[1]The Third Letter

Having given you an historical account of the corruption of two texts of scripture, I shall now mention some others more briefly. ffor the attempts to corrupt the scriptures have been very many, & amongst many attempts tis no wonder if some have succeeded. I shall mention those that have not succeeded as well as those that have, because the first will be more easily allowed to be corruptions, & by being convinced of those, you will cease to be averse from believing the last.

Hincmare in the place mentioned in the former Letter, tells us a[2] that the Arians rased out of the Gospel this text. Quia Deus spiritus est, Because God is a spirit, & that they did it least they should be compelled to confess that the Holy Ghost is God Omnipotent. He means not the words Spiritus est Deus in Iohn 4, which all men understand of the father, but those which D. Ambrose cites b[3] divers times out of Iohn 3.6, after this manner: Quod natum est ex carne caro est quia de carne natum est, et quod natum est ex spiritu spiritus est quia Deus spiritus est. That which is born of the flesh is flesh because it is born of the flesh, & that which is born of the spirit is spirit because the spirit is God. For in one of the places where D. Ambrose thus cites this text he complains with Hincmarus that the Arians had here blotted out the words quia Deus spiritus est, & that they had done it not only in their private books but also in the public books of the Churches. His words are: c[4] Yea & the Lord himself said in the Gospel. Because God is a spirit. Which place the Arians so so expresly testify to respect the Spirit that ye take it out of your books. And I could wish that ye took it out of your own books only & not also out of the Books of the Church. For at that time when that man of impious infidelity Auxentius took possession of the Church of Millain by arms & an army, or the Church of Sirmium upon the inclination of her Priests was invaded by Valens & Vrsacius this false & sacrilegious thing was found done in the Ecclesiastical books. And perhaps you have also done the same thing in the East. And truly, the letters ye could blot out but ye could not take away the faith. That blot betrayed you the more, that blot condemned you the more. ffor ye could not wipe out the truth, but that blot rased your names out of the book of life. Why were the words, because God is a Spirit, taken away if they did not belong to the Holy Ghost? Thus does Ambrose go on to discourse about this text, quoting it a little after at large with the context out of the discourse between Christ <71r> and Nicodemus, Iohn 3.6. So then its certain by the testimony of Ambrose, that before the Emperor Constantius conquered the West, & called the Council of Sirmium, & made Auxentius, the predecessor of Ambrose, Bishop of Millain, some of the Latine Churches for proving the Deity of the Holy Ghost, had inserted the clause, quia Deus spiritus est, into the discourse between Christ & Nicodemus, in the publick books of their congregations. I do not say, into one book only, but into their books in general: for this is the language of Ambrose. Its certain also that this clause, quia Deus spiritus est, was here erroneously inserted by the Latines, & therefore justly struck out by the 1[5] Eusebians; & that Ambrose & Hincmare were mistaken in charging them with falsification for striking it out. For this clause is wanting to this day in all the Greek MSS & in all the Versions both ancient & modern. Which shews that the Latines (however Ambrose declaim against the 2[6] Eusebians for striking it out) were ashamed to insert it into their books any more.

Another corruption for proving the Deity & worship of the Holy Ghost was made in Phil. 3.3. For there the ancient reading in the Latin, was: Qui, spiritu Deo servimus, who worship God in the spirit. And this reading Ambrose follows in his Commentary on this Epistle. But in his book de Spiritu sancto lib. 2 c. 6, to prove the worship of the Holy Ghost he quotes another reading, Qui spiritui Deo servimus: who worship God the Spirit. And confessing that the Manuscripts here varied & were in some places corrupted he endeavours to defend this reading by the Greek. But if any one, a[7] saith he, contends about the various readings of the Latin books, some of which have been falsified by perfidious men, let him look into the Greek books, & observe that it is written, οἱ πνεύματι Θω λατρεύοντες, which the Latin interprets, qui spiritui Deo servimus, who worship God the Holy Ghost. Therefore since he says we are to worship the spirit, &c. This is one corruption made in the Latin 3[8] And there is another of the same text made in both the Greek & Latin. For the Alexandrine MS & several others, & the Complutensian Edition have Θεου for Θεω, & so make the reading, οἱ πνεύματι Θεου λατρεύοντες who worship the spirit of God. And both these corruptions seem to be as old as the Macedonian controversy. For 4[9] Bishop Augustin in the 7th chapter of his third Book to Boniface mentions them both in these words. b[10] For we are the circumcision who worship God in the spirit, or as some Books have it, who worship God the spirit, or the spirit of God. Of the latter of these two corruptions he makes this further mention in the 6th chapter of his first Book de Trinitate. c[11] For many <72r> Latin books & all or 1[12] almost all the Greek ones have it thus; 2 Who worship the spirit of God. Yet in some Latine ones we have found, not, Who worship the spirit of God, but, Who worship God in the spirit. If you suspect 2[13] that Augustin may speak too largely here, he gives you his opinion in modester language in his 15th sermon De verbis Apostoli: d[14] I know, saith he, that many books have, Who worship God in the Spirit. But so far as we could look into the Greek books, many of those have, Who worship the spirit of God. So then this corruption was in 3[15] Augustines age, far spread in both Latin & Greek MSS, & more in the Greek then in the Latin. And yet Ambrose not long before read, οἱ πνεύματι Θεω λατρεύοντες, as many Greek MSS still have it, & so did Chrysostom & Theophylact, & expounded it, not with Ambrose, Who worship God the spirit, but Who worship God πνευματικως spiritually, or in the spirit. And the same reading & sense is in the Syriac Ethiopic & Arabic. And so also the Latin MSS now generally have, Qui spiritu servimus Deo. And this reading & sense, as it is now the received one, so it is evidenced to be genuine by the context. For the Apostle is exhorting the Philippians to avoid relying on the works of the Law & putting confidence in the flesh, & to worship God in the spirit. He opposes the worshipping God in the spirit to the putting confidence in the flesh. Beware, saith he, of the concision, that is, of those who trust in the circumcision of the flesh, for we are the circumcision which worship God in the spirit 4[16] & have no confidence in the flesh.

Another corruption of the scriptures or rather two others, & both those made about the beginning of the 5[17] Eusebian controvery we have in 1 Iohn 5.20. One of them is recorded by Hilary in his 6th book De Trinitate where he thus quotes this text out of his manuscripts a[18] For the same Iohn saith. That we know that the Son of God is come & was incarnate for us & suffered & rising from the dead assumed us & gave us an excellent understanding that we may understand him that is true & be in the true Son Iesus Christ. This is the true God & life eternal & our resurrection. And this reading, (as may be understood by Beza's Notes on this Text) is still extant in some old Latin Manuscripts of the New Testament. Another corruption of this Text is recorded by Ambrose lib. 1 de ffide c. 7. & by Basil l. 4 contra Eunom. Cyrill de Trin. Dial. 3, & others. The words of Ambrose are b[19] Yet take what also Iohn the Evangelist wrote in his Epistle saying: We know that the Son of God hath appeared, & given us an understanding that we may know the Father & be in his true Son Iesus Christ. This is the true God & life eternal. Iohn calls him the true Son of God & the true God. Thus far Ambrose. And tho these corruptions have not fully obteined, yet they have so far prevailed as to make the particle in between vero & filio ejus be rased out in the vulgar Latin to this day. By the designe of these corruptions which was to transfer the epithete true from the father to the son for proving him the true God, you may learn that the Text was otherwise understood before. For all corruptions are for imposing a new sense. The true reading is this: <73r> We know that the Son of God is come & hath given us an understanding that we may know the true God, & we are in the true one in [or by] his son Iesus Christ. This is the true God & life eternal. First he tells you that the son of God is come to make us know the true God, & then he tells you who that true God is. We are, saith he, in the true one by his Son Iesus Christ. This is the true God & life eternal. And all this is as much as to say. This is life eternal to know thee the only true God, that is, the Father. Iohn. 17.3.

Another corruption I meet with in Luke 19.41, & this also was made by the Catholicks in the beginning of the 1[20] Eusebian Controversy. For whilst the Arians urged here the passage of Christs weeping over Ierusalem as an argument of infirmity below the nature & dignity of the supreme God, the Catholicks struck it out of their books, as Epiphanius himself has openly confessed in these words. a[21] Yea, saith he, Christ also wept as tis read in the uncorrected Exemplars of the Gospel of Luke, & the holy Irenæus in his book against Heresies uses that testimony to confute those who said that Christ appeared not really but only in shew. But the Catholicks blotted out that passage being afraid of it & not knowing its end & force. Thus far Epiphanius, pleading for this passage by the authority of Irenæus, & callling those books uncorrected in which the Catholicks had not blotted it out. To the authority of Irenæus, I may add that of Origen in his Commentary on this place, Hom. 49.

Such another corruption was made about the same time in Luke 22.43, 44, by striking out all these words as savouring too much of infirmity: And there appeared an Angel unto him from heaven strengthening him: & being in an agony he prayed more earnestly, & his sweat was, as it were, great drops of blood falling down to the grownd. These words are now found in almost all the Greek manuscripts, & in all the Versions to this day. But a[22] Hilary tells us that in his age they were wanting in very many copies both Greek & Latin; & b[23] Ierome that they were only extant in some. But whether the Catholicks have erroneously admitted them or did in the beginning of the 2[24] homousian controversy strike them out, 3[25] I leave to be examined

There was another corruption made about the same time in Matthews Gospel chap. 19.17. For there the reading in the greater part of the Greek Manuscripts is still: Why callest thou me good, there is none good but one, that is God. And this reading is followed in the printed editions, & was in the ancient exemplars used by the Syriac, Persic & Arabic Interpreters, & in a[26] those of Origen, Chrysostom, Cyrill, Hilary & Ierome; & by the testimony of Mark & Luke it was the true answer which Christ made to the young man. But in the Latin & Æthiopic Versions & in some Greek Manuscripts his answer is <74r> thus set down τί με ἐρωτας περὶ του ἀγαθου. ἑἱς ἐστιν ὁ ἀγαθός, Why askest thou me of a good one? There is one who is good. And this reading Erasmus & Grotius preferr, which I wonder at. For Christ could not at one & the same time give different answers to one & the same Question, this in Matthew & that in the other Gospels. Neither can I make sense of this answer. For the Question, as they put it, is of one thing, & this Answer is of another. The young man asked, Good Master what shall I do? Or as the Greek translator of Matthews Hebrew Gospel exprest it, Good Master what good thing shall I do? The Question is of a good action & Christ is made to answer of a good person. Why askest thou me of a good one? εἱς ἐστιν ὁ ἀγαθός There is one person who is a good one. It seems to me therefore that in the early ages when every Christian had not all the Gospels, some body who used only Matthews & was troubled that Christ should reprehend the young man for saying, Good Master; tried to adapt Christs reprehension to the next words, What good thing shall I do? & yet was so [27]unadvised as to make Christ in his reprehension still speak of a good person. And this corruption I take to have been made in the times of the Arian controversy, for avoiding the objection of the Arians taken from this text. For this corrupt reading is followed by b[28] 2[29] Austin Bishop of Hippo & therefore began to spread before his age.

Another corruption of the same kind I meet with in Matthews Gospel, chap. 24 v. 36. For there Origen Chrysostom, Theophylact, Hilary, & Augustin in their commentaries on Matthew, & Cyril in his Thesaurus, read: But of that day & hour knoweth no man neither the Angels in heaven nor the Son but the ffather only. So that this was the received reading in the first ages, & no doubt is genuine because Mark follows it, & his Gospel in chap. 13, from vers 14 to verse 33, in which this occurs, is a translation of Matthews Hebrew without adding or altering any thing. Tis also still retained in some Greek & Latine copies & in the Ethiopic version to this day. But the other Versions & the generality of the Greek & Latine MSS now extant want the words neither the Son, & these words seem to have been struck out first in the Greek MSS & then in the Latine ones in the heat of the 3[30] Homousian controversy. For the Eusebians then urged <75r> them & Ambrose makes this Answer in behalf of the Catholicks. a[31] It is written, say the Eusebians, But of that day & hour knoweth no man, neither the Angels in heaven, nor the Son, but the ffather only. ffirst the ancient Greek books have not, that neither the Son knows. But it is no wonder if they falsified this place also who have interpoled the divine scriptures. But why they added it is discovered while they apply it to the explication of so great sacrilege. Yet suppose it written by the Evangelists &c. By these words of Ambrose it appears that they endeavoured to strike out of both the Gospels this clause, nor the son, tho the attempt succeeded only in Matthew's; and that the clause was still in most of the Latine MSS because 1[32] Ambrose in arguing against it appeals from them to the Greek. But whilst he saith, The ancient Greek MSS want it, & yet living always amongst the Latines, had no opportunity of consulting with his own eyes the MSS of the Greek Church, he seems to have taken up with the relation of Ierome who had newly sent his Commentary on Matthew to Pope Damasus to be published in the West, having writ it at the request of that Pope to inform the Latines wherein their Versions differed from the Greek. For Ierome in his Commentary on this place relates the matter thus. b[33] In some Latin books there is added, Nor the son, whilst in the Greek ones, & chiefly in the exemplars of Origen & Pierius, this is not found written. But because it is read in some, it seems that we are to discuss it. Arius & Eunomius rejoyce as if the ignorance of the master were the glory of the disciples, & say; He who knows & he who knows not, cannot be equal. &c. Here Ierome confesses that it was read in some Greek MSS & this reading insisted on by Arius & Eunomius, & only affirms that it was wanting in others, & chiefly in those copied after the editions of Origen & Pierius. He does not say that it was wanting in the very MSS which Origen & Pierius used, (for its very improbable that he should meet with those,) but in the Exemplars or Editions of those men, meaning the books copied after their MSS. For that he uses the word Exemplar in this sense is plain by his Preface to this his Commentary on Matthew where he saith concerning the disagreeing editions of the Latin Versions: c[34] For if we may trust the Latin Exemplars, let them answer which. For there are almost as many Exemplars as books. So then the ancient Greeek books of Ambrose are not all the ancient books, but only the Exemplars of Origen <76r> and Pierius; nor yet ancient books, but such as had been transcribed since the time of those two men; no nor sincere copies of their originals, but such as had been corrupted in the 2[35] Homousian controversy. ffor d[36] Origen himself, as I told you, read the clause. 1[37] I doubt whether there were so many books corrupted as Ierome represents. ffor he wrote his whole Commentary on Matthew upon short warning within the space of 14 days, as he tells us & so had no time to collate many MSS.

In Ephes. 3.14, is another corruption. For the reading now received in the Greek, Syriac & Latin is, For this cause I bow my knees to the father of our Lord Iesus Christ, of whom the whole family in heaven & earth is named. But Ierome tells us[38] that the words, of our Lord Iesus Christ, were added in the Latine copies while the genuine reading remained in the Greek: so that the reading in the Greek copies of Ieromes age, was: For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father, of whom the whole family in heaven & earth is named, that is, unto the father of the whole family in heaven & earth. And this reading is still conserved in the Alexandrine MS, and in one of Colberts MSS, & in the Ethiopic Version. And thus Chrysostom Theophylact & Ambrose read it in their Commentaries, tho the addition be now got into their text. [3.[39] Yet the addition was very ancient not only in the Latin but even in some Greek copies, being in the Claromontan MS. But it obscures the sense by referring the word father to Christ. ffor this word is here referred to family & signifies the same thing with Paterfamilias. In humane affairs the father of a family or house is frequently taken for the common father of a kindred: here the whole creation is considered as one kindred or family so named from God the common father of all.]

Another corruption was made about the same time in Eph. 3.9. The reading now generally received is: Who created all things by Iesus Christ. And this reading is as old as Chrysostome who comments upon it. But the last words, by Iesus Christ, have been added by the Greeks. ffor they are still wanting in the oldest Greek MSS, the Alexandrin & the Claromontan Gr. & Lat. in that of St <77r> Germans & in one of Mr Colberts, & in the Syriac Latin & Ethiopic Versions. Neither did Tertullian nor Ierome nor Ambrose read them.

The old Gnosticks were much complained of for corrupting the scriptures & some of their corruptions were afterwards in the times of the Homousian[41] controversy, received & spread by the Catholicks. For a[42] Epiphanius tells us that the heretick Marcion corrupted 1 Cor. 10.9 by writing Χριστὸν for Κύριον: & this corruption is now generally followed. ffor the Greek MSS & most of the old Versions now read: Neither let us tempt Christ as some of them also tempted & were destroyed of Serpents. Yet the old reading, Neither let us tempt the Lord was in Theodorets MSS, & is still conserved in the MS of Lincoln College in Oxford & in one of Dr Covil's MSS. In the Alexandrine MS & Ethiopic Version tis Neither let us tempt God. The corruption was easy by changing ΚΝ, ΧΝ & ΘΝ (the abbreviations of Κύριον Χριστὸν & Θεὸν) into one another.

Such another corruption was made in those early ages in Iude 5 where the Alexandrin MS & some others & the Latin & Arabic by changing ΚΣ into ΙΣ, that is, Κύριος into Ἰεσους, read Iesus having saved the people out of the land of Egypt afterwards destroyed them that believed not. For the genuine reading backt with almost all the Greek MSS & with the Syriack & Arabick, is: The Lord having saved the people &c.

Hincmare in the place mentioned above, tells us that some for dissolving the Hypostatical union of the two natures in Christ, had rased out this text, Et omnis spiritus qui solvit Iesum ex Deo non est, 1 Iohn 4.3, & that Nestorius being prest with this reading denyed that it was found in authentick copies. This he seems to have from Socrates who tells us in his Ecclesiastical History lib. 7 c. 32, that Nestorius knew not that in the first Epistle of Iohn it was written in the ancient copies, ὅτι παν πνευμα ὃ λύει τὸν Ιἠσουν, ἀπὸ του Θεου οὐκ ἔστι, Every spirit that separates Iesus is not of God. For this sentence those men have rased out of the ancient copies, who studied to separate the Deity from the humanity. Wherefore the ancient Interpreters observed this same thing, namely that there were some who depraved this Epistle, desiring to separate the man from God. For the humanity is conjoyned to the divinity nor are they now two but one: Thus far Socrates. His meaning is that altho this sentence was now rased out of the ancient Greek copies, yet the ancient Latine Interpreters by translating the text: Et omnis spiritus qui solvit Iesum ex Deo non est, had discovered that it was formerly written ὅτι παν πνευμα ὁ λύει τὸν Ιησουν ἀπὸ του Θεου οὐκ έστι, & that therefore this Epistle was depraved where the reading was otherwise. He doth not say that he himself had seen <78r> this reading in any Greek MSS, but argues that some old Interpreters had seen it, meaning the authors of the Vulgar Latin. He should rather have argued from the Greek that the Latines had corrupted their Version. For all the Greek MSS to this day & all the ancient Versions besides the Latin, read the text thus. Every spirit that confesses not that Iesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God; except that the Ethiopic Version & the Alexandrin MS & two or three others omit part of the words. The same reading was followed by Polycarp the disciple of Iohn, in his Epistle, & among the ancienter Latines by Tertullian De carne Christi sub finem & by Cyprian l. 2 cont. Iudæos, c. 8. Yet the corruption might be older than Cyprian, being followed by Irenæus l. 3, c. 18 unless the Latines have corrected him. But it prevailed not before the times of the Nestorian controversy. For 1[43] Austin (Tract. 6 in 1 Ioan.) read the text both ways [ 2[44] & insisted most upon the genuine reading. But soon after Socrates Cyrill of Alexandria, Pope Leo I, Prosper, Cassian, Beda, Fulbertus Carnolensis &c spread the corrupt reading.

Again] in Iohn 19.40 somebody has attempted to change Ιησου into Θεου. For in the Alexandrine MS the reading is, Then they took the body of God.

In acts 13.41, some body has attempted to change ἔργον ὃ into ὅτι ὁ Θεὸς σταυρουται καὶ αποθνήσκει ὃ, and thereby the reading in a MS of New College in Oxford, is become: Behold ye despisers & wonder & perish: for I work a work in your days because God is crucified & dies, which ye will not beleive.

In 2 Thes. 1.9 somebody to make Christ be called the Lord God, has after κυρίου attempted to add Θεου, & thereby to make the reading: Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord God & from the glory of his power: as it is in the MS of Lincoln College in Oxford.

Such another corruption but with better success has been made in Act. 20.28 where the oldest MSS (as the Alexandrin & that which was Beza's in both Gr. & Lat.) & some others, & the Syriac & Armenian Versions, & Irenæus l. 3. c. 14, & the Apostolic Constitutions l. 2. c. 61 & Didymus l. 2 de spir. sancto & Calaritan & Chrysostom (as appears by his commentary on this text & in Eph. 4.12) & Ierome epist ad Evagrium, read: The Church of the Lord which he hath purchased with his own blood. 3[45] Other MSS have, The Church of the Lord & God & others, The Church of God: & this last reading is now generally followed, being in the Latin & Ethiopic Versions, & cited by Athanasius Epiphanius Basil & Ambrose, unless they have been corrected 4 in copying. The variety of the readings shews that the text has been corrupted; & the interest of the Greeks & Latines to change the Lord into God & not God into the Lord, shews sufficiently that the Lord was the first reading.

The like corruption has been made also in 1 Iohn 3.16, where the Apostle discoursing of charity, subjoins Hereby we understand charity, because he laid down his life for us & we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. ffor somebody to make this a text for the Deity of the Son, has in the Vulgar Latin inserted the word Dei after <79r> charity, & the Spaniards have thence in the Complutensian Edition printed Θεου against the authority of all the Greek MSS & all other ancient Versions: so that now the text is Hereby we know the love of God, because he, [that is, God] laid down his life for us. And this reading gets grownd dayly, having begun to creep into modern Versions; so that it must in time pass for genuine scripture unless it can be exploded before the MSS which discover the fraud be faded.

1[46][How the Spanish Divines in their Edition of the Bible at Complutum have corrected the Greek Testament by the Vulgar Latin, as they have done other Books by their Indices Expurgatorij, appears by another instance in] 1 Iohn 2.14, where by the sole authority of the Latin they have omitted the words Ἔγραψα ὑμιν πατέρες ὅτι ἐγνώκατε τὸν ἀπ᾽ ἀρχης.

Another corruption 2[47] has been made in Iude 4, where the Alexandrin MS & three of those ancient Greek ones at Rome collated by Caryophylus 3[48] & one or two at Oxford & three of Covil 4[49] & two others noted by Beza & L. Calaritan p. 222 & Beda & 5[50] the Vulgar Latin, read τὸν μόνον δεσπότην καὶ κύριον ἡμων Ιἠσουν Χριστὸν αρνούμενοι, denying 6[51] the only Master & 7[52] our Lord Iesus Christ. Other MSS. & the Syriac & Arabic after δεσπότην add Θεὸν. 8[53] denying the only Lord God & our Lord Iesus Christ. The Complutensian Edition reads: τὸν μόνον Θεὸν καὶ δεσπότην. Τὸν κύριον ἡμων Ιησουν Χριστὸν ἀρνούμενοι; denying the only God & the Master even our Lord Iesus Christ. And the Ethiopic; denying the only God Iesus Christ.

In Philip 4.13, the Alexandrin & Claromontan MSS & some others, & the Latin & Ethiopic & Clemens Alexandrinus & Ambrose & Ierome read only, ἐν τω ενδυναμουντι με, through him who strengtheneth me; that is, through God. But others after με have added Χριστω, & so made the reading, through Christ who strengtheneth me.

So in Rom. 15.32 some have changed the will of God into the will of Christ Iesus; & in Col. 3.15, the peace of God into the peace of Christ; & in Rom. 10.17, the Word of God into the Word of Christ. And Ambrose to prove < insertion from lower down f 79r > 9[54] Ambrose to prove the Omnipotence of Christ, cites Apoc. 1.8 in these words. a[55] I am Alpha & Omega saith the Lord Iesus who is & who <79v> was & who is to come, the Omnipotent. Whereas the true reading is not, the Lord Iesus, but, the Lord God, that is, God the father. < text from f 79r resumes >

Again in Apoc. 1.11, the words of the son of man, I am Alpha & Omega the first & the last, have crept erroneously into some few Greek MSS, out of one of which Erasmus printed it, & into the Arabic version. For they are wanting in the Alexandrine MS & most others, & in the Syriac Latin & Æthiopic, & in the Commentaries of Arethas & Primasius, & in the Complutensian Edition.

Another corruption there is in 2 Pet. 3.18. For there the Syriac & some Greek MSS still read: But grow in grace, & in the knowledge of our Lord & Saviour Iesus Christ, & of God the Father. To him be glory both now & for ever, Amen: But the other MSS & Versions have left out the words, And of God the Father, that the Doxology may refer to Christ.


And such another corruption there is of a Doxology in Rom. 9.5. The Doxology is ὁ ὢν ἐπὶ πάντων θεὸς ευλογητὸς εἰς τοὺς ἀιώνας Αμήν. Which the Syriack interpreter renders thus: Qui est Deus super omnes. Cui sint laudes et benedictiones in seculum seculorum Amen Interpres Latinus in Bibl. Polyg. Who is God over all to whom be praises & blessings for ever Amen. Where if to (Him) be writ instead of to whom (as I suspect it was at first) & the stop in the middle of the sentence taken away (for stops are of late imposition) the Syriack version will be He who is God over all to him be praises and blessings for ever Amen, that is in our Dialect. To him who is God over all be praises. For the Syrians frequently {make} use of the former way of speaking      {instead} of the latter which is ours. Some think thxxxxxxxxbeen {sic} added in the Greek, but I see no ground for their opinion There is more reason to suspect that the text has been abused by taking the first word (ὁ) for a relative & the Syriac version corrupted as above. For ὁ is not a relative here, as they would perswade us. Tis always an article. For it never respects an antecedent but by apposition of it's consequent in the same case. Wee say not Χριστὸν ὁ ὢν θεὸς but Χριστὁν τον οντα θεὸν & this is all one to say Χριστὸν τον θεὸν. In both cases τὸν is an article of one, <81r> and the same nature & signification wee may indeed for ὁ ὢν του ὄντος τω ὄντι by an Ellipsis of the article, say, who is; but if wee will express the article wee must say, he who is of him who is to him who is or the, of the, to the. If therefore wee would translate the text without losing the article wee must not say Who is God over all but He who is God over all or The God over all. And so the question is wether wee must read The God over all blessed for ever: Amen, & referr all this sentence to Christ by apposition (which seems a hard construction) or say The God over all be blessed for everr: Amen & so with the Syriack Interpreter make Amen the conclusion of a wish as it was always among the Syrians. They had no optative mood but expressed this mood by the future tense of the Indicative, & where they would lay an emphasis on the wish added Amen. And the Apostles as is well known spake Greek in the Syriack Idiome, and therefore ἐυλογητὸς ἐις τους ἀιώνας being in the future tense with Amen after it is in the dialect of the Apostles an optative. For even in the Doxology Rom. 1.25. where the verb ἐστιν is by the following words ἐις τοὑς ἀιωνας extended to the future tense the Syriac interpreter by reason of the concluding word Amen understood it as an optative. This interpretation therefore I prefer. For the Iews used frequently to intermix Doxologies with there discourses. The Apostles do it frequently in their writings xxxxxxd {sic}, The God <82r> over all &c. have the form of such a doxology. The Apostle had been reckoning up the advantages of his own nation above other nations and it was proper to end such a discourse with giving Glory to God & the Epithets ὀ ὢν επι παν των θεὸς & ἐυλογητὸς that is the most high God & the blessed one. being amongst the a[56] Iews the proper names of God the father, cannot without straining be applied to any other where without straining they may as in this text be applied to him. b[57] St Ambrose indeed disputing against those who understood this text of the Father saith. Siquis autem non putat de Christo dictum, Qui est Deus: Det personam de quâ dictum est, De Patre enim Deo hoc loco mentio facta [non] est. Sed quid mirum si in hoc loco Christum Deum super omnia apertâ voce loqueretur de quo alia in Epistola hunc sensum tali sermone firmavit dicens, Ut in nomine Iesu omne genu flectatur cælestium terrestrium et infernorum. Hæc sunt omnia super quæ Deus Christus est. I agree with Ambrose that Christ is in that other Epistle represented God over all but not in this. For it is not requisite that the words of a Doxology should relate to the preceding discourse. But what ever be the sense of the Greek it's plain by this passage of Ambrose that some of the Latines of his age understood Qui est Deus of the Father, & by consequence that some of the antient Latin Versions now lost translated it as a Doxology. And since <83r> The Syriack now puts a stop after ἐυλογητός in the middle of the sentence where the Greek admitts of none, it argues that this version has been tampered with; And if so it is to be suspected that the corruption has been made by writing to whom for to him as was said above. For the change in the Syriac lies but in a letter & so might easily be made which makes me wish that old Syriack MSS could be here consulted. Till that may be done, I can only observe the Syriack interpreter took Amen in the Greek for the conclusion of a wish & he that understands it so there will rather begin that wish at ὁ ὤν than at ἐυλογητὸς.

And if anyone will contend that the Syriack has not been corrupted here yet he must allow that it has been corrupted in some places & particularly in Heb. 2.9. where that version now hath For God himself by his Grace tasted death for all men corruptly for That He by the Grace of God should taste death for all men

[1] Copy from an Old MS pasted on Paper with various Readings.

[2] a Quidam autem [sc. Hæretici] ex ijsdem scripturis quædam crasini de quibus reven{illeg} timebant, sicut constat Arianos de Evangelio erasisse quod Salvator ait: Quia Deus spiritus est quem credere nolebant quod Spiritus S. Deus esset omnipotens. Hincmar Opusc. 33. cap. 18.

[3] b Quod natum est. Ambros. de Spir. sancto Lib. 2, cap. {illeg} & cap. 12. & De Fide Lib. 3, c. 8.

[4] c. Sed etiam ipse Dominus dixit in Evangelio: Quoniam Deus Spiritus est. Quem {illeg} ita expresse Ariani testificant esse de Spiritu, ut eum de vestris codicibus auferant. Atque utinam de vestris et non etiam de Ecclesiæ codicibus tollent. Eo enim {illeg} <71r> est. Et fortasse hoc etiam in Oriente fecistis. Et literas quidem potuistis abolere, sed fidem non potuistis auferre. Plus vos illa litura prodebat: Plus vos illa litura damnabat. Neque enim vos poteratis oblinire veritatem, sed illa litura de libro vitæ vestra nomina radebat. Cur auferebatur, Quoniam Deus Spiritus est, si non pertinebat ad spiritu. Ambros.

[5] Varia lectio = 1 Arians

[6] 2 Arians

[7] a Quod siquis de Latinorum codicum varietate contendit quorum aliquos perfidi falsaverunt, Græcos inspiciat codices et advertat quia scriptum est, Οἱ πνεύματι Θεω λατρεύοντες, quod interpretatur, qui Spiritui Deo servimus. Ergo cum serviendum dicat spiritui &c. Ambros. l. 2 de Spir. Sancto. c. 6.

[8] varia lectio 3 But

[9] 4 S

[10] b Nos enim sumus circumcisio qui spiritu Deo servimus, vel sicut nonnulli codices habent qui spiritui Deo vel spiritui Dei servimus. Augustin. l. 3 ad Bonifac. c. 7.

[11] c Plures enim codices etiam Latini sic habent, qui spiritui Dei ser <72r> vimus, Græci autem omnes aut pene {omnes.} In nonnullis autem exemplaribus Latinis invenimus, non spiritui Dei servimus, sed spiritu Deo servimus. Augustin. l. 1 de Trin. c. 6.

[12] all or

[13] VL 2 St

[14] d Scio plurosque codices habere, Qui spiritu Deo servimus. Quantum autem inspicere potuimus, plures Græci hoc habent, Qui spiritui Dei servimus. D. Aug. de Verb. Apost. serm. 15.

[15] 3 S

[16] rejoice in Christ Iesus

[17] 5 Arian

[18] a. Ait enim idem Quia scimus quod filius Dei venit, et concarnatus est propter nos, et passus est, et resurgens a mortuis assumpsit nos et dedit nobis intellectum optimum ut intelligamus Verum, & simus in vero filio Iesu Christo. Hic est verus Deus et vita æterna et resurrectio nostra. Hilar. de Trin. l. 6.

[19] b. Accipe tamen quid etiam scripserit Evangelista Ioannes in Epistola dicens: Scimus quod Filius Dei apparuit, et dedit nobis sensum ut cognoscamus Patrem, & simus in vero Filio ejus Iesu Christo. Hic est verus Deus et vita æterna. Verum Ioannes filium Dei, et verum Deum dicit. Ambros. l. 1 de Fide c. 7.

[20] V. l. 1 Arian

[21] a Αλλὰ καὶ ἔκλαυσε κειται ἐν τω κατὰ Λουκαν Ευάγγελίω ἐν τοις ἀδιορθώτοις άντιγράφοις, καὶ κέχρηται τη μαρτυρία ὁ ἅγιος Ειρηναιος εν τω κατὰ Αιρέσειν, πρὸς τοὺς δοκήσει, τὸν Χριστὸν πεφηνέναι λέγοντας. Ορθόδοξοι δὲ ἀφέιλοντο τὸ ᾽ρητὸν, φοβηθέντες καὶ μὴ νοήσαντες ἀυτου τὸ τέλος καὶ τὸ ἰσχυρότατον. Epiphan. in Anachorato c. 31

[22] a Nec sane ignorandum nobis est et in Græcis et Latinis codicibus complurimus vel de adveniente Angelo vel de sudore sanguineo nihil scriptum referiri. Hilar. l. 10 de Trin.

[23] b. In quibusdam Exemplaribus tam Græcis quam Latinis invenitur, scribente Luca: Apparuit illi Angelus de cælo confortans eum. &c. Hieron. l. 2 adv. Lucif.

[24] V l 2 Eusebian

[25] 3 I am not able to determine

[26] a. Origen. in h. l. Chrysostom. in h. l. Cyril. Thesaur. Assert. 10. Hilar. in h. l. can. 19. Et de Trinitate l. 9, pag. 196. Hieron. in h. l. ut ex ejus Commentario patet. Nam textus ab eo citatus jam corruptus est.

[27] C: V L. 1. foolish

[28] b Augustin l. 2 de consensu Evangel. c. 3.

[29] 2 S Austin

[30] 3. Eusebian

[31] a. Scriptum est, inquiunt, De die autem illo & hora nemo scit, neque Angeli cælorum, nec filius, nisi solus Pater. Primum veteres non habent Codices Græci, quod nec ffilius scit. Sed non mirum si et hoc falsarunt qui scripturas interpolavere divinas. Qua ratione autem videatur adjectum proditur dum ad interpretationem tanti sacrilegij derivatur. Pone tamen ab Evangelistis scriptum &c. Ambros. l. 5 De ffide, c. 7.

[32] /V L 1. D. Ambrose

[33] b. In quibusdam Latinis codicibus additum est; neque filius, cum in Græcis, & maxime Adamantij & Pierij exemplaribus hoc non habetur asscriptum. Sed quia in nonnullis legitur, disserendum videtur. Gaudet Arius et Eunomius, quasi ignorantia Magistri gloria discipulorum sit, et dicunt: Non potest æqualis esse qui novit et qui ignorat, &c. Hieron. com. in Matth. 24.

[34] c. Si enim Latinis exemplaribus fides est adhibenda, respondeant quibus. Tot enim sunt exemplaria pene quot codices. Hieron. Præf. ad Damasum in Com. Matth.

[35] 2 Arian

[36] d. In Marco {additum} est, μεδὲ ὁ υἱὸς, id est, neque filius. Et fatetur Divus Hieronymus hoc adscriptum fuisse etiam apud Matthæum in nonnullis Latinis codicibus, in Græcis non haberi præsertim in exemplaribus Adamantij ac Pierij. Atqui ex Homilijs Origenis quas scripsit in Matthæum apparet illum addidisse Filium, cujus hæc sunt verba. Qui non cognoverunt de die illo et hora neque Angeli cælorum neque ffilius, {illeg} scientiam diei illius et horæ cohæredibus promissionis illius ex quo seipsum exinanirit. Ac paulo post: Et præparans omnem quem vult scire illum diem & horam cum sanctis Angelis & cum ipso Domino nostro Iesu Christo. Ad eundem modum legit Augustinus in Homilijs quas edidit in Matthæum, Sermone vigesimo primo, nec legit solum verum etiam interpretatur: Cumque hoc Hilarius, cum ait in Expositione Canonis, dicens diem illum omnibus esse incognitum, & non solum Angelis sed etiam sibi ignoratum. Legit et interpretatur eodem modo Chrysostomus. Denique et Hieronymus ipse in progressu enarrationis sequitur hanc lectionem. Et cum Marcus ἐπιτομὴν scripserit Matthæi, consentaneum est illum non hoc addidisse de suo. Proinde suspicor hoc a nonnullis subtractum ne Arrianis esset ansa confirmandi filium esse patre minorem qui nobiscum aliquid ignoraret. Verum erat igitur ex Marco item eradendum, ubi plane legitur. Neque convenit hæc via tollere occasiones hæreticorum, alioqui bona pars Evangeliorum foret eradenda. Et imprimis illud, Pater major me est. Interpretatione medendum erat huic malo, non rasura; calamo non scalpello. Erasm. Annot. in h. l. Beza in his Annotations, uses to be sharp upon Erasmus for such Annotations as this but is silent here. For he knew that his own MS, that very old one which he presented to the University of Cambridge read here in Matthew, both in Greek & Latin, nor the Son, & it seems chose rather to say nothing then to acknowledge this reading.

[37] V L. 1 Wish

[38] Hieron. in h. l.


3 Instead of the words inclosed in the brackets it is.

The addition obscures the sense & seems to have been made in the times of the Arian Controversy for transferring the name of the whole family in heaven & earth from God to Christ. –

[40] Note:The contents of this note are only visible in the diplomatic transcript because they were deleted on the original manuscript

[41] V. L. Arian

[42] a Epiphan. Hæres. 42. p. 358. Edit. Petau.

[43] 1. D. Augustin


2 The words enclosed within the black lines are not in the other M.S. but instead of them as follows – By these instances it is manifest that the scriptures have been very much corrupted in the first ages & cheifly in the 4th century in the time of the Arian controversy – And to the shame of Christians be it spoken the Catholicks are here found much more guilty of these corruptions than the Hereticks. In the earliest ages the Gnosticks were much accused of this crime & seem to have been guilty & yet the Catholicks were not then wholly innocent. But in the 4th 5th & 6th centuries when the Arians Macedonians Nestorians & Eutychians were much exclaimed against for this crime I cannot find any one instance in which they were justly accused. The Catholicks ever made the corruptions (so far as I can yet find) & then to justify & propagate them exclaimed against the Hereticks & old interpreters, as if the antient genuine readings & translations had been corrupted. Whoever was author of the Latin version which did insert the testimony of the three in heaven he charges the authors of the antient Latin versions with infidelity for leaving it out. if Macedonius be condemned & banished for corrupting the scriptures, the Catholicks clamor against the Council which condemned him as if they had corrupted them. If the Catholicks foist into the publick books of the Churches Quia Deus Spiritus est, the Catholicks also rail at the Arians as if they had corrupted the scripture by blotting it out. If the Catholicks strike out ὀυδὲ ὁ υἱὸς they clamour at the Arians for inserting it. If the Catholicks instead of Every spirit which confesseth that Iesus Christ's come in the flesh write corruptly Every Spirit which dissolves Iesus they pretend that the Gnosticks had done the contrary. And if they have taken this liberty with the Scriptures it is to be feared they have not spared other authors. So Ruffin (if we may believe Ierome) corrupted Origen's works & pretended that he purged them from the corruption of the Arians. And such was the liberty of the age that learned men blushed not in translating authors to correct them at their pleasure & confess openly that they did so, as if it were a crime to translate them faithfully All which I mention out of the great hatred I have to pious frauds & to shame Christians out of these practices.

Besides the corruptions of the scriptures mentioned above there are divers others so very antient that they may seem to have been made about the same time. So

[45] 3 Others by an easy change of Κς into Χς read the Church of Christ as the Syriack version & Theodoret Com: in Phil 1 –


1. In the other MS. it runs thus viz

By this & other instances it appears that the Spanish divines in their edition of the bible at Complutum have corrected the Greek testament by the vulgar latin as they have done other books by their Indices expurgatorii) Two instances of this I find in the 1st letter a third I now send you, & a fourth     may be added concerning

[47] 2 like the former is in the other M.S.

[48] the words one or ar not in the other M.S

[49] 4. two of Covils

[50] 5 the vulgar latin is not on the other M.S

[51] 6 our

[52] 7 our) is left out


8. After Θεον in the other M.S. it runs thus viz.

But this making the sense ambiguous the Complutensian Edition to make sure work reads τον μόνον &c.

[54] 9. This paragraph is not in the other M.S.

[55] a Ego sum Alpha & ω, dicit Dominus Iesus, qui est et qui erat & qui <79v> venturus est, Omnipotens. Ambrose l. 2 de fide c. 3.

[56] a See Mark. 14.61 Ephes. 4 6. Act. 7.48.

[57] b. Ambrose. in h. l.

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