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Lightfoot's Apostolic Fathers In English - J. B. Lightfoot, D. D., D.C. L., LL. D.

The authorities for the text are as follows.

(1) GREEK MANUSCRIPTS (G). These are nine in number (Vaticanus 859 [v], Ottobonianus 348 [o], Florentinus Laur. Vii. 21 [f], Parisiensis Graec. 937 [P], Casanatensis G. V. 14 [C], Theatinus [t], Neapolitanus Mus. Nat. 11. A. 17 [n], Salmasiamus [s], Andrius [a]), and all belong to the same family, as appears from the fact that the Epistle of Polycarp runs on continuously into the Epistle of Barnabas without any break, the mutilated ending of Polycarp § 9 ἀποθανότα καὶ δἰ ἡμᾶς ὑπό being followed by the mutilated beginning of Barnabas § 5 τὸν λαὸν τὸν καινὸν κ.τ.λ. Within this family however the MSS fall into two subdivisions: (1) vopf, all MSS in which the Epistle of Polycarp is attached to the pseudo-Ignatian letters; and (2) ctna (to which we may probably add s), where it stands alone. In the first subdivision, opf have no independent authority, being derived directly or indirectly from v. Of the two subdivisions the former is slightly superior to the latter.

(2) LATIN VERSION (L). In the earlier part of the epistle this version is sometimes useful for correcting the text of extant Greek MSS; for, though very paraphrastic, it was made from an older form of the Greek than these. But the two are closely allied, as appears from the fact that this version is always found in connexion with the Latin of the pseudo-Ignatian letters and seems to have been translated from the same volume which contained them. For the latter part of the epistle, from § 10 onward, it is the sole authority; with the exception of portions of § 12, which are preserved in Syriac in passages of Timotheus and Severus or elsewhere, and nearly the whole of § 13, which is given by Eusebius in his Ecclesiastical History. The MSS of which collations have been made for this part either by myself or by others are nine in number (Reginensis 81 [r], Trecensis 412 [t], Parisiensis 1639, formerly Colbertinus 1039 [c], Bruxellensis 5510 [b], Oxon. Balliolensis 229 [o], Palatinus 150 [p], Florentinus Laur. xxiii. 20 [f], Vindobonensis 1068 [v], Oxon. Magdalenensis 78 [m]).

It will have been seen that, so far as regards the Greek and Latin MSS, the Epistle of Polycarp is closely connected with the Long Recension of the Ignatian Epistles. This fact, if it had stood by itself, would have thrown some discredit on the integrity of the text. It might have been suspected that the same hand which interpolated the Ignatian Epistles had tampered with this also. But the internal evidence, and especially the allusiveness of the references to the Ignatian Epistles, is decisive in favour of its genuineness. As regards external evidence, not only does Irenæus, a pupil of Polycarp, allude to ‘the very adequate epistle of Polycarp written to the Philippians,’ but the quotations of Eusebius, Timotheus, and Severus, with the other Syriac fragments, are a highly important testimony. They show that, wherever we have opportunity of testing the text of the Greek and Latin copies, its general integrity is vindicated.








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