Contents: Introduction *Contents of Lectionaries *Lectionaries Cited in Critical Editions *Lectionary Incipits *The Synaxarion *The Menologion *History of the Lectionary *The Lectionary Text *


The lectionary evidence is like the weather: Everybody complainsabout it, but nobody does anything about it.

Of all the branches of the New Testament evidence (papyri, uncials,minuscules, lectionaries; versions; Fathers), the lectionaries arethe least studied, least known, least used. Until the twenty-seventhedition, the Nestle text did notcite a single lectionary consistently. (NA27 does, itis true, cite four lectionaries as constant witnesses -- but doesnot offer any information about their text, nor contain a list ofthe lections included). Tischendorfcited lectionaries only exceptionally, and Von Soden did not cite themat all. The United Bible Societieseditions include lectionary evidence -- but without an assessment of thetext-types of these lectionaries, as well as data about their contents,this is of minimal use.

The lectionaries are, of course, the service books of the church,containing the appointed readings ("lections") for eachday of the church year. As such, they were extremely important toindividual churches (a church would want but could live without acontinuous-text manuscriptfor study purposes, but it simply had to have a lectionary forreading during services). The number of lectionaries now known issomewhat less than the number of continuous-text manuscripts(about 2300 lectionaries, as compared to some 3200 continuous-textmanuscripts of all types), but this may be due simply to the factthat they were well-used but no longer prized once printed editionsbecame available.

Contents of Lectionaries

Unlike continuous-text manuscripts, lectionaries are notdivided according to their writing style in the catalogs. Both uncials andminuscules are known. Uncial script continued to be used forlectionaries after it had become extinct for continuous-textmanuscripts; we have uncial lectionaries of the twelfthcentury. (Compare this to the Jewish practice of synagoguescrolls without vowel points. While the practices are obviouslyunrelated, they may show the same sort of traditionalist feelings.)

The descriptions of lectionaries are rather more complexthan for continuous-text manuscripts. This is due to the moreinvolved set of information contained. An ordinary lectionarywould contain two parts: A Synaxarion(containing the day-by-day readings for the liturgical year,beginning with Easter; this resembles the form of most modernlectionaries) and a Menologion (containingthe readings for particular dates and events, and based on thefixed calendar). The lections in the synaxarion were relativelyfixed; those in the menologion could vary significantly based onlocal customs and saints (since many of the lections were forparticular saints' days). In addition, a lectionary could containreadings from the (Old Testament) prophets, or the Gospels,or the Apostle (Acts, Paul, Catholic Epistles), or variouscombinations of the same. (The Apocalypsewas not read in the churches.) Finally, it could include thelessons for every day of the year, or only those for Saturdayor Sunday.

At least, the above is the way the common textual criticismmanuals describe the matter (see, e.g., Aland and Aland, p. 166in the second English edition, or, less specifically,Metzger, Manuscripts of the Greek Bible, p. 44. Scrivener,pp. 75-77, uses the terms to refer not to the readings themselvesbut to the tables of readings in the manuscripts).Steve Puluka, however,informs me that this is not the proper terminologyof the Byzantine church: "The Menologion is a servicebook containing the hymns for the saints, the Tropar and Kondak,for each day in the fixed cycle. Menaion is the texts forvespers and matins for each day of the year. These are booksof hymn texts, not scripture. But most of these hymns containmany allusions to scripture. And will contain Psalm versesfor use as Prokiemenon (introductions to readings), Alleluiaverses (introduction to Gospels) and communion hymns.The Triodion is the corresponding book for the Great Fast thatmoves in dates from year to year. The Pentacostarion thencovers the period from Pascha to Pentacost." Thuscare must be taken, in reading a particular work, to knowexactly how it is using the terms. The section below wasbased on the Aland definitions; I hope it doesn't affectthings too badly.

Prior to Gregory's rearrangement of the manuscripts,it was customary to divide lectionaries into "Evangelistaries,"or lectionaries of the gospels, and "Apostolos," withthe Acts and Epistles. The former of these were denoted witha superscript evl, the latter with a superscript of apl.The problem with this is that the same lectionary could havetwo different symbols -- so, for example, 6evl referredto the same manuscript as 1apl.

Gregory's solution to this was to combine the two lectionarylists into one, with each lectionary denoted by a script letterL (l)and a superscript number. As with the minuscules, Gregory preservedthe numbers of the evangelistaries as best he could, so1evl becamel1,while 6evl=1apl becamel6.

This obviously means that a rather complex nomenclature had tobe devised to explain the contents of a lectionary. The (ratherillogical) symbols used by Aland in the Kurzgefasste Listeinclude the following:

The complexity of the above is such that this page adopts a simplifiedsystem for denoting lectionary contents. We will use e todesignate a gospel lectionary, with s indicating one containingSaturday and Sunday lections and w indicating weekday lections.If the w is followed by an asterisk (*), it means the weekdaylections are included only during Eastertide. (OK, this mayseem just as complicated as the other way, but it saves a lotof HTML code.) Lectionaries of the Praxapostolos are denoteda. "sel" indicates selected lections. Minusculelectionaries are listed in lower case; uncials in UPPER CASE.

The following table shows the equivalences betweenthe Aland system and that adopted here.
Nestle SymbolSymbol used here Nestle SymbolSymbol used here

Symbols used in Nestle and here


Lectionaries Cited in Critical Editions

The following table includes the first few lectionaries from theKurzgefasste Liste, plus the lectionaries cited in the Nestleand UBS editions. Note that little information has been publishedabout even these relatively-well-known lectionaries. Many lectionarieshave neumes; this is noted as far as known.

LectionaryDescribed asDATEMeaning and Description
l1SELXUncial lectionary, selected readings, tenth century
l2E(SW)XUncial Gospel lectionary (all lessons). Tenth century.Neumed.
l3E(SW*)XIUncial gospel lectionary, complete lessons for Eastertide,Saturday and Sunday lections for the rest of the year. Illuminatedand neumed.
l4e(sw*)XIGospel lectionary, complete lessons for Eastertide, Saturdayand Sunday lections for the rest of the year. Neumed.
l5E(SW*)†XFragmentary uncial gospel lectionary, complete lessons for Eastertide, Saturdayand Sunday lections for the rest of the year. Neumed.
l10selXIIILections from Matthew and Luke only (andnot all of those). Thirteenth century (Scrivener says eleventh). Consideredby the IGNTP to have a diverging text.
l12e(sw)XIIIMulilated. Neumed. Consideredby the IGNTP to have a diverging text.
l32e(sw*)XI"Carelessly written, butwith important readings" (Scrivener). Consideredby the IGNTP to have a diverging text.
l44e(s)a†XIITwelfth century (Scrivener says fifteenth). Mutilated,with later supplements.
l59aXIITischendorf/Scrivener 13apl. Scrivener reports that itis "important; once belonged to the Iveron monastery; renovated by Joakim,a monk, A.D. 1525."
l60e(sw*)a1021"[It] contains many valuable readings (akin to those of Codd. ADE),but numerous errors. Written by Helias, a priest and monk, 'in castrode Colonia,' for use of the French monastery of St. Denys" (Scrivener).
l68e(w)†XIIDated to the twelfth century by Gregory and Aland, eleventh byScrivener. Damaged at beginning and end.
l69e(w)†XIIDated XI by Scrivener. Consideredby the IGNTP to have the standard lectionary text.
l70e(w)†XIIDated XI by Scrivener, who reports that it was "broughtfrom the East in 1669." Certain of the initial and terminal leavesare paper, implying that they are a supplement. Consideredby the IGNTP to have a diverging text.
l76e(w)XIIMutilated. Neumed. Consideredby the IGNTP to have a diverging text.
l80e(w)XIIConsideredby the IGNTP to have a diverging text.
l127E(SW*)†IXUncial lectionary, damaged at beginning and end. Red ink. Neumed.Contains a fourteenth century supplement, and has been worked on bytwo later correctors.
l147AXIIUncial lectionary, dated to the eleventh century byScrivener. Formerly 25apl. Scrivener reports that itis "ill written, with a Latin version over some portions of the text."
l150E(W)995Uncial lectionary, dated May 27, 995. Red ink, neumes,and ornaments, written by a priest named Constantine. "It is a mostsplendid specimen on the uncial class of Evangelistaria, and its textpresents many instructive variations. At the end are several lessonsfor special occasions, which are not often met with" (Scrivener). Consideredby the IGNTP to have a diverging text.
Sample plate in Edward Maunde Thompson,An Introduction to Greek and Latin Paleography (plate 51).
l156e(w)aXDated XIII by Scrivener. Formerly 33apl.(Note that the Liste describes it as containing Gospel lections,but neither Scrivener not UBS4 concur.)Neumed, with red ink.
l165e(w)a†XIDated XIII by Scrivener, and listed as 57apl(Gregory's 60apl); apparently the Gospel lections were not knownat that time. Scriverner says it is "neatly written, with manyletters gilded, mut. at beginning and end" [the initial defectnow having been supplemented by 129 leaves].
l170e(w)a†XIVDated XII/XIII by Scrivener (for whom it is 65apl;Gregory's 68apl). Defective for lectionsκε-λof Paul. Formerly B.C. III.24
l184e(w)1319Scrivener's 259evl or yscr is"remarkable for its wide departures from the received text, and forthat reason often cited by Tischendorf and Alford...." Consideredby the IGNTP to have a diverging text.
l185e(w)†XINote that this manuscript has been listed by various catalognumbers -- in Liste1 and NA26 it isCambridge, Christ's College DD.I.6, but in NA27 it isGG.1.6. Scrivener lists this as equivalent to his 222evl =zscr -- though the latter manuscript is cataloged as F.I.8,and there are other discrepancies. However, I have checked the descriptionin M. R. James, A Descriptive Catalog of the Western Manuscripts inthe Library of Christ's College [N. B. by "Western" Jamesrefers to their origin, not their text-type]. He gives the catalog numberas F.1.8. I would regard this as definitive; F.1.8 is the only lectionaryin James's catalog -- and the description he gives (vellum, 11-3/4"x8-1/2",double columnes) matches that in the Liste.
Interestingly, the Liste says it has 218 pages, but James, whoexamined it minutely, lists 219 pages. He describes it as "Cent. xi[agreeing with the Liste], fairly well written: the writing sometimeshangs from the ruled lines but very frequently stands between them. Ornamentsin blue and red and green and red, rather coarse." There are between 26and 32 lines per column. Two quires are missing: after quire 2and after quire 14. James says that Scrivener collated it in 1854 (itsreadings are found in his book on Codex Augiensis under the siglum Z).Westcott & Hort gave it the number 59.
A colophon says that the manuscript was sold in the year 1261 C.E.,and Scrivener affirms that this is not contemporary with the manuscript.There was an older inscription which James could read only in part.
Columns 1-81 give lessons from John, 81-206 have lessons from Matthew,206-303 come from Matthew and Mark, 303-440 are from Luke, 440-663 comefrom all the Gospels. Beginning in column 663, a new hand takes over, givingfour lessons from the Prophets and four from the Epistles.(These, according to Scrivener, were Old Gregory 53apl,although the Liste lists 53apl as unassigned.)
Lessons in calendar order, commencing in September, begin in column714. The book ends with column 871.
Of 222evl, Scrivener saysit is ornamented, and "is much fuller than most Lectionaries, andcontains many minute variations [citing as an example its omission ofυιουβ&alphaραχιου in Matt. 23:35,agreeing with the first hand of Sinaiticus] and interesting readings."
l211e(w)XIIScrivener's 218evl, and dated XI by that scholar. Palimpsest,with upper writing dated XIV by Scrivener. Ornamented, but Scrivener reportsthat it is "ill written. The first leaf contains the history of St.Varus and six martyrs." Consideredby the IGNTP to have a diverging text.
l249EA (SEL)IXDescribed in the Liste as defective, but NA27describes it as containing selected lessons following the Jerusalem order(i.e. it does not follow the standard order listed under theSynaxarion). Scrivener (for whom it is 191evl,178apl) describes it as follows: "ill written, but witha remarkable text; the date being tolerable fixed by Arabic material decidedlymore modern, written 401 and 425 of the Hegira (i.e. about A.D.1011 and 1035) respecting the birth and baptism of the two Holy infants.There are but ten lessons from St. Matthew, and nineteen from otherparts of the New Testament, enumerated by Tischendorf in 'Notitia.Cod. Sinaitici,' p. 54."
l253e(s)1020The data at left is from the Liste; Scrivenerreads the colophon as 1022 (and dated from Salernum), and lists themanuscript as "mut. throughout." Tischendorf's 6pe.Considered by the IGNTP to have a diverging text.
l292E(W)†IXUncial palimpsest, with upper writing from the Psalms. Datedby Scrivener to VIII or IX, with neumes and red ink. Consideredby the IGNTP to have a diverging text.
l299e(w)†XIIIThis is the lectionary which was written overXi/040. Consideredby the IGNTP to have a diverging text.
l303e(w)XIISample plate in Metzger, Manuscripts of the Greek Bible
l309(Luke)XDescribed by Scrivener as an uncial but by the Listeas a minuscule; presumably it is in a semi-uncial hand. Ornaments, neumes,red ink. Scrivener says of its contents,"Σαββατοκυριακαιfrom the eleventh Sunday in St. Luke (14:20) to the Sunday of the Publican(xviii.14)."
l333e(w)†XIIINeumed, with red ink. Scrivener reports, "bought ofa dealer at Constantinople, cruelly mutilated (eighty-four leaves beingmissing), but once very fine. Collated by Rev. W. F. Rose, who found itmuch to resemble Evst. 259 (yscr)"[=l184].Considered by the IGNTP to have the standard lectionary text.
l374e(sw)1070Scrivener dates the script XIII/XIV (!).
l381e(w)XIDated X by Scrivener, XII by Gregory; the Listesplits the difference. With pictures; Scrivener calls it a "magnificentspecimen."
l387e(w)XIDated XIV by Scrivener. Neumed.
l422e(w)aXIVScrivener reports,"[mutilated] at beg. and end, andin other places. Michael of Damascus was the diorthote, or possessor."
l490e(sw) LitIXDated IX or X by Scrivener, who describes it as"Euchology. Contains only a few Lections."
l514E(W)IXUncial lectionary, red ink, neumed. Reported byScrivener to be mutilated.
l524e(sw*)†XII"[Mutilated] at beginning and end." Consideredby the IGNTP to have a diverging text.
l547e(sw*)†XIIIThis is the (relatively) famous Ferrar Lectionary, which followsthe Byzantine order but has a text derived from the Ferrar Group(f13). Consideredby the IGNTP (for obvious reasons) to have a diverging text.
l563E(SW*)VIIIUncial lectionary, originally from Constantinople
l590e(w)a†XIScrivener's 270apl, which he dates XIV and listsas "[mutilated] at beginning and end." Gregory's 94apl
l591e(w)a†XIScrivener's 272apl, which he dates XIV-XV and listsas "[mutilated] at beginning and end." Gregory's 95apl
l592e(w)a†1576Scrivener's 209apl, which he listsas "[mutilated] at beginning." Gregory's 96apl
l593e(w)aXVDated XVII (!) by Scrivener, for whom it is 271apl;Gregory's 98apl
l596a*1146Gregory's 101apl; Scrivener's 216apl
l597e(sw*)aXScrivener's 83apl, which he lists asmutilated; Gregory 103apl.
l598e(w)aXIScrivener's 84apl (Gregory 104apl),which he lists as having red ink and neumes, and as being "a mostbeautiful codex."
l599e(sw*)a†XIScrivener's 85apl; Gregory 105apl.
l603e(w)aXINeumed, with red ink. Gregory's 109apl;Scrivener's 89apl
l617e(w)aXIDated XI or XII bt Scrivener, for whom it is98apl (Gregory's 124apl). Neumed, with red ink.
l672E(SW*)IXUncial lectionary.
l680eaXIIIGregory's 229apl
l751e(w)a?XIGregory's 239apl
l809e(w)aXIISample plate in Metzger, Manuscripts of the Greek Bible
l844SEL†IXUncial lectionary, selected readings (Jerusalem form).
l846EA SELVIII/IXUncial lectionary, selected readings (Jerusalem form)
l847E(SW*)967Uncial lectionary.
l859e(sw*)†XIConsideredby the IGNTP to have a diverging text.
l883aXIGregory/Scrivener 154apl
l884aXIIIGregory/Scrivener 155apl
l890e(s)1420Consideredby the IGNTP to have a diverging text.
l895aXIIIGregory/Scrivener 156apl
l921e(w)aXIIGregory/Scrivener 157apl
l923(frag)?This single surviving page was bound with the eleventhcentury minuscule 42, which has been lost for years. The lectionary leafcontained Matt. 17:16-23, 1 Cor. 9:2-12.
l950e(sw)1289/90Consideredby the IGNTP to have a diverging text.
l961E(SW)†XIIUncial lectionary, Greek-Coptic diglot. Contains portionsof Mark 9, Luke 7, 8, 15, 19, 22, 24, John 4. Merk cites this fragmentas including the shorter ending of Mark; it appears, however, thathe wshould have been citingl1602(also Greco-Coptic, and it includes the passage, whichl961does not).
l963(e)XIFormerly 0100. Single leaf in a Coptic codex.
l965(e)IXGreek/Coptic diglot, formerly 0114. Single leaf containingportions of John.
l1016e(sw*)XII94 leaves in Jerusalem, 8 in St. Petersburg. Consideredby the IGNTP to have a diverging text.
l1074e(sw*)†1290Consideredby the IGNTP to have a diverging text.
l1127e(w)XIIConsideredby the IGNTP to have a diverging text.
l1153(a)e(w)aXIVFollowing this codex is a single leaf of an unciallectionary of the tenth century. This was formerly designated asl1153b,resulting in the primary codex being designated for a time asl1153a
l1231e(sw*)XConsideredby the IGNTP to have a diverging text.
l1356AXUncial lectionary
l1575AIXUncial lectionary, partial (readings from Acts and 1 Peter).Greek-Coptic diglot. Includes the former 0129 and 0203. The Alands describethe text as being "of remarkably good quality" -- in context meaningprobably that the text is Alexandrian.
l1579e(w)†XIVConsideredby the IGNTP to have a diverging text.
l1596This lectionary is cited by Merk, and dated V -- but thenumber has been de-assigned in the Kurzgefasste Liste!
l1599E(SW*)†IXUncial lectionary. Consideredby the IGNTP to have a diverging text.
l1602E(SW*)†VIIIUncial lectionary, Greek-Sahidic diglot. Includes the formerl1566.Described by Hedley as Alexandrian in Matthew and Mark, although the text-typechanges in Luke and John.
l1610(e)XVSaturday and Sunday lections from Luke.
l1627e(sw*)†XIConsideredby the IGNTP to have a diverging text.
l1634e(sw*)XIIConsideredby the IGNTP to have a diverging text.
l1642e(w)†XIIIConsideredby the IGNTP to have a diverging text.
l1663e(sw*)†XIVConsideredby the IGNTP to have a diverging text.
l1761e(sw)XVConsideredby the IGNTP to have a diverging text.
l1977e(sw*)aXIIPossibly two combined manuscripts, perhaps fromdifferent hands; the first 151 folios contain the Gospel readings, theremaining 159 have the Apostle. Sunday lessons only.
l2211E(SW)995/6Uncial lectionary, Greek Arabic diglot. Selected lessonsfollowing the Jerusalem order.

For the Apostoliki Diakonia edition(lAD),see the section on the Lectionary Text.

Lectionary Incipits

By their nature, lectionaries take readings out of context.Without some sort of introduction to a passage, a congregationwould not easily understand what the lection referred to.Thus arose the practice of including "incipits" (from Latin incipere, to begin) -- brief phrases tointroduce a passage. It was probably not long before these incipitsbegan to be included in the lectionary itself.

It is commonly stated that there are six lectionaryincipits. This is somewhat oversimplified. The correctstatement is that the large majority of lections inthe gospels use one of the following six incipits:

However, other incipits will occur. The purpose of thenumbered incipits is not to note all possible introductionsto a passage but to simplify collation. When collating alectionary, instead of citing the incipits in full, oneneeds simply to note the incipit number (e.g. Inc I, Inc II).

It will be evident that these incipits are not appropriatefor the epistles. The usual incipit in these books isαδελφοι,while we findτεκνονΤιμοθεεandτεκνονΤιτεin the relevant epistles.

The Synaxarion

The Synaxarion is the movable calendar of the church. The yearbegins with Easter, and its length varies (up to a maximum of57 weeks). Since the calendar is variable, it includes primarily thefestivals which occur in the seasonal (quasi-lunar) calendar --e.g. Easter and Pentecost. Festivals which occurred on fixed dates,such as most Saints' Days, were included in theMenologion.

Menologia varied significantly, depending on the particularsaints and festival commemorated in a diocese. The Synaxarionof the Byzantine church, however, was almost completely fixed,and is found in the large majority of lectionaries with only minorvariants.

The following tables, listing the readings for the various partsof the year, are adapted from Scrivener & Miller, A Plain Introduction tothe Criticism of the New Testament, pp. 81-85. Where Scrivener showsvariants, these are separated by slashes /. It should be noted that thisis not a comprehensive or critical edition of the Synaxarion; eleven manuscriptswere consulted (the correctors of Dea, and the lectionariesl150,l170,l181,l183,l184,l185,l186,l228,l304,l315),but they were casually selected and often defective (e.g.only one contains the complete weekday lessons for the Apostolos, and thatone -- l170 --is damaged.)

The first part of the lectionary begins at Easter and extends throughthe season of Pentecost. The lessons for this season are shown below. Itshould be recalled that the first day of the Byzantine week was Saturday,so that in the latter part of the year the Saturday lections for a weekwere read before the Sunday lections.

τη αγια καιμεγαληκυριακη τουπασχα
Jo 1:1-17
Ac 1:1-8
Jo 1:18-28
Ac 1:12-26
Lk 24:12-35
Ac 2:14-21
Jo 1:35-52
Ac 2:38-43
Jo 3:1-15
Ac 3:1-8
Jo 2:12-22
Ac 2:12-26
Jo 3:22-33
Ac 3:11-16
1st Sunday after Easter
Jo 20:19-31
Ac 5:12-20
Jo 2:1-11
Ac 3:19-26
Jo 3:16-21
Ac 4:1-10
Jo 5:17-24
Ac 4:13-22
Jo 5:24-30
Ac 4:23-31
Jo 5:30-6:2
Ac 5:1-11
Jo 6:14-27
Ac 5:21-32
2nd Sunday after Easter
κυριακη γ
Mk 15:43-16:8
Ac 6:1-7
Jo 4:46-54
Ac 6:8-7:60
Jo 6:27-33
Ac 8:5-17
Jo 6:48-54/
Ac 8:18-25/
Jo 6:40-44
Ac 8:26-39
Jo 6:35-39/
Ac 8:40-9:19/
Jo 15:17-16:1
Ac 9:19-31
3rd Sunday after Easter
κυριακη δ
Jo 5:1-15
Ac 9:32-42
Jo 6:56-69
Ac 10:1-16
Jo 7:1-13
Ac 10:21-33
Jo 7:14-30
Ac 14:6-18
Jo 8:12-20
Ac 10:34-43
Jo 8:21-30
Ac 10:44-11:10
Jo 8:31-42
Ac 12:1-11
4th Sunday after Easter
κυριακη ε
Jo 4:5-42
Ac 11:19-30
Jo 8:42-51
Ac 12:12-17
Jo 8:51-59
Ac 12:25-13:12
Jo 6:5-14
Ac 13:13-24
Jo 9:39-10:9
Ac 14:20-27/
Jo 10:17-28
Ac 15:5-12
Jo 10:27-38
Ac 15:35-41
5th Sunday after Easter
κυριακη ς
Jo 9:1-38
Ac 16:16-34
Jo 9:47-54
Ac 17:1-9
Jo 12:19-36
Ac 17:19-27
Jo 12:36-47
Ac 18:22-28
Mk 16:9-20,
Lk 24:36-53
Ac 1:1-12
Jo 14:1-10/11/12
Ac 19:1-8
Jo 14:10-21/
Jo 14:10-18, 21
Ac 20:7-12
6th Sunday after Easter
κυριακη ζ
Jo 17:1-13
Ac 20:16-38
Jo 14:27-15:7
Ac 21:8-14
Jo 16:2-13
Ac 21:26-32
Jo 16:15-23
Ac 23:1-11
Jo 16:23-33
Ac 25:13-19
Jo 17:18-26
Ac 27:1-28:1
Jo 21:14-25
Ac 28:1-31
Jo 20:19-23, 7:37-52+8:12
Ac 2:1-11
Week after Pentecost
τηεπαυριον τεςπεντεκοστης
Mt 18:10-20
Eph 5:8-19
Mt 4:25-5:11Mt 5:20-30Mt 5:31-41Mt 7:9-18Mt 5:42-48
Rom 1:7-12
2nd week after Pentcost
κυριακη ατων αγιωνπαντων
Mt 10:32-33, 37-38
Mt 19:37-40
He 11:33-12:2
Mt 6:31-34
Mt 7:9-14
Ro 2:1-6
Mt 7:15-21
Ro 2:13, 17-27
Mt 7:11-23
Ro 2:28-3:4
Mt 8:23-27
Ro 3:4-9
Mt 9:14-17
Ro 3:9-18
Mt 7:1-8
Ro 3:19-26
3rd week after Pentcost
κυριακη β
Mt 4:18-23
Ro 2:10-16
Mt 9:36-10:8
Ro 4:4-18
Mt 10:9-15
Ro 4:8-12
Mt 10:16-22
Ro 4:13-17
Mt 10:23-31
Ro 4:18-25
Mt 10:32-36, 11:1
Ro 5:12-14
Mt 7:24-8:4
Ro 3:23-4:3
4th week after Pentecost
κυριακη γ
Mt 6:22-23
Ro 5:1-10
Mt 11:2-15
Ro 5:15-17
Mt 11:16-20
Ro 5:17-21
Mt 11:20-26
Ro 7:1
Mt 11:27-30Mt 12:1-8Mt 8:14-23/
8:14-18, 23
Ro 6:11-17
5th week after Pentecost
κυριακη δ
Mt 8:5-13
Ro 6:18-23
Mt 12:9-13
Ro 7:19-8:3
Mt 12:14-16, 22-30
Ro 8:2-9
Mt 12:38-45
Ro 8:8-14
Mt 12:46-13:3
Ro 8:22-27
Mt 13:3-12
Ro 9:6-13
Mt 9:9-13
Ro 8:14-21
6th week after Pentecost
κυριακη ε
Mt 8:28-9:1
Ro 10:1-10
Mt 13:10-23
Ro 9:13-19
Mt 13:24-30
Ro 9:17-28
Mt 13:31-36
Ro 9:29-33
Mt 13:36-43
Ro 9:33, 10:12-17
Mt 13:44-54
Ro 10:15-11:2
Mt 9:18-26
Ro 9:1-5
7th week after Pentecost
κυριακη ς
Mt 9:1-8
Ro 12:6-14
Mt 13:54-58
Ro 11:2-6
Mt 14:1-13
Ro 11:7-12
Mt 14:35-15:11
Ro 11:13-20
Mt 15:12-21
Ro 11:19-24
Mt 15:29-31
Ro 11:25-28
Mt 10:37-11:1
Ro 12:1-3
8th week after Pentecost
κυριακη ζ
Mt 9:27-35
Ro 15:1-7
Mt 16:1-6
Ro 11:29-36
Mt 16:6-12
Ro 12:14-21
Mt 16:20-24
Ro 14:10-18
Mt 16:24-28
Ro 15:8-12
Mt 17:10-18
Ro 15:13-16
Mt 12:30-37
Ro 13:1-10
9th week after Pentecost
κυριακη η
Mt 14:14-22
1C 1:10-18
Mt 18:1-11
Ro 15:17-25
Mt 18:18-20(22)
Mt 19:1-2, 13-15
Ro 15:26-29
Mt 20:1-16
Ro 16:17-20
Mt 20:17-28
1C 2:10-15
Mt 21:12-14, 17-20
1C 2:16-3:10
Mt 15:32-39
To 14:6-9
10th week after Pentecost
κυριακη θ
Mt 14:22-34
1C 3:9-17
Mt 21:18-22
1C 3:18-23
Mt 21:23-27
1C 4:5-8
Mt 21:28-32
1C 5:9-13
Mt 21:43-46
1C 6:1-6
Mt 22:23-33
1C 6:7-11
Mt 17:24-18:1
Ro 15:30-33
11th week after Pentecost
κυριακη ι
Mt 17:14-23
1C 4:9-16
Mt 23:13-22
1C 6:20-7:7
Mt 23:23-28
1C 7:7-15
Mt 23:29-39Mt 24:12/13/14/15-28Mt 24:27-35/33, 42-51
1C 7:35?
Mt 19:3-12
1C 9:2-12
12th week after Pentecost
κυριακη ια
Mt 18:23-35
1C 9:2-12
Mk 1:9-15
1C 7:37-8:3
Mk 1:16-22
1C 8:4-7
Mk 1:23-28
1C 9:13-18
Mk 1:29-35
1C 10:2-10
Mk 2:18-22
1C 10:10-15
Mt 20:29-34
1C 1:26-29
13th week after Pentecost
κυριακη ιβ
Mt 19:16-26
1C 15:1-11
Mk 3:6-12
1C 10:14-23
Mk 3:13-21
1C 10:31-11:3
Mk 3:20-27
1C 11:4-12
Mk 3:28-35
1C 11:13-23
Mk 4:1-9
1C 11:31-12:6
Mt 22:15-22
1C 2:6-9
14th week after Pentecost
κυριακη ιγ
Mt 21:33-42
1C 16:13-24
Mk 4:10-23
1C 12:12-18
Mk 4:24-34
1C 12:18-26
Mk 4:35-41
1C 13:8-14:1
Mk 5:1-17/20
1C 14:1-12
Mk 5:22-23, 5:35-61
1C 14:12-20
Mt 23:1-12
1C 4:1-5
15th week after Pentecost
κυριακη ιδ
Mt 22:2-14
2C 1:21-2:4
Mk 5:24-34
1C 14:26-33
Mk 6:1-7
1C 14:33-40
Mk 6:7-13
1C 15:12-20
Mk 6:30-45
1C 15:29-34
Mk 6:45-53
1C 15:34-40
Mt 24:1-13/
24:1-9, 13
1C 4:7-5:5
16th week after Pentecost
κυριακη ιε
Mk 6:54/56-7:8
1C 16:3-13
Mk 7:5-16
2C 1:1-7
Mk 7:14-24
2C 1:12-20
Mk 7:24-30
2C 2:4-15
Mk 8:1-10
2C 2:15-3:3
Mt 24:34-37, 42-44
1C 10:23-28
17th week after Pentecost
κυριακη ις
Mt 25:14-30/29
2C 6:1-10
(2C 3:4-12)(2C 4:1-6)(2C 4:11-18)(2C 5:10-15)(2C 5:15-21)
18th week after Pentecost
κυριακη ιζ
Mt 15:1-13Mt 25:1-13

After the new year (which may occur as many as eighteen weeksafter Pentecost, depending on the date of Easter),the Gospel and Apostle lections take differentforms, with the Apostle lections following a regular weekly patterngenerally tied to the fixed calendar, while the Gospels (which alsotends to offer a fuller set of lections) are variable. We thereforeseparate the calendars.

Readings from the Gospel
Week NumberSundayMondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFridaySaturday
1st weekLk 3:19-22Lk 3:23-4:1Lk 4:1-15Lk 4:16-22Lk 4:22-30Lk 4:31-36
2nd Week / κυριακη αLk 5:1-11Lk 4:38-44Lk 5:12-16Lk 5:33-39Lk 6:12-16/19Lk 6:17-23Lk 5:17-26
3rd Week / κυριακη βLk 5:31-36Lk 5:24-30Lk 5:37-45Lk 6:46-7:1Lk 7:17-30Lk 7:31-35Lk 5:27-32
4th Week / κυριακη γLk 7:11-16Lk 7:36-50Lk 8:1-3Lk 8:22-25Lk 9:7-11Lk 9:12-18Lk 6:1-10
5th Week / κυριακη δLk 8:5-8, 9-15Lk 9:18-22Lk 9:23-27Lk 9:43-50Lk 9:49-56Lk 5:1-15Lk 7:1-10
6th Week / κυριακη εLk 16:19-31Lk 10:22-24Lk 11:1-10Lk 11:9-13Lk 11:14-23Lk 11:23-26Lk 8:16-21
7th Week / κυριακη ςLk 8:26/27-35, 38-39Lk 11:29-33Lk 11:34-41Lk 11:42-46Lk 11:47-12:1Lk 12:2-12Lk 9:1-6
8th Week / κυριακη ζLk 8:41-56Lk 12:13-15, 22-31Lk 12:42-48Lk 12:48-59Lk 13:1-9Lk 13:31-35Lk 9:37-43
9th Week / κυριακη ηLk 10:25-37Lk 14:12-51Lk 14:25-35Lk 15:1-10Lk 16:1-9Lk 16:15-18, 17:1-4Lk 9:57-62
10th Week / κυριακη θLk 12:16-21Lk 17:20-25Lk 17:26-37, 18:18Lk 18:15-17, 26-30Lk 18:31-34Lk 19:12-28Lk 10:19-21
11th Week / κυριακη ιLk 13:10-17Lk 19:37-44Lk 19:45-48Lk 20:1-8Lk 20:9-18Lk 20:19-26Lk 12:32-40
12th Week / κυριακη ιαLk 14:16-24Lk 20:27-44Lk 21:12-19Lk 21:5-8, 10-11, 20-24Lk 21:28-33Lk 21:37-22:8Lk 13:19-29
13th Week / κυριακη ιβLk 17:12-19Mk 8:11-21Mk 8:22-26Mk 8:30-34Mk 9:10-16Mk 9:33-41Lk 14:1-11
14th Week / κυριακη ιγLk 18:18-27Mk 9:42-10:1Mk 10:2-11Mk 10:11-16Mk 10:17-27Mk 10:24-32Lk 16:10-15
15th Week / κυριακη ιδLk 17:35-43Mk 10:46-52Mk 11:11-23Mk 11:22-26Mk 11:27-33Mk 12:1-12Lk 17:3-10
16th Week / κυριακη ιεLk 19:1-10Mk 12:13-17Mk 12:18-27Mk 12:28-34Mk 12:38-44Mk 13:1-9Lk 18:1-8
17th Week / κυριακη ιςLk 18:9-14
(2Ti 3:10-15)
Mk 13:9-13Mk 13:14-23Mk 13:24-31Mk 13:31-14:2Mk 14:3-9Lk 20:46-21:4

Readings from the Apostle
Week NumberSundayMondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFridaySaturday
κυριακη ις2C 6:1-10(2C 3:4-12)(2C 4:1-6)(2C 4:11-18)(2C 5:10-15)(2C 5:15-21)
κυριακη ιζ2C 6:16-8:1(2C 6:11-16)(2C 7:1-11)(2C 7:10-16)(2C 8:7-11)(2C 8:10-21)1C 14:20-25
κυριακη ιη2C 9:6-11(2C 8:20-9:1)(2C 9:1-5)(2C 9:12-10:5)(2C 10:4-12)(2C 10:13-18)1C 15:39-45
κυριακη ιθ2C 11:31-12:9(2C 11:5-9)(2C 11:10-18)(2C 12:10-14)(2C 12:14-19)(2C 12:19-13:1)1C 15:58-16:3
κυριακη κGa 1:11-19(2C 13:2-7)(2C 13:7-11)(Ga 1:18-2:5)(Ga 2:6-16)(Ga 2:20-3:7)2C 1:8-11
κυριακη καGa 2:16-20(Ga 3:15-22)(Ga 3:28-4:5)(Ga 4:9-14)(Ga 4:13-26)(Ga 4:28-5:5)2C 3:12-18
κυριακη κβGa 6:11-18(Ga 5:4-14)(Ga 5:14-21)(Ga 6:2-10)(Ep 1:9-17)(Ep 1:16-23)2C 5:1-10/4
κυριακη κγEp 2:4-10(Ep 2:18-3:5)(Ep 3:5-12)(Ep 3:13-21)(Ep 4:12-16)(Ep 4:17-25)2C 8:1-5
κυριακη κδEp 2:14-22(Ep 5:18-26)(Ep 5:25-31)(Ep 5:28-6:6)(Ep 6:7-11)(Ep 6:17-21)2C 11:1-6
κυριακη κεEp 4:1-7Ga 1:3-10
κυριακη κςEp 5:8-19Ga 3:8-12
κυριακη κζEp 6:10-17Ga 5:22-6:2
κυριακη κη2C 2:14-3:3Co 1:9-18
κυριακη κθCo 3:4-11Ep 2:11-13
κυριακη λCo 3:12-16(1Th 1:6-10)(1Th 1:9-2:4)(1Th 2:4-8)(1Th 2:9-14)(1Th 2:14-20)Ep 5:1-8
κυριακη λα2Ti 1:3-9(1Th 3:1-8)(1Th 3:6-11)(1Th 3:11-4:6)(1Th 4:7-11)(1Th 4:17-5:5)Co 1:2-6
κυριακη λβ1Ti 6:11-16(1Th 5:4-11)(1Th 5:11-15)(1Th 5:15-23)(2Th 1:1-5)(2Th 1:11-2:5)Co 2:8-12
κυριακη λγ2Ti 1:3-9(2Th 2:13-3:5)(2Th 3:3-9)(2Th 3:10-18)(1Ti 1:1-8)(1Ti 1:8-14)1Ti 2:1-7
κυριακη λδ2Ti 3:10-15(1Ti 2:5-15)(1Ti 3:1-13)(1Ti 4:4-9)(1Ti 4:14-5:10)(1Ti 5:17-6:2)1Ti 3:13-4:5
κυριακη λε2Ti 2:1-10(1Ti 6:2-11)(1Ti 6:17-21)(2Ti 1:8-14)(2Ti 1:14-2:2)(2Ti 2:22-26)1Ti 4:9-15
κυριακη λς2Ti 2:11-13

As the Passion period approaches, the calendars again unite.

Of the Canaanitess
κυριακη ιζ
Mt 15:21-28
σαββατω προτης αποκρεω/
of the Prodigal
Lk 15:1-10
κυριακη προτης αποκρεω/
of the Prodigal;
Week of the Carnival
Lk 15:11-32
1Th 5:14-23/
1C 6:12-20
Mk 11:1-11
2Ti 3:1-10
Mk 14:10-42
2Ti 3:14-4:5
Mk 14:43-15:1
1Ti 4:9-18
Mk 15:1-15
Ti 1:5-12
Mk 15:20, 22, 25, 33-41
Ti 1:15-2:10
Lk 21:8-9, 25-27, 33-36
1C 6:12-20/
2Ti 2:11-19
κυριακη τηςαποκρεω/
of the cheese-eater
Mt 25:31-46
1C 8:8-9:2/
1C 6:12-20
Lk 19:29-40, 22:7-8, 39
He 4:1-13
Lk 22:39-23:1
Heb 5:12-6:8
--Lk 23:1-22, 44-56--Mt 6:1-13
Ro 14:19-23, "16:25-27"
κυριακη τηςτυροφαγουMt 6:14-21, Ro 13:11-14:4
Παννυχις τηςαγιαςνηστειας
(Lenten Vigil)
Mt 7:7-11

Lent/Των νηστειων
σαββατω αMk 2:23-3:5He 1:1-12
Κυιακη αJo 1:44-52He 11:24-40
σαββατω βMk 1:35-44He 3:12-14
Κυιακη βMk 2:1-12He 1:10-2:3
σαββατω γMk 2:14-17He 10:32-37
Κυιακη γMk 8:34-9:1He 4:14-5:6
σαββατω δMk 7:31-37He 6:9-12
Κυιακη δMk 9:17-17-31He 6:13-20
σαββατω εMk 8:27-31He 9:24-28
Κυιακη εMk 10:32-45He 9:11-14
σαββατω ς (of Lazarus)Jo 11:1-45He 12:28-13:8
Κυιακη ςτων ΒαιωνMt 21:1-11, 15-17, (Mk 10:46-11:11), Jo 12:1-18,Pp 4:4-9

Holy Week
MondayMt 21:18-43, Mt 24:3-35
TuesdayMt 22:15-24:2, Mt 24:36-26:2
WednesdayJo 11:47-53/56, 12:17/19-47/50
ThursdayLk 22:1-36/39, Mt 26:1-20
ευαγγελιοντου νιπτηροςJo 13:3-10
μετα τονιψασθαιJo 13:12-17, Mt 26:21-39, Lk 22:43-44,Mt 26:40-27:2, 1C 11:23-32

Ευαγγελιατων αγιωνπαθων ΙησουΧριστου/Twelve Gospels of the Passions:Jo 13:31-18:1, Jo 18:1-28, Mt 26:57-75, Jo 18:28-19:16,Mt 27:3-32, Mk 15:16-32, Mt 27:33-54, Lk 23:32-49,Jo 19:25-37, Mk 15:43-47, Jo 19:38-42, Mt 27:62-66

Ευαγγελιατων ωρων τηςαγιαςπαραμονης/GoodFriday Vigil: First Hour: Mt 27:1-56;Third Hour: Mk 15:1-41; Sixth Hour: Lk 22:66-23:49; Ninth Hour:Jo 19:16/23-37 (18:28-19:37)

τη αγιαπαρασκευηεις τηνλειτουργιαν: Mt 27:1-38, Lk 23:39-43, Mt 27:39-54,Jo 19:31-37, Mt 27:55-61, 1C 1:18-2:1

τω αγιω καιμεγαλωσαββατω(Easter Even): Mt 27:62-66, 1C 5:6-8 (Ga 3:13, 14);Mt 27:1-20, Ro 6:3-11 (Mt 28:1-20, Ro 6:3-11)

Ευαγγελιααναστασιμαεωθινα(readings for Matins on the elevenSundays beginning with All Saints Day. Found in some but notall lectionaries): Mt 28:16-20, Mk 16:1-8, Mk 16:9-20,Lk 24:1-12, Lk 24:12-35, Lk 24:36-53, Jo 20:1-11, Jo 20:11-18,Jo 20:19-31, Jo 21:1-14, Jo 21:15-25

The Menologion

The Synaxarion was the basic calendar of thechurch, as it covered the liturgical year (from Easter to Easter).But not all festivals fit into the quasi-lunar form of the Synaxarion.For holidays with fixed dates, the readings were contained in theMenologion, containing lessons from the fixed calendar.

The Menologion began at the beginning of the Civil Year(September 1), and contained a year's worth of readings forcertain fixed holidays (which might occur on any day of theweek, as opposed to the festivals in the Synaxarion whichalways occur on the same day -- e.g. Easter is always Sunday).

The Synaxarion was identical in all parts of the Byzantinechurch. Not so the Menologion! Certain fixed holidays,including festivals such as Christmas and the holy daysof the apostles, were (almost) always present,but every diocese would add its own list of saints days andspecial celebrations. For this reason it is not practicalto include a full catalog of the readings in the Menologion.The most important festivals include:

It is not unusual to find the same passage used in bothSynaxarion and Menologion. In this case, we often finda reference in the Menologion directing the reader to thepassage in the synaxarion.

History of the Lectionary

If the history of the New Testament text is relativelypoorly known, our knowledge of the history of the lectionarytext is even less. There are several reasons for this. One isthat the Fathers have very little to say about the history of thelectionary. Several, beginning with Chrysostom, refer to thelessons for a particular day. Some scholars have argued onthis basis that the lectionary system must be early; Gregorythought that the Saturday and Sunday lections, at least,were fixed in the second century, and Metzger argued for thefourth century. (Gregory's basis is that the lectionaryincluded Saturday lessons from an early date, implying thatit comes from a time when Saturday was still the Sabbath. This isvery reasonable -- though it should be noted that thisis merely an argument for the existence of a lectionary, not for the present lectionary and not for alectionary text.) We might note, though, that even byChrysostom's time, we cannot always make the lection and datecorrespond to that in the late lectionaries. There is thus no certainreason to believe Chrysostom used the late Byzantine lectionary.Indeed, Chrysostom himself is widely celebrated (November 13),as is Athanasius (May 2). This clearly proves that the finalform of the lectionary -- or at least the Menologion -- is fromafter their time.

The other reason for our ignorance is our lack of early evidence.The earliest surviving lectionary(l1604)is from the fourth century, but fragmentary; indeed, prior to theeighth century, only ten lectionaries are known (so Kurt &Barbara Aland, The Text of the New Testament, p. 81); thelist includesl1604 [IV -- Greek/Sahidic fragment],l1043 [V -- fragments of Mark 6, Luke 2],l1276 [VI -- Palimpsest, frags of Matt. 10, John 20],l1347 [VI -- Psalter; has Magnificat and Benedictus],l1354 [VI -- Greek/Hebrew fragment, Mark 3],l355 [VII -- portions of Luke],l1348 [VII -- Psalter; has Magnificat and Benedictus],l1353 [VII -- Greek/Coptic diglot, now re-listed asl143 andl962+0276],and l1637 [VII -- Palimpsest]);by contrast, we have 248 continuous-text manuscripts from thisperiod. In addition, these early lectionaries rarely if everfollow the standard order of the lateByzantine lectionaries (Aland & Aland, p. 167); note that not one ofthese manuscripts is a true Byzantine lectionary. Vaganay/Amphoux(The Text of the New Testament, p. 24 -- also lists thepapyri P3, P4, and P44 as lectionaries,but even if true, they are too fragmentary to tell us much).

It therefore seems likely that the final form of theByzantine lectionary system (including weekday lections and theMenologion)is relatively late. Junack, e.g., argues for a date no earlier thanthe seventh century. We have some slight evidence to support thisfrom the continuous-text manuscripts, which do not begin toinclude lectionary markings (αρχη andτελος) untilabout the eight century. This does not mean that there were nolectionaries prior to this time -- but it does imply that theofficial lectionary did not reach its final form until relatively late.

The Lectionary Text

Copying a lectionary from a continuous text is difficult. Oneis forced to constantly skip around in the document. This doesnot mean that lectionaries are never copied by taking selectionsfrom a continuous text manuscript; theexistence of the Ferrar Lectionary(l547),which has a text associated with f13,demonstrates this point. But it is reasonable to assume that the largemajority of lectionaries were copied from other lectionaries, andonly occasionally compared with continuous-text manuscripts.

This being the case, it would seem likely that there would bea "lectionary text" -- a type which evolved in thelectionaries, in a manner analogous to the evolution of a typein the versions. Like a versionaltext, the lectionary text would start from some particulartext-type (as the Latin versions are regarded as deriving fromthe "Western" type), then evolve in their own way,relatively separate from the tradition of continuous-text manuscripts.

Given the possibly late date of the lectionary system (see theHistory of the Lectionary), and the fact that itis the Byzantine system, the most likely text-type is of course theByzantine. But even if this proves true, there is still the questionof which strand of the Byzantine text.

Thus far we are carried by theory. At this point we must turnto the manuscripts themselves and examine the data.

One of the first to undertake such an examination was E. C.Colwell in "Is There a Lectionary Text of the Gospels?"(HTR XXV, 1932; now available in a slightly updated versionunder the title "Methodin the Study of Gospel Lectionaries" as Chapter 6 in Studiesin Methodology in Textual Criticism of the New Testament).Colwell studied twenty-six lections, from all four gospels andusing both the Synaxarion and Menologion, in as many as 56 manuscripts.Colwell discovered that there were lections in which the majorityof lectionaries were extremely close to the TextusReceptus, but also lections where they were clearly distinct.In addition, in all the lections there was a clear Majority Text.Recent studies, such as those by Branton, Redus, and Metzger,have supported this conclusion. TheUnited Bible Societies' edition implicitly recognizes this by citing thesymbol Lect for the majority text of the lectionaries.

Colwell's results did not, however, fix the text-type ofthe Lectionary text (as he was the first to admit). The numberof passages similar to the Textus Receptushint at strong Byzantine influence, but do not make it certain.Subsequent studies indicated that the lectionary text wasa mix of Byzantine and "Cæsarean" readings --but as all of this was based on the inadequate methodology ofdivergences from the Textus Receptus, it is perfectly possiblethat the alleged "Cæsarean" readings werein fact Byzantine, and perhaps some of the purportedByzantine readings may have been something else.

In Paul, if the UBS4 apparatus is to betrusted, the Lectionary text is strongly Byzantine. Excludingvariants in punctuation and accents, the UBS4text cites Lect 373 times. In all but five of theseinstances (2 Cor. 2:17, which does not belong on the listas Byz is incorrectly cited; Phil. 3:12, 13;Col. 2:13, Heb. 13:21c), Lect agrees with eitherByz or, in the few instances where the Byzantinetext is divided, with Byzpt. In addition,there are eighteen places where Lect is divided;in every case (save one where both Lect andByz are divided), at least part of the traditiongoes with Byz. For comparison, the Byzantineuncial K agrees with Byz in 300 of 324 readingsin this set, and the equally Byzantine L agrees with Byz in 339 of366. Thus Lect is actually a better Byzantinewitness than these noteworthy Byzantine uncials. It appears,in fact, that Lect is the earliest purely Byzantinewitness known (if it can be considered as a witness).

We should also mention the published lectionary text of the Greek church,the Apostoliki Diakonia edition (cited in UBS4 aslAD).This appears to bear much the same sort of relation to the Majoritylectionary text that the Textus Receptushas to the Majority Text: It is clearly a witness to the Majoritytype, but with many minor deviations which render it an imperfectwitness.