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Caesarean text-type is the term proposed by certain scholars to denote a consistent pattern of variant readings that is claimed to be apparent in certain Greek manuscripts of the four Gospels, but which is not found in any of the other commonly recognized New Testament text-types; the Byzantine text-type, the Western text-type, and the Alexandrian text-type. In particular a common text-type has been proposed to be found: in the ninth/tenth century Codex Koridethi; in Minuscule 1 (a Greek manuscript of the Gospels used, sparingly, by Erasmus in his 1516 printed Greek New Testament); and in those Gospel quotations found in the third century works of Origen of Alexandria, which were written after he had settled in Caesarea. The early translations of the Gospels in Armenian and Georgian also appear to witness to many of the proposed characteristic Caesarean readings, as do the small group of minuscule manuscripts classed as Family 1 and Family 13.
Bruce M. Metzger,
An Eastern form of text, which was formerly called the Caesarean text, is preserved, to a greater or lesser extent, in several Greek manuscripts (including Θ, 565, 700) and in the Armenian and Georgian versions. The text of these witnesses is characterized by a mixture of Western and Alexandrian readings. Although recent research has tended to question the existence of a specifically Caesarean text-type, the individual manuscripts formerly considered to be members of the group remain important witnesses in their own right.
Another Eastern type of text, current in and near Antioch, is preserved today chiefly in Old Syriac witnesses, namely the Sinaitic and the Curetonian manuscripts of the Gospels and in the quotations of Scripture contained in the works of Aphraates and Ephraem.
A particularly distinctive common reading of the proposed text-type is in Matthew 27:16-17, where the bandit released by Pontius Pilate instead of Jesus is named as “Jesus Barabbas” rather than — with all other surviving witnesses — just “Barabbas”. Origen notes particularly that the form “Jesus Barabbas” was common in manuscripts in Caesarea, whereas he had not found this reading in his previous residence in Alexandria. Otherwise, the Caesarean readings have a mildly paraphrastic tendency that seems to place them between the more concise Alexandrian, and the more expansive Western Text-Types. None of the surviving Caesarean manuscripts is claimed to witness a pure type of text, as all appear to have been to some degree assimilated with readings from the Byzantine text-type.
Some writers have questioned the validity of this grouping, claiming that the classification is the result of poor research. Insofar as the Caesarean text-type does exist (in Matt, Luke and John is not well defined), then it does so only in the Gospels. The proposed Caesarean witnesses do not appear to have any common distinctive readings in the rest of the New Testament. Some of the Caesarean manuscripts have the so-called Jerusalem Colophon.
The Caesarean text-type was discovered and named by Burnett Hillman Streeter in 1924. According to some scholars, it is only a hypothetical text-type (Aland).
There are no pure Caesarean manuscripts. In many cases, it is difficult to decide the original reading of the group, for instance in Mark 1:16:
αμφιβαλλοντας τα δικτυα — f13 565
αμφιβληστρα βαλλοντας — f1
αμφιβληστρον βαλλοντας — 700
βαλλοντας αμφιβληστρον — 28
- von Soden— Iota (Jerusalem) (I), in part (most strong “Caesarean” witnesses are found in Soden’s Iαgroup, with family 1 being his Iη and family 13 being Iι).
Kirsopp Lake, an outstanding British textual critic, developed the hypothesis of the relationship between f1, f13, Θ, 565, 700, and 28. Streeter carried Lake’s work another step forward by pointing to Caesarea as the original location of the family.
- G. Kenyon— Gamma (γ)
- J. Lagrange— C
|p42||Papyrus 42||7th/8th||fragments Luke 1-2|
|p45||Papyrus 45||3rd||only in Mark|
|Θ (038)||Codex Koridethi||9th||Mark|
|W (032)||Codex Washingtonianus||5th||Mark 5:31—16:20|
|28||Minuscule 28||11th||Gospel of Mark|
and rest of f1
118, 131, 209
and rest of f13
69, 124, 346
Papyrus 29, p38, p41, p48, Uncial 0188, 174, 230, 406 (?), 788, 826, 828, 872 (only in Mark), 1071, 1275, 1424 (only in Mark), 1604, 2437, ℓ 32.
It has additional text: και υποστρεψας ο εκατονταρχος εις τον οικον αυτου εν αυτη τη ωρα ευρεν τον παιδα υγιαινοντα (and when the centurion returned to the house in that hour, he found the slave well) as well as codices א, C, (N), Θ, (0250), f1, (33, 1241), g1, syrh.
δια Ησαιου – Θ f1 f13 33
δια — majority of mss
και το βαπτισμα ο εγω βαπτιζομαι βαπτισθησεσθε (and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with) [Matching MT and TR]
omitted — Sinaiticus, B, D, L, Z, Θ, 085, f1, f13, it, syrs, c, copsa.
Ιησουν τον Βαραββαν — Θ, f1, 700*, syrs, pal, arm, geo
τον Βαραββαν — majority of mss
ενα μονον αρτον εχοντες — p45 (W) Θ f1 (f13 28) 565 700 k copsa
omit — all other mss
των Ηρωδιανων — p45, W, Θ, f1, f13, 28, 565, 1365, iti, itk, copsa, arm, geo
Ηρωδου — majority of mss
εν ταις καρδιαις υμων, ολιγοπιστοι — (D) Θ 28 565 700 pc (it) syrh
προσευχη και νηστεια — p45 A C D L W Θ Ψ f1, f13, Byz [Matching MT and TR]
προσευχη — א Β 0274 k
μη αποστερησης — א A B2 C D X Θ 565 892 1009 1071 1195 1216 1230 1241 1253 1344 1365 1646 2174 Byz Lect
omitted — B*, K, W, Δ, Ψ, f1, f13, 28, 700, 1010, 1079, 1242, 1546, 2148, ℓ 10, ℓ 950, ℓ 1642, ℓ 1761, syrs, arm, geo.
ανθρωπος τις εφυτευσεν αμπελωνα — W, Θ, f13, 565, itaur, itc
αμπελωνα ανθρωπος εφυτευσεν — א Β C Δ Ψ 33 1424
θεασαμενοι αυτον ερχομενον ειπαν προς εαυτους — Θ 565 700 c
θεασαμενοι αυτον ερχομενον ειπον — N, f13, 28
προς εαυτους ειπαν οτι — א B C L W (Δ) Ψ (f1) 33 892
ειπαν προς εαυτους — D
ειπον προς εαυτους οτι — A Byz
λέγοντες ὅτι Ἐγώ ο Xρηστός — W, Θ f13, 28, 61, 115, 255, 299, 565, 700, 1071 b c g2 l vgmss copsa,bo geob arm arabms Cyp
λέγοντες ὅτι Ἐγώ εἰμι — Byz
Subgroups of the Caesarean Text-Type
- Family 1
- Family 13
- Alexandrian Text-Type
- Byzantine Text-Type
- Western Text-Type
- Categories of New Testament manuscripts – Coming soon
- Comparison of codices Sinaiticus and Vaticanus – Coming soon
 Bruce Manning Metzger, United Bible Societies, A Textual Commentary on the Greek New Testament, Second Edition a Companion Volume to the United Bible Societies’ Greek New Testament (4th Rev. Ed.) (London; New York: United Bible Societies, 1994), xx–xxi.