Manuscript Collation

Contents: Introduction * Samples of Collations * Long and Short Collations * What we learn from collations * Collations in Other Languages * The physical task of collating


The manuscript collation is perhaps the most fundamental of all the tool of textual criticism -- the essential source of the data of the discipline.

We should perhaps start with a warning -- "collation" means different things in different contexts. To a bibliographer or librarian, it means the arrangement of pages in a manuscript, which we will talk about below. But to a New Testament scholar, the term "collation" is an abbreviated record of the readings of a manuscript. Except when otherwise specified, that is what this article means by a collation.

The purpose of a collation is to transmit all basic information about the text of a manuscript without publishing the text of the manuscript in full. It does this by comparing a manuscript against a standard printed edition (usually the Textus Receptus) and noting all "significant" differences. The amount of space this can save is tremendous. The collation of 1739 by Lake and New, for instance, requires 24 pages to cover all of Paul, when printed in large print. The Nestle-Aland twenty-seventh edition, printed in small print, requires 179 pages for the same books. Even allowing for the space required for the the critical apparatus of the Nestle text, this is a savings of at least a factor of five. And this for a manuscript with a relatively large number of deviations from the Textus Receptus! A Byzantine manuscript of the same books would result in a much shorter collation.

There is, unfortunately, no universally recognized standard method of collation even for Greek New Testament manuscripts, let alone for texts of other works. Different transcribers use different base editions, and have different styles of collation. The problem of base editions is probably beyond solution; the edition generally regarded as standard (the 1873 Oxford edition of the Textus Receptus for the Greek New Testament) has been out of print for a very long time, and no new standard is emerging. (Latin scholars are slightly better off; the Clementine Vulgate is the sort-of standard.) Some have proposed collating Greek manuscripts against the United Bible Societies text, but this would mean that older and newer collations would be based on different texts -- a notion unfortunate enough that collations against the TR will probably continue for the foreseeable future. The TR also has the advantage of being a relatively Byzantine text, so that it takes relatively little space to collate Byzantine manuscripts against it (which also reduces the effort needed for the collation, which in turn probably reduces the number of errors). There are reportedly online versions of the Oxford text which can be used for collation; I cannot vouch for their accuracy.

The form of collations is somewhat more standardized, though not perfectly so. In general, a collation consists of a series of variations recorded in the following form: Chapter and verse number, lemma (the text of the proof edition), and the variant (the text of the manuscript). The text of the lemma and the variant are normally separated by a square bracket, thus: ]

So, for instance, the first variation in the Nestle-Aland apparatus occurs in Matthew 1:3. Here the majority of witnesses, including the Textus Receptus, read Ζαρα. In B, however, we read instead ΖΑΡΕ. So the collation of B against the Textus Receptus would read

1:1 Ζαρα ] ΖΑΡΕ

There are, of course, variations on the format of collations (far more than there should be, because everyone seems to think that their own way is "best" even though what is best would be standardization!); see the section on Samples of Collations. The most common variation in collation format involves omissions. For instance, in Mark 1:1, 28 (and several other manuscripts) omit the words υιου θεου. This may be noted in several ways, e.g.

1:1 υιου θεου ] OM. (I'd consider this the standard way), or
1:1 OM. υιου θεου or
1:1 - υιου θεου

It is also quite common to see changes in word order marked ~. Ideally (to prevent ambiguity) both the word order of the collation base and the reading of the manuscript should be noted. You may also see "+" or "add" for additions to the text and "-" for omissions.

If a manuscript has been corrected, these readings should be noted. The reading of the original hand should, of course, be marked with the asterisk (*). If there are multiple correctors, care should be taken to distinguish them. Some collations will include readings of the correctors in the body of the collation; others add them as comments. Which is more effective may depend on the frequency and nature of the corrections.

Editors disagree about the exact amount of detail to be recorded in a collation. Some, e.g., would include variations involving nu movable, while others would omit it. Most would exclude punctuation, since this is known not to be original. (Though some would include make notes of punctuation marks in manuscripts which rarely include it.) Itacisms are also frequently excluded (although if they are very frequent, it should probably be noted in a comment on the collation). The use of Nomina Sacra normally is not noted unless an abnormal form is used or in some way it affects the interpretation. But there are no hard and fast rules -- except two: First, a collation should announce at the beginning what features it does and does not include, and second, if a reading may or may not have textual significance (e.g. in the case of an itacism), it must be noted. To put it another way: When in doubt, note the variant.

In general, one should try to collate "whole variants" -- that is, if two consecutive words form a logical entity, one should record changes to both together, but if they are unrelated, treat them as two different variants.

Another difficulty arises with damaged texts. One needs a way to indicate both completely illegible letters (e.g. where there is a hole in the page containing a whole letter) and partially legible letters. The notation for the former is usually a dot (e.g. Λ . ΓΕΙ indicates a λ followed by a defect large enough for one letter, then γει If the defect is large enough for two letters, one uses two dots, etc (e.g. Λ . ΓΕΙ is ΛΕΓΕΙ with one letter missing, while "Λ . . ΕΙ" would be the same word with a gap of two letters, etc.). Gaps of more than a few letters are often marked in the margin (e.g. if a manuscript were defective for the first verse of John's gospel, we would say something like "N.B. MS. defective for εν... ην o λογος).

A notation is also needed for a partially legible letter (and such are common; suppose a page has lost a margin, and the last thing at the edge of the page is a vertical stroke |. Depending on how the scribe wrote, this stroke could be a portion of any number of letters, e.g. Γ Η Ι Κ Μ Ν Π Ρ. The standard notation in such cases has been for the collator to guess what the letter probably was, then mark it with a dot below the letter. As this for a long time was difficult or impossible to do in electronic formats, other solutions have been devised, such as placing the letter in parenthesis or in some sort of symbolic notation (the COLLATE program uses a tag pair, [ut]...[/ut]). This should be made clear in the introduction to the collation. (And it should be repeated that this information must be provided. Printing a reconstructed text without noting this fact is purely inexcusable. Indeed, if there is any real doubt about the letter in the manuscript, and multiple readings are possible, these should probably be noted in the margin.) Fortunately, it is now possible to use the unicode feature known as "combining diacritical marks" to put dots below letters. So if we wished to indicate that the second and third letters of λεγει are doubtful, we can show it as λε̣γ̣ει.

A good collation should probably also be prefaced by information about the manuscript -- e.g. a list of lacunae (even though these will also be noted in the body of the collations), characteristics of the scribe, description of non-Biblical materials included in the volume. This information may not be of significance for the text, but it may well indicate something about the history of the volume -- which, in turn, may provide clues about the text in the book.

It is possible to collate multiple manuscripts in one collation -- indeed, very many collations follow this format, as it saves space. One simply notes which manuscripts have which readings by listing them after the variant. So, for example, the first few lines of Clark's collations of 223, 876, 1022, 1799, 1960, 2401, 2412, and 2423 in 1 Thessalonians reads:

1:1 θεσσαλονικαιων 223, θεσσαλονικεων 1022      θεω + και 876

1:5 υμας(1) ] ημας 1960      -εν (3) 1022 2423**

Thus we see that, in 1 Thessalonians 1:1, 223 and 1022 have various (mis)spellings for θεσσαλονικαιων; the other manuscripts (876, 1960, 2401, 2412, and 2423; 1799 is defective here) agree with the reading of the Textus Receptus. Later in the verse, 876 has θεω και πατρι for the θεω πατρι of the other manuscripts and the TR. From there on, all the manuscripts agree with the TR until 1:5, where 1960 reads εις ημας for the εις υμας of the other manuscripts and the TR. Finally, where most of the manuscripts read και εν πνευματι αγιου, 1022 and the corrector of 2423 omit εν.

Beyond this, the only way to get a feeling for collations is to work with them. The following samples provide a very brief introduction to this process....

Samples of Collations

The table below shows several samples of collations, all taken directly from published and relatively widely available editions of manuscripts. The first column of the table shows the text of Ephesians 1:1-6 as found in the Textus Receptus. The next three columns show the texts of manuscripts 330, 1739, and 1799 (taken, respectively, from the collations published by Davies, Lake and New, and Clark). The differences from the TR text are shown in bold (with omissions being marked [--], in order to make the omissions obvious). This is followed by the actual text of the collations (sometimes with some extraneous material about other manuscripts removed), so that the reader can see how each of these three collators approached their task. (Of the three, the collation of 330 by Davies is much the most idiosyncratic.) The verse numbers of course do not occur in the manuscript.

TR 330 1739 1799
Eph. 11  Παυλος αποστολος Ιησου Χριστου δια θεληματος θεου, τοις αγιοις τοις ουσιν εν Εφεσω και πιστοις εν Χριστου Ιησου • 2  χαρις υμιν και ειρηνη απο θεου πατρος ημων και κυριου Ιησου Χριστου. Eph. 11  Παυλος αποστολος Χριστου Ιησου δια θεληματος θεου, τοις αγιοις τοις ουσιν εν Εφεσω και πιστοις εν Χριστου [--] 2 χαρις υμιν και ειρηνη απο θεου πατρος ημων και κυριου Ιησου Χριστου. Εph. 11 Παυλος αποστολος Ιησου Χριστου δια θεληματος θεου, τοις αγιοις τοις ουσιν [--] και πιστοις εν Χριστου Ιησου. 2 [--] Eph. 11 Παυλος αποστολος Ιησου χριστου δια θεληματος θεου, τοις αγιοις τοις ουσιν εν Εφεσω και πιστοις εν χριστοω Ιησου. 2 χαρις υμιν και ειρηνη απο θεου πατρος ημων και κυριου Ιησου χριστου.
3 Ευλογητος ο θεος και πατηρ του κυριου ημων Ιησου Χριστου, ο ευλογησας ημας εν παση ευλογια πνευματικη εν τοις επουρανιοις χριστω, 4 καθως εξελεξατο ημας εν αυτ προ καταβολης κοσμου, ειναι ημας αγιους και αμωμους κατενωπιον αυτου εν αγαπη, 5 προορισας ημας εις υιοθεσιαν δει Ιησου χριστου εις αυτον, κατα την ευδοκιαν του θεληματος αυτου 6 εις επαινον δοξης της χαριτος αυτου, εν η εχαριτωσεν ημας εν τω ηγαπημενω.... 3 Ευλογητος ο θεος και πατηρ του κυριου ημων Ιησου Χριστου, ο ευλογησας ημας εν παση ευλογια πνευματικη εν τοις επουρανιοις χριστω, 4 καθως εξελεξατο ημας εν αυτ προ καταβολης κοσμου, ειναι ημας αγιους και αμωμους κατενωπιον αυτου εν αγαπη, 5 προορισας ημας εις υιοθεσιαν δει Ιησου χριστου εις αυτον, κατα την ευδοκιαν του θεληματος αυτου 6 εις επαινον δοξης της χαριτος αυτου, ης εχαριτωσεν ημας εν τω ηγαπημενω υιω αυτου.... 3 Ευλογητος ο θεος και πατηρ του κυριου ημων Ιησου Χριστου, ο ευλογησας ημας εν παση ευλογια πνευματικη εν τοις επουρανιοις εν χριστω, 4 καθως εξελεξατο ημας εν αυτ προ καταβολης κοσμου, ειναι ημας αγιους και αμωμους κατενωπιον αυτου εν αγαπη, 5 προορισας ημας εις υιοθεσιαν δει Ιησου χριστου εις αυτον, κατα την ευδοκιαν του θεληματος αυτου 6 εις επαινον δοξης της χαριτος αυτου, ης εχαριτωσεν ημας εν τω ηγαπημενω.... 3 αδελφοι ευλογητος ο θεος και πατηρ του κυριου ημων Ιησου Χριστου, ο ευλογησας ημας εν παση ευλογια πνευματικη εν τοις επουρανιοις χριστω, 4 καθως εξελεξατο ημας εν αυτ προ καταβολης κοσμου, ειναι ημας αγιους και αμωμους κατενωπιον αυτου εν αγαπη, 5 προορισας ημας εις υιοθεσιαν δει Ιησου χριστου εις αυτον, κατα την ευδοκιαν του θεληματος αυτου 6 [--] εν η εχαριτωσεν ημας εν τω ηγαπημενω....

Davies's collation of 330 (without the collations of 436, 462, 2344):
1. ~ χριστου α. ιησου.
   OM. ιησου2.
6. ης / εν η.
   + υιω αυτου ρ. ηγαπμενω

N.B.: In this collation, / replaces ] and the lemma appears after rather than before the slash. (This takes a great deal of getting used to! -- which is a good demonstration of why collation formats should be standardized.) Also, the abbreviation α. is used for "before"; ρ. stands for "after." The symbol "~" is used here (as often elsewhere) for a change in word order.

Lake and New's collation of 1739:
i.1. om εν εφεσω
  2 om χαρις .... χριστου
  3 χριστω praem εν
  6 εν η ] ης
N.B.: The notation praem means "add before the lemma" or "is prefixed by." Similar Latin notations may be encountered elsewhere.

Clark's collation of 1799:
3. +αδελφοι [ ευλογητος
6 - εις επαινον δοξης της χαριτος αυτου

N.B.: This collation uses both [ and ]. [ indicates an insertion before the word listed in the lemma. Note also the use of + to indicate an addition and - for an omission

Note incidentally that the collations of both Davies and Clark were done with typewriters rather than being typeset. This will affect just what information can be included.

One other thing to consider in preparing a collation of more than one manuscript is what symbol to use for the manuscript. The obvious temptation is to use its Kurzgefaste Liste number, as is done in most critical editions. But this is not universal. British editions, in particular, have a tendency to refer to manuscripts by letter. This has the advantage of brevity, but it makes for a lot more work!

For example, here are the first five verses of Matthew as collated by Scrivener in A Full and Exact Collation of about Twenty Greek Manuscripts of the Holy Gospels:

CAPUT I. vv. 1,2 ἁβρααμ hlmnpqrsx alii.   v. 2. ιουδα y.   v. 3. - τον secund. y   vv 4, 5. σαλωμ c.   v. 5. ῥαχαμ cp. ιωβηδ bis cg. ωβηθ prim. r. οβηδ bis y.

Scrivener does not give manuscript numbers -- not even Scrivener/Burgon numbers! -- for his manuscripts, but as best I can tell, they are:
j=N (022) (British Library Cotton Collection fragment only)
u=487 (lost)
v=488 (lost)

So this collation, if done my way, would look like this (note: I'm not making up the accents on Αβρααμ in verses 1 and 2; those are straight out of Scrivener's edition of the Textus Receptus):

1:1 ’Αβραάμ ] ἁβρααμ 201 476 479 480 482 483 484 485 𝓁183
1:2 ’Αβραὰμ ] ἁβρααμ 201 476 479 480 482 483 484 485 𝓁183
    Ιουδαν ] ιουδα 𝓁184
1:3 τον Ζαρα ] omit τον 𝓁184
1:4 σαλμων ] σαλωμ 472
1:5 σαλμων ] σαλωμ 472
     ραχαβ ] ῥαχαμ 472 482
     ωβηδ ... ωβηδ ] ιωβηδ ... ιωβηδ 71 472; οβηδ ... ωβηδ 484; οβηδ ... οβηδ 𝓁184

This is obviously a lot longer. Some of that is simply the more explicit collation format. But even if we took Scrivener's format and simply converted the letters to proper numbers, we'd get

CAPUT I. vv. 1,2 ἁβρααμ ἁβρααμ 201 476 479 480 482 483 484 485 𝓁183 alii.   v. 2. ιουδα 𝓁184.   v. 3. - τον secund. 𝓁184   vv 4, 5. σαλωμ 472.   v. 5. ῥαχαμ 472 482. ιωβηδ bis 71 47. ωβηθ prim. 484. οβηδ bis 𝓁184.

Thus using single letters rather than giving the full symbols saves about 25% of the size of the apparatus. Whether the extra effort it entails is worth the savings is, I suppose, something the reader must decide.

For a fuller sample of a collation, one is invited to examine the author's own PDF collation (or, rather, a collation I combined from various sources) of 0243 and fourteen other manuscripts of Hebrews.

Long and Short Collations

The descriptions above are of simple text collations. That is, all they contain is the comparison of two sources (usually a manuscript and a printed text). This we might label a short collation. Or it might be called a collation of the text -- as opposed to a collation of the manuscript. A collation of a manuscript is a description of the physical properties of the manuscript.

To fully describe a manuscript calls for some additional information -- data about the form of the manuscript, in addition to (or apart from) its textual content. Montague Rhodes James, who did an amazing job of cataloging most of the manuscripts in Cambridge University, its colleges, and some other libraries, lists the following information which should also be supplied:

  1. Material -- i.e. papyrus, parchment, paper, or a mixture. It is also worth noting the arrangement of the material. Paper and parchment, if mixed at all, were generally mixed in a regular pattern, and parchment, if used throughout, will usually be arranged so hair side faces hair side and flesh faces flesh. If there is a disruption of this pattern, it may indicate missing material or a change in plan -- or even a combination of two different pre-existing manuscripts.
    If the material is paper, and the paper is recent enough to have watermarks (rare but not unknown for NT manuscripts), the watermarks should be listed, as they are indications of date and provenance. Note that every page needs to be checked for watermarks, as the paper may well come from different lots.
  2. Description of the page -- the size (height and width), the manner of ruling, and the number of lines per page. Also the method used for ruling: a dry point (which leaves grooves but no marks) or a plummet, which leaves a faint brown line. One should note whether it is rules on both sides or just one, and whether both margines were ruled or just one (sometimes a scribe would rule two leaves at once, allowing one margin to serve both, and a ruling on one side of the page might be deep enough to show through on the other side.)
  3. Binding -- both the modern binding and any indications of an earlier binding (e.g. if a book was once chained, but is so no longer, there will likely be traces of rust on the outer pages. If a book has been rebound and trimmed, marginal material may be cut off).
  4. Number of (surviving) leaves. Also, if the leaves are numbered, the number which appear to have been initially present. Be sure to clarify whether leaves, quires, or folios are numbered -- folio numbering was the most common.
  5. Arrangement of quires. Although most books use a four-sheet standard (meaning each quire has eight leaves of 16 sheets), it is the opinion of James that the majority of books have at least some irregularity -- leaves cut out, or an extra leaf inserted into a quire at some point other than the middle. In counting the size of quires, the first thing to look for is of course the string used to bind the quires into a volume. There may also be catch phrases in the extreme margin, showing the last word on the page and/or the first on the next page, to help the binder organize the quires -- but these are often cut off after binding, so they are not to be relied upon.
    The standard notation for a quire of a given length is xn, where x is a letter denoting the quire, and n is the number of leaves (not pages or sheets) in the quire. So a description a8b6 means that we have a codex which now has two quires, the first of eight leaves (four sheets) and the second of six leaves (three sheets). If a quire is described as "(wants n)," it means that leaf n has gone; if it has afterward "(+n* text)" it means that a leaf has been added after leaf m.
    So here might be a typical example of this sort of collation:
    a8(wants 1) b8 c8 d8(wants 3) e8(+6* εαν) f4
    The above means that we have a codex of six quires, the first five of which (numbered a, b, c, d, e) originally had had eight leaves (four sheets, 16 pages) and the last of which (f) had four leaves (2 sheets, 8 pages). The first quire has lost its first leaf (not a rare occurrence). In other words, it has lost pages 1 and 2. Quires b and c are intact. Quire d has lost its third leaf -- in other words, the fifth and sixth pages of this quire (which would be pages 53 and 54 of the manuscript as a whole). The fifth quire, e, also originally had eight sheets, but after the sixth sheet, an additional leaf has been inserted, which begins with the word εαν. The final quire, f, is apparently intact but has only four leaves (two sheets). Thus the total manuscript started with 44 leaves (22 sheets, 88 pages), but two leaves have been lost and one additional leaf added.
  6. History. Any indications of ownership or past location. This of course includes scribal colophons -- but also information in the binding or leaves at the front. Many owners will have written at least their name in the manuscript, often with a date and perhaps a place. These will generally be reliable (unlike colophons, which may be fake), and will give a latest possible date for a manuscript, as well as perhaps hinting at the place where the manuscript was written. It is suggested that all such information be recorded even if it does not appear to have much use; later scholars might have access to historical data the collator does not.
  7. Contents. Although some manuscripts contain nothing more than the Gospels or Epistles or whatnot, most will contain at least some additional material -- prologues, Eusebian tables, something. All such elements should be listed even if their texts are not collated.
  8. Illustrations. To truly catalog the illustrations in a manuscript requires a specialist, but some information should be given: The dimensions of the illustration (not necessarily in inches or centimeters, but as a fraction of the page -- e.g. full width, half height). The general subject of the illustration should be described if it can be determined, as well as characters in the picture and their clothing. Also, many illustrations will have some sort of background (white, red and white squares, blue and green lozenges). This is often characteristic of a particular school, and should be mentioned. If any lettering is found in the illustration, it should be noted.
    In New Testament manuscripts, the most common illustrations are of course of the Evangelists. But several things should still be noted -- e.g. whether they are shown in company with their symbolic representations (man, ox, lion, eagle), whether they are shown in contemporary garb or in what a scribe might think was Palestinian clothing, how they are writing (sitting or standing, at a desk or somewhere else), and whether they are alone or in company (e.g. since John is sometimes said to have dictated his gospel to Prochorus, it is not unusual to see him alongside another person). It seems to me in addition that halos are more common in late illustrations than early, although I have not tested this formally.
    Non-Biblical manuscripts have a greater variety of illustrations -- e.g. our only illustrations of Chaucer are in Chaucerian manuscripts, but generally he does not take up the whole width of the page; the image is shown in a sort of a sidebar, perhaps with the poet pointing to a particularly interesting passage. Information about non-stereotyped illustrations of this sort can be particularly helpful.

In addition, in describing a printed book, one should supply a complete description of the title page -- ideally including a photograph, but it should also include a complete version of the text, with formatting descriptions, to allow electronic searching. This is because it was not uncommon to see a book printed by one printer but published by several publishers, with no changes except to the title page. To properly sort through the editions, proper title page data is vital.

Description of the binding is also important. Sadly, many important volumes have lost their original bindings and even had their pages trimmed by re-binders, but if an ancient binding survives, it should be described in detail (including material (both type, such as leather, and source, such as the type of animal, if it can be determined), color, any tooling, clasps, inlays, ties, ornaments, gold leaf, and anything else that is in any way unusual).

Note that this sort of collation can be offered for printed books as well as manuscripts. It's meaningless for cheap paperbacks, with glued bindings, but most hardcover books still have sewn bindings, which can be informative. For example, my 1939 printing of the Loeb Classical Library edition of Tacitus's Agricola, Germania, and Dialogue on Oratory (translated by Sir William Peterson) appears at first examination (I did this casually) to have a 6-leaf opening quire, then 25 quires (labelled A-Z at the bottom of the first page, omitting U/V and W) of 8 leaves each, then a closing quire of 8 leaves. The first leaf of the first quire is pasted to the front cover, and the last leaf of the final quire is pasted to the back cover. The fifth leaf of the front quire has been cut out and a picture of a bust of Tacitus glued to the stub; similarly the second (seventh-from-the-end) leaf of the last quire has been cut out and replaced by a map. So this collation would be something like
a6(wants 5)(+5* image of Tacitus)b-y8z8(wants 2)(2* map)
However, since the all but the first and last quires have printed quire letters, we could respect that by giving the collation as
a6(wants 5)(+5* image of Tacitus)A-U8X8Y8Z8zz8(wants 2)(2* map)
We might also note the pastedowns, as well as mentioning that several of the leaves are blank flyleaves.
My personal copy was previously owned, and there are notations from a previous owner, as well as sale marks, so if for some reason we really wanted to describe this particular copy, we might note the bookplate in the front cover, an inscription in green ink, a seller's note, etc.

We certainly see this information in some accounts of New Testament manuscripts. For example, Clark gave a description of 1960 which seems to imply this collation (note that the quires are assigned Greek numerals):
lacks α-ιε, ις8ιζ8(lacks 8)ιη8(lacks 1, 8)ιθ-κγ8κδ6κε-κζ8(lacks κη)κθ8λ4

This description instantly makes clear that the volume is extremely defective, lacking roughly the entire first half plus some leaves after that. Of course, in this case, Clark's description makes that clear (I derived the information from Clark's description!) -- but having it set out in consistent form makes it easier to compare manuscripts.

What we learn from collations

It may seem that working with collations is a rather specialized task, and that the use of a critical apparatus is enough for the ordinary student. This is true in some instances, but much oversimplified. A collation can teach us a great deal about a manuscript that cannot be learned from the apparatus criticus.

The collation, unlike the apparatus, teaches us something about the nature of the manuscript itself (especially if it includes the format information above, but the statement is true even if we don't have the quire information). If we examine the collation of Hebrews, for instance, we observe that Codex Claromontanus (D) regularly confuses the endings -θε and -θαι, even when there is no variation in the other manuscripts. We learn, therefore, that Claromontanus has no authority when there are genuine variants of this type.

Most manuscripts have some such idiosyncrasies. ℵ, for instance, regularly confounds ΕΙ and Ι, while 056 and 0142 have a habit (derived probably from their common ancestor) of adding extra iotas. 1799 regularly inserts αδελφοι into texts (probably based on the lectionary), and so is unreliable for the handful of legitimate variants involving this word. And so forth. None of these facts can be learned from a critical apparatus, since it doesn't include such variants, and most are quickly obvious in a collation.

In addition, a collation is a complete catalog of the readings of a manuscript, whereas a critical apparatus is always limited. As an example, consider the collation of Hebrews already cited above. This collation includes fifteen manuscripts, and shows 61 variants in Hebrews 1. The Nestle-Aland text, by contrast, cites only 21 variants, despite having 23 so-called "constant witnesses." Similarly, the collation of Colossians 1 below cites 115 variants; NA28 cites 37, one of them a variant interpretation rather than a reading of the text. Thus, as a rule of thumb, NA28 cites only about a third of the variants in its manuscripts (although it is more complete for manuscripts like B and ℵ). Most of the extra variants in the collation are, of course, trivial -- spelling mistakes and the like -- but by working with the critical apparatus rather than the collations, one forfeits the ability to decide which variants are important. In addition, most critical apparatus have an associated critical text. This critical text will, almost inevitably, bias the user toward its readings. Whereas a collation, since it is based on a non-critical text (the Textus Receptus), should not result in any pre-judgement of the readings.

As a final exercise, let's do a full critical apparatus as a collation rather than as an apparatus. I'm going to do Colossians chapter 1. The base text is the TR as represented in the apparatus of Hodges and Farstad. All variants are noted except itacisms and nu-movable (which one might collate those for one manuscript, but not for this many!). I will collate 𝔓46 ℵ A B C D F G K L Ψ 049 056 0142 223 330 436 876 1960 2412 plus the UBS (𝖀) and Hodges and Farstad (𝕳) editions. Note that this is my style of collation, which is intended to be very clear about the various readings -- as a result, I often quote a longer lemma than many collators.

Note also the instance in 1:6 where I cite a few witnesses in support of the lemma rather than against it. This is to clarify the exact readings of those witnesses. In 1:12, I cite only 𝕳txt in support of the lemma, and similarly 𝕳marg in 1:14. Note that these are not the only witnesses supporting the lemma; all witnesses not cited against the lemma support it. But these witnesses are cited explicitly to make their readings clear.

1:1ιησου χριστου ] ~ χριστου ιησου 𝔓46 ℵ Avid B F G L Ψ 330 1739 𝖀 (hiat. C)
1:2κολοσσαις ] κολασσαις ℵ B D F G L 049 330 𝖀 (hiat. 𝔓46 C; A illegible)
εν Χριστω ] εν Χριστω Ιησου A D* F G
πατρος ημων ] omit ημων 056 0142
και κυριου Ιησου Χριστου ] omit B D K L Ψ 049 0151 330 1739 𝖀 (hiat. 𝔓46)
1:3ευχαριστουμεν ] ευχαριστωμεν 330; ευχαριστω C** (hiat. 𝔓46)
θεω και ] omit και B C* 1739 𝖀; θεω τω D* F G (hiat. 𝔓46)
Ιησου Χριστου ] omit Χριστου B 1739 (hiat. 𝔓46)
περι ] υπερ B D* F G 436 (hiat. 𝔓46)
1:4εν χριστω ] εν κυριου ℵ* A; την εν χριστω 330 436 (hiat. 𝔓46)
αγαπην την ] αγαπην ην εχετε ℵ A C D* F G 330 436 𝖀; αγαπην B (hiat. 𝔓46)
αγιους ] αγιου D* (hiat. 𝔓46)
τους ] προς 1960** (hiat. 𝔓46)
1:5υμιν ] ημιν 876
1:6εν παντι ] omit K
και εστιν (𝕳 εστι) ] εστιν 𝔓46 ℵ A B C D* 330 436 1739 𝖀
ποφορουμενον D1 𝕳marg ] add και αυξανομενον 𝔓46 ℵ A B C D* F G L Ψ 223 330 436 1739 1960 𝖀 𝕳txt
ης ημερας ] omit ης F G
επεγνωτε ] εγνωτε 330 876
1:7καθως και ] omit και 𝔓46 ℵ A B C D* F G 𝖀
απο ] παρα 436
εμαθετε ] αμαθατε ℵ; μαθεται F G
αγαπητου ] σγαπητου και 223
συνδουλου ημων ] συνδολου ημων 𝔓46*; συνδυλους ημων F; συνδουλου υμων Ψ
ος εστιν ] ο εστιν 𝔓46
υπερ υμων ] υπερ ημων 𝔓46 ℵ A B D* F G 436
του χριστου ] omit του K
1:8ο και δηλωσας ] omit ο 0142
ημιν ] υμιν 330
πνευματι ] + αγιω 223
1:9και ημεις ] omit και 049
και αιτοιμενοι ] omit B K
την επιγνωσιν ] τη επιγνωσει D** 436
1:10περιπατησαι υμας ] omit υμας 𝔓46 ℵ A B C D* F G 1739 𝖀
αρεσκειαν ] αρεσκιαν ℵ A C D F G
εις την επιγνωσιν ] τη επιγνωσει 𝔓46 ℵ* A B C D* F G 1739 𝖀; εν τη επιγνωσει ℵ2 Ψ 330
1:11δυναμαι ] και δυναμει 049
πασαν ] πας πασαν D* (!)
1:12ευχαριστοντες ] ευχαριστουμεν C*** 436marg; ευχαριστουντες αμα B; και ευχαριστουντες αμα 𝔓46
τω πατρι 𝕳txt ] τω θεω και πατρι C*** 223 436 2412 𝕳marg; τω θεω πατρι ℵ; θεω τω πατρι F G; τω πατρι του χριστου 330
ικανωσαντι 𝔓46-vid ] καλεσαντι D* F G 436; καλεσαντι και ικανωσαντι B; ικανοσαντι 876
ημας ] υμας ℵ B 1739 𝖀 (𝔓46 [.]μ̣α̣ς)
κληρου ] κληρος 330
εν τω φωτι ] τω φωτι C* (hiat. 𝔓46)
1:13ερρυσατο ] ερυσατο B* F Gc; ευρυσατω G*
ημας ] υμας 056 0142 876
1:14εχομεν ] εσχομεν B (hiat. 𝔓46)
δια του αιματος αυτου 𝕳marg ] omit ℵ A B C D F G K L Ψ 049 056 0142 436 1739 𝖀 𝕳txt (hiat. 𝔓46)
την αφησιν ] omit D* (hiat. 𝔓46)
αμαρτιων ] αμαρτιων ημων 330 (hiat. 𝔓46)
1:15ος εστιν ] ο εστιν F G (hiat. 𝔓46)
πρωτοτοκος ] πρωτοκος (!) F (hiat. 𝔓46)
κτισεως ] της κρισεως 2412 (hiat. 𝔓46)
1:16τα παντα ] omit τα K
τα εν τοις ] omit τα 𝔓46 ℵ* B D F G Ψ 1739 𝖀; τα τε εν τοις C
και τα επι ] omit τα 𝔓46 ℵ* B Ψ 1739 𝖀
τα αορατα ] omit τα 1739
τα παντα ] οτι παντα 𝔓46
εκτισται ] εκτισαι C; κεκτεισται F G
1:17omit verse F (h.a.?)
τα παντα ] omit τα D G
εν αυτω ] omit εν 𝔓46 G
1:18αυτος ] χριστος 436marg
ος εστιν ] ο εστιν 𝔓46 F G
αρχη ] η αρχη 𝔓46 B 1739; απαρχη 056 0142
εκ των νεκρων ] omit εκ 𝔓46 ℵ*; omit των 330
γενηται ] γενηται τα παντα 1739
πρωτευων ] προτευων 330 2412
1:19οτι ] οτι ο 056* 0142
ευδοκησεν ] ηυδοκησεν A D; εδοκησεν ℵ*
κατοικησαι ] κατοικησαι της θεωτητος 330
1:20αποκαταλλαξαι ] καταλλαξαι 049; αποκαταλλαχη A
αυτου δι αυτου 𝕳txt (𝖀 [δι αυτου]) ] δι αυτου 𝔓46 Ψ; αυτου B D* F G L 436 1739 𝕳marg
του αιματος ] omit 1739 (h.a.?)
της γης ] omit της 𝔓46 B 056 1042
εν τοις ουρανοις 𝕳marg ] επι τοις ουρανοις K L 049 1960 𝕳txt; εν ουρανοις 0142
1:21και υμας ] και ημας 330
απηλλοτριωμενους ] απηλλωτριωμενους 330
εχθρους τη διανοια ] εχθρους της διανοιας D*; εκθρους της διανοιας υμων F G
1:22νυνι ] νυν 𝔓46 D* F G
αποκατηλλαξεν ] αποκατηλλαγητε B; αποκαταλλαγητε 𝔓46; απεκατηλλαξεν Ψ 330; αποκαταλλαγεντες F G
εν τω σωματι ] omit εν 𝔓46
σαρκας αυτου ] omit αυτου F G
θανατου 𝔓46-vid 𝕳txt ] θανατου αυτου 𝕳marg ℵ A 056 0142 223 (330 θανατου εαυτου) 876 1960 2412
παραστησαι υμας ] παραστησας υμας Ψ; παραστησαι ημας 1960
ανεγκλητους ] ανεκλητους F G; ανακλητους 330
1:23ει γε 𝔓46-vid ] ει γε και 056 0142
και μη ] omit και 𝔓46-vid
μετακινουμενοι ] κατακινουμενοι 223
ου ακουσατε ] omit K
τη κτισει ] omit τη 𝔓46 ℵ* A B C D* F G 436 𝖀
υπο τον ουρανον ] υπ ουρανον F G
διακονος ] κηραξ και αποστολος κηραξ ℵ* ; και αποστολος και διακονος A
1:24νυν ] ος νυν D* F G
παθημασι(ν) μου ℵ2 223 330 1960 𝕳marg ] omit μου 𝔓46-vid rell 𝕳txt 𝖀
υπερ υμων 𝔓46-vid ] omit υπερ ℵ* L
ανταναπληρω ] ανταναπληρων 𝔓46; αναπληρω F G 049
εν τη σαρκι ] εν σαρκι F G; εν τω σωματι Ψ (hiat. 𝔓46)
υπερ του σωματος αυτου ] υπερ του σωματος D*; omit Ψ (hiat. 𝔓46)
ο εστιν ] ος εστιν C D* K Ψ 049 330 (hiat. 𝔓46)
η εκκλησια ] omit η D* 876 (hiat. 𝔓46)
1:25εγω διακονος ] εγω Παυλος διακονος ℵ* A 330
1:26αποκεκρυμμενον ] αποκεκρυμενον 330 (hiat. 𝔓46)
νυνι δε ] νυν δε ℵ B C F G Ψ 1739 𝖀; ο νυν 330 436 (hiat. 𝔓46)
εφανερωθη ] φανερωθεν D* (εφανηρωθεν Dc) (hiat. 𝔓46)
αγιοις ] αποσολοις F G (hiat. 𝔓46)
1:27γνωρισαι 𝔓46-vid ] γνωναι Ψ
τις ο πλουτος 𝕳marg ] τι το πλουτος 𝔓46 A B Dc L 049 056 0142 330 1739 2412 𝕳txt 𝖀; τις ο πλουτος ℵ C Ψ; τον πλουτον D*; τι το πλατος 876
της δοξης του μυστηριου ] omit της δοξης 𝔓46
τουτου εν τοις εθνεσιν ] του θεου εν τοις εθνεσιν D* F G; του εν τοις εθνεσιν ℵ*
ος εστι(ν) Χριστος ] ο εστι(ν) Χριστος 𝔓46 A B F G 𝖀
1:28ον ημεις ] εν ημεις Ψ*
καταγγελλομεν (κατανγελλομεν D; καταγγελομεν 330) ] καταγγελλοντες 𝔓46
νουθουντες παντα ανθρωπον ] omit παντα ανθρωπον Ψ
και διδασκοντες παντα ανθρωπον 𝕳txt ] omit παντα ανθρωπον D* F G 0142 330 𝕳marg; omit L (h.t.); εν παση σοφια και διδασκοντες παντα ανθρωπον 2412 (dittog?); omit εν παση σοφια και διδασκοντες παντα ανθρωπον 436c
σοφια ] σοφια πνεθματικη F G
εν χριστου ιησου ] omit ιησου 𝔓46 ℵ* A B C D* F G 1739 1960 𝖀
1:29εις ο και κοπιω ] εν ο και κοπιω F G; εις ον και κοπιω 330

This gives us a lot of information not as easily noticed in a standard critical apparatus. The kinship of F and G, for instance, is easily observed, and the curious sloppiness of 330, or its exemplar, is also evident. On the other hand, it is surprisingly difficult to detect Byzantine sub-types. For instance, 223 is believed to belong to von Soden's Kc group, and 1960 goes with Kr. But 223 has only five differences from the TR in this chapters, some of them shared with the mass of the Byzantine text, and 1960 has only five differences, one of them the work of a corrector. So there can be no instant classification of their sub-types. We simply need more text.

There is one other thing we can do with a collation, particularly a collation of many texts such as this one, and that is to get a picture of just how erratic a manuscript is, by looking at how many odd readings it has. These are readings that do not show up in the critical apparatus. The list below takes each of out manuscripts and lists how many readings it has that are singular, how many have just one supporter (with the supporter), and how many have just two supporters (with the supporters)

ManuscriptSingularOne supporterTwo supportersTotal rare readings
𝔓469ℵ*:1 ◎ G:1 ◎ Ψ:1B+1739:1 ◎ F+G:113
ℵ(*)4𝔓46:1 ◎ A:1 ◎ L:1A+330:1 ◎ B+1739:1 ◎ C+Ψ:110
A2ℵ*:1 ◎ D:1ℵ*+330:15
B5K:1 ◎ 1739:1𝔓46+1739:1 ◎ ℵ+1739:1 ◎ C*+1739:1 ◎ F+G:111
C30ℵ+Ψ:1 ◎ B+1739:14
D(*)8A:1 ◎ G:1 ◎ 876:1F+G:314
F3G:14𝔓46+G:1 ◎ B+Gc:1 ◎ D+G:3 ◎ G+049:123
G1𝔓46:1 ◎ D:1 ◎ F:14𝔓46+F:1 ◎ D+F:3 ◎ F+049:122
Ψ7𝔓46:1 ◎ 330:12+330:1 ◎ ℵ+C:111
33011Ψ:1 ◎ 436:2 ◎ 876:1 ◎ 2412:1ℵ*-A:1 ◎ ℵ2+Ψ:117
4361D**:1 ◎ 330:204
8763D*:1 ◎ 330:1056+0142:16

This sort of table lets us discover many things quickly. We note, for instance, the high number of singular and rare readings in 𝔓46 and 330. The overwhelming evidence is that 𝔓46 is simply a wild copy. But 330... unfortunately, we can't tell from this how many of its readings are truly singular and how many would be shared by its relatives 451 and 2492. But based on this evidence, we would be inclined to think it like 𝔓46, although to a far lesser degree: valuable and interesting but unreliable. Ψ, which is mostly Byzantine, also stands out in this chapter for its high rate of unusual readings -- something that is not evident from the Nestle apparatus.

We can also see close kinship easily. Observe for instance 056 and 0142. There are four readings which they share only with each other (plus one they share with each other and 876), and no other rare readings at all except for 0142's two singular readings! Their low rare-reading totals make it clear that they are Byzantine, but they represent a peculiar type within the Byzantine text.

Even more obvious is the kinship between F and G, as demonstrated by their fourteen agreements only with each other plus the three agreements of D+F+G. You can't get this from the Nestle apparatus; while it marks all the D+F+G readings, only one of the F+G special readings (1:12) is marked. It's true that these readings are extremely unlikely to be original, and so aren't of great importance in determining the text, but the point is, the kinship of F and G is much easier to detect with the collations than from the critical apparatus.

Of course, one chapter does not a statistically significant sample make. For both 056/0142 and for Ψ, we should probably do other tests.

In the case of 056 and 0142, I will take all chapters of Colossians, not just chapter 1, and look for places where 056 and 0142 agree with no papyrus or uncial support, then I will look for other supporters among the minuscules. Similarly for Ψ. The readings of the papyri and uncials are taken from the relevant volume of Das Neue Testament auf Papyrus. (Note that the number of singular agreements here is smaller than that in the above table because some of the singulars have supporters not included in the table.)

Special Agreements of 056 0142 with no papyrus/uncial support

Readings of Ψ with no papyrus/uncial support

In both these cases, there seems to be a higher rate of special readings in Colossians 1, but in each case, there are at least some more in later chapters. In the case of Ψ, it looks as if the scribe was somewhat incompetent, but was more alert at some times than others. Other scribes also have this problem; it should not surprise us. The special agreements of 056 0142 are much more likely to be genetic, and it might be that they are simply the readings of Œcumenius. But it is much easier to spot them in collations, which include all readings, than in an apparatus, which would have omitted most of these!

It should be noted that the above table does not prove that 056 0142 are immediate kin. Although one possible explanation for that data would be that they were sisters or cousins, it would be equally possible that the two were unrelated manuscripts that were imperfectly corrected toward a common standard with an unusual text (as 424* is unrelated to 1739 but has been corrected toward it; if 424-as-corrected had been copied, it would show a pattern of agreements with 1739 that might look like that of 056 0142, but which would not in fact be the result of direct kinship). In fact 056 0142 do seem to be very close, but more investigation is still probably needed. Von Soden listed all of the following as having Œcumenius's praxapostolos commentary: 056, 0142, 82, 91, 94, 101, 250, 314, 327, 424, 441/442, 454, 468, 605, 607, 617, 621, 641, 911, 918, 1360, 1839, 1862, 1871, 1934. (Not a very distinguished list of manuscripts, is it?). All of these, according to the KListe, are in fact commentary manuscripts and include Paul except for 327 424 468 918 1360 1839 1871 (not listed as commentary manuscripts, though of course they could have the text and simply omit the commentary). By comparing the manuscipts this list we could attempt to determine whether the common text of 056 0142 is simply the Œcumenius text or whether the two are closely related even within that type.

We can at least make a preliminary check, by looking at the Text und Textwert data for these manuscripts. I don't have the Paul volume to hand, but I can look at the Acts data for those of the above manuscripts included in it. I've listed the five closest substantial manuscripts (at least 80 readings) for each. I list the manuscript, the percent agreement, and the number of variants for which both exist -- e.g. 056's closest relative is 0142 (97%, 104). That means that, yes, 0142 is the closest manuscript to 056. They share 97% of the readings for which both exist, and there are 104 readings for which both exist.

0560142 (97%, 104)483 (92%, 104)916 (92%, 103)105, 452 (91%, 104)
0142056 (97%, 104)452, 483 (92%, 104)1835 (92%, 103)105 (91%, 104)
82not examined for Acts
91not examined for Acts
94610 (73%, 96)1678, 2818 (74%, 104)307 (73%, 104)180 (72%, 101)
101not examined for Acts
250not examined for Acts
314not examined for Acts
327not examined for Acts
424not examined for Acts
441*621 (86%, 78)1842 (74%, 78)436 (69%, 78)1743, 1768 (67%, 76)
454not examined for Acts
468105, 452, 483, 1242 (84%, 103)638, 1069 (84%, 102)
605not examined for Acts
607not examined for Acts
617626 (90%, 81)699 (88%,98)57 (88%, 81)2484 (87%, 92)498 (87%, 82)
6211842 (81%, 104)1856 (73%, 86)436 (71%, 104)1103 (70%, 104)2080 (69%, 101)
641606 (98%, 94)103 (95%, 100)2494 (85%, 100)452, 1765 (84%, 100)
911not examined for Acts
918not examined for Acts
1360not examined for Acts
1839175 (90%, 78)424 (90%, 77)105, 398, 404, 635, 1354 (88%, 78)
1862not examined for Acts
1871(only 9 sample readings in Acts)
1934not examined for Acts

* 441 and 1839 each have only 78 readings, so I've looked at MSS. which have at least 65 of their readings.

This would obviously be much easier if T&T had profiled more of these manuscripts, but on the evidence, it really looks as if the kinship of 056 0142 is more fundamental than just the fact that they're Œcumenius manuscripts.

Collations in Other Languages

Greek is not the only language for which we need collations, of course. Any text existing in multiple copies calls for collation of these copies. This includes even printed works, such as the First Folio of Shakespeare, as long as corrections were made during printing, but of course it's most important for non-Greek manuscripts. Which may show the same sort of variety as we see in the Greek witnesses.

Let's take a couple of examples from the Vulgate. The following is a proper collation of Matthew 6:7-15. The text on the left is the Clementine Vulgate; that on the right is the text of Codex Lichfeldensis (as given by Hopkins-James). Divergences between the two are shown in bold in the Lichfield text so you can readily refer back between collation and text. The collation follows the text.



67Orantes autem nolite multum loqui sicut ethnici; putant enim quod in multiloquio suo exaudiantur. 8 Nolite ergo assimilari eis; scit enim Pater vester, quid opus sit vobis, antequam petatis eum. 9 Sic ergo vos orabitis: Pater noster, qui es in caelis, sanctificetur nomen tuum, 10 adveniat regnum tuum, fiat voluntas tua, sicut in caelo, et in terra. 11 Panem nostrum supersubstantialem da nobis hodie, 12 et dimitte nobis debita nostra, sicut et nos dimittimus debitoribus nostris, 13 et ne nos inducas in tentationem, sed libera nos a malo. Amen. 14 Si enim dimiseritis hominibus peccata eorum, dimittet et vobis Pater vester caelestis delicta vestra. 15 Si autem non dimiseritis hominibus, nec Pater vester dimittet vobis peccata vestra.


67Orantes autem multum loqui sicut ci putant enim qui inmulti loquiosuo exaudiantur 8 nolite ergo adsimillare eis scit enim pater uester, quibus opus sit uobis ante quam petatis eum ∴, 9 Sic ergo uos orabitis ∴ / tur nomentuu Pater noster quies incaelis, scifice nomen tuum, 10  et ueniet regnum tuum fiat uoluntas tua sicut incaelo et interra 11 panem nostrum cotidianum danobis odie 12 et dimitte nobis debita nostra sicut et nos demittimus debitoribus nostris 13 et ne nos inducas intemptemtationem sedlibera nos amalo14 Si enim demisseritis hominibus peccata eorum demittet et uobis Pater uester caelestis delicta uestra. 15 Si autem nondemisseritis hominibus nec Pater uester caelestis dimittet uobis peccata uestra

Collation of Lichfeldensis against the Clementine Vulgate:

6:7 nolite ] omit
    ethnici ] ci (sic.)
    quod ] qui
6:8 assimilari ] adsimillare
    quid ] quibus (scribe initially wrote quid then corrected it)
6:9 orabitis ] orabitis tur nomentuu
    sanctificetur ] scifice (i.e. sanctifice)
6:10 adveniat ] et ueniet
6:11 supersubstantialem ] cotidianum
     hodie ] odie
6:12 dimittimus ] demittimus
6:13 in tentationem ] intemptemtationem
     Amen ] omit
6:14 dimiseritis ] demisseritis
     dimittet ] demittet
6:15 non dimiseritis ] nondemisseritis
     vester] uester [i.e. vester] caelestis
     dimittet ] demittet

This collation is a fairly standard collation format (as you'll see, it's not exactly how Hopkins-James did it!), similar to that for the Greek texts above. But, in Latin collations as in Greek, that doesn't mean it's always followed! Just to show the possible variations, here are samples of the marginalia to this passage in several Latin editions. I have in my library of this passage one publication of a Latin Gospel manuscript (Lemuel J. Hopkins-James, The Celtic Gospels, the edition of Codex Lichfeldensis used to create the above collation of that manuscript) and three critical editions apart from the standard Stuttgart Vulgate: The smaller Wordsworth-White, Merk, and the Nestle Greek/Latin/English triglot. None of these are collations except Hopkins-James, but they all show apparatus formats. Let's show a handful of variants to show how Latin collations and critical editions are sometimes done (for the symbols used for the manuscripts, see the section on the Vulgate in the article on the Versions). As a sample, let's reproduce the text and apparatus of all four volumes for Matthew 6:7-13, then do comparisons side by side for several readings.


Text Apparatus

67Orantes autem multumloqui sicut ci putant enim qui inmulti loquiosuo exaudiantur 8 nolite ergo adsimillare eis scit enim pater uester, quibus opus sit uobis ante quam petatis eum ∴, 9 Sic ergo uos orabitis ∴ / tur nomentuu Pater noster quies incaelis, scifice nomen tuum, 10  et ueniet regnum tuum fiat uoluntas tua sicut incaelo et interra 11 panem nostrum cotidianum danobis odie 12 et dimitte nobis debita nostra sicut et nos demittimus debitoribus nostris 13 et ne nos inducas intemptemtationem sedlibera nos amalo ∴


   7 -nolite after autem.   qui Y for quia
   8 adsimillare (gat adsimilari) with the first l erased for assimilari
   The Hereford text is resumed here from the leaf (misplaced) inserted at viii.4 containing v.28 to vi.8. There is also a break here in the text of d from vi.8 to viii.27.
   quibus is what the scribe wrote and is VO's reading, but the us has been erased not without leaving its traces. Enough of b was left to become part of an ugly d. It was thus corrected to quid which has the support of a b f ff1 h q Aug her gat MT D Q R C T W O V Z vg. In opus the us is in ligature. At the end of the verse is an example of the corrector's stop, a comma in addition to the scribe's stop viz. ∴,.
   10 et ueniet (ff1 ueniat) foradueniat
   11 cotidianum. This is the O.L text found in a f ff1 g1 h q and others though with some it has the tt, her lam IL mg D E C T W (gat has quotidianum with uel supersubstantialem between the lines). In St. Matthew, St. Jerome substituted supersubstantialem in its place but went back to the old word in St. Luke. The O.L. form, however, has not been displaced in public and private prayer. In our text the Lord's Prayer was transcribed again at the end of St. Mark with the reading sub stantialem showing the process whereby the O.L. text was corrected to the Vulgate standard.    odie for hodie.
   12 demittimus MT O K V X for dimittimus
   13 nos inducas MT E R W M Θ K vg for inducas nos.    temptemtationem (temptationem b k f h Σ) for temtationem.


Text Apparatus
67Orantes autem nolite multum loqui sicut ethnici; putant enim quod in multiloquio suo exaudiantur. 8 Nolite ergo assimilari eis; scit enim Pater vester, quid opus sit vobis, antequam petatis eum. 9 Sic ergo vos orabitis: Pater noster, qui es in caelis, sanctificetur nomen tuum, 10 adveniat regnum tuum, fiat voluntas tua, sicut in caelo, et in terra. 11 Panem nostrum supersubstantialem da nobis hodie, 12 et dimitte nobis debita nostra, sicut et nos dimittimus debitoribus nostris, 13 et ne nos inducas in tentationem, sed libera nos a malo. Amen.  8 quid OZJMaDQRKVCTW] quibus rel.
11 supersubst.] cotidianum SmDssCTW
12 dimisimus Ep*Z*B*JD
13 amen > codd.


Text Apparatus
67Orantes autem nolite multum loqui sicut ethnici; putant enim quod in multiloquio suo exaudiantur. 8 Nolite ergo assimilari eis; scit enim Pater vester, quid opus sit vobis, antequam petatis eum. 9 Sic ergo vos orabitis: Pater noster, qui es in caelis, sanctificetur nomen tuum, 10 adveniat regnum tuum, fiat voluntas tua, sicut in caelo, et in terra. 11 Panem nostrum supersubstantialem da nobis hodie, 12 et dimitte nobis debita nostra, sicut et nos dimittimus debitoribus nostris, 13 et ne nos inducas in tentationem, sed libera nos a malo. Amen.   8 quid ] quibus    13 > inducas nos | - amen

Wordsworth/White (editio minor)

Text Apparatus
67Orantes autem nolite multum loqui sicut ethnici: putant enim quia in multiloquio suo exaudiantur. 8 Nolite ergo adsimilari eis: scit enim Pater uester quibus opus sit uobis ante quam petatis eum. 9 Sic ergo uos orabitis: Pater noster, qui es in caelis, sanctificetur nomen tuum, 10 adueniat regnum tuum: fiat uoluntas tua sicut in caelo et in terra. 11 Panem nostrum supersubstantialem da nobis hodie: 12 et dimitte nobis debita nostra, sicut et nos dimittimus debitoribus nostris: 13 et ne inducas nos in temtationem, sed libera nos a malo.  7 ethnici + faciunt 𝕾   quia: quod 𝕾 𝕮
8 quibus: quid 𝕾 𝕮
11 supersubstantialem AHMVZ al. 𝕾 𝕮 : cotidianum CD al. ; supersubstantialem cotidianum F
12 dimisimus DZ*
13 >nos inducas 𝕾 𝕮; patiaris nos induci D (cf. Tert. 'de Orat.' viii)   malo + amen 𝕾 𝕮

Other examples of the various styles:

Mark 12:29. The Clementine text reads Dominus Deus tuus; this has the support of Dublinensis, Sangermanensis, Vallicellanus, and others; Amiatinus and other early manuscripts read Dominus Deus noster (compare the Greek). Our authorities describe the variant as follows:

text: dns ds tuus
(not cited in apparatus)
text: Dominus Deus tuus
tuus X*IGDLVThW ] noster rel. vl pl.
text: Dominus Deus tuus
tuus ] noster (i.e. A F both read noster for the tuus found in the text)
text: Dominus Deus noster
noster: tuus DGV 𝕾 𝕮:

Luke 2:2. The Clementine text reads Cyrino, supported by the large majority of manuscripts. The Wordsworth/White text reads Quirino on the basis of harleianus (and the historical name Quirinius). Our authorities describe the variant as follows:

text: quirno
quirno (her cirino) for Cyrino
text: Cyrino
Quirino ZsL Hier
(i.e. Z Ep* L Jerome)
text: Cyrino
(no supporing evidence cited)
text: Quirino
Quirino Z: Cyrino ACDFHMV 𝕾 𝕮

Non-Latin Collations

At least Latin is widely read and has relatively stong standards. In less-common languages, things can get even more difficult. The following shows the opening of two editions of the Old English poem The Dream of the Rood. Both are based on the same manuscript (the Vercelli Book), though with different orthographic styles. I parallel the first ten lines of the poem as presented by (1) Bruce Dickens and Alan S. C. Ross, The Dream of the Rood, Methuen's Old English Library, 1963; and (2) John C. Pope, Seven Old English Poems, Norton, 1981.

(1)Hþæt, ic sþefna cyst,     secȝan þylle, Hwæt, ic swefna cyst     secgan wille,
(2) hþæt me ȝemætte     to midre nihte, hwæt me gemætte     to midre nihte,
(3) syðÞan reordberend     reste þunedon. siÞÞan reord-berend     reste wunodon.
(4) Þuhte me Þæt ic ȝesaþe     syllicre treoþ Þuhte me Þæt ic gesawe     seldlicre treo
(5) on lyft lædan     leohte beþunden, on lyft lædan    leohte bewunden,
(6) beama beorhtost.    Eall Þæt beacen þæs beama beorhtost.    Eall Þæt beacen wæs
(7) beȝoten mid ȝolde;     ȝimmas stodon begoten mid golde;    gimmas stodon
(8) fæȝere æt foldan sceatum,     sþylce Þær fife þæron fægere æt foldan sceatum     swelce Þær fife wæron
(9) uppe on Þam eaxlȝespanne.     Beheoldon Þær enȝeldryhte, uppe on Þam eaxl-gespanne.     Beheoldon Þær engel-dryhta fela,
(10) fæȝere Þurh forðȝesceaft;     ne þæs Þær huru fracodes ȝealȝa. fægere Þurh forð-gesceaft;     ne wæs Þær huru fracuðes gealga,
(1) Hþæt: MS Hþæt with large h enclosing capital þ (2) hþæt Grein1: MS hæt. (9) eaxlȝespanne Sweet: MS eaxle ȝe spanne.   enȝeldryhte: MS enȝel dryht|nes ealle.

Emendations: 2 hwæt ] MS hæt   9 eaxl] MS. eaxle.   engel-sryhta fela] MS engel dryhtnes ealle.

Variant spellings in the MS: 1 wylle.   3 syðþan.   wunedon.   4 syllicre.   treow.   8 swylce.   10 fracodes.

The physical task of collating

For the reasons described above, it is strongly suggested that every student undertake a collation or two. It will give you a feeling for manuscripts that you simply won't get any other way. It need not be of an actual manuscript (though this is best). But for your first try, you can take one printed or electronic text and compare it against another. (Printed texts are probably better than electronic, since a true collation will normally involve a physical manuscript.) Ideally it should be an actual manuscript text, but if worst comes to worst, one can (say) collate the UBS text against the Textus Receptus.

The results can be educational and humbling, especially if you are able to compare the result with an existing collation of the manuscript. Collation is a difficult and stressful occupation, even with the best manuscripts (generally the easiest are the better-preserved uncials) When dealing with a more difficult manuscript (e.g. 6, which is written in such a small hand that some people need to magnify it to read it; or 33 or 2344, damaged by damp; or a palimpsest; or any of the hundreds of manuscripts written by scribes with bad handwriting), the task becomes even more daunting.

Plus, as L. C. Hector once wrote, "There is some truth in the paradox that legibility in a manuscript document consists chiefly in the reader's prior knowledge of what it contains. Certainly the most difficult documents to read are by no means necessarily those in the most outlandish hands: they are far more likely to be those which are cast in a form outside the reader's experience" (L. C. Hector, The Handwriting of English Documents, second edition, 1966, p. 26).

To give a personal example: The collation of Hebrews mentioned above was based entirely on already-extant transcriptions, so eyestrain was not a factor. (Fortunately for me, as I have very weak eyes!) It was not, for obvious reasons, checked by anyone else, and I myself checked only the non-orthographic variants. The result is only about a dozen pages long, even in large print. And even so, it took me dozens of hours (spread over several months) to compile. And there are doubtless several errors even so -- for which I can only apologize.

At that, the task is easier than it used to be. Today, we can collate with a computer, either in a word processor or using a program such as COLLATE. Older collations were done on paper or other non-electronic form. Moorman, for instance, suggested index cards, with the lemma typed at the top of each card and the lines on the card representing the various manuscripts to be collated.

Let's give an example from 1 Peter 1:1, in case you ever have to deal with such a thing. I'm going to use the UBS text as the base, and include the readings of 𝔓72 ℵ A B

εκλεκτοις και
1.1Βπαρεπιδημοις διασπορας Ποντου, Γαλατιας

For a second example, here is my collation of several texts of an old folk song, "Boney on the Isle of Saint Helena." Moorman's cards would look like

W--he has
R--he has
SNowNapoleonhe hasdone

It will be evident that to do a long work will take a lot of cards, and that it is only possible to collate a limited number of witnesses, and sometimes you will have problems with variants that run across cards. Hence the advantage of doing all this electronically.

One important point to remember in preparing a collation is that, if you are ollating a classical manuscript, your collation will likely be used in preparing a stemma, and it may be so used even if it is a Biblical manuscript (if the manuscript belongs to a family such as Family 13 or Kr). You should operate on this basis, e.g. by highlighting readings which are likely to have genealogical significance.

The task being what it is, careful preparation is required to create a good collation. Experts make the following recommendations for accurate collations:

Also, unless you are collating a manuscript in your home city, you will have only a limited time to prepare the collation. So prepare: Often it will be possible to obtain photographs, or a microfilm. Get those, even if you have to pay for them, and study them before you visit the manuscript. Look at the handwriting. Look at the corrections. Can you tell if they are all in the same hand? What can you tell about the pen and ink and the surface on which they are written. Prepare a list of questions to be resolved when you first physically encounter the manuscript.

Another suggestion, this one personal: Don't create your first collation by working in a foreign language! Start by comparing two texts in your own language. A good place for this is in collections of old folk songs or modernized editions of an ancient text. This lets you practice the physical task of collation without having to worry about understanding a foreign language as well.

Charles Moorman, Editing the Middle English Manuscript, p. 46, gives another warning: "The editor cannot afford to become himself a scribe if he can avoid it." Moorman was writing in the 1970s, before personal computers, so some of his reasons are rather irrelevant. But the basic argument is sound: If you are transcribing the manuscript in full, you are not collating, and you are making errors of your own. If there already exists an edition of the work you are collating, collate against that, no matter how obscure, just to reduce the error rate. This is not always possible for classical documents, but in the New Testament, most important sources have been printed by someone. So take advantage.

For those who wish to have something to work from, and whose native language is English, here are two transcriptions of a fifteenth century English text, "The Agincourt Carol." (This should, incidentally, put to rest the notion that "carols" are Christmas songs; they are a particular form of religious ballad.) The first is from Chappell's Popular Music of the Olden Time (also variously known as Old English Popular Music, etc.); the second is from Percy's Reliques. The Percy text was transcribed from a manuscript copied from the manuscript used by Chappell. That is, the genealogy is this:

    |             |
Chappell        [Copy]

The Chappell Text
Deo gracias anglia,
Redde pro victoria

1 Owre kynge went forth to normandy,
  With grace and myght of chyvalry:
  Ther god for him wrought mervelusly.
  Wherfore englonde may calle and cry
                        Deo gracias....

2 He sette a sege the sothe for to say,
  to harflu toune with ryal aray;
  that toune he wan, and made afray,
  that fraunce shal rywe tyl domesday.
                        Deo gracias....

3 Than went owre Kynge with alle his oste,
  thorwe fraunce for all the frenshe boste:
  he spared no drede of leste ne most,
  tyl he come to agincourt coste.
                        Deo gracias....

4 Than forsoth that knyght comely,
  in agincourt feld he faught manly:
  thorw grace of god most myghty,
  he had bothe the felde and the victory.
                        Deo gracias....

5 Ther dukys and erlys, lorde and barone,
  were take and slayne, and that wel sone,
  and some were ladde into Lundone
  with ioye and merthe and grete renone
                        Deo gracias....

6 Now gracious god he save owre Kynge,
  his peple, and all his wel wyllynge:
  gef him gode lyfe and gode endynge,
  that we with merth mowe savely synge,
                        Deo gracias....
 The Percy Text
Deo gratias Anglia redde pro victoria!

1 Owre kynge went forth to Normandy,
  With grace and myyt of chivalry;
  The God for hym wrouyt marvelously,
  Wherfore Englonde may calle, and cry
                        Deo gratias:
  Deo gratias Anglia redde pro victoria.

2 He sette a sege, the sothe for to say,
  To Harflue toune with ryal aray;
  That toune he wan, and made a fray,
  That Fraunce shall rywe tyl domes day.
                        Deo gratias &c.

3 Than went owre kynge, with alle his oste,
  Thorowe Fraunce for all the Frenshe boste;
  He spared 'for' drede of leste, ne most,
  Tyl he come to Agincourt coste.
                        Deo gratias &c.

4 Than for sothe that knyyt comely
  In Agincourt feld he faught manly:
  Thorow grace of God most myyty
  He had bothe the felde and the victory.
                        Deo gratias &c.

5 Ther dukys, and erlys, lorde and barone,
  Were take, and slayne, and that wel sone,
  And some were ledde in to Lundone
  With joye, and merthe, and grete renone.
                        Deo gratias &c.

6 Now gracious God he save owre kynge,
  His peple, and all his wel wyllynge,
  Gef him gode lyfe, and gode endynge,
  That we with merth mowe savely synge
                        Deo gratias &c.

(We note incidentally that, using these texts, we can detect the loss of an obsolete letter, just as Homeric scholars can detect the fact that Homer used the digamma. The Middle English text of this song clearly used the yogh, ȝ. In Chappell, this was replaced -- as is now fairly normal -- by gh; the Percy text substitutes y.)