Mark 8:13-29 from Minuscule 2445

This manuscript is called Minuscule 2445. It originally contained the four gospels, although major portions are now missing. It’s called a minuscule because it’s written with lowercase letters (older manuscripts were written all uppercase), and based on the handwriting it was copied sometime in the 12th century. 2445 is a perfectly good witness to the text of Mark, Luke and John, and yet it seems to be completely ignored by the editors of modern editions of the Greek New Testament. It’s not cited by the Nestle-Aland, the United Bible Society’s text or by the new Tyndale House Greek New Testament. Why would this beautiful document painstakingly copied and providentially preserved for over 800 years lie neglected?

The simple answer is that we currently have access to over 5,000 manuscripts containing some part of the New Testament in Greek, hundreds of which are even older than 2445. With so many copies of the New Testament text being preserved, we don’t even have the ability to actually compare every single one of them. What’s more, while are there are inevitably many differences between our various copies, and often important ones, by and large all these thousands of manuscripts have basically the same text.

And so it turns out that 2445 is, for the purposes of those who study the text of the New Testament, yet another one of many many many manuscripts that all tell the same story, completely eclipsed by older, more significant cousins. 2445 rather than being significant in determining the text of the New Testament, becomes significant as a testimony to the stability of the text of the New Testament. Its very insignificance is a witness to the mountain of manuscript evidence that undergirds the text of the New Testaments that we read today.