Old Testament Textual Criticism

Contents: Introduction *The Materials of Old Testament Criticism *The Methods of Old Testament Criticism
Appendix: Textual Criticism of LXX *Appendix: Important Manuscripts (Hebrew and Other) * Appendix: Greek manuscripts cited by BHS and Rahlfs


Trying to divide textual criticism into completely separate subdisciplines is notreally a useful business (since all forms of TC have large areas incommon), but if categories must be devised, the obvious categories wouldbe New Testament criticism, ClassicalTextual criticism, and Old Testament criticism. And the division has somejustification, because the differences between the fields are significant.For reasons of space (plus the author's ignorance, plus the factthat criticism of the Hebrew Bible is an incredible mess with no signsof breakthrough), we can only touch briefly on OT criticism here.

In terms of materials, Old Testament criticism resembles New Testamentcriticism in about the eighteenth century: There are many manuscripts,but all of the same Majority recension, and there are a few versions,some of which differ significantly from the Hebrew, plus a handful of fragments ofolder materials. Since the manuscripts of the Majority recension appear not to preserve theoriginal Hebrew and Aramaic with complete accuracy, there is an obvious needfor textual criticism. This forces us to use rather different methods thanwe currently use in the New Testament.

To begin with, let us review the materials.

The Materials of Old Testament Criticism

The first and most important source is, of course, the Hebrew manuscripts.With a very few exceptions (which we shall treat separately), these werecopied in the Middle Ages by scribes known as the Masoretes or Massoretes (hence the nameMassoretic Text, frequently abbreviated MT or even ℳ). The Massoretes weretrained with exquisite care to preservethe text in all its details (down to such seeming minutae as the size ofcertain letters in the text and their position above or below the line).They also followed very exacting techniques of checking their manuscripts.The result is a text which shows almost no deviation, and manuscripts whichreproduce it with incredible precision. Had such techniques been inuse from the very beginning, textual criticism of the Hebrew Bible wouldbe a trivial task.

The Massoretic Text contains a handful of carefully preserved variant readings, theKetib and Qere. The Ketib ("written")are the readings of the text; the Qere are marginal readingswhich the reader is instructed to substitute for the text. Such notedvariants are, however, relatively rare, and many of the Qerereadings correct places where the text is so bad that it could hardlystand in any case. Thus the Ketib/Qere variantsadd very little to our knowledge of the ancient text, and the accidentalvariants of Massoretic copyists add even less. The latter should generallybe treated not as authoritative variants but as conjectural emendations;they have no genetic significance.

Our earliest substantial MT manuscripts date from about the tenthcentury. Prior to this, we have only a handful of Hebrew manuscripts.The best-known of these are the Qumran manuscripts (the "DeadSea Scrolls"), though there are others such as the relics fromthe Cairo Genizah. With only a handful of exceptions, such as theQumran Isaiah scroll, these manuscripts are damaged and difficultto read, and the portions of the OT they contain are limited. Inaddition, many have texts very similar to the MT -- but a handful donot. Perhaps the most important of all are the Qumran scrolls ofSamuel, 4QSama and 4QSamb, as they representa tradition clearly independent from the MT, and apparently better(as the manuscripts lack many of the defects which afflict MT Samuel).

Also in Hebrew, but with differences in dialect, is the SamaritanPentateuch. The production of a sect considered schismatic by the Jews,the text (which survives mostly in recent manuscripts,and in rather smaller numbers than Hebrew Bibles, as the Samaritansect is nearly extinct) shows definite signs of editing -- but alsoseems to be based on a Hebrew text which predates the Massoreticrecension. This makes it potentially valuable for criticism of thePentateuch (the Samaritans did not revere the other portions of theHebrew Bible) -- as long as we remain aware that it has been editedto conform to Samaritan biases. (We should also allow the possibilitythat the MT has been edited to conform to Jewish biases!)

There are many ancient versions of the Old Testament. These fall largelyinto two categories: Those translated directly from the Hebrew, andthose translated from Greek version. (There are, of course, versionswhich do not come directly either the Hebrew nor the Greek, but from someintermediate version; examples includethe various Western European versions translated from the Vulgate.These are, however, of almost no interest in textual criticism of theHebrew Bible. If they have any significance at all, it is for Vulgatecriticism.)

Setting aside the Greek version and its descendents for the moment,the most important versions descended from the Hebrew are the Latinand the Syriac/Aramaic. As in the New Testament, the Latin actually went throughtwo stages: An Old Latin phase (these versions being translated fromthe Greek) and the Vulgate Revision. The Vulgatewas translated by Jerome in the fourth century (just as is true of the NewTestament Vulgate) -- generally from the Hebrew, andwith less attention to previous versions than Jerome showed in theGospels. The result is a text generally quite close to the Hebrew.It appears, however, that the MT was well evolvedby this time; Jerome's translation rarely departs from the MT, and thedifferences we do see may be the result of attempts to clarify obscuritiesor simply alternate interpretations.

The Aramaic Targums also are translations from the Hebrew, and are generallybelieved to be older than the Vulgate. They are also the work of Jewishscholars, meaning that they typically embody Jewish understanding of the Hebrewtext. This does not, however, make them more valuable than the Vulgate.The Vulgate was translated by one man, Jerome; the Targums are multiple(e.g. the "Targum of Jonathan" and the "Targum ofOnkelos"), making it harder to control for the translator's idiosyncracies.The most noteworthy characteristic of the Targums, however, is theirfreedom. Often they do not even qualify as translations. They paraphrase,they expand, they even include commentary. Thus it is better to treat theTargums as commentaries by Jewish Fathers than as actual translations.

The Syriac Peshitta is the final major version to derive from theHebrew. Its history and origin is disputed, but it is clear that severalhands were involved, and there are also indications of revisions fromthe Greek. This mixed text makes the use of the Peshitta somewhatproblematic.

Which brings us to the earliest and greatest of the versions,the Greek. It should be noted that there is very little scholarlyconsensus on what follows; if there is any fact universally acceptedabout the Greek version (other than the bare fact of the existenceof Greek translations), I don't know what it is. What follows is themost cautious of outlines, with conclusions postponed as best I can.

The Greek translation of the Hebrew Bible is often called theSeptuagint, or LXX. This name derives from the so-called "Letterof Aristeas," which gives an official pedigree to the LXX.According to Aristeas, the LXX was prepared at the instigation ofPtolemy II Philadelphus of Egypt (reigned 285-246 B.C.E.),who wanted a version of the Jewish scriptures for the Alexandrianlibrary. Seventy (in some versions, seventy-two) scholars werecommissioned to translate the Pentateuch, hence the name LXX.

The story of Aristeas is, obviously, legend (though not the mostextreme legend; Philo had it that the translators all translatedseparately, then compared their work and found the separate translationsidentical!); while Ptolemy IIprobably would have liked a copy of the Jewish scriptures in theAlexandrian library, there is little chance he would have suppliedthe funds needed for the translation project described by Aristeas.If there is any truth in Aristeas, it is only this: That the Pentateuchwas translated in Egypt, probably during early Ptolemaic times.

It is noteworthy that the LXX of the Pentateuch is a careful, skilledtranslation. It also conforms relatively closely to the Hebrew as we haveit (there are exceptions, e.g. in the ages of the Patriarchs and in theorder of a few chapters, but these are quite slight compared to what wesee in the rest of the Old Testament). Thus it is possible that it wasan organized project of some kind. Still, it cannot be considered anofficial Jewish product, as the primary language of the translators appearsto have been Greek.

And as we move away from the Pentateuch, the situation becomesmuch more complex. The LXX version of the Pentateuch seems to havebeen generally acceptable. The same cannot be said for the remainingbooks.

The term "LXX" is rather misleading, as it strongly impliesthat there was only one translation. This is simply not the case.The Greek Old Testament clearly circulated in multiple editions -- theearliest of which may in fact have preceded the LXX Pentateuch described byAristeas. It is not clear whether these divergent renderings were actuallyindependent translations (as a handful ofscholars hold) or whether the text simply underwent a series of revisions.But that the "final" LXX text differed recensionally from theearliest is absolutely certain. This is perhaps most obvious in theBook of Judges, where Rahlfs (even though he is really citing onlytwo manuscripts, the Alexandrinus/A and the Vaticanus/B) was forced toprint two different texts. Few other books show such extreme variation(except in Daniel, where the version of Theodotian has replaced theoriginal text of LXX), but all show signs of editorial work.

What's more, the direction of the recension is clear: The translationwas made to conform more and more closely with the late Hebrew text. Secondarily,it was made to be smoother, more Greek, and possibly more Christian andtheologically exact. (This process very likely was similar to that whichproduced the monolith of the Byzantine text of the New Testament.) These twoprocesses, however, were probably independent; the former resulted in theso-called kaige text, the latter perhaps in the "Lucianic"text.

We cannot detain ourselves here with the various later recensions ofthe LXX, which are of little value for textual criticism.A statement by Jerome has led many scholars to believe thatthere were recensions by Hesychius (associated with Egypt) and Lucian(associated with Constantinople), as well as an edition by Origen.

All three are somewhat problematic. The recension of Hesychius is the worst;it has never been identified. (Alberto Vacarri, " The Hesychian Recensionof the Septuagint," reprinted in Sidney Jellicoe,Studies in the Septuagint: Origins, Recensions, and Interpretations,argues that there are strong indications that it has survived -- some haveseen it in Vaticanus or Alexandrinus. But we can hardly be sure, since solittle from Hesychius's pen has survived. Vacarri has only a few readings towork from, and he seems to think an Arabic translation is the best example.Not much help even if true.)

The text of Lucian has been pretty clearly identified, but we now have enoughearly manuscripts to make it clear that many of its readings predate the historical Lucian -- somehave been identified in the Dead Sea Scrolls. Thus the difficulty with regard to Lucianis to identify the various strands within its text. Wevers, for instance, suggested thatthe basic text of Lucian, the "proto-Lucianic" text, is quite old and baseddirectly on the original Old Greek, but prettied up, while the actual work of Lucian wasto include the pluses found in Origen's "Hexaplairic&qot; tradition (below). However,I note a number of readings where Lucian moves closer to the Hebrew in places where theredoes not seem to be a Hexaplairic variant.

Origen's edition was the "Hexaplar"recension, which placed in six columns the Hebrew text, a Greektransliteration, and the translations of Aquila (a woodenly literalJewish translation said by Epiphanius to have dated from the secondcentury though there are hints that portions of it are older),Symmachus (a late translator who provided a clear rendering),LXX, and Theodotian (also thought to be older than its historicalsecond century date; it seems a revision of LXX which is freer instyle but closer to the MT in text). Origin is known to have revisedhis LXX text to more nearly match the Hebrew (while incorporating criticalsymbols to show what he had done), but later copyists simply took thetext without copying the symbols. Thus Origen's text, although based onthe Septuagint, quite literally eliminates most of what is of interest to us.

It should also be remembered (as S. P. Brock pointed out in "Origen'saims as a Textual Critic of the Old Testament," reprinted in Sidney Jellicoe,Studies in the Septuagint: Origins, Recensions, and Interpretations) thatOrigen wasn't really trying to look at the original Hebrew. He was concerned, atleast in part, with controversies with the Jews. So, as Brock says (p. 344 in theJellicoe reprint), "[Origen] was concerned with finding out what was the textof the Old Testament as used by the Jews of his own day." Origen's texttestifies only to the third century. Its content shows that the MT was alreadylargely established in his time, but we would have suspected this from otherevidence.

It might help if we had accurate copies of Origen's various symbols showinghis changes -- but we don't. Without those symbols, we can never be sure ifa reading of the hexaplairic type comes from the Old Greek, or derives fromthe Hebrew (usually through the medium of Theodotian), or is something else.Origen's was one of the greatest critical efforts of antiquity, and if we hadit intact, it would be very interesting -- but his edited text is of very littleuse. And Origen's edition was produced before the great LXX codices werewritten, so there is always the danger that it has influenced a later copy. Oneof the major forms of drudge work in LXX studies, in fact, consists of trying toidentify hexaplaric readings and manuscripts.

Modern scholars tend to use different names for the recensions -- typically "Old Greek,""Lucian," and kaige. The Old Greek is believed to be the earliestrendering. "Lucian," although in fact it predates Lucian, is an often-fullertype which remains close to the Old Greek. The kaige is so called because ofone of its translational quirks -- using και γεas a hypertranslation of a particular Hebrew construction. The creators ofkaige probably had some version of the Old Greek at hand, but they produceda rendering at once more literal and closer to the Masoretic Text of the Hebrew.

Each of these versions has quirks. All bear the signs of "translation Greek" --a wooden sort of rendering that is unnatural, at times even incomprehensible, toGreek speakers. Kaige is worst in this regard, with Lucian (probably amodification of the Old Greek by someone who did not know Hebrew) being themost natural.

It has been suggested that kaige may be Origen's "Quinta." This hassome problems, since kaige seems to have extended beyond the known content ofQuinta.

But kaige is truly a mystery. The mystery being at its most extreme in 1 and2 Samuel. In these books, we find an Old Greek text in large parts of Vaticanus. But, at otherpoints, Vaticanus is kaige. It has been suggested that the original Old Greek ofSamuel did not contain the missing material and that these sections (2 Samuel 10:1 toend, plus 1 Kings 1:1-2:11 and 1 Kings 22-end and all of 2 Kings) were filled in withkaige material. The problem with this is that Lucian preserves a text independentof kaige. How could this be if there had been no Old Greek?

The diagram at right shows one possible interpretation of the relationships betweenGreek (and Hebrew and Latin) versions. Other relationships have been proposed. In thediagram, a black line indicates a primary source; a lighter line indicates a sourceof mixture or correction.

The versions of Aquila, Theodotian, and Symmachus (often collectively known as"the Three") are now largely lost (Symmachus in particular has vanishedalmost completely). From what we can tell, their disappearance -- although sad forthe historian -- is small loss to the textual critic. They are too close to the MT.As J. Reider confesses in "Prolegomena to a Greek-Hebrew and Hebrew-GreekIndex to Aquila," reprinted in Sidney Jellicoe,Studies in the Septuagint: Origins, Recensions, and Interpretations, "thetextual identity of Aquila's Hebrew and our own, as far as consonants areconcerned, is proved in a preponderating number of cases" (pp. 318-319), althoughhe goes on to note a handful of divergences -- and to observe on p. 320 that Aquilausually (although not always) renders the Qere rather than theKetib.

Theodotian, with its links to kaige, is also close to MT. Of Symmachus we cansay little except that there is no reason to think it diverged from MT in any notableway.

For the most part, the Codex Vaticanus is considered the best representative of theOld Greek, although there are places where there are other good witnesses, and someplaces where Vaticanus contains kaige or other sorts of texts, such as the placesin Samuel noted above.

The question then arises, why did the LXX undergo such extremerevision? Why did later scholars see the need to revise, and even offerdifferent translations? Why was this version different from all the other versions?

The answer: While there may have been many reasons, such as an unevenGreek style, or perhaps multiple translations of certain books which had tobe reconciled, there seems to be only one basic one: Unlike the otherversions, the early LXX does not agree entirely with the MT.

The nature of the difference between LXX and MT varies from book to book. In Isaiah, itmay simply be the incompetence of the original translator. In Job andJeremiah, however, the LXX is shorter than the MT by more than 10%. Andwhile it is possible that LXX Job was reduced because of the damage to theHebrew text, this cannot account for Jeremiah -- nor for the smallerreductions found in LXX Ezekiel and many of the minor prophets. (In Ezekiel 40-48,the translator may not have understood his text very well, but the MT is badlydamaged and the text of Ezekiel very important in trying to repair it.) InSamuel, on the other hand, the earliest LXX text is slighly longer (except that itomits a large portion of the story of David and Goliath; for adiscussion of the folklore aspects, of this point, see the articleon Oral Transmission), and in Kings we findmany rearrangements of material. Lesser differences occur everywhere.

One of the most important results of the finding of the Dead Sea Scrolls wasto verify that many of these Greek readings which differ from MTgo back to Hebrew originals. While4QSama does not entirely agree with LXX, e.g., it does reveal that manyif not most of the LXX readings go back to a Hebrew form. Similarly, 4QJerb,although very short and fragmentary, shows that the LXX form of Jeremiah has aHebrew relative.

The table below shows the number of Qumran manuscripts of each book, as listed inPatrick W. Skehan, "The Biblical Scrolls from Qumran and the Text of the OldTestament" (1975). Note that some of these manuscripts, such as the Isaiahscroll, are extensive, while some are mere scraps. The intent is simply to show whichbooks seem to have been popular in the Qumran period.

BookNumber of copies
The Twelve8

The average number of copies of a particular book is 7.25 -- but the median is only 4.0So we have almost seven times as many copies of Psalms as we have of the median book, andmore than six times as many copies of Deuteronomy. The mode is 4 -- there are seven books ofwhich we have four copies.

We cannot detain ourselves with the arguments over the detailed relationships betweenthe texts, since the experts are not agreed. The basic question for most people is,How do we deal with the divergences between the MT and the Old Greek?

The Methods of Old Testament Criticism

At this point we need to step back a little and examine the situationat a higher level of abstraction. What are the basic materials for criticismof the Hebrew Bible? Throwing out all revisions and minor translations,we come down to at least two and at most four separate sources:

  1. A "Majority Text" -- the Hebrew tradition of the MT, found primarily in late manuscripts but universal in those late manuscripts.
  2. The Old Greek -- a version, but made at a relatively early date, from materials clearly distinct from the MT, and surviving in manuscripts earlier than the oldest copies of the MT
  3. A handful of Hebrew fragments (e.g. the Dead Sea Scrolls and the Genizah fragments), some of which agree with MT, some with the Old Greek, and some with neither.
  4. For the Pentateuch, we also have the Samaritan version

Since in most places we are confronted with only two independent witnesses(MT and Old Greek), scholars have to decide what to do with them. Generallyspeaking, they choose one of two courses -- both of which, unfortunately,are logically flawed.

One course is to treat the MT as the basic text, preferring itat all points where it can be construed. (This is the stated policy, e.g.of Ernst Würthwein in The Text of the Old Testament, althoughhis examples prove that he is slightly more nuanced than his statementsimply.) The LXX is used only where theMT is corrupt. This, we can say unequivocally, is fallacious. Ifthe LXX has value at all, it has value everywhere. If it is too faultyto consult for the ordinary run of the text, there is no reason to consultit where the MT is corrupt -- probably it was corrupt when it came to theLXX translators, too, and they were guessing. If the LXX is that worthless,we should simply resort to conjecturalemendation. Housman, in his "Preface to Manilius" (I, p. 36)had this to say about this sort of reliance upon a single source (inthis case, a single manuscript, but the principle applies well to OTcriticism): "To believe that wherever a best MS givespossible readings it gives true readings, and only where it gives impossiblereadings does it give false readings, is to believe that an incompetenteditor is the darling of Providence, which has given its angels chargeover him."

The other extreme is to treat the MT and LXX exactly equally, asdifferent witnesses to the original text, or even to treat LXX as superior.There was a tendency toward the latter in the nineteenth century.This, unfortunately, hasthe defect that it treats a version as a text in the original language.This can hardly be allowed; one must know the method and style of thetranslation.

As Karen H. Jobes and Moisés Silva write on page 90 of Invitationto the Septuagint (Baker Books, 2000), "Certain scholars tend to arguethat a given Greek reading is certainly due to the translator's technique. Otherscholars argue with equal enthusiasm that the same reading is due to a variant Hebrewtext. The tension between these two opposing solutions constitutes what is perhapsthe weightiest problem in Septuagint scholarship."

The correct answer doubtless lies somewhere in between the extremes. The LXX mustbe consulted. From the standpoint of readings, it is often as good and valuableas the MT (in some cases, such as Samuel, it is more valuable). But theform of the translation must be examined (e.g. a reading which would be acceptedbased on the Greek of the Pentateuch, which is carefully translated, might notbe accepted for Isaiah, which is badly translated). Great care must be taken to be surewe know the nature and style of the Hebrew behind the LXX, and only then to compare it to theMT. Much of what we know about NT criticism still applies, but care must be takento understand the peculiar circumstances of each section, each book, andeven each part of a book (as some books seem to have been translated bymore than one person). For details and examples, one must refer to specializedstudies.

But let me give an analogy. I once had an argument with an Israeli who wasconvinced of the exact and literal truth of the MT Hebrew, who could not believethat the Greek could ever correct the Hebrew. I would agree with this if we hadthe original Hebrew -- but we clearly don't; the damage to Samuel and Job showsthat there has not been some sort of providential preservation.

The analogy I would make is to an outdoor landscape. Suppose you had two peoplemake images of it. One paints a painting, in colour; the other takes a black andwhite photograph. (Perhaps this was in the nineteenth century.) The painting preservescolours, but will probably oversimplify and make errors in detail. The photographwill be entirely accurate to the limits of its resolution, but won't show colour.

So suppose you want a fully detailed, colour image of the scene. How can youpossibly get one? Answer: You must use both the painting and the photograph.The photograph preserves the exact details, but the painting supplies the colours.

Similarly, to get as close as possible to the original Hebrew, one must combinethe extant Hebrew and the Greek. The Hebrew, in terms of the details of language,is of course closest to the original Hebrew -- it preserves nearly all the colour.But sometimes it is defective. At these times, we must take at least some detailsfrom the Greek. It lacks the colour, but it has the details. (Sometimes. At othertimes, of course, the Hebrew will preserve the colour and details.) Keeping thisbalance in mind almost certainly gives us the best chance to get back to the originalHebrew.

To put it another way: The Hebrew must be ourcopy text. Where the Greek is ambiguous andadmits of twoHebrew originals, one found in MT, we should always accept as originalthe reading found in MT. But where the Greek clearly implies a differentHebrew text, we must give fair consideration to both readings, trying todetermine which one best explains the other.

Having decided how to use our materials, we also need to decide on ourcanons of internal criticism. In dealing with individual Hebrew and Greekmanuscripts, of course, all the familiar rules of NT criticism apply: Scribesmake generally the same sorts of errors. And the basic rule of internalcriticism remains "That reading is best which best explains the others."But we should note that certain errors seem to be more common in the OTthan the New. Hebrew, for instance, is prone to interchanges of consonants --a side effect of the lack of vowels. There are perhaps more instances of repeatedletters, and there is a certain tendency for two of a letter to be reduced to one.There are also, perhaps, more errors resulting from misdividing words, or takinga consonant-used-for-a-vowel as a consonant (that error, of course, cannot occurin Greek). These are small errors, but because they are small, they can bevery widespread -- and even, perhaps, affect all our witnesses. It is worthremembering that, because we have so few sources, conjecture is a more reasonableresort in the Old Testament than in the New.

Another thing that is perhaps worth noting is a rather different method ofabbreviation which may have been used in Hebrew manuscripts. MS. Oxford Heb. e 30contains a leaf of the Minor Prophets which is dramatically shortened. The first wordof each sentence or verse is written out in full, but the remaining words are representedby a single consonant plus pointing -- as if the phrase "Sing a song of sixpence, pocketfull of rye" were reduced to "Sing a s o s, p f o r." The reader was clearly expectedto remember the rest of the verse, with the individual letters as reminders. It willsurely be evident that this might cause verses to be misremembered. We don't know howmany books of this sort there were -- only a few leaves have survived -- so they maynot have had much influence. But the possibility should be considered.

Appendix: Textual Criticism of LXX

Several times in the section above, I make disparaging reference tothe textual criticism of LXX. This is a clear and necessary task, andit's being conducted very slowly.

Much attention has been given to a comment of Jerome's thatthere were recensions associated with Hesychius, Lucian, and Origen.This may be true, it may not. But there is no great value in namingtext-types; what matters is finding them. Some editors have soughtto do this. No one has really integrated the results.

Even the underlying assumptions are not entirely agreed. For example,most scholars follow Lagarde in believing that there was an originaltext of the Greek translation, now typically called the"Old Greek" text of LXX. Not only is this the true LXX translation,it is also the one most divergent from the Hebrew -- and hence the one mostuseful for textual critics.But not all accept this! Paul Kahle argued that there were several independentGreek translations of the Hebrew Bible.

Ironically, although most scholars disagree with Kahle, they spenda lot of time talking about his positions. There is no need for this.Whether Kahle is right or wrong, those alternate translations are mostlyclose to the Hebrew of the MT. From the standpoint of textual criticism,they don't matter. What matters is that one translation (which forpurposes of convenience we can call LXX) which isn't translatedfrom a text effectively identical to the MT.

What's more, if the kaige text and the Hexaplar text are notindependent translations of the Hebrew (and the latter certainly isn't and the former maynot be), they are undeniably recensions -- that is, there has beeneditorial activity. Thus they can never be entirely trusted aswitnesses to the Old Greek. From the standpoint of either criticism of theOld Greek or criticism of the Hebrew, we should be treating them as ifKahle is right and they are different translations. They can of courseserve as a source of conjecture, but not as direct witnesses to the originaltext of the LXX (and probably not to the Hebrew either).

The Lucianic "recension" is a much more difficult issue. Forstarters, many Lucianic readings actually predate Lucian. Also, from whatwe can tell, the Lucianic text looks a lot like the Old Greek -- but muchprettified. The grammar is smoother and less like translation Greek, andmany of the monotonous repetitions of the Old Greek are eliminated. Thiscould, of course, be the result of someone going over the LXX text to makeit sound better, probably without reference to the Hebrew (something whichhas certainly happened more than once with, for instance, the EnglishBible -- Living "Bible," anyone?). But, taken individually, thevast majority of the differences between the Lucianic and Old Greek textscould be explained by assuming that a scribe merely accidentally smoothedthe reading. Thus it is not in fact evidence that Lucian's text is actuallyrecensional. The answer to this question will distinctly affect how we usethe type.

One thing that I personally wish had been studied more is the use of thedivine name in LXX manuscripts. Most, of course, render it byκυριος. But Jerome mentions manuscriptsthat simply write the tetragrammaton in Hebrew letters (or accidentally turnthat into Greek πιπι, those being the Greek letters which mostnearly resemble the Hebrew). One of the earliest Greek manuscripts from Egypt,Papyrus Fouad 266 (Ralphs 848)from probably around 100 B.C.E., follows this usage and includesthe Hebrew letters (oddly enough, the original scribe left blanks in themanuscript so a different writer could add in the Hebrew letters). Thefact that we have two consistently-used alternate forms of such a common word impliessome sort of editorial activity. What? One possibility is that the usage derives fromfrom the Other Versions; according to the Milan hexaplar fragments, Aquila, Symmachus,and Quinta used the Hebrew letters (we find the πιπι formin the margin of Codex Q of LXX, e.g.). So the LXX might have adopted it from them -- buthow then could it be found in Fouad 266, which predates the other versions?

It should also be kept in mind that all the major manuscripts of LXXare Christian. The original LXX was a Jewish work, and some of theearly fragments are of Jewish origin (including a few scraps fromQumran, although most of the surviving pre-Christian LXX material is fromEgypt), but as time passed, the Jews becamemore and more dismissive of LXX, first replacing it with Aquila and thenabandoning Greek renderings altogether. This of course does not meanthat the Christians altered the LXX tendentiously, but it is worthremembering that most of the copying errors that were made were madeby Christians, not Jews, who would suffer an obvious if unconscioustemptation to Christianize the readings and conform them to New Testamentpassages. (Note that this is not the same as the editorial process whichadded large sections to the books of Daniel and Esther; those changesprobably go back to the original translations, and are the work of theJewish translators.)

There is also the complication that LXX, unlike most classicalliterature, is a translation. This poses an interesting dilemmafor "users": should a Greek reader want a text of theOld Greek, or of the accepted text of the Orthodox church, or atext that is a good translation of the Hebrew? This admits of noanswer -- but it isn't our worry. We are not users, we are textual critics.What matters to us is getting at a source ofHebrew variants. That's the Old Greek, plus possibly the"Lucianic" recension of boc2e2 etc.

We continue to see volumes of the Göttingen LXX. Thesegive the raw material for a good textual history. But stoppingwith their texts, or Rahlfs, is not sufficient. Just as OT criticismis in some ways analogous to NT criticism a few centuries ago,LXX studies arein a state about equivalent to NT studies at the time of Tregelles:A lot of material, and no real organization of the texts or theoryon how to use them.

Another difficulty for the casual critic is the lack of affordablematerials. There is only one portable, affordable critical edition ofLXX -- that of Rahlfs. And it has only a very minimal apparatus anddoes not represent the latest critical thinking. But the alternative,the still-incomplete Göttingen edition, is large and forbiddinglyexpensive. We need a Nestle-type edition, and there isn't one. This is arather desperate need -- but don't hold your breath.

I would note (for English readers) one recent tool that canbe of some help: Albert Pietersma and Benjamin G. Wright, editors,A New English Translation of the Septuagint. This is a (mostlywoodenly literal) translation of the Göttingen text where available(the rest mostly translates Rahlfs), often with separate translations ofthe Old Greek and kaige versions. It also has introductions tothe individual books, discussion the translation technique and the text.These cannot be considered the final word, of course, but they are a niceportable set of notes. While NETS and Rahlfs togetherhardly add up to a true critical edition and apparatus, they are far moreuseful together than either individually.

Having said all that, let us assume that our goal is to reconstruct theOld Greek, and perhaps also the Lucianic recension. For the most part, ourtools are the same as for New Testament criticism: We use the standardrules for evaluating internal evidence; we also classify manuscripts.

But -- to repeat -- we must keep in mind the fact thatthe LXX is a translation. One cannot simply reconstruct what seems like themost likely text. One must also refer back to the Hebrew to determine whatappears to be the basis of the translation. This will obviously influence thereading one adopts.

It will be evident that there is a dependency problem here: If we need theHebrew to reconstruct the Greek, and the Greek to reconstruct the Hebrew, thenwe have no place at which to start our cycle. Fortunately this problem is notquite as bad as it sounds -- most of the time. Since the Hebrew is usuallyintact, and the Greek can usually be reliably reconstructed even withoutthe Hebrew, and the corruptions often occur at different points, we can usuallysafely use one to reconstruct the other. Not always, sadly, but usually.

It should, incidentally, be noted that LXX criticism has at least five differentaspects, depending on the book:

For some, of course, it is only the first of these which matters, since the goal isto reconstruct the Hebrew Bible, and the additions make no difference. On the other hand,the existence of the other LXX materials might influence the translations of the canonicalbooks -- e.g. the translation known as 1 Esdras might have influenced the translations ofEzra and Nehemiah (since parallels might be assimilated), and the insertions into Estherand Daniel might influence the text around them. Thus one who wishes to use the LXX incriticism of the Hebrew Bible still needs to be aware of the portions of LXX which are nottranslations of canonical Hebrew books. This is most obviously true in the case of addition"D" in Esther. The other additions are just plopped into the middle of thetext. But "D" is carefully woven into the Hebrew; trying to decide what partsof the addition are actual additions and which are derived from the archetype is, at best,tricky.

And the distinction between these types of criticism is real. Wisdom of Solomon is invery good Greek. Sirach is in Aquila-like translation Greek. The canons of internalevidence are very different in these two cases!

A final note, repeating part of the above: The Göttingen LXX is a noble criticaleffort. But it should bekept in mind that it is only a single edition -- and it isn't even the unified work ofa single editor or committee of editors. It can hardly be considered the final word onthe text of LXX; LXX studies are probably closer to the situation for the New Testamentin Lachmann's day than to the equivalent of the UBS edition. Of course, one could arguethat the Hebrew is in even worse state -- after all, we need good data on LXX beforewe can produce a truly critical edition of the Hebrew Bible!

Appendix: Important Manuscripts (Hebrew and Other)

An irony of the nature of the Hebrew Bible tradition is that it rendersindividual manuscripts relatively unimportant. Probably the only trulyirreplaceable Old Testament manuscript is Vaticanus -- and it's LXX, notHebrew! But the list below catalogs a few widely-used texts, both Hebrewand versions.

It is worth noting that the catalogs of manuscripts of the Hebrew Bible arenot nearly as tidy as those of the New Testament. There is no really universalnomenclature for Hebrew manuscripts, and LXX manuscripts have a rather incoherentsystem. Qumran manuscripts are usually noted by cave number, book, and a letter(e.g. 1QIsa means "First Qumran cave, Isaiah, manuscript A";4QSamb is "Fourth Qumran cave, Samuel, manuscript B"). This notation,however, isn't used in the Biblia Hebraica, which uses the notationQa, etc. BHS uses letters for a few major Hebrew manuscripts(e.g. L=Leningradensis), or letters with superscripts (e.g. Vp is thePetersburg codex of the Prophets). Many manuscripts aren't even directly cited;they are simply cited as variants in some edition or other.

LXX manuscripts have sometimes been known by letters and sometimes by numbers;at present, the Rahlfs system is most widely adopted, but it is (to say the least)confusing. Major uncials are known by letters, just as in the New Testament, soA, B, C, and ℵare the same manuscripts as in the New Testament (although it is common to usethe symbol S for ℵ,to avoid confusion with the Hebrew letter and, I suspect, make typesetting easier).Fragmentary uncials and papyri are known by numbers, from 800 to 1000 -- e.g.911 is the third century papyrus frequently cited for Genesis by Rahlfs.Minuscules occupy the remaining Arabic numbers -- the numbers 1001 to 2000 arefor late witnesses to the Psalms, numbers from 2001 on up are early witnesses tothe Psalms, and numbers from 1 to 799 are minuscule witnesses not to thePsalms (which are far fewer than Psalms manuscripts -- Psalms witnesses outnumberother LXX texts by perhaps 10:1. LXX Psalms manuscripts are more numerous than witnesses of mostparts of the New Testament, although of course Gospels manuscripts are more commonstill).

1QIsa * Hebrew
The great Isaiah scroll from Qumran. The largest and most complete of all the Dead Sea Scrolls. It is not dramatically different in text from the Masoretic Text, but there are some divergences, and the orthography is quite different. The scroll thus serves both to affirm the general quality of MT and to demonstrate that transmission was not entirely perfect.
The scroll contains all of Isaiah apart from some very slight damage. The scroll uses 17 sheets of leather to make a scroll 0.26 meters tall and 7.34 meters long. There are 54 columns of about 30 lines. Peculiarly, the form of the text changes right around the end of chapter 33; the orthography is much fuller in the second half. It has been speculated that two different exemplars were used. Since Isaiah is a long book, it is not unlikely that it was sometimes copied onto two scrolls, and that 1QIsa was copied from two such.
4QSama * Hebrew
One of three Qumran manuscripts of (1-2) Samuel. It is relatively fragmentary (contains, according to Eugene Charles Ulrich, Jr., The Qumran Text of Samuel and Josephus, p. 271, 1 Samuel 1:11-13, 22-28, 2:1-6, 8-11, 13-36, 3:1-4, 18-20, 4:9-12, 5:8-12, 6-1-7, 12-13, 16-18, 20-21, 7:1, 8:9-20, 9:6-8, 11-12, 16-24, 10:3-18, 25-27, 11: 1, 7-12, 12:7-8, 14-19, 14:24-25, 28-34, 47-51, 15:24-32, 17:3-6, 24:4-5, 8-9, 14-23, 15:3-12, 20-21 25-26, 39-40, 26:10-12, 21-23, 27:8-12, 28:1-2, 222-25, 30:28-31, 31:2-4; 2 Samuel 2:5-16, 25-27, 29-32, 3:1-8, 23-39, 4:1-4, 9-12, 5:1-16, 6:2-9, 12-18, 7:23-29, 8:2-8, 10:4-7, 18-19, 11:2-12, 16-20, 12:4-5, 8-9, 13-20, 30-31, 13:1-6, 13-34, 36-39, 14:1-3, 18-19, 15:1-6, 27-31, 16:1-2, 11-13, 17-18, 21-23, 18:2-7, 19:7-12, 20:2-3, 9-14, 23-26, 21:1-2, 4-6, 15-17, 22:30-51, 23:1-6, 24:16-20).
Despite its fragmentary state, 4QSama is probably textually the most important of the Dead Sea Scrolls. The importance lies in the fact that it contains a Hebrew text clearly closer to the LXX than to the MT (although not identical to either). According to McCarter, following Cross, it is especially close to the type called "Lucianic," with some similarities also to the Old Greek of Vaticanus. The differences from the Old Greek are however substantial -- for example, after 1 Sam. 10:27, it includes a long addition about Jabesh-Gilead and Nahash the Ammonite (adopted by NRSV even though both MT and LXX omit it). On the other hand, it omits 2 Samuel 5:4-5, found in both MT and LXX. It is extremely unfortunate that it lacks 1 Samuel 18 and 19 in their entirety, so we cannot compare its version of the story of David and Goliath with that of Vaticanus. Still, the existence of this third text makes it clear that both LXX and MT are valuable witnesses to Samuel, even where 4QSama is not extant, and it gives us a third independent witness where it is extant.
To have some idea of the textual influence of 4QSama, it is instructive to look at the footnotes of the NRSV. In all of Isaiah, only 20 readings are adopted based on either of the Qumran Isaiah scrolls, and in one other case, the editors of NRSV were influenced by a Qumran manuscript (that is, while they did not follow it against all other witnesses, its reading was part of the basis for their decision). By contrast, my count was that, in 1 Samuel alone, 27 readings were adopted in NRSV based on 4QSama, and seven others influenced by it. Given that Isaiah is about twice as long as 1 Samuel, and that 4QSama covers at most a quarter of 1 Samuel, 4QSama was roughly eleven times as influential as the Isaiah scrolls. Hence the claim that 4QSama is the most textually important scroll. Patrick W. Skehan, "Qumran Manuscripts and Textual Criticism" (reprinted in Frank Moore Cross and Shemaryahu Talmon, eds, Qumran and the History of the Biblical Text) says "From the twofold viewpoint of the amount of text preserved, and the direct value of that text as a source of fruitful criticism of the Masoretic tradition, the Books of Samuel are in fact unique at Qumran" (p. 214). There are several Qumran scrolls of Samuel, all of which contribute somewhat to that assessment, but 4QSama is the most important of them all.
4QJerb * Hebrew
Now listed by Tov as 4QJerb, 4QJerd, and 4QJere; also 4Q71 and 4Q72a. Like P52 in the New Testament, these manuscripts are more important for their existence than for their actual content: Just as P52 proves that the gospel of John was in existence early in the second century, the Jeremiah scraps prove -- or at least provide strong evidence -- that the LXX version of Jeremiah is based on a Hebrew original; it is not just the result of some strange translation practice. (Recall that LXX Jeremiah is substantially shorter than MT Jeremiah, and also has many changes in order -- notably, it relocates the oracles against foreign nations, but there are other rearrangements of lesser scope.) The three Jeremiah fragments are all very small; the largest has only seven lines of about thirty characters each, and the top three lines are all badly damaged. But even these tiny scraps are short enough to show an arrangement of text which agrees with LXX against MT, and also to show some readings characteristic of LXX. The effect of this is to demonstrate that LXX Jeremiah must be taken seriously as a source, since that recension did exist in Hebrew. The three fragments contain small portions (in no case as much as a complete verse) of Jeremiah 9:22-10:21, 43:3-9, and 50:4-6.
Murabba'at 88 * Hebrew
A scroll of the Minor Prophets found in 1955 at the Wadi Murabba'at. The caves there were in use as late as the Bar Kochba revolt. The scroll is much damaged, but it agrees strongly with MT in the text (although not in details such as paragraphing). Textually perhaps not of great importance, but if several of the Qumran scrolls show that the MT was early, Murabba'at 88 confirms that it was early and used in several places.
The Cairo Codex * Hebrew
A Hebrew manuscript of the Former and Latter Prophets. The colophon says it was written by Moses ben Asher in 895 C.E. This makes it the earliest of the surviving manuscripts of the Ben Asher family -- generally considered to be the embodiment of the Masoretic Text (although questions have been raised about whether the Cairo manuscript truly belongs to the Ben Asher recension). It is kept in Cairo, and as a result it has not always been available for the use of Jewish or Christian scholars.
The Petersburg Codex * Hebrew
The title of this codex is obviously somewhat confusing; it is not the same as the Leningrad Codex described below. (In a critical apparatus, this manuscript may be referred to as Vp; the Leningrad Codex may be L.) A codex of the Later Prophets (Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and the Twelve). Its colophon is dated 916 C.E., making it the earliest of the major Masoretic Hebrew codices. Interestingly, instead of the common Tiberian pointing, it uses the Babylonian pointing. This does not affect the text, but it gives us our best insight into this alternative pointing scheme.
The Aleppo Codex * Hebrew
Originally a complete Old Testament, which acording to its colophon was written by Shelomo ben Buya'a (who lived in the early tenth century; another of his manuscripts is dated to 930 C.E.) and had the pointing and masora supplied by Aaron ben Moses ben Asher, the last of the great scribal line, himself. It seems to have been kept as a model codex -- used only on special days and for reference in matters of particular textual uncertainty. Maimonides seems to have referred to this volume as being particularly accurate. Thus the Aleppo Codex could almost be said to be the Masoretic Text.
Sadly, it has not been as available as might have been hoped. Originally located in Jerusalem, it apparently travelled to Cairo, and came to Aleppo by about the fifteenth century. There it was kept secret, so that no photographs could be taken. In the mid-Twentieth century, it was feared lost due to the strife in Syria, Jordan, and the new state of Israel. It has now been recovered, but about a third of its contents appear to have been lost. (A lesson, surely, for all who try to keep manuscripts from the scholarly world!) It is believed that it originally had 487 pages; 193 were missing when it was rediscovered, including the beginning and end and some pages in the middle. Most of the book is written in three columns per page, although some sections (mostly poetic) are written in two columns.
The Leningrad Codex * Hebrew
Other than the Aleppo Codex, considered to be the best text of the Masoretic Text in existence (and more widely cited because it has been available to scholars). The colophon says it was written in around 1009 C.E. (there are five dates in the colophon, based on the creation, the exile of Jehoiakim, the Seleucid Era, the destruction of the second Temple, and the beginning of the Islamic Era; four of the five dates indicate a time between 1008 and 1010; the date based on the exile of Jehoiakim seems to claim a date of 846 C.E., but since the Jews lost track of time in the second Temple era, this can safely be discounted). The copy says it was written by Samuel ben Jacob based on manuscripts attributed to Aaron ben Moses ben Asher. There has been dispute about its text, because it shows many corrections; it is possible that it was originally copied from some other manuscript and corrected toward the ben Asher type. But there seems no doubt that the final text is of the ben Asher recension.
The Cambridge Codex * Samaritan Hebrew
Probably the oldest copy of the Samaritan Pentateuch now in existence, since it contains a note saying it was sold in 1140-50 C.E. and was probably written somewhat earlier, making it about as old as the earliest manuscripts of the MT Hebrew. It is in codex form.
Note that this is not the famous Abisha' scroll of the Samaritan Pentateuch, which contains an inscription claiming it was written by Aaron's great-grandson in the thirteenth year of the settlement of Canaan. The Abisha' manuscript was not made accessible to scholars until quite late, and the evidence seems to indicate that it is composite. The early part of the manuscript (through Numbers 34) is thought to come from around the fourteenth century; the last section of Numbers and all of Deuteronomy is older -- but probably no older than the Cambridge codex.
The Nahal Hever Minor Prophets * Greek
This manuscript is known by many symbols; it is Rahlfs 943; its official designation is 8HevXIIgr (i.e. Nahal Hever, Cave 8, 12 prophets, Greek) or sometimes 8Hev1. Barthélemy called it R.
This manuscript, although rather short (as it stands, it has only 24 columns, containing portions only of Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, and Zechariah, written in the hands of two different scribes) has revolutionized LXX studies almost as much as Qumran revolutionized MT studies. Studied by D. Barthélemy in particular, it is clearly based on a Hebrew text which is approaching MT. But it is the translation technique which is most important. This was the first clear example of the kaige recension, which has now been recognized in many so-called LXX manuscripts and which perhaps gave rise to the "Theodotian" text. Thus, although the manuscript is not particularly important textually (it's too close to MT, and too short), it is a key to the history of the Greek versions.
It is fascinating to note that this Greek manuscript was found in the "Cave of Horrors" at Nahal Hever, where many Jews died, often horribly, during the revolt against Rome. It was a significant surprise to find a Greek Bible there -- but it is noteworthy that it was not the (Old Greek) LXX; it was much more precise and Aquila-like.
Nahal Hever, on the west shore of the Dead Sea some distance south of En-gedi, is a wadi with a series of caves along the side. These caves, including the "Cave of Horrors" where the manuscript was found (so named because about forty people starved to death within it), were occupied during the second Jewish revolt (the Bar Kochba rebellion), meaning that the manuscript must come from before 135 C.E.. But it appears to have been well-used before the revolt, and this plus paleographic examinations have caused most scholars to suspect a date in the first century C.E. or even earlier. The most typical estimate would probably be the first half of the first century. It is clear that it is a revision of the Old Greek, intended to be at once a more literal rendering of the Hebrew and closer to the MT; it is also evident that, unlike the original LXX, this translation was still accepted by Jews in the second century.
Codex Vaticanus (B) * Greek
The earliest nearly-complete codex of the LXX Greek, it dates from the fourth century (being, of course, the same as B/Vaticanus of the New Testament). It now lacks Genesis 1:1-46:28; (2 Samuel=) 2 Kingdoms 2:5-7, 10-13; Psalms 105:27-137:6 (=106:27=138:6), and it seems never to have contained 1-4 Maccabees, or the Prayer of Manasses. Although for much of the Old Testament it is in terms of age the oldest surviving witness, its great value lies in the fact that, with some exceptions, it represents the Old Greek text, not the Hexaplairic recension. There are however a few places where its text is considered inferior -- notably Deuteronomy, Isaiah, Chronicles, and 1-2 Esdras. The exceptional quality of its text is accepted by every source I have checked. Its great importance springs from the fact that its text is independent of the Hebrew and relatively free of later "improvements."
P. Kyle McCarter, Jr. considers Vaticanus so important that it is the only Old Testament manuscript he examines book-by-book. In his book Textual Criticism, he has an appendix titled "Textual Characteristics of the Books of the Hebrew Bible." This describes the general nature of the MT and LXX of those books, and lists significant other witnesses such as Qumran scrolls. In general he calls Vaticanus the best witness to the Old Greek. There are exceptions: In Deuteronomy B has hexaplairic readings. In Joshua, it is shorter than MT. In Judges and Ruth, it is kaige. In 2 Samuel 10:1-1 Kings 2:11 and 1 Kings 22:1-2 Kings, it is again kaige. Chronicles is kaige and perhaps "troubled"; Ezra and Nehemiah are also kaige. In Isaiah he calls B expansionistic and with hexaplairic readings. Jeremiah is mixed, probably not Old Greek in chapters 29-52. Lamentations is kaige. Ezekiel 28-39 may not be Old Greek. In Job there are kaige insertions into the short Greek text. The Song of Songs is kaige. Ecclesiastes may be Aquila (there does not seem to be a true LXX rendering of this book). Daniel (as in most LXX MSS) is kaige or perhaps Theodotian.
Codex Alexandrinus (A) * Greek
The most substantial early codex of the LXX Greek, dating from probably the first half of the fifth century. Its primary lacuna is at the beginning; it has lost the first few chapters of Genesis. Its text in general is not as valuable as that of Vaticanus, frequently revealing hexaplairic influence, but it some books, such as Isaiah, it is superior.
Codex Sarravianus (G) * Greek
Also sometimes called Codex Colberto-Sarravianus, and dated from the fifth, or possibly late fourth, century. Symbol is G. The varying names arise because portions are in Leyden (130 leaves), Paris (22 leaves), and a single leaf in St. Petersburg. Its contains Genesis through Judges with many lacunae (we have portions of Genesis 31-36, Exodus 36-end, Leviticus 1-18, 24-end, Numbers 1-7, 11-20, 25-26, 29-end, Deuteronomy 4, 7-19, 18-21, Joshua 9-19, Judges 9-10, 15-17, 19-21). Its text is not in itself particularly important, being primarily hexaplaric (note that Rahlfs cites it only very rarely, and BHS not at all), but it is important for the fact that it includes Origen's hexaplairic signs, although seemingly not with perfect accuracy. This means that it, along with the Syro-hexaplar, can be used to try to detect hexaplairic contamination in other Greek manuscripts. Tischendorf identified no fewer than seven correctors, the first three of which (who did the largest share of the work) were all early: A was contemporary with the scribe, B worked on Deuteronomy and Judges probably in the fifth century, and C went over Numbers in the sixth century.
Codex Marchalianus (Q) * Greek
Vatican Library, MS. Greek 2125. Along with G, one of the most important sources for the Hexapla. Written in a beautiful hand usually dated to the sixth century. The letter forms are described as being of the Coptic style. It contains the Prophets, with the minor prophets preceding the major. The original text is thought to be Alexandrian/Hesychian, with some Hexaplar influence. More important is a work of a very early corrector, who went over the manuscript to add Hexaplaric symbols and marginalia (including many readings from the other translations). It is these marginal materials which give the manuscript most of its value.
The Milan Palimpsest * Greek
Milan, Ambrosian Library, O 39 Sup. A palimpsest. The upper text is of little value, bueing merely a late (thirteenth century or later) copy of the Orthodox service book known as the Οκτωηχος. But two of the lower leaves are copies of a text based, in some form, on Origen's hexapla. The Hexapla of course contained six columns: Hebrew (in Hebrew letters), Hebrew (transcribed in Greek letters), Aquila, Symmachus, LXX, and Theodotian (plus occasional other versions). The Milan fragments include five of these columns: Hebrew in Greek letters (except that the tetragrammaton is written in Hebrew), Aquila, Symmachus, LXX, and -- it is believed -- Quinta. (This ia part of why there are so many vexed questions about Theodotian, Quinta, and kaige.)
The total text is minimal -- about 150 verses of Psalms. And the copy is much later than Origen's original -- it's thought to be ninth or tenth century. But it gives us one of our few looks at the actual format of the Hexapla.
b o c2 e2 * Greek
This set of letters may be the most fetishistic in all Old Testament criticism. These four minuscules of the former prophets (which I group because they form a family and are almost always referred to together) properly should be referred to by their numbers, 19 (Chigi R.vi.38, X? century), 82 (Coisl. Gr. 3, XII century), 93 (British Library Reg.i.D.2, XIII century), and 127 (Syn. 31a Vlad. 1, X century) -- but almost all articles use the letters, the symbols used by Brooke and McLean. The importance of the four lies in the fact that they seem to preserve Lucian's text. This text is of great importance in 1-4 Kingdoms, especially in the places where Vaticanus is kaige and we have little evidence for the Old Greek except the Lucianic text.
55 * Greek
Rome, Vatican Regin. Greek 1. The "h" of Brooke and McLean. Dated century X by Kenyon, XI by Brooke and McLean. Poetic and Historical books: Kings, Ezra, Nehemiah, 1 Esdras, Judith, Esther, Tobit, Maccabees, Job, Psalms. Although a minuscule, the text seems to be very old; in Ezra, it stands very close to B, and in the Psalms, Kenyon says it is part of a group consisting of A and the Freer Psalter. It probably deserves to be examined in greater detail.
Codex Amiatinus (A) * Latin
Yes, the same manuscript as A of the Vulgate in the New Testament. Just as in the New Testament, Amiatinus is perhaps the most important witness to the version (although the Vulgate is of generally less value in the Old Testament than the New). The text is slightly mixed, and rather inferior in the Psalms (where it is said to be Irish), but mostly very good.

Appendix: Greek manuscripts cited by BHS, BHK, and Rahlfs

To completely catalog the materials cited in BHS, BHK, and Rahlfs is beyond thescope of this article, but I will attempt to supply a useful quick reference. Tobegin with, let us examine the use of the Greek manuscripts in Rahlfs. Following thetables is a description of these manuscripts, plus others cited in the Hebrewcritical editions.

Frequency of Citation in Rahlfs

This is not a perfect table. Ideally, one would cite places where each manuscript agreeswith the others, or goes with or against the Rahlfs text, or something of the kind. That isnot what this table does. Instead, it simply counts how many times Rahlfs explicitlycites each manuscript.In the books where Rahlfs cites only two uncials (Exodus, say), this can to a firstapproximation be treated as a count of the number of places each manuscript disagrees withthe Rahlfs text. But even this is imperfect, for two reasons. First, I counted variants inboth the main text and correctors. Second, there is the issue of which variants count. ManyLXX variants repeat (e.g. two different manuscripts may have two different spellings of aparticular name, and use their own spelling repeatedly). In general I have tried to count suchvariants only once -- but often this depends on how Rahlfs sets up the apparatus. Then, too,Rahlfs sometimes includes one of the uncials in one of his manuscript groups (e.g. in1 Kingdoms, he includes A with O, the Origen group). When Rahlfs cites O withoutA (i.e. O-A), I have not counted this as a variant involving A. I have,however, counted the rare occasions when Rahlfs counts one of the other members of theO group (e.g. O376), because they are rarely cited and it isperhaps significant when they are.

To emphasize, this is not a full analysis of the Rahlfs apparatus -- and, in any case,Rahlfs is not the last word on the text of LXX. But this gives some idea of what he considersworth citing, and it is a comprehensive list of which manuscripts are cited in each book.


Note that B is defective for most of Genesis, and ℵ for almost the wholeof the Pentateuch. N+V (which Rahlfs always cites as V), which is his most-cited manuscriptother than A, B, and ℵ, does not begin until Leviticus 13:59, and has other lacunaein the Pentateuch. In Genesis, therefore, A, M, and 911 are the primary sources -- andeven A fails for a few chapters.

S (ℵ)15----3--18

Former Prophets and associated books

Note that ℵ is defective for these books. Also, Rahlfs cites several versionsin this section -- most notably the Syriac in connection with the Hexapla, buteven versions as obscure as the Ethiopic. I have not counted these witnesses.Also note that Rahlfs prints two texts of Judges, the B-text and theeverything-else text, and does the same with parts of Joshua; this reducesthe number of citations in both books, especially of B, since there can befew variants in a text which is mostly a diplomatic edition of the B text!

MSSJoshuaJudgesRuth1 Kingdoms2 Kingdoms3 Kingdoms4 Kingdoms Totals

Other Historical Writings

Note that ℵ is defective for large portions of 1 Chronicles -- and seemsto have a rather wild text even where extant; at least, Rahlfs cites far more variantsfor it than for A and B. In 1 Chronicles in particular, Rahlfs places extra weight on Vas a result. This is not a possibility in the books of Esdras; V is defective for theend of 1 Esdras and the first several chapters of 2 Esdras.The rate of variants in1 Chronicles 1-9 is in any case very high (note howmany more variants there are in 1 Chronicles than in 2 Chronicles), due toall the Hebrew names so easily distored in Greek. Similarly, V gains in importancefor Maccabees because B lacks all four books and ℵ has only two.The low number of variants forℵ in Tobit is due to the fact that Rahlfs prints two texts of that book,one from ℵ and one from all the other witnesses.

MSS1 Chronicles2 Chronicles1 Esdras2 EsdrasEsther JudithTobit1 Maccabees2 Maccabees3 Maccabees4 Maccabees Totals
S (ℵ)419----70412741645948----4003059

Wisdom Books

It is well known that the Old Greek of Job was much shorter than the Hebrew.It is not so often mentioned that this short text is preserved primarily in theOld Latin and Sahidic Coptic. The surviving Greek manuscripts have generally beenbased on Origen's hexaplairic text, meaning that they are contaminated by Theodotianicreadings. But little attention has been paid to the way in which this was done. Workingover the critical apparatus of Job, one cannot help but observe the extent to which wefind B and ℵ on the one hand going against A on the other. V, insofar as it isextant (it has only the last dozen or so chapters) goes with A. The differences are sosubstantial that I have to suspect recensional activity.

MSSPsalmsOdesProverbsEcclesiastes Song of
JobWisdom of
SirachPsalms of
S (ℵ)908--386251906483101040--3633


It is interesting and somewhat surprising to look at how Rahlfs edited the propheticbooks. In Isaiah, he has an apparatus which quite regularly cites four witnesses, A B Q S.It almost resembles the early Nestle editions. But he largely ignores Q in the other majorprophets. (This is apparently because Q is widely regarded as Alexandrian/Hesychian inIsaiah and the minor prophets, Hexaplairic elsewhere.) We see similar variations in the importancehe gives to the different witnesses of the various minor prophets. To accountfor this, I have made up separate tables for, for instance, The Twelve and the books associatedwith Jeremiah, and then created a master table with totals for each of these categories.

The Twelve

MSSHoseaAmosMicahJoelObadiah JonahNahumHabbakukZephaniahHaggaiZechariahMalachiTotals
S (ℵ)------6126555069513820561616

Writings Associated with Jeremiah

MSSJeremiahBaruch LamentationsLetter of JeremiahTotals
S (ℵ)1248--60--1308

Writings Associated with Daniel

Note that Rahlfs has two texts of Daniel and the related books, the LXX text of88 and the Syriac and the Theodotianic text of everything else. He in fact uses 88 morethan any other witness (since his LXX text is almost identical to that of 88), butcites it less often because there are no other witnesses to cite against it.

MSSDanielSusannaBel and the DragonTotals

The Prophets Summarized

MSSThe TwelveIsaiahJeremiahEzekielDanielTotals
S (ℵ)61611011308----3025

Grand Totals

The table below shows all the witnesses cited in Rahlfs, with the number of times cited.

S (ℵ)9735

If we wish to know which witnesses Rahlfs is most dependent upon, the list belowsorts the above in descending order of citations.

S (ℵ)9735

The total of the above citations is 49284. Thus, counting the citations of L, O, andthe versions, Rahlfs has over 50,000 citations.

BHS and BHK use a number of different symbols for the Greek versions -- e.g. α' for Aquila,σ' for Symmachus, θ' for Theodotian, ε' for Quinta, and sometimesοι γ' for the non-LXX translations collectively. LXX as a whole isreferred to by a (Gothic) G (ℭ). G* is sometimes used for what this article tends to call theOld Greek. In addition, particular LXX manuscripts are sometimes referred to individually byG with a superscript -- so GA would be Alexandrinus, while GB would beVaticanus. Rahlfs cites Greek manscripts simply by letter or number.

In this list, a witness marked * is cited, at least occasionally, by Rahlfs. Two stars,**, indicates a witness which he cites quite frequently in at least one book.

See under S (ℵ)
**ACodex Alexandrinus. Same as A of the New Testament. The most complete uncial copy of the Old Testament. See description above.
**BCodex Vaticanus. Same as B of the New Testament. Mostly complete, although with large lacunae in Genesis and Psalms. See description above.
*CCodex Ephraemi Rescriptus. Same as C of the New Testament, although a much smaller fraction of the OT has survived. The only surviving portions are from Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Solomon, Job, Wisdom of Solomon, and Sirach; for details, see, e.g., Swete. Not considered to be of much value in the Old Testament, although this may be a side effect of its extremely fragmentary state.
*D(Not cited by symbol in BHS.) Cotton Genesis. Brought to England in the sixteenth century, and incomplete even then, it was burned in the 1731 Cotton Library fire. The surviving fragments are almost illegible, although one or two of the many illustrations survive well enough to show how beautiful they were before being burned. Most of what is known of the manuscript comes from early collations and descriptions, plus modern attempts to reconstruct the badly burned leaves.
E(Not cited by symbol in BHS.) Codex Bodleianus, or the Bodleian Genesis. Properly part of a curious manuscript of probably the tenth century, with the beginning portion in uncials, the remainder in minuscules. Tischendorf (who thought it belonged to the ninth century) distributed the parts, leaving Genesis 1:1-14:7, 17:24-20:13, 24:54-42:18 in the Bodleian Library in Oxford, while Genesis 42:18-44:13 is on a single leaf in Cambridge, and contains the transition from uncials to minuscules. The rest of the manuscript, which is rarely cited, extends as far as 3 Kingdoms (1 Kings) 16:28, with lacunae. The larger and later portion is at St. Petersburg; it has the Rahlfs number 509.
*FCodex Ambrosianus. Fifth century. Genesis 31:15-Joshua 12:12, with large lacunae. It is sometimes said also to include a tiny portion of Isaiah and Malachi, but Swete says this is a different manuscript. There seem to have been two scribes, one working on the Pentateuch, the other on Joshua.
*G(Not cited by symbol in BHS.) Codex Sarravianus. Note that, although this manuscript is described at (relative) length by Kenyon, Swete, and Würthwein, and Kenyon says that it is very important in its "own special department," its text is of no great value except as a witness to Origen's recension. As a result, Rahlfs and the Hebrew editions cite it very rarely.
K(Not cited by symbol in BHS.) Codex Lisiensis. Seventh century palimpsest with portions of Numbers, Deuteronomy, Joshua, Judges. Upper writing is Arabic. Discovered by Tischendorf. Rahfls lists this as a weak member of the Lucianic group L in Judges but does not cite it explicitly.
*L(Not cited by symbol in BHS or BHK.) Vienna Genesis. A purple manuscript, made with silver ink. Written in the fifth or sixth century, with many illustrations. Fragments of Genesis. Very beautiful but of relatively little textual value. We do note with interest that many of the illustrations are based not on actual information in the Bible but on legends which grew up about it; a folklorist might learn more from it than would a textual scholar.
**MCodex Coislinianus. Probably seventh century, although some have argued for the sixth. Contains Genesis-3 Kingdoms (1 Kings) 8:40, with relatively minor lacunae. Rahlfs cites it fairly often in Genesis, where other witnesses are few, but only very sporadically thereafter (53 times in the rest of the Pentateuch, which still makes it the most-cited witness after A and B, and about a hundred times in the historical books, which makes it the #4 witness behind A, B, and V). Some have said its text is similar to A; Lagarde called it hexaplairic, and there are some hexaplairic symbols in the manuscript. There are citations in the margin from the New Testament, sometimes cited in the older critical editions as Fa.
NCodex Basiliano-Vaticanus. Eighth or perhaps ninth century. Formerly at Basel; now in the Vatican. Half of the a two-volume set, the other half being V (which see, since Rahlfs always cites it under that symbol).
(*)OSee 918
**QCodex Marchalianus. Rahlfs cites this heavily for Isaiah and the Twelve, only occasionally for Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and Daniel.
*R(Not cited by symbol in BHS.) Codex Veronensis. Sixth century bilingual (Greek and Latin) copy of the Psalms, with the Greek on the left and the Latin on the right. The Greek, astonishingly, is written in Latin letters! It occupies the left side of the page. A few minor lacunae have been supplied by later hands, one of which also added Psalm 151. There are eight miscellaneous poems which are taken from other portions of the Bible. Rahlfs seems to consider it closest to ℵ in Psalms. He cites it primarily for the Odes, which B and ℵ omit.
**S (BHS, Rahlfs) or ℵ (BHK) Codex Sinaiticus. Same as ℵ of the New Testament. The Old Testament portion, however, is very fragmentary; apart from a few scraps of the Pentateuch, the surviving material is all from the later prophets and the Writings, and even these have several lacunae. One of the correctors is said to have worked from manuscripts corrected by Pamphilius based on Origenic manuscripts, but these corrections do not seem to have been based on a particularly good text. Where it is extant, it seems to diverge from Rahlfs's text more than does A, and substantially more than B.
*T(Not cited by symbol in BHS or BHK.) Codex Turicensis, or the Zürich Psalter. A purple manuscript with writing in gold (headings and initial letters), silver (the main text), and vermillion (marginalia from the Gallican version of the Psalms). 223 of an original 288 leaves survive. Dated to probably the seventh century. Swete, followed by Kenyon, regards it as close to A and even closer to ℵc.a, with which it is almost contemporary.
*UBritish Library Papyrus London (cited as Pap. Lond. in BHK). A fragment of Psalms from the seventh century, noteworthy primarily as the first Biblical papyrus recovered (in 1836). It is said to be similar in text to the Sahidic Coptic. Swete says the surviving materials constitute 30 leaves; Kenyon and Würthwein say 32. The surviving material is all from Psalm 10 to Psalm 35. The writing is rather curious; there are accents and breathings, but the scribe writes continuously, not even starting each psalm on a new line!
**VCodex Venetus. Eighth or perhaps ninth century. A two volume manuscript originally containing most if not all of the LXX. The volumes have been separated; the first half, now designated N, is in the Vatican, and is called Codex Basiliano-Vaticanus; the second half, at Venice, is Codex Venetus. Rahlfs cites both halves as V. Both halves are somewhat mutilated, but since N ends with Esther and V starts with Job 30:8, the division appears to have been at the end of Esther. V is effectively complete except for the initial lacuna; N begins with Leviticus 13:59 and has sundry lacunae after that, totalling perhaps the equivalent of a dozen chapters. Kenyon calls the text "Lucianic," but it is rarely linked with the group b o c2 e2. Whatever its text, it has significant importance as one of only five once-complete uncial copies of LXX. It has the unique distinction of being the only (formerly) complete uncial copy of LXX which does not contain the New Testament also. (Unless, as seems likely enough, there was a third New Testament volume now lost. The only extant manuscript which could possibly be this third volume is Ψ, which is about the right age but has a completely different format.) Rahlfs cites it extensively for the Maccabean books (all of which are omitted by B and two of them by ℵ), and rather often in Job as well. He cites it at least intermittently in almost every other book of LXX for which it is extant. The result is that, although there is no section where it is one of his primary sources, Rahlfs cites it more than any manuscripts other than A, B, and ℵ.
*WOctateuch (Rahlfs) or
(Not cited by symbol in BHS.) Codex Freer, or Washingtonensis I. Deuteronomy (lacking 5:16-6:18) and Joshua (lacking 3:3-4:10), from probably the sixth century. Based on the quire numbers (we now have quires ΛΖ to Ν, or 37-60), probably originally contained the whole Octateuch (certainly it contained all five books of the Pentateuch as well as Deuteronomy and Joshua), or even more. Said by Kenyon to agree more with A, and especially with G and 963, plus 54 and 75, than B. This seems to be based on the excellent 1910 edition by Henry A. Sanders (The Old Testament Manuscripts in the Freer Collection: Part I: The Washington Manuscript of Deuteronomy and Joshua) -- which, however, describes a much more complicated situation than Kenyon describes. It is the opinion of Sanders that W (or Θ in Brooke & McLean's edition) has as much value as B or A, but does not align with either. (It would seem Rahlfs did not agree, since he didn't cite it as often as its value would require.) Around 600, a cursive hand added lectionary information.
W (BHK)(Not cited by symbol in BHS.) Codex Atheniensis. Various of the historical and pseudo-historical books. Not particularly important textually.
W (BHS)A fragment of 1 Samuel 18, from the fourth century.
**W (Rahlfs) or X (Kenyon)Freer Greek MS. V, at Washington. A very much damaged codex, originally containing probably 48 leaves; portions of 33 now survive. A manuscript of the Minor Prophets, of the third century. Lacks Hosea and Amos 1:1-10, but most of the other books survive nearly complete.
Γ(Not cited by symbol in BHS; not cited by Rahlfs.) Codex Cryptoferratensis. A few fragments of the Prophets, of the eighth or ninth century. Palimpsest, with the upper writing consisting of muscal texts of the thirteenth century.
15Paris, National Library Coisl. Gr. 2. Octateuch. Ninth or tenth century. Described as Hexaplairic, and Rahlfs lists it as a weak member of his group O in Judges, but never cites it individdually.
*19Rome, Chigi R.6.38. Swete suggested a tenth century date; more recent evaluations make it eleventh or twelfth century. Pentateuch and historical books. Sister of 108 or nearly; they are so close that Brooke and MacLean cited them under the joint symbol b (when cited individually, 19 was b') -- the famous b of the Lucianic group boc2e2. Although Rahlfs lists it as having a hexaplairic text in Judges, and includes it as part of his O group, he never cites it individually. The situation is altogether different in 1-4 Kingdoms, where 19 and 108 have a Lucianic text. Rahlfs lists both among the five Lucianic witnesses cited as L (the the five being 19 82 98 108 127) -- but explicitly cites both 19 and 108 very rarely (in fact, the only explicit citation of 19 appears to be in 2 Esdras 17:3, and even there it is cited with 108). In 1-2 Chronicles and 2 Esdras, Rahlfs lists as Lucianic 19 93 108 and sometimes 121. In 1 Esdras, Rahlfs lists only 19 and 108 as members of L. In Esther, Rahlfs lists 19 and the "textus prior" of 93 and 108 as constituting L. In Judith, 19 and 108 are the only witnesses to L. In 1 Maccabees, L is considered to include (19) 64 (93) 236. Lagarde cited it as h.
22British Library Reg. i.B.2. Codex Pachomianus. Prophets, from the eleventh or twelfth century. In the Twelve Prophets, Rahlfs includes 22 (36) 48 51 (62) (147) among the witnesses to the Lucianic text L but does not cite them individually. In Isaiah, 22 (36) 48 51 (62 93 147) constitute L.
36Vatican, Gr. 347. Prophets, from the thirteenth century. In the Twelve Prophets, Rahlfs includes 22 (36) 48 51 (62) (147) among the witnesses to the Lucianic text L but does not cite them individually. In Isaiah, 22 (36) 48 51 (62 93 147) constitute L.
44Zittau, Stadtbibl. A.1. Complete Bible (same as 664 in the New Testament manuscript list). Fifteenth century. Listed by Rahlfs as a weak member of the Lucianic group L in Judges, but never cited individually.
48Vatican, Greek 1794. Prophets, from the twelfth century. In the Twelve Prophets, Rahlfs includes 22 (36) 48 51 (62) (147) among the witnesses to the Lucianic text L but does not cite them individually. In Isaiah, 22 (36) 48 51 (62 93 147) constitute L.
51Florence, Laurentian x.8. Prophets, from the eleventh century. In the Twelve Prophets, Rahlfs includes 22 (36) 48 51 (62) (147) among the witnesses to the Lucianic text L but does not cite them individually. In Isaiah, 22 (36) 48 51 (62 93 147) constitute L.
54Paris, Nat. Reg. Gr. 5. Octateuch plus Aristeas. Thirteenth or fourteenth century. Listed by Rahlfs as a member of the Lucianic group L in Judges, but never cited individually.
*55Vatican, Regin. Gr. 1. Fourteenth or fifteenth century. LXX almost complete. Cited by Rahlfs only for the Odes (along with A R T), since B and (presumably) ℵ never contained this book.
*58Vatican, Regin. Gr. 10. Thirteenth century. Pentateuch and historical books. Of all the minuscules, this is the one Rahlfs cites most. In Judges, curiously, Rahlfs calls it both a hexaplairic and a Lucianic manuscript -- but he does not cite it for that book, so it hardly matters. His citations are from Esther and Judith; in Esther, he actually cites it more often than ℵ. In Esther Rahlfs lists it exclusively as Hexaplairic, a description echoed, e.g., by Field and Swete. In Judith, he describes it as going with ℵ. Rahfls cites 58 and (the later text) of 93 as the O witnesses in Esther. Where 58 is defective (9:22-9:27), he uses 583 instead.
59Glasgow, Univ. BE 7b.10. Octateuch. Fifteenth century. Listed by Rahlfs as a member of the Lucianic group L in Judges, but never cited individually.
62Oxford, New College. Prophets, from the thirteenth century. In the Twelve Prophets, Rahlfs includes 22 (36) 48 51 (62) (147) among the witnesses to the Lucianic text L but does not cite them individually. In Isaiah, 22 (36) 48 51 (62 93 147) constitute L.
64Paris, National Library Greek 2. Tenth or eleventh century. A casual glance at Swete gives the impression that it is a complete Bible, but in fact it contains the Octateuch and historical books only. Listed by Rahlfs as a member of the Lucianic group L in 1 Maccabees along with (19) (93) 236, but never cited individually. In 2 and 3 Maccabees, 64 and 236 are the only listed witnesses to L, and there is no Lucianic text of 4 Maccanees.
75Oxford, University College LII. Octateuch. Dated 1126. Listed by Rahlfs as a member of the Lucianic group L in Judges, but never cited individually.
82Paris, National Library Coisl. Gr. 3. Twelfth century. Pentateuch and former prophets. One of the five manuscripts Rahlfs cites as part of the Lucianic group L in 1-4 Kingdoms, the five being 19 82 98 108 127 (although he lists 82 and 127 as weak group members in 3-4 Kingdoms). He does not however cite it individually. In Judges he lists it as a weak member of the Lucianic group L.
*86Rome, Barberini v. 45. Later Propets (Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, the Twelve; not Daniel). Ninth century. Properly this should not be included among the manuscripts cited by Rahlfs; he does not cite it for the text of any book of LXX. Rather, he cites it at Jeremiah 38:15 with regard to the reading of Aquila.
87Chigi MS. 2, Rome. Prophets, from perhaps the ninth century. Although Swete calls 87 and 91 Hesychian, Rahlfs in the Twelve Prophets lists 87 91 (97 490) among the witnesses to the major catena C (but does not cite them individually).
**88Chigi MS. 3, Rome (Vatican Library R.VII.45). Dates from roughly the eleventh century. Contains Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and Daniel, as well as Hippolytus's commentary on Daniel. Strangely, the list of important codices in Rahlfs does not include this manuscript -- but he cites it very often, because 88 was, until the twentieth century and the discovery of 967, the only known copy of the original Old Greek text of Daniel; it is still the only copy to contain all of LXX Daniel. Rahlfs reconstructs LXX Daniel on the basis of 88 and the Syriac version; the Göttingen LXX of course adds the testimony of 967 (a papyrus of probably the early third century). Although 88 is usually mentioned solely because it contains "Δανιηλ κατα τουc ô," it also has some value in the other prophets, since it contains at least some of the hexaplairic signs.
91Vatican, Ottob. Gr. 452. Prophets, from the eleventh century. Although Swete calls 87 and 91 Hesychian, Rahlfs in the Twelve Prophets lists 87 91 (97 490) among the witnesses to the major catena C (but does not cite them individually).
*93London, British Library Royal. I.D.ii. Thirteenth century or fourteenth century. Ruth, 1-2 Esdras, Esther (two different texts), 1-3 Maccabees. Lucianic text. Other than 58, this is the minuscule Rahlfs cites most often. It is the e2 of Brooke and MacLean's famous group boc2e2. It is one of the five manuscripts Rahlfs cites as part of the Lucianic group L in 1-4 Kingdoms, the five being 19 82 98 108 127. In 1-2 Chronicles and 2 Esdras, Rahfls lists as Lucianic 19 93 108 and sometimes 121. In Esther, Rahlfs includes the "textus prior" in L, the later text in O. In 1 Maccabees, L is considered to include (19) 64 (93) 236. In Isaiah, 22 (36) 48 51 (62 93 147) constitute L. Lagarde labelled it m.
97Vatican, Gr. 1153. Isaiah and the Twelve Prophets, from the tenth century. Rahlfs in the Twelve Prophets lists 87 91 (97 490) among the witnesses to the major catena C (but does not cite them individually).
106Ferrera, Bibl. Comm. Comm. Cl. II, 187, III(Gr. 187). Dated 1334 by its colophon. Complete Bible; it is 582 of the New Testament. Swete calls it Hesychian, but Rahfls lists it as a weak member of the Lucianic group L in Judges.
*108Vatican, Gr. 330. Thirteenth or fourteenth century. Pentateuch and historical books. Lucianic text. This is Brooke and MacLean's b -- the famous b of the Lucianic group boc2e2. In addition, it is believed that this manuscript was the single most important source used in the compiling of the Greek column of the Complutensian Polyglot. MS. 19 is a sister or nearly of 108, and was also cited by Brooke and MacLean as b (where they were different, 108 was cited as b and 19 as b'). But Rahlfs cites 19 only once, and 108 only twice as individuals -- both in 2 Esdras (at 17:3, which reading it shares with 19, and at 21:13). Otherwise, he cites in in 1-4 Kingdoms only as part of the group L, along with 19 82 98 127. In 1-2 Chronicles, and 2 Esdras Rahfls lists as Lucianic 19 93 108 and sometimes 121. In 1 Esdras, Rahlfs lists only 19 and 108 as members of L. In Esther, Rahlfs lists 19 and the "textus prior" of 93 and 108 as constituting L. In Judith, 19 and 108 are the only witnesses to L. Lagarde cited it as d.
121Venice, St. Mark's Greek 3. Tenth century. Octateuch and historical books. In 4 Kingdoms, Rahlfs includes it among the witnesses to the Origenic text O, but does not cite it explicitly. In 1-2 Chronicles and 2 Esdras, Rahlfs says it goes mostly with the Lucianic text L, but still does not cite it, apparently because the witnesses 19 93 108 are more purely Lucianic.
*127Moscow, Syn. Library Greek 11. Tenth century. Octateuch, Kingdoms, 1 Chronicles; 2 Chronicles breaks off at chapter 36. It is the c2 of Brooke and MacLean's famous group boc2e2. Rahlfs cites it explicitly only in 1-4 Kingdoms, and very rarely even in those books. It is, however, one of the five manuscripts he cites as part of the Lucianic group L, the five being 19 82 98 108 127 (although he lists 82 and 127 as weak group members in 3-4 Kingdoms). In 1 Chronicles, Rahlfs says its character changes, going with B rather than L. I might be inclined to list it as going with ℵ instead, or the agreement of Bℵ, but certainly it is more like the Egyptian text than the Lucianic. In 3-4 Kingdoms, it has a unique chronological scheme, unlike that of either MT or the original LXX, which appears to be editorial.
134Florence, Laur. v.1. Octateuch and historical books; Swete dates the former to the eleventh, the latter to the tenth century. Swete lists the Octateuch as Hesychian, but Rahfls lists it as a weak member of the Lucianic group L in Judges (but does not cite it).
147Oxford, Bodleian, Laud 30. Prophets (Daniel is defective). In the Twelve Prophets, Rahlfs includes 22 (36) 48 51 (62) (147) among the witnesses to the Lucianic text L but does not cite them individually. In Isaiah, 22 (36) 48 51 (62 93 147) constitute L.
236Vatican Library Gr. 336. Joshua, Judges, Ruth, and the rest of the historical books. Twelfth century. Listed by Rahlfs as one of the two primary witnesses to the Lucianic text L in 1 Maccabees, with 64 being the other and 19 93 being secondary witnesses, but Rahlfs never cites it explicitly. In 2 and 3 Maccabees, 64 and 236 are the only listed witnesses to L, and there is no Lucianic text of 4 Maccabees.
*247Vatican Library Greek Urb. 1. Contains only 1-3 Kingdoms plus part of 4 Kingdoms. Although Rahlfs does not cite this regularly in any book, citations in 1-3 Kingdoms are not uncommon. Rahlfs links it with A, 376, and the Syriac among the hexaplairic witnesses, in 1-2 Kingdoms, and with A and the Syriac in 3 Kingdoms, citing it as O247.
344Rahfls lists this as a weak member of the Lucianic group L in Judges but does not cite it explicitly.
*376Listed by Rahlfs as having a hexaplairic text in Judges, but he cites it only in 1-2 Samuel (primarily in the former). Rahlfs links it with A, 247, and the Syriac among the hexaplairic witnesses, citing it as O376.
*393Grottaferrata. Eighth century (?). This is one of the four minuscules listed as most important on the reference card in Rahlfs, but he does not in fact cite it particularly often.
426Listed by Rahfls in Judges as one of the Origenic group O, but never cited individually.
490Rahlfs in the Twelve Prophets lists 87 91 (97 490) among the witnesses to the major catena C (but does not cite them individually).
*583Apparently derived from 58; Rahlfs cites it (as part of the Hexaplairic group O) only for those verses of Esther where 58 is defective.
700 In 4 Kingdoms, Rahlfs includes it among the witnesses to the Lucianic text L, but does not cite it explicitly.
911Berlin Genesis papyrus, Staatsbibliothek Gr. fol. 66 I, II. A strange codex, probably originally of 32 leaves, thought to have been copied from a scroll of Genesis 1:1-35:8. The first nine leaves have two columns per page, the remainder only one; the hand is irregular and non-literary. Written on papyrus in the third or early fourth century, it is now badly mutilated, but its age alone makes it important; Rahlfs cites it extensively for Genesis.
*918Trinity College, Dublin, K.3.4. Confusingly, this is sometimes referred to as an uncial, O, but is treated as a minuscule, 918, by Rahlfs. The designation as an uncial is better, since it is of the sixth century. Both it and Z of the New Testament were used as under-writings for a manuscript of patristic writings. The surviving portins of O were originally four leaves, now folded as eight, containing Isaiah 30:2-31:7, 36:17-38:1. It has been suggested that the text is Hesychian. Rahlfs cites it only four times (Isaiah 30:14, 15, 36:9, 23), but all four variants are significant because in each case O/918 supports either A or B against all other witnesses known to Rahlfs.
967Chester Beatty Papyri IX and X; also Princeton University Library, Scheide Papyrus 1. An early third century papyrus of Ezekiel, Daniel, and Esther. Two different scribes wrote the book, with Ezekiel in one hand and Daniel and Esther in the other. The original probably had 118 leaves; a few have been lost and others mutilated. In Ezekiel and Esther, it is said to agree primarily with B. Its great value is in Daniel, however, since it is a copy of the original LXX translation rather than of Theodotian. Thus it and 88 are the only extant copies of that version. Sadly, it was not discovered until too late to be used by Rahlfs, and parts were not available even to Ziegler when he produced the Göttingen Daniel. The known portions consisted of parts of Daniel 5-12 plus the Additions at the end (Susanna and Bel and the Dragon).
*1098Milan, Ambrosian Library O 39 Sup. Palimpsest, written probably in the ninth or tenth century and overwritten around the thirteenth. Noteworthy because the text is not just the LXX but the (almost) complete Hexapla; the Hebrew column was omitted, but five others (Hebrew translated into Greek letters, plus Aquila, Symmachus, LXX, and a fifth column, which is generally said to be Quinta rather than Theodotian) are preserved. Only eleven psalms are preserved, but it is still probably the best evidence for the Hexapla we have available. This presumably explains why it is one of only four minuscules listed on the reference card in Rahlfs; it certainly isn't because he cites it frequently. The only citation is in Psalm 17:43, where Rahlfs adopts its reading χουν aagainst the χνουν of all other witnesses.
*2013Leipzig Papyrus 39. A papyrus scroll -- in fact, an Opisthograph -- rather than a codex. Since the writing on the other side is dated 338 C.E., the document is presumably of the mid to late fourth century. Contains portions of Psalms 30 to 55, with the first several psalms badly mutilated. Given the length of the surviving portion of the scroll, and the usual maximum length of scrolls, it seems likely that it contained only about half the Psalms. This is another manuscript listed on Rahlf's quick reference card as an important minuscule, but he cites it only a handful of times.
*2018London papyrus, of the seventh or eighth century. Greek/Sahidic psalter. Contains Psalms 10:2-11:5, 48:20-49:7, 118:24-38. Obviously such a small fragment is cited only very rarely. Rahlfs considered its text to be "upper Egyptian," but it is hard to know what that means in context.