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Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible
MSS of the Peshiá¹ta go back to the century of its origin. The earliest with an actual date (which is also the earliest dated Biblical MS in existence) is a copy of some books of the Pentateuch, written in 464 (now in the British Museum; and the two earliest NT MSS may be assigned to about the same date. Of the Gospels, 125 copies in this version are on record; of Acts and Cath. 58, and of Paul. 67; Apoc. [Note: Apocalypse, Apocalyptic.] (with the four minor Catholic Epp.) was not included in the Syriac canon. The later MSS reproduce the earlier very faithfully, so that the latest edition (by G. H. Gwilliam, 1901) does not substantially differ from the first (A. Widmanstadt, 1555).
14 . The Philoxenian Syriac . Unlike the Latin Vulgate, the Peshiá¹ta was not entirely unchallenged in its supremacy. In 508, Philoxenus, Jacobite bishop of Mabug in eastern Syria, caused a new translation of the NT to be made by one Poly carp; but of this nothing has come down to us except the four minor Catholic Epp., which were incorporated into the Peshiá¹ta to fill the gap caused by their original omission there, and a single MS of the Apoc. [Note: Apocalypse, Apocalyptic.] (at Trinity College, Dublin; identified by Dr. Gwynn, and published in 1897). The style of Philox. was free and idiomatic, and the Greek text on which it was based was that of the majority of late MSS.
15 . The Harklean Syriac . In 616 a complete revision of Philox. was made by Thomas of Harkel, who converted its idiomatic freedom into extreme literalness, and added various readings in critical notes, which show an acquaintance with a Greek MS or MSS having a text akin to that of Cod. Bezae and its allies. About 35 MSS of Harkl. are known, dating from the 7th and 8th cent. onwards. The Apoc. [Note: Apocalypse, Apocalyptic.] which is now incorporated with the Peshiá¹ta is probably derived from this version.
16 . The Palestinian Syriac . Yet another Syriac version exists, but in a different dialect from those hitherto described; for, whereas they all belong to E. Syria, with its centre at Edessa, this is in the Western Aramaic characteristic of Palestine and its neighbourhood. The extant MSS of it (which are few and generally fragmentary, and mostly discovered within the last 15 years) are mainly lectionaries, and its textual importance is slight. Prof. Burkitt has argued, apparently with good reason, that it owes its origin to the efforts of Justinian and Heraclius to abolish Judaism in Palestine in the 6th cent., and that it came again into prominence in the 11th century. The three principal MSS of it are dated in 1030, 1104, and 1118.
On the Syriac versions see especially articles by Woods and Gwilliam in Studia Biblica , vols. i. and iii.; A. S. Lewis, The Four Gospels translated from the Sinaitic Palimpsest , 1894; Gwynn, Apocalypse of St. John in a Syriac Version , 1897; F. C. Burkitt, op. cit. and Evangelion da MepharreshÃª , 1904, and art. on ‘Text and Versions’ in Encyc. Biblica .
17 . The Armenian Version . In connexion with the Syriac NT it will be convenient to mention also the Armenian, which was largely dependent upon it. The earliest translation of which we have definite knowledge seems to have been made by Sahak and Mesrop about a.d. 400, from a Syriac text of the Old Syriac family. After 431 this version was revised by the help of Greek MSS received from Constantinople, which were apparently akin to B × , and thereby the original features of the version were much obscured. The earliest extant MSS belong to the 9th and 10th cent. (from a.d. 887). These usually omit the last 12 verses of Mk.; but one, which has them, has a marginal note assigning them to ‘the Elder Ariston,’ i.e. , presumably Aristion, a disciple of our Lord known to us by a mention in Papias.
On the Armenian version see F. C. Conybeare, art. in Hastings’ DB [Note: Dictionary of the Bible.] , and J. Armitage Robinson, Euthaliana , 1895.
B . Latin Versions.
18 . The Old Latin Version (OL). As Christianity spread westward, it inevitably came into contact with the Latin-speaking population of the Roman Empire; and a translation of the NT into Latin might naturally be looked for at an early date. Indeed, since the gospel was preached in Rome by St. Paul himself, it might seem reasonable to suppose that Latin versions of the Christian literature would have been required almost as soon as it came into being, But this would be to overlook the bilingual character of the Roman Empire, even in Italy. The educated classes spoke and wrote Greek freely; the uneducated classes were largely recruited from the East, and spoke Greek more naturally than Latin. The evidence of the predominantly Greek character of the primitive Roman Church is clear. St. Paul wrote to it in Greek. The names of those whom he salutes are mainly Greek. The first twelve bishops in the list of the Roman episcopate (down to a.d. 189) are Greek. Clement, the third in the list after St. Peter, writing in the name of the Roman Church to their brethren in Corinth, wrote in Greek. All the early literature of the Roman Church is Greek. The same may be said, so far as our knowledge goes, of the Church in Gaul. The report on the martyrdoms at Vienne, which the Christians of that province sent to their brethren in other countries, was written in Greek. IrenÃ¦us ( c [Note: circa, about.] . 135 202), the most famous representative of the Gallican Church in the 2nd cent., came from Asia Minor, and wrote his works in Greek. All the traditions of Gallia Narbonensis were Greek, not Latin.
19 . The need for a Latin version of the Christian books was consequently not so pressing as might be supposed. Nevertheless there was one large and important province in which Greek had no place, and where Latin was alike the literary and the spoken language. This was Africa, where the Mediterranean coast, and especially the district which is now Tunis, was inhabited by a large Latin-speaking population. When Christianity was first introduced into the province is uncertain; but in the 2nd cent. it was strong and flourishing there, and had for its spokesman the most eloquent of early Christian writers, Tertullian ( c [Note: circa, about.] . 150 220). Two lines of argument combine to show that the earliest Latin version of the NT known to us had its home in Africa. The first mention of the existence of a Latin version occurs in Tertullian; and that type of text which, of all those represented by our extant OL MSS, appears on internal grounds to be the earliest, is identical with the Biblical quotations in the writings of Tertullian’s junior contemporary and compatriot, Cyprian ( c [Note: circa, about.] . 200 258). Whether the version was actually made in Africa cannot he determined with certainty. It is true that its Latinity agrees with that of certain African writers of the 2nd cent. (Apuleius, Arnobius, Lactantius, besides Tertullian and Cyprian); but it so happens that there is very little non-African Latin of that period in existence for comparison with it. The kinship which the text of the OL has with the Old Syriac bas caused Antioch to be suggested (by Sanday) as the original home of the version, that being a metropolis where Syrian and Latin elements met, and whence versions of the Scriptures in either tongue might radiate from a common centre. But with a strong general resemblance between the two versions, there is also a considerable amount of divergence in details, so that one cannot be certain that the connexion is not more remote. What is certain is that the earliest form of Latin version known to us was circulating in Africa in the first half of the 3rd century.
20 . The extant MSS of the OL are mainly fragments; for after the supersession of this version by the Vulgate its MSS naturally fell into neglect, and survived only fortuitously. The number of them is a little over 40, and they are habitually indicated by the small letters of the Latin alphabet. The following are the most Important:
a. Codex Vercellensis , at Vercelli, containing the Gospels (Mt., Jn., Lk., Mk., the usual Latin order), somewhat mutilated, assigned to the 4th century.
b. Codex Veronensis , at Verona, containing the Gospels on purple vellum; 5th century.
d. The Latin text of Codex Bezae in the Gospels and Acts, and of Cod. Claromontanus in the Pauline Epistles.
e. Codex Palatinus , at Vienna, containing the Gospels, considerably mutilated; 5th century. One leaf is at Dublin. In the Acts, e is the Latin text of Cod. Laudianus; in Paul., that of Cod. Sangermanensis .
f. Codex Brixianus , at Brescia, of the Gospels, on purple vellum; 6th century.
ff 2 . Codex Corbeiensis , at Paris, containing the Gospels, but imperfect. Generally assigned to the 6th cent., but by its latest editor (E. S. Buchanan, Journ. of Theol. Studies , 1905 6) to the 6th.
g. Codex Gigas , at Stockholm; a complete Bible, of the 13th cent., with Acts and Apoc. [Note: Apocalypse, Apocalyptic.] in an OL text. Written in Bohemia, and a remarkable example of a late survival of OL.
h. Palimpsestus Floriacensis , at Paris; palimpsest fragments, formerly at Fleury, of Acts, Cath. Epp., Apoc. [Note: Apocalypse, Apocalyptic.] , in an African text.
k. Codex Bobiensis , at Turin, where it fortunately escaped from the recent fire with slight injury. Contains Mark 8:1-38; Mark 9:1-50; Mark 10:1-52; Mark 11:1-33; Mark 12:1-44; Mark 13:1-37; Mark 14:1-72; Mark 15:1-47; Mark 16:1-20 (ending at Mark 16:8 ), Matthew 1:1-25; Matthew 2:1-23; Matthew 3:1-17; Matthew 4:1-25; Matthew 5:1-48; Matthew 6:1-34; Matthew 7:1-29; Matthew 8:1-34; Matthew 9:1-38; Matthew 10:1-42; Matthew 11:1-30; Matthew 12:1-50; Matthew 13:1-58; Matthew 14:1-36; Matthew 15:1-39; probably 5th cent. (according to Burkitt, 4th cent.), Contains the OL version in its earliest form, closely akin to that found in the writings of Cyprian.
m. The Speculum of pseudo-Augustine, which contains copious quotations from the NT. It is probably of Spanish origin, and should be reckoned rather with the Fathers than with the MSS.
q. Codex Monacensis , at Munich, containing the Gospels; 6th or 7th century.
The remaining MSS are, for the moat part, only small fragments, of a few leaves each. The Apoc. [Note: Apocalypse, Apocalyptic.] is also found, almost complete, in the commentary of Primasius, written in Africa in the 6th century.
21 . With these MSS must be reckoned the quotations of the early Latin Fathers , notably Tertullian (who, however, appears often to have made his own translations, and is also too inexact to be of much service in this respect), Cyprian, Hilary, Lucifer of Cagliari, Ambrose, Jerome, Augustine, Tyconius, Priscillian, and (as just noted) Primasius. It is usual to classify all these authorities (MSS and Fathers) under the three heads of (1) African, (2) European, (3) Italian; the African type of text being the earliest and also the roughest in style and vocabulary, the European being so far modified in both these respects as to be supposed by some scholars to be due to a fresh translation, and the Italian being a revision of the European, and itself providing the basis for Jerome’s Vulgate.
The question is complicated by the fact that no two MSS represent quite the same type of text. All (except perhaps k ) have undergone modification in some respect, either by the corrections introduced by scribes in early times, or by contamination with the Vulgate. Cyprian and k , so far as they go, represent the African text of the Gospels in what appears to be a fairly pure form; e and m come next to them; h is a good African authority in Acts and Apoc. [Note: Apocalypse, Apocalyptic.] , and Prisillian, Tyconius, and Primasius in the Epp. and Apoc. [Note: Apocalypse, Apocalyptic.] a and b are the leading representatives of the European family in the Gospels, with the Latin version of IreoÃ¦us; in Acts, g and Lucifer. Of the Italian group, f is the most pronounced, and has been taken by Wordsworth and White as the best representative of the OL text which Jerome had before him when he undertook his revision of the Latin NT; next to f in this character comes q . The Latin texts in the bilingual MSS have to be used with caution, as they show signs of assimilation to the Greek. The remaining MSS are either too fragmentary to be of much service, or too mixed in their text to be classified definitely with any family.
In general character, as already indicated, the OL version (especially in its earliest form) belongs to the same class of authorities as the Old Syriac and Codex Bezae, the class, namely, which is distinguished by rather striking divergences from both the TR [Note: Textus Receptus.] and the text represented by B × . The character and claims of this type of text will be considered later; here it will be sufficient to point out the high antiquity which can be established for it through the OL (and still more through the consensus, so far as it exists, between OL and OS), and the great amount of divergence which exists between the several MSS which contain it. It is not possible, even approximately, to reconstruct the original OL text; it is even a matter of dispute whether it had one original or more. What is certain is that it underwent constant revision and alteration, and that the few and fragmentary MSS which have come down to us, and of which no two agree even approximately with one another, do but reflect a state of textual confusion which was rampant in the Latin Bibles of the 4th century.
22 The Vulgale . This state of confusion is described in emphatic terms by the great Latin Fathers of the 4th cent., Jerome ( c [Note: circa, about.] . 345 420) and Augustine (354 430), and it was to the former that the task fell of attempting to reduce the chaos to order. The credit of inspiring the work which was to become the Bible of the West for a thousand years is due to Pope Damasus (pope, 366 84). At his request, Jerome, the leading Biblical scholar of the day, who had devoted many years to the study of the Scriptures in the East in their original tongues, undertook, as he says in his preface to the NT, to ‘make a new work out of an old one’ by revising the existing Latin texts with reference to the original languages. He began with the Gospels, about the year 382; and at first his revision was on conservative lines. Where the existing text fairly represented the sense of the original, he let it stand, without enforcing complete accuracy; only where errors affected the sense did he feel bound to make alterations. The Greek manuscripts which he employed as his guides appear to have been similar in character to B × . The revision of the Gospels was completed in 383; that of the Epistles followed, but was conducted more superficially than the previous work, partly, no doubt, because the divergences in the extant texts were less pronounced in these books. At about the same time he was commencing his work on the OT by a revision of the Psalter; but for the history of this see Text of the OT, 15 (7).
23 . The later history of the Vulgate (as Jerome’s version eventually came to be called) is the subject of a separate article. Here it is only necessary to mention that the received text of it, which is found in all ordinary Latin Bibles, is that which was officially sanctioned by Pope Clement viii. in 1592; and that the one critical edition of it is that now being produced by Bishop Wordsworth of Salisbury and Prof. H. J. White, in which the Gospels and Acts have already been published (1889 1905). Their estimate of the principal MSS of the Vulgate is the necessary basis of the following description of a selection from among them:
A. Codex Amiatinus , in the Laurentian Library at Florence, containing the whole Bible. Its history (which was only established in 1887) is unusually well known. It was written in the north of England, at Wearmouth or Jarrow, by order of Ceolfrid, abbot of these monasteries, early in the 8th cent., and was taken by him in 716 as a present to Pope Gregory. Ceolfrid died on the way, but his companions completed the gift, and in Italy the MS has since remained; for some time it was at Monte Amiata, whence its name. Its text was probably derived from one or more MSS brought to England from Italy; and it is generally regarded as the best extant MS of the Vulgate.
C. Codex Cavensis , at La Cava, near Naples; 9th century. Contains the whole Bible, written in Spain, and is the best representative of the Spanish family of Vulgate MSS.
Î” Codex Dunelmensis , in Durham Cathedral Library; 7th or 8th century. Contains the Gospels, with a text akin to that of A.
F. Codex Fuldensis , at Fulda in Germany; between 541 and 546. Written by order of Bishop Victor of Capua. Contains the whole NT, the Gospels being arranged in the same manner as in Tatian’s Diatessaron , on the basis of a copy of a Latin version of that work accidentally found by Bishop Victor.
H. Codex Hubertianus , and Î˜ , Codex Theodulfianus , contain the edition of the Vulgate produced by Bishop Theodulf of Orleans, for which see art. Vulgate.
K. Codex Karolinus , and V, Codex Vallicellianus , similarly represent the edition of Alcuin. (See ib. )
O. Codex Oxoniensis , in the Bodleian (formerly at St. Augustine’s, Canterbury); 7th century. Contains the Gospels, in a text affected by Irish influences.
Q. Codex Kenanensis , the Book of Kells, at Trinity College, Dublin; prob. 8th century. Contains the Gospels, lavishly decorated in the Celtic style. Its text, naturally, is of the Irish type.
S. Codex Stonyhurstensis , at Stonyhurst College; 7th century. Contains Jn. alone, in a text akin to that of A. Formerly at Durham, and probably written in that neighbourhood.
V. See K, above.
Y. Codex Lindisfarnensis , in the British Museum; contains the Gospels; written at the end of the 7th cent., in honour of St. Cuthbert (d. 687), with beautiful Anglo-Celtic ornamentation. Some liturgical directions inserted in it show that it was copied from a MS written in Naples, no doubt one brought to England by Hadrian, abbot of a monastery near Naples, who came to England with Archbishop Theodore in 669. Closely akin in text to A.
Z. Codex Harleianus , in the British Museum; 6th or 7th century. A well-written copy of a good text, but of a different family from A.
These are the principal MSS of the Vulgate in the Gospels. A, C, F, Î˜ , K, T, V are also used by Wordsworth and White in the Acts. To them may be added
G. Codex Sangermanensis , at Paris; 9th century. Contains the whole Bible, but is particularly good in Acts, so that Wordsworth and White state that their text agrees with it oftener than with any other MS.
O. Codex Oxoniensis , in the Bodleian Library; 8th century. Known as the ‘Selden Acts.’ The text is of the Irish type.
The MSS of the Pauline Epistles and Apocalypse have not yet been classified, but the MSS described above as containing the whole NT will no doubt re-appear among the principal authorities for these books also.
24 . As indicated above, the Codex Amiatinus (A) is regarded as the best MS of the Gospels, and with it go the other Northumbrian MSS, Î” SY, with F in attendance. A second group of MSS, which, generally speaking, is of inferior merit, is headed by Z, and includes several MSS not described above. CT [Note: T contrast.] represent the Spanish type of text, which had an important influence on the history of the Vulgate, and Q the not less important Irish type. In Acts, Wordsworth and White give the first place to G, with CA and F in close attendance. These three last-named MSS represent different groups, the A group being generally preferable to the F group; but no one MS or group has a monopoly of merit. In general character, as stated above, the Vulgate tends to agree with the type of Greek text represented by B × . It is clear that the Greek authorities which Jerome regarded as the most trustworthy were of this type; but since (in the NT) his revision retained a considerable quantity of the OL version, which is largely of a different type, the result, as it now stands, is of a composite character. By reason of this composite character, and also of its relatively late date, the Vulgate is not of the same textual importance as OS or OL; nevertheless it is to be remembered that Jerome must have made use of Greek MSS at least as old as the oldest which we now possess. The historical importance of the Vulgate will be dealt with in a separate article.
Of the OL version the most comprehensive account is that given by H. A. A. Kennedy in Hastings’ DB [Note: Dictionary of the Bible.] . See also Burkitt, The Old Latin and the Itala (Cambridge, 1896), the prefaces by Wordsworth, Sanday, and White to their editions of Old Latin Biblical Texts (parts i iv., Oxford, 1883 97), and articles by Gebhardt (in PRE [Note: RE Real-Encykl. fÃ¼r protest. Theol. und Kirche] 3 , 1897) and Corssen (in Bursian’s Jahresbericht Ã¼ber die Fortschritt der classischen Altertumswissenschaft , bd. 101, 1899). On the Vulgate see Westcott’s art. in Smith’s DB [Note: Dictionary of the Bible.] , White’s chapter in Scrivener’s Introduction , Exodus 4 (which deals with both versions), and the prefaces to Wordsworth and White’s edition of the Vulgate, now in progress (Oxford, 1889 ff.).
C . Coptic Versions.
25 . Coptic is the literary form of the vernacular language of Egypt, the descendant of the ancient tongue which we know first in its hieroglyphic, and later in its demotic form, but differing from them in adopting the Greek alphabet, with the addition of certain letters to represent sounds not employed in Greek. Coptic is the outcome of the Greek settlement in Egypt, which took place under the empire of the Ptolemys and continued under that of Rome; and along with the Greek characters the native tongue adopted also a considerable number of Greek words. When this form of writing came into being is uncertain. It appears in a primitive form in a certain horoscope, now in the British Museum, the date of which is probably a.d. 95; and it is reasonable to suppose that it became established as a literary medium in the course of the 2nd century. It is quite possible that its growth was promoted by the need of its services in making the gospel known to native converts. Christianity was no doubt introduced into Egypt even in Apostolic times, but it would have come in the first instance to the Jews of Alexandria and the Greek-speaking population generally. Even when it penetrated farther, and addressed the native population in its own tongue, its message would at first have been oral, and the earliest Coptic versions of the NT may well have been merely oral paraphraaes, such as were the earliest Anglo-Saxon versions in our own country. The first mention of Coptic Scriptures occurs in the Life of St. Antony, who is said to have heard the Gospel read in church as a boy about a.d. 270; and since be was not acquainted with Greek, this must have been a Coptic version, whether oral or written. Early in the 4th cent. the monks of the order established by Pachomina were required by their rule to study the Scriptures; and this, at any rate, implies the existence of a written Coptic version. In the 3rd cent., therefore, at latest, and possibly by the end of the 2nd (since the Coptic versions unquestionably have some very early characteristics), a Coptic translation of the NT (except the Apocalypse) was in circulation.
26 . The Egyptian language was not uniform throughout the country, but possessed various local dialects. Two of these are well marked, and possess a respectable quantity of literature, almost wholly theological. These are the Bohairic, or dialect of Lower Egypt, and the Sahidic, or dialect of Upper Egypt. The former derives its title (first conferred on it by Athanasius, bishop of Cos in Upper Egypt in the 11th cent.) from the Arabic name of a district near Alexandria, the latter from the Arabic name for Upper Egypt. Between the two lie several dialects collectively known as Middle Egyptian, with local varieties in the Fayyum, at Akhmim, and elsewhere, which certainly possessed a translation (or translations) of the Bible, but of which very little is known at present, for lack of materials.
27. The Sahidic Version (Sah., formerly Thebaic). It was formerly held that the Bohairic version (Boh.) was the first in point of age, since it was the version of Lower Egypt, which would have been the first to receive Christianity; but Coptic scholars are now generally agreed that the order of precedence must be inverted. Lower Egypt was very largely Greek-speaking, and the language in which the Septuagint was already familiar would have been sufficient for a considerable time. In Upper Egypt, though there were considerable Greek communities there also, and in the principal towns Greek must have been generally understood, the population as a whole must have been more Egyptian, and an Egyptian version of the NT would have been required there sooner than in the neighbourhood of Alexandria. The characteristics of the Sahidic version also suit this hypothesis of an earlier date. It is rougher and less literary in style than the Bohairic, and its text is of a very early type, akin in many details (though not as a whole) to the OL and OS; in the OT its text is in some books pre-Origenian. Unfortunately it is known to us only in fragments. It was ultimately superseded by Boh. and dropped out of use; and, with the exception of some small but complete volumes recently acquired by the British Museum, all that we now have of it are isolated leaves of vellum or papyrus which have been rescued from the buried towns and monasteries of Egypt. The Apocalypse is the only book of the NT that exists complete in a single MS, though some books approach completeneas. But the number of extant fragments is large and increasing, and from these it will be possible soon to put together an almost continuous Sahidic NT. The earliest MSS appear to go back to the 5th cent., but none is of sufficient size and importance to merit individual description. Some are bilingual, containing Greek and Sahidic texts in parallel columns; the most important of these has been described above (Â§ 7 ) under the heading T.
28. The Bohairic Version . This, which ultimately became the accepted Bible of the Coptic Church, is much better known than Sah., and is preserved in a considerable number of MSS. The date of its origin, however, is quite uncertain. In favour of an early date is the fact that the Apocalypse was apparently not originally contained in it; this book seems to have been generally accepted after the end of the 3rd cent., but was regarded with some doubt before. In the OT, Boh. contains the insertions made by Origen, which implies a date not earlier than the latter part of the 3rd century. In general, the text represented by it is of the same character as that found in B ×; and this again points to a date not substantially later than the first half of the 4th century. The cent. from a.d. 250 to 350 seems, therefore, the most probable period for its origin; though some writers (notably Guidi) think that Coptic Christianity (as distinct from Greek) did not develop in Lower Egypt until the middle of the 6th cent., and consequently that all Bohairic literature is subsequent to this date.
The Bohairic version follows the Greek very closely, being more faithful and less free than Sah.; hence it is trustworthy evidence of the readings of the Greek MSS from which it was made. These MSS, as indicated above, were of the same general character as B × , and especially B. Divergent readings of the type represented by OL and OS, which are found not infrequently in Sah., are practically absent from Boh. The earliest Boh. MS of the Gospels is the Curzon Catena (an intermixture of text and commentary) in the Parham Library, which is dated a.d. 889; the oldest and best continuous MS of the Gospels is Huntington MS 17, in the Bodleian, dated 1174. Several others are of the 12th and 13th cents.; but none goes back to anything like the age of the fragments of Sah. Many of them have Arabic versions in the margins. An excellent edition of Boh. has recently been completed by the Rev. G. Horner (Oxford, 1898 and 1905), who is now engaged on Sah.
29 . The Middle Egyptian Versions . Of these very little is yet known, though ‘enough to establish their existence. Our knowledge rests upon a few fragments of vellum and papyrus which have come to light of late years, notably in the Fayyum, in the neighbourhood of Akhmim, and in that of Memphis. These differ in dialect from both Boh. and Sah., and also to some extent among themselves; but they are more akin to Sah. than to Boh. Also the NT text found in them differs from both Boh. and Sah.; and evidence has been found of the existence of more than one Middle Egyptian version. The largest NT fragment as yet extant is a 6th cent. palimpsest in the British Museum (Or. MS. 5707), containing parts of John 3:1-36; John 4:1-54 in Greek and Middle Egyptian, with a good text.
30 . Other versions exist Georgian, Ethiopic, Arabic, Persian, Gothic; but on these it is not necessary to dwell. The first two have been too little studied to be practically available, and the others are too late in origin, and too secondary, or even tertiary, in their character, to be of much use. The versions that are of first-rate importance are those that have been described above, the Syriac, Latin, and Coptic versions. Of these the Old Latin and Old Syriac take the first place, both on account of their age, and because they are the chief extant representatives of a very early and important type of text, as will be seen below. Next in textual importance are Sah. and Boh., which give us the evidence of Egypt, the country which has perhaps played the largest part in the history of the Greek Bible. Then follow the Latin Vulgate and the Syriac Peshitta, each just too late and too composite in character to be of first-rate importance as evidence of the primitive Greek text, but each the authorized Bible of a great Church. Finally, evidence of some value is to be obtained from the later Syriac and the Armenian versions.
See articles by Forbes Robinson in Hastings’ DB [Note: Dictionary of the Bible.] , and Burkitt in Encyc. Bibl . ( s.v. ‘Text and Versions’); [G. Horner], The Coptic Version of the NT in the northern dialect (Oxford, 1898 1905); W. E. Crum, Catalogue of Coptic MSS in the British Museum (London, 1905); Hyvernat, ‘Etude sur les versions coptes de la Bible’ in RB [Note: B Revue Biblique.] 1896 97.
31. Patristic Quotations . The third class of evidence available for textual purposes is that which is derived from the quotations from the NT in the writings of the early Fathers. If we can be sure that a writer is quoting from a MS lying before him, then his quotation gives us the reading of a MS which in many cases must have been earlier than any which we now possess. Sometimes we can be fairly sure of this, as when the quotation occurs in a continuous commentary on a single book; or when the writer expressly emphasizes a certain reading as against other variants; or when he quotes the same passage several times in the same way. In other cases it is impossible to be certain that he is not quoting from memory; and this makes quotations from the Synoptic Gospels especially fallacious, since it is so easy to confuse the wordings of the different Evangelists. There is always the danger also that a copyist may have assimilated the wording of a quotation to the form with which he was himself familiar. Consequently evidence of this class, though highly valuable when its surroundings guarantee it from suspicion, has to be handled with great caution. In one respect Patristic quotations have a special value, because they can be both dated and placed. The dates of the earliest MSS and versions are uncertain, within half a century or more, while the date of any given Patristric work can generally be fixed within a few years. The advantage of being assignable to a certain country is one which Patristic quotations share with versions, but it is of great importance in fixing the origin and range of certain types of text. In both respects it will be found that the evidence of the Fathers is of great value in elucidating the textual history of the NT. It is impossible to treat the subject at length here, but the names and dates of some of the most important Fathers may be mentioned, and subsequent sections will show what sort of part they play in the operations of textual criticism.
32 . The earliest Patristic writings, such as the Epistles of Clement, Barnabas, Ignatius, and Polycarp, and the ‘Shepherd’ of Hermas, contain very few quotations from the NT, and those few are inexact (see NT in Apost. Fathers [Oxf. Soc. of Hist. Theol.]). In the third quarter of the 2nd cent. we have the writings of Justin Martyr and Tatian, and we know something of the Gospel text used by the heretic Marcion. From about 180 onwards the evidence becomes much fuller. IrenÃ¦us (whose principal work was written between 181 and 189) worked mainly at Lyons, though his home was in Asia Minor. Western texts are also represented by Tertullian (about 150 220), Cyprian (about 200 258), and Hippolytus (flourished about 220); the two former being African writers, and the last-named of Rome. In Egypt there are the two very important theologians, Clement of Alexandria (about 160 220) and Origen (185 253), and the two scholars who succeeded to the latter’s literary inheritance, and founded the library of CÃ¦sarea largely upon the basis of his works, Pamphilus (d. 309) and Eusebius (about 270 340). In Syria the most notable names are those of Aphraates (flourished about 340) and especially Ephraem (rt. 378); in Asia Minor, Gregory Thaumaturgus (d. 265), Basil of CÃ¦sarea (329 79), Gregory of Nyssa (flor. about 370), and Gregory of Nazianzus (d. 389); in Palestine, Cyril of Jerusalem (bishop, 351 86), and especially Chrysostom (347 407). Returning to the West, the important writers, from a textual point of view as well as from others, are Hilary of Poitiers (bishop, 354 68), Lucifer of Cagliari (d. 371), Ambrose of Milan (bishop, 374 97), Tyconius (an African writer of the end of the 4th cent.), Priscillian (a Spaniard, d. 385); and, finally, the two great Fathers of the Western Church, Jerome (about 345 420) and Augustine (354 430). Later than the first quarter of the 5th cent. it is not necessary to go; for the settlement of the great issues in the textual history of the NT had taken place before this date.
A list of ecclesiastical writers and their principal works is given by Gregory ( Prolegomena and Textkritik ). An index of Patristic quotations was compiled by Dean Burgon and is now in the British Museum. Critical texts of the Latin and Greek Fathers are being issued under the direction of the Vienna and Berlin Academies respectively.
33 . Such are the materials MSS, Versions, Patristic Quotations with which the textual critic has to deal; but it is only within comparatively recent years that his resources have become so extensive. Two centuries of diligent work were spent in the collection of the evidence of Greek MSS; the most important of all, the Codex Vaticanus (B), bas become fully known only within the last forty years, and the next most important ( × ) was discovered only in 1859 and published in 1862. Of the two most important versions, the Old Syriac was wholly unknown before 1848, and quite inadequately known until 1894; while the Old Latin, though known and studied in the 18th cent. (when Sabatier published his Bibtiorum sacrorum Latinae versiones antiquae , Rheims, 1743), cannot be said to have been rightly understood and classified before the publications of several scholars who are still living. For many of the Fathers, we still are without editions which can be trusted with regard to their Scripture quotations. The textual criticism of the NT, as now understood, is consequently a science of comparatively modern growth. As was shown above ( Â§ 1 ), the earliest editions of the Greek NT were in no sense critical texts. It is true that MSS were collated for them, but only such MSS as chanced to be easily at the disposal of the editor. No search was made for specially good or old MSS, and (except for a very slight use of Cod. Bezae by Stephanus) the TR [Note: Textus Receptus.] was made and established before any of the great uncial MSS had been examined. This is the more remarkable because B was used as the main basis of the text which became the standard text of the Septuagint, that, namely, which was printed at Rome in 1587; but it chanced that no Roman edition of the NT was Issued, and consequently the great Vatican MS was little known and less used until the 19th cent. was far advanced.
34 . At stated in Â§ 1 , the TR [Note: Textus Receptus.] of the NT took final shape in the editions of Stephanus in 1550 and the Elzevirs in 1624. It was not until after the latter date that the scientific collection of evidence began. The Codex Alexandrinus (A) was brought to England in 1627, and a collation of it (with D [Note: Deuteronomist.] D 2, and several minuscules) first appeared in the great Polyglot Bible edited by Brian Walton in 1657. Walton’s Polyglot (modelled, so far as its plan and scope were concerned, on the Antwerp Polyglot of 1571 72, and the Paris Polyglot of 1630 33, but greatly superior to both in its textual material) may be said to be the fountain-head of the textual criticism of the NT. It was followed during the next century and a half by a series of editions in which, while no attempt was made to modify the actual text, an increasing number of MSS was laid under contribution to supply materials for the apparatus criticus . The first of these was that of Dean Fell in 1675; the greatest was that of John Mill in 1707, which was remarkable not only for the number of Greek MSS quoted in it, but for its use of the versions, Its collection (for the first time) of Patristic quotations, and its valuable prolegomena . In the 18th cent. Bentley (whose first appearance in the field of Biblical criticism was stimulated by Mill’s great work) made large collections for a new edition, but was unable to make use of them. J. J. Wetstein, a Swiss assistant of Bentley, produced in 1751 52 an edition in which our present notation of the MSS was first Introduced; and the list was considerably extended by C. F. MatthÃ¦i (1782 88), F. K. Alter (1786 87), A. Birch (1788 1801), and, finally, J. M. A. Scholz (1830 36), with whom the first stage of NT textual criticism may be said to have come to a close.
35 . During this first, and most necessary, stage of the collection of evidence, which extends from 1657 to 1830, little was done in the way of classifying the materials thus obtained, or laying down the principles upon which they should be employed and interpreted. There are, however, some notable exceptions. Mill, in his Prolegomena , discussed the true reading of many passages. J. A. Bengel, in 1734, divided the MSS and Versions into two families, which he called African and Asiatic, and asserted the superiority of the former, consisting of the few most ancient witnesses, over the latter, which included the great mass of later authorities. In this we find the germ of the principle of the classification of authorities, which is now the guiding principle of textual criticism, whether Biblical or classical. It was opposed by Wetstein, who anticipated the advocacy of the TR [Note: Textus Receptus.] in our own time by Dean Burgon and others, maintaining that all the most ancient MSS had been contaminated from the Latin, and that only the later authorities were worthy of attention. J. S. Semler (1767) developed Bengel’s theory, making a triple classification of authorities, as Alexandrian, Eastern ( i.e. Antiochian and Constantinopolitan), and Western; and this was elaborated by his pupil J.J. Griesbach (1774 75), who adopted the same classification, but carried much further the assignment of the then extant MSS and Versions to their several classes. Both in his classification and in his estimate of the characteristics of the various families Griesbach went far to anticipate the theory of Westcott and Hort, which is the foundation of contemporary criticism.
36 . None of the scholars hitherto named, however, put his principles to the test by producing a reformed Greek text of the NT. This step, which marked the opening of a new era in textual criticism, was taken in 1831 by K. Lachmann , a distinguished classical scholar, who, like Bentley before him, but with greater success, resolved to apply to the text of the NT the principles which were admitted as sound in the case of the Greek and Latin classics. This method consisted of selecting some of the oldest authorities (MSS, Versions, and Fathers), and forming his text solely from them, while ignoring the great mass of later witnesses. In putting faith mainly in the most ancient witnesses, in spite of their numerical inferiority, Lachmann only did what every editor of a classical text would do; but he departed from sound principle, first, by absolutely ignoring all evidence outside his selected group; and, secondly, by adopting in all cases the reading given by the majority of his selected authorities, without regard to the internal probabilities of the various readings, or applying any of the tests which textual science provides for discriminating between alternatives the external evidence for which is approximately equal. Moreover, the knowledge of the earlier authorities at Lachmann’s disposal was by no means so complete as that which we have at the present day. For these reasons Lachmann’s text could not long hold its ground precisely as it stood; nevertheless it did very great service in breaking the monopoly of the TR [Note: Textus Receptus.] , and in preparing the way for further progress.
37 . The next stage in this progress is marked by the names of Constantine Tischendorf and S. P. Tregelles. As the discoverer of the Codex Sinaiticus, Tischendorf achieved the most sensational success in textual history; but he also did admirable service by his collation of almost all the uncial MSS of any importance (except that he was allowed only very limited access to B), and his collection of evidence in his successive editions of the NT (culminating in the 8th, published in 1869 72) remains the fullest apparatus criticus to the present day. His own printed text of the NT fluctuated considerably from one edition to another, and his judgment between various readings was hardly equal to his industry in collecting them; still in the main he followed the best authorities, and his edition remains one of the principal examples of a text constructed on critical lines. The prolegomena to his 8th edition was compiled after his death by Dr. C. R. Gregory, and is a perfect storehouse of bibliographical information; in its latest form (published as an independent work, in German, under the title of Textkritik des neuen Testamentes , Leipzig, 1900) it is the standard book of reference on the subject.
38 . Tischendorf’s Industry as a collator was rivalled by that of his English contemporary, Tregelles , who collated all the extant uncial MSS and some of the chief minuscules, so that his results serve to check and test those of Tischendorf. In his text (published in 1857 72) he confined himself almost wholly to the uncials, with the Versions and Fathers, completely ignoring the TR [Note: Textus Receptus.] . In fact, he followed very much the same principles as Tischendorf, and his edition is serviceable chiefly as a means of testing Tischendorf’s judgment, and of showing how far two scholars, working independently on the same evidence, arrive at the same results. Unfortunately his text of the Gospels was published before the discovery of × , and his knowledge of B was even less than that of Tischendorf.
39 . The evidence accumulated by Lachmann, Tischendorf, and Tregelles, aided by the public interest excited by such discoveries as those of the Codex Sinaiticus and the Curetonian Syriac, produced a general sense of dissatisfaction with the TR [Note: Textus Receptus.] , and in England led to an increasing desire for a revision of the AV [Note: Authorized Version.] in the light of modern knowledge, culminating in 1870 in the appointment of the Committees which produced the RV [Note: Revised Version.] (for which see art. English Versions, Â§Â§ 35 37 ). Meanwhile two English scholars were at work on the text of the NT, whose results were destined not only to affect very greatly the revision of the English Bible, but also to lay the foundations of all the textual work of the succeeding generation, and whose influence remains paramount to this day. These were B. F. Westcott (afterwards Bishop of Durham) and F. J. A. Hort . Their joint work began as far back as 1853, when they were colleagues at Cambridge; and it bore fruit in 1881, when their text of the NT appeared on May 12th (five days before the publication of the RV [Note: Revised Version.] of the NT), and the Introduction , embodying the principles upon which their text was based, in the following September. This volume (written by Hort, but representing the views of both scholars) is the text-book of modern textual criticism as applied to the Greek Bible.
40 . The principles of WH [Note: H Westcott and Hort’s text.] are an extension of those of Semler and Griesbach, as described above (Â§ 35 ), and rest upon a classification of our authorities into families, and a discrimination between the merits of these families. It is in the Gospels and Acts that the textual phenomena are most plainly marked, and it is to them that the characteristics to be described apply most fully; but they are likewise true, in a lesser degree, of the other books of the NT. If the apparatus criticus of the Gospels be studied, it will be found that certain MSS and Versions tend to agree with one another, and to form groups distinguishable from other groups. Four such groups are in fact distinguished by WH [Note: H Westcott and Hort’s text.] , as follows; the reasons for the names assigned to them will appear shortly. ( Î± ) The Syrian family, often headed in the Gospels by the manuscripts A and C, but more fully and characteristically represented by the later uncials, such as EFKMS, etc., and by the great mass of the minuscules, by the Peshiá¹ta version, and by most of the Fathers from Chrysostom downwards; from this family, in its fully developed form, is descended the TR [Note: Textus Receptus.] . ( Î² ) The Neutral family, of which the main representative is B, often supported by × , by LRTZ, by the minuscule Evan. 33, and some other minuscules in a lesser degree, by Boh. and sometimes Sah. and frequently by the quotations of Origen; in Acts, Epp., and Apoc. [Note: Apocalypse, Apocalyptic.] , A and C generally join this group. ( Î³ ) The Alexandrian family, a sort of sub-species of Î² , not continuously found in any one MS, but represented by the readings of some MSS of the Î² group when they differ among themselves, and especially when they differ from B; LT, and AC when they are not Syrian, may be taken as the leading members of the family. ( Î´ ) The Western family, headed by D [Note: Deuteronomist.] among the uncials (with E 2 in Acts and D2 in Paul.) and Evan. 473 among a small group of minuscules, but most authentically represented by the Old Latin and Old Syriac versions, and especially by Îº and Syr.-Sin.; it also largely colours Sah., and is found in almost all the early Fathers, notably Justin, IrenÃ¦us, Cyprian, and Clement.
41 . These being the main divisions which are found to exist among our authorities, the next step is to discriminate between them, so as to determine which is the most generally trustworthy. Here it is (in addition to the greater minuteness of the examination and analysis of the individual authorities) that the original and epoch-making character of the work of WH [Note: H Westcott and Hort’s text.] is most conspicuous. The first proposition and one which strikes at the root of the claims of the TR [Note: Textus Receptus.] is this, that no specifically ‘Syrian’ reading occurs in the NT quotations of any Father before Chrysostom . In other words, wherever the Syrian family marks itself off from the others by a reading of its own, that reading cannot be shown to have been in existence before the latter part of the 4th century. The importance of this proposition is obvious, and it is noteworthy, as showing the value of Patristic evidence, that the proof of it rests wholly on the quotations found in the Fathers. The inevitable conclusion is that the Syrian text is a secondary text, formed (according to WH [Note: H Westcott and Hort’s text.] in Syria, and especially in Antioch) in the course of the 4th century. This secondary character is also established by an examination of representative Syrian readings (for these, see especially J. O. F. Murray’s art. ‘Textual Criticism of the NT’ in Hastings’ DB [Note: Dictionary of the Bible.] , Ext. Vol.). As compared with the rival readings of other groups, they show the ordinary signs of editorial revision, such as the modification of harsh or strange phrases, assimilation of one version of an incident with another, greater literary smoothness, and the like. A special proof of secondariness is found in what WH [Note: H Westcott and Hort’s text.] call conflate readings, when one group of authorities has one reading and another has a second, and the Syrian text combines the two. The shortest and simplest example is Luke 24:53 , where × BCL Boh. read eulogountes ton theon , D [Note: Deuteronomist.] , OL, and Augustine ainountes ton theon , while A and the general mass of late uncials and minuscules have ainountes kai eulogountes ton theon . (For other examples of this type see Hort’s Introduction , and Murray, loc. cit. ) The conclusion, therefore, is that the witnesses belonging to the Syrian family, although they predominate enormously in numbers, possess little intrinsic weight when opposed to witnesses of the other groups.
42 . As between the remaining groups the discrimination is not so easy, and must be made by other methods. The Patristic evidence can show us that the Western text (originally so named because the principal representatives of it were the OL version, the Latin Fathers, and the bilingual MSS) was spread over all the principal provinces to which Christianity penetrated, Syria, Egypt, Rome, Gaul, Africa, and that it goes back as far as we have any evidence, namely to the middle of the 2nd century. On the other hand, it points to Egypt as the special stronghold of the Neutral text, and the sole home of the Alexandrian. All, however, are of such antiquity that the preference can be given to none on this ground alone. It is necessary, therefore, to look at the internal character of the several texts. Of the Western text WH [Note: H Westcott and Hort’s text.] say ( Introd . Â§ 170): ‘Any prepossessions in its favour that might be created by its imposing early ascendancy are for the most part soon dissipated by continuous study of its internal character.’ The chief characteristics with which they charge it are a love of paraphrase; a tendency to inter polate words, sentences, and even paragraphs; free changes or insertions of conjunctions, pronouns, and prepositional phrases; and generally an extreme licence in handling the original text. Alexandrian readings, on the other hand, consist mainly of slight linguistic changes, made in the interest of literary style; they are thus comparatively unimportant, and give rise to little controversy. Over against these various divergences stands the text which WH [Note: H Westcott and Hort’s text.] call Neutral, because it shows few or none of the signs of aberration which characterize the other groups. This text is found predominantly in B, the character of which is so superior that its evidence always deserves the most careful consideration, even when it stands alone.
43 . Such is, in briefest summary, the theory with regard to the textual history of the NT propounded by WH [Note: H Westcott and Hort’s text.] . On its first promulgation it was bitterly assailed by the advocates of the TR [Note: Textus Receptus.]; but against these its triumph, in the opinion of nearly all students of the subject, has been decisive. More recently the tendency has been to depreciate the pre-eminence of the Î² or Neutral Text, as being merely the local text of Egypt, and to exalt the Î´ or Western family, on the ground of its wide and early diffusion and the apparently primitive character of some of its special readings. A further topic of criticism has been the terminology of WH [Note: H Westcott and Hort’s text.] . The term ‘Syrian’ has been condemned as liable to be confused with ‘Syriac’; ‘Western’ as wholly misleading, since that type of text was widely prevalent in the East also, and probably took its rise thence; ‘Neutral’ as begging the question of the superior character of the family so described. These criticisms may be briefly dismissed; there is good foundation for them, but they are matters of form rather than of substance. ‘Antiochian’ might be substituted for ‘Syrian’ with advantage, and the Egyptian status of the ‘Neutral’ text might be admitted without abandoning its claims to superiority; but no good substitute for ‘Western’ has yet been proposed. In some ways it would he better to abandon epithets altogether, and to call the several families by the names of the Î± -text, the Î² -text, the Î³ -text, and the Î´ -text, as indicated in Â§ 40; or the nomenclature of WH [Note: H Westcott and Hort’s text.] may be retained, but regarded simply as so many labels, devoid of any significant connotation.
44 . It is more important to say something with regard to the comparative claims of the Î² and Î± texts in the first instance, and the Î² and Î³ texts subsequently. With regard to the former controversy, which raged with great warmth after the publication of the RV [Note: Revised Version.] of the NT, the advocates of the Î± or Syrian or TR [Note: Textus Receptus.] (chief among whom were Dean Burgon, his disciple and literary heir the Rev. E. Miller, and the Rev. G. H. Gwilliam, the editor of the Peshiá¹ta) rest their case mainly on the numerical preponderance of the manuscripts of this type, which they take as indicating the choice, deliberate or instinctive, of the early Church, and as implying the sanction and authority of Divine Providence. But to argue thus is to maintain that the textual history of the Bible is fundamentally different from that of all other books of ancient literature, and that the reasoning faculties given to us by God, which are generally recognized as guiding us to the truth with regard to the textual history of classical literature, are not to be employed with regard to the textual history of the NT. There is nothing strange or abnormal in the rejection of a relatively large number of late authorities in favour of a relatively small number of ancient authorities; on the contrary, it is a phenomenon common to nearly all works of ancient literature that have come down to us, the sole difference being that the NT manuscripts, early and late, are far more numerous than those of any classical work, so that the ordinary phenomena are exhibited on a much larger scale. If once it be admitted that the ordinary principles of literary criticism are to be applied to the NT, then the rejection of the TR [Note: Textus Receptus.] in favour of one of the earlier families follows as a matter of necessity. It may be added that the course of discovery since the publication of WH [Note: H Westcott and Hort’s text.] ’s theory has furnished the best possible test of such a theory, that of wholly new and unforeseen witnesses, and that it has received therefrom much confirmation and no refutation. The discovery of the Sinaitic Syriac, the fuller scrutiny of the versions, the testing of the Patristic quotations ( e.g. in the case of Ephraem Syrus, who was formerly supposed to have used the Peshiá¹ta), the papyrus and vellum fragments from Egypt and Sinai, the examination of more of the minuscule MSS, all these have brought additional support to readings of the Î² , Î³ , and Î´ families, for which the evidence previously available was sometimes very scanty, while they have done nothing to carry back the date of the distinctively Syrian readings beyond the period assigned to them by WH [Note: H Westcott and Hort’s text.] , namely, the age of Chrysostom.
45 . One point remains to be dealt with in this connexion, namely, the question of the origin of this ‘Syrian’ text, which thus dominated the NT tradition for considerably over a thousand years. The view of WH [Note: H Westcott and Hort’s text.] is that it was due to deliberate editorial revision, operating probably in two stages, the first revision taking place early in the 4th cent., the second at some time after the middle of that century. Against this hypothesis it has been objected that, if such revisions took place, we should have expected to find some record of them in early Christian literature. We know the names of several editors of the Greek OT during this very century [see Gr. Versions of OT]; is it likely that two revisions of the NT could have been executed and yet have left no trace in history? It has been urged that there is no record of how another great textual change was carried out, namely, the substitution in the Greek OT of Theodotion’s version of Daniel for that of the LXX [Note: Septuagint.]; and it is no doubt true that where the whole available literature likely to deal with such a subject is so scanty, the argument from silence is very precarious. Still it must be allowed to carry some weight, and not a few critics would substitute for Hort’s double revision a process of gradual change spread over a considerable period. Such a gradual change would be due to a general consensus of opinion as to the right way to deal with divergent texts, namely, to combine them when possible, and otherwise to soften down harshnesses, to harmonize contradictions, and to give greater smoothness to the literary style. In favour of this hypothesis it may be noted that the MSS themselves show signs of a gradual and progressive development of the Î± text. The earliest MSS which (in the Gospels) can be classed with this family, A and C, exhibit its characteristics sporadically, not continuously, and not infrequently side with MSS of the Î² and Î´ families against readings found in the overwhelming mass of later witnesses. The 6th cent. MSS, ÎÎ£Î¦ , show the Î± text in a somewhat more advanced stage; but it is not until we reach the later uncials, such as EFKMS II , that we find it fully developed in the form which we know as the TR [Note: Textus Receptus.] . But whether we adopt the hypothesis of a definite revision or that of a gradual process of change in order to account for the existence of the Î± text, the fact of the existence of such a text remains, and its character as a secondary text of relatively late origin must be taken to be one of the established results of criticism.
46 . The ordinary English student of the Bible is able readily to appreciate the points at issue in the controversy between the Î± and Î² texts, because they are substantially represented to him by the differences (so far as they are differences in text, and not merely in rendering) between the AV [Note: Authorized Version.] and the RV [Note: Revised Version.]; for though the RV [Note: Revised Version.] does not go the whole way with the ‘Neutral’ text, nevertheless its textual departures from the AV [Note: Authorized Version.] are in that direction, and give an adequate general idea of its character. In dealing with the Î´ text, however, there is no such ready means of realizing its character, since it is not embodied in any English version, or even in any edition of the Greek text.* [Note: A partial exception is furnished by Blass’ texts of Mt.,
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Hastings, James. Entry for 'Mss'. Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible. https://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/eng/hdb/m/mss.html. 1909.