Tuesday, November 09, 2010
Textual Notes: 2 Peter 2:6
a. Is the word katastrophe authentic?
Inclusion is supported by Sinaiticus, Alexandrinus, and the Majority of manuscripts. This is the traditional reading.
Nevertheless, the word is omitted in p72 and Vaticanus. The modern critical text places the word in brackets and the UBS gives it a “D” reading.
Metzger notes that the “shorter reading might well have arisen by transcriptional oversight” since the word that follows (katekrinen) also begins with the prefix kata- (Textual Commentary, p. 702).
Translations based on the traditional text, of course, include the word (KJV: “overthrow”; NKJV “destruction”). Given that the modern critical text supports the traditional reading by including katastrophe (though in brackets), most modern translations also include it (NASB “destruction”; ESV “extinction”), but the NIV proves the maverick again and omits it.
b. Should it be asebesin (noun “ungodly”) or asebein (verb “to act in an ungodly way”)?
The traditional text reads asebein (“to act in an ungodly way”). It is supported by Sinaiticus, Alexandrinus and the Majority. The minority reads asebesin (“ungodly”) and is supported by p72 and Vaticanus. This is yet another example of a situation where the so-called “oldest manuscripts” do not agree with one another.
Metzger speculates that from the point of view of “transcriptional probability” the copyist “would be more likely to change the noun to the infinitive than the reverse.” He adds that from the point of view of “intrinsic probability” the noun “gives the better sense” than the verb, but he offers no rationale for this assertion (Textual Commentary, p. 702). The modern critical text splits the difference between the two readings by placing the sigma in brackets: asebe[s]in.
Translations based on traditional texts or following the traditional reading:
“making them an ensample unto those that after should live ungodly;” (AV);
making them an example to those who afterward would live ungodly;” (NKJV);
“having made them an example to those who would live ungodly thereafter;” (NASB).
Translations based on the modern critical text and following the alternative reading:
“and made them an example of what is going to happen to the ungodly;” (NIV);
“making them an example of what is going to happen to the ungodly” (ESV).