A bi-lingual ms.
composed in the 5th or 6th c. CE, containing the gospels & the book of Acts in both Greek &
Latin. The Greek is the prime example of the recension
that textual critics
call the "Western" text. It
is valued as important evidence of the earliest state of the gospel text since
its readings are eclectic & independent. That is to say, it does not
follow a single archetype. Sometimes it supports the reading in an Egyptian
type ms. (either Sinaiticus
or both); at other times it supports variant readings found in early
translations of the gospels into Latin or Syriac. Modern critical editions of
the Greek text often favor readings supported by this codex.
value of the Greek text is limited only by the fact that the western scribes
who compiled it often tried to bring it in line with the Latin version on the
facing page. The gospels are arranged in order typical of early western
codices: with John second & Mark fourth.
The codex is named for the leading
French ecclesiastical reformer & successor of Calvin at Geneva, Theodore Beza,
who donated it to Cambridge University in 1581.
Before this it was the property of the monastery of St. Irenaeus
(Lyons, France). Its origins & prior history are unknown.
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