Saturday, June 24, 2017

WM # 77: Jude 5

I recorded and uploaded this afternoon, Word Magazine # 77: Jude 5.

Here are my notes:

The NA28 incorporated for the first time use of the CBGM from the ECM, but only in the catholic epistles. The NA28 lists 33 changes from the NA27 (pp. 50-51). Most of these are minor, but there at least two major changes: 2 Peter 3:10 and Jude 5.

Note: The CBGM/ECM method will continue to be incorporated in future edition of the modern critical text. Recent posts on the ETC blog indicate two recent key developments coming out of Germany: (1) In June 2017 the Text und Textwert edition of Revelation was published (determining the witnesses cited in the ECM and eventually bound in reduced form for the NA) (see here); and (2) In August 2017 the two-volume ECM edition of Acts will be released (see here).

I.                The issue: Jude 5:

The major change is the use of “Jesus” rather than “Lord.”

Compare (emphasis added):

Jude 5 KJV: I will therefore put you in remembrance, though ye once knew this, how that the Lord, having saved the people out of Egypt, afterward destroyed them that believed not.

Jude 5 ESV: Now I want to remind you , although you once fully knew it, that Jesus who saved a people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed those who did not believe.

II.              The external evidence: Jude 5:

There are some minor variations. A few mss. include the conjunction oun (C, Psi, etc.) and one ms. inserts “brethren [adelphoi]” (p78).

The major variation is at the phrase “though ye once knew this, how that the Lord” (KJV):

TR: eidotes humas hapax touto hoti ho kurios
NA27: eidotes [humas] panta hoti [ho] kurios hapax
NA 28: eidotes humas hapax panta hoti Iesous

The apparatus of the NA 28 lists no less than 13 variations:

1.    humas panta hoti kurios hapax (Sinaiticus)
2.    humas hapax touto hoti ho kurios (1175, 1448, Byz)
3.    hapax panta (touto: 5) hoti ho theos (C2, 5, vg mss)
4.    hapax touto hoti ho kurios (307, 436, 642)
5.    panta hoti ho theos hapax (442, 1243, 2492, vg mss, Syriac ph)
6.    panta hoti ho (-Psi) kurios hapax (Psi, 1611, Syriac h)
7.    hapax panta (pantas p72*) hoti theos christos (p72)
8.    hapax panta hoti (plus ho 33*) Iesous (A, 33, 81, 2344, vg)
9.    panta hoti ho Iesous hapax (88, sa mss?, bo?)
10. panta hoti Iesous hapax (1739 txt, sa ms? bo? Origen 1739 mg)
11. hapax touto hoti kurios Iesous (1735)
12. panta hapax gar Iesous (1739 varia lectio)
13. humas hapax panta hoti Iesous (B)


(1)  The NA28 reading is found is exactly found in only one ms: B [and there is no evidence that this reading was ever copied];

(2)  The main issue is the one acting (the Lord or Jesus), but there are other variants. See this table:

[ho] kurios
Sinaiticus, 1175, 1448, Byz; 307, 436, 642; Psi, 1611, Syriac h
A, B, 33, 81, 88, 1739 txt, 2344; vg, sa ms?, bo?, Origen 1739 mg, 1739 varia lectio
Kurios Iesous
C 2, 5, vg ms.; 442, 1243, 2492, vg mss., Syriac ph
theos christos

Observations: There are only 8 papyri mss. of the catholic epistles. Of those only 2 are of Jude; p72 (all of Jude); p78 (Jude 4-5, 7-8). Of the uncials, the evidence is divided. Sinaiticus has kurios, while A and B have Iesous.

III.            The Internal Evidence: Jude 5

See Bruce Meztger’s Textual Commentary, Second Edition, prepared for the UBS 4 (pp. 657-658). It gives [ho] kurios a “D” reading but retains it nonetheless.

He notes that the committee believed the reading of Iesous “was difficult to the point of impossibility,and explained its origin in terms of transcriptional oversight” (mistaking the nomina sacra for kurios [kappa sigma] as that for Jesus [iota sigma]).

He adds that nowhere else in Jude does the name Jesus appear alone but as Jesus Christ.

He also notes that though the Iesous reading is well attested it would be “strange and unparalleled” to ascribe to Jesus this OT action.

Here is a place where text criticism of the twentieth century (Metzger) is set against that of the twenty-first century (NA28)!

IV.            Conclusion:

Though the variation here is slight, it introduces the peculiar challenge of an unstable text for those who embrace the ever-changing modern critical text. One might argue that the modern text offers a high Christology by attributing to Jesus divine action in the exodus. But this would actually argue against it, since “the Lord’ is a reading of equal antiquity that apparently resists this pious tendency. Metzger’s explanation of confusion over the nomina sacra seems more than plausible.

The “new reading” was adapted by the ESV and the NET Bible even before NA28 was published. It has now been adopted by the NLT (2015) and the Christian Standard Bible (2017).

These are the first vernacular translations to offer this reading since the Protestant Reformation. But is this change warranted? I do not think it is. We should stick with the traditional reading.


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