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Eb. Henr. Dan. Stosch Comm. historica crit. de librorum N. T. canone, præmissa est diss. de cura vet. eccl. circa libros N. T. Francof. 1755.
On the ecclesiastical use of the N. T. during the first centuries, consult
Muenscher. Handbuch der Chr. Dogmengesch. I. p. 312.
Various descriptions of the N. T. books were in use among the churches. 'Avayuwouara, 'avaywreis, Lectiones, Evangeliaria, Praxapostoli, Lectionaria, Pericopæ, &c.
Vetustum eccl. græcæ Cpolit. ut videtur Evangeliarium Bibl. ducis SaxoGothani nunc primum totum-edidit C. F. Matthæi 1791.
Kalendarium Ecclesiæ Cpolit. e Bibl. Rom. Albanorum cura St Ant. Morcelli, Rom. 1788.
J. H. Thameri Schediasma de origine et dignitate pericoparum quæ Evangelia et epistolæ vulgo vocantur, Jenæ 1716.
The Sacred Writers appear to have written in a continued series without leaving any intervals.
After some ages Τιτλοι (sections) Κεφάλαια (chapters) Στικοι, Ρηματα were introduced. There is, however, great diversity in the different MSS. in marking them.
Our distinctions into chapters and verses, are of much more recent origin. Some have considered Hugo de S. Caro, of the XIIIth century, as the author of our present chapters; others, Stephan Langton, Archbishop of Canterbury, of the same century; and others Arlott, President of the Franciscan order. The inventor of the verses, was Rob. Stephans, in 1551. The invention was made during a journey.
Joach. Klepperbein d. de distinctione N. T. in capita et, versiculos, Vit. 1688. 4.
Chr. Frid. Sinneri d. de distinctionibus textus N. T. in capita, versiculos, puncta, commata et cola L. 1694. 4.
Concerning the accents, breathings, and the iota subscriptum, there has been great dispute. The ancient and inodern character and use is to be distinguished.-Consult
Villoison Anecd. Gr. I. p. 104.
S. G. Major d. de iotorum subscriptione suspecta eorumque præsertim ex numis perpetuo exilio. Kil. 1688.
The present punctuation, which is frequently erroneous, could not be of the Apostolic age.
Geo. Frid. Rogallii diss. de auctoritate et antiquitate interpunctionis in N, T. 1734. 4.
J. C. Herzog Comm. de interpunctionum positu, præsertim in ep. ad Romanos L. 1707.
Aug. Bischoff d. de interpunctionibus N. T. Jenæ 1708. 4.
But few of the Sacred Writings were ιδιογραφα. .
Ferd. Stosch Tractatus de epistolis apostolorum idiographis 1751.
J. E. T. Walch Ep. de apostolorum literis authenticis a Tertulliano commemoratis.
The Autographs early perished. Probable causes of this.
Griesbach Hist. textus epp. Paulinarum, Jen. 1777.
Perhaps many copies of some of the Sacred Writings, were immediately published. Thence, while the authors were yet living, and sometimes by their command, many copies were written, that they might be sent to various congregations. Thus both private and public collections were gradually formed.
Even in these first copies, mistakes may have been made, by transcribers, or something added by commentators or readers, with a view of explaining the phraseology, augmenting the narration, or illustrating the style ; yet it may be supposed, that greater care would be bestowed on these than upon any other books.-Consult
Haenlein II. 1. p. 17. et de variis lectionibus earumque classibus.
It was the conjecture of J. D. Michaelis, that all our Sacred books were derived from one common source. -See,
Orient, and exeg. Bibl. XXI. 159.
VII. There are two opinions of modern critics, as to the proper method of examining the ancient MSS. and forming a correct opinion with regard to their excellence and authority. Some suppose that those MSS. are of most consequence, which are not only recommended by their antiquity, but which exhibit the text of the New Testament without any scholia, or any signs of alterations made from versions, commentaries, or the conjectures of learned
Others are of opinion, that as it was early provided, that the churches of the larger provinces, should use the same sacred books, that critical recensions or editions were made, from which the Codices of those regions were transcribed ; and therefore, that the value of the readings of these Codices is to be estimated, not from the number and age of individual Manuscripts, but from the antiquity and consent of these different editions.
MSS. were of parchment, silk, or paper ; they differ also in their form and condition ; some are written in capital or uncial letters ; others, in smaller characters; some are rescripti, written over other works; some are corrected ; some were designed for private use, others for the churches; some were negligently, and others accurately written. Some later MSS. are eclectici or critical, some are transcripts of other MSS. still extant, or of printed editions ; some contain the whole N. T., others a greater or less number of the several books, and others are merely fragments. Some have latin translations, (codices bilingues) or scholia, or commentaries, annexed.
On the codices which were formerly called latinizing, see,
Griesbach Symbb. critt. I. p. CX. Michaelis Introduction.
On determining the age of MSS., consult,
Gattereri Comm. de methodo ætatis codd. MSS, definiendæ, in Commentt. Soc. Goett. Vol. viii.
The authors who have attended with care to the judgment, to be formed of MSS., are Matthaei, A. Bengel, in Introd. in crisin N, T., Semler, Vorber. zur Theol. Hermen. IV., and Griesbach.
Distinction of MSS. into recensions, editions, or families.
Griesbach, originally made but two recensions, the Alexandrian or eastern, the Western or latin ; to these he afterwards added the Byzantine. Michaelis added the Edessene ; others a mixed edition. cf. Haenlein, I. 90, Ammon ad Ernesti Inst.
169. Some of the MSS. have been entirely, others but par, tially collated.
The MSS. of the N. T. remarkable for their age or excellence, have been described by
Rich. Simon diss. crit. sur les principaux Actes Manuscrits etc. at the end of his work, Histoire crit., referred to above.
Michaelis in his Introduction translated by Marsh.
Griesbach Prolegg. ad N. T. and in his Symbol. Crit. and by Mill, Wetstein, Matthæi, Alter, Birch, in the prefaces or Prolegomena to their editions of the N. T., or collections of various readings,
ALPHABETICAL LIST OF MANUSCRIPTS WHICH HAVE BEEN
I. Codex Alexandrinus. This MS. is written in una cial letters, in four vols. fol, of which the first three con tain the 0. T., the fourth the whole of the New. In the opinion of Woide, this vol, was written by two different scribes. It is not complete, as it begins with Matt. XXV. 6, and in John there is a chasm from Ch. VI. 50, to VIII. 52. In the opinion of Griesbach it sometimes agrees with
the Alexandrian, sometimes with the Western recension, and at others differs from both.-See
Novum Test. Græcum e cod. MS. Alexandrino qui Londini in Bibl. Mus. Britann. ad servatur descriptum a Car. Godofr. Woide, Lond. 1786, f.
II. Amandi codex, was known to Erasmus. Little concerning this MS. has been made public.
III. Angelici codices, in the library of the Augustinian monks at Rome. They are two in number, and have been partially collated by Birch.
IV. Askewiani, formerly the property of Ant. Askew, now in the British Museum. There are several MSS. belonging to this collection, but they have not been accurately collated.
V. Augiensis, formerly belonging to Bentley, now in the library of Trinity College, Cambridge. It contains the Epistle of Paul, mutilated. The Greek is written in uncial letters, the Latin version, which attends it, in small letters.
VI. Augustani codices. They are twelve in number. The best account of them is given by C. F. Matthaei.
VII. Bandurii, is a fragment in uncial letters Containing the history of the Publican and Pharisee.
VIII. Codices Barberinii, in the library founded by Cardinal Barberinus, in the 17th century. Of these MSS, twelve have been examined.
IX. Barocciani, two; now in the Bodleian library,
X. Basilienses, six ; one contains the IV Gospels in uncial letters, and another the whole of the N. T. (excepting the Apocalypse,) in small letters.
XI. Basiliani, in the library of the Monks of St. Basil at Rome, of these they reckon six.-See
Montfaucon. Bibl. Bibliothecarum T. I.
XII. Bodleiani, twelve; (Millii. Prolegg. Sect. 1423, Semler Herm. Vorb. III. 257.