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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
SBLGNT: 2010 Greek New Testament
THGNT: 2017 The Greek New Testament by Tyndale House
GENTI: 2020 Greek-English New Testament Interlinear
James 1:3 The Greek-English New Testament Interlinear (GENTI)
3 γινώσκοντες ὅτι τὸ δοκίμιον ὑμῶν τῆς πίστεως κατεργάζεται ὑπομονήν·
WH NU GENTI δοκιμιον
“a testing: proof”
All other MSS
110 431 1241 Didymus
The likeliest reason for the variant is merely the similar spelling of the word and having a similar meaning, and so the copyist transcribed the wrong word (110 431 1241 Didymus). However, in 1 Peter 1:7 we also have a few manuscripts (P72 P74 23 56 69 206 429* 1852) that read δοκιμον instead of δοκιμιον, which may have influenced the copyist working on James. The δοκιμιον reading is found in all other manuscripts.
Knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance (James 1:3)
The word used here for testing is the Greek word (δοκίμιον dokimion), which has the sense of genuineness, that is, not fake or counterfeit. It and means “putting to proof, testing or to prove genuineness. When a shopkeeper proofs Gold, he is establishing whether it is genuine. In other words, when we face a trial or hard time and faithfully come through on the other side, our faith has been proofed or tested as being genuine.
James was making it clear that God was allowing these trials, which were simply the result of imperfection entering into humanity, because of the rebellion in Eden. When these believers experienced trials (difficulties, hardships, problems), their faith became one that was ‘put to the proof.’ It became a ‘proved’ or ‘tested’ faith that had survived the difficulties of human imperfect and Satan’s world, with their approved relationship with God intact. When the believer’s faith was proofed, tested by trials, it was developed to strengthen, enabling them to possess the quality of endurance. This was no mere living through a difficulty, but rather one needed to have such qualities as fortitude, resolution, strength, staying power, steadfastness, and integrity when tempted to take the easy way out of the affliction by abandoning the faith.
We see this happening in the life of Job when God allowed Satan to take Job’s livestock, servants, family, and health. In all this, Job remained steadfast and never lost his faith in God; thus, he evidenced his faith. James wants his readers to understand that though God is not the cause of trials, he is allowing the trials in their lives to proof the genuineness of their faith, which leads to endurance. James states that God could produce endurance in the believer’s life by allowing the trials.
Endurance, perseverance, and Patience are fruits of such a trial, and knowing why makes the endurance come easier. The thought expressed here is also in Romans 5:3, “And not only that, but let us exult while in tribulations, since we know that tribulation produces endurance.” The sufferings of the evil that surrounds us daily on the mind of the Christian results in them acquiring more endurance, perseverance, and patience. On the other hand, the unbeliever takes on other qualities, such as being irritable, emotionally troubled, which is then more deeply engrained by continuous complaining, resulting in more and more obstinate and rebellious thinking. Sadly, they do not have any source of consolation. In essence, they have no hope beyond this brief life filled with so much trouble and toil.
However, the Christian, who has God and the hope of eternal life where He “will wipe away every tear from [our] eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things, have passed away.” (Rev 21:4) Another comfort that the Christian has is, why would an all-powerful, loving, righteous, just God allow so much suffering. We know why, which gives us more endurance. For the Christian mind, who knows why God has allowed such suffering for a time, who has faith in the wisdom and goodness of God, who understands why his own life must be tried; and who finds joy in such, knowing that it produces even more endurance.
Variant Reading(s): differing versions of a word or phrase found in two or more manuscripts within a variation unit (see below). Variant readings are also called alternate readings.
Variation Unit: any portion of text that exhibits variations in its reading between two or more different manuscripts. It is important to distinguish variation units from variant readings. Variation units are the places in the text where manuscripts disagree, and each variation unit has at least two variant readings. Setting the limits and range of a variation unit is sometimes difficult or even controversial because some variant readings affect others nearby. Such variations may be considered individually, or as elements of a single reading. One should also note that the terms “manuscript” and “witness” may appear to be used interchangeably in this context. Strictly speaking, “witness” (see below) will only refer to the content of a given manuscript or fragment, which it predates to a greater or lesser extent. However, the only way to reference the “witness” is by referring to the manuscript or fragment that contains it. In this book, we have sometimes used the terminology “witness of x or y manuscript” to distinguish the content in this way.
TERMS AS TO HOW WE SHOULD OBJECTIVELY VIEW THE DEGREE OF CERTAINTY FOR THE READING ACCEPTED AS THE ORIGINAL
The modal verbs are might have been (30%), may have been (40%), could have been (55%), would have been (80%), must have been (95%), which are used to show that we believe the originality of a reading is certain, probable or possible.
The letter [WP] stands for Weak Possibility (30%), which indicates that this is a low-level proof that the reading might have been original in that it is enough evidence to accept that the variant might have been possible, but it is improbable. We can say the reading might have been original, as there is some evidence that is derived from manuscripts that carry very little weight, early versions, or patristic quotations.
The letter [P] stands for Plausible (40%), which indicates that this is a low-level proof that the reading may have been original in that it is enough to accept a variant to be original and we have enough evidence for our belief. The reading may have been original but it is not probably so.
The letter [PE] stands for Preponderance of Evidence (55%), which indicates that this is a higher-level proof that the reading could have been original in that it is enough to accept as such unless another reading emerges as more probable.
The letter [CE] stands for Convincing Evidence (80%), which indicates that the evidence is an even higher-level proof that the reading surely was the original in that the evidence is enough to accept it as substantially certain unless proven otherwise.
The letter [BRD] stands for Beyond Reasonable Doubt (95%), which indicates that this is the highest level of proof: the reading must have been original in that there is no reason to doubt it. It must be understood that feeling as though we have no reason to doubt is not the same as one hundred percent absolute certainty.
NOTE: This system is borrowed from the criminal just legal terms of the United States of America, the level of certainty involved in the use of modal verbs, and Bruce Metzger in his A Textual Commentary on the Greek New Testament (London; New York: United Bible Societies, 1994), who borrowed his system from Johann Albrecht Bengel in his edition of the Greek New Testament (Tübingen, 1734). In addition, the percentages are in no way attempting to be explicit but rather they are nothing more than a tool to give the non-textual scholar a sense of the degree of certainty. However, this does not mean the percentages are not reflective of certainty.
- Edward D. Andrews, FROM SPOKEN WORDS TO SACRED TEXTS: Introduction-Intermediate New Testament Textual Studies (Cambridge, Ohio), 2021.
- B. F. Westcott and F. J. A. Hort, Introduction to the New Testament in the Original Greek: Appendix (New York: Harper and Brothers, 1882)
- Biblical Studies Press, The NET Bible First Edition Notes (Biblical Studies Press, 2006)
- 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),
- Eberhard Nestle and Erwin Nestle, Nestle-Aland: NTG Apparatus Criticus, ed. Barbara Aland et al., 28. revidierte Auflage. (Stuttgart: Deutsche Bibelgesellschaft, 2012).
- Dirk Jongkind, ed., The Greek New Testament: Apparatus (Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2017).
- Dirk Jongkind, ed., The Greek New Testament (Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2017), Matt. 6:8.
- Eberhard Nestle and Erwin Nestle, Nestle-Aland: Novum Testamentum Graece, ed. Barbara Aland et al., 28. revidierte Auflage. (Stuttgart: Deutsche Bibelgesellschaft, 2012)
- Philip Wesley Comfort, A COMMENTARY ON THE MANUSCRIPTS AND TEXT OF THE NEW TESTAMENT (Grand Rapids, MI: Kregel Academic, 2015).
- 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).
- Philip Wesley Comfort and David P. Barrett, The Text of the Earliest New Testament Manuscripts: Text of the Earliest New Testament Greek Manuscripts, 2 Volume Set The (English and Greek Edition) (Grand Rapids, MI: Kregel Academic, 2019)
- Rick Brannan and Israel Loken, The Lexham Textual Notes on the Bible, Lexham Bible Reference Series (Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press, 2014).
- Roger L. Omanson and Bruce Manning Metzger, A Textual Guide to the Greek New Testament: An Adaptation of Bruce M. Metzger’s Textual Commentary for the Needs of Translators (Stuttgart: Deutsche Bibelgesellschaft, 2006).
- Wallace B., Daniel (n.d.). Retrieved from The Center for the Study of New Testament Manuscripts: http://csntm.org/
- Wilker, Wieland (n.d.). Retrieved from An Online Textual Commentary on the Greek Gospels: http://www.willker.de/wie/TCG/index.html