Strange Apostolic Fathers Textual Variation

So I did this proximity search for places where the adverb πάντοτε occurs with a noun between it and the verb. In theory, this should never happen and still be grammatical. Anyway, my search did find one hit: Mandates 3.3 (28.3)

Οὐδέπω γάρ, φημί, κύριε, ἐν τῇ ἐμῇ ζωῇ ἀληθὲς ἐλάλησα ῥῆμα, ἀλλὰ πάντοτε πανοῦργος ἔζησα μετὰ πάντων, καὶ τὸ ψεῦδός μου ἀληθὲς ἐπέδειξα παρὰ πᾶσιν ἀνθρώποις· καὶ οὐδέποτέ μοι οὐδεὶς ἀντεῖπεν, ἀλλ ̓ ἐπιστεύθη τῷ λόγῳ μου.

Joseph Barber Lightfoot and J. R. Harmer, The Apostolic Fathers (London: Macmillan, 1891), 319.

Here’s Holmes’ more readable translation:

[N]ever in my life have I spoken a true word; instead, I have lived deceitfully with everyone, and have represented my lie as truth to all men, and no one ever contradicted me but believed my word.

Michael William Holmes, The Apostolic Fathers : Greek Texts and English Translations (Updated 2nd ed.; Grand Rapids, Mich.: Baker Books, 1999), 379.

But what caught my attention is that I have three digital editions of the Apostolic Fathers in Greek: Lightfoot, Lake, and Holmes, but only Lightfoot showed up as a hit.

Here’s the text of Holmes & Lake (they’re identical):

Οὐδέπω γάρ, φημί, κύριε, ἐν τῇ ἐμῇ ζωῇ ἀληθὲς ἐλάλησα ῥῆμα, ἀλλὰ πάντοτε πανούργως ἔζησα μετὰ πάντων, καὶ τὸ ψεῦδός μου ἀληθὲς ἐπέδειξα παρὰ πᾶσιν ἀνθρώποις· καὶ οὐδέποτέ μοι οὐδεὶς ἀντεῖπεν, ἀλλʼ ἐπιστεύθη τῷ λόγῳ μου.

Holmes, The Apostolic Fathers, 378.

In the Holmes and Lake, the word between πάντοτε and the verb is an adverb rather than the noun of Lightfoot’s text. And there’s no textual variant on this one.

Any ideas anyone?

[UPDATE] Its been confirmed by Esteban that this is the reading Lightfoot has in his book. It is not a digital error. Rick believes that “codex Athous is the primary witness here.” Though I’ve been unable to check that. I’m wondering if my access to some of the books on Google books is prevented in Canada, the book he’s referring to doesn’t have a preview for me, but that doesn’t make sense because this book should be public domain.

[Final UPDATE] It is clearly an OMEGA in transcription of Codex Athos (thanks must go to for Rick this):


10 thoughts on “Strange Apostolic Fathers Textual Variation

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  1. That’s what I was thinking. I was hoping a hard copy might show up somewhere in the comments from someone…

    Either way, I’m glad Logos has provided three editions of this text.

  2. First, for those keeping score at home, this is from Hermas, Mandates 3.3 (28.3 in the ‘new’ numbering). After checking the print I have at home, I can confirm:

    * Ehrman has the adverb, translates “… but have always lived craftily with everyone”.

    * Lake has the adverb, translates “… but have ever spoken deceitfully with all men”.

    * Osiek, in the Hermeneia commentary, does not mention any variant here either.

    My guess? Maybe Lightfoot 1891 is the typo because none of the editions note anything on this word. The text is in Sinaiticus; it should be on this page:

    But according to the index (PDF file in the same folder) the column is missing. According to the witness list in Ehrman, I’m guessing codex Athous is the primary witness here. Kirsopp Lake did a facsimile of it in 1907, it is available at Google books. From, use the following search string:

    inauthor:”Kirsopp Lake” intitle:Athos

    I can’t do much with it, though. The resolution isn’t great and it is a minuscule hand, which I most certainly cannot read.

    Hope it helps.

  3. To follow up: I didn’t look hard enough at Athos; there is a transcription as well. (Note to self: Don’t stop in despair when you see a minuscule hand and crappy resolution to boot). This portion is on “Plate V”; note the transcription comes before the facsimile photo. The line in question is line 8.

    There it looks like the adverb as well (at least, Lake’s transcription has it as an adverb). The resolution is horrible on the scan, so it looks like a blob. But the blob looks more like an omega than an omicron.

    Hope it helps.

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