Stylos is the blog of Jeff Riddle, a Reformed Baptist Pastor in North Garden, Virginia. The title "Stylos" is the Greek word for pillar. In 1 Timothy 3:15 Paul urges his readers to consider "how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar (stylos) and ground of the truth."
Monday, July 25, 2011
Text Note: Romans 10:1
1. The issue:
Is Paul’s prayer “for Israel [huper tou Israel],” as in the traditional text, or “for them [huper auton],” as in the modern critical text?
2. Comparison of English translations (underline added):
Based on the traditional text:
KJV Romans 10:1 Brethren, my heart's desire and prayer to God for Israel is, that they might be saved.
Based on the modern critical text:
NASB Romans 10:1 Brethren, my heart's desire and my prayer to God for them is for their salvation.
The unique dynamic equivalent reading of the NIV which follows neither the traditional nor the modern critical text by reading “for the Israelites”:
NIV Romans 10:1 Brothers, my heart's desire and prayer to God for the Israelites is that they may be saved.
3. External evidence:
There are three textual variations:
a. The traditional reading (note: which includes the third persons singular of the verb “to be”): huper tou Israel estin
This reading is supported by the vast majority of manuscripts.
b. The modern critical reading: huper auton
This reading is supported by p46, the corrected hand of Sinaiticus, Alexandrinus, and Vaticanus.
c. A slight variation on the modern critical reading (including estin): huper auton estin
This reading is supported by the second corrector of Sinaiticus, P, and Psi
4. Internal evidence:
The modern critical text choice seems to have been made purely on the assumption that the manuscripts bearing this reading are oldest and best. The Textual Commentary note on the traditional reading is particularly speculative, as Metzger conjectures that it “may have occurred when this verse was made the beginning of a lesson read in church services (cf. the reference to Israel in 9:31) (p. 524). John Murray is more reasonable in his support of the modern critical reading: “It is easy to understand how in the course of transmission the longer reading would have been substituted for the simple auton in order to make specific the reference which is unquestionably clear from the context” (Romans, Vol. 2, p. 47, n. 1). With all due respect to Murray, however, if the reference in context is “unquestionably clear” it also seems just as likely that one might have abbreviated “for Israel” to “for them.” Paul clearly is fond of explicit reference to Israel in Romans 9-11 (cf. Rom 9:6, 27, 31; 10:19, 21; 11:2, 7, 25, 26). The traditional reading, in fact, sounds very Pauline.
I see no compelling reason to abandon the traditional text of Romans 10:1. It reflects a typical Pauline expression, and one can easy see how an effort to abbreviate could have entered into the transmission process.