In preparation for his work Bengel was able to avail himself of the collations of upwards of twenty MSS., none of them, however, of great importance, twelve of which had been collated by himself.
He had at hand a few late Basel MSS., one of which he sent straight to press, correcting them in places by collations of others which had been sent to him by Colet in England.
His two first editions (1546, 1549) were based on Erasmus, the Complutensian, and collations of fifteen Greek MSS.
The collations were made for him by Archbishop Ussher.
It gives the text of Stephanus (1550) with collations of 78 MSS., besides those of Stephanus, the readings of the Old Latin, so far as was then known, the Vulgate and Peshito, together with full and valuable prolegomena.
For the second edition he had the advantage not merely his own collection of material (published chiefly in his Symbolae Criticae, but also of many collations by Birch, Matthaei and Adler, and an edition with new collations by F.
In the latter case what we have are not "collations," for the art of collation was not understood till the 10th century, but selections or "excerpts" of readings which we have reason to fear are often imperfect and erroneous.
He used Wheloc's edition, and E, with collations or transcripts of B and F.