Tag Archives: Codex Sinaiticus

Textual Variant Acts ch 26 v 4

Here is a Greek textual variant in Acts chapter 26 verse 4 which makes a large difference in meaning, even though the variant is one two-letter word:

txt εν τε “and also in” 𝔓⁷⁴ ℵ A B E 181 1175 2464 vg-ms syr-hms Chrys SBL TH ECM ‖ εν “in” C H L P Ψ 049 056 33 1611 1735 1739 1891 Byz it-e vg syr-hms Chrys TR RP ‖ lac 𝔓²⁹ 𝔓¹¹² 048 096.

The problem with translations made from the Byzantine Greek text not containing τε is that they are saying Paul’s life was spent in Jerusalem from the beginning, when in fact his country was Cilicia, in the city of Tarsus (Acts 9:11; 21:3923:34).  In fact in court hearings, it was always determined that Paul’s country legally was Cilicia, see Acts 23:34. Paul himself said he was a citizen of Tarsus, but Israel he consistently called his
“nation” not his country or citizenship. This variant takes place in a court setting, so Byz advocates cannot argue that Paul’s country was Jerusalem.

There isn’t any way to translate the majority text that can make it accurate or acceptable, as you can see in the following English translations based on the Byzantine text:

(KJV)  My manner of life from my youth, which was at the first among mine own nation at Jerusalem, know all the Jews;

(NKJV)  My manner of life from my youth, which was spent from the beginning among my own nation at Jerusalem, all the Jews know.

(EMTV)  Therefore my way of life from my youth, which from the beginning was spent among my own nation in Jerusalem, all the Jews know,

Majority text advocates say that an accidental dropping out of short words or a few letters is far more likely than them being added.  So here you go, majority text advocates, the little word τε probably accidentally dropped out of your line of transmission.  So thank God for Codex Sinaiticus and Codex Vaticanus which sometimes have a more accurate Greek text than does the majority text. 

Here is my translation from the correct Greek text:

(DRP) My manner of life since youth therefore, which took place at first in my own country and also in Jerusalem, is known by all the Jews.

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:

Mark of the Beast 666

I have an interesting book by an ex-Muslim terrorist who has become a Christian. In his book he puts forth a theory on what glyphs looked like which the apostle John originally wrote in Revelation 13:18 for the mark of the beast. His theory is a visual one, in which you take the Greek abbreviation for 666 found in many of the manuscripts and turn the letters on their side. So take χξς and turn the letters leftward onto their sides, and it looks quite a lot like a famous slogan in Arabic script that is central to Islam.

I am quite sure the theory is not correct, but here are snips of the four earliest Greek manuscripts of this verse that we have:

The abbreviation χ̅ξ̅ϛ̅ for 666 in Papyrus 47:

The abbreviation χ̅̅ι̅ϛ̅ for 616 in Papyrus 115:

The number 666 written out in Codex Sinaiticus (ℵ) as εξακοσιαι εξηκοντα ἕξ

The number 666 written out in Codex Alexandrinus (A) as εξακοσιοι εξήκοντα ἕξ:

I have an updated footnote on this in my Revelation PDF. Download it here.

Codex Sinaiticus Correctors

I have in August 2015 adopted the sigla conventions of the NA28 for the correctors of Codex Sinaiticus in Revelation, and updated my apparatus accordingly:

ℵ*           4th century
ℵ¹            4th – 6th century (only one occurrence- in 21:4
ℵ²            7th century
ℵ²a          7th century
ℵ²b          7th century
אc            12th century

To download my translation of Revelation.

Scrivener – Codex Sinaiticus

Now downloadable, here and on the bottom of my translations page: Scrivener, F.H.A.: A Full Collation of the Codex Sinaiticus with the Received Text of the New Testament, PDF, 8.5 MB

I have had this downloadable for a few years already, but it was only linked to from other peoples’ web sites discussion boards. Now there will be a permanent link on this site.

Codex Sinaiticus

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