Center for the Study of New Testament Manuscripts

TC Notes Archive

New Lectionary Discovery?

Daniel B. Wallace

5/11/2010

A team of four people (Jeff Hargis, Peter Gurry, Noah Wallace, and I) went to the National Library of Athens today to examine some New Testament manuscripts, as is our custom when we are in this city. The library boasts about 200 Greek NT MSS, almost all of which are known to Muenster and listed in the second edition of Kurt Aland’s Kurzgefasste Liste (1994). But today we came across a previously uncatalogued lectionary.

We learned a year ago that another museum in Athens possessed several NT MSS that have not been given a Gregory-Aland number by INTF in Muenster. Some of these were now in the possession of the National Library. So, today we trotted off to the NL to see these MSS.

For the most part, we struck out. Apparently the MSS we thought were now in the possession of the NL were not. They may still be at the other museum, though we won’t know this for a few days. We asked for various MSS that we had a tip on: a couple of these turned out to be Greek Psalters; almost all the rest were not biblical at all. But one of the NT MSS previously owned by the other museum is now apparently the property of the NL.

Shelf number 13. Not listed in the Kurzgefasste Liste. This could be a lectionary that was overlooked by Muenster previously when they cast their net over most of the civilized world, trying to catch NT MSS. Or it could be a new number 13, retaining its old shelf number from its previous owners (as we had been told would be the case).

The MS is a thirteenth century lectionary that includes lections from the Gospels and Apostolos, thus deserving the Nestle-Aland27 l+a. However, all is not what it seems. The lectionary has standard readings that begin with Mark 1.9, Luke 10.25, Luke 19.2, 2 Cor 6.16, Matt 10.1, 2 Cor 6.16, Gal 2.16, Matt 15.21, Gal 5.22, etc. These are interwoven with each other. But so are certain non-biblical prayers whose incipit mentions “prayer” (ευχη). I do not know what to make of these.

The MS is written on paper, 1 column, with about 15 lines per page. It measures 20.5 cm x 15.5 cm x 5.25 cm. There are 365 numbered leaves in the MS, but with three distinct hands filling (very) approximately one third of the MS in succession each. The NT text is found on leaves 126–285.

Is this a previously uncatalogued lectionary that deserves a Gregory-Aland number? This is up to Muenster to decide, but I am especially curious about the non-biblical prayers interwoven within the lectionary proper.