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First look at the Greek text

Of which kind is the Greek text in our manuscript? There is almost no information in the literature about the Greek text of Marciana Gr. Z. 11 (379), 460 in the Gregory-Aland list (hereafter 460).

We have a long and detailed description made by Rinck in 1830 (codex 109, p. 30-40). Rinck particularly compares 460 and two Greek manuscripts, codex Cyprius (GA 017) and one other that we were not able to track down (one manuscript owned by Petivius (Denis Pétain) and used by Zacagnius for his Euthalian edition, "Alexandrino Vaticanum 179" ?).

Afterwards, the research seems to show no particular interest on 460. The manuscript is not included in Alands' The Text of the New Testament (Aland & Aland 1995). A close study of the elements in Text und Textwert der griechischen Handschriften des Neuen Testaments, which contains 460, is on the to do list!

During the whole duration of the project, we will pay particular attention to the Greek text and its readings. For now, I summed up some observations based on the folios that we have on the website at the moment, which correspond to 1 Co 1:1-17 and 1 Thess 1:1-2:15.

You can find here the listing of 46 readings:

 1 Co 1:1-17 and 1 Thess 1:1-2:15 in 460

The list was created based on the Nestle-Aland 28 and the UBS 3 with checking in the NTVMR. We didn't keep in the list the readings supported by one witness only; it is still noteworthy that all readings are not of comparable importance.

We see that 42 of these 46 readings correspond to the Byzantine text with the highest matching rate. In the same perspective, 460 is close to L (020), a representative of the category V (Byzantine text).

460 is also in this excerpt close to category V (Byzantine text) Ψ (044), 1241 or 104, which belong to the category III ("Manuscripts of distinctive character with an independent text", Aland & Aland 1995: 107). A larger analysis is required to see if it is relatable. 

This first look seems to indicate that 460 could witness a Byzantine text, which is likely if we take into account the date and the origin of the manuscript (see the blue lines in the table). But what about the four readings that differ from the Byzantine text? Are they important? Do they say anything about the origin of the Greek text in 460?

1 Cor 1:2 αὐτῶν καὶ ἡμῶν

A great amount of manuscripts, Byzantine text included, has αὐτῶν τε καὶ ἡμῶν. As τέ and καί are often used in composition as synonym for καί, τέ is quite unstable and this reading couldn't have much weight.

1 Cor 1:6 μαρτύριον τοῦ θεοῦ

A great majority of witnesses, Majority text included, have here μαρτύριον τοῦ Χριστοῦ. 460 and a few other witnesses (B* F G 81. 1175 sams) have μαρτύριον τοῦ θεοῦ. 

This reading is quite intriguing as 460 does not share particular similarities with B, F, G, 81 or 1175.

My first thought was that 460 was influenced by the Latin column, which presents testimonium dei. However, the presence of testimonium dei in the Latin is also striking. Normally, all Vulgate groups agree on testimonium christi, except two codices according to Wordsworth's edition, and now 460. The Arabic column, a translation made from the Vulgate, has شهاده المسيح (šahāda al-masīḥ).

It is very likely that the presence of μαρτύριον τοῦ θεοῦ/testimonium dei comes from the influence that one column had on the other, but in that case it is difficult to know the directionality of this interchange.

1 Thess 1:4 ὑπὸ τοῦ θεοῦ

In parts of the manuscript the article τοῦ (B D F G L 33. 365. 630. 1241. 2464 𝔐) is used, while in the rest of the cases τοῦ is absent (ὑπὸ θεοῦ) (ℵ A C K P Ψ 0278. 81. 104. 945. 1175. 1505. 1739. 1881). This is not a significative reading.

1 Thess 2:7 νήπιοι

This reading is quite significative. Important witnesses have νήπιοι (ℵ* B C* D* F G I Ψ* 104*. 326c it vgcl.ww sams bo), while other have ἤπιοι (ℵc A C2 D2 K L P Ψc 0278. 33. 81. 104c. 326*. 365. 630. 1241. 1505. 1739. 1881 𝔐 vgst (sy) samss). This reading is quite discussed because of the difficulty to understand νήπιοι in this context (Metzger 1994: 561-2)

It is interesting to notice that 460 supports νήπιοι against the Majority text but again, the reading is also supported by the Latin column paruuli.

Generally, we can see that the Greek text is close to the Majority text but also distinguishes itself through unexpected readings. We do have, however, to be conscious of the potential influences among columns.

In this case, two examples differing from the Majority text, 1 Cor 1:6 and 1 Thess 2:7, are readings that are similar in Latin and may result from a Latin influence. However, in one case, 1 Cor 1:6, the Latin reading is uncommon – was the influence then opposite, from Greek to Latin? 

Not to worry, we will continue to study the question and provide other articles soon, also including the additional readings found in 460, e.g. in Titus 1:9.

Any thoughts about this article? Comment below or discuss in the forum !

References cited in the article:

Aland, Kurt, 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. Translated by Rhodes F. Erroll. 2nd ed. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1995.

Aland, Kurt, Matthew Black, Carlo M. Martini, Bruce M. Metzger, and Allen Wikgren, eds. The Greek New Testament, 3rd Edition (Corrected). 3rd ed. Stuttgart: American Bible Society, 1983.

Metzger, Bruce M. A Textual Commentary on the Greek New Testament. Second Edition. 2nd ed. Stuttgart: Deutsche Bibelgesellschaft, 1994.

Nestle, Eberhard, and Erwin Nestle. Nestle-Aland Novum Testamentum Graece. 28th ed. Stuttgart: Deutsche Bibelgesellschaft, 2012.

Wilhelm Friedrich Rinck. Lucubratio critica in Acta Apostolorum, Epistolas Catholicas et Paulinas, in qua de classibus librorum manu scriptorum quæstio instituitur, descriptio et varia lectio septem Codicum Marcianorum exhibetur atque Observationes ad plurima loca cum Apostoli tum Evangeliorum dijudicanda et emendanda proponuntur. Basel: Sumtu Fel. Schneideri, 1830.