Matthew 2:6 - Sinaiticus scribe bungles Bible Prophecy 101

Steven Avery

Found by David W. Daniels, when we were conferencing about the various accents and marks in early Matthew, that Skeat & Milne say were an embellishment attempt by scribe A.



Amazingly, the scribe connects Matthew 2:6:

Matthew 2:6
And thou Bethlehem, in the land of Juda,
art not the least among the princes of Juda:
for out of thee shall come a Governor,
that shall rule my people Israel.

with ISAIAH, not Micah! (In the vertical margin note.)
it might be Hoses not Isaiah, but it probably is Isaiah

Micah 5:2
But thou, Beth-lehem Ephratah,
though thou be little among the thousands of Judah,
yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel;
whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting.

And we have not seen any comments on this from the Sinaiticus scholars!

This is definitely not mentioned at all in Scrivener (who relied on Tischendorf) or Jongkind or Skeat.


This blunder is referenced in a recent (or forthcoming) paper by Charles Evan Hill.

Irenaeus, the Scribes, and the Scriptures. Papyrological and Theological Observations from P.Oxy. 405 (pre-pub. version)
Charles Evan Hill

'This is confirmed by a look at the facsimile edition at, for instance. Matt. 2.6, citing Micah 5.1,3, where portions of the original ink show through in the letters next to the diplai and may be compared with the ink of the diplai. p.8

Illustration 4. Codex Sinaiticus (q. 74, f. lv), Matt. 2.6 citing Micah 5.2. Note scribal mistake in attribution to HCAIOY. What look like dots following the diplai are actually line pricks. p-10

Kirk marks prophecy
Last edited:

Steven Avery

James Snapp documents three blunders on the Old Testament references in early Matthew chapters

The BVDB crew did help (a rare occurrence, always appreciated when it happens) by showing that James Snapp also has mentioned this bumbling, and some more, in a blog post:

"Some Manuscripts Say . . ." - The Problem with Footnotes
James Snapp -
January 16, 2017

Changing emphasis and formatting.

Occasionally, reckless copyists who made such embellishments assigned quotations to the wrong source.

In Codex Sinaiticus, for example, in the margin alongside Matthew 2:5-6, the name “Isaiah” appears in a vertically-written note to identify the prophet whose work is quoted in the text. The prophet being quoted, however, is Micah, not Isaiah.

A little further along in
Codex Sinaiticus, the name “Numbers” appears in a vertically-written note alongside Matthew 2:15, even though the text cited in Matthew 2:15 is Hosea 11:1.

numbers is confirmed

‘Hosea 11:1
“When Israel was a child, then I loved him, and called my son out of Egypt.”

Matthew 2:15

matthew 13:35
That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying, I will open my mouth in parables; I will utter things which have been kept secret from the foundation of the world.


theta is Gospels from Georgia
removed by dots


there is also a removal in verse 34
The same thing has happened in Codex Sinaiticus in Matthew 13:35, except the embellishment has been inserted directly into the text; Codex Sinaiticus is one of the few manuscripts that reads “Isaiah the prophet” in Matthew 13:35. This reading was known in the late 300’s by Jerome, who expressed a belief that the passage had previously referred to “Asaph the prophet” and that copyists who did not recognize Asaph’s name changed it to “Isaiah.”

The external evidence for the non-inclusion of Isaiah’s name in Matthew 13:35 is enormous and wide-ranging: it is supported by B, D, W, and by every branch of the Byzantine Text, and by all known Syriac, Latin, Sahidic, and Armenian copies.

The attribution of the quotation to Isaiah is an error, and to some textual critics, this makes it likely to be original, on the grounds that it is thus the more difficult reading. Hort, in 1881, demonstrated his non-belief in inerrancy in his Notes on Select Readings, stating, “It is difficult not to think Ἠσαίου [Isaiah] genuine.” Eberhard Nestle (the originator of the Nestle-Aland compilation) embraced the erroneous reading in his 1901 Introduction to the Textual Criticism of the Greek New Testament. On page 251, after acknowledging that this reading was only attested by a smattering of extant manuscripts, but was also mentioned by Eusebius and Jerome (both of whose explicitly rejected it), Nestle wrote, “It was used still earlier by Porphyrius as a proof of Matthew’s ignorance. It is certainly, therefore, genuine.” ... (continues)

Well done, James. Thanks for doing the legwork. (On the assumption that you ferreted these out.)

The last one may have been simply taking from a mistaken source manuscript. Sinaiticus has many blunders in the text, like Nazareth in Judea.


It is rather amazing that, afawk, absolutely nothing has been published about these blunders (at least in English) until 2017. Skeat and Jongkind both missed these Old Testament prophecy reference blunders in talking about Sinaiticus scribal habits.

If Scrivener did not mention them, then Tischendorf likely left it all out as well.
Last edited:

Steven Avery

Definite Accent Mark
2nd Page =
1st column 15th line

1st column - 3rd row 4th letter and 7th letter
2nd row has a breathing mark

7th line .. something over O

Last edited:

Steven Avery

This was the numbers prophecy

The first bar over Y - likely ACCENT
Y-N Lord - SON the big line is NS maybe hard breathing mark to Y throws H sound HUIOS

Last edited:

Steven Avery

First column same page
We are looking for the supposed section marks in Sin that are similar to Vaticanus and 579
Is it simply the indentation? Combined with the Rubrication Number ?

Note that in general the Eusebian and Ammonian are same as Alexandrinus
but Alex is lacuna in Matthew?

Vaticanus in Matthew