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§ 1.

CORRUPT readings have occasionally resulted from the ancient practice of writing Scripture in the uncial character, without accents, punctuation, or indeed any division of the text. Especially are they found in places where there is something unusual in the structure of the sentence.

St. John iv. 35-6 (λευκαί εἰσι πρὸς θερισμόν ἤδη) has suffered in this way,—owing to the unusual position of ἤδη. Certain of the scribes who imagined that ἤδη might belong to ver. 36, rejected the καὶ as superfluous; though no Father is known to have been guilty of such a solecism. Others, aware that ἤδη can only belong to ver. 35, were not unwilling to part with the copula at the beginning of ver. 36. A few, considering both words of doubtful authority, retained neither6060    It is clearly unsafe to draw any inference from the mere omission of ἤδη in ver. 35, by those Fathers who do not shew how they would have begun ver. 36—as Eusebius (see below, note 2), Theodoret (i. 1398: 233), and Hilary (78. 443. 941. 1041).. In this way it has come to pass that there are four ways of exhibiting this place:—(a) πρὸς θερισμὸν ἤδη. Καὶ ὁ θερίζων:—(b) πρὸς θερισμόν Ἤδη ὁ θ.:—(c) πρὸς θερισμὸν ἤδη. Ὁ θερίζων:—(d) πρὸς θερισμόν. Ὁ θερίζων, κ.τ.λ..


The only point of importance however is the position of ἤδη: which is claimed for ver. 35 by the great mass of the copies: as well as by Origen6161    i. 219: iii. 158: iv. 248, 250 bis, 251 bis, 252, 253, 255 bis, 256, 257. Also iv. 440 note, which = catox iv. 21., Eusebius6262    dem. 440. But not in cs. 426: theoph. 262, 275., Chrysostom6363    vii. 488, 662: ix. 32., Cyril6464    i. 397. 98. (Palladius) 611: iii. 57. So also in iv. 199, ἔτοιμος ἤδη πρὸς τὸ πιστεύειν., the Vulgate, Jerome of course, and the Syriac. The Italic copies are hopelessly divided here6565    Ambrose, ii. 279, has ‘Et qui metit.’ substitutes ‘nam’ for ‘et,’ and omits jam.’ Jerome 9 times introduces ‘jam’ before ‘albae sunt.’ So Aug. (iii2 417): but elsewhere (iv. 639: v. 531) he omits the word altogether.: and Codd. אBMΠ do not help us. But ἤδη is claimed for ver. 36 by CDEL, 33, and by the Curetonian and Lewis (= καὶ ἤδη ὁ θερίζων): while Codex A is singular in beginning ver. 36, ἤδη καὶ—which shews that some early copyist, with the correct text before him, adopted a vicious punctuation. For there can be no manner of doubt that the commonly received text and the usual punctuation is the true one: as, on a careful review of the evidence, every unprejudiced reader will allow. But recent critics are for leaving out καὶ (with אBCDL): while Tischendorf, Westcott and Hort, Tregelles (marg.), are for putting the full stop after πρὸς θερισμόν and (with ACDL) making ἤδη begin the next sentence,— which (as Alford finds out) is clearly inadmissible.

§ 2.

Sometimes this affects the translation. Thus, the Revisers propose in the parable of the prodigal ‘And I perish here with hunger!’ But why ‘here?’ Because I answer, whereas in the earliest copies of St. Luke the words stood thus,—ΕΓωΔΕΛΙΜωΑΠΟΛΛΥΜΑΙ, some careless scribe after writing ΕΓωΔΕ, reduplicated the three last letters (ωΔΕ): he mistook them for an independent word. 44Accordingly in the Codex Bezae, in R and U and about ten cursives, we encounter εγω δε ωδε. The inventive faculty having thus done its work it remained to superadd ‘transposition,’ as was done by אBL. From εγω δε ωδε λιμω the sentence has now developed into εγω δε λιμω ωδε: which approves itself to Griesbach and Schultz, to Lachmann and Tischendorf and Tregelles, to Alford and Westcott and Hort, and to the Revisers. A very ancient blunder, certainly, ἐγὼ δὲ ὧδε is: for it is found in the Latin6666    ‘Hic’ is not recognized in Ambrose. Append. ii. 367. and the Syriac translations. It must therefore date from the second century. But it is a blunder notwithstanding: a blunder against which 16 uncials and the whole body of the cursives bear emphatic witness6767    The Fathers render us very little help here. Ps.-Chrys. twice (viii. 34: x. 838) has ἐγὼ δὲ ὧδε: once (viii. 153) not. John Damascene (ii. 579) is without the ὧδε.. Having detected its origin, we have next to trace its progress.

The inventors of ὧδε or other scribes quickly saw that this word requires a correlative in the earlier part of the sentence. Accordingly, the same primitive authorities which advocate ‘here,’ are observed also to advocate, above, ‘in my Father’s house.’ No extant Greek copy is known to contain the bracketed words in the sentence [ἐν τῷ οἴκῳ τοῦ πατρός μου: but such copies must have existed in the second century. The Peshitto, the Cureton and Lewis recognize the three words in question; as well as copies of the Latin with which Jerome6868    i. 76: vi. 16 (not vi. 484)., Augustine6969    iii.2 259 (not v. 511). and Cassian7070    p. 405. were acquainted. The phrase ‘in domo patris mei’ has accordingly established itself in the Vulgate. But surely we of the Church of England who have been hitherto spared this second blunder, may reasonably (at the end of 1700 years) refuse to take the first downward step. Our Lord intended no contrast whatever between two 45localities—but between two parties. The comfortable estate of the hired servants He set against the abject misery of the Son: not the house wherein the servants dwelt, and the spot where the poor prodigal was standing when he came to a better mind.—These are many words; but I know not how to be briefer. And,—what is worthy of discussion, if not the utterances of ‘the Word made flesh?’

If hesitation to accept the foregoing verdict lingers in any quarter, it ought to be dispelled by a glance at the context in אBL. What else but the instinct of a trained understanding is it to survey the neighbourhood of a place like the present? Accordingly, we discover that in ver. 16, for γεμίσαι τὴν κοιλίαν αὐτοῦ ἀπὸ, אBDLR present us with χορτασθηναι εκ: and in ver. 22, the prodigal, on very nearly the same authority (אBDUX), is made to say to his father,—Ποίησόν με ὡς ἕνα τῶν μισθίων σου:

Which certainly he did not say7171    [The prodigal was prepared to say this; but his father’s kindness stopped him:—a feature in the account which the Codexes in question ignore.]. Moreover, אBLX and the Old Latin are for thrusting in ταχυ (D ταχεως) after ἐξενέγκατε. Are not these one and all confessedly fabricated readings? the infelicitous attempts of some well-meaning critic to improve upon the inspired original?

From the fact that three words in St. John v. 44 were in the oldest MSS. written thus,—ΜΟΝΟΥΘΥΟΥ (i.e. μόνου Θεοῦ οὐ), the middle word (θεοῦ) got omitted from some very early copies; whereby the sentence is made to run thus in English,—‘And seek not the honour which cometh from the only One.’ It is so that Origen7272    iii. 687. But in i. 228 and 259 he recognizes θεοῦ., Eusebius7373    Ap. Mai vii. 135., Didymus7474    Praep. xiii. 6,—μόνου τοῦ ἑνός (vol. ii. 294)., besides the two best copies of the Old Latin, exhibit the place. As to Greek MSS., the error survives only in B at the present day, the preserver of an Alexandrian error.


§ 3.

St. Luke explains (Acts xxvii. 14) that it was the ‘typhonic wind called Euroclydon’ which caused the ship in which St. Paul and he sailed past Crete to incur the ‘harm and loss’ so graphically described in the last chapter but one of the Acts. That wind is mentioned nowhere but in this one place. Its name however is sufficiently intelligible; being compounded of Εὖρος, the ‘south-east wind,’ and κλύδων, ‘a tempest:’ a compound which happily survives intact in the Peshitto version. The Syriac translator, not knowing what the word meant, copied what he saw,—‘the blast’ (he says) ‘of the tempest7575    Same word occurs in St. Mark iv. 37., which [blast] is called Tophonikos Euroklīdon.’ Not so the licentious scribes of the West. They insisted on extracting out of the actual ‘Euroclydon,’ the imaginary name ‘Euro-aquilo,’ which accordingly stands to this day in the Vulgate. (Not that Jerome himself so read the name of the wind, or he would hardly have explained ‘Eurielion’ or ‘Euriclion’ to mean ‘commiscens, sive deorsum ducens7676    iii. 101..’) Of this feat of theirs, Codexes א and A (in which ΕΥΡΟΚΛΥΔωΝ has been perverted into ΕΥΡΑΚΥΛωΝ) are at this day the sole surviving Greek witnesses. Well may the evidence for ‘Euro-aquilo’ be scanty! The fabricated word collapses the instant it is examined. Nautical men point out that it is inconsistent in its construction with the principles on which the names of the intermediate or compound winds are framed:’—

Euornotus is so called as intervening immediately between Eurus and Notus, and as partaking, as was thought, of the qualities of both. The same holds true of Libonotus, as being interposed between Libs and Notus. Both these compound winds lie in the same quarter or quadrant of the circle with the winds of which they are composed, and 47no other wind intervenes. But Eurus and Aquilo are at 90° distance from one another; or according to some writers, at 105°; the former lying in the south-east quarter, and the latter in the north-east: and two winds, one of which is the East cardinal point, intervene, as Caecias and Subsolanus7777    Falconer’s Dissertation on St. Paul’s Voyage, pp. 16 and 12..’

Further, why should the wind be designated by an impossible Latin name? The ship was ‘a ship of Alexandria’ (ver. 6). The sailors were Greeks. What business has ‘Aquilo’ here? Next, if the wind did bear the name of ‘Euro-aquilo,’ why is it introduced in this marked way (ἄνεμος τυφωνικὸς, ὁ καλούμενος) as if it were a kind of curiosity? Such a name would utterly miss the point, which is the violence of the wind as expressed in the term Euroclydon. But above all, if St. Luke wrote ΕΥΡΑΚ-, how has it come to pass that every copyist but three has written ΕΥΡΟΚ-? The testimony of B is memorable. The original scribe wrote ΕΥΡΑΚΥΔωΝ7878    Let the learned Vercellone be heard on behalf of Codex B: ‘Antequam manum de tabulâ amoveamus, e re fore videtur, si, ipso codice Vaticano inspecto, duos injectos scrupulos eximamus. Cl. Tischendorfius in nuperrimâ suâ editione scribit (Proleg. p. cclxxv), Maium ad Act. xxvii. 14, codici Vaticano tribuisse a primâ manu ευρακλυδων; nos vero ευρακυδων atque subjungit, “utrumque, ut videtur, male.” At, quidquid “videri” possit, certum nobis exploratumque est Vaticanum codicem primo habuisse ευρακυδων, prout expressum fait tum in tabella quâ Maius Birchianas lectiones notavit, tum in alterâ quâ nos errata corrigenda recensuimus.’—Praefatio to Mai’s 2nd ed. of the Cod. Vaticanus, 1859 (8vo), p. v. vi. [Any one may now see this in the photographed copy.]: the secunda manus has corrected this into ΕΥΡΥΚΛΥΔωΝ,—which is also the reading of Euthalius7979    Ap. Galland. x. 225.. The essential circumstance is, that not ΥΛωΝ but ΥΔωΝ has all along been the last half of the word in Codex B8080    Remark that some vicious sections evidently owed their origin to the copyist knowing more of Latin than of Greek.
   True, that the compounds euronotus euroauster exist in Latin. That it the reason why the Latin translator (not understanding the word) rendered it Euroaquilo: instead of writing Euraquilo.

   I have no doubt that it was some Latin copyist who began the mischief. Like the man who wrote ἐπ᾽ αὐτῷ τῷ φόρῳ for ἐπ᾽ αὐτοφώρῳ.

   Readings of Euroclydon
   ΕΥΡΑΚΥΔωΝ B (sic)



   ΕΥΡΑΚΛΗΔωΝ Peshitto.


   Euroaquilo Vulg.


   ΕΥΡΑΚΛΥΔωΝ Syr. Harkl.

   ΕΥΡΥΚΛΥΔωΝ B2 man.


In St. John iv. 15, on the authority of אB, Tischendorf adopts διέρχεσθαι (in place of the uncompounded verb), assigning as his reason, that ‘If St. John had written ἔρχεσθαι, no one would ever have substituted διέρχεσθαι for it.’ But to construct the text of Scripture on such considerations, is to build a lighthouse on a quicksand. I could have referred the learned Critic to plenty of places where the thing he speaks of as incredible has been done. The proof that St. John used the uncompounded verb is the fact that it is found in all the copies except our two untrustworthy friends. The explanation of ΔΙερχωμαι is sufficiently accounted for by the final syllable (ΔΕ) of μηδὲ which immediately precedes. Similarly but without the same excuse,

St. Mark x. 16 ευλογει has become κατευλογει (אBC)
    ‎    ” xii. 17 θααυμασαν εξεθαυμασαν (אB)
    ‎    ” xiv. 40 βεβαρημενοι καταβεβαρημενοι (AאB)

It is impossible to doubt that και (in modern critical editions of St. Luke xvii. 37) is indebted for its existence to the same cause. In the phrase ἐκεῖ συναχθήσονται οἱ ἀετοί it might have been predicted that the last syllable of ἐκεῖ would some day be mistaken for the conjunction. And so 49it has actually come to pass. ΚΑΙ οι αετοι is met with in many ancient authorities. But אLB also transposed the clauses, and substituted επισυναχθησονται for συναχθήσονται. The self-same casualty, viz. και elicited out of the insertion of εκει and the transposition of the clauses, is discoverable among the Cursives at St. Matt. xxiv. 28,—the parallel place: where by the way the old uncials distinguish themselves by yet graver eccentricities8181    Οπου (ου א) γαρ (—γαρ אBDL) εαν (αν D) το πτωμα (σωμα א).. How can we as judicious critics ever think of disturbing the text of Scripture on evidence so precarious as this?

It is proposed that we should henceforth read St. Matt. xxii. 23 as follows:—‘On that day there came to Him Sadducecs saying that there is no Resurrection.’ A new incident would be in this way introduced into the Gospel narrative: resulting from a novel reading of the passage. Instead of οἱ λέγοντες, we are invited to read λέγοντες, on the authority of n אBDMSZP and several of the Cursives, besides Origen, Methodius, Epiphanius. This is a respectable array. There is nevertheless a vast preponderance of numbers in favour of the usual reading, which is also found in the Old Latin copies and in the Vulgate. But surely the discovery that in the parallel Gospels it is—

οἵτινες λέγουσιν ἀνάστασιν μὴ εἶναι (St. Mark xii. 18) and
οἱ ἀντιλέγοντες ἀνάστασιν μὴ εἶναι (St. Luke xx. 27)

may be considered as decisive in a case like the present. Sure I am that it will be so regarded by any one who has paid close attention to the method of the Evangelists. Add that the origin of the mistake is seen, the instant the words are inspected as they must have stood in an uncial copy:


and really nothing more requires to be said. The second ΟΙ was safe to be dropped in a collocation of letters like 50that. It might also have been anticipated, that there would be found copyists to be confused by the antecedent ΚΑΙ. Accordingly the Peshitto, Lewis, and Curetonian render the place ‘et dicentes;’ shewing that they mistook ΚΑΙ ΟΙ ΛΕΓΟΝΤΕS for a separate phrase.

§ 4.

The termination ΤΟ (in certain tenses of the verb), when followed by the neuter article, naturally leads to confusion; sometimes to uncertainty. In St. John v. 4 for instance, where we read in our copies καὶ ἐτάρασσε τὸ ὕδωρ but so many MSS. read ἐταράσσετο, that it becomes a perplexing question which reading to follow. The sense in either case is excellent: the only difference being whether the Evangelist actually says that the Angel ‘troubled’ the water, or leaves it to be inferred from the circumstance that after the Angel had descended, straightway the water ‘was troubled.’

The question becomes less difficult of decision when (as in St. Luke vii. 21) we have to decide between two expressions ἐχαρίσατο βλέπειν (which is the reading of א*ABDEG and 11 other uncials) and ἐχαρίσατο τὸ βλέπειν which is only supported by אbELVA. The bulk of the Cursives faithfully maintain the former reading, and merge the article in the verb.

Akin to the foregoing are all those instances,—and they are literally without number—, where the proximity of a like ending has been the fruitful cause of error. Let me explain: for this is a matter which cannot be too thoroughly apprehended.

Such a collection of words as the following two instances exhibit will shew my meaning.

In the expression ἐσθῆτα λαμπρὰν ἀνέπεμψεν (St. Luke xxiii. 11), we are not surprised to find the first syllable of 51the verb (αν) absorbed by the last syllable of the immediately preceding λαμπράν. Accordingly, אLR supported by one copy of the Old Latin and a single cursive MS. concur in displaying ἔπεμψεν in this place.

The letters ΝΑΙΚωΝΑΙΚΑΙ in the expression (St. Luke xxiii. 27) γυναικῶν αἳ καὶ were safe to produce confusion. The first of these three words could of course take care of itself. (Though D, with some of the Versions, make it into γυναικες.) Not so however what follows. ABCDLX and the Old Latin (except c) drop the και: א and C drop the αι. The truth rests with the fourteen remaining uncials and with the cursives.

Thus also the reading εν ολη τη Γαλιλαια (B) in St. Matt. iv. 23, (adopted by Lachmann, Tischendorf, Tregelles, Alford, Westcott and Hort and the Revisers,) is due simply to the reduplication on the part of some inattentive scribe of the last two letters of the immediately preceding word,—περιηγεν. The received reading of the place is the correct one,—καὶ περιῆγεν ὅλην τῇ Γαλιλαίαν ὁ Ἰησοῦς because the first five words are so exhibited in all the Copies except BאC; and those three MSS. are observed to differ as usual from one another,—which ought to be deemed fatal to their evidence. Thus,

B reads καὶ περιῆγεν ἐν ὅλῃ τῇ Γαλιλαίᾳ.

א    ‎”‎   καὶ περιῆγεν ὁ ῑς̄ ἐν τῇ Γαλιλαίᾳ.

C    ‎”‎   καὶ περιῆγεν ὁ ῑς̄ ἐν ὅλῃ τῇ Γαλιλαίᾳ.

But—(I shall be asked)—what about the position of the Sacred Name? How comes it to pass that ὁ Ἰησοῦς, which comes after Γαλιλαίαν in almost every other known copy, should come after ριῆγεν ὁ in three of these venerable authorities (in D as well as in א and C), and in the Latin, Peshitto, Lewis, and Harkleian? Tischendorf, Alford, Westcott and Hort and the Revisers at all events (who simply follow B in leaving out ὁ Ἰησοῦς altogether) will not ask me this question: but a thoughtful inquirer is sure to ask it.


The phrase (I reply) is derived by אCD from the twin place in St. Matthew (ix. 35) which in all the MSS. begins καὶ περιῆ;γεν ὁ ῑς̄. So familiar had this order of the words become, that the scribe of א, (a circumstance by the way of which Tischendorf takes no notice,) has even introduced the expression into St. Mark vi. 6,—the parallel place in the second Gospel,—where ὁ ῑς̄ is clearly has no business. I enter into these minute details because only in this way is the subject before us to be thoroughly understood. This is another instance where ‘the Old Uncials’ shew their text to be corrupt; so for assurance in respect of accuracy of detail we must resort to the Cursive Copies.

§ 5.

The introduction of ἀπό in the place of ἅγιοι made by the ‘Revisers’ into the Greek Text of 2 Peter i. 27,—derives its origin from the same prolific source. [1] some very ancient scribe mistook the first four letters of αγιοι, for απο. It was but the mistaking of ΑΓΙΟ for ΑΠΟ. At the end of 1700 years, the only Copies which witness to this deformity are BP with four cursives,—in opposition to אAKL and the whole body of the cursives, the Vulgate8282    Sancti Dei homines. and the Harkleian. Euthalius knew nothing of it8383    Ap. Galland. x. 236 a.. Obvious it was, next, for some one in perplexity,—[2] to introduce both readings (ἀπό and ἅγιοι) into the text. Accordingly ἀπὸ Θεοῦ ἅγιοι, is found in C, two cursives, and Didymus8484    Trin. 234.. Then, [3], another variant crops up, (viz. ὑπό for ἀπό—but only because ὑπό went immediately before); of which fresh blunder ὑπό Θεοῦ ἅγιοι) Theophylact is the sole patron8585    iii. 389.. The consequence of all this might have been foreseen: [4] it came to pass that from a few Codexes, both απο and αγιοι were left out,—which accounts for the reading of 53certain copies of the Old Latin8686    ‘Locuti sunt homines D .. Unaware how the blunder began, Tischendorf and his followers claim ‘[1],’ ‘[3],’ and ‘[4],’ as proofs that ‘[1]’ is the right reading: and, by consequence, instead of ‘holy men of God spake,’ require us to read ‘men spake from God,’ which is wooden and vapid. Is it not clear that a reading attested by only BP and four cursive copies must stand self-condemned?

Another excellent specimen of this class of error is furnished by Heb. vii. 1. Instead of Ὁ συναντήσας Ἀβραάμ—said of Melchizedek,—אABD exhibit ΟC. The whole body of the copies, headed by CLP, are against them8787    Their only supporters seem to be K [i. e. Paul 117 (Matthaei’s §)], 17, 59 [published in full by Cramer, vii. 202], 137 [Reiche, p. 60]. Why does Tischendorf quote besides E of Paul, which is nothing else but a copy of D of Paul?, — besides Chrysostom8888    Chrys. xii. 120 b, 121 a., Theodoret8989    Theodoret, iii. 584., Damascene9090    J. Damascene, ii. 240 c.. It is needless to do more than state how this reading arose. The initial letter of συναντήσας has been reduplicated through careless transcription: ΟCCΥΝ—instead of ΟCΥΝ—. That is all. But the instructive feature of the case is that it is in the four oldest of the uncials that this palpable blunder is found.

§ 6.

I have reserved for the last a specimen which is second to none in suggestiveness. ‘Whom will ye that I release unto you?’ asked Pilate on a memorable occasion9191    St. Matt. xxvii. 17.: and we all remember how his enquiry proceeds. But the discovery is made that, in an early age there existed copies of the Gospel which proceeded thus,—‘Jesus [who is called9292    Cf. ὁ λεγόμενος Βαραββᾶς. St. Mark xv. 7.] Barabbas, or Jesus who is called Christ?’ 54Origen so quotes the place, but ‘In many copies,’ he proceeds, ‘mention is not made that Barabbas was also called Jesus: and those copies may perhaps be right,—else would the name of Jesus belong to one of the wicked,—of which no instance occurs in any part of the Bible: nor is it fitting that the name of Jesus should like Judas have been borne by saint and sinner alike. ‘I think,’ Origen adds, ‘something of this sort must have been an interpolation of the heretics9393    Int. iii. 918 c d..’ From this we are clearly intended to infer that ‘Jesus Barabbas’ was the prevailing reading of St. Matt. xxvii. 17 in the time of Origen, a circumstance which—besides that a multitude of copies existed as well as those of Origen—for the best of reasons, we take leave to pronounce incredible9494    On the two other occasions when Origen quotes St. Matt. xxvii. 17 (i. 316 a and ii. 245 a) nothing is said about ‘Jesus Barabbas.’—Alluding to the place, he elsewhere (iii. 853 d) merely says that ‘Secundum quosdam Barabbas dicebatter et Jesus.’—-The author of a well-known scholion, ascribed to Anastasius, Bp. of Antioch, but query, for see Migne, vol. lxxxix. p. 1352 b c (= Galland. xii. 253 c), and 1604 a, declares that he had found the same statement ‘in very early copies.’ The scholion in question is first cited by Birch (Varr. Lectt. p. 110) from the following MSS.:—S, 108, 129, 137, 138, 143, 146, 181, 186, 195, 197, 199 or 200, 209, 210, 221, 222: to which Scholz adds 41, 237, 238, 253, 259, 299: Tischendorf adds 1, 118. In Gallandius (Bibl. P. P. xiv. 81 d e, Append.), the scholion may be seen more fully given than by Birch,—from whom Tregelles and Tischendorf copy it. Theophylact (p. 156 a) must have seen the place as quoted by Gallandius. The only evidence, so far as I can find, for reading ‘Jesus Barabbas’ (in St. Matt. xxvii. 16, 17) are five disreputable Evangelia 1, 118, 209, 241, 299,—the Armenian Version, the Jerusalem Syriac, [and the Sinai Syriac]; (see Adler, pp. 172-3)..

The sum of the matter is probably this:—Some inattentive second century copyist [probably a Western Translator into Syriac who was an indifferent Greek scholar] mistook the final syllable of ‘unto you’ (ΥΜΙΝ) for the word ‘Jesus’ (ῙΝ̄): in other words, carelessly reduplicated the last two letters of ΥΜΙΝ,—from which, strange to say, results the form of inquiry noticed at the outset. Origen caught sight of the extravagance, and condemned it though he fancied it to be prevalent, and the thing slept for 1500 55years. Then about just fifty years ago Drs. Lachmann, Tischendorf and Tregelles began to construct that ‘fabric of Textual Criticism’ which has been the cause of the present treatise [though indeed Tischendorf does not adopt the suggestion of those few aberrant cursives which is supported by no surviving uncial, and in fact advocates the very origin of the mischief which has been just described]. But, as every one must see, such things as these are not ‘readings’ at all, nor even the work of ‘the heretics;’ but simply transcriptional mistakes. How Dr. Hort, admitting the blunder, yet pleads that ‘this remarkable reading is attractive by the new and interesting fact which it seems to attest, and by the antithetic force which it seems to add to the question in ver. 17,’ [is more than we can understand. To us the expression seems most repulsive. No ‘antithetic force’ can outweigh our dislike to the idea that Barabbas was our Saviour’S namesake! We prefer Origen’s account, though he mistook the cause, to that of the modern critic.]

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