Epistles of Thomas

July 14, 2009

Unsubstantiated statements

Filed under: Textual Criticism — Thomas @ 22:38

What is it about religions and unsubstantiated statements? As a Christian I would hope that we at least try and substantiate our claims but it seems that many do not bother. It’s not just Christians who make claims out of nothing. I was looking at the website of the local mosque and I came across this statement:

The Quran is a record of the exact words revealed by God through the Angel Gabriel to the Prophet Muhammad P.B.U.H. It was memorized by Muhammad and then dictated to his Companions, and written down by scribes, who cross-checked it during his lifetime. Not one word of its 114 chapters, Suras, has been changed over the centuries, so that the Quran is in every detail the unique and miraculous text which was revealed to Muhammad P.B.U.H fourteen centuries ago.

Is it really? Aside from the fact that this statement is completely unfalsifiable it suffers from a disconnect with history and even Muslim tradition. One story has part of the Qur’an being eaten by a goat, another refers to the “Satanic verses” which Muhammad mistakenly received from Satan and which were subsequently removed (but not without leaving beyond the tradition which got a certain author in hot water for novelising).

If a religion is going to make such claims about their holy book(s) at the very least they should provide some sort of reference point from which one can begin to investigate. It wouldn’t be so bad except that Muslims make a big deal of the Christian and Jewish reliance on textual criticism to inform our understanding of the original text of the Bible based on the thousands of manuscripts we have. Of course if Christians had a centralised government which could create a standard text and order all other copies burned, like Usman ibn ‘Affān apparently did for the Qur’an, we wouldn’t have any variants. Unfortunately for Muslims, this argument is also undermined by the fact that variant Qur’an copies have surfaced although, not surprisingly, they deny their validity. It will be interesting to see how Muslims react once it is established that the Qur’an has been changed over the centuries (by Muslims) and that the text they now posses is not “in every detail the unique and miraculous text” they think it is. It will be a tough decision to make because the Qur’an is Muhammad’s only claimed miracle.

June 22, 2009

Mormon scholar to work on Biblia Hebraica Quinta

Brigham Young University is reporting that professor Donald W. Parry has been assigned to work on the book of Isaiah in BHQ which will replace BHS once it is complete. Parry makes the rather curious statement that “This work will impact virtually all translations of the Old Testament (including the King James Version) for many years to come, including all translations of all of the world’s languages.” Obviously the KJV was translated four hundred years ago and nothing can impact its form. This statement stems from the Mormon reliance on the KJV, which they believe is the closest to God’s intended revelation, although even it has errors such as excluding mention of Joseph Smith’s status as prophet. What does Parry mean when he claims that BHQ will impact the KJV? Is he suggesting that the LDS will be able to create a translation closer to God’s intended word? Does he imply that he will discover new things in Isaiah that will provide evidence for the Mormon view of doctrine and scripture?

Does it make sense to have a Mormon work on BHQ? As much as most of the disinterested scholars, I suppose. So far most of Parry’s published work deals with the Bible’s relation to Mormonism and the Book of Mormon. It will be interesting to see how his views are confirmed or changed through this process.

I read a summary of a lecture Don Parry’s made on the DSS thanks to the ping from heartissuesforlds (see comments). One of the comments on that summary quotes from Parry’s book Harmonizing Isaiah (FARMS, 2001) and demonstrates the bias Parry works with:

“translators who lived before the restoration of the gospel [i.e. LDS] believed doctrines and teachings that biased their translations. Likewise, translators since that time tend to be biased in similar ways. Like their earlier counterparts, they may embrace teachings that are not compatible with the doctrines of the gospel as revealed through Joseph Smith and other prophets of the latter days. Such false teachings include predestination, creation ex nihilo (creation out of nothing), the Trinity as three in one, an immaterial God who cannot be seen by humans on earth, and a denial of living prophets of God, modern temple worship, the gifts of the Spirit, angels, and so on” (12-13).

All translators have some kind of theological bias but most are either within orthodox Christianity or are supposedly disinterested in proving any theological points. Parry works within an entirely different paradigm as this makes clear. Is he truly blind to the fact that he is biased towards ensuring that he embraces a translation that is compatible with the revelations of Joseph Smith? Whenever you accuse someone of bias you need to be aware of what bias is causing you to make that claim. Which bias is true? 😀

June 14, 2008

An Introduction to the New Testament Manuscripts and their Texts

The B-Greek mailing list yesterday contained a mention of David C. Parker‘s forthcoming book on New Testament manuscripts:

David C. Parker, An Introduction to the New Testament Manuscripts and their Texts. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2008. 0521719895, 978-0521719896.

It looks interesting and provides me with an opportunity to point you to his inaugural lecture at the University of Birmingham: Inventing New Testaments. It is presented as a slide show with lots of pictures of manuscripts and some interesting details. The title could be taken the wrong way by those not familiar with NT textual criticism but don’t let it put you off. However, he does ascribe to the idea that the goal of textual criticism should not be the reconstruction of the original text. This is a troubling idea which is thoroughly responded to by Moises Silva at the end of Rethinking New Testament Textual Criticism. Edited by David Alan Black. Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 2002. 0801022800, 978-0801022807. I am therefore curious to see whether Parker’s introductory book reflects his “postmodern” view or whether he is neutral on the purpose of the task.

I also came across another book on textual criticism recently which looks like it should be good so enjoy:

Scot McKendrick and Kathleen Doyle. Bible Manuscripts: 1400 Years of Scribes and Scripture. British Library, 2007. 0712349227, 978-0712349222.

October 7, 2007

Romans 8:28 TC Conclusion

Filed under: Greek,New Testament,Textual Criticism — Thomas @ 23:26

In my last post we looked at the internal evidence relevant to the textual difficulty in this verse. Today we will summarise the evidence and posit a conclusion. Finally, we will look at the implications this has for understanding this verse and Paul’s message.

Conclusion

The external evidence is divided but overall it seems to point to the shorter text as being original although the longer text is supported by the majority of primary Alexandrian witnesses. Clement and Origen are divided on the issue although we cannot be positive on either. Given the widespread geographical support of the “omission” it would appear that perhaps the addition is strictly an Alexandrian phenomenon. Internally, the evidence is also slightly in favour of the shorter text. Although the longer reading is more difficult it is not overly so. It would appear likely that a scribe in Alexandria added ο θεος in order to rule out “Holy Spirit” and “all things” as the subject of the verb. It also seems unlikely that a scribe would completely omit God when he could modify it to αυτος. I must conclude that the shorter reading is the original.

Implications

We must now look at the implications of this decision. The first thing we must do is to take παντα as an accusative of respect. We have already noted the difficulties with this but it seems to fit the context. Within the context of God being the subject of the following verses there is no reason to expect otherwise here. This is furthered by Genesis 50:20 in the Septuagint which Paul echoes. It reads, ο δε θεος εβουλευσατο περι εμου εις αγαθα, and as for you, you meant evil against me; but God meant it for good.[1] In this verse God is the subject and Paul is echoing this. As Douglas Moo points out, this leaves us with two options; either to take παντα as the direct object (NASB) or as an accusative of respect (NIV).[2] Verbs such as συνεργεω do not usually take a direct object. On a cautionary note, Moo points out that if you do not have ο θεος, “the sequence ‘for those who love God, God works’ is awkward; we would not expect the object of the participle to become the subject of the main verb” (528 n.113). We accept the first option given by Cranfield and render it “in all things” or “in all respects.”

Romans 8:28 is thus best rendered as in the UBS/NA text: οιδαμεν δε οτι τοις αγαπωσιν τον θεον παντα συνργει εις αγαθον τοις κατα προθεσιν κλητοις ουσιν or in all its accented glory (assuming you have Gentium): οδαμεν δ τι τος γαπσιν τν θεν πάντα συνεργε ες γαθόν, τος κατ πρόθεσιν κλητος οσιν And we know that to the ones loving God, he works together in all things for good to those who are being called according to his purpose. This makes the best sense of the manuscript evidence, the grammatical structure, and the context. Failing to take God as the subject we are left with “all things work together for good” from which we still must supply the idea that God is behind these events; they do not just work themselves out in this way.[3]

In conclusion, we see that textual variation can create ambiguities in the meaning of the text. In Romans 8:28 a scribe added ο θεος as a way of helping the author by making explicit the subject of the verb. This eliminated the ambiguity that resulted in various subjects being assigned to the verb: “God,” “all things,” and “Holy Spirit.” We have seen through this study that God the Father is the most likely subject of the verb. It is God who is behind the scenes working in all events to ensure that good comes to those who love him and who have been called according to his purpose. In all of this we cannot lose sight of the fact that good does not come to us in a eudemonistic manner. It comes to those who love God, but they do not love him as a work but rather because they have been called according to his purpose. The emphasis in entirely on what God is doing and has done. The “good” is not necessarily what our culture would call good in the sense of pleasurable, but it is rather what furthers our calling and it may in fact be quite “bad” in our perception. In all of this he is bringing us closer to Christ to whom we are united in the Spirit. May we always remember that God is continually working toward this end among those who love him and are seeking to live the purpose to which they have been called.


 

[1] See Cranfield, 212; Rodgers, 549.

 

[2] The Epistle to the Romans. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1996. 528.

 

[3] Ibid.

September 9, 2007

Romans 8:28 TC Internal Evidence

Filed under: Greek,New Testament,Textual Criticism,Translation — Thomas @ 21:49

I apologise for the length of time between my examination of the external evidence and the internal evidence of Romans 8:28. Feel free to go back and refresh your memory as to the previous post. I changed all the Greek to Times New Roman so it should show up fine but there are no accents. The original manuscripts had none and as we are doing TC I see no reason why we need them 🙂 Let’s get to work!

The first thing we can do is to include P46 with the others as a witness to τον θεον παντα συνεργει ο θεος εις αγαθον. Although the change from παν to παντα or vice versa may explain the variant it is likely an accidental scribal error. If ο θεος is original it would cause συνεργει to be transitive and παντα would be the accusative direct object.[1] If we do not have ο θεος, παντα possibly becomes an accusative of reference according to Wallace (203-4). He says that this is rare in Koine Greek and such identification should only be employed as a last resort. This type would be used to qualify a statement that would otherwise typically not be true. He notes that Cranfield dismisses the likelihood of παντα as an accusative of reference assuming the longer reading and agrees with him (204 n.93). He does use it as an example of a substantival use of the accusative (180). Wallace dismisses the longer reading and leaves us with two probable options: either ‘he works all things together for good’ or ‘all things work together for good.’ In the first instance the subject is embedded in the verb and ‘God’ is clearly implied (as in v29). In the second instance, παντα becomes the subject of an intransitive verb” (181). This discussion is needed because in order to get inside the head of the scribe we need to understand how he could have variously construed the original and changed it.

While it is obvious that ο θεος makes συνεργει transitive, it is unclear whether we should take God as the implied subject in those manuscripts where is missing. If the shorter text is original it is probable that a scribe added ο θεος in order to make this obvious. On the other hand because God immediately precedes παντα it may have seemed repetitious and a scribe dropped the second noun, leaving the subject to be supplied.[2] However, it is not immediately obvious that the subject is God and therefore a scribe could have added it. We have come full circle only to find that we cannot be conclusive. F. F. Bruce states that the addition “makes the construction excessively heavy.”[3] Therefore this would seem to be the more difficult reading.[4]

Bruce also prefers the NEB translation which saw the subject of ‘works’ as that of the preceding clause, ‘the Spirit.’ However, as William Hendrickson points out this would make Jesus the Son of Holy Spirit.[5] This would be a good time to note the eight possibilities that exist for this verse as noted by Cranfield:

1) To accept the longer reading and explain παντα as an accusative of respect (‘in all things’, ‘in all respects’).

2) To accept the longer reading and explain συνεργει as used transitively and παντα as its object (so for instance, Sanday and Headlam translate: ‘cause all things to work’; while the RV margin gives: ‘worketh all things with them’).

3) To accept the shorter reading and supply ο θεος, explaining παντα as in (1).

4) To accept the shorter reading and supply ο θεος, explaining συνεργει and παντα as in (2).

5) To accept the shorter reading and take παντα as the subject of συνεργει.

6) To accept the shorter reading and understand the subject of the verb to be the same as the subject of the last verb of verse 27, namely το πνευμα, explaining πνευμα as in (1).

7) As in (6), but explaining συνεργει and παντα as in (2).

8 ) To accept the shorter reading with the emendation of παντα to πνευμα or το πνευμα.

 

If we decide on the shorter reading we must first decide whether the referent of the verb is found within the sentence or whether it is to be supplied from context. If it is to be found within we accept the traditional translation: “all things” work together for good. Gordon Fee lists several reasons for rejecting this based on internal grounds. First, Paul never uses παντα as the subject of an active verb.[6] Secondly, παντα almost always precedes the verb when it appears as the object of a personal verb.[7] Thirdly, συνεργει appears twice more in Paul and in both instances the verb has a personal subject. I would then agree with Fee in rejecting the notion that “all things” is the subject of “works.” We thus reject option (5). We can readily reject option (8) as being implausible as it would be hard for a scribe to eliminate the Spirit from a passage either accidentally or deliberately. If one does emend the text the resulting reading almost demands its emendation back to παντα.[8] We are then left with two longer and four shorter readings. In tackling the shorter readings we must deal with the identity of the supplied subject. Readings (3) and (4) take it to be God and (6) and (7) to be the Spirit. Fee argues for taking το πνευμα as the subject on the strength of the context. The Spirit has been the subject of the argument since 8:1 and he is clearly the grammatical subject of 8:27. The strength of this argument fails because the unexpressed subject of the following οτι clause has to be God, not the Spirit. The condition expressed in Romans 8:28 is such “in order that those he foreknew he foreordained to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers” (8:29). We must therefore question whether this transition did not occur previously beginning with the statement “according to God’s will.”

Fee also mentions the increase of συν- compounds in the argument beginning at 8:16. “The Spirit bears witness together with (συνμμαρτυρει) our spirits” and “the Spirit assists (συναντιλαμβανεται) us in our weaknesses” (8:26). He thus sees συνεργει as another instance in which Paul is referring to the joint working of the Spirit with us. BDAG here gives the meaning of συνεργει as “assist (or work with) someone to attain something or bring something about.” Theologically, God always works in us and with us through his Spirit and thus Holy Spirit has to be the subject of the verb. This argument only works if we restrain “all things” to the inner reality of the persons who love God. In other words, God makes their reality such that ‘all things’ external glorify him in their lives regardless of the ordinary understanding of good. It could not be used to argue that God uses events in themselves for that good.

I must reject the Spirit as being the subject based on context. The Spirit’s work is done in accordance with the will of God (8:27b) and as a consequence this is a beneficial thing because God works in all things to bring good to those who love him. It is the will of God that determines the Spirit’s actions and it is the will of God that causes all things to work. We thus reject options (6) and (7) and are left with deciding whether ο θεος was added in order to clarify the subject or whether it was removed from an already crowded sentence. If the longer reading was original it is hard to conceive of a scribe deliberately removing God from the sentence unless he thought the meaning was clear. It would be more logical for him to substitute autoß than to remove ο θεος. However, it is possible that a scribe removed ο θεος believing that συνεργει would supply the subject. Rodgers mentions one small precedent for this at Romans 1:28 where ο θεος is omitted by א* A 0172*.[9] I agree with Rodgers that this may not be an accidental omission but reflect a scribal tendency. However, the evidence does not appear strong enough to say that this was the case here especially given the fact that A includes ο θεος at 8:28. Furthermore, in 1:28, the removal of God did not create the same kind of ambiguity that is apparent here.

It seems most likely that the shorter reading was original and a scribe added ο θεος in order to make the subject clear. We are thus decided on the shorter reading and are left with options (3) and (4). The decision between these two will be left for the conclusion, as the decision is broader than internal textual evidence.


[1] Daniel B. Wallace. Greek Grammar Beyond the Basics. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1996. 180. This is echoed by BDF §148(1). A transitive verb takes a direct object (o qeoß) whereas intransitive verbs do not. Cf. James Hope Moulton. A Grammar of New Testament Greek Vol. 1 Prolegomena. 3rd ed. Edinburgh: T&T Clark, 1988. 65.

[2] Peter Rodgers points out that another way to improve the style without creating this ambiguity would be to change θεον to αυτος. He reports that this reading is found in Origen de Oratione 39.19: ο θεος τοις αγαπωσιν αυτον παντα συνεργων εις αγαθον but I have been unable to confirm the quality of this quotation. If this is the case it is still inconclusive because we do not know if a scribe actually altered ο θεος or supplied the subject. In light of this, if the shorter text was original it does seem more likely that a scribe would add αυτος rather than θεος which, as noted by Bruce below, tends to overweight the construction. Peter R. Rodgers. “The Text of Romans 8:28.” Journal of Theological Studies. 46:2 (1995): 548.

[3] The Letter of Paul to the Romans. Rev. ed. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1985. 166.

[4] This is supported by James P. Wilson who states that “The phrase ο θεος in A B is awkwardly introduced. It reads very much like a marginal note wrongly incorporated in the text, having been originally placed in the margin to help the reader in construing the sentence.” Although I dispute his conclusions this is a definite possibility. “Romans viii. 28: Text and Interpretation.” Expository Times. 60 (1948-49): 111.

[5] Exposition of Paul’s Epistle to the Romans. Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1980. 279-80. Quoted in D. Edmond Hiebert. “Romans 8:28-29 and the Assurance of the Believer.” Bibliotheca Sacra. 148:590 (1991): 175. Cf. Wilson (111) who argues for Holy Spirit but believes that we must emend παντα to το πνευμα which seems completely unwarranted.

[6] The exception that proves the rule is 1 Cor. 6:12; 10:23 where he quotes from his adversaries in rejecting their position, “all things are permitted…but not all things edify.” God’s Empowering Presence. Peabody: Hendrickson, 1994. 588n.341.

[7] Fee lists: 1 Thes. 5:21; 1 Cor. 2:10; 9:12, 23, 25; 10:31; 11:2; 13:7 (4x); 14:16; 15:27; 16:14; 2 Cor. 6:10; 7:14; Eph 1:22; 6:21. Ibid., 588n.342.

[8] Far from being evidence of a difficult reading this only shows how unlikely the possibility is.

[9] This variant is listed in NA27 but not in UBS4. There is no question of the subject in this context and the NIV follows this pattern by omitting God and substituting he.

August 19, 2007

Romans 8:28 TC External Evidence

Filed under: Greek,New Testament,Textual Criticism,Translation — Thomas @ 19:10

            When dealing with the problem of determining which text is original there are two categories of evidence: external and internal. External evidence deals with the manuscripts in which the text appears. Internal evidence looks at the text and attempts to determine why the error was made and how the error relates to the text as a whole.

External Evidence regarding Romans 8:28

Although the external evidence numerically affirms the omission of ο θεος it becomes immediately apparent that some important evidence includes these words (P46 A B 81 sa (eth) Origengr2/5). These are important witnesses, including Origen, and are not easily dismissed which is why this decision is such a difficult one. P46 is the earliest manuscript of the Pauline letters and dates to about 200. It includes all his letters with the exception of 2 Thessalonians, Philemon, and the Pastorals. In Romans it includes 5:17-6:14; 8:15-15:9; 15:11-16:27. Traditionally it has been noted that P46 contains a “free” text. In other words it predates the development of text types.[1] This categorisation is now questionable but the value of this papyrus is not. This is corroborated by Gordon Fee who quotes Gunther Zuntz at length:

The excellent quality of the text represented by our oldest manuscripts, P46, stands out again. As so often before, we must be careful to distinguish between the very poor work of the scribe who penned it and the basic text which he so poorly rendered. P46 abounds with scribal blunders, omissions, and also late additions. In some of these the scribe anticipated the errors of later copyists, and in some other instances he shares an older error; but the vast majority are his own uncontested property. Once they have been discarded, there remains a text of outstanding (though not absolute) purity.[2]

            Manuscripts A and B are also of value. The Alands make the statement that “in the gospel A transmits an exemplar with a rather poor text, but beginning with Acts its quality changes remarkably; in Acts it is comparable to B and א, while in Revelation it is superior toא  and even P47” (303; 50). Codex Alexandrinus (A) is from the fifth century whereas Vaticanus (B) is from the fourth. The Alands rate B “by far the most significant of the uncials” (109). Both A and B are category I manuscripts (high proportion of early text). Minuscule 81 is also worth a mention as it rates at least category II (manuscript of a special quality; considerable proportion of early text, but which is marked by alien influences; Aland, 335). In this case there can be no question that the reading is an early one.

            The most important manuscript in support of the text isא  Codex Sinaiticus from the fourth century. It is rated category I, but was overrated by Tischendorf “and it is distinctly inferior to B, together with which (and P75) it represents the Alexandrian text” (107). C is a category II manuscript from the fifth century. Dp Codex Claromontanus which dates to the sixth century omits Romans 1:1-7 and 1:27-30 has been added by a later hand. Ironically, Dp does not belong to category IV, the “D” text but rather to category II (Dp 06*) and category III (Dp 06c). Fp and Gp are both Greek-Latin diglots from the ninth century. F is category II and G is III. Ψ is a category III manuscript from the eighth/ninth century. The minuscules are a range of qualities with the majority of them included in category III. For the sake of space I will list them by category along with the uncials:

Category   I:א  33. 1175. 1739.

Category  II: C D F 256. 1506. 1881. 1962. 2127. 2464.

Category III: G Ψ 6. 104. 263. 424c. 436. 459. 614. 1241. 1319. 1573. 1852. 1912. 2200.

Category  V: K L P 424*.

 

            What is particularly interesting about all of this is that although the superior manuscripts include the text ο θεος the omission has widespread geographical and church support along with the versions. It should also be noted that the Alexandrian text type is not unanimous asא  Ψ 1739. 33 and 104 support the omission.[3] Clement of Alexandria (ca. 180 – ca. 215) also appears to have a text that exclude ο θεος.[4] The Western text type (DFG latt) also supports the omission as does the Byzantine, which might be expected given this. This makes it exceedingly difficult to come to a conclusion based on external consideration although overall it favours omission. In the next post we will turn our attention to internal evidence which will hopefully be more conclusive.


[1] Kurt Aland and Barbara Aland. The Text of the New Testament. 2nd ed. Trans. Erroll F. Rhodes. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1989. 93.

[2] Gunther Zuntz. The Text of the Epistles: A Disquisition upon the Corpus Paulinum. Schweich Lectures, 1946. London: British Academy, 1953. 212-213. Quoted in Gordon Fee. “Rigorous or Reasoned Eclecticism – Which?” In Studies in the Theory and Method of New Testament Textual Criticism. Eldon Jay Epp and Gordon D. Fee. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1993. 128.

[3] א Ψ 1739 always represent a key expression of the Alexandrian text type.

[4] The Stromata 4.7. I have only found it in English translation but the quote appears in a block of quotations from Romans: 8:7-8,10,13,17-18,28-30 and reads And we know that all things work together for them that love God. The Ante-Nicene Fathers. Vol. 2. Ed. Alexander Roberts and James Donaldson. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1985. 417.

August 12, 2007

Romans 8:28 Textual Criticism

Filed under: Greek,New Testament,Textual Criticism,Translation — Thomas @ 18:41

Today I begin a series looking at the Greek text of Romans 8:28. There are three possible readings for the original text. These are listed below along with their manuscript witness:

τον θεον παν συνεργει ο qeoß εις αγαθον P46
τον θεον παντα συνεργει ο qeoß εις αγαθον A B 81 sa (eth) Origengr2/5
τον θεον παντα συνεργει εις αγαθον א C D F G Ψ 6. 33. 104. 256. 263. 424. 436. 459.
614. 1175. 1241. 1319. 1506. 1573. 1739. 1852. 1881. 1912. 1962. 2127. 2200. 2464. Byz [KLP]
Lect. latt [ar, b, d, f, g, mon, o, vg] sy [p, h] bo arm geo slav; Cl

The text of Romans 8:28 in NA27 and UBS4 reads: οἴδαμεν δὲ ὅτι τοῖς ἀγαπῶσιν τὸν θεὸν πάντα συνεργεῖ εἰς ἀγαθόν, τοῖς κατὰ πρόθεσιν κλητοῖς οὖσιν. It becomes immediately obvious that the current text which omits ο qeoß has overwhelming numerical manuscript support. Westcott and Hort included ο qeoß in their text but in brackets showing they were unsure of its authenticity. This was also the position of NA25. However, von Soden and Tischendorf both relegated the variant to the apparatus. English translations have taken a variety of positions on this verse. The NRSV translates this “We know that all things work together for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose.” It also includes a footnote which reads, “Other ancient authorities read ‘God makes all things work together for good, or in all things God works for good.’” These are the three possible English translations of this section.

Next time we will look at the external evidence for these variations.

P.S. I am using the Gentium font to display the Greek text. It was developed by SIL and is available for free download.

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