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III. SOURCES OF EMENDATION OF THE

GREEK TEXT.

1. The sources of emendation of the text, or of editing it more correctly, are MSS., ancient versions, and the quotations of early writers; in other words, these are the channels through which the New Testament Scriptures, as unprinted, have been transmittted to us.

In the Revelation, since the ancient MSS. which we have are very few, our evidence of this kind for the true reading is proportionally scanty; the later MSS. also are comparatively not numerous; several of these afford valuable aid.

The more ancient MSS. are written in large or uncial letters, without any divisions between the words;-the later MSS. are written in cursive letters, with breathings and accents, the words divided; they appear to be all of later date than the ninth century, most of them much more recent; some of these, however, (such as 38), are manifestly transcripts of a much older text. Many MSS. were corrected after they were written, and hence the difference between readings à primâ manu, and those proceeding à correctore. These corrections are often much more recent than the text, and the readings are often very inferior; sometimes corrections proceeded from the copyist himself.

Ancient versions are more to be regarded as evidences of the general contents of a book, and of its several parts, than of the words themselves; with respect to whole clauses their testimony is very important, and so too with regard often to more minute points; but still it is not unfrequently doubtful which of two readings a version supports; and it must also be borne in mind that versions like the original have come down to us through the hands of copyists, so that we are often glad to have recourse to the most ancient MSS. of these which we can procure.

Ancient citations would be of much more importance, if we could be sure that writers quoted from the Greek text as they had it; it is pretty certain that they often relied on their memory, and besides this the copyists and editors of their works often altered citations so as to adapt them to the readings with which they were familiar. With these cautions, such citations may be used as subsidiary evidence. (See on

this subject Dr. Davidson's "Biblical Criticism,” p. 118, sq.) On these accounts citations from ecclesiastical writings have not been here given amongst the various readings, although their testimony has not been overlooked in the formation of the text; in the Revelation, however, they afford singularly little aid.

To these three sources of emendation, or rather of transmission, some have had the temerity to add critical conjecture; this may be tolerable in editing profane writings; but even there it would be a great liberty if many copies of the author were in existence. But to use critical conjecture with regard to the word of God is to act in a manner wholly unjustifiable. When this is done, then charges of innovation and want of reverence for God's holy word may indeed be brought. Nothing of the kind will be found in the text here given. I mention this expressly, because it is not long since a Greek text was edited in this country, with a preface, in which the needlessness and temerity of critical conjecture was strongly stated, (together with some objections to the free use of MSS. authorities), and yet in the text words were marked in a few places as "probably spurious," wholly on conjectural grounds, and some suggestions of the same kind were inserted in the notes.

2. The following is a list of those Greek MSS. which contain the Apocalypse, either in whole or in part, which are written in large or uncial letters.

A. CODEX ALEXANDRINUS, preserved in the British Museum. This MS., which contains all the books of the Old and New Testaments, either entire or mutilated, was presented by Cyrillus Lucaris, patriarch of Constantinople, to king Charles I. Its supposed date is the fifth century, and it appears probable that it was written at Alexandria. The New Testament was published from this MS. in types cast so as in some measure to resemble the writing of the MS. in 1786, under the editorial care of Dr. Woide, whose prolegomena contain much valuable information relative to ancient MSS. in general.* The Old Testament has been also published from this MS. more recently under the superintendence of the Rev. H. H. Baber.

This MS. contains the Apocalypse entire; its readings present a general agreement with the other very ancient authorities; so that in those portions of the Apocalypse which are contained in no other ancient copy, its readings, especially when supported by other authorities, are entitled to considerable attention. For this present work the readings of this MS. have been taken from the printed edition.

B. A MS. formerly belonging to the monks of the convent of St. Basil in Urbe, and numbered in their library CV. It is now, according to Scholz, in the Vatican Library. In Blanchini's Evangeliarium Quadruplex, Part I.

* Novum Testamentum Græcum e codice MS. Alexandrino qui Londini in Bibliotheca Musei Britannici asservatur, descriptum a Carolo Godofredo Woide. MDCCLXXXVI.

p. DV. there is a fac-simile of the MS., which is commonly referred to the seventh century. This MS. contains homilies of Basil and Gregory of Nyssa, amongst which (from p. 249 to 268) stands the book of the Revelation. The Greek text has the accents, which are said to be à primâ manu; but if a judgment may be formed from the specimen given by Blanchini, they are not placed with much precision.

A correct description and examination of this MS. is yet a desideratum; for although it was professedly collated for Wetstein by order of Cardinal Quirini, yet the mere inspection of the variations noted, (which are given in one place in Wetstein's Greek Testament, vol. 2, p. 894-6), suffices to show either that the MS. must have many chasms, or else that it has been very imperfectly collated; I should think it probable that both of these deductions were true.

I have used the collation as printed in Wetstein, where the variations of the first few verses (from Blanchini) and of the last two chapters stand in their place under the text; the rest of the collation (from its not having arrived in time) stands as a kind of Appendix.

Care must be taken not to confound this MS. with the celebrated and very valuable Codex Vaticanus, 1209, which in the Gospels, Acts, and Epistles, is designated by Wetstein, and those who have adopted his notation, by the same letter B.* The Codex Vaticanus, 1209, is defective in the Revelation, (which has been supplied by a modern hand, see No. 91); this MS. is far more recent, (probably by three centuries), and much less valuable.

This MS. can of course be only regarded as an authority in places where it has been expressly cited; no inference can be deduced from its silence.

C. CODEX EPHRAEMI, in the Royal Library at Paris. This MS. is so named from its being a codex rescriptus,† of which the later writing contains some of the works of Ephraem the Syrian. This MS. appears to have originally contained the Old and New Testaments, but it is now in a very mutilated condition. Wetstein employed a great deal of labour in deciphering the ancient writing and collating the text,—a work of no small difficulty. His collations have been used by subsequent editors, but they are now wholly superseded by the publication of the MS. itself. This took place subsequently to the preparation of the present work, and the readings thus brought to light have in several instances modified the results to which I had previously arrived, partly misled by want of evidence, partly by that which

was erroneous.

Before the publication of the MS. means had been taken for bringing the ancient writing to light more effectually. This was apparently done at the instance of Fleck, who visited Paris in 1834. The MS. was subjected to a chemical process, and the object desired was very successfully accomplished. The text of the MS. was edited by Tischendorf in 1843. He has prefixed

*This mistake has been actually made: from the manner in which it is mentioned in Tischendorf's Prolegomena (p. lxxix) a reader would be in great danger of identifying these very different MSS. Dr. Davidson appears to have overlooked this MS.

† Scarcity of writing materials led copyists not unfrequently to erase older MSS. in order to substitute something more modern. Of all the codices rescripti of the New Testament this is by far the most important; the rest are mere fragments; it is worthy of notice, however, that they all, or almost all, are authorities which confirm the readings of the other most ancient documents,

valuable critical Prolegomena, and there is an interesting fac-simile appended, exhibiting both the ancient and the more recent writing.*

This MS. is probably the most ancient of those which have come down to us that contain this book; its text exhibits a very general agreement with the Alexandrian MS., so that they serve in a great measure to confirm each other as transmitting the ancient text. It is, however, defective in many places; the hiati in the Revelation are the following:

The 1st verse of chapter 1 is obliterated; it commences ôs épapτύρησεν.

From ζήλευε οὖν καὶ μετα—iii. 19, to -κύνησαν (in προσεκύνησαν), ν. 14. From οὗτοί εἰσιν, vii. 14, to καὶ οὕτως, ix. 17.

(From vii. 17, dáκpvov to viii. 4, éváriov тоû →eoû stands in the place of chap. x. 10, payov to xi. 3, xiλías; the latter passage being in consequence entirely wanting.)

From πνεύματα τρία ἀκάθαρ—xvi. 13, to παντὸς ὀρνέου, xviii. 2.
From oi pukpoi, xix. 5, to the end.

[These hiati have been specified very inaccurately by Scholz.]

Hence it will be seen that about nine of the chapters of this book are deficient in this MS.; the ancient vellum having been destroyed probably at the time when the parts of the book which still exist were erased for the purpose of being devoted to a new object.

Thus the Revelation has only come down to us in three ancient MSS.; one of these (in itself the most valuable) is grievously mutilated; another is but partially described and collated, so that in a considerable portion of this book the Alexandrian MS. is the only ancient MS. authority to which we can have

recourse.

3. The following is a list of the Greek MSS. in cursive letters which contain the Revelation.

(1.) A MS. formerly belonging to Reuchlin; what has now become of it is wholly unknown. It was the only one of the Revelation used by Erasmus for his first edition; (§ II. 5); he describes it as very ancient: it appears, however, to have had a commentary (either that of Arethas or Andreas) with the text interspersed, so that Erasmus had to separate as well as he could the Greek words which belong to the text; in doing this he was aided by the Vulgate Latin. This MS. appears to have wanted the six concluding verses. Its readings can only be known from the first edition of Erasmus.

(2.) CODEX REGIUS 237 (formerly 2869) in the Royal Library at Paris, It contains the Acts, Epistles, and Revelation, with Scholia. It was one of the MSS. used by Robt. Stephens for his third edition. He denotes it e'. Collated by Wetstein, and examined by Scholz. It is supposed to belong to the tenth century.

(3.) The MS. used by Stephens, s', now unknown. The readings have been taken from the margin of Stephens's third edition.

* Codex Ephraemi Syri Rescriptus sive Fragmenta Novi Testamenti e codice Graeco Parisiensi celeberrimo quinti ut videtur post Christum seculi; eruit atque edidit Constantinus Tischendorf. 1843.

(4.) CODEX REGIUS 219 (formerly 1886) at Paris, on vellum. It contains the Acts, Epistles, and Revelation, with Scholia. Of the tenth century, or later. Collated by Wetstein.

(5.) CODICES used by Laurentius Valla, (who died in 1458). These are cited in his annotations published by Erasmus in 1505. What these MSS. were, and where they now are, is wholly unknown.

(6.) CODEX BAROCCIANUS 3, (in the Bodleian Library), on vellum. It contains part of the Acts, the Epistles, and the Revelation. In the latter book it is defective from chap. 17. 10, to 18. 7, and also the three last chapters. Perhaps of the twelfth century.

(7.) CODEX HARLEIANUS 5537, on vellum. It contains the Acts, Epistles, and Revelation. It was written in the year 1087. It appears to be one of the best MSS. of the Revelation.

(8.) CODEX HARLEIANUS 5778, on vellum. It contains the Acts, Epistles, and Revelation; in this last book the last lines are defaced.

(9.) CODEX BODLEIANUS 131, (formerly Huntingdon). It contains the Acts, Epistles, and Revelation. Perhaps of the thirteenth century.

(10.) CODEX MORI 1, (now in the Cambridge Public Library D d 8, 49); it contains the Gospels written in 1297, and the Revelation by a more modern hand. (11.) CODEX PETAVII 2. It contains the Acts, Epistles, and Revelation. The MS. appears to be much mutilated.

(12.) CODEX ALEX. VAT. 179, on vellum. It contains the Acts, Epistles, and Revelation, and has been but imperfectly collated. It is defective from 17. 9, to 14. Cent. XI. [Wetstein, Birch.]

(13.) CODEX SEIDELIANUS, on vellum. It contains the Acts, Epistles,

and Revelation. Cent. XI. Defective from 18. 3-13.

(14.) CODEX LEICESTRENSIS. A MS. partly on vellum, partly on paper, containing the New Testament, but mutilated in parts. Cent. XIV. In the Revelation it ends at chap. 21. 1.

(15.) A fragment of the third and fourth chapters, written on a MS. of the four Gospels, CODEX BASILIENSIS. B. vi. 21.

(16.) CODEX UFFENBACHIANUS. It contains the Acts, Epistles, and Revelation. Cent. XV.

(17.) CODEX COISLINIANUS 199, on vellum. It contains the whole of the New Testament. Cent. XI.

(18.) CODEX COISLINIANUS 202, partly on vellum, partly on cotton paper. It contains the Acts, Epistles, and Revelation, the latter book being written on vellum. Cent. XI.

(19.) CODEX COISLINIANUS 205, on vellum. It contains the Acts, Epistles, and Revelation, written in the year 1079. The commencement of the Revelation, (as far as 2. 5), has been supplied by a later hand.

(20.) CODEX VAT. 2080, (formerly Monachorum S. Basilii, cxix.), Blanchini gives the two last verses of this MS. (Wetstein cites 20. 21. on chap. 22, ver. 11, perhaps for 21. 22.)

(21.) Wetstein gives under these numbers two French MSS. cited by (22.) Bentley in his specimen of the last chapter of the Revelation. Scholz has substitued for these, two Codices Vallicelliani D 20, & B 86 but he has not once cited them; the references which he gives to 21 and 22 are taken from Wetstein.

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