ULF's John 6:40-44 Lection

Continuing on the perpetual series on Greek Handwriting, where I chat about scribal practices and whatnot (I need to rename the series to that, I think), let’s look at another portion of ULF (see the links to the previous posts on this manuscript below). Today we will limit ourselves to the Lection covering John 6:40-44.

Corrector 2 At Work Again...Arggggh!

As always, the corrector is making it a real trial to read the original scribe’s text. Take this irksome one as an example:

Text: ον και αναστησω αυτον εγω εν τη εσ

I think that the original scribe omitted the αυτον and corrector 2 fit it in by erasing the σω on the second line, writing that after the first line in the margin, and then adding the αυτον in the blank on the second line (note the ligature for the omicron-nu, a ligature common in codex Hierosolymitanus). But I cannot be sure. This sure makes collating more difficult.

Interesting Variant

How about an interesting variant?

Text: ιουδαιουσ του το εστι το θελη μα του πεμψαν τος με πρσ ινα

For some reason ULF added πρσ (note the nomen sacrum for πατρος on the last line) after the με. Why do you think that is? Think about it for a second. I’ll wait.

Don’t know yet? Here’s a clue. Note that this is the very beginning of the lection.

Okay, so here is why...at least why I think it is there. Lections are not generally meant to be read in public worship as a big narrative; you get a different lection every day (or week, depending on the type of lectionary). My guess is that this is a change for clarification, to make it explicit that it is the Father who is sending Jesus, not someone else. Since the listener would not have the luxury of hearing the context, specifying this creates a textual variant but makes the text easier to understand without changing its meaning. This is one of those cases that a textual variant is both intentional and not malicious.

Closing Notes

What’s next? Well, the next lection of course! Lord willing, it is coming soon.

The image from which the above snippets are taken is this one, provided courtesy of CSNTM.


Brett 2008-06-09 11:00:14


Do the massive number of variants (400,000) include variants such as this added-for-clarification πρσ?

I would also be interested in obtaining a list of the 1,400 meaningful and viable variants that Dan references in his writings. Know where such a list is? 

Brett 2008-06-09 11:04:38


Also, why is μα του πεμψαν joined together?  

Eric 2008-06-10 10:38:53

I would think this variant would be included, but keep in mind that this number is only an estimate. To actually know that we would have had to collate all NT manuscripts, and I doubt we've gotten to 5% yet. As for the list, I am not sure where he gets that number. Is that the number of the variants in the NA27 apparatus? That would at least be a decent place to start.


This scribe is not entirely consistent on spacing (are any?). You can see that from earlier pictures as well. I don't think it means anything in particular other than that.