did Alexandrinus come from Mt. Athos? - Matthaeus Muttis - Michaelis says 500s to 700s for date

Steven Avery




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This was mentioned en passant by the Literary Churchman
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Steven Avery

William Andrew Smith


Steven Avery


" Prof. Burkitt, in a review of the New Testament volume (Journal of Theological Studies, xi. 603, 1910), has some interesting remarks, favouring the tradition recorded by Wetstein (see N. T., Introduction, p. 7, note 3) to the effect that the manuscript was found at Mt. Athos. In his opinion, the Arabic note by ‘* Athanasius the humble” may be contemporary with Cyril, and the work of one of his staff; the MS. may never have been in Egypt at all until Cyril brought it there, but may be of Constantinopolitan origin, which would account for the Constantinopolitan character of its text in the Gospels. If an Arabic scholar and palaeographer states that it is not possible to be certain whether a note was written in the fourteenth or the seventeenth century, it is not for those who have no knowledge of Oriental palaeography to dispute the statement ; but it does seem absolutely impossible to believe that Cyril had himself brought the MS. from Athos to Alexandria. If Cyril had himself found it at Athos, and presented it to the patriarchate at Alexandria with an anathema on its removal, it is not very likely that he would have transferred it to Constantinople, and still less likely that he would have impressed its Egyptian origin on Sir Thomas Roe (as he evidently did), and suppressed its Athoan derivation and his own merit in discovering it. But even if these difficulties are ignored, it is plainly incredible that he should with his own hand have stated its Egyptian origin, as he does in the autograph note prefixed to the manuscript, and should have attributed the mutilation of the end of the MS. to the ill-treatment which the Christians and their books suffered after the Mahomedan conquest of Egypt. This note makes it certain that Cyril himself believed in the Egyptian origin of the MS.; and in face of this evidence, the statement of his deacon, Matthaeus Muttis, falls to the ground. One is tempted to say that Prof. Burkitt's suggestion has only the attractiveness of the improbable.