Recent changes to the technology used to produce critical editions and the mass digitization of Greek New Testament manuscripts are beginning to fundamentally alter the place of later manuscripts in critical practice, reinvigorating research into minuscules and particular subtraditions of manuscripts that have often stood outside the interest of most New Testament scholars. This situation necessitates a reexamination of often-overlooked manuscripts, going beyond traditional text-critical concerns to better understand the ways that manuscripts function as arbiters of knowledge for the texts they carry, especially when their paratextuality and design differ from modern Bibles and critical editions. Changes in editorial technology have created a situation where editions can also be informed by the conceptual networks of literary interrelationships and interpretive pathways reflected in the layout and design of manuscripts. Moreover, the expanded availability of digital manuscript images creates new avenues for interdisciplinary exploration of the significance of paratextual systems. This article begins to explore these issues by analyzing the unpublished GA 2604 (Dublin, CBL W 139), a deluxe twelfth-century gospel codex.

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1 See Thomas J. Kraus, “Ad fontes: Gewinn durch die Konsultation von Originalhandschriften am Beispiel von P. Vindob. G 31974,” Bib 82 (2001): 1-17, here 1: manuscripts show us the “fingerprints of a bygone era, which are fixed in the specific script or inscription and spelling of a manuscript” (“Fingerabdrücke einer vergangenen Zeit, die sich im jeweiligen Material, in der spezifischen Schrift bzw. Beschriftung und der Rechtschreibung eines Manuskripts verfestigt haben”). See also Garrick V. Allen, “Paratexts and the Reception History of the Apocalypse,” JTS 70 (2019): 600-632.
2 See, e.g., Jerome McGann, Radiant Textuality: Literature after the World Wide Web (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2001); McGann, A New Republic of Letters: Memory and Scholarship in the Age of Digital Reproduction (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2014); D. F. McKenzie, Bibliography and the Sociology of Texts (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1999); Roger Chartier, Forms and Meanings: Texts, Performances, and Audiences from Codex to Computer, New Cultural Studies (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1995); N. Katherine Hayles, How We Think: Digital Media and Contemporary Technogenesis (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2012), among others.
3 Bernard Cerquiglini, Éloge de la variante: Histoire critique de la philologie, Des travaux (Paris: Seuil, 1989). New Philology made its way into Anglophone scholarship through a special fascicle of the journal Speculum edited by Stephen G. Nichols. See Nichols, “Introduction: Philology in a Manuscript Culture,” Speculum 65 (1990): 1-10. New Philology has always been received with mixed reviews, sometimes embedded in the same volume. See the many contradictory articles in Martin-Dietrich Glesgen and Franz Lebsanft, eds., Alte und neue Philologie, Beihefte zu Editio 8 (Tübingen: Niemeyer, 1997), especially Albert Varvaro’s critique of Cerquiglini in “La ‘New Philology’ nella prospettiva italiana,” 35-42. For a recent overview of the history of New Philology, see Liv Ingeborg Lied and Hugo Lundhaug, eds., Snapshots of Evolving Traditions: Jewish and Christian Manuscript Culture, Textual Fluidity, and New Philology, TUGAL 175 (Berlin: de Gruyter, 2017), esp. 3-12.
4 Exceptions exist within New Testament studies. For example, Thomas Kraus, “Manuscripts with the Lord’s Prayer—They Are More than Simply Witnesses to That Text Itself,” in New Testament Manuscripts: Their Texts and Their World, ed. Thomas J. Kraus and Tobias Nicklas, TENTS 2 (Leiden: Brill, 2006), 227-66; Garrick V. Allen, Manuscripts of the Book of Revelation: New Philology, Paratexts, Reception (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2020).
5 Stephen G. Nichols, From Parchment to Cyberspace: Medieval Literature in the Digital Age (New York: Lang, 2016), 1-14.
6 I use the word paratext in this article to refer to all features of a manuscript beside the main text of its primary work, including items like titles, marginal notations, prefaces of various kinds, tables of contents and other lists, and cross-reference systems, among others. This term, coined initially by Gérard Genette (Paratexts: Thresholds of Interpretation, trans. Jane E. Lewin, Literature, Culture, Theory 20 [Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1997]), is used in different ways in the humanities generally and in biblical studies in particular. See Patrick Andrist, “Toward a Definition of Paratext and Paratextuality: The Case of Ancient Greek Manuscripts,” in Bible as Notepad: Tracing Annotations and Annotation Practices in Late Antique and Medieval Biblical Manuscripts, ed. Liv Ingeborg Lied and Marilena Maniaci, Manuscripta Biblica 3 (Berlin: de Gruyter, 2018), 130-49; and Garrick V. Allen and Anthony P. Royle, “Paratexts seeking Understanding: Manuscripts and Aesthetic Cognitivism,” Religions 11 (2020): 1-25.
7 Hugo Lundhaug and Liv Ingeborg Lied, “Studying Snapshots: On Manuscript Culture, Textual Fluidity, and New Philology,” in Lied and Lundhaug, Snapshots of Evolving Traditions, 1-19, here 1.
8 See http://ntvmr.uni-muenster.de/nt-transcripts. This edition is a developing workspace. Print editions of Acts and the Catholic Epistles have also appeared: Barbara Aland et al., eds., Novum Testamentum Graecum: Editio Critica Maior IV: Die Katholischen Briefe, 2nd ed. (Stuttgart: Deutsche Bibelgesellschaft, 2013); Holger Strutwolf et al., eds., Novum Testamentum Graecum: Editio Critica Maior III: Die Apostelgeschichte (Stuttgart: Deutsche Bibelgesellschaft, 2017).
9 See Marcus Sigismund, “Die neue Edition der Johannesapokalypse: Stand der Arbeit,” in Studien zum Text der Apokalypse II, ed. Marcus Sigismund and Darius Müller, ANTF 50 (Berlin: de Gruyter, 2017), 3-17.
10 Judith Waring, “Byzantine Book Culture,” in A Companion to Byzantium, ed. Liz James, Blackwell Companions to the Ancient World (Oxford: Blackwell, 2010), 275-88, here 275.
11 Work has begun along these lines for multiple manuscript cultures, including the New Testament. See, e.g., Lied and Maniaci, Bible as Notepad, especially Andrist’s “Toward a Definition of Paratexts and Paratextuality,” 130-49. For reflection on the materiality of digital images, see also Garrick V. Allen, “Digital Tools for Working with New Testament Manuscripts,” Open Theology 5 (2019): 13-28, https://doi.org/10.1515/opth-2019-0002.
12 CBL W 139 has been available in digitized black-and-white microfilm at http://ntvmr.uni-muenster.de/, which now also has the color images first made at http://www.csntm.org/manuscript/View/GA_2604. I have found no substantial references to this manuscript in any publication. Its entry is blank in J. K. Elliott, A Bibliography of Greek New Testament Manuscripts, 3rd ed., NovTSup 160 (Leiden: Brill, 2015). It is briefly mentioned in M. Aubineau, “Glanes hagiographiques dans les manuscrits grecs de Grande-Bretange et d’Irlande,” AnBoll 86 (1968): 323-31, here 324, but not mentioned in any other published work, even those that explicitly focus on the biblical material of the Chester Beatty, e.g., Kevin J. Cathcart, “The Biblical and Other Early Christian Manuscripts of the Chester Beatty Library,” in Back to the Sources: Biblical and Near Eastern Studies in Honour of Dermot Ryan, ed. Kevin J. Cathcart and John F. Healey (Dublin: Glendale, 1989), 129-63.
13 The text of W 139 is not of significant text-critical interest, which explains why it has never served as a witness in any edition of the New Testament or been published in any context besides its digitization. According to Text und Textwert (accessed through the Manuscript Clusters tool, http://intf.uni-muenster.de/TT_PP/TT_Clusters.html), it agrees with the Majority reading in 96 percent of its test passages. For further analysis of the text of the New Testament in other deluxe gospel books, see Kathleen Maxwell, “The Textual Affiliation of Deluxe Byzantine Gospel Books,” in The New Testament in Byzantium, ed. Derek Krueger and Robert S. Nelson, Dumbarton Oaks Byzantine Symposia and Colloquia (Washington, DC: Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection, 2016), 33-85 (she does not reference W 139).
14 Anonymous, but attributed to Irenaeus in Athos, Iviron 56 (GA 1006). See also Athens, Nat. Bib. 76 (GA 776); and Hermann von Soden, Die Schriften des Neuen Testaments in ihrer ältesten erreichbarren Textgestalt, vol. 1, part 1, Abteilung: Die Textzeugen (Berlin: Duncker, 1902), 314 (hereafter von Soden 1.1).
15 See abbreviated form of this text in von Soden 1.1:305.
16 The text is nearly identical to Ambiguum 21.4-12 in Nicholas Constas, ed., On Difficulties in the Church Fathers: The Ambigua, 2 vols., Dumbarton Oaks Medieval Library 28-29 (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2014), 1:424-39.
17 The ὑπόθεσις can be found in von Soden 1.1:314-15 and is also preserved in Nicetas Seides’s Conspectus librorum sacrorum (see P. N. Simotas, Νικήτα Σεΐδου Σύνοψις τῆς ἉγίαςΓραφῆς [Thessalonica: Patriarchal Institute for Patristic Studies, 1984], 273). The text of the frame can be found in von Soden 1.1:574, 583.
18 An abbreviated form is cataloged in von Soden 1.1:306.
19 For the ὑπόθεσις, see von Soden 1.1:315 and Simotas, Νικήτα Σεΐδου Σύνοψις, 273. For the frame, see Joseph Sickenberger, Titus von Bostra: Studien zu dessen Lukashomilien, TUGAL 21 (Leipzig: Hinrichs, 1901), 143.
20 See von Soden 1.1:306 (abbreviated form).
21 It is also part of a larger tradition of deluxe Byzantine gospel books. For examples, see, e.g., Axinia Džurova with Paul Canart, Le rayonnement de Byzance: Les manuscrits grec enluminés des Balkans (VIe-XVIIIe siècles); Catalogue d’exposition, XXIIe Congrès internationales d’études byzantines, Sofia, 22-27 août 2011 (Sofia: Galerie Nationale d’Art étranger, 2011).
22 On catenae in Byzantine literature, see Herbert Hunger, Schreiben und Lesen in Byzanz: Die byzantinische Buchkultur, Beck’s archäologische Bibliothek (Munich: Beck, 1989), 29-30; and on the New Testament specifically, see H. A. G. Houghton, ed., Commentaries, Catenae and Biblical Tradition, TS 13 (Piscataway, NJ: Gorgias, 2016); and William Lamb, “Conservation and Conversation: New Testament Catenae in Byzantium,” in Krueger and Nelson, New Testament in Byzantium, 277-99.
23 For an overview of these systems, see W. H. P. Hatch, Facsimiles and Descriptions of Minuscule Manuscripts of the New Testament (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1951), 22-39.
24 On the structure of these traditions, see Bruce M. Metzger, “Greek Lectionaries and a Critical Edition of the Greek New Testament,” in Die alten Übersetzungen des Neuen Testaments: Die Kirchenväterzitate und Lektionare; Der gegenwärtige Stand ihrer Erforschung und ihre Bedeutung für die griechische Textgeschichte, ed. Kurt Aland, ANTF 5 (Berlin: de Gruyter, 1972), 479-97, esp. 480-84.
25 There are also some corrections in the catena texts by a later hand using a darker ink, e.g., 38v line 1 of the β catena, indicating editorial oversight.
26 Repairs of damage are visible on fols. 154-57, 160, 164-65, 167, 171-72, 175-78, 183, 188, 223-44, 246-50, 252, 256, 258-61, 263-69, 271-72, 274, 296-98, 308-9, 329, 332-33, 338-39, 343, 346-47, 350-51, 353, 355, 362-63, 365-67, 369-70.
28 This phenomenon is not unique to the New Testament but characterizes medieval textual cultures more broadly. See Jaqueline Cerquiglini-Toulet, “Conceiving the Text in the Middle Ages,” in Rethinking the New Medievalism, ed. R. Howard Bloch et al. (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2014), 150-61.
29 See Gregory Peter Fewster, “Finding Your Place: Developing Cross-Reference Systems in Late Antique Biblical Codices,” in The Future of New Testament Textual Scholarship: From H. C. Hoskier to the Editio Critica Maior and Beyond, ed. Garrick V. Allen, WUNT 417 (Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2019), 153-77.
30 The Eusebian apparatus comprises three features, which are not always present together in particular manuscripts: (1) the Epistle to Carpianus, (2) the marginal numerals denoting the pericope number and its canon table, and (3) the ten tables themselves, showing the relationship of a pericope to the larger gospel tradition.
31 See, e.g., Jeremiah Coogan, “Mapping the Fourfold Gospel: Textual Geography in the Eusebian Apparatus,” JECS 25 (2017): 337-57; Francis Watson, The Fourfold Gospel: A Theological Reading of the New Testament Portraits of Jesus (Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2016), 103-44; Matthew Crawford, “Ammonius of Alexandria, Eusebius of Caesarea and the Origins of Gospels Scholarship,” NTS 61 (2015): 1-29; Martin Wallraff, Kodex und Kanon: Das Buch im frühen Christentum, Hans-Lietzmann-Vorlesungen 12 (Berlin: de Gruyter, 2013), 29-37; Thomas O’Loughlin, “Harmonizing the Truth: Eusebius and the Problem of the Four Gospels,” Traditio 65 (2010): 1-29; and previously, Carl Nordenfalk, Die spätantiken Kanontafeln: Kunstgeschichtliche Studien über die eusebianische Evangelien-Konkordanz in den vier ersten Jarhunderten ihrer Geschichte, 2 vols., Die Bücherornamentik der Spätantike 1 (Göteborg: Oscar Isacsons, 1938). Wallraff in particular draws attention to Eusebius’s other tables for world history and the Psalter, arguing that canon is closely related to the formation of material objects that organize the knowledge they transmit (“The Canon Tables of the Psalms: An Unknown Work of Eusebius of Caesarea,” DOP 67 [2013]: 1-14).
32 On the kephalaia, see W. Andrew Smith, A Study of the Gospels in Codex Alexandrinus: Codicology, Paleography, and Scribal Hands, NTTSD 48 (Leiden: Brill, 2014), 156-78; Greg Goswell, “Early Readers of the Gospels: The Kephalaia and Titloi of Codex Alexandrinus,” JGRChJ 6 (2009): 134-74; Harvey McArthur, “The Earliest Divisions of the Gospels,” in SE III.2, ed. F. L. Cross (Berlin: Akademie, 1964), 266-72.
33 Catherine Z. Elgin, “Art in the Advancement of Understanding,” American Philosophical Quarterly 39 (2002): 1-12, here 9. See also Christoph Baumberger, “Art and Understanding: In Defence of Aesthetic Cognitivism,” in Bilder sehen: Perspektiven der Bildwissenschaft, ed. Mark Greenlee et al., Regensburger Studien zur Kunstgeschichte 10 (Regensburg: Schnell & Steiner, 2013), 41-67: “Idealizations are fictions designed to afford epistemic access to matters of fact that are otherwise difficult or impossible to discern…. They enable us to explore these features and their causes and consequences by disregarding complications that overshadow them in real cases” (47). In another article Elgin points out that, although thought experiments are not actual, they are bound by self-constraints that restrict the imaginative process (“Fiction as Thought Experiment,” Perspectives of Science 22 [2014]: 221-41, here 226-27). The constraints in this case are based on the paratextuality of the manuscript itself.
34 See John Gibson, “Cognitivism and the Arts,” Philosophy Compass 3 (2008): 573-89, here 580-81.
35 All images of CBL W 139 © The Trustees of the Chester Beatty Library, Dublin. CC BY-NC 4.0. Images of the entire codex may be found at https://viewer.cbl.ie/viewer/image/W_139/1/.
36 English translation by Stephen J. Shoemaker, “The Apocalypse of the Virgin: A New Translation and Introduction,” in New Testament Apocrypha: More Noncanonical Scriptures, ed. Tony Burke and Brent Landau (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2016), 488-505, here 505.
37 On the structure of the Byzantine lection calendar, see Irmgard M. De Vries, “The Epistles, Gospels and Tones of the Byzantine Liturgical Year,” ECQ 2/6 (1953): 1-37. On lectionaries generally, see David M. Petras, “The Gospel Lectionary of the Byzantine Church,” SVTQ 41 (1997): 113-40; Jacque Noret, “Méneloges, synaxaires, ménés: Essai de clarification d’une terminologie,” AnBoll 86 (1968): 21-24.
38 On the relationship between the work of Ammonius and Eusebius, see Matthew R. Crawford, The Eusebian Canon Tables: Ordering Textual Knowledge in Late Antiquity, OECS (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2019), 56-95.
39 The tables are transcriptions of the texts as they stand in the manuscript.
40 CPG c111, similar to Reuss Type B. C. F. Georg Heinrici attributed this class of catena manuscript to Peter of Laodicea (seventh-eight century) in Des Petrus von Laodicea Erklärung des Matthäusevangeliums, Beiträge zur Geschichte und Erklärung des Neuen Testamentes 5 (Leipzig: Dürr, 1908), an attribution criticized by Max Rauer, who analyzed Peter traditions in Luke (Der dem Petrus von Laodicea zugeschriebene Lukaskommentar, NTAbh 8.2 [Münster: Aschendorff, 1920], 74-75). The commentary is attributed to Peter of Laodicea in Vat. gr. 1445 (and its copy C. Vat. 1090, along with Vat. gr. 757), but Joseph Reuss, following Rauer, argues for its anonymity (Matthäus-, Markus- und Johannes-Katenen nach den handschriftlichen Quellen, NTAbh 18.4-5 [Münster: Aschendorff, 1941], 3-4).
41 “Mouth of God being opened: it is the storehouses of wisdom and knowledge, which he utters through the teaching beginning suitably from the beatitudes” (Στόμα θ[εο]ῦ ἀνοιγόμενον.οἱ θησαυρὸι τῆς σοφίας καὶ γνώσεως εἰσὶν ⋅ οὓς προφέρει διὰ τῆς διδασκαλίας ἀρχόμενος πρεπόντωςἀπὸ μακαρισμῶν).
42 I want to emphasize here that this is one possible reconstruction of a reading of W 139. It is also clear, judging by its developed lection apparatus and synaxarion and menologion lists, that this manuscript was designed to be read regularly in the context of public liturgical services. But other paratexts, like the Eusebian apparatus, gesture also toward other, more “scholarly” and perhaps private reading events. This manuscript lends itself to use in multiple contexts.
43 See Anthony Grafton and Megan Williams, Christianity and the Transformation of the Book: Origen, Eusebius, and the Library of Caesarea (Cambridge: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2006), 178-249.
44 See Stefan Royé, “The Cohesion between the Ammonian-Eusebian Apparatus and the Byzantine Liturgical Pericope System in Tetraevangelion Codices: Stages in the Creation, Establishment and Evolution of Byzantine Codex Forms,” in Catalogue of Byzantine Manuscripts in their Liturgical Context: Challenges and Perspectives; Collected Papers, Resulting from the Expert Meeting of the Catalogue of Byzantine Manuscripts Programme Held at PThU in Kampen, the Netherlands on 6th-7th November 2009, ed. Klaas Spronk, Gerard Rouwhorst, and Stefan Royé, Catalogue of Byzantine Manuscripts in their Liturgical Context: Subsidia 1 (Turnhout: Brepols, 2013), 55-116.
46 Some of this work is already underway in the ParaTexBib project in Munich; see http://www.paratexbib.eu/.
47 On this prospect, see Gregory S. Paulson, “A Proposal for a Critical Edition of the Greek New Testament Lectionary,” in Liturgy and the Living Text of the New Testament: Papers from the Tenth Birmingham Colloquium on the Textual Criticism of the New Testament, ed. H. A. G. Houghton, TS 3/16 (Piscataway, NJ: Gorgias, 2018), 121-50.
48 See, e.g., Margery B. Franklin, “‘Museum of the Mind’: An Inquiry into the Titling of Artworks,” Metaphor and Symbolic Activity 3.3 (1988): 157-74; Helmut Leder, Claus-Christian Carbon, and Ai-Leen Ripsas, “Entitling Art: Influence of Title Information on Understanding and Appreciation of Paintings,” Acta Psychologica 121 (2006): 176-98. Other studies have used paratexts as variables to test the impact of perceived authorial intention on audience appreciation of visual art; see, e.g., Justin L. Barrett, Jean-Luc Jucker, and Rafael Wlodarski. “‘I Just Don’t Get It’: Perceived Artists’ Intentions Affect Art Evaluation,” Empirical Studies of the Arts 32 (2014): 149-82.
49 Some of the systems in W 139 are also part of the Nestle-Aland editions, like the Epistle to Carpianus and the rest of the Eusebian system, but the totality of its features remain unavailable to users of editions.
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