'medieval' correctors D and E - ( Sirach cursive note script compared ) - 1 Timothy 3:16, Acts 3:13. Matthew 19:3

Steven Avery





A number of markings and corrections were called "medieval" and assigned to correctors D and E.

"Later and unimportant correction hands are D and E" - Dirk Jongkind

"The medieval D and E correctors are of slight importance." - Skeat & Milne

Corrector D is dated by Tischendorf to the 8th or 9th century, E to the 12th. However, these are Tischendorf dates, so they are not really based on anything substantive. We will look at a few of the spots here.


Scrivener never saw the manuscript, so he gives us the info from the Tischendorf publication.

A full Collation of the Codex Sinaiticus with the received text of the New Textament (1864)

"Whose style bespeaks the 8th or 9th century ... D" - p. xxv

E appears but three times in the New Testament, and seems fully as late as the twelfth century. - p. xxv

"corrections .. those indicated by D and E look very black, as in Tischendorf’s Facsimiles" - p. xxxi

Corrector E places the word "God" in 1 Timothy 3:16. "God was manifest in the flesh." ...
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Steven Avery

Scrivener on Correctors D and E

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Steven Avery

1 Timothy 3:16 - manuscript and facsimile

This is an incredibly important variant.
1 Timothy 3-16.jpg


There are many spots that are considered 4th century where the ink is just as black.

Scrivener shows the facsimile from Tischendorf.

1  Tim Facsimile.jpg

1 Timothy 3:16
And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness:
God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit,

seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles,
believed on in the world, received up into glory.
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Steven Avery

One summary

2. The Majuscule Manuscripts of the New Testament

David C. Parker

The scarcity of medieval corrections and marginalia is a further indication that majuscules were little used during this period. Codex Sinaiticus has a couple of medieval corrections.14

14 There are three corrections in the NT: at Matt 19:3 ; 1 Tim 3:16 ; and Acts 3:13 (and there is one in Proverbs). There are a few pious notes, and some Arabic glosses, notably one that may be dated between 1453 and 1492. See www.codexsinaiticus.org and David C. Parker, Codex Sinaiticus: The Story of the World’s Oldest Bible (London: The British Library; Peabody: Hendrickson, 2010).

Certainly there are Greek marginal notes which indicate that it was in a environment, while the presence of several comments in Arabic also suggests a setting consonant with St Catherine's. p. 3
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Steven Avery

Sirach Cursive Note



Gloss ___
ό πάο(ηο) cocpifac) χορην(όο) υ(ίό)ο Jv καί
Aov(oc) ή ivu~0cTftt(oc) cocpia του ~cc
ή όΐόάοκουοα όνον γνώο(ιν) οόφιοον
άμαρτωλ(σν) θίο<ρύΛα{κτσν) -coc δόξαν

ό πάο(ηο) cocpifac) χορην(όο) υ(ίό)ο Jv καί Aov(oc) ή ivu~0cTftt(oc) cocpia του ~cc ή όΐόάοκουοα όνον γνώο(ιν) οόφιοον άμαρτωλ(σν) θίο<ρύΛα{κτσν) -coc δόξαν

ό πάοηο cocpifac χορηνόο υίόο Jv καί Aovoc ή ivu~0cTfttoc cocpia του ~cc ή όΐόάοκουοα όνον γνώοιν οόφιοον άμαρτωλσν θίο<ρύΛακτσν -coc δόξαν
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Steven Avery

Erasmus 1522 compared to Sirach cursive note

Archived on disk as "Kirk DiVietro - sirach cursive note compared to Erasmus 1522.pdf"

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Steven Avery

In Codex Sinaiticus there are a few special corrections in a bold black ink, three in the New Testament, and the corrector is known as corrector E.. This includes the correction to make 1 Timothy 3:16:

“God was manifest in the flesh”,

where the nomina sacra for “God” (theos Θεος}.theta-sigma replaces the previous prima manu “who” omicron-sigma ὃς.

The nomina sacra has a line through the two letters theta and sigma. In Codex Sinaiticus the line is in the shape of a sword or arrow.

Is this arrow-line a known palaeographic feature? Can we see it on other manuscripts? Or is it a quirk of the Sinaiticus corrector?
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