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Title: The Causes of the Corruption of the Traditional Text of the Holy Gospels - Being the Sequel to The Traditional Text of the Holy Gospels
Author: Burgon, John William, 1813-1888
Language: English
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'Tenet ecclesia nostra, tenuitque semper firmam illam et immotam
Tertulliani regulam "Id verius quod prius, id prius quod ab initio." Quo
propius ad veritatis fontem accedimus, eo purior decurrit Catholicae
doctrinae rivus.'

Cave's _Proleg._ p. xliv.

'Interrogate de semitis antiquis quae sit via bona, et ambulate in
ea.'--Jerem. vi. 16.

'In summa, si constat id verius quod prius, id prius quod ab initio, id
ab initio quod ab Apostolis; pariter utique constabit, id esse ab
Apostolis traditum, quod apud Ecclesias Apostolorum fuerit
sacrosanctum.'--Tertull. _adv. Marc._ l. iv. c. 5.


The reception given by the learned world to the First Volume of this
work, as expressed hitherto in smaller reviews and notices, has on the
whole been decidedly far from discouraging. All have had some word of
encomium on our efforts. Many have accorded praise and signified their
agreement, sometimes with unquestionable ability. Some have pronounced
adverse opinions with considerable candour and courtesy. Others in
opposing have employed arguments so weak and even irrelevant to the real
question at issue, as to suggest that there is not after all so much as
I anticipated to advance against our case. Longer examinations of this
important matter are doubtless impending, with all the interest
attaching to them and the judgements involved: but I beg now to offer my
acknowledgements for all the words of encouragement that have been

Something however must be said in reply to an attack made in the
_Guardian_ newspaper on May 20, because it represents in the main the
position occupied by some members of an existing School. I do not linger
over an offhand stricture upon my 'adhesion to the extravagant claim of
a second-century origin for the Peshitto,' because I am content with the
companionship of some of the very first Syriac scholars, and with the
teaching given in an unanswered article in the _Church Quarterly Review_
for April, 1895. Nor except in passing do I remark upon a fanciful
censure of my account of the use of papyrus in MSS. before the tenth
century--as to which the reviewer is evidently not versed in information
recently collected, and described for example in Sir E. Maunde
Thompson's Greek and Latin Palaeography, or in Mr. F. G. Kenyon's Our
Bible and the Ancient Manuscripts, and in an article in the just
mentioned Review which appeared in October, 1894. These observations and
a large number of inaccuracies shew that he was at the least not posted
up to date. But what will be thought, when attention is drawn to the
fact that in a question whether a singular set of quotations from the
early Fathers refer to a passage in St. Matthew or the parallel one in
St. Luke, the peculiar characteristic of St. Matthew--'them that
persecute you'--is put out of sight, and both passages (taking the
lengthened reading of St. Matthew) are represented as having equally
only four clauses? And again, when quotations going on to the succeeding
verse in St. Matthew (v. 45) are stated dogmatically to have been
wrongly referred by me to that Evangelist? But as to the details of this
point in dispute, I beg to refer our readers to pp. 144-153 of the
present volume. The reviewer appears also to be entirely unacquainted
with the history of the phrase [Greek: monogenês Theos] in St. John i.
18, which, as may be read on pp. 215-218, was introduced by heretics and
harmonized with Arian tenets, and was rejected on the other side. That
some orthodox churchmen fell into the trap, and like those who in these
days are not aware of the pedigree and use of the phrase, employed it
even for good purposes, is only an instance of a strange phenomenon. We
must not be led only by first impressions as to what is to be taken for
the genuine words of the Gospels. Even if phrases or passages make for
orthodoxy, to accept them if condemned by evidence and history is to
alight upon the quicksands of conjecture.

A curious instance of a fate like this has been supplied by a critic in
the _Athenaeum_, who, when contrasting Dean Burgon's style of writing
with mine to my discredit, quotes a passage of some length as the Dean's
which was really written by me. Surely the principle upheld by our
opponents, that much more importance than we allow should be attributed
to the 'Internal evidence of Readings and Documents,' might have saved
him from error upon a piece of composition which characteristically
proclaimed its own origin. At all events, after this undesigned support,
I am the less inclined to retire from our vantage ground.

But it is gratifying on all accounts to say now, that such
interpolations as in the companion volume I was obliged frequently to
supply in order to fill up gaps in the several MSS. and in integral
portions of the treatise, which through their very frequency would have
there made square brackets unpleasant to our readers, are not required
so often in this part of the work. Accordingly, except in instances of
pure editing or in simple bringing up to date, my own additions or
insertions have been so marked off. It will doubtless afford great
satisfaction to others as well as the admirers of the Dean to know what
was really his own writing: and though some of the MSS., especially
towards the end of the volume, were not left as he would have prepared
them for the press if his life had been prolonged, yet much of the book
will afford, on what he regarded as the chief study of his life,
excellent examples of his style, so vigorously fresh and so happy in
idiomatic and lucid expression.

But the Introduction, and Appendix II on 'Conflation' and the 'Neutral
Text,' have been necessarily contributed by me. I am anxious to invite
attention particularly to the latter essay, because it has been composed
upon request, and also because--unless it contains some extraordinary
mistake--it exhibits to a degree which has amazed me the baselessness of
Dr. Hort's theory.

The manner in which the Dean prepared piecemeal for his book, and the
large number of fragments in which he left his materials, as has been
detailed in the Preface to the former volume, have necessarily produced
an amount of repetition which I deplore. To have avoided it entirely,
some of the MSS. must have been rewritten. But in one instance I
discovered when it was too late that after searching for, and finding
with difficulty and treating, an example which had not been supplied, I
had forestalled a subsequent examination of the same passage from his
abler hand. However I hope that in nearly all, if not all cases, each
treatment involves some new contribution to the question discussed; and
that our readers will kindly make allowance for the perplexity which
such an assemblage of separate papers could not but entail.

My thanks are again due to the Rev. G. H. Gwilliam, B.D., Fellow of
Hertford College, for much advice and suggestion, which he is so capable
of giving, and for his valuable care in looking through all the first
proofs of this volume; to 'M. W.,' Dean Burgon's indefatigable
secretary, who in a pure labour of love copied out the text of the MSS.
before and after his death; also to the zealous printers at the
Clarendon Press, for help in unravelling intricacies still remaining in

This treatise is now commended to the fair and candid consideration of
readers and reviewers. The latter body of men should remember that there
was perhaps never a time when reviewers were themselves reviewed by many
intelligent readers more than they are at present. I cannot hope that
all that we have advanced will be finally adopted, though my opinion is
unfaltering as resting in my belief upon the Rock; still less do I
imagine that errors may not be discovered in our work. But I trust that
under Divine Blessing some not unimportant contribution has been made
towards the establishment upon sound principles of the reverent
criticism of the Text of the New Testament. And I am sure that, as to
the Dean's part in it, this trust will be ultimately justified.


9 Bradmore Road, Oxford:

_Sept._ 2, 1896.



The Traditional Text--established by evidence--especially before St.
Chrysostom--corruption--early rise of it--Galilee of the
Gentiles--Syrio-Low-Latin source--various causes and forms of
corruption. pp. 1-9


General Corruption.

§ 1. Modern re-editing--difference between the New Testament and other
books--immense number of copies--ordinary causes of error--Doctrinal
causes. § 2. Elimination of weakly attested readings--nature of inquiry.
§ 3. Smaller blemishes in MSS. unimportant except when constant. § 4.
Most mistakes arose from inadvertency: many from unfortunate design. pp.


Accidental Causes of Corruption. I. Pure Accident.

§ 1. St. John x. 29. § 2. Smaller instances, and Acts xx. 24. § 3. St.
Luke ii. 14. § 4. St. Mark xv. 6; vii. 4; vi. 22. § 5. St. Mark viii. 1;
vii. 14--St. John xiii. 37. pp. 24-35


Accidental Causes of Corruption. II. Homoeoteleuton.

St. Luke ii. 15--St. John vi. 11; vi. 55--St. Matt. xxiii. 14; xix.
9--St. Luke xvi. 21. pp. 36-41


Accidental Causes of Corruption. III. From Writing in Uncials.

§ 1. St. John iv. 35-36. § 2. St. Luke xv. 17--St. John v. 44. § 3. Acts
xxvii. 14--St. John iv. 15--St. Luke xvii. 37--St. Matt. xxii. 23--and
other passages. § 4. St. John v. 4--St. Luke xxiii. 11--St. Matt. iv.
23. § 5. 2 St. Peter i. 31--Heb. vii. 1. § 6. St. Matt. xxvii. 17. pp.


Accidental Causes of Corruption. IV. Itacism.

§ 1. Various passages--St. John xii. 1, 2; 41. § 2. Rev. i. 5--Other
passages--St. Mark vii. 19. § 3. St. Mark iv. 8. § 4. Titus ii. 5. pp.


Accidental Causes of Corruption. V. Liturgical Influence.

§ 1. Lectionaries of the Church--Liturgical influence--Antiquity of the
Lectionary System. § 2. St. John xiv. 1--Acts iii. 1--Last Twelve Verses
of St. Mark. § 3. St. Luke vii. 31; ix. 1--Other passages. § 4. St. Mark
xv. 28. § 5. Acts iii. 1--St. Matt. xiii. 44; xvii. 23. § 6. St. Matt
vi. 13 (doxology in the Lord's Prayer). pp. 67-88


Causes of Corruption Chiefly Intentional. I. Harmonistic Influence.

§ 1. St. Mark xvi. 9. § 2. St. Luke xxiv. 1--other examples. § 3.
Chiefly intentional--Diatessarons--St. Matt. xvii. 25, 26--Harmonized
narratives--Other examples. pp. 89-99


Causes of Corruption Chiefly Intentional. II. Assimilation.

§ 1. Transfer from one Gospel to another. § 2. Not entirely
intentional--Various passages. § 3. St. John xvi. 16. § 4. St. John
xiii. 21-25. § 5. St. Mark i. 1, 2--Other examples--St. Matt. xii. 10
(St. Luke xiv. 3)--and others. § 6. St. Mark vi. 11. § 7. St. Mark xiv.
70. pp. 100-122


Causes of Corruption Chiefly Intentional. III. Attraction.

§ 1. St. John vi. 71 and xiii. 26. § 2. Acts xx. 24--2 Cor. iii. 3. pp.


Causes of Corruption Chiefly Intentional. IV. Omission.

§ 1. Omissions a class of their own--Exemplified from the Last Twelve
Verses of St. Mark--Omission the besetting fault of transcribers. § 2.
The _onus probandi_ rests upon omitters. § 3. St Luke vi. 1; and other
omissions. § 4. St. Matt. xxi. 44. § 5. St. Matt. xv. 8. § 6. St. Matt.
v. 44--Reply to the Reviewer in the _Guardian_. § 7. Shorter Omissions.
pp. 128-156


Causes of Corruption Chiefly Intentional. V. Transposition.

§ 1. St. Mark i. 5; ii. 3--Other instances. § 2. St. Luke xiii. 9; xxiv.
7. § 3. Other examples--St. John v. 27--Transpositions often petty, but

VI. Substitution.

§ 4. If taken with Modifications, a large class--Various instances. pp.

VII. Addition.

§ 5. The smallest of the four--St. Luke vi. 4--St. Matt. xx. 28. § 6.
St. Matt. viii. 13; xxiv. 36--St. Mark iii. 16--Other examples. pp.


Causes of Corruption Chiefly Intentional. VIII. Glosses.

§ 1. Not so numerous as has been supposed--St. Matt. xiii. 36--St. Mark
vii. 3. § 2. St. Luke ix. 23. § 3. St. John vi. 15; xiii. 24; xx.
18--St. Matt. xxiv. 31. § 4. St. John xviii. 14--St. Mark vi. 11. § 5.
St. Mark xiv. 41--St. John ix. 22. § 6. St. John xii. 7. § 7. St. John
xvii. 4. § 8. St. Luke i. 66. § 9. St. Luke v. 7--Acts xx. 4. pp.


Causes of Corruption Chiefly Intentional. IX. Corruption by Heretics.

§ 1. This class very evident--Began in the earliest times--Appeal to
what is earlier still--Condemned in all ages and countries. § 2. The
earliest depravers of the Text--Tatian's Diatessaron. § 3. Gnostics--St.
John i. 3-4. § 4. St. John x. 14, 15. § 5. Doctrinal--Matrimony--St.
Matt i. 19. pp. 191-210


Causes of Corruption Chiefly Intentional. X. Corruption by the Orthodox.

§ 1. St. Luke xix. 41; ii. 40. § 2. St. John viii. 40; and i. 18. § 3. 1
Cor. xv. 47. § 4. St. John iii. 13. § 5. St. Luke ix. 54-56. pp. 211-231


Pericope de Adultera. pp. 233-265


Dr. Hort's Theory of Conflation and the
Neutral Text. pp. 266-286

Index of Subjects. pp. 287-288

Index of Passages of the New Testament Discussed. pp. 289-290



In the companion volume to this, the Traditional Text, that is, the Text
of the Gospels which is the resultant of all the evidence faithfully and
exhaustively presented and estimated according to the best procedure of
the courts of law, has been traced back to the earliest ages in the
existence of those sacred writings. We have shewn, that on the one hand,
amidst the unprecedented advantages afforded by modern conditions of
life for collecting all the evidence bearing upon the subject, the
Traditional Text must be found, not in a mere transcript, but in a
laborious revision of the Received Text; and that on the other hand it
must, as far as we can judge, differ but slightly from the Text now
generally in vogue, which has been generally received during the last
two and a half centuries.

The strength of the position of the Traditional Text lies in its being
logically deducible and to be deduced from all the varied evidence which
the case supplies, when it has been sifted, proved, passed, weighed,
compared, compounded, and contrasted with dissentient testimony. The
contrast is indeed great in almost all instances upon which controversy
has gathered. On one side the vast mass of authorities is assembled: on
the other stands a small group. Not inconsiderable is the advantage
possessed by that group, as regards numerous students who do not look
beneath the surface, in the general witness in their favour borne by the
two oldest MSS. of the Gospels in existence. That advantage however
shrinks into nothing under the light of rigid examination. The claim for
the Text in them made at the Semiarian period was rejected when
Semiarianism in all its phases fell into permanent disfavour. And the
argument advanced by Dr. Hort that the Traditional Text was a new Text
formed by successive recensions has been refuted upon examination of the
verdict of the Fathers in the first four centuries, and of the early
Syriac and Latin Versions. Besides all this, those two manuscripts have
been traced to a local source in the library of Caesarea. And on the
other hand a Catholic origin of the Traditional Text found on later
vellum manuscripts has been discovered in the manuscripts of papyrus
which existed all over the Roman Empire, unless it was in Asia, and were
to some degree in use even as late as the ninth century; before and
during the employment of vellum in the Caesarean school, and in
localities where it was used in imitation of the mode of writing books
which was brought well-nigh to perfection in that city.

It is evident that the turning-point of the controversy between
ourselves and the Neologian school must lie in the centuries before St.
Chrysostom. If, as Dr. Hort maintains, the Traditional Text not only
gained supremacy at that era but did not exist in the early ages, then
our contention is vain. That Text can be Traditional only if it goes
back without break or intermission to the original autographs, because
if through break or intermission it ceased or failed to exist, it loses
the essential feature of genuine tradition. On the other hand, if it is
proved to reach back in unbroken line to the time of the Evangelists, or
to a period as near to them as surviving testimony can prove, then Dr.
Hort's theory of a 'Syrian' text formed by recension or otherwise just
as evidently falls to the ground. Following mainly upon the lines drawn
by Dean Burgon, though in a divergence of my own devising, I claim to
have proved Dr. Hort to have been conspicuously wrong, and our
maintenance of the Traditional Text in unbroken succession to be
eminently right. The school opposed to us must disprove our arguments,
not by discrediting the testimony of the Fathers to whom all Textual
Critics have appealed including Dr. Hort, but by demonstrating if they
can that the Traditional Text is not recognized by them, or they must
yield eventually to us[1].

In this volume, the other half of the subject will be discussed. Instead
of exploring the genuine Text, we shall treat of the corruptions of it,
and shall track error in its ten thousand forms to a few sources or
heads. The origination of the pure Text in the inspired writings of the
Evangelists will thus be vindicated anew by the evident paternity of
deflections from it discoverable in the natural defects or iniquities of
men. Corruption will the more shew itself in true colours:--

  Quinquaginta atris immanis hiatibus hydra[2]:

and it will not so readily be mistaken for genuineness, when the real
history is unfolded, and the mistakes are accounted for. It seems clear
that corruption arose in the very earliest age. As soon as the Gospel
was preached, the incapacity of human nature for preserving accuracy
until long years of intimate acquaintance have bred familiarity must
have asserted itself in constant distortion more or less of the sacred
stories, as they were told and retold amongst Christians one to another
whether in writing or in oral transmission. Mistakes would inevitably
arise from the universal tendency to mix error with truth which Virgil
has so powerfully depicted in his description of 'Fame':--

  Tam ficti pravique tenax, quam nuntia veri[3].

And as soon as inaccuracy had done its baleful work, a spirit of
infidelity and of hostility either to the essentials or the details of
the new religion must have impelled such as were either imperfect
Christians, or no Christians at all, to corrupt the sacred stories.

Thus it appears that errors crept in at the very first commencement of
the life of the Church. This is a matter so interesting and so important
in the history of corruption, that I must venture to place it again
before our readers.

Why was Galilee chosen before Judea and Jerusalem as the chief scene of
our Lord's Life and Ministry, at least as regards the time spent there?
Partly, no doubt, because the Galileans were more likely than the other
inhabitants of Palestine to receive Him. But there was as I venture to
think also another very special reason.

'Galilee of the nations' or 'the Gentiles,' not only had a mixed
population[4] and a provincial dialect[5], but lay contiguous to the
rest of Palestine on the one side, and on others to two districts in
which Greek was largely spoken, namely, Decapolis and the parts of Tyre
and Sidon, and also to the large country of Syria. Our Lord laid
foundations for a natural growth in these parts of the Christian
religion after His death almost independent as it seems of the centre of
the Church at Jerusalem. Hence His crossings of the lake, His miracles
on the other side, His retirement in that little understood episode in
His life when He shrank from persecution[6], and remained secretly in
the parts of Tyre and Sidon, about the coasts of Decapolis, on the
shores of the lake, and in the towns of Caesarea Philippi, where the
traces of His footsteps are even now indicated by tradition[7]. His
success amongst these outlying populations is proved by the unique
assemblage of the crowds of 5000 and 4000 men besides women and
children. What wonder then if the Church sprang up at Damascus, and
suddenly as if without notice displayed such strength as to draw
persecution upon it! In the same way the Words of life appear to have
passed throughout Syria over congenial soil, and Antioch became the
haven whence the first great missionaries went out for the conversion of
the world. Such were not only St. Paul, St. Peter, and St. Barnabas, but
also as is not unreasonable to infer many of that assemblage of
Christians at Rome whom St. Paul enumerates to our surprise in the last
chapter of his Epistle to the Romans. Many no doubt were friends whom
the Apostle of the Gentiles had met in Greece and elsewhere: but there
are reasons to shew that some at least of them, such as Andronicus and
Junias or Junia[8] and Herodion, may probably have passed along the
stream of commerce that flowed between Antioch and Rome[9], and that
this interconnexion between the queen city of the empire and the
emporium of the East may in great measure account for the number of
names well known to the apostle, and for the then flourishing condition
of the Church which they adorned.

It has been shewn in our first volume that, as is well known to all
students of Textual Criticism, the chief amount of corruption is to be
found in what is termed the Western Text; and that the corruption of the
West is so closely akin to the corruption which is found in Syriac
remains, that practically they are included under one head of
classification. What is the reason of this phenomenon? It is evidently
derived from the close commercial alliance which subsisted between Syria
and Italy. That is to say, the corruption produced in Syria made its way
over into Italy, and there in many instances gathered fresh
contributions. For there is reason to suppose, that it first arose in

We have seen how the Church grew of itself there without regular
teaching from Jerusalem in the first beginnings, or any regular
supervision exercised by the Apostles. In fact, as far as the Syrian
believers in Christ at first consisted of Gentiles, they must perforce
have been regarded as being outside of the covenant of promise. Yet
there must have been many who revered the stories told about our Lord,
and felt extreme interest and delight in them. The story of King Abgar
illustrates the history: but amongst those who actually heard our Lord
preach there must have been very many, probably a majority, who were
uneducated. They would easily learn from the Jews, because the Aramaic
dialects spoken by Hebrews and Syrians did not greatly differ the one
from the other. What difference there was, would not so much hinder the
spread of the stories, as tend to introduce alien forms of speech and
synonymous words, and so to hinder absolute accuracy from being
maintained. Much time must necessarily have elapsed, before such
familiarity with the genuine accounts of our Lord's sayings and doings
grew up, as would prevent mistakes being made and disseminated in
telling or in writing.

The Gospels were certainly not written till some thirty years after the
Ascension. More careful examination seems to place them later rather
than earlier. For myself, I should suggest that the three first were not
published long before the year 70 A.D. at the earliest; and that St.
Matthew's Gospel was written at Pella during the siege of Jerusalem
amidst Greek surroundings, and in face of the necessity caused by new
conditions of life that Greek should become the ecclesiastical language.
The Gospels would thus be the authorized versions in their entirety of
the stories constituting the Life of our Lord; and corruption must have
come into existence, before the antidote was found in complete documents
accepted and commissioned by the authorities in the Church.

I must again remark with much emphasis that the foregoing suggestions
are offered to account for what may now be regarded as a fact, viz., the
connexion between the Western Text, as it is called, and Syriac remains
in regard to corruption in the text of the Gospels and of the Acts of
the Apostles. If that corruption arose at the very first spread of
Christianity, before the record of our Lord's Life had assumed permanent
shape in the Four Gospels, all is easy. Such corruption, inasmuch as it
beset the oral and written stories which were afterwards incorporated in
the Gospels, would creep into the authorized narrations, and would
vitiate them till it was ultimately cast out towards the end of the
fourth and in the succeeding centuries. Starting from the very
beginning, and gaining additions in the several ways described in this
volume by Dean Burgon, it would possess such vigour as to impress itself
on Low-Latin manuscripts and even on parts of the better Latin ones,
perhaps on Tatian's Diatessaron, on the Curetonian and Lewis manuscripts
of the fifth century, on the Codex Bezae of the sixth; also on the
Vatican and the Sinaitic of the fourth, on the Dublin Palimpsest of St.
Matthew of the sixth, on the Codex Regius or L of the eighth, on the St.
Gall MS. of the ninth in St. Mark, on the Codex Zacynthius of the eighth
in St. Luke, and a few others. We on our side admit that the corruption
is old even though the manuscripts enshrining it do not date very far
back, and cannot always prove their ancestry. And it is in this
admission that I venture to think there is an opening for a meeting of
opinions which have been hitherto opposed.

In the following treatise, the causes of corruption are divided into (I)
such as proceeded from Accident, and (II) those which were Intentional.
Under the former class we find (1) those which were involved in pure
Accident, or (2) in what is termed Homoeoteleuton where lines or
sentences ended with the same word or the same syllable, or (3) such as
arose in writing from Uncial letters, or (4) in the confusion of vowels
and diphthongs which is called Itacism, or (5) in Liturgical Influence.
The remaining instances may be conveniently classed as Intentional, not
because in all cases there was a settled determination to alter the
text, for such if any was often of the faintest character, but because
some sort of design was to a greater or less degree embedded in most of
them. Such causes were (1) Harmonistic Influence, (2) Assimilation, (3)
Attraction; such instances too in their main character were (4)
Omissions, (5) Transpositions, (6) Substitutions, (7) Additions, (8)
Glosses, (9) Corruption by Heretics, (10) Corruption by Orthodox.

This dissection of the mass of corruption, or as perhaps it may be
better termed, this classification made by Dean Burgon of the numerous
causes which are found to have been at work from time to time, appears
to me to be most interesting to the inquirer into the hidden history of
the Text of the Gospels, because by revealing the influences which have
been at work it sheds light upon the entire controversy, and often
enables the student to see clearly how and why certain passages around
which dispute has gathered are really corrupt. Indeed, the vast and
mysterious ogre called corruption assumes shape and form under the acute
penetration and the deft handling of the Dean, whose great knowledge of
the subject and orderly treatment of puzzling details is still more
commended by his interesting style of writing. As far as has been
possible, I have let him in the sequel, except for such clerical
corrections as were required from time to time and have been much fewer
than his facile pen would have made, speak entirely for himself.


[1] It must be always borne in mind, that it is not enough for the
purpose of the other side to shew that the Traditional Text was in a
minority as regards attestation. They must prove that it was nowhere in
the earliest ages, if they are to establish their position that it was
made in the third and fourth centuries. Traditional Text of the Holy
Gospels, p. 95.

     'A hydra in her direful shape,
    With fifty darkling throats agape.'--

Altered from Conington's version, Aen. vi. 576.

    'How oft soe'er the truth she tell,
    What's false and wrong she loves too well.'--

Altered from Conington, Aen. iv. 188.

[4] Strabo, xvi, enumerates amongst its inhabitants Egyptians, Arabians,
and Phoenicians.

[5] Studia Biblica, i. 50-55. Dr. Neubauer, On the Dialects spoken in
Palestine in the time of Christ.

[6] Isaac Williams, On the Study of the Gospels, 341-352.

[7] My devoted Syrian friend, Miss Helanie Baroody, told me during her
stay in England that a village is pointed out as having been traversed
by our Lord on His way from Caesarea Philippi to Mount Hermon.

[8] It is hardly improbable that these two eminent Christians were some
of those whom St Paul found at Antioch when St. Barnabas brought him
there, and thus came to know intimately as fellow-workers ([Greek:
episêmoi en tois apostolois, oi kai pro emou gegonasin en Christô]).
Most of the names in Rom. xvi are either Greek or Hebrew.

    'Jam pridem Syrus in Tiberim defluxit Orontes
    Et _linguam_ et mores ... vexit.'

--Juv. Sat. iii. 62-3.



§ 1.

We hear sometimes scholars complain, and with a certain show of reason,
that it is discreditable to us as a Church not to have long since put
forth by authority a revised Greek Text of the New Testament. The chief
writers of antiquity, say they, have been of late years re-edited by the
aid of the best Manuscripts. Why should not the Scriptures enjoy the
same advantage? Men who so speak evidently misunderstand the question.
They assume that the case of the Scriptures and that of other ancient
writings are similar.

Such remonstrances are commonly followed up by statements like the
following:--That the received Text is that of Erasmus:--that it was
constructed in haste, and without skill:--that it is based on a very
few, and those bad Manuscripts:--that it belongs to an age when scarcely
any of our present critical helps were available, and when the Science
of Textual Criticism was unknown. To listen to these advocates for
Revision, you would almost suppose that it fared with the Gospel at this
instant as it had fared with the original Copy of the Law for many years
until the days of King Josiah[10].

Yielding to no one in my desire to see the Greek of the New Testament
judiciously revised, I freely avow that recent events have convinced me,
and I suppose they have convinced the public also, that we have not
among us the men to conduct such an undertaking. Better a thousand times
in my judgement to leave things as they are, than to risk having the
stamp of authority set upon such an unfortunate production as that which
appeared on the 17th May, 1881, and which claims at this instant to
represent the combined learning of the Church, the chief Sects, and the
Socinian[11] body.

Now if the meaning of those who desire to see the commonly received text
of the New Testament made absolutely faultless, were something of this
kind:--That they are impatient for the collation of the copies which
have become known to us within the last two centuries, and which amount
already in all to upwards of three thousand: that they are bent on
procuring that the ancient Versions shall be re-edited;--and would hail
with delight the announcement that a band of scholars had combined to
index every place of Scripture quoted by any of the Fathers:--if this
were meant, we should all be entirely at one; especially if we could
further gather from the programme that a fixed intention was cherished
of abiding by the result of such an appeal to ancient evidence. But
unfortunately something entirely different is in contemplation.

Now I am bent on calling attention to certain features of the problem
which have very generally escaped attention. It does not seem to be
understood that the Scriptures of the New Testament stand on an entirely
different footing from every other ancient writing which can be named. A
few plain remarks ought to bring this fact, for a fact it is, home to
every thoughtful person. And the result will be that men will approach
the subject with more caution,--with doubts and misgivings,--with a
fixed determination to be on their guard against any form of plausible
influence. Their prejudices they will scatter to the winds. At every
step they will insist on proof.

In the first place, then, let it be observed that the New Testament
Scriptures are wholly without a parallel in respect of their having been
so frequently multiplied from the very first. They are by consequence
contained at this day in an extravagantly large number of copies
[probably, if reckoned under the six classes of Gospels, Acts and
Catholic Epistles, Pauline Epistles, Apocalypse, Evangelistaries, and
Apostolos, exceeding the number of four thousand]. There is nothing like
this, or at all approaching to it, in the case of any profane writing
that can be named[12].

And the very necessity for multiplying copies,--a necessity which has
made itself felt in every age and in every clime,--has perforce resulted
in an immense number of variants. Words have been inevitably
dropped,--vowels have been inadvertently confounded by copyists more or
less competent:--and the meaning of Scripture in countless places has
suffered to a surprising degree in consequence. This first.

But then further, the Scriptures for the very reason because they were
known to be the Word of God became a mark for the shafts of Satan from
the beginning. They were by consequence as eagerly solicited by
heretical teachers on the one hand, as they were hotly defended by the
orthodox on the other. Alike from friends and from foes therefore, they
are known to have experienced injury, and that in the earliest age of
all. Nothing of the kind can be predicated of any other ancient
writings. This consideration alone should suggest a severe exercise of
judicial impartiality, in the handling of ancient evidence of whatever

For I request it may be observed that I have not said--and I certainly
do not mean--that the Scriptures themselves have been permanently
corrupted either by friend or foe. Error was fitful and uncertain, and
was contradicted by other error: besides that it sank eventually before
a manifold witness to the truth. Nevertheless, certain manuscripts
belonging to a few small groups--particular copies of a
Version--individual Fathers or Doctors of the Church,--these do, to the
present hour, bear traces incontestably of ancient mischief.

But what goes before is not nearly all. The fourfold structure of the
Gospel has lent itself to a certain kind of licentious handling--of
which in other ancient writings we have no experience. One critical
owner of a Codex considered himself at liberty to assimilate the
narratives: another to correct them in order to bring them into (what
seemed to himself) greater harmony. Brevity is found to have been a
paramount object with some, and Transposition to have amounted to a
passion with others. Conjectural Criticism was evidently practised
largely: and almost with as little felicity as when Bentley held the
pen. Lastly, there can be no question that there was a certain school of
Critics who considered themselves competent to improve the style of the
Holy Ghost throughout. [And before the members of the Church had gained
a familiar acquaintance with the words of the New Testament, blunders
continually crept into the text of more or less heinous importance.] All
this, which was chiefly done during the second and third centuries,
introduces an element of difficulty in the handling of ancient evidence
which can never be safely neglected: and will make a thoughtful man
suspicious of every various reading which comes in his way, especially
if it is attended with but slender attestation. [It has been already
shewn in the companion volume] that the names of the Codexes chiefly
vitiated in this sort prove to be B[Symbol: Aleph]CDL; of the
Versions,--the two Coptic, the Curetonian, and certain specimens of the
Old Latin; of the Fathers,--Origen, Clement of Alexandria, and to some
extent Eusebius.

Add to all that goes before the peculiar subject-matter of the New
Testament Scriptures, and it will become abundantly plain why they
should have been liable to a series of assaults which make it reasonable
that they should now at last be approached by ourselves as no other
ancient writings are, or can be. The nature of God,--His Being and
Attributes:--the history of Man's Redemption:--the soul's eternal
destiny:--the mysteries of the unseen world:--concerning these and every
other similar high doctrinal subject, the sacred writings alone speak
with a voice of absolute authority. And surely by this time enough has
been said to explain why these Scriptures should have been made a
battle-field during some centuries, and especially in the fourth; and
having thus been made the subject of strenuous contention, that copies
of them should exhibit to this hour traces of those many adverse
influences. I say it for the last time,--of all such causes of
depravation the Greek Poets, Tragedians, Philosophers, Historians,
neither knew nor could know anything. And it thus plainly appears that
the Textual Criticism of the New Testament is to be handled by ourselves
in an entirely different spirit from that of any other book.

§ 2.

I wish now to investigate the causes of the corruption of the Text of
the New Testament. I do not entitle the present a discussion of 'Various
Readings,' because I consider that expression to be incorrect and
misleading[13]. Freely allowing that the term 'variae lectiones,' for
lack of a better, may be allowed to stand on the Critic's page, I yet
think it necessary even a second time to call attention to the
impropriety which attends its use. Thus Codex B differs from the
commonly received Text of Scripture in the Gospels alone in 7578 places;
of which no less than 2877 are instances of omission. In fact omissions
constitute by far the larger number of what are commonly called 'Various
Readings.' How then can those be called 'various readings' which are
really not readings at all? How, for example, can that be said to be a
'various reading' of St. Mark xvi. 9-20, which consists in the
circumstance that the last 12 verses are left out by two MSS.?
Again,--How can it be called a 'various reading' of St. John xxi. 25, to
bring the Gospel abruptly to a close, as Tischendorf does, at v. 24?
These are really nothing else but indications either of a mutilated or
else an interpolated text. And the question to be resolved is,--On which
side does the corruption lie? and, How did it originate?

Waiving this however, the term is objectionable on other grounds. It is
to beg the whole question to assume that every irregularity in the text
of Scripture is a 'various reading.' The very expression carries with it
an assertion of importance; at least it implies a claim to
consideration. Even might it be thought that, because it is termed a
'various reading,' therefore a critic is entitled to call in question
the commonly received text. Whereas, nine divergences out of ten are of
no manner of significance and are entitled to no manner of
consideration, as every one must see at a glance who will attend to the
matter ever so little. 'Various readings' in fact is a term which
belongs of right to the criticism of the text of profane authors: and,
like many other notions which have been imported from the same region
into this department of inquiry, it only tends to confuse and perplex
the judgement.

No variety in the Text of Scripture can properly be called a 'various
reading,' of which it may be safely declared that it never has been, and
never will be, read. In the case of profane authors, where the MSS. are
for the most part exceedingly few, almost every plausible substitution
of one word for another, if really entitled to alteration, is looked
upon as a various reading of the text. But in the Gospels, of which the
copies are so numerous as has been said, the case is far otherwise. We
are there able to convince ourselves in a moment that the supposed
'various reading' is nothing else but an instance of licentiousness or
inattention on the part of a previous scribe or scribes, and we can
afford to neglect it accordingly[14]. It follows therefore,--and this is
the point to which I desire to bring the reader and to urge upon his
consideration,--that the number of 'various readings' in the New
Testament properly so called has been greatly exaggerated. They are, in
reality, exceedingly few in number; and it is to be expected that, as
sound (sacred) Criticism advances, and principles are established, and
conclusions recognized, instead of becoming multiplied they will become
fewer and fewer, and at last will entirely disappear. We cannot afford
to go on disputing for ever; and what is declared by common consent to
be untenable ought to be no longer reckoned. That only in short, as I
venture to think, deserves the name of a Various Reading which comes to
us so respectably recommended as to be entitled to our sincere
consideration and respect; or, better still, which is of such a kind as
to inspire some degree of reasonable suspicion that after all it may
prove to be the true way of exhibiting the text.

The inquiry therefore on which we are about to engage, grows naturally
out of the considerations which have been already offered. We propose to
ascertain, as far as is practicable at the end of so many hundred years,
in what way these many strange corruptions of the text have arisen. Very
often we shall only have to inquire how it has come to pass that the
text exhibits signs of perturbation at a certain place. Such
disquisitions as those which follow, let it never be forgotten, have no
place in reviewing any other text than that of the New Testament,
because a few plain principles would suffice to solve every difficulty.
The less usual word mistaken for the word of more frequent
occurrence;--clerical carelessness;--a gloss finding its way from the
margin into the text;--- such explanations as these would probably in
other cases suffice to account for every ascertained corruption of the
text. But it is far otherwise here, as I propose to make fully apparent
by and by. Various disturbing influences have been at work for a great
many years, of which secular productions know absolutely nothing, nor
indeed can know.

The importance of such an inquiry will become apparent as we proceed;
but it may be convenient that I should call attention to the matter
briefly at the outset. It frequently happens that the one remaining plea
of many critics for adopting readings of a certain kind, is the
inexplicable nature of the phenomena which these readings exhibit. 'How
will you possibly account for such a reading as the present,' (say
they,) 'if it be not authentic?' Or they say nothing, but leave it to be
inferred that the reading they adopt,--in spite of its intrinsic
improbability, in spite also of the slender amount of evidence on which
it rests,--must needs be accepted as true. They lose sight of the
correlative difficulty:--How comes it to pass that the rest of the
copies read the place otherwise? On all such occasions it is impossible
to overestimate the importance of detecting the particular cause which
has brought about, or which at least will fully account for, this
depravation. When this has been done, it is hardly too much to say that
a case presents itself like as when a pasteboard mask has been torn
away, and the ghost is discovered with a broad grin on his face behind

The discussion on which I now enter is then on the Causes of the various
Corruptions of the Text. [The reader shall be shewn with illustrations
to what particular source they are to be severally ascribed. When
representative passages have been thus labelled, and the causes are seen
in operation, he will be able to pierce the mystery, and all the better
to winnow the evil from among the good.]

§ 3.

When I take into my hands an ancient copy of the Gospels, I expect that
it will exhibit sundry inaccuracies and imperfections: and I am never
disappointed in my expectation. The discovery however creates no
uneasiness, so long as the phenomena evolved are of a certain kind and
range within easily definable limits. Thus:--

1. Whatever belongs to peculiarities of spelling or fashions of writing,
I can afford to disregard. For example, it is clearly consistent with
perfect good faith, that a scribe should spell [Greek: krabatton][15] in
several different ways: that he should write [Greek: outô] for [Greek:
outôs], or the contrary: that he should add or omit what grammarians
call the [Greek: n ephelkystikon]. The questions really touched by
irregularities such as these concern the date and country where the MS.
was produced; not by any means the honesty or animus of the copyist. The
man fell into the method which was natural to him, or which he found
prevailing around him; and that was all. 'Itacisms' therefore, as they
are called, of whatever kind,--by which is meant the interchange of such
vowels and diphthongs as [Greek: i-ei, ai-e, ê-i, ê-oi-u, o-ô,
ê-ei],--need excite no uneasiness. It is true that these variations may
occasionally result in very considerable inconvenience: for it will
sometimes happen that a different reading is the consequence. But the
copyist may have done his work in perfect good faith for all that. It is
not he who is responsible for the perplexity he occasions me, but the
language and the imperfect customs amidst which he wrote.

2. In like
manner the reduplication of syllables, words, clauses, sentences, is
consistent with entire sincerity of purpose on the part of the copyist.
This inaccuracy is often to be deplored; inasmuch as a reduplicated
syllable often really affects the sense. But for the most part nothing
worse ensues than that the page is disfigured with errata.

3. So, on the other hand,--the occasional omission of words, whether few
or many,--especially that passing from one line to the corresponding
place in a subsequent line, which generally results from the proximity
of a similar ending,--is a purely venial offence. It is an evidence of
carelessness, but it proves nothing worse.

4. Then further,--slight inversions, especially of ordinary words; or
the adoption of some more obvious and familiar collocation of particles
in a sentence; or again, the occasional substitution of one common word
for another, as [Greek: eipe] for [Greek: elege], [Greek: phônêsan] for
[Greek: kraxan], and the like;--need not provoke resentment. It is an
indication, we are willing to hope, of nothing worse than slovenliness
on the part of the writer or the group or succession of writers.

5. I will add that besides the substitution of one word for another,
cases frequently occur, where even the introduction into the text of one
or more words which cannot be thought to have stood in the original
autograph of the Evangelist, need create no offence. It is often
possible to account for their presence in a strictly legitimate way.

But it is high time to point out, that irregularities which fall under
these last heads are only tolerable within narrow limits, and always
require careful watching; for they may easily become excessive or even
betray an animus; and in either case they pass at once into quite a
different category. From cases of excusable oscitancy they degenerate,
either into instances of inexcusable licentiousness, or else into cases
of downright fraud.

6. Thus, if it be observed in the case of a Codex (_a_) that entire
sentences or significant clauses are habitually omitted:--(_b_) that
again and again in the course of the same page the phraseology of the
Evangelist has upon clear evidence been seriously tampered with: and
(_c_) that interpolations here and there occur which will not admit of
loyal interpretation:--we cannot but learn to regard with habitual
distrust the Codex in which all these notes are found combined. It is as
when a witness, whom we suspected of nothing worse than a bad memory or
a random tongue or a lively imagination, has been at last convicted of
deliberate suppression of parts of his evidence, misrepresentation of
facts,--in fact, deliberate falsehood.

7. But now suppose the case of a MS. in which words or clauses are
clearly omitted with design; where expressions are withheld which are
confessedly harsh or critically difficult,--whole sentences or parts of
them which have a known controversial bearing;--Suppose further that the
same MS. abounds in worthless paraphrase, and contains apocryphal
additions throughout:--What are we to think of our guide then? There can
be but one opinion on the subject. From habitually trusting, we shall
entertain inveterate distrust. We have ascertained his character. We
thought he was a faithful witness, but we now find from experience of
his transgressions that we have fallen into bad company. His witness may
be false no less than true: confidence is at an end.

§ 4.

It may be regarded as certain that most of the aberrations discoverable
in Codexes of the Sacred Text have arisen in the first instance from the
merest inadvertency of the scribes. That such was the case in a vast
number of cases is in fact demonstrable. [Inaccuracy in the apprehension
of the Divine Word, which in the earliest ages was imperfectly
understood, and ignorance of Greek in primitive Latin translators, were
prolific sources of error. The influence of Lectionaries, in which Holy
Scripture was cut up into separate Lections either with or without an
introduction, remained with habitual hearers, and led them off in
copying to paths which had become familiar. Acquaintance with
'Harmonies' or Diatessarons caused copyists insensibly to assimilate one
Gospel to another. And doctrinal predilections, as in the case of those
who belonged to the Origenistic school, were the source of lapsing into
expressions which were not the _verba ipsissima_ of Holy Writ. In such
cases, when the inadvertency was genuine and was unmingled with any
overt design, it is much to be noted that the error seldom propagated
itself extensively.]

But next, well-meant endeavours must have been made at a very early
period 'to rectify' ([Greek: diorthoun]) the text thus unintentionally
corrupted; and so, what began in inadvertence is sometimes found in the
end to exhibit traces of design, and often becomes in a high degree
perplexing. Thus, to cite a favourite example, it is clear to me that in
the earliest age of all (A.D. 100?) some copyist of St. Luke ii. 14
(call him X) inadvertently omitted the second [Greek: en] in the Angelic
Hymn. Now if the persons (call them Y and Z) whose business it became in
turn to reproduce the early copy thus inadvertently depraved, had but
been content both of them to transcribe exactly what they saw before
them, the error of their immediate predecessor (X) must infallibly have
speedily been detected, remedied, and forgotten,--simply because, as
every one must have seen as well as Y and Z, it was impossible to
translate the sentence which results,--[Greek: epi gês eirênê anthrôpois
eudokia]. Reference would have been made to any other copy of the third
Gospel, and together with the omitted preposition ([Greek: en]) sense
would have been restored to the passage. But unhappily one of the two
supposed Copyists being a learned grammarian who had no other copy at
hand to refer to, undertook, good man that he was, _proprio Marte_ to
force a meaning into the manifestly corrupted text of the copy before
him: and he did it by affixing to [Greek: eudokia] the sign of the
genitive case ([Greek: s]). Unhappy effort of misplaced skill! That copy
[or those copies] became the immediate progenitor [or progenitors] of a
large family,--from which all the Latin copies are descended; whereby it
comes to pass that Latin Christendom sings the Hymn 'Gloria in excelsis'
incorrectly to the present hour, and may possibly sing it incorrectly to
the end of time. The error committed by that same venerable Copyist
survives in the four oldest copies of the passage extant, B* and
[Symbol: Aleph]*, A and D,--though happily in no others,--in the Old
Latin, Vulgate, and Gothic, alone of Versions; in Irenaeus and Origen
(who contradict themselves), and in the Latin Fathers. All the Greek
authorities, with the few exceptions just recorded, of which A and D are
the only consistent witnesses, unite in condemning the evident

I once hoped that it might be possible to refer all the Corruptions of
the Text of Scripture to ordinary causes: as, careless transcription,--
divers accidents,--misplaced critical assiduity,--doctrinal
animus,--small acts of unpardonable licence.

But increased attention and enlarged acquaintance with the subject, have
convinced me that by far the larger number of the omissions of such
Codexes as [Symbol: Aleph]BLD must needs be due to quite a different
cause. These MSS. omit so many words, phrases, sentences, verses of
Scripture,--that it is altogether incredible that the proximity of like
endings can have much to do with the matter. Inadvertency may be made to
bear the blame of some omissions: it cannot bear the blame of shrewd and
significant omissions of clauses, which invariably leave the sense
complete. A systematic and perpetual mutilation of the inspired Text
must needs be the result of design, not of accident[17].

[It will be seen therefore that the causes of the Corruptions of the
Text class themselves under two main heads, viz. (I.) Those which arose
from Inadvertency, and (II.) Those which took their origin in Design.]


[10] 2 Kings xxii. 8 = 2 Chron. xxxiv. 15.

[11] [This name is used for want of a better. Churchmen are Unitarians
as well as Trinitarians. The two names in combination express our Faith.
We dare not alienate either of them.]

[12] See The Traditional Text of the Holy Gospels (Burgon and Miller),
p. 21, note 1.

[13] See Traditional Text, chapter ii, § 6, p. 33.

[14] [Perhaps this point may be cleared by dividing readings into two
classes, viz. (1) such as really have strong evidence for their support,
and require examination before we can be certain that they are corrupt;
and (2) those which afford no doubt as to their being destitute of
foundation, and are only interesting as specimens of the modes in which
error was sometimes introduced. Evidently, the latter class are not
'various' at all.]

[15] [I.e. generally [Greek: krabatton], or else [Greek: krabaton], or
even [Greek: krabakton]; seldom found as [Greek: krabbatton], or spelt
in the corrupt form [Greek: krabbaton].]

[16] I am inclined to believe that in the age immediately succeeding
that of the Apostles, some person or persons of great influence and
authority executed a Revision of the N.T. and gave the world the result
of such labours in a 'corrected Text.' The guiding principle seems to
have been to seek to _abridge_ the Text, to lop off whatever seemed
redundant, or which might in any way be spared, and to eliminate from
one Gospel whatever expressions occurred elsewhere in another Gospel.
Clauses which slightly obscured the speaker's meaning; or which seemed
to hang loose at the end of a sentence; or which introduced a
consideration of difficulty:--words which interfered with the easy flow
of a sentence:--every thing of this kind such a personage seems to have
held himself free to discard. But what is more serious, passages which
occasioned some difficulty, as the _pericope de adultera_; physical
perplexity, as the troubling of the water; spiritual revulsion, as the
agony in the garden:--all these the reviser or revisers seem to have
judged it safest simply to eliminate. It is difficult to understand how
any persons in their senses could have so acted by the sacred deposit;
but it does not seem improbable that at some very remote period there
were found some who did act in some such way. Let it be observed,
however, that unlike some critics I do not base my real argument upon
what appears to me to be a not unlikely supposition.

[17] [Unless it be referred to the two converging streams of corruption,
as described in The Traditional Text.]



I. Pure Accident.

[It often happens that more causes than one are combined in the origin
of the corruption in any one passage. In the following history of a
blunder and of the fatal consequences that ensued upon it, only the
first step was accidental. But much instruction may be derived from the
initial blunder, and though the later stages in the history come under
another head, they nevertheless illustrate the effects of early
accident, besides throwing light upon parts of the discussion which are
yet to come.]

§ 1.

We are sometimes able to trace the origin and progress of accidental
depravations of the text: and the study is as instructive as it is
interesting. Let me invite attention to what is found in St. John x. 29;
where,--instead of, 'My Father, who hath given them [viz. My sheep] to
Me, is greater than all,'--Tischendorf, Tregelles, Alford, are for
reading, 'That thing which My (_or_ the) Father hath given to Me is
greater (i.e. is a greater thing) than all.' A vastly different
proposition, truly; and, whatever it may mean, wholly inadmissible here,
as the context proves. It has been the result of sheer accident
moreover,--as I proceed to explain.

St. John certainly wrote the familiar words,--[Greek: ho patêr mou]
[Greek: os dedôke moi, meizôn pantôn esti]. But, with the licentiousness
[or inaccuracy] which prevailed in the earliest age, some remote copyist
is found to have substituted for [Greek: hos dedôke], its grammatical
equivalent [Greek: ho dedôkôs]. And this proved fatal; for it was only
necessary that another scribe should substitute [Greek: meizon] for
[Greek: meizôn] (after the example of such places as St. Matt. xii. 6,
41, 42, &c.), and thus the door had been opened to at least four
distinct deflections from the evangelical verity,--which straightway
found their way into manuscripts:--(1) [Greek: o dedôkôs ... meizôn]--of
which reading at this day D is the sole representative: (2) [Greek: os
dedôke ... meizon]--which survives only in AX: (3) [Greek: o dedôke ...
meizôn]--which is only found in [Symbol: Aleph]L: (4) [Greek: o dedôke
... meizon]--which is the peculiar property of B. The 1st and 2nd of
these sufficiently represent the Evangelist's meaning, though neither of
them is what he actually wrote; but the 3rd is untranslatable: while the
4th is nothing else but a desperate attempt to force a meaning into the
3rd, by writing [Greek: meizon] for [Greek: meizôn]; treating [Greek: o]
not as the article but as the neuter of the relative [Greek: os].

This last exhibition of the text, which in fact scarcely yields an
intelligible meaning and rests upon the minimum of manuscript evidence,
would long since have been forgotten, but that, calamitously for the
Western Church, its Version of the New Testament Scriptures was executed
from MSS. of the same vicious type as Cod. B[18]. Accordingly, all the
Latin copies, and therefore all the Latin Fathers[19], translate,--
'Pater [meus] quod dedit mihi, majus omnibus est[20].' The Westerns
resolutely extracted a meaning from whatever they presumed to be genuine
Scripture: and one can but admire the piety which insists on finding
sound Divinity in what proves after all to be nothing else but a sorry
blunder. What, asks Augustine, was 'the thing, greater than all,' which
the Father gave to the Son? To be the Word of the Father (he answers),
His only-begotten Son and the brightness of His glory[21]. The Greeks
knew better. Basil[22], Chrysostom[23], Cyril on nine occasions[24],
Theodoret[25]--as many as quote the place--invariably exhibit the
_textus receptus_ [Greek: ôs ... meizôn], which is obviously the true
reading and may on no account suffer molestation.

'But,'--I shall perhaps be asked,--'although Patristic and manuscript
evidence are wanting for the reading [Greek: o dedôke moi ...
meizôn],--is it not a significant circumstance that three translations
of such high antiquity as the Latin, the Bohairic, and the Gothic,
should concur in supporting it? and does it not inspire extraordinary
confidence in B to find that B alone of MSS. agrees with them?' To which
I answer,--It makes me, on the contrary, more and more distrustful of
the Latin, the Bohairic and the Gothic versions to find them exclusively
siding with Cod. B on such an occasion as the present. It is obviously
not more 'significant' that the Latin, the Bohairic, and the Gothic,
should here conspire with--than that the Syriac, the Sahidic, and the
Ethiopic, should here combine against B. On the other hand, how utterly
insignificant is the testimony of B when opposed to all the uncials, all
the cursives, and all the Greek fathers who quote the place. So far from
inspiring me with confidence in B, the present indication of the fatal
sympathy of that Codex with the corrupt copies from which confessedly
many of the Old Latin were executed, confirms me in my habitual distrust
of it. About the true reading of St. John x. 29, there really exists no
manner of doubt. As for the 'old uncials' they are (as usual) hopelessly
at variance on the subject. In an easy sentence of only 9 words,--which
however Tischendorf exhibits in conformity with no known Codex, while
Tregelles and Alford blindly follow Cod. B,--they have contrived to
invent five 'various readings,' as may be seen at foot[26]. Shall we
wonder more at the badness of the Codexes to which we are just now
invited to pin our faith; or at the infatuation of our guides?

§ 2.

I do not find that sufficient attention has been paid to grave
disturbances of the Text which have resulted from a slight clerical
error. While we are enumerating the various causes of Textual depravity,
we may not fail to specify this. Once trace a serious Textual
disturbance back to (what for convenience may be called) a 'clerical
error,' and you are supplied with an effectual answer to a form of
inquiry which else is sometimes very perplexing: viz. If the true
meaning of this passage be what you suppose, for what conceivable reason
should the scribe have misrepresented it in this strange way,--made
nonsense, in short, of the place?... I will further remark, that it is
always interesting, sometimes instructive, after detecting the remote
origin of an ancient blunder, to note what has been its subsequent
history and progress.

Some specimens of the thing referred to I have already given in another
place. The reader is invited to acquaint himself with the strange
process by which the '276 souls' who suffered shipwreck with St. Paul
(Acts xxvii. 37), have since dwindled down to 'about 76[27].'--He is
further requested to note how 'a certain man' who in the time of St.
Paul bore the name of 'Justus' (Acts xviii. 7), has been since
transformed into '_Titus_,' '_Titus Justus_,' and even '_Titius
Justus_[28].'--But for a far sadder travestie of sacred words, the
reader is referred to what has happened in St. Matt. xi. 23 and St. Luke
x. 15,--where our Saviour is made to ask an unmeaning question--instead
of being permitted to announce a solemn fact--concerning
Capernaum[29].--The newly-discovered ancient name of the Island of
Malta, _Melitene_[30], (for which geographers are indebted to the
adventurous spirit of Westcott and Hort), may also be profitably
considered in connexion with what is to be the subject of the present
chapter. And now to break up fresh ground.

Attention is therefore invited to a case of attraction in Acts xx. 24.
It is but the change of a single letter ([Greek: logoU] for [Greek:
logoN]), yet has that minute deflection from the truth led to a complete
mangling of the most affecting perhaps of St. Paul's utterances. I refer
to the famous words [Greek: all' oudenos logon poioumai, oude echô tên
psuchên mou timian emautô, hôs teleiôsai ton dromon mou meta charas]:
excellently, because idiomatically, rendered by our Translators of
1611,--'But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear
unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy.'

For [Greek: oudenos loGON], (the accusative after [Greek: poioumai]),
some one having substituted [Greek: oudenos loGOU],--a reading which
survives to this hour in B and C[31],--it became necessary to find
something else for the verb to govern. [Greek: Tên psychên] was at hand,
but [Greek: oude echô] stood in the way. [Greek: Oude echô] must
therefore go[32]; and go it did,--as B, C, and [Symbol: Aleph] remain to
attest. [Greek: Timian] should have gone also, if the sentence was to be
made translatable; but [Greek: timian] was left behind[33]. The authors
of ancient embroilments of the text were sad bunglers. In the meantime,
Cod. [Symbol: Aleph] inadvertently retained St. Luke's word, [Greek:
LOGON]; and because [Symbol: Aleph] here follows B in every other
respect, it exhibits a text which is simply unintelligible[34].

Now the second clause of the sentence, viz. the words [Greek: oude echo
tên psychên mou timian emautô], may on no account be surrendered. It is
indeed beyond the reach of suspicion, being found in Codd. A, D, E, H,
L, P, 13, 31,--in fact in every known copy of the Acts, except the
discordant [Symbol: Aleph]BC. The clause in question is further
witnessed to by the Vulgate[35],--by the Harkleian[36],--by
Basil[37],--by Chrysostom[38],--by Cyril[39],--by Euthalius[40],--and by
the interpolator of Ignatius[41]. What are we to think of our guides
(Tischendorf, Tregelles, Westcott and Hort, and the Revisers) who have
nevertheless surrendered the Traditional Text and presented us instead
with what Dr. Field,--who is indeed a Master in Israel,--describes as
the impossible [Greek: all' oudenos logou poioumai tên psychên timian

The words of the last-named eminent scholar on the reading just cited
are so valuable in themselves, and are observed to be so often in point,
that they shall find place here:--'Modern Critics,' he says, 'in
deference to the authority of the older MSS., and to certain critical
canons which prescribe that preference should be given to the shorter
and more difficult reading over the longer and easier one, have decided
that the T.R. in this passage is to be replaced by that which is
contained in those older MSS.

'In regard to the difficulty of this reading, that term seems hardly
applicable to the present case. A difficult reading is one which
presents something apparently incongruous in the sense, or anomalous in
the construction, which an ignorant or half-learned copyist would
endeavour, by the use of such critical faculty as he possessed, to
remove; but which a true critic is able, by probable explanation, and a
comparison of similar cases, to defend against all such fancied
improvements. In the reading before us, [Greek: all' oudenos logou
poioumai tên psychên timian emautô], it is the construction, and not the
sense, which is in question; and this is not simply difficult, but
impossible. There is really no way of getting over it; it baffles
novices and experts alike[43].' When will men believe that a reading
vouched for by only B[Symbol: Aleph]C is safe to be a fabrication[44]?
But at least when Copies and Fathers combine, as here they do, against
those three copies, what can justify critics in upholding a text which
carries on its face its own condemnation?

§ 3.

We now come to the inattention of those long-since-forgotten Ist or IInd
century scribes who, beguiled by the similarity of the letters [Greek:
EN] and [Greek: AN] (in the expression [Greek: ENANthrôpois eudokia],
St. Luke ii. 14), left out the preposition. An unintelligible clause was
the consequence, as has been explained above (p. 21): which some one
next sought to remedy by adding to [Greek: eudokia] the sign of the
genitive ([Greek: S]). Thus the Old Latin translations were made.

That this is the true history of a blunder which the latest Editors of
the New Testament have mistaken for genuine Gospel, is I submit
certain[45]. Most Latin copies (except 14[46]) exhibit 'pax hominibus
bonae voluntatis,' as well as many Latin Fathers[47]. On the other hand,
the preposition [Greek: EN] is retained in every known Greek copy of St.
Luke without exception, while the reading [Greek: eudokias] is
absolutely limited to the four uncials AB[Symbol: Aleph]D. The witness
of antiquity on this head is thus overwhelming and decisive.

§ 4.

In other cases the source, the very progress of a blunder,--is
discoverable. Thus whereas St. Mark (in xv. 6) certainly wrote [Greek:
hena desmion], [Greek: ONPER êtounto], the scribe of [Symbol: Delta],
who evidently derived his text from an earlier copy in uncial letters is
found to have divided the Evangelist's syllables wrongly, and to exhibit
in this place [Greek: ON.PERÊTOUNTO]. The consequence might have been
predicted. [Symbol: Aleph]AB transform this into [Greek: ON PARÊTOUNTO]:
which accordingly is the reading adopted by Tischendorf and by Westcott
and Hort.

Whenever in fact the final syllable of one word can possibly be mistaken
for the first syllable of the next, or _vice versa_, it is safe sooner
or later to have misled somebody. Thus, we are not at all surprised to
find St. Mark's [Greek: ha parelabon] (vii. 4) transformed into [Greek:
haper elabon], but only by B.

[Another startling instance of the same phenomenon is supplied by the
substitution in St. Mark vi. 22 of [Greek: tês thygatros autou
Hêrôdiados] for [Greek: tês thygatros autês tês Hêrôdiados]. Here a
first copyist left out [Greek: tês] as being a repetition of the last
syllable of [Greek: autês], and afterwards a second attempted to improve
the Greek by putting the masculine pronoun for the feminine ([Greek:
AUTOU] for [Greek: AUTÊS]). The consequence was hardly to have been

Strange to say it results in the following monstrous figment:--that the
fruit of Herod's incestuous connexion with Herodias had been a daughter,
who was also named Herodias; and that she,--the King's own
daughter,--was the immodest one[48] who came in and danced before him,
'his lords, high captains, and chief estates of Galilee,' as they sat at
the birthday banquet. Probability, natural feeling, the obvious
requirements of the narrative, History itself--, for Josephus expressly
informs us that 'Salome,' not 'Herodias,' was the name of Herodias'
daughter[49],--all reclaim loudly against such a perversion of the
truth. But what ought to be in itself conclusive, what in fact settles
the question, is the testimony of the MSS.,--of which only seven
([Symbol: Aleph]BDL[Symbol: Delta] with two cursive copies) can be found
to exhibit this strange mistake. Accordingly the reading [Greek: AUTOU]
is rejected by Griesbach, Lachmann, Tregelles, Tischendorf and Alford.
It has nevertheless found favour with Dr. Hort; and it has even been
thrust into the margin of the revised Text of our Authorized Version, as
a reading having some probability.

This is indeed an instructive instance of the effect of accidental
errors--another proof that [Symbol: Aleph]BDL cannot be trusted.

Sufficiently obvious are the steps whereby the present erroneous reading
was brought to perfection. The immediate proximity in MSS. of the
selfsame combination of letters is observed invariably to result in a
various reading. [Greek: AUTÊSTÊS] was safe to part with its second
[Greek: TÊS] on the first opportunity, and the definitive article
([Greek: tês]) once lost, the substitution of [Greek: AUTOU] for [Greek:
AUTÊS] is just such a mistake as a copyist with ill-directed
intelligence would be sure to fall into if he were bestowing sufficient
attention on the subject to be aware that the person spoken of in verses
20 and 21 is Herod the King.

[This recurrence of identical or similar syllables near together was a
frequent source of error. Copying has always a tendency to become
mechanical: and when the mind of the copyist sank to sleep in his
monotonous toil, as well as if it became too active, the sacred Text
suffered more or less, and so even a trifling mistake might be the seed
of serious depravation.]

§ 5.

Another interesting and instructive instance of error originating in
sheer accident, is supplied by the reading in certain MSS. of St. Mark
viii. 1. That the Evangelist wrote [Greek: pampollou ochlou] 'the
multitude being very great,' is certain. This is the reading of all the
uncials but eight, of all the cursives but fifteen. But instead of this,
it has been proposed that we should read, 'when there was again a great
multitude,' the plain fact being that some ancient scribe mistook, as he
easily might, the less usual compound word for what was to himself a far
more familiar expression: i.e. he mistook [Greek: PAMPOLLOU] for [Greek:

This blunder must date from the second century, for 'iterum' is met with
in the Old Latin as well as in the Vulgate, the Gothic, the Bohairic,
and some other versions. On the other hand, it is against 'every true
principle of Textual Criticism' (as Dr. Tregelles would say), that the
more difficult expression should be abandoned for the easier, when
forty-nine out of every fifty MSS. are observed to uphold it; when the
oldest version of all, the Syriac, is on the same side; when the source
of the mistake is patent; and when the rarer word is observed to be in
St. Mark's peculiar manner. There could be in fact no hesitation on this
subject, if the opposition had not been headed by those notorious false
witnesses [Symbol: Aleph]BDL, which it is just now the fashion to uphold
at all hazards. They happen to be supported on this occasion by
GMN[Symbol: Delta] and fifteen cursives: while two other cursives look
both ways and exhibit [Greek: palin pampollou].

In St Mark vii. 14, [Greek: palin] was similarly misread by some
copyists for [Greek: panta], and has been preserved by [Symbol:
Aleph]BDL[Symbol: Delta] ([Greek: PALIN] for [Greek: PANTA]) against
thirteen uncials, all the cursives, the Peshitto and Armenian.

So again in St. John xiii. 37. A reads [Greek: dynasai moi] by an
evident slip of the pen for [Greek: dynamai soi]. And in xix. 31 [Greek:
megalÊ Ê Êmera] has become [Greek: megalê hêmera] in [Symbol:
Aleph]AE[Symbol: Gamma] and some cursive copies.


[18] See the passages quoted in Scrivener's Introduction, II. 270-2, 4th

[19] Tertull. (Prax. c. 22): Ambr. (ii. 576, 607, 689 _bis_): Hilary
(930 _bis_, 1089): Jerome (v. 208): Augustin (iii^2. 615): Maximinus, an
Arian bishop (_ap_. Aug. viii. 651).

[20] Pater (_or_ Pater meus) quod dedit mihi (_or_ mihi dedit), majus
omnibus est (_or_ majus est omnibus: _or_ omnibus majus est).

[21] iii^2. 615. He begins, '_Quid dedit Filio Pater majus omnibus? Ut
ipsi ille esset unigenitus Filius_.'

[22] i. 236.

[23] viii. 363 _bis_.

[24] i. 188: ii. 567: iii. 792: iv. 666 (ed. Pusey): v^1. 326, 577, 578:
_ap._ Mai ii. 13: iii. 336.

[25] v. 1065 (=Dial^{Maced} _ap._ Athanas. ii. 555).

[26] Viz. + [Greek: mou] ABD:--[Greek: mou] [Symbol: Aleph] | [Greek:
os] A: [Greek: o] B[Symbol: Aleph]D | [Greek: dedôken] B[Symbol:
Aleph]A: [Greek: dedôkôs] | [Greek: meizôn] [Symbol: Aleph]D: [Greek:
meizon] AB | [Greek: meiz. pantôn estin] A: [Greek: pantôn meiz. estin]
B[Symbol: Aleph]D.

[27] The Revision Revised, p. 51-3.

[28] The Revision Revised, p. 53-4.

[29] Ibid. p. 51-6.

[30] Ibid. p. 177-8.

[31] Also in Ammonius the presbyter, A.D. 458--see Cramer's Cat. p.
334-5, _last line_. [Greek: Logou] is read besides in the cursives Act.
36, 96, 105.

[32] I look for an approving word from learned Dr. Field, who wrote in
1875--'The real obstacle to our acquiescing in the reading of the T.R.
is, that if the words [Greek: oude echô] had once formed a part of the
original text, there is no possibility of accounting for the subsequent
omission of them.' The same remark, but considerably toned down, is
found in his delightful Otium Norvicense, P. iii, p. 84.

[33] B and C read--[Greek: all' oudenos logou poioumai tên psychên
emautô]: which is exactly what Lucifer Calarit. represents,--'_sed pro
nihilo aestimo animam meam caram esse mihi_' (Galland. vi. 241).

[34] [Symbol: Aleph] reads--[Greek: all' oudenos logon poioumai tên
psychên timian emautô hôs teleiôsô ton dromon mou].

[35] '_Sed nihil horum_ ([Greek: toutôn] is found in many Greek Codd.)
_vereor, nee facio animam meam pretiosiorem quam me_.' So, the _Cod.
Amiat._ It is evident then that when Ambrose (ii. 1040) writes '_nec
facio animam meam cariorem mihi_,' he is quoting the latter of these two
clauses. Augustine (iii^{1}. 516), when he cites the place thus, '_Non
enim facto animam meam preliosiorem quam me_'; and elsewhere (iv. 268)
'_pretiosam mihi_'; also Origen (_interp._ iv. 628 c), '_sed ego non
facto cariorem animam meam mihi_'; and even the Coptic, '_sed anima mea,
dico, non est pretiosa mihi in aliquo verbo_':--these evidently
summarize the place, by making a sentence out of what survives of the
second clause. The Latin of D exhibits '_Sed nihil horum cura est mihi:
neque habeo ipsam animam caram mihi_.'

[36] Dr. Field says that it may be thus Graecized--[Greek: all' oudena
logon poioumai, oude lelogistai moi psychê ti timion].

[37] ii. 296 e,--exactly as the T.R.

[38] Exactly as the T.R., except that he writes [Greek: tên psychên]
without [Greek: mou] (ix. 332). So again, further on (334 b), [Greek:
ouk echô timian tên emautou psychên]. This latter place is quoted in
Cramer's Cat. 334.

[39] _Ap._ Mai ii. 336 [Greek: edei kai tês zôês kataphronein hyper tou
teleiôsai ton dromon, oude tên psychên ephê poieiôsai timian heautô.]

[40] [Greek: logon echô, oude poioumai tên psychên timian emautô, ôste
k.t.l.] (_ap._ Galland. x. 222).

[41] [Greek: all' oudenos logon poioumai tôn deinôn, oude echô tên
psychên timian emautô]. Epist. ad Tars. c. 1 (Dressel, p. 255).

[42] The whole of Dr. Field's learned annotation deserves to be
carefully read and pondered. I speak of it especially in the shape in
which it originally appeared, viz. in 1875.

[43] Ibid. p. 2 and 3.

[44] Surprising it is how largely the text of this place has suffered at
the hands of Copyists and Translators. In A and D, the words [Greek:
poioumai] and [Greek: echô] have been made to change places. The latter
Codex introduces [Greek: moi] after [Greek: echô],--for [Greek: emautô]
writes [Greek: emautou],--and exhibits [Greek: tou teleiôsai] without
[Greek: hôs]. C writes [Greek: hôs to teleiôsai]. [Symbol: Aleph]B alone
of Codexes present us with [Greek: teleiôsô] for [Greek: teleiôsai], and
are followed by Westcott and Hort _alone of Editors_. The Peshitto
('_sed mihi nihili aestimatur anima mea_'), the Sahidic ('_sed non facto
animam meam in ullâ re_'), and the Aethiopic ('_sed non reputo animam
meam nihil quidquam_'), get rid of [Greek: timian] as well as of [Greek:
oude echô]. So much diversity of text, and in such primitive witnesses,
while it points to a remote period as the date of the blunder to which
attention is called in the text, testifies eloquently to the utter
perplexity which that blunder occasioned from the first.

[45] Another example of the same phenomenon, (viz. the absorption of
[Greek: EN] by the first syllable of [Greek: ANthrôpois]) is to be seen
in Acts iv. 12,--where however the error has led to no mischievous

[46] For those which insert _in_ (14), and those which reject it (25),
see Wordsworth's edition of the Vulgate on this passage.

[47] Of Fathers:--Ambrose i. 1298--Hieronymus i. 448^{2}, 693, 876: ii.
213: iv. 34, 92: v. 147: vi. 638: vii. 241, 251, 283,--Augustine 34
times,--Optatus (Galland. v. 472, 457),--Gaudentius Brix. (_ap._
Sabat.),--Chromatius Ag. (Gall. viii. 337),--Orosius (_ib._ ix. 134),
Marius M. (_ib._ viii. 672), Maximus Taur. (_ib._ ix. 355),--Sedulius
(_ib._ 575),--Leo M. (_ap._ Sabat.),--Mamertus Claudianus (Gall. x.
431),--Vigilius Taps. (_ap._ Sabat.),--Zacchaeus (Gall. ix.
241),--Caesarius Arel. (_ib._ xi. 11),--ps.-Ambros. ii. 394,
396,--Hormisdas P. (Conc. iv. 1494, 1496),--52 Bps. at 8th Council of
Toledo (Conc. vi. 395), &c., &c.

[48] See Wetstein on this place.

[49] Antiqq. i. 99, xviii. 5. 4.



II. Homoeoteleuton.

No one who finds the syllable [Greek: OI] recurring six times over in
about as many words,--e.g. [Greek: kai egeneto, hôs apêlthon ... OI
angelOI, kai OI anthrôpOI OI pOImenes eipon],--is surprised to learn
that MSS. of a certain type exhibit serious perturbation in that place.
Accordingly, BL[Symbol: Xi] leave out the words [Greek: kai hoi
anthrôpoi]; and in that mutilated form the modern critical editors are
contented to exhibit St. Luke ii. 15. One would have supposed that
Tischendorf's eyes would have been opened when he noticed that in his
own Codex ([Symbol: Aleph]) one word more ([Greek: hoi]) is
dropped,--whereby nonsense is made of the passage (viz. [Greek: hoi
angeloi poimenes]). Self-evident it is that a line with a 'like ending'
has been omitted by the copyist of some very early codex of St. Luke's
Gospel; which either read,--

[Greek: OI ANGELOI]           }         {[Greek: OI ANGELOI]
[[Greek: KAI OI A[=NO]I OI]]  } or else {[[Greek: KAI OI A[=NO]I]]
[Greek: POIMENES]             }         {[Greek: OI POIMENES]

Another such place is found in St. John vi. 11. The Evangelist certainly
described the act of our Saviour on a famous occasion in the well-known
words,--[Greek: kai eucharistêsas]

        [Greek: diedôke
tois [mathêtais,
oi de mathêtai
tois] anakeimenois.]

The one sufficient proof that St. John did so write, being the testimony
of the MSS. Moreover, we are expressly assured by St. Matthew (xiv. 19),
St. Mark (vi. 41), and St. Luke (ix. 16), that our Saviour's act was
performed in this way. It is clear however that some scribe has suffered
his eye to wander from [Greek: tois] in l. 2 to [Greek: tois] in l.
4,--whereby St. John is made to say that our Saviour himself distributed
to the 5000. The blunder is a very ancient one; for it has crept into
the Syriac, Bohairic, and Gothic versions, besides many copies of the
Old Latin; and has established itself in the Vulgate. Moreover some good
Fathers (beginning with Origen) so quote the place. But such evidence is
unavailing to support [Symbol: Aleph]ABL[Symbol: Pi], the early reading
of [Symbol: Aleph] being also contradicted by the fourth hand in the
seventh century against the great cloud of witnesses,--beginning with D
and including twelve other uncials, beside the body of the cursives, the
Ethiopic and two copies of the Old Latin, as well as Cyril Alex.

Indeed, there does not exist a source of error which has proved more
fatal to the transcribers of MSS. than the proximity of identical, or
nearly identical, combinations of letters. And because these are
generally met with in the final syllables of words, the error referred
to is familiarly known by a Greek name which denotes 'likeness of
ending' (Homoeoteleuton). The eye of a scribe on reverting from his copy
to the original before him is of necessity apt sometimes to alight on
the same word, or what looks like the same word, a little lower down.
The consequence is obvious. All that should have come in between gets
omitted, or sometimes duplicated.

It is obvious, that however inconvenient it may prove to find oneself in
this way defrauded of five, ten, twenty, perhaps thirty words, no very
serious consequence for the most part ensues. Nevertheless, the result
is often sheer nonsense. When this is the case, it is loyally admitted
by all. A single example may stand for a hundred. [In St. John vi. 55,
that most careless of careless transcripts, the Sinaitic [Symbol:
Aleph], omits on a most sacred subject seven words, and the result
hardly admits of being characterized. Let the reader judge for himself.
The passage stands thus:--[Greek: hê gar sarx mou alêthôs esti brôsis,
kai to haima mou alêthôs esti posis]. The transcriber of [Symbol: Aleph]
by a very easy mistake let his eye pass from one [Greek: alêthôs] to
another, and characteristically enough the various correctors allowed
the error to remain till it was removed in the seventh century, though
the error issued in nothing less than 'My Flesh is drink indeed.' Could
that MS. have undergone the test of frequent use?]

But it requires very little familiarity with the subject to be aware
that occasions must inevitably be even of frequent occurrence when the
result is calamitous, and even perplexing, in the extreme. The writings
of Apostles and Evangelists, the Discourses of our Divine Lord Himself,
abound in short formulae; and the intervening matter on such occasions
is constantly an integral sentence, which occasionally may be discovered
from its context without evident injury to the general meaning of the
place. Thus [ver. 14 in St. Matt, xxiii. was omitted in an early age,
owing to the recurrence of [Greek: ouai hymin] at the beginning, by some
copyists, and the error was repeated in the Old Latin versions. It
passed to Egypt, as some of the Bohairic copies, the Sahidic, and Origen
testify. The Vulgate is not quite consistent: and of course [Symbol:
Aleph]BDLZ, a concord of bad witnesses especially in St. Matthew, follow
suit, in company with the Armenian, the Lewis, and five or more
cursives, enough to make the more emphatic the condemnation by the main
body of them. Besides the verdict of the cursives, thirteen uncials (as
against five) including [Symbol: Phi] and [Symbol: Sigma], the Peshitto,
Harkleian, Ethiopic, Arabian, some MSS. of the Vulgate, with Origen
(iii. 838 (only in Lat.)); Chrysostom (vii. 707 (_bis_); ix. 755); Opus
Imperf. 185 (_bis_); 186 (_bis_); John Damascene (ii. 517); Theophylact
(i. 124); Hilary (89; 725); Jerome (iv. 276; v. 52; vi. 138: vii. 185)].

Worst of all, it will sometimes of necessity happen that such an
omission took place at an exceedingly remote period; (for there have
been careless scribes in every age:) and in consequence the error is
pretty sure to have propagated itself widely. It is observed to exist
(suppose) in several of the known copies; and if,--as very often is the
case,--it is discoverable in two or more of the 'old uncials,' all hope
of its easy extirpation is at an end. Instead of being loyally
recognized as a blunder,--which it clearly is,--it is forthwith charged
upon the Apostle or Evangelist as the case may be. In other words, it is
taken for granted that the clause in dispute can have had no place in
the sacred autograph. It is henceforth treated as an unauthorized
accretion to the text. Quite idle henceforth becomes the appeal to the
ninety-nine copies out of a hundred which contain the missing words. I
proceed to give an instance of my meaning.

Our Saviour, having declared (St. Matt. xix. 9) that whosoever putteth
away his wife [Greek: ei mê epi porneia, kai gamêsê allên,
moichatai],--adds [Greek: kai ho apolelymenên gamêsas moichatai]. Those
five words are not found in Codd. [Symbol: Aleph]DLS, nor in several
copies of the Old Latin nor in some copies of the Bohairic, and the
Sahidic. Tischendorf and Tregelles accordingly reject them.

And yet it is perfectly certain that the words are genuine. Those
thirty-one letters probably formed three lines in the oldest copies of
all. Hence they are observed to exist in the Syriac (Peshitto, Harkleian
and Jerusalem), the Vulgate, some copies of the Old Latin, the Armenian,
and the Ethiopic, besides at least seventeen uncials (including
B[Symbol: Phi][Symbol: Sigma]), and the vast majority of the cursives.
So that there can be no question of the genuineness of the clause.

A somewhat graver instance of omission resulting from precisely the same
cause meets us a little further on in the same Gospel. The threefold
recurrence of [Greek: tôn] in the expression [Greek: TÔN psichiôn TÔN
piptonTÔN] (St. Luke xvi. 21), has (naturally enough) resulted in the
dropping of the words [Greek: psichiôn tôn] out of some copies.
Unhappily the sense is not destroyed by the omission. We are not
surprised therefore to discover that the words are wanting in--[Symbol:
Aleph]BL: or to find that [Symbol: Aleph]BL are supported here by copies
of the Old Latin, and (as usual) by the Egyptian versions, nor by
Clemens Alex.[50] and the author of the Dialogus[51]. Jerome, on the
other hand, condemns the Latin reading, and the Syriac Versions are
observed to approve of Jerome's verdict, as well as the Gothic. But what
settles the question is the fact that every known Greek MS., except
those three, witnesses against the omission: besides Ambrose[52],
Jerome[53], Eusebius[54] Alex., Gregory[55] Naz., Asterius[56],
Basil[57], Ephraim[58] Syr., Chrysostom[59], and Cyril[60] of
Alexandria. Perplexing it is notwithstanding to discover, and
distressing to have to record, that all the recent Editors of the
Gospels are more or less agreed in abolishing 'the crumbs which fell
from the rich man's table.'

[The foregoing instances afford specimens of the influence of accidental
causes upon the transmission from age to age of the Text of the Gospels.
Before the sense of the exact expressions of the Written Word was
impressed upon the mind of the Church,--when the Canon was not
definitely acknowledged, and the halo of antiquity had not yet gathered
round writings which had been recently composed,--severe accuracy was
not to be expected. Errors would be sure to arise, especially from
accident, and early ancestors would be certain to have a numerous
progeny; besides that evil would increase, and slight deviations would
give rise in the course of natural development to serious and perplexing

In the next chapter, other kinds of accidental causes will come under


[50] P. 232.

[51] _Ap._ Orig. i. 827.

[52] Ambrose i. 659, 1473, 1491:--places which shew how insecure would
be an inference drawn from i. 543 and 665.

[53] Hieron. v. 966; vi. 969.

[54] _Ap._ Mai ii. 516, 520.

[55] i. 370.

[56] P. 12.

[57] ii. 169.

[58] ii. 142.

[59] i. 715, 720; ii. 662 (_bis_) 764; vii. 779.

[60] v^{2}. 149 (luc. text, 524).



III. From Writing in Uncials.

§ 1.

Corrupt readings have occasionally resulted from the ancient practice of
writing Scripture in the uncial character, without accents, punctuation,
or indeed any division of the text. Especially are they found in places
where there is something unusual in the structure of the sentence.

St. John iv. 35-6 ([Greek: leukai eisi pros therismon êdê]) has suffered
in this way,--owing to the unusual position of [Greek: êdê]. Certain of
the scribes who imagined that [Greek: êdê] might belong to ver. 36,
rejected the [Greek: kai] as superfluous; though no Father is known to
have been guilty of such a solecism. Others, aware that [Greek: êdê] can
only belong to ver. 35, were not unwilling to part with the copula at
the beginning of ver. 36. A few, considering both words of doubtful
authority, retained neither[61]. In this way it has come to pass that
there are four ways of exhibiting this place:--(_a_) [Greek: pros
therismon êdê. Kai ho therizôn]:--(_b_) [Greek: pros therismon. Êdê ho
th.]:--(_c_) [Greek: pros therismon êdê. Ho therizôn]:--(_d_) [Greek:
pros therismon. Ho therizôn, k.t.l.]

The only point of importance however is the position of [Greek: êdê]:
which is claimed for ver. 35 by the great mass of the copies: as well as
by Origen[62], Eusebius[63], Chrysostom[64], Cyril[65], the Vulgate,
Jerome of course, and the Syriac. The Italic copies are hopelessly
divided here[66]: and Codd. [Symbol: Aleph]BM[Symbol: Pi] do not help
us. But [Greek: êdê] is claimed for ver. 36 by CDEL, 33, and by the
Curetonian and Lewis (= [Greek: kai êdê ho therizôn]): while Codex A is
singular in beginning ver. 36, [Greek: êdê kai],--which shews that some
early copyist, with the correct text before him, adopted a vicious
punctuation. For there can be no manner of doubt that the commonly
received text and the usual punctuation is the true one: as, on a
careful review of the evidence, every unprejudiced reader will allow.
But recent critics are for leaving out [Greek: kai] (with [Symbol:
Aleph]BCDL): while Tischendorf, Westcott and Hort, Tregelles (_marg._),
are for putting the full stop after [Greek: pros therismon] and (with
ACDL) making [Greek: êdê] begin the next sentence,--which (as Alford
finds out) is clearly inadmissible.

§ 2.

Sometimes this affects the translation. Thus, the Revisers propose in
the parable of the prodigal son,--'And I perish _here_ with hunger!' But
why '_here_?' Because I answer, whereas in the earliest copies of St.
Luke the words stood thus,--[Greek: EGÔDELIMÔAPOLLYMAI], some careless
scribe after writing [Greek: EGÔDE], reduplicated the three last letters
([Greek: ÔDE]): he mistook them for an independent word. Accordingly in
the Codex Bezae, in R and U and about ten cursives, we encounter [Greek:
egô de ôde]. The inventive faculty having thus done its work it remained
to superadd 'transposition,' as was done by [Symbol: Aleph]BL. From
[Greek: egô de ôde limô], the sentence has now developed into [Greek:
egô de limô ôde]: which approves itself to Griesbach and Schultz, to
Lachmann and Tischendorf and Tregelles, to Alfoid and Westcott and Hort,
and to the Revisers. A very ancient blunder, certainly, [Greek: egô de
ôde] is: for it is found in the Latin[67] and the Syriac translations.
It must therefore date from the second century. But it is a blunder
notwithstanding: a blunder against which 16 uncials and the whole body
of the cursives bear emphatic witness[68]. Having detected its origin,
we have next to trace its progress.

The inventors of [Greek: ôde] or other scribes quickly saw that this
word requires a correlative in the earlier part of the sentence.
Accordingly, the same primitive authorities which advocate 'here,' are
observed also to advocate, above, 'in my Father's house.' No extant
Greek copy is known to contain the bracketed words in the sentence
[Greek: [en tô oikô] tou patros mou]: but such copies must have existed
in the second century. The Peshitto, the Cureton and Lewis recognize the
three words in question; as well as copies of the Latin with which
Jerome[69], Augustine[70] and Cassian[71] were acquainted. The phrase
'in domo patris mei' has accordingly established itself in the Vulgate.
But surely we of the Church of England who have been hitherto spared
this second blunder, may reasonably (at the end of 1700 years) refuse to
take the first downward step. Our Lord intended no contrast whatever
between two localities--but between two parties. The comfortable estate
of the hired servants He set against the abject misery of the Son: not
the house wherein the servants dwelt, and the spot where the poor
prodigal was standing when he came to a better mind.--These are many
words; but I know not how to be briefer. And,--what is worthy of
discussion, if not the utterances of 'the Word made flesh?'

If hesitation to accept the foregoing verdict lingers in any quarter, it
ought to be dispelled by a glance at the context in [Symbol: Aleph]BL.
What else but the instinct of a trained understanding is it to survey
the neighbourhood of a place like the present? Accordingly, we discover
that in ver. 16, for [Greek: gemisai tên koilian autou apo], [Symbol:
Aleph]BDLR present us with [Greek: chortasthênai ek]: and in ver. 22,
the prodigal, on very nearly the same authority ([Symbol: Aleph]BDUX),
is made to say to his father,--[Greek: Poiêson me hôs hena tôn misthiôn

Which certainly he did not say[72]. Moreover, [Symbol: Aleph]BLX and the
Old Latin are for thrusting in [Greek: tachy] (D [Greek: tacheôs]) after
[Greek: exenenkate]. Are not these one and all confessedly fabricated
readings? the infelicitous attempts of some well-meaning critic to
improve upon the inspired original?

From the fact that three words in St. John v. 44 were in the oldest MSS.
written thus,--[Greek: MONOUTHUOU] (i.e. [Greek: monou Theou ou]), the
middle word ([Greek: theou]) got omitted from some very early copies;
whereby the sentence is made to run thus in English,--'And seek not the
honour which cometh from the only One.' It is so that Origen[73],
Eusebius[74], Didymus[75], besides the two best copies of the Old Latin,
exhibit the place. As to Greek MSS., the error survives only in B at the
present day, the preserver of an Alexandrian error.

§ 3.

St. Luke explains (Acts xxvii. 14) that it was the 'typhonic wind called
Euroclydon' which caused the ship in which St. Paul and he sailed past
Crete to incur the 'harm and loss' so graphically described in the last
chapter but one of the Acts. That wind is mentioned nowhere but in this
one place. Its name however is sufficiently intelligible; being
compounded of [Greek: Euros], the 'south-east wind,' and [Greek:
klydôn], 'a tempest:' a compound which happily survives intact in the
Peshitto version. The Syriac translator, not knowing what the word
meant, copied what he saw,--'the blast' (he says) 'of the tempest[76],
which [blast] is called Tophonikos Eurokl[=i]don.' Not so the licentious
scribes of the West. They insisted on extracting out of the actual
'Euroclydon,' the imaginary name 'Euro-aquilo,' which accordingly stands
to this day in the Vulgate. (Not that Jerome himself so read the name of
the wind, or he would hardly have explained '_Eurielion_' or
'_Euriclion_' to mean 'commiscens, sive deorsum ducens[77].') Of this
feat of theirs, Codexes [Symbol: Aleph] and A (in which [Greek:
EUROKLUDÔN] has been perverted into [Greek: EURAKULÔN]) are at this day
_the sole surviving Greek witnesses_. Well may the evidence for
'Euro-aquilo' be scanty! The fabricated word collapses the instant it is
examined. Nautical men point out that it is 'inconsistent in its
construction with the principles on which the names of the intermediate
or compound winds are framed:'--

'_Euronotus_ is so called as intervening immediately between _Eurus_ and
_Notus_, and as partaking, as was thought, of the qualities of both. The
same holds true of _Libonotus_, as being interposed between _Libs_ and
_Notus_. Both these compound winds lie in the same quarter or quadrant
of the circle with the winds of which they are composed, and no other
wind intervenes. But _Eurus_ and _Aquilo_ are at 90° distance from one
another; or according to some writers, at 105°; the former lying in the
south-east quarter, and the latter in the north-east: and two winds, one
of which is the East cardinal point, intervene, as Caecias and

Further, why should the wind be designated by an impossible _Latin_
name? The ship was 'a ship of Alexandria' (ver. 6). The sailors were
Greeks. What business has '_Aquilo_' here? Next, if the wind did bear
the name of 'Euro-aquilo,' why is it introduced in this marked way
([Greek: anemos typhônikos, ho kaloumenos]) as if it were a kind of
curiosity? Such a name would utterly miss the point, which is the
violence of the wind as expressed in the term Euroclydon. But above all,
if St. Luke wrote [Greek: EURAK]-, how has it come to pass that every
copyist but three has written [Greek: EUROK]-? The testimony of B is
memorable. The original scribe wrote [Greek: EURAKUDÔN][79]: the
_secunda mantis_ has corrected this into [Greek: EURYKLUDÔN],--which is
also the reading of Euthalius[80]. The essential circumstance is, that
_not_ [Greek: ULÔN] but [Greek: UDÔN] has all along been the last half
of the word in Codex B[81].

In St. John iv. 15, on the authority of [Symbol: Aleph]B, Tischendorf
adopts [Greek: dierchesthai] (in place of the uncompounded verb),
assigning as his reason, that 'If St. John had written [Greek:
erchesthai], no one would ever have substituted [Greek: dierchesthai]
for it.' But to construct the text of Scripture on such considerations,
is to build a lighthouse on a quicksand. I could have referred the
learned Critic to plenty of places where the thing he speaks of as
incredible has been done. The proof that St. John used the uncompounded
verb is the fact that it is found in all the copies except our two
untrustworthy friends. The explanation of [Greek: DIerchômai] is
sufficiently accounted for by the final syllable ([Greek: DE]) of
[Greek: mêde] which immediately precedes. Similarly but without the same

St. Mark x. 16 [Greek: eulogei] has become [Greek: kateulogei]
               ([Symbol: Aleph]BC).
  " xii. 17 [Greek: thaumasan] " [Greek: ezethaumasan]
               ([Symbol: Aleph]B).
  " xiv. 40 [Greek: bebarêmenoi] " [Greek: katabebarêmenoi]
               (A[Symbol: Aleph]B).

It is impossible to doubt that [Greek: kai] (in modern critical editions
of St. Luke xvii. 37) is indebted for its existence to the same cause.
In the phrase [Greek: ekei synachthêsontai hoi aetoi] it might have been
predicted that the last syllable of [Greek: ekei] would some day be
mistaken for the conjunction. And so it has actually come to pass.
[Greek: KAI oi aetoi] is met with in many ancient authorities. But
[Symbol: Aleph]LB also transposed the clauses, and substituted [Greek:
episynachthêsontai] for [Greek: synachthêsontai]. The self-same
casualty, viz. [Greek: kai] elicited out of the insertion of [Greek:
ekei] and the transposition of the clauses, is discoverable among the
Cursives at St. Matt. xxiv. 28,--the parallel place: where by the way
the old uncials distinguish themselves by yet graver eccentricities[82].
How can we as judicious critics ever think of disturbing the text of
Scripture on evidence so precarious as this?

It is proposed that we should henceforth read St. Matt. xxii. 23 as
follows:--'On that day there came to Him Sadducees _saying_ that there
is no Resurrection.' A new incident would be in this way introduced into
the Gospel narrative: resulting from a novel reading of the passage.
Instead of [Greek: hoi legontes], we are invited to read [Greek:
legontes], on the authority of [Symbol: Aleph]BDMSZP and several of the
Cursives, besides Origen, Methodius, Epiphanius. This is a respectable
array. There is nevertheless a vast preponderance of numbers in favour
of the usual reading, which is also found in the Old Latin copies and in
the Vulgate. But surely the discovery that in the parallel Gospels it

[Greek: hoitines legousin anastasin mê einai] (St. Mark xii. 18) and
[Greek: hoi antilegontes anastasin mê einai] (St. Luke xx. 27)

may be considered as decisive in a case like the present. Sure I am that
it will be so regarded by any one who has paid close attention to the
method of the Evangelists. Add that the origin of the mistake is seen,
the instant the words are inspected as they must have stood in an uncial


and really nothing more requires to be said. The second [Greek: OI] was
safe to be dropped in a collocation of letters like that. It might also
have been anticipated, that there would be found copyists to be confused
by the antecedent [Greek: KAI]. Accordingly the Peshitto, Lewis, and
Curetonian render the place 'et dicentes;' shewing that they mistook
[Greek: KAI OI LEGONTES] for a separate phrase.

§ 4.

The termination [Greek: TO] (in certain tenses of the verb), when
followed by the neuter article, naturally leads to confusion; sometimes
to uncertainty. In St. John v. 4 for instance, where we read in our
copies [Greek: kai etarasse to hydôr], but so many MSS. read [Greek:
etarasseto], that it becomes a perplexing question which reading to
follow. The sense in either case is excellent: the only difference being
whether the Evangelist actually says that the Angel 'troubled' the
water, or leaves it to be inferred from the circumstance that after the
Angel had descended, straightway the water 'was troubled.'

The question becomes less difficult of decision when (as in St. Luke
vii. 21) we have to decide between two expressions [Greek: echarisato
blepein] (which is the reading of [Symbol: Aleph]*ABDEG and 11 other
uncials) and [Greek: echarisato to blepein] which is only supported by
[Symbol: Aleph]^{b}ELVA. The bulk of the Cursives faithfully maintain
the former reading, and merge the article in the verb.

Akin to the foregoing are all those instances,--and they are literally
without number--, where the proximity of a like ending has been the
fruitful cause of error. Let me explain: for this is a matter which
cannot be too thoroughly apprehended.

Such a collection of words as the following two instances exhibit will
shew my meaning.

In the expression [Greek: esthêta lampran anepempsen] (St. Luke xxiii.
11), we are not surprised to find the first syllable of the verb
([Greek: an]) absorbed by the last syllable of the immediately preceding
[Greek: lampran]. Accordingly, [Symbol: Aleph]LR supported by one copy
of the Old Latin and a single cursive MS. concur in displaying [Greek:
epempsen] in this place.

The letters [Greek: NAIKÔNAIKAI] in the expression (St. Luke xxiii. 27)
[Greek: gynaikôn hai kai] were safe to produce confusion. The first of
these three words could of course take care of itself. (Though D, with
some of the Versions, make it into [Greek: gynaikes].) Not so however
what follows. ABCDLX and the Old Latin (except c) drop the [Greek: kai]:
[Symbol: Aleph] and C drop the [Greek: ai]. The truth rests with the
fourteen remaining uncials and with the cursives.

Thus also the reading [Greek: en olê tê Galilaia] (B) in St. Matt. iv.
23, (adopted by Lachmann, Tischendorf, Tregelles, Alford, Westcott and
Hort and the Revisers,) is due simply to the reduplication on the part
of some inattentive scribe of the last two letters of the immediately
preceding word,--[Greek: periêgen]. The received reading of the place is
the correct one,--[Greek: kai periêgen holên tên Galilaian ho Iêsous],
because the first five words are so exhibited in all the Copies except
B[Symbol: Aleph]C; and those three MSS. are observed to differ as usual
from one another,--which ought to be deemed fatal to their evidence.

B reads           [Greek: kai periêgen en holêi têi Galilaiai].
[Symbol: Aleph] " [Greek: kai periêgen ho _is_ en têi Galilaiai].
C "               [Greek: kai periêgen ho _is_ en holê têi Galilaiai].

But--(I shall be asked)--what about the position of the Sacred Name? How
comes it to pass that [Greek: ho Iêsous], which comes after [Greek:
Galilaian] in almost every other known copy, should come after [Greek:
periêgen] in three of these venerable authorities (in D as well as in
[Symbol: Aleph] and C), and in the Latin, Peshitto, Lewis, and
Harkleian? Tischendorf, Alford, Westcott and Hort and the Revisers at
all events (who simply follow B in leaving out [Greek: ho Iêsous]
altogether) will not ask me this question: but a thoughtful inquirer is
sure to ask it.

The phrase (I reply) is derived by [Symbol: Aleph]CD from the twin place
in St. Matthew (ix. 35) which in all the MSS. begins [Greek: kai
periêgen ho _is_]. So familiar had this order of the words become, that
the scribe of [Symbol: Aleph], (a circumstance by the way of which
Tischendorf takes no notice,) has even introduced the expression into
St. Mark vi. 6,--the parallel place in the second Gospel,--where [Greek:
ho _is_] clearly has no business. I enter into these minute details
because only in this way is the subject before us to be thoroughly
understood. This is another instance where 'the Old Uncials' shew their
text to be corrupt; so for assurance in respect of accuracy of detail we
must resort to the Cursive Copies.

§ 5.

The introduction of [Greek: apo] in the place of [Greek: hagioi] made by
the 'Revisers' into the Greek Text of 2 Peter i. 21,--derives its origin
from the same prolific source. (1) some very ancient scribe mistook the
first four letters of [Greek: agioi] for [Greek: apo]. It was but the
mistaking of [Greek: AGIO] for [Greek: APO]. At the end of 1700 years,
the only Copies which witness to this deformity are BP with four
cursives,--in opposition to [Symbol: Aleph]AKL and the whole body of the
cursives, the Vulgate[83] and the Harkleian. Euthalius knew nothing of
it[84]. Obvious it was, next, for some one in perplexity,--(2) to
introduce both readings ([Greek: apo] and [Greek: hagioi]) into the
text. Accordingly [Greek: apo Theou hagioi] is found in C, two cursives,
and Didymus[85]. Then, (3), another variant crops up, (viz. [Greek:
hypo] for [Greek: apo]--but only because [Greek: hypo] went immediately
before); of which fresh blunder ([Greek: hypo Theou hagioi]) Theophylact
is the sole patron[86]. The consequence of all this might have been
foreseen: (4) it came to pass that from a few Codexes, both [Greek: apo]
and [Greek: agioi] were left out,--which accounts for the reading of
certain copies of the Old Latin[87]. Unaware how the blunder began,
Tischendorf and his followers claim '(2)', '(3)', and '(4)', as proofs
that '(1)' is the right reading: and, by consequence, instead of '_holy_
men of God spake,' require us to read 'men spake _from_ God,' which is
wooden and vapid. Is it not clear that a reading attested by only BP and
four cursive copies must stand self-condemned?

Another excellent specimen of this class of error is furnished by Heb.
vii. 1. Instead of [Greek: Ho synantêsas Abraam]--said of
Melchizedek,--[Symbol: Aleph]ABD exhibit [Greek: OS]. The whole body of
the copies, headed by CLP, are against them[88],--besides
Chrysostom[89], Theodoret[90], Damascene[91]. It is needless to do more
than state how this reading arose. The initial letter of [Greek:
synantêsas] has been reduplicated through careless transcription:
[Greek: OSSYN]--instead of [Greek: OSYN]--. That is all. But the
instructive feature of the case is that it is in the four oldest of the
uncials that this palpable blunder is found.

§ 6.

I have reserved for the last a specimen which is second to none in
suggestiveness. 'Whom will ye that I release unto you?' asked Pilate on
a memorable occasion[92]: and we all remember how his enquiry proceeds.
But the discovery is made that, in an early age there existed copies of
the Gospel which proceeded thus,--'Jesus [who is called[93]] Barabbas,
or Jesus who is called Christ?' Origen so quotes the place, but 'In many
copies,' he proceeds, 'mention is not made that Barabbas was also called
Jesus: and those copies may perhaps be right,--else would the name of
Jesus belong to one of the wicked,--of which no instance occurs in any
part of the Bible: nor is it fitting that the name of Jesus should like
Judas have been borne by saint and sinner alike. I think,' Origen adds,
'something of this sort must have been an interpolation of the
heretics[94].' From this we are clearly intended to infer that 'Jesus
Barabbas' was the prevailing reading of St. Matt. xxvii. 17 in the time
of Origen, a circumstance which--besides that a multitude of copies
existed as well as those of Origen--for the best of reasons, we take
leave to pronounce incredible[95].

The sum of the matter is probably this:--Some inattentive second century
copyist [probably a Western Translator into Syriac who was an
indifferent Greek scholar] mistook the final syllable of '_unto you_'
([Greek: UMIN]) for the word '_Jesus_' ([Greek: IN]): in other words,
carelessly reduplicated the last two letters of [Greek: UMIN],--from
which, strange to say, results the form of inquiry noticed at the
outset. Origen caught sight of the extravagance, and condemned it though
he fancied it to be prevalent, and the thing slept for 1500 years. Then
about just fifty years ago Drs. Lachmann, Tischendorf and Tregelles
began to construct that 'fabric of Textual Criticism' which has been the
cause of the present treatise [though indeed Tischendorf does not adopt
the suggestion of those few aberrant cursives which is supported by no
surviving uncial, and in fact advocates the very origin of the mischief
which has been just described]. But, as every one must see, 'such things
as these are not 'readings' at all, nor even the work of 'the heretics;'
but simply transcriptional mistakes. How Dr. Hort, admitting the
blunder, yet pleads that 'this remarkable reading is attractive by the
new and interesting fact which it seems to attest, and by the antithetic
force which it seems to add to the question in ver. 17,' [is more than
we can understand. To us the expression seems most repulsive. No
'antithetic force' can outweigh our dislike to the idea that Barabbas
was our Saviour's namesake! We prefer Origen's account, though he
mistook the cause, to that of the modern critic.]


[61] It is clearly unsafe to draw any inference from the mere omission
of [Greek: êdê] in ver. 35, by those Fathers who do not shew how they
would have began ver. 36--as Eusebius (see below, note 2), Theodoret (i.
1398: ii. 233), and Hilary (78. 443. 941. 1041).

[62] i. 219: iii. 158: iv. 248, 250 _bis_, 251 _bis_, 252, 253, 255
_bis_, 256, 257. Also iv. 440 note, which = cat^{ox} iv. 21.

[63] _dem._ 440. But not _in cs._ 426: _theoph._ 262, 275.

[64] vii. 488, 662: ix. 32.

[65] i. 397. 98. (Palladius) 611: iii. 57. So also in iv. 199, [Greek:
etoimos êdê pros to pisteuein].

[66] Ambrose, ii. 279, has '_Et qui metit_.' Iren.^{int} substitutes
'_nam_' for '_et_,' and omits '_jam_.' Jerome 9 times introduces '_jam_'
before '_albae sunt_.' So Aug. (iii.^2 417): but elsewhere (iv. 639: v.
531) he omits the word altogether.

[67] 'Hic' is not recognized in Ambrose. _Append._ ii. 367.

[68] The Fathers render us very little help here. Ps.-Chrys. twice
(viii. 34: x. 838) has [Greek: egô de ôde]: once (viii. 153) not. John
Damascene (ii. 579) is without the [Greek: ôde].

[69] i. 76: vi. 16 (_not_ vi. 484).

[70] iii.^{2} 259 (_not_ v. 511).

[71] p. 405.

[72] [The prodigal was prepared to say this; but his father's kindness
stopped him:--a feature in the account which the Codexes in question

[73] iii. 687. But in i. 228 and 259 he recognizes [Greek: theou].

[74] _Ap._ Mai vii. 135.

[75] Praep. xiii. 6,--[Greek: monou tou henos] (vol. ii. 294).

[76] Same word occurs in St. Mark iv. 37.

[77] iii. 101.

[78] Falconer's Dissertation on St. Paul's Voyage, pp. 16 and 12.

[79] Let the learned Vercellone be heard on behalf of Codex B: 'Antequam
manum de tabulâ amoveamus, e re fore videtur, si, ipso codice Vaticano
inspecto, duos injectos scrupulos eximamus. Cl. Tischendorfius in
nuperrimâ suâ editione scribit (Proleg. p. cclxxv), Maium ad Act. xxvii.
14, codici Vaticano tribuisse a primâ manu [Greek: euraklydôn]; nos vero
[Greek: eurakydôn]; atque subjungit, "_utrumque, ut videtur, male_." At,
quidquid "videri" possit, certum nobis exploratumque est Vaticanum
codicem primo habuisse [Greek: eurakydôn], prout expressum fuit tum in
tabella quâ Maius Birchianas lectiones notavit, tum in alterâ quâ nos
errata corrigenda recensuimus.'--Præfatio to Mai's 2nd ed. of the Cod.
Vaticanus, 1859 (8vo), p. v. § vi. [Any one may now see this in the
photographed copy.]

[80] _Ap._ Galland. x. 225.

[81] Remark that some vicious sections evidently owed their origin to
the copyist _knowing more of Latin than of Greek_.

True, that the compounds euronotus euroauster exist in Latin. _That is
the reason why_ the Latin translator (not understanding the word)
rendered it _Euroaquilo_: instead of writing _Euraquilo_.

I have no doubt that it was some Latin copyist who began the mischief.
Like the man who wrote [Greek: ep' autô tô phorô] for [Greek: ep'

    Readings of Euroclydon

    [Greek: EURAKYDÔN] B (sic)
    [Greek: EURAKYLÔN] [Symbol: Aleph]A
    [Greek: EURAKÊLÔN]
    [Greek: EUTRAKÊLÔN]
    [Greek: EURAKLÊDÔN] Peshitto.
    [Greek: EURAKYKLÔN]

    Euroaquilo Vulg.

    [Greek: EURAKLYDÔN] Syr. Harkl.
    [Greek: EURYKLYDÔN] B^{2 man.}

[82] [Greek: Opou] ([Greek: ou] [Symbol: Aleph]) [Greek: gar] (--[Greek:
gar] [Symbol: Aleph]BDL) [Greek: ean] ([Greek: an] D) [Greek: to ptôma]
([Greek: sôma] [Symbol: Aleph]).

[83] _Sancti Dei homines._

[84] _Ap._ Galland. x. 236 a.

[85] Trin. 234.

[86] iii. 389.

[87] '_Locuti sunt homines D_.'

[88] Their only supporters seem to be K [i.e. Paul 117 (Matthaei's §)],
17, 59 [published in full by Cramer, vii. 202], 137 [Reiche, p. 60]. Why
does Tischendorf quote besides E of Paul, which is nothing else but a
copy of D of Paul?

[89] Chrys. xii. 120 b, 121 a.

[90] Theodoret, iii. 584.

[91] J. Damascene, ii. 240 c.

[92] St. Matt. xxvii. 17.

[93] Cf. [Greek: ho legomenos Barabbas]. St. Mark xv. 7.

[94] _Int._ iii. 918 c d.

[95] On the two other occasions when Origen quotes St. Matt. xxvii. 17
(i. 316 a and ii. 245 a) nothing is said about 'Jesus Barabbas.'--
Alluding to the place, he elsewhere (iii. 853 d) merely says that
'_Secundum quosdam Barabbas dicebatur et Jesus._'--The author of a
well-known scholion, ascribed to Anastasius, Bp. of Antioch, but query,
for see Migne, vol. lxxxix. p. 1352 b c (= Galland. xii. 253 c), and
1604 a, declares that he had found the same statement 'in very early
copies.' The scholion in question is first cited by Birch (Varr. Lectt.
p. 110) from the following MSS.:--S, 108, 129, 137, 138, 143, 146, 181,
186, 195, 197, 199 or 200, 209, 210, 221, 222: to which Scholz adds 41,
237, 238, 253, 259, 299: Tischendorf adds 1, 118. In Gallandius (Bibl.
P. P. xiv. 81 d e, _Append._), the scholion may be seen more fully given
than by Birch,--from whom Tregelles and Tischendorf copy it. Theophylact
(p. 156 a) must have seen the place as quoted by Gallandius. The only
evidence, so far as I can find, for reading '_Jesus_ Barabbas' (in St.
Matt. xxvii. 16, 17) are five disreputable Evangelia 1, 118, 209, 241,
299,--the Armenian Version, the Jerusalem Syriac, [and the Sinai
Syriac]; (see Adler, pp. 172-3).



IV. Itacism.

[It has been already shewn in the First Volume that the Art of
Transcription on vellum did not reach perfection till after the lapse of
many centuries in the life of the Church. Even in the minute elements of
writing much uncertainty prevailed during a great number of successive
ages. It by no means followed that, if a scribe possessed a correct
auricular knowledge of the Text, he would therefore exhibit it correctly
on parchment. Copies were largely disfigured with misspelt words. And
vowels especially were interchanged; accordingly, such change became in
many instances the cause of corruption, and is known in Textual
Criticism under the name 'Itacism.']

§ 1.

It may seem to a casual reader that in what follows undue attention is
being paid to minute particulars. But it constantly happens,--and this
is a sufficient answer to the supposed objection,--that, from
exceedingly minute and seemingly trivial mistakes, there result
sometimes considerable and indeed serious misrepresentations of the
Spirit's meaning. New incidents:--unheard-of statements:--facts as yet
unknown to readers of Scripture:--perversions of our Lord's Divine
sayings:--such phenomena are observed to follow upon the omission of the
article,--the insertion of an expletive,--the change of a single letter.
Thus [Greek: palin], thrust in where it has no business, makes it appear
that our Saviour promised to return the ass on which He rode in triumph
into Jerusalem[96]. By writing [Greek: ô] for [Greek: o], many critics
have transferred some words from the lips of Christ to those of His
Evangelist, and made Him say what He never could have dreamed of
saying[97]. By subjoining [Greek: s] to a word in a place which it has
no right to fill, the harmony of the heavenly choir has been marred
effectually, and a sentence produced which defies translation[98]. By
omitting [Greek: tô] and [Greek: Kyrie], the repenting malefactor is
made to say, 'Jesus! remember me, when Thou comest in Thy kingdom[99].'

Speaking of our Saviour's triumphal entry into Jerusalem, which took
place 'the day after' 'they made Him a supper' and Lazarus 'which had
been dead, whom He raised from the dead,' 'sat at the table with Him'
(St. John xii. 1, 2), St. John says that 'the multitude which had been
with Him _when_ He called Lazarus out of the tomb and raised Him from
the dead bare testimony' (St. John xii. 17). The meaning of this is best
understood by a reference to St. Luke xix. 37, 38, where it is explained
that it was the sight of so many acts of Divine Power, the chiefest of
all being the raising of Lazarus, which moved the crowds to yield the
memorable testimony recorded by St. Luke in ver. 38,--by St. John in
ver. 13[100]. But Tischendorf and Lachmann, who on the authority of D
and four later uncials read [Greek: hoti] instead of [Greek: hote],
import into the Gospel quite another meaning. According to their way of
exhibiting the text, St. John is made to say that 'the multitude which
was with Jesus, testified _that_ He called Lazarus out of the tomb and
raised him from the dead': which is not only an entirely different
statement, but also the introduction of a highly improbable
circumstance. That many copies of the Old Latin (not of the Vulgate)
recognize [Greek: hoti], besides the Peshitto and the two Egyptian
versions, is not denied. This is in fact only one more proof of the
insufficiency of such collective testimony. [Symbol: Aleph]AB with the
rest of the uncials and, what is of more importance, _the whole body of
the cursives_, exhibit [Greek: hote],--which, as every one must see, is
certainly what St. John wrote in this place. Tischendorf's assertion
that the prolixity of the expression [Greek: ephônêsen ek tou mnêmeiou
kai êgeiren auton ek nekrôn] is inconsistent with [Greek:
hote][101],--may surprise, but will never convince any one who is even
moderately acquainted with St. John's peculiar manner.

The same mistake--of [Greek: hoti] for [Greek: hote]--is met with at
ver. 41 of the same chapter. 'These things said Isaiah _because_ he saw
His glory' (St. John xii. 41). And why not '_when_ he saw His glory'?
which is what the Evangelist wrote according to the strongest
attestation. True, that eleven manuscripts (beginning with [Symbol:
Aleph]ABL) and the Egyptian versions exhibit [Greek: hoti]: also Nonnus,
who lived in the Thebaid (A.D. 410): but all other MSS., the Latin,
Peshitto, Gothic, Ethiopic, Georgian, and one Egyptian version:--
Origen[102],--Eusebius in four places[103],--Basil[104],--Gregory of
Nyssa twice[105],--Didymus three times[106],--Chrysostom twice[107],--
Severianus of Gabala[108];--these twelve Versions and Fathers constitute
a body of ancient evidence which is overwhelming. Cyril three times
reads [Greek: hoti][109], three times [Greek: hote][110],--and once
[Greek: hênika][111], which proves at least how he understood the place.

§ 2.

[A suggestive example[112] of the corruption introduced by a petty
Itacism may be found in Rev. i. 5, where the beautiful expression which
has found its way into so many tender passages relating to Christian
devotion, 'Who hath _washed_[113] us from our sins in His own blood'
(A.V.), is replaced in many critical editions (R.V.) by, 'Who hath
_loosed_[114] us from our sins by His blood.' In early times a purist
scribe, who had a dislike of anything that savoured of provincial
retention of Aeolian or Dorian pronunciations, wrote from unconscious
bias [Greek: u] for [Greek: ou], transcribing [Greek: lusanti] for
[Greek: lousanti] (unless he were not Greek scholar enough to understand
the difference): and he was followed by others, especially such as,
whether from their own prejudices or owing to sympathy with the scruples
of other people, but at all events under the influence of a slavish
literalism, hesitated about a passage as to which they did not rise to
the spiritual height of the precious meaning really conveyed therein.
Accordingly the three uncials, which of those that give the Apocalypse
date nearest to the period of corruption, adopt [Greek: u], followed by
nine cursives, the Harkleian Syriac, and the Armenian versions. On the
other side, two uncials--viz. B^{2} of the eighth century and P of the
ninth--the Vulgate, Bohairic, and Ethiopic, write [Greek: lousanti]
and--what is most important--all the other cursives except the handful
just mentioned, so far as examination has yet gone, form a barrier which
forbids intrusion.]

[An instance where an error from an Itacism has crept into the Textus
Receptus may be seen in St. Luke xvi. 25. Some scribes needlessly
changed [Greek: hôde] into [Greek: hode], misinterpreting the letter
which served often for both the long and the short [Greek: o], and
thereby cast out some illustrative meaning, since Abraham meant to lay
stress upon the enjoyment 'in his bosom' of comfort by Lazarus. The
unanimity of the uncials, a majority of the cursives, the witness of the
versions, that of the Fathers quote the place being uncertain, are
sufficient to prove that [Greek: hôde] is the genuine word.]

[Again, in St. John xiii. 25, [Greek: houtôs] has dropped out of many
copies and so out of the Received Text because by an Itacism it was
written [Greek: outos] in many manuscripts. Therefore [Greek: ekeinos
outos] was thought to be a clear mistake, and the weaker word was
accordingly omitted. No doubt Latins and others who did not understand
Greek well considered also that [Greek: houtôs] was redundant, and this
was the cause of its being omitted in the Vulgate. But really [Greek:
houtôs], being sufficiently authenticated[115], is exactly in consonance
with Greek usage and St. John's style[116], and adds considerably to the
graphic character of the sacred narrative. St. John was reclining
([Greek: anakeimenos]) on his left arm over the bosom of the robe
([Greek: en tôi kolpôi]) of the Saviour. When St. Peter beckoned to him
he turned his head for the moment and sank ([Greek: epipesôn], not
[Greek: anapesôn] which has the testimony only of B and about
twenty-five uncials, [Symbol: Aleph] and C being divided against
themselves) on the breast of the Lord, being still in the general
posture in which he was ([Greek: houtôs][117]), and asked Him in a
whisper 'Lord, who is it?']

[Another case of confusion between [Greek: ô] and [Greek: o] may be seen
in St. Luke xv. 24, 32, where [Greek: apolôlôs] has gained so strong a
hold that it is found in the Received Text for [Greek: apolôlos], which
last being the better attested appears to be the right reading[118]. But
the instance which requires the most attention is [Greek: katharizon] in
St. Mark vii. 19, and all the more because in _The Last Twelve Verses of
St. Mark_, the alteration into [Greek: katharizôn] is advocated as being
'no part of the Divine discourse, but the Evangelist's inspired comment
on the Saviour's words[119].' Such a question must be decided strictly
by the testimony, not upon internal evidence--which in fact is in this
case absolutely decisive neither way, for people must not be led by the
attractive view opened by [Greek: katharizôn], and [Greek: katharizon]
bears a very intelligible meaning. When we find that the uncial evidence
is divided, there being eight against the change ([Symbol: Phi][Symbol:
Sigma]KMUV[Symbol: Gamma][Symbol: Pi]), and eleven for it ([Symbol:
Aleph]ABEFGHLSX[Symbol: Delta]);--that not much is advanced by the
versions, though the Peshitto, the Lewis Codex, the Harkleian (?), the
Gothic, the Old Latin[120], the Vulgate, favour [Greek:
katharizon];--nor by the Fathers:--since Aphraates[121], Augustine
(?)[122], and Novatian[123] are contradicted by Origen[124],
Theophylact[125], and Gregory Thaumaturgus[126], we discover that we
have not so far made much way towards a satisfactory conclusion. The
only decided element of judgement, so far as present enquiries have
reached, since suspicion is always aroused by the conjunction of
[Symbol: Aleph]AB, is supplied by the cursives which with a large
majority witness to the received reading. It is not therefore safe to
alter it till a much larger examination of existing evidence is made
than is now possible. If difficulty is felt in the meaning given by
[Greek: katharizon],--and that there is such difficulty cannot candidly
be denied,--this is balanced by the grammatical difficulty introduced by
[Greek: katharizôn], which would be made to agree in the same clause
with a verb separated from it by thirty-five parenthetic words,
including two interrogations and the closing sentence. Those people who
form their judgement from the Revised Version should bear in mind that
the Revisers, in order to make intelligible sense, were obliged to
introduce three fresh English words that have nothing to correspond to
them in the Greek; being a repetition of what the mind of the reader
would hardly bear in memory. Let any reader who doubts this leave out
the words in italics and try the effect for himself. The fact is that to
make this reading satisfactory, another alteration is required. [Greek:
Katharizôn panta ta brômata] ought either to be transferred to the 20th
verse or to the beginning of the 18th. Then all would be clear enough,
though destitute of a balance of authority: as it is now proposed to
read, the passage would have absolutely no parallel in the simple and
transparent sentences of St. Mark. We must therefore be guided by the
balance of evidence, and that is turned by the cursive testimony.]

§ 3.

Another minute but interesting indication of the accuracy and fidelity
with which the cursive copies were made, is supplied by the constancy
with which they witness to the preposition [Greek: en] (_not the
numeral_ [Greek: hen]) in St. Mark iv. 8. Our Lord says that the seed
which 'fell into the good ground' 'yielded by ([Greek: en]) thirty, and
by ([Greek: en]) sixty, and by ([Greek: en]) an hundred.' Tischendorf
notes that besides all the uncials which are furnished with accents and
breathings (viz. EFGHKMUV[Symbol: Pi]) 'nearly 100 cursives' exhibit
[Greek: en] here and in ver. 20. But this is to misrepresent the case.
All the cursives may be declared to exhibit [Greek: en], e.g. all
Matthaei's and all Scrivener's. I have myself with this object examined
a large number of Evangelia, and found [Greek: en] in all. The Basle MS.
from which Erasmus derived his text[127] exhibits [Greek: en],--though
he printed [Greek: hen] out of respect for the Vulgate. The
Complutensian having [Greek: hen], the reading of the Textus Receptus
follows in consequence: but the Traditional reading has been shewn to be
[Greek: en],--which is doubtless intended by [Greek: EN] in Cod. A.

Codd. [Symbol: Aleph]C[Symbol: Delta] (two ever licentious and [Symbol:
Delta] similarly so throughout St. Mark) substitute for the preposition
[Greek: en] the preposition [Greek: eis],--(a sufficient proof to me
that they understand [Greek: EN] to represent [Greek: en], not [Greek:
hen]): and are followed by Tischendorf, Tregelles, and the Revisers. As
for the chartered libertine B (and its servile henchman L), for the
first [Greek: en] (but not for the second and third) it substitutes the
preposition [Greek: EIS]: while, in ver. 20, it retains the first
[Greek: en], but omits the other two. In all these vagaries Cod. B is
followed by Westcott and Hort[128].

§ 4.

St. Paul[129] in his Epistle to Titus [ii. 5] directs that young women
shall be 'keepers at home,' [Greek: oikourous]. So, (with five
exceptions,) every known Codex[130], including the corrected [Symbol:
Aleph] and D,--HKLP; besides 17, 37, 47. So also Clemens Alex.[131]
(A.D. 180),--Theodore of Mopsuestia[132],--Basil[133],--Chrysostom[134]--
Theodoret[135],--Damascene[136]. So again the Old Latin (_domum
custodientes_[137]),--the Vulgate (_domus curam habentes_[138]),--and
Jerome (_habentes domus diligentiam_[139]): and so the Peshitto and the
Harkleian versions,--besides the Bohairic. There evidently can be no
doubt whatever about such a reading so supported. To be [Greek:
oikouros] was held to be a woman's chiefest praise[140]: [Greek:
kalliston ergon gynê oikouros], writes Clemens Alex.[141]; assigning to
the wife [Greek: oikouria] as her proper province[142]. On the contrary,
'gadding about from house to house' is what the Apostle, writing to
Timothy[143], expressly condemns. But of course the decisive
consideration is not the support derived from internal evidence; but the
plain fact that antiquity, variety, respectability, numbers, continuity
of attestation, are all in favour of the Traditional reading.

Notwithstanding this, Lachmann, Tischendorf, Tregelles, Westcott and
Hort, because they find [Greek: oikourgous] in [Symbol: Aleph]*ACD*F-G,
are for thrusting that 'barbarous and scarcely intelligible' word, if it
be not even a non-existent[144], into Titus ii. 5. The Revised Version
in consequence exhibits 'workers at home'--which Dr. Field may well call
an 'unnecessary and most tasteless innovation.' But it is insufficiently
attested as well, besides being a plain perversion of the Apostle's
teaching. [And the error must have arisen from carelessness and
ignorance, probably in the West where Greek was not properly

So again, in the cry of the demoniacs, [Greek: ti hêmin kai soi, Iêsou,
huie tou Theou]; (St. Matt. viii. 29) the name [Greek: Iêsou] is omitted
by B[Symbol: Aleph].

The reason is plain the instant an ancient MS. is inspected:--[Greek:
KAISOI_IU_UIETOU_THU_]:--the recurrence of the same letters caused too
great a strain to scribes, and the omission of two of them was the
result of ordinary human infirmity.

Indeed, to this same source are to be attributed an extraordinary number
of so-called 'various readings'; but which in reality, as has already
been shewn, are nothing else but a collection of mistakes,--the
surviving tokens that anciently, as now, copying clerks left out words;
whether misled by the fatal proximity of a like ending, or by the speedy
recurrence of the like letters, or by some other phenomenon with which
most men's acquaintance with books have long since made them familiar.


[96] St. Mark xi. 4. See Revision Revised, pp. 57-58.

[97] St. Mark vii. 19, [Greek: katharizôn] for [Greek: katharizon]. See
below, pp. 61-3.

[98] St. Luke ii. 14.

[99] St. Luke xxiii. 42.

[100] St. Matt. xx. 9. See also St. Mark xi. 9, 10.

[101] 'Quae quidem orationis prolixitas non conveniens esset si [Greek:
hote] legendum esset.'

[102] iv. 577: 'quando.'

[103] Dem. Ev. 310, 312, 454 _bis._

[104] i. 301.

[105] ii. 488, and _ap._ Gall. vi. 580.

[106] Trin. 59, 99, 242.

[107] viii. 406, 407. Also ps.-Chrysost. v. 613. Note, that
'Apolinarius' in Cramer's Cat. 332 is Chrys. viii. 407.

[108] _Ap._ Chrys. vi. 453.

[109] iv. 505, 709, and _ap_. Mai iii. 85.

[110] ii. 102: iv. 709, and _ap_. Mai iii. 118.

[111] v^{1}. 642.

[112] Unfortunately, though the Dean left several lists of instances of
Itacism, he worked out none, except the substitution of [Greek: hen] for
[Greek: en] in St. Mark iv. 8, which as it is not strictly on all fours
with the rest I have reserved till last. He mentioned all that I have
introduced (besides a few others), on detached papers, some of them more
than once, and [Greek: lousanti] and [Greek: katharizon] even more than
the others. In the brief discussion of each instance which I have
supplied, I have endeavoured whenever it was practicable to include any
slight expressions of the Dean's that I could find, and to develop all
surviving hints.

[113] [Greek: lousanti].

[114] [Greek: lusanti].

    [Greek: houtôs]. BCEFGHLMX[Symbol: Delta]. Most cursives. Goth.
    [Greek: outos]. KSU[Symbol: Gamma][Symbol: Lambda]. Ten cursives.
    _Omit_ [Symbol: Aleph]AD[Pi]. Many cursives. Vulg. Pesh. Ethiop.
      Armen. Georg. Slavon.
    Bohair. Pers.

[116] E.g. Thuc. vii. 15, St. John iv. 6.

[117] See St. John iv. 6: Acts xx. 11, xxvii. 17. The beloved Apostle
was therefore called [Greek: ho epistêthios]. See Suicer. s. v. Westcott
on St. John xiii. 25.

    24. [Greek: apolôlôs.] [Symbol: Aleph]^{a}ABD &c.
    [Greek: apolôlos]. [Symbol: Aleph]*GKMRSX[Symbol: Gamma][Symbol:
    Pi]*. Most curs.

    32. [Greek: apolôlôs]. [Symbol: Aleph]*ABD &c.
    [Greek: apolôlos]. [Symbol: Aleph]^{c}KMRSX[Symbol: Gamma][Symbol:
    Pi]*. Most curs.

[119] Pp. 179, 180. Since the Dean has not adopted [Greek: katharizôn]
into his corrected text, and on account of other indications which
caused me to doubt whether he retained the opinion of his earlier years,
I applied to the Rev. W. F. Rose, who answered as follows:--'I am
thankful to say that I can resolve all doubt as to my uncle's later
views of St. Mark vii. 19. In his annotated copy of the _Twelve Verses_
he deletes the words in his note p. 179, "This appears to be the true
reading," and writes in the margin, "The old reading is doubtless the
true one," and in the margin of the paragraph referring to [Greek:
katharizôn] on p. 180 he writes, "Alter the wording of this." This
entirely agrees with my own recollection of many conversations with him
on the subject. I think he felt that the weight of the cursive testimony
to the old rending was conclusive,--at least that he was not justified
in changing the text in spite of it.' These last words of Mr. Rose
express exactly the inference that I had drawn.

[120] 'The majority of the Old Latin MSS. have "in secessum uadit (or
exiit) purgans omnes escas"; _i_ (Vindobonensis) and _r_ (Usserianus)
have "et purgat" for "purgans": and _a_ has a conflation "in secessum
exit purgans omnes escas et exit in rivum"--so they all point the same
way.'--(Kindly communicated by Mr. H. J. White.)

[121] Dem. xv. (Graffin)--'Vadit enim esca in ventrem, unde purgatione
in secessum emittitur.' (Lat.)

[122] iii. 764. 'Et in secessum exit, purgans omnes escas.'

[123] Galland. iii. 319. 'Cibis, quos Dominus dicit perire, et in
secessu naturali lege purgari.'

[124] iii. 494. [Greek: elege tauta ho Sôtêr, katharizôn panta ta

[125] i. 206. [Greek: ekkatharizôn panta ta brômata.]

[126] Galland. iii. 400. [Greek: alla kai ho Sôtêr, panta katharizôn ta

[127] Evan. 2. See Hoskier, Collation of Cod. Evan. 604, App. F. p. 4.

[128] [The following specimens taken from the first hand of B may
illustrate the kakigraphy, if I may use the expression, which is
characteristic of that MS. and also of [Symbol: Aleph]. The list might
be easily increased.

I. _Proper Names._

[Greek: Iôanês], generally: [Greek: Iôannês], Luke i. 13*, 60, 63; Acts
iii. 4; iv. 6, 13, 19; xii. 25; xiii. 5, 25; xv. 37; Rev. i. 1, 4, 9;
xxii. 8.

[Greek: Beezeboul], Matt. x. 25; xii. 24, 27; Mark iii. 22; Luke xi. 15,
18, 19.

[Greek: Nazaret], Matt. ii. 23; Luke i. 26; John i. 46, 47. [Greek:
Nazara], Matt. iv. 13. [Greek: Nazareth], Matt. xxi. 11; Luke ii. 51;
iv. 16.

[Greek: Maria] for [Greek: Mariam], Matt. i. 20; Luke ii. 19. [Greek:
Mariam] for [Greek: Maria], Matt. xxvii. 61; Mark xx. 40; Luke x. 42;
xi. 32; John xi. 2; xii. 3; xx. 16, 18. See Traditional Text, p. 86.

[Greek: Koum], Mark v. 41. [Greek: Golgoth], Luke xix. 17.

[Greek: Istraêleitai, Istraêlitai, Israêleitai, Israêlitai].

[Greek: Eleisabet, Elisabet].

[Greek: Môsês, Môusês.]

[Greek: Dalmanountha], Mark viii. 10.

[Greek: Iôsê] (Joseph of Arimathea), Mark xv. 45. [Greek: Iôsêph], Matt.
xxvii. 57, 59; Mark xv. 42; Luke xxiii. 50; John xix. 38.

II. _Mis-spelling of ordinary words._

[Greek: kath' idian], Matt. xvii. 1, 19; xxi v. 3; Mark iv. 34; vi. 31,
&c. [Greek: kat' idian], Matt. xiv. 13, 23; Mark vi. 32; vii. 33, &c.

[Greek: genêma], Matt. xxvi. 29; Mark xiv. 25; Luke xxii. 18. [Greek:
gennêma], Matt. iii. 7; xii. 34; xxiii. 33; Luke iii. 7 (the well-known
[Greek: gennêmata echidnôn]).

A similar confusion between [Greek: genesis] and [Greek: gennêsis],
Matt. i, and between [Greek: egenêthên] and [Greek: egennêthên], and
[Greek: gegenêmai] and [Greek: gegennêmai]. See Kuenen and Cobet N. T.
ad fid. Cod. Vaticani lxxvii.

III. _Itacisms._

[Greek: kreinô], John xii. 48 ([Greek: kreinei]). [Greek: krinô], Matt.
vii. 1; xix. 28; Luke vi. 37; vii. 43; xii. 57, &c.

[Greek: teimô, timô], Matt. xv. 4, 5, 8; xix. 19; xxvii. 9; Mark vii. 6,
10, &c.

[Greek: enebreimêthê] (Matt. ix. 30) for [Greek: enebrimêsato]. [Greek:
anakleithênai] (Mark vi. 39) for [Greek: anaklinai. seitos] for [Greek:
sitos] (Mark iv. 28).

IV. _Bad Grammar._

[Greek: tôi oikodespotêi epekalesan] for [Greek: ton oikodespotên ekal.]
(Matt. x. 25). [Greek: katapatêsousin] for [Greek:-sôsin] (Matt. vii.
6). [Greek: ho an aitêsetai] (Matt. xiv. 7). [Greek: hotan de akouete]
(Mark xiii. 7).

V. _Impossible words._

[Greek: emnêsteumenên] (Luke i. 27). [Greek: ouranou] for [Greek:
ouraniou] (ii. 13). [Greek: anêzêtoun] (Luke ii. 44). [Greek: kopiousin]
(Matt. vi. 28). [Greek: êrôtoun] (Matt. xv. 23). [Greek: kataskênoin]
(Mark iv. 32). [Greek: hêmeis] for [Greek: hymeis]. [Greek: hymeis] for
[Greek: hêmeis].]

[129] This paper on Titus ii. 5 was marked by the Dean as being 'ready
for press.' It was evidently one of his later essays, and was left in
one of his later portfolios.

[130] _All_ Matthaei's 16,--_all_ Rinck's 7,--_all_ Reiche's 6,--_all_
Scrivener's 13, &c., &c.

[131] 622.

[132] _Ed._ Swete, ii. 247 (_domos suas bene regentes_); 248 (_domus
proprias optime regant_).

[133] ii. (_Eth._) 291 a, 309 b.

[134] xi. 750 a, 751 b c d--[Greek: hê oikouros kai oikonomikê.]

[135] iii. 704.

[136] ii. 271.

[137] Cod. Clarom.

[138] Cod. Amiat., and August. iii^{1}. 804.

[139] vii. 716 c, 718 b (_Bene domum regere_, 718 c).

[140] [Greek: kat' oikon oikourousin hôste parthenoi] (Soph. Oed. Col.
343).--'[Greek: Oikouros] est quasi proprium vocabulum mulierum: [Greek:
oikourgos] est scribarum commentum,'--as Matthaei, whose note is worth
reading, truly states. Wetstein's collections here should by all means
be consulted. See also Field's delightful Otium Norv., pp. 135-6.

[141] P. 293, _lin._ 4 (see _lin._ 2).

[142] P. 288, _lin._ 20.

[143] 1 Tim. v. 13.

[144] [Greek: oikourgein]--which occurs in Clemens Rom. (ad Cor. c.
1)--is probably due to the scribe.



V. Liturgical Influence.

§ 1.

There is one distinct class of evidence provided by Almighty God for the
conservation of the deposit in its integrity[145], which calls for
special notice in this place. The Lectionaries of the ancient Church
have not yet nearly enjoyed the attention they deserve, or the laborious
study which in order to render them practically available they
absolutely require. Scarcely any persons, in fact, except professed
critics, are at all acquainted with the contents of the very curious
documents alluded to: while collations of any of them which have been
hitherto effected are few indeed. I speak chiefly of the Books called
Evangelistaria (or Evangeliaria), in other words, the proper lessons
collected out of the Gospels, and transcribed into a separate volume.
Let me freely admit that I subjoin a few observations on this subject
with unfeigned diffidence; having had to teach myself throughout the
little I know;--and discovering in the end how very insufficient for my
purpose that little is. Properly handled, an adequate study of the
Lectionaries of the ancient Church would become the labour of a life. We
require exact collations of at least 100 of them. From such a practical
acquaintance with about a tenth of the extant copies some very
interesting results would infallibly be obtained[146].

As for the external appearance of these documents, it may be enough to
say that they range, like the mass of uncial and cursive copies, over a
space of about 700 years,--the oldest extant being of about the eighth
century, and the latest dating in the fifteenth. Rarely are any so old
as the former date,--or so recent as the last named. When they began to
be executed is not known; but much older copies than any which at
present exist must have perished through constant use: [for they are in
perfect order when we first become acquainted with them, and as a whole
they are remarkably consistent with one another]. They are almost
invariably written in double columns, and not unfrequently are
splendidly executed. The use of Uncial letters is observed to have been
retained in documents of this class to a later period than in the case
of the Evangelia, viz. down to the eleventh century. For the most part
they are furnished with a kind of musical notation executed in
vermilion; evidently intended to guide the reader in that peculiar
recitative which is still customary in the oriental Church.

In these books the Gospels always stand in the following order: St.
John: St. Matthew: St. Luke: St. Mark. The lessons are brief,--
resembling the Epistles and Gospels in our Book of Common Prayer.

They seem to me to fall into two classes: (_a_) Those which contain a
lesson for every day in the year: (_b_) Those which only contain
[lessons for fixed Festivals and] the Saturday-Sunday lessons ([Greek:
sabbatokyriakai]). We are reminded by this peculiarity that it was not
till a very late period in her history that the Eastern Church was able
to shake herself clear of the shadow of the old Jewish Sabbath[147]. [To
these Lectionaries Tables of the Lessons were often added, of a similar
character to those which we have in our Prayer-books. The Table of daily
Lessons went under the title of Synaxarion (or Eclogadion); and the
Table of the Lessons of immovable Festivals and Saints' days was styled

Liturgical use has proved a fruitful source of textual perturbation.
Nothing less was to have been expected,--as every one must admit who has
examined ancient Evangelia with any degree of attention. For a period
before the custom arose of writing out the Ecclesiastical Lections in
the 'Evangelistaries,' and 'Apostolos,' it may be regarded as certain
that the practice generally prevailed of accommodating an ordinary copy,
whether of the Gospels or of the Epistles, to the requirements of the
Church. This continued to the last to be a favourite method with the
ancients[149]. Not only was it the invariable liturgical practice to
introduce an ecclesiastical lection with an ever-varying formula,--by
which means the holy Name is often found in MSS. where it has no proper
place,--but notes of time, &c., ['like the unique and indubitably
genuine word [Greek: deuteroprôtôi][150],' are omitted as carrying no
moral lesson, as well as longer passages like the case of the two verses
recounting the ministering Angel with the Agony and the Bloody

That Lessons from the New Testament were probably read in the assemblies
of the faithful according to a definite scheme, and on an established
system, at least as early as the fourth century, has been shewn to
follow from plain historical fact in the tenth chapter of the Twelve
Last Verses of St. Mark's Gospel, to which the reader is referred for
more detailed information. Cyril, at Jerusalem,--and by implication, his
namesake at Alexandria,--Chrysostom, at Antioch and at Constantinople,--
Augustine, in Africa,--all four expressly witness to the circumstance.
In other words, there is found to have been at least at that time fully
established throughout the Churches of Christendom a Lectionary, which
seems to have been essentially one and the same in the West and in the
East. That it must have been of even Apostolic antiquity may be inferred
from several considerations[152]. For example, Marcion, in A.D. 140,
would hardly have constructed an Evangelistarium and Apostolicon of his
own, as we learn from Epiphanius[153], if he had not been induced by the
Lectionary System prevailing around him to form a counterplan of
teaching upon the same model.]

§ 2.

Indeed, the high antiquity of the Church's Lectionary System is inferred
with certainty from many a textual phenomenon with which students of
Textual Science are familiar.

It may be helpful to a beginner if I introduce to his notice the class
of readings to be discussed in the present chapter, by inviting his
attention to the first words of the Gospel for St. Philip and St. James'
Day in our own English Book of Common Prayer,--'And Jesus said unto His
disciples.' Those words he sees at a glance are undeniably nothing else
but an Ecclesiastical accretion to the Gospel,--words which breed
offence in no quarter, and occasion error to none. They have
nevertheless stood prefixed to St. John xiv. 1 from an exceedingly
remote period; for, besides establishing themselves in every Lectionary
of the ancient Church[154], they are found in Cod. D[155],--in copies of
the Old Latin[156] as the Vercellensis, Corbeiensis, Aureus, Bezae,--and
in copies of the Vulgate. They may be of the second or third, they must
be as old as the fourth century. It is evident that it wants but a very
little for those words to have established their claim to a permanent
place in the Text. Readings just as slenderly supported have been
actually adopted before now[157].

I proceed to cite another instance; and here the success of an ordinary
case of Lectionary licence will be perceived to have been complete: for
besides recommending itself to Lachmann, Tischendorf, Tregelles, and
Westcott and Hort, the blunder in question has established itself in the
pages of the Revised Version. Reference is made to an alteration of the
Text occurring in certain copies of Acts iii. 1, which will be further
discussed below[158]. When it has been stated that these copies are
[Symbol: Aleph]ABCG,--the Vulgate,--the two Egyptian versions,--besides
the Armenian,--and the Ethiopic,--it will be admitted that the
Ecclesiastical practice which has resulted in so widespread a reading,
must be primitive indeed. To some persons such a formidable array of
evidence may seem conclusive in favour of any reading: but it can only
seem so to those who do not realize the weight of counter-testimony.

But by far the most considerable injury which has resulted to the Gospel
from this cause is the suspicion which has alighted in certain quarters
on the last twelve verses of the Gospel according to St. Mark. [Those
verses made up by themselves a complete Lection. The preceding Lection,
which was used on the Second Sunday after Easter, was closed with the
Liturgical note 'The End,' or [Greek: TO TELOS], occurring after the
eighth verse. What more probable, nay, more certain result could there
be, than that some scribe should mistake the end of the Lection for the
end of St. Mark's Gospel, if the last leaf should chance to have been
torn off, and should then transcribe no more[159]? How natural that St.
Mark should express himself in a more condensed and abrupt style than
usual. This of course is only put forward as an explanation, which
leaves the notion of another writer and a later date unnecessary. If it
can be improved upon, so much the better. Candid critics ought to study
Dean Burgon's elaborate chapter already referred to before rejecting

§ 3.

And there probably does not exist, in the whole compass of the Gospel, a
more interesting instance of this than is furnished by the words [Greek:
eipe de ho Kyrios], in St. Luke vii. 31. This is certainly derived from
the Lectionaries; being nothing else but the formula with which it was
customary to introduce the lection that begins at this place.
Accordingly, only one out of forty copies which have been consulted for
the purpose contains them. But the circumstance of interest remains to
be stated. When these four unauthorized words have been thus got rid of,
the important discovery is made that the two preceding verses (verses 28
and 29) must needs form a part of our Lord's discourse,--which it is
perceived flows on unbroken from v. 24 to v. 35. This has been seen
already by some[160], though denied by others. But the fact does not
admit of rational doubt; though it is certainly not as yet generally
known. It is not generally known, I mean, that the Church has recovered
a piece of knowledge with which she was once familiar[161], but which
for many centuries she has forgotten, viz. that thirty-two words which
she supposed to be those of the Evangelist are in reality those of her

Indeed, when the expressions are considered, it is perceived that this
account of them must needs be the true one. Thus, we learn from the 24th
verse that our Saviour was at this time addressing 'the crowds' or
'multitudes.' But the four classes specified in verses 29, 30, cannot
reasonably be thought to be the Evangelist's analysis of those crowds.
In fact what is said of 'the Pharisees and Lawyers' in ver. 30 is
clearly not a remark made by the Evangelist on the reception which our
Saviour's words were receiving at the hands of his auditory; but our
Saviour's own statement of the reception which His Forerunner's
preaching had met with at the hands of the common people and the
publicans on the one hand,--the Pharisees and the Scribes on the other.
Hence the inferential particle [Greek: oun] in the 31st verse; and the
use in ver. 35 of the same verb ([Greek: edikaiôthê]) which the Divine
Speaker had employed in ver. 29: whereby He takes up His previous
statement while He applies and enforces it.

Another specimen of unauthorized accretion originating in the same way
is found a little farther on. In St. Luke ix. 1 ('And having called
together His twelve Disciples'), the words [Greek: mathêtas autou] are
confessedly spurious: being condemned by nearly every known cursive and
uncial. Their presence in the meantime is fully accounted for by the
adjacent rubrical direction how the lesson is to be introduced: viz. 'At
that time Jesus having called together His twelve Disciples.'
Accordingly we are not surprised to find the words [Greek: ho Iêsous]
also thrust into a few of the MSS.: though we are hardly prepared to
discover that the words of the Peshitto, besides the Latin and Cureton's
Syriac, are disfigured in the same way. The admirers of 'the old
uncials' will learn with interest that, instead of [Greek: mathêtas
autou], [Symbol: Aleph]C with LX[Symbol: Lambda][Symbol: Xi] and a
choice assortment of cursives exhibit [Greek: apostolous],--being
supported in this manifestly spurious reading by the best copies of the
Old Latin, the Vulgate, Gothic, Harkleian, Bohairic, and a few other

Indeed, it is surprising what a fertile source of corruption Liturgical
usage has proved. Every careful student of the Gospels remembers that
St. Matthew describes our Lord's first and second missionary journey in
very nearly the same words. The former place (iv. 23) ending [Greek: kai
pasan malakian en tô laô] used to conclude the lesson for the second
Sunday after Pentecost,--the latter (ix. 35) ending [Greek: kai pasan
malakian] occupies the same position in the Gospel for the seventh
Sunday. It will not seem strange to any one who considers the matter,
that [Greek: en tô laô] has in consequence not only found its way into
ix. 35, but has established itself there very firmly: and that from a
very early time. The spurious words are first met with in the Codex

But sometimes corruptions of this class are really perplexing. Thus
[Symbol: Aleph] testifies to the existence of a short additional clause
([Greek: kai polloi êkolouthêsan autô]) at the end, as some critics say,
of the same 35th verse. Are we not rather to regard the words as the
beginning of ver. 36, and as being nothing else but the liturgical
introduction to the lection for the Twelve Apostles, which follows (ix.
36-x. 8), and whose Festival falls on the 30th June? Whatever its
origin, this confessedly spurious accretion to the Text, which exists
besides only in L and six cursive copies, must needs be of extraordinary
antiquity, being found in the two oldest copies of the Old Latin:--a
sufficient indication, by the way, of the utter insufficiency of such an
amount of evidence for the genuineness of any reading.

This is the reason why, in certain of the oldest documents accessible,
such a strange amount of discrepancy is discoverable in the text of the
first words of St. Luke x. 25 ([Greek: kai idou nomikos tis anestê,
ekpeirazôn aiton, kai legôn]). Many of the Latin copies preface this
with _et haec eo dicente_. Now, the established formula of the
lectionaries here is,--[Greek: nomikos tis prosêthen tô I.], which
explains why the Curetonian, the Lewis, with 33, 'the queen of the
cursives,' as their usual leader in aberrant readings is absurdly
styled, so read the place: while D, with one copy of the Old Latin,
stands alone in exhibiting,--[Greek: anestê de tis nomikos]. Four
Codexes ([Symbol: Aleph]BL[Symbol: Xi]) with the Curetonian omit the
second [Greek: kai] which is illegible in the Lewis. To read this place
in its purity you have to take up any ordinary cursive copy.

§ 4.

Take another instance. St. Mark xv. 28 has been hitherto read in all
Churches as follows:--'And the Scripture was fulfilled, which saith,
"And He was numbered with the transgressors."' In these last days
however the discovery is announced that every word of this is an
unauthorized addition to the inspired text. Griesbach indeed only marks
the verse as probably spurious; while Tregelles is content to enclose it
in brackets. But Alford, Tischendorf, Westcott and Hort, and the
Revisers eject the words [Greek: kai eplêrôthê hê graphê hê legousa, kai
meta anomôn elogisthê] from the text altogether. What can be the reason
for so extraordinary a proceeding?

Let us not be told by Schulz (Griesbach's latest editor) that 'the
quotation is not in Mark's manner; that the formula which introduces it
is John's: and that it seems to be a gloss taken from Luke xxii. 37.'
This is not criticism but dictation,--imagination, not argument. Men who
so write forget that they are assuming the very point which they are
called upon to prove.

Now it happens that all the Uncials but six and an immense majority of
the Cursive copies contain the words before us:--that besides these, the
Old Latin, the Syriac, the Vulgate, the Gothic and the Bohairic
versions, all concur in exhibiting them:--that the same words are
expressly recognized by the Sectional System of Eusebius;--having a
section ([Greek: sis] / [Greek: ê] i.e. 216/8) to themselves--which is
the weightiest sanction that Father had it in his power to give to words
of Scripture. So are they also recognized by the Syriac sectional system
(260/8), which is diverse from that of Eusebius and independent of it.
What then is to be set against such a weight of ancient evidence? The
fact that the following six Codexes are without this 28th verse,
[Symbol: Aleph]ABCDX, together with the Sahidic and Lewis. The notorious
Codex k (Bobiensis) is the only other ancient testimony producible; to
which Tischendorf adds 'about forty-five cursive copies.' Will it be
seriously pretended that this evidence for omitting ver. 28 from St.
Mark's Gospel can compete with the evidence for retaining it?

Let it not be once more insinuated that we set numbers before antiquity.
Codex D is of the sixth century; Cod. X not older than the ninth: and
not one of the four Codexes which remain is so old, within perhaps two
centuries, as either the Old Latin or the Peshitto versions. We have
Eusebius and Jerome's Vulgate as witnesses on the same side, besides the
Gothic version, which represents a Codex probably as old as either. To
these witnesses must be added Victor of Antioch, who commented on St.
Mark's Gospel before either A or C were written[163].

It will be not unreasonably asked by those who have learned to regard
whatever is found in B or [Symbol: Aleph] as oracular,--'But is it
credible that on a point like this such authorities as [Symbol:
Aleph]ABCD should all be in error?'

It is not only credible, I answer, but a circumstance of which we meet
with so many undeniable examples that it ceases to be even a matter of
surprise. On the other hand, what is to be thought of the credibility
that on a point like this all the ancient versions (except the Sahidic)
should have conspired to mislead mankind? And further, on what
intelligible principle is the consent of all the other uncials, and the
whole mass of cursives, to be explained, if this verse of Scripture be
indeed spurious?

I know that the rejoinder will be as follows:--'Yes, but if the ten
words in dispute really are part of the inspired verity, how is their
absence from the earliest Codexes to be accounted for?' Now it happens
that for once I am able to assign the reason. But I do so under protest,
for I insist that to point out the source of the mistakes in our oldest
Codexes is no part of a critic's business. It would not only prove an
endless, but also a hopeless task. This time, however, I am able to

If the reader will take the trouble to inquire at the Bibliothèque at
Paris for a Greek Codex numbered '71,' an Evangelium will be put into
his hands which differs from any that I ever met with in giving
singularly minute and full rubrical directions. At the end of St. Mark
xv. 27, he will read as follows:--'When thou readest the sixth Gospel of
the Passion,--also when thou readest the second Gospel of the Vigil of
Good Friday,--stop here: skip verse 28: then go on at verse 29.' The
inference from this is so obvious, that it would be to abuse the
reader's patience if I were to enlarge upon it, or even to draw it out
in detail. Very ancient indeed must the Lectionary practice in this
particular have been that it should leave so fatal a trace of its
operation in our four oldest Codexes: but _it has left it_[164]. The
explanation is evident, the verse is plainly genuine, and the Codexes
which leave it out are corrupt.

One word about the evidence of the cursive copies on this occasion.
Tischendorf says that 'about forty-five' of them are without this
precious verse of Scripture. I venture to say that the learned critic
would be puzzled to produce forty-five copies of the Gospels in which
this verse has no place. But in fact his very next statement (viz. that
about half of these are Lectionaries),--satisfactorily explains the
matter. Just so. From every Lectionary in the world, for the reason
already assigned, these words are away; as well as in every MS. which,
like B and [Symbol: Aleph], has been depraved by the influence of the
Lectionary practice.

And now I venture to ask,--What is to be thought of that Revision of our
Authorized Version which omits ver. 28 altogether; with a marginal
intimation that 'many ancient authorities insert it'? Would it not have
been the course of ordinary reverence,--I was going to say of truth and
fairness,--to leave the text unmolested: with a marginal memorandum that
just 'a very few ancient authorities leave it out'?

§ 5.

A gross depravation of the Text resulting from this cause, which
nevertheless has imposed on several critics, as has been already said,
is furnished by the first words of Acts iii. The most ancient witness
accessible, namely the Peshitto, confirms the usual reading of the
place, which is also the text of the cursives: viz. [Greek: Epi to auto
de Petros kai Iôannês k.t.l.] So the Harkleian and Bede. So Codex E.

The four oldest of the six available uncials conspire however in
representing the words which immediately precede in the following
unintelligible fashion:--[Greek: ho de Kyrios prosetithei tous
sôzomenous kath' hêmeran epi to auto. Petros de k.t.l.] How is it to be
thought that this strange and vapid presentment of the passage had its
beginning? It results, I answer, from the ecclesiastical practice of
beginning a fresh lection at the name of 'Peter,' prefaced by the usual
formula 'In those days.' It is accordingly usual to find the liturgical
word [Greek: archê]--indicative of the beginning of a lection,--thrust
in between [Greek: epi to auto de] and [Greek: Petros]. At a yet earlier
period I suppose some more effectual severance of the text was made in
that place, which unhappily misled some early scribe[165]. And so it
came to pass that in the first instance the place stood thus: [Greek: ho
de Kyrios prosetithei tous sôzomenous kath' hêmeran tê ekklêsia epi to
auto],--which was plainly intolerable.

What I am saying will commend itself to any unprejudiced reader when it
has been stated that Cod. D in this place actually reads as
follows:--[Greek: kathêmeran epi to auto en tê ekklêsia. En de tais
hêmerais tautais Petros k.t.l.]: the scribe with simplicity both giving
us the liturgical formula with which it was usual to introduce the
Gospel for the Friday after Easter, and permitting us to witness the
perplexity with which the evident surplusage of [Greek: tê ekklêsia epi
to auto] occasioned him. He inverts those two expressions and thrusts in
a preposition. How obvious it now was to solve the difficulty by getting
rid of [Greek: tê ekklêsia].

It does not help the adverse case to shew that the Vulgate as well as
the copy of Cyril of Alexandria are disfigured with the same corrupt
reading as [Symbol: Aleph]ABC. It does but prove how early and how
widespread is this depravation of the Text. But the indirect proof thus
afforded that the actual Lectionary System must needs date from a period
long anterior to our oldest Codexes is a far more important as well as a
more interesting inference. In the meantime I suspect that it was in
Western Christendom that this corruption of the text had its beginning:
for proof is not wanting that the expression [Greek: epi to auto] seemed
hard to the Latins[166].

Hence too the omission of [Greek: palin] from [Symbol: Aleph]BD (St.
Matt, xiii. 43). A glance at the place in an actual Codex[167] will
explain the matter to a novice better than a whole page of writing:--

  [Greek: akouetô. telos]
  [Greek: palin. archê. eipen o Kurios tên parabolên tautên.]
  [Greek: Omoia estin k.t.l.]

The word [Greek: palin], because it stands between the end ([Greek:
telos]) of the lesson for the sixth Thursday and the beginning ([Greek:
archê]) of the first Friday after Pentecost, got left out [though every
one acquainted with Gospel MSS. knows that [Greek: archê] and [Greek:
telos] were often inserted in the text]. The second of these two lessons
begins with [Greek: homoia] [because [Greek: palin] at the beginning of
a lesson is not wanted]. Here then is a singular token of the antiquity
of the Lectionary System in the Churches of the East: as well as a proof
of the untrustworthy character of Codd. [Symbol: Aleph]BD. The discovery
that they are supported this time by copies of the Old Latin (a c e
ff^{1.2} g^{1.2} k l), Vulgate, Curetonian, Bohairic, Ethiopic, does but
further shew that such an amount of evidence in and by itself is wholly
insufficient to determine the text of Scripture.

When therefore I see Tischendorf, in the immediately preceding verse
(xiii. 43) on the sole authority of [Symbol: Aleph]B and a few Latin
copies, omitting the word [Greek: akouein],--and again in the present
verse on very similar authority (viz. [Symbol: Aleph]D, Old Latin,
Vulgate, Peshitto, Curetonian, Lewis, Bohairic, together with five
cursives of aberrant character) transposing the order of the words
[Greek: panta hosa echei pôlei],--I can but reflect on the utterly
insecure basis on which the Revisers and the school which they follow
would remodel the inspired Text.

It is precisely in this way and for the selfsame reason, that the clause
[Greek: kai elypêthêsan sphodra] (St. Matt. xvii. 23) comes to be
omitted in K and several other copies. The previous lesson ends at
[Greek: egerthêsetai],--the next lesson begins at [Greek: prosêlthon].

§ 6.

Indeed, the Ancient Liturgy of the Church has frequently exercised a
corrupting influence on the text of Scripture. Having elsewhere
considered St. Luke's version of the Lord's Prayer[168], I will in this
place discuss the genuineness of the doxology with which the Lord's
Prayer concludes in St. Matt. vi. 13[169],--[Greek: hoti sou estin hê
basileia kai hê dynamis kai hê doxa eis tous aiônas. amên],--words which
for 360 years have been rejected by critical writers as spurious,
notwithstanding St. Paul's unmistakable recognition of them in 2 Tim.
iv. 18,--which alone, one would have thought, should have sufficed to
preserve them from molestation.

The essential note of primitive antiquity at all events these fifteen
words enjoy in perfection, being met with in all copies of the
Peshitto:--and this is a far weightier consideration than the fact that
they are absent from most of the Latin copies. Even of these however
four (k f g^{1} q) recognize the doxology, which is also found in
Cureton's Syriac and the Sahidic version; the Gothic, the Ethiopic,
Armenian, Georgian, Slavonic, Harkleian, Palestinian, Erpenius' Arabic,
and the Persian of Tawos; as well as in the [Greek: Didachê] (with
variations); Apostolical Constitutions (iii. 18-vii. 25 with
variations); in St. Ambrose (De Sacr. vi. 5. 24), Caesarius (Dial. i.
29). Chrysostom comments on the words without suspicion, and often
quotes them (In Orat. Dom., also see Hom. in Matt. xiv. 13): as does
Isidore of Pelusium (Ep. iv. 24). See also Opus Imperfectum (Hom. in
Matt. xiv), Theophylact on this place, and Euthymius Zigabenus (in Matt.
vi. 13 and C. Massal. Anath. 7). And yet their true claim to be accepted
as inspired is of course based on the consideration that they are found
in ninety-nine out of a hundred of the Greek copies, including [Symbol:
Phi] and [Symbol: Sigma] of the end of the fifth and beginning of the
sixth centuries. What then is the nature of the adverse evidence with
which they have to contend and which is supposed to be fatal to their

Four uncial MSS. ([Symbol: Aleph]BDZ), supported by five cursives of bad
character (1, 17 which gives [Greek: amên], 118, 130, 209), and, as we
have seen, all the Latin copies but four, omit these words; which, it is
accordingly assumed, must have found their way surreptitiously into the
text of all the other copies in existence. But let me ask,--Is it at all
likely, or rather is it any way credible, that in a matter like this,
all the MSS. in the world but nine should have become corrupted? No
hypothesis is needed to account for one more instance of omission in
copies which exhibit a mutilated text in every page. But how will men
pretend to explain an interpolation universal as the present; which may
be traced as far back as the second century; which has established
itself without appreciable variety of reading in all the MSS.; which has
therefore found its way from the earliest time into every part of
Christendom; is met with in all the Lectionaries, and in all the Greek
Liturgies; and has so effectually won the Church's confidence that to
this hour it forms part of the public and private devotions of the
faithful all over the world?

One and the same reply has been rendered to this inquiry ever since the
days of Erasmus. A note in the Complutensian Polyglott (1514) expresses
it with sufficient accuracy. 'In the Greek copies, after _And deliver us
from evil_, follows _For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the
glory, for ever_. But it is to be noted that in the Greek liturgy, after
the choir has said _And deliver us from evil_, it is the Priest who
responds as above: and those words, according to the Greeks, the priest
alone may pronounce. This makes it probable that the words in question
are no integral part of the Lord's Prayer: but that certain copyists
inserted them in error, supposing, from their use in the liturgy, that
they formed part of the text.' In other words, they represent that men's
ears had grown so fatally familiar with this formula from its habitual
use in the liturgy, that at last they assumed it to be part and parcel
of the Lord's Prayer. The same statement has been repeated ad nauseam by
ten generations of critics for 360 years. The words with which our
Saviour closed His pattern prayer are accordingly rejected as an
interpolation resulting from the liturgical practice of the primitive
Church. And this slipshod account of the matter is universally
acquiesced in by learned and unlearned readers alike at the present day.

From an examination of above fifty ancient oriental liturgies, it is
found then that though the utmost variety prevails among them, yet that
_not one_ of them exhibits the evangelical formula as it stands in St.
Matt. vi. 13; while in some instances the divergences of expression are
even extraordinary. Subjoined is what may perhaps be regarded as the
typical eucharistic formula, derived from the liturgy which passes as
Chrysostom's. Precisely the same form recurs in the office which is
called after the name of Basil: and it is essentially reproduced by
Gregory of Nyssa, Cyril of Jerusalem, and pseudo-Caesarius; while
something very like it is found to have been in use in more of the
Churches of the East.

'_For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory_, Father, Son
and Holy Ghost, now and always and _for ever_ and ever. _Amen_.'

But as every one sees at a glance, such a formula as the
foregoing,--with its ever-varying terminology of praise,--its constant
reference to the blessed Trinity,--its habitual [Greek: nun kai
aei],--and its invariable [Greek: eis tous aiônas tôn aiônôn], (which
must needs be of very high antiquity, for it is mentioned by
Irenaeus[170], and may be as old as 2 Tim. iv. 18 itself;)--the
doxology, I say, which formed part of the Church's liturgy, though
transcribed 10,000 times, could never by possibility have resulted in
the unvarying doxology found in MSS. of St. Matt. vi. 13,--'_For thine
is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen._'

On the other hand, the inference from a careful survey of so many
Oriental liturgies is inevitable. The universal prevalence of a doxology
of some sort at the end of the Lord's Prayer; the general prefix 'for
thine'; the prevailing mention therein of 'the kingdom and the power and
the glory'; the invariable reference to Eternity:--all this constitutes
a weighty corroboration of the genuineness of the form in St. Matthew.
Eked out with a confession of faith in the Trinity, and otherwise
amplified as piety or zeal for doctrinal purity suggested, every
liturgical formula of the kind is clearly derivable from the form of
words in St. Matt. vi. 13. In no conceivable way, on the other hand,
could that briefer formula have resulted from the practice of the
ancient Church. The thing, I repeat, is simply impossible.

What need to point out in conclusion that the Church's peculiar method
of reciting the Lord's Prayer in the public liturgy does notwithstanding
supply the obvious and sufficient explanation of all the adverse
phenomena of the case? It was the invariable practice from the earliest
time for the Choir to break off at the words 'But deliver us from evil.'
They never pronounced the doxology. The doxology must for that reason
have been omitted by the critical owner of the archetypal copy of St.
Matthew from which nine extant Evangelia, Origen, and the Old Latin
version originally derived their text. This is the sum of the matter.
There can be no simpler solution of the alleged difficulty. That
Tertullian, Cyprian, Ambrose recognize no more of the Lord's Prayer than
they found in their Latin copies, cannot create surprise. The wonder
would have been if they did.

Much stress has been laid on the silence of certain of the Greek Fathers
concerning the doxology although they wrote expressly on the Lord's
Prayer; as Origen, Gregory of Nyssa[171], Cyril of Jerusalem, Maximus.
Those who have attended most to such subjects will however bear me most
ready witness, that it is never safe to draw inferences of the kind
proposed from the silence of the ancients. What if they regarded a
doxology, wherever found, as hardly a fitting subject for exegetical
comment? But however their silence is to be explained, it is at least
quite certain that the reason of it is not because their copies of St.
Matthew were unfurnished with the doxology. Does any one seriously
imagine that in A.D. 650, when Maximus wrote, Evangelia were, in this
respect, in a different state from what they are at present?

The sum of what has been offered may be thus briefly stated:--The
textual perturbation observable at St. Matt. vi. 13 is indeed due to a
liturgical cause, as the critics suppose. But then it is found that not
the great bulk of the Evangelia, but only Codd. [Symbol: Aleph]BDZ, 1,
17, 118, 130, 209, have been victims of the corrupting influence. As
usual, I say, it is the few, not the many copies, which have been led
astray. Let the doxology at the end of the Lord's Prayer be therefore
allowed to retain its place in the text without further molestation. Let
no profane hands be any more laid on these fifteen precious words of the
Lord Jesus Christ.

There yet remains something to be said on the same subject for the
edification of studious readers; to whom the succeeding words are
specially commended. They are requested to keep their attention
sustained, until they have read what immediately follows.

The history of the rejection of these words is in a high degree
instructive. It dates from 1514, when the Complutensian editors, whilst
admitting that the words were found in their Greek copies, banished them
from the text solely in deference to the Latin version. In a marginal
annotation they started the hypothesis that the doxology is a liturgical
interpolation. But how is that possible, seeing that the doxology is
commented on by Chrysostom? 'We presume,' they say, 'that this
corruption of the original text must date from an antecedent period.'
The same adverse sentence, supported by the same hypothesis, was
reaffirmed by Erasmus, and on the same grounds; but in his edition of
the N.T. he suffered the doxology to stand. As the years have rolled
out, and Codexes DBZ[Symbol: Aleph] have successively come to light,
critics have waxed bolder and bolder in giving their verdict. First,
Grotius, Hammond, Walton; then Mill and Grabe; next Bengel, Wetstein,
Griesbach; lastly Scholz, Lachmann, Tischendorf, Tregelles, Alford,
Westcott and Hort, and the Revisers have denounced the precious words as

But how does it appear that tract of time has strengthened the case
against the doxology? Since 1514, scholars have become acquainted with
the Peshitto version; which by its emphatic verdict, effectually
disposes of the evidence borne by all but three of the Old Latin copies.
The [Greek: Didachê] of the first or second century, the Sahidic version
of the third century, the Apostolic Constitutions (2), follow on the
same side. Next, in the fourth century come Chrysostom, Ambrose,
ps.-Caesarius, the Gothic version. After that Isidore, the Ethiopic,
Cureton's Syriac. The Harkleian, Armenian, Georgian, and other versions,
with Chrysostom (2), the Opus Imperfectum, Theophylact, and Euthymius
(2), bring up the rear[172]. Does any one really suppose that two
Codexes of the fourth century (B[Symbol: Aleph]), which are even
notorious for their many omissions and general accuracy, are any
adequate set-off against such an amount of ancient evidence? L and 33,
generally the firm allies of BD and the Vulgate, forsake them at St.
Matt. vi. 13: and dispose effectually of the adverse testimony of D and
Z, which are also balanced by [Symbol: Phi] and [Symbol: Sigma]. But at
this juncture the case for rejecting the doxology breaks down: and when
it is discovered that every other uncial and every other cursive in
existence may be appealed to in its support, and that the story of its
liturgical origin proves to be a myth,--what must be the verdict of an
impartial mind on a survey of the entire evidence?

The whole matter may be conveniently restated thus:--Liturgical use has
indeed been the cause of a depravation of the text at St. Matt. vi. 13;
but it proves on inquiry to be the very few MSS.,--not the very
many,--which have been depraved.

Nor is any one at liberty to appeal to a yet earlier period than is
attainable by existing liturgical evidence; and to suggest that then the
doxology used by the priest may have been the same with that which is
found in the ordinary text of St. Matthew's Gospel. This may have been
the case or it may not. Meanwhile, the hypothesis, which fell to the
ground when the statement on which it rested was disproved, is not now
to be built up again on a mere conjecture. But if the fact could be
ascertained,--and I am not at all concerned to deny that such a thing is
possible,--I should regard it only as confirmatory of the genuineness of
the doxology. For why should the liturgical employment of the last
fifteen words of the Lord's Prayer be thought to cast discredit on their
genuineness? In the meantime, the undoubted fact, that for an
indefinitely remote period the Lord's Prayer was not publicly recited by
the people further than 'But deliver us from evil,'--a doxology of some
sort being invariably added, but pronounced by the priest alone,--this
clearly ascertained fact is fully sufficient to account for a phenomenon
so ordinary [found indeed so commonly throughout St. Matthew, to say
nothing of occurrences in the other Gospels] as really not to require
particular explanation, viz. the omission of the last half of St.
Matthew vi. 13 from Codexes [Symbol: Aleph]BDZ.


[145] [I have retained this passage notwithstanding the objections made
in some quarters against similar passages in the companion volume,
because I think them neither valid, nor creditable to high intelligence,
or to due reverence.]

[146] [The Textual student will remember that besides the Lectionaries
of the Gospels mentioned here, of which about 1000 are known, there are
some 300 more of the Acts and Epistles, called by the name Apostolos.]

[147] ['It seems also a singular note of antiquity that the Sabbath and
the Sunday succeeding it do as it were cohere, and bear one appellation;
so that the week takes its name--_not_ from the Sunday with which it
commences, but--from the Saturday-and-Sunday with which it concludes.'
Twelve Verses, p. 194, where more particulars are given.]

[148] [For the contents of these Tables, see Scrivener's Plain
Introduction, 4th edition, vol. i. pp. 80-89.]

[149] See Scrivener's Plain Introduction, 4th edition, vol. i. pp.

[150] Twelve Verses, p. 220. The MS. stops in the middle of a sentence.

[151] St. Luke xxii. 43, 44.

[152] In the absence of materials supplied by the Dean upon what was his
own special subject, I have thought best to extract the above sentences
from the Twelve Last Verses, p. 207. The next illustration is his own,
though in my words.

[153] i. 311.

[154] [Greek: eipen ho Kyrios tois heautou mathêtais; mê tarassesthô.]

[155] [Greek: kai eipen tois mathêtais autou]. The same Codex (D) also
prefixes to St. Luke xvi. 19 the Ecclesiastical formula--[Greek: eipen
de kai eteran parabolên].

[156] '_Et ait discipulis suis, non turbetur_.'

[157] E.g. the words [Greek: kai legei autois; eirênê hymin] have been
omitted by Tisch, and rejected by W.-Hort from St. Luke xxiv. 36 _on the
sole authority_ of D and five copies of the Old Latin. Again, on the
same sorry evidence, the words [Greek: proskynêsantes auton] have been
omitted or rejected by the same critics from St. Luke xxiv. 52. In both
instances the expressions are also branded with doubt in the R. V.

[158] Pp. 78-80.

[159] See Traditional Text, Appendix VII.

[160] Bp. C. Wordsworth. But Alford, Westcott and Hort, doubt it.

[161] Thus Codex [Symbol: Xi] actually interpolates at this place the
words--[Greek: ouketi ekeinois elegeto, alla tois mathêtais.] Tisch. _ad

[162] Cyril Alex, (four times) and the Verona Codex (b), besides L and a
few other copies, even append the same familiar words to [Greek: kai
pasan malakian] in St. Matt. x. 1.

[163] Investigate Possinus, 345, 346, 348.

[164] It is surprising to find so great an expert as Griesbach in the
last year of his life so entirely misunderstanding this subject. See his
Comment. Crit. Part ii. p. 190. 'Nec ulla ... debuerint.'

[165] [Greek: tous sôzomenous kathêmeran en tê ekklêsia. epi to auto de
(TÊ S' TÊS DIAKINÊSIMOU) Petros kai Iôannês, k.t.l.] Addit. 16,184, fol.
152 _b_.

[166] Bede, Retr. 111. D (add. [Greek: hoi en t. ekkl.]). Brit. Mus.
Addit. 16, 184. fol. 152 _b._ Vulgate.

[167] So the place stands in Evan. 64. The liturgical notes are printed
in a smaller type, for distinction.

[168] The Revision Revised, 34-6.

[169] See The Traditional Text, p. 104.

[170] [Greek: alla kai hêmas epi tês Eucharistias legontas, 'eis tous
aiônas tôn aiônôn,' k.t.l.] Contra Haer. lib. i. c. 3.

[171] But the words of Gregory of Nyssa are doubtful. See Scrivener,
Introduction, ii. p. 325, note 1.

[172] See my Textual Guide, Appendix V. pp. 131-3 (G. Bell & Sons). I
have increased the Dean's list with a few additional authorities.



I. Harmonistic Influence.

[It must not be imagined that all the causes of the depravation of the
text of Holy Scripture were instinctive, and that mistakes arose solely
because scribes were overcome by personal infirmity, or were
unconsciously the victims of surrounding circumstances. There was often
more design and method in their error. They, or those who directed them,
wished sometimes to correct and improve the copy or copies before them.
And indeed occasionally they desired to make the Holy Scriptures witness
to their own peculiar belief. Or they had their ideas of taste, and did
not scruple to alter passages to suit what they fancied was their
enlightened judgement.

Thus we can trace a tendency to bring the Four Records into one
harmonious narrative, or at least to excise or vary statements in one
Gospel which appeared to conflict with parallel statements in another.
Or else, some Evangelical Diatessaron, or Harmony, or combined narrative
now forgotten, exercised an influence over them, and whether consciously
or not,--since it is difficult always to keep designed and unintentional
mistakes apart, and we must not be supposed to aim at scientific
exactness in the arrangement adopted in this analysis,--induced them to
adopt alterations of the pure Text.

We now advance to some instances which will severally and conjointly
explain themselves.]

§ 1.

Nothing can be more exquisitely precise than St. John's way of
describing an incident to which St. Mark (xvi. 9) only refers; viz. our
Lord's appearance to Mary Magdalene,--the first of His appearances after
His Resurrection. The reason is discoverable for every word the
Evangelist uses:--its form and collocation. Both St. Luke (xxiv. 3) and
previously St. Mark (xvi. 5) expressly stated that the women who visited
the Sepulchre on the first Easter morning, 'after they had entered in'
([Greek: eiselthousai]), saw the Angels. St John explains that at that
time Mary was not with them. She had separated herself from their
company;--had gone in quest of Simon Peter and 'the other disciple.'
When the women, their visit ended, had in turn departed from the
Sepulchre, she was left in the garden alone. 'Mary was standing [with
her face] _towards the sepulchre_ weeping,--_outside_[173].'

All this, singular to relate, was completely misunderstood by the
critics of the two first centuries. Not only did they identify the
incident recorded in St. John xx. 11, 12 with St. Mark xv. 5 and St.
Luke xxiv. 3, 4, from which, as we have seen, the first-named Evangelist
is careful to distinguish it;--not only did they further identify both
places with St. Matt, xxviii. 2, 3[174], from which they are clearly
separate;--but they considered themselves at liberty to tamper with the
inspired text in order to bring it into harmony with their own
convictions. Some of them accordingly altered [Greek: pros to mnêmeion]
into [Greek: pros tô mnêmeiô] (which is just as ambiguous in Greek as
'_at_ the sepulchre' in English[175]), and [Greek: exô] they boldly
erased. It is thus that Codex A exhibits the text. But in fact this
depravation must have begun at a very remote period and prevailed to an
extraordinary extent: for it disfigures the best copies of the Old
Latin, (the Syriac being doubtful): a memorable circumstance truly, and
in a high degree suggestive. Codex B, to be sure, reads [Greek:
heistêkei pros tô mnêmeiô, exô klaiousa],--merely transposing (with many
other authorities) the last two words. But then Codex B substitutes
[Greek: elthousai] for [Greek: eiselthousai] in St. Mark xvi. 5, in
order that the second Evangelist may not seem to contradict St. Matt,
xxviii. 2, 3. So that, according to this view of the matter, the Angelic
appearance was outside the sepulchre[176]. Codex [Symbol: Aleph], on the
contrary, is thorough. Not content with omitting [Greek: exô],--(as in
the next verse it leaves out [Greek: duo], in order to prevent St. John
xx. 12 from seeming to contradict St. Matt. xxviii. 2, 3, and St. Mark
xvi. 5),--it stands alone in reading [Greek: EN tô mnêmeiô]. (C and D
are lost here.) When will men learn that these 'old uncials' are _ignes
fatui_,--not beacon lights; and admit that the texts which they exhibit
are not only inconsistent but corrupt?

There is no reason for distrusting the received reading of the present
place in any particular. True, that most of the uncials and many of the
cursives read [Greek: pros tô mnêmeiô]: but so did neither
Chrysostom[177] nor Cyril[178] read the place. And if the Evangelist
himself had so written, is it credible that a majority of the copies
would have forsaken the easier and more obvious, in order to exhibit the
less usual and even slightly difficult expression? Many, by writing
[Greek: pros tô mnêmeiô], betray themselves; for they retain a sure
token that the accusative ought to end the sentence. I am not concerned
however just now to discuss these matters of detail. I am only bent on
illustrating how fatal to the purity of the Text of the Gospels has been
the desire of critics, who did not understand those divine compositions,
to bring them into enforced agreement with one another. The sectional
system of Eusebius, I suspect, is not so much the cause as the
consequence of the ancient and inveterate misapprehensions which
prevailed in respect of the history of the Resurrection. It is time
however to proceed.

§ 2.

Those writers who overlook the corruptions which the text has actually
experienced through a mistaken solicitude on the part of ancient critics
to reconcile what seemed to them the conflicting statements of different
Evangelists, are frequently observed to attribute to this kind of
officiousness expressions which are unquestionably portions of the
genuine text. Thus, there is a general consensus amongst critics of the
destructive school to omit the words [Greek: kai tines syn autais] from
St. Luke xxiv. 1. Their only plea is the testimony of [Symbol: Aleph]BCL
and certain of the Latin copies,--a conjunction of authorities which,
when they stand alone, we have already observed to bear invariably false
witness. Indeed, before we proceed to examine the evidence, we discover
that those four words of St. Luke are even required in this place. For
St. Matthew (xxvii. 61), and St. Mark after him (xv. 47), had distinctly
specified two women as witnesses of how and where our Lord's body was
laid. Now they were the same women apparently who prepared the spices
and ointment and hastened therewith at break of day to the sepulchre.
Had we therefore only St. Matthew's Gospel we should have assumed that
'the ointment-bearers,' for so the ancients called them, were but two
(St. Matt. xxviii. 1). That they were at least three, even St. Mark
shews by adding to their number Salome (xvi. 1). But in fact their
company consisted of more than four; as St. Luke explains when he states
that it was the same little band of holy women who had accompanied our
Saviour out of Galilee (xxiii. 55, cf. viii. 2). In anticipation
therefore of what he will have to relate in ver. 10, he says in ver. 1,
'and certain with them.'

But how, I shall be asked, would you explain the omission of these words
which to yourself seem necessary? And after insisting that one is never
bound to explain how the text of any particular passage came to be
corrupted, I answer, that these words were originally ejected from the
text in order to bring St. Luke's statement into harmony with that of
the first Evangelist, who mentions none but Mary Magdalene and Mary the
mother of James and Joses. The proof is that four of the same Latin
copies which are for the omission of [Greek: kai tines syn autais] are
observed to begin St. Luke xxiii. 55 as follows,--[Greek:
katakolouthêsasai de DUO gynaikes]. The same fabricated reading is found
in D. It exists also in the Codex which Eusebius employed when he wrote
his Demonstratio Evangelica. Instead therefore of wearying the reader
with the evidence, which is simply overwhelming, for letting the text
alone, I shall content myself with inviting him to notice that the
tables have been unexpectedly turned on our opponents. There is indeed
found to have been a corruption of the text hereabouts, and of the words
just now under discussion; but it belongs to an exceedingly remote age;
and happily the record of it survives at this day only in [Symbol:
Aleph]BCDL and certain of the Old Latin copies. Calamitous however it
is, that what the Church has long since deliberately refused to part
with should, at the end of so many centuries, by Lachmann and Tregelles
and Tischendorf, by Alford and Westcott and Hort, be resolutely thrust
out of place; and indeed excluded from the Sacred Text by a majority of
the Revisers.

[A very interesting instance of such Harmonistic Influence may be found
in the substitution of 'wine' ([Greek: oinon]) for vinegar ([Greek:
oxos]), respecting which the details are given in the second Appendix to
the Traditional Text.]

[Observe yet another instance of harmonizing propensities in the Ancient

In St. Luke's Gospel iv. 1-13, no less than six copies of the Old Latin
versions (b c f g^{1} l q) besides Ambrose (Com. St. Luke, 1340), are
observed to transpose the second and third temptations; introducing
verses 9-12 between verses 4 and 5; in order to make the history of the
Temptation as given by St. Luke correspond with the account given by St.

The scribe of the Vercelli Codex (a) was about to do the same thing; but
he checked himself when he had got as far as 'the pinnacle of the
temple,'--which he seems to have thought as good a scene for the third
temptation as 'a high mountain,' and so left it.

§ 3.

A favourite, and certainly a plausible, method of accounting for the
presence of unauthorized matter in MSS. is to suggest that, in the first
instance, it probably existed only in the shape of a marginal gloss,
which through the inadvertence of the scribes, in process of time, found
its way into the sacred text. That in this way some depravations of
Scripture may possibly have arisen, would hardly I presume be doubted.
But I suspect that the hypothesis is generally a wholly mistaken one;
having been imported into this subject-matter (like many other notions
which are quite out of place here), from the region of the
Classics,--where (as we know) the phenomenon is even common. Especially
is this hypothesis resorted to (I believe) in order to explain those
instances of assimilation which are so frequently to be met with in
Codd. B and [Symbol: Aleph].

Another favourite way of accounting for instances of assimilation, is by
taking for granted that the scribe was thinking of the parallel or the
cognate place. And certainly (as before) there is no denying that just
as the familiar language of a parallel place in another Gospel presents
itself unbidden to the memory of a reader, so may it have struck a
copyist also with sufficient vividness to persuade him to write, not the
words which he saw before him, but the words which he remembered. All
this is certainly possible.

But I strongly incline to the suspicion that this is not by any means
the right way to explain the phenomena under discussion. I am of opinion
that such depravations of the text were in the first instance
intentional. I do not mean that they were introduced with any sinister
motive. My meaning is that [there was a desire to remove obscurities, or
to reconcile incongruous passages, or generally to improve the style of
the authors, and thus to add to the merits of the sacred writings,
instead of detracting from them. Such a mode of dealing with the holy
deposit evinced no doubt a failure in the part of those who adopted it
to understand the nature of the trust committed to the Church, just as
similar action at the present day does in the case of such as load the
New Testament with 'various readings,' and illustrate it as they imagine
with what are really insinuations of doubt, in the way that they prepare
an edition of the classics for the purpose of enlarging and sharpening
the minds of youthful students. There was intention, and the intention
was good: but it was none the less productive of corruption.]

I suspect that if we ever obtain access to a specimen of those connected
Gospel narratives called Diatessarons, which are known to have existed
anciently in the Church, we shall be furnished with a clue to a problem
which at present is shrouded in obscurity,--and concerning the solution
of which, with such instruments of criticism as we at present possess,
we can do little else but conjecture. I allude to those many occasions
on which the oldest documents extant, in narrating some incident which
really presents no special difficulty, are observed to diverge into
hopeless variety of expression. An example of the thing referred to will
best explain my meaning. Take then the incident of our Lord's paying
tribute,--set down in St. Matt. xvii. 25, 26.

The received text exhibits,--'And when he [Peter] had entered ([Greek:
hote eisêlthen]) into the house, Jesus was beforehand with him, saying,
What thinkest thou, Simon? Of whom do earthly kings take toll or
tribute? of their sons or of strangers?' Here, for [Greek: hote
eisêlthen], Codex B (but no other uncial) substitutes [Greek: elthonta]:
Codex [Symbol: Aleph] (but no other) [Greek: eiselthonta]: Codex D (but
no other) [Greek: eiselthonti]: Codex C (but no other) [Greek: hote
êlthon]: while a fifth lost copy certainly contained [Greek:
eiselthontôn]; and a sixth, [Greek: elthontôn autôn]. A very fair
specimen this, be it remarked in passing, of the _concordia discors_
which prevails in the most ancient uncial copies[179]. How is all this
discrepancy to be accounted for?

The Evangelist proceeds,--'Peter saith unto Him ([Greek: Legei autô ho
Petros]), Of strangers.' These four words C retains, but continues--'Now
when he had said, Of strangers' ([Greek: Eipontos de autou, apo tôn
allotriôn]);--which unauthorized clause, all but the word [Greek:
autou], is found also in [Symbol: Aleph], but in no other uncial. On the
other hand, for [Greek: Legei autô ho Petros], [Symbol: Aleph] (alone of
uncials) substitutes [Greek: Ho de ephê]: and B (also alone of uncials)
substitutes [Greek: Eipontos de],--and then proceeds exactly like the
received text: while D merely omits [Greek: ho Petros]. Again I
ask,--How is all this discrepancy to be explained[180]?

As already hinted, I suspect that it was occasioned in the first
instance by the prevalence of harmonized Gospel narratives. In no more
loyal way can I account for the perplexing phenomenon already described,
which is of perpetual recurrence in such documents as Codexes B[Symbol:
Aleph]D, Cureton's Syriac, and copies of the Old Latin version. It is
well known that at a very remote period some eminent persons occupied
themselves in constructing such exhibitions of the Evangelical history:
and further, that these productions enjoyed great favour, and were in
general use. As for their contents,--the notion we form to ourselves of
a Diatessaron, is that it aspired to be a weaving of the fourfold Gospel
into one continuous narrative: and we suspect that in accomplishing this
object, the writer was by no means scrupulous about retaining the
precise words of the inspired original. He held himself at liberty, on
the contrary, (_a_) to omit what seemed to himself superfluous clauses:
(_b_) to introduce new incidents: (_c_) to supply picturesque details:
(_d_) to give a new turn to the expression: (_e_) to vary the
construction at pleasure: (_f_) even slightly to paraphrase. Compiled
after some such fashion as I have been describing, at a time too when
the preciousness of the inspired documents seems to have been but
imperfectly apprehended,--the works I speak of, recommended by their
graphic interest, and sanctioned by a mighty name, must have imposed
upon ordinary readers. Incautious owners of Codexes must have
transferred without scruple certain unauthorized readings to the margins
of their own copies. A calamitous partiality for the fabricated document
may have prevailed with some for whom copies were executed. Above all,
it is to be inferred that licentious and rash Editors of
Scripture,--among whom Origen may be regarded as a prime offender,--must
have deliberately introduced into their recensions many an unauthorized
gloss, and so given it an extended circulation.

Not that we would imply that permanent mischief has resulted to the
Deposit from the vagaries of individuals in the earliest age. The Divine
Author of Scripture hath abundantly provided for the safety of His Word
written. In the multitude of copies,--in Lectionaries,--in Versions,--in
citations by the Fathers, a sufficient safeguard against error hath been
erected. But then, of these multitudinous sources of protection we must
not be slow to avail ourselves impartially. The prejudice which would
erect Codexes B and [Symbol: Aleph] into an authority for the text of
the New Testament from which there shall be no appeal:--the
superstitious reverence which has grown up for one little cluster of
authorities, to the disparagement of all other evidence wheresoever
found; this, which is for ever landing critics in results which are
simply irrational and untenable, must be unconditionally abandoned, if
any real progress is to be made in this department of inquiry. But when
this has been done, men will begin to open their eyes to the fact that
the little handful of documents recently so much in favour, are, on the
contrary, the only surviving witnesses to corruptions of the Text which
the Church in her corporate capacity has long since deliberately
rejected. But to proceed.

[From the Diatessaron of Tatian and similar attempts to harmonize the
Gospels, corruption of a serious nature has ensued in some well-known
places, such as the transference of the piercing of the Lord's side from
St. John xix. 34 to St. Matt. xxvii. 49[181], and the omission of the
words 'and of an honeycomb' ([Greek: kai apo tou melissiou

Hence also, in Cureton's Syriac[183], the _patch-work_ supplement to St.
Matt. xxi. 9: viz.:--[Greek: polloi de] (St. Mark xi. 8) [Greek:
exêlthon eis hypantêsin autou. kai] (St. John xii. 13) [Greek: êrxanto
... chairontes ainein ton Theon ... peri pasôn hôn eidon] (St. Luke xix.
37). This self-evident fabrication, 'if it be not a part of the original
Aramaic of St. Matthew,' remarks Dr. Cureton, 'would appear to have been
supplied from the parallel passages of Luke and John conjointly.' How is
it that even a sense of humour did not preserve that eminent scholar
from hazarding the conjecture, that such a self-evident deflection of
his corrupt Syriac Codex from the course all but universally pursued is
a recovery of one more genuine utterance of the Holy Ghost?


[173] [Greek: Maria de heistêkei pros to mnêmeion klaiousa exô] (St.
John xx. 11). Comp. the expression [Greek: pros to phôs] in St. Luke
xxii. 56. Note, that the above is not offered as a revised translation;
but only to shew unlearned readers what the words of the original
exactly mean.

[174] Note, that in the sectional system of Eusebius _according to the
Greek_, the following places are brought together:--

    (St. Matt. xxviii) (St. Mark xvi) (St. Luke xxiv) (St. John xx)
          1-4.             2-5.             1-4.       1, 11, 12.
                       _According to the Syriac_:--
          3, 4.             5.            3, 4, 5(1/2).   11, 12.

[175] Consider [Greek: ho de Petros heistêkei pros tê thyra exô] (St.
John xviii. 16). Has not this place, by the way, exerted an assimilating
influence over St. John xx. 11?

[176] Hesychius, _qu._ 51 (apud Cotelerii Eccl. Gr. Mon. iii. 43),
explains St. Mark's phrase [Greek: en tois dexiois] as follows:--[Greek:
dêlonoti tou exôterou spêlaiou].

[177] viii. 513.

[178] iv. 1079.

[179] Traditional Text, pp. 81-8.

[180] I am tempted to inquire,--By virtue of what verifying faculty do
Lachmann and Tregelles on the former occasion adopt the reading of
[Symbol: Aleph]; Tischendorf, Alford, W. and Hort, the reading of B? On
the second occasion, I venture to ask,--What enabled the Revisers, with
Lachmann, Tischendorf, Tregelles, Westcott and Hort, to recognize in a
reading, which is the peculiar property of B, the genuine language of
the Holy Ghost? Is not a superstitious reverence for B and [Symbol:
Aleph] betraying for ever people into error?

[181] Revision Revised, p. 33.

[182] Traditional Text, Appendix I, pp. 244-252.

[183] The Lewis MS. is defective here.



II. Assimilation.

§ 1.

There results inevitably from the fourfold structure of the
Gospel,--from the very fact that the story of Redemption is set forth in
four narratives, three of which often ran parallel,--this practical
inconvenience: namely, that sometimes the expressions of one Evangelist
get improperly transferred to another. This is a large and important
subject which calls for great attention, and requires to be separately
handled. The phenomena alluded to, which are similar to some of those
which have been treated in the last chapter, may be comprised under the
special head of Assimilation.

It will I think promote clearness in the ensuing discussion if we
determine to consider separately those instances of Assimilation which
may rather be regarded as deliberate attempts to reconcile one Gospel
with another: indications of a fixed determination to establish harmony
between place and place. I am saying that between ordinary cases of
Assimilation such as occur in every page, and extraordinary instances
where _per fas et nefas_ an enforced Harmony has been established,--
which abound indeed, but are by no means common,--I am disposed to draw
a line.

This whole province is beset with difficulties: and the matter is in
itself wondrously obscure. I do not suppose, in the absence of any
evidence direct or indirect on the subject,--at all events I am not
aware--that at any time has there been one definite authoritative
attempt made by the Universal Church in her corporate capacity to
remodel or revise the Text of the Gospels. An attentive study of the
phenomena leads me, on the contrary, to believe that the several
corruptions of the text were effected at different times, and took their
beginning in widely different ways. I suspect that Accident was the
parent of many; and well meant critical assiduity of more. Zeal for the
Truth is accountable for not a few depravations: and the Church's
Liturgical and Lectionary practice must insensibly have produced others.
Systematic villainy I am persuaded has had no part or lot in the matter.
The decrees of such an one as Origen, if there ever was another like
him, will account for a strange number of aberrations from the Truth:
and if the Diatessaron of Tatian could be recovered[184], I suspect that
we should behold there the germs at least of as many more. But, I repeat
my conviction that, however they may have originated, the causes [are
not to be found in bad principle, but either in infirmities or
influences which actuated scribes unconsciously, or in a want of
understanding as to what is the Church's duty in the transmission from
generation to generation of the sacred deposit committed to her
enlightened care.]

§ 2.

1. When we speak of Assimilation, we do not mean that a writer while
engaged in transcribing one Gospel was so completely beguiled and
overmastered by his recollections of the parallel place in another
Gospel,--that, forsaking the expressions proper to the passage before
him, he unconsciously adopted the language which properly belongs to a
different Evangelist. That to a very limited extent this may have
occasionally taken place, I am not concerned to deny: but it would argue
incredible inattention to what he was professing to copy, on the one
hand,--astonishing familiarity with what he was not professing to copy,
on the other,--that a scribe should have been capable of offending
largely in this way. But in fact a moderate acquaintance with the
subject is enough to convince any thoughtful person that the corruptions
in MSS. which have resulted from accidental Assimilation must needs be
inconsiderable in bulk, as well as few in number. At all events, the
phenomenon referred to, when we speak of 'Assimilation,' is not to be so
accounted for: it must needs be explained in some entirely different
way. Let me make my meaning plain:

(_a_) We shall probably be agreed that when the scribe of Cod. [Symbol:
Aleph], in place of [Greek: basanisai hêmas] (in St. Matt. viii. 29),
writes [Greek: hêmas apolesai],--it may have been his memory which
misled him. He may have been merely thinking of St. Mark i. 24, or of
St. Luke iv. 34.

(_b_) Again, when in Codd. [Symbol: Aleph]B we find [Greek: tassomenos]
thrust without warrant into St. Matt. viii. 9, we see that the word has
lost its way from St. Luke vii. 8; and we are prone to suspect that only
by accident has it crept into the parallel narrative of the earlier

(_c_) In the same way I make no doubt that [Greek: potamô] (St. Matt.
iii. 6) is indebted for its place in [Symbol: Aleph]BC, &c., to the
influence of the parallel place in St. Mark's Gospel (i. 5); and I am
only astonished that critics should have been beguiled into adopting so
clear a corruption of the text as part of the genuine Gospel.

(_d_) To be brief:--the insertion by [Symbol: Aleph] of [Greek: adelphe]
(in St. Matt. vii. 4) is confessedly the result of the parallel passage
in St. Luke vi. 42. The same scribe may be thought to have written
[Greek: tô anemô] instead of [Greek: tois anemois] in St. Matt. viii.
26, only because he was so familiar with [Greek: tô anemô] in St. Luke
viii. 24 and in St. Mark iv. 39.--The author of the prototype of
[Symbol: Aleph]BD (with whom by the way are some of the Latin versions)
may have written [Greek: echete] in St. Matt, xvi. 8, only because he
was thinking of the parallel place in St. Mark viii. 17.--[Greek:
Êrxanto aganaktein] (St. Matt. xx. 24) can only have been introduced
into [Symbol: Aleph] from the parallel place in St. Mark x. 41, and
_may_ have been supplied _memoriter_.--St. Luke xix. 21 is clearly not
parallel to St. Matt. xxv. 24; yet it evidently furnished the scribe of
[Symbol: Aleph] with the epithet [Greek: austêros] in place of [Greek:
sklêros].--The substitution by [Symbol: Aleph] of [Greek: hon
parêtounto] in St. Matt. xxvii. 15 for [Greek: hon êthelon] may seem to
be the result of inconvenient familiarity with the parallel place in St.
Mark xv. 6; where, as has been shewn[185], instead of [Greek: honper
êitounto], Symbol: [Aleph]AB viciously exhibit [Greek: hon parêtounto],
which Tischendorf besides Westcott and Hort mistake for the genuine
Gospel. Who will hesitate to admit that, when [Symbol: Aleph]L exhibit
in St. Matt. xix. 16,--instead of the words [Greek: poiêsô hina echô
zôên aiônion],--the formula which is found in the parallel place of St.
Luke xviii. 18, viz. [Greek: poiêsas zôên aiônion klêronomêsô],--those
unauthorized words must have been derived from this latter place? Every
ordinary reader will be further prone to assume that the scribe who
first inserted them into St. Matthew's Gospel did so because, for
whatever reason, he was more familiar with the latter formula than with
the former.

(_e_) But I should have been willing to go further. I might have been
disposed to admit that when [Symbol: Aleph]DL introduce into St. Matt.
x. 12 the clause [Greek: legontes, eirênê tô oikô toutô] (which last
four words confessedly belong exclusively to St. Luke x. 5), the author
of the depraved original from which [Symbol: Aleph]DL were derived may
have been only yielding to the suggestions of an inconveniently good
memory:--may have succeeded in convincing himself from what follows in
verse 13 that St. Matthew must have written, 'Peace be to this house;'
though he found no such words in St. Matthew's text. And so, with the
best intentions, he may most probably have inserted them.

(_f_) Again. When [Symbol: Aleph] and Evan. 61 thrust into St. Matt. ix.
34 (from the parallel place in St. Luke viii. 53) the clause [Greek:
eidotes hoti apethanen], it is of course conceivable that the authors of
those copies were merely the victims of excessive familiarity with the
third Gospel. But then,--although we are ready to make every allowance
that we possibly can for memories so singularly constituted, and to
imagine a set of inattentive scribes open to inducements to recollect or
imagine instead of copying, and possessed of an inconvenient familiarity
with one particular Gospel,--it is clear that our complaisance must stop
somewhere. Instances of this kind of licence at last breed suspicion.
Systematic 'assimilation' cannot be the effect of accident. Considerable
interpolations must of course be intentional. The discovery that Cod. D,
for example, introduces at the end of St. Luke v. 14 thirty-two words
from St. Mark's Gospel (i. 45--ii. 1, [Greek: ho de exelthôn] down to
[Greek: Kapharnaoum]), opens our eyes. This wholesale importation
suggests the inquiry,--How did it come about? We look further, and we
find that Cod. D abounds in instances of 'Assimilation' so unmistakably
intentional, that this speedily becomes the only question, How may all
these depravations of the sacred text be most satisfactorily accounted
for? [And the answer is evidently found in the existence of extreme
licentiousness in the scribe or scribes responsible for Codex D, being
the product of ignorance and carelessness combined with such looseness
of principle, as permitted the exercise of direct attempts to improve
the sacred Text by the introduction of passages from the three remaining
Gospels and by other alterations.]

§ 3.

Sometimes indeed the true Text bears witness to itself, as may be seen
in the next example.

The little handful of well-known authorities ([Symbol: Aleph]BDL, with a
few copies of the Old Latin, and one of the Egyptian Versions[186]),
conspire in omitting from St. John xvi. 16 the clause [Greek: hoti egô
hypagô pros ton Patera]: for which reason Tischendorf, Tregelles,
Alford, Westcott and Hort omit those six words, and Lachmann puts them
into brackets. And yet, let the context be considered. Our Saviour had
said (ver. 16),--'A little while, and ye shall not see Me: and again, a
little while, and ye shall see Me, because I go to the Father.' It
follows (ver. 17),--'Then said some of His disciples among themselves,
What is this that He saith unto us, A little while, and ye shall not see
Me: and again, a little while, and ye shall see Me: and, _Because I go
to the_ Father?'--Now, the context here,--the general sequence of words
and ideas--in and by itself, creates a high degree of probability that
the clause is genuine. It must at all events be permitted to retain its
place in the Gospel, unless there is found to exist an overwhelming
amount of authority for its exclusion. What then are the facts? All the
other uncials, headed by A and I^{b} (_both_ of the fourth
century),--every known Cursive--all the Versions, (Latin, Syriac,
Gothic, Coptic, &c.)--are for retaining the clause. Add, that
Nonnus[187] (A.D. 400) recognizes it: that the texts of Chrysostom[188]
and of Cyril[189] do the same; and that both those Fathers (to say
nothing of Euthymius and Theophylact) in their Commentaries expressly
bear witness to its genuineness:--and, With what shew of reason can it
any longer be pretended that some Critics, including the Revisers, are
warranted in leaving out the words?... It were to trifle with the reader
to pursue this subject further. But how did the words ever come to be
omitted? Some early critic, I answer, who was unable to see the
exquisite proprieties of the entire passage, thought it desirable to
bring ver. 16 into conformity with ver. 19, where our Lord seems at
first sight to resyllable the matter. That is all!

Let it be observed--and then I will dismiss the matter--that the
selfsame thing has happened in the next verse but one (ver. 18), as
Tischendorf candidly acknowledges. The [Greek: touto ti hestin] of the
Evangelist has been tastelessly assimilated by BDLY to the [Greek: ti
estin touto] which went immediately before.

§ 4.

Were I invited to point to a beautifully described incident in the
Gospel, I should find it difficult to lay my finger on anything more apt
for my purpose than the transaction described in St. John xiii. 21-25.
It belongs to the closing scene of our Saviour's Ministry. 'Verily,
verily, I say unto you,' (the words were spoken at the Last Supper),
'one of you will betray Me. The disciples therefore looked one at
another, wondering of whom He spake. Now there was reclining in the
bosom of Jesus ([Greek: ên de anakeimenos en tô kolpô tou 'I.]) one of
His disciples whom Jesus loved. To him therefore Simon Peter motioneth
to inquire who it may be concerning whom He speaketh. He then, just
sinking on the breast of Jesus ([Greek: epipesôn de ekeinos houtôs epi
to stêthos tou 'I.]) [i.e. otherwise keeping his position, see above, p.
60], saith unto Him, Lord, who is it?'

The Greek is exquisite. At first, St. John has been simply 'reclining
([Greek: anakeimenos]) in the bosom' of his Divine Master: that is, his
place at the Supper is the next adjoining His,--for the phrase really
means little more. But the proximity is of course excessive, as the
sequel shews. Understanding from St. Peter's gesture what is required of
him, St. John merely sinks back, and having thus let his head fall
([Greek: epipesôn]) on (or close to) His Master's chest ([Greek: epi to
stêthos]), he says softly,--'Lord, who is it?' ... The moment is perhaps
the most memorable in the Evangelist's life: the position, one of
unutterable privilege. Time, place, posture, action,--all settle so deep
into his soul, that when, in his old age, he would identify himself, he
describes himself as 'the disciple whom Jesus loved; who also at the
Supper' (that memorable Supper!) 'lay ([Greek: anepesen][190]) on Jesus'
breast,' (literally, 'upon His chest,'--[Greek: epi to stêthos autou]),
and said, 'Lord, who is it that is to betray Thee?' (ch. xxi. 20)....
Yes, and the Church was not slow to take the beautiful hint. His
language so kindled her imagination that the early Fathers learned to
speak of St. John the Divine, as [Greek: ho epistêthios],--'the
(recliner) on the chest[191].'

Now, every delicate discriminating touch in this sublime picture is
faithfully retained throughout by the cursive copies in the proportion
of about eighty to one. The great bulk of the MSS., as usual, uncial and
cursive alike, establish the undoubted text of the Evangelist, which is
here the Received Text. Thus, a vast majority of the MSS., with [Symbol:
Aleph]AD at their head, read [Greek: epipesôn] in St. John xiii. 25.
Chrysostom[192] and probably Cyril[193] confirm the same reading. So
also Nonnus[194]. Not so B and C with four other uncials and about
twenty cursives (the vicious Evan. 33 being at their head), besides
Origen[195] in two places and apparently Theodorus of Mopsuestia[196].
These by mischievously assimilating the place in ch. xiii to the later
place in ch. xxi in which such affecting reference is made to it,
hopelessly obscure the Evangelist's meaning. For they substitute [Greek:
anapesôn oun ekeinos k.t.l.] It is exactly as when children, by way of
improving the sketch of a great Master, go over his matchless outlines
with a clumsy pencil of their own.

That this is the true history of the substitution of [Greek: anapesôn]
in St. John xiii. 25 for the less obvious [Greek: epipesôn] is certain.
Origen, who was probably the author of all the mischief, twice sets the
two places side by side and elaborately compares them; in the course of
which operation, by the way, he betrays the viciousness of the text
which he himself employed. But what further helps to explain how easily
[Greek: anapesôn] might usurp the place of [Greek: epipesôn][197], is
the discovery just noticed, that the ancients from the earliest period
were in the habit of identifying St. John, as St. John had identified
himself, by calling him '_the one that lay_ ([Greek: ho anapesôn]) _upon
the Lord's chest_.' The expression, derived from St. John xxi. 20, is
employed by Irenaeus[198] (A.D. 178) and by Polycrates[199] (Bp. of
Ephesus A.D. 196); by Origen[200] and by Ephraim Syrus[201]: by
Epiphanius[202] and by Palladius[203]: by Gregory of Nazianzus[204] and
by his namesake of Nyssa[205]: by pseudo-Eusebius[206], by
pseudo-Caesarius[207], and by pseudo-Chrysostom[208]. The only wonder
is, that in spite of such influences all the MSS. in the world except
about twenty-six have retained the true reading.

Instructive in the meantime it is to note the fate which this word has
experienced at the hands of some Critics. Lachmann, Tischendorf,
Tregelles, Alford, Westcott and Hort, have all in turn bowed to the
authority of Cod. B and Origen. Bishop Lightfoot mistranslates[209] and
contends on the same side. Alford informs us that [Greek: epipesôn] has
surreptitiously crept in 'from St. Luke xv. 20': (why should it? how
could it?) '[Greek: anapesôn] not seeming appropriate.' Whereas, on the
contrary, [Greek: anapesôn] is the invariable and obvious
expression,--[Greek: epipesôn] the unusual, and, till it has been
explained, the unintelligible word. Tischendorf,--who had read [Greek:
epipesôn] in 1848 and [Greek: anapesôn] in 1859,--in 1869 reverts to his
first opinion; advocating with parental partiality what he had since met
with in Cod. [Symbol: Aleph]. Is then the truth of Scripture aptly
represented by that fitful beacon-light somewhere on the French
coast,--now visible, now eclipsed, now visible again,--which benighted
travellers amuse themselves by watching from the deck of the Calais

It would be time to pass on. But because in this department of study men
are observed never to abandon a position until they are fairly shelled
out and left without a pretext for remaining, I proceed to shew that
[Greek: anapesôn] (for [Greek: epipesôn]) is only one corrupt reading
out of many others hereabouts. The proof of this statement follows.
Might it not have been expected that the old uncials' ([Symbol:
Aleph]ABCD) would exhibit the entire context of such a passage as the
present with tolerable accuracy? The reader is invited to attend to the
results of collation:--

    xiii. 21.-[Greek: o] [Symbol: Aleph]B: [Greek: umin legô] _tr._

    xiii. 22.-[Greek: oun] BC: + [Greek: oi Ioudaioi] [Symbol:
    Aleph]: [Greek: aporountei] D.

    xiii. 23.-[Greek: de] B: + [Greek: ek] [Symbol:
    Aleph]ABCD:-[Greek: o] B: + [Greek: kai] D.

    xiii. 24. (_for_ [Greek: pythesthai tis an eiê] + [Greek: outos]
    D) [Greek: kai legei autô, eipe tis estin] BC: (_for_ [Greek:
    legei]) [Greek: elegen] [Symbol: Aleph]: + [Greek: kai legei
    autô eipe tis estin peri ou legei] [Symbol: Aleph].

    xiii. 25. (_for_ [Greek: epipesôn]) [Greek: anapesôn] BC:-[Greek: de]
    BC: (_for_ [Greek: de]) [Greek: oun] [Symbol: Aleph]D; -[Greek:
    outos] [Symbol: Aleph]AD.

    xiii. 26. + [Greek: oun] BC: + [Greek: autô] D:--[Greek: o] B: +
    [Greek: kai legei] [Symbol: Aleph]BD: + [Greek: an] D: (_for_
    [Greek: bapsas]) [Greek: embapsas] AD: [Greek: bapsô ... kai
    dôsô autô] BC: + [Greek: psômou] (_after_ [Greek: psômion]) C:
    (_for_ [Greek: embapsas]) [Greek: bapsas] D: (_for_ [Greek: kai
    embapsas]) [Greek: bapsas oun] [Symbol: Aleph]BC: -[Greek: to]
    B: + [Greek: lambanei kai] BC: [Greek: Iskariôtou] [Symbol:
    Aleph]BC: [Greek: apo Karyôtou] D.

    xiii. 27.-[Greek: tote] [Symbol: Aleph]:-[Greek: meta to psômion
    tote] D: (_for_ [Greek: legei oun]) [Greek: kai legei]
    D:-[Greek: o] B.

In these seven verses therefore, (which present no special difficulty to
a transcriber,) the Codexes in question are found to exhibit at least
thirty-five varieties,--for twenty-eight of which (jointly or singly) B
is responsible: [Symbol: Aleph] for twenty-two: C for twenty-one: D for
nineteen: A for three. It is found that twenty-three words have been
added to the text: fifteen substituted: fourteen taken away; and the
construction has been four times changed. One case there has been of
senseless transposition. Simon, the father of Judas, (not Judas the
traitor), is declared by [Symbol: Aleph]BCD to have been called
'Iscariot.' Even this is not all. What St. John relates concerning
himself is hopelessly obscured; and a speech is put into St. Peter's
mouth which he certainly never uttered. It is not too much to say that
every delicate lineament has vanished from the picture. What are we to
think of guides like [Symbol: Aleph]BCD, which are proved to be utterly

§ 5.

The first two verses of St. Mark's Gospel have fared badly. Easy of
transcription and presenting no special difficulty, they ought to have
come down to us undisfigured by any serious variety of reading. On the
contrary. Owing to entirely different causes, either verse has
experienced calamitous treatment. I have elsewhere[210] proved that the
clause [Greek: huiou tou Theou] in verse 1 is beyond suspicion. Its
removal from certain copies of the Gospel was originally due to
heretical influence. But because Origen gave currency to the text so
mutilated, it re-appears mechanically in several Fathers who are intent
only on reproducing a certain argument of Origen's against the Manichees
in which the mutilated text occurs. The same Origen is responsible to
some extent, and in the same way, for the frequent introduction of
'Isaiah's' name into verse 21--whereas 'in the prophets' is what St.
Mark certainly wrote; but the appearance of 'Isaiah' there in the first
instance was due to quite a different cause. In the meantime, it is
witnessed to by the Latin, Syriac[211], Gothic, and Egyptian versions,
as well as by [Symbol: Aleph]BDL[Symbol: Delta], and (according to
Tischendorf) by nearly twenty-five cursives; besides the following
ancient writers: Irenaeus, Origen, Porphyry, Titus, Basil, Serapion,
Epiphanius, Severianus, Victor, Eusebius, Victorinus, Jerome, Augustine.
I proceed to shew that this imposing array of authorities for reading
[Greek: en tô Êsaia tô prophêtê] instead of [Greek: en tois prophêtais]
in St. Mark i. 2, which has certainly imposed upon every recent editor
and critic[212],--has been either overestimated or else misunderstood.

1. The testimony of the oldest versions, when attention is paid to their
contents, is discovered to be of inferior moment in minuter matters of
this nature. Thus, copies of the Old Latin version thrust Isaiah's name
into St. Matt. i. 22, and Zechariah's name into xxi. 4: as well as
thrust out Jeremiah's name from xxvii. 9:--the first, with Curetonian,
Lewis, Harkleian, Palestinian, and D,--the second, with Chrysostom and
Hilary,--the third, with the Peshitto. The Latin and the Syriac further
substitute [Greek: tou prophêtou] for [Greek: tôn prophêtôn] in St.
Matt. ii. 23,--through misapprehension of the Evangelist's meaning. What
is to be thought of Cod. [Symbol: Aleph] for introducing the name of
'Isaiah' into St. Matt. xiii. 35,--where it clearly cannot stand, the
quotation being confessedly from Ps. lxxviii. 2; but where nevertheless
Porphyry[213], Eusebius[214], and pseudo-Jerome[215] certainly found it
in many ancient copies?

2. Next, for the testimony of the Uncial Codexes [Symbol:
Aleph]BDL[Symbol: Delta]:--If any one will be at the pains to tabulate
the 900[216] new 'readings' adopted by Tischendorf in editing St. Mark's
Gospel, he will discover that for 450, or just half of them,--all the
450, as I believe, being corruptions of the text,--[Symbol: Aleph]BL are
responsible: and further, that their responsibility is shared on about
200 occasions by D: on about 265 by C: on about 350 by [Delta][217]. At
some very remote period therefore there must have grown up a vicious
general reading of this Gospel which remains in the few bad copies: but
of which the largest traces (and very discreditable traces they are) at
present survive in [Symbol: Aleph]BCDL[Symbol: Delta]. After this
discovery the avowal will not be thought extraordinary that I regard
with unmingled suspicion readings which are exclusively vouched for by
five of the same Codexes: e.g. by [Symbol: Aleph]BDL[Symbol: Delta].

3. The cursive copies which exhibit 'Isaiah' in place of 'the prophet.'
reckoned by Tischendorf at 'nearly twenty-five,' are probably less than
fifteen[218], and those, almost all of suspicious character. High time
it is that the inevitable consequence of an appeal to such evidence were
better understood.

4. From Tischendorf's list of thirteen Fathers, serious deductions have
to be made. Irenaeus and Victor of Antioch are clearly with the Textus
Receptus. Serapion, Titus, Basil do but borrow from Origen; and, with
his argument, reproduce his corrupt text of St. Mark i. 2. The
last-named Father however saves his reputation by leaving out the
quotation from Malachi; so, passing directly from the mention of Isaiah
to the actual words of that prophet. Epiphanius (and Jerome too on one
occasion[219]) does the same thing. Victorinus and Augustine, being
Latin writers, merely quote the Latin version ('sicut scriptum est in
Isaiâ propheta'), which is without variety of reading. There remain
Origen (the faulty character of whose Codexes has been remarked upon
already), Porphyry[220] the heretic (who wrote a book to convict the
Evangelists of mis-statements[221], and who is therefore scarcely a
trustworthy witness), Eusebius, Jerome and Severianus. Of these,
Eusebius[222] and Jerome[223] deliver it as their opinion that the name
of 'Isaiah' had obtained admission into the text through the
inadvertency of copyists. Is it reasonable, on the slender residuum of
evidence, to insist that St. Mark has ascribed to Isaiah words
confessedly written by Malachi? 'The fact,' writes a recent editor in
the true spirit of modern criticism, 'will not fail to be observed by
the careful and honest student of the Gospels.' But what if 'the fact'
should prove to be 'a fiction' only? And (I venture to ask) would not
'carefulness' be better employed in scrutinizing the adverse testimony?
'honesty' in admitting that on grounds precarious as the present no
indictment against an Evangelist can be seriously maintained? This
proposal to revive a blunder which the Church in her corporate capacity
has from the first refused to sanction (for the Evangelistaria know
nothing of it) carries in fact on its front its own sufficient
condemnation. Why, in the face of all the copies in the world (except a
little handful of suspicious character), will men insist on imputing to
an inspired writer a foolish mis-statement, instead of frankly admitting
that the text must needs have been corrupted in that little handful of
copies through the officiousness of incompetent criticism?

And do any inquire,--How then did this perversion of the truth arise? In
the easiest way possible, I answer. Refer to the Eusebian tables, and
note that the foremost of his sectional parallels is as follows:--

    St. Matt. [Greek: ê] (i.e. iii. 3).
    St. Mark. [Greek: b] (i.e. i. 3).
    St. Luke. [Greek: z] (i.e. iii. 3-6).
    St. John. [Greek: i] (i.e. i. 23)[224].

Now, since the name of Isaiah occurs in the first, the third and the
fourth of these places in connexion with the quotation from Is. xl. 3,
_what_ more obvious than that some critic with harmonistic proclivities
should have insisted on supplying _the second also_, i.e. the parallel
place in St. Mark's Gospel, with the name of the evangelical prophet,
elsewhere so familiarly connected with the passage quoted? This is
nothing else in short but an ordinary instance of Assimilation, so
unskilfully effected however as to betray itself. It might have been
passed by with fewer words, for the fraud is indeed transparent, but
that it has so largely imposed upon learned men, and established itself
so firmly in books. Let me hope that we shall not hear it advocated any

Regarded as an instrument of criticism, Assimilation requires to be very
delicately as well as very skilfully handled. If it is to be applied to
determining the text of Scripture, it must be employed, I take leave to
say, in a very different spirit from what is met with in Dr.
Tischendorf's notes, or it will only mislead. Is a word--a clause--a
sentence--omitted by his favourite authorities [Symbol: Aleph]BDL? It is
enough if that learned critic finds nearly the same word,--a very
similar clause,--a sentence of the same general import,--in an account
of the same occurrence by another Evangelist, for him straightway to
insist that the sentence, the clause, the word, has been imported into
the commonly received Text from such parallel place; and to reject it

But, as the thoughtful reader must see, this is not allowable, except
under peculiar circumstances. For first, whatever _a priori_
improbability might be supposed to attach to the existence of identical
expressions in two Evangelical records of the same transaction, is
effectually disposed of by the discovery that very often identity of
expression actually does occur. And (2), the only condition which could
warrant the belief that there has been assimilation, is observed to be
invariably away from Dr. Tischendorf's instances.--viz. a sufficient
number of respectable attesting witnesses: it being a fundamental
principle in the law of Evidence, that the very few are rather to be
suspected than the many. But further (3), if there be some marked
diversity of expression discoverable in the two parallel places; and if
that diversity has been carefully maintained all down the ages in either
place;--then it may be regarded as certain, on the contrary, that there
has not been assimilation; but that this is only one more instance of
two Evangelists saying similar things or the same thing in slightly
different language. Take for example the following case:--Whereas St.
Matt. (xxiv. 15) speaks of 'the abomination of desolation [Greek: to
rhêthen DIA Daniêl tou prophêtou], standing ([Greek: hestôs]) in the
holy place'; St. Mark (xiii. 14) speaks of it as '[Greek: to rhêthen UPO
Daniêl tou prophêtou] standing ([Greek: hestos]) where it ought not.'
Now, because [Symbol: Aleph]BDL with copies of the Italic, the Vulgate,
and the Egyptian versions omit from St. Mark's Gospel the six words
written above in Greek, Tischendorf and his school are for expunging
those six words from St. Mark's text, on the plea that they are probably
an importation from St. Matthew. But the little note of variety which
the Holy Spirit has set on the place in the second Gospel (indicated
above in capital letters) suggests that these learned men are mistaken.
Accordingly, the other fourteen uncials and all the cursives,--besides
the Peshitto, Harkleian, and copies of the Old Latin--a much more
weighty body of evidence--are certainly right in retaining the words in
St. Mark xiii. 14.

Take two more instances of misuse in criticism of Assimilation.

St. Matthew (xii. 10), and St. Luke in the parallel place of his Gospel
(xiv. 3), describe our Lord as asking,--'Is it lawful to heal on the
sabbath day?' Tischendorf finding that his favourite authorities in this
latter place continue the sentence with the words 'or _not_?' assumes
that those two words must have fallen out of the great bulk of the
copies of St. Luke, which, according to him, have here assimilated their
phraseology to that of St. Matthew. But the hypothesis is clearly
inadmissible,--though it is admitted by most modern critics. Do not
these learned persons see that the supposition is just as lawful, and
the probability infinitely greater, that it is on the contrary the few
copies which have here undergone the process of assimilation; and that
the type to which they have been conformed, is to be found in St. Matt.
xxii. 17; St. Mark xii. 14; St. Luke xx. 22?

It is in fact surprising how often a familiar place of Scripture has
exerted this kind of assimilating influence over a little handful of
copies. Thus, some critics are happily agreed in rejecting the proposal
of [Symbol: Aleph]BDLR, (backed scantily by their usual retinue of
evidence) to substitute for [Greek: gemisai tên koilian autou apo], in
St. Luke xv. 16, the words [Greek: chortasthênai ek]. But editors have
omitted to point out that the words [Greek: epethymei chortasthênai],
introduced in defiance of the best authorities into the parable of
Lazarus (xvi. 20), have simply been transplanted thither out of the
parable of the prodigal son.

The reader has now been presented with several examples of Assimilation.
Tischendorf, who habitually overlooks the phenomenon where it seems to
be sufficiently conspicuous, is observed constantly to discover cases of
Assimilation where none exist. This is in fact his habitual way of
accounting for not a few of the omissions in Cod. [Symbol: Aleph]. And
because he has deservedly enjoyed a great reputation, it becomes the
more necessary to set the reader on his guard against receiving such
statements without a thorough examination of the evidence on which they

§ 6.

The value--may I not say, the use?--of these delicate differences of
detail becomes apparent whenever the genuineness of the text is called
in question. Take an example. The following fifteen words are
deliberately excluded from St. Mark's Gospel (vi. 11) by some critics on
the authority of [Symbol: Aleph]BCDL[Symbol: Delta],--a most suspicious
company, and three cursives; besides a few copies of the Old Latin,
including the Vulgate:--[Greek: amên legô hymin, anektoteron estai
Sodomois ê Gomorrois en hêmerai kriseôs, hê tê polei ekeinê]. It is
pretended that this is nothing else but an importation from the parallel
place of St. Matthew's Gospel (x. 15). But that is impossible: for, as
the reader sees at a glance, a delicate but decisive note of
discrimination has been set on the two places. St. Mark writes, [Greek:
SodomOIS Ê GomorrOIS]: St. Matthew, [Greek: GÊ SodomÔN KAI GomorrÔN].
And this threefold, or rather fourfold, diversity of expression has
existed from the beginning; for it has been faithfully retained all down
the ages: it exists to this hour in every known copy of the Gospel,--
except of course those nine which omit the sentence altogether. There
can be therefore no doubt about its genuineness. The critics of the
modern school (Lachmann, Tischendorf, Tregelles, Alford, Westcott and
Hort) seek in vain to put upon us a mutilated text by omitting those
fifteen words. The two places are clearly independent of each other.

It does but remain to point out that the exclusion of these fifteen
words from the text of St. Mark, has merely resulted from the influence
of the parallel place in St. Luke's Gospel (ix. 5),--where nothing
whatever is found[225] corresponding with St. Matt. x. 5--St. Mark vi.
11. The process of Assimilation therefore has been actively at work
here, although not in the way which some critics suppose. It has
resulted, not in the insertion of the words in dispute in the case of
the very many copies; but on the contrary in their omission from the
very few. And thus, one more brand is set on [Symbol: Aleph]BCDL[Symbol:
Delta] and their Latin allies,--which will be found _never_ to conspire
together exclusively except to mislead.

§ 7.

Because a certain clause (e.g. [Greek: kai hê lalia sou homoiazei] in
St. Mark xiv. 70) is absent from Codd. [Symbol: Aleph]BCDL, Lachmann,
Tischendorf, Tregelles, Alford, Westcott and Hort entirely eject these
five precious words from St. Mark's Gospel, Griesbach having already
voted them 'probably spurious.' When it has been added that many copies
of the Old Latin also, together with the Vulgate and the Egyptian
versions, besides Eusebius, ignore their existence, the present writer
scarcely expects to be listened to if he insists that the words are
perfectly genuine notwithstanding. The thing is certain however, and the
Revisers are to blame for having surrendered five precious words of
genuine Scripture, as I am going to shew.

1. Now, even if the whole of the case were already before the reader,
although to some there might seem to exist a _prima facie_ probability
that the clause is spurious, yet even so,--it would not be difficult to
convince a thoughtful man that the reverse must be nearer the truth. For
let the parallel places in the first two Gospels be set down side by

St. Matt. xxvi. 73.           St. Mark xiv. 70.

(1) [Greek: Alêthôs kai su]  (1) [Greek: Alêthôs]
(2) [Greek: ex autôn ei·]    (2) [Greek: ex autôn ei·]
(3) [Greek: kai gar]         (3) [Greek: kai gar Galilaios ei,]
(4) [Greek: hê lalia sou dêlon se poiei]
                             (4) [Greek: kai hê lalia sou homoiazei.]

What more clear than that the later Evangelist is explaining what his
predecessor meant by 'thy speech bewrayeth thee' [or else is giving an
independent account of the same transaction derived from the common
source]? To St. Matthew,--a Jew addressing Jews,--it seemed superfluous
to state that it was the peculiar accent of Galilee which betrayed Simon
Peter. To St. Mark,--or rather to the readers whom St. Mark specially
addressed,--the point was by no means so obvious. Accordingly, he
paraphrases,--'for thou art a Galilean and thy speech correspondeth.'
Let me be shewn that all down the ages, in ninety-nine copies out of
every hundred, this peculiar diversity of expression has been faithfully
retained, and instead of assenting to the proposal to suppress St.
Mark's (fourth) explanatory clause with its unique verb [Greek:
homoiazei], I straightway betake myself to the far more pertinent
inquiry,--What is the state of the text hereabouts? What, in fact, the
context? This at least is not a matter of opinion, but a matter of fact.

1. And first, I discover that Cod. D, in concert with several copies of
the Old Latin (a b c ff^{2} h q, &c.), only removes clause (4) from its
proper place in St. Mark's Gospel, in order to thrust it into the
parallel place in St. Matthew,--where it supplants the [Greek: hê lalia
sou dêlon se poiei] of the earlier Evangelist; and where it clearly has
no business to be.

Indeed the object of D is found to have been to assimilate St. Matthew's
Gospel to St. Mark,--for D also omits [Greek: kai su] in clause (1).

2. The Ethiopic version, on the contrary, is for assimilating St. Mark
to St. Matthew, for it transfers the same clause (4) as it stands in St.
Matthew's Gospel ([Greek: kai hê lalia sou dêlon se poiei]) to St. Mark.

3. Evan. 33 (which, because it exhibits an ancient text of a type like
B, has been styled [with grim irony] 'the Queen of the Cursives') is
more brilliant here than usual; exhibiting St. Mark's clause (4)
thus,--[Greek: kai gar hê lalia sou dêlon se homoiazei].

4. In C (and the Harkleian) the process of Assimilation is as
conspicuous as in D, for St. Mark's third clause (3) is imported bodily
into St. Matthew's Gospel. C further omits from St. Mark clause (4).

5. In the Vercelli Codex (a) however, the converse process is
conspicuous. St. Mark's Gospel has been assimilated to St. Matthew's by
the unauthorized insertion into clause (1) of [Greek: kai su] (which by
the way is also found in M), and (in concert with the Gothic and Evann.
73, 131, 142*) by the entire suppression of clause (3).

6. Cod. L goes beyond all. [True to the craze of omission], it further
obliterates as well from St. Matthew's Gospel as from St. Mark's all
trace of clause (4).

7. [Symbol: Aleph] and B alone of Codexes, though in agreement with the
Vulgate and the Egyptian version, do but eliminate the final clause (4)
of St. Mark's Gospel. But note, lastly, that--

8. Cod. A, together with the Syriac versions, the Gothic, and the whole
body of the cursives, recognizes none of these irregularities: but
exhibits the commonly received text with entire fidelity.

On a survey of the premisses, will any candid person seriously contend
that [Greek: kai hê lalia sou homiazei] is no part of the genuine text
of St. Mark xiv. 70? The words are found in what are virtually the most
ancient authorities extant: the Syriac versions (besides the Gothic and
Cod. A), the Old Latin (besides Cod. D)--retain them;--those in their
usual place,--these, in their unusual. Idle it clearly is in the face of
such evidence to pretend that St. Mark cannot have written the words in
question[226]. It is too late to insist that a man cannot have lost his
watch when his watch is proved to have been in his own pocket at eight
in the morning, and is found in another man's pocket at nine. As for C
and L, their handling of the Text hereabouts clearly disqualifies them
from being cited in evidence. They are condemned under the note of
Context. Adverse testimony is borne by B and [Symbol: Aleph]: and by
them only. They omit the words in dispute,--the ordinary habit of
theirs, and most easily accounted for. But how is the punctual insertion
of the words in every other known copy to be explained? In the meantime,
it remains to be stated,--and with this I shall take leave of the
discussion,--that hereabouts 'we have a set of passages which bear clear
marks of wilful and critical correction, thoroughly carried out in Cod.
[Symbol: Aleph], and only partially in Cod. B and some of its compeers;
the object being so far to assimilate the narrative of Peter's denials
with those of the other Evangelists, as to suppress the fact, vouched
for by St. Mark only, that the cock crowed twice[227].' _That_ incident
shall be treated of separately. Can those principles stand, which in the
face of the foregoing statement, and the evidence which preceded it,
justify the disturbance of the text in St. Mark xiv. 70?

[We now pass on to a kindred cause of adulteration of
the text of the New Testament.]


[184] This paper bears the date 1877: but I have thought best to keep
the words with this caution to the reader.

[185] Above, p. 32.

[186] The alleged evidence of Origen (iv. 453) is _nil_; the sum of it
being that he takes no notice whatever of the forty words between
[Greek: opsesthe me] (in ver. 16), and [Greek: touto ti estin] (in ver.

[187] Nonnus,--[Greek: hixomai eis gennêtêra].

[188] viii. 465 a and c.

[189] iv. 932 and 933 c.

[190] = [Greek: ana-keimenos + epi-pesôn]. [Used not to suggest
over-familiarity (?).]

[191] Beginning with Anatolius Laodicenus, A.D. 270 (_ap._ Galland. iii.
548). Cf. Routh, Rell. i. 42.

[192] [Greek: Ouk anakeitai monon, alla kai tô stêthei epipiptei] (Opp.
viii. 423 a).--[Greek: Ti de kai epipiptei tô stêthei] (ibid. d). Note
that the passage ascribed to 'Apolinarius' in Cord. Cat. p. 342 (which
includes the second of these two references) is in reality part of
Chrysostom's Commentary on St. John (ubi supra, c d).

[193] Cord. Cat. p. 341. But it is only in the [Greek: keimenon] (or
text) that the verb is found,--Opp. iv. 735.

[194] [Greek: ho de thrasys oxei palmô | stêthesin achrantoisi pesôn
perilêmenos anêr].

[195] iv. 437 c: 440 d.

[196] Ibid. p. 342.

[197] Even Chrysostom, who certainly read the place as we do, is
observed twice to glide into the more ordinary expression, viz. xiii.
423, line 13 from the bottom, and p. 424, line 18 from the top.

[198] [Greek: ho epi to stêthos autou anapesôn] (iii. 1, § 1).

[199] [Greek: ho epi to stêthos tou Kyriou anapesôn] (_ap._ Euseb. iii.

[200] [Greek: Ti dei peri tou anapesontos epi to stêthos legein tou
'Iêsou] (ibid. vi. 25. Opp. iv. 95).

[201] [Greek: ho epi tô stêthei tou phlogos anapesôn] (Opp. ii. 49 a.
Cf. 133 c).

[202] (As quoted by Polycrates): Opp. i. 1062: ii. 8.

[203] [Greek: tou eis to tês sophias stêthos pistôs epanapesontos]
(_ap._ Chrys, xiii. 55).

[204] [Greek: ho epi to stêthos tou Iêsou anapauetai] (Opp. i. 591).

[205] (As quoted by Polycrates): Opp. i. 488.

[206] Wright's Apocryphal Acts (fourth century), translated from the
Syriac, p. 3.

[207] (Fourth or fifth century) _ap._ Galland. vi. 132.

[208] _Ap._ Chrys. viii. 296.

[209] On a fresh Revision, &c., p. 73.--'[Greek: Anapiptein], (which
occurs eleven times in the N.T.), when said of guests ([Greek:
anakeimenoi]) at a repast, denotes nothing whatever but the preliminary
act of each in taking his place at the table; being the Greek equivalent
for our "_sitting down_" to dinner. So far only does it signify "change
of posture." The notion of "falling _backward_" quite disappears in the
notion of "reclining" or "lying down."'--In St. John xxi. 20, the
language of the Evangelist is the very mirror of his thought; which
evidently passed directly from the moment when he assumed his place at
the table ([Greek: anepesen]), to that later moment when ([Greek: epi to
stêthos autou]) he interrogated his Divine Master concerning Judas. It
is a _general_ description of an incident,--for the details of which we
have to refer to the circumstantial and authoritative narrative which
went before.

[210] Traditional Text, Appendix IV.

[211] Pesh. and Harkl.: Cur. and Lew. are defective.

[212] Thus Griesbach, Scholz, Lachmann, Tischendorf, Tregelles, Alford,
Wordsworth, Green, Scrivener, M^{c}Clellan, Westcott and Hort, and the

[213] In pseudo-Jerome's Brev. in Psalm., Opp. vii. (ad calc.) 198.

[214] Mont. i. 462.

[215] Ubi supra.

[216] Omitting trifling variants.

[217] [Symbol: Aleph]BL are _exclusively_ responsible on 45 occasions:
+C (i.e. [Symbol: Aleph]BCL), on 27: +D, on 35: +[Symbol: Delta], on 73:
+CD, on 19: +C[Symbol: Delta], on 118: +D[Symbol: Delta] (i.e. [Symbol:
Aleph]BDL[Symbol: Delta]), on 42: +CD[Symbol: Delta], on 66.

[218] In the text of Evan. 72 the reading in dispute is _not_ found:
205, 206 are duplicates of 209: and 222, 255 are only fragments. There
remain 1, 22, 33, 61, 63, 115, 131, 151, 152, 161, 184, 209, 253, 372,
391:--of which the six at Rome require to be re-examined.

[219] v. 10.

[220] _Ap._ Hieron. vii. 17.

[221] 'Evangelistas arguere falsitatis, hoc impiorum est, Celsi,
Porphyrii, Juliani.' Hieron. i. 311.

[222] [Greek: grapheôs toinun esti sphalma]. Quoted (from the lost work
of Eusebius ad Marinum) in Victor of Ant.'s Catena, ed. Cramer, p. 267.
(See Simon, iii. 89; Mai, iv. 299; Matthaei's N.T. ii. 20, &c.)

[223] 'Nos autem nomen Isaiae putamus _additum Scriptorum vitio_, quod
et in aliis locis probare possumus.' vii. 17 (I suspect he got it from

[224] See Studia Biblica, ii. p. 249. Syrian Form of Ammonian sections
and Eusebian Canons by Rev. G. H. Gwilliam, B.D. Mr. Gwilliam gives St.
Luke iii. 4-6, according to the Syrian form.

[225] Compare St. Mark vi. 7-13 with St. Luke ix. 1-6.

[226] Schulz,--'et [Greek: lalia] et [Greek: omoiazei] aliena a Marco.'
Tischendorf--'omnino e Matthaeo fluxit: ipsum [Greek: omoiazei]
glossatoris est.' This is foolishness,--not criticism.

[227] Scrivener's Full Collation of the Cod. Sin., &c., 2nd ed., p.



III. Attraction.

§ 1.

There exist not a few corrupt Readings,--and they have imposed largely
on many critics,--which, strange to relate, have arisen from nothing
else but the proneness of words standing side by side in a sentence to
be attracted into a likeness of ending,--whether in respect of
grammatical form or of sound; whereby sometimes the sense is made to
suffer grievously,--sometimes entirely to disappear. Let this be called
the error of Attraction. The phenomena of 'Assimilation' are entirely
distinct. A somewhat gross instance, which however has imposed on
learned critics, is furnished by the Revised Text and Version of St.
John vi. 71 and xiii. 26.

'Judas Iscariot' is a combination of appellatives with which every
Christian ear is even awfully familiar. The expression [Greek: Ioudas
Iskariôtês] is found in St. Matt. x. 4 and xxvi. 14: in St. Mark iii. 19
and xiv. 10: in St. Luke vi. 16, and in xxii. 31 with the express
statement added that Judas was so 'surnamed.' So far happily we are all
agreed. St. John's invariable practice is to designate the traitor, whom
he names four times, as 'Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon;'--jealous
doubtless for the honour of his brother Apostle, 'Jude ([Greek: Ioudas])
the brother of James[228]': and resolved that there shall be no mistake
about the traitor's identity. Who does not at once recall the
Evangelist's striking parenthesis in St. John xiv. 22,--'Judas (not
Iscariot)'? Accordingly, in St. John xiii. 2 the Revisers present us
with 'Judas Iscariot, Simon's son': and even in St. John xii. 4 they are
content to read 'Judas Iscariot.' But in the two places of St. John's
Gospel which remain to be noticed, viz. vi. 71 and xiii. 26, instead of
'Judas Iscariot the son of Simon' the Revisers require us henceforth to
read, 'Judas the son of Simon Iscariot.' And _why_? Only, I answer,
because--in place of [Greek: Ioudan Simônos IskariôTÊN] (in vi. 71) and
[Greek: Iouda Simônos IskariôTÊ] (in xiii. 26)--a little handful of
copies substitute on both occasions [Greek: IskariôTOU]. Need I go on?
Nothing else has evidently happened but that, through the oscitancy of
some very early scribe, the [Greek: IskariôTÊN], [Greek: IskariôTÊ],
have been attracted into concord with the immediately preceding genitive
[Greek: SImôNOS] ... So transparent a blunder would have scarcely
deserved a passing remark at our hands had it been suffered to
remain,--where such _bêtises_ are the rule and not the exception,--viz.
in the columns of Codexes B and [Symbol: Aleph]. But strange to say, not
only have the Revisers adopted this corrupt reading in the two passages
already mentioned, but they have not let so much as a hint fall that any
alteration whatsoever has been made by them in the inspired Text.

§ 2.

Another and a far graver case of 'Attraction' is found in Acts xx. 24.
St. Paul, in his address to the elders of Ephesus, refers to the
discouragements he has had to encounter. 'But none of these things move
me,' he grandly exclaims, 'neither count I my life dear unto myself, so
that I might finish my course with joy.' The Greek for this begins
[Greek: all' oudenos logon poioumai]: where some second or third century
copyist (misled by the preceding genitive) in place of [Greek: logoN]
writes [Greek: logoU]; with what calamitous consequence, has been found
largely explained elsewhere[229]. Happily, the error survives only in
Codd. B and C: and their character is already known by the readers of
this book and the Companion Volume. So much has been elsewhere offered
on this subject that I shall say no more about it here: but proceed to
present my reader with another and more famous instance of attraction.

St. Paul in a certain place (2 Cor. iii. 3) tells the Corinthians, in
allusion to the language of Exodus xxxi. 12, xxxiv. 1, that they are an
epistle not written on '_stony tables_ ([Greek: en plaxi lithinais]),'
but on '_fleshy tables_ of the heart ([Greek: en plaxi kardias
sarkinais]).' The one proper proof that this is what St. Paul actually
wrote, is not only (1) That the Copies largely preponderate in favour of
so exhibiting the place: but (2) That the Versions, with the single
exception of 'that abject slave of manuscripts the Philoxenian [or
Harkleian] Syriac,' are all on the same side: and lastly (3) That the
Fathers are as nearly as possible unanimous. Let the evidence for
[Greek: kardias] (unknown to Tischendorf and the rest) be produced in

In the second century, Irenaeus[230],--the Old Latin,--the Peshitto.

In the third century, Origen seven times[231],--the Coptic version.

In the fourth century, the
Dialogus[232],--Didymus[233],--Basil[234],--Gregory Nyss.[235],--Marcus
the Monk[236],--Chrysostom in two places[237],--Nilus[238],--the
Vulgate,--and the Gothic versions.

In the fifth century, Cyril[239],--Isidorus[240],--Theodoret[241],--the
Armenian--and the Ethiopic versions.

In the seventh century, Victor, Bp. of Carthage addressing Theodorus

In the eighth century, J. Damascene[243] ... Besides, of the Latins,
Tichonius[248],--Augustine thirteen times[249],--Fulgentius[250], and
others[251] ... If this be not overwhelming evidence, may I be told what

But then it so happens that--attracted by the two datives between which
[Greek: kardias] stands, and tempted by the consequent jingle, a
surprising number of copies are found to exhibit the 'perfectly absurd'
and 'wholly unnatural reading[253],' [Greek: plaxi kardiAIS sarkinAIS].
And because (as might have been expected from their character)
A[254]B[Symbol: Aleph]CD[255] are all five of the number,--Lachmann,
Tischendorf, Tregelles, Alford, Westcott and Hort, one and all adopt and
advocate the awkward blunder[256]. [Greek: Kardiais] is also adopted by
the Revisers of 1881 without so much as a hint let fall in the margin
that the evidence is overwhelmingly against themselves and in favour of
the traditional Text of the Authorized Version[257].


[228] St. Luke vi. 16; Acts i. 13; St. Jude 1.

[229] Above, pp. 28-31.

[230] 753 _int_.

[231] ii. 843 c. Also _int_ ii. 96, 303; iv. 419, 489, 529, 558.

[232] _Ap_. Orig. i. 866 a,--interesting and emphatic testimony.

[233] Cord. Cat. in Ps. i. 272.

[234] i. 161 e. Cord. Cat. in Ps. i. 844.

[235] i. 682 ([Greek: ouk en plaxi lithinais ... all' en tô tês kardias

[236] Galland. viii. 40 b.

[237] vii. 2: x. 475.

[238] i. 29.

[239] i. 8: ii. 504: v^{2}. 65. (Aubert prints [Greek: kardias
sarkinês]. The published Concilia (iii. 140) exhibits [Greek: kardias
sarkinais]. Pusey, finding in one of his MSS. [Greek: all' en plaxi
kardias lithinais] (sic), prints [Greek: kardias sarkinais].) _Ap_. Mai,
iii. 89, 90.

[240] 299.

[241] iii. 302.

[242] Concil. vi. 154.

[243] ii. 129.

[244] 344.

[245] i. 762: ii. 668, 1380.

[246] Galland. v. 505.

[247] vi. 609.

[248] Galland. viii. 742 dis.

[249] i. 672: ii. 49: iii^{1}. 472, 560: iv. 1302: v. 743-4: viii. 311:
x. 98, 101, 104, 107, 110.

[250] Galland. xi. 248.

[251] Ps.-Ambrose, ii. 176.

[252] Yet strange to say, Tischendorf claims the support of Didymus and
Theodoret for [Greek: kardiais], on the ground that in the course of
their expository remarks they contrast [Greek: kardiai sarkinai] (or
[Greek: logikai]) with [Greek: plakes lithinai]: as if it were not the
word [Greek: plaxi] which alone occasions difficulty. Again, Tischendorf
enumerates Cod. E (Paul) among his authorities. Had he then forgotten
that E is '_nothing better than a transcript of Cod. D_ (Claromontanus),
made by some ignorant person'? that 'the Greek _is manifestly
worthless_, and that it should long since have been removed from the
list of authorities'? [Scrivener's Introd., 4th edit., i. 177. See also
Traditional Text, p. 65, and note. Tischendorf is frequently inaccurate
in his references to the fathers.]

[253] Scrivener's Introd. ii. 254.

[254] A in the Epistles differs from A in the Gospels.

[255] Besides GLP and the following cursives,--29, 30, 44, 45, 46, 47,
48, 55, 74, 104, 106, 109, 112, 113, 115, 137, 219, 221, 238, 252, 255,
257, 262, 277.

[256] That I may not be accused of suppressing what is to be said on the
other side, let it be here added that the sum of the adverse evidence
(besides the testimony of many MSS.) is the Harkleian version:--the
doubtful testimony of Eusebius (for, though Valerius reads [Greek:
kardias], the MSS. largely preponderate which read [Greek: kardiais] in
H. E. Mart. Pal. cxiii. § 6. See Burton's ed. p. 637):--Cyril in one
place, as explained above:--and lastly, a quotation from Chrysostom on
the Maccabees, given in Cramer's Catena, vii. 595 ([Greek: en plaxi
kardiais sarkinais]), which reappears at the end of eight lines without
the word [Greek: plaxi].

[257] [The papers on Assimilation and Attraction were left by the Dean
in the same portfolio. No doubt he would have separated them, if he had
lived to complete his work, and amplified his treatment of the latter,
for the materials under that head were scanty.--For 2 Cor. iii. 3, see
also a note of my own to p. 65 of The Traditional Text.]



IV. Omission.

[We have now to consider the largest of all classes of corrupt
variations from the genuine Text[258]--the omission of words and clauses
and sentences,--a truly fertile province of inquiry. Omissions are much
in favour with a particular school of critics; though a habit of
admitting them whether in ancient or modern times cannot but be
symptomatic of a tendency to scepticism.]

§ 1.

Omissions are often treated as 'Various Readings.' Yet only by an
Hibernian licence can words omitted be so reckoned: for in truth the
very essence of the matter is that on such occasions nothing is read. It
is to the case of words omitted however that this chapter is to be
exclusively devoted. And it will be borne in mind that I speak now of
those words alone where the words are observed to exist in ninety-nine
MSS. out of a hundred, so to speak;--being away only from that hundredth

Now it becomes evident, as soon as attention has been called to the
circumstance, that such a phenomenon requires separate treatment. Words
so omitted labour _prima facie_ under a disadvantage which is all their
own. My meaning will be best illustrated if I may be allowed to adduce
and briefly discuss a few examples. And I will begin with a crucial
case;--the most conspicuous doubtless within the whole compass of the
New Testament. I mean the last twelve verses of St. Mark's Gospel; which
verses are either bracketed off, or else entirely severed from the rest
of the Gospel, by Tischendorf, Tregelles, Alford and others.

The warrant of those critics for dealing thus unceremoniously with a
portion of the sacred deposit is the fact that whereas Eusebius, for the
statement rests solely with him, declares that anciently many copies
were without the verses in question, our two oldest extant MSS. conspire
in omitting them. But, I reply, the latter circumstance does not conduct
to the inference that those verses are spurious. It only proves that the
statement of Eusebius was correct. The Father cited did not, as is
evident from his words[259], himself doubt the genuineness of the verses
in question; but admitted them to be genuine. [He quotes two
opinions;--the opinion of an advocate who questions their genuineness,
and an opposing opinion which he evidently considers the better of the
two, since he rests upon the latter and casts a slur upon the former as
being an off-hand expedient; besides that he quotes several words out of
the twelve verses, and argues at great length upon the second

On the other hand, one and that the least faulty of the two MSS.
witnessing for the omission confesses mutely its error by leaving a
vacant space where the omitted verses should have come in; whilst the
other was apparently copied from an exemplar containing the verses[260].
And all the other copies insert them, except L and a few cursives which
propose a manifestly spurious substitute for the verses,--together with
all the versions, except one Old Latin (k), the Lewis Codex, two
Armenian MSS. and an Arabic Lectionary,--besides more than ninety
testimonies in their favour from more than 'forty-four' ancient
witnesses[261];--such is the evidence which weighs down the conflicting
testimony over and over and over again. Beyond all this, the cause of
the error is patent. Some scribe mistook the [Greek: Telos] occurring at
the end of an Ecclesiastical Lection at the close of chapter xvi. 8 for
the 'End' of St. Mark's Gospel[262].

That is the simple truth: and the question will now be asked by an
intelligent reader, 'If such is the balance of evidence, how is it that
learned critics still doubt the genuineness of those verses?'

To this question there can be but one answer, viz. 'Because those
critics are blinded by invincible prejudice in favour of two unsafe
guides, and on behalf of Omission.'

We have already seen enough of the character of those guides, and are
now anxious to learn what there can be in omissions which render them so
acceptable to minds of the present day. And we can imagine nothing
except the halo which has gathered round the detection of spurious
passages in modern times, and has extended to a supposed detection of
passages which in fact are not spurious. Some people appear to feel
delight if they can prove any charge against people who claim to be
orthodox; others without any such feeling delight in superior criticism;
and the flavour of scepticism especially commends itself to the taste of
many. To the votaries of such criticism, omissions of passages which
they style 'interpolations,' offer temptingly spacious hunting-fields.

Yet the experience of copyists would pronounce that Omission is the
besetting fault of transcribers. It is so easy under the influence of
the desire of accomplishing a task, or at least of anxiety for making
progress, to pass over a word, a line, or even more lines than one. As
has been explained before, the eye readily moves from one ending to a
similar ending with a surprising tendency to pursue the course which
would lighten labour instead of increasing it. The cumulative result of
such abridgement by omission on the part of successive scribes may be
easily imagined, and in fact is just what is presented in Codex B[263].
Besides these considerations, the passages which are omitted, and which
we claim to be genuine, bear in themselves the character belonging to
the rest of the Gospels, indeed--in Dr. Hort's expressive phrase--'have
the true ring of genuineness.' They are not like some which some critics
of the same school would fain force upon us[264]. But beyond all,--and
this is the real source and ground of attestation,--they enjoy superior
evidence from copies, generally beyond comparison with the opposing
testimony, from Versions, and from Fathers.]

§ 2.

The fact seems to be all but overlooked that a very much larger amount
of proof than usual is required at the hands of those who would persuade
us to cancel words which have been hitherto by all persons,--in all
ages,--in all countries,--regarded as inspired Scripture. They have (1)
to account for the fact of those words' existence: and next (2), to
demonstrate that they have no right to their place in the sacred page.
The discovery that from a few copies they are away, clearly has very
little to do with the question. We may be able to account for the
omission from those few copies: and the instant we have done this, the
negative evidence--the argument _e silentio_--has been effectually
disposed of. A very different task--a far graver responsibility--is
imposed upon the adverse party, as may be easily shewn. [They must
establish many modes of accounting for many classes and groups of
evidence. Broad and sweeping measures are now out of date. The burden of
proof lies with them.]

§ 3.

The force of what I am saying will be best understood if a few actual
specimens of omission may be adduced, and individually considered. And
first, let us take the case of an omitted word. In St. Luke vi. 1
[Greek: deuteroprôtô] is omitted from some MSS. Westcott and Hort and
the Revisers accordingly exhibit the text of that place as
follows:--[Greek: Egeneto de en sabbatô diaporeuesthai auton dia

Now I desire to be informed how it is credible that so very difficult
and peculiar a word as this,--for indeed the expression has never yet
been satisfactorily explained,--should have found its way into every
known Evangelium except [Symbol: Aleph]BL and a few cursives, if it be
spurious? How it came to be here and there omitted, is intelligible
enough. (_a_) One has but to glance at the Cod. [Symbol: Aleph],

  [Greek: TO EN SABBATÔ]

in order to see that the like ending ([Greek: TÔ]) in the superior line,
fully accounts for the omission of the second line. (_b_) A proper
lesson begins at this place; which by itself would explain the
phenomenon. (_c_) Words which the copyists were at a loss to understand,
are often observed to be dropped: and there is no harder word in the
Gospels than [Greek: deuteroprôtos]. But I repeat,--will you tell us how
it is conceivable that [a word nowhere else found, and known to be a
_crux_ to commentators and others, should have crept into all the copies
except a small handful?]

In reply to all this, I shall of course be told that really I must yield
to what is after all the weight of external evidence: that Codd.
[Symbol: Aleph]BL are not ordinary MSS. but first-class authorities, of
sufficient importance to outweigh any number of the later cursive MSS.

My rejoinder is plain:--Not only am I of course willing to yield to
external evidence, but it is precisely 'external evidence' which makes
me insist on retaining [Greek: deuteroprôto--apo melissiou kêriou--haras
ton stauron--kai anephereto eis ton ouranon--hotan eklipête]--the 14th
verse of St. Matthew's xxiiird chapter--and the last twelve verses of
St. Mark's Gospel. For my own part, I entirely deny the cogency of the
proposed proof, and I have clearly already established the grounds of my
refusal. Who then is to be the daysman between us? We are driven back on
first principles, in order to ascertain if it may not be possible to
meet on some common ground, and by the application of ordinary logical
principles of reasoning to clear our view. [As to these we must refer
the reader to the first volume of this work. Various cases of omission
have been just quoted, and many have been discussed elsewhere.
Accordingly, it will not be necessary to exhibit this large class of
corruptions at the length which it would otherwise demand. But a few
more instances are required, in order that the reader may see in this
connexion that many passages at least which the opposing school
designate as Interpolations are really genuine, and that students may be
placed upon their guard against the source of error that we are

§ 4.

And first as to the rejection of an entire verse.

The 44th verse of St. Matt. xxi, consisting of the fifteen words printed
at foot[265], is marked as doubtful by Tregelles, Westcott and Hort, and
the Revisers:--by Tischendorf it is rejected as spurious. We insist
that, on the contrary, it is indubitably genuine; reasoning from the
antiquity, the variety, the respectability, the largeness, or rather,
the general unanimity of its attestation.

For the verse is found in the Old Latin, and in the Vulgate,--in the
Peshitto, Curetonian, and Harkleian Syriac,--besides in the Coptic,
Armenian, and Ethiopic versions. It is found also in Origen[266],--
ps.-Tatian[267]--Aphraates[268],--Chrysostom[269],--Cyril Alex.[270],--
the Opus Imperfectum[271],--Jerome[272],--Augustine[273]:--in Codexes
B[Symbol: Aleph]C[Symbol: Theta][Symbol: Sigma]XZ[Symbol: Delta][Symbol:
Pi]EFG HKLMSUV,--in short, it is attested by every known Codex except
two of bad character, viz.--D, 33; together with five copies of the Old
Latin, viz.--a b e ff^{1} ff^{2}. There have therefore been adduced for
the verse in dispute at least five witnesses of the second or third
century:--at least eight of the fourth:--at least seven if not eight of
the fifth: after which date the testimony in favour of this verse is
overwhelming. How could we be justified in opposing to such a mass of
first-rate testimony the solitary evidence of Cod. D (concerning which
see above, Vol. I. c. viii.) supported only by a single errant Cursive
and a little handful of copies of the Old Latin versions, [even although
the Lewis Codex has joined this petty band?]

But, says Tischendorf,--the verse is omitted by Origen and by
Eusebius,--by Irenaeus and by Lucifer of Cagliari,--as well as by Cyril
of Alexandria. I answer, this most insecure of arguments for mutilating
the traditional text is plainly inadmissible on the present occasion.
The critic refers to the fact that Irenaeus[274], Origen[275],
Eusebius[276] and Cyril[277] having quoted 'the parable of the wicked
husbandmen' _in extenso_ (viz. from verse 33 to verse 43), _leave off at
verse_ 43. Why may they not leave off where the parable leaves off? Why
should they quote any further? Verse 44 is nothing to their purpose. And
since the Gospel for Monday morning in Holy Week [verses 18-43], in
every known copy of the Lectionary actually ends at verse 43,--why
should not their quotation of it end at the same verse? But,
unfortunately for the critic, Origen and Cyril (as we have seen,--the
latter expressly,) elsewhere actually quote the verse in dispute. And
how can Tischendorf maintain that Lucifer yields adverse testimony[278]?
That Father quotes _nothing but_ verse 43, which is all he requires for
his purpose[279]. Why should he have also quoted verse 44, which he does
not require? As well might it be maintained that Macarius Egyptius[280]
and Philo of Carpasus[281] omit verse 44, because (like Lucifer) they
only quote verse 43.

I have elsewhere explained what I suspect occasioned the omission of St.
Matt. xxi. 44 from a few Western copies of the Gospels[282].
Tischendorf's opinion that this verse is a fabricated imitation of the
parallel verse in St. Luke's Gospel[283] (xx. 18) is clearly untenable.
Either place has its distinctive type, which either has maintained all
down the ages. The single fact that St. Matt. xxi. 44 in the Peshitto
version has a sectional number to itself[284] is far too weighty to be
set aside on nothing better than suspicion. If a verse so elaborately
attested as the present be not genuine, we must abandon all hope of ever
attaining to any certainty concerning the Text of Scripture.

In the meantime there emerges from the treatment which St. Matt. xxi. 44
has experienced at the hands of Tischendorf, the discovery that, in the
estimation of Tischendorf, Cod. D [is a document of so much importance
as occasionally to outweigh almost by itself the other copies of all
ages and countries in Christendom.]

§ 5.

I am guided to my next example, viz. the text of St. Matt. xv. 8, by the
choice deliberately made of that place by Dr. Tregelles in order to
establish the peculiar theory of Textual Revision which he advocates so
strenuously; and which, ever since the days of Griesbach, has it must be
confessed enjoyed the absolute confidence of most of the illustrious
editors of the New Testament. This is, in fact, the second example on
Tregelles' list. In approaching it, I take leave to point out that that
learned critic unintentionally hoodwinks his readers by not setting
before them in full the problem which he proposes to discuss. Thoroughly
to understand this matter, the student should be reminded that there is
found in St. Matt. xv. 8,--and parallel to it in St. Mark vii. 6,--

St. Matt.

'Ye hypocrites, well did Isaiah prophesy of you saying, "This people
draweth nigh unto Me with their mouth and honoureth me with their lips
([Greek: engizei moi ho laos houtos tô stomati autôn, kai tois cheilesi
me tima]), but their heart is far from Me."'

St. Mark.

'Well did Isaiah prophesy of you, hypocrites, as it is written, "This
people honoureth Me with their lips ([Greek: houtos ho laos tois
cheilesi me tima]), but their heart is far from Me."'

The place of Isaiah referred to, viz. ch. xxix. 13, reads as follows in
the ordinary editions of the LXX:--[Greek: kai eipe Kyrios, engizei moi
ho laos houtos en tô stomati autou, kai en tois cheilesin autôn timôsi

Now, about the text of St. Mark in this place no question is raised.
Neither is there any various reading worth speaking of in ninety-nine
MSS. out of a hundred in respect of the text in St. Matthew. But when
reference is made to the two oldest copies in existence, B and [Symbol:
Aleph], we are presented with what, but for the parallel place in St.
Mark, would have appeared to us a strangely abbreviated reading. Both
MSS. conspire in exhibiting St. Matt. xv. 8, as follows:--[Greek: ho
laos houtos tois cheilesi me tima]. So that six words ([Greek: engizei
moi] and [Greek: tô stomati autôn, kai]) are not recognized by them: in
which peculiarity they are countenanced by DLT^{c}, two cursive copies,
and the following versions:--Old Latin except f, Vulgate, Curetonian,
Lewis, Peshitto, and Bohairic, (Cod. A, the Sahidic and Gothic versions,
being imperfect here.) To this evidence, Tischendorf adds a phalanx of
Fathers:--Clemens Romanus (A.D. 70), Ptolemaeus the Gnostic (A.D. 150),
Clemens Alexandrinus (A.D. 190), Origen in three places (A.D. 210),
Eusebius (A.D. 325), Basil, Cyril of Alexandria, Chrysostom: and Alford
supplies also Justin Martyr (A.D. 150). The testimony of Didymus (A.D.
350), which has been hitherto overlooked, is express. Tertullian,
Cyprian, Hilary, are naturally found to follow the Latin copies. Such a
weight of evidence may not unreasonably inspire Dr. Tregelles with an
exceeding amount of confidence. Accordingly he declares 'that this one
passage might be relied upon as an important proof that it is the few
MSS. and not the many which accord with ancient testimony.' Availing
himself of Dr. Scrivener's admission of 'the possibility that the
disputed words in the great bulk of the MSS. were inserted from the
Septuagint of Isaiah xxix. 13[285],' Dr. Tregelles insists 'that on
every true principle of textual criticism, the words must be regarded as
an amplification borrowed from the Prophet. This naturally explains
their introduction,' (he adds); 'and when once they had gained a footing
in the text, it is certain that they would be multiplied by copyists,
who almost always preferred to make passages as full and complete as
possible' (p. 139). Dr. Tregelles therefore relies upon this one
passage,--not so much as a 'proof that it is the few MSS. and not the
many which accord with ancient testimony';--for one instance cannot
possibly prove that; and that is after all beside the real
question;--but, as a proof that we are to regard the text of Codd.
B[Symbol: Aleph] in this place as genuine, and the text of all the other
Codexes in the world as corrupt.

The reader has now the hypothesis fully before him by which from the
days of Griesbach it has been proposed to account for the discrepancy
between 'the few copies' on the one hand, and the whole torrent of
manuscript evidence on the other.

Now, as I am writing a book on the principles of Textual Criticism, I
must be allowed to set my reader on his guard against all such
unsupported dicta as the preceding, though enforced with emphasis and
recommended by a deservedly respected name. I venture to think that the
exact reverse will be found to be a vast deal nearer the truth: viz.
that undoubtedly spurious readings, although they may at one time or
other have succeeded in obtaining a footing in MSS., and to some extent
may be observed even to have propagated themselves, are yet discovered
to die out speedily; seldom indeed to leave any considerable number of
descendants. There has always in fact been a process of elimination
going on, as well as of self-propagation: a corrective force at work, as
well as one of deterioration. How else are we to account for the utter
disappearance of the many _monstra potius quam variae lectiones_ which
the ancients nevertheless insist were prevalent in their times? It is
enough to appeal to a single place in Jerome, in illustration of what I
have been saying[286]. To return however from this digression.

We are invited then to believe,--for it is well to know at the outset
exactly what is required of us,--that from the fifth century downwards
every _extant copy of the Gospels except five_ (DLT^{c}, 33, 124)
exhibits a text arbitrarily interpolated in order to bring it into
conformity with the Greek version of Isa. xxix. 13. On this wild
hypothesis I have the following observations to make:--

1. It is altogether unaccountable, if this be indeed a true account of
the matter, how it has come to pass that in no single MS. in the world,
so far as I am aware, has this conformity been successfully achieved:
for whereas the Septuagintal reading is [Greek: engizei moi ho laos
outos EN tô stomati AUTOU, kai EN tois cheilesin AUTÔN TIMÔSI me],--the
Evangelical Text is observed to differ therefrom in no less than six

2. Further,--If there really did exist this strange determination on the
part of the ancients in general to assimilate the text of St. Matthew to
the text of Isaiah, how does it happen that not one of them ever
conceived the like design in respect of the parallel place in St. Mark?

3. It naturally follows to inquire,--Why are we to suspect the mass of
MSS. of having experienced such wholesale depravation in respect of the
text of St. Matthew in this place, while yet we recognize in them such a
marked constancy to their own peculiar type; which however, as already
explained, is _not_ the text of Isaiah?

4. Further,--I discover in this place a minute illustration of the
general fidelity of the ancient copyists: for whereas in St. Matthew it
is invariably [Greek: ho laos outos], I observe that in the copies of
St. Mark,--except to be sure in (_a_) Codd. B and D, (_b_) copies of the
Old Latin, (_c_) the Vulgate, and (_d_) the Peshitto (all of which are
confessedly corrupt in this particular,)--it is invariably [Greek: outos
ho laos]. But now,--Is it reasonable that the very copies which have
been in this way convicted of licentiousness in respect of St. Mark vii.
6 should be permitted to dictate to us against the great heap of copies
in respect of their exhibition of St. Matt. xv. 8?

And yet, if the discrepancy between Codd. B and [Symbol: Aleph] and the
great bulk of the copies in this place did not originate in the way
insisted on by the critics, how is it to be accounted for? Now, on
ordinary occasions, we do not feel ourselves called upon to institute
any such inquiry,--as indeed very seldom would it be practicable to do.
Unbounded licence of transcription, flagrant carelessness, arbitrary
interpolations, omissions without number, disfigure those two ancient
MSS. in every page. We seldom trouble ourselves to inquire into the
history of their obliquities. But the case is of course materially
changed when so many of the oldest of the Fathers and all the oldest
Versions seem to be at one with Codexes B and [Symbol: Aleph]. Let then
the student favour me with his undivided attention for a few moments,
and I will explain to him how the misapprehension of Griesbach,
Tischendorf, Tregelles and the rest, has arisen. About the MSS. and the
Versions these critics are sufficiently accurate: but they have fatally
misapprehended the import of the Patristic evidence; as I proceed to

The established Septuagintal rendering of Isa. xxix. 13 in the Apostolic
age proves to have been this,--[Greek: Engizei moi ho laos outos tois
cheilesin autôn timôsi me]: the words [Greek: en tô stomati autôn, kai
en] being omitted. This is certain. Justin Martyr[287] and Cyril of
Alexandria in two places[288] so quote the passage. Procopius Gazaeus in
his Commentary on Origen's Hexapla of Isaiah says expressly that the six
words in question were introduced into the text of the Septuagint by
Aquila, Symmachus, and Theodotion. Accordingly they are often observed
to be absent from MSS.[289] They are not found, for example, in the
Codex Alexandrinus.

But the asyndeton resulting from the suppression of these words was felt
to be intolerable. In fact, without a colon point between [Greek: outos]
and [Greek: tois], the result is without meaning. When once the
complementary words have been withdrawn, [Greek: engizei moi] at the
beginning of the sentence is worse than superfluous. It fatally
encumbers the sense. To drop those two words, after the example of the
parallel place in St. Mark's Gospel, became thus an obvious proceeding.
Accordingly the author of the (so-called) second Epistle of Clemens
Romanus (§ 3), professing to quote the place in the prophet Isaiah,
exhibits it thus,--[Greek: Ho laos outos tois cheilesi me tima]. Clemens
Alexandrinus certainly does the same thing on at least two
occasions[290]. So does Chrysostom[291]. So does Theodoret[292].

Two facts have thus emerged, which entirely change the aspect of the
problem: the first, (_a_) That the words [Greek: en tô stomati autôn,
kai en] were anciently absent from the Septuagintal rendering of Isaiah
xxix. 13: the second, (_b_) that the place of Isaiah was freely quoted
by the ancients without the initial words [Greek: engizei moi].

And after this discovery will any one be so perverse as to deny that on
the contrary it must needs be Codexes B and [Symbol: Aleph], and not the
great bulk of the MSS., which exhibit a text corrupted by the influence
of the Septuagint rendering of Isaiah xxix. 13? The precise extent to
which the assimilating influence of the parallel place in St. Mark's
Gospel has been felt by the copyists, I presume not to determine. The
essential point is that the omission from St. Matthew xv. 8 of the words
[Greek: Tô stomati autôn, kai], is certainly due in the first instance
to the ascertained Septuagint omission of those very words in Isaiah
xxix. 13.

But that the text of St. Mark vii. 6 has exercised an assimilating
influence on the quotation from Isaiah is demonstrable. For there can be
no doubt that Isaiah's phrase (retained by St. Matthew) is [Greek: ho
laos outos],--St. Mark's [Greek: outos ho laos]. And yet, when Clemens
Romanus quotes Isaiah, he begins--[Greek: outos ho laos][293]; and so
twice does Theodoret[294].

The reader is now in a position to judge how much attention is due to
Dr. Tregelles' dictum 'that this one passage may be relied upon' in
support of the peculiar views he advocates: as well as to his confident
claim that the fuller text which is found in ninety-nine MSS. out of a
hundred 'must be regarded as an amplification borrowed from the
prophet.' It has been shewn in answer to the learned critic that in the
ancient Greek text of the prophet the 'amplification' he speaks of did
not exist: it was the abbreviated text which was found there. So that
the very converse of the phenomenon he supposes has taken place. Freely
accepting his hypothesis that we have here a process of assimilation,
occasioned by the Septuagintal text of Isaiah, we differ from him only
as to the direction in which that process has manifested itself. He
assumes that the bulk of the MSS. have been conformed to the generally
received reading of Isaiah xxix. 13. But it has been shewn that, on the
contrary, it is the two oldest MSS. which have experienced assimilation.
Their prototypes were depraved in this way at an exceedingly remote

To state this matter somewhat differently.--In all the extant uncials
but five, and in almost every known cursive copy of the Gospels, the
words [Greek: tô stomati autôn, kai] are found to belong to St. Matt.
xv. 8. How is the presence of those words to be accounted for? The reply
is obvious:--By the fact that they must have existed in the original
autograph of the Evangelist. Such however is not the reply of Griesbach
and his followers. They insist that beyond all doubt those words must
have been imported into the Gospel from Isaiah xxix. But I have shewn
that this is impossible; because, at the time spoken of, the words in
question had no place in the Greek text of the prophet. And this
discovery exactly reverses the problem, and brings out the directly
opposite result. For now we discover that we have rather to inquire how
is the absence of the words in question from those few MSS. out of the
mass to be accounted for? The two oldest Codexes are convicted of
exhibiting a text which has been corrupted by the influence of the
oldest Septuagint reading of Isaiah xxix. 13.

I freely admit that it is in a high degree remarkable that five ancient
Versions, and all the following early writers,--Ptolemaeus[295], Clemens
Alexandrinus[296], Origen[297], Didymus[298], Cyril[299], Chrysostom[300],
and possibly three others of like antiquity[301],--should all quote St.
Matthew in this place from a faulty text. But this does but prove at how
extremely remote a period the corruption must have begun. It probably
dates from the first century. Especially does it seem to shew how
distrustful we should be of our oldest authorities when, as here, they
are plainly at variance with the whole torrent of manuscript authority.
This is indeed no ordinary case. There are elements of distrust here,
such as are not commonly encountered.

§ 6.

What I have been saying is aptly illustrated by a place in our Lord's
Sermon on the Mount: viz. St. Matt. v. 44; which in almost every MS. in
existence stands as follows:

  (1) [Greek: agapate tous echthrous humôn],
  (2) [Greek: eulogeite tous katarômenous humas],
  (3) [Greek: kalôs poieite tois misousin[302] humas],
  (4) [Greek: kai proseuchesthe huper tôn epêreazontôn humas],
  (5) [Greek: kai diôkontôn hymas][303].

On the other hand, it is not to be denied that there exists an
appreciable body of evidence for exhibiting the passage in a shorter
form. The fact that Origen six times[304] reads the place thus:

  [Greek: agapate tous echthrous humôn,
  kai proseuchesthe huper tôn diôkontôn humas].

(which amounts to a rejection of the second, third, and fourth
clauses;)--and that he is supported therein by B[Symbol: Aleph],
(besides a few cursives) the Curetonian, the Lewis, several Old Latin
MSS., and the Bohairic[305], seems to critics of a certain school a
circumstance fatal to the credit of those clauses. They are aware that
Cyprian[306], and they are welcome to the information that
Tertullian[307] once and Theodoret once[308] [besides Irenaeus[309],
Eusebius[310], and Gregory of Nyssa[311]] exhibit the place in the same
way. So does the author of the Dialogus contra Marcionitas[312],--whom
however I take to be Origen. Griesbach, on far slenderer evidence, was
for obelizing all the three clauses. But Lachmann, Tregelles,
Tischendorf and the Revisers reject them entirely. I am persuaded that
they are grievously mistaken in so doing, and that the received text
represents what St. Matthew actually wrote. It is the text of all the
uncials but two, of all the cursives but six or seven; and this alone
ought to be decisive. But it is besides the reading of the Peshitto, the
Harkleian, and the Gothic; as well as of three copies of the Old Latin.

Let us however inquire more curiously for the evidence of Versions and
Fathers on this subject; remembering that the point in dispute is
nothing else but the genuineness of clauses 2, 3, 4. And here, at
starting, we make the notable discovery that Origen, whose practice was
relied on for retaining none but the first and the fifth
clauses,--himself twice[313] quotes the first clause in connexion with
the fourth: while Theodoret, on two occasions[314], connects with clause
1 what he evidently means for clause 2; and Tertullian once if not twice
connects closely clauses 1, 2; and once, clauses 1, 2, 5[315]. From
which it is plain that neither Origen nor Theodoret, least of all
Tertullian, can be held to disallow the clauses in question. They
recognize them on the contrary, which is simply a fatal circumstance,
and effectively disposes of their supposed hostile evidence.

But in fact the Western Church yields unfaltering testimony. Besides the
three copies of the Old Latin which exhibit all the five clauses, the
Vulgate retains the first, third, fifth and fourth. Augustine[316]
quotes consecutively clauses 1, 3, 5: Ambrose[317] clauses 1, 3, 4,
5--1, 4, 5: Hilary[318], clauses 1, 4, 5, and (apparently) 2, 4, 5:
Lucifer[319], clauses 1, 2, 3 (apparently), 5: pseudo-Epiphanius[320]
connects clauses 1, 3,--1, 3, 5: and Pacian[321], clauses 5, 2. Next we
have to ascertain what is the testimony of the Greek Fathers.

And first we turn to Chrysostom[322] who (besides quoting the fourth
clause from St. Matthew's Gospel by itself five times) quotes
consecutively clauses 1, 3--iii. 167; 1, 4--iv. 619; 2, 4--v. 436; 4,
3--ii. 340, v. 56, xii. 654; 4, 5--ii. 258, iii. 341; 1, 2, 4--iv. 267;
1, 3, 4, 5--xii. 425; thus recognizing them _all._

Gregory Nyss.[323] quotes connectedly clauses 3, 4, 5.

Eusebius[324], clauses 4, 5--2, 4, 5--1, 3, 4, 5.

The Apostolic Constitutions[325] (third century), clauses 1, 3, 4, 5
(having immediately before quoted clause 2,)--also clauses 2, 4, 1.

Clemens Alex.[326] (A.D. 192), clauses 1, 2, 4.

Athenagoras[327] (A.D. 177), clauses 1, 2, 5.

Theophilus[328] (A.D. 168), clauses 1, 4.

While Justin M.[329] (A.D. 140) having paraphrased clause 1, connects
therewith clauses 2 and 4.

And Polycarp[330] (A.D. 108) apparently connects clauses 4 and 5.

Didache[331] (A.D. 100?) quotes 2, 4, 5 and combines 1 and 3 (pp. 5, 6).

In the face of all this evidence, no one it is presumed will any more be
found to dispute the genuineness of the generally received reading in
St. Matt. v. 44. All must see that if the text familiarly known in the
age immediately after that of the Apostles had been indeed the bald,
curt thing which the critics imagine, viz.

  [Greek: agapate tous echthrous humôn,
  kai proseuchesthe huper tôn diôkontôn humas,--]

by no possibility could the men of that age in referring to St. Matt. v.
44 have freely mentioned 'blessing those who curse,--doing good to those
who hate,--and praying for those who despitefully use.' Since there are
but two alternative readings of the passage,--one longer, one
briefer,--every clear acknowledgement of a single disputed clause in the
larger reading necessarily carries with it all the rest.

This result of 'comparative criticism' is therefore respectfully
recommended to the notice of the learned. If it be not decisive of the
point at issue to find such a torrent of primitive testimony at one with
the bulk of the Uncials and Cursives extant, it is clear that there can
be no Science of Textual Criticism. The Law of Evidence must be held to
be inoperative in this subject-matter. Nothing deserving of the name of
'proof' will ever be attainable in this department of investigation.

But if men admit that the ordinarily received text of St. Matt. v. 44
has been clearly established, then let the legitimate results of the
foregoing discussion be loyally recognized. The unique value of
Manuscripts in declaring the exact text of Scripture--the conspicuous
inadequacy of Patristic evidence by themselves,--have been made
apparent: and yet it has been shewn that Patristic quotations are
abundantly sufficient for their proper purpose,--which is, to enable us
to decide between conflicting readings. One more indication has been
obtained of the corruptness of the text which Origen employed,--
concerning which he is so strangely communicative,--and of which
B[Symbol: Aleph] are the chief surviving examples; and the probability
has been strengthened that when these are the sole, or even the
principal witnesses, for any particular reading, that reading will prove
to be corrupt.

Mill was of opinion, (and of course his opinion finds favour with
Griesbach, Tischendorf, and the rest,) that these three clauses have
been imported hither from St. Luke vi. 27, 28. But, besides that this is
mere unsupported conjecture, how comes it then to pass that the order of
the second and third clauses in St. Matthew's Gospel is the reverse of
the order in St. Luke's? No. I believe that there has been excision
here: for I hold with Griesbach that it cannot have been the result of

[I take this opportunity to reply to a reviewer in the _Guardian_
newspaper, who thought that he had reduced the authorities quoted from
before A.D. 400 on page 103 of The Traditional Text to two on our side
against seven, or rather six[333], on the other. Let me first say that
on this perilous field I am not surprised at being obliged to re-judge
or withdraw some authorities. I admit that in the middle of a long
catena of passages, I did not lay sufficient stress, as I now find, upon
the parallel passage in St. Luke vi. 27, 28. After fresh examination, I
withdraw entirely Clemens Alex., Paed. i. 8,--Philo of Carpasus, I.
7,--Ambrose, De Abrahamo ii. 30, Ps. cxviii. 12. 51, and the two
referred to Athanasius. Also I do not quote Origen, Cels. viii.
41,--Eusebius in Ps. iii.,--Apost. Const. vii. 4,--Greg. Nyss., In S.
Stephanum, because they may be regarded as doubtful, although for
reasons which I proceed to give they appear to witness in favour of our
contention. It is necessary to add some remarks before dealing with the
rest of the passages.]

[1. It must be borne in mind, that this is a question both negative and
positive:--negative on the side of our opponents, with all the
difficulties involved in establishing a negative conclusion as to the
non-existence in St. Matthew's Gospel of clauses 2, 3, and 5,--and
positive for us, in the establishment of those clauses as part of the
genuine text in the passage which we are considering. If we can so
establish the clauses, or indeed any one of them, the case against us
fails: but unless we can establish all, we have not proved everything
that we seek to demonstrate. Our first object is to make the adverse
position untenable: when we have done that, we fortify our own.
Therefore both the Dean and myself have drawn attention to the fact that
our authorities are summoned as witnesses to the early existence in each
case of 'some of the clauses,' if they do not depose to all of them. We
are quite aware of the reply: but we have with us the advantage of
positive as against negative evidence. This advantage especially rules
in such an instance as the present, because alien circumstances govern
the quotation, and regulate particularly the length of it. Such
quotation is always liable to shortening, whether by leaving out
intermediate clauses, or by sudden curtailment in the midst of the
passage. Therefore, actual citation of separate clauses, being
undesigned and fortuitous, is much more valuable than omission arising
from what cause soever.]

[2. The reviewer says that 'all four clauses are read by both texts,'
i.e. in St. Matthew and St. Luke, and appears to have been unaware as
regards the present purpose of the existence of the fifth clause, or
half-clause, in St. Matthew. Yet the words--[Greek: huper ... tôn
diôkontôn humas] are a very label, telling incontestibly the origin of
many of the quotations. Sentences so distinguished with St. Matthew's
label cannot have come from St. Luke's Gospel. The reviewer has often
gone wrong here. The [Greek: huper]--instead of the [Greek: peri] after
[Symbol: Aleph]BL[Symbol: Xi] in St. Luke--should be to our opponents a
sign betraying the origin, though when it stands by itself--as in
Eusebius, In Ps. iii.--I do not press the passage.]

[3. Nor again does the reviewer seem to have noticed the effects of the
context in shewing to which source a quotation is to be referred. It is
a common custom for Fathers to quote v. 45 in St. Matthew, which is
hardly conceivable if they had St. Luke vi. 27, 28 before them, or even
if they were quoting from memory. Other points in the context of greater
or less importance are often found in the sentence or sentences
preceding or following the words quoted, and are decisive of the

[The references as corrected are given in the note[334]. It will be seen
by any one who compares the verifications with the reviewer's list, how
his failure to observe the points just explained has led him astray. The
effect upon the list given in The Traditional Text will be that before
the era of St. Chrysostom twenty-five testimonies are given in favour of
the Traditional Text of St. Matt. v. 44, and adding Tertullian from the
Dean nine against it. And the totals on page 102, lines 2 and 3 will be
522 and 171 respectively.]

§ 7.

Especially have we need to be on our guard against conniving at the
ejection of short clauses consisting of from twelve to fourteen
letters,--which proves to have been the exact length of a line in the
earliest copies. When such omissions leave the sense manifestly
imperfect, no evil consequence can result. Critics then either take no
notice of the circumstance, or simply remark in passing that the
omission has been the result of accident. In this way, [[Greek: hoi
pateres autôn], though it is omitted by Cod. B in St. Luke vi. 26, is
retained by all the Editors: and the strange reading of Cod. [Symbol:
Aleph] in St. John vi. 55, omitting two lines, was corrected on the
manuscript in the seventh century, and has met with no assent in modern

  [Greek: ÊGAR]
  [Greek: ESTIPOSIS]

But when, notwithstanding the omission of two or three words, the sense
of the context remains unimpaired,--the clause being of independent
signification,--then great danger arises lest an attempt should be made
through the officiousness of modern Criticism to defraud the Church of a
part of her inheritance. Thus [[Greek: kai hoi syn autô] (St. Luke viii.
45) is omitted by Westcott and Hort, and is placed in the margin by the
Revisers and included in brackets by Tregelles as if the words were of
doubtful authority, solely because some scribe omitted a line and was
followed by B, a few cursives, the Sahidic, Curetonian, Lewis, and
Jerusalem Versions].

When indeed the omission dates from an exceedingly remote period; took
place, I mean, in the third, or more likely still in the second century;
then the fate of such omitted words may be predicted with certainty.
Their doom is sealed. Every copy made from that defective original of
necessity reproduced the defects of its prototype: and if (as often
happens) some of those copies have descended to our times, they become
quoted henceforward as if they were independent witnesses[335]. Nor is
this all. Let the taint have been communicated to certain copies of the
Old Latin, and we find ourselves confronted with formidable because very
venerable foes. And according to the recently approved method of editing
the New Testament, the clause is allowed no quarter. It is declared
without hesitation to be a spurious accretion to the Text. Take, as an
instance of this, the following passage in St. Luke xii. 39. 'If' (says
our Lord) 'the master of the house had known in what hour

  [Greek: OKLEPTÊS]
  [Greek: ERCHETAI] [[Greek: EGRÊGOR]
  [Greek: ÊSENKAI]] [Greek: OUKANA]
  [Greek: PHÊKEN]

his house to be broken through.' Here, the clause within brackets, which
has fallen out for an obvious reason, does not appear in Codd. [Symbol:
Aleph] and D. But the omission did not begin with [Symbol: Aleph]. Two
copies of the Old Latin are also without the words [Greek: egrêgorêsen
kai],--which are wanting besides in Cureton's Syriac. Tischendorf
accordingly omits them. And yet, who sees not that such an amount of
evidence as this is wholly insufficient to warrant the ejection of the
clause as spurious? What is the 'Science' worth which cannot preserve to
the body a healthy limb like this?

[The instances of omission which have now been examined at some length
must by no means be regarded as the only specimens of this class of
corrupt passages[336]. Many more will occur to the minds of the readers
of the present volume and of the earlier volume of this work. In fact,
omissions are much more common than Additions, or Transpositions, or
Substitutions: and this fact, that omissions, or what seem to be
omissions, are apparently so common,--to say nothing of the very strong
evidence wherewith they are attested--when taken in conjunction with the
natural tendency of copyists to omit words and passages, cannot but
confirm the general soundness of the position. How indeed can it
possibly be more true to the infirmities of copyists, to the verdict of
evidence on the several passages, and to the origin of the New Testament
in the infancy of the Church and amidst associations which were not
literary, to suppose that a terse production was first produced and
afterwards was amplified in a later age with a view to 'lucidity and
completeness[337],' rather than that words and clauses and sentences
were omitted upon definitely understood principles in a small class of
documents by careless or ignorant or prejudiced scribes? The reply to
this question must now be left for candid and thoughtful students to


[258] It will be observed that these are empirical, not logical,
classes. Omissions are found in many of the rest.

[259] Last Twelve Verses of St. Mark's Gospel, chapter v. and Appendix

[260] See Dr. Gwynn's remarks in Appendix VII of The Traditional Text,
pp. 298-301.

[261] The Revision Revised, pp. 42-45, 422-424: Traditional Text, p.
109, where thirty-eight testimonies are quoted before 400 A.D.

[262] The expression of Jerome, that almost all the Greek MSS. omit this
passage, is only a translation of Eusebius. It cannot express his own
opinion, for he admitted the twelve verses into the Vulgate, and quoted
parts of them twice, i.e. ver. 9, ii. 744-5, ver. 14, i. 327 c.

[263] Dr. Dobbin has calculated 330 omissions in St. Matthew, 365 in St.
Mark, 439 in St Luke, 357 in St. John, 384 in the Acts, and 681 in the
Epistles--3,556 in all as far as Heb. ix. 14, where it terminates.
Dublin University Magazine, 1859, p. 620.

[264] Such as in Cod. D after St. Luke vi. 4. 'On the same day He beheld
a certain man working on the sabbath, and said unto him, "Man, blessed
art thou if thou knowest what thou doest; but if thou knowest not, thou
art cursed and a transgressor of the law"' (Scrivener's translation,
Introduction, p. 8). So also a longer interpolation from the Curetonian
after St. Matt. xx. 28. These are condemned by internal evidence as well
as external.

[265] [Greek: kai ho pesôn epi ton lithon touton synthlasthêsetai; eph'
on d' an pesê, likmêsei auton].

[266] iv. 25 d, 343 d.--What proves these two quotations to be from St.
Matt. xxi. 44, and not from St. Luke xx. 18, is, that they alike exhibit
expressions which are peculiar to the earlier Gospel. The first is
introduced by the formula [Greek: oudepote anegnôte] (ver. 42: comp.
Orig. ii. 794 c), and both exhibit the expression [Greek: epi ton lithon
touton] (ver. 44), not [Greek: ep' ekeinon ton lithon]. Vainly is it
urged on the opposite side, that [Greek: pas ho pesôn] belongs to St.
Luke,--whereas [Greek: kai ho pesôn] is the phrase found in St.
Matthew's Gospel. Chrysostom (vii. 672) writes [Greek: pas ho piptôn]
while professing to quote from St. Matthew; and the author of Cureton's
Syriac, who had this reading in his original, does the same.

[267] P. 193.

[268] P. 11.

[269] vii. 672 a [freely quoted as Greg. Naz. in the Catena of Nicetas,
p. 669] xii. 27 d.

[270] _Ap_. Mai, ii. 401 dis.

[271] _Ap_. Chrys. vi. 171 c.

[272] vii. 171 d.

[273] iii^{2}. 86, 245: v. 500 e, 598 d.

[274] 682-3 (Massuet 277).

[275] iii. 786.

[276] Theoph. 235-6 (= Mai, iv. 122).

[277] ii. 660 a, b, c.

[278] 'Praeterit et Lucifer.'

[279] _Ap._ Galland. vi. 191 d.

[280] Ibid. vii. 20 c.

[281] Ibid. ix. 768 a.

[282] [I am unable to find any place in the Dean's writings where he has
made this explanation. The following note, however, is appended here]:--

With verse 43, the long lesson for the Monday in Holy-week (ver. 18-43)
comes to an end.

Verse 44 has a number all to itself (in other words, is sect. 265) in
the fifth of the Syrian Canons,--which contains whatever is found
exclusively in St. Matthew and St. Luke.

[283] 'Omnino ex Lc. assumpta videntur.'

[284] The section in St. Matthew is numbered 265,--in St. Luke, 274:
both being referred to Canon V, in which St. Matthew and St. Luke are
exclusively compared.

[285] Vol. i. 13.

[286] Letter to Pope Damasus. See my book on St. Mark, p. 28.

[287] Dial. § 78, _ad fin._ (p. 272).

[288] Opp. ii. 215 a: v. part ii. 118 c.

[289] See Holmes and Parsons' ed. of the LXX,--vol. iv. _in loc._

[290] Opp. pp. 143 and 206. P. 577 is allusive only.

[291] Opp. vii. 158 c: ix. 638 b.

[292] Opp. ii. 1345: iii. 763-4.

[293] § xv:--on which his learned editor (Bp. Jacobson) pertinently
remarks,--'Hunc locum Prophetae Clemens exhibuisset sicut a Christo
laudatam, S. Marc. vii. 6, si pro [Greek: apestin] dedisset [Greek:

[294] Opp. i. 1502: iii. 1114.

[295] _Ap._ Epiphanium, Opp. i. 218 d.

[296] Opp. p. 461.

[297] Opp. iii. 492 (a remarkable place): ii. 723: iv. 121.

[298] De Trinitate, p. 242.

[299] Opp. ii. 413 b. [Observe how this evidence leads us to

[300] Opp. vii. 522 d. The other place, ix. 638 b, is uncertain.

[301] It is uncertain whether Eusebius and Basil quote St. Matthew or
Isaiah: but a contemporary of Chrysostom certainly quotes the
Gospel,--Chrys. Opp. vi. 425 d (cf. p. 417, line 10).

[302] But Eus.^{Es 589} [Greek: tous m.]

[303] I have numbered the clauses for convenience.--It will perhaps
facilitate the study of this place, if (on my own responsibility) I
subjoin a representation of the same words in Latin:--

    (1) Diligite inimicos vestros,
    (2) benedicite maledicentes vos,
    (3) benefacite odientibus vos,
    (4) et orate pro calumniantibus vos,
    (5) et persequentibus vos.

[304] Opp. iv. 324 _bis_, 329 _bis_, 351. Gall. xiv. App. 106.

[305] 'A large majority, all but five, omit it. Some add it in the
margin.' Traditional Text, p. 149.

[306] Opp. p. 79, cf. 146.

[307] Scap. c. 1.

[308] Opp. iv. 946.

[309] Haer. III. xviii. 5.

[310] Dem. Evan. xiii. 7.

[311] In Bapt. Christ.

[312] Orig. Opp. i. 812.

[313] Opp. i. 768: iv. 353.

[314] Opp. i. 827: ii. 399.

[315] Spect. c. 16: (Anim. c. 35): Pat. c. 6.

[316] [In Ep. Joh. IV. Tract, ix. 3 (1, 3 (ver. 45 &c.)); In Ps.
cxxxviii. 37 (1, 3); Serm. XV. 8 (1, 3, 5); Serm. LXII. _in loc._ (1, 3,
4, 5).]

[317] In Ps. xxxviii. 2.

[318] Opp. pp. 303, 297.

[319] Pro S. Athanas. ii.

[320] Ps. cxviii. 10. 16; 9. 9.

[321] Ep. ii.

[322] Opp. iii. 167: iv. 619: v. 436:--ii. 340: v. 56: xii. 654:--ii.
258: iii. 41:--iv. 267: xii. 425.

[323] Opp. iii. 379.

[324] Praep. 654: Ps. 137, 699: Es. 589.

[325] Pp. 3. 198.

[326] Opp. p. 605 and 307.

[327] Leg. pro Christian. 11.

[328] Ad Autolycum, iii. 14.

[329] Opp. i. 40.

[330] Ad Philipp. c. 12.

[331] § 1.

[332] Theodoret once (iv. 946) gives the verse as Tischendorf gives it:
but on two other occasions (i. 827: ii. 399) the same Theodoret exhibits
the second member of the sentence thus,--[Greek: eulogeite tous
diôkontas humas] (so pseud.-Athan. ii. 95), which shews how little
stress is to be laid on such evidence as the first-named place

Origen also (iv. 324 bis, 329 bis, 351) repeatedly gives the place as
Tischendorf gives it--but on one occasion, which it will be observed is
_fatal_ to his evidence (i. 768), he gives the second member thus,--iv.

[Greek: kai proseuchesthe huper tôn epêreazontôn humas]..·. 1. 4.

Next observe how Clemens Al. (605) handles the same place:--

[Greek: agapate tous echthrous humôn, eulogeite tous katarômenous humas,
kai proseuchesthe huper tôn epêreazyntôn humin, kai ta homoia.].·. 1, 2,
4.--3, 5.

Justin M. (i. 40) quoting the same place from memory (and with exceeding
licence), yet is observed to recognize in part _both_ the clauses which
labour under suspicion:.·. 1, 2, 4.--3, 5.

[Greek: euchesthe huper tôn echthrôn humôn kai agapate tous misountas
humas], which roughly represents [Greek: kai eulogeite tous katarômenous
humin kai euchesthe huper tôn epêreazontôn humas].

The clause which hitherto lacks support is that which regards [Greek:
tous misountas humas]. But the required help is supplied by Irenaeus (i.
521), who (loosely enough) quotes the place thus,--

_Diligite inimicos vestros, et orate pro eis, qui vos oderunt._ .·. 1
(made up of 3, 4).--2, 5.

And yet more by the most venerable witness of all, Polycarp, who
writes:--ad Philipp. c. 12:--

_Orate pro persequentibus et odientibus vos._.·. 4, 5.--1, 2, 3.

I have examined [Didaché] _Justin_, _Irenaeus_, _Eusebius_,
_Hippolytus_, _Cyril Al._, _Greg. Naz._, _Basil_, _Athan._, _Didymus_,
_Cyril Hier._, _Chrys._, _Greg. Nyss._, _Epiph._, _Theod._, _Clemens._

And the following are the results:--

Didaché. [Greek: Eulogeite tous katarômenous humin, kai proseuchesthe
huper tôn echthrôn humôn, nêsteuete huper tôn diôkontôn humas ... humeis
de agapate tous misountas humas]..·. 2, 3, 4, 5.

Aphraates, Dem. ii. The Latin Translation runs:--Diligite inimicos
vestros, benedicite ei qui vobis maledicit, orate pro eis qui vos vexunt
et persequuntur.

Eusebius Prae 654..·. 2, 4, 5, omitting 1, 3.

Eusebius Ps 699..·. 4, 5, omitting 1, 2, 3.

Eusebius Es 589..·. 1, 3, 4, 5, omitting 2.

Clemens Al. 605..·. 1, 2, 4, omitting 3, 5.

Greg. Nyss. iii. 379..·. 3, 4, 5, omitting 1, 2.

Vulg. Diligite inimicos vestros, benefacite his qui oderunt vos, et
orate pro persequentibus et calumniantibus vos..·. 1, 3, 5, 4, omitting

Hilary, 297. Benedicite qui vos persequuntur, et orate pro
calumniantibus vos ac persequentibus vos..·. 2, 4, 5, omitting the
_first and third_.

Hilary, 303. Diligite inimicos vestros, et orate pro calumniantibus vos
ac persequentibus vos..·. 1, 4, 5, omitting the _second and third_. Cf.

Cyprian, 79 (cf. 146). Diligite inimicos vestros, et orate pro his qui
vos persequuntur..·. 1, 5, omitting 2, 3, 4.

Tertullian. Diligite (enim) inimicos vestros, (inquit,) et orate pro
maledicentibus vos--which apparently is meant for a quotation of 1, 2.
.·. 1, 2, omitting 3, 4, 5.

Tertullian. Diligite (enim) inimicos vestros, (inquit,) et
maledicentibus benedicite, et orate pro persecutoribus vestris--which is
a quotation of 1, 2, 5. .·. 1, 2, 5, omitting 3, 4.

Tertullian. Diligere inimicos, et orare pro eis qui vos persequuntur.
.·. 1, 5, omitting 2, 3, 4.

Tertullian. Inimicos diligi, maledicentes benedici..·. 1, 2, omitting 3,
4, 5.

Ambrose. Diligite inimicos vestros benefacite iis qui oderunt vos: orate
pro calumniantibus et persequentibus vos..·. 1, 3, 4, 5, omitting 2.

Ambrose. Diligite inimicos vestros, orate pro calumniantibus et
persequentibus vos..·. 1, 4, 5, omitting 2, 3.

Augustine. Diligite inimicos vestros benefacite his qui vos oderunt: et
orate pro eis qui vos persequuntur..·. 1, 3, 5, omitting 2, 4.

'Benedicite qui vos persequuntur, et orate pro calumniantibus vos ac
persequentibus vos.' Hilary, 297.

Cyril Al. twice (i. 270: ii. 807) quotes the place thus,--

[Greek: eu poieite tous echthrous humôn, kai proseuchesthe huper tôn
epêreazontôn humas.]

Chrys. (iii. 355) says

[Greek: autos gar eipen, euchesthe huper tôn echthrôn] [[Greek: humôn]]

and repeats the quotation at iii. 340 and xii. 453.

So Tertull. (Apol. c. 31), pro inimicis deum orare, et _persecutoribus_
nostris bone precari..·. 1, 5.

If the lost Greek of Irenaeus (i. 521) were recovered, we should
probably find

[Greek: agapate tous echthrous humôn, kai proseuchesthe huper tôn
misountôn humas]:

and of Polycarp (ad Philipp. c. 12),

[Greek: proseuchesthe huper tôn diôkontôn kai misountôn humas].

[333] _Dialogus Adamantii_ is not adducible within my limits, because
'it is in all probability the production of a later age.' My number was

[334] Observe that 5 = [Greek: huper ... tôn diôkontôn].


Didache (§ 1), 2 (3), 3 (2), 4, 5.

Polycarp (xii), 3 (2), 5.

Justin Martyr, Apol. i. 15, 3 (2), 2 (3), 4 (4), 5? [Greek: huper tôn
echthrôn] (=[Greek: diôkontôn]?), but the passage more like St. Luke,
the context more like St. Matt., ver. 45.

Athenagoras (Leg. pro Christian. 11), 1, 2 (3). 5. ver. 45.

Tertullian (De Patient, vi), 1, 2 (3), 5, pt. ver. 45. Add Apol. c. 31.
1, 5.

Theophilus Ant. (Ad Autolycum iii. 14), 1, 4 (4), [Greek: hyper] and
ver. 46.

Clemens Alex. (Strom, iv. 14), 1, 2 (3), 4 (4), pt. ver. 45; (Strom,
vii. 14), favours St. Matt.

Origen (De Orat. i), 1, 4 (4), [Greek: huper] and in the middle of two
quotations from St. Matthew; (Cels. viii. 45), 1, 4 (4) [Greek: huper]
and all ver. 45.

Eusebius (Praep. Evan. xiii. 7), 2 (3), 4 (4), 5, all ver. 45; (Comment,
in Is. 66), 1, 3 (2), 4 (4), 5, also ver. 45; (In Ps. cviii), 4, 5.

Apost. Const, (i. 2), 1, 3 (2), 4 (4), 5, [Greek: huper] and ver. 45.

Greg. Naz. (Orat. iv. 124), 2 (3), 4 (4), 5, [Greek: hupereuchesthai].

Greg. Nyss. (In Bapt. Christi), 3 (2), 4 (4), 5, [Greek: huper], ver.

Lucifer (Pro S. Athan. ii) omits 4 (4), but quotes ver. 44 ... end of

Pacianus (Epist. ii), 2 (3), 5.

Hilary (Tract, in Ps. cxviii. 9. 9), 2 (3), 4 (4), 5; (ibid. 10. 16), 1,
4 (4), 5. (The reviewer omits 'ac persequentibus vos' in both cases.)

Ambrose (In Ps. xxxviii. 2), 1, 3, 4, 5; (In Ps. xxxviii. 10), 1, 4 (4),

Aphraates (Dem. ii), 1, 2 (3), 4 (4), 5, [Greek: ethnikoi].

Apocryphal Acts of the Apostles (p. 89), 2 (3), 3 (2), 4 (4), ver. 45.

Number = 25.

[335] See Traditional Text, p. 55.

[336] For one of the two most important omissions in the New Testament,
viz. the _Pericope de Adultera_, see Appendix I. See also Appendix II.

[337] Westcott and Hort, Introduction, p. 134.



V. Transposition, VI. Substitution, and VII. Addition.

§ 1.

One of the most prolific sources of Corrupt Readings, is Transposition,
or the arbitrary inversion of the order of the sacred words,--generally
in the subordinate clauses of a sentence. The extent to which this
prevails in Codexes of the type of B[Symbol: Aleph]CD passes belief. It
is not merely the occasional writing of [Greek: tauta panta] for [Greek:
panta tauta],--or [Greek: ho laos outos] for [Greek: outos ho laos], to
which allusion is now made: for if that were all, the phenomenon would
admit of loyal explanation and excuse. But what I speak of is a
systematic putting to wrong of the inspired words throughout the entire
Codex; an operation which was evidently regarded in certain quarters as
a lawful exercise of critical ingenuity,--perhaps was looked upon as an
elegant expedient to be adopted for improving the style of the original
without materially interfering with the sense.

Let me before going further lay before the reader a few specimens of

Take for example St. Mark i. 5,--[Greek: kai ebaptizonto pantes],--is
unreasonably turned into [Greek: pantes kai ebaptizonto]; whereby the
meaning of the Evangelical record becomes changed, for [Greek: pantes]
is now made to agree with [Greek: Hierosolumitai], and the Evangelist is
represented as making the very strong assertion that _all_ the people of
Jerusalem came to St. John and were baptized. This is the private
property of BDL[Symbol: Delta].

And sometimes I find short clauses added which I prefer to ascribe to
the misplaced critical assiduity of ancient Critics. Confessedly
spurious, these accretions to the genuine text often bear traces of
pious intelligence, and occasionally of considerable ability. I do not
suppose that they 'crept in' from the margin: but that they were
inserted by men who entirely failed to realize the wrongness of what
they did,--the mischievous consequences which might possibly ensue from
their well-meant endeavours to improve the work of the Holy Ghost.

[Take again St. Mark ii. 3, in which the order in [Greek: pros auton
paralytikon pherontes],--is changed by [Symbol: Aleph]BL into [Greek:
pherontes pros auton paralytikon]. A few words are needed to explain to
those who have not carefully examined the passage the effect of this
apparently slight alteration. Our Lord was in a house at Capernaum with
a thick crowd of people around Him: there was no room even at the door.
Whilst He was there teaching, a company of people come to Him ([Greek:
erchontai pros auton]), four of the party carrying a paralytic on a bed.
When they arrive at the house, a few of the company, enough to represent
the whole, force their way in and reach Him: but on looking back they
see that the rest are unable to bring the paralytic near to Him ([Greek:
prosengisai autô][338]). Upon which they all go out and uncover the
roof, take up the sick man on his bed, and the rest of the familiar
story unfolds itself. Some officious scribe wished to remove all
antiquity arising from the separation of [Greek: paralytikon] from
[Greek: airomenon] which agrees with it, and transposed [Greek:
pherontes] to the verb it is attached to, thus clumsily excluding the
exquisite hint, clear enough to those who can read between the lines,
that in the ineffectual attempt to bring in the paralytic only some of
the company reached our Lord's Presence. Of course the scribe in
question found followers in [Symbol: Aleph]BL.]

It will be seen therefore that some cases of transposition are of a kind
which is without excuse and inadmissible. Such transposition consists in
drawing back a word which occurs further on, but is thus introduced into
a new context, and gives a new sense. It seems to be assumed that since
the words are all there, so long as they be preserved, their exact
collocation is of no moment. Transpositions of that kind, to speak
plainly, are important only as affording conclusive proof that such
copies as B[Symbol: Aleph]D preserve a text which has undergone a sort
of critical treatment which is so obviously indefensible that the
Codexes themselves, however interesting as monuments of a primitive
age,--however valuable commercially and to be prized by learned and
unlearned alike for their unique importance,--are yet to be prized
chiefly as beacon-lights preserved by a watchful Providence to warn
every voyaging bark against making shipwreck on a shore already strewn
with wrecks[339].

Transposition may sometimes be as conveniently illustrated in English as
in Greek. St. Luke relates (Acts ii. 45, 46) that the first believers
sold their goods 'and parted them to all men, as every man had need. And
they, continuing daily,' &c. For this, Cod. D reads, 'and parted them
daily to all men as every man had need. And they continued in the

§ 2.

It is difficult to divine for what possible reason most of these
transpositions were made. On countless occasions they do not in the
least affect the sense. Often, they are incapable of being idiomatically
represented, in English. Generally speaking, they are of no manner of
importance, except as tokens of the licence which was claimed by
disciples, as I suspect, of the Alexandrian school [or exercised
unintentionally by careless or ignorant Western copyists]. But there
arise occasions when we cannot afford to be so trifled with. An
important change in the meaning of a sentence is sometimes effected by
transposing its clauses; and on one occasion, as I venture to think, the
prophetic intention of the Speaker is obscured in consequence. I allude
to St. Luke xiii. 9, where under the figure of a barren fig-tree, our
Lord hints at what is to befall the Jewish people, because in the fourth
year of His Ministry it remained unfruitful. 'Lo, these three years,'
(saith He to the dresser of His Vineyard), 'come I seeking fruit on this
fig-tree, and find none; cut it down; why cumbereth it the ground?'
'Spare it for this year also' (is the rejoinder), 'and if it bear
fruit,--well: but if not, next year thou shalt cut it down.' But on the
strength of [Symbol: Aleph]BLT^{w}, some recent Critics would have us
read,--'And if it bear fruit next year,--well: but if not, thou shalt
cut it down':--which clearly would add a year to the season of the
probation of the Jewish race. The limit assigned in the genuine text is
the fourth year: in the corrupt text of [Symbol: Aleph]BLT^{w}, two bad
Cursives, and the two chief Egyptian versions, this period becomes
extended to the fifth.

To reason about such transpositions of words, a wearisome proceeding at
best, soon degenerates into the veriest trifling. Sometimes, the order
of the words is really immaterial to the sense. Even when a different
shade of meaning is the result of a different collocation, that will
seem the better order to one man which seems not to be so to another.
The best order of course is that which most accurately exhibits the
Author's precise shade of meaning: but of this the Author is probably
the only competent judge. On our side, an appeal to actual evidence is
obviously the only resource: since in no other way can we reasonably
expect to ascertain what was the order of the words in the original
document. And surely such an appeal can be attended with only one
result: viz. the unconditional rejection of the peculiar and often
varying order advocated by the very few Codexes,--a cordial acceptance
of the order exhibited by every document in the world besides.

I will content myself with inviting attention to one or two samples of
my meaning. It has been made a question whether St. Luke (xxiv. 7)
wrote,--[Greek: legôn, Hoti dei ton huion tou anthrôpou paradothênai],
as all the MSS. in the world but four, all the Versions, and all the
available Fathers'[340] evidence from A.D. 150 downwards attest: or
whether he wrote,--[Greek: legôn ton huion tou anthrôpou hoti dei
paradothênai], as [Symbol: Aleph]BCL,--and those four documents
only--would have us believe? [The point which first strikes a scholar is
that there is in this reading a familiar classicism which is alien to
the style of the Gospels, and which may be a symptom of an attempt on
the part of some early critic who was seeking to bring them into
agreement with ancient Greek models.] But surely also it is even obvious
that the correspondence of those four Codexes in such a particular as
this must needs be the result of their having derived the reading from
one and the same original. On the contrary, the agreement of all the
rest in a trifling matter of detail like the present can be accounted
for in only one way, viz., by presuming that they also have all been
derived through various lines of descent from a single document: but
_that_ document the autograph of the Evangelist. [For the great number
and variety of them necessitates their having been derived through
various lines of descent. Indeed, they must have the notes of number,
variety, as well as continuity, and weight also.]

§ 3.

On countless occasions doubtless, it is very difficult--perhaps
impossible--to determine, apart from external evidence, which
collocation of two or more words is the true one, whether e.g. [Greek:
echei zôên] for instance or [Greek: zôên echei][341],--[Greek: êgerthê
eutheôs] or [Greek: eutheôs êgerthê][342],--[Greek: chôlous,
typhlous]--or [Greek: typhlous, chôlous][343],--shall be preferred. The
burden of proof rests evidently with innovators on Traditional use.

Obvious at the same time is it to foresee that if a man sits down before
the Gospel with the deliberate intention of improving the style of the
Evangelists by transposing their words on an average of seven (B), eight
([Symbol: Aleph]), or twelve (D) times in every page, he is safe to
convict himself of folly in repeated instances, long before he has
reached the end of his task. Thus, when the scribe of [Symbol: Aleph],
in place of [Greek: exousian edôken autô kai krisin poiein][344],
presents us with [Greek: kai krisin edôken autô exousian poiein], we
hesitate not to say that he has written nonsense[345]. And when BD
instead of [Greek: eisi tines tôn ôde hestêkotôn] exhibit [Greek: eise
tôn ôde tôn hestêkotôn], we cannot but conclude that the credit of those
two MSS. must be so far lowered in the eyes of every one who with true
appreciation of the niceties of Greek scholarship observes what has been

[This characteristic of the old uncials is now commended to the
attention of students, who will find in the folios of those documents
plenty of instances for examination. Most of the cases of Transposition
are petty enough, whilst some, as the specimens already presented to the
reader indicate, constitute blots not favourable to the general
reputation of the copies on which they are found. Indeed, they are so
frequent that they have grown to be a very habit, and must have
propagated themselves. For it is in this secondary character rather than
in any first intention, so to speak, that Transpositions, together with
Omissions and Substitutions and Additions, have become to some extent
independent causes of corruption. Originally produced by other forces,
they have acquired a power of extension in themselves.

It is hoped that the passages already quoted may be found sufficient to
exhibit the character of the large class of instances in which the pure
Text of the original Autographs has been corrupted by Transposition.
That it has been so corrupted, is proved by the evidence which is
generally overpowering in each case. There has clearly been much
intentional perversion: carelessness also and ignorance of Greek
combined with inveterate inaccuracy, characteristics especially of
Western corruption as may be seen in Codex D and the Old Latin versions,
must have had their due share in the evil work. The result has been
found in constant slurs upon the sacred pages, lessening the beauty and
often perverting the sense,--a source of sorrow to the keen scholar and
reverent Christian, and reiterated indignity done in wantonness or
heedlessness to the pure and easy flow of the Holy Books.]

§ 4.

[All the Corruption in the Sacred Text may be classed under four heads,
viz. Omission, Transposition, Substitution, and Addition. We are
entirely aware that, in the arrangement adopted in this Volume for
purposes of convenience, Scientific Method has been neglected. The
inevitable result must be that passages are capable of being classed
under more heads than one. But Logical exactness is of less practical
value than a complete and suitable treatment of the corrupted passages
that actually occur in the four Gospels.

It seems therefore needless to supply with a scrupulousness that might
bore our readers a disquisition upon Substitution which has not forced
itself into a place amongst Dean Burgon's papers, although it is found
in a fragmentary plan of this part of the treatise. Substituted forms or
words or phrases, such as [Greek: OS] ([Greek: hos]) for [Greek: THS]
([Greek: Theos])[346] [Greek: êporei] for [Greek: epoiei] (St. Mark vi.
20), or [Greek: ouk oidate dokimazein] for [Greek: dokimazete] (St. Luke
xii. 56), have their own special causes of substitution, and are
naturally and best considered under the cause which in each case gave
them birth.

Yet the class of Substitutions is a large one, if Modifications, as they
well may be, are added to it[347]. It will be readily concluded that
some substitutions are serious, some of less importance, and many
trivial. Of the more important class, the reading of [Greek:
hamartêmatos] for [Greek: kriseôs] (St. Mark iii. 29) which the Revisers
have adopted in compliance with [Symbol: Aleph]BL[Symbol: Delta] and
three Cursives, is a specimen. It is true that D reads [Greek:
hamartias] supported by the first corrector of C, and three of the
Ferrar group (13, 69, 346): and that the change adopted is supported by
the Old Latin versions except f, the Vulgate, Bohairic, Armenian,
Gothic, Lewis, and Saxon. But the opposition which favours [Greek:
kriseôs] is made up of A, C under the first reading and the second
correction, [Symbol: Phi][Symbol: Sigma] and eleven other Uncials, the
great bulk of the Cursives, f, Peshitto, and Harkleian, and is superior
in strength. The internal evidence is also in favour of the Traditional
reading, both as regards the usage of [Greek: enochos], and the natural
meaning given by [Greek: kriseôs]. [Greek: Hamartêmatos] has clearly
crept in from ver. 28. Other instances of Substitution may be found in
the well-known St. Luke xxiii. 45 ([Greek: tou hêliou eklipontos]), St.
Matt. xi. 27 ([Greek: boulêtai apokalypsai]), St. Matt. xxvii. 34
([Greek: oinon] for [Greek: oxos]), St. Mark i. 2 ([Greek: Hêsaia] for
[Greek: tois prophêtais]), St. John i. 18 ([Greek: ho Monogenês Theos]
being a substitution made by heretics for [Greek: ho Monogenês Huios]),
St. Mark vii. 31 ([Greek: dia Sidônos] for [Greek: kai Sidônos]). These
instances may perhaps suffice: many more may suggest themselves to
intelligent readers. Though most are trivial, their cumulative force is
extremely formidable. Many of these changes arose from various causes
which are described in many other places in this book.]

§ 5.

[The smallest of the four Classes, which upon a pure survey of the
outward form divide among themselves the surface of the entire field of
Corruption, is that of Additions[348]. And the reason of their smallness
of number is discoverable at once. Whilst it is but too easy for scribes
or those who have a love of criticism to omit words and passages under
all circumstances, or even to vary the order, or to use another word or
form instead of the right one, to insert anything into the sacred Text
which does not proclaim too glaringly its own unfitness--in a word, to
invent happily--is plainly a matter of much greater difficulty.
Therefore to increase the Class of Insertions or Additions or
Interpolations, so that it should exceed the Class of Omissions, is to
go counter to the natural action of human forces. There is no difficulty
in leaving out large numbers of the Sacred Words: but there is much
difficulty in placing in the midst of them human words, possessed of
such a character and clothed in such an uniform, as not to betray to
keen observation their earthly origin.

A few examples will set this truth in clearer light. It is remarkable
that efforts at interpolation occur most copiously amongst the books of
those who are least fitted to make them. We naturally look amongst the
representatives of the Western school where Greek was less understood
than in the East where Greek acumen was imperfectly represented by Latin
activity, and where translation into Latin and retranslation into Greek
was a prolific cause of corruption. Take then the following passage from
the Codex D (St. Luke vi. 4):--

'On the same day He beheld a certain man working on the sabbath, and
said to him, "Man, blessed art thou if thou knowest what thou doest; but
if thou knowest not, thou art cursed and a transgressor of the law."'

And another from the Curetonian Syriac (St. Matt. xx. 28), which occurs
under a worse form in D.

'But seek ye from little to become greater, and not from greater to
become less. When ye are invited to supper in a house, sit not down in
the best place, lest some one come who is more honourable than thou, and
the lord of the supper say to thee, "Go down below," and thou be ashamed
in the presence of them that have sat down. But if thou sit down in the
lower place, and one who is inferior to thee come in, the lord also of
the supper will say to thee, "Come near, and come up, and sit down," and
thou shalt have greater honour in the presence of them that have sat

Who does not see that there is in these two passages no real 'ring of

Take next some instances of lesser insertions.]

§ 6.

Conspicuous beyond all things in the Centurion of Capernaum (St. Matt.
viii. 13) was his faith. It occasioned wonder even in the Son of Man. Do
we not, in the significant statement, that when they who had been sent
returned to the house, 'they found the servant whole that had been
sick[349],' recognize by implication the assurance that the Centurion,
because he needed no such confirmation of his belief, went _not_ with
them; but enjoyed the twofold blessedness of remaining with Christ, and
of believing without seeing? I think so. Be this however as it may,
[Symbol: Aleph]CEMUX besides about fifty cursives, append to St. Matt.
viii. 13 the clearly apocryphal statement, 'And the Centurion returning
to his house in that same hour found the servant whole.' It does not
improve the matter to find that Eusebius[350], besides the Harkleian and
the Ethiopic versions, recognize the same appendix. We are thankful,
that no one yet has been found to advocate the adoption of this patent
accretion to the inspired text. Its origin is not far to seek. I presume
it was inserted in order to give a kind of finish to the story[351].

[Another and that a most remarkable Addition may be found in St. Matt.
xxiv. 36, into which the words [Greek: oude ho Huios], 'neither the Son'
have been transferred from St. Mark xiii. 32 in compliance with a wholly
insufficient body of authorities. Lachmann was the leader in this
proceeding, and he has been followed by Tischendorf, Westcott and Hort,
and the Revisers. The latter body add in their margin, 'Many
authorities, some ancient, omit _neither the Son_.' How inadequate to
the facts of the case this description is, will be seen when the
authorities are enumerated. But first of those who have been regarded by
the majority of the Revisers as the disposers of their decision,
according to the information supplied by Tischendorf.

They are (_a_) of Uncials [Symbol: Aleph] (in the first reading and as
re-corrected in the seventh century) BD; (_b_) five Cursives (for a
present of 346 may be freely made to Tischendorf); (_c_) ten Old Latin
copies also the Aureus (Words.), some of the Vulgate (four according to
Wordsworth), the Palestinian, Ethiopic, Armenian; (_d_) Origen (Lat.
iii. 874), Hilary (733^{a}), Cyril Alex. (Mai Nova Pp. Bibliotheca,
481), Ambrose (i. 1478^{f}). But Irenaeus (Lat. i. 386), Cyril (Zach.
800), Chrysostom (ad locum) seem to quote from St. Mark. So too, as
Tischendorf admits, Amphilochius.

On the other hand we have, (_a_) the chief corrector of [Symbol:
Aleph](c^{a})[Symbol: Phi][Symbol: Sigma] with thirteen other Uncials
and the Greek MSS. of Adamantius and Pierius mentioned by Jerome[352];
(_b_) all the Cursives, as far as is known (except the aforenamed);
(_c_) the Vulgate, with the Peshitto, Harkletan, Lewis, Bohairic, and
the Sahidic; (_d_) Jerome (in the place just now quoted), St. Basil who
contrasts the text of St. Matthew with that of St. Mark, Didymus, who is
also express in declaring that the three words in dispute are not found
in St. Matthew (Trin. 195), St. John Damascene (ii. 346), Apollonius
Philosophus (Galland. ix. 247), Euthymius Zigabenus (in loc), Paulinus
(iii. 12), St. Ambrose (ii. 656^{a}), and Anastasius Sinaita (Migne,
lxxxix. 941).

Theophylact (i. 133), Hesychius Presb. (Migne, lxiii. 142) Eusebius
(Galland. ix. 580), Facundus Herm. (Galland. xi. 782), Athanasius (ii.
660), quote the words as from the Gospel without reference, and may
therefore refer to St. Mark. Phoebadius (Galland. v. 251), though quoted
against the Addition by Tischendorf, is doubtful.

On which side the balance of evidence inclines, our readers will judge.
But at least they cannot surely justify the assertion made by the
majority of the Revisers, that the Addition is opposed only by 'many
authorities, some ancient,' or at any rate that this is a fair and
adequate description of the evidence opposed to their decision.

An instance occurs in St. Mark iii. 16 which illustrates the
carelessness and tastelessness of the handful of authorities to which it
pleases many critics to attribute ruling authority. In the fourteenth
verse, it had been already stated that our Lord 'ordained twelve,'
[Greek: kai epoiêse dôdeka]; but because [Symbol: Aleph]B[Symbol: Delta]
and C (which was corrected in the ninth century with a MS. of the
Ethiopic) reiterate these words two verses further on, Tischendorf with
Westcott and Hort assume that it is necessary to repeat what has been so
recently told. Meanwhile eighteen other uncials (including A[Symbol:
Phi][Symbol: Sigma] and the third hand of C); nearly all the Cursives;
the Old Latin, Vulgate, Peshitto, Lewis, Harkleian, Gothic, Armenian,
and the other MSS. of the Ethiopic omit them. It is plainly unnecessary
to strengthen such an opposition by researches in the pages of the

Explanation has been already given, how the introductions to Lections,
and other Liturgical formulae, have been added by insertion to the Text
in various places. Thus [Greek: ho Iêsous] has often been inserted, and
in some places remains wrongly (in the opinion of Dean Burgon) in the
pages of the Received Text. The three most important additions to the
Received Text occur, as Dean Burgon thought, in St. Matt. vi. 18, where
[Greek: en tô phanerô] has crept in from v. 6 against the testimony of a
large majority both of Uncial and of Cursive MSS.: in St. Matt. xxv. 13,
where the clause [Greek: en hê ho huios tou anthrôpou erchetai] seemed
to him to be condemned by a superior weight of authority: and in St.
Matt. xxvii. 35, where the quotation ([Greek: hina plêrôthê ... ebalon
klêron]) must be taken for similar reasons to have been originally a


[338] [Greek: prosengisai] is transitive here, like [Greek: engizô] in
Gen. xlviii. 10, 13: 2 Kings iv. 6: Isaiah xlvi. 13.

[339] The following are the numbers of Transpositions supplied by B,
[Symbol: Aleph], and D in the Gospels:--B, 2,098: [Symbol: Aleph],
2,299: D, 3,471. See Revision Revised, pp. 12, 13.

[340] Marcion (Epiph. i. 317): Eusebius (Mai, iv. 266): Epiphanius (i.
348): Cyril (Mai, ii. 438): John Thess. (Gall. xiii. 188).

[341] St. John v. 26, in [Symbol: Aleph]

[342] St. Mark ii. 12, in D.

[343] St. Luke xiv. 13, in [Symbol: Aleph]B.

[344] St. John v. 27.

[345] 'Nec aliter' (says Tischendorf) 'Tertull.' (Prax. 21),--'_et
judicium dedit illi facere in potestate_.' But this (begging the learned
critic's pardon) is quite a different thing.

[346] See the very learned, ingenious, and satisfactory disquisition in
The Revision Revised, pp. 424-501.

[347] The numbers are:--

    B, substitutions, 935; modifications, 1,132; total, 2,067.
    [Symbol: Aleph], " 1,114; " 1,265; " 2,379.
    D, " 2,121; " 1,772; " 3,893.

Revision Revised, pp. 12, 13.

[348] B has 536 words added in the Gospels: [Symbol: Aleph], 839: D,
2,213. Revision Revised, pp. 12, 13. The interpolations of D are

[349] St. Luke vii. 10.

[350] Theoph. p. 212.

[351] An opposite fate, strange to say, has attended a short clause in
the same narrative, which however is even worse authenticated. Instead
of [Greek: oude en tô Israêl tosautên pistin euron] (St. Matt. viii.
10), we are invited henceforth to read [Greek: par' oudeni tosautên
pistin en tô Israêl euron];--a tame and tasteless gloss, witnessed to by
only B, and five cursives,--but having no other effect, if it should
chance to be inserted, than to mar and obscure the Divine utterance.

For when our Saviour declares 'Not even in Israel have I found so great
faith,' He is clearly contrasting this proficiency of an earnest Gentile
against whatever of a like nature He had experienced in His dealing with
the Jewish people; and declaring the result. He is contrasting Jacob's
descendants, the heirs of so many lofty privileges, with this Gentile
soldier: their spiritual attainments with his; and assigning the palm to
him. Substitute 'With no one in Israel have I found so great faith,' and
the contrast disappears. Nothing else is predicated but a greater
measure of faith in one man than in any other. The author of this feeble
attempt to improve upon St. Matthew's Gospel is found to have also tried
his hand on the parallel place in St. Luke, but with even inferior
success: for there his misdirected efforts survive only in certain
copies of the Old Latin. Ambrose notices his officiousness, remarking
that it yields an intelligible sense; but that, 'juxta Graecos,' the
place is to be read differently (i. 1376.)

It is notorious that a few copies of the Old Latin (Augustine _once_
(iv. 322), though he quotes the place nearly twenty times in the usual
way) and the Egyptian versions exhibit the same depravation. Cyril
habitually employed an Evangelium which was disfigured in the same way
(iii. 833, also Opp. v. 544, ed. Pusey.). But are we out of such
materials as these to set about reconstructing the text of Scripture?

[352] 'In quibusdam Latinis codicibus additum est, _neque Filius_: quum
in Graecis, et maxime Adamantii et Pierii exemplaribus hoc non habeatur
adscriptum. Sed quia in nonnullis legitur, disserendum videtur.' Hier.
vii. 199 a. 'Gaudet Arius et Eunomius, quasi ignorantia magistri gloria
discipulorum sit, et dicunt:--"Non potest aequalis esse qui novit et qui
ignorat."' Ibid. 6.

In vi. 919, we may quote from St. Mark.



VIII. Glosses.

§ 1.

'Glosses,' properly so called, though they enjoy a conspicuous place in
every enumeration like the present, are probably by no means so numerous
as is commonly supposed. For certainly _every_ unauthorized accretion to
the text of Scripture is not a 'gloss': but only those explanatory words
or clauses which have surreptitiously insinuated themselves into the
text, and of which no more reasonable account can be rendered than that
they were probably in the first instance proposed by some ancient Critic
in the way of useful comment, or necessary explanation, or lawful
expansion, or reasonable limitation of the actual utterance of the
Spirit. Thus I do not call the clause [Greek: nekrous egeirete] in St.
Matt. x. 8 'a gloss.' It is a gratuitous and unwarrantable
interpolation,--nothing else but a clumsy encumbrance of the text[353].

[Glosses, or _scholia_, or comments, or interpretations, are of various
kinds, but are generally confined to Additions or Substitutions, since
of course we do not omit in order to explain, and transposition of words
already placed in lucid order, such as the sacred Text may be reasonably
supposed to have observed, would confuse rather than illustrate the
meaning. A clause, added in Hebrew fashion[354], which may perhaps
appear to modern taste to be hardly wanted, must not therefore be taken
to be a gloss.]

Sometimes a 'various reading' is nothing else but a gratuitous
gloss;--the unauthorized substitution of a common for an uncommon word.
This phenomenon is of frequent occurrence, but only in Codexes of a
remarkable type like B[Symbol: Aleph]CD. A few instances follow:--

1. The disciples on a certain occasion (St. Matt. xiii. 36), requested
our Lord to 'explain' to them ([Greek: PHRASON hêmin], 'they said') the
parable of the tares. So every known copy, except two: so, all the
Fathers who quote the place,--viz. Origen, five times[355],--
Basil[356],--J. Damascene[357]. And so _all_ the Versions[358]. But
because B-[Symbol: Aleph], instead of [Greek: phrason], exhibit [Greek:
DIASAPHÊSON] ('make clear to us'),--which is also _once_ the reading of
Origen[359], who was but too well acquainted with Codexes of the same
depraved character as the archetype of B and [Symbol: Aleph],--Lachmann,
Tregelles (not Tischendorf), Westcott and Hort, and the Revisers of
1881, assume that [Greek: diasaphêson] (a palpable gloss) stood in the
inspired autograph of the Evangelist. They therefore thrust out [Greek:
phrason] and thrust in [Greek: diasaphêson]. I am wholly unable to
discern any connexion between the premisses of these critics and their

2. Take another instance. [Greek: Pygmê],--the obscure expression
([Symbol: Delta] leaves it out) which St. Mark employs in vii. 3 to
denote the strenuous frequency of the Pharisees' ceremonial
washings,--is exchanged by Cod. [Symbol: Aleph], but by no other known
copy of the Gospels, for [Greek: pykna], which last word is of course
nothing else but a sorry gloss. Yet Tischendorf degrades [Greek: pygmê]
and promotes [Greek: pykna] to honour,--happily standing alone in his
infatuation. Strange, that the most industrious of modern accumulators
of evidence should not have been aware that by such extravagances he
marred his pretension to critical discernment! Origen and
Epiphanius--the only Fathers who quote the place--both read [Greek:
pygmê]. It ought to be universally admitted that it is a mere waste of
time that we should argue out a point like this[361].

§ 2.

A gloss little suspected, which--not without a pang of regret--I proceed
to submit to hostile scrutiny, is the expression 'daily' ([Greek: kath'
hêmeran]) in St. Luke ix. 23. Found in the Peshitto and in Cureton's
Syriac,--but only in some Copies of the Harkleian version[362]: found in
most Copies of the Vulgate,--but largely disallowed by copies of the Old
Latin[363]: found also in Ephraem Syrus[364],--but clearly not
recognized by Origen[365]: found again in [Symbol: Aleph]AB and six
other uncials,--but not found in CDE and ten others: the expression
referred to cannot, at all events, plead for its own retention in the
text higher antiquity than can be pleaded for its exclusion. Cyril, (if
in such a matter the Syriac translation of his Commentary on St. Luke
may be trusted,) is clearly an authority for reading [Greek: kath'
hêmeran] in St. Luke ix. 23[366]; but then he elsewhere twice quotes St.
Luke ix. 23 in Greek without it[367]. Timotheus of Antioch, of the fifth
century, omits the phrase[368]. Jerome again, although he suffered
'_quotidie_' to stand in the Vulgate, yet, when for his own purposes he
quotes the place in St. Luke[369],--ignores the word. All this is
calculated to inspire grave distrust. On the other hand, [Greek: kath'
hêmeran] enjoys the support of the two Egyptian Versions,--of the
Gothic,--of the Armenian,--of the Ethiopic. And this, in the present
state of our knowledge, must be allowed to be a weighty piece of
evidence in its favour.

But the case assumes an entirely different aspect the instant it is
discovered that out of the cursive copies only eight are found to
contain [Greek: kath hêmeran] in St. Luke ix. 23[370]. How is it to be
explained that nine manuscripts out of every ten in existence should
have forgotten how to transmit such a remarkable message, had it ever
been really so committed to writing by the Evangelist? The omission
(says Tischendorf) is explained by the parallel places[371]. Utterly
incredible, I reply; as no one ought to have known better than
Tischendorf himself. We now scrutinize the problem more closely; and
discover that the very _locus_ of the phrase is a matter of uncertainty.
Cyril once makes it part of St. Matt. x. 38[372]. Chrysostom twice
connects it with St. Matt. xvi. 24[373]. Jerome, evidently regarding the
phrase as a curiosity, informs us that 'juxta antiqua exemplaria' it was
met with in St. Luke xiv. 27[374]. All this is in a high degree
unsatisfactory. We suspect that we ourselves enjoy some slight
familiarity with the 'antiqua exemplaria' referred to by the Critic; and
we freely avow that we have learned to reckon them among the least
reputable of our acquaintance. Are they not represented by those
Evangelia, of which several copies are extant, that profess to have been
'transcribed from, and collated with, ancient copies at Jerusalem'?
These uniformly exhibit [Greek: kath hêmeran] in St. Luke ix. 23[375].
But then, if the phrase be a gloss,--it is obvious to inquire,--how is
its existence in so many quarters to be accounted for?

Its origin is not far to seek. Chrysostom, in a certain place, after
quoting our Lord's saying about taking up the cross and following Him,
remarks that the words 'do not mean that we are actually to bear the
wood upon our shoulders, but to keep the prospect of death steadily
before us, and like St. Paul to "die daily"[376].' The same Father, in
the two other places already quoted from his writings, is observed
similarly to connect the Saviour's mention of 'bearing the Cross' with
the Apostle's announcement--'I die daily.' Add, that Ephraem Syrus[377],
and Jerome quoted already,--persistently connect the same two places
together; the last named Father even citing them in immediate
succession;--and the inference is unavoidable. The phrase in St. Luke
ix. 23 must needs be a very ancient as well as very interesting
expository gloss, imported into the Gospel from 1 Cor. xv. 31,--as
Mill[378] and Matthaei[379] long since suggested.

Sincerely regretting the necessity of parting with an expression with
which one has been so long familiar, we cannot suffer the sentimental
plea to weigh with us when the Truth of the Gospel is at stake. Certain
it is that but for Erasmus, we should never have known the regret: for
it was he that introduced [Greek: kath hêmeran] into the Received Text.
The MS. from which he printed is without the expression: which is also
not found in the Complutensian. It is certainly a spurious accretion to
the inspired Text.

[The attention of the reader is particularly invited to this last
paragraph. The learned Dean has been sneered at for a supposed
sentimental and effeminate attachment to the Textus Receptus. He was
always ready to reject words and phrases, which have not adequate
support; but he denied the validity of the evidence brought against many
texts by the school of Westcott and Hort, and therefore he refused to
follow them in their surrender of the passages.]

§ 3.

Indeed, a great many 'various readings,' so called, are nothing else but
very ancient interpretations,--fabricated readings therefore,--of which
the value may be estimated by the fact that almost every trace of them
has long since disappeared. Such is the substitution of [Greek: pheugei]
for [Greek: anechôrêsen] in St. John vi. 15;--which, by the way,
Tischendorf thrusts into his text on the sole authority of [Symbol:
Aleph], some Latin copies including the Vulgate, and Cureton's
Syriac[380]: though Tregelles ignores its very existence. That our
Lord's 'withdrawal' to the mountain on that occasion was of the nature
of 'flight,' or 'retreat' is obvious. Hence Chrysostom and Cyril remark
that He '_fled_ to the mountain.' And yet both Fathers (like Origen and
Epiphanius before them) are found to have read [Greek: anechôrêsen].

Almost as reasonably in the beginning of the same verse might
Tischendorf (with [Symbol: Aleph]) have substituted [Greek:
anadeiknynai] for [Greek: hina poiêsôsin auton], on the plea that
Cyril[381] says, [Greek: zêtein auton anadeixai kai basilea]. We may on
no account suffer ourselves to be imposed upon by such shallow pretences
for tampering with the text of Scripture: or the deposit will never be
safe. A patent gloss,--rather an interpretation,--acquires no claim to
be regarded as the genuine utterance of the Holy Spirit by being merely
found in two or three ancient documents. It is the little handful of
documents which loses in reputation,--not the reading which gains in
authority on such occasions.

In this way we are sometimes presented with what in effect are new
incidents. These are not unfrequently discovered to be introduced in
defiance of the reason of the case; as where (St. John xiii. 34) Simon
Peter is represented (in the Vulgate) as _actually saying_ to St. John,
'Who is it concerning whom He speaks?' Other copies of the Latin
exhibit, 'Ask Him who it is,' &c.: while [Symbol: Aleph]BC (for on such
occasions we are treated to any amount of apocryphal matter) would
persuade us that St. Peter only required that the information should be
furnished him by St. John:--'Say who it is of whom He speaks.' Sometimes
a very little licence is sufficient to convert the _oratio obliqua_ into
the recta. Thus, by the change of a single letter (in [Symbol: Aleph]BX)
Mary Magdalene is made to say to the disciples 'I have seen the Lord'
(St. John xx. 18). But then, as might have been anticipated, the new
does not altogether agree with the old. Accordingly D and others
paraphrase the remainder of the sentence thus,--'and she signified to
them what He had said unto her.' How obvious is it to foresee that on
such occasions the spirit of officiousness will never know when to stop!
In the Vulgate and Sahidic versions the sentence proceeds, 'and He told
these things unto me.'

Take another example. The Hebraism [Greek: meta salpingos phônês
megalês] (St. Matt. xxiv. 31) presents an uncongenial ambiguity to
Western readers, as our own incorrect A. V. sufficiently shews. Two
methods of escape from the difficulty suggested themselves to the
ancients:--(_a_) Since 'a trumpet of great sound' means nothing else but
'a loud trumpet,' and since this can be as well expressed by [Greek:
salpingos megalês], the scribes at a very remote period are found to
have omitted the word [Greek: phônês]. The Peshitto and Lewis
(interpreting rather than translating) so deal with the text.
Accordingly, [Greek: phônês] is not found in [Symbol: Aleph]L[Symbol:
Delta] and five cursives. Eusebius[382], Cyril Jerus.[383],
Chrysostom[384], Theodoret[385], and even Cyprian[386] are also without
the word. (_b_) A less violent expedient was to interpolate [Greek: kai]
before [Greek: phônês]. This is accordingly the reading of the best
Italic copies, of the Vulgate, and of D. So Hilary[387] and Jerome[388],
Severianus[389], Asterius[390], ps.-Caesarius[391], Damascene[392] and
at least eleven cursive copies, so read the place.--There can be no
doubt at all that the commonly received text is right. It is found in
thirteen uncials with B at their head: in Cosmas[393], Hesychius[394],
Theophylact[395]. But the decisive consideration is that the great body
of the cursives have faithfully retained the uncongenial Hebraism, and
accordingly imply the transmission of it all down the ages: a phenomenon
which will not escape the unprejudiced reader. Neither will he overlook
the fact that the three 'old uncials' (for A and C are not available
here) advocate as many different readings: the two wrong readings being
respectively countenanced by our two most ancient authorities, viz. the
Peshitto version and the Italic. It only remains to point out that
Tischendorf blinded by his partiality for [Symbol: Aleph] contends here
for the mutilated text, and Westcott and Hort are disposed to do the

§ 4.

Recent Editors are agreed that we are henceforth to read in St. John
xviii. 14 [Greek: apothanein] instead of [Greek: apolesthai]:--'Now
Caiaphas was he who counselled the Jews that it was expedient that one
man should _die_' (instead of '_perish_') 'for the people.' There is
certainly a considerable amount of ancient testimony in favour of this
reading: for besides [Symbol: Aleph]BC, it is found in the Old Latin
copies, the Egyptian, and Peshitto versions, besides the Lewis MS., the
Chronicon, Cyril, Nonnus, Chrysostom. Yet may it be regarded as certain
that St. John wrote [Greek: apolesthai] in this place. The proper proof
of the statement is the consentient voice of all the copies,--except
about nineteen of loose character:--we know their vagaries but too well,
and decline to let them impose upon us. In real fact, nothing else is
[Greek: apothanein] but a critical assimilation of St. John xviii. 14 to
xi. 50,--somewhat as 'die' in our A. V. has been retained by King James'
translators, though they certainly had [Greek: apolesthai] before them.

Many of these glosses are rank, patent, palpable. Such is the
substitution (St. Mark vi. 11) of [Greek: hos an topos mê dexêtai hymas]
by [Symbol: Aleph]BL[Symbol: Delta] for [Greek: hosoi an mê dexôntai
hymas],--which latter is the reading of the Old Latin and Peshitto, as
well as of the whole body of uncials and cursives alike. Some Critic
evidently considered that the words which follow, 'when you go out
_thence_,' imply that _place_, not _persons_, should have gone before.
Accordingly, he substituted 'whatsoever place' for '_whosoever_[396]':
another has bequeathed to us in four uncial MSS. a lasting record of his
rashness and incompetency. Since however he left behind the words
[Greek: mêde akousôsin hymôn], which immediately follow, who sees not
that the fabricator has betrayed himself? I am astonished that so patent
a fraud should have imposed upon Tischendorf, and Tregelles, and
Lachmann, and Alford, and Westcott and Hort. But in fact it does not
stand alone. From the same copies [Symbol: Aleph]BL[Symbol: Delta] (with
two others, CD) we find the woe denounced in the same verse on the
unbelieving city erased ([Greek: amên legô hymin, anektoteron estai
Sodomois ê Gomorrois en hêmerai kriseôs, ê tê polei ekeinê]). Quite idle
is it to pretend (with Tischendorf) that these words are an importation
from the parallel place in St. Matthew. A memorable note of diversity
has been set on the two places, which in _all_ the copies is religiously
maintained, viz. [Greek: Sodomois ê Gomorrois], in St. Mark: [Greek: gê
Sodomôn kai Gomorrôn], in St. Matt. It is simply incredible that this
could have been done if the received text in this place had been of
spurious origin.

§ 5.

The word [Greek: apechei] in St. Mark xiv. 41 has proved a
stumbling-block. The most obvious explanation is probably the truest.
After a brief pause[397], during which the Saviour has been content to
survey in silence His sleeping disciples;--or perhaps, after telling
them that they will have time and opportunity enough for sleep and rest
when He shall have been taken from them;--He announces the arrival of
'the hour,' by exclaiming, [Greek: Apechei],--'It is enough;' or, 'It is
sufficient;' i.e. _The season for repose is over._

But the 'Revisers' of the second century did not perceive that [Greek:
apechei] is here used impersonally[398]. They understood the word to
mean 'is fully come'; and supplied the supposed nominative, viz. [Greek:
to telos][399]. Other critics who rightly understood [Greek: apechei] to
signify 'sufficit,' still subjoined 'finis.' The Old Latin and the
Syriac versions must have been executed from Greek copies which
exhibited,--[Greek: apechei to telos]. This is abundantly proved by the
renderings _adest finis_ (f),--_consummatus est finis_ (a); from which
the change to [Greek: apechei to telos KAI hê hôra] (the reading of D)
was obvious: _sufficit finis et hora_ (d q); _adest enim consummatio;
et_ (ff^{2} _venit_) _hora_ (c); or, (as the Peshitto more fully gives
it), _appropinquavit finis, et venit hora_[400]. Jerome put this matter
straight by simply writing _sufficit_. But it is a suggestive
circumstance, and an interesting proof how largely the reading [Greek:
apechei to telos] must once have prevailed, that it is frequently met
with in cursive copies of the Gospels to this hour[401]. Happily it is
an 'old reading' which finds no favour at the present day. It need not
therefore occupy us any longer.

As another instance of ancient Glosses introduced to help out the sense,
the reading of St. John ix. 22 is confessedly [Greek: hina ean tis auton
homologêsêi Christon]. So all the MSS. but one, and so the Old Latin. So
indeed all the ancient versions except the Egyptian. Cod. D alone adds
[Greek: einai]: but [Greek: einai] must once have been a familiar gloss:
for Jerome retains it in the Vulgate: and indeed Cyril, whenever he
quotes the place[402], exhibits [Greek: ton Christon einai]. Not so
however Chrysostom[403] and Gregory of Nyssa[404].

§ 6.

There is scarcely to be found, amid the incidents immediately preceding
our Saviour's Passion, one more affecting or more exquisite than the
anointing of His feet at Bethany by Mary the sister of Lazarus, which
received its unexpected interpretation from the lips of Christ Himself.
'Let her alone. Against the day of My embalming hath she kept it.' (St.
John xii. 7.) He assigns to her act a mysterious meaning of which the
holy woman little dreamt. She had treasured up that precious unguent
against the day,--(with the presentiment of true Love, she knew that it
could not be very far distant),--when His dead limbs would require
embalming. But lo, she beholds Him reclining at supper in her sister's
house: and yielding to a Divine impulse she brings forth her reserved
costly offering and bestows it on Him at once. Ah, she little knew,--she
could not in fact have known,--that it was the only anointing those
sacred feet were destined ever to enjoy!... In the meantime through a
desire, as I suspect, to bring this incident into an impossible harmony
with what is recorded in St. Mark xvi. 1, with which obviously it has no
manner of connexion, a scribe is found at some exceedingly remote period
to have improved our Lord's expression into this:--'Let her alone in
order that against the day of My embalming she may keep it.' Such an
exhibition of the Sacred Text is its own sufficient condemnation. What
that critic exactly meant, I fail to discover: but I am sure he has
spoilt what he did not understand: and though it is quite true that
[Symbol: Aleph]BD with five other Uncial MSS. and Nonnus, besides the
Latin and Bohairic, Jerusalem, Armenian, and Ethiopic versions, besides
four errant cursives so exhibit the place, this instead of commending
the reading to our favour, only proves damaging to the witnesses by
which it is upheld. We learn that no reliance is to be placed even in
such a combination of authorities. This is one of the places which the
Fathers pass by almost in silence. Chrysostom[405] however, and
evidently Cyril Alex.[406], as well as Ammonius[407] convey though
roughly a better sense by quoting the verse with [Greek: epoiêse] for
[Greek: tetêrêken]. Antiochus[408] is express. [A and eleven other
uncials, and the cursives (with the petty exception already noted),
together with the Peshitto, Harkleian (which only notes the other
reading in the margin), Lewis, Sahidic, and Gothic versions, form a body
of authority against the palpable emasculation of the passage, which for
number, variety, weight, and internal evidence is greatly superior to
the opposing body. Also, with reference to continuity and antiquity it
preponderates plainly, if not so decisively; and the context of D is
full of blunders, besides that it omits the next verse, and B and
[Symbol: Aleph] are also inaccurate hereabouts[409]. So that the
Traditional text enjoys in this passage the support of all the Notes of

In accordance with what has been said above, for [Greek: Aphes autên;
eis tên hêmeran tou entaphiasmou mou tetêrêken auto] (St. John xii. 7),
the copies which it has recently become the fashion to adore, read
[Greek: aphes autên hina ... têrêsê auto]. This startling
innovation,--which destroys the sense of our Saviour's words, and
furnishes a sorry substitute which no one is able to explain[410],--is
accepted by recent Editors and some Critics: yet is it clearly nothing
else but a stupid correction of the text,--introduced by some one who
did not understand the intention of the Divine Speaker. Our Saviour is
here discovering to us an exquisite circumstance,--revealing what until
now had been a profound and tender secret: viz. that Mary, convinced by
many a sad token that the Day of His departure could not be very far
distant, had some time before provided herself with this costly
ointment, and 'kept it' by her,--intending to reserve it against the
dark day when it would be needed for the 'embalming' of the lifeless
body of her Lord. And now it wants only a week to Easter. She beholds
Him (with Lazarus at His side) reclining in her sister's house at
supper, amid circumstances of mystery which fill her soul with awful
anticipation. She divines, with love's true instinct, that this may
prove her only opportunity. Accordingly, she '_anticipates_ to anoint'
([Greek: proelabe myrisai], St. Mark xiv. 8) His Body: and, yielding to
an overwhelming impulse, bestows upon Him all her costly offering at
once!... How does it happen that some professed critics have overlooked
all this? Any one who has really studied the subject ought to know, from
a mere survey of the evidence, on which side the truth in respect of the
text of this passage must needs lie.

§ 7.

Our Lord, in His great Eucharistic address to the eternal Father, thus
speaks:--'I have glorified Thee on the earth. I have perfected the work
which Thou gavest Me to do' (St. John xvii. 4). Two things are stated:
first, that the result of His Ministry had been the exhibition upon
earth of the Father's 'glory[411]': next, that the work which the Father
had given the Son to do[412] was at last finished[413]. And that this is
what St. John actually wrote is certain: not only because it is found in
all the copies, except twelve of suspicious character (headed by
[Symbol: Aleph]ABCL); but because it is vouched for by the Peshitto[414]
and the Latin, the Gothic and the Armenian versions[415]: besides a
whole chorus of Fathers; viz. Hippolytus[416], Didymus[417],
Eusebius[418], Athanasius[419], Basil[420], Chrysostom[421], Cyril[422],
ps.-Polycarp[423], the interpolator of Ignatius[424], and the authors of
the Apostolic Constitutions[425]: together with the following among the
Latins:--Cyprian[426], Ambrose[427], Hilary[428], Zeno[429],
Cassian[430], Novatian[431], certain Arians[432], Augustine[433].

But the asyndeton (so characteristic of the fourth Gospel) proving
uncongenial to certain of old time, D inserted [Greek: kai]. A more
popular device was to substitute the participle ([Greek: teleiôsas]) for
[Greek: eteleiôsa]: whereby our Lord is made to say that He had
glorified His Father's Name 'by perfecting' or 'completing'--'in that He
had finished'--the work which the Father had given Him to do; which
damages the sense by limiting it, and indeed introduces a new idea. A
more patent gloss it would be hard to find. Yet has it been adopted as
the genuine text by all the Editors and all the Critics. So general is
the delusion in favour of any reading supported by the combined evidence
of [Symbol: Aleph]ABCL, that the Revisers here translate--'I glorified
Thee on the earth, _having accomplished_ ([Greek: teleiôsas]) the work
which Thou hast given Me to do:' without so much as vouchsafing a hint
to the English reader that they have altered the text.

When some came with the message 'Thy daughter is dead: why troublest
thou the Master further?' the Evangelist relates that Jesus '_as soon as
He heard_ ([Greek: eutheôs akousas]) what was being spoken, said to the
ruler of the synagogue, Fear not: only believe.' (St. Mark v. 36.) For
this, [Symbol: Aleph]BL[Symbol: Delta] substitute 'disregarding ([Greek:
parakousas]) what was being spoken': which is nothing else but a sorry
gloss, disowned by every other copy, including ACD, and all the
versions. Yet does [Greek: parakousas] find favour with Teschendorf,
Tregelles, and others.

§ 8.

In this way it happened that in the earliest age the construction of St.
Luke i. 66 became misapprehended. Some Western scribe evidently imagined
that the popular saying concerning John Baptist,--[Greek: ti apa to
paidion touto estai], extended further, and comprised the Evangelist's
record,--[Greek: kai cheir Kyriou ên met' autou]. To support this
strange view, [Greek: kai] was altered into [Greek: kai gar], and
[Greek: esti] was substituted for [Greek: ên]. It is thus that the place
stands in the Verona copy of the Old Latin (b). In other quarters the
verb was omitted altogether: and that is how D, Evan. 59 with the
Vercelli (a) and two other copies of the Old Latin exhibit the place.
Augustine[434] is found to have read indifferently--'manus enim Domini
cum illo,' and 'cum illo est': but he insists that the combined clauses
represent the popular utterance concerning the Baptist[435]. Unhappily,
there survives a notable trace of the same misapprehension in [Symbol:
Aleph]-BCL which, alone of MSS., read [Greek: kai gar ... ên][436]. The
consequence might have been anticipated. All recent Editors adopt this
reading, which however is clearly inadmissible. The received text,
witnessed to by the Peshitto, Harkleian, and Armenian versions, is
obviously correct. Accordingly, A and all the uncials not already named,
together with the whole body of the cursives, so read the place. With
fatal infelicity the Revisers exhibit 'For indeed the hand of the Lord
was with him.' They clearly are to blame: for indeed the MS. evidence
admits of no uncertainty. It is much to be regretted that not a single
very ancient Greek Father (so far as I can discover) quotes the place.

§ 9.

It seems to have been anciently felt, in connexion with the first
miraculous draught of fishes, that St. Luke's statement (v. 7) that the
ships were so full that 'they were sinking' ([Greek: hôste bythizesthai
auta]) requires some qualification. Accordingly C inserts [Greek: êdê]
(were 'just' sinking); and D, [Greek: para ti] ('within a little'):
while the Peshitto the Lewis and the Vulgate, as well as many copies of
the Old Latin, exhibit 'ita ut _pene_.' These attempts to improve upon
Scripture, and these paraphrases, indicate laudable zeal for the
truthfulness of the Evangelist; but they betray an utterly mistaken view
of the critic's office. The truth is, [Greek: bythizesthai], as the
Bohairic translators perceived and as most of us are aware, means 'were
beginning to sink.' There is no need of further qualifying the
expression by the insertion with Eusebius[437] of any additional word.

I strongly suspect that the introduction of the name of 'Pyrrhus' into
Acts xx. 4 as the patronymic of 'Sopater of Beraea,' is to be accounted
for in this way. A very early gloss it certainly is, for it appears in
the Old Latin: yet, the Peshitto knows nothing of it, and the Harkleian
rejects it from the text, though not from the margin. Origen and the
Bohairic recognize it, but not Chrysostom nor the Ethiopic. I suspect
that some foolish critic of the primitive age invented [Greek: Pyrou]
(or [Greek: Pyrrou]) out of [Greek: Beroiaios] (or [Greek: Berroiaios])
which follows. The Latin form of this was 'Pyrus[438],' 'Pyrrhus,' or
'Pirrus[439].' In the Sahidic version he is called the 'son of Berus'
([Greek: huios Berou]),--which confirms me in my conjecture. But indeed,
if it was with some _Beraean_ that the gloss originated,--and what more
likely?--it becomes an interesting circumstance that the inhabitants of
that part of Macedonia are known to have confused the _p_ and _b_
sounds[440].... This entire matter is unimportant in itself, but the
letter of Scripture cannot be too carefully guarded: and let me invite
the reader to consider,--If St. Luke actually wrote [Greek: Sôpatros
Pyrrou Beroiaios], why at the present day should five copies out of six
record nothing of that second word?


[353] See The Traditional Text, pp. 51-52.

[354] St. Mark vi. 33. See The Traditional Text, p. 80.

[355] iii. 3 e: 4 b and c: 442 a: 481 b. Note, that the [Greek: rhêsis]
in which the first three of these quotations occur seems to have been
obtained by De la Rue from a Catena on St. Luke in the Mazarine Library
(see his Monitum, iii. 1). A large portion of it (viz. from p. 3, line
25, to p. 4, line 29) is ascribed to 'I. Geometra in Proverbia' in the
Catena in Luc. of Corderius, p. 217.

[356] ii. 345.

[357] ii. 242.

[358] The Latin is _edissere_ or _dissere_, _enarra_ or _narra_, both
here and in xv. 15.

[359] iv. 254 a.

[360] In St. Matthew xiii. 36 the Peshitto Syriac has [Syriac letters]
'declare to us' and in St. Matthew xv. 15 the very same words, there
being _no_ various reading in either of these two passages.

The inference is, that the translators had the same Greek word in each
place, especially considering that in the only other place where,
besides St. Matt. xiii. 36, v. 1., [Greek: diasaphein] occurs, viz. St.
Matt. xviii. 31, they render [Greek: diesaphêsan] by [Syriac
letters]--they made known.

Since [Greek: phrazein] only occurs in St. Matt. xiii. 36 and xv. 15, we
cannot generalize about the Peshitto rendering of this verb. Conversely,
[Syriac letters] is used as the rendering of other Greek words besides
[Greek: phrazein], e.g.

    of [Greek: epiluein], St. Mark iv. 34;
    of [Greek: diermêneuein], St. Luke xxiv. 27;
    of [Greek: dianoigein], St. Luke xxiv. 32 and Acts xvii. 3.

On the whole I have _no doubt_ (though it is not susceptible of _proof_)
that the Peshitto had, in both the places quoted above, [Greek:

[361] In St. Mark vii. 3, the translators of the Peshitto render
whatever Greek they had before them by [Syriac letters], which means
'eagerly,' 'sedulously'; cf. use of the word for [Greek: spoudaiôs], St.
Luke vii. 4; [Greek: epimelôs], St Luke xv. 8.

The Root means 'to cease'; thence 'to have leisure for a thing': it has
nothing to do with 'Fist.' [Rev. G.H. Gwilliam.]

[362] Harkl. Marg. _in loc._, and Adler, p. 115.

[363] Viz. a b c e ff^{2} l q.

[364] [Greek: 'Opheilei psychê, en tô logô tou Kyriou katakolouthousa,
ton stauron autou kath' hêmeran airein, hôs gegraptai; tout' estin,
hetoimôs echousa hypomenein dia Christon pasan thlipsin kai peirasmon,
k.t.l.] (ii. 326 e). In the same spirit, further on, he exhorts to
constancy and patience,--[Greek: ton epi tou Kyriou thanaton en
epithymiai pantote pro ophthalmôn echontes, kai (kathôs eirêtai hypo tou
Kyriou) kath' hêmeran ton stauron airontes, ho esti thanatos] (ii. 332
e). It is fair to assume that Ephraem's reference is to St. Luke ix. 23,
seeing that he wrote not in Greek but in Syriac, and that in the
Peshitto the clause is found only in that place.

[365] [Greek: Akoue Louka legontos],--i. 281 f. Also, int. iii. 543.

[366] Pp. 221 (text), 222, 227.

[367] ii. 751 e, 774 e (in Es.)--the proof that these quotations are
from St. Luke; that Cyril exhibits [Greek: arnêsasthô] instead of
[Greek: aparn]. (see Tischendorf's note on St. Luke ix. 23). The
quotation in i. 40 (Glaph.) _may_ be from St. Matt. xvi. 24.

[368] Migne, vol. lxxxvi. pp. 256 and 257.

[369] After quoting St. Mark viii. 34,--'aut juxta Lucam, _dicebat ad
cunctos: Si quis vult post me venire, abneget semetipsum; et tollat
crucem suam, et sequetur me_.'--i. 852 c.

This is found in his solution of _XI Quaestiones_, 'ad Algasiam,'--free
translations probably from the Greek of some earlier Father. Six lines
lower down (after quoting words found nowhere in the Gospels), Jerome
proceeds:--'_Quotidie_ credens in Christum _tollit crucem suam_, et
negat seipsum.'

[370] This spurious clause adorned the lost archetype of Evann. 13, 69,
124, 346 (Ferrar's four); and survives in certain other Evangelia which
enjoy a similar repute,--as 1, 33, 72 (with a marginal note of
distrust), 131.

[371] They are St. Matt. xvi. 24; St. Mark viii. 34.

[372] i. 597 c (Adorat.)--elsewhere (viz. i. 21 d; 528 c; 580 b; iv.
1058 a; v^(2). 83 c) Cyril quotes the place correctly. Note, that the
quotation found in Mai, iii. 126, which Pusey edits (v. 418), in Ep. ad
Hebr., is nothing else but an excerpt from the treatise de Adorat. i.
528 c.

[373] In his Commentary on St. Matt. xvi. 24:--[Greek: Dia pantos tou
biou touto dei poiein. Diênekôs gar, phêsi, periphere ton thanaton
touton, kai kath hêmeran hetoimos eso pros sphagên] (vii. 557 b). Again,
commenting on ch. xix. 21,--[Greek: Dei proêgoumenôs akolouthein tô
Christô toutesti, panta ta par autou keleuomena poiein, pros sphgas
einai hetoimon, kai thanaton kathêmerinin] (p. 629 e):--words which
Chrysostom immediately follows up by quoting ch. xvi. 24 (630 a).

[374] i. 949 b,--'_Quotidie_ (inquit Apostolus) _morior propter vestram
salutem_. Et Dominus, juxta antiqua exemplaria, _Nisi quis tulerit
crucem suam quotidie, et sequntus fuerit me, non potest meus esse
discipulus_'--Commenting on St. Matt. x. 38 (vol. vii. p. 65 b), Jerome
remarks,--'in alio Evangelio scribitur,--_Qui non accipit crucem suam
quotidie_': but the corresponding place to St. Matt. x. 38, in the
sectional system of Eusebius (Greek and Syriac), is St. Luke xiv. 27.

[375] Viz. Evan. 473 (2^{pe}).

[376] ii. 66 c, d.

[377] See above, p. 175, note 2.

[378] Proleg. p. cxlvi.

[379] N.T. (1803), i. 368.

[380] Lewis here agrees with Peshitto.

[381] iv. 745.

[382] In Ps. 501.

[383] 229 and 236.

[384] vii. 736: xi. 478.

[385] ii. 1209.

[386] 269.

[387] 577.

[388] i. 881.

[389] _Ap._ Chrys. vi. 460.

[390] _Ap_. Greg. Nyss. ii. 258.

[391] Galland. vi. 53.

[392] ii. 346.

[393] ii. 261, 324.

[394] _Ap._ Greg. Nyss. iii. 429.

[395] i. 132.

[396] The attentive student of the Gospels will recognize with interest
how gracefully the third Evangelist St. Luke (ix. 5) has overcome this

[397] Augustine, with his accustomed acuteness, points out that St.
Mark's narrative shews that after the words of 'Sleep on now and take
your rest,' our Lord must have been silent for a brief space in order to
allow His disciples a slight prolongation of the refreshment which his
words had already permitted them to enjoy. Presently, He is heard to
say,--'It is enough'--(that is, 'Ye have now slept and rested enough');
and adds, 'The hour is come. Behold, the Son of Man is betrayed into the
hands of sinners.' 'Sed quia commemorata non est ipsa interpositio
silentii Domini, propterea coartat intellectum, ut in illis verbis alia
pronuntiatio requiratur.'--iii^{2}. 106 a, b. The passage in question
runs thus:--[Greek: Katheidete to loipon kai anapauesthe. apechei;
êlthen hê hôra; idou, k.t.l.]

[398] Those who saw this, explain the word amiss. Note the Scholion
(Anon. Vat.) in Possinus, p. 321:--[Greek: apechei, toutesti,
peplêrôtai, telos echei to kat' eme]. Last Twelve Verses, p. 226, note.

[399] I retract unreservedly what I offered on this subject in a former
work (Last Twelve Verses, &c., pp. 225, 226). I was misled by one who
seldom indeed misleads,--the learned editor of the Codex Bezae (_in

[400] So Peshitto. Lewis, _venit hora, appropinquat finis_. Harkleian,
_adest consummatio, venit hora._

[401] [Greek: apechei]. Vg. _sufficit_. + [Greek: to telos], 13, 69,
124, 2^{pe}, c^{scr}, 47, 54, 56, 61, 184, 346, 348, 439. d, q,
_sufficit finis et hora_. f, _adest finis, venit hora_. c, ff^{2},
_adest enim consummatio, et_ (ff^{2} venit) _hora_. a, _consummatus est
finis, advenit hora_. It is certain that one formidable source of danger
to the sacred text has been its occasional obscurity. This has
resulted,--(1) sometimes in the omission of words: [Greek:
Deuteroprôton]. (2) Sometimes in substitution, as [Greek: pygmêi]. (3)
Sometimes in the insertion of unauthorized matter: thus, [Greek: to
telos], as above.

[402] iii. 105: iv. 913. So also iv. 614.

[403] vi. 283.

[404] i. 307.

[405] viii. 392.

[406] iv. 696.

[407] Cramer's Cat. _in loc._

[408] 1063.

[409] E.g. ver. 1. All the three officiously insert [Greek: ho Iêsous],
in order to prevent people from imagining that Lazarus raised Lazarus
from the dead; ver. 4, D gives the gloss, [Greek: apo Karyôtou] for
[Greek: Iskariôtês]; ver. 13, spells thus,--[Greek: hôssana]; besides
constant inaccuracies, in which it is followed by none. [Symbol: Aleph]
omits nineteen words in the first thirty-two verses of the chapter,
besides adding eight and making other alterations. B is far from being

[410] 'Let her alone, that she may keep it against the day of My
burying' (Alford). But how _could_ she keep it after she had poured it
all out?--'Suffer her to have kept it against the day of My preparation
unto burial' (M^{c}Clellan). But [Greek: hina têrêsê] could hardly mean
that: and the day of His [Greek: entaphiasmos] had not yet arrived.

[411] Consider ii. 11 and xi. 40: St. Luke xiii. 17: Heb. i. 3.

[412] Consider v. 36 and iv. 34.

[413] Consider St. John xix. 30. Cf. St. Luke xxii. 37.

[414] Lewis, 'and the work I have perfected': Harkleian, 'because the
work,' &c., 'because' being obelized.

[415] The Bohairic and Ethiopic are hostile.

[416] i. 245 (= Constt. App. viii. 1; _ap._ Galland. iii. 199).

[417] P. 419.

[418] Mcell p. 157.

[419] i. 534.

[420] ii. 196, 238: iii. 39.

[421] v. 256: viii. 475 _bis_.

[422] iii. 542: iv. 954: v^{1}. 599, 601, 614: v^{2}. 152.--In the
following places Cyril shews himself acquainted with the other
reading,--iv. 879: v^{1}. 167, 366: vi. 124.

[423] Polyc. frg. v (ed. Jacobson).

[424] Ps.-Ignat. 328.

[425] _Ap._ Gall. iii. 215.

[426] P. 285.

[427] ii. 545.

[428] Pp. 510, 816, 1008. But _opere constummato_, pp. 812, 815.--Jerome
also once (iv. 563) has _opere completo._

[429] _Ap._ Gall. v. 135.

[430] P. 367.

[431] _Ap._ Gall. iii. 308.

[432] _Ap._ Aug. viii. 622.

[433] iii^{2}. 761: viii. 640.

[434] v. 1166.

[435] Ibid. 1165 g, 1166 a.

[436] Though the Bohairic, Gothic, Vulgate, and Ethiopic versions are
disfigured in the same way, and the Lewis reads 'is.'

[437] Theoph. 216 note: [Greek: hôs kindyneuein auta bythisthênai].

[438] Cod. Amiat.

[439] g,--at Stockholm.

[440] Stephanus De Urbibus in voc. [Greek: Beroia].



IX. Corruption by Heretics.

§ 1.

The Corruptions of the Sacred Text which we have been hitherto
considering, however diverse the causes from which they may have
resulted, have yet all agreed in this: viz. that they have all been of a
lawful nature. My meaning is, that apparently, at no stage of the
business has there been _mala fides_ in any quarter. We are prepared to
make the utmost allowance for careless, even for licentious
transcription; and we can invent excuses for the mistaken zeal, the
officiousness if men prefer to call it so, which has occasionally not
scrupled to adopt conjectural emendations of the Text. To be brief, so
long as an honest reason is discoverable for a corrupt reading, we
gladly adopt the plea. It has been shewn with sufficient clearness, I
trust, in the course of the foregoing chapters, that the number of
distinct causes to which various readings may reasonably be attributed
is even extraordinary.

But there remains after all an alarmingly large assortment of textual
perturbations which absolutely refuse to fall under any of the heads of
classification already enumerated. They are not to be accounted for on
any ordinary principle. And this residuum of cases it is, which
occasions our present embarrassment. They are in truth so exceedingly
numerous; they are often so very considerable; they are, as a rule, so
very licentious; they transgress to such an extent all regulations; they
usurp so persistently the office of truth and faithfulness, that we
really know not what to think about them. Sometimes we are presented
with gross interpolations,--apocryphal stories: more often with
systematic lacerations of the text, or transformations as from an angel
of light.

We are constrained to inquire, How all this can possibly have come
about? Have there even been persons who made it their business of set
purpose to corrupt the [sacred deposit of Holy Scripture entrusted to
the Church for the perpetual illumination of all ages till the Lord
should come?]

At this stage of the inquiry, we are reminded that it is even notorious
that in the earliest age of all, the New Testament Scriptures were
subjected to such influences. In the age which immediately succeeded the
Apostolic there were heretical teachers not a few, who finding their
tenets refuted by the plain Word of God bent themselves against the
written Word with all their power. From seeking to evacuate its
teaching, it was but a single step to seeking to falsify its testimony.
Profane literature has never been exposed to such hostility. I make the
remark in order also to remind the reader of one more point of
[dissimilarity between the two classes of writings. The inestimable
value of the New Testament entailed greater dangers, as well as secured
superior safeguards. Strange, that a later age should try to discard the

It is found therefore that Satan could not even wait for the grave to
close over St. John. 'Many' there were already who taught that Christ
had not come in the flesh. Gnosticism was in the world already. St. Paul
denounces it by name[441], and significantly condemns the wild fancies
of its professors, their dangerous speculations as well as their absurd
figments. Thus he predicts and condemns[442] their pestilential teaching
in respect of meats and drinks and concerning matrimony. In his Epistle
to Timothy[443] he relates that Hymeneus and Philetus taught that the
Resurrection was past already. What wonder if a flood of impious
teaching broke loose on the Church when the last of the Apostles had
been gathered in, and another generation of men had arisen, and the age
of Miracles was found to be departing if it had not already departed,
and the loftiest boast which any could make was that they had known
those who had [seen and heard the Apostles of the Lord].

The 'grievous wolves' whose assaults St. Paul predicted as imminent, and
against which he warned the heads of the Ephesian Church[444], did not
long 'spare the flock.' Already, while St. John was yet alive, had the
Nicolaitans developed their teaching at Ephesus[445] and in the
neighbouring Church of Pergamos[446]. Our risen Lord in glory announced
to His servant John that in the latter city Satan had established his
dwelling-place[447]. Nay, while those awful words were being spoken to
the Seer of Patmos, the men were already born who first dared to lay
their impious hands on the Gospel of Christ.

No sooner do we find ourselves out of Apostolic times and among
monuments of the primitive age than we are made aware that the sacred
text must have been exposed at that very early period to disturbing
influences which, on no ordinary principles, can be explained. Justin
Martyr, Irenaeus, Origen, Clement of Alexandria,--among the Fathers:
some Old Latin MSS.[448] the Bohairic and Sahidic, and coming later on,
the Curetonian and Lewis,--among the Versions: of the copies Codd. B and
[Symbol: Aleph]: and above all, coming later down still, Cod. D:--these
venerable monuments of a primitive age occasionally present us with
deformities which it is worse than useless to extenuate,--quite
impossible to overlook. Unauthorized appendixes,--tasteless and stupid
amplifications,--plain perversions of the meaning of the
Evangelists,--wholly gratuitous assimilations of one Gospel to
another,--the unprovoked omission of passages of profound interest and
not unfrequently of high doctrinal import:--How are such phenomena as
these to be accounted for? Again, in one quarter, we light upon a
systematic mutilation of the text so extraordinary that it is as if some
one had amused himself by running his pen through every clause which was
not absolutely necessary to the intelligibleness of what remained. In
another quarter we encounter the thrusting in of fabulous stories and
apocryphal sayings which disfigure as well as encumber the text.--How
will any one explain all this?

Let me however at the risk of repeating what has been already said
dispose at once of an uneasy suspicion which is pretty sure to suggest
itself to a person of intelligence after reading what goes before. If
the most primitive witnesses to our hand are indeed discovered to bear
false witness to the text of Scripture,--whither are we to betake
ourselves for the Truth? And what security can we hope ever to enjoy
that any given exhibition of the text of Scripture is the true one? Are
we then to be told that in this subject-matter the maxim '_id verius
quod prius_' does not hold? that the stream instead of getting purer as
we approach the fountain head, on the contrary grows more and more

Nothing of the sort, I answer. The direct reverse is the case. Our
appeal is always made to antiquity; and it is nothing else but a truism
to assert that the oldest reading is also the best. A very few words
will make this matter clear; because a very few words will suffice to
explain a circumstance already adverted to which it is necessary to keep
always before the eyes of the reader.

The characteristic note, the one distinguishing feature, of all the
monstrous and palpable perversions of the text of Scripture just now
under consideration is this:--that they are never vouched for by the
oldest documents generally, but only by a few of them,--two, three, or
more of the oldest documents being observed as a rule to yield
conflicting testimony, (which in this subject-matter is in fact
contradictory). In this way the oldest witnesses nearly always refute
one another, and indeed dispose of one another's evidence almost as
often as that evidence is untrustworthy. And now I may resume and

I say then that it is an adequate, as well as a singularly satisfactory
explanation of the greater part of those gross depravations of Scripture
which admit of no legitimate excuse, to attribute them, however
remotely, to those licentious free-handlers of the text who are declared
by their contemporaries to have falsified, mutilated, interpolated, and
in whatever other way to have corrupted the Gospel; whose blasphemous
productions of necessity must once have obtained a very wide
circulation: and indeed will never want some to recommend and uphold
them. What with those who like Basilides and his followers invented a
Gospel of their own:--what with those who with the Ebionites and the
Valentinians interpolated and otherwise perverted one of the four
Gospels until it suited their own purposes:--what with those who like
Marcion shamefully maimed and mutilated the inspired text:--there must
have been a large mass of corruption festering in the Church throughout
the immediate post-Apostolic age. But even this is not all. There were
those who like Tatian constructed Diatessarons, or attempts to weave the
fourfold narrative into one,--'Lives of Christ,' so to speak;--and
productions of this class were multiplied to an extraordinary extent,
and as we certainly know, not only found their way into the remotest
corners of the Church, but established themselves there. And will any
one affect surprise if occasionally a curious scholar of those days was
imposed upon by the confident assurance that by no means were those many
sources of light to be indiscriminately rejected, but that there must be
some truth in what they advanced? In a singularly uncritical age, the
seductive simplicity of one reading,--the interesting fullness of
another,--the plausibility of a thirds--was quite sure to recommend its
acceptance amongst those many eclectic recensions which were constructed
by long since forgotten Critics, from which the most depraved and
worthless of our existing texts and versions have been derived.
Emphatically condemned by Ecclesiastical authority, and hopelessly
outvoted by the universal voice of Christendom, buried under fifteen
centuries, the corruptions I speak of survive at the present day chiefly
in that little handful of copies which, calamitous to relate, the school
of Lachmann and Tischendorf and Tregelles look upon as oracular: and in
conformity with which many scholars are for refashioning the Evangelical
text under the mistaken title of 'Old Readings.' And now to proceed with
my argument.

§ 2.

Numerous as were the heresies of the first two or three centuries of the
Christian era, they almost all agreed in this;--that they involved a
denial of the eternal Godhead of the Son of Man: denied that He is
essentially very and eternal God. This fundamental heresy found itself
hopelessly confuted by the whole tenor of the Gospel, which nevertheless
it assailed with restless ingenuity: and many are the traces alike of
its impotence and of its malice which have survived to our own times. It
is a memorable circumstance that it is precisely those very texts which
relate either to the eternal generation of the Son,--to His
Incarnation,--or to the circumstances of His Nativity,--which have
suffered most severely, and retain to this hour traces of having been in
various ways tampered with. I do not say that Heretics were the only
offenders here. I am inclined to suspect that the orthodox were as much
to blame as the impugners of the Truth. But it was at least with a pious
motive that the latter tampered with the Deposit. They did but imitate
the example set them by the assailing party. It is indeed the calamitous
consequence of extravagances in one direction that they are observed
ever to beget excesses in the opposite quarter. Accordingly the piety of
the primitive age did not think it wrong to fortify the Truth by the
insertion, suppression, or substitution of a few words in any place from
which danger was apprehended. In this way, I am persuaded, many an
unwarrantable 'reading' is to be explained. I do not mean that 'marginal
glosses have frequently found their way into the text':--that points to
a wholly improbable account of the matter. I mean, that expressions
which seemed to countenance heretical notions, or at least which had
been made a bad use of by evil men, were deliberately falsified. But I
must not further anticipate the substance of the next chapter.

The men who first systematically depraved the text of Scripture, were as
we now must know the heresiarchs Basilides (fl. 134), Valentinus (fl.
140), and Marcion (fl. 150): three names which Origen is observed almost
invariably to enumerate together. Basilides[449] and Valentinus[450] are
even said to have written Gospels of their own. Such a statement is not
to be severely pressed: but the general fact is established by the
notices, and those are exceedingly abundant, which the writers against
Heresies have cited and left on record. All that is intended by such
statements is that these old heretics retained, altered, transposed,
just so much as they pleased of the fourfold Gospel: and further, that
they imported whatever additional matter they saw fit:--not that they
rejected the inspired text entirely, and substituted something of their
own invention in its place[451]. And though, in the case of Valentinus,
it has been contended, apparently with reason, that he probably did not
individually go to the same length as Basilides,--who, as well in
respect of St. Paul's Epistles as of the four Gospels, was evidently a
grievous offender[452],--yet, since it is clear that his principal
followers, who were also his contemporaries, put forth a composition
which they were pleased to style the 'Gospel of Truth[453],' it is idle
to dispute as to the limit of the rashness and impiety of the individual
author of the heresy. Let it be further stated, as no slight
confirmation of the view already hazarded as to the probable contents of
the (so-called) Gospels of Basilides and of Valentinus, that one
particular Gospel is related to have been preferred before the rest and
specially adopted by certain schools of ancient Heretics. Thus, a
strangely mutilated and depraved text of St. Matthew's Gospel is related
to have found especial favour with the Ebionites[454], with whom the
Corinthians are associated by Epiphanius: though Irenaeus seems to say
that it was St. Mark's Gospel which was adopted by the heretical
followers of Cerinthus. Marcion's deliberate choice of St. Luke's Gospel
is sufficiently well known. The Valentinians appropriated to themselves
St. John[455]. Heracleon, the most distinguished disciple of this
school, is deliberately censured by Origen for having corrupted the text
of the fourth Evangelist in many places[456]. A considerable portion of
his Commentary on St. John has been preserved to us: and a very strange
production it is found to have been.

Concerning Marcion, who is a far more conspicuous personage, it will be
necessary to speak more particularly. He has left a mark on the text of
Scripture of which traces are distinctly recognizable at the present
day[457]. A great deal more is known about him than about any other
individual of his school. Justin Martyr and Irenaeus wrote against him:
besides Origen and Clement of Alexandria, Tertullian in the West[458],
and Epiphanius in the East, elaborately refuted his teaching, and give
us large information as to his method of handling Scripture.

Another writer of this remote time who, as I am prone to think, must
have exercised sensible influence on the text of Scripture was Ammonius
of Alexandria.

But Tatian beyond every other early writer of antiquity [appears to me
to have caused alterations in the Sacred Text.]

It is obviously no answer to anything that has gone before to insist
that the Evangelium of Marcion (for instance), so far as it is
recognizable by the notices of it given by Epiphanius, can very rarely
indeed be shewn to have resembled any extant MS. of the Gospels. Let it
be even freely granted that many of the charges brought against it by
Epiphanius with so much warmth, collapse when closely examined and
severely sifted. It is to be remembered that Marcion's Gospel was known
to be an heretical production: one of the many creations of the Gnostic
age,--it must have been universally execrated and abhorred by faithful
men. Besides this lacerated text of St. Luke's Gospel, there was an
Ebionite recension of St. Matthew: a Cerinthian exhibition of St. Mark:
a Valentinian perversion of St. John. And we are but insisting that the
effect of so many corruptions of the Truth, industriously propagated
within far less than 100 years of the date of the inspired verities
themselves, must needs have made itself sensibly felt. Add the notorious
fact, that in the second and third centuries after the Christian era the
text of the Gospels is found to have been grossly corrupted even in
orthodox quarters,--and that traces of these gross corruptions are
discoverable in certain circles to the present hour,--and it seems
impossible not to connect the two phenomena together. The wonder rather
is that, at the end of so many centuries, we are able distinctly to
recognize any evidence whatever.

The proneness of these early Heretics severally to adopt one of the four
Gospels for their own, explains why there is no consistency observable
in the corruptions they introduced into the text. It also explains the
bringing into one Gospel of things which of right clearly belong to
another--as in St. Mark iii. 14 [Greek: ous kai apostolous ônomasen].

I do not propose (as will presently appear) in this way to explain any
considerable number of the actual corruptions of the text: but in no
other way is it possible to account for such systematic mutilations as
are found in Cod. B,--such monstrous additions as are found in Cod.
D,--such gross perturbations as are continually met with in one or more,
but never in all, of the earliest Codexes extant, as well as in the
oldest Versions and Fathers.

The plan of Tatian's Diatessaron will account for a great deal. He
indulges in frigid glosses, as when about the wine at the feast of Cana
in Galilee he reads that the servants knew 'because they had drawn the
water'; or in tasteless and stupid amplifications, as in the going back
of the Centurion to his house. I suspect that the [Greek: ti me erôtas
peri tou agathou], 'Why do you ask me about that which is good?' is to
be referred to some of these tamperers with the Divine Word.

§ 3.

These professors of 'Gnosticism' held no consistent theory. The two
leading problems on which they exercised their perverse ingenuity are
found to have been (1) the origin of Matter, and (2) the origin of Evil.

(1) They taught that the world's artificer ('the Word') was Himself a
creature of 'the Father[459].' Encountered on the threshold of the
Gospel by the plain declaration that, 'In the beginning was the Word:
and the Word was with God: and the Word was God': and presently, 'All
things were made by Him';--they were much exercised. The expedients to
which they had recourse were certainly extraordinary. That 'Beginning'
(said Valentinus) was the first thing which 'the Father' created: which
He called 'Only begotten Son,' and also 'God': and in whom he implanted
the germ of all things. Seminally, that is, whatsoever subsequently came
into being was in Him. 'The Word' (he said) was a product of this
first-created thing. And 'All things were made by Him,' because in 'the
Word' was the entire essence of all the subsequent worlds (Aeons), to
which he assigned forms[460]. From which it is plain that, according to
Valentinus, 'the Word' was distinct from 'the Son'; who was not the
world's Creator. Both alike, however, he acknowledged to be 'God[461]':
but only, as we have seen already, using the term in an inferior sense.

Heracleon, commenting on St. John i. 3, insists that 'all things' can
but signify this perishable world and the things that are therein: not
essences of a loftier nature. Accordingly, after the words 'and without
Him was not anything made,' he ventures to interpolate this clause,--'of
the things that are in the world and in the creation[462].' True, that
the Evangelist had declared with unmistakable emphasis, 'and without Him
was not anything' (literally, 'was not even one thing') 'made that was
made.' But instead of 'not even one thing,' the Valentinian Gnostics
appear to have written 'nothing[463]'; and the concluding clause 'that
was made,' because he found it simply unmanageable, Valentinus boldly
severed from its context, making it the beginning of a fresh sentence.
With the Gnostics, ver. 4 is found to have begun thus,--'What was made
in Him was life.'

Of the change of [Greek: oude hen] into [Greek: ouden][464] traces
survive in many of the Fathers[465]: but [Symbol: Aleph] and D are the
only Uncial MSS. which are known to retain that corrupt reading.--The
uncouth sentence which follows ([Greek: ho gegonen en autô zôê ên]),
singular to relate, was generally tolerated, became established in many
quarters, and meets us still at every step. It was evidently put forward
so perseveringly by the Gnostics, with whom it was a kind of article of
the faith, that the orthodox at last became too familiar with it.
Epiphanius, though he condemns it, once employs it[466]. Occurring first
in a fragment of Valentinus[467]: next, in the Commentary of
Heracleon[468]: after that, in the pages of Theodotus the Gnostic (A.D.
192)[469]: then, in an exposure by Hippolytus of the tenets of the
Naäseni[470], (a subsection of the same school);--the baseness of its
origin at least is undeniable. But inasmuch as the words may be made to
bear a loyal interpretation, the heretical construction of St. John i. 3
was endured by the Church for full 200 years. Clemens Alex, is observed
thrice to adopt it[471]: Origen[472] and Eusebius[473] fall into it
repeatedly. It is found in Codd. [Symbol: Aleph]CD: apparently in Cod.
A, where it fills one line exactly. Cyril comments largely on it[474].
But as fresh heresies arose which the depraved text seemed to favour,
the Church bestirred herself and remonstrated. It suited the Arians and
the Macedonians[475], who insisted that the Holy Ghost is a creature.
The former were refuted by Epiphanius, who points out that the sense is
not complete until you have read the words [Greek: ho gegonen]. A fresh
sentence (he says) begins at [Greek: En autô zôê ên][476]. Chrysostom
deals with the latter. 'Let us beware of putting the full stop' (he
says) 'at the words [Greek: oude hen],--as do the heretics. In order to
make out that the Spirit is a creature, they read [Greek: ho gegonen en
autô zôê ên]: by which means the Evangelist's meaning becomes

But in the meantime, Valentinus, whose example was followed by Theodotus
and by at least two of the Gnostic sects against whom Hippolytus wrote,
had gone further. The better to conceal St. John's purpose, the
heresiarch falsified the inspired text. In the place of, 'What was made
in Him, was life,' he substituted 'What was made in Him, _is_ life.'
Origen had seen copies so depraved, and judged the reading not
altogether improbable. Clement, on a single occasion, even adopted it.
It was the approved reading of the Old Latin versions,--a memorable
indication, by the way, of a quarter from which the Old Latin derived
their texts,--which explains why it is found in Cyprian, Hilary, and
Augustine; and why Ambrose has so elaborately vindicated its
sufficiency. It also appears in the Sahidic and in Cureton's Syriac; but
not in the Peshitto, nor in the Vulgate. [Nor in the Bohairic] In the
meantime, the only Greek Codexes which retain this singular trace of the
Gnostic period at the present day, are Codexes [Symbol: Aleph] and D.

§ 4.

[We may now take some more instances to shew the effects of the
operations of Heretics.]

The good Shepherd in a certain place (St. John x. 14, 15) says
concerning Himself--'I know My sheep and am known of Mine, even as the
Father knoweth Me and I know the Father': by which words He hints at a
mysterious knowledge as subsisting between Himself and those that are
His. And yet it is worth observing that whereas He describes the
knowledge which subsists between the Father and the Son in language
which implies that it is strictly identical on either side, He is
careful to distinguish between the knowledge which subsists between the
creature and the Creator by slightly varying the expression,--thus
leaving it to be inferred that it is not, neither indeed can be, on
either side the same. God knoweth us with a perfect knowledge. Our
so-called 'knowledge' of God is a thing different not only in degree,
but in kind[478]. Hence the peculiar form which the sentence
assumes[479]:--[Greek: ginôskô ta ema, kai ginôskomai hypo tôn emôn].
And this delicate diversity of phrase has been faithfully retained all
down the ages, being witnessed to at this hour by every MS. in existence
except four now well known to us: viz. [Symbol: Aleph]BDL. The Syriac
also retains it,--as does Macarius[480], Gregory Naz.[481],
Chrysostom[482], Cyril[483], Theodoret[484], Maximus[485]. It is a point
which really admits of no rational doubt: for does any one suppose that
if St. John had written 'Mine own know Me,' 996 MSS. out of 1000 at the
end of 1,800 years would exhibit, 'I am known of Mine'?

But in fact it is discovered that these words of our Lord experienced
depravation at the hands of the Manichaean heretics. Besides inverting
the clauses, (and so making it appear that such knowledge begins on the
side of Man.) Manes (A.D. 261) obliterated the peculiarity above
indicated. Quoting from his own fabricated Gospel, he acquaints us with
the form in which these words were exhibited in that mischievous
production: viz. [Greek: ginôskei me ta ema, kai ginôskô ta ema]. This
we learn from Epiphanius and from Basil[486]. Cyril, in a paper where he
makes clear reference to the same heretical Gospel, insists that the
order of knowledge must needs be the reverse of what the heretics
pretended[487].--But then, it is found that certain of the orthodox
contented themselves with merely reversing the clauses, and so restoring
the true order of the spiritual process discussed--regardless of the
exquisite refinement of expression to which attention was called at the
outset. Copies must once have abounded which represented our Lord as
saying, 'I know My own and My own know Me, even as the Father knoweth Me
and I know the Father'; for it is the order of the Old Latin, Bohairic,
Sahidic, Ethiopic, Lewis, Georgian, Slavonic, and Gothic, though not of
the Peshitto, Harkleian, and Armenian; and Eusebius[488], Nonnus, and
even Basil[489] so read the place. But no token of this clearly corrupt
reading survives in any known copy of the Gospels,--except [Symbol:
Aleph]BDL. Will it be believed that nevertheless all the recent Editors
of Scripture since Lachmann insist on obliterating this refinement of
language, and going back to the reading which the Church has long since
deliberately rejected,--to the manifest injury of the deposit? 'Many
words about a trifle,'--some will be found to say. Yes, to deny God's
truth is a very facile proceeding. Its rehabilitation always requires
many words. I request only that the affinity between [Symbol: Aleph]BDL
and the Latin copies which universally exhibit this disfigurement[490],
may be carefully noted. [Strange to say, the true reading receives no
notice from Westcott and Hort, or the Revisers[491]].

§ 5.


The question of Matrimony was one of those on which the early heretics
freely dogmatized. Saturninus[492] (A.D. 120) and his followers taught
that marriage was a production of Hell.

We are not surprised after this to find that those places in the Gospel
which bear on the relation between man and wife exhibit traces of
perturbation. I am not asserting that the heretics themselves depraved
the text. I do but state two plain facts: viz. (1) That whereas in the
second century certain heretical tenets on the subject of Marriage
prevailed largely, and those who advocated as well as those who opposed
such teaching relied chiefly on the Gospel for their proofs: (2) It is
accordingly found that not only does the phenomenon of 'various
readings' prevail in those places of the Gospel which bear most nearly
on the disputed points, but the 'readings' are exactly of that
suspicious kind which would naturally result from a tampering with the
text by men who had to maintain, or else to combat, opinions of a
certain class. I proceed to establish what I have been saying by some
actual examples[493].

  St. Matt. xix. 29.
  [Greek: ê gynaika,]
  --BD abc Orig.

  St. Mark x. 29.
  [Greek: ê gynaika,]
  --[Symbol: Aleph]BD[Symbol: Delta], abc, &c.

  St. Luke xviii. 29.
  [Greek: ê gynaika],
  all allow it.

[Greek: hotan de legê; hoti "pas hostis aphêke gynaika," ou touto
phêsin, hôste aplôs diaspasthai tous gamous, k.t.l.] Chrys. vii. 636 E.

[Greek: Paradeigmatisai] (in St. Matt. i. 19) is another of the
expressions which have been disturbed by the same controversy. I suspect
that Origen is the author (see the heading of the Scholion in Cramer's
Catenae) of a certain uncritical note which Eusebius reproduces in his
'quaestiones ad Stephanum[494]' on the difference between [Greek:
deigmatisai] and [Greek: paradeigmatisai]; and that with him originated
the substitution of the uncompounded for the compounded verb in this
place. Be that as it may, Eusebius certainly read [Greek:
paradeigmatisai] (Dem. 320), with all the uncials but two (BZ): all the
cursives but one (I). Will it be believed that Lachmann, Tregelles,
Tischendorf, Alford, Westcott and Hort, on such slender evidence as that
are prepared to reconstruct the text of St. Matthew's Gospel?

It sounds so like trifling with a reader's patience to invite his
attention to an elaborate discussion of most of the changes introduced
into the text by Tischendorf and his colleagues, that I knowingly pass
over many hundreds of instances where I am nevertheless perfectly well
aware of my own strength,--my opponent's weakness. Such discussions in
fact become unbearable when the points in dispute are confessedly
trivial. No one however will deny that when three consecutive words of
our Lord are challenged they are worth contending for. We are invited
then to believe (St. Luke xxii. 67-8) that He did not utter the
bracketed words in the following sentence,--'If I tell you, ye will not
believe; and if I ask you, ye will not answer (Me, nor let Me go).' Now,
I invite the reader to inquire for the grounds of this assertion.
Fifteen of the uncials (including AD), and every known cursive, besides
all the Latin and all the Syriac copies recognize the bracketed words.
They are only missing in [Symbol: Aleph]BLT and their ally the Bohairic.
Are we nevertheless to be assured that the words are to be regarded as
spurious? Let the reader then be informed that Marcion left out seven
words more (viz. all from, 'And if I ask you' to the end), and will he
doubt either that the words are genuine or that their disappearance from
four copies of bad character, as proved by their constant evidence, and
from one version is sufficiently explained?


[441] [Greek: pseudônymou gnôseôs] 1 Tim. vi. 20.

[442] 1 Tim. iv. 1-3.

[443] ii. 17.

[444] Acts xx. 29.

[445] Rev. ii. 6.

[446] Rev. ii. 15.

[447] Rev. ii. 13.

[448] Chiefly the Low Latin amongst them. Tradit. Text. chap. vii. p.

[449] 'Ausus fuit et Basilides scribere Evangelium, et suo illud nomine
titulare.'--Orig. Opp. iii. 933 c: Iren. i. 23: Clem. Al. 409, 426, 506,
509, 540, 545: Tertull. c. 46: Epiph. 24: Theodor. i. 4.

[450] 'Evangelium habet etiam suum, praeter haec nostra' (De
Praescript., ad calcem).

[451] Origen (commenting on St. Luke x. 25-28) says,--[Greek: tauta de
eirêtai prôs tois apo Oualentinou, kai Basilidou, kai tous apo
Markiônos. echousi gar kai autoi tas lexeis en tôi kath' heautous
euangeliôi]. Opp. iii. 981 A.

[452] 'Licet non sint digni fide, qui fidem primam irritam fecerunt,
Marcionem loquor et Basilidem et omnes Haereticos qui vetus laniant
Testamentum: tamen eos aliqua ex parte ferremus, si saltem in novo
continerent manus suas; et non auderent Christi (ut ipsi iactitant) boni
Dei Filii, vel Evangelistas violare, vel Apostolos. Nunc vero, quum et
Evangelia eius dissipaverint; et Apostolorum epistolas, non Apostolorum
Christi fecerunt esse, sed proprias; miror quomodo sibi Christianorum
nomen audeant vindicare. Ut enim de caeteris Epistolis taceam, (de
quibus quidquid contrarium suo dogmati viderant, evaserunt, nonnullas
integras repudiandas crediderunt); ad Timotheum videlicet utramque, ad
Hebraeos, et ad Titum, quam nunc conamur exponere.' Hieron. Praef. ad

[453] 'Hi vero, qui sunt a Valentino, exsistentes extra omnem timorem,
suas conscriptiones praeferentes, plura habere gloriantur, quam sint
ipsa Evangelia. Siquidem in tantum processerunt audaciae, uti quod ab
his non olim conscriptum est, Veritatis Evangelium titulent.' Iren. iii.
xi. 9.

[454] See, by all means, Epiphanius, Haer. xxx. c. xiii; also c. iii.

[455] 'Tanta est circa Evangelia haec firmitas, ut et ipsi haeretici
testimonium reddant eis, et ex ipsis egrediens unusquisque eorum conetur
suam confirmare doctrinam. Ebionaei etenim eo Evangelio quod est
secundum Matthaeum, solo utentes, ex illo ipso convincuntur, non recte
praesumentes de Domino. Marcion autem id quod est secundum Lucam
circumcidens, ex his quae adhuc servantur penes eum, blasphemus in solum
existentem Deum ostenditur. Qui autem Iesum separant a Christo, et
impassibilem perseverasse Christum, passum vero Iesum dicunt, id quod
secundum Marcum est praeferentes Evangelium; cum amore veritatis
legentes illud, corrigi possunt. Hi autem qui a Valentino sunt, eo quod
est secundum Joannem plenissime utentes,' &c. Iren. iii. xi. 7.

[456] [Greek: Hêrakleôn, ho tês Oualentinou scholês dokimôtatos]. Clem.
Al. p. 595. Of Heracleon it is expressly related by Origen that he
depraved the text of the Gospel. Origen says (iv. 66) that Heracleon
(regardless of the warning in Prov. xxx. 6) added to the text of St.
John i. 3 (vii. after the words [Greek: egeneto oude en]) the words
[Greek: tôn en tô kosmôi, kai tê ktisei]. Heracleon clearly read [Greek:
ho gegonen en autô zôê ên]. See Orig. iv. 64. In St. John ii. 19, for
[Greek: en trisi], he wrote [Greek: en tritê]. He also read (St. John
iv. 18) (for [Greek: pente]), [Greek: ex andras esches].

[457] Celsus having objected that believers had again and again
falsified the text of the Gospel, refashioning it, in order to meet the
objections of assailants, Origen replies: [Greek: Metacharaxantas de to
euangelion allous ouk oida, hê tous apo Markiônos, kai tous apo
Oualentinou, oimai de kai tous apo Loukanou. touto de legomenon ou tou
logou estin egklêma, alla tôn tolmêsantôn rhadiourgêsai ta euangelia].
Opp. i. 411 B.

[458] De Praesc. Haer. c. 51.

[459] [Greek: Outos de dêmiourgos kai poiêtês toude tou pantos kosmou
kai tôn en autô ... estai men katadeesteros tou teleiou Theou ... ate dê
kai gennêtos ôn, kai ouk agennêtos]. Ptolemaeus, ap. Epiph. p. 217.
Heracleon saw in the nobleman of Capernaum an image of the Demiurge who,
[Greek: basilikos ônomasthê hoionei mikros tis basileus, hypo katholikou
basileôs tetagmenos epi mikras basileias], p. 373.

[460] [Greek: O Iôannês ... boulomenos eipein tên tôn holôn genesin,
kath' ên ta panta proebalen ho Patêr, archên tina hypotithetai, to
prôton gennêthen hypo tou theou, hon dê kai huion Monogenê kai Theon
keklêken, en hô ta panta ho Patêr proebale spermatikôs. Hypo de toutou
phêsi ton Logon probeblêsthai, kai en autô tên holên tôn Aiônôn ousian,
ên autos hysteron emorphôsen ho Logos.... Panta di' autou egeneto, kai
chôris autou egeneto oude hen; pasi gar tois met' auton Aiôsi morphês
kai geneseôs aitios ho Logos egeneto].

[461] [Greek: En tô Patri kai ek tou Patros hê archê, kai ek tês archês
ho Logos. Kalôs oun eipen; en archê ên ho Logos; ên gar en tô Huiô. Kai
ho Logos ên pros ton Theon; kai gar hê 'Archê; kai Theos ên ho Logos,
akolouthôs. To gar ek Theou gennêthen Theos estin].--Ibid. p. 102.
Compare the Excerpt. Theod. _ap_. Clem. Al. c. vi. p. 968.

[462] _Ap_. Orig. 938. 9.

[463] So Theodotus (p. 980), and so Ptolemaeus (_ap._ Epiph. i. 217),
and so Heracleon (_ap._ Orig. p. 954). Also Meletius the Semi-Arian
(_ap._ Epiph. i. 882).

[464] See The Traditional Text, p. 113.

[465] Clem. Al. always has [Greek: oude hen] (viz. pp. 134, 156, 273,
769, 787, 803, 812, 815, 820): but when he quotes the Gnostics (p. 838)
he has [Greek: ouden]. Cyril, while writing his treatise De Trinitate,
read [Greek: ouden] in his copy. Eusebius, for example, has [Greek: oude
hen], fifteen times; [Greek: ouden] only twice, viz. Praep. 322: Esai.

[466] Opp. ii. 74.

[467] _Ap._ Iren. 102.

[468] Ibid. 940.

[469] _Ap._ Clem. Al. 968, 973.

[470] Philosoph. 107. But not when he is refuting the tenets of the
Peratae: [Greek: oude hen, ho gegonen. en autô zôê estin. en autô de,
phêsin, hê Eua gegonen, hê Eua zôê]. Ibid. p. 134.

[471] Opp. 114, 218, 1009.

[472] Cels. vi. 5: Princip. II. ix. 4: IV. i. 30: In Joh. i. 22, 34: ii.
6, 10, 12, 13 _bis_: In Rom. iii. 10, 15: Haer. v. 151.

[473] Psalm. 146, 235, 245: Marcell. 237. Not so in Ecl. 100: Praep.
322, 540.

[474] [Greek: Anagkaiôs phêsin, "ho gegonen, eni autô zôê ên." ou monon
phêsi, "di autou ta panta egeneto," alla kai ei ti gegonen ên en autô hê
zôê. tout' estin, ho monogenês tou Theo logos, hê pantôn archê, kai
systasis horatôn te kai aoratôn ... autos gar hyparchôn hê kata physin
zôê, to einai kai zên kai kineisthai polytropôs tois ousi charisetai].
Opp. iv. 49 e.

He understood the Evangelist to declare concerning the [Greek: Logos],
that, [Greek: panta di' autou egeneto, kai ên en tois genomenois hôs
zôê]. Ibid. 60 c.

[475] [Greek: Outoi de boulontai auto einai ktisma ktismatos. phasi gar,
hoti panto di' autou gegone, kai chôris autou egeneto oude hen. ara,
phasi, kai to Pneuma ek tôn poiêmatôn hyparchei, epeidê panta di' autou
gegone]. Opp. i. 741. Which is the teaching of Eusebius, Marcell. 333-4.
The Macedonians were an offshoot of the Arians.

[476] i. 778 D, 779 B. See also ii. 80.

[477] Opp. viii. 40.

[478] Consider 1 John ii. 3, 4: and read Basil ii. 188 b, c. See p. 207,
note 4. Consider also Gal. iv. 9. So Cyril Al. [iv. 655 a], [Greek: kai
proegnô mallon hê egnôsthê par' hêmôn].

[479] Chrysostom alone seems to have noticed this:--[Greek: hina mê tês
gnôseôs ison ton metron nomisêis, akouson pôs diorthoutai auto têi
epagôgêi; ginôskô ta ema, phêsi, kai ginôskomai hypo tôn emôn. all' ouk
isê hê gnôsis, k.t.l.] viii. 353 d.

[480] P. 38. (Gall. vii. 26.)

[481] i. 298, 613.

[482] viii. 351, 353 d and e.

[483] iv. 652 c, 653 a, 654 d.

[484] i. 748: iv. 374, 550.

[485] In Dionys. Ar. ii. 192.

[486] [Greek: Phêsi de ho autos Manês ... ta ema probata ginôskei me,
kai ginôskô ta ema probata]. (Epiphan. i. 697.)--Again,--[Greek:
hêrpasen ho hairetikos pros tên idian kataskeuên tês blasphêmias. idou,
phêsin, eirêtai; hoti ginôasousi] (lower down, [Greek: ginôskei])
[Greek: me ta ema, kai ginôskô ta ema]. (Basil ii. 188 a, b.)

[487] [Greek: En taxei tê oikeia kai prepôdestatê tôn pragmatôn ekasta
titheis. ou gar ephê, ginôskei me ta ema, kai ginôskô ta ema, all'
heauton egnôkata proteron eispherei ta idia probata, eith' outôs
gnôsthêsesthai phêsi par autôn ... ouch hêmeis auton epegnôkamen prôtoi,
epegnô de hêmas prôton autos ... ouch hêmeis êrxametha tou pragmatos,
all' ho ek Theou Theos monogenês].--iv. 654 d, 655 a. (Note, that this
passage appears in a mutilated form, viz. 121 words are omitted, in the
Catena of Corderius, p. 267,--where it is wrongly assigned to
Chrysostom: an instructive instance.)

[488] In Ps. 489: in Es. 509: Theoph. 185, 258, 260.

[489] ii. 188 a:--which is the more remarkable, because Basil proceeds
exquisitely to shew (1886) that man's 'knowledge' of God consists in his
keeping of God's Commandments. (1 John ii. 3, 4.) See p. 206, note 1.

[490] So Jerome, iv. 484: vii. 455. Strange, that neither Ambrose nor
Augustine should quote the place.

[491] See Revision Revised, p. 220.

[492] Or Saturnilus--[Greek: to de gamein kai gennan apo tou Satana
phêsin einai]. p. 245, l. 38. So Marcion, 253.

[493] [The MS. breaks off here, with references to St. Mark x. 7, Eph.
v. 31-2 (on which the Dean had accumulated a large array of references),
St. Mark x. 29-30, with a few references, but no more. I have not had
yet time or strength to work out the subject.]

[494] Mai, iv. 221.



X. Corruption by the Orthodox.

§ 1.

Another cause why, in very early times, the Text of the Gospels
underwent serious depravation, was mistaken solicitude on the part of
the ancient orthodox for the purity of the Catholic faith. These
persons, like certain of the moderns, Beza for example, evidently did
not think it at all wrong to tamper with the inspired Text. If any
expression seemed to them to have a dangerous tendency, they altered it,
or transplanted it, or removed it bodily from the sacred page. About the
uncritical nature of what they did, they entertained no suspicion: about
the immorality of the proceeding, they evidently did not trouble
themselves at all. On the contrary, the piety of the motive seems to
have been held to constitute a sufficient excuse for any amount of
licence. The copies which had undergone this process of castigation were
even styled 'corrected,'--and doubtless were popularly looked upon as
'the correct copies' [like our 'critical texts']. An illustration of
this is afforded by a circumstance mentioned by Epiphanius.

He states (ii. 36) that the orthodox, out of jealousy for the Lord's
Divinity, eliminated from St. Luke xix. 41 the record that our Saviour
'wept.' We will not pause to inquire what this statement may be worth.
But when the same Father adds,--'In the uncorrected copies ([Greek: en
tois adiorthôtois antigraphois]) is found "He wept,"' Epiphanius is
instructive. Perfectly well aware that the expression is genuine, he
goes on to state that 'Irenaeus quoted it in his work against Heresies,
when he had to confute the error of the Docetae[495].' 'Nevertheless,'
Epiphanius adds, 'the orthodox through fear erased the record.'

So then, the process of 'correction' was a critical process conducted on
utterly erroneous principles by men who knew nothing whatever about
Textual Criticism. Such recensions of the Text proved simply fatal to
the Deposit. To 'correct' was in this and such like cases simply to

Codexes B[Symbol: Aleph]D may be regarded as specimens of Codexes which
have once and again passed through the hands of such a corrector or
[Greek: diorthôtês].

St. Luke (ii. 40) records concerning the infant Saviour that 'the child
grew, and waxed strong in spirit.' By repeating the selfsame expression
which already,--viz. in chap. i. 80,--had been applied to the Childhood
of the Forerunner[496], it was clearly the design of the Author of
Scripture to teach that the Word 'made flesh' submitted to the same laws
of growth and increase as every other Son of Adam. The body 'grew,'--the
spiritual part 'waxed strong.' This statement was nevertheless laid hold
of by the enemies of Christianity. How can it be pretended (they asked)
that He was 'perfect God' ([Greek: teleios Theos]), of whom it is
related in respect of His spirit that he 'waxed strong[497]'? The
consequence might have been foreseen. Certain of the orthodox were
ill-advised enough to erase the word [Greek: pneumati] from the copies
of St. Luke ii. 40; and lo, at the end of 1,500 years, four 'corrected'
copies, two Versions, one Greek Father, survive to bear witness to the
ancient fraud. No need to inquire which, what, and who these be.

But because it is [Symbol: Aleph]BDL, Origen[498], and the Latin, the
Egyptian and Lewis which are without the word [Greek: pneumati],
Lachmann, Tregelles, Tischendorf, and the Revisers jump to the
conclusion that [Greek: pneumati] is a spurious accretion to the Text.
They ought to reverse their proceeding; and recognize in the evidence
one more indication of the untrustworthiness of the witnesses. For,--how
then is it supposed that the word ([Greek: pneumati]) ever obtained its
footing in the Gospel? For all reply we are assured that it has been
imported hither from St. Luke i. 80. But, we rejoin, How does the
existence of the phrase [Greek: ekrataiouto pneumati] in i. 80 explain
its existence in ii. 40, in every known copy of the Gospels except four,
if in these 996 places, suppose, it be an interpolation? This is what
has to be explained. Is it credible that all the remaining uncials, and
every known cursive copy, besides all the lectionaries, should have been
corrupted in this way: and that the truth should survive exclusively at
this time only in the remaining four; viz. in B[Symbol: Aleph],--the
sixth century Cod. D,--and the eighth century Cod. L?

When then, and where did the work of depravation take place? It must
have been before the sixth century, because Leontius of Cyprus[499]
quotes it three times and discusses the expression at length:--before
the fifth, because, besides Cod. A, Cyril[500] Theodoret[501] and
ps.-Caesarius[502] recognize the word:--before the fourth, because
Epiphanius[503], Theodore of Mopsuestia[504], and the Gothic version
have it:--before the third, before nearly all of the second century,
because it is found in the Peshitto. What more plain than that we have
before us one other instance of the injudicious zeal of the orthodox?
one more sample of the infelicity of modern criticism?

§ 2.

Theodotus and his followers fastened on the first part of St. John viii.
40, when they pretended to shew from Scripture that Christ is mere
Man[505]. I am persuaded that the reading 'of My Father[506],'--with
which Origen[507], Epiphanius[508], Athanasius[509], Chrysostom[510],
Cyril Alex.[511], and Theodoret[512] prove to have been acquainted,--was
substituted by some of the orthodox in this place, with the pious
intention of providing a remedy for the heretical teaching of their
opponents. At the present day only six cursive copies are known to
retain this trace of a corruption of Scripture which must date from the
second century.

We now reach a most remarkable instance. It will be remembered that St.
John in his grand preface does not rise to the full height of his
sublime argument until he reaches the eighteenth verse. He had said
(ver. 14) that 'the Word was made flesh,' &c.; a statement which
Valentinus was willing to admit. But, as we have seen, the heresiarch
and his followers denied that 'the Word' is also 'the Son' of God. As if
in order to bar the door against this pretence, St. John announces (ver.
18) that 'the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he
hath declared him': thus establishing the identity of the Word and the
Only begotten Son. What else could the Valentinians do with so plain a
statement, but seek to deprave it? Accordingly, the very first time St.
John i. 18 is quoted by any of the ancients, it is accompanied by the
statement that the Valentinians in order to prove that the 'only
begotten' is 'the Beginning,' and is 'God,' appeal to the words,--'the
only begotten God who is in the bosom of the Father[513],' &c. Inasmuch,
said they, as the Father willed to become known to the worlds, the
Spirit of Gnosis produced the 'only begotten' 'Gnosis,' and therefore
gave birth to 'Gnosis,' that is to 'the Son': in order that by 'the Son'
'the Father' might be made known. While then that 'only begotten Son'
abode 'in the bosom of the Father,' He caused that here upon earth
should be seen, alluding to ver. 14, one 'as the only begotten Son.' In
which, by the way, the reader is requested to note that the author of
the Excerpta Theodoti (a production of the second century) reads St.
John i. 18 as we do.

I have gone into all these strange details,--derived, let it be
remembered, from documents which carry us back to the former half of the
second century,--because in no other way is the singular phenomenon
which attends the text of St. John i. 18 to be explained and accounted
for. Sufficiently plain and easy of transmission as it is, this verse of
Scripture is observed to exhibit perturbations which are even
extraordinary. Irenaeus once writes [Greek: ho] [?] [Greek: monogenês
uios]: once, [Greek: ho] [?] [Greek: monogenês uios Theos]: once,
[Greek: ho monogenês uios Theou][514]: Clemens Alex., [Greek: ho
monogenês uios Theos monos][515]; which must be very nearly the reading
of the Codex from which the text of the Vercelli Copy of the Old Latin
was derived[516]. Eusebius four times writes [Greek: ho monogenês
uios][517]: twice, [Greek: monogenês Theos][518]: and on one occasion
gives his reader the choice of either expression, explaining why both
may stand[519]. Gregory Nyss.[520] and Basil[521], though they recognize
the usual reading of the place, are evidently vastly more familiar with
the reading [Greek: ho monogenês Theos][522]: for Basil adopts the
expression thrice[523], and Gregory nearly thirty-three times as
often[524]. This was also the reading of Cyril Alex.[525], whose usual
phrase however is [Greek: ho monogenês tou Theou logos][526]. Didymus
has only [? cp. context] [Greek: ho monogenês Theos],--for which he once
writes [Greek: ho monogenês Theos logos][527]. Cyril of Jer. seems to
have read [Greek: ho monogenês monos][528].

[I have retained this valuable and suggestive passage in the form in
which the Dean left it. It evidently has not the perfection that attends
some of his papers, and would have been amplified and improved if his
life had been spared. More passages than he noticed, though limited to
the ante-Chrysostom period, are referred to in the companion
volume[529]. The portentous number of mentions by Gregory of Nyssa
escaped me, though I knew that there were several. Such repetitions of a
phrase could only be admitted into my calculation in a restricted and
representative number. Indeed, I often quoted at least on our side less
than the real number of such reiterations occurring in one passage,
because in course of repetition they came to assume for such a purpose a
parrot-like value.

But the most important part of the Dean's paper is found in his account
of the origin of the expression. This inference is strongly confirmed by
the employment of it in the Arian controversy. Arius reads [Greek:
Theos] (_ap._ Epiph. 73--Tischendorf), whilst his opponents read [Greek:
Huios]. So Faustinus seven times (I noted him only thrice), and
Victorinus Afer six (10) times in reply to the Arian Candidus[530]. Also
Athanasius and Hilary of Poictiers four times each, and Ambrose eight
(add Epp. I. xxii. 5). It is curious that with this history admirers of
B and [Symbol: Aleph] should extol their reading over the Traditional
reading on the score of orthodoxy. Heresy had and still retains
associations which cannot be ignored: in this instance some of the
orthodox weakly played into the hands of heretics[531]. None may read
Holy Scripture just as the idea strikes them.]

§ 3.

All are familiar with the received text of 1 Cor. xv. 47:--[Greek: ho
prôtos anthrôpos ek gês choikos; ho deuteros anthrôpos ho Kyrios ex
ouranou]. That this place was so read in the first age is certain: for
so it stands in the Syriac. These early heretics however of whom St.
John speaks, who denied that 'Jesus Christ had come in the flesh[532]'
and who are known to have freely 'taken away from the words' of
Scripture[533], are found to have made themselves busy here. If (they
argued) 'the second man' was indeed 'the Lord-from-Heaven,' how can it
be pretended that Christ took upon Himself human flesh[534]? And to
bring out this contention of theirs more plainly, they did not hesitate
to remove as superfluous the word 'man' in the second clause of the
sentence. There resulted,--'The first man [was] of the earth, earthy:
[Greek: ho deuteros Kyrios ex ouranou][535].' It is thus that
Marcion[536] (A.D. 130) and his followers[537] read the place. But in
this subject-matter extravagance in one direction is ever observed to
beget extravagance in another. I suspect that it was in order to
counteract the ejection by the heretics of [Greek: anthrôpos] in ver.
47, that, early in the second century, the orthodox retaining [Greek:
anthrôpos], judged it expedient to leave out the expression [Greek: ho
Kyrios], which had been so unfairly pressed against them; and were
contented to read,--'the second man [was] from heaven.' A calamitous
exchange, truly. For first, (I), The text thus maimed afforded
countenance to another form of misbelief. And next, (II), It
necessitated a further change in 1 Cor. xv. 47.

(I) It furnished a pretext to those heretics who maintained that Christ
was 'Man' _before_ He came into the World. This heresy came to a head in
the persons of Apolinarius[538] and Photinus; in contending with whom,
Greg. Naz.[539] and Epiphanius[540] are observed to argue with
disadvantage from the mutilated text. Tertullian[541], and Cyprian[542]
after him, knew no other reading but 'secundus homo de Caelo,'--which is
in fact the way this place stands in the Old Latin. And thus, from the
second century downwards, two readings (for the Marcionite text was
speedily forgotten) became current in the Church:--(1) The inspired
language of the Apostle, cited at the outset,--which is retained by all
the known copies, _except nine_; and is vouched for by Basil[543],
Chrysostom[544], Theodotus[545], Eutherius[546], Theodorus Mops.[547],
Damascene[548], Petrus Siculus[549], and Theophylact[550]: and (2) The
corrected (i.e. the maimed) text of the orthodox;--[Greek: ho deuteros;
anthrôpos ex ouranou]: with which, besides the two Gregories[551],
Photinus[552] and Apolinarius the heretics were acquainted; but which at
this day is only known to survive in [Symbol: Aleph]*BCD*EFG and two
cursive copies. Origen[553], and (long after him) Cyril, employed _both_

(II) But then, (as all must see) such a maimed exhibition of the text
was intolerable. The balance of the sentence had been destroyed. Against
[Greek: ho prôtos anthrôpos], St. Paul had set [Greek: ho deuteros
anthrôpos]: against [Greek: ek gês]--[Greek: ex ouranou]: against [Greek:
choikos]--[Greek: ho Kyrios]. Remove [Greek: ho Kyrios], and some
substitute for it must be invented as a counterpoise to [Greek:
choikos]. Taking a hint from what is found in ver. 48, some one
(plausibly enough,) suggested [Greek: epouranios]: and this gloss so
effectually recommended itself to Western Christendom, that having been
adopted by Ambrose[555], by Jerome[556] (and later by Augustine[557],)
it established itself in the Vulgate[558], and is found in all the later
Latin writers[559]. Thus then, _a third_ rival reading enters the
field,--which because it has well-nigh disappeared from Greek MSS., no
longer finds an advocate. Our choice lies therefore between the two
former:--viz. (a) the received, which is the only well-attested reading
of the place: and (b) the maimed text of the Old Latin, which Jerome
deliberately rejected (A.D. 380), and for which he substituted another
even worse attested reading. (Note, that these two Western fabrications
effectually dispose of one another.) It should be added that
Athanasius[560] lends his countenance to all the three readings.

But now, let me ask,--Will any one be disposed, after a careful survey
of the premisses, to accept the verdict of Tischendorf, Tregelles and
the rest, who are for bringing the Church back to the maimed text of
which I began by giving the history and explaining the origin? Let it be
noted that the one question is,--shall [Greek: ho Kyrios] be retained in
the second clause, or not? But there it stood within thirty years of the
death of St. John: and there it stands, at the end of eighteen centuries
in every extant copy (including AKLP) except nine. It has been
excellently witnessed to all down the ages,--viz. By Origen, Hippolytus,
Athanasius, Basil, Chrysostom, Cyril, Theodotus, Eutherius, Theodore
Mops., Damascene and others. On what principle would you now reject
it?... With critics who assume that a reading found in [Symbol:
Aleph]BCDEFG must needs be genuine,--it is vain to argue. And yet the
most robust faith ought to be effectually shaken by the discovery that
four, if not five ([Symbol: Aleph]ACFG) of these same MSS., by reading
'we shall all sleep; but we shall not all be changed,' contradict St.
Paul's solemn announcement in ver. 51: while a sixth (D) stands alone in
substituting 'we shall all rise; but we shall not all be changed.'--In
this very verse, C is for introducing [Greek: Adam] into the first
clause of the sentence: FG, for subjoining [Greek: ho ouranios]. When
will men believe that guides like these are to be entertained with
habitual distrust? to be listened to with the greatest caution? to be
followed, for their own sakes,--never?

I have been the fuller on this place, because it affords an instructive
example of what has occasionally befallen the words of Scripture. Very
seldom indeed are we able to handle a text in this way. Only when the
heretics assailed, did the orthodox defend: whereby it came to pass that
a record was preserved of how the text was read by the ancient Father.
The attentive reader will note (_a_) That all the changes which we have
been considering belong to the earliest age of all:--(_b_) That the
corrupt reading is retained by [Symbol: Aleph]BC and their following:
the genuine text, in the great bulk of the copies:--(_c_) That the first
mention of the text is found in the writings of an early heretic:--(_d_)
That [the orthodox introduced a change in the interests, as they
fancied, of truth, but from utter misapprehension of the nature and
authority of the Word of God:--and (_e_) that under the Divine
Providence that change was so effectually thrown out, that decisive
witness is found on the other side].

§ 4.

Closely allied to the foregoing, and constantly referred to in connexion
with it by those Fathers who undertook to refute the heresy of
Apolinarius, is our Lord's declaration to Nicodemus,--'No man hath
ascended up to heaven, but He that came down from heaven, even the Son
of Man which is in heaven' (St. John iii. 13). Christ 'came down from
heaven' when He became incarnate: and having become incarnate, is said
to have 'ascended up to Heaven,' and 'to be in Heaven,' because 'the Son
of Man,' who was not in heaven before, by virtue of the hypostatical
union was thenceforward evermore 'in heaven.' But the Evangelist's
language was very differently taken by those heretics who systematically
'maimed and misinterpreted that which belongeth to the human nature of
Christ.' Apolinarius, who relied on the present place, is found to have
read it without the final clause ([Greek: ho ôn en tô ouranô]); and
certain of the orthodox (as Greg. Naz., Greg. Nyssa, Epiphanius, while
contending with him,) shew themselves not unwilling to argue from the
text so mutilated. Origen and the author of the Dialogus once, Eusebius
twice, Cyril not fewer than nineteen times, also leave off at the words
'even the Son of Man': from which it is insecurely gathered that those
Fathers disallowed the clause which follows. On the other hand,
thirty-eight Fathers and ten Versions maintain the genuineness of the
words [Greek: ho ôn en tô ouranô][561]. But the decisive circumstance is
that,--besides the Syriac and the Latin copies which all witness to the
existence of the clause,--the whole body of the uncials, four only
excepted ([Symbol: Aleph]BLT^{b}), and every known cursive but one
(33)--are for retaining it.

No thoughtful reader will rise from a discussion like the foregoing
without inferring from the facts which have emerged in the course of it
the exceeding antiquity of depravations of the inspired verity. For let
me not be supposed to have asserted that the present depravation was the
work of Apolinarius. Like the rest, it is probably older by at least 150
years. Apolinarius, in whose person the heresy which bears his name came
to a head, did but inherit the tenets of his predecessors in error; and
these had already in various ways resulted in the corruption of the

§ 5[562].

The matter in hand will be conveniently illustrated by inviting the
reader's attention to another famous place. There is a singular consent
among the Critics for eliminating from St. Luke ix. 54-6, twenty-four
words which embody two memorable sayings of the Son of Man. The entire
context is as follows:--'Lord, wilt thou that we command fire to come
down from heaven and consume them, (as Elias did)? But he turned, and
rebuked them, (and said, Ye know not what manner of spirit ye are of.)
(For the Son of Man is not come to destroy men's lives, but to save
them.) And they went to another village.' The three bracketed clauses
contain the twenty-four words in dispute.

The first of these clauses ([Greek: hôs kai Hêlias epoiêse]), which
claims to be part of the inquiry of St. John and St. James, Mill
rejected as an obvious interpolation. 'Res ipsa clamat. Quis enim sanus
tam insignia deleverit[563]?' Griesbach retained it as probably
genuine.--The second clause ([Greek: kai eipen, Ouk oidate hoiou
pneumatos este hymeis]) he obelized as probably not genuine:--the third
([Greek: ho gar huios tou anthrôpou ouk êlthe psychas anthrôpôn
apolesai, alla sôsai]) he rejected entirely. Lachmann also retains the
first clause, but rejects the other two. Alford, not without misgiving,
does the same. Westcott and Hort, without any misgiving about the third
clause, are 'morally certain' that the first and second clauses are a
Western interpolation. Tischendorf and Tregelles are thorough. They
agree, and the Revisers of 1881, in rejecting unceremoniously all the
three clauses and exhibiting the place curtly, thus.--[Greek: Kyrie,
theleis eipômen pyr katabênai apo tou ouranou, kai analôsai autous;
strapheis de epetimêsen autois. kai eporeuthêsan dêsan eis heteran

Now it may as well be declared at once that Codd. [Symbol:
Aleph]BL[Symbol: Xi] l g^{1} Cyr^{luc}[564], two MSS. of the Bohairic (d
3, d 2), the Lewis, and two cursives (71, 157) are literally the only
authority, ancient or modern, for so exhibiting the text [in all its
bare crudeness]. Against them are arrayed the whole body of MSS. uncial
and cursive, including ACD; every known lectionary; all the Latin, the
Syriac (Cur. om. Clause 1), and indeed every other known version:
besides seven good Greek Fathers beginning with Clemens Alex. (A.D.
190), and five Latin Fathers beginning with Tertullian (A.D. 190):
Cyprian's testimony being in fact the voice of the Fourth Council of
Carthage, A.D. 253. If on a survey of this body of evidence any one will
gravely tell me that the preponderance of authority still seems to him
to be in favour of the shorter reason, I can but suggest that the sooner
he communicates to the world the grounds for his opinion, the better.

(1) In the meantime it becomes necessary to consider the disputed
clauses separately, because ancient authorities, rivalling modern
critics, are unable to agree as to which they will reject, which they
will retain. I begin with the second. What persuades so many critics to
omit the precious words [Greek: kai eipen, Ouk oidate hoiou pneumatos
este hymeis], is the discovery that these words are absent from many
uncial MSS.,--[Symbol: Aleph]ABC and nine others; besides, as might have
been confidently anticipated from that fact, also from a fair proportion
of the cursive copies. It is impossible to deny that _prima facie_ such
an amount of evidence against any words of Scripture is exceedingly
weighty. Pseudo-Basil (ii. 271) is found to have read the passage in the
same curt way. Cyril, on the other hand, seems to have read it

And yet, the entire aspect of the case becomes changed the instant it is
perceived that this disputed clause is recognized by Clemens[565] (A.D.
190); as well as by the Old Latin, by the Peshitto, and by the
Curetonian Syriac: for the fact is thus established that as well in
Eastern as in Western Christendom the words under discussion were
actually recognized as genuine full a hundred and fifty years before the
oldest of the extant uncials came into existence. When it is further
found that (besides Ambrose, Jerome, Augustine,) the Vulgate, the Old
Egyptian, the Harkleian Syriac and the Gothic versions also contain the
words in question; and especially that Chrysostom in four places,
Didymus, Epiphanius, Cyril and Theodoret, besides Antiochus, familiarly
quote them, it is evident that the testimony of antiquity in their
favour is even overwhelming. Add that in eight uncial MSS. (beginning
with D) the words in dispute form part of the text of St. Luke, and that
they are recognized by the great mass of the cursive copies,--(only six
out of the twenty which Scrivener has collated being without them,)--and
it is plain that at least five tests of genuineness have been fully

(2) The third clause ([Greek: ho gar huios tou anthrôpou ouk êlthe
psychas anthrôpôn apolesai, alla sôsai]) rests on precisely the same
solid evidence as the second; except that the testimony of Clemens is no
longer available,--but only because his quotation does not extend so
far. Cod. D also omits this third clause; which on the other hand is
upheld by Tertullian, Cyprian and Ambrose. Tischendorf suggests that it
has surreptitiously found its way into the text from St. Luke xix. 10,
or St. Matt, xviii. 11. But this is impossible; simply because what is
found in those two places is essentially different: namely,--[Greek:
êlthe gar ho huios tou anthrôpou zêtêsai kai][566] [Greek: sôsai to

(3) We are at liberty in the meantime to note how apt an illustration is
here afforded of the amount of consensus which subsists between
documents of the oldest class. This divergence becomes most conspicuous
when we direct our attention to the grounds for omitting the foremost
clause of the three, [Greek: hôs kai Êlias epoiêsen]: for here we make
the notable discovery that the evidence is not only less weighty, but
also different. Codexes B and [Symbol: Aleph] are now forsaken by all
their former allies except L[Symbol: Xi] and a single cursive copy.
True, they are supported by the Curetonian Syriac, the Vulgate and two
copies of the Old Latin. But this time they find themselves confronted
by Codexes ACD with thirteen other uncials and the whole body of the
cursives; the Peshitto, Coptic, Gothic, and Harkleian versions; by
Clemens, Jerome, Chrysostom, Cyril and pseudo-Basil. In respect of
antiquity, variety, respectability, numbers, they are therefore
hopelessly outvoted.

Do any inquire, How then has all this contradiction and depravation of
Codexes [Symbol: Aleph]ABC(D) come about? I answer as follows:--

It was a favourite tenet with the Gnostic heretics that the Law and the
Gospel are at variance. In order to establish this, Marcion (in a work
called Antitheses) set passages of the New Testament against passages of
the Old; from the seeming disagreement between which his followers were
taught to infer that the Law and the Gospel cannot have proceeded from
one and the same author[567]. Now here was a place exactly suited to his
purpose. The God of the Old Testament had twice sent down fire from
heaven to consume fifty men. But 'the Son of Man,' said our Saviour,
when invited to do the like, 'came not to destroy men's lives but to
save them.' Accordingly, Tertullian in his fourth book against Marcion,
refuting this teaching, acquaints us that one of Marcion's 'Contrasts'
was Elijah's severity in calling down fire from Heaven,--and the
gentleness of Christ. 'I acknowledge the seventy of the judge,'
Tertullian replies; 'but I recognize the same severity on the part of
Christ towards His Disciples when they proposed to bring down a similar
calamity on a Samaritan village[568].' From all of which it is plain
that within seventy years of the time when the Gospel was published, the
text of St. Luke ix. 54-6 stood very much as at present.

But then it is further discovered that at the same remote period (about
A.D. 130) this place of Scripture was much fastened on by the enemies of
the Gospel. The Manichaean heretics pressed believers with it[569]. The
disciples' appeal to the example of Elijah, and the reproof they
incurred, became inconvenient facts. The consequence might be foreseen.
With commendable solicitude for God's honour, but through mistaken
piety, certain of the orthodox (without suspicion of the evil they were
committing) were so ill-advised as to erase from their copies the
twenty-four words which had been turned to mischievous account as well
as to cause copies to be made of the books so mutilated: and behold, at
the end of 1,700 years, the calamitous result!

Of these three clauses then, which are closely interdependent, and as
Tischendorf admits[570] must all three stand or all three fall together,
the first is found with ACD, the Old Latin, Peshitto, Clement,
Chrysostom, Cyril, Jerome,--not with [Symbol: Aleph]B the Vulgate or
Curetonian. The second and third clauses are found with Old Latin,
Vulgate, Peshitto, Harkleian, six Greek and five Latin Fathers,--not
with [Symbol: Aleph]ABCD.

While [Symbol: Aleph] and B are alone in refusing to recognize either
first, second or third clause. And this is a fair sample of that
'singular agreement' which is sometimes said to subsist between 'the
lesser group of witnesses.' Is it not plain on the contrary that at a
very remote period there existed a fierce conflict, and consequent
hopeless divergence of testimony about the present passage; of which
1,700 years[571] have failed to obliterate the traces? Had [Symbol:
Aleph]B been our only ancient guides, it might of course have been
contended that there has been no act of spoliation committed: but seeing
that one half of the missing treasure is found with their allies, ACD,
Clement Alex., Chrysostom, Cyril, Jerome,--the other half with their
allies, Old Latin, Harkleian, Clement, Tertullian, Cyprian, Ambrose,
Didymus, Epiphanius, Chrysostom, Cyril, Theodoret, Jerome,
Augustine[572],--it is clear that no such pretence can any longer be set

The endeavour to establish agreement among the witnesses by a skilful
distribution or rather dislocation of their evidence, a favourite device
with the Critics, involves a fallacy which in any other subject would be
denied a place. I trust that henceforth St. Luke ix. 54-6 will be left
in undisputed possession of its place in the sacred Text,--to which it
has an undoubted right.

A thoughtful person may still inquire, Can it however be explained
further how it has come to pass that the evidence for omitting the first
clause and the two last is so unequally divided? I answer, the disparity
is due to the influence of the Lectionaries.

Let it be observed then that an ancient Ecclesiastical Lection which
used to begin either at St. Luke ix. 44, or else at verse 49 and to
extend down to the end of verse 56[573], ended thus,--[Greek: hôs kai
Êlias epoiêse; strapheis de epetimêsen autois. kai eporeuthêsan eis
hetepan kômên][574]. It was the Lection for Thursday in the fifth week
of the new year; and as the reader sees, it omitted the two last clauses
exactly as Codd. [Symbol: Aleph]ABC do. Another Ecclesiastical Lection
began at verse 51 and extended down to verse 57, and is found to have
contained the two last clauses[575]. I wish therefore to inquire:--May
it not fairly be presumed that it is the Lectionary practice of the
primitive age which has led to the irregularity in this perturbation of
the sacred Text?


[495] [Greek: Pros tois dokêsei ton Christon pephênenai legontas].

[496] [Greek: To de paidion êuxane, kai ekrataiouto pneumati].

[497] It is the twenty-fourth and the thirtieth question in the first
Dialogus of pseudo-Caesarius (Gall. vi. 17, 20).

[498] Opp. iii. 953, 954,--with suspicious emphasis.

[499] Ed. Migne, vol. 93, p. 1581 a, b (Novum Auct. i. 700).

[500] When Cyril writes (Scholia, ed. Pusey, vol. vi. 568),--"[Greek: To
de paidion êuxane kai ekrataiouto PNEUMATI, plêroumenon SOPHIA kai
CHARITI." kaitoi kata physin panteleios estin hôs Theos kai ex idion
plêrômatos dianemei tois agiois ta PNEUMATIKA, kai autos estin ê SOPHIA,
kai tês CHARITOS ho dotêr],--it is clear that [Greek: pneumati] must
have stood in Cyril's text. The same is the reading of Cyril's Treatise,
De Incarnatione (Mai, ii. 57): and of his Commentary on St. Luke (ibid.
p. 136). One is surprised at Tischendorf's perverse inference concerning
the last-named place. Cyril had begun by quoting the whole of ver. 40 in
exact conformity with the traditional text (Mai, ii. 136). At the close
of some remarks (found both in Mai and in Cramer's Catena), Cyril
proceeds as follows, according to the latter:--[Greek: ho Euangelistês
epsê "êuxane kai ekrataiouto" KAI TA EXÊS]. Surely this constitutes no
ground for supposing that he did not recognize the word [Greek:
pneumati], but rather that he did. On the other hand, it is undeniable
that in V. P. ii. 138 and 139 (= Concilia iii. 241 d, 244 a), from
Pusey's account of what he found in the MSS. (vii. P. i. 277-8), the
word [Greek: pneumati] must be suspected of being an unauthorized
addition to the text of Cyril's treatise, De Rectâ fide ad Pulcheriam et

[501] ii. 152: iv. 112: v. 120, 121 (four times).

[502] [Greek: Ei teleios esti Theos ho Christos, pôs ho euangelistês
legei, to de paidion Iêsous êuxane kai ekrataiouto pneumati];--S.
Caesarii, Dialogus I, Quaest. 24 (_ap._ Galland. vi. 17 c). And see
Quaest. 30.

[503] ii. 36 d.

[504] Fragmenta Syriaca, ed. Sachau, p. 53.--The only other Greek
Fathers who quote the place are Euthymius and Theophylact.

[505] [Greek: Hên êkousa para tou Theou]. Epiph. i. 463.

[506] Instead of [Greek: para tou Theou].

[507] i. 410: iv. 294, 534. Elsewhere he defends and employs it.

[508] i. 260, 463: ii. 49.

[509] i. 705.

[510] viii. 365.

[511] (Glaph.) i. 18.

[512] iv. 83, 430. But both Origen (i. 705: iv. 320, 402) and Cyril (iv.
554: v. 758) quote the traditional reading; and Cyril (iv. 549)
distinctly says that the latter is right, and [Greek: para tou patros]

[513] Excerpt. Theod. 968.--Heracleon's name is also connected by Origen
with this text. Valentinus (ap. Iren. 100) says, [Greek: on dê kai uion
Monogenê kai Theon keklêken].

[514] Pp. 627, 630, 466.

[515] P. 956.

[516] 'Deum nemo vidit umquam: nisi unicus filius solus, sinum patris
ipse enarravit.'--(Comp. Tertullian:--'Solus filius patrem novit et
sinum patris ipse exposuit' (Prax. c. 8. Cp. c. 21): but he elsewhere
(ibid. c. 15) exhibits the passage in the usual way.) Clemens
writes,--[Greek: tote epopteuseis ton kolpon tou Patrus, hon ho
monoogenês huios Theos monos exêgêsato] (956), and in the Excerpt.
Theod. we find [Greek: outos ton kolpon ton Patros exêgêsato ho Sôtêr]
(969). But this is unintelligible until it is remembered that our Lord
is often spoken of by the Fathers as [Greek: hê dexia tou hypsistou ...
kolpos de tês dexias ho Patêr]. (Greg. Nyss. i. 192.)

[517] Ps. 440 (--[Greek: ho]): Marcell. 165, 179, 273.

[518] Marcell. 334: Theoph. 14.

[519] Marcell. 132. Read on to p. 134.

[520] Opp. ii. 466.

[521] Opp. iii. 23, 358.

[522] Greg. Nyss. Opp. i. 192, 663 ([Greek: Theos pantôs ho monogenês,
ho en tois kolpois ôn tou Patros, outôs eipontos tou Iôannou]). Also ii.
432, 447, 450, 470, 506: always [Greek: en tois kolpois]. Basil, Opp.
iii. 12.

[523] Basil, Opp. iii. 14, 16, 117: and so Eunomius (ibid. i. 623).

[524] Contra Eunom. _I have noted_ ninety-eight places.

[525] Cyril (iv. 104) paraphrases St. John i. 18 thus:--[Greek: autos
gar Theos ôn ho monogenês, en kolpois ôn tou theou kai patros, tautên
pros hêmas epoiêsato tên exêgêsin]. Presently (p. 105), he says that St.
John [Greek: kai "monogenê theon" apokalei ton huion, kai "en kolpois"
einai phêsi tou patros]. But on p. 107 he speaks quite plainly: [Greek:
"ho monogenês," phêsi, "Theos, ho ôn eis ton kolpon tou patros, ekeinos
exêgêsato." epeidê gar ephê "monogenê" kai "Theon," tithêsin euthys, "ho
ôn en tois kolpois tou patros."]--So v. 137, 768. And yet he reads
[Greek: huios] in v. 365, 437: vi. 90.

[526] He uses it seventeen times in his Comm. on Isaiah (ii. 4, 35, 122,
&c.), and actually so reads St. John i. 18 in one place (Opp. vi. 187).
Theodoret once adopts the phrase (Opp. v. 4).

[527] De Trin. 76, 140, 37a:--27.

[528] P. 117.

[529] Traditional Text, p. 113, where the references are given.

[530] Who quoted Arius' words:--'Subsistit ante tempora et aeones
_plenus Deus, unigenitus,_ et immutabilis.' But I cannot yet find
Tischendorf's reference.

[531] The reading [Greek: Huios] is established by unanswerable

[532] The Gnostics Basilides and Valentinus were the direct precursors
of Apolonius, Photinus, Nestorius, &c., in assailing the Catholic
doctrine of the Incarnation. Their heresy must have been actively at
work when St. John wrote his first (iv. 1, 2, 3) and second (ver. 7)

[533] Rev. xxii. 19.

[534] [Greek: Epipêdôsin hêmin hoi hairetikoi legontes; idou ouk anelabe
sarka ho Christos; ho deut. gar phêsin anthr. ho k. ex ouranou.] Chrys.
iii. 114 b.

[535] [Greek: Tên gar kata sarka gênnêsin tou Christou anelein
boulomenoi, enêllaxan to, ho deuteros anthrôpos; kai epoiêsan, ho
deuteros Kyrios.] Dial. [_ap._ Orig.] i. 868.--Marcion had in fact
already substituted [Greek: Kyrios] for [Greek: anthrôpos] in ver. 45:
('_the last Lord_ became a quickening spirit':) [Tertull. ii. 304]--a
fabricated reading which is also found to have been upheld by Marcion's
followers:--[Greek: ho eschatos Kyrios eis pn. zô.] Dial. _ubi supra_.
[Greek: edei gar autous, ei ge ta euangelia etimôn, mê peritemnein ta
euangelia, mê merê tôn euangeliôn exyphelein, mê hetera prosthênai, mête
logô, mête idia gnômê ta euangelia prosgraphein.... prosgegraphêkasi
goun hosa beboulêntai, kai exypheilanto hosa kekrikasi.] Titus of Bostra
c. Manichaeos (Galland. v. 328).

[536] Tertull. ii. 304, (_Primus homo de humo terrenus, secundus Dominus
de Caelo_).

[537] Dial [Orig. i.] 868, ([Greek: ho deuteros Kyrios ex ouranou]).

[538] [Greek: To de pantôn chalepôtaton en tais ekklêsiastikais
symphorais, hê tôn 'Apolinaristôn esti parrêsia.] Greg. Naz. ii. 167.

[539] ii. 168,--a very interesting place. See also p. 87.

[540] i. 831.

[541] ii. 443, 531.

[542] Pp. 180, 209, 260, 289, 307 (_primus homo de terrae limo_, &c.).

[543] iii. 40.

[544] iii. 114 four times: x. 394, 395. Once (xi. 374) he has [Greek: ho
deut. anthr. ouranios ex ouranou].

[545] iv. 1051.

[546] _Ap._ Thdt. v. 1135.

[547] _Ap._ Galland. viii. 626, 627.

[548] i. 222 (where for [Greek: anthr.] he reads [Greek: Adam]), 563.
Also ii. 120, 346.

[549] 'Adversus Manichaeos,'--_ap._ Mai, iv. 68, 69.

[550] ii. 228:--[Greek: ouch hoti ho anthrôpos, êtoi to anthrôpinon
proslêmma, ex ouranou ên, hôs ho aphrôn Apolinarios elêrei].

[551] Naz. ii. 87 (=Thdt. iv. 62), 168.--Nyss. ii. 11.

[552] _Ap._ Epiphan. i. 830.

[553] 559 (with the Text. Recept.): iv. 302 not.

[554] Hippolytus may not be cited in evidence, being read both ways.
(Cp. ed. Fabr. ii. 30:--ed. Lagarde, 138. 15:--ed. Galland. ii.
483.)--Neither may the expression [Greek: tou deuterou ex ouranou
anthrôpou] in Pet. Alex. (ed. Routh, Rell. Sacr. iv. 48) be safely

[555] _Primus homo de terra, terrenus: secundus homo de caelo
caelestis_.--i. 1168, 1363: ii. 265, 975. And so ps.-Ambr. ii. 166, 437.

[556] ii. 298: iv. 930: vii. 296.

[557] The places are given by Sabatier _in loc_.

[558] Only because it is the Vulgate reading, I am persuaded, does this
reading appear in Orig. _interp_. ii. 84, 85: iii. 951: iv. 546.

[559] As Philastrius (_ap._ Galland. vii. 492, 516).--Pacianus (ib.
275).--Marius Mercator (ib. viii. 664).--Capreolus (ib. ix. 493). But
see the end of the next ensuing note.

[560] Vol. i. p. 1275,--[Greek: ho deuteros anthr. ho Kyrios ex ouranou
ouranios]:--on which he remarks, (if indeed it be he), [Greek: idou gar
amphoterôthen ouranios anthrôpos onomazetai]. And lower down,--[Greek:
Kyrios, dia tên mian hypostasin; deut. men anthr., kata tên henômenên
anthrôpotêta. ex ouranou de, kata tên theotêta].--P. 448,--[Greek: ho
deuteros anthr. ex ouranou epouranios].--_Ap._ Montf. ii. 13 (= Galland.
v. 167),--[Greek: ho deut. anthr. ex ouranou].--Note that Maximinus, an
Arian bishop, A.D. 427-8 (_ap._ Augustin. viii. 663) is found to have
possessed a text identical with the first of the preceding:--'Ait ipse
Paulus, _Primus homo Adam de terra terrenus, secundus homo Dominus de
Caelo caelestis_ advenit.'

[561] See Revision Revised, pp. 132-5: and The Traditional Text, p. 114.

[562] This paper is marked as having been written at Chichester in 1877,
and is therefore earlier than the Dean's later series.

[563] Proleg. 418.

[564] The text of St. Luke ix. 51-6 prefixed to Cyril's fifty-sixth
Sermon (p. 353) is the text of B and [Symbol: Aleph],--an important
testimony to what I suppose may be regarded as the Alexandrine _Textus
Receptus_ of this place in the fifth century. But then no one supposes
that Cyril is individually responsible for the headings of his Sermons.
We therefore refer to the body of his discourse; and discover that the
Syriac translator has rendered it (as usual) with exceeding licence. He
has omitted to render some such words as the following which certainly
stood in the original text:--[Greek: eidenai gar chrê, hoti hôs mêpô tês
neas kekratêkotes charitos, all' eti tês proteras echomenoi synêtheias,
touto eipon, pros Êlian aphorôntes ton pyri kataphlexanta dis tous
pentêkonta kai tous êgoumenous autôn], (Cramer's Cat. ii. p. 81. Cf.
Corderii, Cat. p. 263. Also Matthaei. N. T. _in loc._, pp. 333-4.) Now
the man who wrote _that_, must surely have read St. Luke ix. 54, 55 as
we do.

[565] See the fragment (and Potter's note), Opp. p. 1019: also Galland.
ii. 157. First in Hippolyt., Opp. ed. Fabric, ii. 71.

[566] In St. Matt. xviii. 11, the words [Greek: zêtêsai kai] do not

[567] Bp. Kaye's Tertullian, p. 468. 'Agnosco iudicis severitatem. E
contrario Christi in eandem animadversionem destinantes discipulos super
ilium viculum Samaritarum.' Marc. iv. 23 (see ii. p. 221). He
adds,--'Let Marcion also confess that by the same terribly severe judge
Christ's leniency was foretold;' and he cites in proof Is. xlii. 2 and 1
Kings xix. 12 ('sed in _spiritu_ miti').

[568] Augustine (viii. 111-150, 151-182) writes a book against him. And
he discusses St. Luke ix. 54-5 on p. 139.

Addas Adimantus (a disciple of Manes) was the author of a work of the
same kind. Augustine (viii. 606 c) says of it,--'ubi de utroque
Testamento velut inter se contraria testimonia proferuntur versipelli
dolositate, velut inde ostendatur utrumque ab uno Deo esse non posse,
sed alterum ab altero.' Cerdon was the first to promulgate this
pestilential tenet (605 a). Then Marcion his pupil, then Apelles, and
then Patricius.

[569] Titus Bostr. adv. Manichaeos (_ap._ Galland. v. 329 b), leaving
others to note the correspondences between the New and the Old
Testament, proposes to handle the 'Contrasts': [Greek: pros autas tas
antitheseis tôn logiôn chôrêsômen]. At pp. 339 e, 340 a, b, he confirms
what Tertullian says about the calling down of fire from heaven.

[570] Verba [Greek: hôs kai Ê. epoiêse] cur quis addiderit, planum.
Eidem interpolatori debentur quae verba [Greek: str. de epeti. autois]
excipiunt. Gravissimum est quod testium additamentum [Greek: ho gar
huios], &c. ab eadem manu derivandum est, nec per se solum pro spurio
haberi potest; cohaeret enim cum argumento tum auctoritate arctissime
cum prioribus. (N. T. ed. 1869, p. 544.)

[571] Secundo iam saeculo quin in codicibus omnis haec interpolatio
circumferri consueverit, dubitari nequit. (Ibid.)

[572] The following are the references left by the Dean. I have not had
time or strength to search out those which are left unspecified in this
MS. and the last.

Jerome.--Apostoli in Lege versati ... ulcisci nituntur iniuriam, _et
imitari Eliam_, &c. Dominus, qui non ad iudicandum _venerat_, sed _ad
salvandum_, &c. ... increpat eos _quod non meminerint doctrinae suae et
bonitatis Evangelicae_, &c. (i. 857 b, c, d.)

Cyprian, Synodical Epistle.--'Filius hominis non venit animas hominum
perdere, sed salvare.' p. 98. A.D. 253.

Tatian.--Veni, inquit, animam salvam facere. (Carn. c. 12 et 10: and
Anim. c. 13.)

Augustine gives a long extract from the same letter and thus quotes the
words twice,--x. 76, 482. Cp. ii. 593 a.

[Greek: Kai ho Kyrios pros tous apostolous eipontas en pyri kolasai tous
mê dexamenous autous kata ton Êlian; Ouk oidate phêsi poiou pneumatos
este]. (p. 1019.)

Theodoret, iii. 1119. ([Greek: poiou].)

Epiph. ii. 31. ([Greek: hoiou].)

Basil, ii. 271 (Eth.) quotes the whole place.

Augustine.--Respondit eis Dominus, dicens eos nescire cuius spiritus
filii essent, et quod ipse liberare venisset, non perdere. viii. 139 b.
Cp. iii. (2), 194 b.

Cyril Al.--[Greek: Mêpô tês neas kekratêkotes charitos ... touto eipon,
ton Êlian aphorôntes ton pyri k.t.l.] Cord. Cat. 263 = Cram. Cat. 81.
Also iv. 1017.--By a strange slip of memory, Cyril sets down a reproof
found in St. Matthew: but this is enough to shew that he admits that
_some_ reproof finds record in the Gospel.

Chrys. vii. 567 e: x. 305 d: vii. 346 a: ix. 677 c.

Opus Imp. ap. Chrys. vi. 211, 219.

Didymus.--[Greek: Ouk oidate oiou pneumatos estin ho huios tou
anthrôpou]. De Trin. p. 188.

[573] Evst. 48 (Matthaei's c): Evst. 150 (Harl. 5598).

[574] See Matthaei, N.T. 1786, vol. ii. p. 17.

[575] [I have been unable to discover this Lection.]



I have purposely reserved for the last the most difficult problem of
all: viz. those twelve famous verses of St. John's Gospel (chap. vii. 53
to viii. 11) which contain the history of 'the woman taken in
adultery,'--the _pericope de adultera_, as it is called. Altogether
indispensable is it that the reader should approach this portion of the
Gospel with the greatest amount of experience and the largest
preparation. Convenient would it be, no doubt, if he could further
divest himself of prejudice; but that is perhaps impossible. Let him at
least endeavour to weigh the evidence which shall now be laid before him
in impartial scales. He must do so perforce, if he would judge rightly:
for the matter to be discussed is confessedly very peculiar: in some
respects, even unique. Let me convince him at once of the truth of what
has been so far spoken.

It is a singular circumstance that at the end of eighteen centuries two
instances, and but two, should exist of a considerable portion of
Scripture left to the mercy, so to speak, of 'Textual Criticism.' Twelve
consecutive Verses in the second Gospel--as many consecutive Verses in
the fourth--are in this predicament. It is singular, I say, that the
Providence which has watched so marvellously over the fortunes of the
Deposit,--the Divine Wisdom which has made such ample provision for its
security all down the ages, should have so ordered the matter, that
these two co-extensive problems have survived to our times to be tests
of human sagacity,--trials of human faithfulness and skill. They present
some striking features of correspondence, but far more of contrast,--as
will presently appear. And yet the most important circumstance of all
cannot be too soon mentioned: viz. that both alike have experienced the
same calamitous treatment at the hands of some critics. By common
consent the most recent editors deny that either set of Verses can have
formed part of the Gospel as it proceeded from the hands of its inspired
author. How mistaken is this opinion of theirs in respect of the 'Last
twelve verses of the Gospel according to St. Mark,' has been already
demonstrated in a separate treatise. I must be content in this place to
deal in a far less ceremonious manner with the hostile verdict of many
critics concerning St. John vii. 53-viii. 11. That I shall be able to
satisfy those persons who profess themselves unconvinced by what was
offered concerning St. Mark's last twelve verses, I am not so simple as
to expect. But I trust that I shall have with me all candid readers who
are capable of weighing evidence impartially, and understanding the
nature of logical proof, when it is fully drawn out before them,--which
indeed is the very qualification that I require of them.

And first, the case of the _pericope de adultera_ requires to be placed
before the reader in its true bearings. For those who have hitherto
discussed it are observed to have ignored certain preliminary
considerations which, once clearly apprehended, are all but decisive of
the point at issue. There is a fundamental obstacle, I mean, in the way
of any attempt to dislodge this portion of the sacred narrative from the
context in which it stands, which they seem to have overlooked. I
proceed to explain.

Sufficient prominence has never yet been given to the fact that in the
present discussion the burden of proof rests entirely with those who
challenge the genuineness of the Pericope under review. In other words,
the question before us is not by any means,--Shall these Twelve Verses
be admitted--or, Must they be refused admission--into the Sacred Text?
That point has been settled long, long ago. St. John's Twelve verses are
in possession. Let those eject them who can. They are known to have
occupied their present position for full seventeen hundred years. There
never was a time--as far as is known--- when they were not _where_,--and
to all intents and purposes _what_--they now are. Is it not evident,
that no merely ordinary method of proof,--no merely common
argument,--will avail to dislodge Twelve such Verses as these?

'Twelve such Verses,' I say. For it is the extent of the subject-matter
which makes the case so formidable. We have here to do with no dubious
clause, concerning which ancient testimony is divided; no seeming gloss,
which is suspected to have overstepped its proper limits, and to have
crept in as from the margin; no importation from another Gospel; no
verse of Scripture which has lost its way; no weak amplification of the
Evangelical meaning; no tasteless appendix, which encumbers the
narrative and almost condemns itself. Nothing of the sort. If it were
some inconsiderable portion of Scripture which it was proposed to get
rid of by shewing that it is disallowed by a vast amount of ancient
evidence, the proceeding would be intelligible. But I take leave to
point out that a highly complex and very important incident--as related
in twelve consecutive verses of the Gospel--cannot be so dealt with.
Squatters on the waste are liable at any moment to be served with a
notice of ejectment: but the owner of a mansion surrounded by broad
acres which his ancestors are known to have owned before the Heptarchy,
may on no account be dispossessed by any such summary process. This--to
speak without a figure--is a connected and very striking portion of the
sacred narrative:--the description of a considerable incident, complete
in itself, full of serious teaching, and of a kind which no one would
have ever dared to invent. Those who would assail it successfully must
come forward with weapons of a very different kind from those usually
employed in textual warfare.

It shall be presently shewn that these Twelve Verses hold their actual
place by a more extraordinary right of tenure than any other twelve
verses which can be named in the Gospel: but it would be premature to
enter upon the proof of that circumstance now. I prefer to invite the
reader's attention, next to the actual texture of the _pericope de
adultera_, by which name (as already explained) the last verse of St.
John vii. together with verses 1-11 of ch. viii. are familiarly
designated. Although external testimony supplies the sole proof of
genuineness, it is nevertheless reasonable to inquire what the verses in
question may have to say for themselves. Do they carry on their front
the tokens of that baseness of origin which their impugners so
confidently seek to fasten upon them? Or do they, on the contrary,
unmistakably bear the impress of Truth?

The first thing which strikes me in them is that the actual narrative
concerning 'the woman taken in adultery' is entirely contained in the
last nine of these verses: being preceded by two short paragraphs of an
entirely different character and complexion. Let these be first produced
and studied:

    'and every man went to his own house: but Jesus went to the
    Mount of Olives.' 'And again, very early in the morning, He
    presented Himself in the Temple; and all the people came unto
    Him: and He sat down and taught them.'

Now as every one must see, the former of these two paragraphs is
unmistakably not the beginning but the end of a narrative. It purports
to be the conclusion of something which went before, not to introduce
something which comes after. Without any sort of doubt, it is St. John's
account of what occurred at the close of the debate between certain
members of the Sanhedrin which terminates his history of the last day of
the Feast of Tabernacles. The verse in question marks the conclusion of
the Feast,--implies in short that all is already finished. Remove it,
and the antecedent narrative ends abruptly. Retain it, and all proceeds
methodically; while an affecting contrast is established, which is
recognized to be strictly in the manner of Scripture[576]. Each one had
gone to his home: but the homeless One had repaired to the Mount of
Olives. In other words, the paragraph under discussion is found to be an
integral part of the immediately antecedent narrative: proves to be a
fragment of what is universally admitted to be genuine Scripture. By
consequence, itself must needs be genuine also[577].

It is vain for any one to remind us that these two verses are in the
same predicament as those which follow: are as ill supported by MS.
evidence as the other ten: and must therefore share the same fate as the
rest. The statement is incorrect, to begin with; as shall presently be
shewn. But, what is even better deserving of attention, since
confessedly these twelve verses are either to stand or else to fall
together, it must be candidly admitted that whatever begets a suspicion
that certain of them, at all events, must needs be genuine, throws real
doubt on the justice of the sentence of condemnation which has been
passed in a lump upon all the rest.

I proceed to call attention to another inconvenient circumstance which
some Critics in their eagerness have overlooked.

The reader will bear in mind that--contending, as I do, that the entire
Pericope under discussion is genuine Scripture which has been forcibly
wrenched away from its lawful context,--I began by examining the upper
extremity, with a view to ascertaining whether it bore any traces of
being a fractured edge. The result is just what might have been
anticipated. The first two of the verses which it is the fashion to
brand with ignominy were found to carry on their front clear evidence
that they are genuine Scripture. How then about the other extremity?

Note, that in the oracular Codexes B and [Symbol: Aleph] immediate
transition is made from the words 'out of Galilee ariseth no prophet,'
in ch. vii. 5a, to the words 'Again therefore Jesus spake unto them,
saying,' in ch. viii. 12. And we are invited by all the adverse Critics
alike to believe that so the place stood in the inspired autograph of
the Evangelist.

But the thing is incredible. Look back at what is contained between ch.
vii. 37 and 5a, and note--(_a_) That two hostile parties crowded the
Temple courts (ver. 40-42): (_b_) That some were for laying violent
hands on our Lord (ver. 44): (_c_) That the Sanhedrin, being assembled
in debate, were reproaching their servants for not having brought Him
prisoner, and disputing one against another[578] (ver. 45-52). How can
the Evangelist have proceeded,--'Again therefore Jesus spake unto them,
saying, I am the light of the world'? What is it supposed then that St.
John meant when he wrote such words?

But on the contrary, survey the context in any ordinary copy of the New
Testament, and his meaning is perfectly clear. The last great day of the
Feast of Tabernacles is ended. It is the morrow and 'very early in the
morning.' The Holy One has 'again presented Himself in the Temple' where
on the previous night He so narrowly escaped violence at the hands of
His enemies, and He teaches the people. While thus engaged,--the time,
the place, His own occupation suggesting thoughts of peace and holiness
and love,--a rabble rout, headed by the Scribes and Pharisees, enter on
the foulest of errands; and we all remember with how little success.
Such an interruption need not have occupied much time. The Woman's
accusers having departed, our Saviour resumes His discourse which had
been broken off. 'Again therefore' it is said in ver. 12, with clear and
frequent reference to what had preceded in ver. 2--'Jesus spake unto
them, saying, I am the light of the world.' And had not that saying of
His reference as well to the thick cloud of moral darkness which His
words, a few moments before, had succeeded in dispelling, as to the orb
of glory which already flooded the Temple Court with the effulgence of
its rising,--His own visible emblem and image in the Heavens?... I
protest that with the incident of 'the woman taken in adultery,'--so
introduced, so dismissed,--all is lucid and coherent: without those
connecting links, the story is scarcely intelligible. These twelve
disputed verses, so far from 'fatally interrupting the course of St.
John's Gospel, if retained in the text[579],' prove to be even necessary
for the logical coherency of the entire context in which they stand.

But even that is not all. On close and careful inspection, the
mysterious texture of the narrative, no less than its 'edifying and
eminently Christian' character, vindicates for the _Pericope de
adultera_ a right to its place in the Gospel. Let me endeavour to
explain what seems to be its spiritual significancy: in other words, to
interpret the transaction.

The Scribes and Pharisees bring a woman to our Saviour on a charge of
adultery. The sin prevailed to such an extent among the Jews that the
Divine enactments concerning one so accused had long since fallen into
practical oblivion. On the present occasion our Lord is observed to
revive His own ancient ordinance after a hitherto unheard of fashion.
The trial by the bitter water, or water of conviction[580], was a
species of ordeal, intended for the vindication of innocence, the
conviction of guilt. But according to the traditional belief the test
proved inefficacious, unless the husband was himself innocent of the
crime whereof he accused his wife.

Let the provisions of the law, contained in Num. v. 16 to 24, be now
considered. The accused Woman having been brought near, and set before
the Lord, the priest took 'holy water in an earthen vessel,' and put 'of
the dust of the floor of the tabernacle into the water.' Then, with the
bitter water that causeth the curse in his hand, he charged the woman by
an oath. Next, he wrote the curses in a book and blotted them out with
the bitter water; causing the woman to drink the bitter water that
causeth the curse. Whereupon if she were guilty, she fell under a
terrible penalty,--her body testifying visibly to her sin. If she was
innocent, nothing followed.

And now, who sees not that the Holy One dealt with His hypocritical
assailants, as if they had been the accused parties? Into the presence
of incarnate Jehovah verily they had been brought: and perhaps when He
stooped down and wrote upon the ground, it was a bitter sentence against
the adulterer and adulteress which He wrote. We have but to assume some
connexion between the curse which He thus traced 'in the dust of the
floor of the tabernacle' and the words which He uttered with His lips,
and He may with truth be declared to have 'taken of the dust and put in
on the water,' and 'caused them to drink of the bitter water which
causeth the curse.' For when, by His Holy Spirit, our great High Priest
in His human flesh addressed these adulterers,--what did He but present
them with living water[581] 'in an earthen vessel[582]'? Did He not
further charge them with an oath of cursing, saying, 'If ye have not
gone aside to uncleanness, be ye free from this bitter water: but if ye
be defiled'--On being presented with which alternative, did they not,
self-convicted, go out one by one? And what else was this but their own
acquittal of the sinful woman, for whose condemnation they shewed
themselves so impatient? Surely it was 'the water of conviction'
([Greek: to hydôr tou elegmou]) as it is six times called, which _they_
had been compelled to drink; whereupon, 'convicted ([Greek:
elegchomenoi]) by their own conscience,' as St. John relates, they had
pronounced the other's acquittal. Finally, note that by Himself
declining to 'condemn' the accused woman, our Lord also did in effect
blot out those curses which He had already written against her in the
dust,--when He made the floor of the sanctuary His 'book.'

Whatever may be thought of the foregoing exposition--and I am not
concerned to defend it in every detail,--on turning to the opposite
contention, we are struck with the slender amount of actual proof with
which the assailants of this passage seem to be furnished. Their
evidence is mostly negative--a proceeding which is constantly observed
to attend a bad cause: and they are prone to make up for the feebleness
of their facts by the strength of their assertions. But my experience,
as one who has given a considerable amount of attention to such
subjects, tells me that the narrative before us carries on its front the
impress of Divine origin. I venture to think that it vindicates for
itself a high, unearthly meaning. It seems to me that it cannot be the
work of a fabricator. The more I study it, the more I am impressed with
its Divinity. And in what goes before I have been trying to make the
reader a partaker of my own conviction.

To come now to particulars, we may readily see from its very texture
that it must needs have been woven in a heavenly loom. Only too obvious
is the remark that the very subject-matter of the chief transaction
recorded in these twelve verses, would be sufficient in and by itself to
preclude the suspicion that these twelve verses are a spurious addition
to the genuine Gospel. And then we note how entirely in St. John's
manner is the little explanatory clause in ver. 6,--'This they said,
tempting Him, that they might have to accuse Him[583].' We are struck
besides by the prominence given in verses 6 and 8 to the act of
writing,--allusions to which, are met with in every work of the last
Evangelist[584]. It does not of course escape us how utterly beyond the
reach of a Western interpolator would have been the insertion of the
article so faithfully retained to this hour before [Greek: lithon] in
ver. 7. On completing our survey, as to the assertions that the
_pericope de adultera_ 'has no right to a place in the text of the four
Gospels,'--is 'clearly a Western interpolation, though not Western of
the earliest type[585],' (whatever _that_ may mean), and so forth,--we
can but suspect that the authors very imperfectly realize the difficulty
of the problem with which they have to deal. Dr. Hort finally assures us
that 'no accompanying marks would prevent' this portion of Scripture
'from fatally interrupting the course of St. John's Gospel if retained
in the text': and when they relegate it accordingly to a blank page at
the end of the Gospels within 'double brackets,' in order 'to shew its
inferior authority';--we can but read and wonder at the want of
perception, not to speak of the coolness, which they display. _Quousque

But it is time to turn from such considerations as the foregoing, and to
inquire for the direct testimony, which is assumed by recent Editors and
Critics to be fatal to these twelve verses. Tischendorf pronounces it
'absolutely certain that this narrative was not written by St.
John[586].' One, vastly his superior in judgement (Dr. Scrivener)
declares that 'on all intelligent principles of mere Criticism, the
passage must needs be abandoned[587].' Tregelles is 'fully satisfied
that this narrative is not a genuine part of St. John's Gospel[588].'
Alford shuts it up in brackets, and like Tregelles puts it into his
footnotes. Westcott and Hort, harsher than any of their predecessors,
will not, as we have seen, allow it to appear even at the foot of the
page. To reproduce all that has been written in disparagement of this
precious portion of God's written Word would be a joyless and an
unprofitable task. According to Green, 'the genuineness of the passage
cannot be maintained[589].' Hammond is of opinion that 'it would be more
satisfactory to separate it from its present context, and place it by
itself as an appendix to the Gospel[590].' A yet more recent critic
'sums up,' that 'the external evidence must be held fatal to the
genuineness of the passage[591].' The opinions of Bishops Wordsworth,
Ellicott, and Lightfoot, shall be respectfully commented upon by-and-by.
In the meantime, I venture to join issue with every one of these learned
persons. I contend that on all intelligent principles of sound Criticism
the passage before us must be maintained to be genuine Scripture; and
that without a particle of doubt I cannot even admit that 'it has been
transmitted to us under circumstances widely different from those
connected with any other passage of Scripture whatever[592].' I contend
that it has been transmitted in precisely the same way as all the rest
of Scripture, and therefore exhibits the same notes of genuineness as
any other twelve verses of the same Gospel which can be named: but--like
countless other places--it is found for whatever reason to have given
offence in certain quarters: and in consequence has experienced very ill
usage at the hands of the ancients and of the moderns also:--but
especially of the latter. In other words, these twelve verses exhibit
the required notes of genuineness _less conspicuously_ than any other
twelve consecutive verses in the same Gospel. But that is all. The one
only question to be decided is the following:--On a review of the whole
of the evidence,--is it more reasonable to stigmatize these twelve
verses as a spurious accretion to the Gospel? Or to admit that they must
needs be accounted to be genuine?... I shall shew that they are at this
hour supported by a weight of testimony which is absolutely
overwhelming. I read with satisfaction that my own convictions were
shared by Mill, Matthaei, Adler, Scholz, Vercellone. I have also the
learned Ceriani on my side. I should have been just as confident had I
stood alone:--such is the imperative strength of the evidence.

To begin then. Tischendorf--(who may be taken as a fair sample of the
assailants of this passage)--commences by stating roundly that the
Pericope is omitted by [Symbol: Aleph]ABCLTX[Symbol: Delta], and about
seventy cursives. I will say at once, that no sincere inquirer after
truth could so state the evidence. It is in fact not a true statement. A
and C are hereabout defective. No longer possible therefore is it to
know with certainty what they either did, or did not, contain. But this
is not merely all. I proceed to offer a few words concerning Cod. A.

Woide, the learned and accurate[593] editor of the Codex Alexandrinus,
remarked (in 1785)--'Historia adulterae _videtur_ in hoc codice
defuisse.' But this modest inference of his, subsequent Critics have
represented as an ascertained fact, Tischendorf announces it as
'certissimum.' Let me be allowed to investigate the problem for myself.
Woide's calculation,--(which has passed unchallenged for nearly a
hundred years, and on the strength of which it is now-a-days assumed
that Cod. A must have exactly resembled Codd. [Symbol: Aleph]B in
_omitting_ the _pericope de adultera_,)--was far too roughly made to be
of any critical use[594].

Two leaves of Cod. A have been here lost: viz. from the word [Greek:
katabainôn] in vi. 50 to the word [Greek: legeis] in viii. 52: a
_lacuna_ (as I find by counting the letters in a copy of the ordinary
text) of as nearly as possible 8,805 letters,--allowing for
contractions, and of course not reckoning St. John vii. 53 to viii. 11.
Now, in order to estimate fairly how many letters the two lost leaves
actually contained, I have inquired for the sums of the letters on the
leaf immediately preceding, and also on the leaf immediately succeeding
the hiatus; and I find them to be respectively 4,337 and 4,303:
together, 8,640 letters. But this, it will be seen, is insufficient by
165 letters, or eight lines, for the assumed contents of these two
missing leaves. Are we then to suppose that one leaf exhibited somewhere
a blank space equivalent to eight lines? Impossible, I answer. There
existed, on the contrary, a considerable redundancy of matter in at
least the second of those two lost leaves. This is proved by the
circumstance that the first column on the next ensuing leaf exhibits the
unique phenomenon of being encumbered, at its summit, by two very long
lines (containing together fifty-eight letters), for which evidently no
room could be found on the page which immediately preceded. But why
should there have been any redundancy of matter at all? Something
extraordinary must have produced it. What if the _Pericope de adultera_,
without being actually inserted in full, was recognized by Cod. A? What
if the scribe had proceeded as far as the fourth word of St. John viii.
3, and then had suddenly checked himself? We cannot tell what appearance
St. John vii. 53-viii. 11 presented in Codex A, simply because the
entire leaf which should have contained it is lost. Enough however has
been said already to prove that it is incorrect and unfair to throw
[Symbol: Aleph]AB into one and the same category,--with a
'certissimum,'--as Tischendorf does.

As for L and [Symbol: Delta], they exhibit a vacant space after St. John
vii. 52,--which testifies to the consciousness of the copyists that they
were leaving out something. These are therefore witnesses _for_,--not
witnesses _against_,--the passage under discussion.--X being a
Commentary on the Gospel as it was read in Church, of course leaves the
passage out.--The only uncial MSS. therefore which _simply_ leave out
the pericope, are the three following--[Symbol: Aleph]BT: and the degree
of attention to which such an amount of evidence is entitled, has been
already proved to be wondrous small. We cannot forget moreover that the
two former of these copies enjoy the unenviable distinction of standing
alone on a memorable occasion:--they _alone_ exhibit St. Mark's Gospel
mutilated in respect of its twelve concluding verses.

But I shall be reminded that about seventy MSS. of later date are
without the _pericope de adultera_: that the first Greek Father who
quotes the pericope is Euthymius in the twelfth century: that
Tertullian, Origen, Chrysostom, Cyril, Nonnus, Cosmas, Theophylact, knew
nothing of it: and that it is not contained in the Syriac, the Gothic,
or the Egyptian versions. Concerning every one of which statements I
remark over again that no sincere lover of Truth, supposing him to
understand the matter about which he is disputing, could so exhibit the
evidence for this particular problem. First, because so to state it is
to misrepresent the entire case. Next, because some of the articles of
indictment are only half true:--in fact are _untrue_. But chiefly,
because in the foregoing enumeration certain considerations are actually
suppressed which, had they been fairly stated, would have been found to
reverse the issue. Let me now be permitted to conduct this inquiry in my
own way.

The first thing to be done is to enable the reader clearly to understand
what the problem before him actually is. Twelve verses then, which, as a
matter of fact, are found dovetailed into a certain context of St.
John's Gospel, the Critics insist must now be dislodged. But do the
Critics in question prove that they must? For unless they do, there is
no help for it but the _pericope de adultera_ must be left where it is.
I proceed to shew first, that it is impossible, on any rational
principle to dislodge these twelve verses from their actual
context.--Next, I shall point out that the facts adduced in evidence and
relied on by the assailants of the passage, do not by any means prove
the point they are intended to prove; but admit of a sufficient and
satisfactory explanation.--Thirdly, it shall be shewn that the said
explanation carries with it, and implies, a weight of testimony in
support of the twelve verses in dispute, which is absolutely
overwhelming.--Lastly, the positive evidence in favour of these twelve
verses shall be proved to outweigh largely the negative evidence, which
is relied upon by those who contend for their removal. To some people I
may seem to express myself with too much confidence. Let it then be said
once for all, that my confidence is inspired by the strength of the
arguments which are now to be unfolded. When the Author of Holy
Scripture supplies such proofs of His intentions, I cannot do otherwise
than rest implicit confidence in them.

Now I begin by establishing as my first proposition that,

(1) _These twelve verses occupied precisely the same position which they
now occupy from the earliest period to which evidence concerning the
Gospels reaches._

And this, because it is a mere matter of fact, is sufficiently
established by reference to the ancient Latin version of St. John's
Gospel. We are thus carried back to the second century of our era:
beyond which, testimony does not reach. The pericope is observed to
stand _in situ_ in Codd. b c e ff^{2} g h j. Jerome (A.D. 385), after a
careful survey of older Greek copies, did not hesitate to retain it in
the Vulgate. It is freely referred to and commented on by himself[595]
in Palestine: while Ambrose at Milan (374) quotes it at least nine
times[596]; as well as Augustine in North Africa (396) about twice as
often[597]. It is quoted besides by Pacian[598], in the north of Spain
(370),--by Faustus[599] the African (400),--by Rufinus[600] at Aquileia
(400),--by Chrysologus[601] at Ravenna (433),--by Sedulius[602] a Scot
(434). The unknown authors of two famous treatises[603] written at the
same period, largely quote this portion of the narrative. It is referred
to by Victorius or Victorinus (457),--by Vigilius of Tapsus[604] (484)
in North Africa,--by Gelasius[605], bp. of Rome (492),--by
Cassiodorus[606] in Southern Italy,--by Gregory the Great[607], and by
other Fathers of the Western Church.

To this it is idle to object that the authors cited all wrote in Latin.
For the purpose in hand their evidence is every bit as conclusive as if
they had written in Greek,--from which language no one doubts that they
derived their knowledge, through a translation. But in fact we are not
left to Latin authorities. [Out of thirty-eight copies of the Bohairic
version the _pericope de adultera_ is read in fifteen, but in three
forms which will be printed in the Oxford edition. In the remaining
twenty-three, it is left out.] How is it intelligible that this passage
is thus found in nearly half the copies--except on the hypothesis that
they formed an integral part of the Memphitic version? They might have
been easily omitted: but how could they have been inserted?

Once more. The Ethiopic version (fifth century),--the Palestinian Syriac
(which is referred to the fifth century),--the Georgian (probably fifth
or sixth century),--to say nothing of the Slavonic, Arabic and Persian
versions, which are of later date,--all contain the portion of narrative
in dispute. The Armenian version also (fourth-fifth century) originally
contained it; though it survives at present in only a few copies. Add
that it is found in Cod. D, and it will be seen that in all parts of
ancient Christendom this portion of Scripture was familiarly known in
early times.

But even this is not all. Jerome, who was familiar with Greek MSS. (and
who handled none of later date than B and [Symbol: Aleph]), expressly
relates (380) that the _pericope de adultera_ 'is found in many copies
both Greek and Latin[608].' He calls attention to the fact that what is
rendered 'sine peccato' is [Greek: anamartêtos] in the Greek: and lets
fall an exegetical remark which shews that he was familiar with copies
which exhibited (in ver. 8) [Greek: egraphan enos ekastou autôn tas
amartias],--a reading which survives to this day in one uncial (U) and
at least eighteen cursive copies of the fourth Gospel[609]. Whence is
it--let me ask in passing--that so many Critics fail to see that
_positive_ testimony like the foregoing far outweighs the adverse
_negative_ testimony of [Symbol: Aleph]BT,--aye, and of AC to boot if
they were producible on this point? How comes it to pass that the two
Codexes, [Symbol: Aleph] and B, have obtained such a mastery--rather
exercise such a tyranny--over the imagination of many Critics as quite
to overpower their practical judgement? We have at all events
established our first proposition: viz. that from the earliest period to
which testimony reaches, the incident of 'the woman taken in adultery'
occupied its present place in St. John's Gospel. The Critics eagerly
remind us that in four cursive copies (13, 69, 124, 346), the verses in
question are found tacked on to the end of St. Luke xxi. But have they
then forgotten that 'these four Codexes are derived from a common
archetype,' and therefore represent one and the same ancient and, I may
add, corrupt copy? The same Critics are reminded that in the same four
Codexes [commonly called the Ferrar Group] 'the agony and bloody sweat'
(St. Luke xxii. 43, 44) is found thrust into St. Matthew's Gospel
between ch. xxvi. 39 and 40. Such licentiousness on the part of a
solitary exemplar of the Gospels no more affects the proper place of
these or of those verses than the superfluous digits of a certain man of
Gath avail to disturb the induction that to either hand of a human being
appertain but five fingers, and to either foot but five toes.

It must be admitted then that as far back as testimony reaches the
passage under discussion stood where it now stands in St. John's Gospel.
And this is my first position. But indeed, to be candid, hardly any one
has seriously called that fact in question. No, nor do any (except Dr.
Hort[610]) doubt that the passage is also of the remotest antiquity.
Adverse Critics do but insist that however ancient, it must needs be of
spurious origin: or else that it is an afterthought of the
Evangelist:--concerning both which imaginations we shall have a few
words to offer by-and-by.

It clearly follows,--indeed it may be said with truth that it only
remains,--to inquire what may have led to its so frequent exclusion from
the sacred Text? For really the difficulty has already resolved itself
into that.

And on this head, it is idle to affect perplexity. In the earliest age
of all,--the age which was familiar with the universal decay of heathen
virtue, but which had not yet witnessed the power of the Gospel to
fashion society afresh, and to build up domestic life on a new and more
enduring basis;--at a time when the greatest laxity of morals prevailed,
and the enemies of the Gospel were known to be on the look out for
grounds of cavil against Christianity and its Author;--what wonder if
some were found to remove the _pericope de adultera_ from their copies,
lest it should be pleaded in extenuation of breaches of the seventh
commandment? The very subject-matter, I say, of St. John viii. 3-11
would sufficiently account for the occasional omission of those nine
verses. Moral considerations abundantly explain what is found to have
here and there happened. But in fact this is not a mere conjecture of my
own. It is the reason assigned by Augustine for the erasure of these
twelve verses from many copies of the Gospel[611]. Ambrose, a quarter of
a century earlier, had clearly intimated that danger was popularly
apprehended from this quarter[612]: while Nicon, five centuries later,
states plainly that the mischievous tendency of the narrative was the
cause why it had been expunged from the Armenian version[613].
Accordingly, just a few Greek copies are still to be found mutilated in
respect of those nine verses only. But in fact the indications are not a
few that all the twelve verses under discussion did not by any means
labour under the same degree of disrepute. The first three (as I shewed
at the outset) clearly belong to a different category from the last
nine,--a circumstance which has been too much overlooked.

The Church in the meantime for an obvious reason had made choice of St.
John vii. 37-viii. 12--the greater part of which is clearly descriptive
of what happened at the Feast of Tabernacles--for her Pentecostal
lesson: and judged it expedient, besides omitting as inappropriate to
the occasion the incident of the woman taken in adultery, to ignore also
the three preceding verses;--making the severance begin, in fact, as far
back as the end of ch. vii. 52. The reason for this is plain. In this
way the allusion to a certain departure at night, and return early next
morning (St. John vii. 53: viii. 1), was avoided, which entirely marred
the effect of the lection as the history of a day of great and special
solemnity,--'the great day of the Feast.' And thus it happens that the
gospel for the day of Pentecost was made to proceed directly from
'Search and look: for out of Galilee ariseth no prophet,' in ch. vii.
52,--to 'Then spake Jesus unto them, saying, I am the light of the
world,' in ch. viii. 12; with which it ends. In other words, an omission
which owed its beginning to a moral scruple was eventually extended for
a liturgical consideration; and resulted in severing twelve verses of
St. John's Gospel--ch. vii. 53 to viii. 11--from their lawful context.

We may now proceed to the consideration of my second proposition, which

(2) _That by the very construction of her Lectionary, the Church in her
corporate capacity and official character has solemnly recognised the
narrative in question as an integral part of St. John's Gospel, and as
standing in its traditional place, from an exceedingly remote time_.

Take into your hands at random the first MS. copy of St. John's Gospel
which presents itself, and turn to the place in question. Nay, I will
instance _all_ the four Evangelia which I call mine,--all the seventeen
which belong to Lord Zouch,--all the thirty-nine which Baroness
Burdett-Coutts imported from Epirus in 1870-2. Now all these
copies--(and nearly each of them represents a different line of
ancestry)--are found to contain the verses in question. How did the
verses ever get there?

But the most extraordinary circumstance of the case is behind. Some out
of the Evangelia referred to are observed to have been prepared for
ecclesiastical use: in other words, are so rubricated throughout as to
shew where, every separate lection had its 'beginning' ([Greek: archê]),
and where its 'end' ([Greek: telos]). And some of these lections are
made up of disjointed portions of the Gospel. Thus, the lection for
Whitsunday is found to have extended from St. John vii. 37 to St. John
viii. 12; beginning at the words [Greek: tê eschatê hêmera tê megalê],
and ending--[Greek: to phôs tês zôês]: but _over-leaping_ the twelve
verses now under discussion: viz. vii. 53 to viii. 11. Accordingly, the
word 'over-leap' ([Greek: hyperba]) is written in _all_ the copies after
vii. 52,--whereby the reader, having read on to the end of that verse,
was directed to skip all that followed down to the words [Greek: kai
mêketi hamartane] in ch. viii. 11: after which he found himself
instructed to 'recommence' ([Greek: arxai]). Again I ask (and this time
does not the riddle admit of only one solution?),--When and how does the
reader suppose that the narrative of 'the woman taken in adultery' first
found its way into the _middle of the lesson for Pentecost_? I pause for
an answer: I shall perforce be told that it never 'found its way' into
the lection at all: but having once crept into St. John's Gospel,
however that may have been effected, and established itself there, it
left those ancient men who devised the Church's Lectionary without
choice. They could but direct its omission, and employ for that purpose
the established liturgical formula in all similar cases.

But first,--How is it that those who would reject the narrative are not
struck by the essential foolishness of supposing that twelve fabricated
verses, purporting to be an integral part of the fourth Gospel, can have
so firmly established themselves in every part of Christendom from the
second century downwards, that they have long since become simply
ineradicable? Did the Church then, _pro hac vice_, abdicate her function
of being 'a witness and a keeper of Holy Writ'? Was she all of a sudden
forsaken by the inspiring Spirit, who, as she was promised, should
'guide her into all Truth'? And has she been all down the ages guided
into the grievous error of imputing to the disciple whom Jesus loved a
narrative of which he knew nothing? For, as I remarked at the outset,
this is not merely an assimilated expression, or an unauthorized
nominative, or a weakly-supported clause, or any such trifling thing.
Although be it remarked in passing, I am not aware of a single such
trifling excrescence which we are not able at once to detect and to
remove. In other words, this is not at all a question, like the rest,
about the genuine text of a passage. Our inquiry is of an essentially
different kind, viz. Are these twelve consecutive verses Scripture at
all, or not? Divine or human? Which? They claim by their very structure
and contents to be an integral part of the Gospel. And such a serious
accession to the Deposit, I insist, can neither have 'crept into' the
Text, nor have 'crept out' of it. The thing is unexampled,--is
unapproached,--is impossible.

Above all,--(the reader is entreated to give the subject his sustained
attention),--Is it not perceived that the admission involved in the
hypothesis before us is fatal to any rational pretence that the passage
is of spurious origin? We have got back in thought at least to the third
or fourth century of our era. We are among the Fathers and Doctors of
the Eastern Church in conference assembled: and they are determining
what shall be the Gospel for the great Festival of Pentecost. 'It shall
begin' (say they) 'at the thirty-seventh verse of St. John vii, and
conclude with the twelfth verse of St. John viii. But so much of it as
relates to the breaking up of the Sanhedrin,--to the withdrawal of our
Lord to the Mount of Olives,--and to His return next morning to the
Temple,--had better not be read. It disturbs the unity of the narrative.
So also had the incident of the woman taken in adultery better not be
read. It is inappropriate to the Pentecostal Festival.' The Authors of
the great Oriental Liturgy therefore admit that they find the disputed
verses in their copies: and thus they vouch for their genuineness. For
none will doubt that, had they regarded them as a spurious accretion to
the inspired page, they would have said so plainly. Nor can it be denied
that if in their corporate capacity they had disallowed these twelve
verses, such an authoritative condemnation would most certainly have
resulted in the perpetual exclusion from the Sacred Text of the part of
these verses which was actually adopted as a Lection. What stronger
testimony on the contrary can be imagined to the genuineness of any
given portion of the everlasting Gospel than that it should have been
canonized or recognized as part of Inspired Scripture by the collective
wisdom of the Church in the third or fourth century?

And no one may regard it as a suspicious circumstance that the present
Pentecostal lection has been thus maimed and mutilated in respect of
twelve of its verses. There is nothing at all extraordinary in the
treatment which St. John vii. 37-viii. 12 has here experienced. The
phenomenon is even of perpetual recurrence in the Lectionary of the
East,--as will be found explained below[614].

Permit me to suppose that, between the Treasury and Whitehall, the
remote descendant of some Saxon thane occupied a small tenement and
garden which stood in the very middle of the ample highway. Suppose
further, the property thereabouts being Government property, that the
road on either side of this estate had been measured a hundred times,
and jealously watched, ever since Westminster became Westminster. Well,
an act of Parliament might no doubt compel the supposed proprietor of
this singular estate to surrender his patrimony; but I submit that no
government lawyer would ever think of setting up the plea that the owner
of that peculiar strip of land was an impostor. The man might have no
title-deeds to produce, to be sure; but counsel for the defendant would
plead that neither did he require any. 'This man's title' (counsel would
say) 'is--occupation for a thousand years. His evidences are--the
allowance of the State throughout that long interval. Every procession
to St. Stephen's--every procession to the Abbey--has swept by
defendant's property--on this side of it and on that,--since the days of
Edward the Confessor. And if my client refuses to quit the soil, I defy
you--except by violence--to get rid of him.'

In this way then it is that the testimony borne to these verses by the
Lectionary of the East proves to be of the most opportune and convincing
character. The careful provision made for passing by the twelve verses
in dispute:--the minute directions which fence those twelve verses off
on this side and on that, directions issued we may be sure by the
highest Ecclesiastical authority, because recognized in every part of
the ancient Church,--not only establish them effectually in their
rightful place, but (what is at least of equal importance) fully explain
the adverse phenomena which are ostentatiously paraded by adverse
critics; and which, until the clue has been supplied, are calculated to
mislead the judgement.

For now, for the first time, it becomes abundantly plain why Chrysostom
and Cyril, in publicly commenting on St. John's Gospel, pass straight
from ch. vii. 52 to ch. viii. 12. Of course they do. Why should
they,--how could they,--comment on what was not publicly read before the
congregation? The same thing is related (in a well-known 'scholium') to
have been done by Apolinarius and Theodore of Mopsuestia. Origen also,
for aught I care,--though the adverse critics have no right to claim
him, seeing that his commentary on all that part of St. John's Gospel is
lost;--but Origen's name, as I was saying, for aught I care, may be
added to those who did the same thing. A triumphant refutation of the
proposed inference from the silence of these many Fathers is furnished
by the single fact that Theophylact must also be added to their number.
Theophylact, I say, ignores the _pericope de adultera_--passes it by, I
mean,--exactly as do Chrysostom and Cyril. But will any one pretend that
Theophylact,--writing in A.D. 1077,--did not know of St. John vii.
53-viii. 11? Why, in nineteen out of every twenty copies within his
reach, the whole of those twelve verses must have been to be found.

The proposed inference from the silence of certain of the Fathers is
therefore invalid. The argument _e silentio_--always an insecure
argument,--proves inapplicable in this particular case. When the
antecedent facts have been once explained, all the subsequent phenomena
become intelligible. But a more effectual and satisfactory reply to the
difficulty occasioned by the general silence of the Fathers, remains to
be offered.

There underlies the appeal to Patristic authority an opinion,--not
expressed indeed, yet consciously entertained by us all,--which in fact
gives the appeal all its weight and cogency, and which must now by all
means be brought to the front. The fact that the Fathers of the Church
were not only her Doctors and Teachers, but also the living voices by
which alone her mind could be proclaimed to the world, and by which her
decrees used to be authoritatively promulgated;--this fact, I say, it is
which makes their words, whenever they deliver themselves, so very
important: their approval, if they approve, so weighty; their
condemnation, if they condemn, so fatal. But then, in the present
instance, they do not condemn. They neither approve nor condemn. They
simply say nothing. They are silent: and in what precedes, I have
explained the reason why. We wish it had been otherwise. We would give a
great deal to persuade those ancient oracles to speak on the subject of
these twelve verses: but they are all but inexorably silent. Nay, I am
overstating the case against myself. Two of the greatest Fathers
(Augustine and Ambrose) actually do utter a few words; and they are to
the effect that the verses are undoubtedly genuine:--'Be it known to all
men' (they say) 'that this passage _is_ genuine: but the nature of its
subject-matter has at once procured its ejection from MSS., and resulted
in the silence of Commentators.' The most learned of the Fathers in
addition practically endorses the passage; for Jerome not only leaves it
standing in the Vulgate where he found it in the Old Latin version, but
relates that it was supported by Greek as well as Latin authorities.

To proceed however with what I was about to say.

It is the authoritative sentence of the Church then on this difficult
subject that we desiderate. We resorted to the Fathers for that:
intending to regard any quotations of theirs, however brief, as their
practical endorsement of all the twelve verses: to infer from their
general recognition of the passage, that the Church in her collective
capacity accepted it likewise. As I have shewn, the Fathers decline,
almost to a man, to return any answer. But,--Are we then without the
Church's authoritative guidance on this subject? For this, I repeat, is
the only thing of which we are in search. It was only in order to get at
this that we adopted the laborious expedient of watching for the casual
utterances of any of the giants of old time. Are we, I say, left without
the Church's opinion?

Not so, I answer. The reverse is the truth. The great Eastern Church
speaks out on this subject in a voice of thunder. In all her
Patriarchates, as far back as the written records of her practice
reach,--and they reach back to the time of those very Fathers whose
silence we felt to be embarrassing,--the Eastern Church has selected
nine out of these twelve verses to be the special lesson for October 8.
A more significant circumstance it would be impossible to adduce in
evidence. Any pretence to fasten a charge of spuriousness on a portion
of Scripture so singled out by the Church for honour, were nothing else
but monstrous. It would be in fact to raise quite a distinct issue: viz.
to inquire what amount of respect is due to the Church's authority in
determining the authenticity of Scripture? I appeal not to an opinion,
but to _a fact_: and that fact is, that though the Fathers of the Church
for a very sufficient reason are very nearly silent on the subject of
these twelve verses, the Church herself has spoken with a voice of
authority so loud that none can affect not to hear it: so plain, that it
cannot possibly be misunderstood. And let me not be told that I am
hereby setting up the Lectionary as the true standard of appeal for the
Text of the New Testament: still less let me be suspected of charging on
the collective body of the faithful whatever irregularities are
discoverable in the Codexes which were employed for the public reading
of Scripture. Such a suspicion could only be entertained by one who has
hitherto failed to apprehend the precise point just now under
consideration. We are not examining the text of St. John vii. 53-viii.
11. We are only discussing whether those twelve verses _en bloc_ are to
be regarded as an integral part of the fourth Gospel, or as a spurious
accretion to it. And that is a point on which the Church in her
corporate character must needs be competent to pronounce; and in respect
of which her verdict must needs be decisive. She delivered her verdict
in favour of these twelve verses, remember, at a time when her copies of
the Gospels were of papyrus as well as 'old uncials' on vellum.--Nay,
before 'old uncials' on vellum were at least in any general use. True,
that the transcribers of Lectionaries have proved themselves just as
liable to error as the men who transcribed Evangelia. But then, it is
incredible that those men forged the Gospel for St. Pelagia's day:
impossible, if it were a forgery, that the Church should have adopted
it. And it is the significancy of the Church having adopted the
_pericope de adultera_ as the lection for October 8, which has never yet
been sufficiently attended to: and which I defy the Critics to account
for on any hypothesis but one: viz. that the pericope was recognized by
the ancient Eastern Church as an integral part of the Gospel.

Now when to this has been added what is implied in the rubrical
direction that a ceremonious respect should be shewn to the Festival of
Pentecost by dropping the twelve verses, I submit that I have fully
established my second position, viz. That by the very construction of
her Lectionary the Church in her corporate capacity and official
character has solemnly recognized the narrative in question, as an
integral part of St. John's Gospel, and as standing in its traditional
place, from an exceedingly remote time.

For,--(I entreat the candid reader's sustained attention),--the
circumstances of the present problem altogether refuse to accommodate
themselves to any hypothesis of a spurious original for these verses; as
I proceed to shew.

Repair in thought to any collection of MSS. you please; suppose to the
British Museum. Request to be shewn their seventy-three copies of St.
John's Gospel, and turn to the close of his seventh chapter. At that
particular place you will find, in sixty-one of these copies, these
twelve verses: and in thirty-five of them you will discover, after the
words [Greek: Prophêtês ek tês Galilaias ouk eg.] a rubrical note to the
effect that 'on Whitsunday, these twelve verses are to be dropped; and
the reader is to go on at ch. viii. 12.' What can be the meaning of this
respectful treatment of the Pericope in question? How can it ever have
come to pass that it has been thus ceremoniously handled all down the
ages? Surely on no possible view of the matter but one can the
phenomenon just now described be accounted for. Else, will any one
gravely pretend to tell me that at some indefinitely remote period, (1)
These verses were fabricated: (2) Were thrust into the place they at
present occupy in the sacred text: (3) Were unsuspectingly believed to
be genuine by the Church; and in consequence of which they were at once
passed over by her direction on Whitsunday as incongruous, and appointed
by the Church to be read on October 8, as appropriate to the occasion?

(3) But further. How is it proposed to explain why _one_ of St. John's
after-thoughts should have fared so badly at the Church's
hands;--another, so well? I find it suggested that perhaps the
subject-matter may sufficiently account for all that has happened to the
_pericope_ de adultera: And so it may, no doubt. But then, once admit
_this_, and the hypothesis under consideration becomes simply nugatory:
fails even to _touch_ the difficulty which it professes to remove. For
if men were capable of thinking scorn of these twelve verses when they
found them in the 'second and improved edition of St. John's Gospel,'
why may they not have been just as irreverent in respect of the same
verses, when they appeared in the _first_ edition? How is it one whit
more probable that every Greek Father for a thousand years should have
systematically overlooked the twelve verses in dispute when they
appeared in the second edition of St. John's Gospel, than that the same
Fathers should have done the same thing when they appeared in the

(4) But the hypothesis is gratuitous and nugatory: for it has been
invented in order to account for the phenomenon that whereas twelve
verses of St. John's Gospel are found in the large majority of the later
Copies,--the same verses are observed to be absent from all but one of
the five oldest Codexes. But how, (I wish to be informed,) is that
hypothesis supposed to square with these phenomena? It cannot be meant
that the 'second edition' of St. John did not come abroad until after
Codd. [Symbol: Aleph]ABCT were written? For we know that the old Italic
version (a document of the second century) contains all the three
portions of narrative which are claimed for the second edition. But if
this is not meant, it is plain that some further hypothesis must be
invented in order to explain why certain Greek MSS. of the fourth and
fifth centuries are without the verses in dispute. And this fresh
hypothesis will render that under consideration (as I said) nugatory and
shew that it was gratuitous.

What chiefly offends me however in this extraordinary suggestion is its
_irreverence_. It assumes that the Gospel according to St. John was
composed like any ordinary modern book: capable therefore of being
improved in the second edition, by recension, addition, omission,
retractation, or what not. For we may not presume to limit the changes
effected in a second edition. And yet the true Author of the Gospel is
confessedly God the Holy Ghost: and I know of no reason for supposing
that His works are imperfect when they proceed forth from His Hands.

The cogency of what precedes has in fact weighed so powerfully with
thoughtful and learned Divines that they have felt themselves
constrained, as their last resource, to cast about for some hypothesis
which shall at once account for the absence of these verses from so many
copies of St. John's Gospel, and yet retain them for their rightful
owner and author,--St. John. Singular to relate, the assumption which
has best approved itself to their judgement has been, that there must
have existed two editions of St. John's Gospel,--the earlier edition
without, the later edition with, the incident under discussion. It is I
presume, in order to conciliate favour to this singular hypothesis, that
it has been further proposed to regard St. John v. 3, 4 and the whole of
St. John xxi, (besides St. John vii. 53-viii. 11), as after-thoughts of
the Evangelist.

1. But this is unreasonable: for nothing else but _the absence_ of St.
John vii. 53-viii. 11, from so many copies of the Gospel has constrained
the Critics to regard those verses with suspicion. Whereas, on the
contrary, there is not known to exist a copy in the world which omits so
much as a single verse of chap. xxi. Why then are we to assume that the
whole of that chapter was away from the original draft of the Gospel?
Where is the evidence for so extravagant an assumption?

2. So, concerning St. John v. 3, 4: to which there really attaches no
manner of doubt, as I have elsewhere shewn[616]. Thirty-two precious
words in that place are indeed omitted by [Symbol: Aleph]BC:
twenty-seven by D. But by this time the reader knows what degree of
importance is to be attached to such an amount of evidence. On the other
hand, they are found in _all other copies_: are vouched for by the
Syriac[617] and the Latin versions: in the Apostolic Constitutions, by
Chrysostom, Cyril, Didymus, and Ammonius, among the Greeks,--by
Tertullian, Ambrose, Jerome, Augustine among the Latins. Why a passage
so attested is to be assumed to be an after-thought of the Evangelist
has never yet been explained: no, nor ever will be.

(5) Assuming, however, just for a moment the hypothesis correct for
argument's sake, viz. that in the second edition of St. John's Gospel
the history of the woman taken in adultery appeared for the first time.
Invite the authors of that hypothesis to consider what follows. The
discovery that five out of six of the oldest uncials extant (to reckon
here the fragment T) are without the verses in question; which yet are
contained in ninety-nine out of every hundred of the despised
cursives:--what other inference can be drawn from such premisses, but
that the cursives fortified by other evidence are by far the more
trustworthy witnesses of what St. John in his old age actually entrusted
to the Church's keeping?

[The MS. here leaves off, except that a few pencilled words are added in
an incomplete form. I have been afraid to finish so clever and
characteristic an essay.]


[576] Compare 1 Sam. xxiv. 22:--'And Saul went home: _but David and his
men gat them up into the hold_.' 1 Kings xviii. 42:--'So Ahab went up to
eat and to drink: _and Elijah went up to the top of Carmel, and he cast
himself down upon the earth, and put his face between his knees_.'
Esther iii. 15:--'And the king and Haman sat down to drink; _but the
city of Shushan was perplexed_.' Such are the idioms of the Bible.

[577] Ammonius (Cord. Cat. p. 216), with evident reference to it,
remarks that our Lord's words in verses 37 and 38 were intended as a
_viaticum_ which all might take home with them, at the close of this,
'the last, the great day of the feast.'

[578] So Eusebius:--- [Greek: Ote kata to auto synachthentes hoi tôn
Ioudaiôn ethnous archontes epi tês Hierousalêm, synedrion epoiêsanto kai
skepsin opôs auton apolesôsin en hô hoi men thanaton autou
katepsêphisanto; heteroi de antelegon, ôs ho Nikodêmos, k.t.l.] (in
Psalmos, p. 230 a).

[579] Westcott and Hort's prefatory matter (1870) to their revised Text
of the New Testament, p. xxvii.

[580] So in the LXX. See Num. v. 11-31.

[581] Ver. 17. So the LXX.

[582] 2 Cor. iv. 7: v. 1.

[583] Compare ch. vi. 6, 71: vii. 39: xi. 13, 51: xii. 6, 33: xiii. 11,
28: xxi. 19.

[584] Consider ch. xix. 19, 20, 21, 22: xx. 30, 31: xxi. 24, 25.--1 John
i. 4: ii. 1, 7, 8, 12, 13, 14, 21, 26: v. 13.--2 John 5, 12.--3 John 9,
13.--Rev. _passim_, especially i. 11, 19: ii. 1, &c.: x. 4: xiv. 13:
xvii. 8: xix. 9: xx. 12, 15: xxi. 5, 27: xxii. 18, 19.

[585] Westcott and Hort, ibid. pp. xxvii, xxvi.

[586] Novum Testamentum, 1869, p. 829.

[587] Plain Introduction, 1894, ii. 364.

[588] Printed Texts, 1854, p. 341.

[589] Developed Criticism, p. 82.

[590] Outlines, &c., p. 103.

[591] Nicholson's Gospel according to the Hebrews, p. 141.

[592] Scrivener, ut supra, ii. 368.

[593] I insert this epithet on sufficient authority. Mr. Edw. A. Guy, an
intelligent young American,--himself a very accurate observer and a
competent judge,--collated a considerable part of Cod. A in 1875, and
assured me that he scarcely ever found any discrepancy between the Codex
and Woide's reprint. One instance of _italicism_ was in fact all that
had been overlooked in the course of many pages.

[594] It is inaccurate also. His five lines contain eight mistakes.
Praefat. p. xxx, § 86.

[595] ii. 630, addressing Rufinus, A.D. 403. Also ii. 748-9.

[596] i. 291, 692, 707, 1367: ii. 668, 894, 1082: iii. 892-3, 896-7.

[597] i. 30: ii. 527, 529-30: iii^{1}. 774: iii^{2}. 158, 183, 531-2
(where he quotes the place largely and comments upon it): iv. 149, 466
(largely quoted), 1120: v. 80, 1230 (largely quoted in both places): vi.
407, 413: viii. 377, 574.

[598] Pacian (A.D. 372) refers the Novations to the narrative as
something which all men knew. 'Nolite in Evangelio legere quod
pepercerit Dominus etiam adulterae confitenti, quam nemo damnarat?'
Pacianus, Op. Epist. iii. Contr. Novat. (A.D. 372). _Ap._ Galland. vii.

[599] _Ap._ Augustin. viii. 463.

[600] In his translation of Eusebius. Nicholson, p. 53.

[601] Chrysologus, A.D. 433, Abp. of Ravenna. Venet. 1742. He mystically
explains the entire incident. Serm. cxv. § 5.

[602] Sedulius (A.D. 435) makes it the subject of a poem, and devotes a
whole chapter to it. _Ap._ Galland. ix. 553 and 590.

[603] 'Promiss.' De Promissionibus dimid. temp. (saec. iv). Quotes viii.
4, 5, 9. P. 2, c. 22, col. 147 b. Ignot. Auct., De Vocatione omnium
Gentium (circa, A.D. 440), _ap._ Opp. Prosper. Aquit. (1782), i. p.
460-1:--'Adulteram ex legis constitutione lapidandam ... liberavit ...
cum executores praecepti de conscientiis territi, trementem ream sub
illius iudicio reliquissent.... Et inclinatus, id est ad humana dimissus
... "digito scribebat in terram," ut legem mandatorum per gratiae
decreta vacuaret,' &c.

[604] Wrongly ascribed to Idacius.

[605] Gelasius P. A.D. 492. Conc. iv. 1235. Quotes viii. 3, 7, 10, 11.

[606] Cassiodorus, A.D. 514. Venet. 1729. Quotes viii. 11. See ii. p.
96, 3, 5-180.

[607] Dialogues, xiv. 15.

[608] ii. 748:--In evangelio secundum Ioannem in multis et Graecis et
Latinis codicibus invenitur de adultera muliere, quae accusata est apud

[609] [Greek: henos hekastou autôn tas hamartias]. Ev. 95, 40, 48, 64,
73, 100, 122, 127, 142, 234, 264, 267, 274, 433, 115, 121, 604, 736.

[610] Appendix, p. 88.

[611] vi. 407:--Sed hoc videlicet infidelium sensus exhorret, ita ut
nonnulli modicae fidei vel potius inimici verae fidei, (credo metuentes
peccandi impunitatem dari mulieribus suis), illud quod de adulterae
indulgentia Dominus fecit, auferrent de codicibus suis: quasi
permissionem peccandi tribuerit qui dixit, 'Iam deinceps noli peccare;'
aut ideo non debuerit mulier a medico Deo illius peccati remissione
sanari, ne offenderentur insani. De coniug. adult. ii. cap. 7. i.
707:--Fortasse non mediocrem scrupulum movere potuit imperitis Evangelii
lectio, quae decursa est, in quo advertistis adulteram Christo oblatam,
eamque sine damnatione dimissam. Nam profecto si quis en auribus
accipiat otiosis, incentivum erroris incurrit, cum leget quod Deus
censuerit adulterium non esse damnandum.

[612] Epist. 58. Quid scribebat? nisi illud Propheticum (Jer. xxii.
29-30), _Terra, terra, scribe hos vivos abdicatos_.

[613] Constt. App. (Gen. in. 49). Nicon (Gen. iii. 250). I am not
certain about these two references.

[614] Two precious verses (viz. the forty-third and forty-fourth) used
to be omitted from the lection for Tuesday before Quinquagesima,--viz.
St. Luke xxii. 39-xxiii. 1.

The lection for the preceding Sabbath (viz. St. Luke xxi. 8-36)
consisted of only the following verses,--ver. 8, 9, 25-27, 33-36. All
the rest (viz. verses 10-24 and 28-32) was omitted.

On the ensuing Thursday, St. Luke xxiii was handled in a similar style:
viz. ver. 1-31, 33, 44-56 alone were read,--all the other verses being
left out.

On the first Sabbath after Pentecost (All Saints'), the lesson consisted
of St. Matt. x. 32, 33, 37-38: xix. 27-30.

On the fifteenth Sabbath after Pentecost, the lesson was St. Matt. xxiv.
1-9, 13 (leaving out verses 10, 11, 12).

On the sixteenth Sabbath after Pentecost, the lesson was St. Matt. xxiv.
34-37, 42-44 (leaving out verses 38-41).

On the sixth Sabbath of St. Luke,--the lesson was ch. viii. 26-35
followed by verses 38 and 39.

[615] 'This celebrated paragraph ... was probably not contained in the
first edition of St. John's Gospel but added at the time when his last
chapter was annexed to what had once been the close of his
narrative,--xx. 30, 31.' Scrivener's Introduction to Cod. D, p. 50.

[616] In an unpublished paper.

[617] It is omitted in some MSS. of the Peshitto.



Some of the most courteous of our critics, in reviewing the companion
volume to this, have expressed regret that we have not grappled more
closely than we have done with Dr. Hort's theory. I have already
expressed our reasons. Our object has been to describe and establish
what we conceive to be the true principles of Sacred Textual Science. We
are concerned only in a secondary degree with opposing principles. Where
they have come in our way, we have endeavoured to remove them. But it
has not entered within our design to pursue them into their fastnesses
and domiciles. Nevertheless, in compliance with a request which is both
proper and candid, I will do what I can to examine with all the equity
that I can command an essential part of Dr. Hort's system, which appears
to exercise great influence with his followers.

§ 1.


Dr. Hort's theory of 'Conflation' may be discovered on pp. 93-107. The
want of an index to his Introduction, notwithstanding his ample
'Contents,' makes it difficult to collect illustrations of his meaning
from the rest of his treatise. Nevertheless, the effect of Conflation
appears to be well described in his words on p. 133:--'Now however the
three great lines were brought together, and made to contribute to a
text different from all.' In other words, by means of a combination of
the Western, Alexandrian, and 'Neutral' Texts--'the great lines of
transmission ... to all appearance exclusively divergent,'--the 'Syrian'
text was constructed in a form different from any one and all of the
other three. Not that all these three were made to contribute on every
occasion. We find (p. 93) Conflation, or Conflate Readings, introduced
as proving the 'posteriority of Syrian to Western ... and other ...
readings.' And in the analysis of eight passages, which is added, only
in one case (St. Mark viii. 26) are more than two elements represented,
and in that the third class consists of 'different conflations' of the
first and second[618].

Perhaps I may present Dr. Hort's theory under the form of a diagram:--

Western Readings. Other Readings.
    |                   |
            Syrian Text.

Our theory is the converse in main features to this. We utterly
repudiate the term 'Syrian' as being a most inadequate and untrue title
for the Text adopted and maintained by the Catholic Church with all her
intelligence and learning, during nearly fifteen centuries according to
Dr. Hort's admission: and we claim from the evidence that the
Traditional Text of the Gospels, under the true name, is that which came
fresh from the pens of the Evangelists; and that all variations from it,
however they have been entitled, are nothing else than corrupt forms of
the original readings. Our diagram in rough presentation will therefore
assume this character:--

    Traditional Text.--|-
                       |-Western Readings.
                       |-Alexandrian Readings.

It should be added, that w, x, y, z, &c., denote forms of corruption. We
do not recognize the 'Neutral' at all, believing it to be a Caesarean
combination or recension, made from previous texts or readings of a
corrupt character.

The question is, which is the true theory, Dr. Hort's or ours?

The general points that strike us with reference to Dr. Hort's theory

(1) That it is very vague and indeterminate in nature. Given three
things, of which X includes what is in Y and Z, upon the face of the
theory either X may have arisen by synthesis from Y and Z, or X and Z
may owe their origin by analysis to X.

(2) Upon examination it is found that Dr. Hort's arguments for the
posteriority of D are mainly of an internal character, and are loose and
imaginative, depending largely upon personal or literary predilections.

(3) That it is exceedingly improbable that the Church of the fourth and
fifth centuries, which in a most able period had been occupied with
discussions on verbal accuracy, should have made the gross mistake of
adopting (what was then) a modern concoction from the original text of
the Gospels, which had been written less than three or four centuries
before; and that their error should have been acknowledged as truth, and
perpetuated by the ages that succeeded them down to the present time.

But we must draw nearer to Dr. Hort's argument.

He founds it upon a detailed examination of eight passages, viz. St.
Mark vi. 33; viii. 26; ix. 38; ix. 49; St. Luke ix. 10; xi. 54; xii. 18;
xxiv. 53.

1. Remark that eight is a round and divisible number. Did the author
decide upon it with a view of presenting two specimens from each Gospel?
To be sure, he gives four from the first two, and four from the two
last, only that he confines the batches severally to St. Mark and St.
Luke. Did the strong style of St. Matthew, with distinct meaning in
every word, yield no suitable example for treatment? Could no passage be
found in St. John's Gospel, where not without parallel, but to a
remarkable degree, extreme simplicity of language, even expressed in
alternative clauses, clothes soaring thought and philosophical
acuteness? True, that he quotes St. John v. 37 as an instance of
Conflation by the Codex Bezae which is anything but an embodiment of the
Traditional or 'Syrian' Text, and xiii. 24 which is similarly
irrelevant. Neither of these instances therefore fill up the gap, and
are accordingly not included in the selected eight. What can we infer
from this presentment, but that 'Conflation' is probably not of frequent
occurrence as has been imagined, but may indeed be--to admit for a
moment its existence--nothing more than an occasional incident? For
surely, if specimens in St. Matthew and St. John had abounded to his
hand, and accordingly 'Conflation' had been largely employed throughout
the Gospels, Dr. Hort would not have exercised so restricted, and yet so
round a choice.

2. But we must advance a step further. Dean Burgon as we have seen has
calculated the differences between B and the Received Text at 7,578, and
those which divide [Symbol: Aleph] and the Received Text as reaching
8,972. He divided these totals respectively under 2,877 and 3,455
omissions, 556 and 839 additions, 2,098 and 2,299 transpositions, and
2,067 and 2,379 substitutions and modifications combined. Of these
classes, it is evident that Conflation has nothing to do with Additions
or Transpositions. Nor indeed with Substitutions, although one of Dr.
Hort's instances appears to prove that it has. Conflation is the
combination of two (or more) different expressions into one. If
therefore both expressions occur in one of the elements, the Conflation
has been made beforehand, and a substitution then occurs instead of a
conflation. So in St. Luke xii. 18, B, &c, read [Greek: ton siton kai ta
agatha mou] which Dr. Hort[619] considers to be made by Conflation into
[Greek: ta genêmata mou kai ta agatha mou], because [Greek: ta genêmata
mou] is found in Western documents. The logic is strange, but as Dr.
Hort has claimed it, we must perhaps allow him to have intended to
include with this strange incongruity some though not many Substitutions
in his class of instances, only that we should like to know definitely
what substitutions were to be comprised in this class. For I shrewdly
suspect that there were actually none. Omissions are now left to us, of
which the greater specimens can hardly have been produced by Conflation.
How, for instance, could you get the last Twelve Verses of St. Mark's
Gospel, or the Pericope de Adultera, or St. Luke xxii. 43-44, or any of
the rest of the forty-five whole verses in the Gospels upon which a slur
is cast by the Neologian school? Consequently, the area of Conflation is
greatly reduced. And I venture to think, that supposing for a moment the
theory to be sound, it could not account for any large number of
variations, but would at the best only be a sign or symptom found every
now and then of the derivation attributed to the Received Text.

3. But we must go on towards the heart of the question. And first to
examine Dr. Hort's eight instances. Unfortunately, the early patristic
evidence on these verses is scanty. We have little evidence of a direct
character to light up the dark sea of conjecture.

(1) St. Mark (vi. 22) relates that on a certain occasion the multitude,
when they beheld our Saviour and his disciples on their way in a ship
crossing to the other side of the lake, ran together ([Greek:
synedramon]) from all their cities to the point which He was making for
([Greek: ekei]), and arrived there before the Lord and His followers
([Greek: proêlthon autous]), and on His approach came in a body to Him
([Greek: synêlthon pros auton]). And on disembarking ([Greek: kai
exelthôn]), i.e. ([Greek: ek tou ploiou], ver. 32), &c. It should be
observed, that it was only the Apostles who knew that His ultimate
object was 'a desert place' (ver. 31, 30): the indiscriminate multitude
could only discern the bay or cape towards which the boat was going: and
up to what I have described as the disembarkation (ver. 34), nothing has
been said of His movements, except that He was in the boat upon the
lake. The account is pictorial. We see the little craft toiling on the
lake, the people on the shores running all in one direction, and on
their reaching the heights above the place of landing watching His
approach, and then descending together to Him to the point where He is
going to land. There is nothing weak or superfluous in the description.
Though condensed (what would a modern history have made of it?), it is
all natural and in due place.

Now for Dr. Hort. He observes that one clause ([Greek: kai proêlthon
autous]) is attested by B[Symbol: Aleph] and their followers; another
([Greek: kai synêlthon autou] or [Greek: êlthon autou], which is very
different from the 'Syrian' [Greek: synêlthon pros auton]) by some
Western documents; and he argues that the entire form in the Received
Text, [Greek: kai proêlthon autous, kai synêlthon pros auton], was
formed by Conflation from the other two. I cannot help observing that it
is a suspicious mark, that even in the case of the most favoured of his
chosen examples he is obliged to take such a liberty with one of his
elements of Conflation as virtually to doctor it in order to bring it
strictly to the prescribed pattern. When we come to his arguments he
candidly admits, that 'it is evident that either [Symbol: delta] (the
Received Text) is conflate from [Symbol: alpha] (B[Symbol: Aleph]) and
[Symbol: beta] (Western), or [Symbol: alpha] and [Symbol: beta] are
independent simplifications of [Symbol: delta]'; and that 'there is
nothing in the sense of [Symbol: delta] that would tempt to alteration,'
and that 'accidental' omission of one or other clause would 'be easy.'
But he argues with an ingenuity that denotes a bad cause that the
difference between [Greek: autou] and [Greek: pros auton] is really in
his favour, chiefly because [Greek: autou] would very likely _if_ it had
previously existed been changed into [Greek: pros auton]--which no one
can doubt; and that '[Greek: synêlthon pros auton] is certainly otiose
after [Greek: synedramon ekei],' which shews that he did not understand
the whole meaning of the passage. His argument upon what he terms
'Intrinsic Probability' leads to a similar inference. For simply [Greek:
exelthôn] cannot mean that 'He "came out" of His retirement in some
sequestered nook to meet them,' such a nook being not mentioned by St.
Mark, whereas [Greek: ploion] is; nor can [Greek: ekei] denote 'the
desert region.' Indeed the position of that region or nook was known
before it was reached solely to our Lord and His Apostles: the multitude
was guided only by what they saw, or at least by vague surmise.

Accordingly, Dr. Hort's conclusion must be reversed. 'The balance of
Internal Evidence of Readings, alike from Transcriptional and from
Intrinsic Probability, is decidedly' _not_ 'in favour of [Symbol: delta]
from [Symbol: alpha] and [Symbol: beta],' _but_ 'of [Symbol: alpha] and
[Symbol: beta] from [Symbol: delta].' The reading of the Traditional
Text is the superior both as regards the meaning, and as to the
probability of its pre-existence. The derivation of the two others from
that is explained by that besetting fault of transcribers which is
termed Omission. Above all, the Traditional reading is proved by a
largely over-balancing weight of evidence.

(2) 'To examine other passages equally in detail would occupy too much
space.' So says Dr. Hort: but we must examine points that require

St. Mark viii. 26. After curing the blind man outside Bethsaida, our
Lord in that remarkable period of His career directed him, according to
the Traditional reading, ([Symbol: alpha]) neither to enter into that
place, [Greek: mêde eis tên kômên eiselthês], nor ([Symbol: beta]) to
tell what had happened to any inhabitant of Bethsaida ([Greek: mêde
eipês tini en tê kômê]). Either some one who did not understand the
Greek, or some matter-of-fact and officious scholar, or both, thought or
maintained that [Greek: tini en tê kômê] must mean some one who was at
the moment actually in the place. So the second clause got to be omitted
from the text of B[Symbol: Aleph], who are followed only by one cursive
and a half (the first reading of 1 being afterwards corrected), and the
Bohairic version, and the Lewis MS. The Traditional reading is attested
by ACN[Symbol: Sigma] and thirteen other Uncials, all Cursives except
eight, of which six with [Symbol: Phi] read a consolidation of both
clauses, by several versions, and by Theophylact (i. 210) who is the
only Father that quotes the place. This evidence ought amply to ensure
the genuineness of this reading.

But what says Dr. Hort? 'Here [Symbol: alpha] is simple and vigorous,
and it is unique in the New Testament: the peculiar [Greek: Mêde] has
the terse force of many sayings as given by St. Mark, but the softening
into [Greek: Mê] by [Symbol: Aleph]* shews that it might trouble
scribes.' It is surely not necessary to controvert this. It may be said
however that [Symbol: alpha] is bald as well as simple, and that the
very difficulty in [Symbol: beta] makes it probable that that clause was
not invented. To take [Greek: tini en tê kômê] Hebraistically for
[Greek: tini tôn en tê kômê], like the [Greek: tis en hymin] of St.
James v. 19[620], need not trouble scholars, I think. Otherwise they can
follow Meyer, according to Winer's Grammar (II. 511), and translate the
second [Greek: mêde] _nor even_. At all events, this is a poor pillar to
support a great theory.

(3) St. Mark ix. 38. 'Master, we saw one casting out devils in Thy name,
([Symbol: beta]) who doth not follow us, and we forbad him ([Symbol:
alpha]) because he followeth not us.'

Here the authority for [Symbol: alpha] is [Symbol: Aleph]BCL[Symbol:
Delta], four Cursives, f, Bohairic, Peshitto, Ethiopic, and the Lewis
MS. For [Symbol: beta] there are D, two Cursives, all the Old Latin but
f and the Vulgate. For the Traditional Text, i.e. the whole passage,
A[Symbol: Phi][Symbol: Sigma]N + eleven Uncials, all the Cursives but
six, the Harkleian (yet obelizes [Symbol: alpha]) and Gothic versions,
Basil (ii. 252), Victor of Antioch (Cramer, Cat. i. 365), Theophylact
(i. 219): and Augustine quotes separately both omissions ([Symbol:
alpha] ix. 533, and [Symbol: beta] III. ii. 153). No other Fathers, so
far as I can find, quote the passage.

Dr. Hort appears to advance no special arguments on his side, relying
apparently upon the obvious repetition. In the first part of the verse,
St. John describes the case of the man: in the second he reports for our
Lord's judgement the grounds of the prohibition which the Apostles gave
him. Is it so certain that the original text of the passage contained
only the description, and omitted the reason of the prohibition as it
was given to the non-follower of our Lord? To me it seems that the
simplicity of St. Mark's style is best preserved by the inclusion of
both. The Apostles did not curtly forbid the man: they treated him with
reasonableness, and in the same spirit St. John reported to his Master
all that occurred. Besides this, the evidence on the Traditional side is
too strong to admit of it not being the genuine reading.

(4) St. Mark ix. 49. 'For ([Symbol: alpha]) every one shall be salted
with fire, ([Symbol: beta]) and every sacrifice shall be salted with
salt.' The authorities are--

    [Symbol: alpha]. [Symbol: Aleph]BL[Symbol: Delta], fifteen
    Cursives, some MSS. of the Bohairic, some of the Armenian, and
    the Lewis.

    [Symbol: beta]. D, six copies of the Old Latin, three MSS. of
    the Vulgate. Chromatius of Aquileia (Galland. viii. 338).

    Trad. Text. AC[Symbol: Phi][Symbol: Sigma]N and twelve more
    Uncials, all Cursives except fifteen, two Old Latin, Vulgate,
    Peshitto, Harkleian, some MSS. of Ethiopic and Armenian, Gothic,
    Victor of Antioch (Cramer's Cat. i. 368), Theophylact (i. 221).

This evidence must surely be conclusive of the genuineness of the
Traditional reading. But now for Dr. Hort.

'A reminiscence of Lev. vii. 13 ... has created [Symbol: beta] out of
[Symbol: alpha].' But why should not the reminiscence have been our
Lord's? The passage appears like a quotation, or an adaptation, of some
authoritative saying. He positively advances no other argument than the
one just quoted, beyond stating two points in which the alteration might
be easily effected.

(5) St. Luke ix. 10. 'He took (His Apostles) and withdrew privately

    [Symbol: alpha]. Into a city called Bethsaida [Greek: (eis polin
    kaloumenên] B.).

    [Symbol: beta]. Into a desert place ([Greek: eis topon erêmon]),
    or Into a desert place called Bethsaida, or of Bethsaida.

    Trad. Text. Into a desert place belonging to a city called

The evidence for these readings respectively is--

    [Symbol: alpha]. BLX[Symbol: Xi], with one correction of
    [Symbol: Aleph] (C^{a}), one Cursive, the Bohairic and Sahidic.
    D reads [Greek: kômên].

    [Symbol: beta]. The first and later readings (C^{b}) of [Symbol:
    Aleph], four Cursives?, Curetonian, some variant Old Latin
    ([Symbol: beta]^{2}), Peshitto also variant ([Symbol:

    Trad. Text. A (with [Greek: erêmon topon]) C + twelve Uncials,
    all Cursives except three or five, Harkleian, Lewis (omits
    [Greek: erêmon]), Ethiopic, Armenian, Gothic, with Theophylact
    (i. 33).

Remark the curious character of [Symbol: alpha] and [Symbol: beta]. In
Dr. Hort's Neutral Text, which he maintains to have been the original
text of the Gospels, our Lord is represented here as having withdrawn in
private ([Greek: kat' idian], which the Revisers shirking the difficulty
translate inaccurately 'apart') _into the city called Bethsaida_. How
could there have been privacy of life _in_ a city in those days? In
fact, [Greek: kat' idian] necessitates the adoption of [Greek: topon
erêmon], as to which the Peshitto ([Symbol: beta]^{3}) is in substantial
agreement with the Traditional Text. Bethsaida is represented as the
capital of a district, which included, at sufficient distance from the
city, a desert or retired spot. The group arranged under [Symbol: beta]
is so weakly supported, and is evidently such a group of fragments, that
it can come into no sort of competition with the Traditional reading.
Dr. Hort confines himself to shewing _how_ the process he advocates
might have arisen, not _that_ it did actually arise. Indeed, this
position can only be held by assuming the conclusion to be established
that it _did_ so arise.

(6) St. Luke xi. 54. 'The Scribes and Pharisees began to urge Him
vehemently and to provoke Him to speak of many things ([Greek:
enedreuontes thêreusai]),

    [Symbol: alpha]. Laying wait for Him to catch something out of
    His mouth.

    [Symbol: beta]. Seeking to get some opportunity ([Greek:
    aphormên tina]) for finding out how to accuse Him ([Greek: hina
    eurôsin katêgorêsai]); or, for accusing Him ([Greek: hina
    katêgorêsôsin autou]).

    Trad. Text. Laying wait for Him, _and_ seeking to catch
    something ([Greek: zêtountes thêreusai ti]) out of His mouth,
    that they might accuse Him.'

The evidence is--

    [Symbol: alpha]. [Symbol: Aleph]BL, Bohairic, Ethiopic, Cyril
    Alex. (Mai, Nov. Pp. Bibliotheca, ii. 87, iii. 249, not

    [Symbol: beta]. D, Old Latin except f, Curetonian.

    Trad. Text. AC + twelve Uncials, all Cursives (except five which
    omit [Greek: zêtountes]), Peshitto, Lewis (with omission),
    Vulgate, Harkleian, Theophylact (i. 363).

As to genuineness, the evidence is decisive. The reading [Symbol: Alpha]
is Alexandrian, adopted by B[Symbol: Aleph], and is bad Greek into the
bargain, [Greek: enedreuontes thêreusai] being very rough, and being
probably due to incompetent acquaintance with the Greek language. If
[Symbol: alpha] was the original, it is hard to see how [Symbol: beta]
could have come from it. That the figurative language of [Symbol: alpha]
was replaced in [Symbol: beta] by a simply descriptive paraphrase, as
Dr. Hort suggests, seems scarcely probable. On the other hand, the
derivation of either [Symbol: alpha] or [Symbol: beta] from the
Traditional Text is much easier. A scribe would without difficulty pass
over one of the participles lying contiguously with no connecting
conjunction, and having a kind of Homoeoteleuton. And as to [Symbol:
beta], the distinguishing [Greek: aphormên tina] would be a very natural
gloss, requiring for completeness of the phrase the accompanying [Greek:
labein]. This is surely a more probable solution of the question of the
mutual relationship of the readings than the laboured account of Dr.
Hort, which is too long to be produced here.

(7) St. Luke xii. 18. 'I will pull down my barns, and build greater, and
there will I bestow all

    [Symbol: alpha]. My corn and my goods.

    [Symbol: beta]. My crops ([Greek: ta genêmata mou]). My fruits
    ([Greek: tous karpous mou]).

    Trad. Text. My crops ([Greek: ta genêmata mou]) and my goods.'

This is a faulty instance, because it is simply a substitution, as Dr.
Hort admitted, in [Symbol: alpha] of the more comprehensive word [Greek:
genêmata] for [Greek: siton], and a simple omission of [Greek: kai ta
agatha mou] in [Symbol: beta]. And the admission of it into the selected
eight shews the difficulty that Dr. Hort must have experienced in
choosing his examples. The evidence is--

    [Symbol: alpha]. BTLX and a correction of [Symbol:
    Aleph](a^{c}), eight Cursives, Peshitto, Bohairic, Sahidic,
    Armenian, Ethiopic.

    [Symbol: beta]. [Symbol: Aleph]*D, three Cursives, b ff i q,
    Curetonian and Lewis, St. Ambrose (i. 573).

    Trad. Text. AQ + thirteen Uncials. All Cursives except twelve,
    _f_, Vulgate, Harkleian, Cyril Alex. (Mai, ii. 294-5) _bis_,
    Theophylact (i. 370), Peter Chrysologus (Migne 52, 490-1) _bis_.

No more need be said: substitutions and omissions are too common to
require justification.

(8) St. Luke xxiv. 53. 'They were continually in the temple

    [Symbol: alpha]. Blessing God ([Greek: eulogountes]).

    [Symbol: beta]. Praising God ([Greek: ainountes]).

    Trad. Text. Praising and blessing God.'

The evidence is--

    [Symbol: alpha]. [Symbol: Aleph]BC*L, Bohairic, Palestinian,

    [Symbol: beta]. D, seven Old Latin.

    Trad. Text. AC^{2} + twelve Uncials, all Cursives, c f q,
    Vulgate, Peshitto, Harkleian, Armenian, Ethiopic, Theophylact
    (i. 497).

Dr. Hort adds no remarks. He seems to have thought, that because he had
got an instance which outwardly met all the requirements laid down,
therefore it would prove the conclusion it was intended to prove. Now it
is evidently an instance of the omission of either of two words from the
complete account by different witnesses. The Evangelist employed both
words in order to emphasize the gratitude of the Apostles. The words are
not tautological. [Greek: Ainos] is the set praise of God, drawn out in
more or less length, properly as offered in addresses to Him[621].
[Greek: Eulogia] includes all speaking well of Him, especially when
uttered before other men. Thus the two expressions describe in
combination the life of gratitude exhibited unceasingly by the expectant
and the infant Church. Continually in the temple they praised Him in
devotion, and told the people of His glorious works.

4. Such are the eight weak pillars upon which Dr. Hort built his theory
which was to account for the existence of his Neutral Text, and the
relation of it towards other Texts or classes of readings. If his eight
picked examples can be thus demolished, then surely the theory of
Conflation must be utterly unsound. Or if in the opinion of some of my
readers my contention goes too far, then at any rate they must admit
that it is far from being firm, if it does not actually reel and totter.
The opposite theory of omission appears to be much more easy and

But the curious phenomenon that Dr. Hort has rested his case upon so
small an induction as is supplied by only eight examples--if they are
not in fact only seven--has not yet received due explanation. Why, he
ought to have referred to twenty-five or thirty at least. If Conflation
is so common, he might have produced a large number of references
without working out more than was enough for illustration as patterns.
This question must be investigated further. And I do not know how to
carry out such an investigation better, than to examine some instances
which come naturally to hand from the earlier parts of each Gospel.

It must be borne in mind, that for Conflation two differently-attested
phrases or words must be produced which are found in combination in some
passage of the Traditional Text. If there is only one which is omitted,
it is clear that there can be no Conflation because there must be at
least two elements to conflate: accordingly our instances must be cases,
not of single omission, but of double or alternative omission. If again
there is no Western reading, it is not a Conflation in Dr. Hort's sense.
And finally, if the remaining reading is not a 'Neutral' one, it is not
to Dr. Hort's liking. I do not say that my instances will conform with
these conditions. Indeed, after making a list of all the omissions in
the Gospels, except those which are of too petty a character such as
leaving out a pronoun, and having searched the list with all the care
that I can command, I do not think that such instances can be found.
Nevertheless, I shall take eight, starting from the beginning of St.
Matthew, and choosing the most salient examples, being such also that,
if Dr. Hort's theory be sound, they ought to conform to his
requirements. Similarly, there will come then four from either of St.
Mark and St. Luke, and eight from St. John. This course of proceeding
will extend operations from the eight which form Dr. Hort's total to

A. In St. Matthew we have (1) i. 25, [Greek: autês ton prôtotokon] and
[Greek: ton Huion]; (2) v. 22, [Greek: eikê] and [Greek: tô adelphô
autou]; (3) ix. 13, [Greek: eis metanoian]; (4) x. 3, [Greek: Lebbaios]
and [Greek: Thaddaios]; (5) xii. 22, [Greek: typhlon kai] and [Greek:
kôphon]; (6) xv. 5, [Greek: ton patera autou] and [Greek: (hê) tên
mêtera autou], (7) xviii. 35, [Greek: apo tôn kardiôn hymôn] and [Greek:
ta paraptômata autôn]; and (8) xxvi. 3, [Greek: hoi presbyteroi (kai)
hoi Grammateis]. I have had some difficulty in making up the number. Of
those selected as well as I could, seven are cases of single omission or
of one pure omission apiece, though their structure presents a
possibility of two members for Conflation; whilst the Western element
comes in sparsely or appears in favour of both the omission and the
retention; and, thirdly, in some cases, as in (2) and (3), the support
is not only Western, but universal. Consequently, all but (4) are
excluded. Of (4) Dr. Hort remarks, (Notes on Select Readings, p. 11)
that it is 'a case of Conflation of the true and the chief Western
Texts,' and accordingly it does not come within the charmed circle.

B. From St. Mark we get, (1) i. 1, [Greek: Huiou tou Theou] and [Greek:
Iêsou Christou]; (2) i. 2, [Greek: emprosthen sou] and [Greek: pro
prosôpou sou] (cp. ix. 38); (3) iii. 15, [Greek: therapeuein tas nosous
(kai)] and [Greek: ekballein ta daimonia]; (4) xiii. 33, [Greek:
agrypneite] and [Greek: (kai) proseuchesthe]. All these instances turn
out to be cases of the omission of only one of the parallel expressions.
The omission in the first is due mainly to Origen (_see_ Traditional
Text, Appendix IV): in the three last there is Western evidence on both

C. St. Luke yields us, (1) ii. 5, [Greek: gynaiki] and [Greek:
memnêsteumenê]; (2) iv. 4, [Greek: epi panti rhêmati Theou], or [Greek:
ep' artô monô]; (3) viii. 54, [Greek: ekbalôn exô pantas (kai)], or
[Greek: kratêsas tês cheiros autês]; xi. 4, [Greek: (alla) rhysai hêmas
apo tou ponêrou], or [Greek: mê eisenenkês hêmas eis peirasmon]. In all
these cases, examination discloses that they are examples of pure
omission of only one of the alternatives. The only evidence against this
is the solitary rejection of [Greek: memnêsteumenê] by the Lewis Codex.

D. We now come to St. John. See (1) iii. 15, [Greek: mê apolêtai], or
[Greek: echê zôên aiônion]; (2) iv. 14, [Greek: ou mê dipsêsê eis ton
aiôna], or [Greek: to hydôr ho dôsô autô genêsetai en autô pêgê hydatos,
k.t.l.]; (3) iv. 42, [Greek: ho Christos], or [Greek: ho sôtêr tou
kosmou]; (4) iv. 51, [Greek: kai apêngeilan] and [Greek: legontes]; (5)
v. 16, [Greek: kai ezêtoun auton apokteinai] and [Greek: ediôkon auton];
(6) vi. 51, [Greek: hên egô dôsô], or [Greek: hou egô dôsô]; (7) ix. 1,
25, [Greek: kai eipen] or [Greek: apekrithê]; (8) xiii. 31, 32, [Greek:
ei ho Theos edoxasthê en autô], and [Greek: kai ho Theos edoxasthê en
autô]. All these instances turn out to be single omissions:--a fact
which is the more remarkable, because St. John's style so readily lends
itself to parallel or antithetical expressions involving the same result
in meaning, that we should expect conflations to shew themselves
constantly if the Traditional Text had so coalesced.

How surprising a result:--almost too surprising. Does it not immensely
strengthen my contention that Dr. Hort took wrongly Conflation for the
reverse process? That in the earliest ages, when the Church did not
include in her ranks so much learning as it has possessed ever since,
the wear and tear of time, aided by unfaith and carelessness, made
itself felt in many an instance of destructiveness which involved a
temporary chipping of the Sacred Text all through the Holy Gospels? And,
in fact, that Conflation at least as an extensive process, if not
altogether, did not really exist.

§ 2.


Here we are brought face to face with the question respecting the
Neutral Text. What in fact is it, and does it deserve the name which Dr.
Hort and his followers have attempted to confer permanently upon it?
What is the relation that it bears to other so-called Texts?

So much has been already advanced upon this subject in the companion
volume and in the present, that great conciseness is here both possible
and expedient. But it may be useful to bring the sum or substance of
those discussions into one focus.

1. The so-called Neutral Text, as any reader of Dr. Hort's Introduction
will see, is the text of B and [Symbol: Aleph] and their small
following. That following is made up of Z in St. Matthew, [Symbol:
Delta] in St. Mark, the fragmentary [Symbol: Xi] in St. Luke, with
frequent agreement with them of D, and of the eighth century L; with
occasional support from some of the group of Cursives, consisting of 1,
33, 118, 131, 157, 205, 209, and from the Ferrar group, or now and then
from some others, as well as from the Latin k, and the Egyptian or other
versions. This perhaps appears to be a larger number than our readers
may have supposed, but rarely are more than ten MSS. found together, and
generally speaking less, and often much less than that. To all general
intents and purposes, the Neutral Text is the text of B-[Symbol: Aleph].

2. Following facts and avoiding speculation, the Neutral Text appears
hardly in history except at the Semiarian period. It was almost disowned
ever after: and there is no certainty--nothing more than inference which
we hold, and claim to have proved, to be imaginary and delusive,--that,
except as represented in the corruption which it gathered out of the
chaos of the earliest times, it made any appearance.

3. Thus, as a matter of history acknowledged by Dr. Hort, it was mainly
superseded before the end of the century of its emergence by the
Traditional Text, which, except in the tenets of a school of critics in
the nineteenth century, has reigned supreme ever since.

4. That it was not the original text of the Gospels, as maintained by
Dr. Hort, I claim to have established from an examination of the
quotations from the Gospels made by the Fathers. It has been proved that
not only in number, but still more conclusively in quality, the
Traditional Text enjoyed a great superiority of attestation over all the
kinds of corruption advocated by some critics which I have just now
mentioned[622]. This conclusion is strengthened by the verdict of the
early versions.

5. The inferiority of the 'Neutral Text' is demonstrated by the
overwhelming weight of evidence which is marshalled against it on
passages under dispute. This glaring contrast is increased by the
disagreement among themselves of the supporters of that Text, or class
of readings. As to antiquity, number, variety, weight, and continuity,
that Text falls hopelessly behind: and by internal evidence also the
texts of B and [Symbol: Aleph], and still more the eccentric text of the
Western D, are proved to be manifestly inferior.

6. It has been shewn also by evidence, direct as well as inferential,
that B and [Symbol: Aleph] issued nearly together from the library or
school of Caesarea. The fact of their being the oldest MSS. of the New
Testament in existence, which has naturally misled people and caused
them to be credited with extraordinary value, has been referred, as
being mainly due, to their having been written on vellum according to
the fashion introduced in that school, instead of the ordinary papyrus.
The fact of such preservation is really to their discredit, instead of
resounding to their honour, because if they had enjoyed general
approval, they would probably have perished creditably many centuries
ago in the constant use for which they were intended.

Such are the main points in the indictment and in the history of the
Neutral Text, or rather--to speak with more appropriate accuracy,
avoiding the danger of drawing with too definite a form and too deep a
shade--of the class of readings represented by B and [Symbol: Aleph]. It
is interesting to trace further, though very summarily, the connexion
between this class of readings and the corruptions of the Original Text
which existed previously to the early middle of the fourth century. Such
brief tracing will lead us to a view of some causes of the development
of Dr. Hort's theory.

The analysis of Corruption supplied as to the various kinds of it by
Dean Burgon has taught us how they severally arose. This is fresh in the
mind of readers, and I will not spoil it by repetition. But the studies
of textual critics have led them to combine all kinds of corruption
chiefly under the two heads of the Western or Syrio-Low-Latin class, and
in a less prominent province of the Alexandrian. Dr. Hort's Neutral is
really a combination of those two, with all the accuracy that these
phenomena admit. But of course, if the Neutral were indeed the original
Text, it would not do for it to be too closely connected with one of
such bad reputation as the Western, which must be kept in the distance
at all hazards. Therefore he represented it--all unconsciously no doubt
and with the best intention--as one of the sources of the Traditional,
or as he called it the 'Syrian' Text. Hence this imputed connexion
between the Western and the Traditional Text became the essential part
of his framework of Conflation, which could not exist without it. For
any permanent purpose, all this handiwork was in vain. To say no more,
D, which is the chief representative of the Western Text, is too
constant a supporter of the peculiar readings of B and [Symbol: Aleph]
not to prove its near relationship to them. The 'Neutral' Text derives
the chief part of its support from Western sources. It is useless for
Dr. Hort to disown his leading constituents. And on the other hand, the
Syrio-Low-Latin Text is too alien to the Traditional to be the chief
element in any process, Conflate or other, out of which it could have
been constructed. The occasional support of some of the Old Latin MSS.
is nothing to the point in such a proof. They are so fitful and
uncertain, that some of them may witness to almost anything. If Dr.
Hort's theory of Conflation had been sounder, there would have been no
lack of examples.

    'Naturam expellas furca: tamen usque recurret.'

He was tempted to the impossible task of driving water uphill. Therefore
I claim, not only to have refuted Dr. Hort, whose theory is proved to be
even more baseless than I ever imagined, but by excavating more deeply
than he did, to have discovered the cause of his error.

No: the true theory is, that the Traditional Text--not in superhuman
perfection, though under some superhuman Guidance--is the embodiment of
the original Text of the New Testament. In the earliest times, just as
false doctrines were widely spread, so corrupt readings prevailed in
many places. Later on, when Christianity was better understood, and the
Church reckoned amongst the learned and holy of her members the finest
natures and intellects of the world, and many clever men of inferior
character endeavoured to vitiate Doctrine and lower Christian life, evil
rose to the surface, and was in due time after a severe struggle removed
by the sound and faithful of the day. So heresy was rampant for a while,
and was then replaced by true and well-grounded belief. With great
ability and with wise discretion, the Deposit whether of Faith or Word
was verified and established. General Councils decided in those days
upon the Faith, and the Creed when accepted and approved by the
universal voice was enacted for good and bequeathed to future ages. So
it was both as to the Canon and the Words of Holy Scripture, only that
all was done quietly. As to the latter, hardly a footfall was heard. But
none the less, corruption after short-lived prominence sank into deep
and still deeper obscurity, whilst the teaching of fifteen centuries
placed the true Text upon a firm and lasting basis.

And so I venture to hold, now that the question has been raised, both
the learned and the well-informed will come gradually to see, that no
other course respecting the Words of the New Testament is so strongly
justified by the evidence, none so sound and large-minded, none so
reasonable in every way, none so consonant with intelligent faith, none
so productive of guidance and comfort and hope, as to maintain against
all the assaults of corruption



[618] Dr. Hort has represented Neutral readings by [Symbol: alpha],
Western by [Symbol: beta], as far as I can understand, 'other' by
[Symbol: gamma], and 'Syrian' (=Traditional) by [Symbol: delta]. But he
nowhere gives an example of [Symbol: gamma].

[619] Introduction, p. 103.

[620] Cp. St. Luke xviii. 2, 3. [Greek: Tis] is used with [Greek: ex],
St. Luke xi. 15, xxiv. 24; St. John vi. 64, vii. 25, ix. 16, xi. 37, 46;
Acts xi. 20, xiii. 1, &c.

[621] Thus [Greek: epainos] is used for a public encomium, or panegyric.

[622] An attempt in the _Guardian_ has been made in a review full of
errors to weaken the effect of my list by an examination of an unique
set of details. A correction both of the reviewer's figures in one
instance and of my own may be found above, pp. 144-153. There is no
virtue in an exact proportion of 3: 2, or of 6: 1. A great majority will
ultimately be found on our side.



[Symbol: Aleph] or Sinaitic MS., 2, 196.

Accident, 8; pure A., 34-35.

Addition, 166-7, 270.

Ages, earliest, 2.

Alexandrian error, 45;
  readings, App. II. 268, 284.

Alford, _passim_.

Ammonius, 200.

Antiquity, our appeal always made to, 194-5.

Apolinarius, or-is (or Apoll.), 224, 257.

Arians, 204, 218.

Assimilation, 100-127;
  what it was, 101-2;
  must be delicately handled, 115

Attraction, 123-7.


B or Vatican MS., 2, 8, 196;
  kakigraphy of, 64 note:
  virtually with [Symbol: Aleph] the 'Neutral' text, 282.

Basilides, 195, 197-9, 218 note 2.

Blunder, history of a, 24-7.

Bohairic Version, 249, and _passim_.


Caesarea, library of, 284.

Cerinthus, 201.

Clement of Alexandria, 193.

Conflation, 266-82.

Correctors of MSS., 21.

Corruption, first origin of, 3-8;
  classes of 8-9, 23;
  general, 10-23;
  prevailed from the first, 12;
  the most corrupt authorities, 8, 14;
  in early Fathers, 193-4.

Curetonian Version, _passim. See_ Traditional Text.

Cursive MSS., a group of eccentric, 283;
  Ferrar group, 282.


D or Codex Bezae, 8.

[Symbol: Delta], or Sangallensis, 8.

Damascus, 5.

Diatessarons, 89, 96-8, 101. _See_ Tatian.

Doxology, in the Lord's Prayer, 81-8.


Eclogadion, 69.

Epiphanius, 305, 211-2.

Erasmus, 10.

Error, slight clerical, 37-31.

Euroclydon, 46.

Evangelistaria (the right name), 67.


Falconer's St. Paul's voyage, 46-7.

Fathers, _passim_; earliest, 193.

Faustinus, 218.

Ferrar group of Cursives, 282.

Field, Dr., 28 note 5, 30 and note 2.


Galilee of the Gentiles, 4-5.

Genealogy, 22. _See_ Traditional Text.

Glosses, 94-5, 98, 172-90;
  described, 172.

Gospels, the four, probable date of, 7.

Guardian, review in, Pref., 150-2, 283 note.

Gwilliam, Rev. G. H., 115 note.


Harmonistic influence, 89-99.

Heracleon, 190, 202, 204, 215 note 2.

Heretics, corruptions by, 199-210;
  not always dishonest, 191;
  very numerous, 199 &c.

Homoeoteleuton, 36-41; explained, 8


Inadvertency, 21, 23.

Internal evidence, Pref.

Interpolations, 166-7.

Irenaeus, St., 193.

Itacism, 8, 56-86.


Justin Martyr, St., 193.


L or Codex Regius, 8.

Lachmann, _passim_.

Last Twelve Verses, 72, 129-30.

Latin MSS., Old, _passim_; Low-Latin, 8. _See_ Traditional Text.

Lectionaries, 67-81;
  ecclesiastical prefaces to, 71.

Lewis MS., _passim_, 194.

Liturgical influence, 67-88.


Macedonians, 204.

Manes, 207.

Manichaeans, 206.

Manuscripts, six classes of, 12;
  existing number of, 12;
  frequent inaccuracies in, 12;
  more serious faults, 20-1; and _passim_.

Marcion, 70, 195, 197, 199, 200, 219.

Matrimony, 208.

Menologion, 69.


Naaseni, 204.

'Neutral Text,' 267, 282-6.


Omissions, 128-156;
  the largest of all classes, 128;
  not 'various readings,' 128;
  prejudice in favour of, 130-1;
  proof of, 131-2;
  natural cause of corruption, 270.

Origen, 53-5, 98, 101, 111-3, 190, 193, 209.

Orthodox, corruption by, 211-31,
  misguided, 211.


Papyrus MSS., 2. _See_ Traditional Text.

Parallel passages, 95.

Pella, 7.

Pericope de Adultera, 232-65.

Peshitto Version, _passim. See_ Traditional Text.

Porphyry, 114.


Revision, 10-13.

Rose, Rev. W. F., 61 note 3.


[Greek: Sabbatokuriakai], 68.

Sahidic Version, 194.

Saturninue, or Saturnilus, 208 and note 3.

Scrivener's Introduction (4th Ed.), Miller's, _passim_.

Semiarianism, 2.

Substitution, 164-5, 270, 277.

Synaxarion, 69.


Tatian's Diatessaron, 8, 98, 101, 196, 200.

Textualism of the Gospels, different from T. of profane writings, 14.

Theodotus, 205, 214.

Tischendorf, 112-3, 176, 182, and _passim_;
  misuse of Assimilation, 118.

Traditional Text, 1-4;
  not = Received Text, 1. _See_ Volume on it.

Transcriptional Mistakes, 55.

Transposition, 157-63;
  character of, 163, 270.

Tregelles, 34, 136, 138.


Uncials, 42-55.


Valentinus, 197-9, 201, 202-5, 215, 218 note 2.

Various readings, 14-16.

Vellum, 2.

Vercellone, 47 note.

Versions, _passim_.

Victorinus Afer, 218.


Western Readings or Text, 6, 266-85.


Z or Dublin palimpsest, 8.



St. Matthew:
    i. 19 209
  iii. 6 102
       16 170-1
   iv. 23 51-2
    v. 44 144-53
   vi. 13 81-8
       18 171
  vii. 4 102
 viii. 9 102
       13 167-8
       26 103
       29 102
   ix. 24 104
       35 74
    x. 12 103
   xi. 23 27
  xii. 10 117
 xiii. 36 173
       44 80-1
   xv. 8 136-44
  xvi. 8 103
  xix. 9 39
       16 103
   xx. 24 103
       28 175
  xxi. 9 99
       44 134-6
 xxii. 23 49-50
xxiii. 14 38
 xxiv. 15 116
       31 179-80
       36 169-70
  xxv. 13 171
xxvii. 15 103
       17 53-5
     25-6 91
       35 171

St. Mark:
    i. 2 111-5
        5 157-8
   ii. 3 158-9
   iv. 6 63-4
    v. 36 188
   vi. 11 118-9, 181-2
       32 32-3
       33 271-3
  vii. 14 35
       19 61-3
       31 73-3
 viii. 1 34
       26 273-4
   ix. 38 271
       49 275
    x. 16 48
  xii. 17 48
  xiv. 40 48
       41 182-3
       70 119-22
   xv. 6 32
       28 75-8
  xvi. 9-20 72, 129-30

St. Luke:
    i. 66 188-9
   ii. 14 21-2, 31-2
       15 36
  iii. 14 201
       29 165
   iv. 1-13 94
    v. 7 108
       14 104
   vi. 1 132-3
        4 167
       26 153
  vii. 3 174
       21 50
   ix. 1 74
       10 275-6
     54-6 224-31
    x. 15 28
       25 75
   xi. 54 276-7
  xii. 18 277-8
       39 155
 xiii. 9 160-1
  xiv. 3 117
   xv. 16 117
       17 43-5
       24 61
       32 61
  xvi. 21 40
       25 60
 xvii. 37 48-9
  xix. 21 103
       41 212
 xxii. 67-8 210
xxiii. 11 50-1
       27 51
       42 57
 xxiv. 1 92-4
        7 161
       53 278

St. John:
    i. 3-4 203
       18 215-8, 165
   ii. 40 212-4
  iii. 13 223-4
   iv. 15 48
    v. 4 50
       27 162
    v. 44 45
   vi. 11 37-8
       15 38, 178
       55 153-4
       71 124
 viii. 40 214-5
   ix. 22 183
    x. 14-15 206-8
       29 24-7
  xii. 1, 2 57-9
        7 184-6
       13 99
 xiii. 21-5 106-11
       24 179
       25 60
       26 124
       37 35
  xvi. 16 105
 xvii. 4 186-8
xviii. 14 180-1
   xx. 11 90-2

   ii. 45-6 159
  iii. 1 78-80
xviii. 6 27
   xx. 4 190
       24 28, 124-5
xxvii. 14 46-7
       37 27
xxviii. 1 28

1 Cor.:
   xv. 47 219-23

2 Cor.:
  iii. 3 125-7

   ii. 5 65-6

  vii. 1 53

2 Pet.:
    i. 21 52-3

    i. 5 59-60


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