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."
Image (left side): Decorative urn with title for the book of Acts in Codex Alexandrinus.
Tuesday, April 23, 2013
Text Note: Galatians 3:1
I ran across this textual issue when preaching week before
last on Galatians 3:1-5.The traditional
text includes two phrases that are omitted in the modern critical text. The
variations can be seen in comparison of English translations (emphasis added):
Galatians 3:1 O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus
Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you?
3:1 You foolish Galatians, who has bewitched you, before whose eyes Jesus
Christ was publicly portrayed as crucified?
phrase “that ye should obey the truth” is supported by codices C, D (second
corrector), Psi, and the vast majority of manuscripts.It is also found in the Vulgate (Clementine
ed.), the Syriac Harclean, and some manuscripts of Jerome.The omission is supported by the heavyweights
Sinaiticus and Vaticanus, as well as Alexandrinus.It is also supported by some Latin
manuscripts, the Syriac Peshitta, the Coptic version, and other manuscripts of
second phrase “among you” is supported by D, F, G, and the majority.It is supported as well by the Old Latin, the
Vulgate (Clementine ed.), and the Syriac Harclean.Its omission is supported, as with the previous
phrase, by Sinaiticus, Vaticanus, and Alexandrinus.It is also supported by the “Stuttgart
Vulgate” and the Coptic.
Textual Commentary completely ignores
discussion of the first phrase in Galatians 3:1 (pp. 593-594).Of the latter, he simply notes that this is
the Textus Receptus reading while stating that the modern critical text is “decisively
supported” by the likes of Sinaiticus and Vaticanus.
makes reference in the apparatus for the first variation to Galatians 5:7 where
the identical phrase appears.The
assumption must be that some text wrongly inserted the phrase into 3:1 from
5:7.There are some logical questions,
however, that we might pose.First,
could the appearance of the exact phrase in Galatians 5:7 simply demonstrate
that this is, in fact, an authentic Pauline usage?Second, is it not just as possible to imagine
that a scribe might have omitted the phrase given its appearance in 5:7 as to
imagine that he inserted it based on this same knowledge?Third, would a scribe have been likely to
take such liberties in inserting a phrase not in near proximity in the text to
the verse in question?
the second variation, the phrase “among you [en humin]” appears numerous times in the Pauline corpus (e.g., in
at least six verses in Romans; seventeen verses in 1 Corinthians; etc.).It appears in three other verses in Galatians
(3:5; 4:19, 20).The assumption of the
modern critical text must be that it was inserted by some scribe, perhaps knowing
its typically Pauline usage.Given that
the phrase is a proven Paulinism might it not be just as well be assumed that
it appeared in the original (a mark of Pauline authenticity) and was later omitted
by scribal error?
doubt, underlying the decisions of modern critical text editors is the
assumption that the shorter text is to be preferred to the fuller.Again, however, this is an assumption and not
a proven fact.
so many textual matters in the NT, the evaluation of external evidence boils
down either to accepting the
traditional witness of the majority or
accepting the minority witness of the tradition represented by Sinaticus and
Vaticanus.There is no compelling
internal argument as to why the phrases might have been inserted and no reason
to deny the possibility that they simply might have been omitted by scribal
error or intention.The fuller reading
of the traditional text should stand until more convincing reasons are given
for its abandonment.