This week sees the publication of two articles in leading academic journals by doctoral students working on the CATENA Project.

Emanuele Scieri and Andrew Patton both began their doctoral research on the CATENA project in 2020, and have already made significant new findings in their fields, as shown by two articles which have appeared this week in internationally-recognised scholarly journals. 

Emanuele is working on the under-researched field of the catenae on Acts. His article, "The Catena Manuscripts on Acts: A Revised Classification", now online in Vigiliae Christianae, is the first examination of the entire corpus of Acts catena manuscripts, building on the CATENA Project Database. In it, he demonstrates that the current classification of Acts catenae in the Clavis Patrum Graecorum needs to be expanded to take account of variations within the tradition.

The Catena Manuscripts on Acts: A Revised Classification (Emanuele Scieri)
 Earlier scholarship faced a number of limitations in classifying catena manuscripts on the Acts of the Apostles. This study makes a comparison of exegetical scholia in selected text passages (Acts 2:1–16, 8:9–25, 28:19–31) in order to determine the different types of catena and how they relate to each other. This survey reveals the diversity of the tradition: some manuscripts are merely copies, which repeat the same text with only small variations, but others are unique and cannot be directly identified with a particular catena type. It is therefore necessary to expand the classification of catenae on Acts in the Clavis Patrum Graecorum so as to mark subdivisions within the individual types.

Andrew's research focusses on the catenae on the Gospels. In his article "Greek Catenae and the “Western” Order of the Gospels", published today in Novum Testamentum, he shows that all instances of the so-called "Western Order" in Greek gospel books copied after the sixth century are due to the set of related gospel catenae on Matthew, John, and Luke in those manuscripts. In fact, these earliest catenae on the gospels are found in a number of different, non-traditional sequences, unlike those of later tradition. Again, the comprehensive new analysis in this publication draws on the complete listing of New Testament catena manuscripts provided by the CATENA Project Database.

Greek Catenae and the “Western” Order of the Gospels (Andrew J. Patton)
The “Western” order of the gospels—Matthew–John–Luke–Mark—is found in a few important ancient codices in both the Greek and the Latin tradition. Previous attempts to identify Greek minuscule manuscripts with this sequence have been inconclusive. This article presents five Greek minuscules which feature the gospels in the Western order. These five manuscripts, along with two Greek majuscules, contain the earliest form of the catena commentary on Matthew, John, and Luke. The analysis of these catenae reveals that the sequence of their composition is reflected in the cod- icology of these manuscripts, as well as non-standard orders of the gospels in other catena witnesses. It is therefore the presence of the commentary which explains the adoption of the Western order in seven of the eleven known occurrences in Greek.

As with all the CATENA project publications, both these articles are available in Open Access thanks to the generosity of the European Research Council.