New Testament

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Fausset's Bible Dictionary [1]

(See Bible ; Canon; Inspiration ) Hee Kainee Diatheekee . See  Hebrews 9:15-17;  Hebrews 8:6-13. The Greek term Diateeeekee combines the two ideas "covenant" and "testament," which the KJV gives separately, though the Greek is the same for both. "Covenant" expresses its obligatory character, God having bound Himself by promise ( Galatians 3:15-18;  Hebrews 6:17-18). "Testament" expresses that, unlike other covenants, it is not a matter of bargaining, but all of God's grace, just as a testator has absolute power to do what he will with his own. Jesus' death brings the will of God in our favor into force. The night before His death He said "I appoint unto you by testamentary disposition ( Diatitheemi ) a kingdom" ( Luke 22:29). There was really only one Testament - latent in the Old Testament, patent in the New Testament. The disciples were witnesses of the New Testament, and the Lord's Supper was its seal. The Old and New Testament Scriptures are the written documents containing the terms of the will.

Text . The "Received Text" (I.E. The " Τextus Receptus " Or Tr) is that of Robert Stephens' edition. Bentley (Letter To Wake In 1716 A.D.) said truly, "after the Complutenses and Erasmus, who had very ordinary manuscripts, the New Testament became the property of booksellers. R. Stephens' edition, regulated by himself alone, has now become as if an apostle were its compositor. I find that by taking 2,000 errors out of the Pope's Vulgate (I.E. Correcting By Older Latin Manuscripts The Edition Of Jerome'S Vulgate Put Forth By Sixtus V, A.D. 1590, With Anathemas Against Any Who Should Alter It 'In Minima Particula,' And Afterwards Altered By Clement Viii (1592) In 2,000 Places In Spite Of Sixtus' Anathema) and as many out of the Protestant pope Stephens' edition, I can set out an edition of each (Latin, Vulgate, And Greek Text) in columns, without using any book under 900 years old, that shall so exactly agree word for word, and order for order, that no two tallies can agree better. ... These will prove each other to a demonstration, for I alter not a word of my own head."

The first printed edition of the Greek Testament was that in the Complutensian Polyglot, January, 10, 1514 A.D. Scripture was known in western Europe for many ages previously only through the Latin Vulgate of Jerome. F. Ximenes de Cisneros, of Toledo, undertook the work, to celebrate the birth of Charles V. Complutum (Alcala) gave the name. Lopez de Stunica was chief of its New Testament editors. The whole Polyglot was completed the same year that Luther affixed his 95 theses against indulgences to the door of the church at Wittenberg. Leo X lent the manuscripts used for it from the Vatican. It follows modern Greek manuscripts in all cases where these differ from the ancient manuscripts and from the oldest Greek fathers. The Old Testament Vulgate (the translation which is authorized by Rome) is in the central column, between the Greek Septuagint and the Hebrew (the original); and the editors compare the first to Christ crucified between the impenitent (the Hebrew) and the penitent (the Greek) thief!

Though there is no Greek authority for  1 John 5:7, they supplied it and told Erasmus that the Latin Vulgate's authority outweighs the original Greek! They did not know that the oldest copies of Jerome's Vulgate omit it; the manuscript of Wizanburg of the eighth century being the oldest that contains it. Owing to the Complutensian Greek New Testament not being published, though printed, until the Polyglot was complete, Erasmus' Greek New Testament was the first published, namely, by Froben a printer of Basle, March 1516, six years before the Complutensian. The providence of God at the dawn of the Reformation thus furnished earnest students with Holy Scripture in the original language sanctioned by the Holy Spirit. Erasmus completed his edition in haste, and did not have the scruples to supply, by translating into Greek front the Vulgate, both actual hiatuses in his Greek manuscripts and what he supposed to be so, especially in the Apocalypse, for which he had only one mutilated manuscript.

To the outcry against hint for omitting the testimony of the three heavenly witnesses he replied, it is not omission but non-addition; even some Latin copies do not have it, and Cyril of Alexandria showed in his Thesaurus he did not know it; on the Codex Montfortianus (originally in possession of a Franciscan, Froy, who possibly wrote it, now in Trinity College, Dublin) being produced with it, Erasmus INSERTED it. So clumsily did the translator of the Vulgate Latin into Greek execute this manuscript that he neglects to put the necessary Greek article before "Father," "Word," and" Spirit." Erasmus' fifth edition is the basis of our "Received Text." In 1546 and 1549 R. Stephens printed two small editions at Paris, and in 1550 a folio edition, following Erasmus' fifth edition almost exclusively, and adding in the margin readings from the Complutensian edition and from 15 manuscripts collected by his son Henry, the first large collection of readings. The fourth edition at Geneva, 1551, was the first divided into modern verses. Beza next edited the Greek New Testament, generally following Stephens' text, with a few changes on manuscript authority.

He possessed the two famous manuscripts, namely, the Gospels and Acts, now by his gift in the university of Cambridge; "Codex Bezae" or "Cantabrigiensis," D; and the epistles of Paul, "Codex Clermontanus" (brought from Clermont), now in the Bibliotheque du Roi at Paris; both are in Greek and Latin. The Elzevirs, printers at Leyden, published two editions, the first in 1624, the second in 1633, on the basis of R. Stephens' third edition, with corrections from Beza's. The unknown editor, without stating his critical principles, gravely declares in the preface: " Texture Habes Ab Omnibus Receptum, In Quo Nihil Immutatum Aut Corruptum Damus "; stranger still, the public for two centuries has accepted this so-called "Received Text" as if infallible. When textual criticism was scarcely understood, theological convenience accepted it as a compromise between the Roman Catholic Complutensian edition and the Protestant edition of Stephens and Beza. Mill (1707) has established Stephens' as the Received Text in England; on the continent the Elzevir is generally recognized.

Thus, an uncritical Greek text of publishers has been for ages submitted to by Protestants, though abjuring blind assent to tradition, and laughing at the claim to infallibility of the two popes who declared each of two diverse editions of the Vulgate to be exclusively authentic. (The Council Of Trent, 1545, Had Pronounced The Latin Vulgate To Be The Authentic Word Of God) . Frequent handling and transmission soon destroyed the originals. If the autographs of the inspired writers had been preserved, textual criticism would not have been necessary. But the oldest MSS, existing, Codex Sinaiticus ('aleph) Codex Vaticanus (B), Codex Alexandrinus (A), are not older than the fourth century. Parchment was costly ( 2 Timothy 4:13). Papyrus paper which the sacred writers used ( 2 John 1:12;  3 John 1:13) was fragile. No superstitious or antiquarian interest was felt in the autographs which copies superseded. The Diocletian persecution (A.D. 303) attacked the Scriptures, and traditores (Augustine, 76, section 2) gave them up.

Constantine ordered 50 manuscripts to be written on fair skins for the use of the church. God has not seen fit (By A Perpetual Miracle) to preserve the text from transcriptional errors. Having by extraordinary revelation once bestowed the gift, He leaves its preservation to ordinary laws, yet by His secret providence furnishes the church, its guardian and witness, with the means to ensure its accuracy in all essentials ( Romans 3:2). Criticism does not make variations, but finds them, and turns them into means of ascertaining approximately the original text. More materials exist for restoring the genuine text of New Testament than for that of any ancient work. Whitby attacked Mill for presenting in his edition 30,000 various readings found in manuscripts. Collins, the infidel, availed himself of Whitby's unsound argument that textual variations render Scripture uncertain. Bentley (Phileleutherus Lipsiensis), reviewing Collins' work, shows if Only One manuscript had come down there would have been no variations, and therefore no means of restoring the true text; but by God's providence MANY manuscripts have come down - some from Egypt, others from Asia, others from the western churches.

The numbers of copies and the distances of places prove that there could be no collusion nor interpolation of all the copies by ANY ONE of them. Moreover, by the mutual help of the various copies, all the faults may be mended - one copy preserving the true reading in one place, another in another. The ancient versions too, the ante-Jerome Latin, Jerome's Vulgate, the Syriac (second century), the Coptic, and the Thebaic or Sahidic (third century), as well as the citations in Greek and Latin fathers, additionally help toward ascertaining the true text. The variety of readings, so far from making precarious, makes the text Almost Certain The worst manuscript extant contains all the essentials of Christianity. Bentley collated the Alexandrinus manuscript, and was deeply interested to find that Wetstein's collation of the Codex Ephraemi Rescriptus of Paris (C) confirmed the Alexandrinus readings. Comparative criticism begins with Bentley.

He found the oldest manuscripts of Jerome's Vulgate differ widely from the Clementine, and agree both in the words and in their order (Which Jerome Preserved In His Translated "Because Even The Order Of The Words Is A Mystery": Ep. Ad Pamm.) with the oldest Greek manuscripts The citations of the New Testament by fathers are then especially valuable as evidences, when a father cites words expressly, or a special word which agrees with ancient manuscripts and versions, for such could hardly come from transcribers. Bentley obtained a collation of the Codex Vaticanus from Mico, an Italian, which his nephew T. Bentley verified in part. Woide transcribed it, and H. Ford edited it in 1799. The Latin version before Jerome's having become variously altered in different copies caused the need for his translation from the original Greek of manuscripts current at Rome (And In A Few Passages Probably From Origen'S Greek Manuscripts In The Caesarean Library) , at Damasus' suggestion. He acknowledges he did not emend all that he could have.

And in his commentaries, he appeals to manuscripts against what he had adopted at Rome. Origen's readings show a text agreeing with manuscripts A, B, C (Usually Considered Alexandrian) rather than with the Western and Latin authorities. The Alexandrian and the western authorities coming from different quarters are independent witnesses. Bengel (1734) laid down the principle, "the hard is preferable to the easy reading," the copyist would more probably originate an easy than a hard reading. He observed differences in classes of manuscripts and versions. The Alexandrian manuscripts, few but far weightier, represent the more ancient ones; the far more numerous Byzantine manuscripts the more recent, family or class. The Byzantine or Constantinopolitan mutually concur, because copied from one another; the Alexandrian have some mutual discrepancies which render their concurrence in many more passages against the received text the weightier, because they prove the absence of collusion and mutual copying.

The Greek fathers prior to Jerome's Vulgate in quoting the Greek Testament agree with the readings in the oldest manuscripts, as does the Vulgate. Griesbach (1774) affirmed the sound rule, "no reading, however good it seems, ought to be preferred to another unless it has at least some Ancient testimonies." Also, coeteris paribus, "the shorter is preferable to the longer reading," for copyists tend to add rather than omit; notes in the margin, such as the parallel words of the same incident in different Gospels, creep into the text, and texts, like snowballs, grow in transmission.

Lachmann first cast aside the received text as an authority entirely, and reconstructed the text as transmitted by our most ancient authorities, namely, the oldest Greek manuscripts: A, B, C, D, Delta (Claromontanus), E, G, H, P, Q, T, Z; citations in Origen; the ante-Jerome Latin in the oldest manuscripts: a, b, c, d, e, Laudianus, Actuum, f Claromontanus Paul. Epp., f f Sangermanensis Paul. Epp., g Bornerianus Paul. Epp., h Primasius in the Apocalypse; Jerome's Vulgate in the oldest manuscripts: Fuldensis, and its corrections by Victor of Capua, and Amiatinus or Laurentianus; readings in Irenaeus, Cyprian, Hilary of Poictiers, and Lucifer of Cagliari. Wiseman suggested that the "Old Latin" (ante-Jerome) version was made in Africa, of which "the Italian version" (Augustine de Doctr. Christ., 2:15) was a particular recension current in upper Italy. To Lachmann's authorities other ancient versions besides the Latin ones need to be added; also the oldest manuscripts need accurate collation. Cardinal Mai's edition of the Vaticanus manuscript is not altogether reliable.

Tischendorf has added to our Greek manuscripts Codex Sinaiticus ('aleph), which he found on Mount Sinai in 1844 and rescued from papers intended to light the stove in the convent of Catherine. Only in 1859 did he obtain the whole - the Septuagint, the whole New Testament, the whole Epistle ascribed to Barnabas, and a large part of the Shepherd of Hermas (on vellum). It was first deposited in St. Petersburg, having been presented to Alexander II of Russia, who had 300 copies, in four folio volumes, printed at his own expense in 1862. In 1863 the popular edition was published, containing the New Testament, Barnabas, and Hermas; Scrivener has published a cheap collation of it. Lachmann is wrong in slavishly adhering to the principal authorities when agreeing in an unquestionable error; still "the first Greek Testament printed wholly on ancient authority, irrespective of modern traditions, is due to C. Lachmann" (Tregelles, "Printed Text Of Greek Testament," An Admirable Work) . Tischendorf followed, adding however many manuscripts and versions of later date to the older authorities (Including The Two Old Egyptian And The Two Syriac Versions) .

Rightly, in parallel passages (E.G. The Synoptical Gospels) he prefers those testimonies in which accordance is not found, unless there be good reason to the contrary, for copyists tried to bring parallel passages into accordance. Also in discrepant readings he prefers that one which may have been the common starting point to the rest. Also those which accord with New Testament Greek and with the writer's particular style. It retains the Alexandrian forms of Greek words, though seeming barbarous, for this style of Greek was common in the New Testament era to Palestine, Egypt, and Libya, and appears in the Septuagint. As Leempsetai for Leepsetai ; vowels changed, Katherizo for Katharizo ; augment doubled, or omitted; Rho ( Ρ ) not doubled, as Erantisen ; unusual forms, Epesa , Anathema for Anatheema , etc. While maintaining the paramount weight of ancient authorities, he admits more modern ones in case of conflicting evidence.

Alexandria was in the early ages the center for publishing Greek manuscripts; hence, our oldest manuscripts were copied there, though the originals were written elsewhere. The oldest manuscripts are written in uncial (capital) letters; the modern ones in cursive or small letters. Besides the versions above mentioned the Gothic of Ulphilas (fourth century), the Aethiopic, and the Armenian are important. These all were translated surely from the Greek itself; we are not sure of the rest.

'''The Order Of The New Testament Books''' . The fragment of Muratori's (See Canon , Melito, Irenaeus, and Origen, arrange the Gospels as we have them. Acts follow. Then Paul's epistles in Eusebius, in the Latin church, and in Jerome's Vulgate (oldest manuscripts) But the uncial manuscripts A, B, C, also Athanasius, Cyril of Jerusalem, and the council of Laodicea (A. D. 364) place the general or universal epistles before Paul's. A, B, C also place epistle to Hebrew after 2 Thessalonians. Codex Sinaiticus ('aleph) puts Hebrew after 2 Thessalonians, Acts after Philemon, the universal (general) epistles after Paul's letters and the Book of Acts.

'''Oldest Manuscripts''' . 'aleph, B, fourth century; A, C, Q, T, fragments, fifth century; D, P, R, Z, E2, D2, H3, sixth century; theta, seventh century; E, L, lambda, xi, B2, eighth century; F, K, M, X, T, delta, H2, G or L2, F2, G2, K2, M2, ninth century; G, H, S, V (E3), tenth century. In the Gospels 'aleph, A, B, C, D, and the fragments Z, J, N, gamma, P, Q, T, are of primary authority; the uncial manuscripts are of secondary authority, and mostly agreeing with these, are L, X, delta; there are cursive manuscripts - 1, 33, 69 - which support the old manuscripts. In Acts, the oldest manuscripts are 'aleph, A, B, C, D, E; G, H, and the F(a) fragment have a text varying from the oldest manuscripts; the cursives 13 and 31 agree with the oldest manuscripts. In the universal epistles 'aleph, A, B, C, G; the uncial J differs from these oldest manuscripts. In the Pauline epistles 'aleph, A, B, C, D (and E Sangermanensis, its copy), and H; the cursives 17 and 37 agree with the oldest manuscripts. In Revelation 'aleph, A, C; B Basilianus (not Codex Vaticanus), a valuable but later uncial; cursives 14 and 38 agree often with the oldest manuscripts.

'''Primary Authorities''' . Codex Sinaiticus ('aleph), see above. The Codex Alexandrinus (A) given by Cyril Lucar, patriarch of Constantinople, to Charles I, 1628; now in the British Museum; it contains the Old Testament, the Septuagint, and begins the New Testament with  Matthew 25:6, and lacks John 6:50 - 8:52; the New Testament part was published in facsimile by Woide in 1786. Codex Vaticanus (B) contains the Old Testament and the New Testament (down to  Hebrews 9:14; the remainder, to end of Revelation, was added in the 15th century. Also, the original does not have epistles to Timothy, Titus, Philemon. There are four collations: by Bartolocci, 1669, in manuscript, in Bibliotheque du Roi, Paris; that by Mico for Bentley, 1720, published 1799; that by Birch, except Luke and John, 1798; that by Mai, published 1858 4to, 1859 8vo; was still not accurate. It was originally written in the middle of the fourth century in Egypt; its text agrees with Alexandrian authorities. Codex Ephraemi Rescriptus, or palimpsest (C); the Syrian Ephraem wrote 38 tracts on the parchment, after sponging out the old writing, to save writing materials.

It was scarce even then. Peter Allix, a French pastor, 17th century, detected the Old and New Testament uncials underneath. C. Hase, 1834, restored the writing by chemicals. Wetstein collated it. Written in Egypt early in fifth century, corrected in sixth, and again in ninth century, to agree with Constantinopolitan text. Brought to Florence at the fall of the Greek empire; thence Catherine de Medici brought it to the Bibliotheque du Roi, Paris. It lacks 2 Thessalonians, 2 John 1, and several passages. Tischendorf edited it 1843. Bezae Cantabrigiensis (D), Beza having presented it 1581. It was brought from Greece to the monastery of Irenaeus at Lyons; at the sack of Lyons Beza found it in 1562. It comes from the sixth century. Kipling edited it 1793. It contains the Gospels and Acts with a Latin version. Mutilated and interpolated; the interpolations are easily distinguished from the original. Its text is mostly like the ancient Latin versions. It has peculiarities that were probably not in the sacred originals.

Nevertheless, it still supports Codex Vaticanus (B) in readings which have been proved to be independently ancient. Codex Dublin (Z) rescriptus fragment of Matthew. Barrett had it correctly engraven, facsimile, 1787. In 1801 he, when eyesight was failing, gave the text in ordinary Greek letters on each opposite page, full of errors which the accompanying uncials confuted. Tregelles by chemicals discovered additional portions and restored the whole. It comes from the sixth century. Codex Cottonianus (J), in the British Museum. Fragments of Matthew and John. Published by Knittel in 1762. Codex Caesareus Vindobonensis (N), a fragment of the same manuscript: Luke 24. Vaticanus (gamma), fragment of the same manuscript: part of Matthew. Codex Guelpherbytani (P, Q), two fragmentary rescriptae, sixth century: P, the Gospels; Q, Luke and John: in the ducal library at Wolfenbuttel. Codex Borgianus, a fragment of John with a Coptic version, fifth century; published by Giorgi at Rome, 1789.

'''Secondary Authorities''' . L., Bib. Reg. Paris., of the Gospels; text related to B; Tischendorf edited it. Monacensis (X), fragment of the four Gospels. San Gallensis (delta), in the library of Gall, Greek and Latin four Gospels. Delta and G, Boernerianus, of Paul's epistles, are severed parts of the same book. Manuscripts of Acts, besides 'aleph, A, B, C, D. E, Laudianus, Greek and Latin; Laud gave it to Bodleian Library, Oxford; brought from Sardinia; Hearne edited it 1715; sixth century (Tischendorf). F(a), fragm. in Scholia of Old Testament manuscript in Bened. Library, Germain; seventh century. G, Bibl. Angelicae at Rome; ninth century. So H, Mutinensis. Manuscripts of the universal epistles, besides 'aleph, A, B, C, G. Mosquensis (J) contains of them all. In Paul's epistles it is marked K. It differs from the ancient authorities, and sides with the Constantinopolitan. Manuscripts of Paul's epistles besides 'aleph, A, B, C, D (delta in Lachmann), Claromontanus, Greek and Latin, in Royal Library, Paris; came from Clermont, Beza had owned it; all Paul's epistles except a few verses; Tischendorf published it, 1852; sixth century.

H, Coislinianus, at Paris; fragment of Paul's epistles; brought from Mount Athos; Montfaucon edited it in 1715; though Constantinopolitan in origin it agrees with the ancient authorities, not the Byzantine and received text; sixth or seventh century, but its authority is that of the best text of Caesarea in the beginning of the fourth century; the transcriber's note is, "this copy was collated with a copy in Caesarea belonging to the library of S. Pamphilus and written with his own hand." F, G, agree with the oldest manuscripts F, Angiensis, Greek and Latin, bequeathed by T. Bentley to Trin. Coll., Cambridge, agrees in most readings with Boernerianus G. Epistle to Hebrew is wanting in both. The Latin in F is the Vulgate, in G the old Italian or ante-Jerome Latin. C.F. Matthaei published it in 1791. Both come from the ninth century. Manuscripts of Revelation besides 'aleph, A, C. B, Basilianus, in the Vatican, eighth century; Tischendorf edited it.

'''Manuscripts In Cursive Letters''' . From the 10th to 16th century. 600 of the Gospels, 200 of Acts and universal epistles, 300 of Paul's epistles, 100 of Revelation; besides 200 evangelistaria, and 70 lectionaria or portions divided for reading as lessons in church. Scrivener makes the total - 127 uncials, 1461 cursives.

'''Ancient Versions''' .

(1) The ante-Jerome Latin. Translated from oldest Greek manuscripts, a text related to D, and of a different family from the Alexandrian manuscripts. It adheres to the original Greek tenses, cases, etc., in violation of Latin grammar. A Jew probably was the translator (Ernesti, Inst. 2:4, section 17). The copies, though varying, have a mutual resemblance, indicating there was originally one received Latin version. From their agreement with the citations of African fathers, Tertullian and Cyprian, Wiseman infers the archetypal text originated in northern Africa, from whence it passed to Italy (second century) when Irenaeus' translator knew it. Variations arose in different copies; alluding to these Augustine said, "the Italian (i.e. a particular revision of the old Latin version current in upper Italy) is to be preferred to the rest." He distinguishes between "emended copies," (I.E. Brought From Africa To Italy, And There Emended From Greek Manuscripts Also Improved In Latinity) , and "nonemended copies," i.e. retaining the text of their African birthplace unaltered.

The purest text is in Codex Vercellensis and Codex Veronensis, a and b, transcribed by Eusebius the martyr, fourth century, published by Blanchini, Evang. Quadr., at Rome, 1749. Colbertinus Evang., c, 11th century, but agreeing with oldest text; Sabatier published at Paris, 1751. Cantabrigiensis of the Gospels, Acts, and 3 John, d; accompanies D, but is not translated from it. Palatinus of the Gospels, e; in Libr. Vienn.; fourth or fifth century; Tischendorf edited it, Lips., 1847. Laudianus, of Acts; in E, e. Claromontanus, the Latin version in D of Paul's epistles, Sangermanensis, the Latin in E of Paul's epistles. Boernerianus in G, of Paul's epistles. Also Corbeiensis (ff in Tisch.) of universal Epistles; Martianay edited it at Paris, 1695; very ancient.

(2) The same version revised in upper Italy appears with a Byzantine tendency in Codex Brixianus, f.

(3) The Old Latin appears more accordant with the Alexandrian old Greek manuscripts in Bobbiensis, k, containing a fragment of the New Testament. Tischendorf edited it at Vienna in 1847.

'''The Vulgate Of Jerome''' (i.e. the version which supplanted all former versions in the then common tongue, Latin, and came into common use), made A.D. 383; see above. The copies of the old Latin had fallen into mutual discrepancies. Jerome, collating the Latin with Greek manuscripts considered by him, the greatest scholar of the Latin church, ancient at the end of the fourth century, says he "only corrected those Latin passages which altered the sense, and let the rest remain." He rejects certain interpolated Greek manuscripts, " A Luciano Et Ηesychio Nuncupatos ", on the ground that the versions made in various languages before the additions falsify them, suggesting the use of the oldest versions, namely, to detect interpolations unknown in the Greek text of their day. The texts of Sixtus V (1590) and Clement VIII (1592), authorized with anathemas, differ widely from Jerome's true text as restored by the Amiatinus manuscript or Laurentianus, which was transcribed by Servandus, abbot of Monast. Amiata, 541; now in Laurentian Lib., Florence. Tischendorf published it 1850. Fuldensis manuscript of whole New Testament, the four Gospels harmonized, with preface by Victor of Capua.

'''Egyptian Versions'''

(1) The Coptic or Memphitic, of Lower Egypt, third century; D. Wilkins edited it, Oxford, 1716.

(2) Sahidic or Thebaic, of Upper Egypt; Woide, or rather his successor H. Ford, edited it in the New Testament from Codex Alexandrinus, 1799.

(3) Basmuric, a third Egyptian dialect.

ETHIOPIC . Said to be by Frumentius, who introduced Christianity into Ethiopia in fourth century; Pell Platt edited it; previously Bode gave a Latin version of it in 1753.

'''Syriac Versions'''

(1) Cureton published the Syriac manuscripts brought by Dr. Tattam from the Natrian monastery, Lower Egypt, now in the British Museum. These differ widely from the common (As In Rich'S Manuscript 7157 In British Museum, Much Altered By Transcribers) Peshito, i.e. pure Syriac, version, called so from its chose adherence to the original Greek; second century.

(2) The Harclean, a later Syriac version by Polycarp, suffragan to Philoxenus, bishop of Hierapolis, 508; White published it as "the Philoxenian." The Armenian, by Mesrobus, early in the fifth century, made from Greek manuscripts; brought from Alexandria and from Ephesus. Zohrab edited it at Venice, 1805. The Gothic, by Ulphilas, from the Greek; fourth century. Gabelentz and Loebe edited it, 1836. Versions later than sixth century are valueless as witnesses to the ancient text. Citations in Greek and Latin fathers down to Eusebius inclusive; important in fixing the text of the fourth and previous centuries, only in cases where they must be quoting from manuscripts and not from memory. Origen quotes almost two thirds of New Testament except James, 2 Peter, 2 and 3 John, and Revelation. Adamantius' ("Origen") copies appealed to by Jerome (on  Matthew 24:36;  Galatians 3:1) were written probably by Origen; Pamphilus' copy was from Origen's text. Textual variations and ancient manuscripts of Origen who died in 254 A.D., and of Tertullian in 220 A.D., testify that the text varied in different copies and versions even then.

The earliest Christians, being filled themselves with the Spirit, and having enjoyed intercourse with the apostles, were less tenacious of the letter of Scripture than the church had found it necessary to be ever since. The internal evidence of the authority of the New Testament, and its public reading in church, and its universal acceptance by Christians and heretics alike as the standard for deciding controversies, indicate the reverence felt for it from the first. But the citations of the Gospels in Justin Martyr, and previously in the apostolic fathers, show that besides the written word the oral word was still in men's memories; also frequent transcription, the Harmonies (Ammonius In Third Century Made A Diatessaron, Weaving The Four Gospels Into One) trying to bring all four into literal identity by supplying omissions in one from another, marginal notes creeping into the text; variation gradually arising in distant regions, "the indolence of some transcribers, and corrections by others by way of addition, or taking away as they judged fit" (Origen in Matthew 8), all caused copies to differ in different places.

Providentially early versions of diverse regions afford means of detecting variations. Citations in fathers often support the versions' readings against the interpolated texts, so that if even there were no Greek manuscripts to support the versions' readings the evidence would still be on the side of these. But we have manuscripts habitually supporting the readings which are independently proved the original ones by the testimony of both versions and patristic citations. Therefore the manuscripts above, though few, are proved to be the safest guides to the ancient text. The accordance of versions from various regions in the disputed passages proves their trustworthiness at least in these. Further, the older the copies of the version (As The Amiatinus Of Vulgate And The Curetonian Of The Syriac) , the greater their agreement with our ancient manuscripts. So in patristic citations, it is just in those passages where the copyists could not have altered the readings to the modern ones without altering the whole context that the testimony of fathers agrees with the text of the few ancient Greek manuscripts in opposition to the numerous modern ones. Thus a trustworthy text is secured by a threefold cord, a testimony internal and external:

(1) oldest manuscripts,

(2) oldest versions supporting the manuscripts readings independently,

(3) earliest patristic citations agreeing with both.

The true classification of manuscripts (Tregelles) is into ancient and modern, or rather those presenting what is independently proved to be the ancient text (including a few modern manuscripts, as the cursive 1 in the Gospels and 33 throughout) and those presenting the modern text with which the modern versions accord. "Recension" ought to be restricted to those attempts to correct the ancient text out of which modern readings arose. Rude Hellenistic gave place to the politer Greek of Constantinople in the numerous copies made there, and this tendency continued to act on the Byzantine manuscripts down to its fall. Mohamedanism checked the multiplication of copies in Africa and Syria, Greek ceased to be current in the west. Thus, the Alexandrian and the western text manuscripts remained as they were, while the Byzantine were becoming more and more molded into a uniform modern text. Eusebian canons. Eusebius of Caesarea composed ten canons which afford us means of detecting later additions.

'''I.''' A table in parallel columns of portions common to the four evangelists.

II. Those common to Matthew, Mark, and Luke.

III. Those common to Matthew, Luke, and John.

IV. Matthew, Mark and John.

V. Matthew and Luke.

VI. Matthew and Mark.

VII. Matthew and John.

VIII. Luke and Mark.

IX. Luke and John.

X. Those peculiar to each of the four.

Each Gospel was divided, by numbers in the margin, into the portions of which it consisted; Matthew has 355, Mark 233. With these numbers was also that of the canon to which each belonged. Thus, in Mark's "resurrection" ( Mark 16:2-5) the number was 231, and I. the canon mark, showing the paragraph is in all four evangelists. In canon I. the three parallel paragraphs would be marked by their respective numbers:  Matthew 28:1-4 by 352;  Luke 24:1-4 by 336;  John 20:11-12 by 211. They appear in Jerome's Vulgate. Criticism, punctuation, orthography. Where oldest manuscripts, versions, and citations concur, the reading is certain; conjecture must not say what the text ought to be, but accept it as it is: still palpable errors must be rejected.

Where the trustworthy witnesses differ, our knowledge of the origin of various readings, and of the kind of errors to which copyists were liable, must be used. Griesbach's rule holds good, "the shorter is preferable to the longer," and Bengel's, "the harder is preferable to the easier reading." But where the shorter is due to the recurrence of the same word or syllable at the end or beginning of two clauses, the copyist's eye passing over, the fuller is the original reading. Liturgical use occasioned the insertion of the doxology in the Lord's prayer,  Matthew 6:13; and probably  Acts 8:37. Tregelles' Greek Testament is superior to Lachmann's Greek Testament in appealing to more witnesses, and to Tischendorf's in more leaning on ancient authorities. Iota, now subscribed, was at first postscribed, but was omitted before the date of our oldest manuscripts except its postscription rarely in the Sinaiticus manuscript.

Stops were not in the originals, but were inserted by transcribers. In many old manuscripts pauses are marked by a dot, or blank between two words. Stichometry subsequently served the same end, i.e. divisions into lines ( Stichoi ) written like blank verse, marking both pauses of sentences and divisions of the words; the letters running together in Greek manuscripts. The comma was invented in the eighth century, the semicolon in the ninth. In A.D. 496 Paul's epistles were divided into chapters with titles, perhaps by Theodore of Mopsuestia. Euthalius divided them and Acts into lections or lessons and stichoi or lines. Hugo of Cher originated our modern chapters; R. Stephens, traveling on horseback, our verses. Accents are not found in manuscripts before the eighth century; breathings marks and apostrophes came a little earlier.

Language . That of the New Testament is Hellenistic, i.e. Hebrew idiom and conceptions clothed in Greek expression, Eastern thoughts joined to western words. (See Grecian .) Greek activity and freedom were combined with Hebrew reflective depth and divine knowledge. The Septuagint Greek translated of Old Testament in Alexandria considerably molded the Greek dialect of the Jews in Asia, Palestine, and Egypt. At the same time the harsher Alexandrian forms of the Septuagint were smoothed down among Greek speaking Jews of other places than Egypt. The New Testament Greek in oldest manuscripts retains many of the rougher forms, but not all of them; it has also many Latinisms. Words with new senses, Chreematizoo , Sunistemi , Hina , Hotan , are with the present and even imperfect and aorist indicative.

Hebrew idioms, as "multiplying I will multiply." Words already current in lower senses are consecrated to express Christian truths: "faith" ( Pistis ), "justify" ( Dikaioo ), "sanctify" ( Hagiazoo ), "grace" ( Charis ), "redeem" ( Lutrousthai ), "edify" ( Oikodomein , literally, "to build up"), "reconcile" ( Katallassein ), etc., style, on the construction of the sentences; on the sense of the title New Testament. (See John ; Covenant Κainee expresses "new" in the sense of something different from the "old" and superseding it, not merely "recent" ( Nea ). (See Gospel Canon; Bible on other aspects of New Testament) Tregelles (Horne, 106) exhibits "the genealogy of the text" thus. The manuscripts placed together are those related in character of text; those placed under others show still more and more of the intermixture of modernized readings. D 'aleph B Z C L xi 1 33 P Q T R A X (delta) 69 K M H E F G S U, etc.

Smith's Bible Dictionary [2]

New Testament. It is proposed, in this article, to consider the text of the New Testament. The subject naturally divides itself into - I. The history of the written text; II. The history of the printed text.

I. The History of the Written Text. - The early history of the apostolic writings externally, as far as it can be traced, is the same as that of other contemporary books. St. Paul, like Cicero or Pliny, often employed the services of an amanuensis [A person whose employment is to write what another dictates.], to whom he dictated his letters, affixing the salutation, "with his own hand."  1 Corinthians 16:21;  2 Thessalonians 3:17;  Colossians 4:18. The original copies seem to have soon perished.

In the natural course of things, the apostolic autographs would be likely to perish soon. The material which was commonly used for letters; the papyrus paper, to which St. John incidentally alludes,  2 John 1:12, compare  3 John 1:13, was singularly fragile, and even the stouter kinds, likely to be used for the historical books, were not fitted to bear constant use. The papyrus fragments which have come down to the present time have been preserved under peculiar circumstances as at Herculaneum or in the Egyptian tombs.

In the time of the Diocletian persecution, A.D. 303, copies of the Christian Scriptures were sufficiently numerous to furnish a special object for persecutors. Partly, perhaps, owing to the destruction thus caused, but still more from the natural effects of time, no manuscripts of the New Testament of the first three centuries remains, but though no fragment of the New Testament of the first century still remains, the Italian and Egyptian papyri, which are of that date give a clear notion of the caligraphy of the period. In these, the text is written in columns, rudely divided, in somewhat awkward capital letters, ( Uncials ), without any punctuation or division of words; and there is no trace of accents or breathings.

In addition to the later manuscripts, the earliest versions and patristic quotations give very important testimony, to the character and history of the ante-Nicene text; but, till the last quarter of the second century, this source of information fails us. Only are the remains of Christian literature up to that time extremely scanty, but the practice of verbal quotation from the New Testament was not yet prevalent. As soon as definite controversies arose among Christians, the text of the New Testament assumed its true importance.

Several very important conclusions follow, from this earliest appearance of textual criticism. It is, in the first place, evident that various readings existed in the books of the New Testament, at a time prior to all extant authorities. History affords a trace of the pure apostolic originals. Again, from the preservation of the first variations noticed, which are often extremely minute, in one or more of the primary documents still left, we may be certain that, no important changes have been made in the sacred text, which we cannot now detect.

Passing from these isolated quotations, we find the first great witnesses to the apostolic text, in the early Syriac and Latin versions, and in the rich quotations of Clement of Alexandria (circa, A.D. 220) and Origen (A.D. 1842-4). From the extant works of Origen alone, no inconsiderable portion of the whole New Testament might be transcribed; and his writings are an almost inexhaustible store house for the history of the text. There can be no doubt that, in Origen's time, the variations in the New Testament manuscripts were beginning to lead to the formation of specific groups of copies.

The most ancient manuscripts and versions now extant, exhibit the characteristic differences, which have been found to exist, in different parts of the works of Origen. These cannot have had their source, later than the beginning of the third century, and probably, were much earlier. Bengel was the first, (1734), who pointed out the affinity of certain groups of manuscripts, which as he remarks, must have arisen before the first versions were made. The honor of carefully determining the relations of critical authorities for the New Testament text, belongs to Griesbach. According to him, two distinct recensions of the Gospels existed at the beginning of the third century - the Alexandrine and the Western .

From the consideration of the earliest history of the New Testament text, we now pass to the era of manuscripts The quotations of Dionsius Alex., (A.D. 264), Petrus Alex., (circa, A.D. 312), Methodius, (A.D. 311), and Eusebius, (A.D. 340) , confirm the prevalence of the ancient type of tent; but the public establishment of Christianity in the Roman empire necessarily led to important changes. The nominal or real adherence of the higher ranks to the Christian faith must have largely increased the demand for costly manuscripts. As a natural consequence, the crude Hellenistic forms gave way before the current Greek, and at the same time, it is reasonable to believe that smoother and fuller constructions were substituted for the rougher turns of the apostolic language. In this way, the foundation of the Byzantine text was laid. Meanwhile, the multiplication of copies in Africa and Syria was checked by Mohammedan conquests.

The appearance of the oldest manuscripts have been already described. The manuscripts of the fourth century, of which Codex Vaticanus may be taken as a type, present a close resemblance to these. The writing is in elegant continuous Uncials , (capitals) [that is, written wholly in Capitals ], in three columns, without initial letters or Iota Subscript or Adscript . A small interval, serves as a simple punctuation, and there are no accents or breathings, by the hand of the first writer, though these have been added, subsequently. Uncial writing continued in general use till the middle of the tenth century.

From the eleventh century downward, Cursive writing [that is, written in a Running Hand ] prevailed. The earliest Cursive biblical manuscript, is dated 964 A.D. The manuscripts of the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries abound in the contractions, which afterward passed into the early printed books. The oldest manuscripts are written on the thinnest and finest vellum; in later copies, the parchment is thick and coarse. Papprus was very rarely used after the ninth century. In the tenth century, cotton paper was generally employed in Europe; and one example, at least, occurs of its use in the ninth century. In the twelfth century, the common linen or rag paper came into use. One other kind of material requires notice - re-dressed parchment, called palimpsests .

Even at a very early period, the original text of a parchment manuscript was often erased, that the material might be used afresh. In lapse of time, the original writing frequently reappeared in faint lines below the later text, and in this way, many precious fragments of biblical manuscripts, which had been once obliterated, for the transcription of other works, have been recovered.

The division of the Gospels into "chapters" must have come into general use, some time before the fifth century. The division of the Acts and Epistles into chapters came into use at a later time. It is commonly referred to Euthalius, who, however, says that he borrowed the divisions of the Pauline Epistles, from an earlier father, and there is reason to believe that the division of the Acts and Catholic Epistles, which he published, was originally the work of Pamphilus, the martyr. The Apocalypse was divided into sections, by Andreas of Caesarea, about A.D. 500. The titles of the sacred books are from their nature additions to the original text. The distinct names of the Gospels imply a collection, and the titles of the Epistles are notes by the possessors, and not addresses by the writers.

Very few manuscripts contain the whole New Testament - twenty-seven in all - out of the vast mass of extant documents. Besides the manuscripts of the New Testament, or of parts of it, there are also lectionaries , which contain extracts arranged for the church services.

The number of Uncial manuscripts remaining, though great when compared with the ancient manuscripts extent of other writings, is inconsiderable. Tischendorf reckons forty in the Gospels. In these, must be added the Codex Sinaiticus , which is entire; a new manuscript of Tischendorf, which is nearly entire; and Codex Zacynthius (Codex "Zeta") , which contains considerable fragments of St. Luke. In the Acts, there are nine: in the Catholic Epistles there are five; in the Pauline Epistles there are fourteen; in the Apocalypse there are three.

A complete description of these manuscripts is given, in the great critical editions of the New Testament. Here, those only can be briefly noticed, which are of primary importance, the first place being given to the latest discovered and most complete; the Codex Sinaiticus - the Codex Friderico-Augustanus , of the Septuagint (LXX) at St. Petersburg, obtained by Tischendorf , from the convent of St. Catherine, Mount Sinai, in 1859. The New Testament is entire, and the Epistle of Bamabas and parts of the Shepherd of Hermas are added. It is, probably, the oldest of the manuscripts of the New Testament, and of the fourth century.

Codex Alexandrinus , (British Museum), a manuscript of the entire Greek Bible, with the Epistles of Clement added. It was given-by Cyril Lucar, patriarch of Constantinople, to Charles I, in 1628, and is now in the British Museum. It contains the whole of the New Testament, with some chasms. It was probably written in the first half of the fifth century.

Codex Vaticanus , (1209), a manuscript of the entire Greek Bible, which seems to have been in the Vatican Library, almost from its commencement, (circa, A.D. 1450). It contains the New Testament entire to  Hebrews 9:14, Katha : the rest of the Epistle to the Hebrews, the Pastoral Epistles and the Apocalypse were added in the fifteenth century. The manuscript is assigned to the fourth century.

Codex Ephraemi Rescriptus , (Paris, Bibl, Imp. 9), A palimpsest manuscript, which contains fragments of the Septuagint (LXX) and of every part of the New Testament. In the twelfth century, the original writing was effaced and some Greek writings, of Ephraem Syrus were written over it. The manuscript was brought to Florence from the East, at the beginning of the sixteenth century, and came, thence, to Paris with Catherine Deuteronomy Medici. The only entire books which have perished are 2 Thessalonians and 2 John.

The number of the Cursive manuscripts, (minuscules), in existence, cannot be accurately calculated. Tischendorf catalogues about 500 of the Gospels, 200 of the Acts and Catholic Epistles, 250 of the Pauline Epistles, and a little less than 100 of the Apocalypse, (exclusive of lectionaries ), but this enumeration can only be accepted as a rough approximation.

Having surveyed, in outline, the history of the transmission of the written text, and the chief characteristics of the manuscripts in which it is preserved, we are in a position to consider the extent and nature of the variations, which exist in different copies. It is impossible to estimate the number of these exactly, but they cannot be less than 120,000 in all, though, of these, a very large proportion consists of differences of spelling, and isolated aberrations of scribes, and of the remainder, comparatively few alterations are sufficiently well supported, to create reasonable doubt as to the final judgment. Probably, there are not more than 1600-2000 places in which the true reading is a matter of uncertainty.

Various causes: readings are due to some arose from accidental, others from intentional alterations of the original text.

Other variations are due to errors of sight. Others may be described as errors of impression or memory. The copyist, after reading a sentence from the text before him, often failed to reproduce it exactly. Variations of order, are the most frequent, and very commonly the most puzzling questions of textual criticism. Examples occur in every page, almost in every verse, of the New Testament.

Of intentional changes, some affect the expression, others affect the substance of the passage.

The number of readings which seem to have been altered, for distinctly dogmatic reasons, is extremely small. In spite of the great revolutions in thought, feeling and practice, through which the Christian Church passed in fifteen centuries, the copyists of the New Testament faithfully preserved, according to their ability, the sacred trust committed to them. There is not any trace of intentional revision designed to give support to current opinions.  Matthew 17:21;  Mark 9:29;  1 Corinthians 7:5, need scarcely be noticed.

The great mass of various readings are simply variations in form. There are, however, one or two greater variations of a different character. The most important of these are  Mark 16:9;  John 7:53;  John 8:12;  Romans 16:25-27. The first, stands quite by itself and there seems to be little doubt that, it contains an authentic narrative, but not by the hand of St. John. The two others taken in connection with the last chapter of St. John's Gospel, suggest the possibility that the apostolic writings may have undergone, in some cases, authoritative revision.

Manuscripts, it must be remembered, are but one of the three sources of textual criticism. The versions and patristic quotations are scarcely less important in doubtful cases.

Ii. The History of the Printed Text. - The history of the printed text of the New Testament may be these divided into three periods. The first extends from the labors of the Complutensian errors to those of Mill; the second from Mill to Scholz; the third from Lachmann to the present time.

The criticism of the first period was necessarily tentative and partial: the materials available for the construction of the text were few and imperfectly known.

The second period made a great progress: the evidence of manuscripts of versions, of the fathers, was collected with the greatest diligence and success; authorities were compared and classified; principles of observation and judgment were laid down. But the influence of the former period still lingered.

The third period was introduced by the declaration of a new and sounder law. It was laid down that no right of possession could be pleaded against evidence. The Textus Receptus , or "Received Text", as such, was allowed no weight whatever. Its authority, on this view, must depend solely on critical worth. From first to last, in minute details of order and orthography, as well as in graver questions of substantial alteration, the text must be formed by a free and unfettered judgment. The following are the earliest editions:

The Complutensian Polyglot. - The glory of printing the first Greek Testament is due to the princely Cardinal Ximenes. This great prelate, as early as 1502, engaged the services of a number of scholars to superintend an edition of the whole Bible, in the original Hebrew and Greek, with the addition of the Chaldee Targum of Onkelos, the Septuagint (LXX) version and the Vulgate. The volume containing the New Testament was printed first, and was completed on January 10, 1524. The whole work was not finished till July 10, 1517. (It was called Complutensian because it was printed at Complutum, in Spain. - Editor).

The Edition Of Erasmus. - The edition of Erasmus was the first published edition of the New Testament. Erasmus had paid considerable attention to the study of the New Testament, when he received an application from Froben, a Printer of Basle with whom he was acquainted, to prepare a Greek text for the press. The request was made on April 17, 1515, and the whole work was finished in February, 1516.

The Edition Of Stephens. - The scene of our history now changes from Basle to Paris. In 1543, Simon Deuteronomy Colines, (Colinaeus), published a Greek text of the New Testament, corrected in about 150 places on fresh manuscript authority. Not long after it appeared, R. Estienne, (Stephanus), published his first edition, (1546), which was based on a collation of manuscripts, in the Royal Library with the Complutensian text.

The Editions Of Beta And Elzevir. - The Greek text of Beta, (dedicated to Queen Elizabeth), was printed by H. Stephens in 1565, and a second edition in 1576, but the chief edition was the third, printed in 1582, which contained readings from the Codex Bezae (Codex Cantabrigiensis) and the Codex Lugdunensis , later called Codex Claromontanus .

The literal sense of the apostolic writings must be gained, in the same way as the literal sense of any other writings, by the fullest use of every appliance of scholarship, and the most complete confidence, in the necessary and absolute connection of words and thoughts. No variation of phrase, no peculiarity of idiom, no change of tense, no change of order, can be neglected.

The truth lies in the whole expression, and no one can presume to set aside any part as trivial or indifferent. The importance of investigating most patiently, and most faithfully, the literal meaning of the sacred text must be felt with tenfold force, when it is remembered that the literal sense is the outward embodiment of a spiritual sense, which lies beneath and quickens every part of the Holy Scripture, the Holy Bible. See Bible, The [Holy] .

Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament [3]

NEW TESTAMENT. —The expression ‘New Testament’ (καινὴ διαθήκη) has a double meaning. (1) The New Covenant itself ( Luke 22:20,  1 Corinthians 11:25,  2 Corinthians 3:6 etc.). See artt. Covenant and Testament. No other meaning is possible in the Bible. (2) The books that contain the New Covenant. The latter is the subject of this article.

1. The genesis of a NT literature. —This is to be assigned, humanly speaking, to the slowly developing needs of the Christian society. The Apostles were commissioned not to write but to preach. The OT, interpreted in the light of its fulfilment in Christ, contained both for them and for their earliest converts the whole deposit of Divine truth ( 2 Timothy 3:15 etc.). ( a ) Epistles, as a class, were needed first, in order to settle questions that soon arose on the conversion of Gentiles (Acts 15). Many of the Epistles plainly show their ‘occasional’ origin ( 1 Corinthians 7:1,  2 Corinthians 9:1,  Galatians 1:6,  2 Thessalonians 2:1 f. etc.). Formal communications were evidently no new thing in Jewish communities ( Acts 9:2;  Acts 28:21). ( b ) Narratives of Christ’s words and works, such as the Gospels, were not at once so necessary. Men were looking for Christ’s speedy return ( 2 Thessalonians 2:2), and eye-witnesses of His ministry were at first plentiful ( Acts 1:22,  1 Corinthians 15:6). The demand for written and authentic narratives was forcibly realized only when Apostles and eye-witnesses began to pass away ( 2 Peter 1:15 ff.,  2 Timothy 4:6 ff.), and irresponsible persons took in hand to supply the want ( Luke 1:1 f.). Yet even in the next generation there lingered a preference for traditional reminiscences, cf. Papias ( c. [Note: circa, about.] a.d. 140) ap. Eus. Historia Ecclesiastica iii. 39. On the shortest reckoning no Gospel was committed to writing in its present shape within twenty-five years after Christ’s Ascension.

2. The canonical reception of NT writings. —This may be said to have passed through three stages, not wholly separable in point of time.

(1) The first stage is that of collective recognition (extending roughly to a.d. 170). Christian writers of this period exhibit—( a ) Coincidences of language with NT expressions: e.g. Clem. Rom. [Note: Roman.] ( c. [Note: circa, about.] a.d. 95); Ign. ( c. [Note: circa, about.] a.d. 110); Polyc. ( c. [Note: circa, about.] a.d. 116); Barn. ( c. [Note: circa, about.] a.d. 70–130); Didache ( c. [Note: circa, about.] a.d. 90–165); Herm. ( c. [Note: circa, about.] a.d. 140–155); Heges. [ ap. Eus.] ( c. [Note: circa, about.] a.d. 155).—( b ) Anonymous references—which seem to have been the set rule for all writers of ‘Apologies,’ whatever their custom in other works: e.g. Just. M ( c. [Note: circa, about.] a.d. 150); ad Diogn. ( c. [Note: circa, about.] a.d. 170?); also 2 Ep. Clem. ( c. [Note: circa, about.] a.d. 140).—( c ) Direct references: e.g. Clem., ad Cor. xlvii., alludes to 1 Co.; Polyc., ad Ph. iii., to Philippians; Papias (before a.d. 150), ap. Eus. Historia Ecclesiastica iii. 39, mentions a record of Christ’s words and deeds by Mark, and ‘logia’ (originally in Hebrew) by Matthew; Just. M., Dial , ciii., speaks of ‘Memoirs by Apostles and those that followed them,’ and refers to the Apocalypse ( Dial. lxxxi.) by name.—( d ) Dogmatic recensions: Tatian, Diatessaron ( c. [Note: circa, about.] a.d. 150), harmonized the four Gospels; Marcion ( c. [Note: circa, about.] a.d. 140) mutilated Luke and (acknowledging ten Pauline Epistles) rejected the three Pastoral Epistles.—( c ) Catalogues: e.g. the Muratorian fragment (composed c. [Note: circa, about.] a.d. 160), which, according to Westcott, gives ‘a summary of the opinion of the Western Church on the Canon shortly after the middle of the 2nd century.’

(2) The second stage is that of unique authority .—( a ) A succession of contrasts is drawn by Christian writers. (α) Apostles and themselves: cf. all the Apostolic Fathers—Clem. Rom. [Note: Roman.] viii, xlvii.; Polyc. ad Ph. iii; Ign. ad Rom. [Note: Roman.] iv. (‘not as Peter and Paul’); Barn, i, iv (‘not as a teacher’). (β) Apostolic records and traditions: Justin M., ap. i. 33, says the Memoirs of the Apostles relate ‘all things concerning Jesus Christ.’ ‘These words (Westcott observes) mark the presence of a new age.… Tradition was definitely cast aside as a new source of information.’ (γ) Canonical (ἐνδιάθηκοι) and un-canonical (ἀπόκρυφοι) books: generally, e.g. Dionysius of Corinth ( c. [Note: circa, about.] a.d. 176), ap. Eus. Historia Ecclesiastica iv. 23, says, ‘the Scriptures of the Lord … and those that are not of the same character’; and in detail, e.g. Clem. Alex. [Note: Alexandrian.] ( c. [Note: circa, about.] a.d. 165–200) ib. vi. 14; Origen (a.d. 286–353), ib. vi. 25; Dionys. Alex. [Note: Alexandrian.] ( c. [Note: circa, about.] a.d. 248) ib. vii. 25—representing the opinion of Alexandria; Tertullian ( c. [Note: circa, about.] a.d. 160–240), de Pudic. 20, that of Latin Africa; Caius ( c. [Note: circa, about.] a.d. 213), ap. Eus. Historia Ecclesiastica vi. 20, that of Rome; Irenaeus ( c. [Note: circa, about.] a.d. 135–200), ib. v. 8, cf. Iren. Haer. iii. 7, that of Asia Minor and Gaul; Serapion ( c. [Note: circa, about.] a.d. 190), ap. Eus. Historia Ecclesiastica vi. 12, that of Syria. These exhibit substantial agreement, together with variety in detail. From Tertullian’s time the general estimate was much as it is to-day.

( b ) Illustrations of this developing consciousness are seen in two matters arising from constant use of the books. (i.) The descriptive titles . Barnabas, Ep. iv., is the first to use the formula ‘as it is written’ in quoting words taken from the N.T. [ =  Matthew 22:14]. In Justin M., ap. i. 66, the term ‘Gospels’ is first applied to books. Melito of Sardis ( c. [Note: circa, about.] a.d. 170), ap. Eus. Historia Ecclesiastica iv. 26, refers to ‘the books of the Old Testament,’ implying undoubtedly by contrast ‘the books of the New.’ The latter description is expressly used by Irenaeus, Haer. ii. 58, and the two Testaments are from that time on a level. Chrysostom is said to have been the first to adopt the expression ‘Bible’ (τὰ βιβλία) for the two Testaments as one whole. (ii.) Public reading . For some considerable time (varying much in different places) profitableness seems to have been the only absolute test required. Dionys. of Corinth ( c. [Note: circa, about.] a.d. 170–175), ap. Eus. Historia Ecclesiastica iv. 23, refers to the public reading of a letter from Soter, as well as to the better known instance of the Ep. of Clem. of Rome. Eusebius ( ib. iii. 3) relates that Hermas had formerly been read in public on account of its usefulness for ‘elementary instruction.’ Apostolic nature ( i.e. practically ‘inspiration’) was subsequently the regular test: cf. Eus. l.c. and Cyril of Jerus. [Note: Jerusalem.] ( c. [Note: circa, about.] a.d. 340), Catech. iv. 33–36. Hence δημοσιεύεσθαι under the former conditions refers merely to the fact of public reading; under the latter it is a declaration of canonical authority.

(3) The third stage is that of formal definition .—Diocletian’s persecution (a.d. 303–311), directed against the Christian Scriptures, proves that their unique position and influence was a matter known to the heathen throughout the Roman Empire. It also made the identification of those Scriptures, as distinct from other Christian books, a vital matter (cf. the history of the Donatist schism on the question of ‘traditores’). Ensebius, writing a.d. 313–325, sums up the general consent of that time ( Historia Ecclesiastica iii. 3, 24, 25), in three classes of books—‘acknowledged,’ i.e. of undisputed authenticity and Apostolic power; ‘disputed,’ i.e. defective in either of those qualities; and ‘heretical.’ The Emperor Constantine (a.d. 331) caused to be prepared, under the direction of Eusebius, fifty copies of the Divine Scriptures for use in the churches of Constantinople (cf. Eus. Vit. Const , iv. 36). These must have become a standard in the Greek Church. It may be added that the evidence of ancient versions, old Latin, Syriac, and Egyptian, is of great importance; but it is of too complicated a nature to be briefly discussed. Succeeding Councils dealt with the Canon, esp. that of Laodicea ( c. [Note: circa, about.] a.d. 363) and the third of Carthage (a.d. 397). The catalogue of canonical books which bears the name of the former is held to be spurious: to the catalogue of Carthage Christendom adheres to-day.

Literature.—The NT (as a whole or its separate portions) forms the subject of well-known ‘Introductions,’ Commentaries, etc. For special information see Sanday, Inspiration  ; Wright, Synopsis (oral theory); Westcott, Canon of NT and Bible in the Church  ; Moffatt, The Historical NT . A work on the ‘Canon and Text of the NT’ (Gregory) is to form part of the International Theol. Library series.

F. S. Ranken.

Morrish Bible Dictionary [4]

For the general contents of the New Testament see BIBLE. See also COVENANT. The chronology of the principal events recorded in the New Testament is given in the following tables, with approximate dates. The dates of the Epistles of Peter, James, John, and Jude are according to the A.V. For the date of the crucifixion see Seventy Weeks: other dates are reckoned from that.

Chronological Table Of The New Testament


27 Augustus emperor of Rome

6 Census in Judaea. Birth of John the Baptist

5 Birth of Jesus (Four full years before A.D.) Presentation in the temple.

4 Visit of the magi. Flight into Egypt, Massacre of infants. Death of Herod;

Archelaus made ethnarch of Judaea, Samaria and Idumaea

Herod Antipas tetrarch of Peraea and Galilee. Philip tetrarch of Ituraea, Trachonitis. etc.


6 Quirinis (Cyrenius) governor of Syria the second time

Archelaus banished, and Judaea made a province of Syria.

7 Enrolment, or taxation, under Cyrenius. Annas made high priest

8 Jesus at Jerusalem.  Luke 2:42-46

14 Tiberias emperor of Rome: reigns alone

17 Caiaphas made high priest

26 Pontius Pilate procurator of Judaea

John commences his ministry. (See Tiberius  Mark 1:1-11

Baptism of Jesus. The Temptation

Miracle of the water made wine at Cana.  John 2:1-11

Jesus visits Capernaum

The first Passover. Jesus cleanses the temple.  John 2:13-22

John cast into prison. Jesus preaches in Galilee  Mark 1:14,15

Jesus at the synagogue at Nazareth: cast out of the city.  Luke 4:16-30

Jesus visits the towns of Galilee  Mark 1:38,39

27 Jesus visits Jerusalem (probably the second Passover ).  John 5 .  1

The twelve Apostles chosen  Mark 3:13-19

Sermon on the Mount.  Matthew 5 .-  7;  Luke 6:17-49

Miracles in the land of the Gadarenes.  Mark 5:1-20

The Jews offended at Jesus at Nazareth.  Mark 6:1-5

Jesus again visits the villages around.  Mark 6:6

Jesus sends forth the twelve.  Mark 6:7-13

Death of John the Baptist.  Mark 6:17-29

Feeding the five thousand.  Mark 6:35-44

Miracles in Gennesaret.  Mark 6:53-56

28 Approach of the third Passover  John 6:4

Feeding the four thousand.  Mark 8:1-9

The Transfiguration.  Mark 9:2-10

Feast of Tabernacles.  John 7 .

Journey towards Jerusalem.  Luke 9:51

The seventy disciples sent out.  Luke 10:1-16

Feast of Dedication (winter).  John 10:22-39

Jesus goes away beyond Jordan.  John 10:40-42

The raising of Lazarus at Bethany.  John 11:1-44

Jesus retires to Ephraim.  John 11:54

29 Jesus' entry into Jerusalem. Cleanses the temple  Mark 11:1-18

The Greeks visit Jesus. Voice from heaven.  John 12:20-36

The last (fourth) Passover. The Lord's supper  Mark 14:1-2

The Crucifixion. Ascension. Pentecost

30-34 The events from Pentecost to Stephen.  Acts 2 —   Acts 7

35 Martyrdom of Stephen. Saul "a young man"  Acts 7:58-60

Great persecution, disciples scattered except the apostles  Acts 8:1-4

36 Conversion of Saul (three years before

his flight from Damascus.)  Acts 9:26-28; ( Galatians 1:18 )

37 Caius (Caligula) emperor of Rome; reigns 4 years

Herod Agrippa succeeds Herod Antipas

Caiaphas deposed, and Jonathan made high priest

38 Paul, at Damascus and in Arabia.  Galatians 1:15-18

39 Paul's first visit to Jerusalem; sent to Tarsus.   Galatians 1:18;  Acts 9:26-30

40 Conversion of Cornelius  Acts 10 .

41 Claudius emperor of Rome; reigns 13 years

Judaea and Samaria united, under Herod Agrippa as king

Herod (brother of Agrippa) king of Chalcis

Gospel preached to the Gentiles at Antioch  Acts 11:20

Barnabas goes to Antioch; fetches Paul  Acts 11:26

42-3 They remain a year at Antioch

Herod Agrippa's persecution. James beheaded  Acts 12:2

Peter's imprisonment and release  Acts 12:3-19

44 Death of Herod Agrippa. Palestine again a Roman province  Acts 12:23

Paul's second visit to Jerusalem, with the collection.  Acts 11:30

45 Paul returns to Antioch  Acts 12:25

46-8 First journey of Paul and Barnabas

to Cyprus and Asia Minor  Acts 13 . &  Acts 14 .

48 Ananias nominated high priest by Herod, king of Chalcis

49-50 Paul, after return, remains a long time at Antioch  Acts 14:28

Dispute concerning circumcision, council at Jerusalem  Acts 15:1

50 Paul's third visit to Jerusalem with Barnabas

(fourteen years from his conversion.  Galatians 2 .  1 )  Acts 15:2

Returns and stays at Antioch.  Acts 15:35

51 Second journey of Paul with Silas and Timothy

through Asia Minor to Macedonia and Greece  Acts 16 . &  Acts 17 .

Felix made procurator

52 Paul spends a year and a half at Corinth  Acts 18:11

Holman Bible Dictionary [5]

A history of selected events in the early church (Acts) is followed by twenty letters to churches and individuals and one apocalypse. The letters deal mainly with the interpretation of God's act of salvation in Jesus Christ. Matters of discipline, proper Christian behavior, and church polity also are included. The apocalypse is a coded message of hope to the church of the first century which has been reinterpreted by each succeeding generation of Christians for their own situations.

Mike Mitchell

Easton's Bible Dictionary [6]

 Luke 22:20Testament

Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible [7]

NEW TESTAMENT. See Bible, Canon of NT. Text of NT.

Charles Buck Theological Dictionary [8]


Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature [9]

THE ( Καινὴ Διαθήκη ) , the general title appropriated by early and inveterate usage throughout the Western Church to the latter portion of the Holy Scriptures to the collection of writings forming the authoritative records of the Christian, as contrasted with the earlier Jewish, revelation. As the various questions relating to the genuineness of the several books of the New Testament, their title to a place in the sacred volume, and their special characteristics, are discussed in the separate articles devoted to them, (See Canon), and each book, we have now to speak only of those matters which relate to the collection as a whole. For the title, (See Testament).

I. Contents And Arrangement . The New Testament differs remarkably from the Old in this respect, that while the writings comprehended in the earlier collection range over a period of a thousand years, those included in the later were produced almost contemporaneously, within the compass of one generation most of them probably between A.D. 50 and A.D. 70. The collection consists of twenty-seven writings, proceeding either from apostles or from persons who were intimately associated with the apostles in their labors. Five of the works are in the form of historical narratives; four of which relate the history of the Savior's life on earth with such variety of form, and with such differences in the selection and treatment of materials, as seemed needful to meet the wants of different readers; and the fifth describes the formation and extension of the Church by the ministry of the leading apostles. Twenty-one are epistolary. Thirteen of the letters expressly bear the name of Paul as their author; nine being addressed to various Christian communities, three called the Pastoral Epistles to office-bearers in the Church, and one to a private individual (Philemon). An anonymous letter addressed "to the Hebrews" is associated with the Epistles of Paul. Seven other letters one bearing the name of James, two that of Peter, three that of John, and one that of Jude are frequently comprehended under the common name of Catholic (that is general) Epistles, as having been intended for the use of Christians in general, or as having (most of them at least) no express individual or local destination. The volume closes with a prophetic vision, the Apocalypse ft John.

The writings thus associated in the New Testament seem to have at the first glance a somewhat unconnected and desultory character; and it may readily be admitted that the form in which the inspired records of Christianity have come down to us is not that which the wisdom of man would have conceived or expected. The Christian revelation has not assumed the shape which men might have deemed, a priori, probable or desirable of an abstract system of truth, of a formal didactic treatise elaborately setting forth doctrines in logical order, like the creeds and confessions in which men have striven at different times to define and comprehend the fullness of the scriptural teaching; or enjoining duties in methodical succession, like those codes of law in which men seek to provide beforehand for misery contingency. Its actual form exhibits a far more admirable accommodation to the conditions of human nature in its history of a life, its records of personal experience, its teachings by concrete examples, its presenting Christianity in action. The great majority of those for whose benefit a revelation is given have but little interest in pure theory or relish for abstract truth; the pattern affects them more than the precept, and they apprehend the more readily whatever comes into contact with the wants, feelings, and exigencies of their daily life. The form of the New Testament mainly narrative and epistolary is one especially fitted to stimulate our attention, to enlist our sympathies, to quicken our human interest in its contents, and to bring the matters of which it treats home to us, not as subjects of theory, but as facts of experience, as personal and practical realities. "The book which shall have a deep and practical influence on real life must reflect its image, must present that real mixture of facts, thoughts, and feelings which is found to exist there."

But we have to recognize in the composition of the New Testament a further peculiarity, deviating from what we should perhaps have expected, but constituting in reality the most remarkable evidence of the divine superintendence that shaped the whole. The books of the New Testament present no formal bond of unity, profess no absolute completeness, make no direct claim, in most cases, to universal acceptance. On the contrary, they seem to have originated independently of each other, and to have been prepared with immediate reference to local or temporary objects to the special circumstances and wants of churches, or even of individuals. Christ himself wrote nothing; and we do not find in what his disciples have left any professed design of giving a full record of his teaching or a continuous and perfect exposition of his doctrine. No apostle or evangelist avows it as his purpose to furnish an authentic standard of Christian doctrine and duty for all future time.

Their works, moreover, bear no traces of mutual concert or prearranged cooperation towards a common object. They address themselves to matters in which they feel a personal interest, and to persons with whom they have more immediate relations; and they write seemingly with reference to these alone, betraying no consciousness of any ulterior aim or further destination. Their writings present the appearance of having been as casual in origin as they are occasional in form. But this very occasional and seemingly accidental character impressed on the individual elements of the New Testament as human writings will be found, when we examine them more closely, to yield the highest evidence of the divine origin and purpose of the whole, and to furnish varied means for the illustration and confirmation of their truth. The parts, regarded in themselves, seem isolated and fragmentary; but the whole, which results from their combination, reveals a unity and completeness that can only be explained through the hidden but all-pervading agency of one divine Designer. The several narratives and letters have been obviously produced without any concert among the writers; each bears the stamp of individuality and independence; and yet, when they are placed side by side, they are found so marvelously to fit into each other, to sustain such mutually complementary relations, to be knit by so many links of connection, and to exhibit so entire a harmony of general design, that the unbiased reader cannot but recognize in their deeper interdependence a providential arrangement, and refer the whole to the common inspiration of one and the same Spirit guiding the several agents in their parts for the furtherance of his own gracious purposes. These occasional writings, proceeding from different authors, and brought together from different localities, constitute, when combined, an organized body fitly joined together and pervaded by one inward life. "When it is felt," as has been well said, "that these narratives, letters, visions, do in fact fulfill the several functions, and sustain the mutual relations, which would belong to the parts of one design, coalescing into a doctrinal scheme which is orderly, progressive, and complete, then is the mind of the reader in conscious contact with the mind of God; then the superficial diversity of the parts is lost in the essential unity of the whole; the many writings have become one Book; the many writers have become one Author" (Bernard, Bampton Lecture for 1864, p. 235).

The variety of the individual elements that make up the New Testament serves several important ends. The different parts of Scripture thereby illustrate, support, and explain each other; and it thus carries within itself manifold and varied evidence of its truth self-consistent, harmonious, divine. The four narratives of the life of Christ present that combination of substantial unity with circumstantial variety that marks the testimony of independent witnesses; and, written with special reference to the circumstances and wants of their original readers, and bringing into prominence the different aspects of the Savior's character, they at once supplement and confirm each other. They present to us, as has been observed, "four aspects, but one portrait; for, if the attitude and the accessories vary, the features and the expression are the same." The Gospel of Matthew according to early tradition the Hebrew Gospel exhibits Jesus as the Messiah fulfilling the law and the prophets; that of Mark, deriving its lifelike details from the communications of Peter, and written primarily for Roman use, depicts to us in rapid but vivid outlines Jesus putting forth his mighty power in action; that of Luke, the close companion of Paul, prepared for the use of the Greek world, portrays Jesus as the Friend of man, the universal Savior while that of John, written late in life at Ephesus for the fuller instruction of those already within the Church, completes the picture by presenting Jesus preeminently as the Son of God, and revealing to us the highest aspect of his teaching in the circle of his chosen disciples. In the book of Acts we find that the facts of the Savior's life and death and resurrection have become the fundamental doctrines of the Church; their significance is proclaimed and their power attested. The foundation of the Church is followed by its organization and training, as developed in the Epistles. The truths announced in the Gospels and proclaimed in the Acts are here expanded, defined vindicated in opposition to error or misunderstanding and brought to bear on the manifold relations of life, In the Epistles we find the different aspects of the truth apprehended and applied by men under various phases of experience and with reference to various exigencies; and while the Epistles thus form a practical supplement to the Gospels, they are complementary to each other, and fill up through their combination the perfect image of the faith, hope, and love represented by Paul, Peter, and John.

From various early notices it would appear that the books were, as was natural, first grouped under the two general divisions of evangelic and apostolic writings ( Εὐαγγέλιον and Ἀπόστολος or Τὰ Ἀποστολικά ) . The more detailed information which we obtain from the oldest extant MSS., versions, and catalogues of the books given by the fathers exhibits substantially the same arrangement as that now followed in our Bibles. But few copies contained the whole New Testament; most frequently the Gospels were contained in one volume, the Acts and Epistles in another; while the Apocalypse, which was less employed in public worship, was comparatively seldom associated with the other books. The general order of the books was as follows: Gospels, Acts, Catholic Epistles, Pauline Epistles, Apocalypse. From this arrangement there are, no doubt. individual deviations, especially as regards the position of the book of Acts; and several of the ancient versions and most of the catalogues place the Epistles of Paul, as they stand in the English Bible, before the Catholic Epistles. The order followed within these larger groups seems to have been from an early period very much the same as at present. The four Gospels are almost constantly found in their familiar order; and in the Pauline Epistles the letter to the Hebrews exhibits almost the only variation, being sometimes and indeed most frequently inserted before the Pastoral Epistles, sometimes annexed at the close (see Scrivener's Introd. to Criticisme of N.T. p. 60, etc.). the arrangement, in the case of the Gospels, was probably based on the order in which they were supposed to be written; in the case of Paul's Epistles, on the relative importance of the churches or individuals addressed. The Apocalypse has always, when received, been placed appropriately at the end. We can hardly fail to recognize the Providence by which the Church has been guided in the internal arrangement of her sacred records, so that they shall present a consecutive teaching; the main outlines of which are wellset forth by one who has recently applied himself to illustrate the value of the order of the New Testament in this respect. The New Testament "begins with the person of Christ, and the facts of his manifestation in the flesh, and the words which he gave from his Father; and accustoms us by degrees to behold his glory, to discern the drift of his teaching, and to expect the consequences of his work. It passes on to his body, the Church, and opens the dispensation of his Spirit, and carries us into the life of his people, yea, down into the secret places of their hearts; and there translates the announcements of God into the experiences of men, and discovers a conversation in heaven and a life which is hid with Christ in God. It works out practical applications, is careful in the details of;duty, provides for difficulties and perplexities, suggests the order of churches, and throws up barriers against the wiles of the devil. It shows us things to come, the course of the spiritual conflict, the close of this transient scene, the coming of the Lord, the resurrection of the dead, the eternal judgment, the new creation, and the life everlasting. Thus it is furnished for all emergencies, and prepared for perpetual use" (Bernard, ut sup. p. 31).

II. Early History Of The Text .

1. The Original Autographs . The early history of the apostolic writings offers no points of distinguishing literary interest. Externally, as far as it can be traced, it is the same as that, of other contemporary books. Paul, like Cicero or Pliny, often employed the services of an amanuensis, to whom he dictated his letters, affixing the salutation "with his own hand" ( 1 Corinthians 16:21;  2 Thessalonians 3:17;  Colossians 4:18).In one case the scribe has added a clause in his own name ( Romans 16:22). Once, in writing to the Galatians, I the apostle appears to apologize for the rudeness of the autograph which he addressed to them, as if from defective sight ( Galatians 6:11). If we pass onwards one step, it does not appear that any special care was taken in the first age to preserve the books of the N.T. from the various injuries of time, or to insure perfect accuracy of transcription. They were given as a heritage to man, and it was some time before men felt the full value of the gift. The original copies seem to have soon perished; and we may perhaps see in this a providential provision against that spirit of superstition which in earlier times converted the symbols of God's redemption into objects of idolatry ( 2 Kings 18:4). It is certainly remarkable that in the controversies at the close of the 2d century, which often turned upon disputed readings of Scripture, no appeal was made to the apostolic originals. The few passages in which it has been supposed that they are referred to will not bear examination. Ignatius, so far from appealing to Christian archives, distinctly turns, as the whole context shows, to the examples of the Jewish Church ( Τὰ Ἀρχαῖα - Ad Philad. 8). Tertullian again, when he speaks of "the Authentic epistles" of the apostles ( De Proescr. Haer. 36, "Apud quas ipse Authenticae littere eorum recitantur"), uses the term of the pure Greek text as contrasted with. the current Latin version (comp. De Monog. 11, "Sciamus plane non sic esse in Greco authentico"). The silence of the sub-apostolic age is made more striking by the legends which were circulated afterwards. It was said that when the grave of Barnabas in Cyprus was opened, in the 5th century, in obedience to a vision, the saint was fumnd holding a (Greek) copy of Matthew written with his own hand. The copy was taken to Constantinople, and used as the standard of the sacred text (Credner, Einl. § 39; Assem. Bibl. Or. 2:81). The autograph copy of John's Gospel ( Αὐτὸ Τὸ Ἰδιόχειρον Τοῦ Εὐαγγελιστοῦ ) was said to be preserved at Ephesus "by the grace of God, and worshipped ( Προσκυνεῖται ) by the faithful there," in the 4th century (?) (Petr. Alex. p. 518, ed. Migne, quoted from Chron. Pasch. p. 5); though according to another account it was found in the ruins of the Temple when Julian attempted to rebuild it (Philostorg. 7:14). A similar belief was current even in the last century. It was said that parts of the (Latin) autograph of Mark were preserved at Venice and Prague; but on examination these were shown to be fragments of a MS. of the Vulgate of the 6th century (Dobrowsky, Fragmentum Praense Ev. S. Marci. 1778). In the natural course of things the apostolic autographs would be likely to perish soon. The material which was commonly used for letters, the papyrus-paper to which John incidentally alludes ( 2 John 1:12, Διὰ Χάρτου Καὶ Μέλανος ; comp.  3 John 1:13, ( Διὰ Μέλανος Καὶ Καλάμου ) , was singularly fragile, and even the stouter kinds, likely to be used for the historical books, were not fitted to bear constant use. The papyrus fragments which have come down to the present time have been preserved under peculiar circumstances, as at Herculaneum or in Egyptian tombs; and Jerome notices that the library of Pamphilus at Caesarea was already in part destroyed (ex parte corruptam) when, in less than a century after its formation, two presbyters of the Church endeavored to restore the papyrus MSS. (as the context implies) on parchment ("in membranis," Jerome, Ep. 34 (141), quoted by Tischendorf in Herzog's Encykl. "Bibeltext des N.T." p. 159). Parchment ( 2 Timothy 4:13, Μεμβράνα ) , which was more durable, was proportionately rarer and more costly. In the first age the written word of the apostles occupied no authoritative position above their spoken word, and the vivid memory of their personal teaching. When the true value of the apostolic writings was afterwards revealed by the progress of the Church, then collections of "the divine oracles" would be chiefly sought for among Christians. On all accounts it seems reasonable to conclude that the autographs perished during that solemn pause which followed the apostolic age, in which the idea of a Christian Canon, parallel and supplementary to the Jewish Canon, was first distinctly realized.

2. The First Copies. In the time of the Diocletian persecution (A.D. 303) copies of the Christian Scriptures over sufficiently numerous to furnish a special object for persecutors, and a characteristic name to renegades who saved themselves by surrendering the sacred books traditores, August. Ep. 76. 2). Partly, perhaps, owing to the destruction thus caused, but still more from the natural effects of time, no MS. of the N.T. of the first three centuries remains. Some of the oldest extant were certainly copied from others which dated from within this period, but as yet no one can be placed further back than the time of Constantine. It is recorded of this monarch that one of his first acts after the foundation of Constantinople was to order the preparation of fifty MSS. of the Holy Scriptures, required for the use of the Church, "on fair skins ( Ἐν Διφθέραις Εὐκατασκεύοις ) by skillful caligraphists" (Euseb. Vit. Const. 4:36); and to the general use of this better material we probably owe our most venerable copies, which fire written on vellum of singular excellence and fineness. But though no fragment of the N.T. of the 1st century until remains, the Italian and Egyptian papyri, which are of that date, give a clear notion of the caligraphy of the period. In these tie text is written in columns, rudely divided, in somewhat awkward capital letters (uncials), without any punctuation or division of words. The iota, which was afterwards subscribed, is commonly, but not always, adscribed; and there is no trace of accents or breathings. The earliest MSS. of the N.T. bear a general resemblance to this primitive type, and we may reasonably believe that the apostolic originals were thus written.

3. Early Variations . In addition to the later MSS., the earliest versions and patristic quotations give very important testimony to the character and history of the ante-Nicene text. Express statements of readings which are found in some of the most ancient Christian writers are, indeed, the first direct evidence which we have, and are consequently of the highest importance. But till the last quarter of the 2d century this source of information fails us. Not only are the remains of Christian literature up to that time extremely scanty, but the practice of verbal quotation from the N.T. was not yet prevalent. The evangelic citations in the apostolic fathers and in Justin Martyr show that the oral tradition was still as widely current as the written Gospels (comp. Westcott's Canon Of The N.T. p. 125-195), and there is not in those writers one express verbal citation from the other apostolic books. This latter phenomenon is in a great measure to be explained by the nature of their writings. As soon as definite controversies arose among Christians, the text of the N.T. assumed its true importance. The earliest monuments of these remain in the works of Irenaeus, Hippolytus (Pseudo-Origen), and Tertullian, who quote many of the arguments of the leading adversaries of the Church. Charges of corrupting the sacred text are urged on both sides with great acrimony. Dionysius of Corinth ( cir. A.D. 176, ap. Euseb. ''H. E'' 4:23), Ireneus (cir. A.D. 177; 4:6, 1), Tertullian (cir. A.D. 210; De Carne Christi. 19, p. 385; A dv. Marc. iv, v, passim), Clement of Alexandria (cir. A.D. 200; Strom. 4:6, § 41), and at a later time Ambrose (cir. A.D. 375; De Spir. S. 3:10), accuse their opponents of this offense; but with one great exception the instances which are brought forward in support of the accusation generally resolve themselves into various readings, in which the decision cannot always be given in favor of the catholic disputant; and even where the unorthodox reading is certainly wrong it can be shown that it was widely spread among writers of different opinions (e.g.  Matthew 11:27 "nec Filium nisi Pater et cui voluerit Filius revelare;"  John 1:13, Ὅς - Ἐγννήθη ) . Wilful interpolations or changes are extremely rare, if they exist at all (comp. Valent. ap. Iren. 1:4, 5, add. Θεότητες  Colossians 1:16), except in the case of arcion. His mode of dealing with the writings of the N.T. in which he was followed by his school, was, as Tertullian says, to use the knife rather than subtlety of interpretation. There can be no reasonable doubt that he dealt in the most arbitrary manner with whole books, and that he removed from the Gospel of Luke many passages which were opposed to his peculiar views. But when these fundamental changes were once made he seems to have adhered scrupulously to the text which he found. In the isolated readings which he is said to have altered, it happens not unfrequently that he has retained the right reading, and that his opponents are in error (Luke v. 14 om. Τὸ Δῶρον ;  Galatians 2:5, Οϊ v Σ Οὐδέ ;  2 Corinthians 4:5?). In very many cases the alleged corruption is a various reading, more or less supported by other authorities ( Luke 12:38, Ἑσπερινῆ ;  1 Corinthians 10:9, Χριστόν ;  1 Thessalonians 2:15, add. Ἰδίους ) . Where the changes seem most arbitrary there is evidence to show that the interpolations were not wholly due to his school ( Luke 18:19, Πατήρ ;  Luke 23:2;  1 Corinthians 10:19 [28], add. Ἱερόθυτον ) . (Comp. Hahn, Evangelium Marcionis; Thilo, Cod. Apocr. 1:403-486; Ritschl, Das Evatn. Marc. 1846; Volckmar, Das Evang. Marc. Leipsic, 1852: but no examination of Marcion's text is completely satisfactory.) Several very important conclusions follow from this earliest appearance of textual criticism. It is, in the first place, evident that various readings existed in the books of the N.T. at a time prior to all extant authorities. History affords no trace of the pure apostolic originals. Again, from the preservation of the first variations noticed, which are often extremely minute, in one or more of the primary documents still left we may be certain that no important changes have been made in the sacred text which we cannot now detect. The materials for ascertaining the true reading are found to be complete when tested by the earliest witnesses. Yet further: from the minuteness of some of the variations which are urged in controversy, it is obvious that the words of the N.T. were watched with the most jealous care, and that the least differences of phrase were guarded with scrupulous and faithful piety, to be used in after-time by that wide- reaching criticism which was foreign to the spirit of the first ages.

4 . First Critical Labors . Passing from these isolated quotations, we find the first great witnesses to the apostolic text in the early Syriac and Latin versions, and in the rich quotations of Clement of Alexandria ( cir. A.D. 220) and Origen (A.D. 184-254). (See Versions).

The Greek quotations in the remains of the original text of Irenmus and in Hippolytus are of great value, but yield in extent and importance to those of the two Alexandrine fathers. From the extant works of Origen alone no inconsiderable portion of the whole N.T., with the exception of James, 2 Peter, 2 and 3 John, and the Apocalypse, might be transcribed, and the recurrence of small variations in long passages proves that the quotations were accurately made, and not simply from memory.

The evangelic text of Clement is far from pure. Two chief causes contributed especially to corrupt the text of the Gospels the attempts to harmonize parallel narratives, and the influence of tradition. The former assumed a special importance from the Diatessaron of Tatian (cir. A.D. 170. Comp. Westcott, N.-T. Canon, p. 358-362; Tischendorf on  Matthew 27:49), and the latter, which was, as has been remarked, very great in the time of Justin Martyr, still lingered. The quotations of Clement suffer from both these disturbing forces ( Matthew 8:22;  Matthew 10:30;  Matthew 11:27;  Matthew 19:24;  Matthew 23:27;  Matthew 25:41;  Matthew 10:26, omitted by Tischendorf  Luke 3:22), and he seems to have derived from his copies of the Gospels two sayings of the Lord which form no part of the canonical text (comp. Tischendorf on  Matthew 6:33;  Luke 16:11). Elsewhere his quotations are free, or a confused mixture of two narratives ( Matthew 5:45;  Matthew 6:26;  Matthew 6:32 sq.;  Matthew 22:37;  Mark 12:43), but in innumerable places he has preserved the true reading ( Matthew 5:4-5;  Matthew 5:42;  Matthew 5:48;  Matthew 8:22;  Matthew 11:17;  Matthew 13:25;  Matthew 23:26;  Acts 2:41;  Acts 17:26). His quotations from the Epistles are of the very highest value. In these tradition had no prevailing power, though Tatian is said to have altered in parts the language of the Epistles (Eusebius, Hist. Eccles. 4:29); and the text was left comparatively free from corruptions.

Against the few false readings which he supports (e.g.  1 Peter 2:2, Χριστός ( C;  Romans 3:26, Ι᾿Ησοῦν ; 8:11, Διὰ Τοῦ Ἐνοικ . Πν ) may be brought forward a long list of passages in which he combines with a few of the best authorities in upholding the true text (e.g.  1 Peter 2:2;  Romans 2:17;  Romans 10:3;  Romans 15:29;  1 Corinthians 2:13;  1 Corinthians 7:3;  1 Corinthians 7:5;  1 Corinthians 7:35;  1 Corinthians 7:39;  1 Corinthians 8:2;  1 Corinthians 10:24). But Origen stands as far first of all the ante-Nicene fathers in critical authority as he does in commanding genius, and his writings are an almost inexhaustible storehouse for the history of the text. In many places it seems that the printed text of his works has been modernized; and till a new and thorough collation of the MSS. has been made, a doubt must remain whether his quotations have not suffered by the hands of scribes, as the MSS. of the N.T. have suffered, though in a less degree. The testimony which Origen bears as to the corruption of the text of the Gospels in his time differs from the general statements which have been already noticed as being the deliberate judgment of a scholar, and not the plea of a controversialist. "As the case stands," he says, "it is obvious that the difference between the copies is considerable, partly from the carelessness of individual scribes, partly from the wicked daring of some in correcting what is written, partly also from the changes made by] those who add or remove what seems good to them in the process of correction" (Origen, In Matt. t. xv, § 14). In the case of the Sept., he adds, he removed, or at least indicated, those corruptions by a comparison of "editions" ( Ἐκδόσεις ), and we may believe that he took equal care to ascertain, at least for his own use, the true text of the N.T., though he did not venture to arouse the prejudice of his contemporaries by openly revising it, as the old translation adds (In Matt. xv, vet. int. "In exemplaribus autem Novi Testamenti hoc ipsum me posse facere sine periculo non putavi"). Even in the form in which they have come down to us, the writings of Origen, as a whole, contain the noblest early memorial of the apostolic text.

Although there is no evidence that he published any recension of the text, yet it is not unlikely that he wrote out copies of the N.T. with his own hand (Redepenning, Origenes, 2:184), which were spread widely in after-time. Thus Jerome appeals to "the copies of Adamantius," i.e. Origen (In  Matthew 24:36;  Galatians 3:1), and the copy of Pamphilus can hardly have been other than a copy of Origen's text (Cod. H3 Subscription). From Pamphilus the text passed to Eusebius and Euthalius, and it is scarcely rash to believe that it can be traced, though imperfectly, in existing MSS. as C L (comp. Griesbach, Symbole Criticae, 1, 76 sq.; 130 sq.). In thirteen cases (Norton, Genuineness of the Gospels, 1:234-236) Origen has expressly noticed varieties of reading in the Gospels ( Matthew 8:28;  Matthew 16:20;  Matthew 18:1;  Matthew 21:5;  Matthew 21:9;  Matthew 21:15;  Matthew 27:17;  Mark 3:18;  Luke 1:46;  Luke 9:48;  Luke 14:19;  Luke 23:45;  John 1:3-4;  John 1:28). In three of these passages the variations which he notices are no longer found in our Greek copies ( Matthew 21:9 or  Matthew 21:15, Οἴκῳ for Υἱῷ ; Tregelles, ad loc.;  Mark 3:18 [ Mark 2:14], Λεβὴν Τὸν Τοῦ Ἀλφ [?];  Luke 1:46; Ε᾿Λισάβετ for Μαριάμ ; so in some Latin copies); in seven our copies are still divided; in two ( Matthew 8:28, Γαδαρηνῶν ;  John 1:28, Βηθαβαρᾶ '/ ) the reading which was only found in a few MSS. is now widely spread; in the remaining place ( Matthew 27:17, Ι᾿Ησοῦν Βαραββᾶν ) a few copies of no great age retain the interpolation which was found in his time "in very ancient copies." It is more remarkable that Origen asserts, in answer to Celsus, that our Lord is nowhere called "the carpenter" in the Gospels circulated in the churches, though this is undoubtedly the true reading in  Mark 6:3 (Origen, C. Cels. 6:36). The evangelic quotations of Origen are not wholly free from the admixture of traditional glosses which have been noticed in Clement, and often present a confusion of parallel passages ( Matthew 5:44;  Matthew 6:33;  Matthew 7:21 sq.;  Matthew 13:11;  Matthew 26:27 sq.;  1 Timothy 4:1); but there is little difficulty in separating his genuine text from these natural corruptions, and a few references are sufficient to indicate its extreme importance ( Matthew 4:10;  Matthew 6:13;  Matthew 15:8;  Matthew 15:35;  Mark 1:2;  Mark 10:29;  Luke 21:19;  John 7:39;  Acts 10:10;  Romans 8:28). In the Epistles Origen once notices a striking variation in  Hebrews 2:9, Χωρὶςθεοῦ for Χάριτι Θεοῦ , which is still attested; but, apart from the specific references to variations, it is evident that he himself used MSS. at different times which varied in many details (Mill, Proleg. § 687). Griesbach, who has investigated this fact with the greatest care ( Meletema, i, appended to Comm. Crit. 2, 9-40), seems to have exaggerated the extent of these differences, while he establishes their existence satisfactorily. There can be no doubt that in Origen's time the variations in the N.-T. Mss which we have seen to have existed from the earliest attainable date, and which Origen describes as considerable and widespread, were beginning to lead to the formation of specific groups of copies. Although the materials for the history of the text during the first three centuries are abundant, nothing has been written in detail on the subject since the time of Mill (Proleg. p. 240 sq.) and R. Simon (Histoire Critique... 1685-93). What is wanted is nothing less than a complete collection at full length, from MS. authority, of all the ante-Nicene Greek quotations. These would form a center round which the variations of the versions and Latin quotations might be grouped. A first step towards this has been made by Anger in his Synopsis Evv. Matthew Marc. Luc... 1851. The Latin quotations are well given by Sabatier (Bibliorum Sacrorum Latinae versiones antiquae, 1751).

III. Characteristics Of The Early Copies . From the consideration of the earliest history of the N.T. text we now pass to the aera of MSS. The quotations of Dionysius Alex. (i A.D. 264), Petrus Alex. ( cir. A.D. 312), Methodius (t A.D. 311), and Eusebius (t A.D. 340), confirm the prevalence of the ancient type of text but the public establishment of Christianity in the Roman empire necessarily led to important changes. Not only were more copies of the N.T. required for public use, but the nominal or real adherence of the higher ranks to the Christian faith must have largely increased the demand for costly MISS. As a natural consequence, the rude Hellenistic forms gave way before the current Greek, and at the same time it is reasonable to believe that smoother and fuller constructions were substituted for the rougher turns of the apostolic language. In this way the foundation of the Byzantine text was laid, and the same influence which thus began to work continued uninterruptedly till the fall of the Eastern empire. Meanwhile the multiplication of copies in Africa and Syria was checked by Mohammedan conquests. The Greek language ceased to be current in the West. The progress of the Alexandrine and Occidental families of MSS. was thus checked; and the mass of recent copies necessarily represent the accumulated results of one tendency.

The appearance of the oldest MSS. has already been described. The MSS. of the 4th century, of which Cod. Vatican. (B) may be taken as a type, present a close resemblance to these. The writing is in elegant continuous (capitals) uncials, in three columns, without initial letters, or iota subscript or ascript. A small interval serves as a simple punctuation; and there are no accents or breathings by the hand of the first writer, though these have been added subsequently. Uncial writing continued in general use till the middle of the 10th century. One uncial MS. (S), the earliest dated copy, bears the date 949; and for service-books the same style was retained a century later. From the 11th century downwards cursive writing prevailed, but this passed through several forms sufficiently distinct to fix the date of a MS. with tolerable certainty. The earliest cursive Biblical MS. is dated A.D. 964 (Gosp. 14, Scrivener, Introduction, p. 36, note), though cursive writing was used a century before (A.D. 888, Scrivener, 1. c.). The MSS. of the 14th and 15th centuries abound in the contractions which afterwards passed into the early printed books.

The material as well as the writing of MSS. underwent successive changes. The oldest MSS. are written on the thinnest and finest vellum; in later copies the parchment is thick and coarse. Sometimes, as in Cod. Cotton. (N=J), the vellum is stained. Papyrus was very rarely used after the 9th century. In the 10th century cotton paper (charta bombycina, or Damascena) was generally employed in Europe; and one example at least occurs of its use in the 9th century (Tischendorf, Not. Cod. Sin. p. 54, quoted by Scrivener, Introduction, p. 21). In the 12th century the common linen or rag paper came into use; but paper was "seldom used for Biblical MSS. earlier than the 13th century, and had not entirely displaced parchment at the aera of the invention of printing, cir. A.D. 1450" (Scrivener, Introduction, p. 21). One other kind of material requires notice, redressed parchment ( Παλίμψγστος , Charta Deleticia ) . Even at a very early period the original text of a parchment MS. was often erased, that the material might be used afresh (Cic. Ad Fam. 7:18; Catull. 12). In lapse of time the original writing frequently reappears in faint lines below the later text, and in this way many precious fragments of Biblical MSS. which had been once obliterated for the transcription of other works have been recovered. Of these palimpsest MSS. the most famous are those designated by the letters C, R, Z, Ξ . The earliest Biblical palimpsest is not older than the 5th century. In uncial MSS. the contractions are usually limited to a few very common forms ( '''''Θ''''' C, Ic, '''''Π''''' Hp, '''''Δ''''' A '''''Δ''''' , etc., i.e. Θεός , Ι᾿Ησοῦς , Πατήρ , Δαυείδ ; comp. Scrivener, Introduction, p. 43). A few more occur in later uncial copies, in which there are also some examples of the ascript Iota, which occurs rarely in the Codex Sinaiticus. Accents are not found in MSS. older than the 8th century. Breathings and the apostrophe (Tischendort; Proleg. p. 131) occur somewhat earlier. The oldest punctuation after the simple interval is a stop like the modern Greek colon (in A, C, D), which is accompanied by an interval, proportioned in some cases to the length of the pause. In E (Gosp.) and B2 (Apoc.), which are MSS. of the 8th century, this point marks a full stop, a colon, or a comma, according as it is placed at the top, the middle, or the base of the letter (Scrivener, p. 42). The present note of interrogation (;) came into use in the 9th century.

A very ingenious attempt was made to supply an effectual system of punctuation for public reading by Euthalius, who published an arrangement of Paul's Epistles in clauses ( Στίχοι ) in 458, and another of the Acts and Catholic Epistles in 490. The same arrangement was applied to the Gospels by some unknown hand, and probably at an earlier date. The method of subdivision was doubtless suggested by the mode in which the poetic books of the O.T. were written in the MSS. of the Sept. The great examples of this method of writing are D (Gospels), H3 (Ep.), D, (Ep.). The Cod. Laud. (E2 Acts) is not strictly stichometrical, but the parallel texts seem to be arranged to establish a verbal connection between the Latin and Greek (Tregelles, in Horne's Intod. 3:187). The Στίχοι vary considerably in length, and thus the amount of vellun consumed was far more than in an ordinary MS., so that the fashion of writing in "clauses" soon passed away; but the numeration of the ( Στίχοι in the several books was still preserved, and many MSS. (e.g. Δ Ep., K Gosp.) bear traces of having been copied from older texts thus arranged. The earliest extant division of the N.T. into sections occurs in Cod. B. This division is elsewhere found only in the palimpsest fragment of Luke, Ξ . In the Acts and the Epistles there is a double division in B, one of which is by a later hand.

The Epistles of Paul are treated as one unbroken book divided into 93 sections, in which the Epistle to the Hebrews originally stood between the Epistles to the Galatians and the Ephesians. This appears from the numbering of the sections, which the writer of the MS. preserved, though he transposed the book to the place before the Pastoral Epistles. Two other divisions of the Gospels must be noticed. The first of these was a division into "chapters" ( Κεφάλαια , Τίτλοι , Breves ) , which correspond to distinct sections of the narrative, and are on an average a little more than twice as long as the sections in B. This division is found in A, C, R, Z, and must therefore have come into general use some time before the 5th century. The other division was constructed with a view to a harmony of the Gospels. It owes its origin to Ammonius of Alexandria, a scholar of the 3d century, who constructed a Harmony of the Evangelists, taking Matthew as the basis round which he grouped the parallel passages from the other Gospels. Eusebius of Caesarea completed his labor with great ingenuity, and constructed a notation and a series of tables, which indicate at a glance the parallels existing to any passage in one or more of the other Gospels, and the passages which are peculiar to each. There is every reason to believe that the sections as they stand at present, as well as the ten "Canons," which give a summary of the Harmony, are due to Eusebius, though the sections sometimes occur in MSS. without the corresponding Canons. The Cod. Alex. (A) and the Cottonian fragments (N) are the oldest MSS. which contain both in the original hand. The sections occur in the palimpsests C, R, Z, P, Q, and it is possible that the Canons may have been there originally, for the vermilion ( Κιννάβαρις , Euseb. Ep. Ad Carp.) or paint with which they were marked would entirely disappear in the process of preparing the parchment afresh. The division of the Acts and Epistles into chapters came into use at a later time. It does not occur in A or C, which give the Ammonian sections, and is commonly referred to Euthalius, who, however, says that he borrowed the divisions of the Pauline Epistles from an earlier father; and there is reason to believe that the division of the Acts and Catholic Epistles which he published was originally the work of Pamphilus the Martyr (Montfaunon, Bibl. Coislin. p. 78). The Apocalypse was divided into sections by Andreas of Caesarea about A.D. 500. This division consisted of 24 Λόγοι , each of which was subdivided into three "chapters" ( Κεφάλαια ) .

The titles of the sacred books are from their nature additions to the original text. The distinct names of the Gospels imply a collection, and the titles of the Epistles are notes by the possessors and not addresses by the writers ( Ι᾿Ωάννου Α῎ , Β῎ , etc.). In their earliest form they are quite simple, According To Matthew, etc. ( Κατὰ Μαθθαῖον , Κ . Τ . Λ .) ; To The Romans, etc. ( Πρὸς Ρωμαίους , Κ . Τ . Λ .); First Of Peter, etc. ( Πέτρου Α῎ ) ; Acts Of Apostles ( Πράξεις Ἀποστόλων ) ; Apocalypse. These headings were gradually amplified till they assumed such forms as The Holy Gospel According To John; The Fist Catholic Epistle Of The Holy And All- Praiseworthy Peter; The Apocalypse Of The Holy And Most Glorious Apostle And Evangelist, The Beloved Virgin Who Rested On The Bosom Of Jesus, John The Divine. In the same way the original subscriptions ( Ὑπογραφαί ) , which were merely repetitions of the titles, gave way to vague traditions as to the dates, etc., of the bools. Those appended to the Epistles, which have been translated in the A. V., are attributed to Euthalius, and their singular inaccuracy (Paley, Hlore Paulinoe, ch. 15) is a valuable proof of the utter absence of historical criticism at the time when they could find currency. Very few MSS. contain the whole N.T., "twenty-seven in all out of the vast mass of extant documents" (Scrivener, Introduction, p. 61). The MSS. of the Apocalypse are rarest; and Chrysostom complained that in his time the Acts was very little known. Besides the MSS. of the N.T., or parts of it, there are also Lectionaries, which contain extracts arranged for the Church-services. These were taken from the Gospels ( Εὐαγγελιστάρια ), or from the Gospels and Acts ( Πραξαπόστολοι ) , or rarely from the Gospels and Epistles ( Ἀποστολοευαγγέλια ) . The calendars of the lessons ( Συναξάρια ) are appended to very many AMSS. of the N.T.; those for the saints'-day lessons, which varied very considerably in different times and places, were called Μηνολόγια (Scholz, N.T., p. 453-493; Scrivener, p. 68-75). When a MS. was completed, it was commonly submitted, at least in early times, to a careful revision.

Two terms occur in describing this process, Ἀντιβάλλων and Διορθωτής It has been suggested that the work of the former answered to that of "the corrector of the press," while that of the latter was more critical (Tregelles, Ut. Sup. p. 85, 86). Possibly, however, the words only describe two parts of the same work. Several MSS. still preserve a subscription which at tests a revision by comparison with famous copies, though this attestation must have referred to the earlier exemplar (comp. Tischendorf, Jude subscript.); but the Coislinian fragment (H3) may have been itself compared, according to the subscription, "with the copy in the library at Caesarea, written by the hand of the holy Pamphilus" (comp. Scrivener, Introduction, p. 47). Besides this official correction at the time of transcription, MSS. were often corrected by different hands in later times. Thus Hischendorf distinguishes the work of two correctors in C, and of three chief correctors in D2. In later MSS. the corrections are often much more valuable than the original text, as in 67 (Ep.); and in the Cod. Sinacit. the readings of one corrector (2 b) are frequently as valuable as those of the original text. The work of Montfaucon still remains, the classical authority on Greek Palaography (Palaeographia Graeca, Paris, 1708), though much has been discovered since his time which modifies some of his statements. The plates in the magnificent work of Silvestre and Champollion (Paliographie Universelle, Paris, 1841; Eng. transl. by Sir F. Madden, London, 1850) give a splendid and fairly accurate series of facsimiles of Greek MSS. (Plates, 54-95). Tischendorf has published facsimiles of several important texts, especially the Codex Sinaiticus, and furnished in the Prolegomeena to his N.T. valuable information on this subject. Scrivener's Introduction gives specimens of many venerable MSS. For other topics relating to the character, form, and preservation of the N.T. text, (See Biblical Criticism); (See Greek Language); (See Biblical Manuscripts); (See Recension); (See Various Readings).

IV. Commentaries . The following list comprises nearly all the strictly exegetical helps on all the N.T. separately, exclusive of introductions (q.v.); to the most important we prefix an asterisk (*): Chrysostom, fonmilime (in Gr., in Opp. 3:1 sq.); Augustine, Exegetica (in Opp.; also tr. Sermons, Oxf. 1844-5, 2 vols. 8vo); Damianns, Excepta (in Mai, Script. t. t. VI, 2:226 sq.); Alulfus, Expositio (in Gregory Magn. Opp. IV. 2); Cramer, Catena (Oxf. 1844, 8 vols. 8vo); Valla [Romans Cath.], Adnotationes (Par. 1505, fol.; Basil. 1526, 1541,1545; Amst. 1638, 8vo); Erasmus, Adnotationes (Basil. 1516, fol., and often later; also in separate parts); Cajetan [R. C.], Commentarii (Ven. 1530-1, 2 vols. fol., and often later); Zeger [R. C.], Scholia (Colon. 1553, 8vo; also in the Critici Sacri); Zwingli, Adnotationes [on most of the books] (in Opp. iv); Bullinger, Commentarii (Tigur. 1554,1587, 1593, 1600, fol.); *Beza, A cdnotationes (Genev. 1556, 1565, 1582, 1588, 1598; Ca.mbr. 1642, fol.; Par. 1594, 8vo); *Marloratus, Expositio (Par. 1561, 1564, 1570; Genev. 1583, 1585, 1593, 1596, 1620; Heidelb. 1604, fol.); Strigel, Hypomemnata (Lips. 1565, 2 vols. 8vo; also 4to; 1583, 4to); Flacius, Glossa (Basil. 1570, 1659, Francf. 1670, fol.); Montanus [R. C.], Elucidationes (Antw. 1575, 3 vols. 4to); Aretius, Commentarii (Morg. 1580-84, 11 vols. 8vo; s. . 1589-96; Par. 1607, fol.; Bern. 1612; Par. 1618, 2 vols. fol.); Salmeron [R. C.], Commentaria, (Madrid, 1597-1602; Colossians Ag. 1604, 6 vols. fol.); Tossanus, Commentarii [on certain books] (Hanov. 1604, 1614, 4to); Drusius, Adnotationes (Franeck. 1612; Amst. 1632, 4to); also his Commentarimus Duplex (Franeck. 1616, 2 vols. 4to); De Dieu, Animadversiones (Lugd. Bat. 1633-46, 3 vols. 4to; also in Commentary on the Bible, Amst. 1693, fol.); Piscator, Commentarii (Herb. 1638, fol.); Ileinsius, Exercitattiones (L. B. 1639, fol.; Cambr. 1640, 4to); Camerarius, Commentarius (Cambr. 1642, fol.); Leigh, Annotations (Lond. 1650, fol.; also in Latin by Arnold, Lips. 1732, 8vo); Hammond, I'Paraphrase (Lond. 1653, 1659, 1660, 1680), 1681, 1689, 1702, fol.; Oxf. 1845, 4 vols. 8vo; in Latin by Le Clerc, Amst. 1798, fol.); Trapp, Commentary (Lond. 1656, fol.; 1868, 8vo; also in his Commentary on the whole Bible); Crell [Socinian], Commentarii [on most of the N.T.], supplemented by Schlichting (Amst. 1656, fol.; also in other forms); J. Capellns, Observationes [includ. L. Capellus's Spicilegimtm] (Amst. 1657, 4to; also in the Critici Sacri); Schmidt, Notte (Norib. 1658, fol.); Price, Conmmentarii (Lond. 1660, fol.; also in the Crit. Sac.); Morus, Noto (Lips. 1661, fol.); Pean [R. C.], Commentaire (Par. 1670, 8vo); Quesnel, Reflexions (Paris, 1671 sq.; Amst. 1