Did Codex 2882 Originally Include the Pericope Adulterae?


Codex 2882 is a 10th-11th century Greek manuscript of Luke’s Gospel. The manuscript, which contains 46 leaves (92 pages), was previously owned by a man who came from Greece to America in the early decades of the twentieth century. After he died, the manuscript was purchased by a rare book and manuscript store in Pennsylvania. It was then purchased in 2005 by the Center for the Study of New Testament Manuscripts. The manuscript was registered with the Institut für neutestamentliche Textforschung (the Institute for New Testament Textual Research) in Münster, Germany in January 2008 and given the Gregory-Aland number 2882.

The manuscript contains all of Luke except for 22.5b–35, a single leaf which was the first leaf of an original 8-leaf quire. It would have been a double-leaf, constituting the outer double-leaf of the quire, with Luke 22.5b–35 on the front leaf and John 1.1ff most likely on the back leaf. The MS currently ends with the kephalaia for John and a hymn about the evangelist on 46b.

The MS attests to several Alexandrian and Western readings. For example:

  1. omission of tou2 in 3.15 with D X 1 5 13 al
  2. iwanhn for iwannhn in 5.10 with P75 B
  3. omission of kai amartwlwn in 5.30 with C* D 565
  4. addition of umin after ouai in 6.26 with D W* D 1424 pc b r1 sys,p co Irlat
  5. o for w in 7.4 with P75 G 6 16 158 al
  6. pleon for pleion in 7.43 with D 1424
  7. 3-2-1 for iwannhn kai iakwbon in 8.51 with 01 A L 33 700 892 1241 1424 2542 al vgcl sys,c,p sams bo
  8. tous oclous for ton oclon in 9.12 with P75 012 565 1424 pc lat sys,c,p samssbo
  9. omission of auton in 9.45 with D 13 e d l q
  10. poiou for oiou in 9.55 with D f1 700 al
  11. bhqsaidan for bhqsaida in 10.13 with P45 01 W G f1, 13 700 al
  12. omission of o2 in 11.13 with P75 01 L Y 33 892 2542 pc sa bopt
  13. arnhqhsetai for aparnhqhsetai in 12.9 with D G 115
  14. dounai for didonai in 12.42 with N W QY 700 1241 1424 al
  15. ekruyen for enekruyen in 13.21 with B K L N 0303 892 1424 2542 al
  16. o after autw in 16.29 with W
  17. egamizonto for exegamizonto in 17.27 with P75 01 B D L Y 579 892 1241 1424 2542 al
  18. the addition of 17.36 with (D) f13 (579) 700 al lat sy
  19. sunelogizonto for sunelogisanto in 20.5 with 01 C D W Q al
  20. ekgamiskontai for ekgamizontai in 20.35 with (B 1241 1424 pc)
  21. kaloumenon for epikaloumenon in 22.3 with 01 B D K L W 579 1241 pc
  22. tois after kai in 22.4 with W f13 579 892 1241 1424 2542 al
  23. omission of auton1 in 22.57 with P75 01 B D2 K L T 070 f1 579 892 1424 2542 l844 al it sys,c,p co
  24. marturwn for marturias in 22.71 with D Y pc syp
  25. eniscuon for episcuon in 23.5 with D H 69 157 343 716 1229 2487
  26. omission of kai2 in 23.7 with D 28 399 1542* 2643
  27. omission of thn in 23.25 with 01 B D K Q 070 1424 al
  28. 2-1 for simwnos tinos in 23.26 with (C D) 063 1215 1220 (d r1)
  29. edeixen for epedeixen in 24.40 with P75 01 B L N f1 33 579 892 1241 l844 al

The MS also attests to thirty singular readings. The most intriguing of these is the omission of eneka tou uiou anqrwpou in 6.22. However, for the most part, it is a Byzantine MS.

Although its text of John is no longer extant, the kephalaia for John are still present. 2882 lists eighteen kephalaia for John. The pericope adulterae is not listed. Does this indicate that 2882 lacked the PA? Not necessarily.

GA 2882 046b

The Kephalaia for John in 2882

Gospels MSS that have the PA usually list it in the Johannine kephalaia (and the titles are usually numbered through 19). For example, consider codex 682. On leaf 241 recto, it lists the headings for John as follows:

GA 682 0241a

Johannine Kephalaia in Codex 682

Listed as the tenth title (ι), περι της μοιχαλλίδ[ος], “concerning the adulteress,” the MS clearly indicates that this pericope is in the text. There are also 19 titles altogether.

In Gregory-Aland 2323, the PA is not listed in the kephalaia nor is it found in the text of John. In codex 685, the PA is not listed in the kephalaia. The text is found, however, on 188 verso and 189 recto. Yet it is marked as dubious with vertical lines in the outside margin.

GA 685 0188b

Pericope Adulterae in Codex 685

Minuscule 1273 does not list the PA in its titles, but the pericope is found in the MS. However, it was evidently added by a later, more petite hand taking up several more lines. (See GA_1273_0175b and GA_1273_0176a; on the latter image the crowded lines of the later hand are added above the text of the earlier text.

GA 1273 0176a

PA in Codex 1273, added by a later hand

In MSS 2304 and 2388, the story of the woman caught in adultery is not listed in the table of contents, but the passage is found in both of these MSS and its usual location.

In sum, these examples reveal a variety of patterns. Although often, if not usually, a manuscript that has the PA will also list it in its kephalaia, this is not always the case. There are MSS that lack the PA in the titles which have it in the text. For example, in 2304 and 2388, the PA is found in John with no markings in the text and no mention in the kephalaia. And in 685, it is not listed in the kephalaia but is found, with indications of doubt, in the text. In GA 2304 and 2388, however, the PA is neither listed in the kephalaia nor found in the Gospel of John.

This is sufficient evidence to show that one cannot claim that codex 2882 lacked the pericope adulterae on the basis of its lack in the Johannine kephalaia.