Category Archives: Commentary

John 3:34 Translation Issues

John 3:34- 
ὃν γὰρ ἀπέστειλεν ὁ θεὸς τὰ ῥήματα τοῦ θεοῦ λαλεῖ, οὐ γὰρ ἐκ μέτρου δίδωσιν τὸ πνεῦμα.”
For he whom God has sent speaks the words of God; because to him God gives the Spirit without measure.”

 txt το πνευμα 𝔓³⁶ 𝔓⁶⁶ 𝔓⁷⁵ 𝔓⁸⁰ ℵ B¹ C* L Wsupp 083 it-b,e,fc,l Or-grk Cyr Vict-Pett½ SBL TH NA28 {B} ο θεος το πνευμα A C² D E 047 086 𝔐 it-a,aur,(d),f*,j,π,q,r¹ (itff² του θεου) vg syr-p,h cop arm eth geo Or-lat Did-dub Chrys Vict-Pett½ Greg-Elvvid Jer Aug TR RP ο πατηρ τω υιω αυτου syr-c,Diatess-Eph  ο θεος ο πατηρ syrs  omit B* lac Ν P Q T 0233

The Bible translator confronts two questions here: (1) whether to include ο θεος “God” or not; and (2), whether the verb δίδωσιν has an implied direct object, i.e., the person who is the subject being discussed, “he whom God has sent,” the Son.

On the first question, we cannot tell which text the translations are following, since they could have, like I did, even though following the Greek text not containing ο θεος, felt a need to clarify who was doing the giving, and added the word “God” anyway.  Note in the critical apparatus that indeed the Curetonian Syriac and the Diatessaron supplied τω υιω αυτου, “to his Son.”  That does not mean that their Greek exemplar contained those words.)

Following are he translations which we presume follow the UBS/NA text, which nevertheless supply the word “God” for clarification:

Weym   for God does not give the Spirit with limitations.”
CBW      for God continues to give Him the Spirit without measure.
AMP      for God gives the [gift of the] Spirit without measure [generously and boundlessly]!
CEB        because God gives the Spirit generously.
CJB         For God does not give him the Spirit in limited degree —
ERV        God gives him the Spirit fully.
EHV?     for God gives the Spirit without measure.
GW        After all, God gives him the Spirit without limit.
GNT       because God gives him the fullness of his Spirit.
ICB         . God gives him the Spirit fully.
ISV         because God does not give the Spirit in limited measure to him.
MOUNCE    for God does not give the Spirit in a limited measure.
NCB       for God gives him the Spirit without measure.
NCV       because God gives him the Spirit fully.
NIV        for God gives the Spirit without limit.
NLT        for God gives him the Spirit without limit.

On the 2nd question, whether a direct object is implied as to whom the Spirit is given without measure, the following translations supply “him” or some other stand-in for the Son:

CBW      for God continues to give Him the Spirit without measure.
Bishops       For God geueth not the spirite by measure vnto hym.
CJB         For God does not give him the Spirit in limited degree —
CEV        and he has been given the full power of God’s Spirit.
DLNT     For He does not give Him the Spirit from a measure.
ERV        God gives him the Spirit fully.
Genev  for God giveth him not the Spirit by measure.
GW        After all, God gives him the Spirit without limit.
GNT       because God gives him the fullness of his Spirit.
ICB         God gives him the Spirit fully.
ISV         because God does not give the Spirit in limited measure to him.
PHILLIPS    and there can be no measuring of the Spirit given to him!
KJV         for God giveth not the Spirit by measure unto him.
NCB       for God gives him the Spirit without measure.
NCV       because God gives him the Spirit fully.
NLT        for God gives him the Spirit without limit.

And those which do not supply an object:

Weym   for God does not give the Spirit with limitations.”
AMP      for God gives the [gift of the] Spirit without measure [generously and boundlessly]!
Tyndale     For God geveth not the sprete by measure.
ASV        for he giveth not the Spirit by measure.
CSB        since he gives the Spirit without measure.
CEB        because God gives the Spirit generously.
EHV        for God gives the Spirit without measure.
ESV        for he gives the Spirit without measure.
HCSB     since He gives the Spirit without measure.
MOUNCE    for God does not give the Spirit in a limited measure.
NAB       He does not ration his gift of the Spirit.
NASB95     for He gives the Spirit without measure.
NET        for he does not give the Spirit sparingly.
NIV        for God gives the Spirit without limit.
NKJV     for God does not give the Spirit by measure.
NRSV     for he gives the Spirit without measure.
RSV        for it is not by measure that he gives the Spirit;

Now a conclusion I make about which was the true early Greek text, is that it was the reading without ο θεος, as in the 3rd centruy 𝔓⁸⁰, and that the Byzantine text, coming out of Syria, had to acknowledge the prior popularity of all the Syriac language translations that were already popular, including the Diatessaron which was more popular than the individual Greek gospels.  The Syriac translators I say, supplied “God” or “the Father” for clarification just as many modern translations do even though their translations were based on a Greek source text that doid not include ο θεος.  Fortunately, the addition of ο θεος in the text does no harm, since that is who is doing the giving clearly from context.

1 Timothy 3 Verse 16

There is a famous Greek textual variant in 1 Timothy 3:16, where the “critical text,” SBL TH NA28 reads

 Ὃς ἐφανερώθη ἐν σαρκί  “Who/he was manifested in the flesh.” (relative pronoun)

and the “majority text,” TR RP reads

θεὸϛ ἐφανερώθη ἐν σαρκί  “God was manifested in the flesh.”

The difference originally in the most ancient manuscripts was much less clear in appearance.  Because there was a custom of contracting or abbreviating sacred names and concepts, by shortening them to fewer letters and putting a line over the whole group of letters, as can be seen in the correction in Codex Claromontanus (D- 06).  (These contractions were called “Nomina Sacra” or NS for short.)  Observe that the two-letter NS for God ΘΕΟC, which is just ΘC with a line over it, as seen in the correction of Codex Claromontanus, looks very similar to the relative pronoun OC in Codex Sinaiticus.  Note that Sinaiticus did not have an overline originally, and a late third hand made a correction toward the majority text.

What could have contributed to the problem is that scribes such as the one for Codex A used a caligraphy type pen tip, which was wide in a down stroke and very thin in a horizontal stroke. Thus the cross-bar in the capital letter Theta, Θ, could be very faint and therefore look like a capital Omicron, Ο.

Codex Claromontanus (D – 06) below:

Codex Sinaiticus (01) below:

Codex Alexandrinus (02) below:

Pericope of the Adulteress

In the Pericope of the Adulteress, John 8:6 has the most significant and interesting variant in the passage.  In the part where Jesus bends down and writes in the ground, about half of the majority text manuscripts add the words μη προσποιουμενος, see below.

εις την γην D Μ S U Γ Λ Ω 047 0233 2c 7 8 9 28 65c 115sup 118 700 892 1049 1071 1203 1216 1243 1514 2722 lat TR-Eras,Beza,Elz,Steph AN HF BG [NA28]

εις την γην       προσποιουμενος 1194

εις την γην μη προσποιουμενος E G H K 2* 18 27 35 65* 346 475 532 579 682 1212 1505 1519 2561-mg 2253 2907 geo-mss TR-Scriv RP

  lac  F P Q V Π

The John 8:6 passage it translated into English like this: “But Jesus bent down and was writing in the earth with his finger, taking no notice.”

But what was Jesus writing?  Messianic Rabbi Zev Porat (and Jerome before him) has a good answer to this.

Just prior to this in John 7:38, Jesus had declared himself to be the fountain of living waters.  And now that the Jewish leaders had turned away from that fountain, Jeremiah 17:13 was being fulfilled in two ways: they were put to shame, and their names were being written in the earth. Jeremiah 17:13 says, “Thou hope of Israel, Yahweh! All that forsake Thee shall be ashamed; they that turn away from Thee shall be written in the earth, because they have forsaken Yahweh, the fountain of living waters.”

This is in contrast to those who believe in the Son of God and are born again.  Their names are written in heaven, not in the earth which will be destroyed.  Luke 10:20; Hebrews 12:23; Phil 4:3; Rev. 13:8; 17:8;20:12,15; 21:27; Psalm 69:28.

The above material can be read in my translation of the gospel of John, in PDF and in Print, and in Kindle.

Angels, Messengers, Priests

We can make angels happy or offended.  Translations compared.

Luke 15:10
“In just the same way, I tell you, rejoicing breaks out among the angels of God over one sinner repenting.”

1 Corinthians 11:10
“for this cause ought the woman to have a sign of authority on her head, because of the angels.”

Ecclesiastes 5:6
“Suffer not thy mouth to cause thy flesh to sin; neither say thou before the angel, that it was an error: wherefore should God be angry at thy voice, and destroy the work of thy hands?”

Daniel 4:17
“The sentence is by the decree of the watchers, and the demand by the word of the holy ones; to the intent that the living may know that the Most High rules in the kingdom of men, and gives it to whomsoever he will, and sets up over it the lowest of men.”

ECCLESIASTES 5:6

ASV
Suffer not thy mouth to cause thy flesh to sin; neither say thou before the angel, that it was an error: wherefore should God be angry at thy voice, and destroy the work of thy hands?

ISV
Never let your mouth cause you to sin and don’t proclaim in the presence of the angel, “My promise was a mistake,” for why should God be angry at your excuse and destroy what you’ve undertaken?

KJV
Suffer not thy mouth to cause thy flesh to sin; neither say thou before the angel, that it was an error: wherefore should God be angry at thy voice, and destroy the work of thine hands?

CSB
Do not let your mouth bring guilt on you, and do not say in the presence of the messenger that it was a mistake. Why should God be angry with your words and destroy the work of your hands?

CEB
Don’t let your mouth make a sinner of you, and don’t say to the messenger: “It was a mistake!” Otherwise, God may become angry at such talk and destroy what you have accomplished.

ESV
Let not your mouth lead you into sin, and do not say before the messenger that it was a mistake. Why should God be angry at your voice and destroy the work of your hands?

GW
Don’t let your mouth talk you into committing a sin. Don’t say in the presence of a ⌞temple⌟ messenger, “My promise was a mistake!” Why should God become angry at your excuse and destroy what you’ve accomplished?

HCSB
Do not let your mouth bring guilt on you, and do not say in the presence of the messenger that it was a mistake. Why should God be angry with your words and destroy the work of your hands?

NASB1995
Do not let your speech cause you to sin and do not say in the presence of the messenger of God that it was a mistake. Why should God be angry on account of your voice and destroy the work of your hands?

NIV
Do not let your mouth lead you into sin. And do not protest to the temple messenger, “My vow was a mistake.” Why should God be angry at what you say and destroy the work of your hands?

NLT
Don’t let your mouth make you sin. And don’t defend yourself by telling the Temple messenger that the promise you made was a mistake. That would make God angry, and he might wipe out everything you have achieved.

NRSVA
Do not let your mouth lead you into sin, and do not say before the messenger that it was a mistake; why should God be angry at your words, and destroy the work of your hands?

OJB
Suffer not thy mouth to lead thy basar into chet (sin); neither say thou before the Malach [of G-d], that it was a mistake. Wherefore should HaElohim be angry at thy voice, and destroy the work of thine hands?

RSV
Let not your mouth lead you into sin, and do not say before the messenger that it was a mistake; why should God be angry at your voice, and destroy the work of your hands?

NET
Do not let your mouth cause you to sin, and do not tell the priest, “It was a mistake!” Why make God angry at you so that he would destroy the work of your hands?

1 Corinthians 11:10

ASV
for this cause ought the woman to have a sign of authority on her head, because of the angels.

AMP
Therefore the woman ought to have a sign of authority on her head, for the sake of the angels [so as not to offend them].

CSB
This is why a woman should have a symbol of authority on her head, because of the angels.

ESV
That is why a wife ought to have a symbol of authority on her head, because of the angels.

HCSB
This is why a woman should have a symbol of authority on her head, because of the angels.

MOUNCE
For this reason a woman ought to have a sign of authority on her head, because of the angels.

NABRE
for this reason a woman should have a sign of authority on her head, because of the angels.

NASB1995
Therefore the woman ought to have a symbol of authority on her head, because of the angels.

NET
For this reason a woman should have a symbol of authority on her head, because of the angels.

NKJV
For this reason the woman ought to have a symbol of authority on her head, because of the angels.

NRSVA
For this reason a woman ought to have a symbol of authority on her head, because of the angels.

CJB
The reason a woman should show by veiling her head that she is under authority has to do with the angels.

CEV
And so, because of this, and also because of the angels, a woman ought to wear something on her head, as a sign of her authority.

ERV
So that is why a woman should have her head covered with something that shows she is under authority. Also, she should do this because of the angels.

GW
Therefore, a woman should wear something on her head to show she is under ⌞someone’s⌟ authority, out of respect for the angels.

GNT
On account of the angels, then, a woman should have a covering over her head to show that she is under her husband’s authority.

PHILLIPS
For this reason a woman ought to bear on her head an outward sign of man’s authority for all the angels to see.

KJV
For this cause ought the woman to have power on her head because of the angels.

NLT
For this reason, and because the angels are watching, a woman should wear a covering on her head to show she is under authority.

RSV
That is why a woman ought to have a veil on her head, because of the angels.

CEB
Because of this a woman should have authority over her head, because of the angels.

ISV
This is why a woman should have authority over her own head: because of the angels.

NIV
It is for this reason that a woman ought to have authority over her own head, because of the angels.

Hoskier and Ligatures

EDIT: My next post updates this one, as I was mistaken in this post. But I will leave it for the images and information / illustration of the difficulties of reading New Testament Greek Ligatures.

As I posted before, I am currently busy updating and improving the footnotes to my translation of the Revelation of John, “The Apocalypse of John.” One of the ways I am expanding the footnotes, is specifying which Vulgate manuscripts (not just editions) support what reading. Also, where the Textus Receptus is divided, specifying which editions read what.

In this process, I have found several places in which I disagree with H. C. Hoskier’s collation of the TR editions. I do not know if he was relying on someone else’s collations, or if he looked at the original documents themselves. But the problem lies in understanding the ligatures for letter combinations that are used in Greek cursive manuscripts, including the Greek New Testament editions made by Erasmus, Beza, Elzevir, and Stephens. Now, I possess PDF copies of the original cursive manuscripts of the following “Textus Receptus” editions. All 5 Erasmus editions, the 1550 Stephanus edition, the 1598 Beza edition, the 1624 Elzevir edition, plus the Complutensian Polyglot (1514).

Revelation 17:8 variant- καιπερ εστιν

There is a famous textual variant in Revelation chapter 17 verse 8 where the Textus Receptus disagrees with all Greek manuscripts and reads καιπερ εστιν. However, I found that I disagree with Hoskier regarding the readings of Erasmus’ editions 1, 3 and 4, as follows.

First, a snip showing what Hoskier says:

Erasmus Ed. 1 (1516): Hoskier says και περ is two words, I say one:

Erasmus Ed. 3 (1522) very clearly reads καί παρ, not καί περ:

Erasmus Ed. 4 (1527) very clearly reads καί παρ, not καί περ:

See here the difference- Erasmus Ed. 5 (1535) shows the ligature for περ:

I still offer my chart of Greek cursive ligatures for free (also thanks go to Vernon Eugene Kooy, PhD for his font). These above images and data are now included in my Revelation pdf, downloadable for free.

Armageddon

The word Armageddon is found only once in the Bible, in Revelation 16:16.  “And He gathered them together at the place called in Hebrew Harmagedōn.”

There is a great variety of spellings of the word in the Greek and Latin manuscripts of the New Testament.  But there are two main divisions of the spellings: those with just Magedon, and those with the AR in front.

The earliest Greek manuscripts have αρμαγεδων.  Here is the image snipped from Codex Alexandrinus (Codex A), 5th century:

The Greek New Testament editions read as follows:

Ἁρμαγεδών  Antoniades, Robinson-Pierpont, SBL, and NA28

Ἀρμαγεδών  BG (Byzantine Greek), and TH (Tyndale House)

Ἀρμαγεδδών  TR (Textus Receptus)

The difference between the first two spellings is the “breathing mark” in front of or above the initial vowel.  The first one has a backwards apostrophe, and that is the “h” sound in Greek, so Harmagedon.”  The second and third spellings have a regular-facing apostrophe and so that has no “h” sound, thus Armagedon.

John tells us that it is a Hebrew name, so the Har would be Hebrew for mountain, and Magedō would be the place called Megiddo, mentioned in 2 Chronicles 35:22 and Judges 1:27.  So “Mountain of Megiddō.”  This was a frequent battleground because of a strategic pass and the Megiddo plain below. You can download here the book of Revelation with a fuller accounting of the readings in the Greek manuscripts.

Lilith?

Here are 50 Bible versions’ rendering of Isaiah 34:14

KJ21 the satyr; the screech owl
ASV the wild goat; the night-monster
AMP the hairy goat; Lilith (night demon)
AMPC the [shaggy] wild goat; the night monster
Bishops the wylde: the Lamia
Brenton satyrs: satyrs
BRG the satyr; the screech owl
HCSB wild goat. the screech owl
CSB wild goat. the night birds
CEB the goat demon, Lilith
CJB billy-goats; Lilit [the night monster]
CEV demons, creatures of the night
DARBY the wild goat; the lilith
DRA the hairy ones, the lamia
ERV Wild goats. Night animals
EHV wild goats. Creatures of the night
EXB wild goats. Night animals
Geneva the Satyr, the screech owl
GW Male goats. Screech owls
GNT demons. The night monster
ICB wild goats. Night animals
ISV goat-demons. Liliths
JUB the satyr; the screech owl
KJV the satyr; the screech owl
AKJV the satyr; the screech owl
LSB The hairy goat; the night creature
LEB a goat-demon; Lilith
MEV the wild goat; the screech owl
NOG Male goats. Screech owls
NAB satyrs; the lilith
NASB The goat. the night-bird
NASB95 The hairy goat; the night monster
NCB wild goats, the nightjar
NCV wild goats. Night animals
NET wild goats. nocturnal animals
NIRV Wild goats. Night creatures
NIV wild goats; the night creatures
TNIV wild goats, the night creatures
NKJV the wild goat; the night creature
NLV The wild goats. the night-demon
NLT Wild goats, night creatures
OJB sa’ir (wild goat), lilit (night creature)
RSV the satyr; the night hag
NRSV goat-demons; Lilith
ESV the wild goat; the night bird
TLV the goat-demon— the night monster
VOICE demons, Lilith herself
WEB the wild goat. the night creature
WYC an hairy, Lamia
YLT the goat, the night-owl

Revelation 21:6 Theory

“they are accomplished I am”

a. γεγοναν εγω ειμι A 1678 1778 TH NA28 [ειμι] {\}

b. γεγοναν εγω ℵ²a SBL

c. γεγονασιν εγω ειμι 254 469 1006 1841 2020 2053 2062 2065 2078 2080 2436

“it is accomplished I am”

d. γεγονεν εγω ειμι 2087? TR AN

“it is accomplished” ?!

e. γεγονεν 149 368 386 1948 2021 2025 2028 2029 2033 2044 2054 2068 2069? 2083 2305 2349

‘I am become I am”

f. γεγονα εγω ειμι 2060 cop-sa 

“I am / I am become”

g. γεγωνα 2196

h.  εγω ειμι Beat Ps-Ambr

i. εγω ℵ²b syr-h-mss ?

j. γεγωνα εγω 181 616 680 2030 2082 syr-h-mss ?

k. γεγονα εγω ℵ* P 046 051S 35* 42 91 104 172 175 203 205 205 209 241 242 250 367 424 506 617 632mg? 664 699 792 922 1094 1384 1611 1732 1854 1862 1876 1888 1934 2014 2016 2017 2018 2026 2031 2034 2036 2037 2038 2042 2043 2045 2046 2047 2050 2056 2057 2058 2070 2073 2074 2075 2076 2077 2079 2081c 2084 2254 2258 2286 2329 2595 syr-h 

l. γεγονα 18 35c 61 82 93 110 141 177 180 325 336 337 367 385 429 432 452 456 467 498 517 522 582 620 627 632* 743 757 808 824 920 935S 986? 1072 1075 1248 1328 1352² 1503 1551 1597 1617 1637 1704 1719 1728 1733 1734 1745 1746 1771 1849 1852 1859 1864 1865 1893 1894 1918? 1957 2004 2023 2024 2027 2035 2039 2041 2048 2051 2055 2061 2064 2067 2071 2081* 2138 2186 2814 2821 HF BG RP

m. γεγοναι 2059

lacunose C 052 69 88 94 218 256 314 459 468 628 911? 919 1626 1740 1774 1828 1955 2015 2019 2022 2032 2052 2302 2040 2200 2256 2351

I am lately inclined to think as follows.  The k or l variant was original, but copyists not fluent in LXX or Koine Greek took its meaning by lexical glosses only, as “I am become the Alpha and Omega.”  This seemed doctrinally incorrect, since Jesus had always been the Alpha and Omega, not become just now.  (The expression “I am become” is very common in the Old Testament. And the NT authors, including John, frequently used the verb γινομαι as merely “to be.”)  So, thinking the “become” idea must more sensibly apply to the previous statement of Jesus’ words, “These words are trustworthy and true,” they thought this phrase was referring to that, that those words are “accomplished” now.  Then they had to add the words εγω, “I,” or εγω ειμι, “I am,” to apply to the following Alpha and Omega.

This is a note in my PDF of the Apocalypse of John, freely downloadable.