SermonIndex Audio Sermons
Promoting Genuine Biblical Revival.
Looking for free sermon messages?
Sermon Podcast | Audio | Video : Christian Books : CHAPTER XIV. CAUSES OF CORRUPTION CHIEFLY INTENTIONAL.

The Causes Of The Corruption Of The Traditional Text by John William Burgon



§ 1.

ANOTHER cause why, in very early times, the Text of the Gospels underwent serious depravation, was mistaken solicitude on the part of the ancient orthodox for the purity of the Catholic faith. These persons, like certain of the moderns, Beza for example, evidently did not think it at all wrong to tamper with the inspired Text. If any expression seemed to them to have a dangerous tendency, they altered it, or transplanted it, or removed it bodily from the sacred page. About the uncritical nature of what they did, they entertained no suspicion: about the immorality of the proceeding, they evidently did not trouble themselves at all. On the contrary, the piety of the motive seems to have been held to constitute a sufficient excuse for any amount of licence. The copies which had undergone this process of castigation were even styled corrected,' -- and doubtless were popularly looked upon as the correct copies' [like our critical texts']. An illustration of this is afforded by a circumstance mentioned by Epiphanius.

He states (ii.36) that the orthodox, out of jealousy for the Lord's. Divinity, eliminated from St. Luke xix.41 the record that our Saviour wept.' We will not pause to inquire what this statement may be worth. But when the same Father adds, -- In the uncorrected copies (en tois adiorthotois antigraphois) is found |He wept,|' Epiphanius is instructive. Perfectly well aware that the expression is genuine, he goes on to state that Irenaeus quoted it in his work against Heresies, when he had to confute the error of the Docetae .' Nevertheless,' Epiphanius adds, the orthodox through fear erased the record.'

So then, the process of correction' was a critical process conducted on utterly erroneous principles by men who knew nothing whatever about Textual Criticism. Such recensions of the Text proved simply fatal to the Deposit. To correct' was in this and such like cases simply to corrupt.'

Codexes B'D may be regarded as specimens of Codexes which have once and again passed through the hands of such a corrector or diorthotes.

St. Luke (ii.40) records concerning the infant Saviour that the child grew, and waxed strong in spirit.' By repeating the selfsame expression which already, -- viz. in chap. i.80, -- had been applied to the Childhood of the Forerunner , it was clearly the design of the Author of Scripture to teach that the Word made flesh' submitted to the same laws of growth and increase as every other Son of Adam. The body grew,' -- the spiritual part waxed strong.' This statement was nevertheless laid hold of by the enemies of Christianity. How can it be pretended (they asked) that He was perfect God' (teleios Theos), of whom it is related in respect of His spirit that he waxed strong '? The consequence might have been foreseen. Certain of the orthodox were ill-advised enough to erase the word pneu'mati from the copies of St. Luke ii.40; and lo, at the end of 1,500 years, four corrected' copies, two Versions, one Greek Father, survive to bear witness to the ancient fraud. No need to inquire which, what, and who these be.

But because it is 'BDL, Origen , and the Latin, the Egyptian and Lewis which are without the word pneu'mati, Lachmann, Tregelles, Tischendorf, and the Revisers jump to the conclusion that pneu'mati is a spurious accretion to the Text. They ought to reverse their proceeding; and recognize in the evidence one more indication of the untrustworthiness of the witnesses. For, -- how then is it supposed that the word (pneu'mati) ever obtained its footing in the Gospel? For all reply we are assured that it has been imported hither from St. Luke i.80. But, we rejoin, How does the existence of the phrase ekrataiouto pneu'mati in i.80 explain its existence in ii.40, in every known copy of the Gospels except four, if in these 996 places, suppose, it be an interpolation? This is what has to be explained. Is it credible that all the remaining uncials, and every known cursive copy, besides all the lectionaries, should have been corrupted in this way: and that the truth should survive exclusively at this time only in the remaining four; viz. in B-', -- the sixth century Cod. D, -- and the eighth century Cod. L?

When then, and where did the work of depravation take place? It must have been before the sixth century, because Leontius of Cyprus quotes it three times and discusses the expression at length: -- before the fifth, because, besides Cod. A, Cyril , Theodoret and ps.-Caesarius recognize the word: -- before the fourth, because Epiphanius , Theodore of Mopsuestia , and the Gothic version have it: -- before the third, before nearly all of the second century, because it is found in the Peshitto. What more plain than that we have before us one other instance of the injudicious zeal of the orthodox? one more sample of the infelicity of modern criticism?

§ 2.

Theodotus and his followers fastened on the first part of St. John viii.40, when they pretended to shew from Scripture that Christ is mere Man . I am persuaded that the reading of My Father ,' -- which Origen , Epiphanius , Athanasius , Chrysostom , Cyril Alex. , and Theodoret prove to have been acquainted, -- was substituted by some of the orthodox in this place, with the pious intention of providing a remedy for the heretical teaching of their opponents. At the present day only six cursive copies are known to retain this trace of a corruption of Scripture which must date from the second century.

We now reach a most remarkable instance. It will be remembered that St. John in his grand preface does not rise to the full height of his sublime argument until he reaches the eighteenth verse. He had said (ver.14) that the Word was made flesh,' &c.; a statement which Valentinus was willing to admit. But, as we have seen, the heresiarch and his followers denied that the Word' is also the Son' of God. As if in order to bar the door against this pretence, St. John announces (ver.18) that the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him': thus establishing the identity of the Word and the Only begotten Son. What else could the Valentinians do with so plain a statement, but seek to deprave it? Accordingly, the very first time St. John i.18 is quoted by any of the ancients, it is accompanied by the statement that the Valentinians in order to prove that the only begotten' is the Beginning,' and is God,' appeal to the words, -- the only begotten God who is in the bosom of the Father ,' &c. Inasmuch, said they, as the Father willed to become known to the worlds, the Spirit of Gnosis produced the only begotten' Gnosis,' and therefore gave birth to Gnosis,' that is to ;the Son': in order that by the Son' the Father' might be made known. While then that only begotten Son' abode in the bosom of the Father,' He caused that here upon earth should be seen, alluding to ver.14, one as the only begotten Son.' In which, by the way, the reader is requested to note that the author of the Excerpta Theodoti (a production of the second century) reads St. John i.18 as we do.

I have gone into all these strange details, -- derived, let it be remembered, from documents which carry us back to the former half of the second century, -- because in no other way is the singular phenomenon which attends the text of St. John i.18 to be explained and accounted for. Sufficiently plain and easy of transmission as it is, this verse of Scripture is observed to exhibit perturbations which are even extraordinary. Irenaeus once writes ho [?] monogene`s huios: once, ho [?] monogene`s Theo's: once, ho monogene`s huios Theou : Clemens Alex., ho monogene`s huios Theo`s monos ; which must be very nearly the reading of the Codex from which the text of the Vercelli Copy of the Old Latin was derived . Eusebius four times writes 6ho monogene`s huios : twice, monogene`s Theo's : and on one occasion gives his reader the choice of either expression, explaining why both may stand . Gregory Nyss. and Basil , though they recognize the usual reading of the place, are evidently vastly more familiar with the reading ho monogene`s Theo's : for Basil adopts the expression thrice , and Gregory nearly thirty-three times as often . This was also the reading of Cyril Alex. , whose usual phrase however is ho monogenes tou Theou logos . Didymus has only [? cp. context] ho monogenes Theos, -- for which he once writes ho monogenes Theos logos . Cyril of Jer. seems to have read ho monogenes monos .

[I have retained this valuable and suggestive passage in the form in which the Dean left it. It evidently has not the perfection that attends some of his papers, and would have been amplified and improved if his life had been spared. More passages than he noticed, though limited to the ante-Chrysostom period, are referred to in the companion volume . The portentous number of mentions by Gregory of Nyssa escaped me, though I knew that there were several. Such repetitions of a phrase could only be admitted into my calculation in a restricted and representative number. Indeed, I often quoted at least on our side less than the real number of such reiterations occurring in one passage, because in course of repetition they came to assume for such a purpose a parrot-like value.

But the most important part of the Dean's paper is found in his account of the origin of the expression. This inference is strongly confirmed by the employment of it in the Arian controversy. Arius reads Theos (ap. Epiph.73 -- Tischendorf), whilst his opponents read Huios. So Faustinus seven times (I noted him only thrice), and Victorinus Afer six (10) times in reply to the Arian Candidus . Also Athanasius and Hilary of Poictiers four times each, and Ambrose eight (add Epp. I. xxii.5). It is curious that with this history admirers of B and ' should extol their reading over the Traditional reading on the score of orthodoxy. Heresy had and still retains associations which cannot be ignored: in this instance some of the orthodox weakly played into the hands of heretics . None may read Holy Scripture just as the idea strikes them.]

§ 3.

All are familiar with the received text of 1 Cor. xv.47: -- o protos a'nthropos ek ges choiko's; o deu'teros a'nthropos ho Kurios ex ouranou. That this place was so read in the first age is certain: for so it stands in the Syriac. These early heretics however of whom St. John speaks, who denied that Jesus Christ had come in the flesh ,' and who are known to have freely taken away from the words' of Scripture , are found to have made themselves busy here. If (they argued) the second man' was indeed the Lord-from-Heaven,' how can it be pretended that Christ took upon Himself human flesh ? And to bring out this contention of theirs more plainly, they did not hesitate to remove as superfluous the word man' in the second clause of the sentence. There resulted, -- The first man [was] of the earth, earthy: ho deuteros Kurios ex ouranou ,' It is thus that Marcion (A.D.130) and his followers read the place. But in this subject-matter extravagance in one direction is ever observed to beget extravagance in another. I suspect that it was in order to counteract the ejection by the heretics of anthropos in. ver.47, that, early in the second century, the orthodox retaining anthropos, judged it expedient to leave out the expression ho Kurios, which had been so unfairly pressed against them; and were contented to read, -- the second man [was] from heaven.' A calamitous exchange, truly. For first, (I), The text thus maimed afforded countenance to another form of misbelief. And next, (II), It necessitated a further change in 1 Cor. xv.47.

(I) It furnished a pretext to those heretics who maintained that Christ was Man' before He came into the World. This heresy came to a head in the persons of Apolinarius and Photinus; in contending with whom, Greg. Naz. and Epiphanius are observed to argue with disadvantage from the mutilated text. Tertullian , and Cyprian after him, knew no other reading but secundus homo de Caelo,' -- which is in fact the way this place stands in the Old Latin. And thus, from the second century downwards, two readings (for the Marcionite text was speedily forgotten) became current in the Church: -- (1) The inspired language of the Apostle, cited at the outset, -- which is retained by all the known copies, except nine; and is vouched for by Basil , Chrysostom , Theodotus , Eutherius ; Theodorus Mops. , Damascene , Petrus Siculus , and Theophylact : and (2) The corrected (i.e. the maimed) text of the orthodox; -- o deu'teros; a'nthropos ex ouranou: with which, besides the two Gregories , Photinus and Apolinarius the heretics were acquainted; but which at this day is only known to survive in '*BCD*EFG and two cursive copies. Origen , and (long after him) Cyril, employed both readings .

(II) But then, (as all must see) such a maimed exhibition of the text was intolerable. The balance of the sentence had been destroyed. Against o protos a'nthropos, St. Paul had set o deu'teros a'nthropos: against ek ges -- ex ouranou: against choiko's -- o Ku'rios:. Remove o Ku'rios, and some substitute for it must be invented as a counterpoise to choiko's. Taking a hint from what is found in ver.48, some one (plausibly enough,) suggested epoura'nios: and this gloss so effectually recommended itself to Western Christendom, that having been adopted by Ambrose , by Jerome (and later by Augustine ,) it established itself in the Vulgate , and is found in all the later Latin writers . Thus then, a third rival reading enters the field, -- which because it has well-nigh disappeared from Greek MSS., no longer finds an advocate. Our choice lies therefore between the two former: -- viz. (a) the received, which is the only well-attested reading of the place: and (b) the maimed text of the Old Latin, which Jerome deliberately rejected (A.D.380), and for which he substituted another even worse attested reading. (Note, that these two Western fabrications effectually dispose of one another.) It should be added that Athanasius lends his countenance to all the three readings.

But now, let me ask, -- Will any one be disposed, after a careful survey of the premisses, to accept the verdict of Tischendorf, Tregelles and the rest, who are for bringing the Church back to the maimed text of which I began by giving the history and explaining the origin? Let it be noted that the one question is, -- shall o Ku'rios be retained in the second clause, or not? But there it stood within thirty years of the death of St. John: and there it stands, at the end of eighteen centuries in every extant copy (including AK LP) except nine. It has been excellently witnessed to all down the ages, -- viz. By Origen, Hippolytus, Athanasius, Basil, Chrysostom, Cyril, Theodotus, Eutherius, Theodore Mops., Damascene and others. On what principle would you now reject it? . . . With critics who assume that a reading found in 'BCDEFG must needs be genuine, -- it is vain to argue. And yet the most robust faith ought to be effectually shaken by the discovery that four, if not five ('ACFG) of these same MSS., by reading we shall all sleep; but we shall not all be changed,' contradict St. Paul's solemn announcement in ver.51: while a sixth (D) stands alone in substituting we shall all rise; but we shall not all be changed.' -- In this very verse, C is for introducing Adam into the first clause of the sentence: FG, for subjoining ho ouranios. When will men believe that guides like these are to be entertained with habitual distrust? to be listened tog with the greatest caution? to be followed, for their own sakes, -- never?

I have been the fuller on this place, because it affords an instructive example of what has occasionally befallen the words of Scripture. Very seldom indeed are we able to handle a text in this way. Only when the heretics assailed, did the orthodox defend: whereby it came to pass that a record was preserved of how the text was read by the ancient Father. The attentive reader will note (a) That all the changes which we have been considering belong to the earliest age of all: -- (') That the corrupt reading is retained by 'BC and their following: the genuine text, in the great bulk of the copies: -- (c) That the first mention of the text is found in the writings of an early heretic: -- (d) That [the orthodox introduced a change in the interests, as they fancied, of truth, but from utter misapprehension of the nature and authority of the Word of God: -- and (e) that under the Divine Providence that change was so effectually thrown out, that decisive witness is found on the other side].

§ 4.

Closely allied to the foregoing, and constantly referred to in connexion with it by those Fathers who undertook to refute the heresy of Apolinarius, is our Lord's declaration to Nicodemus, -- No man hath ascended up to heaven, but He that came down from heaven, even the Son of Man which is in heaven' (St. John iii.13). Christ came down from heaven' when He became incarnate: and having become incarnate, is said to have ascended up to Heaven,' and to be in Heaven,' because the Son of Man,' who was not in heaven before, by virtue of the hypostatical union was thenceforward evermore in heaven.' But the Evangelist's language was very differently taken by those heretics who systematically maimed and misinterpreted that which belongeth to the human nature of Christ.' Apolinarius, who relied on the present place, is found to have read it without the final clause (o on en to ouranoo); and certain of the orthodox (as Greg. Naz., Greg. Nyssa, Epiphanius, while contending with him,) shew themselves not unwilling to argue from the text so mutilated. Origen and the author of the Dialogus once, Eusebius twice, Cyril not fewer than nineteen times, also leave off at the words even the Son of Man': from which it is insecurely gathered that those Fathers disallowed the clause which follows. On the other hand, thirty-eight Fathers and ten Versions maintain the genuineness of the words o on en to ouranoo . But the decisive circumstance is that, -- besides the Syriac and the Latin copies which all witness to the existence of the clause, -- the whole body of the uncials, four only excepted ('BLT^b), and every known cursive but one (33) -- are for retaining it.

No thoughtful reader will rise from a discussion like the foregoing without inferring from the facts which have emerged in the course of it the exceeding antiquity of depravations of the inspired verity. For let me not be supposed to have asserted that the present depravation was the work of Apolinarius. Like the rest, it is probably older by at least 150 years. Apolinarius, in whose person the heresy which bears his name came to a head, did but inherit the tenets of his predecessors in error; and these had already in various ways resulted in the corruption of the deposit.

§ 5

The matter in hand will be conveniently illustrated by inviting the reader's attention to another famous place. There is a singular consent among the Critics for eliminating from St. Luke ix.54-6, twenty-four words which embody two memorable sayings of the Son of Man. The entire context is as follows: -- Lord, wilt thou that we command fire to come down from heaven and consume them, (as Elias did)? But he turned, and rebuked them. (and said, Ye know not what manner of spirit ye are of.) (For the Son of Man is not come to destroy men's lives, but to save them.) And they went to another village.' The three bracketed clauses contain the twenty-four words in dispute.

The first of these clauses (os kai` Heli'as epoi'ese), which claims to be part of the inquiry of St. John and St. James, Mill rejected as an obvious interpolation. Res ipsa clamat. Quis enim sanus tam insignia deleverit ?' Griesbach retained it as probably genuine. -- The second clause (kai` eipen, Ouk oidate oi'ou pneu'mato's este umeis) he obelized as probably not genuine: -- the third (o ga`r uio`s tou anthro'pou ouk elthe psucha`s anthro'pon apole'sai, alla sosai) he rejected entirely. Lachmann also retains the first clause, but rejects the other two. Alford, not without misgiving, does the same. Westcott and Hort, without any misgiving about the third clause, are morally certain' that the first and second clauses are a Western interpolation. Tischendorf and Tregelles are thorough. They agree, and the Revisers of 1881, in rejecting unceremoniously all the three clauses and exhibiting the place curtly, thus. -- Ku'rie, the'leis ei'pomen pur katabenai apo` tou ouranou, kai` analosai autou's? straphei`s de` epeti'mesen autois. kai` eporeu'thesan eis ete'ran ko'men.

Now it may as well be declared at once that Codd. 'BLX 1 g^l Cyr^luc 2, two MSS. of the Bohairic (d 3, d 2), the Lewis, and two cursives (71, 157) are literally the only authority, ancient or modern, for so exhibiting the text [in all its bare crudeness]. Against them are arrayed the whole body of MSS. uncial and cursive, including ACD; every known lectionary; all the Latin, the Syriac (Cur. om. Clause 1), and indeed every other known version: besides seven good Greek Fathers beginning with Clemens Alex. (A.D.190), and five Latin Fathers beginning with Tertullian (A.D.190): Cyprian's testimony being in fact the voice of the Fourth Council of Carthage, A.D.253. If on a survey of this body of evidence any one will gravely tell me that the preponderance of authority still seems to him to be in favour of the shorter reason, I can but suggest that the sooner he communicates to the world the grounds for his opinion, the better.

(1) In the meantime it becomes necessary to consider the disputed clauses separately, because ancient authorities, rivalling modern critics, are unable to agree as to which they will reject, which they will retain. I begin with the second. What persuades so many critics to omit the precious words kai` eipen, Ouk oidate oi'ou pneu'mato's este umeis, is the discovery that these words are absent from many uncial MSS., -- 'ABC and nine others; besides, as might have been confidently anticipated from that fact, also from a fair proportion of the cursive copies. It is impossible to deny that prima facie such an amount of evidence against any words of Scripture is exceedingly weighty. Pseudo-Basil (ii.271) is found to have read the passage in the same curt way. Cyril, on the other hand, seems to have read it differently.

And yet, the entire aspect of the case becomes changed the instant it is perceived that this disputed clause is recognized by Clemens (A.D.190); as well as by the Old Latin, by the Peshitto, and by the Curetonian Syriac: for the fact is thus established that as well in Eastern as in Western Christendom the words under discussion were actually recognized as genuine full a hundred and fifty years before the oldest of the extant uncials came into existence. When it is further found that (besides Ambrose, Jerome, Augustine,) the Vulgate, the Old Egyptian, the Harkleian Syriac and the Gothic versions also contain the words in question; and especially that Chrysostom in four places, Didymus, Epiphanius, Cyril and Theodoret, besides Antiochus, familiarly quote them, it is evident that the testimony of antiquity in their favour is even overwhelming. Add that in eight uncial MSS. (beginning with D) the words in dispute form part of the text of St. Luke, and that they are recognized by the great mass of the cursive copies, -- (only six out of the twenty which Scrivener has collated being without them,) -- and it is plain that at least five tests of genuineness have been fully satisfied.

(2) The third clause (o ga`r uio`s tou anthro'pou ouk elthe psucha`s anthro'pon apole'sai, alla sosai) rests on precisely the same solid evidence as the second; except that the testimony of Clemens is no longer available, -- but only because his quotation does not extend so far. Cod. D also omits this third clause; which on the other hand is upheld by Tertullian, Cyprian and Ambrose. Tischendorf suggests that it has surreptitiously found its way into the text from St. Luke xix.10, or St. Matt. xviii.11. But this is impossible; simply because what is found in those two places is essentially different: namely, -- elthe ga`r o uio`s tou anthro'pou zetesai kai` sosai to` apololo's.

(3) We are at liberty in the meantime to note how apt an illustration is here afforded of the amount of consensus which subsists between documents of the oldest class. This divergence becomes most conspicuous when we direct our attention to the grounds for omitting the foremost clause of the three, os kai` Eli'as epoi'esen: for here we make the notable discovery that the evidence is not only less weighty, but also different. Codexes B and ' are now forsaken by all their former allies except LX and a single cursive copy. True, they are supported by the Curetonian Syriac, the Vulgate and two copies of the Old Latin. But this time they find themselves confronted by Codexes ACD with thirteen other uncials and the whole body of the cursives; the Peshitto, Coptic, Gothic, and Harkleian versions; by Clemens, Jerome, Chrysostom, Cyril and pseudo-Basil. In respect of antiquity, variety, respectability, numbers,. they are therefore hopelessly outvoted.

Do any inquire, How then has all this contradiction and depravation of Codexes 'ABC(D) come about? I answer as follows: --

It was a favourite tenet with the Gnostic heretics that the Law and the Gospel are at variance. In order to establish this, Marcion (in a work called Antitheses) set passages of the New Testament against passages of the Old; from the seeming disagreement between which his followers were taught to infer that the Law and the Gospel cannot have proceeded from one and the same author . Now here was a place exactly suited to his purpose. The God of the Old Testament had twice sent down fire from heaven to consume fifty men. But the Son of Man,' said our Saviour, when invited to do the like, came not to destroy men's lives but to save them.' Accordingly, Tertullian in his fourth book against Marcion, refuting this teaching, acquaints us that one of Marcion's Contrasts' was Elijah's severity in calling down fire from Heaven, -- and the gentleness of Christ. I acknowledge the severity of the judge,' Tertullian replies; but I recognize the same severity on the part of Christ towards His Disciples when they proposed to bring down a similar calamity on a Samaritan village .' From all of which it is plain that within seventy years of the time when the Gospel was published, the text of St. Luke ix.54-6 stood very much as at present.

But then it is further discovered that at the same remote period (about A.D.130) this place of Scripture was much fastened on by the enemies of the Gospel. The Manichaean heretics pressed believers with it . The disciples' appeal to the example of Elijah, and the reproof they incurred, became inconvenient facts. The consequence might be foreseen. With commendable solicitude for God's honour, but through mistaken piety, certain of the orthodox (without suspicion of the evil they were committing) were so ill-advised as to erase from their copies the twenty-four words which had been turned to mischievous account as well as to cause copies to be made of the books so mutilated: and behold, at the end of 1,700 years, the calamitous result !

Of these three clauses then, which are closely interdependent, and as Tischendorf admits must all three stand or all three fall together, the first is found with ACD, the Old Latin, Peshitto, Clement, Chrysostom, Cyril, Jerome, -- not with KB the Vulgate or Curetonian. The second and third clauses are found with Old Latin, Vulgate, Peshitto, Harkleian, six Greek and five Latin Fathers, -- not with 'ABCD. While ' and B are alone in refusing to recognize either first, second or third clause. And this is a fair sample of that singular agreement' which is sometimes said to subsist between the lesser group of witnesses.' Is it not plain on the contrary that at a very remote period there existed a fierce conflict, and consequent hopeless divergence of testimony about the present passage; of which 1,700 years have failed to obliterate the traces? Had 'B been our only ancient guides, it might of course have been contended that there has been no act of spoliation committed: but seeing that one half of the missing treasure is found with their allies, ACD, Clement Alex., Chrysostom, Cyril, Jerome, -- the other half with their allies, Old Latin, Harkleian, Clement, Tertullian, Cyprian, Ambrose, Didymus, Epiphanius, Chrysostom, Cyril, Theodoret, Jerome, Augustine , -- it is clear that no such pretence can any longer be set up.

The endeavour to establish agreement among the witnesses by a skilful distribution or rather dislocation of their evidence, a favourite device with the Critics, involves a fallacy which in any other subject would be denied a place. I trust that henceforth St. Luke ix.54-6 will be left in undisputed possession of its place in the sacred Text, -- to which it has an undoubted right.

A thoughtful person may still inquire, Can it however be explained further how it has come to pass that the evidence for omitting the first clause and the two last is so unequally divided? I answer, the disparity is due to the influence of the Lectionaries.

Let it be observed then that an ancient Ecclesiastical Lection which used to begin either at St. Luke ix.44, or else at verse 49 and to extend down to the end of verse 56 , ended thus, -- os kai` Eli'as epoi'ese; straphei`s de` epeti'mesen autois. kai eporeuthesan eis heteran komnn . It was the Lection for Thursday in the fifth week of the new year; and as the reader sees, it omitted the two last clauses exactly as Codd. 'ABC do. Another Ecclesiastical. Lection began at verse 51 and extended down to verse 57, and is found to have contained the two last clauses . I wish therefore to inquire: -- May it not fairly be presumed that it is the Lectionary practice of the primitive age which has led to the irregularity in this perturbation of the sacred Text?

<<  Contents  >>

Promoting Genuine Biblical Revival.
Privacy Policy