Codex Zacynthius - a help in dating Codex Vaticanus? - first seven pages of Matthew corrector Ba

Steven Avery

First our previous notes here:

notes on the condition of ancient parchment mss

There have also been developments in the dating of certain manuscripts ....Parker and Birdsall's consideration of the palaeography and catena of Codex Zacynthius (040, E) prompt them to propose a date of around 700 for the majuscule underwriting, rather than Hatch's suggestion of the sixth century. 30 ... As more and more comparative material becomes available online, it will not be surprising if the dating of other manuscripts is reassessed.

H.A.G. Houghton, "Recent Developments in New Testament Textual Criticism"
Early Christianity 2.2 (2011) 245-68
Zacynthius and Vaticanus in one such "comparative material". As for Sinaiticus, noting the "truly exceptional" nature of its condition is an example of a comparative distinction that should have been a major consideration.
Bernard Janin Sage (P. C. Sense) questions great uncial dating edifice

The section of Tregelles, where he explains that it is only the catena that causes the later date of Zacynthius is here:

Journal of Sacred Literature (1859)
Description of the Codex Zacynthius
The text is in round full well-formed Uncial letters, such as I should have had no difficulty in ascribing to the sixth century, were it not that the catena of the same age has the round letters (Grk) so cramped as to make me believe that it belongs to the eighth century.
Zacynthius and Vaticanus.jpg

Would this similarity of feature between Vaticanus and Zacynthius support Vaticanus also being of the later date? The similar textual features are significant, and we know that the terminus post quem of Zacynthius is about 700 AD, it can not be any earlier. This similarity would be consistent with Vaticanus being produced around the same time.
The Tregelles book is reviewed here:

Christian Remembrancer - (1862) p. 128-147
And the book is here:

Codex Zacynthius: Greek Palimpsest Fragments of the Gospel of Saint Luke, Obtained in the Island of Zante (1861)

The codex uses a peculiar system of chapter divisions, which it shares with
Codex Vaticanus and Minuscule 579. A more common system divides chapters according to their titles. The capital letters at the beginnings of sections stand out in the margin as in the Codices Alexandrinus and Ephraemi.

Gregory, Caspar René (1900). Textkritik des Neuen Testaments,. 1. Leipzig: J.C. Hinrichs’sche Buchhandlung. p. 91.

The minuscule 579 is dated to the 13th century.

Yet the strange section in the beginning of Sinaiticus of Matthew, that includes accents and the OT prophecy book references, and really appears to be more 1800s than 300s, also was bringing in these sections, maybe from Vaticanus or 579?

The Background of the New Testament and Its Eschatology (1954)
edited by William David Davies and David Daube
Reflections on Archbishop Carringtons 'The Primitive Christian Character'

William David Davies
Christian Origins and Judaism p. 88
maybe different note numbers

first seven pages of Matthew

But, secondly, even if it should be proved that the divisions of the Vaticanus were lectionary, this evidence refers merely to the fourth century. The divisions also occur in Codex Zacynthius, a palimpsest containing the greater part of Luke i. i-xi. 33 which is dated in the eighth century and in Cod. 579 from the thirteenth century.5 Carrington claims that they do not appear in the Sinaiticus (k), from the second half of the fourth century.4 Kirsopp Lake, however, found that at least in the first seven pages of Matthew in the Sinaiticus we are to find ‘either the same or nearly the same system of division’.5 A. Schmidtke, cited by Kenyon, found traces of the divisions in the Sinaiticus and 579 and argued that the divisions went back to the Gospel harmony of Ammonius, which is to be dated in the third century.6 It is specially noteworthy that the Chester-Beatty Papyri, which may go back even to the beginning of the second century, show no traces of the divisions.7


sections are in Matthew Sinaiticus.jpg

Lake footnote.jpg

Kirsopp Lake (1911)

(4) Paragraph marks in the Gospels.
An attempt has been made in the first seven pages of Matthew to indicate the ends of paragraphs by inserting a short horizontal line, sometimes bifurcated, between the last line of one paragraph and the beginning of another. Either the same or nearly the same system is found in Codex Vaticanus, but with somewhat fewer paragraphs. In the absence of any other clue it is difficult to say whether these lines belong to one date rather than another. An interesting discussion of their possible meaning in the Codex Vaticanus will be found in Dr. Schmidtke's Die Evangelien einus alien Unzialcodex;1 and in the correspondence between him and Prof. Eb. Nestle in the Theologishes Literaturblatt in 1903.

7 chapters with Vaticanus Zacynthius sections.jpg

p. xxi
1 - The Codex referred to is the archetype of MS. Paris. Nat. Gr. 97
(Cod Evang 579, or in Van Soden’s notation, e 376}.

Available to Tischendorf.
Are there Latin mss with these types of sections?

In Acts we know there are.
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Steven Avery

Abbot and Burgon

Abbot and Burgon went around the horn on this, but they were hampered by not really understanding the Matthew chapters in Sinaiticus as the first hand, as explained later by Skeat.

The Authorship of the Fourth Gospel: And Other Critical Essays
The Sinaitic and Vatican Manuscripts
By Ezra Abbot

Mr. Burgon finds in its scheme of chapters “a striking note of primitiveness.’’ But the Sinaitic has no division into chapters at all, a prima manu. Is not that quite as primitive ? Further, Mr. Burgon’s argument appears to be of a circular character. The only proof of the high antiquity of the “scheme of chapters” referred to is its existence in the Vatican MS.

Abbot to Burgon.jpg
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Steven Avery

Greg Goswell

Greg Goswell
Presbyterian Theological College, Melbourne, Australia

While he does some interesting work on Mark, including Sinaiticus paragraphs, he does not seem to have the Matthew sections that were part of that special added early work (that looks rather late.) With an 1840 production date, early and late are an artificial distinction, everything is late :) .


Here he goes into Acts, on an issue that is in my discussion with James Snapp:

Ancient Patterns of Reading: The Subdivision of the
Greg Goswell
Presbyterian Theological College, Melbourne, Australia

As will be shown below, this system of capitulation has a marked correlation with the secondary numbered system of capitulation of Acts in Vaticanus (which, in the case of Vaticanus, covers the whole book).31 Table 2
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Steven Avery

Review of the first seven pages of Matthew

Dr. Schmidtke's Die Evangelien einus alien Unzialcodex;1
(1903) the correspondence between him and Prof. Eb. Nestle in the Theologishes Literaturblatt in 1903.
(1911) Kirsopp Lake
(1956) Davies
(2015) Alexander Schick

Jongkind p. 10


"The corrections known as A oblique, B, and Ba, differ from the hands above in that they probably do not belong to the scriptorium but cannot be
later than the fifth century, which is earlier than the date assigned by Scrivener."

In reality, the Ba accents are the original hand, just by looking at them.

p. 12


Milne and Skeat - Ba - "attributed to scribe A and D"

p. 16

p. 18

Did this have accents or errant prophecies in addition to section marks?

PBF - Xenforo - Sinaiticus - 649 - Matthew 2:6 - Sinaiticus scribe bungles Bible Prophecy 101 - BVDB found Snapp

PBF - Xenforo - Sinaiticus - Matthew - accents and breathings, arrow-heads for OT quotations, paragraphi with Eusebian apparatus - #00 - canons

More PBF put in Sinaiticus accents

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Steven Avery

Brent Nongbri
In a footnote, Milne and Skeat dispute Tischendorf’s identification of the writer of these ‘cursive’ words and offer their own attribution:
These are attributed by Tischendorf (Prolegomena, p. 9*) to the corrector Ba, but identity of ink and the fact that they accompany only corrections by D make it certain that they are from his hand. One isolated example of κατ(ω) by scribe A is on NT 40b.30

... size of these notes ... As Fig. 1 illustrates ... very small writing. ... 1 and 2 mm in height ... ink that is sometimes quite pale. We . Fig. 2 provides images of all the ‘cursive’ examples listed by Milne and Skeat.

Milne and Skeat were respected scholars, but I wonder at how they were able, using only these five letters, to say that the notes ‘certainly belong to the fourth century, and probably the first half of it’. The evidence presented below suggests that we should not share their confidence.

Steven Avery

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Steven Avery

The Schmidtke citation in Kenyon might have the page., Alfred

Vaticanus twice

p.28-29 yes



III. Der Archetyp.
1) Ungleich mehr als die Beurteilung der von keinem ändern Gruppengenossen vertretenen, ist die Wertung der innerhalb der Textklasse mehrfach bezeugten Lesarten von 01 durch die Begründung des Verwandtschaftsverhältnisses, durch die Bestimmung der gemeinsamen Stammform bedingt In dieser sehe ich zunächst nicht den ursprünglichen Wortlaut der evangelischen Schriften, sondern in Anlehnung an die bahnbrechende Arbeit von Bousset1 die gegen das Jahr 300 von dem ägyptischen Bischof und Märtyrer Hesychius unternommene, zur Vulgata der Kirchenprovinz Ägypten gewordene Textausgahe, welche sich am wenigsten getrübt im Codex Vaticanus erhalten hat. — An dem aus B und den anderen Familiengliedern rekonstruierten Arttyp gemessen, erweisen sich die meisten der im vorigen Abschnitt zusammengestellten Varianten gleichfalls als Ergebnisse des die Recension sofort wieder lockernden, unaufhaltsamen Konformierungsprozesses oder als Einwirkungen anderer Texttraditionen, unter welchen der ß-Text unbedingt vorherrscht. In die erste Gruppe gehören selbst so stark bezeugte Lesungen wie Mk 1472 sxXauoev (01 KC) für exXaiev, offenbar in Nachahmung von Mt 2675=Lk 2262. Andererseits hat 01 in Verbindung mit nur wenigen anderen nicht selten die Lesart der Recension im Gegensatz zu der Mehrzahl der übrigen, an den betreffenden Stellen harmonisierten Codices bewahrt; hierher scheint mir besonders die Majorität der nur von 01 BK vertretenen Varianten zu gehören.

1 Wilhelm Bousset, Textkritische Studien zum NT. U. XI, 4), S. 74—110: Die Recension des Hesychius. Leipzig 1894

III. The archetype.
1) The evaluation of the readings of 01, which are repeatedly attested within the text class, is much more dependent on the justification of the family relationship than the assessment of the readings of 01, which are not represented by any other group members, by the determination of the common root form. In this I do not see the original wording of the evangelical ones Scriptures, but based on the groundbreaking work of Bousset1 the text edition undertaken around the year 300 by the Egyptian bishop and martyr Hesychius, which has become the vulgate of the ecclesiastical province of Egypt and which has survived in the Codex Vaticanus in the least clouded form. — Measured against the type of species reconstructed from B and the other members of the family, most of the variants compiled in the previous section also prove to be the result of the unstoppable process of conformation that immediately loosened the review again, or as the influence of other text traditions, among which the ß text absolutely predominates. The first group includes even such strongly attested readings as Mk 1472 sxXauoev (01 KC) for exXaiev, apparently in imitation of Mt 2675=Lk 2262. On the other hand, 01, in connection with only a few others, often has the reading of the review in contrast to the Most of the other codices, harmonized in the relevant places, preserved; the majority of the variants represented only by 01 BK seem to me to belong here.

1 Wilhelm Bousset, Text-Critical Studies on the NT. U. XI, 4), pp. 74-110: The Review of Hesychius. Leipzig 1894

maybe p.33

firnden haben. In der Tat gehen die Abschnitte mit 2 Ausnahmen (Mk 631 und 910) in die das Kapitel wieder in „Sinnzeilen“ zergliedernde Einteilung von B auf, welche durch einen kleinen leeren Raum im Text und einen zur Hälfte über den linken Rand der Columne hinausragenden Horizontalstrich unter der letzten Zeile einer Sektion bewirkt ist. Nicht selten ist das Strichlein vom Schreiber des Vaticanus oder dessen Vorlage übersehen oder eine Zeile tiefer gesetzt (so Mt 1726), manchmal wohl auch in der Handschrift verblasst oder in der Phototypie nicht erkennbar, wiederholt ist die Anbringung des trennenden Raumes vernachlässigt. Zuweilen werden beide Trennungszeichen versäumt sein, so eben zu Mk 631 und 910, wo die Pausen in 01 wie bei den übrigen übernommenen Kapitel- und Untereinschnitten durch weiteren Umfang die Aufmerksamkeit besonders auf sich lenken mochten. Diese Berührungen legen die Vor-

In fact, the sections with 2 exceptions (Mark 631 and 910) merge into the division of B, which divides the chapter back into "meaning lines", which are characterized by a small empty space in the text and a horizontal line that extends halfway beyond the left edge of the column under the last line of a section. It is not uncommon for the scribe of Vaticanus or his model to overlook the small line or set it a line lower (see Matthew 1726), sometimes faded in the handwriting or not recognizable in the phototype, and the application of the separating space is repeatedly neglected. Sometimes both dividing marks will be omitted, as in Mark 631 and 910, where the rests in 01, as in the other chapters and sub-cuts that have been taken over, might draw attention to themselves because of their greater extent.

n Dr. Schmidtke's Die Evangelien einus alien Unzialcodex;1 and in the correspondence between him and Prof. Eb. Nestle in the Theologishes Literaturblatt in 1903.

Die Evangelien einus alien Unzialcodex

Die Evangelien Eines Alten Unzialcodex: Nach Einer Abschrift Des Dreizehnten Jahrunderts (1903) [German]
by Henricus Nicolaus Clausen
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