Singular Reading in GA992

Singular (or rather in this case, rare) readings are fun. John 8:8-9 says Jesus said “Let him who is without sin cast the first stone,” then bent down again and was writing in the earth. Then after that all the manuscripts say “when they heard Οι δε ακουσαντες. Except 992 and 20 other manuscripts, which say “when they read” what he wrote.

If your brother sins

Matthew 18:15-17
¹⁵Now if your brother sins, go show him his fault, just between you and him.  If he listens to you, you have won back your brother.  ¹⁶But if he does not listen, take with you one or two others, so that ‘upon the mouths of two or three witnesses every matter be established.’  ¹⁷And if he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the assembly.  And if he refuses to listen to the assembly, he should be regarded by you no differently than a gentile or a revenue agent.”

I agree with the UBS textual commentary that the phrase “against you” [if your brother sins against you] might have been added in order to harmonize this verse with the “against me” of v. 21 shortly thereafter where Peter asks, “How many times shall my brother sin against me and I forgive him?”

Peter was thinking of himself, but Jesus was thinking of the whole church and church discipline.

In my opinion, when it comes to variants in the Greek text of the New Testament, this is one of the most damaging, the longer reading containing “against you,” is damaging. Here is the practical situation.  A brother is reported to have sinned, or be sinning.  But not sinning against anyone in particular in that community.  So no one goes and confronts him about it, because it was not involving them.  The result is gossip, and then inflating of the original rumor, and even ultimately progressing to people “bearing false witness against their neighbor.” I know very well this scenario personally, because there are rumors about me sinning which are false rumors, but no one has come to me to talk to me about it. The rumor just keeps spreading, and takes on the appearance of truth since so many people have heard it.

Does anyone in that scenario want to “win back your brother”?  If you have Christian love for your brother, you will go to him and talk to him about it, even if he did not sin against you in particular, because if the rumor is true, you want him to be restored.  And if the rumor is not true, you do not want people spreading untrue things about your brother. This may not be scientific textual criticism, but I believe for practical and doctrinal and ecclesiological reasons that the shorter reading must be correct.

This is a very important, and very wonderful passage in the Bible, if applied correctly. Because it nips in the bud the problem of gossip. If you cannot get one or two others to agree to be witnesses with you against this brother regarding the accusation, then the accusation is probably not true. And if you do get someone to go with you, and you confront the brother, and he asks, when and were did you see me do this sin, and neither you nor your witnesses can answer that question, then that is another indication that the rumor is false. You have just been believing a rumor, started perhaps by some jealous person who has a personal problem with the accused. Then after finding that out, you have an obligation to rebuke anyone whom you hear repeating the false rumor.

You can download my translation of the Gospel of Matthew here.

Acitivities October 2023

These are the activities of David Robert Palmer in October 2023:

  1. I am updating, and adding more manuscripts to my chart of the manuscript readings for the Pericope Adulterae, in the style of Swanson. Then the plan is to add it to my 2nd edition of the Gospel of John. In addition to soon publishing a Second Edition of my eclectic-text based Gospel of John, I am composing a Robinson-Pierpont edition, which will also include the PA chart. You can download the PA chart by itself still, at this link:
  2. On the side I am casually making a harmony of five translations of the Book of Enoch, blending the translations of Richard Laurence, R.H. Charles, M. Knibb, George Schodde, and Matthew Black, plus consulting two Greek manuscripts myself. If you like you can download that file now, and keep checking back for updates:

Definite Article as Possessive Pronoun

In ancient Greek, the definite article could serve as a possessive pronoun if the context so indicated. A very common variant in the Greek manuscripts underlying the New Testament is places where some manuscripts have a possessive pronoun and some have only the definite article. And usually, the early translations translating the passage would supply a possessive pronoun in their target language, even when their Greek manuscript source text did not have one.

John 19:26

ESV: When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to his mother, “Woman, behold, your son!”
NKJV: When Jesus therefore saw His mother, and the disciple whom He loved standing by, He said to His mother, “Woman, behold your son!”

txt τη μητρι𝔓⁶⁶ 𝔓¹²¹vid ℵ B L W it-b,e SBL TH NA28 {\} τη μητρι αυτου A DS E N 054 𝔐 lat syr TR RP lac 𝔓⁶⁰ C D 065.  Here is the entire verse 26 from the Robinson-Pierpont majority text:  Ἰησοῦς οὖν ἰδὼν τὴν μητέρα, καὶ τὸν μαθητὴν παρεστῶτα ὃν ἠγάπα, λέγει τῇ μητρὶ αὐτοῦ, Γύναι, ἰδοὺ ὁ υἱός σου.  In ancient Greek the definite article, in this case τη, could serve as a possessive pronoun if the context so indicated.  The addition of the possessive pronoun αυτου, “his,” was not necessary.  All you need to do is look at the beginning of this same verse, where all Greek manuscripts have only την μητερα, the definite article with “mother” and no possessive pronoun present, yet ALL English translations supply the word “his” there.  It is a very common textual variant in the Greek New Testament for Greek manuscripts to add a possessive pronoun like this.  But this need not even be footnoted, as the presence or absence of the possessive pronoun makes no difference in how you would translate it.

Here are some other instances where the Greek texts vary on the presence or absence of the possessive pronoun.  And observe that the English translations all supply an English possessive pronoun no matter which Greek text they translate from:

John 6:52
NKJV: The Jews therefore quarreled among themselves, saying, “How can this Man give us His flesh to eat?”

txt omit 𝔓⁷⁵vid ℵ C D E G H K L M S U W Y Γ Δ Θ Λ Π Ψ Ω 047 0141 0211 ƒ¹ ƒ¹³ 2 28 33 157 180 205 397 565 579 700 1006 1010 1071 1241 1292 1342 1505 l844 l2211 𝔐 Lect it-d,ff² goth Orgr Cyr½ TR RP TH αυτου 𝔓⁶⁶ B T 597 892 1243 1424 l253 (l1016) it-a,aur,b,c,e,f,j,q,r¹ vg syr-c,s,p,h,pal cop-sa,pbo,bo,ach² arm eth geo slav Or-lat Macarius/Symeon Chrys Cyr½ SBL [NA28] {C} lac A F N P Q V X 091 0233

John 18:11
ESV: So Jesus said to Peter, “Put your sword into its sheath; shall I not drink the cup that the Father has given me?”
EMTV: So Jesus said to Peter, “Put your sword into its sheath; shall I not drink the cup that the Father has given me?”

txt την μαχαιραν 𝔓⁶⁰ 𝔓⁶⁶ ℵ A B C D E L N W 047 054 𝔐 lat syr RP SBL TH NA28 {\} την μαχαιραν σου vg-cl Cyr Or TR ‖ lac 𝔓⁷⁵ 𝔓¹⁰⁸.  Almost all the English translations which translate the RP / NA28 text read “your sword.”  (Not ASV, NASB)

John 5:10b
NKJV: The Jews therefore said to him who was cured, “It is the Sabbath; it is not lawful for you to carry your bed.”

txt σου 𝔓⁶⁶ 𝔓⁷⁵ ℵ C* D L N Ws Θ Λ Π Ψ 0211 0233 ƒ¹³ 69 579 892 1071 1241 lat syr cop arm SBL NA28 {/} omit A B C³ E F G H K M S U V Xsupp Y Γ Δ Ω 047 063 0141 ƒ¹ 2 28 124 157 397 565 700 1424 𝔐 it-e,δ TR RP TH ‖ lac 𝔓⁴⁵ P Q T Xtxt 070 078 33 346 788

Matthew 15:2a χειρας αυτων C D E L N P W Σ Φ 𝔐 lat syr TR RP SBL ΤH NA28 [αυτων] {\} ‖ χειρας ℵ B 073 it-f,g¹ arm Or Cyr Chr ‖ lac A Z 0233 0281.

Matthew 23:5b txt τα κρασπεδα ℵ B D cop-sa,mae¹ eth? SBL TH NA28 {\} ‖ τα κρασπεδα αυτων itb vgmss copsa? eth ‖ τα κρασπεδα των ιματιων L ‖ τα κρασπεδα των ιματιων αυτων E O W Σ 0102 0107 it-f,ff²*,h,q syr arm Bas TR RP ‖ lac A C N P Z Φ 0233 0281.

Luke 23:2 txt το εθνος ημων 𝔓⁷⁵ ℵ B D L N T lat syr SBL TH NA28 {\} ‖ το εθνος A E W 𝔐 it-a,r¹ MarcionE TR RP ‖ lac 𝔓⁴⁵ C P Q.

Mark 3:5a txt την χειρα B E Φ SBL NA28 {\} ‖ την χειρα σου ℵ A C D L P W Σ TR RP TH ‖ lac 𝔓⁴⁵ N 064 072.

Mark 14:46 txt τας χειρας αυτω ℵ² B D L it-(a,k),q syr SBL TH NA28 {\} ‖ τας χειρας αυτων ℵ* C W 0233 ‖ αυτω τας χειρας αυτων N Σ ‖ επ αυτον τας χειρας αυτων E Φ 𝔐 (lat) TR RP ‖ τας χειρας αυτων επ αυτον A ‖ lac 𝔓⁴⁵ P 083.

1 Peter 3:10b txt αυτου L P 049 0142 307 lat-s,v,t cop-sa,bo syr-p arm eth TR AN BG RP ‖ omit 𝔓⁷² 𝔓⁸¹vid ℵ A B C K Ψ 33 623 1175 1243 1735 1739 2464 2805 syr-h geo SBL TH NA28 ‖ lac 𝔓⁷⁴ 048 093 0206 0247 0285 ℓ1575.

2 Peter 2:20 f- κυρίου καὶ σωτῆρος Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ B K 049 307 2423 ps-oec it-z lat-v-mss TR AN BG RP SBL ECM2 TH NA28 ‖ a- κυρίου ἡμῶν καὶ σωτῆρος Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ 𝔓⁷² ℵ A C P Ψ 048vid 0142 5 33 623 1175 1243 1448 1735 1739 1852 2298 2464 lat-v,t syr-h arm (eth) geo slav pelag aug ECM1 ‖ b- κυρίου ἡμῶν Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ καὶ σωτῆρος (ἡμῶν) cop-sa syr-ph-mss ‖ c- κυρίου καὶ σωτῆρος ἡμῶν Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ 94 104 syr-ph-mss ‖ d- κυρίου καὶ σωτῆρος ὑμῶν Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ 1241 ‖ e- κυρίου ἡμῶν Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ L 459 anast-s copbo ‖ g- κυρίου Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ 6 2805 ‖ a/c copv ‖ e/g syrphmss ‖ lac 𝔓⁷⁴ 048 0156 0209 0247 665. 

1 John 3:21a txt ἡ καρδία ἡμῶν ℵ C K L 049 056 0142 18 81 88 104 181 326 330 424* 451 614 629 630 1175 1243 1292 1505c 1611 1844 1852 1877 1881 2138 2298 2412 2464 2492 𝔐 Lect it-ar,q,r,t,w,z vg-cl,ww syr-p,h Cllat Orpt Did TR AN BG RP NA28 {C} ‖ ἡ καρδία A B Ψ 33 322 323 424c 436 945 1067 1241 1409 1735 1739 2344 vg-st Orgr⅓,lat2/4 (Methodius); Aug½ SBL TH ‖ ἡ καρδία ὑμῶν 1505* pc ‖ lac 𝔓⁹ 𝔓⁷⁴ P 048 0245 0296.

The Book of Enoch- Laurence

I have typed up the first English translation that was made of the Book of Enoch, translated by Richard Laurence, LL.D., the Archbishop of Cashel. It is a PDF of about 1 gigabyte in size. I also made a printed edition of it on Amazon for $9.95, and a Kindle edition.

The return of the long lost Book of Enoch to the modern western world is credited to the famous explorer James Bruce, who in 1773 returned from six years in Abyssinia with three Ethiopic copies of the lost book.  In 1821 Richard Laurence published this, the first English translation, from the Ethiopic (Ge’ez) manuscript residing in the Bodleian Library at Oxford.  The version I have uploaded is an edition updated in 1883. The volume begins with an introduction, the author anonymous, only described as “the author of ‘The Evolution of Christianity.’ ”  The text of Enoch itself is footnoted where Mr. Laurence has not rendered the Ethiopic literally into English but supplies a literal rendering in the notes.  An anonymous editor has supplied additional notes not by Mr. Laurence, giving the opinions of M. Knibb and R. H. Charles and others.

Richard Laurence, LL.D. (13 May 1760 – 28 December 1838) was an English Hebrew scholar and Anglican churchman. He was made Regius Professor of Hebrew and canon of Christ Church, Oxford, in 1814, and Archbishop of Cashel, Ireland, in 1822. He died in Dublin in 1838.

Warning: the Introduction by the Anonymous author is rather modernistic and “Unitarian,” but it contains valuable and interesting information, including a table of passages in Enoch placed next to New Testament passages that were evidently influenced by them. Download the free PDF, or purchase the paperback edition or the Kindle Edition of the Book of Enoch.

Change of Rendering John 9:33

The verse John 9:33 has bothered me as long as I can remember.  In the King James Version it says:

“If this man were not of God, he could do nothing.”

The ESV, NIV, NRSV, NASB etc, all the mainstream translations say the same thing, or use the word “anything” rather than “nothing.”

This bothered me, because it is not true.  Men who are not from God CAN do something, including miracles.  For example, in Exodus 7:10-11, Pharaoh’s magicians turned a wooden staff into a snake.

The context of this verse, the verse immediately before this in John, is the man who was blind from birth, who after having been healed by Jesus, told the Pharisees, “Since time began, reports have not been heard that someone opened the eyes of one born blind.”

So first of all, the man is saying Jesus would not have been able to do THAT PARTICULAR miracle if he were not from God.  This is clearly what he meant, but most conservative translations are too afraid to say this, even in italics.  However, I want to give credit to those translations who at least rendered this part correctly:

(Williams)  If this man had not come from God, He could not have done anything like this.”
(Phillips) If this man did not come from God, he couldn’t do such a thing!”
(GW)  If this man were not from God, he couldn’t do anything like that.”
(ISV)  If this man were not from God, he couldn’t do anything like that.”
(ERV) This man must be from God. If he were not from God, he could not do anything like this.”
(AMPC) If this Man were not from God, He would not be able to do anything like this.
(NOG) If this man were not from God, he couldn’t do anything like that.”
(NLV) If this Man were not from God, He would not be able to do anything like this.”
(NLT) If this man were not from God, he couldn’t have done it.”
(WE) If this man did not come from God, he could not do anything like this.’

Plus the translations of the Syriac Peshitta say:
“If this man were not of God, he could not do this thing.”

This leaving of the object of the verb unsaid is not uncommon in New Testament Greek, I can tell you.  It is proper to supply in your target language something like, “this” or “that,” or “it.”  And there is no need to put those in italics.

Now, those translations above to did supply an object for the verb, still did not render the word οὐδέν correctly.  The verse in Greek is: εἰ μὴ ἦν οὗτος παρὰ θεοῦ, οὐκ ἠδύνατο ποιεῖν οὐδέν.

Both the LSJ and BDAG lexicons say that the neuter form, οὐδέν, in the accusative is an adverb.  See BDAG p. 735, 2 (b) γ- “in no respect, in no way.  This is an “adverbial accusative,” see BDF § 160, where DeBrunner points out another place that John used an adverbial accusative, 8:25 – τὴν ἀρχήν, “at all.”  “Why am I speaking to you at all?”  For οὐδέν here see also LSJ:  III  1. neut. οὐδέν as Adv., not at all.

So, I have revised my translation of John 9:33 here.  I render the οὐδέν as an adverb.  The LSJ says “not at all,” the BDAG says “in no way.”  This healed blind man was very street colloquial in his speech.  I rendered this “Since time began, reports have not been heard that someone opened the eyes of one born blind.  If this man were not from God, no way could he have done this thing.” You can download my translation here.

Papyrus 39 John Variant

In John 8:14 there is a textual variant between Η in the NA28 versus ΚΑΙ in the Byzantine text:

ὑμεῖς δὲ οὐκ οἴδατε πόθεν ἔρχομαι  Η ποῦ ὑπάγω

ὑμεῖς δὲ οὐκ οἴδατε πόθεν ἔρχομαι, ΚΑΙ ποῦ ὑπάγω.

Now concerning Papyrus 39, the Münster Institute and the NA28 say 𝔓³⁹ reads Η, while the IGNTP says it reads ΚΑΙ.  The NA28 does not even put a “vid” with it.  But only the right edge of the last letter of the word is visible to me.  It is rounded, not a straight up and down line like it would be for H or I. But the scribe’s Epsilon is round, and it seems more likely to be an E than Η or I, thus perhaps ΟΥΔΕ.  Is the theory that there is only room there for one letter, like H?  However, it certainly does not look like an H. (Image posted below, the 2nd line ΠΟΥ ΥΠΑ with the letter in question barely visible before that.)

The NA28 text in English is “but you do not know where I came from or where I am going.”
The Byz text in English is “but you do not know where I came from and where I am going.”
𝔓³⁹ if ΟΥΔΕ in English is “but you do not know where I came from nor where I am going.”

Papyrus 39, John 8:14

Papyrus 141

Recently a new papyrus from Oxyrhynchus has been transcribed and published and been given a Gregory-Aland number. The Gregory-Aland number is Papyrus 141, as opposed to P. Oxy 5478 or its library shelf ID at the Sackler Library in Oxford. This new papyrus is dated from the III century, and contains fragments of the gospel of Luke chapters 2 and 24.

So this is to announce that I have added it to my “Table of NT Greek Manuscripts arranged by date” page. I have also added its reading in one footnote in my translation of the gospel of Luke, chapter 2 verse 33.

There is a textual variant in Luke 2:33 where the UBS/NA28 text has “And the child’s father and mother were marveling at the things being said by him.” The Textus Receptus and the Robinson-Pierpont texts say “And Joseph and his mother were marveling…” Our new Papyrus 141 supports the UBS/NA28 reading.

Erasmus has πατηρ “father” in all 5 of his editions.  He said, “In some Greek manuscript I read ‘Joseph’ instead of ‘father’; in my opinion it has been changed by someone who feared that Joseph be called Jesus’ father” (“In Graecis aliquot codicibus lego pro pater, Ioseph; quod arbitror immutatum a quopiam, qui vereretur Ioseph vocare patrem Iesu…”; ‘aliquot’ added in 1519—ASD VI–5, p. 484 ll. 42–44; similarly in Resp. ad annot. Ed. Lei, ASD IX–4, p. 126 ll. 506–509).  So we see that Erasmus figured that copyists changed the original “father” to Joseph, for the very same reasons that KJV Onlyists prefer the reading “Joseph.”  But they forget that the KJV calls Joseph Jesus’ father in several other passages.  Erasmus was correct, but the KJV does not follow him here.

You can download my updated gospel of Luke with Greek text here, and the Manuscripts listed by date page is here. I also updated the printed edition of Luke on Amazon.