Codex Schøyen is a substantial but fragmentary Coptic manuscript of Matthew’s Gospel which only became public in 1999. It dates perhaps to the early fourth century, and may be the earliest witness to Matthew in 13 entire chapters, and to many portions of other chapters. However, its textual character has not yet been adequately analysed. Analysis of its textual character has been hindered, in part, by the atypical translation method reflected in its text which often makes the Vorlage difficult to discern.
This paper demonstrates how an understanding of the version’s translation technique can help discern its Vorlage. Analysis of important test passages will show its textual character and relationship with other manuscripts. Ultimately, the paper will address the issue of whether Codex Schøyen is the closest ally to Sinaiticus and Vaticanus in Matthew’s Gospel.