Saint Matthew, Mount Athos Bible

Saint Matthew, Mount Athos Bible


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November 16: St. Matthew the Evangelist

Any reference to the Apostle St. Matthew, author of the first book of the New Testa­ment, is made with such solemnity and reverence that speaking of him as a man seems almost sacrilegious, so close to the divine is he con­sidered. But when Jesus came upon Matthew, he was a man who could scarcely be viewed with little but contempt by the human eye the divine sight of Christ, however, saw in this man which He beckoned to His service that spark of greatness invi­sible to the rest of the world. It is doubtful that Matthew him­self was aware of what lay dormant in him that was to place him in the forefront of Christianity.

Matthew was a native ofCana, the scene of the wedding feast at which Jesus performed his first miracle of changing the water to wine. He became a tax collector for the Roman government, a position that has endeared no one to the tax­payer at any time in history, but which in the time of Christ, when the populace was taxed to excess, was deemed second in unpopularity only to the executioner. Jesus was travelling on the Mediterranean Damascus road when he came upon Matthew who was stationed there in his inglorious pur­suit. Standing at a lake near the city ofCapernaum, Matthew’s gaze met the Lord’s and Jesus spoke to him, uttering only two words: “Follow me.”

Thus, in most unceremonious fashion did the divinity of Christ assert itself and an overwhelmed Matthew took up the cause of Christ without any reply. He was no doubt so over­come with emotion at the majestic power of Jesus that he could not speak, but the communication between them was clear and Matthew felt a resurgence of the spirit within him and came to know the tranquillity that emanates from God.

The service of St. Matthew is familiar to all who call them­selves Christian. His close association with Jesus tends to ob­scure the man who shed the ignominious role of tax collector to become the most intellectual of the twelve Apostles chosen by the Lord. The awesome task of carrying the word of Christ to a people oppressed for centuries and suspicious of any newcomer was assumed by St. Matthew with a determination that could not be denied. If the fifteenth century civilization could laugh at Columbus who said the world was round, what did they say to Matthew fifteen hundred years earlier when he declared that Jesus was the Son of God. In simple terms, it wasn’t easy. Matthew says it in Chapter 10: 16 when he quotes Jesus as saying to his disciples: “Behold, I send you as sheep in the midst of wolves.”

After the crucifixion of Christ and His Resurrection, the inspiration of the Master was reaffirmed with renewed vigor at Pentecost when all the Apostles were enlightened by the Holy Spirit. Christianity owes its existence to the indomita­ble will and courage of the Apostles, who surmounted great obstacles of disbelief, superstition, distrust and open hostility in spreading the gospel. There was no mass media, only the word of mouth and tile weary foot travel from village to village. Christianity is the greatest single achievement in the history of mankind and to St. Matthew and his ten comrades goes the credit for having successfully spread the worship of Jesus Christ.

Matthew preached the Gospel for many years after the death of Christ, travelling throughout the Holy Land and finally meeting a martyr’s death at the hands of pagans inEthiopia. His final verse is his epitaph. “Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, Io, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.” The feast day of St. Matthew is observed on November 16.

From: George Poulos, Orthodox saints, Brookline: Holy Cross Orthodox Press, c 1976.

About the Gospel

Matthew was a Hebrew, whose calling in life was that of a tax gatherer under the Roman government. His writing evidences his acquaintance with the Hebrew Scriptures and especially with those which foretold the coming of the Messiah King. Thus, both in his religious thinking and in the prosecution of his daily calling he was familiar with the idea of government.

His story of the life and work of Jesus is naturally therefore a setting forth of the King and his Kingdom. The book falls into three parts. In the first Matthew introduces the Person (i.-iv. 16) in the second he tells the story of the Propaganda (iv. 17-xvi. 20) and in the last chronicles the events of the Passion (xvi. 21.-xxviii).

From: G. Campbell Morgan, The analysed Bible, London.

Excerpts from the Gospel of Matthew

True happiness

“Happy are those who know they are spiritually poor

the Kingdom of heaven belongs to them!

“Happy are those who mourn

They will receive what God has promised!

“Happy are those whose greatest desire is to do what God requires

God will satisfy them fully!

“Happy are those who are merciful to others

God will be merciful to them!

“Happy are the pure in heart

“Happy are those who work for peace among men

“Happy are those who are persecuted because they do what God requires

The Kingdom of heaven belongs to them!

Teaching about Anger

“You have heard that men were told in the past, Do not murder anyone who commits murder will be brought before the judge. But now I tell you whoever is angry with his brother will be brought before the judge whoever calls his brother You good-for-nothing! Will be brought before the Council and whoever calls his brother a worthless fool will be in danger of going to the fire of hell. So if you are about to offer you gift to God at the altar and there you remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar and go at once to make peace with your brother then come back and offer your gift to God.

If a man brings a lawsuit against you and takes you to court, be friendly with him while there is time, before you get to court once you are there he will turn you over to the judge, who will hand you over to the police, and you will be put in jail. There you will stay I tell you, until you pay the last penny of your fine”.

Teaching about Divorce

“ It was also said Anyone who divorces his wife must give her a written notice of divorce. But now I tell you: if a man divorces his wife and she has not been unfaithful, then he is guilty of making her commit adultery if she marries again and the man who marries her also commits adultery.”

Love for Enemies

“You have heard that it was said, Love your friends, hate your enemies. But now I tell you: love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you, so that you will become the sons of your Father in heaven. For he makes his sun to shine on bad and good people alike and gives rain to those who do good and those who do evil. Why should God reward you if you love only the people who love you? Even the tax collectors do that! And if you speak only to your friends, have you done anything out of the ordinary? Even the pagans do that! You must be perfect-just as your Father heaven is perfect.”

The light of the Body

“The eyes are like a lamp of the body. If your eyes are clear, your whole body will be full of light but if your eyes are bad, your body will be in darkness. So if the light in you is darkness, how terribly dark it will be!”

Judging Others

“Do not judge others, so that God will not judge you-because God will judge you in the same way you judge others, and he will apply to you the same rules you apply to others. Why then, do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, and pay no attention to the log in your own eye? How dare you say to your brother, Please, let me take that speck out of your eye, when you have a log in your own eye? You hypocrite! Take the log out of your own eye first, and then you will be able to see and take the speck out of your brother’s eye.

Do not give what is holy to dogs-they will only turn and attack you don’t throw your pearls in front of pigs-they will only trample them underfoot.”


The Seventy Disciples

The seventy disciples or seventy-two disciples (known in the Eastern Christian traditions as the Seventy Apostles) were early emissaries of Jesus mentioned in the Gospel of Luke 10:1–24. According to Luke, the only gospel in which they appear, Jesus appointed them and sent them out in pairs on a specific mission which is detailed in the text.

In Western Christianity, they are usually referred to as disciples, whereas in Eastern Christianity they are usually referred to as Apostles. Using the original Greek words, both titles are descriptive, as an apostle is one sent on a mission (the Greek uses the verb form: apesteilen) whereas a disciple is a student, but the two traditions differ on the scope of the words apostle and disciple.

The passage from Luke reads:

Now after these things, the Lord also appointed seventy others, and sent them two by two ahead of him into every city and place, where he was about to come. Then he said to them, "The harvest is indeed plentiful, but the laborers are few. Pray therefore to the Lord of the harvest, that he may send out laborers into his harvest.

Go your ways. Behold, I send you out as lambs among wolves. Carry no purse, nor wallet, nor sandals. Greet no one on the way. Into whatever house you enter, first say, 'Peace be to this house.' If a son of peace is there, your peace will rest on him but if not, it will return to you. Remain in that same house, eating and drinking the things they give, for the laborer is worthy of his wages. Don’t go from house to house. Into whatever city you enter, and they receive you, eat the things that are set before you. Heal the sick who are therein, and tell them, 'God’s Kingdom has come near to you.'

But into whatever city you enter, and they don’t receive you, go out into its streets and say, 'Even the dust from your city that clings to us, we wipe off against you. Nevertheless know this, that God’s Kingdom has come near to you.' I tell you, it will be more tolerable in that day for Sodom than for that city. "Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the mighty works had been done in Tyre and Sidon which were done in you, they would have repented long ago, sitting in sackcloth and ashes. But it will be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon in the judgment than for you. You, Capernaum, who are exalted to heaven, will be brought down to Hades. Whoever listens to you listens to me, and whoever rejects you rejects me. Whoever rejects me rejects him who sent me."

The seventy returned with joy, saying, "Lord, even the demons are subject to us in your name!"

He said to them, "I saw Satan having fallen like lightning from heaven. Behold, I give you authority to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy. Nothing will in any way hurt you. Nevertheless, don’t rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven."

In that same hour Jesus rejoiced in the Holy Spirit, and said, "I thank you, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that you have hidden these things from the wise and understanding, and revealed them to little children. Yes, Father, for so it was well-pleasing in your sight."

Turning to the disciples, he said, "All things have been delivered to me by my Father. No one knows who the Son is, except the Father, and who the Father is, except the Son, and he to whomever the Son desires to reveal him."

Turning to the disciples, he said privately, "Blessed are the eyes which see the things that you see,

Many of the names included among the seventy are recognizable for their other achievements. The names included in various lists differ slightly. In the lists, Luke is also one of these seventy himself. The following list gives a widely accepted canon. Their names are listed below:


Wounded By Love

One of our most beloved modern saints, St. Porphyrios of Kafsokalyvia (on Mount Athos), is commemorated on December 2, which falls on a Sunday this year. It has only been five years since his official canonization, though the faithful of Greece and throughout the world had been venerating him for years before that.

The most well-known book in English about St. Porphyrios is Wounded by Love, which describes his life and shares some of his spiritual wisdom. It is a fitting title for a book on St. Porphyrios, who from an early age was overtaken (“wounded”) by a deep love for our Lord Jesus Christ. The phrase comes from one of the Vespers hymns about St. Hilarion the Great: “Ὁ ἔνθεος ἔρως κατέτρωσε,” “Divine love [literally divine eros] wounded you.” St. Porphyrios made it his life’s focus to pursue Christ’s love unwaveringly. Just as our Lord relentlessly pursues every person—though we reject Him and betray Him and sin against Him—so too did St. Porphyrios strive relentlessly against the passions and the fallen self to enter the loving embrace of our Savior.

Here is a small taste of the divine wisdom St. Porphyrios offers to us:

“Love Christ and put nothing before His Love. He is joy, He is life, He is light. Christ is everything. He is the ultimate desire, He is everything. Everything beautiful is in Christ.”

“A person can become a saint anywhere. He can become a saint in Omonia Square [in Athens, synonymous with vice and corruption], if he wants. At your work, whatever it may be, you can become saints—through meekness, patience and love. Make a new start every day, with new resolution, with enthusiasm and love, prayer and silence—not with anxiety so that you get a pain in the chest. … Look on all things as opportunities to be sanctified.”

“Do not strike at the evil directly, but, disdaining the passion, turn with love to God. Occupy yourself with singing hymns, the triumphant hymns of the saints and martyrs and the Psalms of David. Study Holy Scripture and the Church Fathers. In this way your soul will be softened, sanctified and assimilated to God.”

“Turn your mind towards God continually. Learn to love prayer converse with the Lord. What counts above all is love, passionate love for the Lord, for Christ the Bridegroom. Become worthy of Christ’s love. In order not to live in darkness, turn on the switch of prayer so that divine light may flood your soul. Christ will appear in the depths of your being. There, in the deepest and most inward part, is the Kingdom of God. The Kingdom of God is within you (Luke 17:21).”

“Those who desire and crave to belong to Christ and who abandon themselves to the will of God become worthy. It’s a great thing, all-important, to have no will. The slave has no will of his own. And it is possible for us to have no will of our own in a very simple manner: through love for Christ and the keeping of His commandments. ‘He who has my commandments and keeps them, he is the one who loves me and he who loves me shall be loved by my Father and I will love him and will manifest myself to him.’ (John 14:31)”

“Souls that have known pain and suffering and that are tormented by their passions win most especially the love and grace of God. It is souls such as these that become saints, and very often we pass judgment on them. Remember what Saint Paul says, ‘Where sin abounded, grace flowed even more abundantly’ (Romans 5:20). When you remember this, you will feel that these people are more worthy than you and than me. We see them as weak, but when they open themselves to God they become all love and all divine eros. Whereas previously they had acquired different habits, they now give all the power of their soul to Christ and are set on fire by Christ’s love. That is how God’s miracle works in such souls, which we regard as ‘lost.’ We shouldn’t be discouraged, nor should we rush to conclusions, nor judge on the basis of superficial and external things.”

I strongly encourage you to read Wounded by Love, to learn the spiritual wisdom of St. Porphyrios. And may his prayers intercede on our behalf!

About Fr. Matthew Swehla

Fr. Matthew is the second Priest in our parish's history. He was installed on June 25th, 2017. Fr. Matthew came to us from St. John the Baptist Greek Orthodox Church in Las Vegas, NV. He is a graduate of Holy Cross Greek Orthodox Seminary. Fr. Matthew is married to Presvytera Annie, and they have seven children: Dimas, Peter, Débora, Thomas, Joseph, Nicholas and Maria.


Contents

The codex consists of parchment, originally in double sheets, which may have measured about 40 by 70 cm. The whole codex consists, with a few exceptions, of quires of eight leaves, a format popular throughout the Middle Ages. [7] Each line of the text has some twelve to fourteen Greek uncial letters, arranged in four columns (48 lines per column) with carefully chosen line breaks and slightly ragged right edges. [8] When opened, the eight columns thus presented to the reader have much the same appearance as the succession of columns in a papyrus roll. [9] The poetical books of the Old Testament are written stichometrically, in only two columns per page. The codex has almost 4,000,000 uncial letters. [n 1]

Throughout the New Testament of Sinaiticus the words are written continuously in the style that comes to be called "biblical uncial" or "biblical majuscule". The parchment was prepared for writing lines, ruled with a sharp point. The letters are written on these lines, without accents or breathings. A variety of types of punctuation are used: high and middle points and colon, diaeresis on initial iota and upsilon, nomina sacra, paragraphos: initial letter into margin (extent of this varies considerably). (Peter M. Head)

The work was written in scriptio continua with neither breathings nor polytonic accents. [10] Occasional points and a few ligatures are used, though nomina sacra with overlines are employed throughout. Some words usually abbreviated in other manuscripts (such as πατηρ and δαυειδ), are in this codex written in both full and abbreviated forms. The following nomina sacra are written in abbreviated forms: ΘΣ ΚΣ ΙΣ ΧΣ ΠΝΑ ΠΝΙΚΟΣ ΥΣ ΑΝΟΣ ΟΥΟΣ ΔΑΔ ΙΛΗΜ ΙΣΡΛ ΜΗΡ ΠΗΡ ΣΩΡ . [11]

Almost regularly, a plain iota is replaced by the epsilon-iota diphthong (commonly though imprecisely known as itacism), e.g. ΔΑΥΕΙΔ instead οf ΔΑΥΙΔ, ΠΕΙΛΑΤΟΣ instead of ΠΙΛΑΤΟΣ, ΦΑΡΕΙΣΑΙΟΙ instead of ΦΑΡΙΣΑΙΟΙ, etc. [12]

Each rectangular page has the proportions 1.1 to 1, while the block of text has the reciprocal proportions, 0.91 (the same proportions, rotated 90°). If the gutters between the columns were removed, the text block would mirror the page's proportions. Typographer Robert Bringhurst referred to the codex as a "subtle piece of craftsmanship". [13]

The folios are made of vellum parchment primarily from calf skins, secondarily from sheep skins. [14] (Tischendorf himself thought that the parchment had been made from antelope skins, but modern microscopic examination has shown otherwise.) Most of the quires or signatures contain four sheets, save two containing five. It is estimated that the hides of about 360 animals were employed for making the folios of this codex. As for the cost of the material, time of scribes and binding, it equals the lifetime wages of one individual at the time. [15]

The portion of the codex held by the British Library consists of 346½ folios, 694 pages (38.1 cm x 34.5 cm), constituting over half of the original work. Of these folios, 199 belong to the Old Testament, including the apocrypha (deuterocanonical), and 147½ belong to the New Testament, along with two other books, the Epistle of Barnabas and part of The Shepherd of Hermas. The apocryphal books present in the surviving part of the Septuagint are 2 Esdras, Tobit, Judith, 1 and 4 Maccabees, Wisdom, and Sirach. [15] [16] The books of the New Testament are arranged in this order: the four Gospels, the epistles of Paul (Hebrews follows 2 Thess.), the Acts of the Apostles, [n 2] the General Epistles, and the Book of Revelation. The fact that some parts of the codex are preserved in good condition while others are in very poor condition suggests they were separated and stored in several places. [17]

Contents Edit

The text of the Old Testament contains the following passages: [18] [19]

    23:19 – Genesis 24:46 – fragments 20:27 – Leviticus 22:30 5:26–Numbers 7:20 – fragments 9:27–1 Chronicles 19:17 (from Esdr. 9:9). –Wisdom of Sirach –Book of Malachi –4 Maccabees

The text of the New Testament lacks several passages: [20]

    12:47, 16:2b-3, 17:21, 18:11, 23:14, 24:35 1:33, 7:16, 9:44, 9:46, 10:36, 11:26, 15:28, 16:9–20 (Long ending of the Gospel Mark, referring to the appearance of Jesus to many people following the resurrection) 10:32 (Likely omitted due to haplography resulting from homeoteleuton the verse was added by a later corrector in lower margin.), 17:36 5:4, Pericope adulterae (7:53–8:11) (see Image "John 7:53–8:11"), 16:15, 19:20, 20:5b-6, 21:25 8:37 15:34 24:7 28:29 [21] 16:24
    εὐλογεῖτε τοὺς καταρωμένους ὑμᾶς, καλῶς ποιεῖτε τοῖς μισοῦσιν ὑμᾶς (bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you) [22]
  • Matthew 6:13 – ὅτι σοῦ ἐστιν ἡ βασιλεία καὶ ἡ δύναμις καὶ ἡ δόξα εἰς τοὺς αἰῶνας. ἀμήν (For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.) omitted. [23]
  • Matthew 10:39a – ο ευρων την ψυχην αυτου απολεσει αυτην, και (Ηe who finds his life will lose it, and) [24]
  • Matthew 15:6 – η την μητερα (αυτου) (or (his) mother) [25]
  • Matthew 20:23 και το βαπτισμα ο εγω βαπτιζομαι βαπτισθησεσθε (and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with) [26]
  • Matthew 23:35 – υιου βαραχιου (son of Barachi'ah) omitted this omission is supported only by codex 59 (by the first hand), three Evangelistaria (6, 13, and 185), and Eusebius. [27]
  • Mark 1:1 – υιου θεου "the Son of God" omitted. [28]
  • Mark 10:7 – omitted και προσκολληθησεται προς την γυναικα αυτου (and be joined to his wife), as in codices Codex Vaticanus Graecus 1209, Codex Athous Lavrensis, 892, 48, syr s , goth. [29]
  • Luke 9:55b-56a – καὶ εἶπεν, Οὐκ οἴδατε ποίου πνεύματος ἐστὲ ὑμεῖς ὁ γὰρ υἱὸς τοῦ ἀνθρώπου οὐκ ἦλθεν ψυχὰς ἀνθρώπων ἀπολέσαι ἀλλὰ σῶσαι (and He said: "You do not know what manner of spirit you are of for the Son of man came not to destroy men's lives but to save them) omitted as in codices: P 45 , P 75 , B, C, L, Θ, Ξ, 33, 700, 892, 1241, syr, cop bo [30]
  • John 4:9 – ου γαρ συνχρωνται Ιουδαιοι Σαμαριταις (Jews have no dealings with Samaritans), it is one of so-called Western non-interpolations omission is supported by D, a, b, d, e, j, cop fay , it was supplemented by the first corrector (before leaving scriptorium) [31]

Some passages were excluded by the correctors:

  • Matthew 24:36 – phrase ουδε ο υιος (nor the Son) the first corrector marked as doubtful, but the second corrector (b) removed the mark. [32]
  • Mark 10:40 ητοιμασται υπο του πατρος μου (instead of ητοιμασται) – the first corrector marked "υπο του πατρος μου" as doubtful, but the second corrector removed the mark. [33]
  • In Luke 11:4 ἀλλὰ ῥῦσαι ἡμᾶς ἀπὸ τοῦ πονηροῦ (but deliver us from evil) included by the original scribe, marked by the first corrector (a) as doubtful, but the third corrector (c) removed the mark. [34] (Luke 22:43–44) – included by the original scribe, marked by the first corrector as doubtful, but the third corrector (c) removed the mark. [35] , "Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them for they know not what they do" – it was included by the first scribe, marked by the first corrector as doubtful, but a third corrector removed the mark. [36]

These omissions are typical for the Alexandrian text-type. [37]

Additions Edit

It has additional text: καὶ ὑποστρέψας ὁ ἑκατόνταρχος εἰς τὸν οἶκον αὐτοῦ ἐν αὐτῇ τῇ ὦρᾳ εὗρεν τὸν παῖδα ὑγιαίνοντα (and when the centurion returned to the house in that hour, he found the slave well) as well as codices C, (N), Θ, (0250), f 1 , (33, 1241), g 1 , syr h . [38]

It reads λέγοντες εἰρήνη τῷ οἴκῳ τούτῳ (say peace to be this house) after αυτην. The reading was deleted by the first corrector, but the second corrector restored it. The reading is used by manuscripts: Bezae, Regius, Washingtonianus, Koridethi, manuscripts f 1 , 22, 1010 (1424), it, vg cl . [39] [40]

In Matthew 27:49 the codex contains added text: ἄλλος δὲ λαβὼν λόγχην ἔνυξεν αὐτοῦ τὴν πλευράν, καὶ ἐξῆλθεν ὕδορ καὶ αἷμα (the other took a spear and pierced His side, and immediately came out water and blood). This reading was derived from John 19:34 and occurs in other manuscripts of the Alexandrian text-type. [41]

Unique and other textual variants Edit

Matthew 7:22 – It has additional word πολλα (numerous): "and cast out numerous demons in your name?". It is not supported by any other manuscript. [42]

Matthew 8:12 – It has ἐξελεύσονται (will go out) instead of ἐκβληθήσονται (will be thrown). This variant is supported only by one Greek manuscript Uncial 0250, and by Codex Bobiensis, syr c, s, p, pal , arm, Diatessaron. [43]

Matthew 13:54 – Ordinary reading εις την πατριδα αυτου (to his own country) changed into εις την αντιπατριδα αυτου (to his own Antipatris), and in Acts 8:5 εις την πολιν της Σαμαρειας replaced into εις την πολιν της Καισαριας. These two variants do not exist in any other manuscript, and it seems they were made by a scribe. According to T. C. Skeat they suggest Caesarea as a place in which the manuscript was made. [44]

Matthew 16:12 – It has textual variant της ζυμης των αρτων των Φαρισαιων και Σαδδουκαιων (leaven of bread of the Pharisees and Sadducees) supported only by Codex Corbeiensis I and Curetonian Gospels.

Luke 1:26 – "Nazareth" is called "a city of Judea".

Luke 2:37 – εβδομηκοντα (seventy), all manuscripts have ογδοηκοντα (eighty) [45]

John 1:28 – The second corrector made unique textual variant Βηθαραβα. This textual variant has only codex 892, syr h and several other manuscripts. [46]

John 1:34 – It reads ὁ ἐκλεκτός (chosen one) together with the manuscripts P >> 5 , P >> 106 , b, e, ff 2 , syr c , and syr s instead of ordinary word υἱος (son).

John 2:3 – Where ordinarily reading "And when they wanted wine", or "And when wine failed", Codex Sinaiticus has "And they had no wine, because the wine of the marriage feast was finished" (supported by a and j)

John 6:10 – It reads τρισχιλιοι (three thousands) for πεντακισχιλιοι (five thousands) the second corrector changed into πεντακισχιλιοι. [47]

Acts 11:20 – It reads εὐαγγελιστας (Evangelists) instead of ἑλληνιστάς (Hellenists) [48]

In Acts 14:9, the word "not" inserted before "heard" in Hebr. 2:4 "harvests" instead of "distributions" in 1 Peter 5:13-word "Babylon" replaced into "Church". [48]

2 Timothy 4:10 – it reads Γαλλιαν (Gaul) for Γαλατιαν (Galatia) This reading of the codex is supported by Ephraemi Rescriptus, 81, 104, 326, 436. [49]

Witness of some readings of "majority" Edit

It is the oldest witness for the phrase μη αποστερησης (do not defraud) in Mark 10:19. This phrase was not included by the manuscripts: Codex Vaticanus (added by second corrector), Codex Cyprius, Codex Washingtonianus, Codex Athous Lavrensis, f 1 , f 13 , 28, 700, 1010, 1079, 1242, 1546, 2148, 10, 950, 1642, 1761, syr s , arm, geo. This is variant of the majority manuscripts. [50]

In Mark 13:33 it is the oldest witness of the variant και προσευχεσθε (and pray). Codex B and D do not include this passage. [51]

In Luke 8:48 it has θυγατερ (daughter) as in the Byzantine manuscripts, instead of the Alexandrian θυγατηρ (daughter), supported by the manuscripts: B K L W Θ. [52]

Orthodox reading Edit

In 1 John 5:6 it has textual variant δι' ὕδατος καὶ αἵματος καὶ πνεύματος (through water and blood and spirit) together with the manuscripts: Codex Alexandrinus, 104, 424 c , 614, 1739 c , 2412, 2495, 598 m , syr h , cop sa , cop bo , Origen. [53] [n 3] Bart D. Ehrman says this was a corrupt reading from a proto-orthodox scribe, [54] although this conclusion has not gained wide support. [55]

Text-type and relationship to other manuscripts Edit

For most of the New Testament, Codex Sinaiticus is in general agreement with Codex Vaticanus Graecus 1209 and Codex Ephraemi Rescriptus, attesting the Alexandrian text-type. A notable example of an agreement between the Sinaiticus and Vaticanus texts is that they both omit the word εικη ('without cause', 'without reason', 'in vain') from Matthew 5:22 "But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgement". [n 4]

In John 1:1–8:38 Codex Sinaiticus differs from Vaticanus and all other Alexandrian manuscripts. It is in closer agreement with Codex Bezae in support of the Western text-type. For example, in John 1:4 Sinaiticus and Codex Bezae are the only Greek manuscripts with textual variant ἐν αὐτῷ ζωὴ ἐστίν (in him is life) instead of ἐν αὐτῷ ζωὴ ᾓν (in him was life). This variant is supported by Vetus Latina and some Sahidic manuscripts. This portion has a large number of corrections. [57] There are a number of differences between Sinaiticus and Vaticanus Hoskier enumerated 3036 differences:

Matt–656 Mark–567 Luke–791 John–1022 Total—3036. [58]

A large number of these differences are due to iotacisms and variants in transcribing Hebrew names. These two manuscripts were not written in the same scriptorium. According to Fenton Hort Sinaiticus and Vaticanus were derived from a common original much older source, "the date of which cannot be later than the early part of the second century, and may well be yet earlier". [59]

Example of differences between Sinaiticus and Vaticanus in Matt 1:18–19:

Codex Sinaiticus Codex Vaticanus
Του δε ΙΥ ΧΥ η γενεσις ουτως ην
μνηστευθισης της μητρος αυτου
Μαριας τω Ιωσηφ πριν ην συνελθιν αυτους
ευρεθη εν γαστρι εχουσα εκ ΠΝΣ αγιου
Ιωσηφ δε ο ανηρ αυτης δικαιος ων
και μη θελων αυτην παραδιγματισαι
εβουληθη λαθρα απολυσαι αυτην
Του δε ΧΥ ΙΥ η γενεσις ουτως ην
μνηστευθεισης της μητρος αυτου
Μαριας τω Ιωσηφ πριν ην συνελθειν αυτους
ευρεθη εν γαστρι εχουσα εκ ΠΝΣ αγιου
Ιωσηφ δε ο ανηρ αυτης δικαιος ων
και μη θελων αυτην δειγματισαι
εβουληθη λαθρα απολυσαι αυτην

B. H. Streeter remarked a great agreement between the codex and Vulgate of Jerome. According to him, Origen brought to Caesarea the Alexandrian text-type that was used in this codex, and used by Jerome. [60]

Between the 4th and 12th centuries, seven or more correctors worked on this codex, making it one of the most corrected manuscripts in existence. [61] Tischendorf during his investigation in Petersburg enumerated 14,800 corrections only in the portion which was held in Petersburg (2/3 of the codex). [62] According to David C. Parker the full codex has about 23,000 corrections. [63] In addition to these corrections some letters were marked by dots as doubtful (e.g. ṪḢ). Corrections represent the Byzantine text-type, just like corrections in codices: Bodmer II, Regius (L), Ephraemi (C), and Sangallensis (Δ). They were discovered by Edward Ardron Hutton. [64]

Early history Edit

Provenance Edit

Little is known of the manuscript's early history. According to Hort, it was written in the West, probably in Rome, as suggested by the fact that the chapter division in the Acts of the Apostles common to Sinaiticus and Vaticanus occurs in no other Greek manuscript, but is found in several manuscripts of the Latin Vulgate. [65] Robinson countered this argument, suggesting that this system of chapter divisions was introduced into the Vulgate by Jerome himself, as a result of his studies at Caesarea. [66] According to Kenyon the forms of the letters are Egyptian and they were found in Egyptian papyri of earlier date. [67] Gardthausen [68] Ropes and Jellicoe thought it was written in Egypt. Harris believed that the manuscript came from the library of Pamphilus at Caesarea, Palestine. [67] Streeter, [60] Skeat, and Milne also believed that it was produced in Caesarea. [44]

Date Edit

The codex has been dated paleographically to the mid-4th century. It could not have been written before 325 because it contains the Eusebian Canons, which is a terminus post quem. "The terminus ante quem is less certain, but, according to Milne and Skeat, is not likely to be much later than about 360." [15]

Tischendorf theorized that Codex Sinaiticus was one of the fifty copies of the Bible commissioned from Eusebius by Roman Emperor Constantine after his conversion to Christianity (De vita Constantini, IV, 37). [69] This hypothesis was supported by Pierre Batiffol, [70] Gregory and Skeat believed that it was already in production when Constantine placed his order, but had to be suspended in order to accommodate different page dimensions. [44]

Frederic G. Kenyon argued: "There is not the least sign of either of them ever having been at Constantinople. The fact that Sinaiticus was collated with the manuscript of Pamphilus so late as the sixth century seems to show that it was not originally written at Caesarea". [71]

Scribes and correctors Edit

Tischendorf believed that four separate scribes (whom he named A, B, C and D) copied the work and that five correctors (whom he designated a, b, c, d and e) amended portions. He posited that one of the correctors was contemporaneous with the original scribes, and that the others worked in the 6th and 7th centuries. It is now agreed, after Milne and Skeat's reinvestigation, that Tischendorf was wrong, in that scribe C never existed. [72] According to Tischendorf, scribe C wrote the poetic books of the Old Testament. These are written in a different format from the rest of the manuscript – they appear in two columns (the rest of books is in four columns), written stichometrically. Tischendorf probably interpreted the different formatting as indicating the existence of another scribe. [73] The three remaining scribes are still identified by the letters that Tischendorf gave them: A, B, and D. [73] Correctors were more, at least seven (a, b, c, ca, cb, cc, e). [6]

Modern analysis identifies at least three scribes:

  • Scribe A wrote most of the historical and poetical books of the Old Testament, almost the whole of the New Testament, and the Epistle of Barnabas
  • Scribe B was responsible for the Prophets and for the Shepherd of Hermas
  • Scribe D wrote the whole of Tobit and Judith, the first half of 4 Maccabees, the first two-thirds of the Psalms, and the first five verses of Revelation

Scribe B was a poor speller, and scribe A was not very much better the best scribe was D. [74] Metzger states: "scribe A had made some unusually serious mistakes". [62] Scribes A and B more often used nomina sacra in contracted forms (ΠΝΕΥΜΑ contracted in all occurrences, ΚΥΡΙΟΣ contracted except in 2 occurrences), scribe D more often used forms uncontracted. [75] D distinguished between sacral and nonsacral using of ΚΥΡΙΟΣ. [76] His errors are the substitution of ΕΙ for Ι, and Ι for ΕΙ in medial positions, both equally common. Otherwise substitution of Ι for initial ΕΙ is unknown, and final ΕΙ is only replaced in word ΙΣΧΥΕΙ, confusing of Ε and ΑΙ is very rare. [74] In the Book of Psalms this scribe has 35 times ΔΑΥΕΙΔ instead of ΔΑΥΙΔ, while scribe A normally uses an abbreviated form ΔΑΔ. [77] Scribe A's was a "worse type of phonetic error". Confusion of Ε and ΑΙ occurs in all contexts. [74] Milne and Skeat characterised scribe B as "careless and illiterate". [78] The work of the original scribe is designated by the siglum א*. [6]

A paleographical study at the British Museum in 1938 found that the text had undergone several corrections. The first corrections were done by several scribes before the manuscript left the scriptorium. [62] Readings which they introduced are designated by the siglum א a . [79] Milne and Skeat have observed that the superscription to 1 Maccabees was made by scribe D, while the text was written by scribe A. [80] Scribe D corrects his own work and that of scribe A, but scribe A limits himself to correcting his own work. [81] In the 6th or 7th century, many alterations were made (א b ) – according to a colophon at the end of the book of Esdras and Esther the source of these alterations was "a very ancient manuscript that had been corrected by the hand of the holy martyr Pamphylus" (martyred in 309). If this is so, material beginning with 1 Samuel to the end of Esther is Origen's copy of the Hexapla. From this colophon, the correction is concluded to have been made in Caesarea Maritima in the 6th or 7th centuries. [82] The pervasive iotacism, especially of the ει diphthong, remains uncorrected. [83]

Discovery Edit

The Codex may have been seen in 1761 by the Italian traveller, Vitaliano Donati, when he visited the Saint Catherine's Monastery at Sinai in Egypt. His diary was published in 1879, in which was written:

In questo monastero ritrovai una quantità grandissima di codici membranacei. ve ne sono alcuni che mi sembravano anteriori al settimo secolo, ed in ispecie una Bibbia in membrane bellissime, assai grandi, sottili, e quadre, scritta in carattere rotondo e belissimo conservano poi in chiesa un Evangelistario greco in caractere d'oro rotondo, che dovrebbe pur essere assai antico. [84]

In this monastery I found a great number of parchment codices . there are some which seemed to be written before the seventh century, and especially a Bible (made) of beautiful vellum, very large, thin and square parchments, written in round and very beautiful letters moreover there are also in the church a Greek Evangelistarium in gold and round letters, it should be very old.

The "Bible on beautiful vellum" may be the Codex Sinaiticus, and the gold evangelistarium is likely Lectionary 300 on the Gregory-Aland list. [85]

German Biblical scholar Constantin von Tischendorf wrote about his visit to the monastery in Reise in den Orient in 1846 (translated as Travels in the East in 1847), without mentioning the manuscript. Later, in 1860, in his writings about the Sinaiticus discovery, Tischendorf wrote a narrative about the monastery and the manuscript that spanned from 1844 to 1859. He wrote that in 1844, during his first visit to the Saint Catherine's Monastery, he saw some leaves of parchment in a waste-basket. They were "rubbish which was to be destroyed by burning it in the ovens of the monastery", [86] although this is firmly denied by the Monastery. After examination he realized that they were part of the Septuagint, written in an early Greek uncial script. He retrieved from the basket 129 leaves in Greek which he identified as coming from a manuscript of the Septuagint. He asked if he might keep them, but at this point the attitude of the monks changed. They realized how valuable these old leaves were, and Tischendorf was permitted to take only one-third of the whole, i.e. 43 leaves. These leaves contained portions of 1 Chronicles, Jeremiah, Nehemiah, and Esther. After his return they were deposited in the Leipzig University Library, where they remain. In 1846 Tischendorf published their contents, naming them the 'Codex Friderico-Augustanus' (in honor of Frederick Augustus and keeping secret the source of the leaves). [87] Other portions of the same codex remained in the monastery, containing all of Isaiah and 1 and 4 Maccabees. [88]

In 1845, Archimandrite Porphyrius Uspensky (1804–1885), at that time head of the Russian Ecclesiastical Mission in Jerusalem and subsequently Bishop of Chigirin, visited the monastery and the codex was shown to him, together with leaves which Tischendorf had not seen. [n 5] In 1846, Captain C. K. MacDonald visited Mount Sinai, saw the codex, and bought two codices (495 and 496) from the monastery. [89]

In 1853, Tischendorf revisited the Saint Catherine's Monastery to get the remaining 86 folios, but without success. Returning in 1859, this time under the patronage of Tsar Alexander II of Russia, he was shown the Codex Sinaiticus. He would later claim to have found it discarded in a rubbish bin. (This story may have been a fabrication, or the manuscripts in question may have been unrelated to Codex Sinaiticus: Rev. J. Silvester Davies in 1863 quoted "a monk of Sinai who. stated that according to the librarian of the monastery the whole of Codex Sinaiticus had been in the library for many years and was marked in the ancient catalogues. Is it likely. that a manuscript known in the library catalogue would have been jettisoned in the rubbish basket." Indeed, it has been noted that the leaves were in "suspiciously good condition" for something found in the trash. [n 6] ) Tischendorf had been sent to search for manuscripts by Russia's Tsar Alexander II, who was convinced there were still manuscripts to be found at the Sinai monastery. [90] The text of this part of the codex was published by Tischendorf in 1862:

  • Konstantin von Tischendorf: Bibliorum codex Sinaiticus Petropolitanus. Giesecke & Devrient, Leipzig 1862.

This work has been digitised in full and all four volumes may be consulted online. [91] It was reprinted in four volumes in 1869:

  • Konstantin von Tischendorf, G. Olms (Hrsg.): Bibliorum codex Sinaiticus Petropolitanus. 1. Prolegomena. G. Olms, Hildesheim 1869 (Repr.).
  • Konstantin von Tischendorf, G. Olms (Hrsg.): Bibliorum codex Sinaiticus Petropolitanus. 2. Veteris Testamenti pars prior. G. Olms, Hildesheim 1869 (Repr.).
  • Konstantin von Tischendorf, G. Olms (Hrsg.): Bibliorum codex Sinaiticus Petropolitanus. 3. Veteris Testamenti pars posterior. G. Olms, Hildesheim 1869 (Repr.).
  • Konstantin von Tischendorf, G. Olms (Hrsg.): Bibliorum codex Sinaiticus Petropolitanus. 4. Novum Testamentum cum Barnaba et Pastore. G. Olms, Hildesheim 1869 (Repr.).

The complete publication of the codex was made by Kirsopp Lake in 1911 (New Testament), and in 1922 (Old Testament). It was the full-sized black and white facsimile of the manuscript, "made from negatives taken from St. Petersburg by my wife and myself in the summer of 1908". [92]

The story of how Tischendorf found the manuscript, which contained most of the Old Testament and all of the New Testament, has all the interest of a romance. Tischendorf reached the monastery on 31 January but his inquiries appeared to be fruitless. On 4 February, he had resolved to return home without having gained his object:

On the afternoon of this day I was taking a walk with the steward of the convent in the neighbourhood, and as we returned, towards sunset, he begged me to take some refreshment with him in his cell. Scarcely had he entered the room, when, resuming our former subject of conversation, he said: "And I, too, have read a Septuagint" – i.e. a copy of the Greek translation made by the Seventy. And so saying, he took down from the corner of the room a bulky kind of volume, wrapped up in a red cloth, and laid it before me. I unrolled the cover, and discovered, to my great surprise, not only those very fragments which, fifteen years before, I had taken out of the basket, but also other parts of the Old Testament, the New Testament complete, and, in addition, the Epistle of Barnabas and a part of the Shepherd of Hermas. [93]

After some negotiations, he obtained possession of this precious fragment. James Bentley gives an account of how this came about, prefacing it with the comment, "Tischendorf therefore now embarked on the remarkable piece of duplicity which was to occupy him for the next decade, which involved the careful suppression of facts and the systematic denigration of the monks of Mount Sinai." [94] He conveyed it to Tsar Alexander II, who appreciated its importance and had it published as nearly as possible in facsimile, so as to exhibit correctly the ancient handwriting. In 1869 the Tsar sent the monastery 7,000 rubles and the monastery of Mount Tabor 2,000 rubles by way of compensation. [95] [96] The document in Russian formalising this was published in 2007 in Russia and has since been translated. [97]

Regarding Tischendorf's role in the transfer to Saint Petersburg, there are several views. The codex is currently regarded by the monastery as having been stolen. This view is hotly contested by several scholars in Europe. Kirsopp Lake wrote:

Those who have had much to do with Oriental monks will understand how improbable it is that the terms of the arrangement, whatever it was, were ever known to any except a few of the leaders. [98]

In a more neutral spirit, New Testament scholar Bruce Metzger writes:

Certain aspects of the negotiations leading to the transfer of the codex to the Tsar's possession are open to an interpretation that reflects adversely on Tischendorf's candour and good faith with the monks at Saint Catherine's Monastery. For a recent account intended to exculpate him of blame, see Erhard Lauch's article 'Nichts gegen Tischendorf' in Bekenntnis zur Kirche: Festgabe für Ernst Sommerlath zum 70. Geburtstag (Berlin, c. 1961) for an account that includes a hitherto unknown receipt given by Tischendorf to the authorities at the monastery promising to return the manuscript from Saint Petersburg 'to the Holy Confraternity of Sinai at its earliest request'. [99] [100]

Simonides Edit

On 13 September 1862 Constantine Simonides, skilled in calligraphy and with a controversial background with manuscripts, made the claim in print in The Manchester Guardian that he had written the codex himself as a young man in 1839 in the Panteleimonos monastery at Athos. [101] [102] Constantin von Tischendorf, who worked with numerous Bible manuscripts, was known as somewhat flamboyant, and had ambitiously sought money from several royal families for his ventures, who had indeed funded his trips. Simonides had a somewhat obscure history, as he claimed he was at Mt. Athos in the years preceding Tischendorf's contact, making the claim at least plausible. Simonides also claimed his father had died and the invitation to Mt. Athos came from his uncle, a monk there, but subsequent letters to his father were found among his possessions at his death. Simonides claimed the false nature of the document in The Manchester Guardian in an exchange of letters among scholars and others, at the time. Henry Bradshaw, a British librarian known to both men, defended the Tischendorf find of the Sinaiticus, casting aside the accusations of Simonides. Since Bradshaw was a social 'hub' among many diverse scholars of the day, his aiding of Tischendorf was given much weight. Simonides died shortly after, and the issue lay dormant for many years. [103]

Tischendorf answered Simonides in Allgemeine Zeitung (December), that only in the New Testament there are many differences between it and all other manuscripts. Henry Bradshaw, a bibliographer, combatted the claims of Constantine Simonides in a letter to The Manchester Guardian (26 January 1863). Bradshaw argued that the Codex Sinaiticus brought by Tischendorf from the Greek monastery of Mount Sinai was not a modern forgery or written by Simonides. [104] The controversy seems to regard the misplaced use of the word 'fraud' or 'forgery' since it may have been a repaired text, a copy of the Septuagint based upon Origen's Hexapla, a text which has been rejected for centuries because of its lineage from Eusebius who introduced Arian doctrine into the courts of Constantine I and II.

Not every scholar and Church minister was delighted about the codex. Burgon, a supporter of the Textus Receptus, suggested that Codex Sinaiticus, as well as codices Vaticanus and Codex Bezae, were the most corrupt documents extant. Each of these three codices "clearly exhibits a fabricated text – is the result of arbitrary and reckless recension." [105] The two most weighty of these three codices, א and B, he likens to the "two false witnesses" of Matthew. [106] [107]

Recent history Edit

In the early 20th century Vladimir Beneshevich (1874–1938) discovered parts of three more leaves of the codex in the bindings of other manuscripts in the library of Mount Sinai. Beneshevich went on three occasions to the monastery (1907, 1908, 1911) but does not tell when or from which book these were recovered. These leaves were also acquired for St. Petersburg, where they remain. [108] [109]

For many decades, the Codex was preserved in the Russian National Library. In 1933, the Soviet Union sold the codex to the British Museum (after 1973 British Library) for £100,000 raised by public subscription (worth £7.2 million in 2021). [110] After coming to Britain it was examined by Skeat and Milne using an ultra-violet lamp. [111]

In May 1975, during restoration work, the monks of Saint Catherine's Monastery discovered a room beneath the St. George Chapel which contained many parchment fragments. Kurt Aland and his team from the Institute for New Testament Textual Research were the first scholars who were invited to analyse, examine and photograph these new fragments of the New Testament in 1982. [112] Among these fragments were twelve complete leaves from the Sinaiticus, 11 leaves of the Pentateuch and 1 leaf of the Shepherd of Hermas. [17] Together with these leaves 67 Greek Manuscripts of New Testament have been found (uncials 0278 – 0296 and some minuscules). [113]

In June 2005, a team of experts from the UK, Europe, Egypt, Russia and USA undertook a joint project to produce a new digital edition of the manuscript (involving all four holding libraries), and a series of other studies was announced. [114] [115] [116] This will include the use of hyperspectral imaging to photograph the manuscripts to look for hidden information such as erased or faded text. [117] This is to be done in cooperation with the British Library. [118]

More than one quarter of the manuscript was made publicly available at The Codex Sinaiticus Website on 24 July 2008. On 6 July 2009, 800 more pages of the manuscript were made available, showing over half of the entire text, [119] although the entire text was intended to be shown by that date. [120]

The complete document is now available online in digital form and available for scholarly study. The online version has a fully transcribed set of digital pages, including amendments to the text, and two images of each page, with both standard lighting and raked lighting to highlight the texture of the parchment. [121]

Prior to 1 September 2009, the University of the Arts London PhD student, Nikolas Sarris, discovered the previously unseen fragment of the Codex in the library of Saint Catherine's Monastery. It contains the text of Book of Joshua 1:10. [122] [123]

The codex is now split into four unequal portions: 347 leaves in the British Library in London (199 of the Old Testament, 148 of the New Testament), 12 leaves and 14 fragments in the Saint Catherine's Monastery, 43 leaves in the Leipzig University Library, and fragments of 3 leaves in the Russian National Library in Saint Petersburg. [6]

Saint Catherine's Monastery still maintains the importance of a letter, handwritten in 1844 with an original signature of Tischendorf confirming that he borrowed those leaves. [124] However, recently published documents, including a deed of gift dated 11 September 1868 and signed by Archbishop Kallistratos and the monks of the monastery, indicate that the manuscript was acquired entirely legitimately. [125] This deed, which agrees with a report by Kurt Aland on the matter, has now been published. This development is not widely known in the English-speaking world, as only German- and Russian-language media reported on it in 2009. Doubts as to the legality of the gift arose because when Tischendorf originally removed the manuscript from Saint Catherine's Monastery in September 1859, the monastery was without an archbishop, so that even though the intention to present the manuscript to the Tsar had been expressed, no legal gift could be made at the time. Resolution of the matter was delayed through the turbulent reign of Archbishop Cyril (consecrated 7 December 1859, deposed 24 August 1866), and the situation only formalised after the restoration of peace. [125]

Skeat in his article "The Last Chapter in the History of the Codex Sinaiticus" concluded in this way:

This is not the place to pass judgements, but perhaps I may say that, as it seems to me, both the monks and Tischendorf deserve our deepest gratitude, Tischendorf for having alerted the monks to the importance of the manuscript, and the monks for having undertaken the daunting task of searching through the vast mass of material with such spectacular results, and then doing everything in their power to safeguard the manuscript against further loss. If we accept the statement of Uspensky, that he saw the codex in 1845, the monks must have worked very hard to complete their search and bind up the results in so short a period. [126]

Along with Codex Vaticanus, the Codex Sinaiticus is considered one of the most valuable manuscripts available, as it is one of the oldest and likely closer to the original text of the Greek New Testament. It is the only uncial manuscript with the complete text of the New Testament, and the only ancient manuscript of the New Testament written in four columns per page which has survived to the present day. [6] With only 300 years separating the Codex Sinaiticus and the lifetime of Jesus, it is considered by some to be more accurate than most New Testament copies in preserving readings where almost all manuscripts are assumed by them to be in error. [9]

For the Gospels, Sinaiticus is considered among some people as the second most reliable witness of the text (after Vaticanus) in the Acts of the Apostles, its text is equal to that of Vaticanus in the Epistles, Sinaiticus is assumed to be the most reliable witness of the text. In the Book of Revelation, however, its text is corrupted and is considered of poor quality, and inferior to the texts of Codex Alexandrinus, Papyrus 47, and even some minuscule manuscripts in this place (for example, Minuscule 2053, 2062). [15]


Contents

In 1751, New Testament theologian Johann Jakob Wettstein knew of only 23 uncial codices of the New Testament. [1] By 1859, Constantin von Tischendorf had increased that number to 64 uncials, and in 1909 Caspar René Gregory enumerated 161 uncial codices. By 1963, Kurt Aland, in his Kurzgefasste Liste, had enumerated 250, then in 1989, finally, 299 uncials.

Wettstein inaugurated the modern method of classification. He used capital Latin letters to identify the uncials. Codex Alexandrinus received the letter "A", Codex Vaticanus – "B", Codex Ephraemi – "C", Codex Bezae – "D", until he arrived at the last letter used by him, "O". Succeeding generations used this pattern, but newly discovered manuscripts soon exhausted the Latin alphabet. [2] As a result, letters of the Greek and Hebrew alphabets began to be used. Tischendorf, for example, assigned the Codex Sinaiticus the Hebrew letter א. Uncial 047 received siglum ב 1 , Uncial 048 received ב 2 , Uncial 075 received ג, Codex Macedoniensis – ו, to name a few. [3] [4] When Greek and Hebrew letters ran out, Gregory assigned uncials numerals with an initial 0 (to distinguish them from the symbols of minuscule manuscripts). Codex Sinaiticus received the number 01, Alexandrinus – 02, Vaticanus – 03, Ephraemi – 04, etc. The last uncial manuscript known by Gregory received number 0161. [5] Ernst von Dobschütz expanded the list of uncials through 0208 in 1933. [2]

As of 2012 [update] over 320 sigla for uncial codices have been catalogued by the Institute for New Testament Textual Research (INTF) in Münster, Germany. [6] [7]

However, the 322 currently catalogued does not provide a precise count of all the New Testament Greek uncials. Uncial 0168 has been lost and over thirty manuscripts are associated with a smaller set of designations. [n 1] Sometimes one number also applies to two separate manuscripts, as with uncial 092a and 092b, 0121a and 0121b, and 0278a and 0278b. Some other numerical designations should be reallocated to other lists: 055 (commentary), 0100 (lectionary), 0129 (lectionary), 0152 (talisman), 0153 (ostracon), 0192 (lectionary), 0195 (lectionary), 0203 (lectionary). [ further explanation needed ] [2] Uncial 0212 from the 3rd or 4th century is more properly a witness to the Diatessaron than to the New Testament itself. [2] So, the number 322 is merely nominal the actual figure should be somewhat lower. [2] [8] Conversely, minuscule 1143, known as Beratinus 2, has some parts that were written in semi-uncial letters.

  • The numbers (#) are the now standard system of Gregory-Aland.
  • Dates are estimated palaeographically by the INTF (except Codex Vaticanus 354 where the scribe gave a date — 949).
  • Content generally only describes sections of the New Testament: Gospels (Gosp), The Acts of the Apostles (Acts), Pauline Epistles (Paul), Catholic epistles (CE), and so on. Sometimes the surviving portion of a codex is so limited that specific books, chapters or even verses can be indicated. Linked articles, where they exist, generally specify content in detail, by verse.
  • Digital images are referenced with direct links to the hosting web pages, with the exception of those at the INTF. The quality and accessibility of the images is as follows:


† Indicates the manuscript has damaged or missing pages.
K Indicates manuscript also includes a commentary.
[ ] Brackets around Gregory-Aland number indicate the manuscript belongs to an already numbered manuscript, was found to not be a continuous text manuscript, is destroyed or presumed destroyed.

Only one uncial, Codex Sinaiticus has a complete text of the New Testament. Codex Alexandrinus has an almost complete text. It contains all books of the New Testament but lacks some leaves of Matthew (25), John (2), and Second Corinthians (3). Codex Vaticanus lacks the four last books, and the Epistle to the Hebrews is not complete. Codex Ephraemi has approximately 66 per cent of the New Testament. Uncials with designations higher than 046 typically have only one or two leaves.

Uncials with sigla Edit

The first 45 uncials have been assigned descriptive names as well as a single letter code called a siglum, for usage in academic writing. Beginning with uncial 046 the assignment of sigla was dropped and only a few manuscripts thereafter received a descriptive name.

# Sign Name Date Content Pages Institution City Country Images [9]
01 א Sinaiticus 4th New Testament 148 British Library, Add. 43725 London United Kingdom CS, [10] INTF
BL [11]
CSNTM
02 A Alexandrinus 5th New Testament† 144 British Library, Royal 1 D. VIII London United Kingdom BL [12]
CSNTM, INTF
03 B Vaticanus 4th Gospels, Acts, General Epistles, Pauline Epistles† (lacking 1 Tim.--Philemon) 142 Vatican Library, Gr. 1209, p. 1235-1518 Vatican City Vatican City DVL, [13] INTF
CSNTM
04 C Ephraemi Rescriptus 5th New Testament† 145 National Library, Gr. 9 Paris France BnF, [14] INTF, CSNTM
05 D ea Bezae 5th Gospels†, Acts† 415 University Library, Nn. 2. 41 Cambridge United Kingdom CUL, [15] INTF, CSNTM
06 D p Claromontanus 6th Pauline epistles† (lacking Rom. 1:1-7) 533 National Library, Gr. 107 AB Paris France BnF, [16] INTF, CSNTM
07 E e Basilensis 8th Gospels† 318 University of Basel, AN III 12 (fol. 97v, 248r: 2087) Basel Switzerland INTF
CSNTM
08 E a Laudianus 6th Acts† 227 Bodleian Library, Laud. Gr. 35 Oxford United Kingdom DB [17]
CSNTM, INTF
09 F e Boreelianus 9th Gospels† 204 Utrecht University, Ms. 1 Utrecht Netherlands UU, [18] INTF, CSNTM
010 F p Augiensis 9th Pauline epistles† (lacking Romans 1:1-3:19, 1 Cor. 3:8-16, 6:7-14, Col. 2:1-8, Philem. 21-25, Hebrews) 136 Trinity College, B.17.1 Cambridge United Kingdom TC [19]
CSNTM, INTF
011 G e Seidelianus I 9th Gospels† 251 British Library, Harley 5684 London United Kingdom BL [20]
CSNTM, INTF
012 G p Boernerianus 9th Pauline epistles† (lacking Romans 1:1-4, 2:17-24, 1 Cor. 3:8-16, 6:7-14, Col. 2:1-8, Philem. 21-25, Hebrews) 99 Saxon State Library, A 145b Dresden Germany SSL [21]
CSNTM, INTF
013 H e Seidelianus II 9th Gospels† 193 State and University Library, Codex 91 Hamburg Germany INTF
1 Trinity College, B.17.20, 21 Cambridge United Kingdom TC [22]
014 H a Mutinensis 9th Acts† 43 Biblioteca Estense, G. 196, a.V.6.3 (II G 3) Modena Italy CSNTM, INTF
015 H p Coislinianus 6th Galatians 4:30-5:5 Colossians 1:26-2:8, 2:20-3:4 Hebrews 12:10-15, 13:24-25 1 Timothy 1:7-2:13 10 National Library, Supplément grec 1074 Paris France BnF, [23] INTF, CSNTM
1 Corinthians 10:22-29, 11:9-16 Hebrews 2:11-16, 3:13-18, 4:12-15 1 Timothy 3:7-13 Titus 1:1-3, 1:15-2:5, 313-15 12 National Library, Coislin 202 Paris France BnF, [24] INTF, CSNTM
2 Corinthians 10:8-12 ,10:18-11:6, 11:12-12:2 Galatians 1:1-4, 2:14-17 8 Great Lavra Monastery Mount Athos Greece INTF, CSNTM
1 Timothy 6:9-13 2 Timothy 2:1-9 2 Turin National University Library, A.1 Turin Italy INTF, CSNTM
Hebrews 1:3-8 1 Russian State Library, F.270. 1a.70.1 (Gr. 166,1) Moscow Russia INTF
Hebrews 10:1-7, 10:32-38 2 State Historical Museum, 563 Moscow Russia INTF
Galatians 1:4-9, 2:9-14 Colossians 3:4-11 3 National Library of Russia, Gr. 14 Saint Petersburg Russia INTF, CSNTM
2 Corinthians 4:2-7 1 Thessalonians 2:9-13, 4:5-11 3 Vernadsky National Library of Ukraine, F. 301 (KDA), 26p Kiev Ukraine INTF
016 I Freerianus 5th 1 Corinthians 10:29, 11:9-10, 18-19, 26-27, 12:3-4, 27-28, 14:12-13, 22, 32-33, 15:3, 15, 27-28, 38-39, 59-50, 16:1-2, 12-13 2 Corinthians 1:1, 9, 16-17, 2:3-4, 14, 3:6-7, 16-17, 4:6-7, 16-17, 5:8-10, 17-18, 6:6-8, 16-18, 7:7-8, 13-14, 8:6-7, 14-17, 8:24-9:1, 9:7-8, 9:15-10:1, 10:8-10, 10:17-11:2, 11:9-10, 20-21, 28-29, 12:6-7, 14-15, 13:1-2, 10-11 Galatians 1:1-3, 11-13, 1:22-2:1, 2:8-9, 16-17, 3:6-8, 16-17, 24-28, 4:8-10, 20-23 Ephesians 2:15-18, 3:6-8, 18-20, 4:9-11, 17-19, 28-30, 5:6-11, 20-24, 5:32-6:1, 6:10-12, 19-21 Philippians 1:1-4, 11-13, 20-23, 2:1-3, 12-14, 25-27, 3:4-6, 14-17, 4:3-6, 13-15 Colossians 1:1-4, 10-12, 20-22, 27-29, 2:7-9, 16-19, 3:5-8, 15-17, 3:25-4:2, 4:11-13 1 Thessalonians 1:1-2, 9-10, 2:7-9, 14-16, 3:2-5, 11-13, 4:7-10, 4:16-5:1, 5:9-12, 23-27 2 Thessalonians 1:1-3, 10-11, 2:5-8, 14-17, 3:8-10 1 Timothy 1:1-3, 10-13, 1:19-2:1, 2:9-13, 3:7-9, 4:1-3, 10-13, 5:5-9, 16-19, 6:1-2, 9-11, 17-19 2 Timothy 1:1-3, 10-12, 2:2-5, 14-16, 22-24, 3:6-8, 3:16-4:1, 4:8-10, 18-20 Titus 1:1-3, 10-11, 2:4-6, 14-15, 3:8-9 Philemon 1-3, 14-16 Hebrews 1:1-3, 9-12, 2:4-7, 12-14, 3:4-6, 14-16, 4:3-6, 12-14, 5:5-7, 6:1-3, 10-13, 6:20-7:2, 7:7-11, 18-20, 7:27-8:1, 8:7-9, 9:1-4, 9-11, 16-19, 25-27, 10:5-8, 16-18, 26-29, 35-38, 11:6-7, 12-15, 22-24, 31-33, 11:38-12:1, 12:7-9, 16-18, 25-27, 13:7-9, 16-18, 23-25. 84 Smithsonian Institution, Freer Gallery of Art, 06. 275 Washington, D.C. United States FGOA [25]
017 K e Cyprius 9th Gospels 267 National Library, Gr. 63 Paris France BnF, [26] INTF, CSNTM
018 K ap Mosquensis 9th Pauline Epistles K †(lacking Rom. 10:18—1 Cor. 6:13 1 Cor. 8:8-11), General Epistles K 288 State Historical Museum, V. 93, S. 97 Moscow Russia CSNTM, INTF
019 L e Regius 8th Gospels† 257 National Library, Gr. 62 Paris France BnF, [27] INTF, CSNTM
020 L ap Angelicus 9th Acts† 8:10-28:31, General Epistles, Romans - Hebrews 12:28† 189 Biblioteca Angelica, Ang. gr. 39 Rome Italy BA [28]
CSNTM, INTF
021 M Campianus 9th Gospels 257 National Library, Gr. 48 Paris France BnF, [29] INTF, CSNTM
022 N Petropolitanus Purp. 6th Gospels† 182 National Library of Russia, Gr. 537 Saint Petersburg Russia INTF
Matthew 19:6-13, 20:6-22, 20:29-21:17 6 Vatican Library, Vat. gr. 2305 Vatican City Vatican City DVL [30]
Mark 6:53-15:23 33 Monastery of Saint John the Theologian, 67 Patmos Greece INTF
Matthew 14:22-31 1 Byzantine Museum, Frg 21 Athens Greece CSNTM
John 6:31-39 1 Byzantine Museum, Byz. Ms. 1 Thessaloniki Greece INTF
Matthew 26:57-65, 27:26-34 John 14:2-10, 15:15-22 4 British Library, Cotton. Tit. C.XV London United Kingdom BL [31]
John 3:14-21 1 Castello, Marchese A. Spinola Lerma Italy INTF
Luke 24:13-21, 24:39-49 2 National Library of Austria, Theol. gr. 31 Vienna Austria INTF
Matthew 15:38-16:7 1 Morgan Library & Museum, 874 New York, NY United States INTF
023 O Sinopensis 6th Gospel of Matthew† 44 National Library, Suppl. Gr. 1286 Paris France BnF, [32] INTF
024 P e Guelferbytanus A 6th Gospels† 44 Herzog August Bibliothek, codices Weißenburg 64 Wolfenbüttel Germany INTF
025 P apr Porphyrianus 9th Acts† (lacking Acts 1:1–2:13), Pauline Epistles† (lacking Romans 2:16–3:4 8:32–9:10 11:23–12:1 1 Cor. 7:15–17 12:23–13:5 14:23–39 2 Cor. 2:13–16 Col. 3:16–4:8 1 Thes. 3:5–4:17), General Epistles† (lacking 1 John 3:20–5:1 Jude 4–15), Revelation† (lacking Rev. 16:12–17:1 19:21–20:9 22:6–end). 327 National Library of Russia, Gr. 225 Saint Petersburg Russia
026 Q Guelferbytanus B 5th Luke†, John† 13 Herzog August Bibliothek, codices Weißenburg 64 Wolfenbüttel Germany INTF
027 R Nitriensis 6th Gospel of Luke† 48 British Library, Add. 17211 London United Kingdom BL [33]
INTF
028 S Vaticanus 354 949 Gospels 235 Vatican Library, Vat. Gr. 354 Vatican City Vatican City DVL [34]
INTF
029 =
[0113]
[0125]
[0139]
T Borgianus 5th John† 8 Vatican Library, Borg. copt. 109 (Cass 18, 65) Vatican City Vatican City DVL [35]
John† 13 Vatican Library, Borg. copt. 109 (Cass 7, 65,2) Vatican City Vatican City INTF
Luke 18:10-16, 18:32-41 2 Morgan Library & Museum, M 664A New York, NY United States INTF
Luke 6:18-26, 18:2-9, 18:42-19-8, 21:33-22:3, 22:20-23:20, 24:25-27, 24:29-31 5 National Library, Copt. 129,7, fol. 35. 129,8, fol. 121-122, 140-157 Paris France INTF
Luke 21:36, 22:1-22 John 1:24-32, 3:10-17 3 National Library, Copt. 129,9, fol. 49.65 129,10, fol. 209 Paris France INTF
John 4:52-5:7 1 National Library,Copt. 129,9, fol. 76 Paris France INTF
030 U Nanianus 9th Gospels 380 Biblioteca Marciana, Gr. 1,8 (1397) Venice Italy INTF
031 V Mosquensis II 9th Gospels† 220 State Historical Museum, V. 9, S. 399 Moscow Russia INTF
032 W Washingtonianus 5th Gospels† 187 Smithsonian Institution, Freer Gallery of Art 06. 274 Washington, D.C. United States INTF, CSNTM
FGOA [36]
033 X Monacensis 10th Gospels K † 160 Munich University Library, 2° codex manuscript 30 Munich Germany INTF, CSNTM
034 Y Macedoniensis 9th Gospels† 309 Cambridge University Library, MS Add. 6594 Cambridge United Kingdom CUL [37]
INTF, CSNTM
035 Z Dublinensis 6th Matthew† 32 Trinity College, Ms. 32 Dublin Ireland TCD [38]
INTF, CSNTM
036 Γ Tischendorfianus IV 10th Gospels† 158 Bodleian Library, Auct. T. inf. 2.2 Oxford United Kingdom INTF
BL [39]
99 National Library of Russia, Gr 33 Saint Petersburg Russia INTF
037 Δ Sangallensis 9th Gospels 198 Abbey library of Saint Gall 48 St. Gallen Switzerland e-codices, [40] CSNTM, INTF
038 Θ Coridethianus 9th Gospels 248 Georgian National Center of Manuscripts, Gr. 28 Tbilisi Georgia INTF
CSNTM
039 Λ Tischendorfianus III 9th Luke, John 157 Bodleian Library, Auct. T. inf. 1.1 Oxford United Kingdom INTF
BL [41]
040 Ξ Zacynthius 6th Luke K † 89 Cambridge University Library Cambridge United Kingdom INTF, CSNTM
041 Π Petropolitanus 9th Gospels† 350 National Library of Russia, Gr. 34 Saint Petersburg Russia INTF
042 Σ Rossanensis 6th Matthew, Mark 188 Diocesian Museum, Cathedral Rossano Italy INTF
043 Φ Beratinus 6th Matthew, Mark 197 National Archives of Albania, Nr. 1 Tirana Albania CSNTM, INTF
044 Ψ Athous Lavrensis 9th/10th Gospels† (lacking Matthew 1:1-Mark 9:5), Acts, Pauline Epistles† (lacking Hebrews 8:11-9:19), General Epistles 261 Great Lavra Monastery, B΄ 52 Mount Athos Greece INTF, CSNTM
045 Ω Athous Dionysiou 9th Gospels 259 Dionysiou Monastery, 10 Mount Athos Greece INTF, CSNTM

Uncials 046-0100 Edit

Beginning with 046, the use of identifying sigla was dropped, and very few uncials were given identifying names.


Ten Reasons Why Sinaiticus Was Not Made By Simonides

4 comments:

These ten points are all discussed and answered here:

James Snapp #2 - Ten Reasons Why Sinaiticus Was Not Made By Simonides
http://www.purebibleforum.com/showthread.php?468-James-Snapp-attempts-to-defend-authenticity-of-Sinaiticus&p=942#post942

For those on Facebook, there are two groups that especially welcome ongoing discussions, on each and every point supporting "fake" (non-authentic) or the James Snapp position of authentic. One group is named .. Sinaiticus !, the second is named PureBible.

Plus, there are some New Testament scholarship forums on Facebook available as well, which have open-ended discussion.

These ten points are all discussed and answered here:

James Snapp #2 - Ten Reasons Why Sinaiticus Was Not Made By Simonides
http://www.purebibleforum.com/showthread.php?468-James-Snapp-attempts-to-defend-authenticity-of-Sinaiticus&p=942#post942

Funny how they won't let anybody run any scientific tests on it. It's almost like they are afraid it will be proven to be the hoax that it is.

Great article. Only idiots and non-specialists like Avery reject Sinaiticus to reaffirm their KJV-only-ism.

And to Anon: what "scientific" tests are you alluding to? There are literally dozens of scientific methods that have been used on Sinaiticus, and everyone proves it to be genuine. Lay off the kool-aid.


Three Stories from Saint Paisios of Mount Athos

A young man came to Elder Paisios of the Holy Mount. He was wearing his hair in a long ponytail.
The elder asked him:
“What do you do, young man?”
“I am a student.”
“How many exams do you have left?”
“Eight,” he replied.
“If you want to do well in them, – said the elder jokingly, – let me give you a haircut.”
The elder found a pair of scissors in his cell and cut the young man’s hair.
The young man took it for a blessing and told his friends to come to the elder for their blessing.
“I gave a lot of haircuts this way,” laughed the elder.
“But elder, what do you do with the hair,” somebody asked.
“I gather it in a bag and fit on the bald,” the elder said, smilingly.

Taking surplus for granted

Elder Paisios recalls: “In the cell of Saint Episteme in Sinai, where I used to live, there was very little water. Not far from the cell, water was dripping slowly through a crevice in a rock. I fitted a small vessel, and I could collect up to three litres of water each day. When I came for the water, I put under the crevice an iron tin and read the Akathist to the Holy Theotokos while it was filling up. I put some water on my head – just the forehead, as one doctor had recommended, took some water to drink, and filled a small jar for the mice and birds that were living in my cell. I also used the water from the cave to wash my clothes and for other such needs. What great joy I felt to have this small amount of water, and how grateful I was to have it! I praised the Lord for the water that I had. Later, when I came to the Holy Mount and settled for a short time in the Iberian Skete, I forgot about the scarcity – water was abundant there, for the skete stood on the sunny side. The water was overflowing from a tank that stood nearby. I revelled in the abundance. I washed my hair and feet in it and soon forgot about my life in Sinai. There, I used to cry with gratefulness for the drops of water that I could have, while here in the skete, I forgot all about it because of the surplus. So I left my cell and settled further away, where a tiny water tank stood some eighty metres down the lane. How confused and how oblivious can we all become in abundance!

Tomatoes

Elder Paisios recalls: “I planted in my garden a few tomato plants. I watered them every day at first but eventually began to do so only when their leaves were turning yellow. My tomatoes had a hard time without the water and had to reach deep into the soil to get it. Eventually, the little tomatoes appeared on them. But if I had been watering them all the time, they would have grown tall, but their roots would not have reached very deep.”


Spiritual Testament of the Holy Elder Paisios, Found in Panagouda, His Cell on Mount Athos, after his Death in 1994

On October 20, 1993, Elder Paisios, despite being in great pain, went to the Koutloumousiou Monastery, to which his cell belonged, and greeted hegumen Christodoulos on his name-day. The elder was going to leave Athos on the following day to go to the monastery of St John the Apostle in the village of Souroti, near Thessaloniki. For that reason, he decided not to return to Panagouda and stayed overnight in one of the cells near Caries. The fathers who knew the elder came there to see him. The venerable was very tired and looked exhausted, but still he was in a very placid state of mind. In that quite long conversation the elder shared with the brethren some precepts, which they have put together into the following spiritual will:

✔ “ A priest has the grace of the priesthood. Even if he does not have virtues, this grace still works and performs sacraments through him. Contrariwise, a monk, who fails at his monastic labors, is a bare desert”.

✔ “If we strive against some passion, but it does not go away, it is either due to our hidden egoism, or condemning others.”

✔ “A person’s severity towards himself and forgiving attitude towards others is the best proof of authenticity of his spiritual state.”

✔ “ Persist in your monastic feat now, while you are still young, because you will not have the strength later. I used to struggle a lot, but now I am sick of myself.”

✔ “ The elder fathers, driven by their love for Christ, came to the Holy Mountain and pursued the monastic life in the teeth of death. And death was afraid of them. Nowadays we run to the doctor, if a little blood starts coming from our nose… It ’ s too bad. The young people of today are like new cars with the oil frozen in their engines. They want to receive grace without making an effort.”

✔ “ Those who were here before us lived in great asceticism, self-denial and obedience. This is the secret of monastic obedience: to cut off one’s will even when facing someone who is younger, making our obedience not superficial, or “army-like”, but filling it with a joyful inner disposition, all for the love of God. A novice should be zealous, while the elder should be slowing him down.”

On the following day, October 22, 1993, Venerable Paisios left for Souroti and never came back to Holy Mount Athos.

In Panagouda, he left the following self-written will:

“ I, Monk Paisios, having studied my own nature, became convinced that I have transgressed all the commandments of the Lord and committed all sins. It makes no difference that some of them I have committed to a lesser extent. I have not a single mitigating circumstance, because the Lord has given me the greatest of blessings. Pray that Christ may have mercy on me. Forgive me, and may those, who think they have hurt me in some way, will be forgiven. Thank you dearly, and again, please pray.


Endnotes

* The glossary is linked here as a separate file, but is available in the book. See also this study of Orthodox terms, also by St. Gregorios Monastery.

  1. Matthew 4:17.
  2. Cf. Genesis 32:30.
  3. Cf. Deuteronomy 18:15-19 Isaiah 53 Acts 1:6 2:16-36 1 Peter 2:6-8.
  4. Mark 1:15.
  5. Romans 14:17.
  6. John 10:34.
  7. Matthew 5:48.
  8. Matthew 13:43 cf Exodus 34:29-35 Luke 9:28-36.
  9. John 1:29.
  10. Galatians 3:29.
  11. Galatians 3:7-9.
  12. Galatians 6:15-16 also cf. John. 1:11-13 Romans 2:28-29 James 1:1.
  13. Romans 9-11 also cf. John. 8:37-40 10:32-38.
  14. 1 Peter 2:9 cf Colossians 2:11.
  15. Cf. Matthew 3:7-9 Acts 1:8 11:1-18 15:16-17 Galatians 3:1428.
  16. Revelation 21:2-3.
  17. Matthew 5:17.
  18. Colossians 1:18,24 Romans 12:5 1 Corinthians 12:12-13.
  19. 2 Corinthians 11:2 Revelation 18:23.
  20. Matthew 28:20 cf John. 17:20-22.
  21. John 16:13 Romans 14:17 1 Corinthians 2:1013.
  22. Cf. Acts 9:3-7.
  23. 1 Corinthians 2:9.
  24. Matthew 13:45-46.
  25. Cf. Mark 9:1 John 4:14 8:51 11:25-26 Romans 5:21 2 Timothy 1:10.
  26. Galatians 2:20.
  27. Acts 7:59-60.

Preface

It is very daring for someone to talk about Theosis without first having tasted it. But we have dared what is beyond our power because we have faith in the mercy of our great God and Saviour Jesus Christ.

This is done so as not to hide from our Christian brothers the highest and ultimate purpose of our life that for which we were created.

This is done so that it will become clear that the only truly Orthodox form of pastoral guidance is that which is intended to lead to Theosis, and is not, as in Western Christianity, aimed at a moral perfection for man which does not depend on God’s Grace.

This is done so that all may desire what is best and struggle for the highest. This is the only thing able to quench the depth of the psyche’s thirst for the Absolute, the Triune God.

This is done so that we will overflow with gratitude towards our Maker and Creator for His great gift to us, Theosis by Grace.

This is done so that we realise the irreplaceability of our Holy Church as the only community of Theosis on earth.

This is done so that the magnificence and truth of our Orthodox Faith should be revealed as the only faith that teaches and provides Theosis to its members.

This is done so that our psyches should be consoled, for regardless of the degree to which they have been poisoned and darkened by sin, they yearn for the light of Christ’s face.

Merciful Lord, in Your boundless love, be pleased to make us worthy to enter the path of Theosis before we leave the present temporal world.

Merciful Lord, in their quest for Theosis, guide those of our Orthodox brethren who do not rejoice because they are unaware of the magnificence of the fact that they are “called to be gods.”

Merciful Lord, also guide the steps of heterodox Christians to become aware of Your Truth, so that they are not left outside Your Bridechamber, deprived of the Grace of Theosis.

Merciful Lord, have mercy on us and on Your world! Amen.

The Abbot of the Holy Monastery of St. Gregorios of the Holy Mountain Athos
† Archimandrite George
March 1997


Watch the video: 5th Sunday of Matthew Paisios of Mt Athos