Codex Washingtonianus

New Testament manuscripts
Uncial 032
Painted cover of the Codex Washingtonianus, depicting the evangelists Luke and Mark (7th Century)

Painted cover of the Codex Washingtonianus, depicting the evangelists Luke and Mark (7th Century)
Name Washingtonianus (Freer Gospel)
Sign W
Text Gospels
Date c. 400
Script Greek
Found Egypt (purchased by Charles Lang Freer)
Now at Freer Gallery of Art
Size 187 leaves; 20.75 x 13.75 cm
Type eclectic text-type
Category III
Note unique insertion following Mark 16:14

The Codex Washingtonianus or Codex Washingtonensis, designated by W or 032 (in the Gregory-Aland numbering), ε 014 (Soden), also called the Washington Manuscript of the Gospels, and The Freer Gospel, contains the four biblical gospels and was written in Greek on vellum in the fourth or fifth century.[1] The manuscript is lacunose.



The codex is a book of 187 leaves of 20.5–21 cm by 13-14.5 cm with painted wooden covers, consisting of 26 quires (four to eight leaves).[2]

The text is written in one column per page, 30 lines per page.[1] There are numerous corrections made by the original scribe and a few corrections dating to the late fifth or sixth century. John 1:1-5:11 is a replacement of a presumably damaged folio, and dates to around the seventh century. It is missing Mark 15:13-38 and John 14:26-16:7. The ink is dark brown. The words are written continuously without separation. Accents are absent. The rough breathing is used very rarely.

Like in Codex Bezae the Gospels follow in Western order: Matthew, John, Luke, Mark.[3]

The following nomina sacra are written in abbreviated forms: ΘΣ ΚΣ ΧΡΣ ΙΣ ΠΝΑ ΑΝΟΣ ΠΗΡ ΜΗΡ ΥΣ ΔΑΔ (ΔΔ once) ΙΗΛ (ΙΣΡΛ once).[4]

Matthew 16:2b–3 is present and not marked as doubtful or spurious. Luke 22:43-44, John 5:4 and the Pericope de adultera are omitted by the scribe. It lacks Matthew 5:21-22 (as Minuscule 33),[5] and Luke 19:25 (as Codex Bezae, 69, 1230, 1253, lectionaries, b, d, e, ff², syrc, syrsin, copbo);[6][7]

It contains Matthew 23:14, as do manuscripts 0104, 0107, 0133, 0138, and most other Byzantine mss.[8]

Text of codex

The Codex is cited as a "consistently cited witness of the first order" in the critical apparatus of the Novum Testamentum Graece. The codex was apparently copied from several different manuscripts and is the work of two scribes. The text-type is eclectic:

It has addition in Mark 1:3, the citation from Is 40:3 is longer. Mark 10:48 is omitted as in codex 1241.[9]

In Matthew 1:10 it reads Αμων for Αμως (א, B, C), the reading of the codex agrees with L, f13 and the Byzantine text.[10]

Matthew 10:12

It reads λεγοντες ειρηνη τω οικω τουτω instead of αυτην. The reading is used by manuscripts: Sinaiticus*,2, Bezae, Regius, Koridethi, f 1 1010 (1424), it vgcl.[11]

In Mark 2:3 it has ιδου ανδρες ερχονται προς αυτον βασταζοντες εν κρεβαττω παραλυτικον supported only by Old Latin Codex Palatinus instead of usual variant ερχονται φεροντες προς αυτον παραλυτικον αιρομενον υπο τεσσαρων;[12]

In Mark 10:19 — phrase μη αποστερησης omitted, as in codices B, K, Ψ, f1, f13, 28, 700, 1010, 1079, 1242, 1546, 2148, 10, 950, 1642, 1761, syrs, arm, geo.[13]

In Μark 13:2 it contains addition και μετα τριων ημερων αλλος αναστησεται ανευ χειρων (and after three days another will arise) — D W it.[14]

In Mark 9:49 it reads πας γαρ πυρι αλισθησεται – as manuscripts (א εν πυρι) B L Δ f1 f13 28 565 700 260 syrs copsa.

In Luke 4:17 it has textual variant καὶ ἀνοίξας τὸ βιβλίον (and opened the book) together with the manuscripts A, B, L, Ξ, 33, 892, 1195, 1241, K, Δ, Θ, Π, Ψ, f1, f13, 28, 565, 700, 1009, 1010 and many other manuscripts.[15][16]

Luke 22:43-44 omitted, as in codices p75, א*, A, B, T, 1071.[17]

In Luke 23:34 omitted words: "And Jesus said: Father forgive them, they know not what they do." This omission is supported by the manuscripts Papyrus 75, Sinaiticusa, B, D*, Θ, 0124, 1241, a, Codex Bezaelat, syrsin, copsa, copbo.[18]

In John 7:1 it reads ου γαρ ειχεν εξουσιαν for ου γαρ ηθελεν, the reading is supported by Old Latin: a, b, ff², l, r1, and by Syriac Curetonian.[19]

Mark 16:12-17 with the Freer Logion in 16:14

Freer Logion

The ending of Mark in this codex is especially noteworthy because it includes a unique insertion after Mark 16:14, referred to as the "Freer Logion".

Κακεινοι απελογουντο λεγοντες οτι ο ιων ουτος της ανομιας υπο τον σαταναν εστιν, ο μη εων τα (τον μη εωντα?) υπο των πνευματων ακαθαρτα (-των?) την αληθειαν του θεου καταλαβεσθαι (+ και?) δυναμιν δια τουτο αποκαλυψον σου την δικαιοσυνην ηδη, εκεινοι ελεγον τω χριστω και ο χριστος εκεινοις προσελεγεν οτι πεπληρωται ο ορος των ετων της εξουσιας του σατανα, αλλα εγγιζει αλλα δεινα και υπερ ων εγω αμαρτησαντων παρεδοθην εις θανατον ινα υποστρεψωσιν εις την αληθειαν και μηκετι αμαρτησωσιν ινα την εν τω ουρανω πνευματικην και αφθαρτον της δικαιοσυνης δοξαν κληρονομησωσιν.[20]


And they excused themselves, saying, "This age of lawlessness and unbelief is under Satan, who does not allow the truth and power of God to prevail over the unclean things of the spirits [or: does not allow what lies under the unclean spirits to understand the truth and power of God]. Therefore reveal thy righteousness now" - thus they spoke to Christ. And Christ replied to them, "The term of years of Satan's power has been fulfilled, but other terrible things draw near. And for those who have sinned I was delivered over to death, that they may inherit the spiritual and incorruptible glory of righteousness which is in heaven.[21]

This text is not found in any other manuscript, but was partially quoted by Jerome:

et illi satisfaciebant dicentes: Saeculum istud iniquitatis et incredulitatis substantia (sub Satana?) est, quae non sinit per immundos spiritus veram Dei apprehendi virtutem: idcirco iamnunc revela iustitiam tuam.[20]


The codex was purchased by Charles Lang Freer on a trip to Egypt in November 1906.[22] Metzger states: "It is only Greek Gospel manuscript of early date of which we know provenance. Though the exact spot in Egypt where it was found is not known, there are indications that it came from a monastery in the neighbourhood of the Pyramids."[23] The writing is closely related to the Codex Panopolitanus (Papyrus Cairensis 10759), Henoch manuscript, found in Akhmim in 1886.[24]

There is a subscription at the end of the Gospel of Mark, written in semi-cursive from the V century: "Holy Christ, be thou with thy servant Timothy and all of his." The similar note appears in Minuscule 579. Hermann von Soden cited a number of similar subscriptions in other manuscripts.[25]

It is located in the Smithsonian Institution at the Freer Gallery of Art (06. 274) in Washington, D.C., United States of America, and some of it can be viewed on-line. Complete images of the codex are available from the Rights and Reproductions office at the Freer Gallery of Art.

See also


  1. ^ a b Aland, Kurt; Barbara Aland; Erroll F. Rhodes (trans.) (1995). The Text of the New Testament: An Introduction to the Critical Editions and to the Theory and Practice of Modern Textual Criticism. Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company. p. 113. ISBN 978-0-8028-4098-1. 
  2. ^ Léon Vaganay, Christian-Bernard Amphoux, Jenny Heimerdinger, An introduction to New Testament textual criticism (1991), p. 17.
  3. ^ a b Metzger, Bruce M.; Ehrman, Bart D. (2005). The Text of the New Testament: Its Transmission, Corruption and Restoration (4 ed.). New York – Oxford: Oxford University Press. p. 80. ISBN 978-0-19-516122-9. 
  4. ^ Henry A. Sanders, Facsimile of the Washington Manuscript of the Four Gospels in the Freer Collection, The University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan 1912, p. VI.
  5. ^ Nestle-Aland, Novum Testamentum Graece, 26th edition, p. 8.
  6. ^ Nestle-Aland, Novum Testamentum Graece, 26th edition, p. 223.
  7. ^ UBS3, p. 290.
  8. ^ NA26, p. 65.
  9. ^ NA26, p. 125.
  10. ^ NA26, p. 1.
  11. ^ NA26, p. 24
  12. ^ NA26, p. 92.
  13. ^ UBS3, p. 165.
  14. ^ NA26, p. 133.
  15. ^ Bruce M. Metzger, A Textual Commentary on the Greek New Testament (Deutsche Bibelgesellschaft: Stuttgart 2001), p. 114.
  16. ^ NA26, p. 164.
  17. ^ UBS3, p. 305.
  18. ^ UBS4, p. 311.
  19. ^ UBS3, p. 350.
  20. ^ a b NA26, p. 148.
  21. ^ Metzger, Bruce M.; Bart D. Ehrman (2005). The Text of the New Testament: Its Transmission, Corruption, and Restoration (4th ed. ed.). Oxford. ISBN 0-19-516122-X. 
  22. ^ Freer + Sackler Galleries
  23. ^ Bruce M. Metzger, The Early versions of the New Testament, Clarendon Press: Oxford 1977, p. 117.
  24. ^ Henry A. Sanders, The New Testament Manuscripts in the Freer Collection, The Macmillan Company, London 1918, p. 3.
  25. ^ Henry A. Sanders, The New Testament Manuscripts in the Freer Collection, The Macmillan Company, London 1918, p. 2.

Further reading

External links

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