Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Crowdsourcing a marginal note at Luke 22:43–44


Luke 22:43–44 in GA 1424:
Luke 22:43–44 in GA 1424
I admit that abbreviated minuscule script is a bit outside my normal time range. Most of the time I’m not too bad at it, but it helps if you already know what you’re looking at. That being said, I was looking at the Lukan Gethsemane Scene in 1424 earlier, and noticed it has three marginal notes. I was able to make out two of them (rather I should say, enough of two of them), which are interesting enough on their own. They both seem loosely to derive from older patristic sources (Epiphanius? though a catena of [Pseudo-?]Titus of Bostra attributes a longer note to Chrysostom, of which one of the notes in 1424 appears to be an abbreviated form—GA 39 contains the text; The text of Luke 22:43–44 is on f. 203r, and the beginning of Chrysostom’s comments is at the 6th line of the commentary at the top of the page, but the comments relevant to this section are marked with a symbol and appear on f. 203v.).

Listing them in order of appearance on the page from top to bottom, the first is:

Text: διὰ τὴν ὑπερβολὴν | τῆς θαυμασιότητος | δοξολογῶν αὐτὸν | ὁ ἄγγελος ἐφαί|νετο· οἷα λεγειν· | σή ἐστιν ἡ ἰσχὺς | δέσποτα σὺ γὰρ ἴ|σχυας κατὰ θα|νάτου ἐλευθέρω|σας τὸ γένος ἀνθρώπων:

[rough translation:] “Because of the excess of astonishment, the angel appeared glorifying him, because he said, ‘Yours is the strength, O Master, for you are strong over death, setting free the race of mankind.’”

At the bottom of the page, a third note identifies Luke 22:43 as a fulfilment of Deuteronomy 32:43:

Below: square brackets relate to the text itself; round brackets are my suggested clarifications. Neither are perfect, as I admit that this type of hand is getting near the limits of my competency.

Text: [something]: ὤφθη δὲ αὐτῷ ἀγγέλος ἀπ᾽ ὀυρανοῦ ἐνϊσχύων αὐτόν: οὐχ ὢς δε ὁ [κυριον?]· ἀλλ᾽ ἵνα πληρωθῇ τὸ [it starts to get hard to read here, but ἐνισχυ]σάτωσαν αὐτὸν πάντες ἄγγελοι θεοῦ.

[rough translation]: [something]: “But an angel from heaven appeared to him, strengthening him”: But not (strengthening him) as Lord (or, not his divine nature?), but in order to fulfil that [which was spoken(or written) (by Moses?)]: “Let all the angels of God strengthen him.”

The second note, ironically the shortest and probably easiest, is the one that I’m having trouble with. I’d rather not spend more time trying to sort it out, so I though I’d ask for the wisdom of our readership. Can anyone decipher the full note easily? I can see letters here and there. I wouldn’t be surprised if that’s οὐκ split over the last two lines. I can see ἀστερισ[κος?] on the first/second line. It probably begins with τα Putting it all together would take me more time than I’d like to spend though. For context, Luke 22:43–44 are marked with asterisks in this manuscript, and my guess is that this note might be a text-critical remark, or at least I would think it’s an explanation of the asterisks. This manuscript does have marginal notes like this elsewhere that reveal a knowledge of textual variants.

Feel free to correct my rough transcriptions and translations of the other two notes as well, but I’m mainly asking about the second note, pictured below. I’ll try to check back and update/give credit.

Thank you much!
The second note:
GA 1424, marginal note at Luke 22:43–44.
EDIT: Thanks to Peter Montoro who sent me what I think is a reasonable proposal for parts of it, then he and I together put the rest of it together: τὰ ἔχοντα τοὺς ἀ|στερισκούς· ἔν τι|σιν ἀντιγράφοις οὐ | κεῖται:

Rough translation: “The things that have the asterisks: they do not lie in some copies.”

Fun fact: in 1986, these verses were used as part of a medical diagnosis:

William D. Edwards, Wesley J. Gabel and Floyd E. Hosmer, “On the Physical Death of Jesus Christ,” Journal of the American Medical Association 255.11 (1986), 1455–1463, esp. p. 1456.

On Epiphanius:

K. Holl, Epiphanius, Bände 1-3: Ancoratus und Panarion [Die griechischen christlichen Schriftsteller 25, 31, 37. Leipzig: Hinrichs, 1:1915; 2:1922; 3:1933]: 1:153-161, 169-233, 238-464; 2:5-210, 215-523; 3:2-229, 232-414, 416-526. Retrieved from:

See also Dirk Jongkind’s post about Luke 22:43–44 in the Tyndale House Greek NT.


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  2. Boy did you pick a fun one! This took a while and after conferring with a more experienced colleague here's what we got:

    τὰ εχ(ον)τα τ(οὺς) αστερίσ(εις) εν τι|σι(ν) αντιγρά(φοις) ου| κειτ(αι). 

    Translation: "[The phrase] 'who has the infirmities' does not occur in some copies/manuscripts"

    1. Correction: αστερισ(εις) should read αστερισ(κους) i.e. "marked with asterisks"

      Many thanks to Georgi Parpulov for his help!

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  5. Second marginal note:
    ζήτ(ει) ἄνωθ(εν)
    ὤφθη δὲ αὐτῶ ἄγγελος Κ(υρίο)υ
    οὐχ ὡς δεόμενον ἀλλ᾽ ἵνα πληρωθῇ τὸ ῥητὸν