Matthew and Hermas accents - Galatians 5:21 - historical understandings from Tischendorf to David Daniels! - “gradually merge”

Steven Avery

Archimandrite Porfiry Uspensky ..."
" Letters of the manuscript resemble the letters of the Church Slavonic very closely. Positioning of the letters was straight and solid (uninterrupted). There were no aspirates and accents above the words and no punctuation marks were inserted but for full points. The sacred text was written in four and two columns stichometrically with no space between the words so it seemed to be an indivisible utterance from full point to full point"


Added at Sinai? At least Hermas, but not Matthew.

No Tischendorf?
--- check facsimiles!

No Gregory?



...without spaces between the words or breathings (except a Gal. v. 21 - Galatians 5:21), or accents, or the iota ascript or postscript; the marks of punctuation also being exceedingly few.


The corrector B ... has much deformed the first leaves of the N. T. by adding breathings, accents, stops, and apostrophi, till afler a few pages he gradually got tired of his useless labour.

5. The corrector B is a full age below A, and may be conjecturely placed at the end of the sixth century...this corrector has only touched the Gospels and especially the early chapters of St. Matthew. Indeed, he has much deformed the first leaves of the N.T. by adding breathings, accents, stops, and apostrophi, till after a few pages he gradually got tired of his useless labour.

(7) Far the greater part of the changes throughout the whole manuscript belong to C, of about the seventh century, before breathings and accents became habitual8.

xxiv (minor)

—the various corrections the primitive text has undergone from ten or more different hands, with inks of many various shades, in different ages, yet nearly all before breathings and accents came into common use


Hansell (1864)
p. 49
The reader will be aware that the oldest Greek manuscripts that survive, where they comprise portions of formal books as distinguished from private letters, are written in uncial characters, that is, in what we should call capital letters, the most venerable of them without accents or breathings, or spaces between the words. This fashion continued universal up to the ninth century, and did not go out, at least in copies ot the Church Lessons from Scripture, until the eleventh: it then became displaced by the cursive common running-hand, which had all along been used in familiar intercourse; we have a few cursive documents dated in the ninth century, more in the tenth, a great number in the eleventh.1

p. 76-77

One great mistake, however, has been made in regard to these volumes, for which (as we are informed) the Oxford Delegates are responsible, not Mr. Hansell. Most persons are aware that the most ancient extant manuscripts of the Greek Scriptures are nearly void of breathings and accents, which, if they were ever very extensively employed by Alexandrian copyists and grammarians (by whom they had been reduced to a regular system), had gone much out of use about the commencement of the Christian era. Not a vestige of them is to be found in the papyri of Herculaneum, whose latest date is fixed by the overthrow of that celebrated city (a.d. 7D); and although no less a judge than Sir Frederick Madden assigns to the first hand those in the red paint over the first four lines of the great Codex Alexandrinus of the fifth century, the oftener we look at them the more convinced we are that Mr. Westcott is right when he holds them to be decidedly more recent. Overlooking a few casual exceptions, breathings and accents do not re-appear in our Biblical codices before the seventh or eighth century, and are very partially and badly represented up to the tenth, as indeed the reader will have seen for himself in our extract from Mr. Bradshaw’s valuable fragment Wd (above, p. 03).


Journal of Sacred Literature (1864)


As for the writing of the Codex Sinaiticus Dr. Hilgenfeld can only judge of it, with the assistance of Montfaucon; with this aid, he owns that it belongs to the class of the oldest uncials, such as the Alexandrian, Vatican, Ephraem, etc. But this series begins in Montfaucon with Dioscorides (without accents and breathings) at the end of the fifth or beginning of the sixth century, and goes on to the beginning of the seventh century; and with accents and breathings a gradual change of character came in. According to Montfaucon, accents and breathings began to be added “septimo circiter sieculo," and from that time the old form of the letters was altered by degrees, etc. From Montfaucon’s data, Dr. Hilgenfeld infers that we have the fullest right to ascribe the Codex Sinaiticus to the sixth century. The Codex Colbertinus, he thinks, might compete for Dr. Tischendorf's prize on several grounds.


The Montfaucon phrase is used by Tischendorf in his Claromontanus writings.

Montefalconii vero iudicium satis cautum illud quidem iam supra vidimus : is codicem nostrum septimo circiter saeculo scriptum dixit , quamquam graecis codicibus antiquissimis quos ante commemoraverat in omnibus paene similem declaravit ...

this is another author
quidem septimo circiter saeculo accentus et spiritus adscribi coepisse , deindeque paulatim priscam literarum formam nonnihil mutatam fuisse , ita ut tamen literae distinctae et separatae manerent , donec saeculo circiter ...


Gardthausen quotes Montfaucon,

Also here is the Zeitschrift German mentioning Montfaucon

Wait this may be the Hilgenfeld paper on Sinaiticus!

Last edited:

Steven Avery

Scrivener .. corrector __

———— - corrector Ba

confirm prima manu

what about other feaures

more ?



Post #1 - Uspensky,
Journal of Sacred Literature - Hilgenfeld Montfaucon
Hilgenfeld Zeitschrift - complex German (on another P

Post # 2 - Index and PBF

Post #3 - Hugh Houghton - 2012 - text needed
Hermas is here

Post # 4 - Greg Stafford - 2010
"misstatements about punctuation marks in ancient Greek texts"

Post #5 - Dan Batovici
Only discusses D corrector of Hermas

Post #6 - Peter Malik -
Matthew is first hand, scribe A, does not comment on accent difficulty

Post #7 - Peter M Head -
"without accents or breathings"

Post #8 - miscellaneous

Post #9 - Hilgenfeld

Post #10 - Buttmann (not relevant)

Post #11 - Milne and Skeat
No Hermas so far
Matthew is wacky mumbo-jumbo

Post #12 - David W. Daniels

Post #13 - Dirk Jongkind

Post # 14 - Swete

Post # 15 - Hort


"Accents are not found in MSS. older than the 8th century." - Westcott

accents - overview -

accents - screen pics from CSP and books and journal articles - accents Vaticanus

breathings - chronology of scholarship (may include small letters, indentation on first letter, accents, coptic mu etc)

Hermas black ink accents - trying to parse the text -

Matthew - accents and breathings, arrow-heads for OT quotations, paragraphi with Eusebian apparatus

Matthew 2:6 - Sinaiticus scribe bungles Bible Prophecy 101 -
#nn - accents in Matthew

This Post
Matthew and Hermas accents - historical understandings from Tischendorf to David Daniels! - #00 -

Quire 93 - Folio 7 - where Hermas was mangled and folio was taken by both Uspensky and Tischendorf -
New Finds - Zagrebin - ( Evgenia Eduardovna Granstrem ) -- - Houghton - ACCENTS CORRECTOR D and Tischendorf - Hugh Houghton - accents in Hermas and Matthew Corrector D E - Genesis 24

Sinaiticus through the centuries in the 4th century paradigm - corrector D accents
Last edited:

Steven Avery

Hugh Houghton - (2012)
CODEX SINAITICUS AND OLD MANUSCRIPTS OF EARLY CHRISTIAN WRITING: TRADITIONS AND INNOVATIONS IN MODERN RESEARCH Proceedings of the International Research Conference «Codex Sinaiticus: Manuscripts in the Digital Age» (The Fifth Zagrebin Readings) Saint-Petersburg, November 12—13, 2009

The Electronic transcription of Codex Sinaiticus - ( Quire 93 Folio 7; NLR, Greek 843 Hermas also on Russian site ) ( corrector D later hand darker ink accents ) - ( Moorhead - Marzo Mazzarino ) ( Fonkich DATING majuscule ) ( Miltenov Vialova Lebedva Levshina
Last edited:

Steven Avery

Punctuation in Early Greek New Testament Texts (2010)
Greg Stafford

In the note to the last sentence from my quote of Robertson’s larger grammar on page 3 of this paper, Robertson references the Greek grammar by Friedrich Blass. Dovetailing nicely with Robertson’s above comments, the following must read like music to Comfort’s ears when considered now in light of misstatements about punctuation marks in ancient Greek texts which have been made by Bowman (as quoted on page 2) and by others13 (with my underlining):



3 more refs to accents
Last edited:

Steven Avery

Peter Malik

p. 11

If so, why then was the book of Revelation never subjected to such an inspection? Did the scribe(s) give up on scrutinising the manuscript in its final stages of production?57 In Mark, for instance, it was scribe D who used another exemplar in

57. Interestingly, Milne and Skeat, Scribes and Correctors, 36-37, postulate scribe A's “grandiose but quickly abandoned scheme for the embellishment of the manuscript” (26), a scheme which he gave up early on in Matthew, as evidenced from the cessation of Eusebian enumeration, paragraphi, markings of OT quotations, and accents and breathings. It would be interesting to see if there are any other, perhaps more subtle, traces of gradual deterioration of editorial performance. See Hernandez, Scribal Habits, 95, who contemplates a possibility that the “MS was sent out without being proofread.” As noted above, there is sufficient evidence from other portions of Sinaiticus that some “proofreading” did in fact take place, but he is correct (as it seems) in observing that, in Revelation, such evidence is lacking.

Last edited:

Steven Avery

The Gospel of Mark in Codex Sinaiticus: Textual and Reception-Historical Considerations 2008
Peter M Head

8. Throughout the New Testament of Sinaiticus the words are written continuously in the style that comes to be called “biblical uncial” or “biblical majuscule”. The parchment was prepared for writing lines, ruled with a sharp point. The letters are written on these lines, without accents or breathings. A variety of types of punctuation are used: high and middle points and colon, diaeresis on initial iota and upsilon, nomina sacra, paragraphos: initial letter into margin (extent of this varies considerably). We shall return to these features in relation to Mark’s Gospel shortly.

Steven Avery

Vaticanus .. many

Facebook posts

John A. L. Lee

MacLachlan, Dr Rosalind -

Manuscripts of the Greek Bible: An Introduction to Palaeography (1981)
Bruce Metzger
Sinaiticus is written in a simple and dignified ‘Biblical uncial’ hand, the letters being free from ornamental serifs. There are no accents and breathing marks.

Juan Hernandez

b-greek - 2010


Greg Burro


Encountering New Testament Manuscripts: A Working Introduction to Textual Criticism (1980)
Jack Finegan
"There are no accents or breathings." p. 133

Robertson - Vaticanus

The original manuscript has no accents, breathings, or stops.

Biblical Notes and Queries (1869)
It contains, as is commonly the case with ancient manuscripts, revisions, and so-called corrections by a later hand; hut, as it preceded from the pen of the original writer, it had neither ornamented capitals, accents, nor divisions of words or sentences. The style of writing is plain, and everything about it bears the marks of high antiquity.

Faiths of Man: A Cyclopædia of Religions, Volume 1 (1906)
Accents and corrections by a later hand are recognised.
Last edited:

Steven Avery


Also here is the Zeitschrift German mentioning Montfaucon


Does Hilgenfeld actually highlight the Mark accents? Or Hermas

Hilgenfeld p. 214

p. 213



p. 213
Freilich versichert uns Hr. D. Tischendorf, die kostbaren Londoner Papyrus-Psalmen in dem 1. Bande seiner Monumenta sacra inedita, Nova collectio (1855) mogen, trotz ihrer ungeheuren Fehlerhaftigkeit, noch alter als Sinaiticus und Vaticanus sein. Und wer kann sich gleich ihm ruhmen, 2 — 300 Uncial-Handschriflen auf den europaischen und orienlalischen Bibliolbeken fur eine Palaeographia graeca benuizt zu haben! Da hat Tischendorf denn von der palaographischen Kenntniss der

„meisten heutigen grossen Philologen und Theologen"

eine sehr geringe Meinung. Und ich will mich nicht anheischig machen, den Preis der kostbaren kaiserlichen Pracht - Ausgabe des Sinaiticus (zu 230 Thlr.), welchen er auf die Widerlegung seines palaographischen Urtheils gesetzt hat, zu verdienen. Man soil ihm nur eine einzige Hnndschrift aus dem 6. Jahrhunderl nachweisen, welche die in seinen Prolegomenen verzeichneten wesentlichen Schrifleigenlhiimlichkeilen, also die speciellen Buchstabenformen, die Abwesenheit aller Initialen, die vorherrschende Seltenheit der Interpunclion (da auf manchen Columnen kein einziger Punct stehe) mil dem Sinaiticus gemein habe. Ich muss mich an das beste Werk, was wir bis jetzt haben, an Montfaucon’s Palaeographia graeca halten. Und da kunn es wohl keinem Zweifel unlerliegen, dass die Schrifl des Sin. wie die des Alexandrinus, Vaticanus, Ephraeini rescriptus. unter die exempla librorum antiquissimorum unciali charactere bei Montfaucon p. 184 sq. gehört. Allein die ältesten Uncial-Handschriften ohne Accente und Spiritus beginnen bei Montfaucon erst mit dem codex des Dioskorides aus dem Ende des 5 ten oder dem Anfang des 6 ten Jahrhunderts und reichen bis zu dem Anfang des 7. Jahrhunderts, als mit Accent und Spiritus allmalig auch eine Veränderung der Schrift eintritt Der alte Meister der Paläographie hat es für höchst misslich erklärt, innerhalb jenes Zeitraums (5.6. Jalirh.) die Zeit noch genauer bestimmen zu wollen. Und sein besonnenes Urtheit (p. 185) hat am Ende noch heule Geltung:

„Verum inter hos ipsos codices discrimen aetalis assignare non ita facile, scimus quidem septimo circiter saecuio accentus et spirilus adscribi coepisse1), deindeque paulatim

priscam literarum formani nonnihil mutatam fuisse, ila ut tamen literae distinctae et separatae manerent, donec saeculo circiler octavo vel nono lileras in libris colligandi multasque uno calami ductu exarandi consuetudo inveheretur, quod — ex Tachygraphorum literis et actis ad libios emanasse creditur. De priscis autem iilis accentu et spiritu carentibus manuscriptis id unum certo dici posse videtur, usque ad septimum circiter saeculum hoc modo scriptitatum fuisse; nam Dioscoridis codex ille Caesareus, cuius specimen dedit Petrus Lambecius, et nos dabimus cap. sequenti (p. 208), ineunte sexto saeculo descriptus est, ut ex nota et indicio non dubio liquet. Alios autem huiusmodi codices eiusdem circiter nevi nec multum aetate dispares opinamur. Non desunt tamen, qui exempiaria quaedam terlii vel quarti saeculi esse arbitrentur (wie jetzt


Of course, Mr. D. Tischendorf, the valuable London papyrus psalms in the first volume of his Monumenta sacra inedita, Nova collectio (1855) may be even older than Sinaiticus and Vaticanus, in spite of their enormous errors. And who can boast like him of having used 2-300 Uncial manuscripts from the European and Oriental libraries for a Palaeographia Graeca! Since Tischendorf has because of the palaographic knowledge of the "most of today's great philologists and theologians" a very low opinion. And I don't want to presume to earn the price of the precious imperial splendor - edition of Sinaiticus (at 230 thalers), which he set for the refutation of his palaographic judgment. Only one single manuscript from the 6th century should be proven to him, which shows the essential writing characteristics recorded in his prolegomena, i.e. the special letter forms, the absence of all initials, the prevailing rarity of the punctuation (since there is not a single point on some columns) with the Sinaiticus have in common. I must stick to the best work we have so far, Montfaucon's Palaeographia graeca. And there can be no doubt that the writing of Sin. like those of Alexandrinus, Vaticanus, Ephraeini rescriptus. under the exempla librorum antiquissimorum unciali charactere in Montfaucon p. 184 sq. heard. However, the oldest Uncial manuscripts without accent and spirit begin with Montfaucon only with the codex of Dioskorides from the end of the 5th or the beginning of the 6th century and reach up to the beginning of the 7th century, when with accent and spirit every time too a change in writing occurs The old master of palaeography declared it extremely unfortunate to want to determine the time even more precisely within that period (June 5th). And his prudent originality (p. 185) is still valid in the end:

"It is not so easy to assign an age difference between these same codices, we know indeed that stress and spirilus began to be written about the seventh century AD",

and then gradually


Tischendorf den Sinaiticus und Vaticanus). Sed licet fateamur nihil

p. 218

terthümlichkeit der Handschrift redet erst der Corrector, wel-
cher dieselbe mit seinem cod. Sin. vergleicht und in den
Eigennamen einige Verschiedenheit bemerkt. Die Abschrift
derselben kann dem Pamphilus noch gur nicht in einer fer-
nen Vergangenheit liegen, da ptieXijydt] nichts andres als
die Abschrift selbst bedeuten, auf keinen Fall dem dyxißaXty
entsprechen und durch dasselbe näher bestimmt werden kann.
Dazu nüthigen die von mir aus dem Martyrium S. Polycarpi
(ptxtygatpaxo), aus Origencs zu Gen. 47, 6 (Greek) angeführten
Belege, vollends die lehrreichen Bemerkungen des cod.
Marchal. (mit Uncialen, aber schon mit Accenten und Spiri-
), welchen Montfaucon p. 40 sq. in das 7. Jahrb. setzt.
Da lieisst es vor dem Jesajas: (Greek)



p. 421

p. 422

massen sicheren Schluss machen zu wollen. Denn erstlich wurden die alten Uncialhandschriften bekanntlich fast ohne alle Spiritus, Accente und andre Lesezeichen geschrieben; zweitens sind dieselben, wo sie sich finden, fast durchweg erst von zweiter und sehr viel späterer Hand hinzugefügt worden; und drittens kann niemand sich der Wahrnehmung verschliessen, dass wie in allen orthographischen Sachen, so insonders auch hier nicht nur in verschiedenen, sondern selbst in ein und derselben Handschrift ein unaufhörliches Schwanken und die grösstc Inconsequenz stattgefunden hat.

to want to make mass safe conclusion. For first of all, as is well known, the old Uncial manuscripts were written almost without any alcohol, accents or other bookmarks; secondly, where they are found, they are almost always added by second and very much later hands; and thirdly, no one can avoid the perception that, as in all orthographic matters, so especially here, not only in different, but even in one and the same handwriting, there has been incessant vacillation and the greatest inconsistency.

p. 424

wohnende Verf., überhaupt nahezu unmöglich sind. Wir
fuhren beispielsweise ausser jenen beiden oben näher be-
zeichnelen Abschnitten als sehr lehrreiche und instruclive
Partien des Buches an: die Angaben über die Anwendung
und Forllassung des Iota subscripluin in schriftlichen Docu-
menlen und Ausgaben bei einer grossen Anzahl von Wör-
tern, über das Schwanken des Spiritus in den Handschriften,
Setzung des Spiritus innerhalb eines Wortes, Verschieden-
heit der Accentselzung und Verschiebung der Accente bei
gewissen Wörtern, je nach Verschiedenheit des Sinnes, den
Gebrauch des Circumflex vor doppelten Consonanlen, des
Aculs oder Circumflex vor positionslangen Silben (x?£fg,
ChjXt% etc.), eine bedeutende Summiung von Beispielen per-
sönlicher Pronomina (povy l/iov y aov etc.), sofern sie von
einer Präposition regiert werden, aber nur aus den Schriften
des A. T. (denn die Fälle aus dem N. T. findet man voll-
ständig in der Brudcr’schen Concordanz), die von der unsri-
gen meist ganz verschiedene Art und Weise der Interpunction
und der Gebrauch anderer, jetzt abkömmlich gewordener Zei-
chen , die eutnalische Stichometrie und vieles andere hieher
gehörige. In den meisten Fällen ist freilich das Resultat ein
negatives, nämlich die absolute Unmöglichkeit zu einer po-

Last edited:

Steven Avery

Special - Mention of Simonides

Nicht anders als mit der Sprachbeweisfuhrung des Aufsatzes verhält sich’s mit der kurzen Notiz S. 75:

„Ein nichttheologischer Kenner der Paläographie, welchen ich um seine Meinung befragte, hat aus der Schrift dasselbe Ergebniss, zu welchem ich auf anderem Wege gelangte, nämlich die Entstehung erst im 6. Jalnh. gewonnen.“

Allerdings hab’ ich vor solchen nicht-theologischen Kennern der Paläographie seit der schmählichen Niederlage hochberühinter Philologen un den Palimpsesten des Simonides, über die ich mich keine Minute getäuscht, wenig Respecl behalten; auch bezweifle ich, dass jener ungenannte „Kenner“ das Studium der griechischen Unzial-Handschriften in ähnlicher Weise unternommen hübe wie ich, indem ich, während es Montfaucon, der bis jetzt noch als erste Autorität in diesem Fache betrachtete Palaograph, kaum mit 25 Unzial-Handschriften zu thun hatte, 2 bis 300 dergleichen uuf den europäischen und orientalischen Bibliotheken aufgesucht und für eine neue Palaeographia Graeca benutzt habe: eine Zahl, welche über 40 von mir im Orient entdeckte und nach Europa gebrachte, sowie noch weit mehr andere von mir zuerst und allein bearbeitete enthält.

Aber nur um so interessanter müssen mir die neuen Aufschlüsse des nicht-theologischen Kenners sein.

The short note on p. 75 is no different than the language used in the essay:

“A non-theological expert on palaeography, whom I asked for his opinion, came to the same conclusion from the Scriptures that I arrived at in a different way, namely that it first came into existence in the 6th of Jalnh. won."

To be sure, I have had little respect for such non-theological connoisseurs of palaeography since the ignominious defeat of highly-famous philologists and the palimpsests of Simonides, about which I was not mistaken for a minute; I also doubt that that unnamed "expert" undertook the study of the Greek uncial manuscripts in a similar way as I did, in that, while Montfaucon, the palaographer who was still regarded as the first authority in this subject, hardly ever had uncial with 25 had to do with manuscripts, looked up 2 to 300 of the same in the European and Oriental libraries and used them for a new Palaeographia Graeca: a number of which I discovered more than 40 in the Orient and brought them to Europe, as well as many more others from me first and edited alone contains.
Last edited:

Steven Avery

Milne and Skeat

No Hermas
Matthew is wacky
the so-called B-Ba corrections continue for some pages further and gradually merge into A’s more usual hand

a thorough-going revision of the manuscript by A, for in these same early pages of Matthew accents and breathings have been carefully supplied, quotations from the Old Testament marked with arrow-heads (and, in the earlier cases, the name of the book as well), and a number of corrections in a minute hand designated by Tischendorf B or B1 (see below, p. 45) inserted. The Old Testament quotation-marks cease after the third page (N.T. 2), the accents and breathings in the middle of the fifth (N.T. 3, col. 3, 1. 10), but the so-called B-Ba corrections continue for some pages further and gradually merge into A’s more usual hand.



p. 23-24
A Reinvestigation



Last edited:

Steven Avery

David W. Daniels

Q93 f74, ENTOLE D (4)
G (3) was removed by cutting it out.
Someone, the same someone, who knew Greek, but didn't know the text well enough to discern what it said, resorted to hand-writing on accents, to figure out where the words began and ended, to figure out what the text said. That would very likely, in my estimation, be a non-Greek. This was done both at the very beginning of Hermas, and on the last visible page before scraps were found elsewhere. Uspensky cut a piece off of this page, indicating it was already pre-cut apart. And I think I know why.
Last edited:

Steven Avery

#13 Dirk Jongkind
Jongkind, "Scribal Habits of Codex Sinaiticus," 2013:
p. 46-48

Correction of each other’s work—corrections on the text

"Even by the admission of Milne and Skeat, it is notoriously hard to identify which corrector is responsible for many of the early scriptorium corrections, and certainty is often impossible to achieve. However, in some cases a positive identification can be made. This is true for the larger additions and for those corrections that display one or more of the characteristic hallmarks of the correctors. [52] The smaller group of identifiable corrections can be used to address the question of whether scribes A and D both corrected the whole text, or whether they divided the correction work between themselves. If we formulate the hypothesis that both scribes corrected the whole text, evidence for this would consist of either a correction of one scribe on a correction by the other, or the regular occurrence of corrections by both scribes near to one another, for example in the same column or on the same page.

There is a caveat here, and that is that the group of corrections by corrector B that occur mainly in the first part of Matthew should not be considered along these lines. Tischendorf thought that all these corrections came from a hand slightly later than the scriptorium hands, while Milne and Skeat attributed them all to scribe A as part of “an ambitious scheme of correction, annotation, and general improvement of the text.” [53] If Milne and Skeat’s explanation is accepted, it carries with it the suggestion that the B corrections are part of a possible third correction phase. [54] The first phase is formed by the corrections made by the scribe of the main text whilst copying, and the second phase the subsequent correction by scribe A and scribe D of the text of Matthew. For the sake of the argument, we will leave out the B corrections, which do occur close to a correction by scribe D on the verso of folio 73.2."

Corrections by scribe A and by scribe D do occur on the same folio, but examples where both scribes each make corrections on the same page are hard to find. [55] ....

[52] Milne-Skeat, 40—46, give an overview of the characteristics and apply these to Lake's sample on plate II of the NT facsimile of Sinaiticus. On page 43, in the discussion of the *A2 corrections’, one should probably read 'sixth example’ for ‘fifth example’ as the fifth is clearly scribe D and the sixth belongs to scribe A instead of vice versa.

[53] Milne-Skeat, 45.

[54] Though I find it hard to disagree with Milne and Skeat’s expert judgement, I am not convinced that the B corrections are by scribe A or D. Milne-Skeat, 37, state that the B corrections “gradually merge into A’s more usual hand” but fail to mention that the kai-ligature of the B corrections, one of the most decisive criteria in establishing the various hands, is different from both scribe A and scribe D. See e.g. folio 73.3 (NT 3), line 2.12, and 4.19 in the outer margin."

[55] Of course the corrections made by scribe A on his own text which are made in his capacity as prima manus (corrections in the first “correction phase’) are excluded as well.

folio 73.3 (NT 3), line 2.12, and 4.19 in the outer margin."


Last edited:

Steven Avery


The Psalms in Greek According to the Septuagint (1889)
Henry Barclay Swete

Written in an uncial hand ascribed to the middle of the fourth century. The lines, of which there are 48 in each column, are arranged in four columns throughout the prose books, but in the Psalms and other poetical books two columns fill the page, as in Cod. Vaticanus. The leaves are unusually large and of a very fine vellum, made from the skin of the ass or the antelope; with two exceptions they arc gathered into quires of four. There are no breathings or accents; and a single point is occasionally used. Of the earlier part of the O. T. fragments alone remain ; the Psalms are entire.
Last edited:

Steven Avery


The New Testament in the original Greek, the text revised by B.F. Westcott and F.J.A. Hort, Volume 2 (1881)

D. 405—416. Breathings, Accents, other accessories of printing

405. Orthography deals with elements of text transmitted uninterruptedly, with more or less of purity, from the autographs to the extant MSS. In passing next from the letters to the various marks which custom and convenience require to be affixed to them, we leave, with one partial exception, the domain of the written tradition. Whether the autographs contained Breathings, Accents, and the like, it is impossible to know. None exist in the earlier uncials of the New Testament, and it is morally certain that they were not included in transcription during a succession of centuries; so that, if any existed in the first instance, the record of them must have speedily

Last edited:

Steven Avery

CARM post using from above but here with urls
Biblical Notes and Queries (1869)
It contains, as is commonly the case with ancient manuscripts, revisions, and so-called corrections by a later hand; hut, as it preceded from the pen of the original writer, it had neither ornamented capitals, accents, nor divisions of words or sentences. The style of writing is plain, and everything about it bears the marks of high antiquity.


Encountering New Testament Manuscripts: A Working Introduction to Textual Criticism (1980)
Jack Finegan
"There are no accents or breathings." p. 133

Manuscripts of the Greek Bible: An Introduction to Palaeography (1981)
Bruce Metzger
Sinaiticus is written in a simple and dignified ‘Biblical uncial’ hand, the letters being free from ornamental serifs. There are no accents and breathing marks.

The Journey from Texts to Translations: The Origin and Development of the Bible (2004)
Paul D. Wegner
It is written on vellum, four columns per page, with no breaks between words, no accents, and no breathing marks.

Encountering the Manuscripts: An Introduction to New Testament Paleography & Textual Criticism (2005)
Philip Wesley Comfort
"Transcriptions of early Greek manuscripts do not include accent marks (as in modern printed Greek editions) simply because the early manuscripts rarely had accent marks (only an occasional rough breathing mark)."

Encyclopedia of Religions, Volume 1
By John G. R. Forlong
Accents and corrections by a later hand are recognised.

The Gospel of Mark in Codex Sinaiticus: Textual and Reception-Historical Considerations (2008)
Peter M Head

8. Throughout the New Testament of Sinaiticus the words are written continuously in the style that comes to be called “biblical uncial” or “biblical majuscule”. The parchment was prepared for writing lines, ruled with a sharp point. The letters are written on these lines, without accents or breathings. A variety of types of punctuation are used: high and middle points and colon, diaeresis on initial iota and upsilon, nomina sacra, paragraphos: initial letter into margin (extent of this varies considerably). We shall return to these features in relation to Mark’s Gospel shortly.

Age of Transition: Byzantine Culture in the Islamic World (2015)

None of the four earliest manuscripts of the Greek
Bible have accentuation that was written by the
first hand. The Codex Sinaiticus (4th century) has
no accents at all. The complete accentuation in
the Codex Vaticanus (4th century) was added by a
later hand. The Codex Alexandrinus (5th century)
has 110 accentuation in the first or third hands and
only single or double dots indicating diaeresis in
the second hand. And the Codex Ephraem (5th
century) has accentuation added to the second
layer of writing, which is minuscule Byzantine.



New Testament Greek: An Introduction (2011)
B. H. McLean
The earliest example we have of the use of accents in a New Testament manuscript dates to the fifth century AD.3
3 This mansucript is known as Bezae Cantabrigicnsis. Even though the full accentual system was not com-
pleted until medieval times, it should be noted that the acute and grate accents arc already mentioned by
Plato (Kratylos 399) and the circumflex by Ephoros and Hcraclidcs (fourth century BC).


Novum Testamentum Graece. The Greek New Testament Text and a Word Concordance According to the Codex Sinaiticus (2017)
Muhammad Wolfgang G. A. Schmidt
Accents and other diacritica in this Greek text are absent, and the letter forms for
upper-case and lower-case letters are largely the same and not distinguished.
Last edited:

Steven Avery



Steven Avery

Kirsopp Lake (1911)

Also at

Page n18

(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 eines alien Unzialcodex,* and in the correspondence between him and Prof. Eb. Nestle in the Tkeologisches Literaturblatt in 1903.

from CARM

p. xxiii "The corrector B. Far more interest attaches to the work of this scribe, whose writing is chiefly distinguishable from the A group by a slight difference of tint, which is not discernible in a photograph. He was contemporary with the A group or nearly so, and was chiefly interested in small points of spelling and scholarship. On the first pages of Matthew he made frequent corrections which are very important for the history of the orthographical tradition as to proper names, but his interest soon declined, and his hand is not found outside the first Gospel. He may very well have been a scholarly owner, who had strong opinions as to the proper way of spelling the names of the Patriarchs and Kings of Israel. Tischendorf gives a full list of the corrections; it is exceedingly difficult to see them either in the facsimile or in the MS., but there is not, I believe, any reason for doubting the correctness of his judgement. With great trouble I suecceeded in verifying in the MS. all the corrections which Tischendorf indicates on f. 1. So far as I can judge the facsimile is not more obscure than the MS., except in so far as in a MS. the sense of touch often helps to detect erasures, or the erosions of faded ink, and this is of course impossible in a photographic facsimile. It may, however, be thought with some probability that the MS. was in a better condition when Tischendorf first saw it than now. The Imperial Library at St. Petersburg is no doubt in every other respect an infinitely better home for a MS. than the convent of St. Catherine, but on the important matter of climate one may suspect that the advantage is with Sinai. Specimens of B are given in the third column of Plate II.
Last edited:

Steven Avery

Scribe A: (3) The abbreviation of kai takes the form of an oblique stroke at an acute angle tj.4

p. 43
Another distinguishing mark of A’s corrections ... N.T. 30, where it occurs in conjunction with the angular kai compendium, and N.T. 32b, where both the compendium and the spelling of the correction itself, ... point to A.
‘A4’ is difficult to judge, but the kai compendium in the very next line to Lake’s first example, the caret in his second, and the marked difference of the third and fourth from the admitted D corrections in the same part of the manuscript, combine to identify the hand as A.

the only examples in D corrections
1 The first instance must be ascribed to D, since A never corrects D’s text. The second is assured as D’s by the shape of the kai compendium.

p. 44
In reality the correction is due to A alone (Fig. 14). For the uncial part the kappa favours A, but the decisive point is the spelling -i for -ei in the third person singular ... , an error common in A but unexampled in D. In the smaller script, the shape of the kai compendium and its use in the middle of a word (see above, p. 22) both indicate A; in fact, it is simply a further example of his type of hand which Lake calls A4. Other examples of the use