Caesarean text-type

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In textual criticism of the New Testament, Caesarean text-type is the term proposed by certain scholars to denote a consistent pattern of variant readings that is claimed to be apparent in certain Koine Greek manuscripts of the four Gospels, but which is not found in any of the other commonly recognized New Testament text-types: the Byzantine text-type, the Western text-type and the Alexandrian text-type. In particular a common text-type has been proposed to be found: in the ninth/tenth century Codex Koridethi; in Codex Basilensis A. N. IV. 2 (a Greek manuscript of the Gospels used, sparingly, by Erasmus in his 1516 printed Koine New Testament); and in those Gospel quotations found in the third century works of Origen, which were written after he had settled in Caesarea.[1] The early translations of the Gospels in Armenian and Georgian also appear to witness to many of the proposed characteristic Caesarean readings, as do the small group of minuscule manuscripts classed as Family 1 and Family 13.


A particularly distinctive common reading of the proposed text-type is in Matthew 27:16-17, where the bandit released by Pontius Pilate instead of Jesus is named as "Jesus Barabbas" rather than — with all other surviving witnesses — just "Barabbas". Origen notes particularly that the form "Jesus Barabbas" was common in manuscripts in Caesarea, whereas he had not found this reading in his previous residence in Alexandria. Otherwise the Caesarean readings have a mildly paraphrastic tendency that seems to place them between the more concise Alexandrian, and the more expansive Western text-types. None of the surviving Caesarean manuscripts is claimed to witness a pure type of text, as all appear to have been to some degree assimilated with readings from the Byzantine text-type.

Some writers have questioned the validity of this grouping, claiming that the classification is the result of poor research. Insofar as the Caesarean text-type does exist (in Matt, Luke and John is not well defined), then it does so only in the Gospels. The proposed Caesarean witnesses do not appear to have any common distinctive readings in the rest of the New Testament. Some of the Caesarean manuscripts have the so-called Jerusalem Colophon.

The Caesarean text-type was discovered and named by Burnett Hillman Streeter in 1924.[2] According to some scholars, it is only a hypothetical text-type (Aland).[3]

There are no pure Caesarean manuscripts. In many cases, it is difficult to decide the original reading of the group, for instance in Mark 1:16:[4]

αμφιβαλλοντας τα δικτυαf13 565
αμφιβληστρα βαλλονταςf1
αμφιβληστρον βαλλοντας — 700
βαλλοντας αμφιβληστρον — 28


H. von Soden — Iota (Jerusalem) (I), in part (most strong "Caesarean" witnesses are found in Soden's Iα group, with family 1 being his Iη and family 13 being Iι).

Kirsopp Lake, an outstanding British textual critic, developed the hypothesis of the relationship between f1, f13, Θ, 565, 700, and 28.[5] Streeter carried Lake's work another step forward by pointing to Caesarea as the original location of the family.[6]

F. G. Kenyon — Gamma (γ)[7]

M. J. Lagrange — C


Sign Name Date Content
p42 Papyrus 42 7th/8th fragments Luke 1-2
p45 Papyrus 45 3rd only in Mark
Θ (038) Codex Koridethi 9th Mark
W (032) Codex Washingtonianus 5th Mark 5:31—16:20
28 Minuscule 28 11th Gospel of Mark
565 Minuscule 565 9th Gospels
700 Minuscule 700 11th Gospels

and rest of f1

Minuscule 1,

118, 131, 209



only Gospels

and rest of f13

Minuscule 13,

69, 124, 346




only Gospels

Other manuscripts

Papyrus 29, p38, p41, p48, Uncial 0188, 174, 230, 406 (?), 788, 826, 828, 872 (only in Mark), 1071, 1275, 1424 (only in Mark), 1604, 2437,[8] 32.

Textual features[edit]

Matthew 8:13

It has additional text: και υποστρεψας ο εκατονταρχος εις τον οικον αυτου εν αυτη τη ωρα ευρεν τον παιδα υγιαινοντα (and when the centurion returned to the house in that hour, he found the slave well) as well as codices א, C, (N), Θ, (0250), f1, (33, 1241), g1, syrh.[9]

Matthew 13:35

δια Ησαιου – Θ f1 f13 33
δια — majority of mss[10]

Matthew 20:23

και το βαπτισμα ο εγω βαπτιζομαι βαπτισθησεσθε (and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with) [Matching MT and TR]
omitted — Sinaiticus, B, D, L, Z, Θ, 085, f1, f13, it, syrs, c, copsa.[11]

Matthew 27:16-17

Ιησουν τον ΒαραββανΘ, f1, 700*, syrs, pal, arm, geo
τον Βαραββαν — majority of mss

Mark 8:14

ενα μονον αρτον εχοντεςp45 (W) Θ f1 (f13 28) 565 700 k copsa
omit — all other mss

Mark 8:15

των Ηρωδιανωνp45, W, Θ, f1, f13, 28, 565, 1365, iti, itk, copsa, arm, geo
Ηρωδου — majority of mss

Mark 8:17

εν ταις καρδιαις υμων, ολιγοπιστοι — (D) Θ 28 565 700 pc (it) syrh

Mark 9:29

προσευχη και νηστειαp45 A C D L W Θ Ψ f1, f13, Byz [Matching MT and TR]
προσευχη — א Β 0274 k

Mark 10:19

μη αποστερησης — א A B2 C D X Θ 565 892 1009 1071 1195 1216 1230 1241 1253 1344 1365 1646 2174 Byz Lect
omitted — B*, K, W, Δ, Ψ, f1, f13, 28, 700, 1010, 1079, 1242, 1546, 2148, 10, 950, 1642, 1761, syrs, arm, geo.[12]

Mark 12:1

ανθρωπος τις εφυτευσεν αμπελωναW, Θ, f13, 565, itaur, itc
αμπελωνα ανθρωπος εφυτευσεν — א Β C Δ Ψ 33 1424

Mark 12:7

θεασαμενοι αυτον ερχομενον ειπαν προς εαυτουςΘ 565 700 c
θεασαμενοι αυτον ερχομενον ειπον — N, f13, 28
προς εαυτους ειπαν οτι — א B C L W (Δ) Ψ (f1) 33 892
ειπαν προς εαυτους — D
ειπον προς εαυτους οτι — A Byz

Mark 13:6

λέγοντες ὅτι Ἐγώ ο XρηστόςW, Θ f13, 28, 61, 115, 255, 299, 565, 700, 1071 b c g2 l vgmss copsa,bo geob arm arabms Cyp
λέγοντες ὅτι Ἐγώ εἰμι — Byz

See also[edit]

Other text-types
Subgroups of the Caesarean text-type


  1. ^ Kirsopp Lake, Codex 1 of the Gospels and its Allies (TS 7; Cambridge: UP, 1902); B. H. Streeter, The Four Gospels: A Study of Origins Treating of the Manuscript Tradition, Sources, Authorship, & Dates (1st ed., 1924; 2d ed., London: Macmillan, 1926).
  2. ^ B.H. Streeter, The Four Gospels: A Study of Origins Treating of the Manuscript Tradition, Sources, Authorship, & Dates (1st ed., 1924; 2d ed., London: Macmillan, 1926).
  3. ^ Kurt Aland, and Barbara Aland, "The Text of the New Testament: An Introduction to the Critical Editions and to the Theory and Practice of Modern Textual Criticism", transl. Erroll F. Rhodes, William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, Grand Rapids, Michigan, 1995, p. 336.
  4. ^ Lake K., Codex 1 of the Gospels and its Allies, Texts and Studies, volume vii, Cambridge, 1902, p. LIII.
  5. ^ K. Lake and R. P. Lake, The Text of the Gospels and the Koridethi Codex, HTR 16 (1923), pp. 267-286.
  6. ^ Frederik Wisse, The Profile Method for Classifying and Evaluating Manuscripts Evidence Studies and Documents vol. 44, Wm. B. Eerdmans 1982, p. 22.
  7. ^ Frederic G. Kenyon, "Handbook to the Textual Criticism of the New Testament", London2, 1912, pp. 334-338.
  8. ^ David Alan Black, New Testament Textual Criticism, Baker Books, 2006, p. 65.
  9. ^ NA26, p. 18
  10. ^ UBS3, p. 50.
  11. ^ NA26, 56.
  12. ^ UBS3, p. 165.


  • Burnett Hillman Streeter, The Four Gospels. A study of origins the manuscript traditions, sources, authorship, & dates, Oxford 1924, pp. 77-107.
  • Bruce M. Metzger, The Caesarean Text of the Gospels, JBL, Vol. 64, No. 4 (Dec., 1945), pp. 457-489.
  • Bruce M. Metzger and Bart D. Ehrman, The Text of the New Testament: Its Transmission, Corruption, and Restoration (4th edition, 2005), Oxford University Press, ISBN 0-19-507297-9, p. 310–312.
  • Hurtado L. W., Text-Critical Methodology and the Pre-Caesarean Text: Codex W in the Gospel of Mark, S & D XLIII (Grand Rapids 1981).

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