Thursday, May 14, 2015

Historic Editions of the Greek New Testament online

Over on Facebook it was observed that Brill was offering a collection of historic editions of the New Testament for sale.
The Critical Editions of the New Testament Online
The Greek Text, Versions, and Transcriptions of Manuscripts
This series, earlier published in a microfiche collection by IDC Publishers, makes available for the first time in a single online collection the principal critical editions, lists of variant readings and collections of manuscript transcriptions and collations from the late seventeenth to the early twentieth century. In addition, a number of the most useful editions of the ancient versions and of ancillary materials have been included. It begins with the first large collection, compiled by John Mill and published in 1707, and ends with von Soden’s huge work of 1902-13.
The most surprising thing was the price:

As Brill notes, this was previously published (before Brill’s acquisition of IDC Publishers) in a microfiche collection - contained in 853 fiche (Brill uses the same brochure):

But most of them are available for free somewhere on the internet, so I thought it would be helpful to see how many links we could collect here (with help from commenters): (I’ll start with abbreviated titles):

Greek New Testament

Erasmus (1516) (on later editions see Krans): Basel (e-rara): images & pdf; cspmt (pdf); images CSNTM

Complutensian Polyglot (vol five = NT) (1520?): cspmt (pdf)

Aldine (1518): cspmt (pdf)

Colines (1534): cspmt (pdf)

Stephanus (1550): cspmt (pdf); images CSNTM; Bibles online (nice images but fiddly orientation)

Beza: for links to the different editions (and other works of Beza) go here (Jan Krans).
Beza (1588): good individual images at CSNTM
Beza (1598): cspmt (pdf)

Elzevir (1624): cspmt (pdf)

Elzevir (1633): cspmt (pdf)

Fell (1675): hathitrust

Mill (1707) good individual images at CSNTM
Mill (rev. by Kuster) (1710) [Google Books] (BSB images & pdf) (SLUB: nice images and pdf) [HT Jan Krans]
Mill (2nd ed. Kuster) (1723) Google Books (BSB images & pdf)

J. A. Bengel (1734) at (google books) (NB. 1763 Apparatus criticus also at

J.J. Wettstein, Prolegomena In Novum Testamentum: Cum Quibusdam Characterum Graecorum Et Latinorum In Libris Manuscriptis Exemplis (1730) [pdf at] (1764 rev by Semler at Google Books [images & pdf @ mdz])

J.J. Wettstein (1751-2), vol one (1751) at Marburg: images & pdf; vol two (1752) at Marburg: images & pdf [HT Jan Krans]; vol one at; vols 1(?) & 2 at Stanford/Google Books; hathitrust

J.J. Griesbach, Synopsis Evangeliorum Matthaei, Marci et Lucae. Textum Graecum ad fidem codicum versionum et patrum emendavit et lectionis varietatem adiecit Io. Iac. Griesbach (Halle: Io. Iac. Curt., 1776)  (Synopsis = NT vol 1) [Google Books]
J.J. Griesbach,  Libri historici novi testamenti graece: Epistolas Omnes Et Apocalypsin complectens. Novum Testamentum Graece Volumen II (Halle: Curt, 1775) [GB]
J.J. Greisbach, Novum Testamentum Graece. Textum ad fidem codicum versionum et patrum emendavit et lectionis varietatem adiecit Io. Iac. Griesbach (Halle: Io. Iac. Curt., 1777): vol 1 Evangelia et Acta Apostolorum (= Gospels & Acts) [Google Books]

J.J. Griesbach, Symbolae Criticae ad supplendas et corrigendas variarum N.T. lectionum collectiones (Halle) vol. 1 (1785) [Google Books]; vol. 2 (1793) [Google Books]

J.J. Griesbach, Novum Testamentum Graece. Textum ad fidem codicum versionum et patrum recensuit et lectionis varietatem adiecit D. Io. Iac. Griesbach (Halle: Io. Iac. Curt. & London: P. Elmsly, 1796, 2nd edition): vol 1 Evangelia (Google Books); vol. 2: Acta et Epistolas Apostolorum cum Apocalypsi (Halle: Io. Iac. Curtii Haeredes & Londno: Payne & MacKinlay, 1806, 2nd edition) (Google Books) (BSB images & pdf)
Griesbach, Synopsis (1797, 2nd ed.) [Google Books]
J.J. Griesbach, Commentarius Criticus in Textum Graecum Novi Testamenti (Halle) vol. 1 (1798) & vol. 2 (1811) [bound together] [Google Books]
J.J. Griesbach, Synopsis evangeliorum Matthaei, Marci et Lucae una cum lis Joannis pericopis quae omnino cum caeterorum evangelistarum narrationibus conferendae sunt / textum recensuit et selectam lectionis varletatem adjecit D. Jo. Jac. Griesbach. (Halle: Libraria Curtiana, 1809, third edition). [hathitrust]

(Griesbach NT vol 1, 1809 at; vol. 2, 1809)
(Griesbach NT vol 1, 1818 and vol 2, 1818)
J.J. Griesbach, Synopsis evangeliorum Matthaei Marci et Lucae: una com iis Joannis pericopis quae omnino cum ... (Halle: Officina Libraria Curtiana, 1822, fourth edition). []
J.J. Griesbach,  Novum Testamentum Graece. Textum ad fidem codicum versionum et patrum recensuit et lectionis varietatem adiecit D. Io. Iac. Griesbach (rev. D. Schulz; Berlin: F. Laue, 1827, 3rd edition): vol 1 IV Evangelia  [Google Books] [second volume never published]

Harwood, The New Testament (1776; 2 vols) [GoogleBooks] [Biblioteca Nacional de España: good images and dowloadable PDFs]
[also ]

Matthaei (1782-1788) vol. 11: Matthew (1788); vol. 12: Mark (1788); vol 10: John (1786); vol. 1: Acts (1782); vol 5: Catholic Epistles (1782); vol. 3: 1&2 Corinthians (1783); vol. 6: Gal, Eph & Phil (1784); vol. 4: Hebrews & Col (1784); vol. 7: 1&2 Thess and Timothy);  vol.8: Apocalypse (1785).
Matthaei, Novum Testamentum Graece (vol. 1, 1803 [Google Books]; vol. 2, 1804 & vol. 3, 1087 [Google Books]) 

F.C. Alter, Novum Testamentum ad codicem vindobonensem graece expressum (Vienna)
vol. 1 (1787) [Google Books]; vol. 2 (1786) [Google Books] [HT Jan Krans]

K. Lachmann, Novum Testamentum Graece (Berlin: G. Reimer, 1831) [ Books]
Lachmann-Buttmann (vol. 1, 1842 [Google Books]; vol. 2, 1850 [Google Books]) (hathitrust)

Tregelles (1857) good individual images at CSNTM     Tyndale House
BNE Tregelles ( (all volumes)

Tischendorf (NTG, vol. 1, 1869 [Google Books]; vol. 2, 1872 [Google Books]; Prolegomena (C.R. Gregory, 1890) [Google Books])
Westcott & Hort (1881) text [GB]; Intro [GB] (US edition with forward by P. Schaff, 1881: archive)
von Soden (1902-13) good individual images of four volumes at CSNTM: one, two, three, four. Also pdfs at cspmt (vol one, two)

Nestle 1899 2nd edition (pdf)


(list of other catalogues) (BL: early printed Bibles)
Darlow & Moule, Historical Catalogue of the Printed Editions of Holy Scripture (London: BFBS, 1903-1911) (hathitrust)
E. Reuss, History of the Sacred Scriptures of the New Testament
E. Reuss, Bibliotheca Novi Testamenti Graeci (1872)
M.Vincent, A History of the Textual Criticism of the New Testament

Major Sites:

E-rara (rare books in Swiss Libraries)


  1. Fantastic! This was unimaginable 3-4 decades ago!

  2. The GB link for Matthaei NTG 2 1804 actually contains both NTG 2 1804 and NTG 3 1807.

  3. One seriously has to wonder how many copies Brill expects to sell at US $11,490 / €8640, especially with freely downloadable PDFs of most of those resources already available. I suspect even the major libraries will not pony up for that particular volume.

    But why should anyone want to stop with von Soden when later works such as Legg, Swanson, IGNTP, ECM, Text und Textwert, etc. offer far more extensive and often better and more accurate data?

    Of course, if Brill wants to send me a review copy . . . :-)

  4. 1. You could mention and as well.
    2. Brill took over IDC at a time when there still seemed to be substantial marketing value in the microfiches (and for some areas there still might be); for NTTC the situation seems to be a text-book example of the law of diminishing returns.
    3. Older editions are mostly not important for the data on manuscripts, but all the more so for the – all too necessary – historical perspective on our discipline.

    1. Thanks Jan,
      Re 1. I have added those sites at the bottom of the page as resources to check.
      Re 2. The law of diminishing returns is presumably balanced by the law of the long tail.
      Re 3. Completely agree (some 19th Cent editions remain useful for data purposes).

    2. Occasionally older editions raise questions about real data. E.g. a) Tischendorf thought that Wettstein had seen some passages in C 04 better than he did; b) the old debate about Alexandrinus being clearer in the 16th & 17th centuries (e.g. at 1 Tim 3.16); c) editions which cited evidence which is no longer regularly cited (e.g. marginal readings in LXX manuscript/s); d) the mystery of one of Stephanus' witnesses (may be a lost manuscript). Top of the head comments here. Unverified, lacking detail, and unchecked (like 17th cent collations).

    3. Another example: Wettstein's min. 88 of the gospels. It represents a manuscript that Camerarius "often cites in his notes on the four gospels" (Wettstein), but that is now lost; Wettstein only knew is from Camerarius's notes. The current min. 88 is another manuscript.
      Yet another example: Codex Boreelianus (F 09): Wettstein used a collation provided to him; when the manuscript resurfaced in the 19th century, some (mote) leaves were lost. And so Tischendorf partly cites F 09 from Wettstein's apparatus.

    4. Jan, you should collect these for an article.

  5. From Erasmus (¹) to Matthaei, ϛ was used for στ ; since Lachmann – what about Alter ? –, we find στ.

    1. § 2 l. 2 : μνηϛευθήσης, v. 18.

  6. There remain some gems in the older works, particularly in relation to MSS no longer extant or not currently available. Example: for the Pericope Adulterae, Matthaei's (reasonably complete) collations are all that remain available for GA MSS 238, 241, 242, 252, 258.

  7. The Harwood link does not lead to an online version, but only to a bibliographical record.

    1. Thanks Jan. Quite right. That is why it says GB not Google Books. I was wondering whether it might become available there or actually be available in some countries, but I couldn't get access.

    2. Hope springs eternally … My impression in such cases though is that it is not a matter of planning, but simply of taking over catalogue entries from wherever that may be. Be that as it may, the Harwood volume is not even available to "them Americanos".

  8. The Alter link is not the correct one; it should be for the second volume (1786) and for the first (1787).

    1. Thanks Jan. Again GB was just a holding note for not a complete version. I have fixed that up now with these two. Great.

  9. Griesbach Symbolae criticae 1793 is the second volume; the first is of 1785 and can be found at GB:

  10. Griesbach Commentarius criticus 1798 is the first volume; the second is of 1811 and is bound together with the first in the copy the GB link leads to.

    1. Thanks Jan, I've made that clear.

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  12. A much better copy of the Mill/Küster 1710 edition is found at SLUB Dresden:, though it has a different title page (but the type for the rest is identical).

  13. I have a collection of Greek New Testaments -- some old, some not so old -- and other text-critical resources at .

  14. For a complete list of Beza's editions it might be useful to refer to my blogpost on it (

  15. Westcott and Hort (1881) is available at the Internet Archive (as are other things);

  16. Harwood's Greek New Testament

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  18. For Harwood's two volumes, better go via the owner of the digital copy, the Biblioteca Nacional de España:; you can then download them as PDFs.

  19. Fell's Greek New Testament (1675);view=1up;seq=708

  20. - I spotted a Greisbach instead of Griesbach.
    - Semler 1764 is not a revision of Wettstein's 1730 Prolegomena, but an annotated and expanded version of Wettstein's own revision of his 1730 Prolegomena for his 1751-1752 edition.
    - Bowyer 1763 is also online: