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Codex Claromontanus

CODEX CLAROMONTANUS, a 6th-cent. Graeco-Latin MS of the Pauline epistles now in the Bibliothèque Nationale, Paris, France. Like Codex Bezae it was once in the possession of Theodore Beza, Calvinist reformer. In it the text of Hebrews is separated from the rest of the epistles, concluding with Philemon, by a list of canonical books, the Catalogus Claromontanus, which is remarkable for the omission (perhaps accidental) of Philippians and Hebrews, and inclusion of Barnabas, “Shepherd of Hermas,” Acts and Revelation of Peter. The place of the codex in textual study is not to be understood without reference to the relationship to two other bilingual MSS, the Codex Boernerianus and the Codex Augiensis. In a family tree, these other somewhat later MSS are to be placed as in a collateral line of descent, their immediate ancestor being a “brother” of the Claromontanus, both copied from one archetype. Sometimes the more recent MSS are better representatives of the text of the archetype than the older, since it attests in the form of conflate readings many variants which are known in the others in their original form. The Latin of Claromontanus is representative of a form of old Latin, known from the Fathers. Its relatives do not use the same type for their Lat. The Gr. text common to the three may not improperly be called a Western text, since although an old Syr. text antedating the Peshitta existed, few traces of it remain, and these are unanalyzed. Like the text of D and its allies in the gospels and Acts, it may be characterized as an ancient text with many errors and corruptions, but at places sharing with other Gr. witnesses’ early readings, some of them original and correct. It requires then here, as in the gospels, careful scrutiny, not flat rejection. The Codex Boernerianus has a trace within it of the apocryphal epistle to the Laodiceans after Philemon. There is no trace of this in the Claromontanus, although it is at this point that the unexpected Catalogus is found.


H. J. Vogels, Der Codex Claromontanus der paulinischen Briefe u Amicitiae Corolla, ed. H. G. Wood (1933), 274-302; G. Zuntz, The Text of the Epistles (1953), 84-149.