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Reference: Magnificat


The hymn Magnificat (Lu 1:46-55) has been well described as 'something more than a psalm, and something less than a complete Christian hymn' (Liddon). It is the poem of one who felt nearer to the fulfilment of the promises than any writer of the OT. But no Evangelist of the NT could have failed to speak of Christ by His human name, writing after His Death and Resurrection.

In the TR the hymn is ascribed to the Virgin Mary, but there is a variant reading 'Elisabeth' which demands some explanation. 'Mary' is the reading of all the Greek MSS, of the great majority of Latin MSS, and of many Early Fathers as far back as Tertullian (2nd cent.). On the other hand, three Old Latin MSS (cod. Vercellensis, cod. Veronensis, cod. Rhedigeranus-Vratislaviensis) have 'Elisabeth.' This reading was known to Origen (Hom. 5 on Lu 5), unless his translator Jerome interpolated the reference. Niceta of Remesiana (fl. c. 400) quoted it in his treatise 'On the good of Psalmody.' We can trace it back to the 3rd cent in the translation of Iren

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