Vaticanus, Codex Is said to be the oldest extant vellum manuscript. It and the Codex Sinaiticus are the two oldest uncial manuscripts. They were probably written in the fourth century. The Vaticanus was placed in the Vatican Library at Rome by Pope Nicolas V. in 1448, its previous history being unknown. It originally consisted in all probability of a complete copy of the Septuagint and of the New Testament. It is now imperfect, and consists of 759 thin, delicate leaves, of which the New Testament fills 142. Like the Sinaiticus, it is of the greatest value to Biblical scholars in aiding in the formation of a correct text of the New Testament. It is referred to by critics as Codex B.
Veil Or vail (1.) Heb. mitpahath (Rut 3:15; marg., "sheet" or "apron;" R.V., "mantle"). In Isa 3:22 this word is plural, rendered "wimples;" R.V., "shawls" i.e., wraps. (2.) Massekah (Isa 25:7; in Isa 28:20 rendered "covering"). The word denotes something spread out and covering or concealing something else (compare Co2 3:13). (3.) Masveh (Exo 34:33, Exo 34:35), the veil on the face of Moses. This verse should be read, "And when Moses had done speaking with them, he put a veil on his face," as in the Revised Version. When Moses spoke to them he was without the veil; only when he ceased speaking he put on the veil (compare Co2 3:13, etc.). (4.) Paroheth (Exo 26:31), the veil of the tabernacle and the temple, which hung between the holy place and the most holy (Ch2 3:14). In the temple a partition wall separated these two places. In it were two folding-doors, which are supposed to have been always open, the entrance being concealed by the veil which the high priest lifted when he entered into the sanctuary on the day of Atonement. This veil was rent when Christ died on the cross (Mat 27:51; Mar 15:38; Luk 23:45). (5.) Tzaiph (Gen 24:65). Rebekah "took a vail and covered herself." (See also Gen 38:14, Gen 38:19.) Hebrew women generally appeared in public without veils (Gen 12:14; Gen 24:16; Gen 29:10; Sa1 1:12). (6.) Radhidh (Sol 5:7, R.V. "mantle;" Isa 3:23). The word probably denotes some kind of cloak or wrapper. (7.) Masak , the veil which hung before the entrance to the holy place (Exo 26:36, Exo 26:37).
Version A translation of the holy Scriptures. This word is not found in the Bible, nevertheless, as frequent references are made in this work to various ancient as well as modern versions, it is fitting that some brief account should be given of the most important of these. These versions are important helps to the right interpretation of the Word. (See SAMARITAN PENTATEUCH.) (1.) The Targums . After the return from the Captivity, the Jews, no longer familiar with the old Hebrew, required that their Scriptures should be translated for them into the Chaldaic or Aramaic language and interpreted. These translations and paraphrases were at first oral, but they were afterwards reduced to writing, and thus targums, i.e., "versions" or "translations", have come down to us. The chief of these are, (a.) The Onkelos Targum, i.e., the targum of Akelas = Aquila, a targum so called to give it greater popularity by comparing it with the Greek translation of Aquila mentioned below. This targum originated about the second century after Christ. (b.) The targum of Jonathan ben Uzziel comes next to that of Onkelos in respect of age and value. It is more a paraphrase on the Prophets, however, than a translation. Both of these targums issued from the Jewish school which then flourished at Babylon. (2.) The Greek Versions. (a.) The oldest of these is the Septuagint , usually quoted as the LXX. The origin of this the most important of all the versions is involved in much obscurity. It derives its name from the popular notion that seventy-two translators were employed on it by the direction of Ptolemy Philadelphus, king of Egypt, and that it was accomplished in seventy-two days, for the use of the Jews residing in that country. There is no historical warrant for this notion. It is, however, an established fact that this version was made at Alexandria; that it was begun about 280 B.C., and finished about 200 or 150 B.C.; that it was the work of a number of translators who differed greatly both in their knowledge of Hebrew and of Greek; and that from the earliest times it has borne the name of "The Septuagint", i.e., The Seventy. "This version, with all its defects, must be of the greatest interest, (a) as preserving evidence for the text far more ancient than the oldest Hebrew manuscripts; (b) as the means by which the Greek Language was wedded to Hebrew thought; (c) as the source of the great majority of quotations from the Old Testament by writers of the New Testament. (b.) The New Testament manuscripts fall into two divisions, Uncials, written in Greek capitals, with no distinction at all between the different words, and very little even between the different lines; and cursive, in small Greek letters, and with divisions of words and lines. The change between the two kinds of Greek writing took place about the tenth century. Only five manuscripts of the New Testament approaching to completeness are more ancient than this dividing date. The first, numbered A, is the Alexandrian manuscript. Though brought to this country by Cyril Lucar, patriarch of Constantinople, as a present to Charles I., it is believed that it was written, not in that capital, but in Alexandria; whence its title. It is now dated in the fifth century A.D. The second, known as B, is the Vatican manuscript. (See VATICANUS.) The Third, C, or the Ephraem manuscript, was so called because it was written over the writings of Ephraem, a Syrian theological author, a practice very common in the days when writing materials were scarce and dear. It is believed that it belongs to the fifth century, and perhaps a slightly earlier period of it than the manuscript A. The fourth, D, or the manuscript of Beza, was so called because it belonged to the reformer Beza, who found it in the monastery of St. Irenaeus at Lyons in A.D. 1562 It is imperfect, and is dated in the sixth century. The fifth (called Aleph) is the Sinaitic manuscript. (See SINAITICUS.) (c.) The Syriac Versions. (See SYRIAC.) (d.) The Latin Versions. A Latin version of the Scriptures, called the "Old Latin," which originated in North Africa, was in common use in the time of Tertullian (A.D. 150). Of this there appear to have been various copies or recensions made. That made in Italy, and called the Itala, was reckoned the most accurate. This translation of the Old Testament seems to have been made not from the original Hebrew but from the LXX. This version became greatly corrupted by repeated transcription, and to remedy the evil Jerome (A.D. 329-420) was requested by Damasus, the bishop of Rome, to undertake a complete revision of it. It met with opposition at first, but was at length, in the seventh century, recognized as the "Vulgate" version. It appeared in a printed from about A.D. 1455, the first book that ever issued from the press. The Council of Trent (1546) declared it "authentic." It subsequently underwent various revisions, but that which was executed (1592) under the sanction of Pope Clement VIII. was adopted as the basis of all subsequent editions. It is regarded as the sacred original in the Roman Catholic Church. All modern European versions have been more or less influenced by the Vulgate. This version reads ipsa instead of ipse in Gen 3:15, "She shall bruise thy head." (e.) There are several other ancient versions which are of importance for Biblical critics, but which we need not mention particularly, such as the Ethiopic, in the fourth century, from the LXX.; two Egyptian versions, about the fourth century, the Memphitic, circulated in Lower Egypt, and the Thebaic, designed for Upper Egypt, both from the Greek; the Gothic, written in the German language, but with the Greek alphabet, by Ulphilas (died A.D. 388), of which only fragments of the Old Testament remain; the Armenian, about A.D. 400; and the Slavonic, in the ninth century, for ancient Moravia. Other ancient versions, as the Arabic, the Persian, and the Anglo-Saxon, may be mentioned. (f.) The history of the English versions begins properly with Wyckliffe. Portions, however, of the Scriptures were rendered into Saxon (as the Gospel according to John, by Bede, A.D. 735), and also into English (by Orme, called the "Ormulum," a portion of the Gospels and of the Acts in the form of a metrical paraphrase, toward the close of the seventh century), long before Wyckliffe; but it is to him that the honour belongs of having first rendered the whole Bible into English (A.D. 1380). This version was made from the Vulgate, and renders Gen 3:15 after that Version, "She shall trede thy head." This was followed by Tyndale's translation (1525-1531); Miles Coverdale's (1535-1553); Thomas Matthew's (1537), really, however, the work of John Rogers, the first martyr under the reign of Queen Mary. This was properly the first Authorized Version, Henry VIII. having ordered a copy of it to be got for every church. This took place in less than a year after Tyndale was martyred for the crime of translating the Scriptures. In 1539 Richard Taverner published a revised edition of Matthew's Bible. The Great Bible, so called from its great size, called also Cranmer's Bible, was published in 1539 and 1568. In the strict sense, the "Great Bible" is "the only authorized version; for the Bishops' Bible and the present Bible [the A.V.] never had the formal sanction of royal authority." Next in order was the Geneva version (1557-1560); the Bishops' Bible (1568); the Rheims and Douai versions, under Roman Catholic auspices (1582, 1609); the Authorized Version (1611); and the Revised Version of the New Testament in 1880 and of the Old Testament in 1884.
Villages (Jdg 5:7, Jdg 5:11). The Hebrew word thus rendered (perazon) means habitations in the open country, unwalled villages (Deu 3:5; Sa1 6:18). Others, however, following the LXX. and the Vulgate versions, render the word "rulers."
Vine One of the most important products of Palestine. The first mention of it is in the history of Noah (Gen 9:20). It is afterwards frequently noticed both in the Old and New Testaments, and in the ruins of terraced vineyards there are evidences that it was extensively cultivated by the Jews. It was cultivated in Palestine before the Israelites took possession of it. The men sent out by Moses brought with them from the Valley of Eshcol a cluster of grapes so large that "they bare it between two upon a staff" (Num 13:23). The vineyards of En-gedi (Sol 1:14), Heshbon, Sibmah, Jazer, Elealeh (Isa 16:8; Jer 48:32, Jer 48:34), and Helbon (Eze 27:18), as well as of Eshcol, were celebrated. The Church is compared to a vine (Psa 80:8), and Christ says of himself, "I am the vine" (Joh 15:1). In one of his parables also (Mat 21:33) our Lord compares his Church to a vineyard which "a certain householder planted, and hedged round about," etc.). Hos 10:1 is rendered in the Revised Version, "Israel is a luxuriant vine, which putteth forth his fruit," instead of "Israel is an empty vine, he bringeth forth fruit unto himself," of the Authorized Version.
Vine of Sodom Referred to only in Deu 32:32. Among the many conjectures as to this tree, the most probable is that it is the 'osher of the Arabs, which abounds in the region of the Dead Sea. Its fruit are the so-called. "apples of Sodom," which, though beautiful to the eye, are exceedingly bitter to the taste. (See EN-GEDI.) The people of Israel are referred to here by Moses as being utterly corrupt, bringing forth only bitter fruit.
Vinegar Heb. hometz , Gr. oxos , Fr. vin aigre ; i.e., "sour wine." The Hebrew word is rendered vinegar in Psa 69:21, a prophecy fulfilled in the history of the crucifixion (Mat 27:34). This was the common sour wine ( posea ) daily made use of by the Roman soldiers. They gave it to Christ, not in derision, but from compassion, to assuage his thirst. Pro 10:26 shows that there was also a stronger vinegar, which was not fit for drinking. The comparison, "vinegar upon nitre ," probably means "vinegar upon soda" (as in the marg. of the R.V.), which then effervesces.
Viol Heb. nebel (Isa 5:12, R.V., "lute;" Isa 14:11), a musical instrument, usually rendered "psaltery" (q.v.)
Viper In Job 20:16, Isa 30:6; Isa 59:5, the Heb. word eph'eh is thus rendered. The Hebrew word, however, probably denotes a species of poisonous serpents known by the Arabic name of 'el ephah . Tristram has identified it with the sand viper, a species of small size common in sandy regions, and frequently found under stones by the shores of the Dead Sea. It is rapid in its movements, and highly poisonous. In the New Testament echidne is used (Mat 3:7; Mat 12:34; Mat 23:33) for any poisonous snake. The viper mentioned in Act 28:3 was probably the vipera aspis, or the Mediterranean viper. (See ADDER.)
Virgin In a prophecy concerning our Lord, Isaiah (Isa 7:14) says, "A virgin [R.V. marg., 'the virgin'] shall conceive, and bear a son" (compare Luk 1:31). The people of the land of Zidon are thus referred to by Isaiah (Isa 23:12), "O thou oppressed virgin, daughter of Zidon;" and of the people of Israel, Jeremiah (Jer 18:13) says, "The virgin of Israel hath done a very horrible thing."