The Greek Text
This Is Appendix
94 From The Companion Bible.
While modern critics are occupied with the problem as to the origin of the
Four Gospels, and with their so-called "discrepancies",
we believe that MATTHEW,
got their respective Gospels where Luke got his Videlicet, anothen
= "from above" (Luke 1:3,
see note there); and that the "discrepancies" so
called, are the creation of the Commentators and Harmonists themselves. The
latter particularly; for when they see two similar events,
they immediately assume they are identical; and when they read
similar discourses of our Lord, they at once assume that they are discordant
accounts of the same, instead of seeing that they are repetitions,
made at different times, under different circumstances, with different
antecedents and consequents, which necessitate the employment of words and
expressions so as to accord with the several occasions. These differences
thus become proofs of accuracy and perfection.
Bible claims to be the Word of God, coming from Himself as His revelation to
man. If these claims be not true, then the Bible cannot be even "a
good book". In this respect "the living Word"
is like the written Word; for, if the claims of the Lord Jesus to be God
were not true, He could not be even "a good man". As
to those claims, man can believe them, or leave them. In the former case, he
goes to the Word of God, and is overwhelmed with evidences of its truth; in
the latter case, he abandons Divine revelation for man's imagination.
In Divine revelation "holy men spake from God as they were moved
(or borne along) by the Holy Spirit" (2
The wind, as it is borne along among the trees, causes each tree to give
forth its own peculiar sound, so that the experienced ear of a woodman could
tell, even in the dark, the name of the tree under which he might be
standing, and distinguish the creaking elm from the rustling aspen. Even so,
while each "holy man of God" is "moved"
by One Spirit, the individuality of the inspired writers is preserved. Thus
we may explain the medical words of "Luke the beloved physician"
used in his Gospel and in the Acts of the Apostles (Colossians 4:14).
to Inspiration itself, we have no need to resort to human theories, or
definitions, as we have a Divine definition in Acts 1:16
which is all-sufficient. "This scripture must needs have been
fulfilled, which the Holy Ghost, by the mouth of David, spake before
concerning Judas." The reference is to Psalm 41:9.
It is "by the mouth" and "by
the hand of holy men that God has spoken to us. Hence it was David's voice
and David's pen, but the words were not David's words.
Nothing more is required to settle the faith of all
believers; but it requires Divine operation to convince unbelievers; hence,
it is vain to depend on human arguments.
With regard to this, it is generally assumed that, because it comes to us in
Greek, the New Testament ought to be in classical Greek, and
is then condemned because it is not! Classical Greek was at its prime some
centuries before; and in the time of our Lord there were several reasons why
the New Testament was not written in classical Greek.
writers were Hebrews; and thus, while the language is Greek, the
thoughts and idioms are Hebrew. These idioms or Hebraisms are generally
pointed out in the notes of The Companion Bible. If the
Greek of the New Testament be regarded as an inspired translation from
Hebrew or Aramaic originals, most of the various readings would be
accounted for and understood.
- Then we
have to remember that in the time of our Lord there were no less than
four languages in use in Palestine, and their mixture formed the "Yiddish"
of those days.
spoken by Hebrews;
which was spoken in Palestine by the educated classes generally;
the language of the Romans, who then held possession of the land;
there was ARAMAIC,
the language of the common people.
our Lord spoke all these (for we never read of His using an
interpreter). In the synagogue He would necessarily use Hebrew; to
Pilate He would naturally answer in Latin; while to the common people He
would doubtless speak in Aramaic.
was Hebrew, as it was developed during and after the Captivity in
were two branches, known roughly as Eastern (which is Chaldee), and
Western (Mesopotamian, or Palestinian).
This latter was known also as Syriac; and the Greeks
used "Syrian" as an abbreviation for Assyrian.
This was perpetuated by the early Christians. Syriac flourished till the
seventh century A.D.
In the eighth and ninth it was overtaken by the Arabic; and by the
thirteenth century it had disappeared. We have already noted that
certain parts of the Old Testament are written in Chaldee (or Eastern
Aramaic); videlicet, Ezra 4:8-
Compare also 2
Aramaic is of three kinds : 1. Jerusalem. 2.
Samaritan. 3. Galilean.
Of these, Jerusalem might be compared with High
German, and the other two with Low German.
There are many Aramaic words preserved in the Greek of
the New Testament, and most of the commentators call attention to a few
of them; but, from the books cited below, we are able to present a more
or less complete list of the examples to which attention is called in
the notes of The Companion Bible 2.
Akeldamach (LA). Acheldamach (T Tr). Hacheldamach
Appendix 161. I. Aramaic Hakal dema,
or Hakal demah.
17, 20, 21, 26.
See Number 27, below.
(Barsabbas all the texts).
(Bethzatha, T WH; Bethsaida, or Bethzather
L WH Rm.)
Mark 3:17. (Boanerges. L T Tr. A WH.)
(Elei (voc.), T WH m. Eloi, WH.)
27, 28, 29;
(Ioanes, Tr. WH.) See Bar-iona. (Iona
being a contraction of Ioana.
(Lema, L. Lema, T Tr. A WH).
(Mamonas, L T Tr. A WH.)
(= Our Lord, come!). Aramaic Marana' tha.
(All the critics spell Math-thaios.)
(-et). Matthew 2:23;
(Nazara, T Tr. A WH); 21:11.
2:4, 39, 51;
(Nazara. Omit the Art. L T Tr. A WH and R.) John 1:45,
17, 18, 19.
12, 12, 14, 16.
22:1, 7 8,
11, 13, 15.
The Hebrew is pesak.
Rabbouni (Rabbonei, WH). Mark 10:51.
(Reyka is an abbreviation of Reykan.)
(Sabachthanei, T Tr. WH.)
(Aramaic sabbata'). Hebrew shabbath. Matthew
12:1, 5, 10,
kumi. Mark 5:41.
(In Galilaean Aramaic it was talitha' kumi.)
(in Aramaic = Save us; in Hebrew = Help us). Matthew 21:9,
Besides the Greek text mention ought to be made of these, although it
concerns the interpretation of the text rather than the text itself.
have only to think of the changes which have taken place in our own English
language during the last 300 years, to understand the inexpressible
usefulness of documents written on the material called papyrus,
and on pieces of broken pottery called ostraca, recently
discovered in Egypt and elsewhere. They are found in the ruins of ancient
temples and houses, and in the rubbish heaps of towns and villages, and are
of great importance.
They consist of business-letters, love-letters, contracts,
estimates, certificates, agreements, accounts, bills-of-sale, mortgages,
school-exercises, receipts, bribes, pawn-tickets, charms, litanies, tales,
magical literature, and every sort of literary production.
These are of inestimable value in enabling us to arrive at
the true meaning of many words (used in the time of Christ) which were
heretofore inexplicable. Examples may be seen in the notes on "scrip"
"have" (Matthew 6:2,
"officer" (Luke 12:58);
"presseth" (Luke 16:16);
"suffereth violence" (Matthew 11:12),
of the Greek New Testament dating from the fourth century A.D.
are more in number than those of any Greek or Roman author, for these latter
are rare, and none are really ancient; while those of the New Testament have
been set down by Dr. Scrivener at not less than 3,600, a few containing the
whole, and the rest various parts, of the New Testament.
study of these from a literary point of view has been called "Textual
Criticism", and it necessarily proceeds altogether on
documentary evidence; while "Modern Criticism"
introduces the element of human opinion and hypothesis.
Man has never made a proper use of God's gifts. God gave
men the sun, moon, and stars for signs, and for seasons, to govern the day,
and the night, and the years. But no one to-day can tell us what year (Anno
Mundi) we are actually living in! In like manner God gave us His
Word, but man, compassed with infirmity, has failed to preserve and transmit
The worst part of this is that man charges God with the
result, and throws the blame on Him for all the confusuion due to his own
want of care.
The Old Testament had from very early times official
custodians of the Hebrew text. Its Guilds of Scribes, Nakdanim,
Sopherim, and Massorites elaborated plans by which the
original text has been preserved with the greatest possible care (see
But though, in this respect, it had advantages which the Greek text of the
New Testament never had, it nevertheless shows many signs of human failure
and infirmity. Man has only to touch anything to leave his mark upon it.
Hence the Manuscripts of the Greek Testament are to be
studied to-day with the utmost care. The materials are :-
Manuscripts themselves in whole or in part.
versions made from them in other languages6.
made from them by early Christian writers long before the oldest
Manuscripts we possess (see
- As to
the Manuscripts themselves we must leave all palaeo-graphical matters
aside (such as have to do with paper, ink, and caligraphy), and confine
ourselves to what is material.
Manuscripts consist of two classes: (a) Those written in Uncial
(or capital) letters; and (b) those written in "running
hand", called Cursives.
former are considered to be the more ancient, although it is obvious and
undeniable that some cursives may be transcripts of uncial Manuscripts
more ancient than any existing uncial Manuscript.
This will show that we cannot depend altogether upon
- It is
more to our point to note that what are called "breathings"
(soft or hard) and accents are not found in any Manuscripts before the
seventh century (unless they have been added by a later hand).
also, as we have it to-day, is entirely absent. The
earliest two Manuscripts (known as B, the Manuscript in the Vatican and
the Sinaitic Manuscript, now at St. Petersburg) have only an occasional
dot, and this on a level with the top of the letters.
text reads on without any divisions between letters or words until
Manuscripts of the ninth century, when (in Cod. Augiensis, now in
Cambridge) there is seen for the first time a single point which
separates each word. This dot is placed in the middle of the line, but
is often omitted.
None of our modern marks of punctuation are found
until the ninth century, and then only in Latin versions and some
From this it will be seen that the punctuation of all
modern editions of the Greek text, and of all versions made from it,
rests entirely on human authority, and has no weight
whatever in determining or even influencing the interpretation of a
single passage. This refers also to the employment of capital letters,
and to all the modern literary refinements of the present day 7.
also were alike unknown. The Vatican Manuscript ,makes a new section
where there is an evident break in the sense. These are called titloi,
or kephalaia 8.
are none in
(Sinaitic), see above. They are not found till the fifth century in
Codex A (British Museum), Codex C (Ephraemi, Paris), and in Codex R (Nitriensis,
British Museum) of the sixth century.
They are quite foreign to the original texts. For a
long time they were attributed to HUGUES
(Huego de Sancto Caro), Provincial to the Dominicans in France, and
afterwards a Cardinal in Spain, who died in 1263. But it is now
generally believed that they were made by STEPHEN
Archbishop of Canterbury, who died in 1227.
It follows therefore that our modern chapter divisions
also are destitute of Manuscript, authority.
- As to
verses. In the Hebrew Old Testament these were fixed and counted for
each book by the Massorites; but they are unknown in any Manuscripts of
the Greek New Testament. There are none in the first printed text in The
Complutensian Polyglot (1437 - 1517), or in the first printed
Greek text (Erasmus, in 1516), or in R. Stephens's first edition in
were first introduced in Stephens's smaller (16mo) edition, published in
1551 at Geneva. These also are therefore destitute of any authority.
OF THE GREEK
Many printed edtions followed the first efforts of ERASMUS.
Omitting the Complutensian Polyglot mentioned above, the following is a list
of all those of any importance :-
Erasmus (1st Edition)
Westcott and Hort
the above are "Critical Texts", and each editor has
striven to produce a text more accurate than that of his predecessors.
Beza (Number 3 above) and Elzevir (Number 4) may be
considered as being the so-called "Received Text"
which the translators of the Authorized Version used in 1611.
In the notes of The Companion Bible we have not troubled the
general English reader with the names or distinctive characters or value of
the several MANUSCRIPTS.
We have thought it more practical and useful to give the combined judgment
of six of the above editors ; videlicet, Lachmann, Tischendorf, Tregelles,
Alford, Westcott and Hort, and the Greek Text as adopted by the Revisers of
the English New Testament, 1881, noting the agreement or disagreement of the
Syriac Version therewith. See note 6.
vast number of various readings are merely different spellings of words, or
a varying order of two or more words. These are not noticed in The
Companion Bible, as they do not affect the sense.
There are many more, consisting of cases of nouns and
inflexions of verbs, etc, but these are noticed only when they are material
to the interpretation. All are noted in cases where it really matters, but
these are not numerous. A few are the subject of seperate Appendixes. The
number of these Appendixes may be found under the respective passages, such
as Matthew 16:18.
Mark 16:9 - 20.
The six critical Greek texts are indicated in the notes by
their initial letters (see below). Where the reading is placed within
brackets by the respective editors, the initial letter itself is also placed
within brackets, and it is followed by "m" where the
reading is placed in the margin.
It will thus be seen which of the above editors retain,
insert, or omit a particular reading; and which of these expresses his
doubts by placing it within brackets or in the margin.
To enable the reader to form his own judgment as to the
value of any particular reading, it remains only to give a brief statement
of the principles on which the respective editors 9
framed their texts.
based his text on the theroy of Three Recensions of the Greek manuscripts,
regarding the collective witness of each Recension as one; so that a Reading
having the authority of all three was regarded by him as genuine. It is only
a theory, but it has a foundation of truth, and will always retain a value
peculiarly its own.
(L.) disregarding these Recensions, professed to give the text based only on
the evidence of witnesses up to the end of the fourth century. All were
taken into account up to that date; and all were discarded after it, whether
uncial Manuscripts, or cursives, or other documentary evidence. He even
adopted Readings which palpably errors, on the simple ground that they were
the best attested Readings up to the fourth century.
(T.) followed more or less the principles laid down by Lachmann, but not to
the neglect of other evidence as furnished by Ancient Versions and Fathers.
In his eighth edition, however, he approaches nearer to Lachmann's
(Tr.) produced his text on principles which were substantially the same as
Lachmann, but he admits the evidence of uncial manuscripts down to the
seventh century, and includes a careful testing of a wide circle of other
The chief value of his text lies not only in this, but in
its scrupulous fidelity and accuracy; and it is probably the best and most
exact presentation of the original text ever published.
(A.) constructed his text, he says, "by following, in all
ordinary cases united or preponderating evidence of the most ancient
When these disagree he takes later evidence into account,
and to a very large extent.
Where this evidence is divided he endeavours to discover
the cause of the variation, and gives great weight to internal
probability; and, in some cases, relies on his own independent
At any rate he is fearlessly honest. He says, "that
Reading has be adopted which, on the whole, seemed most likely to have stood
in the original text. Such judgments are, of course, open to be questioned."
This necessarily deprives his text of much of its weight;
though where he is in agreement with the other editors, it adds to the
weight of the evidence as a whole.
(WH). In this text, the classification of Manuscripts into "families"
is revived, with greater elaboration than that of Griesbach. It is prepared
with the greatest care, and at present holds a place equal in estimation to
that of Tregelles.
Where all these authorities agree, and are supported by
Syriac Version, the text may be regarded as fairly settled until further
Manuscript evidence is forthcoming.
But it must always be remembered that some cursive
Manuscripts may be copies of uncial Manuscripts more ancient than any at
present known. This fact will always lessen the value of the printed
The Revisers of the New Testament of 1881 "did
not deem it within their province to construct a continuous and complete
Greek text." They adopted, however, a large number of readings
which deviated from the text presumed to underlie the Authorized Version. In
1896 an edition known as the Parallel New Testament Greek and English, was
published by the Clarendon Press for both Universities. In the Cambridge
edition the Textus Receptus is given, with the Reviser's
alternative readings, in the margin. In the Oxford edition, the Revisers
give their Greek with the readings of the Textus Receptus in
It is so called because of it was the language of Aram, or Mesopotamia,
which is Greek for Aram Naharaim = Aram between the two rivers
Psalm 60, title). It is still called "The Island". There
were other Arams beside this: (2) Aram Dammasek (north-east of
Palestine), or simply Aram, because best known to Israel (2
(3) Aram Zobah (not far from Damascus and Hamath), under Saul and
(4) Aram Beth-rehob (N. Galilee, Appendix
(5) Aram Maachah (1
(6) Aram Geshur (2
Further information may be found in the following works:-
On the dialects spoken in Palestine in the time of Christ, in Studia
Biblica... by members of the University of Oxford Volume 1, pages 39 -
74. Oxford, 1885.
De moedertaal vanonzen heere Jesus Christus en van zyne Apostelen,
page 70. Amsterdam 1886.
Jesu Mutter - Sprache. Leipzig, 1896.
Die Worte Jesu , mit Berucksichtigung des nathkanonischen judischen
Schrifttums und der aram . Sparche erortert . Volume 1. Leipzig 1898.
Also Grammatik des nidisch - palastinischen Aramaisch. 2. Auflage.
Leipzig, 1905. In the index of Greek words.
The order of the words is that of the Greek Alphabet.
The examples given in the notes are from Deissmann's Light from the
Ancient East 1910; New Light on the New Testament, 1901; Bible
Studies, 1901. Milligan's Selections from the Greek Papyri etc.
Cambridge Press, 1910.
Ancient copies of the Septuagint reveal two other orders: that of Diorthotes
(or Corrector) and the Antiballon (or Comparer). But these
attended chiefly to "clerical" and not textual errors.
Of these, the Aramaic (or Syriac), that is to say, the Peshitto,
is the most important, ranking as superior in authority to the oldest Greek
manuscripts, and dating from as early as A.D.
Though the Syrian Church was divided by the Third and Fourth
General Councils in the fifth century, into three, and eventually into yet more,
hostile communions, which have lasted for 1,400 years with all their bitter
controversies, yet the same version is ready to-day in the rival churches. Their
manuscripts have flowed into the libraries of the West. "yet they all
exhibit a text in every important respect the same." Peshitto
means a version simple and plain, without the addition of allegorical or
Hence we have given this authority, where needed throughout
our notes, as being of more value than the modern critical Greek texts; and have
noted (for the most part) only those "various readings"
with which the Syriac agrees. See § VII, above.
Such as are set forth in the Rules for Compositors and Readers at
the University Press, Oxford.
There are sixty-eight in Matthew; forty-eight in Mark; eighty- three in Luke;
and eighteen in John.
We include Griesbach's principles, though his edition is not
included in the notes of The Companion Bible.