Codex Tischendorfianus III

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Codex Tischendorfianus III – designated by siglum Λ or 039 (in the Gregory-Aland numbering), ε 77 (von Soden) – is a Greek uncial manuscript of the Gospels on parchment, dated palaeographically to the 9th century.[1]

The manuscript was brought from the East by Constantin von Tischendorf (hence name of the codex), who also examined, described, and collated its text as the first. The manuscript was also examined by Tregelles, Dobschütz, and Gächler.



The codex contains the complete text of the Gospel of Luke and the Gospel of John on 157 parchment leaves (21 cm by 16.5 cm). The leaves are arranged in quarto (four leaves in quires). The text is written in two columns per page, 23 lines per page.[1] There are no spaces between letters, the words are not separate but written in scriptio continua. The uncial letters are small, not beautiful and leaned. The letters are characterizing by Slavonic uncials.[2] According to Tischendorf the writing is similar to that of Codex Cyprius.[3]

It has breathings and accents,[4] diaeresis, there is no interrogative sign. The errors of itacism are rare, it has iota adscriptum.[5] All errors are not frequent and it has good grammar.[6]

It has the ornamented headpieces before each Gospel and the decorated initial letters.[7]

Before Luke it contains subscription to Mark.[4]

The nomina sacra are written in an abbreviated way; all abbreviations are written in an usual way.

In the end stands the Jerusalem Colophon.[2]

The text is divided according to the κεφαλαια (chapters), whose numbers are given at the left margin of the text, and their τιτλοι (titles) at the top of the pages. The lists of the κεφαλαια are placed before each Gospel. There is also a division according to the smaller the Ammonian Sections, with a references to the Eusebian Canons (in red).[5]

It contains lectionary markings at the margin and the manuscript can be useful for the Church reading.[4] It has also occasional scholia in uncials at the margin, of some notes critical type.[5] According to Tischendorf scholia cite the Gospel of the Hebrews:

Matthew 4:5 το ιουδαικον ουκ εχει εις την αγιαν πολιν αλλ εν ιλημ
Matthew 16:17 Βαριωνα το ιουδαικον υιε ιωαννου
Matthew 18:22 το ιουδαικον εξης εχει μετα το εβδομηκοντακις επτα και γαρ εν τοις προφηταις μετα το χρισθηναι αυτους εν πνι αγιω ευρισκετω εν αυτοις λογος αμαρτιας
Matthew 26:47 το ιουδαικου και ηρνησατο και ωμοσεν και κατηρασατο.[]

The errors of itacism are rare, it has iota adscriptum.[] Errors of iota subscriptum are absent. The errors are not frequent, and it has good grammar.

Before Gospel of Luke stand subscription to the Gospel of Mark.[]

According to the colophons at the end of each Gospel:

Matthew has 2514 lines and 355 chapters
Mark has 1056 lines and 237 chapters
Luke has 2677 lines and 342 chapters
John has 2210 lines and 232 chapters[]


The Greek text of this codex is a representative of the Byzantine text-type, but slightly different than typical Byzantine text. It has some Caesarean readings.[] Tischendorf as the first found some textual affinities to the textual family today known as f13. Tischendorf found its text is of the same type as the manuscripts: Basilensis, Boreelianus, Seidelianus I, Seidelianus II, Cyprius, Campianus, Vaticanus 354, Nanianus, and Mosquensis II.[]

It contains the spurious text of the Pericope Adulterae (John 7:53-8:11), but at the margin of verse 8:11 (not 7:53) it has questionable scholion: τα οβελισμενα εν τισιν αντιγραφαις ου κειται, ουδε Απολιναριου εν δε τοις αρχαις ολα μνημονευουσιν της περικοπης ταυτης και οι αποστολοι παντες εν αις εξεθεντο διαταξεσιν εις οικοδομην της εκκλησιας.[]

In John 5:1-36 in 17 places it 13 times agrees with Alexandrinus, twice with Vaticanus, one with Ephraemi, and one with G H M U V.[]

In Luke 3:27 it reads ζορομβαβελ for ζοροβαβελ.[]

Luke 1:28 – αυτην + ευηγγελισατο αυτην και, the reading is supported by the codices: Minuscule 164, Minuscule 199, Minuscule 262, Minuscule 899, Minuscule 1187, Minuscule 1555, and Minuscule 2586.

In Luke 3:22 after γενεσθαι added phrase προς αυτον, as the codices Minuscule 13, Minuscule 69, Minuscule 119, Minuscule 229, and Minuscule 262; but phrase εξ ουρανου changed into απ ουρανου.[]

John 1:28 it reads Βηθεβαρα, supported by minuscule 346;[] Alexandrian manuscripts have βηθανια, majority have βηθαβαρα;

John 4:31 it reads παρεκαλουν;

John 5:1 it reads εορτη των αζυμων for εορτη των Ιουδαιων; the reading is not supported by any Greek manuscript, it is supported only by some manuscripts of Vulgate;[]

In John 5:11 before work αρχην article την is omitted, as in codices: Alexandrinus, Vaticanus, Regius, Minuscule 1, Minuscule 33, and Minuscule 262;

John 5:12 it has εμεινεν for εμειναν as in codices A F G 1 124

John 5:24 reads επιστευσεν for επιστευεν as in minuscule 235;

John 5:36 reads μειζων for μειζω.[]

In John 8:7 and in 8:10 it reads αναβλεψας instead of ανακυψας, the readings are supported by the manuscripts: Codex Nanianus (only in 8:7), textual family f13, and 700;[]

In John 8:57 it has singular reading τεσσερακοντα (forty) instead of πεντηκοντα (fifty).[]

Group Λ

It creates textual group Λ. The group was identified and described by Hermann von Soden, who designated it by Ir. Soden considered it the most diluted form of the Iota text-type, being about nine parts Kappa to one part Iota. According to von Soden it is not an important group and has a little significance for the reconstruction of the original text of the New Testament.<ref>Soden, Schriften, 1/2, 1170-1180, 1238-1242 </ref> The early date of some its members places the origin of the group in or before the 9th century. According to Wisse the group is fairly close to Kx.

According to the Wisse's Profile Method it has following profile:

Luke 1: 6, 8, (9), 22, (28), (29), 34, (36), (41).
  • Luke 1:10ην του λαου ] του λαου ην
  • Luke 1:14γενεσει ] γεννεσει
  • Luke 1:15 — του ] omit
  • Luke 1:26Ναζαρεθ ] Ναζαρετ
  • Luke 1:34 — εσται ] εσται μοι
  • Luke 1:35 — γεννωμενον ] γεννωμενον εκ του
  • Luke 1:44 — εν αγαλλιασει το βρεφος ] το βρεφος εν αγαλλιασει
  • Luke 1:50 — γενεας και γενεας ] γενεαν και γενεαν; Textus Receptus reads: γενεας και γενεαν
  • Luke 1:61εκ της συγγενειας ] εν τη συγγενεια
Luke 10: 3, 15, 18, 23, 33, 35, 44, 57.
  • Luke 10:1ημελλεν ] εμελλεν
  • Luke 10:6εαν ] εαν μεν
  • Luke 10:8ην ] δ'
  • Luke 10:12λεγω ] λεγω δε
  • Luke 10:17 — εβδομηκοντα ] εβδομηκοντα μαθηται
  • Luke 10:21 — αυτη ] αυτη δε
  • Luke 10:30 — εκδυσαντες ] εξεδυσαν
  • Luke 10:36πλησιον δοκει σοι ] δοκει σοι πλησιον
Luke 20: 4, 13, 17, 19, 32, 35, 39, 54, 55, 57, 62.

According to Frederick Wisse following 23 manuscripts belong to this group in at least a part of Luke: 039, 161, 164, 166, 173 (Luke 20), 174, 199, 211, 230, 262, 710 (Luke 20), 899, 1187, 1205, 1301 (Luke 20), 1502 (Luke 20), 1555, 1573, (Luke 10 and 20), 2465, 2585 (Luke 1 and 20) 2586, and 2725 (Luke 20).[]


thumb|right|200px|Tischendorf – discoverer and editor of the codex Scrivener and Tischendorf[] dated the manuscript to the 8th century, Gregory to the 9th century. In the present time the manuscript on the palaeographical ground has been assigned to the 9th century or to the 10th century (the 8th century is also possible palaeographically, but it is excluded by full marginal equipment).[]

The place of origin is still a subject of speculations. One of the possible places is Palestine.<ref name = Auct/>

Formerly it was bounded with the codex 566 in one manuscript. 556 contains Gospel of Matthew and Gospel of Mark written in minuscule letters. Two parts of the manuscript are agreed in the form (two columns, 23 lines per column), in the signatures, in the writing of the scholia, and the text-type. The marginal notes are written in the same small uncial letters. The nomina sacra are abbreviated in the same way. Also errors (e.g. itacisms, N ephelkystikon, iota adscriptum, no iota subscriptum etc.) are of the same kind. It is sure that these two parts were written by the same hand.[] Alfred Rahlfs noted that also codex E of the Septuagint, was written partly in uncials and partly in minuscules, in the ninth or tenth century, when the change from one style of writing to the other was taking place. Tischendorfianus III is not only one manuscript written in that way.[]

The codex was held at the Sinai and was discovered by Constantin von Tischendorf in 1853, who took with himself only uncial text (Luke-John) – along with Codex Tischendorfianus IV – and brought it to Oxford to the Bodleian Library, where it is located now. Formerly it was housed under the shelf number "Misc. 310", actually it is housed under shelf number "Auctarium T. infr 1.1".<ref name = Gregory/><ref name = Aland/> Actually it is one of the popular attraction for the visitors of the Bodleian Library.[]

The first description of the codex Tischendorf published in 1860.[] In 1861 Tischendorf in detailed way examined some parts of it – Luke 3:19-36 and John 5:1-36, he also slightly examined the rest part of the codex.[]

The text of the codex was later collated by Tischendorf and Tregelles. Tischendorf used its text in 1858 in his edition of the Novum Testamentum Graece et Latine.[]

The minuscule text Tischendorf brought in 1859, it is housed now in the National Library of Russia in Sankt Petersburg.

P. Gächler in 1934 found some textual similarities between the manuscript and Codex Bezae, which represents the Western text.[]

See also


  • 1.^ a b c d Kurt Aland & Barbara Aland, The Text of the New Testament: An Introduction to the Critical Editions and to the Theory and Practice of Modern Textual Criticism, transl. Erroll F. Rhodes, William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, Grand Rapids, Michigan, 1995, p. 118.
  • 2.^ a b Metzger, Bruce M.; Ehrman, Bart D. (2005). The Text of the New Testament: Its Transmission, Corruption and Restoration. New York - Oxford: Oxford University Press. p. 83. ISBN 978-0-19--516122-9.
  • 3.^ a b C. Tischendorf, Anecdota Sacra et Profana (Leipzig 1861), p. 5
  • 4.^ a b c d e f Gregory, Caspar René (1900). Textkritik des Neuen Testaments, Vol. 1. Leipzig. p. 90.
  • 5.^ a b c Scrivener, Frederick Henry Ambrose; Edward Miller (1894). A Plain Introduction to the Criticism of the New Testament, vol. 1 (4 ed.). London: George Bell & Sons. p. 160.
  • 6.^ Eduard de Muralt, Catalogue des manuscrits grecs de la Bibliothèque Impériale publique (Petersburg 1864), p. 30
  • 7.^ a b c Manuscripts Auctarium at the Bodleian Library
  • 8.^ Scrivener, Frederick Henry Ambrose; Edward Miller (1894). A Plain Introduction to the Criticism of the New Testament, vol. 1 (4 ed.). London: George Bell & Sons. p. 161.
  • 9.^ C. R. Gregory, "Canon and Text of the New Testament" (1907), p. 360.
  • 10.^ F.G. Kenyon, Handbook to the Textual Criticism of the New Testament, London2, 1912, p. 118.
  • 11.^ a b c d e f C. Tischendorf, Anecdota Sacra et Profana (Leipzig 1861), p. 4
  • 12.^ F. Wisse, The Profile Method for Calssifying and Evaluating Manuscripts Evidence, p. 52.
  • 13.^ NA26, p. 259
  • 14.^ NA26, p. 274
  • 15.^ NA26, p. 278
  • 16.^ Soden, Schriften, 1/2, 1170-1180, 1238-1242
  • 17.^ Frederik Wisse, The profile method for the classification and evaluation of manuscript evidence, as Applied to the Continuous Greek Text of the Gospel of Luke, William B. Eerdmans Publishing (Grand Rapids, 1982), p. 102
  • 18.^ Frederik Wisse, The profile method for the classification and evaluation of manuscript evidence, as Applied to the Continuous Greek Text of the Gospel of Luke, William B. Eerdmans Publishing (Grand Rapids, 1982), p. 103
  • 19.^ Ernst von Dobschütz, Zwei Bibelhandschriften mit doppelter Schriftart, Theologische Literaturzeitung, 1899, Nr. 3, 4. Febr. pp. 74-75
  • 20.^ Rahlfs, Nachrichten von der Kgl. Gesellschaft der Wissenschaften zu Göttingen, Philol: histor. Klasse, 1898, Heft 1, p. 98
  • 21.^ Oxford - Magic Destination
  • 22.^ C. Tischendorf, Notitia editionis codicis Bibliorum Sinaitici (Leipzig: 1860), pp. 58-59
  • 23.^ Constantin von Tischendorf, Anecdota sacra et profana (Lipsiae 1861), p. 4-5
  • 24.^ Novum Testamentum Graece et Latine, ed. C, v. Tischendorf, (Leipzig 1858), p. XLI
  • 25.^ P. Gächler, Codex D and Λ, JTS XXXV (1934), pp. 248-266

Further reading

  • Constantin von Tischendorf, Anecdota Sacra et Profana (Leipzig 1855)
  • C. Tischendorf, Notitia editionis codicis Bibliorum Sinaitici (Leipzig: 1860), pp. 58-59
  • C. Tischendorf, Anecdota Sacra et Profana (Leipzig 1861), pp. 4-6
  • Ernst von Dobschütz, Zwei Bibelhandschriften mit doppelter Schriftart, Theologische Literaturzeitung, 1899, Nr. 3, 4. Febr. pp. 74-75
  • P. Gächler, Codex D and Λ, JTS XXXV (1934), pp. 248-266

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