Where Did Matthew 18:11 Go?

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Edward D. Andrews
EDWARD D. ANDREWS (AS in Criminal Justice, BS in Religion, MA in Biblical Studies, and MDiv in Theology) is CEO and President of Christian Publishing House. He has authored over 100 books. Andrews is the Chief Translator of the Updated American Standard Version (UASV).

Major Critical Texts of the New Testament

Byz RP: 2005 Byzantine Greek New Testament, Robinson & Pierpont
TR1550: 1550 Stephanus New Testament
Maj: The Majority Text (thousands of minuscules which display a similar text)
Gries: 1774-1775 Johann Jakob Griesbach Greek New Testament
Treg: 1857-1879 Samuel Prideaux Tregelles Greek New Testament
Tisch: 1872 Tischendorf’s Greek New Testament
WH: 1881 Westcott-Hort Greek New Testament
NA28: 2012 Nestle-Aland Greek New Testament
UBS5: 2014 Greek New Testament
NU: Both Nestle-Aland and the United Bible Society

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Matthew 18:11 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)

11 ——[202]

ΚΑΤΑ ΜΑΤΘΑΙΟΝ 18:11 1550 Stephanus New Testament (TR1550)

11 Ἦλθενis come γὰρfor the υἱὸςSon τοῦof the ἀνθρώπουman σῶσαιto save τὸthat which ἀπολωλός.was lost.

WH NU omit verse
א B L* Θ* f1, 33 ite syrs copsa Origen

variant 1/TR add verse, as Ηλθεν γαρ ο υιος του ανθρωπου σωσαι το απολωλος
“For the Son of Man has come to save that which was lost.”
D L W Θc 078 Maj syrc,p

variant 2 add verse, as Ηλθεν γαρ ο υιος του ανθρωπου ζητησαι και σωσαι το απολωλος
“For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.”
Lmg 892c itc syrh

The P52 PROJECT THE NEW TESTAMENT DOCUMENTS 4th ed. MISREPRESENTING JESUS

The earliest and most trusted two manuscripts (א B) do not include variant 1 or variant 2. Also excluding these variants is L* Θ* f1, 33 ite syrs copsa Origen as well. Multiple later manuscripts (D L W Θc 078 Maj syrc,p) ad variant 1: “For the Son of Man has come to save that which was lost.” Several other manuscripts (Lmg 892c itc syrh) would expand upon this reading in variant 2: “For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.” Based on their not being in the most important and trusted witnesses and diverse witnesses (Alexandrian, Egyptian, Antiochian), clearly, variant 1 and variant 2 are interpolations (spurious) were not part of the original. It seems that the copyists inserted this verse in the text to create some sort of bridge between Matthew 18:10 and 18:12, so they borrowed it from Luke 19:10, which is not even parallel to this one. In all likelihood, the shorter variant came first and a later copyist expanded upon it with the longer variant 2, bringing it to the point where it corresponds exactly with Luke 19:10.

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SOURCES

Bruce Manning Metzger, United Bible Societies, A Textual Commentary on the Greek New Testament, Second Edition a Companion Volume to the United Bible Societies’ Greek New Testament (4th Rev. Ed.) (London; New York: United Bible Societies, 1994), 36.

Philip W. Comfort, New Testament Text and Translation Commentary: Commentary on the Variant Readings of the Ancient New Testament Manuscripts and How They Relate to the Major English Translations (Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., 2008), 53.

Philip Wesley Comfort, A COMMENTARY ON THE MANUSCRIPTS AND TEXT OF THE NEW TESTAMENT (Grand Rapids, MI: Kregel Academic, 2015), 158.

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