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The Codex Koridethi, also named Codex Coridethianus, designed by Θ, 038, or Theta (in the Gregory-Aland numbering), ε 050 (Soden), is a 9th century manuscript of the four Gospels. It is written in Greek with uncial script in two columns per page. There are gaps in the text: Matthew 1:1–9, 1:21–4:4, and 4:17–5:4 are missing.

The letter are written in a rough, inelegant hand. The scribe who wrote the text is believed to have been unfamiliar with Greek.

The codex is located now in Tbilisimarker (Georgian National Center of Manuscripts, Gr. 28).

Name and history

Many people think that the text gets its name from the town in which it was discovered. This is not correct. The Editio Princeps by Beermann and Gregory states:

Kala/Caucasia:In the year 1853 a certain Bartholomeé visited a long abandoned monastery in Kala, a little village in the Caucasian mountains near the Georgian/Russian border (some miles south east of the 5600m high Elbrus). There, in an old church, far off every civilisation, he discovered the MS. The MS rested there probably for several hundred years (Beermann: ca. 1300 - 1869).

Koridethi:Before this time the MS was in a town called Koridethi. This was a village near the Black Seamarker, near today's Batumimarker in Georgiamarker. There should still be some ruins of a monastery. Notes in the Gospel indicate dates from ca. 965 CE on. At around this time, according to a note, the book has been rebound. The book was there until around 1300 CE.

further south, Armenia:A Greek inscription mentions a city Tephrice: "I, Kurines, Comes of the comandant of the city Tephrice came to the castelles and went back to the fort of the Great Martyrs(?)." Even though the content and meaning is not completely clear, the city Tephrice is clear. The town was destroyed in 873. It was on a line between today's Sivas and Malatya in Turkey/Armenia. Beermann's conclusion therefore is (p. 581) that the codex must be older than 873 CE. Beermann speculates that the "fort of the Great Martyrs" (if correctly deciphered) might have been Martyropolis, a town near the Wan Lake, near today's Batman in Turkey.

Witness of Byzantine text-type
In 2007 the Deutsche Bibelgessellschaft edited The Gospel According to John in the Byzantine Tradition. Koridethi is cited in the apparatus. In the Introduction to this edition is written: "Manuscript 038 (Θ) represents a text on the boundary of what might reasonably be considered a manuscript of the Byzantine tradition in John".

Text of the codex

The text-type of Matthew ch. 1-14, Luke, and John is more or less the Byzantine, while Mark is the Caesarean. The text of the Matthew ch. 14-28 is quite good the Alexandrian. Aland placed it in Category II.

Matthew 8:13
It has additional text: (and when the centurion returned to the house in that hour, he found the slave well) as well as codices א*, C, (N), 0250, f1, (33, 1241), g1, syrh.

Matthew 20:23
phrase (and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with) omitted, as in codices Sinaiticus, B, D, L, Z, 085, f1, f13, it, syrs, c, copsa.

Matthew 27:16
it has famous textual variant "Ιησουν τον Βαραββαν" (Jesus Barabbas). This variant contain Minuscule 700, and manuscripts of the textual family f1.

In Mark 9:49 it has unique textual variant πας γαρ πυρι αναλωθησεται instead of πας γαρ πυρι αλισθησεται.

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*, W, 0124, 1241, a, Codex Bezaelat, syrs, copsa, copbo.

See also


  1. Bruce M. Metzger, Bart D. Ehrman, The Text of the New Testament: Its Transmission, Corruption and Restoration, Oxford University Press, 2005, p. 86.
  2. Kurt Aland et Barbara Aland, The Text of the New Testament: An Introduction to the Critical Editions and to the Theory and Practice of Modern Textual Criticism, transl. Erroll F. Rhodes, William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, Grand Rapids, Michigan, 1995, p. 118.
  3. "Die Koridethi-Evangelien", Gustav Beermann und Caspar René Gregory, Leipzig: Hinrichs, 1913
  4. The Gospel According to John in the Byzantine Tradition, Stuttgart 2007, Introduction, p. V.
  5. NA26, p. 18
  6. NA26, 56.
  7. NA26, p. 121.
  8. UBS4, p. 311.

Further reading

  • K. Lake, R. P. Blake, The Text of the Gospels and the Koridethi Codex, The Harvard Theological Review, Vol. 16, No. 3 (Jul. 1923), pp. 267-286.
  • B. H. Streeter, The Four Gospels. A study of origins the manuscript traditions, sources, authorship, & dates, Oxford 1924, ss. 77-107.
  • H. C. Hoskier, Collation of Koridethi with Scrivener's Reprint of Stephen III, BBC 6 (1929), pp. 31-56.
  • F. G. Kenyon, Our Bible and the Ancient Manuscripts (4th ed.), London 1939.

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