corrections which must have been made from a MS very like e, and isolated sections (e.g. , the last chapters of Lk.) in the late MS c (Colbertinus).

The character of the 'African Latin' differs much from other Old Latin texts both in language and in the underlying Greek text. 1 But one fact stands out above all others - its unlikeness to the eclectic texts of the fourth century, both Greek and Latin.

For the most part the interpolations of this, the oldest continuous Latin text of the Gospels that has come down to us, are to a large extent not the interpolations of the eclectic texts, and its omissions are not their omissions; moreover its renderings are not the renderings of the later revised Latin texts such as the Vulgate and its immediate predecessors. All this tends to show that the African text of the third century had to a large extent escaped revision from Greek sources; in other words, that the Greek text implied by k and its companions is that which underlies the original translation.

The remaining Old Latin MSS, including the Latin of Cod. Bezae, may be classed as 'European', since they agree with the European Fathers against the peculiar African renderings. The origin of this type of text is still obscure. The MSS group themselves round the two great codices a and b. Of these b occupies a central position, the other MSS differing from one another more than they differ from it. At the same time it may be doubted whether a does not represent an earlier stage of the European text, as the quotations of Novatian (the Roman contemporary of Cyprian) predominantly favour a against b, so far, that is, as the 'European' type is developed in them. This is especially the case in Jn. , where the a text is also supported by Lucifer of Cagliari. On this view 'African' readings found in a are relics of the earlier form of the 'European' text. On the other hand b is the oldest representative of that stage of the European text from which most of the later forms of the Old Latin, and finally the Vulgate, are descended.

1 See especially Sanday s essay on the text of k in Old Latin Biblical Texts, vol. ii.

Some of the later Latin texts have been partially conformed to the Antiochian Greek text. The most prominent surviving example is Cod. Brixianus (f), a Gospel MS of the sixth century. It has been conjectured that MSS of this type were referred to by Augustine under the term Itala and that they formed the basis of Jerome's revision. But it is much more probable that Augustine's Itala means the Vulgate ; see below (section 59). The peculiar element of f is derived from the codices of the Gothic version brought into N. Italy by the Lombards and perhaps by previous northern invaders during the fifth and the sixth century, whilst the agreement of f and the Vulgate (which in parts is very marked) is most likely due to the intrusion of Vulgate readings into the text of f. 1

Many 'Antiochian' readings are found in the Vulgate, as is only natural in a revision undertaken by the aid of Greek MSS at the end of the fourth century. Some noteworthy agreements of the Vulgate with the Greek MSS X [aleph] and B are also found, especially in the Acts : this points to a use of the great library at Caesarea. Jerome gave special heed to the elimination of harmonistic corruptions and to correcting the rendering of important doctrinal expressions. A well-known instance of the latter is the introduction of supersubstantialem into the Lord s Prayer in Mt. instead of cotidianum, to render tiriouo-iof [epiousion]. Quite as characteristic is mundus for 6 Koo^of [o kosmos] in Jn., hie mundus being reserved for o Kocr/xo? of ros [o kosmos outos].2

17. Pauline epistles.[edit]

The African text of the Pauline epistles is imperfectly preserved. The version used by Cyprian is not represented in any known MS, though some of its peculiar renderings reappear in the not so inconsiderable quotations of Tyconius (flor. 380). Entirely distinct from these, and representing a different Greek original, is the text of Gal. 5:19+ as quoted by Nemesianus of Thubunoe at the Council of Carthage (256 A.D. ), a text which has points of contact with Tertullian (cp de Pudic. 17). 3

Among European texts the Latin of cod. Claromontanus (D2 d2) holds a high place. The twin texts of bilingual MSS are always open to the suspicion of having been greatly assimilated one to another. In the case of d2, however, the genuine Old Latin character of the text is vindicated by its frequent agreement with the quotations of Lucifer of Cagliari (f. 370). The curious interlinear Latin version of Cod. Boernerianus (G3 g3) is not predominantly supported by any Latin writer, and perhaps ought not to be reckoned among continuous Old Latin authorities. The revised text used by Augustine in this part of the NT is represented by fragments of two MSS formerly at Freising, now at Munich (r, r2).

In the Vulgate itself comparatively few changes appear to have been made by Jerome in the Pauline Epistles, so that it may almost be reckoned among the late Old Latin texts. On the other hand the Gothic-Latin MS usually quoted as gue has very little independent value, as the Latin has been assimilated to the parallel Gothic text.

The Epistle to the Hebrews was absent from the original form of the Latin canon, and it is not quoted by Cyprian or Tyconius, nor apparently by Irenaeus. Tertullian quotes it once (de Pudic, 20), but not as scripture; as in the other parts of the NT the version he uses does not agree with any other Latin authority. It is, therefore, of interest to observe that the text of Hebrews in d2 stands on the same footing with that of the rest of the epistles, the agreement with Lucifer being there as clearly marked as elsewhere, although in the MS itself the epistle forms a sort of appendix at the end. The epistle also occurs in the Freising MS, with the text of which the quotations of Augustine agree.

1 F. C. Burkitt, Journ. of Theol, Studies, 1:129-134 : Fr. Kauffmann's Beitrage zur Quellenkritik der gotischen Bibel-ubersetzung 5, in Ztsch.f. deutsche Philologie, 32:305-335.

2 In Jn. 10:16 the Vulgate, against all Greek MSS, substitutes unum ouile ('one fold') for the Old Latin unus grex ('one flock'), and from the Vulgate was derived the familiar rendering of the authorised version. The Vulgate rendering of this verse has been used by Wordsworth and White in support of their view that Jerome used Greek MSS of a type of text now lost. See, however, J. H. Bernard in Hermathena, 11:335-342.

3 For Nemesianus see C. H. Turner in Journ. of Theol. Studies, 2:602+.

18. Acts.[edit]

The Western text of Acts is found in nearly all Old Latin authorities (see n. 3); in attempting therefore to trace their mutual connection we must chiefly be guided by the style of the Latin renderings. The mere presence of Western glosses in a Latin source, such as Augustine, tells us little of his relation, e.g. , to the Latin of Cod. Bezae.

The most important quotations are found in Irenaeus, Tertullian, Cyprian, Augustine, Lucifer of Cagliari, and the anonymous African tract de Rebaptismate (usually bound up with Cyprian). Of MSS we have besides the Latin of the bilinguals Cod. Bezae (d) and Cod. Laudianus (e2), large fragments of an African text in the sixth-century palimpsest Cod. Floriacensis (h}, a complete European text in Cod. Gigas Holmensis (g), and 1-136 2816-end in a (?) Spanish text published by Berger from a MS once at Perpignan (p). There are also fragments of a late European text in a fifth-century palimpsest at Vienna (s), now published by H. J. White. The 'Acta' of Augustine's dispute with Felix the Manichee at Hippo in 404 A.D. should almost be counted among the MSS, for in them Augustine reads from a codex the continuous text of Acts 1-2:11 (see below, section 21).

The most primitive form represented by these MSS is that found in h, the text of which is almost exactly that of Cyprian and also of Augustine. That the text contained in g is ancient, although the MS is only of the thirteenth century, is proved by its close agreement with the quotations of Lucifer, where it agrees with as well as where it differs from the Vulgate.

This type of text is also found in a Milan lectionary (g>fo con taining the story of Stephen, and to some extent in s , it reappears, strange to say, in the non-Vulgate portions of the 'Liber Comicum', a Visigothic lectionary published by Morin. The text of p differs greatly from g, and seems to have most affinity with the very scanty extracts in the Speculum (m) which run parallel to it. The not unfrequent agreements of p with e2 seem rather to be due to the fact that each is a very literal version of the Greek than to real kinship of text. The Latin columns of the two bilinguals d and p, as we might almost expect, agree closely with no ancient Latin text. 1 The renderings found in the quotations of Tertullian and the Latin translation of Irenaeus here as in other parts of the Bible do not agree consistently with any other authority.

With regard to the underlying Greek, Irenaeus and the Africans together with the Perpignan MS all go back to a Greek text such as that of Codex Bezae, but comparatively seldom afford any real support to the eccentricities of its Latin side. It is probable that the 'Western' element of E2 (Laudianus) is ultimately of Latin origin. 2 This, however, but rarely gives an independent value to the Latin side of the existing MS, except where E2 stands alone among Greek authorities. Whatever the history of the ancestors of Cod. Laudianus may have been, in our MS the Greek and the Latin are almost completely equated to each other. The pages indeed have quite the appearance of a glossary.

In the later European text represented by g and Lucifer the 'Western' glosses have been to some extent corrected out. This is true still more of the Vulgate, which in Acts not unfrequently follows the Greek text approved by modern critical editors.

A very remarkable type - a third-century African text as far as regards renderings, but without the Western glosses - is found in the anonymous tract de Rebaptismate.

It reflects in fact the isolated position of the writer, who, although a contemporary of Cyprian, differed from the majority of the Africans in the biblical text he used, as he differed from them on the question of the Rebaptism of heretics. 3 The literary history of Acts in Latin can never be regarded as definitely settled until the appearance of this curious text is sufficiently accounted for.

1 This contrasts strongly with the perfect agreement between e2 and Beda, who actually used the Cod. Laudianus itself.

2 Blass, Acta Apl. p. 28-29

3 The phraseology of the quotations in the de Rebaptismate is almost always that of the Cyprianic Bible. The work is a letter apparently addressed to Cyprian himself ( 4, 10). It is possible that it was not originally composed in Latin, and that we possess only the Latin translation, as in the parallel case of Firmilian's letter to Cyprian (ap. Cypr. Ep. 75). This would account both for the African phrases and for the non-African text. It is worth noticing that the de Rebaptismate contains a clear allusion to Mk. 16:14 ( 9, end : non crediderunt, nisi postmodumab ipso Domino omnibus modis fuissent obiurgati atque increpati).

19. Catholic epistles.[edit]

The full collection of seven Catholic epistles which usually follows Acts in Greek MSS was not included in the Latin canon until the fourth century. Only 1 Pet and 1 Jn. with Jude had hitherto been universally received, although 2 Jn. is also quoted by some early Fathers.

The extant Old Latin authorities for this division of the NT are as follows:

  • (i.) Of the Old African version no MS is known ; but we have the quotations of Cyprian from 1 Pet. (called ad Ponticos, as in Tertullian) and 1 Jn. With these, on the whole, agree the quotations of Tyconius. A verse from 2 Jn. is quoted by one of

the Bishops at the Council of Carthage,

  • (ii.) A later African revision, including all the seven epistles is found in Augustine. Of this revision we have two MSS, A at Paris (fragments of 1 and 2 Pet. , 1 Jn. ) and q at Munich (a large fragment of 1 Jn.). h is the same Cod. Floriacensis as in Acts, but in the Cath. Epp. the text is not Cyprianic, but late African. A peculiar recension is found in the pseudo-Augustinian Speculum (m), in which the extracts from Jas. agree very closely with the quotations of the Spanish heretic Priscillian. This late Spanish type of text is noteworthy as the original source of the famous gloss of the Three

Heavenly Witnesses in 1 Jn. 5:7.

  • (iii. ) Among European texts we have the extensive quotations of Lucifer, including more than half of Jude ; fragments of Jas. and 1 Pet. are also found in s (see 18). Of Jas. a complete text is extant in a non-biblical MS formerly at Corbey, now at St. Petersburg (ff). This translation appears to be as old as the early part of the fourth century, and is apparently used by Chromatius of Aquileia. A fragment of 3 Jn. is found in Cod. Bezae, immediately before Acts ; but it must remain a matter of conjecture what other books that MS once contained between the Gospels and Acts. 1
20. Apocalypse.[edit]

The Apocalypse from the first formed part of the Latin NT, and in Africa the ecclesiastical version of it does not seem to have suffered revision in the fourth century as was the case with the rest of the NT, except Acts. Hence it comes to pass that the 'late African' text of the Apocalypse, as given almost in full in the Commentary of Primasius, bishop of Hadrumetum in the sixth century, differs but little from the Cyprianic text. The same text is also found in the fragments of Cod. h (see above, section 18-19). A somewhat different type appears in the Commentary of Tyconius, large fragments of which are preserved in Primasius, in Beatus the Spaniard, and in other sources. Beside these a late European text is extant in g (see above, 18) ; but Lucifer avoids quoting the Apocalypse altogether. A third type of text seems to underly the Vulgate, which has affinities both with g and with the African text.

1 The vacant space would suggest that the missing books are the Apocalypse, and all three Johannine epp. , making up with the Fourth Gospel the complete Instrumentum Iohannis (Tert. de Res. Carnis, 38).

21. History of the Vulgate.[edit]

In certain circles some parts of Jerome's revised translation were received immediately into Church use. This, for instance, was the case at Hippo. Augustine, whilst writing to Jerome in 403 A.D., to deprecate his great changes in the OT, nevertheless says : 'Proinde non paruas Deo gratias agimus de opere tuo quod Euangelium ex Graeco interpretatus es, quia paene in omnibus nulla offensio est'. This limitation of his praise to the Gospel is confirmed by the story of the trial of Felix the Manichee in the following year (see above, 18). At the trial Augustine had occasion to read from the XT the story of the descent of the Spirit. Accordingly there was handed to him first a Codex of the Gospels, from which he read Lk. 24:36-49 in the Vulgate text; then being given a Codex of Acts, he read out Acts 1:1-2:11 in a very pure African Old Latin text. The fact that the text of Acts as here given is quite unmixed with Vulgate readings shows that our MSS of 'Aug. contra Felicem' have suffered no wholesale corruption ; we cannot therefore but conclude that by 404 A. D. the Gospels were read at Hippo from the Vulgate, whilst in other books of the Bible, such as Acts, the unrevised Old Latin was still publicly used.

In some parts of the Western Empire the old versions were long retained in ecclesiastical use, especially in Gaul and N. Italy. This resulted in the formation of mixed texts, sometimes by the insertion of familiar Old Latin phrases into Vulgate MSS, but more often by the imperfect correction of the codices of the old versions to the Vulgate standard. These principles were in action in all parts of the Latin church ; but they produced somewhat different types of text owing to the different epochs at which the Vulgate text, as current in Rome and S. Italy generally, was brought in among the various nationalities.

Some of the most interesting texts of the Vulgate come from the British Isles. Both Great Britain and Ireland had received the Bible before the victory of Jerome's revision; but the coming of the heathen English almost entirely destroyed Christianity in what is now England. The mission of Augustine brought the Vulgate with it, and the careful English scholars of Northumbria looked to Rome and S. Italy for patterns of text, rather than to north-western Europe. A product of the Northumbrian school is the Codex Amiatinus, now at Florence, the leading MS of the Vulgate both in the Old and in the New Testament. This great book appears to have been copied from a Neapolitan text ; it was written at Jarrow or Wearmouth a little before 716 A.D. and was brought to Italy as a present to the Pope by the Abbot Ceolfrid.

The Irish, until after the time of Columba, adhered to the Old Latin ; one fairly pure Irish Old Latin text of the Gospels survives in Cod. Usserianus (Y [upsilon]). From about the year 700, however, the Roman tonsure and the Roman text began to make way among the Irish also, and this resulted in the prevalence of a mixed type of MSS of which the Book of Kells and the Book of Armagh are noteworthy examples. A similar type of text is found also in MSS written in Britain, representing the fusion of lona and Rome.

Simultaneous with the re-establishment of a Western Kmpire under Charlemagne came efforts for improvement of the Vulgate text. Hence arose the two great eclectic editions of the ninth century: that of Theodulf of Orleans, who aimed at collecting a large body of variants in the form of marginal notes ; and that of Alcuin of York, who at the express desire of the great Emperor constructed a standard text. Alcuin s revision was presented to Charlemagne on Christmas Day, 801 A.D., and although his text was soon corrupted in minor details his work marks a turning-point in the history of the Vulgate. 'Up to the middle of the ninth century . . . we find a distressing jumble of the best and the worst texts existing side by side, the ancient versions mixed with the Vulgate in inextricable confusion, and the books of the Bible following a different order in each MS. After Alcuin all is changed ; the singularities have been levelled, the text has become more equal and its character more tame. . . . From Alcuin's time onward the only Bible in use has been that of Jerome, and the ancient versions have disappeared' (Berger, Vulgate, p. 17). 1

1 The Vulgate was first printed at Mainz between 1452 and 1456 ('Mazarin Bible'). The authoritative edition used by the Roman Church was issued by Clement VIII. in 1592. A critical edition of the NT is being prepared by Bishop J. Wordsworth and the Rev. H. J. White, of which the volume containing the Gospels has already appeared (Oxford, 1889-98).

II. SYRIAC.[edit]

Almost everything that relates to the origin and early history of the Syriac versions is the subject of controversy. In he following account an attempt has been made to distinguish between what may be regarded as proved beyond reasonable doubt, and what must in our present state of knowledge remain only a probability. It will be necessary, in discussing the earlier forms of the Syriac versions, to take the various parts of the NT one by one, as in the case of the Old Latin. The later Syriac versions will be described subsequently by themselves.

22. Three early Syriac versions.[edit]

The Four Gospels - About the year 420 A.D. the Gospel was extant in Syriac in three forms, viz. -

  • (i.) The Peshitta, or Syriac Vulgate.
  • (ii.) Tatian's Diatessaron.
  • (iii.) The 'Evangelion da-Mepharreshe', or Old Syriac.

A clear idea of the nature of these three documents and their relation to one another is necessary for a right use of the Syriac versions in the criticism of the Gospels.

=23. Peshitta.=[edit]

(i.) The version of the NT which alone has been in ecclesiastical use in the Syriac church since the middle of the fifth century, is known by the name Peshitta (or Peshitto in the Jacobite system of pronunciation) - i.e. 'the simple'.

The name Peshitta was in use as early as the ninth or the tenth century ; it has been conjectured that it originally served to distinguish the Syriac Vulgate of the Old and New Testaments from the Hexaplaric version of the OT and the Harclean of the NT (see below, 30, 61), editions which were furnished with marginal variants and other critical apparatus.

The Peshitta is extant in many MSS, a few of which are as old as the fifth century. All of them, however, represent the same type of text as is found in the modern editions. It was first printed by Widmanstad (Vienna, 1555). The best edition of the Gospels is the Tetraeuangelium published by (the late) P. E. Pusey and G. H. Gwilliam (Oxford, 1901). A small American edition of the NT in the Nestorian character (New York, 1886, etc. ) gives an excellent text in a very handy form. Following the notation of Westcott and Hort, I shall speak of the Peshitta as Syriac Vulgate.

=24. Diatessaron.=[edit]

(ii.) The Diatessaron, a harmony of the Four Gospels composed by Tatian the pupil of Justin Martyr, at one time took the place of the separate Four Gospels in the public services of the Syriac-speaking church. But a vigorous effort to get rid of it was made by the bishops during the first half of the fifth century, and in consequence of this no copy of the Syriac Diatessaron is now known to survive.

Our main extant authority for the text of the Syriac Diatessaron is the Commentary of Ephraim {1} (f. 373). This work is no longer extant in Syriac, but is known to us through an Armenian translation. A few express quotations from the original work survive in some later Syriac commentaries on the Gospels, such as those of the Nestorian Isho'dad and the Jacobite Dionysius Barsalibi. A complete Arabic version of the Diatessaron, made early in the eleventh century, has been published by Ciasca from two MSS (Rome, 1888) ; this was not made from the Diatessaron as Ephraim knew it, but from a later edition in which the text had been almost wholly assimilated to the text of the Peshitta. 2 It is therefore nearly worthless for the study of the text of the Diatessaron, though valuable for determining the arrangement adopted by Tatian. 3 The Commentary of Ephraim is quoted by the pages of a Latin rendering of the Armenian, published in 1876 by G. Moesinger.

1 Ephraim is often spoken of as Ephrem Syrus, and as 'the Deacon of Edessa'. 1 The Syriac form of the name is A'frem.

2 It is worth notice that the textual history of the Diatessaron in the E. is largely paralleled by its history in the W., where it is extant in Cod. Fuldensis and its copies, the text being altogether assimilated to the Vulgate. But there are many indications that it had formerly existed with an Old Latin text. In other words, the text of the Diatessaron, so far as we are able to trace it, was always in process of being assimilated to the prevalent local text of the Four Gospels

3 English translation by J. Hamlyn Hill, The Earliest Life of Christ (T. & T. Clark, 1894), and (direct from the Arabic) by H. W. Hogg in Ante-Nicene Christian Library, add. vol. pp. 35-138 (T. & T. Clark, 1897).

4 Perhaps Gospel according to the Separated (Evangelists) is a nearer translation, the particle da being used for Kara [kata] in the Syriac titles of the Gospels.

=25. 'Old Syriac'.=[edit]

(iii. ) Another version of the Four Gospels, distinct from the Peshitta (or Syr. vg), was called Evangelion da-Mepharreshe - i.e. 'Gospel of the Separated (ones). 4 The name obviously contains a reference to the Diatessaron, which in contradistinction to it is also called in Syriac Evangelion da-Mehallete, 'Gospel of the Mixed'. The title 'Separated Gospels' would be equally applicable to the Four Gospels as read in the Peshitta, and indeed the Peshitta is probably intended in the passage where Evangelion da-Mepharreshe occurs in the canons of Rabbula. 1 On the other hand, the Sinaitic and the Nitrian MSS both call themselves by this name, and Barsalibi and Bar Bahlul the lexicographer expressly quote from the Evangelion da-Mepharreshe the reading Jesus Barabbas in Mt. 27:17, found in the Sinaitic MS. 2

Two codices of the Evangelion da-Mepharreshe are at present known to scholars, viz., the Sinai palimpsest (Ss), and the Nitrian MS used by Cureton (Sc). The Nitrian MS, now B.M. add. 14,451, came with the rest of the library of the Convent of S. Mary Deipara in 1842-7 to London, where its peculiar character was shortly afterwards recognised by Cureton, then keeper of the Oriental MSS. His edition of the MS appeared in 1858, 3 and from him the version came to be known as the 'Curetonian'. The Sinai palimpsest was discovered at the Convent of S. Catherine on Mount Sinai by Mrs. Lewis and Mrs. Gibson of Cambridge in 1892, and transcribed in the following year by the late R. L. Bensly, J. Rendel Harris, and the present writer.

Sc may be assigned to the middle of the fifth century. It contained the Gospels in the order Mt. Mk. Jn. Lk. ; but all that is now extant is Mt. 1:1-8:32, 10:32-23:25, Mk. 16:17-20, Jn. 1:1-42, 3:6-7, 3:37, 14:10-12, 14:16-18, 14:21-23, 14:26-29, Lk. 2:48-3:16, 7:33-16:12, 17:1-24:44, or less than half of the whole.

Ss is perhaps half a century older than Sc. It contained the Gospels in the usual order : Mt. Mk. Lk. Jn. ; only about 450 verses (i.e., about one eighth of the whole) are now altogether missing ; but many words and lines are illegible. Most of the gaps in Cureton s text can now in a measure be filled ; but for the history of the text the value of Ss lies less in those parts where it supplements Sc than in those where the two MSS run parallel. By a comparison of these portions we are able to gain some idea of the range of variation found in the codices of the Old Syriac.

=26. Relation of three.=[edit]

Since the publication of Cureton's Codex in 1858, a discussion has gone on as to the relative age of the Evangelion da Mepharreshe and the Peshitta. The general opinion had formerly been that the Peshitta, much in its present state, had existed ever since the earliest ages of the Syriac-speaking church. The defenders of that opinion rested their case upon the common reception of the Peshitta by all the sects into which Syriac Chistendom has been divided from the end of the fifth century, the exclusive use of the Peshitta by Syriac ecclesiastical writers, and the alleged conservatism of Orientals. The first of these arguments proves, indeed, what is universally acknowledged ­- that the Peshitta had already attained a position of exclusive authority by the latter part of the fifth century. But the publication of a mass of early Syriac works during the last fifty years has materially weakened the second argument. The decisive moment is the episcopate of Rabbula, bishop of Edessa from 411-435 A.D. From that time the NT quotations of Syriac writers are all influenced by the Peshitta, beginning with Isaac of Antioch (f. 460). But the quotations in Syriac writers earlier than Rabbula agree with the known peculiarities of the Diatessaron and the Ev. da-Mepharreshe. The text of the Diatessaron itself, as known to us from Ephraim's Commentary and the few but express quotations of later writers, very closely resembled that of the Ev. da-Mepharreshe without being identical with it.

1 The codices of the Psalter in the Peshitta bear the title 'The Book of the Praises of David da-Mepharreshe'. May not the last word be taken to mean 'in separate (Psalms)'?

2 The Evangelion da-Mepharreshe could not have got its name in contradistinction to the Peshitta. The only piece of evidence which seems to suggest this unlikely conclusion is the above-quoted statement about Jesus Barabbas, which is repeated word for word by Barsalibi and Bar Bahlul. Probably, therefore, they each took it from some older scholion, in which the Old Syriac was contrasted, not with the Syriac Vulgate, but with the Diatessaron. It is possible that Evangelion da-Mepharreshe in Rabbula's canons (Overbeck, 220:3) means any MS of the Four Gospels as opposed to a MS of the Diatessaron.

3 It had been already in print for ten years. Three leaves of the codex found their way to Berlin, and are now numbered Orient. Quart. 528 in the Royal Library.

The writings in which the Diatessaron or the Ev. da-Mepharreshe are used include the Acts of Judas Thomas (3rd cent.), the Doctrine of Addai (4th cent.), the Homilies of Aphraates {337-345), the genuine writings of Ephraim (f. 373), the writings of Cyrillona (fl. 400), the Syriac Doctrine of the Apostles published by Cureton (4th cent.). The Syriac translations of Eusebius' Ecclesiastical History and Theophania (made before 411) also show the influence of the Ev. da-Mepharreshe, and even Jacob of Serug (6th cent.) follows the Diatessaron in his Homily on the Lord's Prayer.

The witness of Ephraim was long claimed for the Peshitta against the Ev. da-Mepharreshe on the authority of commentaries and homilies which were printed as Ephraim's in the Roman edition (1737-43), but on insufficient evidence. Ephraim's genuine writings, which include more than 350 homilies, show no trace of distinctively Peshitta readings (F. C. Burkitt, S. Ephraim's Quotations from the Gospel, Cambridge, 1901).

To Rabbula is due both the publication of the Peshitta and the suppression of the Diatessaron. At the beginning of his episcopate (411 A.D. ) 'he translated by the wisdom of God that was in him the NT from Greek into Syriac, because of its variations, accurately just as it was' (Life of Mar Rabbula, in Overbeck, 172:18+). And in his canons he ordered 'that in every church there should be a copy of the Ev. da-Mepharrese, and that it should be read' (Overbeck, 220:3). When we consider that up to the time of Rabbula the Gospel quotations in Syriac works never exhibit the peculiarities of the Peshitta, whilst after the time of Rabbula they uniformly agree with it, there can be little doubt that the translation of the NT prepared by Rabbula was the Peshitta itself. 1

The Peshitta is thus an edition of the Ev. da-Mepharrishe, revised into closer conformity with the Greek, and published by authority with a view of superseding both the Diatessaron and the then current Syriac texts of the Four Gospels.

The method by which the new edition was propagated may be learnt from Theodoret, bishop of the adjoining see of Cyrrhus, who 'swept up more than two hundred copies of the Diatessaron in the churches of his diocese and introduced the Four Gospels in their place' (quoted in Wright's Syriac Literature, 9). The older forms of the Ev. da-Mepharreshe seem throughout the fourth century to have been much less used than the Diatessaron, so that when the Peshitta was substituted for the Diatessaron in the public services, it practically had no rivals. Neither Ss nor Sc show any signs of having been prepared for church use. In a word, the Diatessaron was condemned; the Ev. da-Mepharreshe was antiquated.

The internal character of the Peshitta, as compared with that of the Ev. da-Mepharreshe confirms the view of their relation to one another which has been given above.

1. The style of the Ev. da-Mepharreshe gives an impression of great age. All the later Syriac versions, such as the Harclean, are marked by excessive literalness; but the Ev. da-Mepharrfshe is less conventional and more idiomatic than the Peshitta. Certain particles also and idioms are found in the Ev. da-Mipharreshe which are avoided in the Peshitta and later Syriac writings. 2

2. The subscriptions at the end of each Gospel in the Ev. da-Mepharreshe contain no more than 'Here endeth the Gospel of Mark', or 'of Luke', as the case may be. But to render EvayytXiov Kara M. [euangellion kata m.] more exactly the Peshitta has 'The [holy] Gospel, the preaching of M.'. Moreover, it is added in almost all codices of the Peshitta that Matthew composed his Gospel in Hebrew in Palestine, Mark in Latin at Rome, Luke in Greek at Alexandria the Great, and John in Greek at Ephesus. Similar statements are found in some Greek MSS of the Gospels. This peculiar rendering of Kard [kata], and the insertion of these pseudo-bibliographical notices, when contrasted with the simplicity of the Ev. da-Mepharreshe, are by themselves enough to stamp the Peshitta as a later recension.

1 See F. C. Burkitt, S. Ephraim's Quotations, 57.

2 Such are the occasional use of the copula to introduce the apodosis of a conditional sentence (e.g., Lk. 12:45-46, Ss Sc) and the occurrence of the word 'odh, 'forsooth', which is met with only in the oldest Syriac literature and has been consistently expunged in Sc by a corrector.

3. Although Ss and Sc usually agree closely with one another against the Peshitta text, and sometimes even stand alone together against all other critical authorities, they often differ in important readings. 1 But the MSS of the Peshitta hardly vary except in orthographical matters and other trifles. It is difficult to reconcile this fact with the priority of the Peshitta. If the two versions had existed side by side during the third century, it is not easy to see why the codices of the Ev. da-Mepharreshe should have been honoured by revision from the Greek, whilst the codices of the Peshitta were untouched.

The Peshitta has too many points of resemblance to the Ev. da-Mepharreshe to be considered an independent translation from the Greek. We must therefore regard the Peshitta as a revision of the previously existing Ev. da-Mepharreshe, just as the Latin Vulgate was a revision of an Old Latin text. For that reason Westcott and Hort quote the Peshitta as Syr.vg. The agreement of Ss and Sc may be conveniently indicated by Syr. vt. or the 'Old Syriac'.

The Greek text of the Antiochian revision (see sections 7, 9) is usually followed by the Peshitta, where it differs from the Old Syriac ; but to this rule there are some exceptions (e.g., Mt. 11:19, 22:13, Jn. 1:18). The revision of the Syriac NT was therefore made from a Greek MS such as Cod. Ephraemi (C) which retained some non-Antiochian readings in the midst of a fundamentally Antiochian text. It will be remembered that Rabbula was the friend of Cyril of Alexandria, in whose quotations much the same state of things is found. At the same time there are readings in Syr. vg which definitely reflect the local Antiochian tradition (e.g. , the punctuation of Jn. 5:27-28).

The only theory to account for the textual facts which has been advanced by defenders of the priority of Syr.vg to the Ev. da-Mepharrishe is that, on the suppression of the Diatessaron, a sudden demand may have arisen for copies of the Four Gospels. Scribes would then have made imperfect copies, full of phrases taken from Tatian's Harmony, two of which survive in Ss and Sc. This theory accounts for the marked resemblance of the Ev. da-Mepharreshe to the Diatessaron on the one hand, and to the Peshitta on the other. It does not account, however, for the numerous instances where Ss and Sc (or one of them) have a reading which is neither that of the Diatessaron nor of the Peshitta. Thus in Lk. 17:21 ('the kingdom of God is evros vfilav [entos hymoon]') the Peshitta has 'within you', the Diatessaron has 'in your heart', but Ss and Sc have 'among you'. Other notable instances are Mk. 10:50, Lk. 4:29.

No hypothesis about the origin and mutual relations of early Syriac texts can stand, which does not account for the crucial fact that Mk. ends at 16:8 in Ss, although the 'last twelve verses' are found in the Diatessaron as well as in the Peshitta.

Of our two codices of Syr.vt Ss is in every respect a better text than Sc . The discovery of Ss has justified Hort's conjecture that Sc represents a form of the Old Syriac which has suffered irregular revision from the Greek. 2 The best evidence for this is afforded by the presence in Sc of several conflate readings (e.g. , Mt. 6:18, Jn. 4:24 ).

The fact of this revision once established, it is reason able to assign to the reviser the many passages where words and verses which are absent from Ss have been added in Sc. Thus the episode of the bloody sweat, the missing clauses of the Lord's Prayer in Lk. , the long interpolation after Mt. 20:28, and the verse Mt. 21:44, are all found in Sc , though absent from Ss. The process of revision, however, was by no means thorough, for Sc agrees with Ss in omitting Mt. 16:2, 16:3, 17:21, 18:11, Jn. 5:3-4, etc. 3

It might have been suspected that Ss had been corrected to a Greek text such as that of B by the excision of all these passages. But this suspicion is shown to be groundless by the fact that Ss contains several interpolations (notably one at the end of Lk. 23:4?) which are especially characteristic of the Old Syriac, though found in no Greek MS. Had the passages which are wanting in Ss been deliberately expunged owing to their absence from certain Greek MSS, these other passages would have been rejected along with the rest.

1 The most striking instance is [Mk.] 16:9-20, which is read by Sc but omitted by Ss.

2 Hort, 118.

3 In Lk. 10:41-42 Ss has the shorter reading found also in all genuine Old Latin texts, viz., Martha, Martha. Mary has chosen the better part, etc., omitting the yap [gar] after 'Mary' in v. 42, as well as the words about the 'something necessary' in v. 42. In Sc the missing words are supplied to v. 41; but no particle is added after 'Mary' in v. 42, and thus the reviser's hand is betrayed.

=27. Relation of 'Old Syr.' to Diatessaron.=[edit]

The crucial problem in the history of the Old Syriac is its relation to the Diatessaron. There are two views conceivable.

  • 1 That the Diatessaron was the original form in which the Gospel was circulated in Syriac, and that the Evangelion da-Mepharreshe (Syr. vt) was a later translation from the Greek ; but the translation was much influenced by the text of the already existing Syriac Diatessaron.

2. That Syr.vt was the original form of the Gospel in Syriac; and that the Diatessaron was an independent work, originally composed in Greek (or Latin), but translated into Syriac as far as possible in the wording of Syr.vt, which it eventually superseded for church use.

A third theory, that the Diatessaron was a purely Syriac work, later than Syr.vt and compiled exclusively from it, can no longer be held since the discovery of the Sinai palimpsest.

The Diatessaron undoubtedly contained extracts from the 'last twelve verses' of Mk., {1} which are absent from Ss and therefore from the earliest form of the Evangelion da-Mepharreshe. If the Diatessaron had been entirely based upon Syr.vt, we should have to assume that Syr.vt had been already revised by 170-180 A.D., the date of Tatian's return to the East. Besides, the theory that the Diatessaron was a Syriac work fails to account for the Latin Codex Fuldensis and allied documents.

=28. Conclusion.=[edit]

An adequate discussion of the other two theories would far exceed the limits of this article, although it depends upon the conclusion reached whether we are to place the Old Syriac in the middle or end of the second century. It must suffice to say here, that the scanty historical notices of the early Syriac-speaking church contain nothing contrary to the first view (viz., that the Diatessaron preceded the Evangelion da-Mepharreshe} and much that confirms it. 2

On this hypothesis we may conjecturally date the Ev. da-Mepharreshe about 200 A.D. and connect it with the mission of Palut, who was ordained bishop of Edessa by Serapion of Antioch.

The arguments in favour of the second view are chiefly based on the text of Ss. Some of the readings characteristic of that MS are quite contrary in tendency to what we otherwise know of Syriac Christianity, and that such a text should exist at all is a remarkable testimony to the essential faithfulness of the translator to the Greek text before him. The Diatessaron much nearer reflects the tendencies of the time. In fact, some things which we know to have stood in the Diatessaron almost read like a deliberate protest against the text of Syr.vt as represented by the Sinai palimpsest.

Tatian held Encratite views, and it accords with them that he left out the genealogies from the Diatessaron, and that Joseph is never called husband of Mary. This course is also followed in Sc (except so far as concerns the genealogies), and it harmonises with all we know of the Syriac-speaking church in the third century. But in Ss this tendency is altogether absent, to such an extent that the last clause of Mt. 1:16 is rendered 'Joseph, to whom was betrothed Mary the Virgin, begat Jesus which is called Christ'. 3 Certain statements in Aphraates' Homily on the Genealogy of our Lord, and some comments preserved by Barsalibi on Mt. 1:16 prove that these readings of Ss are not mere peculiarities of an isolated MS. On the other hand, Sc throughout the whole of the first chapter of Matthew's gospel presents a corrected text (except Mt. 1:20, 'to thee'). The attempt which has been made to represent Ss as an heretical codex rests on no sure foundation, and the natural inference is that Syr.vt in its original form was characterised by a primitive innocence of offence in this matter (see Lk. 2:48).

The arguments which go to prove that the Armenian and Aethiopic versions were originally made from the Old Syriac are indicated elsewhere (see 36-37). It may be remarked that there is nothing to connect these versions with the Diatessaron. But if, as seems most probable, they were made from the Evangelion da-Mepharreshe, this circumstance affords another proof of its antiquity. If the Evangelion da-Mepharreshe were a novelty, hardly holding its own against the ancient and popular Diatessaron, it would scarcely have been chosen in preference to the Diatessaron for missionary translations.

On the first publication of Sc in 1858, Cureton brought forward arguments to prove that the Gospel of Mt. in Sc represented the original 'Hebrew' Gospel whilst the other Gospels were mere translations from the Greek. This wild theory found few defenders and is almost forgotten. But it was based on a perception that there is a difference of style between the various Gospels in the Ev. da-Mepharreshe. Lately Dr. A. Hjelt has collected the indications which show that the translation of the four Gospels does not come from the same hand, Mt. being the earliest and Lk. the latest to be rendered into Syriac (Die altsyrische Evangelienubersetzung. Leipsic, 1901). The theory is attractive and may very well rest upon a basis of fact; at the same time too much stress should not be laid upon irregularity of rendering as a proof of composite authorship. Only those who have tried to make a pedantically consistent translation of the Gospels can realise with what difficulty consistency is attained.

1 The same mosaic of Mt. 28, Mk. 16, and Lk. 24 is found in fuldensis as in the Arabic Diatessaron. Aphraates 120 mentions Christ's session at the right hand of the Father (Mk. 16:19) immediately after quoting Mt. 28:20.

2 The public reading of the Diatessaron at Edessa in early times to the apparent exclusion of the Four Gospels, is implied in the Doctrine of Addai 36. For the date and historical value of this work, see L. J. Tixeront, Les Origines de l'Eglise d'Edesse, esp. 120+.

3 [On the text of this verse cp MARY, 13 (a).]

29. Acts and Epistles.[edit]

No MS of the Old Syriac version of Acts or of the Pauline epistles is known to have survived. That the Peshitta is not the original form of the Syriac version in these books also is proved by the quotations in Aphraates, and from the commentaries of Ephraim. These commentaries are preserved only in the ancient Armenian translation, having no doubt fallen out of favour when the text on which they were based had been superseded by the Peshitta. In using these commentaries great care is necessary, as the biblical text appears sometimes to have been assimilated to the Armenian Vulgate. The quotations of Aphraates from the Pauline epistles are many; but those from Acts unfortunately cover only five verses.

The almost complete loss of the Old Syriac version, except for the Gospels, causes a serious gap in the apparatus of critical authorities for the text of the NT. It can be to some little extent supplied from the Armenian. Readings of the Armenian Vulgate which differ from the ordinary Greek text, especially if they are supported by the Peshitta, may be considered with some confidence to have been derived from the lost Old Syriac.

The Catholic Epistles and the Apocalypse formed no part of the Old Syriac version. 1 In the Peshitta this defect is partially supplied by a translation of James, 1 Peter and 1 John, in agreement with the usage of Antioch as represented by Chrysostom; but to this day the Syriac Vulgate does not include the Apocalypse or the minor Catholic epistles.

1 Addai 46; 'The Law and the Prophets and the Gospel . . . and the Epistles of Paul . . . and the Acts of the twelve Apostles - these writings shall ye read in the churches of Christ, and besides these ye shall read nothing else'. Neither in Aphraates nor in the genuine works of Ephraim are there any quotations from Apoc. or Cath. epp.

30. Later Syriac versions.[edit]

The Peshitta was firmly established for ecclesiastical use in the Syriac-speaking church at the time of the Nestorian schism, and has continued to be exclusively used by the Nestorian community. Among the Jacobites (or Monophysite branch of the Syrians), however, two successive attempts were made to render into Syriac the full canon and the current text of the later Greek-speaking churches.

What appears to have been a revision of the NT Peshitta, supplemented by those books of the Greek canon which were lacking in Syriac, was made in 508 A. D. for Philoxenus, bishop of Mabbog.

Whether any part of this revision of the Peshitta survives is doubtful: 1 but there is good reason to believe that the supplemental version of 2 Peter, 2 and 3 John, and Jude, which was first published by E. Pococke in 1630, and is generally bound up with modern editions of the Peshitta, belongs to the original Philoxenian. A MS of the Apocalypse in the same version has been discovered by Gwynn, who has published the text with full Prolegomena and critical notes (Dublin, 1897).

In the year 616 Thomas of Heraclea (Harkel), bishop of Mabbog, made at Alexandria an elaborate revision of the Philoxenian which still survives in several MSS and is called the Harclean Version. It was edited by Joseph White at Oxford in 1778-1803 from a slightly imperfect MS; but the missing portion of Hebrews was at length supplied from a Cambridge codex by Bensly in 1889. It is not improbable that the version of the Apocalypse published in 1627 by De Dieu, and now commonly printed with the Peshitta, is a part of the work of Thomas of Heraclea.

The text of the Harclean version is remarkable for its excessive literalness, 2 and for the critical notes with which it is furnished. These notes contain the various readings of two (or three) Greek MSS collated by Thomas at Alexandria. In Acts these notes are of real importance, as one of the MSS must have contained a 'Western' text much like that of Codex Bezae. The text of the Harclean version itself, as distinguished from these alternative or additional readings, is almost invariably that of the later Greek MSS.

31. Palestinian version.[edit]

The Syriac versions hitherto described have all been in the 'classical' Edessene idiom. It is customary also to reckon under 'Syriac Versions' the surviving biblical fragments in the 'Palestinian' dialect.

The Aramaic language is divided into two branches, the classical Edessene being the main example of the Eastern Aramaic, whilst Palmyrene and the various types of Jewish Aramaic (including Samaritan) belong to the Western branch. The dialect in which the Christian version described in this section is written is a variety of the Western Aramaic, almost identical with that of the later Galilaean Jews. 3 Its linguistic interest, therefore, is very great, for although it is a somewhat literal translation from the Greek, the language in which it is written comes nearest of all known Christian dialects to that spoken by Jesus and the apostles. See ARAMAIC, 7.

The surviving documents can be traced to three sources:

  • (1) the Malkite convent of S. Elias on the Black Mountain in the district of the Dux near Antioch; 4
  • (2) the convent of S. Catherine on Mt. Sinai;
  • (3) a community, or communities, of Malkites settled in Egypt.

The MSS included under (1) appear to have been bought for the convent of S. Mary Deipara in the Nitrian desert in the thirteenth century, after the sack of Antioch by Bibars the Mameluke Sultan. They include the Vatican lectionary and the London fragments published by Land. The S. Petersburg fragments published by Land, which were brought by Tischendorf from the East, are almost certainly to be added to the MSS of class (2). Those of class (3) include the book of occasional offices now at the British Museum (Or. 4951), the Praxapostolos edited by Mrs. Lewis, and the fragments from the Cairo Geniza now in the Bodleian and the Cambridge University library.

1 See Wiseman, Harae Syriacca, 178 n.

2 The same torturing of the Syriac idiom in order to express every particle of the Greek is found in the contemporary translation of the Hexaplar text of the LXX by Paul of Telia (see 61).

3 Dalman, Gram. des Jud.-Palast. Aramaisch, 33-40. The only locality in Palestine with which any of our documents can be definitely connected is 'Abud, a small town in lat. 32 [degrees], long. 35 [degrees], almost equally distant from Jaffa, Nablus, and Jerusalem i.e., not far from the frontier between Judaea and Samaritan territory.

4 The Malkites (or 'King's Party') are those Oriental Christians who did not become Monophysites or Nestorians, but remained in communion with Constantinople. The district of the Dux (TO Aovf [to doux]) is mentioned by Anna Comnena (Alexius, 13:12).

For the Gospels we have fragments of four continuous codices :

  • 1. Land's Petropolitanus antiquior (7th cent.);
  • 2. Land's Petropolitanus recentior (8th cent.), two leaves of which appear to be still at Sinai in Cod. Iber. 32; {1}
  • 3. One leaf of B.M. Add. 14,450, published by Land (8th cent.);
  • 4. Fragments of Mt. and Lk. from B.M. Add. 14,664, published by Land (11th cent.).

Besides these there are three complete Gospel lectionaries, one at the Vatican and two at Sinai, besides fragments of at least two others at Sinai and London, all dating from the eleventh century. The Vatican lectionary (Vat. Syr. 19) has been well edited by Lagarde (Evangeliarium Hierosolymitanum, 1892). The Sinai lectionaries, together with the readings of the Vatican lectionary, were edited by Mrs. Lewis and Mrs. Gibson in 1899.

The rest of the NT is but imperfectly preserved. The very ancient Bodleian fragments of the Pauline epistles have been edited by G. H. Gwilliam (Oxford, 1893-6), and a small fragment of Galatians from Sinai by J. R. Harris. Land has edited Acts 14:6-13 from an ancient lectionary (see section 62). In 1895 Mrs. Lewis bought in Cairo a late MS (? 12th cent.) containing lections from all parts of the Bible except the Gospels, and in conjunction with Mrs. Gibson and Dr. Nestle published the text in 1897 as Stadia Sinaitica, 6. The lections differ from those in Land's much older lectionary, and Mrs. Lewis MS is distinctly stated not to have come from Sinai. It may have belonged to the same community that owned the very late MS of the Liturgy of the Nile, edited by G. Margoliouth (JRAS, Oct. 1896). This Liturgy contains a lesson from Acts 16 ; but the text is nothing more than an adaptation of the Peshitta to the Palestinian dialect.

The Palestinian documents exhibit a mixed text. The influence of the Peshitta is often apparent; but in the main the Greek is closely followed, so that even such Semitic names as "iTjcroOs [iesous] and 2iyucoi/ [simoon] are transliterated Isos and Simon, not Yeshu (or Isho) and Shim'on. The syntax, moreover, is so much assimilated to the Greek as to render the Palestinian version a very unsafe guide in the reconstruction of the original Aramaic of Gospel phrases.

The origin of this curious literature is still obscure ; but the present writer has given reasons for connecting it with the efforts made by Justinian in the sixth century to extirpate the Samaritan religion and by Heraclius early in the seventh century to harass the Jews. An earlier date than the sixth century is not suggested either by the general course of history or by the character of the surviving documents. F. C. Burkitt's art. in Journ. of Th. Studies, 2:183+, contains a full bibliography of the Christian Palestinian literature.

III. COPTIC AND OTHER VERSIONS[edit]
Coptic translation.[edit]
=32. Date.=[edit]

Egypt is the stronghold of non-Western texts. The determination of the age of the Egyptian versions is therefore a problem of considerable interest for the general history of the text of the NT.

In Egypt 'the progress of Christianity was for a long time confined within the limits of a single city, which was itself a foreign colony ; and till the close of the second century the predecessors of Demetrius 2 were the only prelates of the Egyptian church. Three bishops were consecrated by the hands of Demetrius, and the number was increased to twenty by his successor Heracles. The body of the natives, a people distinguished by sullen inflexibility of temper, entertained the new doctrine with coldness and reluctance ; and even in the time of Origen it was rare to meet with an Egyptian who had surmounted his early prejudices in favour of the sacred animals of his country. As soon, indeed, as Christianity ascended the throne, the zeal of those barbarians obeyed the prevailing impulsion ; the cities of Egypt were filled with bishops, and the deserts of Thebais swarmed with hermits'. 3 The date here assigned for the spread of Christianity in the country is borne out by the Life of S. Pachomius (section 1), which puts the repentance of the nations as coming to pass after the persecutions of Diocletian and Maximin. Pachomius, the founder of organised monastic life, born in 285, was converted early in the fourth century, and established the Tabennitic monastery in Upper Egypt in 322. Such a community could not long be without the Scriptures in the vernacular, so that the earliest version in Egyptian cannot be later than the first quarter of the fourth century.

1 The Sinai leaves are published in Mrs. Lewis s Cat. of Syriac MSS, App. pp. 118-120. They exactly agree in size and character with the leaves of Land's Petropolitanus recentior.

2 Bishop of Alexandria, 189-233 A. D.

3 Bury's Gibbon, 2:60, following Eutychius (Annal. 1:333) and Orig. Cels. 1:757.

There is very little reason for placing it much earlier. The notices in Eus. HE 641 of the 'Egyptian' Alexandrians who suffered during the Decian persecution contain nothing to indicate that they formed a separate community, with a translated Bible an^l Liturgy. The Life of S. Antony is generally quoted as implying the existence of a Coptic version in the third century ; but it is not easy to say how much may be built upon the details of the early part of Antonys career, as related by his biographer. 1 The evidence of the Pistis Sophia also is indecisive as to date. The Pistis Sophia is a Gnostic work of the latter half of the third century, 2 which survives in a very ancient Sahidic MS. 3 Most of the allusions in it to the Old and New Testaments are loose and paraphrastic. But several of the Psalms are quoted by number in full, almost word for word with the Sahidic version. We cannot, however, certainly infer from this that Sahidic is the original language of the book. The Sahidic version must be older than the Pistis Sophia as we have it; but the Psalms in question, which are all put into the mouths of the various apostles to illustrate the Gnostic teaching of Jesus, may have been added by the Sahidic translator with the view of commending the book to orthodox readers; their strict fidelity to the biblical text shows quite a different spirit from the free invention of the rest of the book.

1 Antony died at an advanced age in 356. The received date of his birth, viz. 250 A.D. , appears to depend upon the fact that shortly before his death he claimed to be 105 years old, but such statements from the mouth of illiterate men are rarely to be trusted. S. Antony could neither read nor write, and could not speak Greek. 'My book', he is reported to have said, 'my book is the Book of Nature (17 <u(ri5 TMV yfyovortov [e physis toon gegonotoon]), and that is present whenever I wish to read the words of God' (Evagrius, ap. Migne, 40:1249). The statements in the Life of S. Antony (sections 2 and 3), even if we accept the details of the story, imply no more than that two isolated sayings of Jesus were forcibly brought to S. Antony's mind, and upon these he built his whole theological system. Many illiterate Roman Catholics, who may have never heard the Gospels except in Latin, know that Christ said 'Sell that thou hast and give to the poor', and 'Be not anxious for your life'.

2 See Harnack, TU 7:2:94+; Amelineau, Pistis Sophia.

3 Both Harnack and Amelineau hold that Greek was the original language of the Pistis Sophia.

=33. Three versions.=[edit]

As many as five or six Coptic dialects have been distinguished by modern scholars ; but from the point of view of textual criticism the Coptic versions fall into three divisions: the Sahidic, the Fayyumic, and the Bohairic.

The Sahidic (Sa'idic) is the version of Upper Egypt (in Arabic es-Sa'id) ; it was formerly sometimes called the Thebaic version. The Fayyumic version, formerly called 'Bashmuric', is represented chiefly by documents coming from the Fayyum ; to this version belong also the biblical fragments in the 'Middle Egyptian' dialect, as in text they agree with the Fayyumic, whatever the relation between the dialects may be. The fragment of a very ancient MS of the Catholic epp. in the 'Akhnumic' dialect must be reckoned among Sahidic authorities for a similar reason. Some of the more ancient Sahidic MSS are Graeco-Egyptian bilinguals, the Greek occupying the page on the left hand of the open book.

The version now in ecclesiastical use among all the Copts, or Christian Egyptians, is called by scholars the 'Bohairic'. This version was formerly named 'Coptic' and 'Memphitic'; but the latter term is now known to be inaccurate, whilst 'Coptic' is equally applicable to Sahidic or any other Egyptian dialect. The term Bohairic comes from the Coptic Grammar of Athanasius, Bishop of Cos (A tf [kos]) in the Thebaid during the eleventh century. Athanasius recognised three dialects, viz., 'Cairene Coptic, which is also that of Upper Egypt; Bohairic Coptic, which is named from the Bohaira; and Bushmuric Coptic, which is named from the Bushmur'. 1 The Bushmuric dialect had already died out in the time of Athanasius, and it does not appear that the Bible had ever been translated into it. The 'Bohaira' (i.e. , 'Lake') is not, as is sometimes stated, the Arabic for Lower Egypt (el-Wajh el-Bahri) or for the Egyptian sea-coast ; it is a district near Alexandria between Lake Mareotis and the W. arm of the Nile. 2 The Bohairic version is therefore almost certainly of Alexandrian origin. The dialect in which it is written became, later, the ecclesiastical language of Cairo ; but this change occurred only after Coptic had ceased to be the speech of the people in Lower Egypt, and it was probably caused by the removal of the Coptic patriarch from Alexandria to Cairo.

The earliest surviving codices of the Bohairic NT of which the date is known with certainty are of the twelfth century, though some fragments are probably as early as the ninth. 3 They are often accompanied by an Arabic translation ; but there is no instance of a Graeco-Bohairic MS. All appear to present the same type of text, the chief variation being the presence or absence of certain interpolations derived from the great vulgates of the East - i.e. , the 'Antiochian' Greek text and the Peshitta. 4

=34. Age of Bohairic and Sahidic.=[edit]

The Bohairic version was known in Europe for a considerable period before any form of the Sahidic. It was long assumed to have been the earliest version of the NT in any Egyptian dialect, and this opinion is still maintained -e.g. , by A. C. Headlam in the fourth edition of Scrivener's 'Introduction'. Many scholars, however, consider the Bohairic to be an altogether later recension. The most thoroughgoing exponent of this view is Guidi, whose argument in the Nachrichten von der K. Ges. der Wissenschaften, Gottingen, 1889, pp. 49-52, is reproduced in the following paragraphs.

Guidi considers that the use of the various Coptic dialects as literary languages was in great part a reaction against the foreign Greek element. The true Egyptians hated foreigners and Alexandrians, and the diffusion of Christianity would be favoured rather than retarded by the dislike of the Imperial Roman authority which was persecuting it. 5 We may add that this dislike did not cease when the Empire became Christian. When the Emperors were Arian, Egypt was Orthodox; when the Emperors became Orthodox, Egypt became Monophysite.

The foreign and Greek element was comparatively strong in Lower and Middle Egypt ; but in Upper Egypt it was weaker, and so the native Egyptian characteristics made their presence felt more quickly there in any new movement. Hence it is that the first beginnings of Coptic literature are found in Upper Egypt (where also, for analogous reasons, Coptic maintained itself as a living language longer than in the Delta). These early products of Egyptian Christianity, whether originals or translations, contain a purely Egyptian element. Such, for example, are the Pistis Sophia, the Bruce papyrus, and other Gnostic writings, all of which show traces of the ancient beliefs and superstitions of heathen Egypt. The school of thought represented by these writings is quite out of touch with the orthodox Christianity of the Greek church of Alexandria, and would not long be content to have the Scriptures only in Greek. Thus the Sahidic version is probably of considerable antiquity; it can be traced back, as we have seen, to the early part of the fourth century.

1 The original Arabic text is given by Quatremere, Recherches, 21. A later form of Athanasius statement is given by Stern, Z.f. Aeg. Sprache, 1623 (1878), in which the Bohairic is claimed as the Cairene dialect, and the Sahidic is said not to be current N. of Minieh. El-Bushmur, not Bashmur is the Arabic name of a district near Damietta (Yakut 1:634).

2 The modern Behera (Yakut 1:514).

3 In Lord Crawford's Catena (Parham MS 102), edited by Lagarde, the exposition is translated from Greek writers ; but the Gospel text is that of the Bohairic version. This MS is dated 888 A.D. A facsimile is given in Kenyon's Introduction.

4 See the passages in square brackets in Lagarde, Die Vier Evangelien arabisch (1864), and the critical notes which belong to them.

5 Diocletian's action in Egypt was not directed against the Christians alone (cp Gibbon, 1:363-365).

To allow the national Coptic element to come to the front in Lower Egypt, where it was less powerful than in Upper Egypt and where the centre of government and of the church was situated, required a longer interval of time. In the end, however, it was remarkably helped by the Monophysite heresy. It is well known that after the death of the Emperor Anastasius (518 A.D.) and the repression of the heresy in Syria, Egypt became the true home of Monophysitism. From that time Egyptian Christianity detached itself more and more from Byzantine Christianity and the Greek church, and under these changed conditions there grew up a new Coptic literature written in Bohairic (the Coptic dialect spoken in the neighbourhood of Alexandria), comprising translations of the Bible from the Greek and of many other writings. It was probably at the same period that popular Egyptian legends, such as the death of Joseph, were adapted into Bohairic from the Sahidic. 1

Coptic is generally supposed to have become a literary language somewhat earlier ; but that is not supported by historical evidence, nor can it be proved from the documents we possess. These show us that down to the sixth or the. seventh century the official written language of Egypt was Greek. With this accords the fact that the most ancient writings connected with Egyptian Christianity - the original of the Bruce papyrus, the Life of S. Macarius, the Rules of S. Pachornius, etc. - were all in Greek. Antony did not know Greek ; yet the Coptic letters attributed to him and published by Mingarelli (pp. 198, 201) are translated from the Greek. 2

An additional reason for assigning a late date to the Bohairic version and literature is the rapid decay both of the Coptic language and of Christianity in Lower Egypt after the Arab invasion. By the tenth century Coptic was almost as dead a language in the Delta as Greek (see Schwartze, Copt. Gram. 10), though as late as the time of Makrizi, in the fifteenth century, the Sahidic dialect was still used in Upper Egypt. The entire absence of native exegetical literature is also in consistent with the assumed antiquity of the Bohairic. In Lagarde's Catena more than thirty 'Fathers' are quoted - all Greek. Can one imagine (to take a parallel from another Eastern church) a Syriac Catena on the Gospels without one extract from Ephraim or Philoxenus or Jacob of Serug ?

1 See F. Robinson, Coptic Apoc. Gospels, T. and S. 4:2, p. 16.

2 Guidi, 51.

=35. Three versions compared.=[edit]

The three chief forms of the Egyptian NT - the Sahidic, the Fayyurnic, and the Bohairic, are not independent. A comparison of the passages where all three forms are extant brings to light three peculiarities of the Bohairic.

1. Greater faithfulness to the Greek. The Bohairic contains a representation of nearly all the particles of the original, which are often omitted by the other Egyptian versions ; it also often reverts to the Greek order of the words.

2. A different choice of Greek words to be transliterated. The Bohairic is especially distinguished by vernacular renderings for abstract substantives. Perhaps words such as Tri/ms [pistis], %ctpts [charis], crcxftia [sophia], t^ovffia [exousia], had acquired a heretical and Gnostic signification.

3. Where the Bohairic follows a different Greek reading from the others it is almost always a specifically 'Alexandrian' reading. The textual character of the Bohairic thus fits in with the date assigned to it by Guidi. Its chief allies are Cod. Regius (L) of the Gospels, a MS probably written in Egypt in the eighth century, and among the Fathers not so much Clement and Origen as Cyril of Alexandria.

In all this a close parallel is afforded by the Harclean Syriac, itself the work of a Monophysite living near Alexandria at the beginning of the seventh century. The great difference between the general type of Greek text represented by the Bohairic and by the Harclean is due rather to the difference of their ancestry than to their final revision.

The Fayyumic version occupies a very peculiar position between the Sahidic and the Bohairic. In the Pauline epistles, indeed, the Bohairic separates itself so much from the other two as practically to become an independent version ; but in the Gospels the Fayyumic stands much nearer the Bohairic. The general turn of the sentences and the Egyptian vocabulary are the same in both versions, though the Fayyumic is careless of the connecting particles of the Greek, which here as else where have been industriously supplied in the Bohairic, In essentials, therefore, the official Bohairic recension preserves in the Gospels an Egyptian text somewhat older than itself. Unfortunately, the date of the Fayyumic version is unknown, and its relation to the Sahidic obscure. 1

The 'Antiochian' Greek text seems never to have influenced Egypt - at least not before the tenth century. Freedom from specifically Antiochian readings is a characteristic of all forms of the Egyptian NT. The relation of the Egyptian versions to the 'Western' text is more complicated. All Egyptian texts are predominantly non-Western ; but a few very striking 'Western' readings and interpolations are found in the Sahidic,- yet not as a rule those which were most widely spread in later texts. 3 In Acts also, there is in the Sahidic a decided 'Western' element ; but it is by no means so large as that, for instance, of the margin of the Harclean Syriac. Blass (p. 29) puts the Sahidic among the numerous 'mixed' texts of Acts, and it seems probable that it had this character from the beginning.

Even more interest attaches to the many readings where the Sahidic supports X [aleph] or B, or both, where these great MSS stand almost alone. 4 Here again, the version must faithfully have preserved its original form, as these readings are usually found also in the fragments of the Graeco-Sahidic bilinguals. 5 We learn, therefore, from the evidence of the Sahidic version that a text similar in essentials to that of X and B, though slightly more 'Western' in character, was current in Egypt about the beginning of the fourth century.

The full Greek canon is represented both in the Sahidic and the Bohairic ; but the Apocalypse seems to have been regarded as non -canonical, and is never bound up in the MSS with the rest of the NT. Acts is placed after the Catholic epistles. In the Pauline epistles, Hebrews follows 2 Thess. in Bohairic MSS ; but in the Sahidic and the Fayyumic it follows 2 Cor.

In an article of this kind it is almost impossible to indicate the printed texts of the NT in the various Egyptian dialects, which (apart from early editions, now antiquated) lie scattered in periodicals such as the Zeitschrift fur Aegyptische Sprache. Complete lists of editions and MSS will be found in Scrivener (4th ed. [by A. C. Headlam]), 2:106-123, 2:127-136, 2:140-144. For the official Bohairic by far the best edition is the Oxford text edited with translation and critical apparatus by G. H[orner], vol. 1-2 Gospels, 1898 ; vol. 3 Acts and Epistles (shortly).

1 A curious point of contact between Fayyumic and Bohairic MSS is that the same contractions for 'Lord' and 'God' are found in both, whilst in Sahidic the words are always written out in full.

2 Prominent among them is the interpolation about the great stone in Lk. 23:53, with which is connected the longer form of Lk. 24:12. The only non-Egyptian evidence for this reading is D, c.

3 E.g., 'Nineue' for the name of the rich man in Lk. 16:19 ; comp. 'ille Fineus diues' in de Pasch. Comp. 265, and 'Finees in misericordis diuitis' in Priscillian, 91.

4 E.g., Mt. 3:14 (om. liaavv^ [ioannes]) ; Mt. 6:8 (add. 6 0eos [o theos]).

5 See, e.g., Lk. 10:24, 23:34a, 23:36, Jn. 8:57, in the fragments published by Amelineau (IV. et Extr. 34). It should be noticed that Graeco-Sahidic bilinguals are generally written with two columns on a page, the Greek occupying the whole of the verso and the Sahidic the recto, so that of the four columns visible at the open page, the two on the left are Greek, and the two on the right are Egyptian. The Greek and the Sahidic agree column for column, but not line for line, and the two sides of the codex now and then support different readings - e.g., in Jn. 6:33, the Sahidic side of T reads 6 TOU 0eoC [o tou theou] with XD against its own Greek.

36. Armenian version.[edit]

The first mention of an Armenian church dates from the episcopate of Dionysius of Alexandria (248-265), concerning whom Eusebius relates that he wrote a letter to the Armenians, and that their bishop was named Meruzanes. Gelzer (Die Anfange der armenischen Kirche) believes that this community lived in Azerbaijan ; but in any case there can be little doubt that it was evangelised by Syriac-speaking missionaries, and that its ecclesiastical language was Syriac. An Armenian version does not appear till much later. Tradition ascribes the work to Isaac and Mesrob (fl. 400); but, as Armitage Robinson remarks, the accounts 'combine a certain conflict of assertion with a suspicious family likeness' (Euthaliana 72). He adds : 'One fact which seems to stand out distinctly after the perusal of these puzzling statements is that the earliest attempts at translating the Scriptures into Armenian were based on Syriac codices', and goes on to show (pp. 76-91) that there are still unmistakable traces of the primitive renderings from the Syriac in the existing Armenian Vulgate. The Syriac text which was employed was not the Peshitta but the Old Syriac, both in the Gospels and in the Epistles. About the middle of the fifth century this primitive version was thoroughly revised from the Greek, so that it is only here and there that we can recognise the original groundwork. The Greek text by which the revision was made was apparently not the Antiochian, but one akin to BX[aleph]; the readings of the Armenian which are attested neither by Syr. vt nor by BX are very few and may have come from chance corruption in later times'. 1

The only critical edition of the Armenian version is that of Zohrab (NT, Venice, 1789). A useful abstract of the native traditions about the Armenian version, with lists of some ancient MSS, is to be found in F. C. Conybeare's article in Scrivener (4th ed. 2:148-154).

Old Armenian MSS of the Gospels usually omit [Mk.] 16:9-20 altogether ; those which retain the verses make a break at v. 8, giving the colophon Gospel of Mark both after 16:8 and after 16:20. F. C. Conybeare (Expositor, 1893, pp. 242+), however, discovered at Etchmiadzin a codex of the Armenian Gospels, written in 989 A.D., which contains the disputed verses with the rubric Ariston Eritzu ('Of the Presbyter Aristion'). A photograph of the page containing Mk. 16:8+ is given in Swete's St. Mark, p. 104. The inference is that the scribe of the MS, or of its archetype, had access to a tradition that Aristion, the friend of Papias mentioned in Euseb. HE 3:39, was the man who added the verses at the end of the second Gospel. This would seem to be some fifty years too early, if other indications are to be trusted. In any case, the readings of the codex should be published in full, as alone among Old Armenian MSS it contains the story of the Woman taken in Adultery, but in a form quite different from any other authority (Conybeare in Expositor, Dec. 1895).

1 E.g., in Mt. 1:7-8 the Armenian has a<rd<b [asaph] with BX[aleph], against the Antiochian Greek text on the one hand, and all forms of the Syriac on the other.

37. Ethiopic version.[edit]

The version in Ge'ez, the classical language of the Abyssinians, is usually cited as the Ethiopic. Abyssinian Christianity is said to go back into the fourth century ; but the existing version is not older than the fifth or the sixth century. The translation was from the Greek; but it has been proved by Guidi (Le Traduzioni degli Evangelii in Arabo e in Etiopico, Rome, 1888) that many of the existing MSS, which are all very late, represent later revisions made from the mediaeval Arabic text current in Alexandria. 1

A few traces survive of a yet older Ethiopic version of the Gospels, made from the Syriac, as in the case of the Armenian version. The Aramaic colouring of the vocabulary of the Ethiopic NT has been pointed out by Gildemeister (Tischendorf's NT 3:895 note), and the text now and again agrees with Syr. vt against almost all other authorities, though it usually follows the Greek or the Arabic. Thus in Mk. 10:50 it reads wipaKAv [epibaloon] for diroj3a\wv [apobaloon], supported only by cod. 565 and by Ss. (not by the Diatessaron).

The Ethiopic NT was printed at Rome in 1548-1549 ; this edition was repeated in Walton's Polyglott, and has been carefully rendered into Latin (C. A. Bode, Brunswick, 1753). Another edition was prepared by T. Pell Platt for the British and Foreign Bible Society in 1830.

38. Gothic version.[edit]

The remaining versions of the NT are of much less importance for the text. The Gothic version dates from the middle of the fourth century. It is the work of Ulphilas (Wulfila, 'Little Wolf'), the apostle of the Goths, and so is the earliest surviving literature in any Teutonic language. Ulphilas worked among the Goths of the Danubian Provinces ; but the surviving documents all appear to belong to N. Italy and the age of the Ostrogoths or even of the Lombard conquest. Of the NT we have the Gospels and Pauline epistles (except Hebrews), but with many gaps, well edited from MSS of about the sixth century.

The Gothic, unlike the Armenian and the Ethiopic, has hardly any link of connection with the great ante-Nicene versions and so for critical purposes is of less value. For the influence of the Gothic on some late Old Latin texts see above, 16. The MS of Romans cited as gue (or guelph) is a Latino-Gothic bilingual; the Latin appears to be entirely dependent on the Gothic text. Here and there the Gothic MSS seem to have taken over O. Latin readings (e.g., Lk. 1:3), in the same way that the Latin cod. f has been influenced by the Gothic.

39. Other versions.[edit]

The Georgian (or Iberian) version shows signs of having been originally made from the Old Syriac, like its sister the Armenian (F. C. Conybeare in Amer. Journ. of Theology 1:883+). The Slavonic version, of the ninth Versions, century, is made from the Greek and is too late to represent any ancient type of text not otherwise preserved. Arabic versions from the Syriac and the Greek can be traced back to the eighth and the ninth century ; but the current Arabic is essentially a translation of the Bohairic Coptic, interpolated from the Greek and Syriac Vulgates. Its sole claim to our attention here is that Guidi has recognised it as the source from which the far earlier Ethiopic has been corrupted.

Just as in the East late versions were made from the Greek and Syriac Vulgates, so in the West there are various translations into Anglo-Saxon, Frankish, etc., from the Latin Vulgate. All these secondary translations contribute nothing for the criticism of the original text of the NT because the Greek, Latin, and Syriac Vulgates can be accurately constructed from earlier authorities.

1 Possibly a reminiscence of this revision has been preserved in the Encomium of Abba Salama published by Ludolf in 1691 Commentarius, p. 205.

2 Systems of vocalisation similar in principle are now used for Syriac and classical Arabic. All three systems must have a common origin, and may have been indirectly a result of the Mohammedan conquest and the consequent spread of the Arabic language in a vulgarised form. Before the seventh century other systems of partial vocalisation, such as the introduction of the 'matres lectionis' and in Syriac the diacritical point, had been employed in Semitic writing where a purely consonantal alphabet had been found too ambiguous.

II. OLD TESTAMENT[edit]

A. THE MASSORETIC TEXT[edit]

40. Massoretic text.[edit]

All MSS of the Hebrew OT are copies, more or less full and accurate, of a single critical edition commonly called 'the Massoretic Text'. This edition, like other critical works, contains a Text, a Punctuation , and Notes. 'Massora' means tradition, and the unknown editors only profess to give the traditional text, as it was traditionally recited in the synagogue. The date of the Massoretic edition must be placed somewhere between the fifth and the eighth century of our era. Jerome knew nothing of any system of vocalisation in Hebrew MSS; the present system must have been introduced later than the beginning of the fifth century; an inferior limit is set by the existence of Massoretic codices as old as the ninth century. 2 (On the Samaritan text of the Pentateuch see section 45.)

1. The Text of the Massoretic edition consists of the consonants of the Hebrew (cp WRITING, 7), which are, however, divided into words.

According to the Jewish view this alone is 'Scripture', and in theory it is complete by itself without further punctuation or vocalisation. The extant MSS, none of which are older than the ninth century, give the consonantal text adopted by the Massoretes with great fidelity; throughout the forty-eight chapters of Ezekiel only sixteen real variations occur between a modern edition based ultimately on Western MSS and the 'Codex Babylonicus Petropolitanus' (916 A.D.), a newly discovered MS of wholly Eastern ancestry. Yet, as will be shown later, this consonantal text is frequently corrupt, so that the agreement of our MSS only enables us to reconstruct their common exemplar and affords no proof whatever that this exemplar faithfully represented the lost original as it left the author's hands.

The leather rolls used in the synagogue contain no vocalisation ; but their full agreement with the pointed codices proves that they also are only transcripts of the official Massoretic text.

41. Vowels.[edit]

2. The Massoretic Punctuation serves what we are accustomed to consider the double purpose of vocalisation and accentuation. Each word is provided with points and one or more accents, the points indicating the vowels that are to be supplied to each letter, whilst the accents indicate the inflections of the voice, telling the reader what pause, if any, is to be made on the word, and thus forming a complete system of punctuation in the English sense of the term. These additional signs also are given with considerable accuracy in the MSS, though there is a certain amount of variation in the case of the subordinate accents.

The value of the whole system as a kind of grammatical commentary on the Hebrew Scriptures can hardly be over-estimated. So well is the vocalisation carried out, that there are very few places where the text can be emended by altering the points and leaving the consonants as they stand. In fact, the Massoretic pointing may even be used as a means of discovering errors in the text. The Massoretes did not make a critical revision ; they only supplied traditional vowels to the traditional consonantal text ; where the consonantal text was corrupt, really suitable vowels could not be placed. As a general rule, therefore, anomalous pointing in our Hebrew text is a sign that the consonants are wrong. 1 The chief exceptions are to be found in places where theological or national prejuduce appears to have influenced the punctuation. Even there, however, the false readings are hardly ever novelties ; they are the perpetuation of old and popular errors. 2

42. Notes.[edit]

3. In addition to text and punctuation the Massoretic edition includes critical Notes, which occupy the margins of our copies. Some of these notes draw attention to anomalies of vocalisation, or what might seem to be such, thereby fulfilling the same purpose that we express by putting sic after a word; others form part of a vast system of 'marginal references' and computations intended to preserve the absolute integrity of the Massoretic standard. 3 For textual criticism, however, the most interesting of these notes deal with passages where the Massoretes against their usual custom have deserted the reading of the text. Not that even in such cases they have dared to change the written Word (Kethibh) ; the consonantal text remains unaltered, but the vowels supplied to it are those of the emended consonantal text, which appears only on the margin, followed by the word Kere ('to be read').

1 Illustrations of this statement will be found, e.g.. in Dt. 33:21, 1 S. l6:9, Is. 9:6 [9:7], Ezek. 28:12, Mi. 2:8.

2 Thus the Hebrew oath was by the life of the person sworn by (e.g. Gen. 42:15-16, Amos 8:14) ; but in swearing by the true God this is altered into a predication of His Being. Hence the impossible mixed formula 'As the Lord liveth, and by the life of thy soul' (1 Sam. 20:3, etc.). But this mixed form is as old as the Targum. For other instances, see section 66.

3 Some of these lists and calculations form separate works, such as the tract Ochla, and are no doubt in part older than the written vowel-points and the Massoretic edition. For a full description of the methods used in the Massoretic Notes see Wellhausen-Bleek, Einleitung, 277.

A certain number of these alterations refer to the spelling or pronunciation of grammatical forms, of which the Kethibh has often preserved the older type, especially in the Aramaic portions of Daniel and Ezra. But where it is a question of real variation of reading there can be no doubt that the Kethibh was simply supposed to be corrupt, and the Kere was a more or less successful conjectural emendation. Thus we come to the very important conclusion that the Massoretic text itself is, in parts at least, ultimately based on a single faulty MS ; when we find in Ezek. 48:16 'five five hundred' in the text, not corrected, but with a marginal note to read 'five' only once, we cannot but conclude that here at any rate the editors had been reduced to following a single MS in which 'five' had been written twice over by mistake. 1

Few scholars will suppose that the Kere readings cover all the corrupt passages in the Hebrew text. They are simply the passages where the mistake was most patent and the remedy nearest at hand. It is only likely that we should find corruptions in the ancient literature of the Jews, literature written in a dead language and relating to vanished national and social conditions, circulating among a people whose seats of learning were again and again broken up by political misfortunes (see further, 66).

But in whatever condition the text underlying the Massoretic edition may be, criticism has to start from it. The direct evidence takes us no farther, and the only quarter from which we can hope for an improvement of the Hebrew text (apart from conjectural emendation) is the study of the ancient versions. From these we may at least learn something of the history of the text back to the second or the third century B.C.

Since the above was written some fragments of papyrus, containing the ten commandments, followed by the Shema (Dt. 6:4-5) in Hebrew, have been edited by S. A. Cook in PSBA (Jan. 1903). The appearance of the papyrus and the very remarkable hand writing, which presents striking resemblances with the Palmyrene character, point to a date not later than the second century A. D. The text agrees in several instances with the Septuagint against MT. It is possible, therefore, that further discoveries may one day enable us directly to control the Massoretic tradition.

32. Editions.[edit]

The three chief pointed editions of the Hebrew text are the Bomberg Folio, published in Venice 1525-6, the Mantua (Quarto with Norzi's commentary 1742-1744, and the octavo edition of Van der Hooght, 1705. The last is the parent of the ordinary reprints. The Bomberg edition is the work of Rabbi Jacob ben Hayyim, and contains, besides Rabbinical commentaries and the Targums, a vast collection of Massoretic material there brought together for the first time. Of modern editions that of Baer-Delitzsch is to be noticed for its correctness and the fulness of its Massoretic notes. C. D. Ginsburg also may be mentioned; his Massora. (now nearly completed) will contain the entire apparatus, with indices.

In addition to canonical Scripture there was a considerable body of pre-Christian Hebrew literature; but this has altogether perished, or is only known by translations into Greek, etc. Such for instance is the First Book of the Maccabees, the Book of Enoch, and others (see APOCRYPHA, APOCALYPTIC).

A fragment of this literature in the original Hebrew was brought to light in 1896 by the discovery of part of a MS of the Wisdom of Jesus the son of Sirach (XTD p). commonly called Ecclesiasticus. 2 Fragments of other MSS have been discovered in the following years. It is still disputed to what extent these MSS preserve the original text, as they seem to have been corrected in places to agree with the Syriac and with the Greek, whilst in other places the newly-recovered Hebrew differs widely from both versions. See ECCLESIASTICUS, 4-5, and especially SIRACH. The extensive variations between the Hebrew MSS and the ancient Greek and Syriac versions show the dangers to which Hebrew works were exposed in transmission unless artificially preserved by rules such as those observed by the Massoretes ; they also illustrate the freedom used by the ancients when translating profane literature.

1 In any given variation it is of course quite likely that the copies used by the Massoretes had not fallen into the error for the first time, but were slavishly repeating the originally accidental error of a single MS.

2 See ECCLESIASTICUS, 4 ; SIRACH.

B. VERSIONS.[edit]

44. OT versions.[edit]

The age and character of the versions of the OT are so different that it may be well to prefix a list of them, roughly in chronological order, to the more detailed examination which follows :

  • 1. The Samaritan (Heb. ) Pentateuch (section 45) and the Samaritan (Aram.) Targum (SAMARITANS, 5a), the origin of which goes back to 400 B.C.
  • 2. The ancient Greek version, commonly called the Septuagint (sections 46-47, 51-55). Parts of it date from the third century B.C. ; but other portions are not so ancient, and the whole has been much revised and altered in later times. This is the OT of the Greek church. There are valuable subsidiary translations of the Septuagint into Latin (sections 56-58), Coptic (section 63), Ethiopic (section 64), and Armenian (section 64), from the second to the seventh century A.D.), and at a later period into Syriac (sections 61-62), Arabic, Gothic, etc. (section 64).
  • 3. The Targums, paraphrases of the Hebrew OT in the various dialects of Jewish Aramaic for use in the synagogue. Their origin goes back to before the Christian Era ; but their extant form was fixed at a much later period (section 65).
  • 4. Later Greek translations of the Hebrew Scriptures, made during the second century A.D. by Jews or Jewish-Christians named Aquila (section 46), Symmachits (section 47), and Theodotion (section 48).
  • 5. The Syriac version, commonly called the Peshitta, a translation from the Hebrew, of unknown age but certainly earlier than the fourth century A.D. (section 60),
  • 6. The new Latin version made by Jerome at the beginning of the fifth century A.D., now known as the Vulgate (section 54).

It will be practically convenient to describe these versions of the OT under the languages in which they are found, irrespective of the character of the text.

The Samaritan Pentateuch is not a version; it is the Hebrew text of the five books of Moses as pre served by the Samaritan community.

45. Samaritan Pentateuch.[edit]

The Samaritans were a mixed race settled in the country round Samaria. They had been willing to join the Jews in rebuilding the temple after the return ; but when the Jews refused their help they became bitterly hostile, and Samaria formed a permanent asylum for those who left or were driven out by their co-religionists in Jerusalem. About 333 B.C. one of these refugees, a certain Manasseh, grandson of the high priest Eliashib (Neh. 13:23-31; Jos. Ant. 11:7:8), obtained leave from Darius Codomannus to set up a temple on Mt. Gerizim, and it is highly probable that along with the temple ritual he brought with him the then canonical Jewish Scriptures - i.e., the Book of the Law in Hebrew. 1 This alone forms the Scriptures of the Samaritans. It is written, like all their books, in the Samaritan character, which is the direct descendant of the old Hebrew writing. The dialect spoken by the Samaritans was a variety of western Aramaic (see ARAMAIC, 8; SAMARITANS, 5d), into which at some period was made a translation of the Pentateuch known as the Samaritan Targum (SAMARITANS, 5a); there is also found in Samaritan MSS an Arabic translation made about the eleventh century A.D. , at a time when the Samaritans, like the rest of the peoples of Syria, had adopted the Arabic language. See SAMARITANS.

1 It is not unlikely that the schism of Manasseh is the cause of the well-known various reading in Judg. 18:30, where the name Moses (mj c) has been changed into Manasseh (,TJ> c) by the insertion of a letter above the line. By this thoroughly rabbinic device a parallel between the earlier and the later northern schism was indicated, yet without entirely falsifying the text. 'Manasseh' is in the Kere. the Targum, the Peshitta, and the later texts of LXX; but the earlier text of LXX had 'Moses', which is still read by the Lyons Octateuch and some Greek MSS.

The Samaritan Pentateuch had from the beginning certain intentional adaptations to fit it to the new worship, as the command to build an altar on Mt. Gerizim inserted after Ex. 20:17, and the interchange of Ebal and Gerizim in Dt. 27:4. Characteristic also of the Samaritan Pentateuch are certain long interpolations from parallel or semi-parallel passages (e.g., at Ex. 20:19+ from Deut. 18, and in Nu. 20-21 from Deut. 1-3), and in some places anthropomorphic expressions are paraphrased, much as in the Targums. 1 On the other hand it has, presumably, escaped the corruptions which have befallen the purely Jewish line of transmission since the fourth century B.C., whence now and then it agrees with the Septuagint in preserving words and letters which have dropped out of the Massoretic text. 2 There is nothing, however, to show that the roll or rolls carried off by Manasseh contained a recension in any way superior to those then current in Jerusalem ; in fact, the Samaritan shares with all other extant forms of the Pentateuch some clear palaeographical corruptions, such as tc , Nu. 23:3l ^BD, Deut. 33:13, K m JIBD, Deut. 33:21 (see section 66).

The main thing, therefore, to be learnt from the Samaritan recension is that about the year 333 B.C., less than a century after Ezra, less than a century after the Torah in its present form had become once for all the Law-book of the Jewish church, the text of the Pentateuch was read substantially as we read it now.

The Samaritan Pentateuch and Targum were first printed by Morinus in the Paris Polyglott (1632) from a MS brought to urope by Pietro de la Valle. This was repeated in Walton's Polyglott (1657), and the Hebrew text separately printed in 1790. Bagster's Polyglott contains a collation of this edition with the ordinary printed Hebrew. Cp SAMARITANS, 5a.

I. GREEK.[edit]
Septuagint.[edit]
=46. Origin.=[edit]

Earliest among the versions properly so-called, perhaps the earliest translation of any considerable body of literature into a totally different language, is the ancient Greek version commonly known as the Septuagint.

According to the constant tradition of the Alexandrian Jews the Law was translated into Greek in the reign of Ptolemy Philadelphus (284-247 B.C.) at the instigation and under the patronage of Demetrius Phalareus the librarian of the Alexandrian Library. One of the two authors from whom we gather this is Aristobulus of Alexandria, a Jewish philosopher of the second century B.C.; the other is a Jewish writer of the Ptolemaic period who composed under the name of Aristeas, a courtier of Philadelphus, a fictional account of the origin of the version. Aristobulus (ap. Clem. Alex. Strom. 1:342 and Eus. Praep. Ev. 96 13:12) maintained that Pythagoras and Plato derived their philosophy from Moses, whilst the object of the pseudo-Aristeas (HISTORICAL LITERATURE, 19, vi.) appears to have been to represent the Greek version of the Law as having been undertaken with the express approval of the high-priestly circles in Jerusalem. These authors had no object in asserting that the version had been made about 280 B.C. under distinguished heathen patronage - such a representation must have stood in their way; we may therefore assume that it was a historical fact of which they were obliged to take account. 3 The name Septuagint comes from the story given by pseudo-Aristeas, and variously embellished by later writers, that the translation was made by seventy men (or seventy-two, six from each tribe), who all agreed in their renderings.

It will be noticed that these stories refer exclusively to the Pentateuch, to which alone the name Septuagint (LXX) properly belongs. But the whole Greek OT is now comprehended under this term, by a convenient if unhistorical usage, which goes back to the time of Origen.

The other books of the OT had an even less official origin than the translation of the Law. They seem to have been turned into Greek by different hands at various times from the middle of the third century B.C. down to the Christian Era, or even later.

1 E.g., Nu. 23:4.

2 E.g., Gen. 4:8, Deut. 32:35.

3 Demetrius Phalereus was exiled by Philadelphus early in his reign ; hence we cannot place the translation of the Law much later than 280.

=47. Citations.=[edit]

There is evidence for believing that Philo the Jew (about 30 B.C. - 50 A.D.) was acquainted with all the OT except Esther, Ecclesiastes, Song of Solomon, and Daniel {1} (cp CANON, 50). At a still earlier date (132 B.C.) the translator of Ecclesiasticus speaks of 'the Law and the Prophets and the rest of the Books' as existing in Greek (cp CANON, 39), whilst the Book of Wisd. 2:12 (? 50 B.C. ) contains a clear adaptation of the very peculiar rendering of Is. 3:10 in the LXX.

The use of the OT by the writers of the various books of the NT suggests many difficult problems, the solutions of which have by no means all been reached. Some writers, notably Lk. , clearly use LXX. Others, such as the writer of the first Gospel, often agree with the Hebrew in places where it differs from LXX. But it by no means follows that this latter class are using an independent Greek version. In the opinion of the present writer it is far more likely that the quotations in the NT that do not follow LXX are derived either directly from the Hebrew or mediately through the more or less fixed Aramaic renderings then current in the synagogue. In the case of the Apocalypse we must remember that it is in language an adaptation of a previously existing Jewish Apocalypse in Hebrew or Aramaic (APOCALYPSE, 24+), an adaptation so close as to be in parts, at least, a translation. Such a work naturally shows in its Greek dress many coincidences with the OT which are quite independent of LXX ; but these coincidences can scarcely be used with any confidence to postulate independent Greek versions. After the catastrophe of the Jewish War in 70 A.D. the Semitic-speaking Christianity of Palestine disappeared, and by the next generation the church became entirely dependent on the Greek version of the OT.

In the middle of the second century A.D. we find the Christian Justin and the Jew Trypho equally using the LXX and founding their arguments on its wording, though here and there (as in Is. 3:12, 7:14) the Jew is no longer satisfied with the traditional rendering. But after the Hebrew canon became definitely closed under Akiba and his school, and a stricter exegesis began to come into fashion, the LXX failed to satisfy the synagogue, and three separate attempts were made to supersede it. These are the new translations of Aquila and of Symmachus, and the elaborate revision of the LXX by Theodotion. As these works are of importance mainly for their influence upon the text of the LXX, which continued to be the translation used by the church, it will be convenient to describe them here.

1 Ryle, Philo and Holy Scripture, 32.

48. Version of Aquila.[edit]

Aquila, a native of Pontus, is said to have been a proselyte to Judaism and a disciple of the celebrated Rabbi Akiba (d. 135 A.D.). His version, therefore, may be dated about the second quarter of the second century. It is marked by the greatest literalness, an attempt being made to express every word of the original, and even to render the derivatives of a Hebrew root by derivatives from the corresponding Greek root (Field, 22). This method of translation was not the result of ignorance, but of a system of exegesis which was willing to deduce important theological conclusions from the presence or absence of the smallest particles. 2 For the textual critic Aquila's method is extremely convenient. It is always easy to retranslate his renderings into their Hebrew original, and (what is practically more important) his style is so pronounced that fragments of his work which have been incorporated with other documents can be easily recognised and eliminated.

The version of Aquila was used by Greek-speaking Jews in the days of Justinian (Nov. 146); but no MS was known to survive until some fragments of two very handsome codices were found among the debris from the Geniza of the Cairo synagogue, which were transferred in 1897 to the Cambridge University Library. The fragments of the books of Kings (1 K. 20:7-17, 2 K. 23;12-27) were edited in 1897 by F. C. Burkitt, those of Psalms (parts of Pss. 90-103) in 1899 by C. Taylor. 1 Small as is the extent covered by these fragments, they are of great importance for the criticism of Origen's Hexapla and the Hexaplar readings in our Greek MSS of the LXX.

A peculiarity of Aquila s version, as revealed by these fragments, is the use of the Old-Hebrew characler for the Tetragrammaton (Yahwe : see NAMES, 109^) [picture of proto-canaanite YHWH goes here], which is left thus untranslated. In Ps. 102:17 we find TGICON [teioon] for jv\,- [tsion], a notable transliteration, to be paralleled only by TI&2kH [tiade] in B's texl of Lam. 1:18, 2:18, 3:52-54, 4:18, itself probably adapted from Aquila.

2 'The Hebrew prefix eth, which marks the definite accusative, agrees in form with the preposition "with". Hence, when Dent. 10:20 says, "Thou shall fear eth-Jehovah thy God", Akiba interprets, "Thou shall fear the doctors of the law along with Jehovah". So Aquila, the disciple of Akiba, translates the mark of the accusative by (n>o [syn]' (WRS, OTJC, 1881, 399). In such cases trvv [syn] does not govern a case.

49. Of Symmachus.[edit]

Symmachus is said to have been a Samaritan by race and an Ebionite Christian by religion. His version seems to have been published between the times of Irenaeus and of Origen, about 200 A. D. His method was utterly different from Aquila's, as he aimed at giving a rendering of the OT in Greek sufficiently idiomatic not to offend a reader ignorant of Semitic constructions. The Hebrew text which underlies the translation of Symmachus is equally with that of Aquila almost identical with the Massoretic. Both Symmachus and Aquila appear to have published second editions of their translations, differing slightly from the first.

50. Of Theodotion.[edit]

Theodotion is mentioned along with Aquila by Irenaeus (Haer. 3:23) as a modern translator in contradistinction to the ancient Seventy. He is said to have been an Ephesian and a proselyte to Judaism; other accounts make him, like Symmachus, an Ebionite. The date of his work is uncertain; but, according to Epiphanius, it falls within the reign of Commodus (180-192 A.D.). The only reason for doubting this and assigning Theodotion to a considerably earlier date is that coincidences with the version of Daniel, which goes by his name, have been detected in various early Christian writings, including some books of the NT. But these coincidences admit of another explanation (see above, 47) which has strong claims on our acceptance; it would, moreover, be against all analogy that Christian literary tradition should put a work of this kind a century too late.

Theodotion's edition differs essentially from those of Aquila and Symmachus. It was not, like theirs, an independent translation, but a revision of the LXX by the existing Hebrew. He supplied translations of words and passages of the Hebrew for which there was no equivalent in the LXX, but retained the additions of the Greek which are unrepresented in the Massoretic text. The renderings of the LXX were largely retained by him, and the construction of the sentences but little changed. His own renderings followed the general style of the LXX, his chief peculiarity being a fondness for transliterating Hebrew words instead of translating. Theodotion seems to have based his work on a good text of the LXX, which is often unrepresented in our existing MSS, and this constitutes for us his chief value.

The revision of the LXX thus made by Theodotion appears very soon to have influenced the text used by Christian scholars. Clear traces of Theodotion's renderings are found in some of the quotations of Clement of Alexandria (e.g., Peed. 1:10 = Is. 48:22 ; Strom. 2:22 = Ezek. 18:4-9). 2 A little later the same remarkable phenomenon meets us in Tertullian's quotations from Ezekiel (Tertullian, De Res. Carnis, 29 = Ezek. 37:1-14; Adv. Iudaeos, 11 = Ezek. 8:12-9:6). But the quotations of Cyprian and other Latin writers from Ezekiel are free from admixture with Theodotion. On the other hand, the Church definitely adopted Theodotion's revision of Daniel in the place of the older and more paraphrastical translation of the LXX. The history of this important change is extremely obscure. It may have been helped on by the popularity of the commentary on Daniel issued by Hippolytus (about 220 A.D.), and, in any case, it was accepted even in the Latin-speaking church at Carthage during the lifetime of Cyprian (250 A.D.). One consequence of this change is that all copies of the genuine LXX text of Daniel have disappeared except two, and these give the text only as revised by Origen (section 49). We have, therefore, a very imperfect idea of the range of variation in the ecclesiastical texts of Daniel current in early times, and it is probable that the coincidences of language with Theodotion s Daniel which have been observed in early writers are due to the use, not of Theodotion s text itself, but of a text of the LXX, akin to that which Theodotion took as the basis of his revision.

It has been maintained by Sir H. H. Howorth (PSD A 23:147-159 [1901]), and the theory has great probability, that the book called Ezra B in our Greek MSS of the Septuagint, which is practically a literal translation of the Massoretic text of Ezra-Nehemiah, is a part of the work of Theodotion, the original Greek rendering of the book being that called Ezra A - i.e. , '1 Esdras' in the English Apocrypha (see EZKA, THE GREEK).

1 The numeration in each case is that of the Hebrew text.

2 See 'Clemens Alexandrinus und die LXX', by Dr. Otto Stahlin {Beit. z. Jahresb. d. K. neuen Gymnasiums in Nurnberg, 1901).

51. Origen's work.[edit]

About the year 240 the celebrated Origen, then living as an exile from Alexandria at Caesarea in Palestine, prepared an edition of all these versions arranged in parallel columns, which is known as the Hexapla. The six columns contained

  • (1) the Hebrew,
  • (2) a transliteration of the Hebrew into Greek letters,
  • (3) Aquila,
  • (4) Symmachus,
  • (5) the LXX,
  • (6) Theodotion.

In the poetical and prophetical books there were also extracts from a fifth and a sixth Greek version, both of unknown age and authorship. The columns were arranged in very short cola, the extant fragments rarely containing more than the equivalent of one or two Hebrew words. A smaller edition, called the Tetrapla, was afterwards prepared by Origen himself, consisting of the four Greek versions alone, without the Hebrew columns. The Hexapla, however, was not merely a synoptical table; it was rather an attempt to emend the LXX by the Hebrew, like the edition of Theodotion. In the words of Jerome (Praef. in Paralipomenon), 'Origen not only brought together the four translations - writing down their renderings one against the other, so that the eccentricities of anyone of them can be convicted by the agreement of the three others between themselves; but, what was more audacious, he interpolated the LXX from Theodotion's translation, marking the fresh additions with asterisks, and at the same time obelising those parts [of the genuine LXX] which seemed to be superfluous' - i.e. , as having no equivalent in the Hebrew. 1 It should be remarked that though the additions are usually taken from Theodotion there are many places where the missing words are adapted from Aquila or Symmachus. In principle the Hexaplar text of the LXX differs from Theodotion's edition only in two particulars:-

  • (i) the process of revision was chiefly confined to supplying what was missing, not to altering the Greek renderings;
  • (2) all additions to the text, of whatever kind, were indicated by critical marks.

But there was no clear indication of actual changes in the text itself, as distinct from additions or suggested subtractions. 2

1 See also Origen in Matt. 15:14 (3:671).

2 There probably were a few various readings set in the margin, some of which are preserved in the Syro-Hexaplar text of 4 Kings under the sign of O|(i.e., fifth column). Some of these O| readings are the last survival of a very pure LXX text; see below, section 66.

As to the amount of change admitted by Origen into the Hexaplar text, it is probable that he emended the Hebrew proper names (cp Orig. in Joann. 1:159 in Brooke's edition with the Hexapla to Ex.6:16); but he seems often to have hesitated to introduce emendations which seriously affected the sense. Thus in Jer. 15:10 he retained ovre ii</>e A)cra, ovre u>$e A)(reV /ue ou6ei? [oute oophelesa, oute oopelesen me oudeis] for 3 !; ] N^l JVE J N^i instead of substituting cu<|)eiAr)o-a [oopheilesa] and <i$ei Ar/(Te /uoi [oopheilese] from Theodotion, although he believed the LXX to contain a scribal error (Orig. 8:225). The scribal error, however, seems to occur in Philo (De Confus. Ling., 12).


52. Three recensions.[edit]

The last quarter of the third century and the beginning of the fourth are marked by the appearance of three editions of the LXX, from one or other of which practically all our Greek MSS are descended. 'Alexandria with Egypt uses as its Septuagint the work of Hesychius; Constantinople, as far as Antioch, uses the copies of Lucian the martyr; the provinces lying between these extremes use the MSS of Origen's work issued by Eusebius and Pamphilus' (Jerome, Praef. in Paralip.: 'Alexandria et Aegyptus in Septuaginta suis Hesychium laudat auctorem, Constantinopolis usque Antiochiam Luciani martyris exemplaria probat; mediae inter has prouinciae Palestinos codices legunt, quos ab Origene elaborates Eusebius et Pamphilus uulgauerunt, totusque orbis hac inter se trifaria uarietate compugnat'). Of these three editions, the Eusebian is the Hexaplar text of the LXX with its apparatus of asterisks (*) and obeli (T [obeloi]) ; the Hesychian edition is that found in the quotations of Cyril of Alexandria, and corresponds in character to Hort's 'Alexandrian' text of the NT; the Lucianic edition, like the 'Antiochian' text of the NT, is characterised by attempts to smooth down grammatical harshnesses and by conflate readings, where two previously existing and mutually exclusive renderings have been fused into one. 1 It is this circumstance which gives the Lucianic LXX considerable value for us, as internal evidence conclusively shows that one at least of the elements out of which this composite text was constructed was not only ancient, but also quite independent of the texts used for the Hexapla.

53. Extant manuscripts.[edit]

Such in brief is the history of the ; a few words must now be said about the existing MSS, and the relation they bear towards the various ancient texts. First of course come the four great MSS of the fourth and fifth centuries, viz. the Vaticanus (B), the Sinaiticus (X [aleph]), the Alexandrian (A), and the fragments of Cod. Ephraemi (C). Besides these there are a multitude of copies from the sixth century onwards ; but very few of these ever contained the whole OT, which is usually divided up into divisions such as the Octateuch, the Prophets, etc. The Psalter is usually separate.

The original MS of Origen's Hexapla was doubtless never copied again in full on account of its unwieldy bulk; but fragments of the Psalms in all five editions, accompanied by a Catena Patrum, were discovered in the Ambrosian Library at Milan in 1896 by G. Mercati. The MS (O 39 sup. ) is a palimpsest, the original writing containing in tenth-century minuscules all the columns of the Hexapla, except the Hebrew in Hebrew letters. A fragment of Ps. 22, containing all six columns, was found in 1898 among the Cairo Geniza MSS at Cambridge, and has been published by C. Taylor together with his fragments of Aquila (see above, section 48).

More important for practical purposes than these fragments are the MSS connected with the Eusebian edition of the LXX. These are of varied character. Some, like the great codex X [aleph], give a text more or less corrected to the Hexaplar standard, but without the diacritical marks. Others, such as Codex Sarravianus (G) of the Octateuch, have the critical signs, whilst others have the critical signs together with marginal notes containing renderings from Aquila, Symmachus, Theodotion, etc. Foremost among these fuller authorities is the Syro-Hexaplar version made by Paul of Telia in 616-617 A.D. (see section 61), one of the most valuable extant works for the text of the LXX.

From some of the notes in the Syro-Hexaplaric version and from remarks of Theodoret it has been possible for Field and Lagarde independently to identify the MSS which contain a Lucianic text. The Hesychian text is best represented by the first hand of Codex Marchalianus (Q), a sixth-century MS of the prophets. A second hand has added to this MS a number of Hexaplar readings from the other editions.

1 The original copy of Lucian s recension, written by his own hand, is said by Theodoret to have been found in the time of Constantine at Nicomedia walled up in the turret of a house belonging to Jews.

54. Prited editions.[edit]

The chief printed editions of are:-

  • (1) the Aldine, Venice, 1518;
  • (2) the Complutensian Polyglott, Alcala, printed 1514-1517, published 1522, representing a Lucianic text;
  • (3) the Sixtine, Rome, 1587, based on Cod. B;
  • (4) the Alexandrian, Oxford, 1707-1720, i.e., Grabe's edition, based on Cod. A;
  • (5) Holmes and Parsons, Oxford, 1798-1827, a reprint of the Sixtine text (Cod. B.), but with an apparatus containing the various readings of many MSS and Fathers. 1

Quite distinct from these, as aiming to reproduce not MSS but particular recensions of LXX are: Field's Hexapla, a collection of the extant fragments, Oxford, 1875; and Lagarde's restoration of the Lucianic text {Gen. -Esther only), Gottingen, 1883.

1 The useful editions of Tischendorf (7th ed. 1887) give the Sixtine text with the variants of BXAC. The Cambridge Editio Minor, 1887-1894, gives the text of B and the variants of XAC with some other uncial MSS; a larger edition is in progress which it is hoped will supersede Holmes and Parsons.

55. Recovery of original LXX.[edit]

Lagarde in his Anmerkungen zur griechischen Ubersetsung der Proverbial, 3 (see Driver, TBS, p. 47) has laid down the following rules for recovering the original text of the LXX from our authorities :

  • 1. The MSS of the Greek translation of the OT are all either immediately or mediately the result of an eclectic process: it follows that he who aims at recovering the original text must follow an eclectic method likewise. His only standard will be his knowledge of the style of the individual translators: his chief aid will be the faculty possessed by him of referring the readings which come before him to their Semitic original, or else of recognising them as corruptions originating in the Greek.
  • 2. If a verse or part of a verse appears in both a free and a slavishly literal translation, the former is to be counted the genuine rendering.
  • 3. If two readings coexist, of which one expresses the Massoretic text, while the other can only be explained from a text deviating from it, the latter is to be regarded as the original.

These admirable rules, however, practically give up the attempt to trace out the history of the text of the LXX. It may therefore be worth while to indicate the lines on which such an attempt may be undertaken.

In the first place it is necessary to get some criterion for estimating the worth of the Hexaplar text with its apparatus of asterisks, etc. , as preserved in existing MSS. For this we may use the fragments of the Old Latin which are certainly derived from a Greek text older than the Hexapla (see section 56-57). Along with the Old Latin we may take the quotations from the early Greek fathers, so far as their text can be trusted. When we compare our Hexaplar text with these primary sources of information the general result may be summarised thus:

  • (i) The critical signs attached to the text, especially the all-important asterisks (*) which mark interpolations introduced into the LXX from Aquila, Symmachus, or Theodotion, are fairly well preserved. Single authorities have dropped or misplaced them here and there ; but it is rarely the case that the majority of our witnesses conspire in error.
  • (2) The Hexaplar text itself, when purged of the interpolations under * is a good text of the LXX, on the whole the best continuous text which survives.
  • (3) It is very far, however, from being really pure. The proper names have been largely corrected to the Massoretic Hebrew, while in other matters inferior readings have been either introduced or have been wrongly followed.

Having thus gained some idea of the worth of the Hexaplar text we may go on to apply these results to the criticism of our chief surviving MSS. Their value and independence will be found to differ greatly in the various books. That they all contain 'Theodotion's' Daniel, not the Daniel of the genuine LXX, is perhaps not due to the Hexapla alone, as the change probably occurred earlier. But it was Origen who introduced nearly 400 lines (i.e. , half-verses) into the LXX text of Job from Theodotion, yet these interpolations are found in all our MSS ; so far therefore as Job is concerned it is certain that none of our MSS go behind the Hexapla. The fact that in various parts of the OT, notably the four books of Kings (KINGS, 3 ; cp SAMUEL, 4) and Ezekiel, LXX{B} leaves out many passages known to be interpolations, has given plausibility to the belief that it presents us with a pre-Hexaplaric text ; but other phenomena of LXX{B} are inconsistent with this view, and it is better to regard LXX{B} as in the main a Hexaplar text without the passages under asterisk (Lagarde, Proverbien, 3, n. i). In Judges, Isaiah, and Lamentations, the text of LXX{B} is neither Hexaplaric nor that of the unrevised LXX. 1 [On the text of Judges, cp JUDGES, 18.]

The text of LXX{A} shows greater independence than that of LXX{B} and though it is sprinkled more or less throughout the OT with Hexaplaric additions it often retains the reading of the LXX when most other MSS have gone wrong. 2

The Lucianic text contains a singular mixture of good and bad readings ; but so far as can be judged from the surviving evidence its good readings are also those of the Old Latin. Its value to us therefore is to supply evidence akin to the Old Latin, where that invaluable witness fails us. The character of the Lucianic text is indicated by Jerome (Ep. ad Sunniam et Fretelam, ap. Field, p. 86) when he says: 'editionem, quam Origenes, etc. Koivf\v [koine] id est communem appellant atque uulgatam, et a plerisque mine Aot /aacoj [loukanos] dicitur'. Lucian's revision, rather than the Hexaplar texts, is the representative of the old KOIVT] &c<5ocrts [koine ekdosis] that survives approximately pure in the better texts of the Old Latin. The difference between the comparative value to us of the Antiochian texts of the OT and the NT simply comes from the paucity of what we might call early Western texts of the OT in Greek. If a MS analogous to Codex Bezae survived, the value of the Lucianic text would have been largely discounted.

1 Cp, for example, Is. 49:18 in LXX{B} and the Hexapla. In Lamentations the names of the Hebrew letters of the alphabet are transliterated in LXX{B} differently from other MSS, TI [ti] being used for ;j [ts] and \<r [chs] for iy [sh] (see above, 48).

2 E.g., Judg. 5:8, end.

II. LATIN.[edit]
56. The Old Latin version.[edit]

The Old Latin is the only version of the OT made from the Greek which is certainly older than the Hexapla. The Syriac version of the OT was translated direct from the Hebrew, not from the Greek, and the other oriental versions belong to a later period. Hence the Old Latin occupies a unique position, and must be regarded as the chief authority for the restoration of the KOLVT] HnSoa-is [koine ekdosis], or pre-Hexaplaric LXX. Unfortunately it survives only in fragments, and some of the better-preserved forms are the result of revision from Greek texts later than the original translation.

As in the NT, the quotations of Cyprian (d. 258) form the standard by which we may classify our texts. Cyprian quotes from nearly all the books of OT and NT and with almost unfailing accuracy, so that we may gather from his works a fair idea of the characteristics of the OT in Latin as it was read at Carthage about the middle of the third century. Closely akin to the Cyprianic text is that used in De Pascha Computus, except in Daniel. A slightly later type is presented by the various Donatist texts, such as that found in the extensive quotations of Tyconius, and in the Gesta of the 'Collatio Carthaginiensis' held in 411 A.D.; among these also must be reckoned the Lucca Genealogiae (Lagarde, Septuaginta Stitdien, 25-28), a historical work of purely Latin origin containing a very large number of biblical proper names, all of which are given in pre-Hexaplaric spelling.

Among 'European' texts special mention must be made of Lucifer of Cagliari (d. 371), whose quotations, especially from the historical books, are very full and accurate. The pseudo-Augustinian Speculum (Corp. Scrip. Eccl. Lat. 12), a collection of biblical extracts somewhat similar to the Testitnonia of Cyprian has a text, possibly Spanish in origin, which contains some elements belonging to the earlier form of the version.

Revised texts, which cannot be used as evidence for the true Old Latin save in exceptional cases, are met with in Ambrose, Augustine, and Jerome. Jerome's quotations especially are often taken direct from the Greek and usually agree with LXX{X [aleph]} and LXX{B}. Augustine (to mention only the clearest cases) used Jerome s transla tion of Job from the Hexapla, and in Judg. 5 he agrees with the Hexaplar Codex Coislinianus against the true Old Latin as preserved by Verecundus. 1 Tertullian's curious use of a text of the LXX mixed with Theodotion's in the Book of Ezekiel has been already noticed (see section 50).

=57. MSS.=[edit]

The most complete MS of any part of the Old Latin OT is the Lyons Heptateuch of the seventh century, containing most of the Pentateuch, Joshua, &S and Judges to 20:31 (ed. by U. Robert, 1881 and 1900). A better text is to be found in the Freising Palimpsest now at Munich, of the fifth or sixth century (Bruchstucke einer vorhieronymianischen Ubersetzung des Pentateuch . . ., by L. Ziegler, 1883); although this MS shows some marks of literary revision it contains a Cyprianic element, which in conjunction with the general independence of its text places it in the first rank of LXX authorities. 2 Its independence is especially noticeable in the latter chapters of Exodus.

Other Old Latin MSS, all of them palimpsests or mere fragments, are:- the Vienna Palimpsest of Genesis (? Oct. ) and the historical books, fifth-sixth century, a text which agrees remarkably with that of Lucifer, and only requires to be well edited to take its place among the very best MSS ; the two Wurzburg Palimpsests, one of the Pentateuch, the other of the Prophets, fifth-sixth century, both edited by E. Ranke, 1871; the Weingarten MS of the prophets, fifth century, also edited by E. Ranke, 1868-1888. Besides these there are smaller fragments at Quedlinburg, Vienna, and S. Gallen. Of a slightly different character are the two documents edited by Vercellone in his Variae Lectiones Vulg. Lat. Bibl. editionis, viz., extracts out of Genesis and Exodus from the Codex Ottobonianus, an eighth-century MS of the Latin Vulgate, and the various readings written in the margin of a Visigothic MS of the Latin Vulgate at Leon in Spain. These various readings agree very closely with the Lucianic text, much closer in fact than any other form of the Old Latin, so the conjecture may be hazarded that they were translated direct from some Greek MS.

A number of Latin Psalters are extant ; but none of them represents the earlier stages cf the version, as the quotations of Cyprian differ widely from them all. 1

1 Printed in Pitra's Spicilegium Solesmense and in Vercellone's Variae Lectiones.

2 See Ex. 17:14 for the revision. In Ex. 32:1 the MS has eicere for 'to bring out' of Egypt (eftvyeiy [exagein]) with Cyprian, Test. 1:1. For an instance of its positive value in correcting the Greek see Ex. 40:3, where in place of oxenereis TT]V Kifiiarbv [TOV liaprvpio T<] KaTamfTaerjmaTi [skepaseis ten kibooton [tou martyriou] too katapetasmati], which is the reading of all other LXX authorities, Greek and Latin, and corresponds verbally with the Massoretic text, we find in the Friesberg MS et super eam propitiatorium ; that is, it reads niSD instead of rOTS, with the Samaritan and the Jer. Targ. Thus by Lagarde's canons the Freising MS alone has preserved the true text of the LXX in this passage.

=58. Apocrypha.=[edit]

The OT 'Apocrypha' - i.e. , those books of the Greek OT which are not in the Hebrew canon - were left more or less untouched by Jerome; in these books, therefore, the Old Latin survives in the Vulgate. In fact, the Vulgate text of Wisdom and Ecclesiasticus does not differ appreciably from the Cyprianic standard. It is therefore important to notice the divergence in the arrangement of Ecclesiasticus 30-36 in the Greek and the Latin. In these chapters the Greek order fails to yield a natural sequence, whereas the Latin arrangement, which is also that of the Syriac and Armenian versions, makes excellent sense. Two sections [of the Greek], chap. 30:25-33:13a (us *ca\a/ta- /te^os . . . 0i Xds Ia/cii/3 [oos kalamoomenos ... phylas iakoob]) and chap. 33:13b-36:16a \afjiwpa. xapSia . . . <rxaTOS Tjypi wvrjcra [lampra kardia ... eschatos egrypnesa]), have exchanged places. . . . There can be little doubt that in the exemplar from which, so far as is certainly kno\vn, all our Greek MSS of this book [Ecclus.] are ultimately derived, the pairs of leaves on which these sections were severally written had been transposed, whereas the Latin translator, working from a MS in which the transposition had not taken place, has preserved the true order (Swete, pref. to vol. ii. of the Cambridge Septuagint, p. 6-7). 2 A fact of this kind deserves to be particularly mentioned, as it brings out the exceptional value of the Old Latin for the text of the LXX, and the essential homogeneousness of our Greek authorities notwithstanding their numerous variations. 3

A conspectus of the biblical quotations of the Latin Fathers, together with such Old Latin MSS as were then available, is to be found in the great work of Sabatier (Bibliorum Sacrorum Latinae Versiones Antiquie, 1743 and 1751).

59. Vulgate.[edit]

Jerome's edition of the NT was a simple revision of an existing text; but his version of the OT was wholly new. It is, in fact, a translation of the Hebrew into Latin independent of the LXX, though Jerome frequently adopts renderings from the other Greek editions, particularly that of Symmachus. The great work had been begun at the invitation of Pope Damasus ; but that powerful patron died when only the Gospels had been issued (384 A.D.), and Jerome left Rome for Bethlehem. The various parts of the OT were published separately and furnished with prefaces, in which the merits of the Hebrew over the Greek and the methods of translation adopted are vigorously defended.

Thus the Latin church was confronted with a new version of the Bible which had no external authority to recommend it save the well-deserved reputation of Jerome as the most learned scholar of his day. It is not surprising that it met at first with opposition. Its ultimate success is probably due in great measure to Augustine. At first Augustine thought the new version of the OT too revolutionary, and almost to the end of his life clung to a belief in the inspiration of the Seventy. He wrote of Jerome's translation, however, with increasing respect and occasionally quotes from it (e.g. , De Civitate Dei, 184:3), and in his last work - the genuine Speculum, a collection of biblical extracts, left unfinished at his death in 430 - he follows the new version wholly, except where he quotes from memory. In the sixth century Cassiodorus seems to have treated the two versions on an equal footing ; but Isidore of Seville in the seventh century uses Jerome's exclusively. From that time it really deserves the name 'Vulgate' now universally applied to it, though as a matter of fact it was not so called before the time of Roger Bacon. In Jerome's own works Vulgata means the Old Latin.

The difference between the Vulgate and the Old Latin in the OT is so great that mixed recensions were less readily formed than in the NT, though single passages have suffered corruption from time to time in the MSS. As was remarked above, the Latin church in adopting the new version added to it from the Old Latin those books which formed no part of the Hebrew canon and were therefore left untouched by Jerome.

The best MS of the Vulgate is considered to be the Codex Amiatinus (a seventh-century MS of the whole OT and NT, see 21), the variations of which from the authorised Clementine text have been not very accurately published by Heysch and Tischendorf (in 1873); a valuable collection of readings is brought together in the unfinished Variae Lectiones of Vercellone.

The Vulgate is less useful to the textual critic than the Old Latin, just as the later forms of the LXX which contain interpolations and corrections from Theodotion are not so useful as the earlier forms. That, however, is because we have access to the Massoretic Hebrew in the original and possess admirable renderings of it into the vernacular. The early forms of the LXX are valuable because by their aid we can correct some errors which have befallen the existing Hebrew text. It should not be forgotten, however, that the LXX is often a bad translation to work from, many passages being quite devoid of sense as they stand, a defect that was sometimes intensified by the further translation of Greek into Latin. The Vulgate, on the other hand, is the work of a competent scholar, and gives the meaning of the Hebrew with comparative accuracy and clearness. It was the great good fortune of the Latin church that so excellent a translator should have been raised up for the work, and it is her great glory that neither the sentimental associations of the old version nor the increasing ignorance of the Dark Ages were able to interfere with her final acceptance of S. Jerome's labours.

1 Cp also the remarks of Augustine (De Doct. Christiana, 2:19) on Ps. 13:3.

2 The English version, both in AV and RV, follows the Latin here.

3 The Syriac of Ecclesiasticus is not a witness for the LXX, as it was made for the most part direct from the Hebrew; the Armenian here probably follows the Syriac as so often elsewhere. The newly-recovered Hebrew text supports the Latin order, as might be anticipated.

With regard to the Latin text of Ecclesiasticus it has recently been shown by Thielmann that chaps, 45-50 are the work of a later hand; apparently the praise of the Jewish Fathers was intentionally left out by the Christian translator as superfluous to his object (cp J. H. A. Hart's edition of the Greek cod. 248).

III. SYRIAC AND OTHER VERSIONS.[edit]
60. Peshitta.[edit]

In the OT the Syriac Vulgate, commonly called Peshitta, is a translation made direct from the Hebrew. Time and place of translation are alike unknown. It is conjectured that it was made at Edessa, the centre of Syriac literary culture, and it seems to have been the work of Jews rather than Christians. 1 There is no surviving trace of any previous recension of the text; the earliest Syriac Father, Aphraates, who is our chief quarry for pre-Vulgate citations from the Syriac NT, quotes the OT in literal accordance with the Peshitta.

The character of the Peshitta varies in the different books, which has been held as an indication that the version was the work of several hands. The Pentateuch and Job (which in the Syriac follows the Pentateuch) are rendered literally ; some of the other books, notably Chronicles, are very freely paraphrased. But the Hebrew underlying the Syriac is in almost all cases simply the Massoretic text. 2 Here and there, especially in the Prophets, there are unmistakable traces of the influence of the LXX. No satisfactory explanation of this influence has yet been reached; it is possible that it dates from the establishment of the church in Edessa about the end of the second century.

1 Cp especially 1 Ch. 6:2, where the words 'for Judah prevailed above his brethren, and of him came the prince' (t ^) are rendered in the Peshitta 'From Judah shall come forth King Messiah'. Cp also J. Perles, Meletemata Peschitthoniana (1859).

2 Some of the best MSS supply a striking illustration of the close connection of the Peshitta with the Hebrew by the fact that they contain a note marking the exact place where the half of a book comes in the Massoretic text. Cornill (Esechiel, Prol. 144) brings this forward as . proof that the Ambrosianus has been revised from the Hebrew; but the phenomenon is to be found in other MSS of other books, and as far as we know the tendency of the Syrians was to correct from the LXX, not from the Hebrew.

There are a few instances where the Syriac seems to represent a really different Hebrew, not agreeing with the LXX. In Judg. 14:8 Pesh. reads minn for nmnrti so as to make the sentence run 'when Samson had not yet entered the marriage chamber'. Such readings occur so rarely, however, that we must suppose this instance to have been the result of a brilliant guess (cp chap. 15:1).

In addition to the Hebrew canon the Syrians had translations of the OT Apocrypha, in most cases derived from the Greek; but the Syriac Ecclesiasticus is partly a rendering of the Hebrew. The dates of all these translations are quite unknown; but it seems tolerably certain that alterations were made from time to time with a view to harmonising the Syriac text with that of the LXX' (Wright's Syriac Literature, 4), a process which may have begun as early as the episcopate of Palut (about 200 A.D.).

The Peshitta is extant in many MSS of considerable antiquity. The oldest known dated MS of any portion of OT or NT in any language is the Cod. Add. 14,425 in the British Museum containing Gen., Ex., Nu., Dt., transcribed at Amid in the year 464 A.D. A good text of the whole OT is presented by the Cod. Ambrosianus of the sixth century, which contains, in addition to the ordinary 'Apocrypha', the Apocalypse of Baruch and 4 Esdras. This MS has been reproduced in photolithography by Ceriani.

The most accessible edition of the OT Peshitta (without the Apocrypha) is that prepared by Lee for the 'British and Foreign Bible Society' in 1823 ; but it only reproduces with little variation the text of the London and the Paris Polyglott. In fact all the printed editions go back to the ed. princeps in the Paris Polyglott, which is a mere transcript of a very late MS (now at Paris), as conjecturally emended by the editor Gabriel Sionita. 1 For practical purposes, therefore, Ceriani's reproduction of the Ambrosianus is the most satisfactory text that has yet appeared.

1 See An Apparatus Criticus to Chronicles in the Peshitta Version by W. E. Barnes, 1897.

61. Syriac versions from the Greek.[edit]

The earliest attempt at a Syriac version from the LXX seems to have been that called by the name of Philoxenus, made in 508 A.D. (see 30). Of this version fragments of Isaiah survive in a MS in the British Museum (edited by Ceriani in Monumenta Sacra et Profana, 5:1:1-40). It seems to have been a free revision of the Peshitta by a Lucianic MS, producing a curious mixed text.

Of far more critical value is the Syriac version corresponding to the Harclean revision of the NT, which is commonly known as the Syro-Hexaplar. This was made at Alexandria in 616-617 A.D. by Paul, Bishop of Telia (Assemani, BO 2:333, 2:334). It contains a translation of Origen's text of the LXX with the asterisks and obeli, together with many marginal renderings from the other Greek editions ; the style, moreover, of the Syriac translation is so literal that the exact Greek represented can be recovered with considerable accuracy. The work of Paul of Telia formed Field's chief authority in his reconstruction of the Hexapla.

The Syro-Hexaplar version is extant for most books of the OT. The poetical and prophetical books are extant in a cod. in the Ambrosian Library at Milan which has been published in photo-lithography by Ceriani (Man. Sacr. et Prof. 5). The remains of the Pentateuch and Historical Books are collected in Lagarde's Bibliothecae Syriacae etc., published in 1892.

At the beginning of the eighth century Jacob of Edessa made a final effort to revise the Peshitta by the various Greek versions; but his work does not seem to have ever gained any currency. He made use of no materials which we do not possess from other sources

62. Palestinian version.[edit]

The whole OT appears to have been translated into the Palestinian dialect (see 31) ; but only small fragments now survive. It is a translation from the Greek, certainly post-Hexaplaric, and it probably presented a text closely akin to the 'Eusebian' edition (section 52) and the Codex Vaticanus. The fragments of the OT, so far as they have already been published, are collected in Land's Anecdota, vol. 4, in Anecdota Oxoniensa (Semitic Series), and in a lectionary edited by Mrs. Lewis (Studi a Sinaitica, 6, 1897).

63. Coptic versions.[edit]

The general history of the Bible in Coptic has been discussed in the section upon Egyptian versions of the NT. The Bohairic version in the OT has the same characteristics as in the New, and there is every reason to assign it to the same date, viz., the sixth century. It is not even yet edited in full ; but the Prophets have been edited by Tattam, the Pentateuch and Psalms by Lagarde, and lately Proverbs by Bouriant.

The Sahidic version from its greater antiquity is of more importance. Of this the Borgian MSS, together with other fragments previously collected, were admirably edited by Ciasca (Rome, 1885-9). The Psalms have been edited by Budge from a seventh-century MS in the British Museum (1898), and now lately again by Rahlfs. There is also a large addition to OT Sahidic texts to be found in Maspero, Mission archeol. franc. , tom. 6. The general character of the text resembles that of the first hand of Cod. Marchalianus (Q); that is, it is akin to what we are accustomed to call the Hesychian recension of the LXX (52). Ciasca himself (2:55) points out that the Minor Prophets show clear signs of revision 'iuxta archetypum hebraeum. The text of Daniel is that of Theodotion, as in the Greek MSS. The type of Greek text followed by the Sahidic in the Psalms is represented by U, the fragments of a papyrus book in the British Museum (see F. E. Brightman in the Journ. of Theol. Studies, 2275). U is now considered to be of the sixth or the seventh century, and is said to have come from a monastery near Thebes. Doubtless, therefore, it gives us the text of the Psalter as sung in the earliest days of Christian monasticism, and where it is defective it may be reconstructed from the Sahidic as edited by Budge, Rahlfs, and Ciasca.

The chief interest of the Sahidic version centres in the Book of Job. As has been explained above (section 55), the original Greek translation of Job omitted between three and four hundred lines, or half verses, which were supplied in the Hexapla under asterisk. The Sahidic leaves these lines out, and it is generally supposed that it therein represents the pre-Origenian KOivrj HicSocris [koine ekdosis], like the Old Latin. But apart from the difficulty of assigning to the Sahidic version of Job the high antiquity which would be required for a translation uninfluenced by the Hexapla we should have to think of the second century, instead of the end of the third or the beginning of the fourth there are other reasons which are inconsistent with this view. It is far more in accordance with all the facts to regard the Sahidic Job as a translation of Origen's revised text of the LXX, with the passages under asterisk omitted. The Sahidic text, when it is examined closely, cannot claim to preserve even so large a measure of independence as the Greek Cod. A; we may fairly describe LXX{A} as a text of the K.OWT\ [koine] interpolated from the Hexapla, but the Sahidic is Origenian from post to finish.

The importance of this question for the history of the Greek Bible makes it necessary to indicate the chief signs of the dependence of the Sahidic on the Hexapla.

  • 1. Ciasca uses five Sahidic codices for Job. One of these, the Bodleian MS edited by Erman, contains the Hexaplaric additions as an integral part of the text. The 400 half-verses, therefore, were not altogether unknown in Upper Egypt.
  • 2. A few of the lines which are distinctly assigned to Aquila or Theodotion in our Hexaplar authorities are found in the Sahidic. Thus Job 30:20b and 30:22b (from Theod.) are in their ordinary place; 9:15b (from Aq.) is inserted after v. 14.
  • 3. After Job 11:20-21, LXX{A} adds nap avria yao <TO<fiia *ai Svfajuts [par autoo gar sophia kai dynamis]. Syr.-Hex. obelises these words - i.e., they are a genuine part of LXX, though not in the Hebrew. They are omitted by BXC and also by the Sahidic, which thus represents here a critically revised text. [See also 3:17 ee icavicrac [exekausan]; 7:11 om. apotu> [anoixoo]]
  • 4. The original Greek for ijjj? ^S in Job 9:3b appears to have been oi>6 oil fir) ai/reiVr) [oud ou me anteipe] (cp Hex. ad loc.). Symmachus and Theodotion had ou /ui; VTra/coiierr) avriZ [ou me hypakouse autoo]. In the Hexapla, followed by the Greek MSS, a conflation of the two was made, producing pw firj tin-. aiiTcjj iVa /aj) ai/Teiirrj [ou me hypeakouse autoo ina me anteipe]. This conflation is reproduced in the Sahidic.
  • 5. The clearest case of the dependence of the Sahidic on Origen is in Job 28:21-2, which runs thus in the Hexapla, the

lines from Theodotion being italicised :

It [viz., Wisdom] is concealed from every man,
[italicised] and from the fowls of the haven it is hid.
[italicised] Destruction and Death said:
But (6e [de]) we have heard the fame thereof.

Omit the italics, and the first person plural in the fourth line is meaningless; it is impossible to suppose that it could have been the original form of the Greek. Yet that is exactly what the Sahidic gives. The true LXX is probably preserved by Clement of Alexandria (Strom, 6:6:763) who quotes v. 21 thus : ltyet 6 <fir)S TJj aTrioAei o fiSoi /uei> avrov OVK fl&opfv tfuavifv Se aiirov riitova-anev [legei o ades te apooleia eidos men autou ouk eidomen phoonen de autoo ekousamen] (cp Jn. 5:37). This not being an accurate rendering of the Hebrew, it was emended in the Hexapla by the help of Theodotion ; but simply to omit the lines here taken from Theodotion, as has been done by the Sahidic, cannot be managed without ruining the sense, and (we may add) revealing to all time the Origenian source of the text.

64. Other versions.[edit]

The Ethiopic version dates from the fourth or the fifth century ; but the existing codices are late and seem to have been much revised, some from mediaeval Greek or Arabic texts, some from the Hebrew. Gen.-Kings has been edited by Dillmann, Psalms by Ludolf (1701), Song by Nisselius (1656), Lamentations by Bachmann (1893). The best critical discussion on this version is to be found in Cornill's Ezechiel, 36-48.

The Armenian version appears to contain in the OT, as in the NT, both Greek and Syriac elements. The best edition is still that of Zohrab, published in 1805. Some Armenian codices have the Hexaplar critical marks ('Scrivener', ed. 4, 2153).

The Gothic of the sixth, and the Slavonic of the ninth century, both of which are intimately connected in originwith Constantinople, are remarkable for their affinity with the Lucianic text (Lagarde's Lucian, 14, 15). Of the Gothic OT, however, only fragments of Ezra B, chap. 2 and Neh. 5-7 survive, besides a few verses of Gen. 5.

The Arabic versions of the OT are of various character and value. The version printed in the Polyglotts is derived from a MS now at Paris (Colb. 900 = de Sacy, 1) written in Egypt in the sixteenth century. The Pentateuch is the translation of Sa'adia from the Hebrew ; but the Prophets were translated from an old uncial MS of LXX akin to A (Cornill's Esechiel, 49-57).

65. Targums.[edit]

The Targums, or Aramaic paraphrases of the OT prepared for use in the Synagogue, contain elements of various dates. They differ from the versions hitherto considered in having a directly edificatory aim ; they are, in fact, paraphrases rather than translations, although the style of some of them is often very literal. They take their rise from the custom, described in Lk. 4:16+, of giving a short explanation of the sacred Hebrew text in the Aramaic vernacular of Palestine. At first the Targum was a free oral exposition; then it gradually acquired fixed forms, and at last it was reduced to writing.

The written Targum is found in MSS sometimes alone, sometimes verse by verse with the Hebrew text. There are two Targums to the Pentateuch (besides the Samaritan Targum; see SAMARITANS, 50), the official Babylonian Targum, known by the name of the reputed author Onkelos (oi^p^N, D^pjix), 1 and the Jerusalem Targum, also known as [Pseudo-] Jonathan. 'Jerusalem' ( Yerushalmi} means Palestinian ; in fact, this Targum gives to a great extent the old popular exegesis, though its extant form dates from after Mohammed. There once existed a 'Jerusalem' Targum to the Prophets; but the Babylonian recension alone has come down to us; it is commonly cited by its reputed author Jonathan ben Uzziel. The Hagiographa are also preserved in a Babylonian recension ; but they are of varied character, being to some extent private literary works, since the Hagiographa were not regularly read through in the Synagogues like the Law and the Prophets. Job is a comparatively literal rendering; Proverbs appears to have been made up from the Peshitta ; Esther is extant in two forms, both wildly paraphrastical.

1 Onkelos is probably a corruption of oSpy [AQYLS or AQYLM] Aquila.

The Targums are to be found in the great rabbinical editions of the OT, e.g. , the Bomberg edition of 1517, ed. by Felix Pratensis. Onkelos has been edited by Berliner in 1884, the Prophets and Hagiographa by Lagarde in 1872, 1873.

The Hebrew text from which the Targums were made is practically identical with that of the Massoretes. 1 Their value for us is not so much the text they attest, as the prejudices they display. They show us the atmosphere of thought in which the tradition of the meaning of the OT was preserved, an atmosphere absolutely unliterary and unartistic, and anxious at any cost to remove the anthropomorphism of earlier Hebrew religion (see the amazing list of locutions in Cornill's Ezechiel, 123). Some of the toning down of old metaphors or reminiscences of ancient heathendom is very ancient; even LXX does not call God by his personal name but translates mrr [YHWH] by [6] Ki/pios [[o] kyrios] (see NAMES), and refuses altogether to call him a Rock [Heb. iijf, e.g. , Ps. 95:1]. The Targums simply exhibit this tendency in an exaggerated form. The popular exegesis has now and then influenced the Massoretic text. But the Massoretes were too good scholars simply to point the true text wrong ; it almost always happens in such cases that there is some corruption in the transmitted consonants, which formed the starting-point for the wrong interpretation. The mode of procedure by which the critic recognises the corruption is somewhat as follows. A grammatical anomaly in MT surprises him ; he refers to the Targum and finds it carefully reproduced, perhaps in the midst of quite a free paraphrase. Evidently the anomalous punctuation is intentional, and as the prophets wrote better Hebrew than the Targumists, it is only too likely that the traditional interpretation of the whole passage is wrong. Now and then it is possible to restore the original, to the great gain of literature.

No better instance can be given than Is. 63:1-6. Here we find a series of verbs pointed as jussives instead of with waw consecutive ; this arouses suspicion. The same verbs are taken as futures in the Targum, and the reference to future punishments upon the heathen is more pointed than in the Hebrew. Now 63:1-6 is the only passage in Deutero-Isaiah that contains the name of any of the petty nations of Palestine ; in fact the sudden and inartistic mention of 'Edom' has given much trouble to commentators. In the popular Jewish exegesis, however, 'Edom' regularly stands for Rome and the Roman Empire (cp, e.g., Targum to Lam. 4:21-22). It is out of place here, 2 and we should read with Lagarde (Proph. Chald. p. 1) C^NS for 011X2 and 1S22 for msaD, so that the sentence runs: Who is this that comcth all reddened, with garments stained more than the gatherer of the vintage? The corruption of v. 1, which took its rise in popular exegesis, was the excuse for the wrong pointing of the verbs in vv. 3-6 by the Massoretes.

1 This is especially the case with the Babylonian Targum. The Jer. Targum sometimes differs - e.g., in Exod. 40:3 it reads 11123 f r mi3> with the Samaritan and the Old Latin.

2 LXX of this passage cannot be correctly preserved, for the constant rendering of 'Edom' in the Prophets is rj ISov^aia [e idoumaia], not (as here) EStop [edoom].

66. Correction of MT.[edit]

An article like the present ought in strictness to consider what may be called the pre-canonical history of the text. It is almost demonstrable that some of the most serious corrup tions originated in the documents before they became part of the OT. Such are all the variations which can be traced to confusions arising from the Old Hebrew alphabet. E.g. , S-ja [MTL or STL] 'for the dew' in Dt. 33:13 corresponds to the more appropriate jya [MAL or SAL] 'above' in Gen. 49:25, as in both cases the word is contrasted with 'beneath'. But in the older character y [A] is Q [picture of proto-Canaanite Ayin - round circle - goes here] and o [T] is () [picture of proto-Canaanite Teth - circle with cross in it - goes here], so the corruption was easily effected. Again, the influence of Hosea 2:17 ('I will take away the names of the Baalim out of her mouth') should be mentioned. This verse was interpreted to mean that the very names of heathen gods were unlawful to be used ; accordingly the vowels of bosheth ('shame') are substituted for the real vowels in such words as Topheth and Molech (also 'Moloch'). In Amos 5:26 Kaiwan (i.e., 'Saturn') has been vocalised with the vowels of shikkus (i.e., 'abomination'), producing the form p3 (Chiun, AV). By a more violent change Saul's son Ish-baal ('Baal's-man'), preserved almost intact as Eshbaal in 1 Ch. 8:33, becomes Ish-bosheth ('Man-of-Shame') in the more frequently read book of Kings. In later Jewish writings this tendency is carried into original literature ; there is no reason to doubt that the name Abed-nego, evidently meant for Abed-nebo ('Worshipper-of-Nebo'), is the invention of the author of Daniel, not a scribe's blunder. It is in Daniel (12:11) that we find CCB ppi? ('the Abomination which maketh desolate'), an intentional perversion of D OB* Ws. the title of Zeus BeeXcraunv [beelsamen]. 1

We are now concerned, however, with the corruptions which have befallen the text in the course of transmission, and here, as Wellhausen remarks, the chief agents have been chance and caprice, not deliberate falsification (cp Well.-Bleek, 295+). Space will only allow of a few examples ; but those given below will sufficiently exhibit the commonest kinds of corruption, while at the same time they bring forward the instances where modern scholarship has been most successful in restoring the true reading, whether by means of the ancient versions or by simple conjecture.

Conjecture is not always a mere arbitrary procedure, it may be based on the surest of all exegetical and critical rules, viz., the explanation of passages which are obscure by those which are plain and free from suspicion. Thus we can be quite certain by comparing Zeph. 2:14 with Is. 34:11 that for yvt, 'desolation', we must read my, 'raven', and that the mysterious TUB" not only contains the name of some bird, but must be a corruption of rp&y, yanshuph or yanshoph, 'the eagle-owl' (see OWL, 4). The translation then runs : Both the pelican and the porcupine shall lodge in the chapiters thereof ; hark to the eagle-owl in the window, the raven on the threshold!'

Although the Massoretes point well where the text is sound, the smallest error definitely represented in the consonantal text is sufficient to throw them out. Thus the long final nun of JNSH jy |3 [KN ANY HTs'N] ( 'verily the poor of the flock') in Zech. 11:7, 11:11, was doubtless the cause which prevented the first two words from being run together and vocalised jNi-n % :j;;3 [KNANY HTs'N], kena'ane hats-tson - i.e., 'the sheep-dealers'. There are of course a few cases where the restoration of the true text depends on a point of archaeological knowledge which might easily fade from the narrowly grammatical Hebrew tradition. Thus in Jer. 4615 we should divide tjno: Jflio into yno f]n D:, and translate with 'Why has Apis fled?' (cp APIS). Again, it was not till some progress had been made in Assyrian that Halevy was able to recognise in -j^n [KhYLD] (Ezek. 27:11) the name Cilicia, the Hilakku of the cuneiform monuments.

LXX - in its original form - often preserves excellent readings which have quite disappeared from our other authorities. Thus in 2 K. 15:10 Gratz's clever conjecture (Gesch. der Juden, 2:1:99) Di^a a [BYBLAM] for the un-Hebraic cjrVap [QBL-AM] is confirmed by Lucian (tv Ie/3\aa,u [en Ieblaam], quoted in Driver, TBS, p. 3 note). Another example is furnished by Dr. Hayman's too little known emendation of Dt. 33:21 (Proc. Cambridge Philol. Soc. 1895, p. 8), the essence of which is the substitution of pSDNm for the impossible NJVI | B3- The phrase is then exactly parallel with v. 5. {2} Here also LXX appears to support the true reading ; but OTI eKel f/j.fpiffdrj yr/ ap x.ovTfav ffvvrjyfjLtvuv &fj.a ap\riyols \auiv [oti ekei emeristhe ge archontoon synegmenoon ama archegois laoon] is too paraphrastical to suggest the actual change required. The cause of the corruption here in the Massoretic text may have been a transposition, the word having been written [picture of writing doubled up goes here] at the end of a line in the archetype.

1 Nestle, ZATW, 1884, p. 243; see ABOMINATION OF DESOLATION.

2 Translate: 'And [Gad] saw the first fruits were for him, for there was the allotment of the Lawgiver, and so the chiefs of a people were assembled together'. The reference appears to be to the settlement of Gad on the E. of Jordan (cp Nu. 32).

Some corruptions are older than any of the versions, perhaps older than the final redaction of the Pentateuch. Thus all extant authorities give & -|S l as the end of Nu. 23:3, generally translated: 'And he [Balaam] went to a level place'. Apart from the grammatical harshness, however, this and every other sense which these letters can be made to bear are alike poor, and Kuenen has suggested that at some period before the development of medial 3 [B] the letters -fr [LD or LR] had been written once instead of twice over ; then by reading the final ' [Y] as i [Z or V] (or supposing i [Z or V] to have been lost before the following ip i) [ZYQR or ZYQD or VYQR or VYQD] we get rDBn ri ri (i.e., vscb 1 ? ^ i), 'he went to his incantations'. This agrees with Nu. 24:1, where we read that 'Balaam went not, as at other times, to seek for enchantments'.

Equally brilliant is Lagarde's emendation of Ps. 32:6. For fjEE 7 pT USD nj? 1 ? he writes ]B3> Vp ISO nj;S - i.e., li D has been written INb D (for 12TO) by some scribe. Translate 'in the time of distress; the sound of the flood of mighty waters shall not come nigh him'.

Finally, we may quote Wellhausen's restoration of the original of 2 K. 19:26-27 (= Is. 37:27-28). For nmts i (27) :ncp :sS he writes imen Tpp JE ? (27): so that v. 27 begins 'Before me is thy rising up and thy sitting down, and thy going out and coming in I know'. It is worth while pointing out, as a final testimony to the excellence of XX in its original form, that this palmary emendation is not without support from LXX. In Is. 37:27 the nCp JE 1 of MT is omitted. In 2 K 19:26 most documents have airf.va.VTi (TTT)ICOTOS [apenanti estekotos] for ,-13p ^S 1 ?! but the text called O| in the Syro-Hexaplar MSS (section 51) had airivavTi (Woracrews crov [anpenanti anastaseoos] - i.e., -pp JS 1 ?, the consonantal text suggested by Wellhausen.

In concluding an article of any length on the textual criticism of the Bible it is always wholesome to remind oneself of the comparative soundness of the text. That there are blots, especially in the OT, some of them probably irremovable, must be admitted ; but they are not enough seriously to obscure the main features of the narratives related or the ideas expressed. So far as the Pentateuch is concerned we may be especially at our ease. It would have been impossible to separate the documents with the minuteness which modern scholarship has found possible if the text had been much confused by scribal errors. And with regard to the Prophets, though their works are less accurately preserved than the Pentateuch, we .can be sure that textual corruption never improves the style or the thought. The fact that so much of the Prophetical Books is - judged by any standard - of the first rank as literature, is the strongest proof that they have not been utterly disfigured in transmission.

67. Bibliography.[edit]

Some of the most important bibliographical references have already been indicated above. The best general account of the text and versions of the OT in any language is Wellhausen's monograph in the fourth edition of Bleek's Einleitung in das Alte Testament, Berlin, 1878, 275-298; later edd. are arranged on a different plan. Somewhat similar in plan, but more confined to the special books treated of, are the introductions in Driver's Notes on the Hebrew Text of the Books of Samuel, pp. 30-84, and in Cornill's Ezechiel, 1-160. Klostermann, quoted by Driver, p. 3, says 'Let him who would himself investigate and advance learning, by the side of the other Ancient Versions, accustom himself above all things to the use of Field's Hexapla, and Lagarde s edition of the Recension of Lucian'. To these specially valuable authorities the present writer would add any well edited fragment of the Old Latin.

[See also Kittel, Ueber die Notwendigkeit und Moglichkeit einer neuen Ausgabe der hebr. Bibel: Studien u. Enwagungen (1901); Cheyne, Critica Biblica, pt. 1 (Isaiah and Jeremiah).]

F. C. B.