1859 Titan Magazine article by George Gilfallin on Vaticanus, applies to Sinaiticus, line ending issues Sinaiticus

Steven Avery


Dr. Hug, from his being a Roman Catholic divine, would have no objection to exalt the venerable age of any document in possession of the Papal See, a process which would be the natural result of bis ecclesiastical views and position, without any disparagement of his literary honesty or capacity. We make no wilful reflection upon either the fairness or the judgment of this scholar, when we take into account the necessary bias of his education and position, as only a proper deduction from the sum of plenary confidence in his critical decisions. We may respect him personally as much as any other scholar, but we must weigh his opinions before we can receive them as indisputable verdicts and settled truths.

Titan Magazine p. 138-155


The whole style of his handiwork proclaims a curt and compendious text, weeding out with unsparing hand the right and the wrong alike. Omission is the grand characteristic of the document, exclusion the rule enforced with pitiless uniformity. The editor of the original was evidently a person enamoured of that 'brevity' which is 'the soul of wit.' He seems to have taken a full copy of the New Testament text into his hands, and to have ostracized into ruthless banishment all that did not suit his taste or meet his views. In this respect he bears resemblance to a gentleman mentioned in the correspondence of the Record a little more than a year since, who epitomized the Holy Bible by cutting off every superfluous word and every repetition, so as to reproduce the sacred volume in its essential integrity in a volume of one-sixth of the usual size, yet, of course, stripped of the drapery of idiosyncrasy which marked the individuality of' the sacred writers.

Journal of Sacred Literature
Last edited:

Steven Avery

He believes that Vaticanus was produced in Italy not Egypt

that would account better for the Latinisms, Hort actually said that later !

He destroys the antiquity and authority of Vaticanus. And if Vaticanus has no authority then neither does Sinaiticus

The whole style of his handiwork proclaims a curt and compendious text, weeding out with unsparing hand the right and the wrong alike. Omission is the grand characteristic of the document, exclusion the rule enforced with pitiless uniformity. The editor of the original was evidently a person enamoured of that 'brevity' which is 'the soul of wit.' He seems to have taken a full copy of the New Testament text into his hands, and to have ostracized into ruthless banishment all that did not suit his taste or meet his views. In this respect he bears resemblance to a gentleman mentioned in the correspondence of the Record a little more than a year since, who epitomized the Holy Bible by cutting off every superfluous word and every repetition, so as to reproduce the sacred volume in its essential integrity in a volume of one-sixth of the usual size, yet, of course, stripped of the drapery of idiosyncrasy which marked the individuality of' the sacred writers.

The Reader's Digest Condensed Bible of early years.

And Sinaiticus was the victim of the same philosophy. So rather than conflations in the TR we are dealing with Diminishments in the "Great" manuscripts. Which has always been my personal view on these manuscripts

Steven Avery


p. 142-3




Steven Avery


THE burst of disappointment wherewith all intelligent Christendom has greeted the publication of Mai's edition of the Vatican Codex, is a striking proof of the exalted estimation in which that manuscript itself was held previous to its appearance in print. The most exaggerated notions were entertained of its antiquity, and of its asserted consequent value; within the very heart of which assertion lurked, nevertheless, a petitio principii, that assumed the very question which experiment alone ought to decide. There are in manuscripts, as in most other matters, things that are old, as old as Evander, and yet are not valuable there are also things that are valuable which are not old. Conceding to a large extent the venerable age of the document under notice in this paper, it will, notwithstanding, be our business now to show that the manuscript itself is an inadequate representation of the text of the New Testament writings; and again, that the edition of it by Cardinal Mai is as defective a representation of the text of the Vatican Codex. We ourselves shared, in common with others, the enthusiasm awakened by the intimation given in Wiseman's Lectures on the Connexion between Science and Revealed Religion, 1836, that this celebrated manuscript would at length be given to the world of scholars, by the hands of a compe
* Vetus et Novum Testamentum, ex Antiquissimo Codice Vaticano. Edidit ANGELUS MAIUS, S.R.E. Card. Romæ, apud Josephum Spithover; Lipsia, apud E. F. Steinacker.
Novum Testamentum Græce ex Antiquissimo Codice Vaticano. Edidit ANGELUS MAIUS,
S.R.E. Card. Ad fidem Editionis Romance, accuratius impressum. Londini, venumdant Williams et Norgate, et D. Nutt, 1859.
tent Roman editor. The work was ordered for us forthwith, some twenty years ago, direct from Rome by an eminent Roman Catholic bookseller, but we only received, instead of the precious edition itself, four or five guineas' worth of a polyglott literature, edited by Cardinal Mai, which had no special pertinence to biblical studies. We now share in the universal feeling of disappointment over the mutilated text of the original MS., and over the miserably faulty and inconsistent form in which the misprint has at length appeared. The original text is so imperfect, that its advocates will be driven to use the language of apology where their former tone was one of almost unalloyed confidence ; while its style of editing is so inexcusably bad, that it is nowhere not condemned. No words are so apt to describe both as the oft-quoted Nil fuit unquam sic impar sibi :' nothing was ever so inconsistent as the manuscript Hermogenes, except the printed one. This latter bears the bell of badness, inasmuch as to the faults of the Codex, it adds those of the printer, and the oversight of the editor, which two latter were at an earlier stage of the process confessedly countless; and it requires a more than ordinary share of credulity to believe those to be even now removed, in an appreciable
[blocks in formation]

language of Dr. Wiseman in the work before named, and in his more recent volume of Recollections of the Last Four Popes, justified any reasonable height to which expectation might rise on the subject. In addition to the information of which we have long been in possession, that Cardinal Mai had altered a former imperfect plan for one more in accordance with the exigencies of his task, Cardinal Wiseman has lately instructed us in what we might hope to receive, using the following terms:
Cardinal Mai's 'transcript [it never was a transcript] of the celebrated manuscript of the entire Greek Scripture was printed many years before his death. Why it was not published, nobody but himself seemed to know. A couple of years before his decease, he asked me if I thought any publisher would take the whole impression off his hands, and dispose of it on his own account. Now, however, it may be judged to have been for the best that publication was delayed; for in a copy of such a manuscript, the most rigorous exactness is the first requisite. Not only a word, but a letter, a sign, a jot or tittle, that deviates from it, impairs its value, as a representation of a referee in doubtful
or difficult passages. Interminable disputes might arise on a reading as presented by the original on the faith of its copy; and if final appeal is made to the manuscript, and it is found to have been unfaithfully transcribed in one place, all trust is at end. Now, that in copying so huge and inconvenient a book, some slight errors should have been committed, especially when it is done by a person distracted by numerous other undertakings, is only in conformity with a trite axiom about the most natural proneness of humanity. The work has, therefore, been minutely collated with the original by a commission of able scholars; and a list, extending to fourteen pages, has been made of mistakes. With this accurate correction, the work is offered for immediate publication.'-Pp. 493-4.
From this statement, it is evident that the anecdotist of the Popes had formed a correct notion of the kind of work that ought to be presented to the public in the shape of a printed
text of the Vatican MS.; and we can only regret that his vision of the forthcoming text has not been realized in that which has recently reached our hands. With the utmost candour, the living editor has described the failure and its causes. It appears that the Cardinal, instead of simply transcribing the text of the Vatican Codex, which has never been done, and thus printing it from his copya straightforward transaction, that would leave no extraordinary opening for errors-caused an already printed text of the Greek Scriptures to be reprinted, that of the LXX. of 1587, and in the proof-sheets inserted the various readings in their proper places. A chance medley of procedure like this, issued in a corresponding chance medley of mistakes; and the Cardinal, on comparing the completed work with the manuscript, to his confusion, found that innumerable errors had been committed. Well may Vercellone describe the Cardinal's method as singular, almost incredible: Ex singulari illâ ac prope incredibili ratione quam in hoc libro edendo sectatus est.' The consequence has been that the old printed text has been retained, while the actual readings of the manuscript are wanting: as Vercellone says:
Hinc pronum est intelligere quonam pacto factum sit ut, praetermissis nonnunquam codicis varietatibus, communem lectionem editor supposuerit.'
We have no hesitation in characterizing both the manuscript and its imprint in the terms we have employed. But we shall first of all describe the Vatican Codex, and afterwards proceed to discuss the claims of the original, and the merits of the Roman edition of it, which has so recently and sumptuously challenged the attention of the world.
Description of the Vatican Codex. In size the Vatican Codex (B after Wetstein, but 1209 of the Library), is a quarto or small folio, composed of sheets of thin parchment or vellum, and is written with three columns on a page, so as when laid open to exhibit six columns of manuscript to the eye of the reader. It is written in small uncial or capital letters, which are for the most part uniform, except at the end of lines, but it is otherwise with

out graphic distinction. It has no illuminated or larger initial letters, nor, from the hand of the original scribe, either accents or spirits, although these latter have been added by a more recent hand-the same that has corrected the orthography, and retraced the manuscript where pale with a jejune scrupulosity that emulates the unfruitful pains of a school-boy; and with a marvellous result that vies with the architectural achievements of a church-warden. The text is continuous, the words being undivided from each other, and neither chapter nor verse is indicated; but the close of a paragraph would seem to be denoted sparsely, by a slight interval of the size of a single letter, or even less than that, being left unwritten on. The width of the page exceeds its height, so that it bears some resemblance to those music-books which are adapted by their lateral breadth of leaf to exhibit a lengthened score, and lie flat upon a music-stand. The Codex contains both the Old and New Testaments, but is mutilated at both ends. It wants the book of Genesis to the 47th chapter; the leaves containing the Psalms from cv. to cxxxvii.; and in the New Testament from Hebrews x. to the end, including the pastoral epistles and the Apocalypse. The original arrangement of the epistles was peculiar, at least as it regarded the Epistle to the Hebrews. In other manuscripts it is very common, as here, to follow up the Acts of the Apostles with the catholic epistles. But the Hebrews in this copy was interposed between the Galatians and Ephesians, although that epistle is now bound in its more usual place after the Epistles of Paul. The proof of its original location is peculiar and convincing. The whole manuscript displays an unusual division into sections marked with Greek numerals in the margin. Those for each Gospel are marked separately Matthew, 170; Mark, 61; Luke, 152; and John, 80. St. Paul's Epistles taken altogether are counted as one book, and the last entry opposite the end of Galatians is 58, but the first of Ephesians which follows is 70, indicating the loss of eleven sections between. But Hebrews begins with 59, showing that it was originally
placed in this volume at the end of the Galatians, although now relegated to a different position, probably by that meddling scribe who added the accents and spirits, and has been guilty of a hundred impertinencies besides. But the circumstance of the original place of the Hebrews being in this old copy, in the very heart of St. Paul's Epistles, is interesting as an early testimony to its supposed Pauline origin. The sections in the Acts are erroneously stated to amount to 79, but in fact they are only 69; the last section in the Epistles of Paul, alongside of the Second of Thessalonians, is numbered 93. The paragraphs are of most irregular lengths, 39 in the Acts occupying nearly three pages, while Luke (22) fills only 5 lines. These divisions are neither Ammonian nor Euthalian, and are suggestive of sundry speculations on the age of the manuscript. Do they belong to an earlier division than any known one in manuscripts? Are they characteristic of a particular region or church? Are they the result of individual judgment or caprice? Were they contemporaneous with the more common paragraphic divisions, or were they earlier? As far as we can judge, they are unique, unless Dr. Tregelles' account of a fragmental palimpsest in the possession of the British and Foreign Bible Society, which he is engaged in publishing, shall prove correct, which he reports to be accompanied by a similar division.
The date assigned to the manuscript is various; Hug and Tischendorf naming the fourth century; Blanchini the fifth; Montfaucon, fifth or sixth; and Le Long saying, Hic Codex non est adeo antiquus, &c.
Suggestion of its origin and intended use. - Speculation indeed, is entirely at fault as to the real age, native country, or former possessor of this manuscript. That it was not designed for common use, its size and the costliness of its execution and materials make evident; it was probably intended for service in the sanctuary of some basilica or the chapel of a monastery. One probable, although most important, item of information respecting the manuscript, we may perhaps furnish in the conjecture that it appears in an unfinished

condition. The scribe did his duty, and left the text complete, but into the hands of the illuminator, its next stage of progress, the document never passed. Yet those short interspaces between the paragraphs may have been designed to admit the blazon of his pencil, and the minium, carmine, and azure of his brush, the rainbow tracing and colouring which were the poetry of the manufacture of books; the relief which nature itself craved from the dull uniformity of lampblack characters and horizontal lines. Nor does the appearance of initial letters of the ordinary size at the commencement of paragraphs at all oppose our suggestion, for all persons familiar with printed books of the fifteenth century are aware of the fact that these books, which copied the usage of manuscripts in their arrangement, printed all their letters designed for illumination in the ordinary type, while the red brush of the rubricator covered or disguised the small printed character which had been left as the guide to his pencil. Another item of the same suggestive character we may venture to place on record, although it may have already presented itself spontaneously to the mind of the reader, and that is, that the volume could not fail to be costly, at once from the quantity of parchment employed, as well as from the labour and care of transcription; and, in that case, that it could never be designed for a poor purchaser. It must have been calculated for some prince or wealthy churchman, some corporation, secular or ecclesiastical, to become the boast of their luxury, as well as the nurse of their devotion. What incident forbade its completion-the death or poverty of the transcriber; what revolution in church affairs or in the state; how it became private property, having had its origin in some monastic cell, or publisher's scriptorium,-whether by demise, or sale, or theft; or again, if originating in the ordinary avocations of the professional copyist-how it passed through hands, many or few, into the library of the Vatican, it is not ours to say. It would seem to ourselves to have been arrested in its course toward illuminative splendour by some adverse circumstance, and to
have been lodged in Italy, its churches or its libraries, from first to last. We are under no obligations, arising out of known facts, to assign it a patent for travel beyond sea, and think it indeed most in accordance with circumstances, to conclude its birthplace to be Italy, and neither the orient nor the south.
Its supposed resemblance to a Herculanean manuscript.-Professor Hug of Freiburg is the only scholar outside of Rome, in modern days, who has had the free and copious use of the Vatican Codex, this precious document having been committed to his trust by order of Napoleon Bonaparte, when the MS. had been transferred to the Imperial library at Paris from its proper home in the Vatican. Hug describes it with the acumen of a scholar and the zeal of an enthusiast; but, unfortunately, he did not collate it, a kind of labour that would have required less shining abilities than he possessed, but one the results of which would have been more satisfactory to the world. When shoes are wanted, the cobbler is in more request than the sculptor. It is curious to see how clever conjectures of himself or others become shaped into ascertained truths, as they pass from hand to hand down the line of more recent biblical critics, mere circulation and repetition giving them possession of the public mind as facts. Hug, in his description of the MS. (Freiburg, 1809), avers that Winckelmann, desirous of giving a correct idea to scholars at home of the character of the MSS. first unrolled at Herculaneum, referred them to the celebrated Vatican Codex as that which possessed the most marked resemblance to them. 'Doctis hominibus optimum consilium impertiri sibi videbatur, quandoquidem desiderarent efformare animo quandam effigiem characterum Herculanensium tum quoad magnitudinem, tum quoad figuram, cum eos ad bibliothecæ Vaticanæ Codicem celeberrimum remitteret, utpote cujus summa cum illis similitudo intercederet.' That opinion is quoted by Hug from a work now a hundred years old, published in Dresden 1762, and through Hug it has wended its way into all lands, and established itself, as it would seem, to the satisfaction of all minds, as an in

disputable fact. Hug himself adopted it, and put it out in two forms; that of his Latin Essay, 1809, and that of his Einleitung, of a later date; saying in the former-' Character, quod aiunt, exacte quadratus est, majusculus et simillimus illi, qui in voluminibus conspicitur ex Herculanensi strage protractis; and in the latter -we quote from the fourth edition, of 1847- Mit den einfachsten und Schönsten, überall gleichförmigen, viereckigen Buchstaben geschrieben, welche kaum bemerklich grösser als die schriftzüge des Philodemus Tep μουσικής, der ersten aus den aufgewickelten herkulanischen Rollen.' This is reproduced by sundry writers after him, in the shape of a beautiful uncial character, very similar to those found in the treatise of Philodemus.' The letters are a shade larger than those in the MS. of Philodemus Tept Movσins, the first of the Herculaneum rolls which was unfolded;' til at last it has effloresced in the imaginative sorites of Dr. Tregelles-The antiquity of the MS. is shown by its palæographic peculiarities, the letters even resembling in many respects those found in the Herculanean rolls; the form of the book; the six columns at each opening resembling in appearance not a little a portion of a rolled book; the uniformity of the letters, and the absence of all punctuation.'
Now, with regard to this resemblance, it may be sufficient to remind our readers that Winckelmann suggested it purely as an aid to the imagination of scholars who had never seen a Herculanean roll, that if they looked at a good tracing of the great Vatican MS., they would have a fair idea of its character, without any suggested comparison of their several antiquities. With him it was merely a popular, not a critical remark, and designed to bear no further result in biblical or theological disquisition. It may stand, however, without dispute, on the general ground, that all square characters, if nearly of the same size, will have a certain degree of resemblance, besides the particular fact, which we are as little concerned to call in question, that tracings of the two documents under immediate notice do show sufficient points of similitude. Dr. Hug introduces the casual
remark of Winckelmann as a contribution towards fixing the ancient date of the manuscript. What so natural as that documents written in a similar hand should have had origin about the same period, within a space say of two or three hundred years of each other, a small interval in comparative criticism and in the history of man? Dr. Hug, from his being a Roman Catholic divine, would have no objection to exalt the venerable age of any document in possession of the Papal See, a process which would be the natural result of his ecclesiastical views and position, without any disparagement of his literary honesty or capacity. We make no wilful reflection upon either the fairness or the judgment of this scholar, when we take into account the necessary bias of his education and position, as only a proper deduction from the sum of plenary confidence in his critical decisions. We may respect him personally as much as any other scholar, but we must weigh his opinions before we can receive them as indisputable verdicts and settled truths.
Egypt not necessarily its birthplace. This manuscript has been ascribed to Egypt with a uniformity which is surprising, considering the slightness of the authority upon which it rests. The orthography of the half dozen words, which is usually the only evidence adduced, amounts to little, as it cannot be called peculiar to this document until the orthography of other manuscripts is examined with sufficient minuteness to determine the question; and lapidary orthography is notoriously halting. The words usually cited in proof of an Alexandrian origin are ληφθήσεται, είπαν, είδαν, επεσαν, ήλθαν, and εισήλθαν, forms of frequent, but by no means unvarying use in the manuscript. But we venture to affirm that we can produce out of any uncial manuscript known to us far more characteristic and peculiar spellings than these few brought forward for a special purpose out of the Vatican Codex, and are not quite sure, for we have not sought for the peculiarity, that the same features do not mark the readings of most of the older copies. Alford, after Tischendorf, is decided on the point of the almost universal prevalence of this ortho

graphy in the older manuscripts, vol. ii. p. 65. This consent is almost unbroken in some points usually neglected: eg, the uniform insertion, in the inflection of verbs and dativesplural in, of the final v, before consonants as well as vowels: also of the final s in ourws. The same applies to the formation of the tenses of Xaußarw in and up, instead of 4, and 60, —Anμyerai, åvaλnμoonvai, &c.' This was not therefore an exclusively Egyptian form. In Lachmann's editions they are common, and we fancy that that eccentric editor would call us unjust to his labours if we ventured to opine that any marked characteristic he has adopted in his text rested upon the authority of single codices alone.
Italy suggested as the birthplace of the Codex.

If we look at its orthography, we find one of the most characteristic features of the manuscript is the substitution of ei for i in all sorts of words and places. If the various orthographical peculiarities of the manuscript were reckoned up, this particular kind would amount to one-half of the entire number. But this usage originated in some Greek-speaking region in which the prevailing pronunciation of the vowel i (ee) was ei (eye), just as we ourselves, barbarians of the isles, pronounce the same letter. Can that region be ascertained? We think the claims of Italy for recognition are worth stating. No one can be familiar with the older or the provincial Latin, without finding ei constantly written for i: e.g., ceceidit, eitem, audeitu, &c. The very imprint of the Vatican before us supplies us with a curious illustration in its Latin notes of the use on which we are commenting. At the end of Mark, the editor, accounting for the omission of eleven verses in the sixteenth chapter, writes: Neque est heic reticendum.' Here the word hic (the adverb) is spelled heic, and of course pronounced hyke. The adverb occurs also in a note on Matt. xii. 32, Heic prima manus posuerat,' &c. One might at the first glance surmise that this spelling and pronunciation were peculiar to the adverb, as most persons of good ear make a distinction in sound between the adverb and the pronoun, a distinction in tone, if not in time. In accordance with this supposition, we find the pronoun spelled hic in a note on Luke xxiii. 17, Versiculus HIC 17 desideratur;' and in another on Luke xxiii. 34, 'HIC item versiculus 34 desideratur. But as if to show that the usage pertained to the letter i in both parts of speech, we read ei in the pronoun quite as frequently as in the adverb: 'HEIC versiculus incaute prætermissus fuit.' Matt. xii. 98. Again, Apoc. xix. 9, 'Ita HEIC codex.' We believe this is an English usage, with the long i before a consonant to pronounce it in a Latin word as if it were eye, and not like i in sick, thick, &c. But, whether such be the case with us or not, it is certainly Italian, and that not modern only but ancient. It would occupy pages were we to extract all the words in the Vatican Codex of which this is the distinction. We do not claim this most common form of itacism as an exclusive peculiarity of our manuscript, for we never saw a Greek manuscript of any antiquity without it, but we never observed any in which the usage was more frequent, although far from uniform even in Codex B.

But, in sooth, we need not go to Greece or Egypt for a Greek copy of the Scriptures, when hosts of ecclesiastical documents in the Greek language had birth in Italy for centuries after Christ, from Clemens of Rome down through Hippolytus, all of whom wrote in the tongue of old Greece. We cannot forget, too, that the lower half of Italy was rightly called Magna Græcia, and that perhaps nine-tenths of all the Greek works found in Herculaneum, and in the libraries throughout Italy, were produced and copied in the Peninsula itself. As the ecclesiastical, if not popular dialect, Greek survived in Calabria as late as the tenth century, and was not extinct at the revival of Greek literature in Italy during the ninth. Hody and Fabricius, Tiraboschi and Giannone, are sufficiently full of incidental notices confirming the existence of this state of things. The monks of that Calabria, which furnished fifty establishments for the transcription of manuscripts, pursued their earlier studies in the monasteries of Greece; and there is nothing in the history of the literature of the fourth and fifth centuries in Italy, and its political connexions, to forbid the entertainment of our supposition. Nor is the manuscript itself without indications in support of our opinion, in its Latin constructions of verbs with participles, and in its frequent rejection of prepositions where their use would be classical. But we only throw out a hint, and attach no consequence to its substantiation. Semler says pertinently on this topic, not indeed urging our hint, which may be original for aught we know, but speaking of Greek-Latin manuscripts:-

'Fuerunt autem. . non parvo numero ecclesiæ Græcæ, seu græcis libris utentes, sub dioccesi episcopi Romani, quas non est dubium codices græcos habuisse.'

But in the printing of the Carafa LXX. of 1587 from our Vatican Codex, use was made, in addition to it, not only of a Bessarion MS. from Venice, but also of a third from Calabria, bearing in its text so strong a resemblance to our manuscript that it was supposed to be either a copy of it, or else both transcribed from the same original. This is a noteworthy circumstance.

The uncial character no decisive proof of extreme antiquity.-

Whatever fancy or luxury might require in the shape of capital or uncial letters for manuscript,-whatever weak eyes, long purses, or caprice might demand, the cursive or running hand was common and contemporaneous with the more stately character. Boeckh's monograph on the subject is decisive (Berlin, 1821). Capital letters written hurriedly become cursive in the process; but there was also a distinct current hand in use as different as our Roman capitals from our ordinary letters. It were absurd to deny this in regions and ages wherein the Egyptian triple character was well known, the hieroglyphic, demotic, and hieratic. It were absurd, moreover, to deny this in an age in which tachygraphy and stenography were the accomplishments of the amanuenses, private secretaries, and learned slaves of every literary man. Our great lexicographer Dr. Johnson's experiment with the boasted powers of a practised short-hand writer is familiar to all readers of Boswell, but the boast of the stenographer is vouched for as a reality in the epigram of Martial-
[blocks in formation]

And Seneca says the same, that the hand of the ready writer matches the quickness of the tongue. The bare fact, then, of a manuscript being in uncials, is no absolute proof that it is older than an old cursive, if, on independent grounds, a venerable antiquity may be assigned to the text in the running hand. The one may be as old as the other, so far as the character of the writing bears on the determination of their respective ages.
The fancied resemblance of the Vatican Codex to a roll no proof of its age.

The maintainers of the antiquity of the manuscript in question seem to wish it understood how like a roll-book the Vatican Codex is, in order that the conceded antiquity of the roll may partially invest the square book with its hoar of age. It ought, however, to be remembered that there were square books in all ages as well as round ones, and that the round superseded the square in certain regions of the earth for a few centuries, on the ground of their greater compactness, neatness, portableness, and susceptibility of ornamentation. It must be obvious, in point of fact, that the square book preceded the round, inasmuch as the single papyrus leaf preceded the agglutination of leaves into a continuous surface for writing, and that single skins of parchment were used before the skins were sewn or pasted together so as to form a roll. It is further certain that the term codex was confined to the quadratus liber, or square-shaped book, while volumen, or its Greek equivalent (Greek), represented the roll. Works in parchment or skin, moreover, so commonly assumed a square form that the word membrana came to signify a square volume and its pages, while charta or papyrus as regularly represented the scroll. Martial is rich in proofs of the tabular shape of parchment book and page, as, for instance, in his epigram on VIRGIL xiv. 186—

p. 145-149

The three words in the original, manifold, mass, and tablet, leave no room to doubt of the structure of the completed work. The sum of which quotations and statements is this, that the enthusiastic contenders for the antiquity of the Vatican Codex expend their labour in vain when they seek to maintain their point by approximating the manuscript, in shape and years, to the scroll class of books: that there never was an exclusively roll period of bookmaking antecedent and giving way to a square book period in historical times; and that the attempt to bolster up the antiquity of the Vatican document by declaring that it resembles a scroll, either in its outward or its inward aspect, only has the effect of making us doubt the truth of statements which rest upon reasons so easily controverted. Modern Persia presents a use of square books and rolls simultaneously, and we have no more reason to suppose in its case than in that of ancient Greece and Rome, that there ever was a period when the use of either form of book was exclusive.

The three columns of text on a page no evidence of its antiquity.

-Another sample of the extraordinary arguments wherewith the antiquity of the Vatican Codex is buttressed up, we cannot withhold from our readers. On the text supplied by Dr. Hug, of six columns at each opening, resembling in appearance not a little a portion of a rolled book,' Dr. Tregelles adds the note: While these remarks were passing out of the writer's hands, he received a single skin of a Hebrew roll, and the general effect of that portion of a book of the rolled form, when looked on by itself, singularly resembles one page of the Codex Vaticanus. This Hebrew fragment consists of three columns, and as the skin is perfect at the sides, and has all the marks of stitches, by which it was joined to the other skins, it is not unlikely that from very early times, three columns on one skin was a customary arrangement.' Now, that three columns on a skin, stitched in a roll, and three columns on a skin, stitched in a Codex, should present a ordinary-the data given being so superficial resemblance, is not extraclosely akin; but what aid this lends towards fixing the date of either document is not apparent. As Jews have resided in Jerusalem from the days of our Lord until now, the recovered fragment of the Jewish roll may belong to any reasonable point of that interval consistent with the aspect of the manuscript and the history of its discovery; and as the roll form is still used for the books of the Jewish synagogue, no date can be too recent for that usage. But even could we assign a plausible and very ancient date to the Hebrew roll, what has that decision to do with a Christian roll, unless we believe that the rules of the Jewish transcribers, which were very scrupulous and peculiar, governed with like effect the proceedings of the writers of Christian books? Again, the fact of three columns appearing on a skin, must depend entirely on the size of the character employed, as one can easily conceive of four, five, or six columns of a minute character being inscribed on the face of one skin; or further, of a single column, as in the Codex Beza, occupying the whole side. That more than three columns were used at the convenience of the writer in sacred books in very ancient times, is pro bable from the Hexaplar publications of the early writers, and is evident from the fac-simile of the Codex Friderico-Augustanus, edited by Tischendorf, 1846, which exhibits four columns on a page, and which that scholar prints from what he calls 'Codice Græco, omnium facile antiquissimo.'
We think, then, Dr. Tregelles' note
destitute of any weight, and an exact counterpart of much which is urged on the external appearance, and, judging therefrom, on the ancient date of the Vatican MS. It is an attempt to bolster up Winckelmann's reference to it as retailed by Hug, Winckelmann himself being possibly, and Hug certainly, a person whose specialty was not a judicial acquaintance with manuscripts. That acquaintance only comes with long use and single-minded devotedness to one pursuit; and it is no slight, to Hug at least, to say that he did not possess it. Dr. Tregelles' pretensions to this diplomatic faculty of judgment are quite superior to those of the Freiburg professor; nevertheless we may, without presumption, urge that the proofs he gives of the antiquity of his text are by no means conclusive, for they are almost all of them particulars resting upon the opinion of a single writer before him, or on conjectures hazarded by himself on preposterously feeble data. Presumed proofs of this kind are common in questions of Codic antiquity, but the commonness of recourse had to them 'does not demonstrate their strength; they might, indeed, seem to weaken the cause which they are brought for ward to uphold. And thus the conclusion at which Dr. Tregelles arrives, is one which cannot be said to rest on true logical data. The conclusion may be quite correct, but the process of proof is insufficient.

Characteristics of the Codex.

-In the omission of paragraphs, the Vatican MS. may be called a compendious New Testament, bearing resemblance in this respect (but only partially) to the shorter edition of the Ignatian letters, or the text of Josephus current among the Jews, according to Naudé. Allowing for a considerable number of omissions from oversight, homœoteleuton, and other inevitable causes, certain others cannot be assigned to any such reasons as these; they have been left out on purpose. And hence arises the question-Is this a critical edition of the text of the New Testament proceeding from the scribe himself? or is he a copier of a critical text already in existence, which varied from the text in common circulation amongst the churches of the fourth or fifth century? If it be really concluded to be in either of these senses a critical text, it can have no other value in those points in which it differs from the current text of the same century, if that can be ascertained, than that of expressing the individual opinion of the transcriber at first or second hand.

Now, our fixed idea is, that the transcriber is a critical editor to a certain extent, while in other cases his omissions are unconscious, his ignorance demonstrative, and his carelessness extreme. Of course we do not attempt to say whether the chief characteristic features are ascribable to the present copyist, or to the writer of the exemplar which he followed; nor again, whether ignorance or presumption of the later writer were the leading feature of his work. Where we travel so completely in the dark as we do regarding the authorship of the Vatican MS., it behoves us to be chary of assertion, and prefer the modesty of suggestion before the peremptoriness of dogma. Nevertheless, we do not hesitate to say that the original author of the text it exhibits meant to exercise a critical care in the edition he issued. The whole style of his handiwork proclaims a curt and compendious text, weeding out with unsparing hand the right and the wrong alike. Omission is the grand characteristic of the document, exclusion the rule enforced with pitiless uniformity. The editor of the original was evidently a person enamoured of that 'brevity' which is 'the soul of wit.' He seems to have taken a full copy of the New Testament text into his hands, and to have ostracized into ruthless banishment all that did not suit his taste or meet his views. In this respect he bears resemblance to a gentleman mentioned in the correspondence of the Record a little more than a year since, who epitomized the Holy Bible by cutting off every superfluous word and every repetition, so as to reproduce the sacred volume in its essential integrity in a volume of one-sixth of the usual size, yet, of course, stripped of the drapery of idiosyncrasy which marked the individuality of the sacred writers. However convenient such a process of condensation may prove for particular uses, and however commendable the industry and critical skill devoted to the operation, it is only to be condemned if it professed to be a true and full reproduction of Holy Writ. A compendium is extremely useful, if called and universally known as a compendium, but very injurious if applied and reasoned upon as the adequate representative of the document it only compressed within more narrow limits. And the document before us has the brevity of a compendium, with faults that distinguish it unfavourably from a compendium correctly made. That a fair general idea may be formed of the synoptic character of this manuscript, we may state that on a close and tolerably accurate calculation made upon a personal collation of Mai's imprint, we are able to affirm that about one twenty-fifth part of the whole New Testament is cut off from the reader without any pre-intimation of the process of excision. But when the nature of these omissions is minutely inspected, their serious effect upon the character of the text in damaging its grammatical propriety, its significance, and trustworthiness, is apparent.

First of these will come those large textual omissions, some of which have been matters of controversy from an early period, which we represent below, but which rarely, perhaps never, all concur within the compass of the same manuscript, their exhibition here 'altogether like garden-gods,' being proof of the critical character of the document in some of the cases at least which we shall cite. The critical character of the more notorious ones is too obvious to need specification. We shall present as much as possible of the matter of this paper in English, but it must be obvious that we cannot confine ourselves to the vernacular when discussing questions of Greek criticism; and must in those instances in which we shall be compelled to adduce the original, require the reader's indulgence of our necessity.
Matt. xvi. 23; xx. 16, 22, 23 ; xxi. 19; xxv. 13; xxvii. 35; xxviii. 9; Mark v. 13; viii. 8; ix. 44; x. 6, 24; xi. 25; xii. 33; xiv. 19, 69; xv. 34. Most of these embrace important clauses of verses, and some several verses together. But those which follow are of greater importance, and generally also of greater length.

Matt. vi. 13; Mark xv. 28; xvi. 9-20; Luke xxii. 43, 44; xxiii. 17; xxiii. 34; John v. 3; viii. 1-11; Acts viii. 37; ix. 5, 6; xxiv. 8, 9; 1 Peter v. 3; 1 John v. 7, 13. There must be a limit to reference and citation, or we could fill pages with a list of omissions, which in the Gospels and Acts alone amount to 1875. The text of those few passages just specified would fill three pages of the New Testament of Mai's edition.
Next will come those hundreds of cases in which the name 'Inσous is omitted, and sometimes an article substituted, but just as commonly nothing left in its place; those in which proper names are excluded, or the accompanying article, and every variety of these variations.

-Transpositions are another characteristic of the Vatican Codex so marked and peculiar that we are bound to make a few observations on the subject. The order of the words in the autograph of the several books of the New Testament, of which portion of the manuscript alone we speak, was of course definite and only one, so that, strictly speaking, any derangement of this order is as great a departure from the original as the substitution of other words and phrases. Yet their occurrence in the course of transcription was natural and almost unavoidable, a word omitted out of its proper place being inserted in the text after the word it should have preceded, as soon as the omission was detected. Others would originate in the critical cares of the transcriber, who thought to improve the euphony of a phrase by a change in its arrangement of words. Editors of printed texts have been strongly under the temptation to do this latter; and, from Erasmus down to the present day, have probably succumbed to the temptation. We make this admission lest it should be supposed that we conclude every transposition in the text of Mai, which varies from our Elzevir standard of 1624, to be necessarily wrong. We certainly do not think so, for having no reason to believe the standard we have adopted in this paper an immaculate or final text of the Greek New Testament, we are as little disposed to contend for the infallibility of its order of verbal collocation, as for the words it employs to convey the meaning of the sacred writers. We can readily allow that Erasmus, the Stephens, Beza, and the Elzevirs, did tamper occasionally with the ordo verborum, with the view of making rude Hellenistic Greek more musical to the classical ear: but no amount of concession on this score could lead us to the conclusion that the numerous, startling, and extravagant discrepancies of word-arrangement in the Vatican MS. represent the true arrangement of words in the apostolic autographs. In the four Gospels alone the transpositions amount to 712, or exactly eight for each chapter. These of course are so many various readings, some of them of an inexplicable kind, but most of them probably the offspring of chance rather than design. In the Gospel of Mark they exceed the average just given, amounting to upwards of 11 in each chapter. But as the simple statement of the figures fails to convey a due impression of the extraordinary number of these deviations from our standard of comparison, we must essay to make the fact more impressive by an enumeration of the passages where they occur in a single Gospel. A paragraph will be well devoted to this purpose, if it make the fact of the excess of this sort of various reading palpable to the eye; and if it further suit the purpose of biblical scholars who shall pursue the subject into more minute comparisons and ramifications than our purpose will admit. Some of the transpositions are double or complex, and these will count for two, three, or more, as the facts of the case may warrant. St. Mark contains transpositions in chapter i. 5 bis, 9, 13, 33 bis, 34, 41; ii. 1, 3, 10, 12, 16, 20, 23 bis; iii. 3, 7, 16, 25, 27 ter, 28, 31, 32, 34; iv. 1, 11, 21, 30, 32, 37, 38; v. 4, 5, 9, 18, 19, 23, 28 bis; vi. 2, 5, 8, 14, 22, 25, 26, 32, 37, 49, 52, 53; vii. 5, 6, 15 bis, 21 bis, 25 bis, 26 bis, 28, 29; viii. 7, 12, 13, 19, 32, 35; ix. 6, 7, 8, 9, 20, 22, 25 bis, 27, 28, 43; x. 4, 13, 16 bis, 19, 28, 29 bis, 34, 36, 37, 42, 43 bis, 46, 47, 49, 51 bis; xi. 3, 13 bis, 14, 18, 20, 27, 32 bis, xii. 1, 6 bis, 7, 8, 14, 17, 19, 22, 24, 28 bis, 29, 35, 37, 38; xiii. 4, 5, 10, 15, 20, 25 bis, 28
bis, 29, 30; xiv. 2, 8, 10, 11, 18, 24 bis, 27, 30, 36, 40 quater, 46, 50, 51, 61, 62, 64, 65, 66, 67, 68, 72 bis; xv. 2, 12, 14, 29, 34 bis, 39 bis; xvi. none.
This is a near approach to 200 in a single Gospel alone, this portion of Scripture being selected for its shortness, while it was just as easy for us to present them from any other book, as our calculations extend to the whole.
Nu ephelkystic, n wrongly interposed before a consonant is remarkably common; but it is also wanting, in accordance with the usage of grammarians. Both forms occur in the same verse; John xx. 4; xviii. 16; xii. 40; in consecutive verses, Luke xiv. 20, 21; single instance, Acts viii. 38; x. 31.
It has been said that there is no confounding of vowels similar in sound, except that is often used for which is incorrect, as every usual form of itacism prevails in the manuscript, even on the showing of Mico and Birch; but this was asserted before the full text of the manuscript was printed.
The itacism of e for a is common; Luke x. 20. And, vice versa, au for €; Luke xiv. 10.
[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]

On which interchange of e for w, and the reverse, we may note that it is of too frequent occurrence as a mere random use for us to build much upon the testimony of our manuscript in such a case as that of (Greek), Rom. v. 1. Few itacisms are more common in old manuscripts; and so frequently does it occur where it is demonstrably wrong in the Vatican MS. that its light is dim in those doubtful pas sages, which a consistent use might have helped to clear.-See Luke iii. 10, 12, where (Greek) occurs instead of (Greek); it reads rightly in verse 14, (Greek), yet the construction and sense in all three places is the same. E is used for e, Acts ii. 42; John iii. 23.

Of the brevity of its text, a pregnant instance or two must be adduced in proof. Let us take, for instance, the Lord's Prayer in St. Luke xi. 2. We put the excluded clauses in brackets :

[Our] Father [which art in heaven,] hallowed be thy name, thy kingdom come, [thy will be done as in heaven so in earth,] give us day by day our daily bread, and forgive us our sins, for we also forgive every one that is indebted to us, and lead us not into temptation, [but deliver us from evil.]

Mat. xxv. 13. 'Watch, therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour [wherein the Son of Man cometh.] For the kingdom of heaven,' &c.

Mark viii. 8. For laying aside the commandment of God, ye hold the tradition of men, [as the washing of pots and cups; and many other such like things ye do.]'
[ocr errors]

Mark ix. 46. For every one shall be salted with fire, [and every sacrifice shall be salted with salt.] Salt is good,' &c.

Mark x. 6, 7. But from the beginning of the creation [God] made them male and female. For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, [and cleave to his wife ;] and they two shall be one flesh.'

Mark x. 24. But Jesus answered again, and saith unto them, Children, how hard is it [for them that trust in riches] to enter into the kingdom of God!

Mark xi. 8, 9. And many spread their garments in the way; and others cut down branches off the trees [and strewed them in the way.] And they that went before, and they that followed, cried [saying,] Hosanna!'"

The reading of the manuscript in Luke v. 38, 39, is both curt and quaint: But new wine must be put into new bottles, [and both are preserved.] No man [also] having drunk old wine [straightway] desireth new; for he saith, The old is good' [better.]

But it may be said that these curter forms of representing the text of the New Testament may be the true ones, and that the fuller phrases are mere accretions on the simple short original. It will now be our duty to show that they are the fruit of carelessness, incompetence, and ignorance; for omissions which are demonstrably wrong abound, whilst other proofs of ignorance are common enough.

In Mark xiv. 72, we read, 'And the second time (ex deurépov) the cock crew.' But our manuscript omits the close of the 68th verse, which mentions the first crowing of the cock.
[ocr errors]

In Luke iv. 41, we read, And he, rebuking them, suffered them not to speak; for they knew that he was Christ.' But our manuscript makes the demons omit the name Christ, which gives signification to our Saviour's prohibition. They said, 'Thou art [Christ] the Son of God.'

In Acts ii. 30, 31, there are serious omissions, amounting to nine words in all, affecting both the grammar and the sense- God hath sworn of the fruit of his loins, [according to the flesh, he would raise up Christ] to sit upon his throne. He, seeing this before, spake of the resurrection of Christ, that [his soul] was not left in hell, neither his flesh did see corruption.' In the former, the verb xalioaι wants a governing word; and in the latter, the word flesh its counterpoise in the word soul.

James i. 12. 'Blessed is the man that endureth temptation; for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which [the Lord] hath promised to them that love him." The absence of ò Kupios leaves the verb without a nominative.

James v. 14. 'Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name [of the Lord].' The exclusion of Tou Kupiov leaves the noun governing without an object.

Matt. xv. 14, 'Let them alone: they be blind leaders [of the blind.] And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch.' Τυφλων is here wanting to the sense. Matt. xviii. 15. Moreover, if thy brother trespass [against thee], go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone.' Here the gist of the offence is the es de, the absence of which is an inexcusable omission.

The curt readings of this manuscript

p. 150-154

seem, many of them, happy: but while doubtless some of them are to be ascribed to intention, a large number are ascribable to accident, and it is impossible in every case to ascertain to which of these two causes we should attribute any particular reading. Intentional readings, when detected, should be received perhaps with as much caution as accidental mistakes, but that certain readings which look like emendations owe their origin to a mere casualty, a thoughtless exclusion or insertion on the part of the scribe, is beyond dispute. A case in point occurs in John i. 4, Εν αυτῷ ζωή ήν, και ǹ swn ǹv To pws-'In him was life, and the life was the light so reads the manuscript, and this is just in the style of its prevailing emendations. Why too should light have any explanatory terms added any more than life? Besides light, is used directly afterwards in verses 5, 8, and 9, alone, as thus And the light shineth in darkness. 'He was not the light.' 'That was the true light.' Had we no clue to the scribe's intention here, we should have adopted this as the true reading, and one very characteristic of the manuscript. But neat and terse at it seems, it owes its origin simply to a forget on the part of the transcriber, who with his own hand supplies in the margin, των άνθρωπων. This small transaction is a clue that unravels many greater. A specimen of the same kind of reading, which seems an attempted improvement, or a restoration of the supposed simpler original text, is also in the first chapter of John. The Vatican MS. reads: 'Who were born not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh [,] but of God,' Here flesh and blood seem to embrace every member of the alternative, and we need no expansion of phrase by addition of 'the will of man,' which seems a mere superfluity and impertinence. Yet this apparently critical and solid reading has no other foundation than the scribe's oversight from homœoteleuton of os in σapkos, the word preceding; he himself having added in the margin ovde ek Beλnuatos avôpos. When two such omissions occur within nine verses of each other, for which, if no reparation had been made by the scribe himself, many would contend as on reasonable grounds correct, why should we hesitate to allow that other
omissions may be as frequent of which he takes no notice at all, happening either through inadvertence, carelessness, or of a malus animus?
Another very remarkable reading, which at first sight seems a critical and possibly good one, is that in John xviii. 5, where the question is asked in the garden, 'Whom seek ye?' and the answer is made, 'Jesus of Nazareth ;' on which the Lord is made to reply: 'I am Jesus,' instead of 'I am he,' or the still shorter phrase of the Greek, 'Eyw ein. Now, it seems very natural, and quite proper when the guards say, 'We seek Jesus,' for the person addressed to reply, 'I am Jesus.' Yet this originates simply in a transposition which, however, our editors did not perceive, or perceiving did not respect in their punctuation, for they render such a solution impossible, if their punctuation of the text is preserved. It reads in their original thus:
λέγει αὐτοις έγω ειμι Ιησους, for λέγει αυτ τοις Ιησους εγω ειμι. The article, indeed, is wanting, but that is characteristic of our scribe. The transposition is clearly accidental, and very stupid on the part of the blundering writer, but the order of words is exactly parallel with a mistake of the same kind three verses before: 'Inσous μera тWV μabητWV αὐτοῦ ἐκει for Ιησους έκει μετα των μαθη των αὐτου, In the one case, we think lightly of the transposition because it does not affect the sense, but in that in question, as it is open to an ambiguous interpretation, it strikes us as very singular and unusual. In the one case, the scribe achieves nothing but an alteration; in the other a curious and original reading, which is also a great blunder. Proof of its faultiness lies before us on the spot, for twice over, on this very occasion, both the historian and Christ quote the the words of our Lord, as simply, 'I am he.' The phrase is thus repeated in the following verses: As soon then as he had said unto them, I am he (eyw elu), they went backward, and fell to the ground. Then asked he them again, Whom seek ye? And they said, Jesus of Nazareth. Jesus answered, I have told you that I am he (eyw elu).
We think this something like proof positive that this reading is a mere transposition, that it has no claim to

the name of a suggested new reading, and that it shows the unsubstantial character of many, perhaps most, of the transpositions of the MS., although they may not be so open to the conviction of absurdity.
A few other cases of incuria, or incompetence, in a different direction, and we abandon our criticism of the Codex for a glance at Mai's imprint. In some cases the scribe has not been able to distinguish the words before him, and has joined the part of a word following to that going before, as in Mark vii. 4, à Tapeλaßor is perverted into arep λaßov; xiii. 13, et στελος for εἰς τέλος; ΧV. 7, ὃν παρητούντο for όνπερ ήτουντο.
Sometimes he has only written part of a word: Mark xiv. 49, eкpare for ExpаTEITE; Luke xvi. 9, EKλen for exArηTe; John xxiv. 22, Ingou for Insour,
His grammar is faulty: 2 Pet. iii. 5, γη εξ ύδατος καὶ δι' ύδατος συνέστωσης for CUPECTσa; 1 John ii. 14, тo àπ' áрpxns Του τον ἀπ' ἀργης; ν. 21, ἑαυτα for ἑαυτους; 3 John 5, τουτο ξενους for εις τους ξένους. At first sight we can scarcely tell whether we are to give the old scribe the second-hand corrector, or the modern editor credit for the remarkable punctuation which distinguishes the volume in John xvii. 11, 12; it is curious and indefensible both in its lection and pointing: Holy Father, keep them in thy name, to which [viz. name] thou hast given me, that they may be one even as we, when we were with them, instead of stopping at the preceding_comma, and beginning with 'While I was with them in the world, I kept them in thy name.' An instance of a similar kind is Acts ii. 47, Ο δε Κύριος προσετίθει τους σωζομενους καθ' ήμεραν επι το αὐτο, instead of επι το αὐτο Πετρος δε καὶ Ἰωαννης.—κ.τ.λ. But the inversion of IIerpos de, as well as the change from un to nuer, shows that the scribe is the author of this nonsense. Whether the Vatican Codex was employed by the Complutensian editors is far from certain, although they boast of having had the use of some manuscripts from the Apostolic Library at Rome, and those no common ones, but vetustissima simul et emendatissima. Dr. Vercellone gives good ground for believing that it was in the Papal Library so far back as A.D. 1475, in
the catalogue of which is Biblia in tribus columnis ex membrana in rubeo: fairly presumed to be our Vatican Codex. The doubt respecting the use of our specific code in the Complutensian Polyglott is thus expressed by the present editor: Quum exploratum sit Ximenium a Leone X., græcum quoque exemplum Novi Test. habuisse, adhuc dubitari potest utrum codex noster accensendus sit iis quos Pontifex Complutensibus suggessit. It is curious, however, and worthy of consideration, that the Codex catalogued in 1475, 1484, and 1533, as present in the library, does not appear in the catalogue of 1518. Where was it at this date? It is quite certain that the Complutensian editors did not follow its readings; their silent supercession of its suggestions, if it came into their hands, being so far condemnatory of its text. That the text of that most splendid monument of sixteenth century typography-the Spanish Polyglott-should, in its general character, so closely correspond with that of Erasmus, both parties working independently, is, to our mind, a strong collateral proof that the Greek text of the New Testament current in the Christian world is, in the main, a correct one, and that manuscripts which very widely diverge from it are to be distrusted in proportion to their divergence. This distrust becomes a righteous principle, when the manuscripts exhibit tokens of ignorance, carelessness, and other incompetence of the writers, as does the Vatican MS. to an extreme degree, the proofs of which charges are patent even in the small selection of cases laid before our readers.
It now only remains that we expend an observation or two on the imprint of this celebrated manuscript, by his late eminence the Cardinal Mai; and truth compels us to avow that never was any work published so full of obvious faults and inconsistencies as the series of volumes before us. It is too bulky, too expensive; sins both by defect and redundance, and has nearly every fault that could be heaped together within the covers of any one publication. It does not represent the text it was designed to exhibit; it does present a text which has no business on its pages, and which of

the two texts is the one before us in any particular passage there are no intimations to say. Hundreds of lacuna are filled up without any clue to the source of supply; and hundreds of omissions are made without any note of their occurrence. The plan of procedure in the printing of the work is declared by the learned posthumous editor to be incredibly bad, and Mai himself, disgusted with the result, lays the blame on the morbus æternus typothetarum. But, in truth, the cardinal fault of this publication is the Cardinal's, whose method scorned all method, as his result drives criticism to despair. If the printer was careless, Mai was crazed; the puny dimensions of the typographer's error being as far short of his director's, and of a more venial kind, too, as
'Canibus catulos... matribus hædos.'
In Mai's volumes marginal notes abound, chiefly devoted to the correction of the orthography of the text, and calling attention to its frequent itacisms. With a curious inconsistency, however, hundreds of itacisms are passed over without notice or correction; hundreds of others are corrected in the text, and the faults transferred to the margin; while, again, in hundreds of other instances, the faulty orthography is rightly retained, and the second-hand emendation given in the margin. In yet another class of cases both margin and text are wrong. The footnotes are few and unimportant; three only occur in the Gospel of St. Luke, intimating that verses xxii. 43, 44; xxiii. 17, 34, are wanting in the MS.; but in the same Gospel, numerous and important omissions occur without any notice whatsoever; e.g., Luke iv. 8, before Ἰησοῦς: ὕπαγε ὀπίσω μου, Σατανᾶ, and yap, while in addition, some words are transposed. In the 19th verse there is a long omission; v. 38; vii. 43; two verses in ix. 55, 56, are left out; xi. 11, 44, 49, 54; xvii. 9, 19, 23, 24, and a whole verse between 35 and 37; xix. 45; xx. 30; xxii. 64; xxiv. 1, 46. If we chose to exhibit more minute departures from consistency, they abound to such an excess that we could more easily fill a volume with them than confine ourselves to a short critique like the present. It is a
mere farce of pretension that the deceased editor employed himself in edendo ad literam Vaticano Codice, for nothing from first to last is less assured than the literal or even verbal accuracy of the present impression. A righteous retribution seems to have overtaken the scholars of that church which has carried literary incivility in the matter of showing and using the manuscript to a degree unknown elsewhere; that those who would not allow Protestant critics the opportunity of publishing it, should make most disgraceful mess of the publication of it themselves. It reflects no honour upon Rome now that it has appeared; it has added in no respect to the appreciation of the Vatican Codex itself; while it has had a 'tragical' effect (the epithet is Bunsen's), upon the reputation of the deceased Cardinal. We regret that we cannot apply Mai's complimentary description of Scholz's edition to his own, Scholz being on the whole several shades less incorrect and pretentious than Mai. The Cardinal refers to it as 'Scholzii catholici perdoctam, N. T. editionem,' and again as KPITIKWтary' in pages 169 and 182 of his Vatican imprint. It is no pleasure to us to say harsh things of the living or the dead, but the interests of learning and of truth alike demand that we should denounce that dog-in-the-manger policy which has refused compliance hitherto with the natural challenge of foreign scholarsaut tu me, aut ego te-and has, at length, received its due arruoliav in a publication which is a disgrace to literature, and will prove an everlasting disappointment to students of the Greek Scriptures. Curiosity is now glutted; the credit of the Vatican MS. is now dead. Who, therefore, will ever think of publishing it again?
[ocr errors]

What report can be given of editors who tell us in a note on Luke viii. 42, that the word σvvényor is spelled in the MS. OvvÉTveryor, this common itacism having been already noted in the same page, and nearly 300 times before it, while they do not tell us that in the next verse the entire phrase 'which had spent her all upon physicians' is left out? In the 45th verse, attention is likewise called by a note to the fact that droißovou is spelled in the MS. dro@λeißovow, but

they forget to say that the six Greek words which directly follow- and sayest thou, Who touched me?' are omitted. They tell us in the 48th verse that the vocative of the word daughter is spelled with 7 instead of e in the MS., but they do not tell that the word Odpoet which precedes it and gives it signification, is dropped out. Luke ix. 55 has a sidenote showing, for the twenty-third time, that emer #ncev is spelled éreтenσev in the Codex, but not the slightest notice is taken of the long omission that immediately follows, which sacrifices, without an intimation, one of the most significant sayings of Christ: 'But he turned, and rebuked them, [and said, Ye know not what manner of spirit ye are of. For the Son of man is not come to destroy men's lives, but to save them]. And they went to another village.'
Luke xxii. 37. The reading maxapar is marked out for emphatic observation by a marginal note, as if its correctness here were so singular, as contrasted with its faultiness elsewhere, that it deserved special attention: Ita Cod. But the same accusative occurs besides, both before and after, a dozen times in all, without any distinctive mark, and the spelling is uniformly correct as here. Other cases of the word show 7 for a, but never the accusative.
As a specimen of the editing of the work, few instances are richer than that connected with the word Alexandrian, occurring in two places in contiguous chapters: Acts xxvii. 6 presents in the text 'Aλežavôpevov, and in the margin secunda manu, Aλežaôpηvov; but in xxviii. 11, Alegavopive appears in the text, which is the reading of the corrector, and Aλežav@pnw for AXfadpnvw, the proper reading of the text, is thrown into the margin, four different readings of one word, two at least of which are owing to the carelessness of the manuscript corrector and the editors.
Another sample of the same hocus pocus of carelessness is the reading of Luke xi. 4, where apeloper of P. M. is put in the margin, and deploμev is inserted in the text, while the correct reading is neither, but apieμev.
'Exλern of Luke xvi. 9, is an instance of the same kind as the last: the original reading, ékλŋ, is banished
to the margin, and neither is right, for the proper word is exλinnte.
Value of the MS. in Biblical Criticism. Having spoken at such length of this celebrated Codex, we may scarcely dismiss the subject without an attempted estimate of its value in Biblical criticism; the more so, as this use of the manuscript gives it all its worth, and most of its interest. Extravagant claims have been put forward on its behalf, derived from its supposed antiquity; and this has provoked on the other hand an extravagant depreciation of its merits. Antiquity, however, is only one test of value; there must also appear in the manuscript evidence of a correct exemplar, and an honest, vigilant, and competent transcriber. The impression made upon our own mind by a careful examination of the Vatican Codex is, that its scribe was occasionally, perhaps frequently, careless, as what copyist may not be, but that, on the whole, his text is one that has been docked and trimmed in obedience to a critical spirit, rather than fairly transcribed from existing documents. As we trace its mutilated lines, our feeling is, not that the New Testament originally read as he reads it, but that a fuller, rounder copy has been reduced by scalpel and paring-knife to 'the lean and slippered pantaloon' that figures in melancholy tenuity before our eyes. But, in any case, assuming that it is as ancient a document as its advocates assert it to be, and as honest a representative as we could desire of the text of its day, inasmuch as it has been proved to be incorrect in hundreds of instances where there is no question of intention, it must be used with critical caution, and examined as a witness, not deferred to as a judge. Dr. Tregelles is one of the prime advocates in modern days for the authoritative adoption of its readings, and, true to his principle of its paramount value, admits into his first chapter of Mark as many as eighty-one variations from the text of Elzevir, that are sanctioned by the Vatican Code. Many of these are supported by other manuscripts, it is true; but the fact, that Codex B. sanctions them, evidently gives its readings a preponderant (and an unfair) value in the estimation of this critic. The question
[ocr errors]

is easily tested in verse 6, Dr. Tregelles uses the Vatican word cow for cov (the undoubted reading of Codex B., we presume, if anything in the imprint can be undoubted, yet in Luke xxxvii., if dependence can be placed on Mai, the reading of B. is cow, as well as repeatedly elsewhere, 1 Cor. xi. 22, 26, 27, 29), for which his authorities are B., Btly., Blc., L., first hand, A, and one cursive, 33, which presents this reading with a variation; whereas against it are A. D. P., all other manuscripts consulted, and the Elzevir text. The authorities, we contend, are inadequate to justify the change, for B., Btly., Blc., although they look like three authorities, are really only the Bentley and Bortolocci vouchers for the reading of Codex B.; L. and ▲ are the Codex Regius, and that of St. Gall, of the ninth century, edited respectively by Tischendorf and Rettig; the cursive counts for nothing, for it is not certain; that is, it does not give exactly Dr. Tregelles' reading. It would seem to have been cow, but that the iota was omitted. In favour of the common reading are the Alexandrian and the Cambridge uncial MSS., together with the Codex Guelpherbytanus of the sixth century, with all manuscripts besides. The preponderance is here decidedly against the learned Doctor. The Alexandrian has as good a text as the Vatican, the Codex Bezæ, whatever its peculiarities of text, is as valid an authority for the spelling of a word as Codex L., while the age of Codex P. is much superior to A. The balance, even on this showing, is against co0wr; but were it a case of counterpoise, the host of cursives must surely tell something on the result, and re-establish cow in the text.
Let us look at another instance of the same kind of supremacy conferred on this manuscript. In verse 14 of the same chapter, we read in our common text that Jesus came into Galilee preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God; but Dr. Tregelles excludes the words of the kingdom, so that it reads, preaching the gospel of God, an extremely harsh phrase, not after the use of the New Testament writers. His authorities for the omission are B., L., three cursives, three copies of the Latin Vulgate, and the Harclean
Syriac, Memphitic, Gothic, and Armenian versions, together with two citations in this form by Origen.
Against the exclusion of της βασιλείας are A., D., and all other uncials and cursives not cited against, the Vulgate Latin, four distinct copies of the Vulgate text, the MSS. of the Peschito and Harclean Syriac, and the Ethiopic version. Here we conceive again there can be no fair doubt that the correct reading is that which retains the word kingdom. All the manuscripts of any value are in its favour, except this; it is more easy to account for an omission than an insertion, and it is just in the style of Mark to add the words of God' to Matthew's 'preaching the gospel of the kingdom.' The three versions may be said to balance one another, although there must always be more or less of doubt in reference to Oriental versions, imperfectly collated, and perhaps inadequately edited. About the Vulgate and Syriac there ought to be no mistake, nor about the Gothic, which is on Dr. Tregelles' side, while Origen may count for what he is worth. In this case again, we conceive Dr. Tregelles' respect for Codex B. has led him to underrate the weight of evidence against him.
We need not cite the διδαχὴ καινὴ of the 27th verse, a reading quaint and eccentric, as many Dr. Tregelles adopts in his text undoubtedly are, nor will time permit more than this general characterization of its accordance with the Vatican MS. Right sure are we that scarcely one page of his most laborious and beautiful edition of the gospels of Mathew and Mark (Bagsters), if closely examined, would fail to present evidence of the editor's bias towards yielding an undue place in criticism to this very old and very faulty manuscript. We are fully aware how hard it must be, in many cases, to decide where authorities seem pretty evenly balanced, and how an editor, revising his decisions at some after period, may feel disposed to reverse them, when occasion offers. We too are bound to own that we ourselves are conscious of the same inevitable bias in favour of certain readings and authorities, and how prone we are to err in directions the reverse of those advocated by Dr.

p. 155

Tregelles; all that we urge, therefore, is urged against the learned gentleman's results, not his processes, and with the most entire respect for his ability and labours. No one can refuse Dr. Tregelles the credit of being almost the first Biblical scholar of modern times, who has taught us the value of accuracy of collation, and who has devoted his life and property to the thankless task of textual criticism. Dr. Tregelles himself, if the opportunity of frequent editions allowed, might be glad to follow the fine example of Dean Alford's recantation, in the second volume of his Greek Testament, prol. p. 58, wherein that admirable and independent scholar avows, that, in the adoption of the text of his first volume, he had committed a great mistake.' It proceeded on altogether too high an estimate of the authority of the most ancient existing manuscripts, as determining a reading, and too low a one of the importance of internal evidence. With one exception, Dr. Tregelles is the most diligent collator of manuscripts in Great Britain, the exception being the Rev. F. H. Scrivener, M.A., of Falmouth. And a happier fate attends Mr. Scrivener than Dr. Tregelles, inasmuch as not attempting to construct a text of the New Testament, and only restricted to the task of a faithful reporter of existing manuscripts, what he accomplishes admits of no dispute, and awakens no feelings but those of admiration for his industry, and gratitude for the results of his labours. Mr. Scrivener has just completed a great work, on which he has expended a scarcely calculable

amount of time, ingenuity, and steady application in the examination of the manuscripts of the Greek New Testament in England. In his present and former publications he has devoted nearly 500 pages to minute collations-the citations of authorities in some single pages running up to hundreds, while one-half of his latest magnificent volume contains a copy of almost fac-simile correctness of the entire Augian Codex. To no single scholar in England has it been permitted, since the time of Mill, to accomplish so laborious a work, and (its chief distinction) to accomplish it so well. When to all this is added the engrossing secular occupation of Mr. Scrivener, his volumes cannot be regarded in any other light than as a marvel of single-minded devotion to biblical studies, reflecting the highest credit on his scholarship and zeal. The learned world will duly appreciate his labours; the Church will glory in the high achievements of her son; and the Divine Master, whose honour is the chief motive, and whose countenance is the main support in the prosecution of works like his, we doubt not will crown his servant with his approving Eye. We personally can only tender our humble and respectful admiration; and the expression of our wish that the hope wherewith Mr. Scrivener closes his last page, 'That health and leisure may yet be granted me to pursue my researches,. . . in a department of sacred learning which yields to none in its interest and importance,' may obtain fulfilment in equal successes with the past, and more signal rewards for the future.
Last edited: