Tag Archives: minuscule

Pericope Adulterae GA2220

Life for a scribe was hard before computers and typewriters. In this 12th century manuscript, minuscule 2220, (picture below) which resides in the Limonos Monastery in Lesbos, the scribe was copying and writing the Pericope of the Adulteress section of the gospel of John. In the first page you can see the end of John 7:52, ἴδε ὅτι προφήτης ἐκ τῆς Γαλιλαίας οὐκ ἐγήγερται – “see that there is no prophet risen out of Galilee.” Then next he wrote John 8:1, Ἰησοῦς δὲ ἐπορεύθη εἰς τὸ ὄρος τῶν Ἐλαιῶν – “But Jesus went to the Mount of Olives.”

Then, he realized that he had skipped John 7:53.  And so he erased what he had written on the rest of the folio, and started the next folio with John 7:53, και απηλθεν εκαστος εις τον οικον αυτου “and each went to his own home.” (the Antoniades, Hodges and Farstad, Pickering reading.)  The scribe thought, and I would agree, that starting on a new page was preferable to writing over erased text.

Now why did he skip John 7:53 in the first place?  Some other MSS did also, some of them clearly because of homoioteleuton or homoioarcton.  Because 7:53 is each departing to their own home, and 8:1 is Jesus departing to the Mount of Olives.  Scribes skipped from επορευθη to επορευθη, or from απηλθεν to απηλθεν.  In the case of GA 2220 here, he could have had more than one exemplar, and one had επορευθη and another had απηλθεν. Manuscripts 295 and 2411 also skip 7:53, 2411 from επορευθη to επορευθη.

GA2329 end of Revelation

I discovered an interesting reading in minuscule GA 2329 in the last two verses of the Revelation of John. This was prompted by the fact that the UBS5 apparatus has a “vid” next to 2329. So I looked at the photograph of the manuscript itself.

Most manuscripts say something like “Yes, come Lord Jesus. May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with all the saints. Amen.” But 2329 skips “May the grace of our Lord Jesus” and instead says ερχου κυριε ιησου χριστε μετα των αγιων σου αμην – “Come Lord Jesus Christ with your saints. Amen.”

Here is a snip from the manuscript:

You can download my translation of Revelation with the Greek text here.

Accidental Scribal Addition

An Accidental Scribal Addition in DRP translation of Revelation

I finished translating the Apocalypse of John in April, 2006.  And now in August 2016, as I am making my TR and RP editions, I discovered a scribal error on my part.  In Rev. 16:11, I wrote in English “they reviled the name of the God of heaven.”  But the Greek only says ἐβλασφήμησαν τὸν θεὸν τοῦ οὐρανοῦ, they reviled the God of heaven.  So, I made a scribal addition of the words “the name of.”  Even though my exemplar had the correct text.  Why did I accidentally do this?  Because two verses prior, the same word ἐβλασφήμησαν was followed by τὸ ὄνομα τοῦ θεοῦ, “they reviled the name of God,” and I was familiar with that phrase from just having translated that verse.  See immediately below my translation as it stood from April 2006 to August 2016.

16:9 καὶ ἐκαυματίσθησαν οἱ ἄνθρωποι καῦμα μέγα, καὶ ἐβλασφήμησαν τὸ ὄνομα τοῦ θεοῦ τοῦ ἔχοντος τὴν ἐξουσίαν ἐπὶ τὰς πληγὰς ταύτας, καὶ οὐ μετενόησαν δοῦναι αὐτῷ δόξαν.
⁹And the people were burned a very bad burn, and they reviled the name of God, the one having authority over these plagues; yet they did not repent to give him glory.

16:11 καὶ ἐβλασφήμησαν τὸν θεὸν τοῦ οὐρανοῦ ἐκ τῶν πόνων αὐτῶν καὶ ἐκ τῶν ἑλκῶν αὐτῶν, καὶ οὐ μετενόησαν ἐκ τῶν ἔργων αὐτῶν.
¹¹and they reviled the name of the God of heaven, because of their pains and because of their ulcers, yet they did not repent of their works.

I looked in Hoskier’s apparatus to find out if any ancient scribes made the same mistake which I did, and lo, two of them did indeed make the same addition.

The minuscule 1957 reads in v. 11, ἐβλασφήμησαν τὸ ὄνομα τοῦ θεοῦ, an exact duplication of the previous phrase in v. 9, even without the τοῦ οὐρανοῦ of v. 11.

The Philoxenian Syriac in v. 11 reads ἐβλασφήμησαν τὸ ὄνομα τοῦ θεοῦ τοῦ οὐρανοῦ.  My translation was an exact translation of the Philoxenian Syriac, without my knowledge or intent.

So, when you see the UBS Textual Commentary on the Greek New Testament speculate that a phrase found in the BYZ text but not found in the UBS text, and they say it was added because of scribal familiarity with that phrase a couple verses prior, I can personally attest how that can and does happen.

Greek Cursive Ligatures

Quick-Reference Greek Ligature Guide

Many of us read printed editions or transcriptions of New Testament Greek frequently. But unless you are collating or reading minuscules often, you can forget the “ligatures” used in cursive manuscripts. Ligatures are the shorthand mergings or combinations of Greek letters that are found in cursive minuscule Greek manuscripts. I myself was reading minuscules often in the early 2000’s, but then after I stopped doing that, I have been forgetting the ligatures. So I use this guide myself when reading minuscules.

Here I offer free download of a quick-reference Greek ligature guide in PDF.  It has two narrow columns. So narrow, that you can make it a sliver on one side of your screen or monitor, and still have plenty of room for your mains documents. The first column is the more familiar form of a Greek letter or number, and on the right of that, a column showing various ligatures for that letter alone or ligatures for combinations of letters that start with that letter. It mostly uses Dr. Vernon Kooy’s character set, but also some others. I know that this will be useful to people in this group. The download is free, but you can also order a printed and bound edition from Lulu. Also, if someone has made a font or knows of a font that includes one or more ligatures than I have included in this document, please let me know, and I will add it to the document.

Please share this post about the Quick-Reference Greek Ligature Guide.

Collations of MSS 65 and 115

I have been adding manuscripts, minuscules, to my chart of the Pericope of the Adulteress and the Pericope of  the angel bathing in John.  The latest are GA 65, Harley MS 5776, XI century, and GA 115, Harley MS 5559, X century.

Interesting that 65 has asterisks next to the angel in the pool of Bethesda pericope.  In minuscule 115, on folio 260 verso, the text goes from John 7:52 skipping the Pericope, right to 8:12.  But then it goes back to John 7:53 and the Pericope!  It’s as if the copyist had an exemplar without the Pericope, then saw the Pericope in another exemplar, and proceeded to insert the Pericope.  I have added this data to the chart.