Zosima - Sirach

Steven Avery


1. Greek:

The Septuagint translation was made from the Hebrew direct; it is fairly correct, though in all the extant manuscripts the text is very corrupt in several places. (1) The book occurs in the uncials Vaticanus, Sinaiticus, Ephraemi, and part of Alexandrinus fairly free from glosses, though abounding in obvious errors. (2) The text is found in a much purer form in Codex Venetus and also in Codex Sinaiticus (ca) and part of Codex Alexandrinus. All extant Greek manuscripts except the late cursive 248 seem to go back to one original MS, since in all of them the two sections Sirach 30:25 through 33:15 and 33:16 through 36:11 have changed places, so that 33:16 through 36:11 follows 30:24 and 30:25 through 33:15 comes after 36:11. Most scholars accept the explanation of Fritzsche (Exeg. Handbuch zu den Apok, V, 21 f) that the two leaves on which these two parts (of similar size) were written got mixed, the wrong one being put first. On the other hand, the cursive 248 (14th century) has these sections in their proper order, and the same is true of the Syriac (Peshitta), Latin and Armenian versions and of the Greek version of the Complutensian Polyglot (which follows throughout 248 and not the uncials) and English Versions of the Bible which is made from this Polyglot. The superiority of 248 to the older manuscript (B S A C V) is seen in other parts of the Greek text. In the other Greek manuscripts, Sirach 3:25 is omitted, as it is by Edersheim and most commentators before the discovery of the Hebrew text. But this last supports 248 in retaining the verse, and it is now generally kept. In 43:23 "islands" is properly read by 248, Vulgate, Syriac, 23 and the Hebrew, but older Greek manuscripts read "Jesus," making nonsense ("And Jesus planted her" [auten] for "he planted islands therein"). The other manuscripts have a text which yields no sense in 43:26: English Versions of the Bible "By reason of him his end hath success." The Greek of 248 and the Hebrew give this sense: "The angel is equipped for his task," etc.

2. Syriac:

The Syriac (Peshitta) version is now almost universally acknowledged to have been made from the Hebrew, of which, on the whole, it is a faithful rendering. In some places, however, it agrees with the Septuagint against the Hebrew, probably under the influence of the inaccurate idea that the Greek text is the original one. In this version the two sections Sirach 30:25 through 33:5 and 33:16 through 36:11 are in proper order, as in the Hebrew, a fresh proof that the Syriac is not translated from the Greek
Last edited:

Steven Avery


In 1468, Bessarion donated his personal library (which included more Greek manuscripts than any other library at the time) to the Republic of Venice, and this became the core of the Biblioteca Marciana (a.k.a. the Sansovino Library). Among the volumes which can now be found at the Biblioteca Marciana is the manuscript known as Codex Venetus Marc. Gr. 6 (Old Testament Manuscript 122), in which, according to T.C. Skeat (in the essay “The Codex Vaticanus in the Fifteenth Century”), the text of Esther, Sirach, Judith, and Tobit was copied from Codex Vaticanus. Skeat goes on to say that Codex Venetus Marc. Gr. 6 was among the manuscripts that had been owned by Bessarion.

Steven Avery


Wisdom of Jesus Son of Sirach
Appenixes - variants



Chapter one 30 verses

4-7 special
13-16 special

So Verse most of verse 5 is missing from Sinaiticus, but so far, none of the 44 consecutive words are different from the 1821, which is remarkable.

15 - correction to zosima, last word of verse

Same 45. Words

Apparatus Gottingen 12-18


Chapter two 18 verses




Biblioteca Marciana - Venice
Official Website

Catalog of Greek manuscripts



Ecclesiasticus: The Greek Text of Codex 248
Edited with a Textual Commentary and Prolegomena
originally (1909)
John Henry Arthur Hart
Last edited:

Steven Avery

What we need for Sirach studies


Zosima (and correction)



One of these for control:

Vaticanus (Vatican Library)
Venetus (Vatican library}
ms 248 (Cambridge)

Note also:

Ephraemi Rescriptus (if there is a good facsimile edition
Last edited: