Tischendorf's first push to have the CFA dated to the 4th century

Steven Avery

Historically, this was key. Tischendorf needed acceptance of the manuscript as ancient, despite its pristine off-white parchment condition. If it worked for the CFA, it could work for the planned full extraction.

This is one of the few spots where we have an English review. Later, I will try to full this out, English and whatever is in Latin or German.

sister thread
CFA claimed to be among torn and tattered fragments

Formatting and highlighting added:

The Bibliotheca Sacra and American Biblical Repository, Volume 10 (1858)
Introduction to Tischendorf's Septuagint (1858)

§ 19. I pass to the second very important source from which material was drawn for our apparatus, the Friderico-Augustan MS. In the year 1844, having gone through the most renowned Libraries of Europe, I was visiting the East, and the monasteries still flourishing there, when I found this codex among some remains of MSS. that had been torn in pieces and thrown away. The treasure thus discovered I brought the same year from the East to my own land, and having bestowed on it the honorable name of Friederich Augustus, king of Saxony, under whose auspices I had undertaken the journey, I yielded it, with an expression of my gratitude, to those in whose hands was lodged the management of the affairs of my country. In accordance with their pleasure it was deposited in the Public Library of the University at Leipsic, whereupon I prepared a most exact and magnificent edition of it under the following title:

Codex Friderico-Augustanus sive fragmenta Veteris Testamenti e codice Graeco omnium qui in Europa supersunt facile antiquissimo in Oriente detexit in patriam attulit ad modum codicis edidit Const. Tischendorf. Lipsiae. 1846.1

In the Preface I explained somewhat fully, not to mention other matters, concerning the country, the age, the correctors, and the notes of the MS.; and as I shall advert to these points briefly in this place, I may refer those, who wish for more information, to my edition of the codex.

As regards its country, I think it was the same part of Egypt from which the Version of the Seventy is said to have first appeared; but if this was not the case, it was probably executed in one of the monasteries nearest Lower Egypt.2

I have spoken of the age of the MS. in § 11. I there began with stating what presumption men of learning in other respects showed in estimating the age of ancient MSS.; of whom one party in every way detracts from the praise of their antiquity, and the other in every way magnifies it, while often both are ignorant of the merits of the question ; since no one can have a knowledge of the matter unless he has carefully pursued this kind of studies, which especially demands that he should have examined with his own eyes whatever Greek papyruses and parchments are of the highest antiquity. Having set forth these facts, I then discussed the evidences of extreme antiquity appearing in this codex, by comparing similar very ancient MSS. that I had myself seen; such as the

Vatican MS. of the Bible, the
Vatican MS. of Dion Cassius, the
Borgian Fragments of St. John, the
Vienna MS. of Genesis,
both of Dioscorides, the
Fragments of the Pentateuch at Paris and Leyden, the
Florentine Pandects, the Alexandrine MS., and the
rescript codex of Ephruem the Syrian.

By this comparison it was shown that there is no MS. that surpasses the Friderico-Augustan in age; very few, as the Vatican MS. of the Bible and those Fragments of the Pentateuch, which approach it.

1 It was lithographed by Uckermann, publishcd by K. F. Köhler. Price 32 thlr. or 128 frcs.
2 See § 10.

In proof of this, the following considerations in particular are here brought forward:

First; The shape of the letters, which are uncial, is at once so simple, elegant, and uniform, that it agrees, beyond all other Greek MSS., with some Herculanean papyruses.

Second; In the writing, no initial letters whatever appear; and while these are found in the Herculanean rolls and other papyruses, also in the Vatican MS. and in the famous Fragments of the Pentateuch, they are unknown to the very ancient Alexandrine MS., that of Dion Cassius, that of Ephraem the Syrian, the Vienna MS. of Genesis, the Cambridge and other codices, which are, for adequate reasons, believed to have been produced in about the fifth century.

Third; The punctuation is so simple, and the marks so rarely used that, for example, a point is found nowhere on two of the columns of the second leaf, on the third once, and on the fourth twice only,1 and this feature it has in common with no MS., perhaps, except the Vatican codex of the Bible.

Fourth ; Of all the MSS. it is peculiar to the Friderico-Augustan alone that each page of the text is divided into four columns, and in this respect it comes nearest to the papyrus rolls from Herculaneum. How strong an evidence this is of its antiquity, may be inferred from the fact that three columns are found in the very ancient MSS., and in them only; as, the Vatican MS. of the Bible, the MS. of Dion Cassius, the two very old copies of the Samaritan Pentateuch that I saw at Nablus in Syria, the Syrian MS. lately conveyed to London from Nitria, which the subscription shows to be of the fourth century, and also the Fragments of the Latin Pentateuch at Leyden, which are of very great age.

There are other considerations less special, but among them that relating to the correctors is of importance. For while it is probable that the second and third of these put their hand to the MS., some centuries almost after the MS. was written, they seem to have belonged to a period not later than the end of the sixth century. Having fully weighed all these particulars cautiously and with discrimination, I judged that the Friderico-Augustan MS. was written at about the middle of the fourth century, and to this judgment I still adhere. If, however, any one else will examine this question in a learned and conscientious manner, he will do us a very great favor; but I make no account of a reckless passion for doubts nor of ignorance, whatever be its pretensions.

1 Coasult § 5.

Of the character of the text of this MS. I have not treated at great length in my Prolegomena to it, nor is it my purpose to do so here; but I have always believed that the Friderico-Augustan codex ought to be reckoned among the best means of restoring the text of the Seventy, a fact which recently Adelb. Lipsius, in a learned essay on my edition,1 has most correctly proved from the marked resemblance that subsists between the readings of this MS. and those of the Vatican in the very passages where the Vatican exhibits the greatest peculiarities.

(lists book contents)
Much more about the colophons, three crosses note, etc.
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