Codex Vaticanus

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Codex_vaticanus.jpg
A section of the Codex Vaticanus, containing 1 Esdras 2:1-8

The Codex Vaticanus (The Vatican, Bibl. Vat., Vat. gr. 1209; Gregory-Aland no. B or 03) is one of the oldest extant manuscripts of the Bible. It is slightly older than Codex Sinaiticus, both of which were probably transcribed in the 4th century. It is written in Greek, on vellum, with uncial letters.

Codex Vaticanus originally contained a complete copy of the Septuagint and the New Testament, but pages 1519-1536 containing Hebrews 9:14 through Revelation were lost and replaced by a 15th century minuscule supplement (no. 1957).

The manuscript has been housed in the Vatican Library (founded by Pope Nicholas V in 1448) for as long as it has been known, appearing in its earliest catalog of 1475.

Its previous history is unknown, but there has been speculation that it had previously been in the possession of Cardinal Bessarion because the minuscule supplement has a text similar to one of Bessarion's manuscripts. T.C. Skeat, a paleographer at the British Museum, has argued that Codex Vaticanus was among the 50 Bibles that the Emperor Constantine I ordered Eusebius of Caesarea to produce. However, others have argued that Constantine's manuscripts were Byzantine, which would rule out that possibility.

Codex Vaticanus is one of the most important manuscripts for Textual criticism and is a leading member of the Alexandrian text-type. It was heavily used by Westcott and Hort in their edition of the Greek New Testament (1881).

The manuscript contains mysterious double dots (so called "umlauts") in the margin of the New Testament, which seem to indicate positions of textual variants. The date of these is disputed among scholars. See weblink below for details.

Literature

  • H.J.M. Milne and T.C. Skeat "Scribes and Correctors", London 1938
  • Janko Sagi "Problema historiae codicis B", Divius Thomas 1972, 3 - 29
  • T.C. Skeat "The Codex Vaticanus in the 15th Century.", JTS 35 (1984) 454 - 65
  • T.C. Skeat "The Codex Sinaiticus, the Codex Vaticanus and Constantine.", JTS 50 (1999) 583 - 625
  • Philip B. Payne "Fuldensis, Sigla for Variants in Vaticanus and 1 Cor 14.34-5.", NTS 41 (1995) 251 - 262 [Payne discovered the first umlaut while studying this section.]
  • Curt Niccum "The voice of the MSS on the Silence of the Women: ...", NTS 43 (1997) 242 - 255
  • Philip B. Payne and Paul Canart "The Originality of Text-Critical Symbols in Codex Vaticanus.", Novum Testamentum 42 (2000) 105 - 113
  • J. Edward Miller "Some Observations on the Text-Critical Function of the Umlauts in Vaticanus, with Special Attention to 1 Corinthians 14.34-35.", JSNT 26 (2003) 217-236 [Miller disagrees with Payne on several points. He notes and uses this website.]
  • Philip B. Payne and Paul Canart "The Text-Critical Function of the Umlauts in Vaticanus, with Special Attention to 1 Corinthians 14.34-35: A Response to J. Edward Miller.", JSNT 27 (2004) 105-112 [Payne still thinks, contra Miller, that the combination of a bar plus umlaut has a special meaning.]

External links

  • Codex Vaticanus NT (http://www.moses.uklinux.net/pdf/Codex-Vaticanus-NT.pdf) Facsimile edition in PDF format.
  • Codex Vaticanus B/03 (http://www-user.uni-bremen.de/~wie/Vaticanus/index.html) Detailed description of Codex Vaticanus with many images and discussion of the "umlauts".de:Codex Vaticanus

fr:Codex vaticanus id:Codex Vaticanus sv:Codex Vaticanus

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