Sinope Gospels

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Uncial 023
New Testament manuscript
A page from the Sinope Gospels. The miniature at the bottom shows Christ healing the blind
A page from the Sinope Gospels. The miniature at the bottom shows Christ healing the blind
Name Sinope Gospels
Sign O
Text Gospel of Matthew
Date 6th-century
Script Greek
Found Sinope 1899
Now at Bibliothèque nationale de France
Size 30 x 25 cm
Type Byzantine
Category V

The Sinope Gospels, designated by O or 023 (in the Gregory-Aland numbering), ε 21 (Soden), also known as the Codex Sinopensis, is a fragment of a 6th-century illuminated Greek Gospel Book. Along with the Rossano Gospels, the Sinope Gospels has been dated, on the basis of the style of the miniatures, to the mid 6th-century. The Rossano Gospels, however are considered to be earlier. Like Rossanensis and the Vienna Genesis, the Sinope Gospels are written on purple dyed vellum.


There are only 44 extant folios in the Sinope Gospels. These folios carry unframed miniatures at the bottom of the page which are similar in style to the miniatures in the Rossano Gospels. The folios measure approximately 30 cm by 25 cm. It is written in one column per page, 15 lines per column, in silver writing and gold.[1] It is written in very large uncial letters. The manuscript is very lacunose.

Matthew 7:7-22; 11:5-12; 13:7-47; 13:54-14:4.13-20; 15:11-16:18; 17:2-24; 18:4-30; 19:3-10.17-25; 20:9-21:5; 21:12-22:7.15-24; 22:32-23:35; 24:3-12.

It contains five illuminated miniatures:

  • the festival of Herod and death of John the Baptist (folio 10 verso)
  • five thousand fed (folio 11 recto)
  • four thousand fed (folio 15 recto)
  • the healing of a blind man from Jericho (folio 29 recto)
  • the cursing of the fig tree (folio 30 verso).


It was written in the 6th-century. The style of illustrations suggests Syria or Palestine (even Mesopotamia) as the place of its origin. The codex was purchased in 1899 at Sinope (hence its name), by a French officer from an old Greek woman.[2] Its text was published by Henri Omont in 1901. At least one authority has suggested this manuscript has an association with a church at Çiftlik, which was under archeological excavation in 1998.[3]

According to B. H. Streeter it is a tertiary witness of the Caesarean text-type. This opinion was supported by Bruce Metzger.[4] Aland placed it in Category V, which means the Byzantine text-type.[1]

43 leaves (all but one) of the codex now are located at the Bibliothèque Nationale of the Manuscrits occidentaux (Supplement Grec. 1286) at Paris.[1][5]

See also


  1. ^ a b c Aland, Kurt; Aland, Barbara (1995). The Text of the New Testament: An Introduction to the Critical Editions and to the Theory and Practice of Modern Textual Criticism. Erroll F. Rhodes (trans.). Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company. p. 113. ISBN 978-0-8028-4098-1.
  2. ^ C. R. Gregory (1909). Textkritik des Neuen Testaments. 3. Leipzig: J.C. Hinrichs’sche Buchhandlung. p. 1023.
  3. ^ M. E. Martin, "Some Miscellaneous Notes on the Town and Antiquities of Sinop, Mainly from Travellers'Accounts", Anatolian Studies, 48 (1998),p. 178
  4. ^ Bruce M. Metzger, and Bart D. Ehrman, The Text of the New Testament: Its Transmission, Corruption, and Restoration, Oxford University Press, New York, Oxford 2005, p. 79.
  5. ^ "Liste Handschriften". Münster: Institute for New Testament Textual Research. Retrieved 16 March 2013.

Further reading

  • H. Omont, Notice sur un très ancien manuscrit grec de l'évangile de saint Matthieu..., Notices et extraits des manuscrits de la bibliothèque nationale..., vol. 36 (Paris, 1901), pp. 599–676.
  • H. S. Cronin, Codex Chrysopurpureus Sinopensis, JTS II (1901), pp. 590–600.
  • A. Munoz, Il codice purpureo di Rossano e il frammento sinopense (Rome 1907)
  • C. R. Gregory, Textkritik des Neuen Testaments (J.C. Hinrichs’sche Buchhandlung: Leipzig 1909), vol. 3, pp. 1022–1023.
  • Petra Sevrugian, Der Rossano-Codex und die Sinope-Fragmente: Miniaturen und Theologie (Worms 1990)
  • Weitzmann, Kurt, ed., Age of spirituality: late antique and early Christian art, third to seventh century, no. 442, 1979, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, ISBN 9780870991790

External links

  • BnF Archives et manuscrits: Supplément grec 1286 (in French)
  • image from Bibliothèque Nationale L'aventure des écritures website (in French)
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