Acts 15,19-21 James on Dietary Law and Blood ( some of the oldest available manuscripts with the passage)

by TheWonderofYou 15 Replies latest watchtower medical

  • TheWonderofYou

    Investigating the Codex Alexandrinus (400-450 A.D.)

    Sifting the oldest existing codices and paypri for appearances of the „strangled meat“ and „blood“ ban I came accross the Codex Alexandrinus.

    As in the original text is no reference point where to find Act 15,20 in the folios I had to recognize the uncial letters myself and so I sifted the folios for known letters of „aimatos“ or „porno“ sorry „porneis“ but lately I found the passage somehow accidently over the word „Moses“, which is the first word of vers 21 and as in Alexandrinus there was already a vers arrangement, the first word of the vers is a little bit inserted from the column. And so i found it Wow! (Okay I also estimated that Ch. 15 has to be in the middle of the folios 56-76 and so I came to folio 66 …and there it was. „Moses indeed from generation…“!).

    Here you see the big M that catched my eyes.

    Codex Alexandrinus (about 450 A.D. now in Princeton)

    Comparision to Codex Bezae (about 400 A.D., now in Cambridge) (here also Moses inserted)

    Can you see the word „Moses"?

    And here it is in the line before the big „Moses“

    Line 1 ἀλλὰ ἐπιστεῖλαι αὐτοῖς τοῦ ἀπέ-
    alla episteilai autois tou ape-
    but to write them to ab-

    Line 2 χεσθαι τῶν ἀλισγημάτων

    Chesthai ton alisgematon
    ..stain from pollutions

    Line 3 τῶν εἰδώλων καὶ τῆς πορνείας

    ton eidiolon kai tes porneias
    of the idols and of the immorality

    Line 4 καὶ τοῦ πνικτοῦ καὶ τοῦ αἵματος.

    kai tou pniktou kai tou haimatos
    and that which is strangled and from blood

    Again we have in the Alexandrinus „pniktou“ - „suffocated“ or „strangled“ in the text from the 5th century !

    Here a more distant view of folio 66 with a numer „92“ at the head. (430 A.D. Alexandria)

    How to find for yourself?

    „Royal MS 1 D V-VIII“ (also Gregory-Aland no. A or 02, Soden δ 4) is the name of the Codex Alexandrinus at Princeton University library.

    How can you find the folio yourself?

    >> if you look inside Alexandrinus you can adjust to folio style and Scroll down to folio 66 on the right side.


    Cambing throught the text I was also coming to this wonderful colophon at folio 76. The last page of Acts. (folio 56-76) You can find it on folio 76

    What do the letters mean?: Does the chalice symbolize the communion cup?

    'Πράξεις τῶν ἁγίων ἀποστόλων'.
    Praxeis (practice)
    ton (of the)
    agion (holy)
    apostolon (apostels)

    "Acts of the Apostels" ....the words are splitted.

    Note that here you are reading in an original bible codex that dates back to the years 400-450 AD and that was written by a copyist with brown ink! In former times onyl bible scholars in monastaries or the university/church libraries could do!

    More about Alexandrinus

    What do we know about the Alexandrinus manuscript?
    A: Alexandrinus (450 A.D.) It often is abbreviated as "A" or called uncial 02.
    What has been preserved: It has preserved all of Genesis except for Genesis 14:14-17; 15:1-5, 16-19; 16:6-9, which are mutilated. The Twelve Minor Prophets are directly before Isaiah. It contains the rest of the Old Testament except for 1 Samuel 12:17-14:9 and Psalms 49:20-79:11.
    The Apocryphal books in Alexandrinus are 3 and 4 Maccabees.
    In the New Testament, Alexandrinus contains Matthew 25:7 to the end, Mark, Luke, John, Acts, and Paul's letters. John 6:50-8:52 and 2 Corinthians 4:13-12:6 are missing though. Alexandrinus contains all of Romans (minus 16:24) in the order of 1:1-14:23; 16:25-27; 15:1-16:23; 16:25-27 (The Wycliffe Exegetical Commentary : Romans 1-8 p.6) It contains 16:25-27 twice. It contains all of James.
    Other books at the end of the manuscript were written the Psalms of Solomon, and 1 and 2 Clement, with some parts missing.
    Physical appearance: The leaves measure 32.1 cm by 26.4 cm. It was written on expensive vellum with brown ink. There are two columns per page, and 46-52 lines per column. There are no spaces between the words, and Old Testament quotes are indicated. It currently is in London, UK.
    Scribes and correctors: Two to five scribes wrote this manuscript, and there were numerous corrections, by both the scribe who originally wrote the words and others hands. The corrected version is very similar to the Textus Receptus.
    Distinctives of Alexandrinus: Some would say it appears as an Alexandrian Manuscript with Byzantine influence. Others would say it represents an alleged third family, the Western family, which is a combination of the Alexandrian and Byzantine texts. It does not have Luke 22:43f, and is missing John 7:53-8:11.
    2 Tim 2:22 Alexandrinus has "loving" while other manuscripts have "calling"
    Phm 12, Alexandrinus and corrected Sinaiticus almost stand alone in saying "whom I sent back yours" vs. other manuscripts who say "whom I sent back to you" or similar.
    Phm 25 Alexandrinus does not have "amen" at the end. Sinaiticus, the Byzantine Lectionary, and p87 c.125 A.D. have "amen" at the end. See A General Introduction to the Bible p.394-395 and Manuscripts of the Greek Bible p.86 (photograph p.87) for more info.

  • TheWonderofYou

    And now lets jump to the

    Codex Vaticanus (325 - 350 A.D.) ,now in Vatican City

    Will we again find the "strangled meat"?

    its in the forelast and last line namely divided in PNI and Ktou, you will find it.

    Moses in the second line is not inserted! What a beautiful hand writing from the 4th century!
    It has been preserved until today!

    Here you have it:

    καὶ -kai τῆς (tes) πορνείας = "porneis" καὶ (τοῦ) πνι (PNIK-

    κτοῦ (KTOU) = "suffocated" καὶ τοῦ αἵματος (Blood)

    Do your own research

    Goto the folio with Acts 15.2 and look for this text I have cut out, if you like. Each folio has 3 columns, dont give up, you can zoom in.

    Vers 20 of Ch.15 begins in the 3rd column in the sixth line with ONA followed by

    The last visible line of this cut out begins with Moses again, you see "Μωϋσῆς but in uncial letters

    "alla episteilai autois tou ape" - episteilai .....this is " contain, abstain"


    More about Vaticanus

    What do we know about the Vaticanus manuscript?

    A: Vaticanus (325-350 A.D.) is the oldest existing member of the Alexandrian manuscript family. It often is abbreviated as "B" or is called uncial 03.
    What has been preserved: Vaticanus has preserved only verses 46:29-50:26 in Genesis, and the rest of the Old Testament except for 2 Kings 2:5-7 and 1-13, and Psalm 105:27-137:6. The missing section in Psalms was added in the 15th century.
    Some apocryphal books are in Vaticanus, as are in most Greek Bibles. Vaticanus does not contain 1-4 Maccabees and the Prayer of Manasseh.
    The New Testament is all preserved up until Hebrews 9:15. After that some leaves were lost. It has none of 1 and 2 Timothy, Titus, Philemon, and Revelation. Aland references Vaticanus in the book of James, and the New International Greek Testament Commentary on James p.60 says Vaticanus contains the complete book of James.
    Physical Appearance: It was written with brown ink on expensive vellum, with each leaf being 27-28 centimeters square. There were three columns per page and 40-44 lines per column. Today it is in Vatican City in the middle of Rome
    Scribes and Correctors: One scribe wrote the Old Testament, and another wrote the New Testament. There were two correctors. One corrected the manuscript about 350 A.D. soon after it was written. The other corrector lived in the tenth or eleventh century.
    Distinctives of Vaticanus: It generally follows the other manuscripts in the Alexandrian family. It does not have John 7:53-8:11, Luke 22:43-44, and Luke 23:34. It Sinaiticus, it has a blank space for the longer ending of Mark. Vaticanus contains all of Romans (minus 16:24) in the same order as Bibles today.
    Jn 16:28 "from/by the Father" is in Vaticanus. Many other manuscripts have "came forth from the Father", including p5 (200-250 A.D.), p22, Sinaiticus, Alexandrinus, Ephraemi Rescriptus, Byzantine Lectionary, Diatessaron (c.170 A.D). See The Origin of the Bible p.181, A General Introduction to the Bible p.391-392, and Manuscripts of the Greek Bible p.74-75 for more info.

  • TheWonderofYou

    And here we have a manuscript that is called P.Bodmer XVII or P74 (Papyrus 74) and dates to the 7th century.
    One remaining sheet contaings Acts Chapter 15.

    There are whole books about the history of this Payprus.

    Now let us look for our passage...

    This cut out starts with the "alla" but and ends with "Moses"

    Do we have "strangled" - "Pniktos" here? Yes its that

    in the forelast line. "kai pniktou"

    More about the Bodmer Paypyri

  • never a jw
    never a jw

    Your research deserves an A+++

  • TheWonderofYou

    Interim conclusions - Early witnesses for Acts 15,20

    1. Early versions in papyri

    Early versions in papyri containing Acts are preserved in papyri from 3rd century until 4th century

    The passage Acts 15,20 is however only preserved in P45
    The Payprus bodmer XVII, P74 also bearing Acts 15,20 is only from the 7th century.

    So we have only one papyrus-witness from 3d century with Acts 15,20 and with „strangled“

    2. Early versions of Acts in Codices.

    We have only those 4 great codices from 4th-6rh century which contain Acts.

    Codex Sinaiticus (X) discovered in the Monastery of St. Catherine in the Sinai; today in London, British Library)

    Codex Vaticanus (B; 4th century; today in Rome)

    Codex Alexandrinus (A, fifth century, now in London, British Library)

    and Codex EphraemiRescriptus (C, 5th century, washed down in the twelfth century and described with tracts of the Syrian ecclesiastical father; today in Paris).

    The first three contain chapter 15 and the pasage 15,20 in the same version with "strangled", as we have seen above.

    All these versions have in Acts similarites and cholars see conformity in this text tradition, as we have seen also in the text tradition of Acts 15,20

    1. briefness and shortness
    1. austerity simple grammatic
    1. unfanciful and uncomplicated writings style
    and characterise this text version of NT and similar texts as " Alexandrian type", "Eastern text", "Egyptian text" or also "Neutral text" (Westcoot and Hort), Classification IV from Nestle-Aland. Scholars like Metzger consider it to be the best text and most faithful in preserving the original text.

    The same is the case with the papyrus 45, the oldest manuscript with Acts 15. The P45 is also subordinated in the classical methode under this text body type. Is a casarean text type and originates in Alexandria.

    Since the discovered Bodmer Papyri P66 (from 200 or 125 A.D. containing John) and P75 (from about 225 A.D. containing Luke and John) have shown also that this „genus“ of writings already could go back to a text body type from the early second century, this would mean that also this version of Acts 15,20 with „strangled“ in it, is presumeably the original text (however P66 and P75 dont include Acts 15).

  • Crazyguy

    It looks as though based on your research that this text is a copy of what's written in the book of Leviticus chapter 17

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