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Forgotten version of the Bible

The liturgical formation of biblical manuscripts since the 4th century in Byzantium, laid down in codex types such as Tetraevangelion, Praxapostolos, Prophetologion, Psalterion in Kathismata & Odes, etc remained, for a great deal, outside the field of NT and OT studies. Researchers in Western European countries were primarily strongly text-oriented (see Approach: distinction between classical literature and ecclesiastical manuscripts).

The Byzantine biblical codices, which were used in the churches and monasteries in the Eastern Orthodox countries were brought to Western Europe in large numbers since the Renaissance, where they received new, historical, museum-related functions in libraries. Manuscripts became objects of study and subjects for editions and were no longer intended for ecclesiastical-liturgical use (the Western churches employing their own, Latin and liturgical, church books and codices). The liturgical and empirical nature of the Byzantine manuscripts was overlooked and ‘forgotten’. CBM pays full attention to the liturgical embedding and formation of the biblical manuscripts, which implies also respect for the ‘complete’ codex and liturgical practice where different codices of differing content are employed alongside one another in the context of the daily services, i.e. NT beside OT, biblical alongside liturgical, hymnographic, homiletic, hagiographic, ascetical-catechetical. This reveals how the codex groups are interwoven content-wise.

We have found that, when re-presenting the codices in which the biblical texts were handed down to us in our catalogues, it becomes clear that the Bible as we know it was, in fact, delivered in a variety of ancient archetypical codex forms (codex types). These are lost in today’s well-known printed editions of the New and Old Testaments. These codex types we call the ‘forgotten version’ of the Bible.