Monday, January 08, 2007

Gospels in the 'Western' order

I have an enquiry from a scholar wishing to find out whether there is a list of all Greek manuscripts with the Gospels in the 'Western' order. Does anyone know of such a list?


  1. P45, D & W for a start. Other witnesses in Latin and Gothic. Not sure about any minuscules.

  2. D. C. Parker, in his monograph on Codex Bezae (Codex Bezae: an early Christian manuscript and its text, CUP, 1992), pp. 116-118, has a detailed discussion of the matter, including evidence from Greek MSS (D, X, and a few minuscules), versions, and patristic testimony.
    Surprisingly he does not mention p45.

  3. Thanks Mike,

    That is really helpful.

    The lack of P45 is interesting. I suppose the fact of the matter is that the order of the gospels in P45 is not 100% secure.

    Kenyon described P45 as originally being found/purchased in two bundles: Mark & Acts; Luke & John (‘in a much better state of preservation’). This suggests that Mark came last, and suggested the possibility that P45 originally had the "Western" order: Matt, John, Luke, Mark.
    The subsequent analysis by Skeat (1993, one year after Parker's 1992) confirmed this and put the theory of the original "Western" order for P45 on a more secure footing: T.C. Skeat, "A Codicological Analysis of the Chester Beatty Papyrus Codex of the Gospels and Acts (P45)," Hermathena 155(1993), 27-43.

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    1. I can certainly imagine why. Reconfiguring a table from how it was found by the scribe is different than binding four gospels into a new arrangement.

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