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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 and palimpsest in the fourth or fifth century.


The codex is a book of 187 leaves of 20.5-21cm by 13-14.5cm with painted wooden covers. Written in one column per page, 30 lines per page. 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.

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

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. It lacks Matthew 5:21-22 (as Minuscule 33).

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:

  • Matth. 1-28; Luke 8:13–24:53 – Byzantine text-type;
  • Mark 1:1–5:30 – Western text-type similar to old-Latin Versions;
  • Mark 5:31 – 16:20 – Caesarean text-type near to p45;
  • Luke 1:1 – 8:12, and J 5:12 – 21:25 – Alexandrian text-type;
  • John 1:1 – 5:11 – mixed with some Alexandrian and Western readings. This text was added in the 7th century, probably for replacement of damaged text.

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

In Mark 2:3 it has supported only by Old Latin Codex Palatinus instead of usual variant ;

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.

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.

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, 547, syrs, h, pal, copsa, bo, against variant καὶ ἀναπτύξας τὸ βιβλίον (and unrolled the book) supported by א, Dc, K, Δ, Θ, Π, Ψ, f1, f13, 28, 565, 700, 1009, 1010 and many other manuscripts.

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

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, syrs, copsa, copbo.

Mark 16:12-17 with the Freer Logion

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.Translation:
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.

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.


The codex was purchased by Charles Lang Freer on a trip to Egyptmarker in November 1906. Metzger staits: "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."

It is located in the Smithsonian Institutionmarker at the Freer Gallery of Artmarker (06. 274) in Washington, D.C.marker, United Statesmarker 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 Artmarker.

See also


  1. Kurt Aland, and 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. 113.
  2. Bruce M. Metzger, The Text of the New Testament: Its Transmission, Corruption, and Restoration, 4th ed., Oxford University Press, p. 80.
  3. 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.
  4. NA26, p. 8.
  5. NA26, p. 125.
  6. NA26, p. 92.
  7. UBS3, p. 165.
  8. NA26, p. 133.
  9. Bruce M. Metzger, A Textual Commentary on the Greek New Testament (Deutsche Bibelgesellschaft: Stuttgart 2001), p. 114.
  10. NA26, p. 164.
  11. UBS3, p. 305.
  12. UBS4, p. 311.
  13. NA26, p. 148.
  14. NA26, p. 148.
  15. Freer + Sackler Galleries
  16. Bruce M. Metzger, The Early versions of the New Testament, Clarewndon Press: Oxford 1977, p. 117.

Further reading

External links

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