Galatians 6:15, longer or shorter reading?

Discussion in 'Bible Versions/Translations' started by Greektim, Jul 11, 2016.

  1. Greektim

    Greektim
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    Shorter reading:
    For neither circumcision counts for anything, nor uncircumcision, but a new creation. (ESV)
    οὔτε γὰρ περιτομή τι ἔστιν οὔτε ἀκροβυστία, ἀλλὰ καινὴ κτίσις.
    p46 ‭B 33 1175 1505 1908 2005 075 and varied versional support

    Longer reading:
    For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision avails anything, but a new creation. (NKJV)
    Ἐν γὰρ χριστῷ Ἰησοῦ οὔτε περιτομήτι ἰσχύει, οὔτε ἀκροβυστία, ἀλλὰ καινὴ κτίσις.
    אA C D F G P 0278 6 81 104 459 1241 1739c 1881 1852 2200 Byz and varied versional support

    The external evidence is pretty lopsided for the longer reading. But the NA & UBS went with the shorter for internal reasons, primarily that the longer reading is verbatum from 5:6 (Checked Metzger's & Comfort's textual commentaries to confirm this as the main reason). This is indicated by the fact that the strong textual support for the longer reading is divided about whether it should follow the ἰσχύει ("avails") reading also found in 5:6 or the easier ἐστιν ("is"). However most that follow the "avails" reading has a clear bent toward the Byzantine textform. Would it follow that the longer reading then is simply a Byzantine assimilation from 5:6?

    You might say that this variant is so minor, and I would agree in part. However, it does affect translation and there is a strong theological emphasis on the believer's union as "in Christ". So due diligence would cause us to weigh the options.

    Is there a good reason for a scribe to omit the prepositional phrase "in Christ Jesus" other than for the sake of avoiding redundancy?

    I suppose a scribe could skip right to the oute and assume the postpositive gar should follow picking up with "circumcision" and leaving out "in Christ Jesus". Is that a viable reason or is it reaching.

    As always internal vs. external are pretty much set at odds. So which takes precedence?
     
  2. Greektim

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    Bump

    either that or I gotta stop posting these
     
  3. banana

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    According to the NET "in Christ Jesus" is also lacking from several church fathers
     
  4. Martin Marprelate

    Martin Marprelate
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    I would say that the longer reading is correct because it is.......well......correct.
    In Jesus Christ circumcision matters not a jot. Outside of Jesus Christ, circumcision matters a great deal. Ask any Jew or Moslem.

    But that sort of logic is the very reason that modern textual criticism rejects it. The dafter a reading is, the more likely it is to be in the Critical Text.

    Oh yes, and about 98% of the existing Greek texts have the longer reading.

    [runs and hides from inevitable backlash from Rippon]
     
    #4 Martin Marprelate, Jul 26, 2016
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2016
    • Agree Agree x 1
  5. Van

    Van
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    Thanks Greektim, for providing a great verse for study. In Galatians 5:6 we see that in Christ, our past means nothing, but our lives going forward means everything. "Faith working through love" I think refers to what James called "live faith" in contrast to "dead faith." Our love and devotion to Christ result in service to Christ and striving to become more like Christ.

    Now in our verse (Galatians 6:15) the apparent addition of "in Christ" does not alter the meaning whatsoever. The idea is that if we are actually "in Christ" our past, means nothing. If we are actually in Christ, we are a new creation, born anew. And as a new creation, we are to push forward toward the prize, we are to run our race, proudly bearing the brand marks of Christ.
     
  6. Van

    Van
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    1 Corinthians 7:19 makes clear that it is ok to change from our condition when called, i.e. become not a slave, but free, but what really matters is our devotion to Christ as demonstrated by striving to keep His commands.
     
  7. Smyth

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    Both versions teach the same doctrine. The inclusion of "in Christ Jesus" is a given even if not stated.
     
  8. Van

    Van
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    2 Corinthians 5:17 makes clear if anyone has actually been placed in Christ, they are a new creation, the old dead spiritual condition has passed away, for we are made alive together with Christ (Ephesians 2:5).
    Thus our spiritual position (in Christ or not in Christ) is key, not the circumstance of our birth (Jew or Gentile, PK or MK, and so forth.)
     
  9. Van

    Van
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    Paul presents a fuller version of why our blood line or physical condition (circumcised or not) means nothing at Romans 2:25-29.
     

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