Codex Schøyen 2650 (Coptic mae2) and Its Witness to the Early Greek Text of Matthew's Gospel


In 2001, the exciting but enigmatic 4th century Coptic Matthew text, Codex Schøyen, was introduced as an alternative, non-canonical Matthew. In this book, James M. Leonard refutes these sensational claims through fresh methodological approaches and easily accessible analysis. Leonard reveals that the underlying Greek text is one of great quality, and that Codex Schøyen can contribute to the identification of the earliest attainable text—but only with due concern for translational interference. Leonard shows how Codex Schøyen’s close alliance with Codices Vaticanus and Sinaiticus allows triangulation of the three to help identify an earlier text form which they mutually reflect, and how this impacts a dozen variant passages in Matthew.
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Biographical Note

James M. Leonard, PhD (2012), studied at Regent College and at Cambridge, and was Scholar-in-Residence at CNTTS, New Orleans (2010-2012). He adjuncts at Loyola University–New Orleans and Notre Dame Seminary, while researching in Coptic Bible, text and canon, and Jesus and the Gospels.

Review Quote

We congratulate Leonard for having doggedly pursued the aims of his thesis with courtesy and proper academic rigour. ...Leonard’s hare has started a worthwhile run... J.K. Elliott, Novum Testamentum 57 (20150

Table of contents

1. The Significance of Codex Schøyen and Explanations for Its Text 2. Features of Mae 2 Unaffected or Minimally Affected by Translation 3. Syntax and Representation of Matt 5:38-6:18 4. Syntax and Representation of Matt 12:3-27 5. Syntax and Representation of Matt 28:1-20 6. Identification of Mae2 Allies 7. Conclusions


All interested in textual criticism and the New Testament text and canon, Coptic New Testament, papyrology, translation theory, Synoptic studies, and early Christian studies.