Family 13

Family 13, also known Ferrar Group (f13, von Soden calls the group Ii), is a group of Greek Gospel manuscripts, varying in date from the 11th to the 15th century, which display a distinctive pattern of variant readings — especially placing the story of Jesus and the woman taken in adultery in the Gospel of Luke, rather than in the Gospel of John 7:53-8:11. Text of Luke 22:43-44 is placed after Matt 26:39. The text of Matthew 16:2b–3 is absent. They are all thought to derive from a lost majuscule Gospel manuscript, probably dating from the 7th century. The group takes its name from minuscule 13, now in Paris.

The subscription of manuscript 13 states that Matthew was written in Hebrew eight years after our Lord's Ascension, and contained 2522 ρηματα and 2560 στιχοι, Mark was written in Latin ten years after the Ascension with 1675 ρηματα and 1604 στιχοι, Luke in Greek fifteen years after with 3803 ρηματα and 2750 stichoi, and John thirty two years after with 1838 ρηματα.[1]

One of notable examples of Syriac affinity is Matthew 1:16, where Ferrar group has the same reading as Curetonian Syriac.[2]

The common characteristics of Family 13 were initially identified in a group of four witnesses (minuscules 13, 69, 124, and 346); but the category has subsequently been extended, and some authorities list thirteen family members. Prior to the publication of Reuben Swanson's "New Testament Greek Manuscripts" in 1995, Swanson misidentified minuscule 1346 to be a member of family 13. The most obvious characteristic of the group is that these manuscripts place John 7:53-8:11 after Luke 21:38, or elsewhere in Luke's Gospel. On the basis of palaeographical analysis, most of the manuscripts in the family (with the exception of Minuscule 69) appear to have been written by scribes trained in Southern Italy.


J. J. Wettstein observed close affinity between 13 and 69. The affinity between 124 and 13 was remarked by Treschow and its resemblance to 69 by Andreas Birch.[3]

The first published account of Family 13 appeared in the year 1877, in a book published by T. K. Abbott on behalf of his deceased colleague (and discoverer of Family 13), William Hugh Ferrar. Before his death, Ferrar collated four minuscules (Greek handwritten cursive texts) to definitively demonstrate that they all shared a common provenance. His work, A Collation of Four Important Manuscripts of the Gospels, would be the first scientific attempt to discover the lost archetype of these four minuscules.

The four minuscules Ferrar collated are:

Ferrar transcribed two of these minuscules himself, accepting a previous transcription of 69 done by another person as trustworthy and adequate. He accepted a handmade copy of 124 from the hand of Dr. Ceriani, the Conservator of the Ambrosian Library at the time. The result of his work demonstrates that the members of Family 13 do indeed seem to share a common pattern of deviation from the accepted Greek texts of antiquity.

In 1913, Hermann von Soden’s work on the Greek New Testament seemed to confirm the assertion that this family descended from a common archetype.

By 1941, Kirsopp and Silva Lake turned their attention to this important family of manuscripts. In their work on the Gospel of Mark entitled Family 13 (The Ferrar Group): The Text According to Mark, the family is characterized as consisting of 10 manuscripts (13, 69, 124, 346, 543, 788, 826, 828, 983, and 1689).

In this essay, the Lakes thoroughly cover all that was then known about the provenance of each of these manuscripts. Some of the manuscripts proposed as belonging to Family 13 appear to have links to Calabria (mss 13, 124, 174, 230) and one to Albania (ms. 1689); manuscripts 124 and 174 being recorded as having been written in Calabria, and most of the family members recording menologion readings for Calabrian saints. Some family members have common supplemental geographical material that appears to derive from a 7th-century original.

In 1961, Jacob Geerlings published three monographs (Matthew, Luke, and John) on the family, although some scholars regard this work as flawed by serious methodological problems.

Today, the family supposedly consists of at least fourteen members (13, 69, 124, 174, 230, 346, 543, 788, 826, 828, 983, minuscule 1346, 1689, and 1709), although the most recent work of Drs. Barbara Aland, Klaus Wachtel, and others at the Institut für neutestamentliche Textforschung in Münster, Germany, imply that some of these family members are more similar to the majority Byzantine Text, and therefore should not be included in this family at all. Research recently completed using phylogenetic software by Dr. Jac Perrin (through the auspices of ITSEE - Institute for Textual Scholarship and Electronic Editing at the University of Birmingham, UK) agrees with the conclusions of the Münster team that although the Albanian manuscripts 1141 and 2900 both contain some F13 readings, neither meet the full criteria of F13 membership. In his dissertation on the topic, Perrin lists the current family members as GA 13, 69, 124, 346, 543, 788, 826, 828, 983, and 1689. All of these manuscripts (except 1689) are without the Pericope Adulterae in St. John's Gospel. Most of them relocate the passage after Luke 21:38. This agrees with the historical criteria first established by Ferrar-Abbott in their 1887 publication. Perrin lists 590 distinct and significant non-Majority Text readings in St. John's Gospel which identify F13 and contends in his dissertation, that relocation of the PA from John to Luke is an inadequate criterion for F13 filiality.

Codex 1709 is held in the national archive at Tirana, Albania; which also holds some 46 other medieval Greek New Testament manuscripts, most of which remained uncollated and unpublished until 2008 - when they were photographed by a team from the Center for the Study of New Testament Manuscripts (Dallas, Texas). A press release from CSNTM in March 2008 reported that "one or two" of these previously unstudied manuscripts may also belong to family 13; in which case they would be the earliest surviving witnesses to this text.

In 1924 Burnett Hillman Streeter proposed that Family 13 should be classified as one branch of a distinct Caesarean text-type, differing in a number of common respects from the then established Byzantine, Western and Alexandrian text-types. This view is supported by some, but not all, subsequent scholars.

Textual featuresEdit

Matthew 1:16

ω μνηστευθεισα παρθενος Μαριαμ εγεννησεν Ιησουν τον λεγομενον χριστον — Θ f13

Matthew 27:35

τα ιματια μου εαυτοις, και επι τον ιματισμον μου εβαλον κληρον — Δ, Θ, 0250, f1, f13, 537, 1424.

Mark 9:41

επι τω ονοματι μου — f13 1344 44mg syrpal
εν ονοματι — אc A B C* K L Π Ψ f1 892 Peshitta
εν τω ονοματι μου — D Δ Θ 28 565 700 1009 1216 1242 2174 10 32 185 313 950 1231 1579mg 1599mg
εν ονοματι μου — א* C3 W X Π2 1010 1195 1230 1253 1365 1646 2148 Byz Lect

Luke 11:4

καὶ μὴ εἰσενέγκῃς ἡμᾶς εἰς πειρασμοί — minuscule 1346

John 8:7

αναβλεψας instead of ανακυψας, along with U Λ 700[4]

John 12:5

τριακοσιων ] διακοσιων

John 15:16

δω υμιν ] τουτο ποιησω, ινα δοξασθη ο πατηρ εν τω υιω[5]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Eberhard Nestle and Willima Edie, Introduction to the Textual Criticism of the Greek New Testament (London, 1901), pp. 84-85.
  2. ^ Kenyon F.G., Handbook to the Textual Criticism of the New Testament, London2, 1912, p. 132.
  3. ^ Ferrar, W. H.; T. K Abbott (1877). A Collation of Four Important Manuscripts of the Gospels by the late William Hugh Ferrar. Dublin: Macmillan & Co. p. IV-V.
  4. ^ NA26, p. 274
  5. ^ ΝΑ26, p. 301


External linksEdit