Last Updated:

Aug 4, 2010

Cod. Montfortianus

Excerpt from: Orlando Dobbin, Codex Montfortianus, (London, 1854)

Page Index

Dobbin: - Codex Montfortianus (61)
    Preface to Collation
    Codex 56 - descriptions
    Codex 58
    Collation - Jn 7:53-8:11

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Codex Montfortianus (GA-61), von Soden: δ 603, Erasmus: Cod. Britannicus. (15th-16th cent.)

The text is written in one column per page, 21 lines per page, on 455 paper leaves (15.8 cm by 12 cm).

The codex contains the entire of the New Testament. It contains prolegomena, tables of the κεφαλαια, numbers of the κεφαλαια at the margin, the τιτλοι at the top of the pages, the Ammonian Sections, Eusebian Canons, subscriptions, and στιχοι. The titles of the sacred books were written in red ink.

The order of books: Gospels, Pauline epistles, Acts, General epistles (James, Jude, 1-2 Peter, 1-3 John), and Book of Revelation. The order of General epistles is the same as in Minuscule 326.

The Greek text of the Gospels and Acts of this codex is a representative of the Byzantine text-type, Aland placed it n Category V. In Pauline epistles and General epistles its text is mixed. Aland placed it in Category III. In the Book of Revelation its text belongs to the Byzantine text-type but with a large number of unique textual variants, in a close relationship to the Uncial 046, and Minuscule 69.

In the Gospels close to the manuscripts 56, 58.

In 1 John 5:6 it has textual variant δι' ὕδατος καὶ αἵματος καὶ πνεύματος ἁγίου (through water and blood and the Holy Spirit) together with the manuscripts: 39, 326, 1837.

It contains the Comma Johanneum as an integral part of the text."

- Wikipedia online

"Our object has been not only to collate the Gospels and Acts of this remarkable MS with the Greek text of Wetstein [essentially the TR], but also to exhibit the sources of the Manuscript by comparison with other MSS, we have added citations from the Oxford codices numbered respectively 56, 58, 39. These it will be found, leave us no longer in the predicament announced by Dr. Adam Clarke, at the beginning of this century, "How far the writer has in any place faithfully copied the text of any ancient MS is more than can be determined."

By means of the full citation and orderly distribution of the texts, the student will detect at a glance the exact relation of each of the MSS to every other, thus rendering comment superfluous, and all necessary inference easy. ...

Mistakes in Wetstein:

The number of citations (below) printed as 2932, whereas they will be found to be only 2806. This difference is occasioned by the circumstance, that the larger calculation was made from our original draft of collation, which contained 126 citations of readings identical with those of Wetstein, but disfigured with clerical errors, which for the time being chose to consider as so many variations. But these, on reflection, we did not deem it necessary to print.

We now come in due order to present a brief description of the three MSS. from which we have made the citations in our volume. The first of these is —

Lincoln College MS 56

of Wetstein , College MARK 18.

This volume contains the four Gospels, and was presented to the College by Edmund Audley, Bishop of Salisbury, somewhere about the year 1502. It was probably written for that prelate by some Greek sojourning in England at the period we have named. In addition to this information of Wetstein , we can add, that the volume is a small quarto, and tolerably neatly written on paper. This paper has throughout it the watermark of an extended hand, sometimes with sometimes without the star from the middle finger. The MS. is complete, containing 232 folios, and was most likely written a few years before the end of the fifteenth century.

It commences with a list of 68 headings of sections in Matthew, followed by the Gospel of that writer.

48 headings precede the Gospel of Mark ; which Gospel is followed by a few iambic and heroic verses on the Evangelist.

Next come prefaces to St. Luke, and 83 Kephalaia to that Gospel, succeeded by the text.

Prefaces to St. John follow, with 18 Kephalaia, and then the Gospel.

The volume closes with an explanation of a few Hebrew- names, and a prayer to the following effect, in Greek : —

** To him who has with his three fingers filled this volume, do thou grant in return remission of sins, Universal King, Son and Word of the Father who is without beginning ! that he may not have his lot with those at the left hand, but that thou wouldst number him with those on the right hand, namely, with John, the servant of thee, and of thy mother ! "

This volume has accents, breathings, and stops, but is not divided into the Latin chapters.

New College MS 58, Oxford,

of Wetstein , College MARK 68.

This MS. is of the small quarto size, almost resembling octavo, and is written on strong fresh vellum. It is evidently modem, not dating higher than the last twenty years of the fifteenth century, and contains 342 folios.

It begins with the synaxarium of the Gospels for the year; this being followed by 68 headings of sections in Matthew, and then the Gospel of that writer.

The Kephalaia to Mark are 48, succeeded immediately by that Gospel.

To St. Luke the Kephalaia are 73, followed, evidently out of place, by the argument of St. Mark's Gospel, and the usual iambic and heroic verses on Mark.

Next comes the Prooemium to St. Luke, Titus, Bishop of Bostra's prologue, that of Cosmas Indicopleustes, the argument of the same writer, together with three other arguments, closing with Nicetas the Paphlagonian's iambic poem on St. Luke.

The Gospel according to St. Luke follows.

The sections in John are then given, amounting to 18; next the prologue to the Gospel, followed by the text of the Evangelist, closing with five iambic verses.

The volume ends with the interpretation of a few Hebrew names and places, and the prayer given at the close of the Lincoln MS., with unimportant variations.

This MS. has accents, stops, and breathings, and is not divided into the Latin chapters. The handwriting is extremely legible, but careless and hurried, by no means a specimen of caligraphy.

In Wetstein's description of this Codex he makes many mistakes, some the more inexcusable, as, had he but copied Mill, he might at least have avoided these. In the first place, he confounds two MSS. together: Codex 58, containing the Gospels only, which is entirely a modem transcript, with the New College copy of the Acts and Epistles, a totally distinct volume, of different and much larger size, a goodly quarto.

It is, besides, at least three hundred years older than the volume containing the Gospels, being not later than the thirteenth century. We are able to add that another notable feature distinguishes it from the other MS., namely, that it contains a marginal gloss, nearly continuous through the volume, in the hand of the original transcriber.

How very cursory Wetstein's inspection of these MSS. must have been when he saw them in 1715, may be gathered from his further characterisation of both as written in a very elegant character, which, however true of the latter volume, is by no means correct in regard to the former. Neither of these Manuscripts, besides, is divided into the Latin chapters, nor is there hence any proof that either was written by a Latiniser. But Wetstein is further both incorrect and inconsistent in a conjecture which he has made here respecting the common authorship of the Lincoln and the New College MSS.

The Codex 58, of which we are now treating, he declares to be evidently a twin copy with Codex 56, described before; and adds, that they are written in the same character, and probably by the same scribe. But it will be remembered, he ascribed Codex 56 to the labour of some Greekling (a Graeculo quodam descriptum), and the present MS. to some Latin transcriber, (a Latino scriptum esse patet), a contradiction in terms we cannot hope to reconcile. We may subjoin, that the handwritings are very far from similar, and that in no respects do the MSS. resemble each Other, except in the readings of their various texts. That one may have been copied from the other is true, but that the same hand transcribed both is impossible.

Collation of Mont., 56, 58

for John 7:53-8:11

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