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. For 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 abovementioned in the former letter, tells us that (a) the Arians rased out of the Gospel this text. Quia Deus spiritus est. Because God is a spirit, & that they did it, lest 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) 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 est spiritus 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, "Yea (c) & the Lord himself said in the Gospel, Because God is a spirit, which place the Arians do so expressly 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 <86r> 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 Milan by arms & an army: or the Church of Sirmium, upon the inclination of her Priests, was invaded by Valens & Ursatius, 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. For 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 & 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 Milan; some of the Latin 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 Latins, & therefore justly struck out by the (1)[1] Eusebians: and 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 Latins (however Ambrose declaim against the (2)[2] 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, <87r> 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. (d)[3] "But if any one, 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 Θεω πατρεύοντες, which the Latin interprets, Qui spiritui Deo servimus, who worship God the Holy Ghost. Therefore says he since we are to worship the Spirit &c" This is one corruption made in the Latin (1[4] 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 πατρεύοντες, who worship the spirit of God. And both these corruptions seem to be as old as the Macedonian controversy. For Bishop Augustin, in the 7th chapter of his third Book to Boniface, mentions them both in these words. (e)[5] "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. (f)[6] "For many Latin books & (2)[7] almost all the Greek ones have it thus: Who worship the Spirit of God. Yet in some Latin ones we have found, not, Who worship the Spirit of God, but, who worship God in the Spirit." If you suspect that Augustin may speak too largely here, he gives you his Opinion in modester language <88r> in his 15th sermon De verbis Apostoli: (g)[8] "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 Augustines age far spread in both Latin & Greek MSS, & more in the Greek than in the Latin. And yet Ambrose not long before read, οἱ πνεύματι Θεω πατρεύοντες, 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 and sense is in the Syriac Ethiopic & Arabic. And so also the Latin MS now generally have Qui spiritu Deo servimus. And this reading and 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 worshipping God in the spirit to the putting confidence in the flesh. "Beware saith he, of the concision [i e. of those who trust in the circumcision of the flesh] "for we are the circumcision, which worship God in the spirit & (1)[9]" have no confidence in the flesh."

Another corruption of the scriptures or rather two others, and both those made about the beginning of the (2)[10] Eusebian controversy, 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 (h)[11] "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 Fide c. 7. & by Basil l. 4 contra Eunom. Cyrill. de Trin. Dial. 3. & others. The words of Ambrose are (i)[12] "Yet take what also Iohn the Evangelist wrote in his Epistle saying, We know that the Son of God hath <89r> 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 obtained, 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 design of these corruptions, which was to transfer the Epithet true from the Father to the Son, you may learn that the Text was otherwise understood before. For all corruptions are for imposing a new sense. The true reading is this. "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. and this also was made by the Catholics in the beginning of the (1)[13] 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 Catholics struck it out of their books, as Epiphanius himself has openly confessed in these words. (k)[14] "Yea, saith he, Christ also wept as 'tis read in the uncorrected Exemplars of the Gospel of Luke; and the holy Irenæus, in his book against Heretics, uses that testimony to confute those who said that Christ appeared not really but only in shew. But the Catholics blotted out that passage, being afraid of it, & not knowing its end and force." Thus far Epiphanius, pleading for this passage by the authority of Irenæus, & callling those books uncorrected in which the Catholics had not blotted it out. <90r> 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: and being in an agony he prayed more earnestly & his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground." These words are now found in almost all the Greek manuscripts, & in all the versions to this day. But Hilary tells us (l)[15] that in his age they were wanting in very many copies both Greek & Latin. And Ierome that (m)[16] they were only extant in some. But whether the Catholics have erroneously admitted them, or did in the beginning of the (1)[17] homousian controversy strke them out, (2)[18] 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 still followed in the printed Editions, and was in the ancient exemplars used by the Syriac Persic & Arabic Interpreters; & in those of Origen (n)[19] Chrysostom, Cyrill, Hilary, & Ierome. And 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 thus set down. Τί με ἐρωτας περὶ τουν άγαθου. ἑἱς ἐστιν ὁ άγαθός. "Why askest thou me of a good one. There is one who is good." And this reading Erasmus and Grotius prefer, 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 an other. The young man asked, "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 <91r> one? εἰς ἐστιν ὁ αγαθός 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, and 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." And yet was so (1)[20] 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 Augustin (o)[21] 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 Father 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 verse 14 to verse 33, in which this occurs, is a translation of Matthews Hebrew without adding or altering anything. 'Tis also still retained in some Greek & Latin copies, & in the Ethiopic version to this day. But the other versions, & the generality of the Greek & Latin 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 Latin ones, in the heat of the (2)[22] Homousian controversy. For the Eusebians then urged them, & Ambrose makes this answer in behalf of the Catholics (p)[23] "It is written, say the Eusebians, but of that day & hour knoweth no man, neither the Angels in Heaven, nor the Son, but the <92r> Father only. First 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" 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 Matthews; and that the clause was still in most of the Latin MSS because 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 Latins, 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 Latins wherein their versions differed from the Greek. For Ierome in his commentary on this place relates the matter thus. (q)[24] "In some Latin books, there is added '''nor the Son''', whilst in the Greek ones, & chiefly in the exemplar 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." 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 these) 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 <93r> his Preface to this his Commentary on Matthew, where he saith concerning the disagreeing editions of the Latin Versions (r)[25] "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, 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 (1)[26] homousian controversy. For (s)[27] Origen himself, as I told you, read the clause. I doubt whether there were so many books corrupted as Ierome represents. For 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 knee to the Father of our Lord Iesus Christ, of whom the whole family in heaven & earth is named." But Ierome tells us (t)[28] that the words "of our Lord Iesus Christ" were added in the Latin copies, while the genuine reading remained in the Greek. So that the reading of the Greek copies of Ierome's age was, "for this cause I bow my knee 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. 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. For this word is here referred to family, & signifies the same thing with <94r> Paterfamilias. In human 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. (1)[29]

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 Chrysostom, who comments upon it. But the last words "by Iesus Christ", have been added by the Greeks, for they are still wanting in the oldest Greek MSS, the Alexandrin & the Claromontan Gr. & Lat. In that of St Germans & in one of Mr Colberts, & in the Syriac, Latin, & Ethiopic Versions. Neither did Tertullian nor Ierome nor Ambrose read them.

The old Gnostics were much complained of for corrupting the Scriptures, and some of their corruptions were afterwards, in the time of the (2)[30] homousian Controversy received & spread by the Catholics. For (u)[31] Epiphanius tells us, that the Heretick Marcion corrupted 1 Cor. 10.9 by writing Χριστὸν for Κύριον. And this corruption is now generally followed. For 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, and in one of Dr Covils 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 Ιησους read, "Iesus having saved the people out of the land of Egypt, afterwards destroyed them that believe not." For the genuine reading, backt with almost all the Greek M.SS, & with the Syriac & Arabic, 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. And that Nestorius, being prest with this reading, denyed that it was found in authentic copies. This he seems to have from Socrates, who tells us in his Ecclesiastical History l. 7 c. 32 that "Nestorius knew not that in the first Epistle of Iohn it was written in the ancient copies, ὅτι παν πνευμα ὁ λύει τὸν Ίησουν, 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 conjoined 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 Latin 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 ἔστι, & that therefore this epistle was depraved, where the reading was otherwise. He doth not say that he himself had seen this reading in any Greek MSS; but argues that some old Interpreters had seen it, meaning the old Vulgar Latin. He should rather have argued from the Greek that the Latins 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; and among the ancient 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 <96r> l 3. c. 18. unless the Latines have corrected him. But it prevailed not before the Times of the Nestorian controversy. For Austin (Tract. 6 in 1 Ioan) read the Text both ways, (1)[32] & 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. (1)

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

In Acts 13.41, somebody has attempted to change ἔργον ὃ into ὅτι ὁ Θεὸς σταυρουται καὶ αποθνήσκει ὃ. and thereby the reading of 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 believe"

In 2 Thess. 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 and 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 Acts 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. and the Apostolic constitutions l 2. c. 61. & Didymus l. 2 de spir. sanct. & Calaritan & Chrysostom (as appears by his commentary on this text & in Ephes. 4.12) & Ierome epist: ad Evagrium read, "The Church of the Lord which he hath purchased with his own Blood". (2)[33] Other MSS have "The Church of the Lord God" & others "The Church of God." and this last reading is now generally followed, being in the Latin & Ethiopic Versions & cited by Athanasius, Epiphanius, Basil, & Ambrose, unless they have been corrected (3)[34] in copying. (3) The variety of the readings shews that <97r> the text has been corrupted; & the interest of the Greeks & Latins 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". For somebody to make this a text for the Deity of the Son, has in the Vulgar Latin inserted the word Dei after charity. And 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 ground daily, 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)[35] 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 Expurgatorii 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)[36] has been made in Iude 4. where the Alexandrin MS, & three of those ancient Greek ones at Rome collated by Caryophylus, & (3)[37][38] three of Covils, & two others noted by Beza & L Calaritan p 222, & Beda & the Vulgar Latin read τὸν μόνον δεσπότην καὶ κύριον ἡμων Ιἠσουν Χριστὸν ἀρνούμενοι. "Denying (6)[40] the only Master & our Lord Iesus Christ." Other MSS, & the Syriac & Arabic, after δεσπότην add Θεὸν. (7)[41] "Denying the only Lord God & our Lord Iesus Christ. The Complutensian Edition reads τὸν μόνον Θεὸν καὶ δεσπότην τὸν κύριον ἡμων Ιησουν Χριστον ἀρνούμενοι. <98r> "Denying the only God & 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, and the Latin & Ethiopic, & Clemens Alexandrinus, & Ambrose, & Ierome read only ἐν τω ἐνδυναμουντι με, "through him who strengtheneth me{"}, that is, through God. But others after με have added Χριστω & so made the reading "thro' Christ who strengtheneth me."

So in Rom. 15.32, some have changed the will of God into the will of Christ Iesus. And in Col. 3.15, the peace of God into the peace of Christ. And in Rom. 10.17, the Word of God into the word of Christ. (1)[42] And Ambrose to prove the Omnipotence of Christ cites Apoc. 1.8 in these words. (x)[43] "I am Alpha and Omega saith the Lord Iesus, who is, & who was, & who is to come, the Omnipotent.{"} The true reading is not, "the Lord Iesus" but "the Lord God" – that is "God the Father".

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 Alexandrin MS & most others & in the Syriac, Latin, & Æthiopic, & in the Commentaries of Arethas & Primasius, & in the Complutensian Edition. (2)[44]

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.

*[45] And such another corruption there is of a Doxology in Rom. 9.5. The Doxology is ὁ ὢν ἐπὶ πάντων θεὸς ἐυλογητὸς εἰς τοὺς ἀιώνας. Αμὴν. Which the Syriac interpreter renders thus. Qui est Deus super omnes. Cui sint laudes <99r> 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 written 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 Syriac version will be, "He who is God over all, to him be praises & 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 thxxxxxxxx {sic} been 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 its consequent in the same case. Wee say not Χριστὸ ὁ ὤν Θεὸς but Χριστὸ τὸν ὀύτα Θεὸν. And this is all one to say Χριστὸν τὸν Θεὸν. In both cases τὸν is an article of one and the same nature & signification. We may indeed for ὁ ὤν, του ὄντος, τω ὄντι, by an Ellipsis of the Article say, who is; But if we will express the article, we must say, he who is, of him who is, to him who is, or the, of the, to the. If therefore we would translate the text without losing the article, we 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, whether we must read, "the God over all blessed for ever Amen", & refer all this sentence to Christ by apposition (which seems a hard construction) or say, "The God over all be blessed for ever Amen" & so, with the Syriac 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 it is well <100r> known spake Greek in the Syriac Idiom, and therefore ἐιλογητὸς εἰς τοὺς άιωνας 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 είς τοὺς άιωνας 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 their discourses. The Apostles do it frequently in their writings xxxxxx {sic} The God 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. And the Epithets ὀ ὤν ἐπὶ πάντων Θεὸς & ἐύλογητὸς, that is, the most high God, & the blessed one, being among the Iews (x) 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. (z) St Ambrose indeed disputing against those who understood this text of the Father saith, Siquis autem non putet 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 aliâ in Epistolâ 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 whatever be the sense of the Greek, its plain by this passage of Ambrose, that some of the Latins of his age understood Qui est Deus of the Father; and by consequence that some of the ancient Latin versions now <101r> lost translated it as a Doxology. And since the Syriac now puts a stop after ἐυλογητὸς in the middle of the sentence, where the Greek admits 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 Syriac MSS could be here consulted. Till that may be done, I can only observe the Syriac 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 έυλογητὸς..

And if any one will contend that the Syriac 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.


Various readings

(1) Arians.

[2] (2) Arians

[3] (d) Quòd siquis de Latinorum codicum varietate contendit, quorum aliquos perfidi falsaverunt, Græcos inspiciat codices, et advertat quia scriptum est, οἱ πνεύματι Θεω πατρεύοντες, quod interpretatur, qui Spiritui Deo servimus. Ergo cùm serviendum dicat spiritui &c. Ambros. l. 2 De Spirit. Sanct: c. 6.


Various readings

(1) But

[5] (e) 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.

[6] (f) Plures enim codices etiam Latini sic habent, qui spiritui Dei servimus; 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.

[7] (2) all or almost all

[8] (g) Scio plerosque 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


Various readings

(1) rejoice in Christ Iesus &

[10] (2) Arian

[11] (h) Ait enim idem, Quia scimus quòd filius Dei venit, et concarnatus est propter nos, et passus est, et resurgens à 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.

[12] (i) Accipe tamen quid etiam scripserit Evangelista Ioannes in Epistolâ, dicens: Scimus quòd 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.


Various readings

(l) Arian.

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

[15] (l) 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.

[16] (m) In quibusdam Exemplaribus, tam Græcis quàm Latinis, invenitur scribente Lucâ: Apparuit illi Angelus de cælo confortans eum. Hieron: l. 2 adv. Lucif.


Various readings

(l) Eusebian.

[18] (2) I am not able to determine

[19] (n) Origen. in h. l. Chrysostom in h. l. Cyril. Thesaur. Assert. 10. Hilar in h. l. can 19. et de Trin. l. 9, pag. 196. Hieron. in h. l. ut ex ejus commentario patet. Nam textus ab eo citatus jam corruptus est.


Various readings

(1) foolish

[21] Augustin. l. 2. de consensu Evangel. c. 3

[22] (2) Eusebian

[23] (p) Scriptum est, inquiunt, "De Die autem illo et horâ nemo scit, neque Angeli cælorum, nec filius, nisi solus Pater". Primum veteres non habent Codices Græci, "quod nec filius scit." Sed non mirum si et hoc falsârunt, qui scripturas interpolavere divinas. Quâ ratione autem videatur adjectum proditur, dum ad interpretationem tanti sacrilegii derivatur. Pone tamen ab Evangelistis scriptum Ambros. l. 5 De ffide c 7

[24] (q) In quibusdam Latinis codicibus additum est, "neque Filius", cùm in Græcis, & maximè Adamantii & Pierii 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 & qui ignorat. Hieron: com. in Matth. 24.

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


Various readings

(1) Arian

[27] (s) In Marco additum est, μηδὲ 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 Adamantii et Pierii. Atqui ex Homiliis Origenis quas scripsit in Matthæum, apparet illum addidisse Filium, cujus hæc sunt verba. Qui non cognoverunt de die illo et horâ, neque Angeli cælorum, neque Filius. Præparat enim Filius scientiam diei illius et horæ cohæredibus promissionis illius, ex quo seipsum exinanirit. Ac paulo pòst: Et præparans omnem quem vult scire illum diem et horam cum sanctis Angelis & cum ipso Domino nostro Iesu Christo. Ad eundem modum legit Augustinus in Homiliis quas edidit in Matthæum, sermone vigesimo primo; nec legit solùm, verùm etiam interpretatur: cumque hoc Hilarius, cùm 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 cùm Marcus ἐπιτομὴν scripserit Matthæi, consentaneum est, illum non hoc addidisse de suo. Proinde suspicor hoc à nonnullis subtractum ne Arrianis esset ansa confirmandi filium esse patre minorem, qui nobiscum aliquid ignoraret. Verùm erat igitur in Marco item eradendum, ubi plane legitur. Neque convenit hâc viâ tollere occasiones hæreticorum, alioqui bona pars Evangeliorum foret eradenda. Et imprimis illud, "Pater major me est." Interpretatione medendum erat huic malo, non rasurâ; 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.

[28] (t) Hieron. in. h. l.


Various readings

(1) Instead of the sentence "Yet the addition was very ancient –––––––––––––––– Father of all" the other Copy has what follows. "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.

[30] (2) Arian

[31] (u) Epiphan. Heres. 42. p. 358. Edit. Petau.


Various readings

(1) & insisted –––––––––––––––––––– spread the corrupt reading.

Instead of this the other MS has what follows.

By these instances it is manifest that the scriptures have been very much corrupted in the first ages, & chiefly in the 4th century in the time of the Arian controversy. And to the shame of Christians be it spoken, the Catholics are here found much more guilty of these corruptions than the Heretics. In the earliest ages, the Gnostics were much accused of this crime, & seem to have been guilty, & yet the Catholics 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 can not find any one instance in which they were justly accused. The Catholics ever made the corruptions, so far as I can yet find; & then to justify & propagate them, exclaimed against the Heretics & old interpreters: as if the antient genuine readings & translations had been corrupted. Whoever was the author of the Latin version, which did insert the testimony of the three in heaven, he charges the authors of the ancient Latin versions with infidelity for leaving it out. If Macedonius be condemned & banished for corrupting the Scriptures, the Catholics clamour against the council which condemned him, as if they had corrupted them. If the Catholics foist into the public books of the Churches "Quia Deus Spiritus est", the Catholics also rail at the Arians, as if they had corrupted the scriptures by blotting it out. If the Catholics strike out ούδὲ ὁ υἱὸς, they clamour at the Arians for inserting it. If the Catholics instead of "Every spirit which confesseth not that Iesus Christ is come in the flesh" write corruptly "Every Spirit which dissolves Iesus"; they pretend that the Gnostics 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 beleive Ierome) corrupted Origens works, & pretended that he only purged them from the corruptions of the Arians. And such was the liberty of that 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 ancient that they may seem to have been made about the same time. So.

[33] (2) Others by an easy change of Κου into Χου read "the Church of Christ" as the Syriac version & Theodoret Com: in. Phil. 1.

[34] (3) These words not in the other MS


Various readings

(1) The other MS has it thus. 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 first Letter, a third I now send you, & a fourth may be added concerning 1 Iohn 2.14.

[36] like the former

[37] (3) these words not in the other MS one or (3) two at Oxford, & (4)

[38] (4) two of Dr Covils

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

[40] (6) our only Master & Lord Iesus Christ

[41] Butt this making the Sense ambiguous, the Complutensian Edition to make sure work reads τὸν μόνὸν &c


Various readings

1. What follows of this paragraph is not in the other MS

[43] (x) Ego sum Alpha & ω, dicit Dominus Iesus, qui est, et qui erat. & qui venturus est, Omnipotens. Ambros. l. 2 de fide c. 3.

[44] (2) In the other MS is added: God is called the first & the last to signify not his Eternity but that it is he who sits upon the throne in the beginning & end of the Prophesy: which some not understanding have applied here to Christ to prove his eternity.

[45] * What follows is not[altered] in Sr I Ns handwriting in the MS of which this is a copy.

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Professor Rob Iliffe
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