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On the so-calledAmmonian SectionsandEusebian Canons”.

(Referred to at p. 130.)

I. THAT the Sections (popularly miscalled “Ammonian”) with which Eusebius [A.D. 320] has made the world thoroughly familiar, and of which some account was given above (pp. 127-8), cannot be the same which Ammonius of Alexandria [A.D. 220] employed,—but must needs be the invention of Eusebius himself,—admits of demonstration. On this subject, external testimony is altogether insecure543543   Jerome evidently supposed that Ammonius was the author of the Canons as well:—“Canones quos Eusebius Caesariensis Episcopus Alexandrinum secutus Ammonium in decem numeros ordinavit, sicut in Graeco habentur expressimus.” (Ad Papam Damasum. Epist.) And again: “Ammonius . . . . Evangelicos, Canones excogitavit quos postea secutus est Eusebius Caesariensis.” (De Viris Illustr. c. 55 [Opp. ii. 881.])—See above, p.128.. The only safe appeal is to the Sections_ themselves.

1. The Call of the Four Apostles is described by the first three Evangelists, within the following limits of their respective Gospels:—S. Matthew iv. 18-22: S. Mark 1 16-20: S. Luke (with the attendant miraculous draught of fishes,) v. 1-11. Now, these three portions of narrative are observed to be dealt with in the sectional system of Eusebius after the following extraordinary fashion: (the fourth column represents the Gospel according to S. John):—

(1.)   § 29, (v. 1-3)  
(2.) § 20, (iv. 17, 18) § 9, (i. 14½-16    
(3.)   § 30, (v. 4-7) § 219, (xxi. 1-6)
(4.)   § 30 (v. 4-7) § 222, (xxi. 11)
(5.)   § 31, (v. 8-10½)  
(6.)§ 21, (iv. 19, 20) § 10, (i. 17, 18) § 32, (v. 10½, 11)  
(7.) § 22, (iv. 21, 22) § 11, (i. 19, 20)    

It will be perceived from this, that Eusebius subdivides these three portions of the sacred Narrative into ten Sections (“§§;”)—of which three belong to S. Matthew, viz. §§ 20, 21, 22:—three to S. Mark, viz. §§ 9, 10, 11:—four to S. Luke, viz. §§ 29, 30, 31, 32: which ten Sections, Eusebius distributes over four of his Canons: referring three of them to his IInd Canon, (which exhibits what S. Matthew, S. Mark, and S. Luke have in common); four of them to his VIth Canon, (which shews what S. Matthew and S. Mark have in common); one, to his IXth, (which contains what is common to S. Luke and S. John); two, to his Xth, (in which is found what is peculiar to each Evangelist.)

Now, the design which Eusebius had in breaking up this portion of the sacred Text, (S. Matth. iv. 18-22, S. Mark i. 16-20, S. Luke v. 1-11,) after so arbitrary a fashion, into ten portions; divorcing three of those Sections from S. Matthew’s Gospel, (viz. S. Luke’s §§ 29, 30, 31); and connecting one of these last three (§ 30) with two Sections (§§ 219, 222) of S. John;—is perfectly plain. His object was, (as he himself explains,) to shew—not only (a) what S. Matthew has in common with S. Mark and S. Luke; but also (b) what S. Luke has in common with S. John;—as well as (c) what S. Luke has peculiar to himself. But, in the work of Ammonius, as far as we know anything about that work, all this would have been simply impossible. (I have already described his “Diatessaron,” at pp. 126-7.) Intent on exhibiting the Sections of the other Gospels which correspond with the Sections of S. Matthew, Ammonius would not if he could,—(and he could not if he would,)—have dissociated from its context S. Luke’s account of the first miraculous draught of fishes in the beginning of our Lord’s Ministry, for the purpose of establishing its resemblance to S. John’s account of the second miraculous draught of fishes which took place after the Resurrection, and is only found in S. John’s Gospel. These Sections therefore are “Eusebian,” not Ammonian. They are necessary, according to the scheme of Eusebius. They are not only unnecessary and even meaningless, but actually impossible, in the Ammonian scheme.


2. Let me call attention to another, and, as I think, a more convincing instance. I am content in fact to narrow the whole question to the following single issue:—Let mo be shown how it is rationally conceivable that Ammomus can have split up S. John xxi. 12, 13, into three distinct Sections; and S. John xxi. 15, 16, 17, into six? and yet, after so many injudicious disintegrations of the sacred Text, how it is credible that he can have made but one Section of S. John xxi. 18 to 25,—which nevertheless, from its very varied contents, confessedly requires even repeated subdivision? . . . . Why .Eusebius did all this, is abundantly plain. His peculiar plan constrained him to refer the former half of ver. 12,—the latter half of verses 15, 16, 17—to his IXth Canon, where S. Luke and S. John are brought together; (ἐν ᾧ οἱ δύο τὰ παραπλήσια εἰρήκασι):—and to consign the latter half of ver. 12,—the former half of verses 15, 16, 17,—together with the whole of the last eight verses of S. John’s Gospel, to his Xth (or last) Canon, where what is peculiar to each of the four Evangelists is set down, (ἐν ᾧ περὶ τίνων ἕκαστος αὐτῶν ἰδίως ἀνέγραψεν.) But Ammonius, because he confessedly recognised no such canons, was under no such constraint. He had in fact no such opportunity. He therefore simply cannot have adopted the same extraordinary sectional subdivision.

3. To state the matter somewhat differently, and perhaps to exhibit the argument in a more convincing form:—The Canons of Eusebius, and the so-called “Ammonian Sections,”—(by which, confessedly, nothing else whatever is meant but the Sections of Eusebius,)—are discovered mutually to imply one another. Those Canons are without meaning or use apart from the Sections,—for the sake of which they were clearly invented. Those Sections, whatever convenience they may possess apart from the Canons, nevertheless are discovered to presuppose the Canons throughout: to be manifestly subsequent to them in order of time: to depend upon them for their very existence: in some places to be even unaccountable in the eccentricity of their arrangement, except when explained by the requirements of the Eusebian Canons. I say—That particular sectional subdivision, 298in other words, to which the epithet “Ammonian” is popularly applied,—(applied however without authority, and in fact by the merest license,)—proves on careful inspection to have been only capable of being devised by one who was already in possession of the Canons of Eusebius. In

plain terms, they are demonstrably the work of Eusebius himself,—who expressly claims The Canons for his own (κανόνας δέκα τὸν ἀριθμὸν διεχάραξά σοι), and leaves it to be inferred that he is the Author of the Sections also. Wetstein (Proleg. p. 70,) and Bishop Lloyd (in the “Monitum” prefixed to his ed. of the Greek Test. p. x,) so understand the matter; and Mr. Scrivener (Introduction, p. 51) evidently inclines to the same opinion.

II. I desire, in the next place, to point out that a careful inspection of the Eusebian “Sections,” (for Eusebius himself calls them περικοπαί, not κεφάλαια,) leads inevitably to the inference that they are only rightly understood when regarded in the light of “Marginal References.” This has been hitherto overlooked. Bp. Lloyd, in the interesting “Monitum” already quoted, remarks of the Eusebian Canons,—“quorum haec est utilitas, ut eorum scilicet ope quivis, nullo labore, Harmoniam sibi quatuor Evangeliorum possit conficere.” The learned Prelate can never have made the attempt in this way “Harmoniam sibi conficere,” or he would not have so written. He evidently did not advert to the fact that Eusebius refers his readers (in his IIIrd Canon) from S. John’s account of the Healing of the Nobleman’s son to the account given by S. Matthew and S. Luke of the Healing of the Centurion’s servant. It is perfectly plain in fact that to enable a reader “to construct for himself a Harmony of the Gospels,” was no part of Eusebius’ intention; and quite certain that any one who shall ever attempt to avail himself of the system of Sections and Canons before us with that object, will speedily find himself landed in hopeless confusion544544   There was published at the University Press in 1805, a handsome quarto volume (pp. 216) entitled Harmonia quatuor Evangeliorum juxta Sectiones Ammonianas et Eusebii Canones. It is merely the contents of the X Canons of Eusebius printed in extenso,—and of course is no “Harmony” at all. It would have been a really useful book, notwithstanding; but that the editor, strange to say, has omitted to number the sections..


But in fact there is no danger of his making much progress in his task. His first discovery would probably be that S. John’s weighty doctrinal statements concerning our Lord’s Eternal Godhead in chap. i. 1-5: 9, 10: 14, are represented as parallel with the Human Genealogy of our Saviour as recorded by S. Matthew i. 1-16, and by S. Luke iii. 23-38:—the next, that the first half of the Visit of the Magi (S. Matthew ii. 1-6) is exhibited as corresponding with S. John vii. 41, 42.—Two such facts ought to open the eyes of a reader of ordinary acuteness quite wide to the true nature of the Canons of Eusebius. They are Tables of Reference only.

Eusebius has in fact himself explained his object in constructing them; which (he says) was twofold: (lst) To enable a reader to see at a glance, “which of the Evangelists have said things of the same kind,” (τίνες τὰ παραπλήσια εἰρήκασι: the phrase occurs four times in the course of his short Epistle): and (2ndly), To enable him to find out where they have severally done so: (τοὺς οἰκείους ἑκάστου εὐαγγελιστοῦ τόπους, ἐν οἷς κατὰ τῶν αὐτῶν ἡνέχθησαν εἰπεῖν; Eusebius uses the phrase twice.) But this, (as all are aware) is precisely the office of (what are called) “Marginal References.” Accordingly,

(a.) Whether referring from S. Matth. x. 40 (§ 98); S. Mark ix. 37 (§ 96); or S. Luke x. 16 (§ 116);—we find ourselves referred to the following six places of S. John,—v. 23: xii. 44, 45: xiii. 20: xiv. 21: xiv. 24, 25: xv. 23545545   This last § according to Tischendorf’s ed. of the Eusebian Canons. (= §§ 40, 111, 120, 129, 131, 144546546   This last § according to Tischendorf’s ed. of the Eusebian Canons..) Again,

(b.) Whether we refer from S. Matth. xi. 27 (§§ 111, 112,) or S. Luke x. 22 (§ 119),—we find ourselves referred to the following eleven places of S. John,—i. 18: 35: v. 37: vi. 46: vii. 28, 29: viii. 19: x. 15: xiii. 3: xv. 21: xvi. 15: xvii. 25 (§§ 8, 30, 44, 61, 76, 87, 90, 114, 142, 148, 154.)

(c.) So also, from S. Matthew’s (xvi. 13-16), S. Mark’s (viii. 27-29), and S. Luke’s (ix. 18-20) account of S. 300Peter’s Confession at Cæsarea Philippi, we are referred to S. John i. 42, 43,—a singular reference; and. to S. John vi. 68, 69.

(d.) From the mention of the last Passover by the three earlier Evangelists, (S. Matth. xxvi. 1, 2: S. Mark xiv. 1: S. Luke xxii. 1,) we are referred to S. John’s mention of the first Passover (ii. 13 = § 20); and of the second (vi. 4 = § 48); as well as of the fourth (xi. 55 = § 96.)

(e.) From the words of Consecration at the Last Supper, as recorded by S. Matth. (xxvi. 16), S. Mark (xiv. 22), and S. Luke (xxii. 19),—we are referred to the four following Sections of our Lord’s Discourse in the Synagogue at Capernaum recorded by S. John, which took place a year before,—S. John vi. 35, 36: 48: 51: 55: (§§ 55, 63, 65, 67).

(f.) Nothing but the spirit in which “Marginal References” are made would warrant a critic in linking together three incidents like the following,—similar, indeed, yet entirely distinct: viz. S. Matth. xxvii. 34: S. Mark xv. 24: and S. John xix. 28, 29.

(g.) I was about to say that scarcely could such an excuse be invented for referring a Reader from S. Luke xxii. 32, to S. John xxi. 15, and 16, and 17 §§ 227, 228, 229,)—but I perceive that the same three References stand in the margin of our own Bibles. Not even the margin of the English Bible, however, sends a Reader (as the IXth Canon of Eusebius does) from our Lord’s eating “broiled fish and honeycomb,” in the presence of the ten Apostles at Jerusalem on the evening of the first Easter-Day, (S. Luke xxiv. 41-43 (= § 341,)) to His feeding the seven Apostles with bread and fish at the Sea of Galilee many days after. (S. John xxi. 9, 10: 12: 13 = §§ 221, 223, 224.)—And this may suffice.

It is at all events certain that the correctest notion of the use and the value of the Eusebian Sections will be obtained by one who will be at the pains to substitute for the Eusebian Numbers in the margin of a copy of the Greek Gospels the References which these numbers severally indicate. It will then become plain that the system of Sections and Canons which Eusebius invented,—ingenious, interesting, and useful 301as it certainly is; highly important also, as being the known work of an illustrious Father of the Church, as well as most precious occasionally for critical purposes547547   Thus, certain disputed passages of importance are proved to have been recognised at least by Eusebius. Our Lord’s Agony in the Garden for instance, (S. Luke xxii. 43, 44—wanting in Cod. B,) is by him numbered § 283: and that often rejected verse, S. Mark xv. 28, he certainly numbered § 216,—whatever Tischendorf may say to the contrary. (See p. 293.),—is nothing else but a clumsy substitute for what is achieved by an ordinary “Reference Bible”:—participating in every inconvenience incidental to the unskilfully contrived apparatus with which English readers are familiar548548   It is obvious to suggest that, (1) whereas our Marginal References follow the order of the Sacred Books, they ought rather to stand in the order of their importance, or at least of their relevancy to the matter in hand:—and that, (2) actual Quotations, and oven Allusions to other parte of Scripture when they are undeniable, should be referred to in some distinguishing way. It is also certain that, (3) to a far greater extent than at present, sets of References might be kept together; not scattered about in small parcels over the whole Book.—Above all, (as the point most pertinent to the present occasion,) (4) it is to be wished that strictly parallel places in the Gospels might be distinguished from those which are illustrative only, or are merely recalled by their similarity of subject or expression. All this would admit of interesting and useful illustration. While on this subject, let me ask,—Why is it no longer possible to purchase a Bible with References to the Apocrypha? Who does not miss the reference to “Ecclus. xliii. 11, 12” at Gen. ix. 14? Who can afford to do without the reference to “1 Macc. iv. 59” at S. John x. 22?, and yet inferior in the following four respects:—

(1st.) The references of Eusebius, (except those found in Canon X.), require in every instance to be deciphered, before they can be verified; and they can only be deciphered by making search, (and sometimes laborious search,) in another part of the volume. They are not, in fact, (nor do they pretend to be,) references to the inspired Text at all; but only references to the Eusebian Canons.

(2ndly.) In their scope, they are of course strictly confined to the Gospels,—which most inconveniently limits their use, as well as diminishes their value. (Thus, by no possibility is Eusebius able to refer a reader from S. Luke xxii. 19, 20 to 1 Cor. xi. 23-25.)

(3rdly.) By the very nature of their constitution, reference even to another part of the same Gospel is impossible. (Eusebius 302is unable, for example, to refer a reader from S. John xix. 39, to iii. 1 and vii. 50.)

But besides the preceding, which are disadvantages inherent in the scheme and inseparable from it, it will be found (4thly), That Eusebius, while he introduces not a few wholly undesirable references, (of which some specimens are supplied above), is observed occasionally to withhold references which cannot by any means be dispensed with. Thus, he omits to refer his reader from S. Luke’s account of the visit to the Sepulchre (chap. xxiv. 12) to S. John’s memorable account of the same transaction (chap. xx. 3-10): not because he disallowed the verse in S. Luke’s Gospel,—for in a certain place he discusses its statements549549   Mai, vol. iv. p. 287. See also p. 293..

III. It is abundantly plain from all that has gone before that the work of Eusebius was entirely different in its structure and intention from the work of Ammonius. Enough, in fact, has been said to make it fully apparent that it is nothing short of impossible that there can have been any extensive correspondence between the two. According to Eusebius, S. Mark has 21 Sections550550   Tischendorf says 19 only. peculiar to his Gospel: S. Luke, 72: S. John, 97551551   Tischendorf says 96 only.. According to the same Eusebius, 14 Sections552552   Tischendorf says 13 only. are common to S. Luke and S. Mark only: 21, to S. Luke and S. John only. But those 225 Sections can have found no place in the work of Ammonius. And if, (in some unexplained way,) room was found for those parts of the Gospels, with what possible motive can Ammonius have subdivided them into exactly 225 portions? It is nothing else but irrational to assume that he did so.

Not unaware am I that it has been pointed out by a most judicious living Critic as a “ground for hesitation before we ascribe the Sections as well as the Canons to Eusebius, that not a few ancient MSS. contain the former while they omit the latter553553   Scrivener specifies the following Codd. C, F, H, I, P, Q, R, W6, Y, Z, 54, 59, 60, 68, 440, iscr, Bscr (Cod. Bezae, p. xx, and Introd. pp. 51, 2.) Add Evan. 117: (but I think not 263.).” He considers it to be certainly indicated thereby “that in the judgment of critics and transcribers, 303(whatever that judgment may be doomed worth,) the Ammonian Sections had a previous existence to the Eusebian Canons, as well as served for an independent purpose.” But I respectfully demur to the former of the two proposed inferences. I also learn with surprise that “those who have studied them most, can the least toll what use the Ammonian Sections can servo, unless in connection with Canons of Harmony554554   Scrivener’s Introduction, pp. 51 and 52: Cod. Bezae, p. xx. note [2.].”

However irregular and arbitrary these subdivisions of the Evangelical text are observed to be in their construction, their usefulness is paramount. They are observed to fulfil exactly the same office as our own actual division of the Text into 89 Chapters and 3780 Verses. Of course, 1165 subdivisions are (for certain purposes) somewhat loss convenient than 3780;—but on the other hand, a place in the Gospels would be more easily discovered, I suspect, for the most part, by the employment of such a single set of consecutive numbers, than by requiring a Reader first to find the Chapter by its Roman numeral, and then the Verse by its Arabic figure. Be this as it may, there can be at least only one opinion as to the supreme convenience to a Reader, whether ancient or modern, of knowing that the copy of the Gospels which he holds in his hands is subdivided into exactly the same 1165 Sections as every other Greek copy which is likely to come in his way; and that, in every such copy, he may depend on finding every one of those sections invariably distinguished by the self-same number.

A Greek copy of the Gospels, therefore, having its margin furnished with the Eusebian Sectional notation, may be considered to correspond generally with an English copy merely divided into Chapters and Verses. The addition of the Eusebian Canons at the beginning, with numerical references thereto inserted in the margin throughout, does but superadd something analogous to the convenience of our Marginal References,—and may just as reasonably (or just as unreasonably) be dispensed with.

I think it not improbable, in fact, that in the preparation of a Codex, it will have been sometimes judged commercially 304expedient to leave its purchaser to decide whether he would or would not submit to the additional expense (which in the case of illuminated MSS. must have been very considerable) of having the Eusebian Tables inserted at the commencement of his Book555555   Evan. 263, for instance, has certainly blank Eusebian Tables at the beginning: the frame only.,—without which the References thereto would confessedly have been of no manner of avail. In this way it will have come to pass, (as Mr. Scrivener points out,) that “not a few ancient MSS. contain the Sections but omit the Canons.” Whether, however, the omission of References to the Canons in Copies which retain in the margin the sectional numbers, is to be explained in this way, or not,—Ammonius, at all events, will have had no more to do with either the one or the other, than with our modern division into Chapters and Verses. It is, in short, nothing else but a “vulgar error” to designate the Eusebian Sections as the “Sections of Ammonius.” The expression cannot be too soon banished from our critical terminology. Whether banished or retained, to reason about the lost work of Ammonius from the Sections of Eusebius (as Tischendorf and the rest habitually do) is an offence against historical Truth which no one who values his critical reputation will probably hereafter venture to commit.

IV. This subject may not be dismissed until a circumstance of considerable interest has been explained which has already attracted some notice, but which evidently is not yet understood by Biblical Critics556556   See Scrivener’s Introduction, p. 51 (note 2),—where Tregelles (in Horne’s Introd. iv. 200) is quoted..

As already remarked, the necessity of resorting to the Eusebian Tables of Canons in order to make any use of a marginal reference, is a tedious and a cumbersome process; for which, men must have early sought to devise a remedy. They were not slow in perceiving that a far simpler expedient would be to note at the foot of every page of a Gospel the numbers of the Sections of that Gospel contained in extenso on the same page; and, parallel with those numbers, to exhibit the numbers of the corresponding Sections in the 305other Gospels. Many Codices, furnished with such an apparatus at the foot of the page, are known to exist557557   e.g. Codd. M, 262 and 264. (I saw at least one other at Paris, but I have not preserved a record of the number.) To these, Tregelles adds E; (Scrivener’s Introduction, p. 51, note [2].) Scrivener odds Wd, and Tischendorf Tb, (Scrivener’s Cod. Bezae, p. xx.). For instance, in Cod. 262 ( = Reg. 53, at Paris), which is written in double columns, at foot of the first page (fol. 111) of S. Mark, is found as follows:—

The meaning of this, every one will see who,—(remembering what is signified by the monograms ΜΡ, Λο., Ιω, ΜΘ558558   The order of these monograms requires explanation.)—will turn successively to the IInd, the Ist, the VIth, and the Ist of the Eusebian Canons. Translated into expressions more familiar to English readers, it evidently amounts to this: that we are referred,

(§ 1) From S. Mark i. 1, 2,—to S. Matth. xi. 10: S. Luke vii. 27.

(§ 2) . . . . i. 3,—to S. Matth. iii. 3: S. Luke iii. 3-6.

(§ 3) . . . . i. 4, 5, 6,—to S. Matth. iii. 4-6.

(§ 4) . . . . i. 7, 8,—to S. Matth. iii. 11: S. Luke iii. 16: S. John i. 15, 26-27, 30-1: iii. 28.

(I venture to add that any one who will compare the above with the margin of S. Mark’s Gospel in a common English “reference Bible,” will obtain a very fair notion of the convenience, and of the inconveniences of the Eusebian system. But to proceed with our remarks on the apparatus at the foot of Cod. 262.)

The owner of such a MS. was able to refer to parallel passages, (as above,) by merely turning over the pages of his book. E.g. The parallel places to S. Mark’s § 1 (A) being § 70 of S. Luke (O) and § 103 of S. Matthew (Ρ Γ),—it was just as easy for him to find those two places as it is for us to turn to S. Luke vii. 27 and S. Matth. xi. 10: perhaps easier.

V. I suspect that this peculiar method of exhibiting the Eusebian references (Canons as well as Sections) at a glance, was derived to the Greek Church from the Syrian Christians. What is certain, a precisely similar expedient for enabling readers to discover Parallel Passages prevails extensively in the oldest Syriac Evangelia extant. There are in the British Museum about twelve Syriac Evangelia furnished with such an apparatus of reference559559   Addit. MSS. 14,449: 14,450, and 1, and 2, and 4, and 5, and 7, and 8: 14,463, and 9: 17,113. (Dr. Wright’s Catalogue, 4to. 1870.) Also Rich. 7,157. The reader is referred to Assemani; and to Adler, p. 52-3: also p. 63.; of which a specimen is subjoined,—derived however (because it was near at hand) from a MS. in the Bodleian560560   “Dawkins 3.” See Dean Payne Smith’s Catalogue, p. 72., of the viith or viiith century.

From this MS., I select for obvious reasons the last page but one (fol. 82) of S. Mark’s Gospel, which contains ch. xvi. 8-18. The Reader will learn with interest and surprise that in the margin of this page against ver. 8, is written in vermilion, by the original scribe, 281/1: against ver. 9,—282/10: against ver. 10,—283/1: against ver. 11,—284/8: against ver. 12,—285/8: against ver. 13,—286/8: against ver. 14,—287/10: against ver. 15,—288/6: against ver. 16,—289/10: against ver. 19,—290/8. That these sectional numbers561561   It will be observed that, according to the Syrian scheme, every verse of S. Mark xvi, from ver. 8 to ver. 16 inclusive, constitutes an independent section (§§ 281-288): ver. 16-18 another (§ 289); and verr. 19-20, another (§ 290), which is the last. The Greek scheme, as a rule, makes independent sections of verr. 8, 9, 14, 19, 20; but throws together ver. 10-11: 12-13: 15-16: 17-18. (Vide infrà, p. 311.), with references to the Eusebian Canons subscribed, are no part of the (so-called) “Ammonian” system, will be recognised at a glance. According to that scheme, S. Mark xiv. 8 is numbered 233/2. But to proceed.


At the foot of the same page, (which is written in two columns), is found the following set of references to parallel places in the other three Gospels:—

The exact English counterpart of which,—(I owe it to the kind help of M. Neubauer, of the Bodleian),—is subjoined. The Reader will scarcely require to be reminded that the reason why §§ 282, 287, 289 do not appear in this Table is because those Sections, (belonging to the tenth Canon,) have nothing parallel to them in the other Gospels.

Luke Matthew Mark John Luke Matthew Mark
. . .
. . .
. . .
. . .

The general intention of this is sufficiently obvious: but the Reader must be told that on making reference to S. Matthew’s Gospel, in this Syriac Codex, it is found that § 421 = chap. xxviii. 8; and § 426 = chap. xxviii. 10, 20:

That, in S. Luke’s Gospel,—§ 390 = chap. xxiv. 8-10: § 391 = chap. xxiv. 11; and § 393 = chap. xxiv. 13-17562562   Note that § 302/9 = S. Luke xxiv. 12: § 394/10 = ver. 18-34: § 395/8 = ver. 35: § 396/9 is incomplete. [Dr. Wright supplies the lacune for me, thus: § 396/9 = ver. 36-41 (down to θαυμαζόντων): § 397/9 = εἶπεν αὐτοῖς down to the end of ver. 41: § 398/9 = ver. 42: § 399/9 = ver. 43: § 400/10 = ver. 44-50: § 401/8 = 51: § 402/10 = ver. 52, 3.]:

That, in S. John’s Gospel,—§ 247 chap. xx. 17 (πορεύου down to Θεὸν ὑμῶν.563563   Critical readers will be interested in comparing, or rather contrasting, the Sectional system of a Syriac MS. with that which prevails in all Greek Codices. S. John’s § 248/1 = xx. 18: his § 249/9 = ver. 19 to εἰρήνη ὑμῖν in ver. 21: his § 250/7 = ver. 21 (καθώς to the end of the verse): his § 251/10 = ver. 22: his § 252/7 = ver. 23: his § 253/[10] = ver. 24-5: his § 254/[9] = ver. 26-7: his § 255/10 = ver. 28 to the end of xxi. 4: his § 256/9 = xxi. 5: his § 257/9 = xxi. 6 (to εὑρήσετε): his § 258/9 = ver. 6, (ἔβαλον to the end): his § 250/[10] = ver. 7, 8: his § 260/[9] = ver. 9: his § 261/10 = ver. 10: his § 262/9 = ver. 11: his § 263/9 = first half of ver. 12: his § 264/10 is incomplete.
   [But Dr. Wright, (remarking that in his MSS., which are evidently the corrector ones, 263/10 stands opposite the middle of ver. 12 [οὐδεὶς δὲ ἐτόλμα], and 264/9 opposite ver. 13 [ἔρχεται οὖν,) proceeds to supply the lacune for me, thus: § 264/9 = ver. 13: § 265/10 = ver. 14-5 (down to φιλῶ σε· λέγει αὐτῷ: § 266/9 = βόσκε τὰ ἀρνία μου (end of ver.15): § 267/10 = ver. 16 (down to φιλῶσε): § 268/9 = λέγει αὐτῷ, Ποίμαινε τὰ πρόβατά μου (end of ver. 16): § 269/10 = ver. 17 (down to φιλῶ σε): § 270/9 = λέγει αὐτῷ ὁ Ἰ., β. τὰ π. μου, (end of ver. 17): § 271/10 = ver. 18 to 25.]


So that, exhibited in familiar language, these Syriac Marginal References are intended to guide a Reader,

(§ 281) From S. Mark xvi. 8,—to S. Matth. xxviii. 8: S. Luke xxiv. 8-10: S. John xx. 17 (πορεύου to the end of the verse).

(§ 283) . . . . . . . xvi. 10,—to the same three places.

(§ 284) . . . . . . . xvi. 11,—to S. Luke xxiv. 11.

(§ 285) . . . . . . . xvi. 12,—to S. Luke xxiv. 13-17,

(§ 286) . . . . . . . xvi. 13,—to S. Luke xxiv. 11.

(§ 288) . . . . . . . xvi. 15,—to S. Matth. xxiv. 19, 20.

Here then, although the Ten Eusebian Canons are faithfully retained, it is much to be noted that we are presented with a different set of Sectional subdivisions. This will be best understood by attentively comparing all the details which precede with the Eusebian references in the inner margin of a copy of Lloyd’s Greek Testament.

But the convincing proof that these Syriac Sections are not those with which we have been hitherto acquainted from Greek MSS., is supplied by the fact that they are so many 309more in number. The sum of the Sections in each of the Gospels follows; for which, (the Bodleian Codex being mutilated,) I am indebted to the learning and obligingness of Dr. Wright564564   “I have examined for your purposes, Add. 14,449; 14,457; 14,458; and 7,157. The first three are Nos. lxix, lxx, and lxxi, in my own Catalogue: the last, a Nestorian MS., is No. xiii in the old Catalogue of Forshall and Rosen (London, 1838). All four agree in their numeration.”. He quotes from “the beautiful MS. Addit. 7,157, written A.D. 768565565   See the preceding note.—Availing myself of the reference given me by my learned correspondent, I read as follows in the Catalogue:—“Inter ipsa textus verba, numeria viridi colore pictis, notatur Canon harmoniae Eusebianae, ad quem quaevis sectio referenda est. Sic, ..ו.. [i.e. l] indicat canonem in quo omnes Evangelistae concurrunt,” &c. &c..” From this, it appears that the Sections in the Gospel according to,—

S. Matthew, (instead of being from 359 to 355,) are 426: (the last Section, § 426/6 consisting of ver. 19, 20.)

S. Mark, ( . . . . 241 to 233,) are 290: (the last Section, § 290/8 consisting of ver. 19, 20.)

S. Luke, ( . . . . 349 to 342) are 402: (the last Section, § 402/10 consisting of ver. 52, 53.)

S. John, ( . . . . 232,) are 271: (the last Section, § 271/10 consisting of ver. 18-25.)

The sum of the Sections therefore, in Syriac MSS. instead of being between 1181 and 1162566566   Suidas [A.D. 980], by giving 236 to S. Mark and 348 to S. Luke, makes the sum of the Sections in Greek Evangelist 1,171., is found to be invariably 1389.

But here, the question arises,—Did the Syrian Christians then retain the Ten Tables, dressing their contents afresh, so as to adapt them to their own ampler system of sectional subdivision? or did they merely retain the elementary principle of referring each Section to one of Ten Canons, but substitute for the Eusebian Tables a species of harmony, or apparatus of reference, at the foot of every page?

The foregoing doubt is triumphantly resolved by a reference to Assemani’s engraved representation, on xxii Copper Plates, of the X Eusebian Tables from a superb Syriac Codex (A.D. 586) in the Medicean Library567567   This sheet was all but out of the printer’s hands when the place in vol. i. of Assemani’s Bibliotheca Medicea, (fol. 1742,) as shown me by my learned friend, P. E. Pusey, Esq., of Ch. Ch.—Dr. Wright had already most obligingly and satisfactorily resolved my inquiry from the mutilated fragments of the Canons, as well as of the Epistle to Carpianus in Add. 17,213 and 14,450.. The student who 310inquires for Assemani’s work will find that the numbers in the last line of each of the X Tables is as follows:—

  Matthew Mark Luke John
Canon i
— ii
— iii
— iv
— v
— vi
— vii
— viii
— ix
— x
. . .
. . .
. . .
. . .
. . .
. . .
. . .
. . .
. . .
. . .
. . .
. . .
. . .

The Syrian Church, therefore, from a period of the remotest antiquity, not only subdivided the Gospels into a far greater number of Sections than were in use among the Greeks, but also habitually employed Eusebian Tables which—identical as they are in appearance and in the principle of their arrangement with those with which Greek MSS. have made us familiar,—yet differ materially from these as to the numerical details of their contents.

Let abler men follow up this inquiry to its lawful results. When the extreme antiquity of the Syriac documents is considered, may it not almost be made a question whether Eusebius himself put forth the larger or the smaller number of Sections? But however that may be, more palpably precarious than ever, I venture to submit, becomes the confident assertion of the Critics that, “just as Eusebius found these Verses [S. Mark xvi. 9-20] absent in his day from the best and most numerous [sic] copies, so was also the case with Ammonius when he formed his Harmony in the preceding century”568568   Dr. Tregelles. (Vide suprà, pp. 125-6.) And so, Tischendorf.. To speak plainly, the statement is purely mythical.

VI. Birch [Varr. Lectt. p. 226], asserts that in the best Codices, the Sections of S. Mark’s Gospel are not numbered beyond ch. xvi. 8. Tischendorf prudently adds, “or ver. 9:” 311but to introduce that alternative is to surrender everything. I subjoin the result of an appeal to 151 Greek Evangelia. There is written opposite to,

ver. 6, . . § 232, in 3 Codices, (viz. A, U, 286)
— 8, . . § 233, . . 34 . . . . (including L, 8)569569   The others are 11, 14, 22, 23, 28, 32, 37, 40, 45, 52, 98, 113, 115, 127, 129, 132, 133, 134, 137, 169, 186, 188, 193, 195, 265, 269, 276, 371. Add. 18,211, Cromwell 15, Wake 12 and 27.
— 9, (?) § 234, . . 41 . . . . (including Γ, Δ, Π)570570   The others are 5, 6, 9, 12, 13, 15, 24, 29, 54 [more §§ ?], 65, 68, 111, 112, 114, 118, 157, 183, 190, 202, 263, 268, 270, 273, 277, 278, 284, 287, 294, 414, 438, 439. Rich 7,141. Add. 17,741 and 17,982. Cromw. 16. Canonici 36 and 112. Wake 21.
— 10, (?) § 235, . . 4 . . . . (viz. 67, 282, 331, 406)
— 12, (?) § 236, . . 7 . . . . (the number assigned by Suidas)571571   Viz. 184, 192, 264, hscr, Add. 11,836. Ti4. Wake 29.
— 14, (?) § 237, . . 12 . . . . (including Λ)572572   The others are 10, 20, 21, 36, 49, 187, 262, 266, 300, 364. Rawl. 141.
— 15, . . § 238, . . 3 . . . . (viz. Add. 19,387: 27,861, Ti2)
— 17, . . § 239, . . 1 . . . . (viz. G)
— 19, . . § 240, . . 10 . . . . (including H, M, and the Codices from which the Hharklensian Revision, A.D. 616, was made)573573   Vide suprà, p. 33. Assemani, vol. i. p. 28. (Comp. Adler, p. 53.) The others are 8, 26, 72, 299, 447. Bodl. Miscell. 17. Wake 36.
— 20, . . § 241, . . 36 . . . . (including C, E, K, V)574574   The others are 7, 27, 34, 38, 39, 46, 74, 89, 105, 116, 117, 135, 179, 185, 194, 198, 207, 212, 260, 261, 267, 275, 279, 293, 301, 445, kscr. Add. 22,740. Wake 22, 24, 30; and 31 in which, ver. 20 is numbered CMB.

Thus, it is found that 114 Codices sectionize the last Twelve Verses, against 37 which close the account at ver. 8, or sooner. I infer—(a) That the reckoning which would limit the sections to precisely 233, is altogether precarious; and—(b) That the sum of the Sections assigned to S. Mark’s Gospel by Suidas and by Stephens (viz. 236) is arbitrary.

VII. To some, it may not be unacceptable, in conclusion, to be presented with the very words in which Eusebius explains how he would have his Sections and Canons used. His language requires attention. He says:—

Εἰ οὗν ἕν τι τῶν τεσσάρων εὐαγγελίων ὁποιονδήποτε, βουληθείης ἐπιστῆναί τινι ᾧ βούλει κεφαλαίῳ, καὶ γνῶναι τίνες τὰ παραπλήσια εἰρήκασι, καὶ τοὺς οἰκείους ἐν 312ἐκάστῳ τόπους εὑρεῖν ἐν οἶς κατὰ τῶν aὐτῶν ἡνέχθησαν, ἧς ἐπέχεις περικοπῆς ἀναλαβὼν τὸν προκείμενον ἀριθμὸν, ἐπιζητήσας τὲ αὐτὸν ἔνδον ἐν τῷ κανόνι ὃν ἡ διὰ τοῦ κινναβάρεως ὑποσημείωσις ὑποβέβληκεν, εἴσῃ μὲν εὐθὺς ἐκ τῶν ἐπὶ μετώπου τοῦ κανόνος προγραφῶν, ὁπόσοι καὶ τίνες τὰ παραπλήσια εἰρήκασιν· ἐπιστήσας δὲ καὶ τοῖς τῶν λοιπῶν εὐαγγελίων ἀριθμοῖς τοῖς ἐν τῷ κανόνι ᾧ ἐπέχεις ἀριθμῷ παρακειμένοις, ἐπιζητήσας τὲ αὐτούς ἔνδον ἐν τοῖς οἰκείοις ἑκάστου εὐαγγελίου τόποις, τὰ παραπλήσια λέγοντας εὐρήσεις.

Jerome,—who is observed sometimes to exhibit the sense of his author very loosely,—renders this as follows:—

Cum igitur aperto Codice, verbi gratia, illud sive illud Capitulum scire volueris cujus Canonis sit, statim ex subjecto numero doceberis; et recurrens ad principia, in quibus Canonum est distincta congeries, eodemque statim Canone ex titulo frontis invento, illum quem quaerebas numerum, ejusdem Evangelistae, qui et ipse ex inscriptione signatur, invenies; atque e vicino ceterorum tramitibus inspectis, quos numeros e regione habeant, annotabis. Et cum scieris, recurres ad volumina singulorum, et sine mora repertis numeris quos ante signaveras, reperies et loca in quibus vel eadem, vel vicina dixerunt.

This may be a very masterly way of explaining the use of the Eusebian Canons. But the points of the original are missed. What Eusebius actually says is this:—

“If therefore, on opening any one soever of the four Gospels, thou desirest to study any given Section, and to ascertain which of the Evangelists have said things of the same kind; as well as to discover the particular place where each has been led [to speak] of the same things;—note the number of the Section thou art studying, and seek that number in the Canon indicated by the numeral subscribed in vermilion. Thou wilt be made aware, at once, from the heading of each Canon, how many of the Evangelists, and which of them, have said things of the same kind. Then, by attending to the parallel numbers relating to the other Gospels in the same Canon, and by turning to each in its proper place, thou wilt discover the Evangelists saying things of the same kind.”

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