Tag Archives: Greek

Matthew chapter 20 verse 15 variant

What is going on here in Matthew 20:15? The Majority text reads:

Ἢ οὐκ ἔξεστίν μοι ποιῆσαι ὃ θέλω ἐν τοῖς ἐμοῖς; Εἰ ὁ ὀφθαλμός σου πονηρός ἐστιν, ὅτι ἐγὼ ἀγαθός εἰμι;

Here are the two significant variants in the verse, showing only witnesses 8th century and earlier:

η ουκ…ει ο οφθαλμος lat Chrysostom TR RP η ουκ…η ο οφθαλμος ℵ C E N W Σ Φ 085 syr-p,h cop-sa TH [NA28] ουκ…η ο οφθαλμος B* D L Z SBL ουκ…ει ο οφθαλμος B² ‖ lac A P 0233 0281. 

All the witnesses above except B D L Z SBL begin the sentence with the Greek word Ἢ, “or.” Then the TR and Majority text for the second variant read ει, a marker for a direct question. What I am pointing out is that none of the English translations based on the Majority reading translate the word Ἢ as “or.”

BUT, neither do the English translations based on the second reading, which has the Greek word η for both variants, neither do they appear to render their text as it is found.

Practically none of the English translations translate the first η as “or.” 

The translations supposedly based on the TR / Majority text, at first seem to read as the Vaticanus corrector. (ουκ…ει ο οφθαλμος B²). The English translations from the Syriac, the Etheridge and Murdock translations, also seem to read as B².

The EMTV, “English Majority Text Version, reads as the SBL text.

We have seen that none of the English translations translate the first η as “or.”  But they are probably not following the reading of B* D L Z Θ SBL. The BDF grammar in Sec. 440 (3) says a simple interrogative ἦ does not exist in the NT.  In Sec. 440 (1) DeBrunner gives four examples in the NT of “simple interrogative ἤ,” Matt. 20:15, 26:53; 1 Cor. 9:8; 2 Cor. 11:7.  This must be how the first η is being interpreted.

Crowd versus Crowds

As I make my Byzantine edition of Matthew’s gospel, I get annoyed sometimes by the numerousness of variants that are meaningless in the Greek manuscripts and even in the editions thereof. Matthew chapter 15 verse 36 is a good example, in which there are a half dozen unimportant variants.

One that is actually amazing to me is that the word for crowd, οχλος, is plural in the NA28 but singular in the Robinson-Pierpont, yet in the previous verse, v. 35, they switch, and οχλος is singular in the NA28 and plural in the RP! Both verses are talking about the same crowd and occasion.

15:35 τοις οχλοις E F G H K L M N P S U V W X Γ Δ Π Σ Φ 0233 2 118 565 700 1071 𝔐 it-a,d,e,f,k,q syr-c,p cop-bo Hil TR RP τους οχλους C 892c 1424 τω οχλω ℵ B D Θ ƒ¹ ƒ¹³ 33 157 346 579 788 892* it-b,ff¹,f²,g¹,g²,l vg syr-h cop-sa-mss,mae,bo-mss arm eth Or SBL TH NA28 {\} lac A Q Z 0281 28 69.

15:36 τω οχλω C D E F G H N P S U W X Γ Δ Θ Σ Φ 2 118 565 1071 1424 𝔐 it> vg cop-sa-mss,mae arm Chr TR RP τοις οχλοις ℵ B K L M Π ƒ¹ ƒ¹³ 33 157 238 243 346 579 700 788 it-e,f,ff¹ syr cop-sa-ms,bo SBL TH NA28 {\} ‖ lac A Q Z 0233 0281 28 69. 

I offer a few observations: 1.) The plural is maintained in both by L M Π 700 syr-c,p cop-bo.  (2.) The singular is maintained in both by arm.  I would not begrudge any translator rendering all these as a singular.  (3.) This may demonstrate how insignificant the singular v. plural of οχλος is.

Definite Article Variant

In Matthew 13 verse 2, there is a Greek textual variant involving the Greek definite article, in this case the neuter singular accusative, with the word for boat, so το πλοιον.

The pre-9th century witnesses are as follows:

πλοιον ℵ B C L W Z Σ SBL TH NA28 {\} το πλοιον D E Φ 𝔐 TR RP lac A N P 0233 0281

Note that the Textus Receptus contains the definite article with “boat,” but the English translations based on the TR do not say “the boat” but rather “a boat / a ship.”  See the Geneva Bible, Tyndale, Bishops’ Bible, the KJV, and the NKJV, which all say “a” not “the.”  This is because the definite article in Greek does not necessarily mean “the” in English.  The article here is not anaphoric, as it cannot be referring back to a known boat, since there is no boat mentioned previously in the context.  The article cannot be referring to “the only” boat, because there were several boats owned by the disciples, besides the fact that other people could have had boats on hand.

To download my translation of Matthew containing this footnote, click here.

General Epistles Robinson-Pierpont

I have revised my translations of the General Epistles translated from the Robinson-Pierpont Byzantine Textform 2018 Greek text. The footnotes I augmented some, and improved the accuracy of the translation some. I have uploaded a new PDF of the document, as well as published a new printed edition on Amazon. The printed book has 194 pages, and was newly published June 26, 2022.

Cover of the book, General Epistles Robinson-Pierpont Majority Text
Gospel of Luke Robinson-Pierpont

Gospel of Luke Printed Editions

I have published new printed editions of my translation of the gospel of Luke, with the Greek text alternating verse by verse with my English translation thereof; one edition with an eclectic Greek text, and another of the Robinson-Pierpont 2018 text which I received by email directly from Dr. Maurice A. Robinson.

There are a few minor improvements since the previous publication: I added the Tyndale House reading to many of the TC footnotes, using the abbreviation TH, and I corrected a few typographical errors. The Table of Witnesses is now more full, giving the full names and dates of the major manuscripts and versions.

The eclectic edition is $11.95, ISBN: 978-1-958612-01-9

The RP edition is $12.90, ISBN: 978-1-958612-02-6

Kindle edition also available for the Robinson-Pierpont edition, $0.99, and the eclectic edition for Kindle, $0.99.

Jude Verse 19

One of the more significant Greek textual variants in the Epistle of Jude is between the Textus Receptus underlying the KJV, versus most other Greek New Testament editions. The KJV says those who separate themselves, and the newer translations say something like those who cause divisions.

Jd 19a txt αποδιοριζοντες ?⁷² ℵ A B K L P Ψ 049 056 0142 0316 18 33 35c 81 93 307 442 665 1241 1739* 1852 2344 latt cop syr arm Cyr Did PsOec TR-Steph Eras Scriv-1887 TG TH WH AT VS HF BG RP TW SBL NA28 αποδιοριζοντες εαυτους C 5 6 35* 323 621 915 1243 1611 1739c 2298 2805 geo TR-Scriv-1894 Col. Beza Elz. ‖ hiant ?⁷⁸ 0251

It is perplexing to me why King James Onlyists like Stephanus’ 1550 TR text, when that is not the text followed by the KJV. Scrivener made his 1894 edition of the Greek New Testament precisely to show the Greek text underlying the KJV.

Printed Editions

Printed Editions of David Robert Palmer books.

My translations are now being published in print form, book by book. You will still be able to freely download PDFs of them from this site, and copy and paste from them, and quote them.

Thus far, six books are available in print on Amazon. My books are under the name David Robert Palmer, this link is my profile page showing all my publications on Amazon.

Update June 8, 2022– I have terminated my agreement with my former publisher, Infinity Books of Malta, for non-performance issues.  I can do myself what he was doing with Amazon anyway, and am working hard on replacing his editions on Amazon.  I will keep you posted below on new available printed and Kindle editions on Amazon.

NEW November 2022: The Gospel of Mark, alternating verse by verse between the Robinson-Pierpont text and my English translation. 157 pages.

NEW November 2022: The Gospel of Mark, alternating verse by verse between an eclectic Greek text and my English translation. 151 pages.

June 2022: The Gospel of Luke, alternating verse by verse between an eclectic Greek text and my English translation. 167 pages. Also in Kindle edition.

June 2022: The Gospel according to Luke, alternating verse by verse between the Robinson-Pierpont Greek text and my English translation. 176 pages. Also in Kindle edition,

June 2022: The Gospel of John, alternating verse by verse with my English translation. 164 pages.

June 27, 2022: The General Epistles, English Bible verses translated from and alternating with the Robinson-Pierpont Greek text of all the General Epistles, also known as the Catholic Epistles. This includes James, 1 Peter, 2 Peter, 1 John, 2 John, 3 John, and Jude.

Quick-reference Ligature Guide – how to read the shorthand in Greek New Testament cursive manuscripts or minuscules.

Hoskier, H. C., “Concerning the Text of the Apocalypse, Vol. 2″ Paperback

Hoskier, H. C., “Concerning the Text of the Apocalypse, Vol. 2″ Hard Cover

Please share this post about David Robert Palmer printed editions.