Codex Ephraemi Syri Rescriptus

Codex Ephraemi Syri Rescriptus takes its name from the fact that the New Testament text which its pages had originally displayed has been partially erased, and a Greek translation of thirty-eight sermons by Ephraem of Syria rewritten upon the parchment. The old writing, which is not arranged in the usual columns of the fourth century, is generally agreed to be from the fifth century.

The text has been described as being intermediate between those of Vaticanus and Alexandrinus , largely representing with Vaticanus the old type of text which evidently prevailed in early times, but sharing with Alexandrinus a greater verbal agreement between parallel passages in the Gospels. This manuscript has always been very highly valued by critics; before the discovery of Sinaiticus it was even regarded by some as being second in importance only to Vaticanus.

Portions of the old writing which could be read were extracted by Küster for his improved edition of Mill (see Mill 1707), and a much more thorough collation was done by Wettstein, who published the readings in the apparatus of his text (see Wettstein 1751). In 1834 a chemical application was used to bring out the old writing more clearly, and so Tischendorf in preparing his edition of 1843 was able to discern its readings much more accurately than was possible for Wettstein. Not all of the old writing could be recovered; there are fifty-nine places in which a chapter or more cannot be read at all, amounting to a third of the New Testament. The first printed edition of the Codex was Tischendorf 1843. Corrections of Tischendorf's edition have been offered W. Lyon in "A Re-examination of the Codex Ephraimi Rescriptus," New Testament Studies V (1958-9), pp. 266-72. Tischendorf's text of the manuscript was reproduced in Hansell 1864. Full collations are in the apparatus of Tischendorf 1869 and Tregelles 1857.