Codex Vaticanus Graecus 1209

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New Testament manuscripts
Uncial 03
Codex Vaticanus B, 2Thess.  3: 11-18, Heb.  1,1-2,2.jpg
Page from Codex Vaticanus Graecus 1209, B / 03; End of 2nd thes. and beginning of Heb.
Surname Vaticanus
character B.
text Old and New Testament
language Greek
date approx. 325-350
Storage location Vatican library
source C. Vercellonis, J. Cozza, Bibliorum Sacrorum Graecus Codex Vaticanus , Roma 1868.
size 27 × 27 cm
Type Alexandrian text type
category I.
note very close to P 66 , P 75 , 0162
End of the Gospel of Luke and the beginning of the Gospel of John

The Codex Vaticanus Graecus 1209 ( Bibl. Vat. , Vat. Gr. 1209; no. B or 03 after Gregory-Aland , δ 1 by Soden ) is a parchment manuscript with the almost complete text of the Old and New Testaments in Greek . It was written in uncials (capitals) in the 4th century . The Codex Vaticanus, together with the Codex Sinaiticus, are the most important Greek manuscripts in the Bible.


The Codex Vaticanus consists of 733 leaves (folios), 591 of which are inscribed with the Old Testament text and 142 with the New Testament text. The Old Testament part is almost completely preserved, in the New Testament the part from Hebrews 9:14 is missing . The pastoral letters (1st and 2nd Timothy, Titus, Philemon) and the Revelation of John were rewritten in the 15th century and are cataloged separately as minuscule 1957 . It is not clear whether the original manuscript may have included other apocryphal books (such as in the Codex Sinaiticus and Codex Alexandrinus ) and whether the Revelation already belonged to it.

The first 31 leaves (Gen. 1,1–46,28a) and a further 10 leaves (Ps 105,27–137,6b) were also rewritten in the 15th century.

The work was done by two scribes, one of whom wrote the entire New Testament. Probably in the 10th century, the very faded script was neatly redrawn by a monk. The missing parts were also added in lowercase letters.

The format is 27 × 27 cm (the sheets used to be larger), the text is written in three columns with 40–44 lines (in the New Testament 42 lines) and 16–18 letters per line. Three-column manuscripts are quite unusual. In some poetic books of the Old Testament the text is in two columns. The parchment is very delicate and fine.

The uncial letters are small, simple and written without interruption. The Ammonian Sections of the Eusebian Canon and the Euthalian Apparatus are missing.

Old testament


1. Ezra 1.55-2.5

The Codex Vaticanus is the oldest complete Greek manuscript of the Old Testament and is also considered the best manuscript of the Septuagint version for many books . Both editions of the Cambridge Septuagint are based on a diplomatic reproduction of the text of the Codex Vaticanus - both the hand edition by Henry Barclay Swete and the (unfinished) large critical edition by Alan England Brooke, Norman McLean and Henry St. John Thackeray. The latter is for the books Josua - 2 Kings , in which the Göttingen Septuagint has not yet appeared, the only scientific edition with a comprehensive text-critical apparatus to this day. In contrast, the Göttingen Septuagint and the hand edition by Alfred Rahlfs offer an eclectic text. But the Codex Vaticanus also serves as the most important textual witness of the oldest Septuagint for most books.

However, the Codex Vaticanus does not contain the text of the old Septuagint in all books. Exceptions are about the corpus of Daniel writings where the Codex Vaticanus (like almost all Greek manuscripts) the Theodotiontext contains, and the book of Isaiah , where he the hexaplarischen provides text. The text of Genesis was lost early up to Gen 46.27 LXX and was supplemented in lowercase  letters in the 15th century; here the codex is therefore worthless from a text-critical perspective. The history books Richter, Ruth (?), Parts of Samuel and Kings (2Sam 10 - 1Ki 2.11 and 1Ki 22-2Kn 25) as well as Chronicle and Esdras-β form another special case. In the Vaticanus, as in most other Greek manuscripts, there is a clearly formal Hebrew revised text (so-called kaige text); In some other books of the Old Testament, a similar, albeit easier, formal adaptation of the Greek text to the Hebrew reference text (e.g. in the word sequence) can be recognized. The differences can be traced back to the fact that the Codex (or its predecessor, which has not survived) was based on scrolls of different origins.


The order of the biblical books in the Codex Vaticanus differs in part from other Septuagint manuscripts. In the Codex Vaticanus, Esther, Judith and Tobit do not follow the history books, but are only classified according to the poetic writings. The books of Maccabees, the Odes and the Psalms of Solomon are not included in the Codex Vaticanus.

The following table lists the books of the Old Testament in the order of the Codex Vaticanus. In the first column the page number in the Codex is given on which the respective book begins, in the second column the Greek book title as it appears in the Codex as a heading, in the third and fourth columns the usual Latin and German book names. The last column indicates where the books can be found in the edition by Rahlfs or Rahlfs– Hanhart .

The table can be sorted by clicking on the arrows in the table header, either according to the order in the Codex Vaticanus (first column) or the Rahlfs Septuagint (last column) or alphabetically according to the Greek, Latin or German book names.

Codex Vaticanus:
on page ...
Book name in
Book name in
Book name

beginning on
page ...

1 ΓΕΝΕΣΙΣ genesis Genesis 1
47 ΕΞΟΔΟΣ Exodus Exodus 86
99 ΛΕΥΙΤΙΚΟΝ Leviticus Leviticus 158
138 ΑΡΙΘΜΟΙ Numbers 4. Moses 210
191 ΔΕΥΤΕΡΟΝΟΜΙΟΝ Deuteronomy Deuteronomy 284
238 ΙΗΣΟΥΣ Iosue Joshua 354
271 ΚΡΙΤΑΙ Iudicum Judge 405
304 ΡΟΥΘ Ruth Ruth 495
309 ΒΑΣΙΛΕΙΩΝ Α ' Regnorum I
(Samuelis I)
1. Kingdoms
( 1 Samuel )
354 ΒΑΣΙΛΕΙΩΝ Β ' Regnorum II
(Samuelis II)
2. Kingdoms
( 2 samuel )
395 ΒΑΣΙΛΕΙΩΝ Γ ' Regnorum III
(Regum I)
3rd kings
( 1st kings )
442 ΒΑΣΙΛΕΙΩΝ Δ ' Regnorum IV
(Regum II)
4th royalty
( 2nd kings )
484 ΠΑΡΑΛΕΙΠΟΜΕΝΩΝ Α ' Paralipomenon I. 1. Chronicle 752
522 ΠΑΡΑΛΕΙΠΟΜΕΝΩΝ Β ' Paralipomenon II 2. Chronicle 811
572 ΕΣΔΡΑΣ Α ' Esdrae I
(Ezrae III)
Esdras alpha
( 3rd Ezra )
594 ΕΣΔΡΑΣ Β ' Esdrae II
(Ezrae I-II)
Esdras beta
( Esra-Nehemiah )
625 ΨΑΛΜΟΙ Psalmi Psalter (Psalms) II, 1
714 ΠΑΡΟΙΜΙΑΙ Proverbia Proverbs II, 183
750 ΕΚΚΛΗΣΙΑΣΤΗΣ Ecclesiastes Preacher (Kohelet) II, 238
763 ΑΣΜΑ Canticum canticorum Song of Songs II, 260
769 ΙΩΒ Iob Job (Job) II, 271
809 ΣΟΦΙΑ ΣΑΛΩΜΩΝΤΟΣ Sapientia Wisdom of Solomon II, 345
831 ΠΡΟΛΟΓΟΣ Prologus Prologue to Sirach II, 377
832 ΣΟΦΙΑ ΣΕΙΡΑΧ Ecclesiasticus Sirach II, 378
893 ΕΣΘΗΡ Esther Esther 951
908 ΙΟΥΔΕΙΘ Judith Judith 973
930 ΤΩΒΕΙΤ Tobias Tobit 1002
945 ΩΣΗΕ Α ' Osea Hosea II, 490
954 ΑΜΩΣ Β ' Amos Amos II, 502
962 ΜΙΧΑΙΑΣ Γ ' Michaeas Micha II, 512
968 ΙΩΗΛ Δ ' Ioel Joel II, 519
972 ΟΒΔΙΟΥ Ε ' Abdias Obadja II, 524
973 ΙΩΝΑΣ Ϛ ' Ionas Jonah II, 526
976 ΝΑΟΥΜ Ζ ' Nahum Nahum II, 530
978 ΑΜΒΑΚΟΥΜ Η ' Habacuc Habakkuk II, 533
981 ΣΟΦΟΝΙΑΣ Θ ' Sophonias Zephaniah II, 538
984 ΑΓΓΑΙΟΣ Ι ' Aggaeus Haggai II, 542
987 ΖΑΧΑΡΙΑΣ ΙΑ ' Zacharias Zechariah II, 545
999 ΜΑΛΑΧΙΑΣ ΙΒ ' Malachias Malachi II, 561
1002 ΗΣΑΙΑΣ Isaias Isaiah II, 566
1064 ΙΕΡΕΜΙΑΣ Ieremias Jeremiah II, 656
1127 ΒΑΡΟΥΧ Baruch Baruch II, 748
1133 ΘΡΗΝΟΙ Lamentationes Lamentations II, 756
1140 ΕΠΙΣΤΟΛΗ ΙΕΡΕΜΙΟΥ Epistola Ieremiae Letter from Jeremiah II, 766
1143 ΙΕΖΕΚΙΗΛ Ezekiel Ezekiel (Ezekiel) II, 770
1206 ΔΑΝΙΗΛ Daniel Daniel II, 864
n.enth. (ΜΑΚΚΑΒΑΙΩΝ Α'– Δ ') (Macchabaeorum I-IV) ( 1st – 4th Maccabees ) 1039
n.enth. (ΩΔΑΙ) (Odae) ( Oden ) II, 164
n.enth. (ΨΑΛΜΟΙ ΣΟΛΟΜΩΝΤΟΣ) (Psalmi Salomonis) ( Psalms Solomon ) II, 471

Notes on the table:

  1. The Codex is provided with Arabic page numbers, see the digitization at . There the individual scans are provided with the same numbers. The individual pages can also be targeted directly, e.g. B. the beginning of the book Genesis (p. 1), Exodus (p. 47), or Jeremiah (p. 1064), and high-resolution scans can be downloaded, e.g. B. from the beginning of the books Gen , Ex or Jer .
  2. See the Greek table of contents on page 3 of the Codex and the headings of the individual books.
  3. See the Latin table of contents on the homepage of the Vaticana .
  4. Rahlfs (Ed.), Septuaginta, Göttingen 1935, ISBN 3-438-05120-6 .
  5. The individual pages with Apparat can be accessed online via . At the beginning of the apparatus of the individual books there is a comment about the role of the Codex Vaticanus gr. 1209 ( Siglum : B). In most books he is named as the first witness , cf. z. As the beginnings of books ex and Jer , different gene .
  6. a b c d e f g h The first and second books of Samuels (Latin Liber Samuelis ) and the first and second books of kings (Latin Liber Regum ) are counted together in the Septuagint as the four books of kings (Latin Regnorum ).
  7. a b c This first Ezra book ( Esdras alpha ) of the Septuagint contains an older Greek version of the Ezra book and has no direct equivalent in the Tanach . Neither in the Catholic nor in the Protestant Church is it counted among the canonical scriptures, but in the modern Vulgate editions it is attached to the New Testament. There (in the Vulgate) this book is called Liber III Ezrae (3rd Book of Ezra).
  8. a b c This second Ezra book ( Esdras beta ) of the Septuagint corresponds to the canonical book Ezra –Nehemia in the Tanach. In the Vulgate this book is counted as Ezrae I ( Esr  Vul ) and Ezrae II ( Neh  Vul ), which can easily lead to confusion.
  9. Volume II begins with a new page count.
  10. Normalized notation in Rahlfs, Septuagint: ΣΩΦΙΑ ΣΙΡΑΧ.
  11. Normalized notation in Rahlfs, Septuagint: ΙΟΥΔΙΘ.
  12. Normalized notation in Rahlfs, Septuagint: ΤΩΒΙΤ.
  13. The headings of the twelve minor prophets in the Greek manuscripts usually name the name of the prophet in the Book of the Twelve Prophets.
  14. So in the Codex. Rahlfs and most of the manuscripts have ΑΒΔΙΟΥ.
  15. The Codex Vaticanus contains the book of Daniel in the theodotion version. It includes the so-called apocryphal pieces and includes Susanna , Daniel and Bel and Drakon in that order .
  16. a b c These books are not included in the Codex Vaticanus, but according to other manuscripts they can be counted as part of the Septuagint.

New Testament

The text of the New Testament belongs to the Alexandrian text type . It was developed by Kurt Aland of Category I assigned (= very special quality).

In the Gospels there is a division into chapters that otherwise only occurs in Codex Zacynthius and the minuscule manuscript 579, according to which Matthew 170, Mark 62, Luke 152 and John have 80 chapters. The book of Acts divides in two ways, one in 36 and one in 69 chapters. The second division is also in the Codex Sinaiticus . The Catholic letters and Pauline letters offer an old classification.

The pericope adulterae (John 7: 53–8, 11) are missing .

In 1995 so-called “umlauts” (..) were discovered in the Codex Vaticanus. Two horizontal dots on the edge of the text, around 800 in total in the New Testament. It was recognized that these signs mark places of textual uncertainty. The date of their creation is still debated. In the upper picture on the right, two of these umlauts can be recognized on the left edge of the left column and one in the middle of the right edge of the middle column.


The Codex Vaticanus was probably written in Egypt in the 4th century. Caesarea in Palestine would also be possible as a location . Nothing is known about the further history. It has been in the Vatican Library in Rome since 1475 at the latest (perhaps since 1448) .

See also


  • Herbert. M. Milne, Theodore C. Skeat: Scribes and Correctors of the Codex Sinaiticus. British Museum, London 1938.
  • Janko Sagi: Problema historiae codicis B. Divius Thomas 1972, pp. 3-29.
  • Theodore Cressy Skeat : The Codex Vaticanus in the 15th Century. In: Journal of theological studies 35 (1984) pp. 454-465.
  • Theodore Cressy Skeat: The Codex Sinaiticus, the Codex Vaticanus and Constantine. In: Journal of theological studies, 50 (1999) pp. 583-625.
  • Christian – B. Amphoux: Codex Vaticanus B: Les points diacritiques des marges de Marc. In: Journal of Theological Studies 58 (2007), pp. 440-466. (PDF; 189 kB) .
  • Siegfried Kreuzer: B or not B? The Place of Codex Vaticanus in textual history and in Septuagint research. In: J. Cook, H.-J. Stipp (Ed.): Text-critical and Hermeneutical Studies in the Septuagint. VTS 154, Leiden 2012, pp. 69–96 = in: Siegfried Kreuzer: The Bible in Greek. Translation, Transmission, and Theology of the Septuagint. Septuagint and Cognate Studies 63, SBL Press, Atlanta GA 2015, pp. 272-297.

Web links

Commons : Codex Vaticanus  - collection of images, videos and audio files

Codex Vaticanus online



Individual evidence

  1. Kurt and Barbara Aland : The text of the New Testament . German Bible Society, Stuttgart 1991, ISBN 3-438-06011-6 , p. 118
  2. ^ Caspar René Gregory , text criticism of the New Testament , Leipzig 1900, vol. 1, p. 32
  3. Ernst Würthwein: The text of the Old Testament . German Bible Society , Stuttgart 1988, ISBN 3-438-06006-X , p. 84.
  4. Henry Barclay Swete (Ed.): The Old Testament in Greek according to the Septuagint , 3 vols. (Vol. I Gen – 2Kön ; Vol. II 1Chr – Tob ; Vol. III Hos – 4Makk ), Cambridge 1887–1894.
  5. ^ Alan England Brooke / Norman McLean (eds.): The Old Testament in Greek According to the Text of Codex Vaticanus, Supplemented from other Uncial Manuscripts, with a Critical Apparatus for the other Chief Ancient Authorities for the Text of the Septuagint (Vol. I Octateuch: Pt.1 Gen , Pt. 2 Ex – Lev , Pt. 3 Num – Dtn , Pt. 4 Jos – Rut ; Vol. II The Later Historical Books: Pt. 1 1–2Sam , Pt. 2 1–2Kön , Pt. 3 1-2Chr , Pt. 4 1-2Esr ; Vol. III, Pt. 1: Esth – Tob ), Cambridge 1909-1940.
  6. ^ John William Wevers, Text History of the Greek Exodus, Göttingen 1992, ISBN 3-525-82479-3 , pp. 81-103.
  7. Olivier Munnich (ed.): Susanna – Daniel – Bel et Draco (Göttingen Septuaginta XVI / 2), Göttingen 1999, ISBN 3-525-53446-9 , pp. 137-139.
  8. Joseph Ziegler (ed.): Isaias (Göttinger Septuaginta XIV), Göttingen 1939, ISBN 3-525-53424-8 , pp. 36-40.
  9. John William Wevers (Ed.): Genesis (Göttinger Septuaginta I), Göttingen 1974, ISBN 3-525-53391-8 , p. 9.
  10. ^ Siegfried Kreuzer: B or not B? The Place of Codex Vaticanus in textual history and in Septuagint research . In: Vetus Testamentum Supplement . tape 154 . Leiden, S. 69-96 .
  11. See the table of contents on the homepage of the Vaticana and Henry Barclay Swete : An Introduction to the Old Testament in Greek 1902, pp. 104f.
  12. Rahlfs (Ed.), Septuaginta, Stuttgart 1935, ISBN 3-438-05120-6 .
  13. ^ Alfred Rahlfs, Robert Hanhart (ed.): Septuaginta. Editio altera, Stuttgart 2006, ISBN 3-438-05119-2 . The page numbers are identical to the first edition from 1935.
  14. Bruce M. Metzger , Bart D. Ehrman , The Text of the New Testament: Its Transmission, Corruption and Restoration , Oxford University Press (New York - Oxford, 2005), p. 67.
  15. Caspar René Gregory, text criticism of the New Testament , Leipzig 1900, vol. 1, p. 33.
  16. NA26, p. 273
  17. so TC Skeat