Tuesday, February 28, 2012
Text Note: Romans 14:9
One can easily see the difference between the traditional and modern texts of Romans 14:9 by comparing translations of the verse based on each respective text:
Translations from Traditional text:
KJV Romans 14:9 For to this end Christ both died, and rose, and revived, that he might be Lord both of the dead and living.
NKJV Romans 14:9 For to this end Christ died and rose and lived again, that He might be Lord of both the dead and the living.
Translations from Modern text:
NIV Romans 14:9 For this very reason, Christ died and returned to life so that he might be the Lord of both the dead and the living.
NASB Romans 14:9 For to this end Christ died and lived again, that He might be Lord both of the dead and of the living.
In the traditional text Christ is said to have done three things: died, rose, and revived [kai apethane kai aneste kai anezesen]; in the modern critical text, only two: died and returned to life [apethanen kai ezesen]. The traditional text links these three verbs with a threefold use of the conjunction kai. The modern text has only one kai linking the two verbs. There are other minor variations, like whether the final verb should be from anazao (traditional) or simply zao (modern).
Support for the traditional text includes Psi, 0209, and 33, in addition to the vast majority of extant manuscripts. It is also attested in the Latin of Irenaeus.
Support for the modern text includes the original hand of Sinaiticus, Vaticanus, and Alexandrinus.
Metzger assumes that the traditional reading came about through assimilation to 1 Thessalonians 4:14 which reads, “Jesus died and rose again” (Textual Commentary, p. 531). This is, of course, a speculation and rests on no hard evidence. If the three-fold kai is original in the verse, one might just as well speculate that the kai aneste could have dropped out due to parablepsis. One might also add that the traditional text provides a more difficult reading since it offers a unique description of Christ’s accomplishments (died, rose, revived [lived again]), without parallel in the NT. If it was not original, why would it have been inserted to expand the verse?
I see no compelling reason to abandon the traditional reading, affirmed by the vast majority of manuscripts and gaining the widest use among churches in the history of the Christian movement.