From the book “THE REVISION REVISED”
by John William BURGON
Notes on the corruptions of the Vaticanus and Sinaiticus MSS
In S. Matth. i. 25,—the omission of 'her first-born:'—in vi 13, the omission of the Doxology:—in xii. 47, the omission of the whole verse:— in xvi. 2, 3, the omission of our Lord's memorable words concerning the signs of the weather;—-in xvii. 21, the omission of the mysterious statement, 'But this kind goeth not out save by prayer and fasting:'—in xviii. 11, the omission of the precious words “For the Son of man came to save that which was lost.”
In S. Mark xvi. 9-20, the omission of the 'last Twelve Verses,’—(‘the contents of which are not such as could have been invented by any scribe or editor of the Gospel,’—W. and H. p. 57). All admit that (Greek) is an impossible ending.
In S. Luke vi. 1, the suppression of the unique (Greek); ('the very obscurity of the expression attesting strongly to its genuineness,'— Scrivener, p. 516, and so W. and H. p. 58):—ix. 54-56, the omitted rebuke to the 'disciples James and John:'—in x. 41, 42, the omitted words concerning Martha and Mary:—in xxii. 43,44, the omission of the Agony in the Garden,—(which nevertheless, 'it would be impossible to regard as a product of the inventiveness of scribes,'—W. and H. p. 67) :— in xxiii. 17, a memorable clause omitted:—in xxiii. 34, the omission of our Lord's prayer for His murderers,—(concerning which Westcott and Hort remark that 'few verses of the Gospels bear in themselves a surer witness to the truth of what they record than this'—p. 68):—in xxiii. 38, the statement that the inscription on the Cross was 'in letters of Greek, and Latin, and Hebrew:'—in xxiv. 12, the visit of S. Peter to the Sepulchre. Bishop Lightfoot remarks concerning S. Luke ix. 56: xxii. 43, 44: and xxiii. 34,—“It seems impossible to believe that these incidents are other than authentic,”—(p. 28.)
In S. John iii. 13, the solemn clause 'which is in heaven:'—in v. 3, 4, the omitted incident of the trembling of the pool:—in vii. 53 to viii. 11, the narrative concerning the woman taken in adultery omitted,—concerning which Drs. W. and H. remark that 'the argument which has always told most in its favour in modern times is its own internal character. The story itself has justly seemed to vouch for its own substantial truth, and the words in which it is clothed to harmonize with those of other Gospel narratives'—(p. 87). Bishop Lightfoot remarks that “the narrative bears on its face the highest credentials of authentic history”—(p. 28)………
To some extent, even the unlearned Reader may easily convince himself of this, by examining the rejected “alternative” Readings in the margin of the ‘Revised Version’ The ‘Many’ and the ‘Some ancient authorities’ there spoken of, almost invariably include—sometimes denote—codd. B +, one or both of them. These constitute the merest fraction of the entire amount of corrupt readings exhibited by B +; but they will give English readers some notion of the problem just now under consideration.
Besides the details already supplied [see above, pages 16 and 17:—30 and 31:—46 and 47:—76:—249:—262:—289:—316 to 319] concerning B and + —(the result of laborious collation,)—some particulars shall now be added.
The piercing of our Saviour's side, thrust in after Matt, xxvii. 49:—the eclipse of the sun when the moon was full, in Lu. xxiii. 45:— the monstrous figment concerning Herod's daughter, thrust into Mk. vi. 22:—the precious clauses omitted in Matt. i. 25 and xviii. 11:—in Lu. ix. 54-6, and in Jo. iii. 13:—the wretched glosses in Lu. vi. 48: x. 42: xv. 21: Jo. x. 14 and Mk. vi. 20:—the substitution of (Greek)(for - Greek) in Matt, xxvii. 34,—of (Greek) (for Greek) in Jo. i. 18,—of (Greek) (for Greek) in ix. 35,—of (Greek) (for Greek) in Rom. iv. 8:—the geographical blunder in Mk. vii. 31: in Lu. iv. 44:—the omission in Matt. xii. 47,—and of two important verses in Matt. xvi. 2, 3:—of (Greek) in Acts i. 19;—of (Greek) in iii. 6;—and of (Greek) in Lu. vi. 1;—the two spurious clauses in Mk. iii. 14, 16;—the obvious blunders in Jo. ix. 4 and 11;—in Acts xii. 25—besides the impossible reading in 1 Cor. xiii. 3,—make up a heavy indictment against B and + jointly—which are here found in company with just a very few disreputable allies. Add, the plain error at Lu. ii. 14:—the gloss at Mk. v. 36;—the mere fabrication at Matt. xix. 17:—the omissions at Matt. vi. 13 : Jo. v. 3, 4.
B (in company with others, but apart from +) by (Greek) in Matt, xxviii. 19:—(Greek) in Mk. ix. 1;—‘seventy-two,’ in Lu. x. 1;—the blunder in Lu. xvi. 12;—and the grievous omissions in Lu. xxii. 43,44 (Christ's Agony in the Garden),—and xxiii. 34 (His prayer for His murderers),—enjoys unenviable distinction.—B, singly, is remarkable for an obvious blunder in Matt, xxi, 31;—Lu, xxi. 24;—Jo. xviii. 5;—Acts x. 19—and xvii. 28;—xxvii. 37;—not to mention the insertion of (Greek) in Jo. vii. 39.
+ (in company with others, but apart from B) is conspicuous for its sorry interpolation of Matt. viii. 13:—its substitution of (Greek) (for Greek) in S. John i. 4;—its geographical blunder in S. Luke xxiv. 13:—its textual blunder at 1 Pet. i. 23,— + , singly, is remarkable for its sorry paraphrase in Jo. ii. 3:—its addition to i. 34;—its omissions in Matt, xxiii. 35:—Mk. i. 1;—Jo. ix. 38;—its insertion of (Greek) in Matt. xiii. 35:— its geographical blunders in Mk. i. 28;—Lu. i. 26:—Acts viii. 5:—besides the blunders in Jo. vi. 51—and xiii. 10:—1 Tim. iii. 16:—Acts xxv. 13;— and the clearly fabricated narrative of Jo. xiii. 24. Add the fabricated text at Mk. xiv. 30, 68, 72; of which the object was 'so far to assimilate the narrative of Peter's denials with those of the other Evangelists, as to suppress the fact, vouched for by S. Mark only, that the cock crowed twice.'
Characteristic, and fatal beyond anything that can be named are, (1) The exclusive omission by B and + of Mark xvi. 9-20:—(2) The omission of (Greek), from Ephes. i. l:—(3) The blunder, (Greek), in James i. 17:—(4) The nonsensical (Greek) in Matt. xvii. 22:—(5) That ‘vile error,’ (as Scrivener calls it,) (Greek), in Acts xxviii. 13:—(6) The impossible order of words in Lu. xxiii. 32; and (7) The extraordinary order in Acts i. 5:—(8) The omission of the last clause of the Lord's prayer, in Lu. xi. 4; and (9) Of that solemn verse, Matt. xvii. 21; and (10) Of (Greek) in Matt. xiv. 30:—(11) The substitution of (Greek) (for Greek) in Matt. xi. 29;—(12) Of (Greek) (for Greek) in Jo. xix. 39,—and (13) of (Greek) (for Greek) in John xix. 41. Then, (14) The thrusting of (Greek) into Matt. xvi. 21,—and (15) Of (Greek) into vi. 8:—besides (16) So minute a peculiarity as (Greek) in Matt. x. 35: xii. 24, 27: Lu. xi. 15, 18,19. (17) Add, the gloss at Matt. xvii. 20, and (18) The omissions at Matt. v. 22: xvii. 21.—It must be admitted that such peculiar blemishes, taken collectively, constitute a proof of affinity of origin,—community of descent from one and the same disreputable ancestor. But space fails us.
The Reader will be interested to learn that although, in the Gospels, B combines exclusively with A, but 11 times; and with C, but 38 times: with D, it combines exclusively 141 times, and with +, 239 times: (viz. in Matt. 121,—in Mk. 26,—in Lu. 51,—in Jo. 41 times).
Contrast it with A:—which combines exclusively with D, 21 times: with + 13 times: with B, 11 times: with C, 4 times.
The Reviewer speaks from actual inspection of both documents. They are essentially dissimilar. The learned Ceriani assured the Reviewer (in 1872) that whereas the Vatican Codex must certainly have been written in Italy,—the birthplace of the Sinaitic was [not Egypt, but] either Palestine or Syria. Thus, considerations of time and place effectually dispose of Tischendorf’s preposterous notion that the Scribe of Codex B wrote six leaves of +: an imagination which solely resulted from the anxiety of the Critic to secure for his own cod. + the same antiquity which is claimed for the vaunted cod. B.
This opinion of Dr. Tischendorf’s rests on the same fanciful basis as his notion that the last verse of S. John's Gospel in + was not written by the same hand which wrote the rest of the Gospel. There is no manner of difference: though of course it is possible that the scribe took a new pen, preliminary to writing that last verse, and executing the curious and delicate ornament which follows. Concerning S. Jo. xxi. 25, see above, pp. 23-4.
JUST A SAMPLE OF THE DIFFERENCES BETWEEN THE SINAITICUS AND VATICANUS IN CONTRASTS TO THE RECEIVED TEXT OR MAJORITY TEXT - Keith Hunt