In textual criticism of the New Testament, Caesarean text-type is the term proposed by certain scholars to denote a consistent pattern of variant readings that is claimed to be apparent in certain Koine Greek manuscripts of the four Gospels, but which is not found in any of the other commonly recognized New Testament text-types (Byzantine, Western and Alexandrian). In particular a common text-type has been proposed to be found: in the ninth/tenth century Codex Koridethi; in Codex Basilensis A. N. IV. 2 (a Greek manuscript of the Gospels used, sparingly, by Erasmus in his 1516 printed Koine New Testament); and in those Gospel quotations found in the third century works of Origen, which were written after he had settled in Caesarea.[1] The early translations of the Gospels in Armenian and Georgian also appear to witness to many of the proposed characteristic Caesarean readings, as do the small group of minuscule manuscripts classed as Family 1 and Family 13.


A particularly distinctive common reading of the proposed text-type is in Matthew 27:16-17, where the bandit released by Pontius Pilate instead of Jesus is named as "Jesus Barabbas" rather than — with all other surviving witnesses — just "Barabbas". Origen notes particularly that the form "Jesus Barabbas" was common in manuscripts in Caesarea, whereas he had not found this reading in his previous residence in Alexandria. Otherwise the Caesarean readings have a mildly paraphrastic tendency that seems to place them between the more concise Alexandrian, and the more expansive Western text-types. None of the surviving Caesarean manuscripts is claimed to witness a pure type of text, as all appear to have been to some degree assimilated with readings from the Byzantine text-type.

Some writers have questioned the validity of this grouping, claiming that the classification is the result of poor research. Insofar as the Caesarean text-type does exist (in Matt, Luke and John is not well defined), then it does so only in the Gospels. The proposed Caesarean witnesses do not appear to have any common distinctive readings in the rest of the New Testament. Some of the Caesarean manuscripts have the so-called Jerusalem Colophon.

The Caesarean text-type was discovered and named by Burnett Hillman Streeter in 1924.[2] According to some scholars, it is only a hypothetical text-type (Aland).[3]

There are no pure Caesarean manuscripts. In many cases, it is difficult to decide the original reading of the group, for instance in Mark 1:16:[4]

αμφιβαλλοντας τα δικτυα — ƒ13 565.
αμφιβληστρα βαλλοντας — ƒ1
αμφιβληστρον βαλλοντας700.
βαλλοντας αμφιβληστρον28.


H. von Soden — Iota (Jerusalem) (I), in part (most strong "Caesarean" witnesses are found in Soden's Iα group, with family 1 being his Iη and family 13 being Iι).

Kirsopp Lake, an outstanding British textual critic, developed the hypothesis of the relationship between ƒ1, ƒ13, Θ, 565, 700, and 28.[5] Streeter carried Lake's work another step forward by pointing to Caesarea as the original location of the family.[6]

F. G. Kenyon — Gamma (γ)[7]

M. J. Lagrange — C


Sign Name Date Content
𝔓42 Papyrus 42 7th/8th fragments Luke 1-2
𝔓45 Papyrus 45 3rd only in Mark
Θ (038) Codex Koridethi 9th Mark
W (032) Codex Washingtonianus 5th Mark 5:31—16:20
28. Minuscule 28 11th Gospel of Mark
565. Minuscule 565 9th Gospels
700. Minuscule 700 11th Gospels

and rest of ƒ1

Minuscule 1,

118, 131, 209



only Gospels

and rest of ƒ13

Minuscule 13,

69, 124, 346




only Gospels

Other manuscripts

𝔓29, 𝔓38, 𝔓41, 𝔓48, Uncial 0188, 174, 230, 406 (?), 788, 826, 828, 872 (only in Mark), 1071, 1275, 1424 (only in Mark), 1604, 2437,[8] 32.

Textual features

(Apparent Caesarean witnesses in Bold)

Matthew 8:13

It has additional text: και υποστρεψας ο εκατονταρχος εις τον οικον αυτου εν αυτη τη ωρα ευρεν τον παιδα υγιαινοντα (and when the centurion returned to the house in that hour, he found the slave well) as well as codices א‎, C, (N), Θ, (0250), ƒ1, (33., 1241.), g1, syrh.[9]

Matthew 13:35

δια ΗσαιουΘ ƒ1 ƒ13 33.
δια — majority of mss[10]

Matthew 20:23

και το βαπτισμα ο εγω βαπτιζομαι βαπτισθησεσθε (and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with) [Matching MT and TR]
omitted — אB D L Z Θ 085 ƒ1 ƒ13 it syrs, c sa[11]

Matthew 27:16–17

Ιησουν τον ΒαραββανΘ ƒ1 700.* syrs, pal arm geo
τον Βαραββαν — majority of mss

Mark 8:14

ενα μονον αρτον εχοντες𝔓45 Θ ƒ1 565. 700 k sa
omit — all other mss

Mark 8:15

των Ηρωδιανων𝔓45 W Θ ƒ1 ƒ13 28. 565. 1365. iti itk copsa arm geo
Ηρωδου — majority of mss

Mark 8:17

εν ταις καρδιαις υμων, ολιγοπιστοιΘ 28. 565. 700. pc syrh

Mark 9:29

προσευχη και νηστεια𝔓45 A C D L W Θ Ψ ƒ1 ƒ13 Byz [Matching MT and TR]
προσευχηאB 0274 k

Mark 10:19

μη αποστερησηςאA B2 C D X Θ 565. 892. 1009. 1071. 1195. 1216. 1230. 1241 1253. 1344. 1365. 1646. 2174. Byz Lect
omitted — B* K W Δ Ψ ƒ1 ƒ13 28 700 1010. 1079. 1242. 1546. 2148. 10 950 1642 1761 syrs arm geo[12]

Mark 12:1

ανθρωπος τις εφυτευσεν αμπελωναW Θ ƒ13 565 itaur itc
αμπελωνα ανθρωπος εφυτευσενאΒ C Δ Ψ 33. 1424.

Mark 12:7

θεασαμενοι αυτον ερχομενον ειπαν προς εαυτουςΘ 565. 700. c
θεασαμενοι αυτον ερχομενον ειπον — N ƒ13 28.
προς εαυτους ειπαν οτιאΒ C L W' Ψ 33. 892.
ειπαν προς εαυτουςD
ειπον προς εαυτους οτιA Byz

Mark 13:6

λέγοντες ὅτι Ἐγώ ο XρηστόςW Θ ƒ13 28 61. 115. 255. 299. 565. 700. 1071. b c g2 l vgmss sa bo geob arm arabms Cyp
λέγοντες ὅτι Ἐγώ εἰμι — Byz

See also

Other text-types
Subgroups of the Caesarean text-type


  1. ^ Kirsopp Lake, Codex 1 of the Gospels and its Allies (TS 7; Cambridge: UP, 1902); B. H. Streeter, The Four Gospels: A Study of Origins Treating of the Manuscript Tradition, Sources, Authorship, & Dates (1st ed., 1924; 2d ed., London: Macmillan, 1926).
  2. ^ B.H. Streeter, The Four Gospels: A Study of Origins Treating of the Manuscript Tradition, Sources, Authorship, & Dates (1st ed., 1924; 2d ed., London: Macmillan, 1926).
  3. ^ Kurt Aland, and Barbara Aland, "The Text of the New Testament: An Introduction to the Critical Editions and to the Theory and Practice of Modern Textual Criticism", transl. Erroll F. Rhodes, William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, Grand Rapids, Michigan, 1995, p. 336.
  4. ^ Lake K., Codex 1 of the Gospels and its Allies, Texts and Studies, volume vii, Cambridge, 1902, p. LIII.
  5. ^ K. Lake and R. P. Lake, The Text of the Gospels and the Koridethi Codex, HTR 16 (1923), pp. 267-286.
  6. ^ Frederik Wisse, The Profile Method for Classifying and Evaluating Manuscripts Evidence Studies and Documents vol. 44, Wm. B. Eerdmans 1982, p. 22.
  7. ^ Frederic G. Kenyon, "Handbook to the Textual Criticism of the New Testament", London2, 1912, pp. 334-338.
  8. ^ David Alan Black, New Testament Textual Criticism, Baker Books, 2006, p. 65.
  9. ^ NA26, p. 18
  10. ^ UBS3, p. 50.
  11. ^ NA26, 56.
  12. ^ UBS3, p. 165.