Codex Alexandrinus

Codex Alexandrinus (A, 02) Fifth Century

This codex consists of 773 parchment leaves measuring 12.6 by 10.4 inches. Virtually all of the OT (630 leaves) and NT (143) are preserved in the codex. Normally the quires are made up 8 leaves. The text is written in two columns per page with 46 - 52 lines each and 20 - 25 letters per line. The letters are written in a plain uncial script with the beginning lines of books in red ink. Letters at the ends of lines are often smaller and crowded.

Sections start with larger letters set into the margin. A paragraph may actually start within a line but have the first letter of the next line pushed into the margin in a larger size. Words are written in scriptio continua and there are high and middle points for punctuation. Some of the NT books have a table of chapters. Titles do not appear until the end of a book in a colophon or panel tailpiece.

Although Codex Alexandrinus is largely an Alexandrian witness, it belongs to the Byzantine family (oldest example) in the text of the Gospels.

In the left column of the image above you can see the table of chapters for the Gospel of John, e.g. "Concerning the Wedding in Cana."

You may notice that there is a spelling variation in this passage ("choreis" instead of "choris"). There are no punctuation marks signifying a break in the phrases. On the basis of this text alone, we are unable to decide how the phrases break. Yet, by comparing this text to Codex 666 (Byzantine text), which has almost exactly the same line breaks and is punctuated, we can determine that a break probably should be placed where it is in the English translation below. Codex Alexandrinus supports the reading of Papyrus 75 and Codex Vaticanus.

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