Codex Bezae: An Early Christian Manuscript and its Text

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Codex Bezae is one of the most important primary sources in New Testament scholarship. Since its rediscovery in the sixteenth century it has continued to fascinate scholars, who have remained intrigued by the riddles of its general appearance and textual characteristics. David Parker makes the first comprehensive investigation of the manuscript for over a century, and sets out to uncover the story behind this most enigmatic of manuscripts. By studying the characteristics of Codex Bezae, both physical and textual, and by comparing its Greek and Latin texts, the author aims to show how a bilingual tradition developed, and thus to discover as much as possible about its earliest stages, which leads to an important new theory about its origins. In a final section, the general character of the text is assessed with a view to what this can tell us of the earliest traditions about Jesus.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"This extraordinarily well-researched book treats an important subject in a fundamentally important fashion, providing a thorough examination of the manuscript as manuscript. The meticulous detail fits together into a unified whole, to comprise an argument that has its compelling aspects, its highly probable aspects, and—at the very least—its plausible aspects. I recommend this work most highly." Professor Eldon J. Epp

"This book presents mature, scholarly judgments, expressed with clarity and balance. It is comprehensive in scope and will remain a classic of its kind." The Princeton Seminary Bulletin

"Comprehensive, meticulous, and massively documented, this is the first full analysis of Codex Bezae in over a century, and it is the first definitive study ever....This is a model study, essential reading for all textual critics and an important purchase for all research libraries." Religious Studies Review

"Parker's book deserves wide attention. To have illuminated not only a codex and its history but perhaps also something of its theological and social context, is an impressive achievement." Michael W. Holmes, The Catholic Biblical Quarterly

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521400374
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 10/28/2007
  • Pages: 376
  • Product dimensions: 5.98 (w) x 8.98 (h) x 0.87 (d)

Table of Contents

List of illustrations; Preface; List of abbreviations and textual conventions; Introduction; Part I. The Palaeography: 1. The codex and the hand; 2. The punctuation; 3. The secondary hands; 4. Towards the codicology of a bilingual codex; Part II. The Scribe and the Tradition: 5. The sense-lines; 6. The nomina sacra; 7. The orthography; 8. The Codex Bezae and its ancestors; Part III. The Correctors: 9. The corrections; 10. The supplementary leaves; 11. The development of the corrected text; Part IV. The Bilingual Tradition: 12. The codex and the critics; 13. A comparison of the columns; 14. The character of the tradition; Part V. Text and Codex: 15. The origins of the Codex Bezae; 16. The history of a text; Appendices; Plates; Notes on the plates; Indexes.

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