Codex Bezae

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The Codex Bezae Cantabrigensis, designated by Dea or 05 (in the Gregory-Aland numbering), δ 5 (von Soden), is an important codex of the New Testament dating from the fifth-century. It is written in an uncial hand on vellum and contains, in both Greek and Latin, most of the four Gospels and Acts, with a small fragment of the Third Epistle of John. Written with one column per page it has 406 parchment leaves (26 by 21,5 cm), out of perhaps an original 534, and the Greek pages on the left face Latin ones on the right.[1]

Contents

Description

The first three lines of each book are in red letters, and black and red ink alternate lines towards the end of books. As many as nine people have corrected the manuscript between the sixth and twelfth centuries. The text is written colometrically and is full of hiatus. The Greek text of the codex has some copying errors, e.g., errors of metathesis: in John 1:3, ΕΓΕΝΕΤΟ was changed into ΕΝΕΓΕΤΟ; in Acts 1:9, ΥΠΕΛΑΒΕΝ into ΥΠΕΒΑΛΕΝ.

Codex contents

The manuscript presents the gospels in the Western order Matthew, John, Luke and Mark, of which only Luke is complete; after some missing pages the manuscript picks up with the Third Epistle of John (in Latin) and contains part of Acts. Verse John 21:25 placed before 21:24.

Lacunae
Matthew 1:1-20; 6:20 – 9:2; 27:2-12; John 1:16 – 3:26; Acts 8:29 – 10:14; 21:2-10.16-18; 22:10-20.29 – 28:31;
Matthew 3:7-16; Mark 16:15-20; John 18:14 – 20:13 were supplemented by a later hand.
Omitted verses
Matthew ; ; ; ;
Mark ;
Luke 5:39; 12:21; 24:5; 24:12; 24:40;
John 5:4.
Omitted phrases
Matthew 15:6 η την μητερα (αυτου) (or (his) mother);[2]
Matthew 20:23 και το βαπτισμα ο εγω βαπτιζομαι βαπτισθησεσθε (and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with), as in codices Sinaiticus, B, L, Z, Θ, 085, f1, f13, it, syrs, c, copsa.[3]
Luke 10:41b-42a instead of μεριμνας και θορυβαζη περι πολλα, ολιγων (ενος) δε εστιν χρεια Μαριαμ γαρ (you are worried and troubled about many things, but not much (one thing) is needed) has only θορυβαζη (worried)
John 4:9 ου γαρ συνχρωνται Ιουδαιοι Σαμαρειταις omitted

Text type

The Greek text is unique, with many interpolations found nowhere else, with a few remarkable omissions, and a capricious tendency to rephrase sentences. Aside from this one Greek manuscript it is found in Old Latin (pre-Vulgate) versions — as seen in the Latin here — and in Syriac, and Armenian versions. Bezae is the principle Greek representative<ref>Bruce Metzger The Text of the New Testament 4th ed. p. 73. </ref> of the Western text-type. The manuscript demonstrates the latitude in the manuscript tradition that could still be found in the 5th and 6th centuries, the date of this codex.

There is no consensus on the many problems the Greek text presents. Since the Latin, however, occasionally agrees with Codices Codex Bobiensis and Codex Veronensis, it is a witness to a text current no later than 250 CE and "preserves an ancient form of the Old Latin text."<ref>Metzger, p. 103. </ref> Issues of conformity have dogged the usage of the Codex Bezae in biblical scholarship too. In general the Greek text is treated as an unreliable witness and treated as "an important corroborating witness wherever it agrees with other early manuscripts" as one of the links below freely admits.

Some of the outstanding features: Matthew 16:2b-3 is present and not marked as doubtful or spurious. One of the longer endings of Mark is given. Luke 22:43f and Pericope de adultera are present and not marked as spurious or doubtful. John 5:4 is omitted, and the text of Acts is nearly one-tenth longer than the generally received text.

Notable readings

It contains addition after Matt. 20:28, occurring in Codex Beratinus:

"But seek to increase from that which is small, and to become less from which is greater. When you enter into a house and are summoned to dine, do not sit down at the prominent places, lest perchance a man more honorable than you come in afterwards, and he who invited you come and say to you, "Go down lower"; and you shall be ashamed. But if you sit down in the inferior place, and one inferior to you come in, then he that invited you will say to you, "Go up higher"; and this will be advantageous for you."<ref>Bruce M. Metzger, B.D. Ehrman, The Text of the New Testament: Its Transmission, Corruption and Restoration, Oxford University Press, 2005, p. 71. </ref>

In Matthew 25:41 it has ο ητοιμασεν ο πατηρ μου (which prepared my Father) together with f1 instead of το ητοιμασμενον (prepared) as have majority of the manuscripts.<ref>NA26, p. 74</ref>

Verse Mark 10:25 placed before 10:24.<ref>NA26, p. 123. </ref>

In Mark 5:9 it has απεκριτη. The other manuscripts have:

λεγιων ονομα μοι — א, B, C, L, Δ
απεκριθη λεγων — E, 565, 700
λεγεων — A, W, Θ, f1, f13, Byz<ref>NA26, p. 102. </ref>

Μαrk 13:2

και μετα τριων ημερων αλλος αναστησεται ανευ χειρων (and after three days another will arise) — D W it

In Mark 15:34 (see Ps 22:2) it has ὠνείδισάς με (insult me), supported by some Old-Latin manuscripts (itc, (i), k) and by syrh. Ordinary reading in this place is ἐγκατέλιπές με (forsaken me) supported by Alexandrian mss or με ἐγκατέλιπες (see Mt 27:46) supported by Byzantine mss.

In Luke 4:17 the codex contains unique textual variant ἁπτύξας (touched), corrected by a later hand into ἀναπτύξας (unrolled). The other manuscripts have in this place:

ἀνοίξας (opened) — Vaticanus A, L, W, Ξ, 33, 892, 1195, 1241, 547, syrs, h, pal, copsa, bo
ἀναπτύξας (unrolled) — א, K, Δ, Θ, Π, Ψ, f1, f13, 28, 565, 700, 1009, 1010, 1071, 1079, 1216, 1230, 1242, 1253, 1344, 1546, 1646, 2148, 2174, Byz.

In Luke 6:5

"On the same day seeing some one working on the Sabbath, He said to him: 'man, if you know what you do, blessed are you; but if you do not know, you are cursed and a transgressor of the law'."

In Luke 23:34 omitted words: "And Jesus said: Father forgive them, they know not what they do." This omission is supported by the manuscripts Papyrus 75, Sinaiticusa, B, W, Θ, 0124, 1241, a, Codex Bezae (Latin text), syrs, copsa, copbo.<ref>UBS4, p. 311. </ref>

Luke 9:55-56

στραφεις δε επετιμησεν αυτοις και ειπεν, Ουκ οιδατε ποιου πνευματος εστε (but He turned and rebuked them and He said: "You do not know what manner of spirit you are of) — as in ( 1127m) d geo

In Acts 20:28 it reads του κυριου (of the Lord) together with the manuscripts Papyrus 74 C* E Ψ 33 36 453 945 1739 1891.<ref>NA26, p. 384. </ref><ref group="n">For the another variants of this verse see: Textual variants in the Acts of the Apostles.</ref>

thumb|A sample of the Latin text from the Codex Bezae

History of the Codex

The manuscript is believed to have been repaired at Lyon in the Ninth century as revealed by a distinctive ink used for supplementary pages. It was closely guarded for many centuries in the monastic library of St Irenaeus at Lyon. The manuscript was consulted, perhaps in Italy, for disputed readings at the Council of Trent, and was at about the same time collated for Stephanus's edition of the Greek New Testament. During the upheavals of the Wars of Religion in the 16th century, when textual analysis had a new urgency among the Reformation's Protestants, the manuscript was taken from Lyon in 1562 and delivered to the Protestant scholar Theodore Beza, the friend and successor of Calvin, who gave it to the University of Cambridge, in the comparative security of England, in 1581, which accounts for its double name. It remains in the Cambridge University Library (Nn. II 41).<ref>Bruce M. Metzger, B.D. Ehrman, The Text Of The New Testament: Its Transmission, Corruption and Restoration, Oxford University Press, 2005, pp. 70-73. </ref>

Frederick Henry Ambrose Scrivener edited the text of codex in 1864 (rewritten text of the codex)<ref>F. H. A. Scrivener, Bezae Codex Cantabrigiensis: being an exact Copy, in ordinary Type, of the celebrated Uncial Graeco-Latin Manuscript of the Four Gospels and Acts of the Apostles, written early in the Sixth Century, and presented to the University of Cambridge by Theodore Beza A.D. 1581. Edited, with a critical Introduction, Annotations, and Facsimiles, 1864. </ref> and in 1889 (photographic facsimile).

The importance of the Codex Bezae is such that a colloquium held at Lunel, Herault, in 27-30 June 1994 was entirely devoted to it<ref>The story of the colloquium has been chronicled by one of the participants: J.-M. Auwers, "Le colloque international sur le Codex Bezae", Revue Théologique de Louvain 26 (1995), 405-412. See also: Codex Bezae, Studies from the Lunel Colloquium, ed. D.C. Parker & C.-B. Amphoux</ref>. Papers discussed the many questions it poses to our understanding of the use of the Gospels and Acts in early Christianity, and of the text of the New Testament.

See also

Notes

  • 1. For the another variants of this verse see: Textual variants in the Acts of the Apostles.

References

  • 1. Kurt Aland, and Barbara Aland, The Text of the New Testament: An Introduction to the Critical Editions and to the Theory and Practice of Modern Textual Criticism, (Grand Rapids, Michigan: 1995), pp. 109-110.
  • 2. NA26, p. 41.
  • 3. NA26, 56.
  • 4. Bruce Metzger The Text of the New Testament 4th ed. p. 73.
  • 5. Metzger, p. 103.
  • 6. Bruce M. Metzger, B.D. Ehrman, The Text of the New Testament: Its Transmission, Corruption and Restoration, Oxford University Press, 2005, p. 71.
  • 7. NA26, p. 74
  • 8. NA26, p. 123.
  • 9. NA26, p. 102.
  • 10. UBS4, p. 311.
  • 11. NA26, p. 384.
  • 12. Bruce M. Metzger, B.D. Ehrman, The Text Of The New Testament: Its Transmission, Corruption and Restoration, Oxford University Press, 2005, pp. 70-73.
  • 13. F. H. A. Scrivener, Bezae Codex Cantabrigiensis: being an exact Copy, in ordinary Type, of the celebrated Uncial Graeco-Latin Manuscript of the Four Gospels and Acts of the Apostles, written early in the Sixth Century, and presented to the University of Cambridge by Theodore Beza A.D. 1581. Edited, with a critical Introduction, Annotations, and Facsimiles, 1864.
  • 14. The story of the colloquium has been chronicled by one of the participants: J.-M. Auwers, "Le colloque international sur le Codex Bezae", Revue Théologique de Louvain 26 (1995), 405-412. See also: Codex Bezae, Studies from the Lunel Colloquium, ed. D.C. Parker & C.-B. Amphoux

Further reading

  • F. H. Chase, The Old Syriac Element in the Text of Codex Bezae. Gorgias Press, 2004.
  • J. Rendel Harris, Codex Bezae: A Study of the so-called Western Text of the New Testament. Cambridge: University Press, 1891.
  • M.-É. Boismard – A. Lamouille, Le texte occidental des Actes des Apôtres. Reconstitution et réhabilitation, 2 vol., Paris 1984.
  • A. F. J. Klijn, A Survey of the Researches Into the Western Text of the Gospels and Acts (1949-1959), Novum Testamentum, Volume 3, Numbers 1-2, 1959, pp. 1-53.
  • W. A. Strange, The Problem of the Text of Acts, (SNTS MS, 71), Cambridge 1992.
  • D. C. Parker, Codex Bezae: An Early Christian Manuscript and its Text. Cambridge: University Press, 1992.
  • Codex Bezae, Studies from the Lunel Colloquium, June 1994, ed. D.C. Parker & C.-B. Amphoux, Leiden: Brill, 1996.
  • Scrivener F. H. A., Bezae Codex Cantabrigiensis: being an exact Copy, in ordinary Type, of the celebrated Uncial Graeco-Latin Manuscript of the Four Gospels and Acts of the Apostles, written early in the Sixth Century, and presented to the University of Cambridge by Theodore Beza A.D. 1581. Edited, with a critical Introduction, Annotations, and Facsimiles, 1864.
  • James D. Yoder, "The Language of the Greek Variants of the Codex Bezae," Novum Testamentum 3 (1959), pp. 241-248.
  • L’Évangile de Luc et les Actes des Apôtres selon le Codex Bezae Cantabrigiensis, annotated translation by Sylvie Chabert d’Hyères. Paris: L’Harmattan, 422 p., 2009.

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