Four Gospels in Greek (Manuscript 18; GA 2120)

Four Gospels in Greek (Manuscript 18; GA 2120)


Collection ID

MS.000127

Type

Manuscript

Date

ca. 1100–1200

Geography

Greece

Language

Greek

Medium

Parchment, ink

Dimensions

262 folios, 6.1 × 5.2 in. (15.5 × 13.2 cm)

Exhibit Location

Deaccessioned October 2018, returned to University of Athens


The manuscript contains all four canonical Gospels in order. The manuscript is written in a neat minuscule hand, with brown ink. Modern numbers have been stamped in black ink at the top of each folio. Each Gospel begins with an illuminated letter that is approximately three lines high. Each Gospel has an ornate headpiece above the rubrics for the name of the Gospel. Throughout there are rubrics in red or purple ink. There are annotations in the margins throughout the manuscript. On folio 262 is a colophon signed by “Theodore, the sinful and reckless monk.” Inside the cover are pastedowns of printed text in Church Slavonic. Until the 1990s, the manuscript had an additional folio, number 263, that contained a lengthy inscription. For more information, please see https://www.museumofthebible.org/research/manuscript-18

Made in Greece, ca. 1100–1200, completed by the scribe, “Theodore, the sinful and reckless monk.”[1] Medieval ownership or use by people named “Demetres,” “Manoloi,” and “Christina.”[2] Acquired by Professor Spyridon Lampros (1851–1919), scholar and statesman;[3] By descent in 1919 to Lina Tsaldari (1887–1991), Lampros’s daughter, assistant, and heir;[4] Donated in 1964 to the library of the Seminar of Byzantine and Modern Greek Philology of the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens.[5] Stolen from the university’s history museum sometime between 1987and 1991.[6] Sold at auction December 1, 1998.[7] Acquired by Rick Adams, uncertain dates of acquisition and sale.[8] Acquired by Sam Fogg; Privately purchased in 2010 by the Green Collection, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma; Donated in 2014 to Museum of the Bible, Washington, DC; Deaccessioned and returned to National and Kapodistrian University of Athens in October 2018.

Notes: [1] Another monk, Damian, also worked on copying the manuscript, based on a prayer on the back of folio 93 and the front of 94. [2] Based on medieval notations on the flyleaves. [3] It is uncertain how and when Professor Lampros acquired the manuscript. Hermann von Soden listed it in Lampros’s possession in his 1902 publication, and Caspar René Gregory mentions that he saw it in 1904. [4] It is unclear what role Mrs. Tsaldari had, if any, in the 1923 publication of Lampros’s collection. [5] The prologue of Zoras’s catalog records the donation. [6] The dates are established by a delivery receipt dated April 30, 1987, and a history museum letter from 2015 that mentions an inventory done in 1991 that did not find the manuscript. The university supplied copies of both documents to Museum of the Bible. [7] Sotheby’s catalog “Western Manuscripts and Miniatures, 1 December 1998” contains a description of the manuscript on pages 38–40. The description incorrectly identifies the scribe and dates the manuscript a century later. [8] Ownership established by bookplate inside the front cover.

Selected references

Sotheby’s, “Western Manuscripts and Miniatures,” Lot 67 (Sotheby’s, December 1, 1998).

Kurt Aland, ed., “Kurzgefaßte Liste der griechischen Handschriften des Neuen Testaments,” 2nd ed. (De Gruyter, 1994).

Kurt Treu, "Der Schreiber am Ziel: Zu den Versen Ὥσπερ ξένοι χαίρουσιν... und ähnlichen" “Studia Codicologica, Texte und Untersuchungen” (Akademie Verlag, 1977), 473–492.

Kurt Aland, “Die griechischen Handschriften des Neuen Testaments. Ergänzung zur ‘Kurzgefaßten Liste‘ (Fortsetzungsliste VII), I. Korrekturen und Ergänzungen zur ‘Kurzgefaßte Liste‘“ “Materialien zur Neutestamentlichen Handschriftenkunde ” (De Gruyter, 1969), 1–38.

Gregorios Zoras and P. K. Bouboulidou, “Κατάλογος χειρογράφων κωδίκων” (Seminar of Byzantine and Modern Greek Philology, 1964).

Kurt Aland, ed., “Kurzgefaßte Liste der griechischen Handschriften des Neuen Testaments” (De Gruyter, 1963).

Spyridon Lampros, “Καταλογος των Κωδικων των εν Αθηναις Βιβλιοθηκων πλην της Εθνικης” “Νεος Ελληνομηνημων, Τριμηνιανον Περιοδικον Συγγραμμα Συντασσομενον εκ τον Καταλοπτων του Σπυρ. Λαμπρου,” v. 17 (The Phoenix, 1923), 296–297.

Hermann von Soden, ed., “Die Schriften des Neuen Testaments in ihrer ältesten erreichbaren Textgestallt—hergestellt auf Grund iher Textgeschichte, ” 1. Teil, 1 Abteilung (Vandenhoeck und Ruprecht, 1911). https://archive.org/stream/VonSoden1-1#page/n187/mode/2up/search/Lambros

Caspar René Gregory, “Die griechischen Handschriften des Neuen Testaments” (J.C. Hinrichs’sche Buchhandlung, 1908). https://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id=coo.31924029308701;view=1up;seq=124

Articles in the media about the return of Manuscript 18 to Greece

CBN News, August 19, 2018, http://www1.cbn.com/cbnnews/2018/august/museum-of-the-bible-finds-long-lost-copy-of-greek-new-testament-bible

The Christian Century, August 14, 2018, https://www.christiancentury.org/article/news/museum-bible-returns-stolen-gospels-manuscript

Εθνικος Κηρυξ, Sept. 13, 2018 (originally August 22) https://www.ekirikas.com/%CE%B2%CF%85%CE%B6%CE%B1%CE%BD%CF%84%CE%B9%CE%BD%CF%8C-%CF%87%CE%B5%CE%B9%CF%81%CF%8C%CE%B3%CF%81%CE%B1%CF%86%CE%BF-%CF%84%CE%BF%CF%85-12%CE%BF%CF%85-%CE%B1%CE%B9%CF%8E%CE%BD%CE%B1-%CF%80%CE%BF%CF%85/

Evangelical Text Criticism, August 11, 2018, http://evangelicaltextualcriticism.blogspot.com/2018/08/museum-of-bible-and-repatriation-ga-2120.html

Faces and Voices (Roberta Mazza), August 15, 2018, https://facesandvoices.wordpress.com/

Η Καθημερινη, Sept. 13, 2018 (originally August 20), http://www.kathimerini.gr/980536/article/epikairothta/ellada/h-peripeteia-enos-mesaiwnikoy-xeirografoy?

Medievalists.Net, August 16, 2018, http://www.medievalists.net/2018/08/byzantine-manuscript-missing-for-27-years-to-be-returned-to-greece/

Religion News Service, August 13, 2018, https://religionnews.com/2018/08/13/museum-of-the-bible-returns-medieval-manuscript-after-discovering-items-theft/

Richmond Free Press, August 16, 2018, http://richmondfreepress.com/news/2018/aug/16/medieval-manuscript-returned-after-museum-discover/

Description

The manuscript contains all four canonical Gospels in order. The manuscript is written in a neat minuscule hand, with brown ink. Modern numbers have been stamped in black ink at the top of each folio. Each Gospel begins with an illuminated letter that is approximately three lines high. Each Gospel has an ornate headpiece above the rubrics for the name of the Gospel. Throughout there are rubrics in red or purple ink. There are annotations in the margins throughout the manuscript. On folio 262 is a colophon signed by “Theodore, the sinful and reckless monk.” Inside the cover are pastedowns of printed text in Church Slavonic. Until the 1990s, the manuscript had an additional folio, number 263, that contained a lengthy inscription. For more information, please see https://www.museumofthebible.org/research/manuscript-18


Provenance

Made in Greece, ca. 1100–1200, completed by the scribe, “Theodore, the sinful and reckless monk.”[1] Medieval ownership or use by people named “Demetres,” “Manoloi,” and “Christina.”[2] Acquired by Professor Spyridon Lampros (1851–1919), scholar and statesman;[3] By descent in 1919 to Lina Tsaldari (1887–1991), Lampros’s daughter, assistant, and heir;[4] Donated in 1964 to the library of the Seminar of Byzantine and Modern Greek Philology of the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens.[5] Stolen from the university’s history museum sometime between 1987and 1991.[6] Sold at auction December 1, 1998.[7] Acquired by Rick Adams, uncertain dates of acquisition and sale.[8] Acquired by Sam Fogg; Privately purchased in 2010 by the Green Collection, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma; Donated in 2014 to Museum of the Bible, Washington, DC; Deaccessioned and returned to National and Kapodistrian University of Athens in October 2018.

Notes: [1] Another monk, Damian, also worked on copying the manuscript, based on a prayer on the back of folio 93 and the front of 94. [2] Based on medieval notations on the flyleaves. [3] It is uncertain how and when Professor Lampros acquired the manuscript. Hermann von Soden listed it in Lampros’s possession in his 1902 publication, and Caspar René Gregory mentions that he saw it in 1904. [4] It is unclear what role Mrs. Tsaldari had, if any, in the 1923 publication of Lampros’s collection. [5] The prologue of Zoras’s catalog records the donation. [6] The dates are established by a delivery receipt dated April 30, 1987, and a history museum letter from 2015 that mentions an inventory done in 1991 that did not find the manuscript. The university supplied copies of both documents to Museum of the Bible. [7] Sotheby’s catalog “Western Manuscripts and Miniatures, 1 December 1998” contains a description of the manuscript on pages 38–40. The description incorrectly identifies the scribe and dates the manuscript a century later. [8] Ownership established by bookplate inside the front cover.

Selected references

Sotheby’s, “Western Manuscripts and Miniatures,” Lot 67 (Sotheby’s, December 1, 1998).

Kurt Aland, ed., “Kurzgefaßte Liste der griechischen Handschriften des Neuen Testaments,” 2nd ed. (De Gruyter, 1994).

Kurt Treu, "Der Schreiber am Ziel: Zu den Versen Ὥσπερ ξένοι χαίρουσιν... und ähnlichen" “Studia Codicologica, Texte und Untersuchungen” (Akademie Verlag, 1977), 473–492.

Kurt Aland, “Die griechischen Handschriften des Neuen Testaments. Ergänzung zur ‘Kurzgefaßten Liste‘ (Fortsetzungsliste VII), I. Korrekturen und Ergänzungen zur ‘Kurzgefaßte Liste‘“ “Materialien zur Neutestamentlichen Handschriftenkunde ” (De Gruyter, 1969), 1–38.

Gregorios Zoras and P. K. Bouboulidou, “Κατάλογος χειρογράφων κωδίκων” (Seminar of Byzantine and Modern Greek Philology, 1964).

Kurt Aland, ed., “Kurzgefaßte Liste der griechischen Handschriften des Neuen Testaments” (De Gruyter, 1963).

Spyridon Lampros, “Καταλογος των Κωδικων των εν Αθηναις Βιβλιοθηκων πλην της Εθνικης” “Νεος Ελληνομηνημων, Τριμηνιανον Περιοδικον Συγγραμμα Συντασσομενον εκ τον Καταλοπτων του Σπυρ. Λαμπρου,” v. 17 (The Phoenix, 1923), 296–297.

Hermann von Soden, ed., “Die Schriften des Neuen Testaments in ihrer ältesten erreichbaren Textgestallt—hergestellt auf Grund iher Textgeschichte, ” 1. Teil, 1 Abteilung (Vandenhoeck und Ruprecht, 1911). https://archive.org/stream/VonSoden1-1#page/n187/mode/2up/search/Lambros

Caspar René Gregory, “Die griechischen Handschriften des Neuen Testaments” (J.C. Hinrichs’sche Buchhandlung, 1908). https://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id=coo.31924029308701;view=1up;seq=124

Articles in the media about the return of Manuscript 18 to Greece

CBN News, August 19, 2018, http://www1.cbn.com/cbnnews/2018/august/museum-of-the-bible-finds-long-lost-copy-of-greek-new-testament-bible

The Christian Century, August 14, 2018, https://www.christiancentury.org/article/news/museum-bible-returns-stolen-gospels-manuscript

Εθνικος Κηρυξ, Sept. 13, 2018 (originally August 22) https://www.ekirikas.com/%CE%B2%CF%85%CE%B6%CE%B1%CE%BD%CF%84%CE%B9%CE%BD%CF%8C-%CF%87%CE%B5%CE%B9%CF%81%CF%8C%CE%B3%CF%81%CE%B1%CF%86%CE%BF-%CF%84%CE%BF%CF%85-12%CE%BF%CF%85-%CE%B1%CE%B9%CF%8E%CE%BD%CE%B1-%CF%80%CE%BF%CF%85/

Evangelical Text Criticism, August 11, 2018, http://evangelicaltextualcriticism.blogspot.com/2018/08/museum-of-bible-and-repatriation-ga-2120.html

Faces and Voices (Roberta Mazza), August 15, 2018, https://facesandvoices.wordpress.com/

Η Καθημερινη, Sept. 13, 2018 (originally August 20), http://www.kathimerini.gr/980536/article/epikairothta/ellada/h-peripeteia-enos-mesaiwnikoy-xeirografoy?

Medievalists.Net, August 16, 2018, http://www.medievalists.net/2018/08/byzantine-manuscript-missing-for-27-years-to-be-returned-to-greece/

Religion News Service, August 13, 2018, https://religionnews.com/2018/08/13/museum-of-the-bible-returns-medieval-manuscript-after-discovering-items-theft/

Richmond Free Press, August 16, 2018, http://richmondfreepress.com/news/2018/aug/16/medieval-manuscript-returned-after-museum-discover/


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