Thursday, October 21, 2021

WM 214: Text Note: Philippians 4:13


Abbreviated Notes:

I. What is the issue?

Philippians 4:13 KJV: I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.

Philippians 4:13 ESV: I can do all things through him who strengthens me.

These translations, of course reflect differences in text:

Philippians 4:13 Scrivener TR: παντα ισχυω εν τω ενδυναμουντι με χριστω

Philippians 4:13 WH: παντα ισχυω εν τω ενδυναμουντι με

II. External Evidence:

III. Internal Evidence:

Bruce Metzger, Textual Commentary (1994): “In order to identify who it is that strengthens Paul, the Textus Receptus, following several of the later uncials and many minuscules, adds Χριστῷ. If the word had been present in the original text, there would have been no reason to omit it” (550).

Philip Wesley Comfort, A Commentary on Textual Additions to the New Testament (Kregel, 2017) says the inclusion of “Christ” came about as the result of “scribal gap-filling wherein a scribe was influenced by 1 Timothy 1:12” (122).


Would scribe copying Philippians have been influenced by a disconnected passage from 1 Timothy?

If a scribe added “Christ” to harmonize with 1 Timothy 1:12 why did he add only “Christ.” Why did he not add, “Christ Jesus our Lord”?

If “Christ” was original why would a scribe have omitted it?

Accidental Omission.

Intentional Omission.

IV. Conclusions:

Michael Horton, The Christian Faith: A Systematic Theology for Pilgrims on the Way (Zondervan, 2011), regarding Christology: "The liberal trajectory leading from Reimarus’ Fragments to D. F. Strauss’s Life of Jesus and Adolf von Harnack’s Essence of Christianity is essentially Arian (or “Adoptionist”). 'The Gospel as Jesus preached it, has to do with the Father only and not with the Son,' Harnack declared" (464-465).

In the end, I see no reason to justify the abandonment of the traditional text of Philippians 4:13 and many reasons to reaffirm it.


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