Manuscripts of the Greek Bible: an introduction to Greek by Bruce Manning Metzger

By Bruce Manning Metzger

After a radical survey of the basics of Greek palaeograpy, the writer discusses the various precise positive factors of biblical manuscripts, akin to musical neumes, lectionaries, glosses, commentaries and illuminations.

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592) for the Quinisext Ecumenical Council, the 68th canon forbids the sale of old manuscripts of the Scriptures to ('book dealers'), or ('perfumers'), or to any person whatever. V The Transcribing of Greek Manuscripts §13. S C R I B E S AND T H E I R W O R K P RIOR to the invention of printing with movable type in the middle of the fifteenth century, each copy of every piece of literature was produced by hand— a long and painstaking task, fraught with possibilities of introducing accidental changes into the text.

72 (Migne col. 1104A). v(KvriToi>, that is ineffable, and which is written with these letters: lod, He, Vau, He; which, certain ignorant ones, because of the similarity of the characters, when they would find them in Greek books, were accustomed to pronounce Pipi' (Epist. 25, Ad Marcellam, ed. Hilberg, p. 219). In the following century Evagrius mentions the tradition that on the sacred breastplate of the High Priest was inscribed the name IIIIII (see Paul de Lagarde, Onomastica sacra, i [Gottingen, 1870], pp.

223 f. 69 Ceriani suggested that it may have been Origen or Eusebius who substituted the Greek letters for the Semitic form (Monumenta sacra et prof ana, ii, pp. ); cf. also J. F. Schleusner, Novus Thesaurus . . v. irlirt; Hatch-Redpath, Concordance, p. 1135, and Supplement, p. 126. 70 If the Apostle Paul followed a copy of the Septuagint with the Tetragrammaton written in Hebrew letters, he would no doubt have substituted Kvpios (or perhaps occasionally 0«6j) when dictating an epistle to be sent to predominately Gentile congregations.

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