0323: A Forgotten 4th or 5th Century Greek Fragment of the Gospel of John in the Syrus Sinaiticus

In: Novum Testamentum

That the famous Syrus Sinaiticus contains not only the Old Syriac Gospels, but also other palimpsest leaves, among them four leaves of a Greek codex of John’s Gospel, is not a secret. Nevertheless, for 120 years, this Greek fragment, though probably contemporary with the great uncials, was not registered in any list of nt manuscripts and, as a result, completely neglected. The main aim of these pages is to recall its existence and to gather the information that is available at present.

  • 6

    See F.C. Burkitt, Evangelion da-Mepharreshe: The Curetonian Version of the Four Gospels, with the Readings of the Sinai Palimpsest and the Early Patristic Evidence (2 vols.; Cambridge: University Press, 1904) 2:21, and, for the last text, S.J. Voicu, “Frammenti di un palinsesto greco di Efrem (Sinaiticus Syr. 30, F 171 e seguenti),” Scriptorium 38 (1984) 77-78, who identified fragments of Ephrem’s Sermo asceticus (cpg 3909) and Epistula ad monachos (cpg 2415 [2]).

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  • 9

    M. Dunlop Gibson, How the Codex was Found: A Narrative of Two Visits to Sinai, from Mrs. Lewis’s Journals 1892-1893 (Cambridge: Macmillan and Bowes, 1893) 53, 141; see also 77, 131-132.

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  • 12

    Burkitt, Evangelion da-Mepharreshe, 21.

  • 13

    J. Wellhausen, “Der syrische Evangelienpalimpsest vom Sinai,” NAWG.Philol.-hist. Klasse (1895) 1.

  • 14

    C. Holzhey, Der neuentdeckte Codex Syrus Sinaiticus: Mit einem vollständigen Verzeichniss der Varianten des Cod. Sinaiticus und Cod. Curetonianus (München: J.J. Lentner [E. Stahl Jun.], 1896) 8.

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  • 15

    Hjelt, Syrus Sinaiticus, 15. In his Die altsyrische Evangelienübersetzung und Tatian’s Diatessaron, besonders in ihrem gegenseitigen Verhältnis untersucht (Forschungen zur Geschichte des neutestamentlichen Kanons und der altkirchlichen Literatur 7/1; Leipzig: Deichert Nachf. [Georg Böhme], 1901) 78, Hjelt already mentioned the fragment, although without details.

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  • 17

    See M.-J. Lagrange, “Le palimpseste syriaque du Sinaï,” rb 4 (1895) 287-288; “Le nouveau manuscrit syriaque du Sinaï,” ibid. 401-11; and later: “L’ancienne version syriaque des Évangiles,” rb 29 (1920) 321-52; 30 (1921) 11-44.

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  • 18

    C.R. Gregory, Die griechischen Handschriften des Neuen Testament (Leipzig: J.C. Hinrichs, 1908); Kurt Aland (et al.), Kurzgefasste Liste der griechischen Handschriften des Neuen Testaments (antf 1; Berlin: De Gruyter, 1963; 2nd ed., 1994).

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  • 21

    Penn, “Moving Beyond the Palimpsest,” 267.

  • 29

    Burkitt, Evangelion da-Mepharreshe, 21.

  • 39

    R. Swanson, New Testament Greek Manuscripts: Variant Readings Arranged in Horizontal Lines Against Codex Vaticanus. John (Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press, 1995) 92-93 and 130-132.

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