Manuscripts, et al used in translations Part 2

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Codex Montfortianus – A Greek copy of the New Testament from approximately 1520 also known as the Codex Britannicus, the Codex Montfortianus was named for a Dr. Montfort, who once owned the manuscript. Written by at least three authors, it appears that the Gospels were written first followed by the other books of the New Testament. There is some controversy about the Book of Revelation, in that it appears to have been added last, and copied from the Leicester Codex. Also, this is one of the very few older manuscripts to contain the “Comma Johanneum,” which refers to 1 John 5:7-8.

Codex Peterburgensis – See Leningrad Codex.

Codex Petropolensis – See Leningrad Codex.

Codex Regius – Latin for “Royal Book,” the Codex Regius is a manuscript consisting of only the Gospels. It was not copied very well and contains numerous errors. It is believed to have been written in Egypt and is now located in Paris, France at the National Library.

Codex Sinaiticus – Believed to be from the 4th century and containing books of both the Old and New Testament in Greek (with the Old Testament being an example of the Septuagint), the Codex Sinaiticus had the effect of confirming the legitimacy of the Codex Vaticanus (which is older). This Codex was found in a convent near Mount Sinai in 1844 by Constantin von Tischendorf and is the oldest nearly complete Bible found so far, and includes the complete New Testament. For more information visit

Codex Vaticanus – So named because it is in the possession of the Vatican library, the Codex Vaticanus dates from the 4th century and is believed to be the oldest Greek language Bible still in existence. While missing parts of several books of the Bible, it is still highly respected. The Old Testament is an example of the Septuagint, and the New Testament was used by Desiderius Erasmus in the creation of what became known as the Textus Receptus. For more information you can go here

Codex Veronensis – A 4th or 5th century manuscript that contains the Gospels written in old Latin and is not considered reliable. It is currently in Verona, Italy.

Codex Victorinus – Also known as Miniscule 120, the Codex Victorinus is a Greek manuscript of the Gospels from the 12th century, and is currently housed in the National Library of France.

Comma Johanneum – A section of 1 John 5:7-8 that appears in some manuscripts but not in the older ones. It is believed to have been a footnote that a scribe included, at some point, in the text. Modern translations tend to either leave this section out of the translation, place it in brackets, or put it in the footnotes.

Critical Text – A text put together by a committee who tries to determine which text is the most reliable. The result of their work is called the “Critical Text.”

Curetonian Gospels – The Curetonian Gospels are a Syriac version of the New Testament, that were copied from Greek manuscripts. They vary significantly from Greek texts of the same period however.

Damascus Keter – Written in the 10th century A.D., the Damascus Keter (Crown of Damascus) is a Hebrew copy of the Pentateuch that was bought from leaders in the Jewish community of Damascus by David Sassoon in 1914, and was purchased by the Hebrew University from the Sassoon collection in 1975. Written in Hebrew and “vocalized,” the manuscript is considered to be very reliable.

Dead Sea Scrolls –Found in caves near the ruins of Qumran on the Dead Sea shoreline in what is known today as the West Bank, the Dead Sea Scrolls include approximately 900 documents of which around 220 are from the Jewish Tanakh (Hebrew Bible or Old Testament). Generally dating from around 150 B.C. to 70 A.D., these manuscripts were discovered from 1946 to 1956. Prior to their discovery, the oldest Hebrew texts available were the Codex Aleppo and the Codex Leningrad, penned between 920 and 1000 A.D., with the oldest texts in Greek, the Codex Sinaiticus and Codex Vaticanus, from the fourth century. These scrolls are believed by most to be the work of a group of Jews known as the Essenes, although this belief is not universal. For more information visit

Gregory-Aland – This refers to a numbering system to keep track of the many copies of the Old and New Testaments that have been found. Originally published in 1908 by Caspar Rene Gregory, this system was continued by Kurt Aland in the 1950’s.

John Ryland manuscript – This manuscript is a fragment of a page of the Gospel of John, and is believed to have been penned between 100 and 130 A.D., making it only a generation or two from the original letter (which is believed to have been written ca 90 A.D.). Written in Greek, it was bought in an open Egyptian market in 1920 by Bernard Grenfell, although it wasn’t translated until 1934 by Colin H. Roberts.

Leicester Codex – A Greek manuscript from the 15th century, this codex contains the entire New Testament along with some non-Biblical material and is currently located in Leicester, England. There is also a book by the same name that contains a collection of primarily scientific writings by Leonardo da Vinci.

.....There have been many thousands of documents and manuscripts found with God's Word that have been used in the translation process. Here we've listed many of them and their associated terminology, and a little bit about them.
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