Page:The New Testament in the original Greek - 1881.djvu/25

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INTRODUCTION TO TOE AMERICAN KIHTloN. xvii

Some MSS. (as Codd. C, P, Q, 11, Z, S) have been written twice over, owing to the scarcity and costliness of parch- ment, and arc called codices rescript'^ or palimpsests (iraXift- ^/i>rro<); the new book being written between the lines, or across, or in place of the old Bible text.

Constantino the Great ordered from Euscbius, for the churches of Constantinople, the preparation of fifty MSS. of the Bible, to bo written " on artificially wrought skins by skilful calligraphists." * To judge from this fact, the number of uncials was once very large, but most of them perished in the Middle Ages. The whole number now known is less than one hundred. Scrivener reckons 56 for the Gospels (most of them only fragmentary), 14 for the Acts, 6 for the Catholic Epistles, 15 for the Paulino Epistles, 5 for the Apocalypse, exclusive of the uncial lec- tionaries, which are not marked by capitals, but by Arabic numerals, like cursive MSS. of all classes.f Dr. Ezra Abbot (in a private letter of June 21, 1881) kindly fur- nishes me with the result of his own careful researches. The number of distinct uncial MSS. of the New Testament (not including lectionarics) at present known is 83. "We have for the Gospels 61 ; for the Acts 15; for the Cath- olic Epistles 7; for the Pauline Epistles 20; and for the Apocalypse 5. This includes the Codex Rossanensis, and three or four small fragments not used by Tischeudorf. Dr. Abbot's list is as follows :

Gospels: ABCDEFFGHI L *^ T I b KLMNOO b <' P Q R 8 T T 1 T b <* U V W b d ' X Y Z r A

��* Eusebius, Vita Connt. iv. 36, ITivrqrovra crw/mna Iv xaraiTKivoic . . virh rtxi'iriiv raXAiypo^wv.

f Scrivener, Introd. p. 72 (3d ed. 1874).

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