Parallel Translation Analysis of Codex Schoyen

Matt 9:35ASV  And Jesus went about all the cities and the villages, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all manner of disease and all manner of sickness.


ⲁⲩⲱ                                             ⲓ̅ⲏ̅ⲥ̅]   ϩϥⲙⲉϣ  [ⲛⲉⲛ]ⲡⲟⲗⲓⲥ               ⲙⲉⲛ                                                               ⲛⲉⲩⲥⲩ[ⲛⲁⲅⲱⲅⲏ       ϥ]ϯⲥⲃⲱ

ϥⲕⲏ[ⲣⲩⲥⲥⲏ]     ⲙⲡⲉⲩⲁⲅⲅⲉⲗⲓⲟⲛ    [ⲛⲧⲙⲉ]ⲛ<>ⲉⲣⲁ[1]   ⲛⲙⲡⲏ                    [ⲉϥⲑⲁ]ⲣⲁⲡⲉⲩⲏ    ⲛⲛⲉⲩϣ[ⲱⲛⲏ                                              ⲉⲧⲛ]ϩⲏⲧⲟⲩ[2]


ⲁⲩⲱ                                             ⲓⲏⲥ    ⲛⲁϥⲙⲟⲩϣ     ⲛⲙⲡⲟⲗⲓⲥ ⲧⲏⲣⲟⲩ  ⲙⲛ       ϯⲙⲉ    ϥⲧⲥⲁⲃⲁ              ϩ     ⲛⲉⲩⲥⲩⲛⲁⲅⲱⲅⲏ.                

ϥⲕⲏⲣⲩⲥⲥⲉ       ⲡⲉⲩⲁⲅⲅⲉⲗⲓⲟⲛ     ⲧⲙⲛⲧⲉⲣⲁ.                               ⲁⲩⲱ     ϥⲑⲉⲣⲁⲡⲉⲩ              ϣⲟⲛⲉ  ⲛⲓⲙ          ⲙⲛ        ⲙⲁⲭϩ      ⲛⲓⲙ.


ⲁⲩⲱ        ϥⲙⲟⲩϣ       ⳓⲓ    ⲓⲥ                                   ⲛⲙⲡⲟⲗⲓⲥ ⲧⲏⲣⲟⲩ        ϯⲙⲉ   ϥϯⲥⲃⲱ     ϩⲣⲁⲓ    ϩ     ⲛⲉⲩⲥⲩⲛⲁⲅⲱⲅⲏ.    ⲁⲩⲱ     

ϥⲧⲁϣⲉⲟⲉⲓϣ    ⲡⲉⲩⲁⲅⲅⲉⲗⲓⲟⲛ    ⲧⲙⲧⲣⲣⲟ[3]                                            ϥⲡⲁϩⲣⲉ                      ϣⲱⲛⲉ  ⲛⲓⲙ          ϩ        ⲗⲟϫⲗⲉϫ   ⲛⲓⲙ.


ⲟⲩⲟϩ      ⲛⲁϥⲕⲱϯ  ⲡⲉ   ϫ ⲏⲥ                                ⲛⲓⲃⲁⲕⲓ    ⲧⲏⲣⲟⲩ  ⲛⲉⲙ     ⲛⲓϯⲙⲓ     ϥϯⲃⲱ    ϩⲣⲏⲓ  Ϧⲉⲛ ⲛⲟⲩⲥⲩⲛⲁⲅⲱⲅⲏ.   ⲟⲩⲟϩ    

ϥϩⲓⲱⲓϣ               ⲡⲓⲉⲩⲁⲅⲅⲉⲗⲓⲟⲛ    ⲧⲉ ϯⲙⲉⲧⲟⲩⲣⲟ                     ⲟⲩⲟϩ  ϥⲉⲣⲫⲁϦⲣⲓ                      ϣⲱⲛⲓ    ⲛⲓⲃⲉⲛ     ⲛⲉⲙ       ⲓⲁⲃⲓ              ⲛⲓⲃⲉⲛ


Καὶ     περιῆγεν            Ἰησοῦς    τὰς    πόλεις    πάσας   καὶ    τὰς κώμας    διδάσκων   ἐν  ταῖς   συναγωγαῖς αὐτῶν                              καὶ κηρύσσων τὸ

εὐαγγέλιον    τῆς   βασιλείας                                    καὶ    θεραπεύων    πᾶσαν            νόσον                                                     καὶ πᾶσαν μαλακίαν


[Καὶ] περιήγαγεν   [   ͗Ιησοῦς  τὰς]  πόλεις                καὶ                                               τὰς    συναγωγὰς  αὐτῶν    διδάσκων·           κηρύσσων τὸ

εὐαγγέλιον   [τῆς] βασιλείας    τῶν οὐρανῶν·             θεραπεύων                 τὰς [νόσους]    αὐτῶν (τὰς) ἐν αὐτῶν.


[Und Jesus] durchzog [die] Städte und ihre Synagogen, [indem er] lehrte und das Evangelium [des] Reiches der Himmel predigte [und] ihre [Krankheiten, die] sich bei ihnen fanden, heilte.



1.        The Middle Egyptian versions and Sahidic use the verb ⲙⲟⲩϣ (to visit), against the synonym ⲕⲱϯ in Bo.  One wonders why Schenke would suggest an otherwise unattested reading περιήγαγεν as his retroversion:  is this yet another hypothetical reading which must have not been preserved anywhere else in the tradition except in the Coptic dialects!

2.        Mae-2 omits the adjective all before the cities, in consort with 470 Sys.pesh. (1 ms).  In a short survey of 10 chapters, the occurrences of the word corresponded accordingly:

  • The word occurred all three Coptic translations (Sah, Boh, Mae 2) 7 of 16 verses which had the word in at least one version
  • The word occurred in Mae-2 and Bo in 4 of 16 times when absent in Sah
  • There were no corresponding occurrences of the word in Mae-2 and Sah when absent in bo
  • The corresponding occurrences of the word in Mae-2 and Mae-1 have not been analyzed

3.        In the Greek tradition, Mae-2 uniquely does not reflect τὰς κώμας; Boismard cites VArm91/2) Syrs 470

4.        An amazing example of textual stability is that the Greek tradition steadfastly avoids expansion of the kingdom to the fuller reading the kingdom of God or the kingdom of heaven.  Codex Schøyen is an exception here (the kingdom of heaven).  Boismard notes that Codex Schøyen's reading here is supported by VArm1/2; Legg also cites 157 as reading of God.

5.        NA27 concludes with a short ending (B C* D f1 et al), while numerous mss have an additional phrase (among the people) or even a second additional phrase (and they [many] followed  him; 01* L 13)  The Coptic translations reflect the shorter reading.

6.        Note the use of the Greek loan word to preach and to heal in the M-E versions, while Sa and Bo use their indigenous equivalents.

7.        Mae-2 omits the second element of the word pair of the final clause, along with two occurrences of ⲛⲓⲙ. One wonders if this is seen elsewhere.  The reconstruction which omits "every (disease)" is at least a little uncertain.

Questions to Be Resolved

1.        Does M-E make for a smoother translation by fronting the nominal subject (Jesus) ahead of the verb (he went), in contrast to the other Coptic translations?  What would the normal subject/verb word order be for non-translational documents?

2.        Is the omission of ⲧⲏⲣⲟⲩ an issue separate from the larger issue of the entire first clause?  Could its omission be a simple oversight in its Vorlage due to the superficial similarity of πόλεις πάσας:  ταςπόλειςπάσαςκαιτας κώμας

3.        The first clause seems altered too much to be a simple result of transcriptional error (which would involve an omission of all and a substitution of the villages with their synagogues without in the, and a misreading of the dative article as an accusative).  What then are our options?  1) The translator produced a faithful translation of his Vorlage; 2) the translator arbitrarily reduced the phrase into a paraphrase; 3) the translator doesn't think ϯⲙⲉ works well in his dialect. The Greek word κώμε occurs only four times in Matthew, and it occurs twice paired with πόλις twice in Matthew—here and 10:11 which is not extant in Codex Schøyen.  The translator has no problems with translating the Greek word into these two remaining contexts; 4) the translator thinks that the word pairing towns and villages form a figure of speech to convey a unified concept, and so eliminates an unnecessary redundancy, while accidently dropping all.  Note the same sort of word pairing and omission of ⲛⲓⲙ occurs later in the same verse

4.       How does one account for the addition in mae-2 of (kingdom) of heaven?  A survey of occurrences of "kingdom" in M-E does not show any linguistic proclivities or limitations of the term therein.  Nor is there any substantial textual evidence to suggest a scribal tendency to expand this particular verse or that a line of transmission could ever be traced to this expansion.    It would seem most likely to account for this addition by an appeal to the translator's own handiwork:  a deliberate paraphrase.

[1] While the reconstruction is based on a stable Greek tradition, this reconstruction is at least a little precarious, since four letters must be supplied, and one letter added by way of correction.

[2] There seems to be no evidence for reconstructing the hori.

[3] Horner's edition reads ⲧⲙⲧⲉⲣⲟ.