New Testament, 'Codex Montfortianus'. IE TCD MS 30 Public Deposited

New Testament, 'Codex Montfortianus'. IE TCD MS 30

Alternative title
  • Codex Montfortianus
Shelf Mark/Reference Number
  • IE TCD MS 30 ; former shelfmarks: EEE 1 ; Class. A. Tab. 4. No. 21
Rights statement
  • Copyright The Board of Trinity College Dublin. Images are available for single-use academic application only. Publication, transmission or display is prohibited without formal written approval of the Library of Trinity College, Dublin.
Publisher location
  • Place of creation unidentified
Date Created
  • approximately 1550
Physical extent
  • 170mm x 130mm
  • 471 folios
  • New Testament, including Acts, Epistles and Revelation, with additional prefaces. Greek New Testament: Novum Testamentum graece, ed. E. Nestle, K. Aland et al., 27th edn (Stuttgart: Deutsche Bibelgesellschaft, 1993). From the 16th century.Extent: 471 folios.This manuscript is significant largely for the fact that it was used by Erasmus as the source for the Greek text of a controversial Trinitarian interpolation, the so-called Johannine Comma (1 John 5:7-8), first included in the third edition of his Greek text (1522). In his Annotations to the passage, Erasmus refers to this manuscript as a Codex Britannicus. Although Erasmus suspected that this passage had been added to the manuscript by back- translation from the Latin Vulgate, he included the passage in order to fend off the accusation that he wished to promote the Arian heresy. This codex is one of only two extant Greek manuscripts predating 1522 to contain this passage (the other is Vatican, Ottob. gr. 298). The earlier part of this manuscript was collated for use in the London Polyglot. It was first identified as Erasmus’ Codex Britannicus by the French clergyman Jean Ycard (1708), dean of Achonry. Franciscan origin or ownership of the volume deductible from the invocation on folio 198v (see above, Marginalia); the Franciscan owner may have been called Fr Froye (perhaps William Roye: see McDonald, p 88 in Bibliography below); folio 12v: ‘sum thome cleme(n)tis olim fratris froyhe’. Thomas Clement was the son of John Clement (c. 1500-1572), a famous physician, and the grandson of Thomas More (1478-1535). The manuscript was in John Clement’s library in 1549, and Thomas inherited it from his father at some point thereafter (see McDonald, pp 14-15); William Chark (1582), an active Presbyterian controversialist in Elizabeth’s reign; Thomas Montfort (d. 1632), whence its name: earlier shelfmark ‘MS G. 97’ written in brown ink on folio 1 (original flyleaf) and on folio 3r: ‘Montfortius’s Greek Testament MS. G. 97’. Above this note, in the same ink in Greek: ‘εἰς ἔστι θεὸς ὃς οὔρανον ζ´ ἔτευξε καὶ γαῖαν μάκραν. Sophocles’. [this phrase is quoted by Ps.-Justin Martyr, Cohortatio ad gentiles, ed. Morel, p 17, section E, l. 6; idem, De monarchia, ed. Morel, p 104, sect. C, l. 5; Athenagoras Apol., Legatio sive supplicatio pro Christianis, ch. 5, sect. 3, l. 4; it is clearly attributed to Sophocles by John Malalas, Chronographia, p 40, l. 17 (TLG refs)]. The manuscript came to Trinity through Archbishop Ussher, whose collation from this codex converged in the edition of the Polyglot Bible by Bishop Brian Walton (1600-1661). Description: Dr. Barbara Crostini. For further information see Dr. Crostini’s full description attached below in PDF form, or in the Manuscripts and Archives Research Library catalogue:
  • T.K. Abbot, Catalogue of the manuscripts in the Library of Trinity College, Dublin (Dublin and London, 1900), p 3. P.J. Bruns in Repertorium für biblische und morgenländische Literatur 3 (Leipzig, 1778), pp 258 ff. [cited by Elliott]. Gregory-Aland, no. 61 [online: consulted 13 July 2010]. O.T. Dobbin, The Codex Montfortianus, a Collation of this celebrated Ms.... (London, 1854) [online: ntfortianus&cd=1#v=onepage&q=&f=false consulted 23/03/2010]. J. Rendel-Harris, The Origin of the Leicester Codex (London, 1887), pp 46-53. T.K. Abbott, ‘Note on the Codex Montfortianus’, Hermathena VIII (1893), p 203. [online: consulted 20/01/2010]. H.F. von Soden, Die Schriften des Neuen Testaments in ihrere ältesten erreichbaren Textgestalt, 4 vols (Berlin, 1902-193), at pp 51 (as ‘A. 4. 21’), 117 [as ‘δ603 (61, 34, 40, 92)’]. H.C. Hoskier, Concerning the Text of the Apocalypse, 2 vols (London, 1929), pp. 289-92 (for ‘r’) B.D. Ehrman, The Orthodox Corruption of Scripture. The Effect of Early Christological Controversies on the Text of the New Testament (Oxford, 1993), p 60. J.K. Elliott, A Bibliography of Greek New Testament Manuscripts, 2nd edn (Cambridge, 2000), pp 102-103. B. M. Metzger and B.D. Ehrman, The Text of the New Testament. Its Transmission, Corruption, and Restoration, 4th edn (Oxford, 2005), pp 146-147. G. McDonald, “Raising the ghost of Arius: Erasmus, the Johannine Comma and Religious Difference in Early Modern Europe”, unpublished PhD dissertation, Leuven, 2010 (with further bibliography).
Finding aid
Resource type
  • ink
  • goatskin
  • Greek
Digital Object Id
  • MS30_001
  • 0032474


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