Matthew 21:44 Is Included in WH NU But Is Bracketed to Show Doubts About It Being a part of the Original

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The Reading Culture of Early Christianity From Spoken Words to Sacred Texts 400,000 Textual Variants 02
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 180+ books. In addition, 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 that 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

The P52 PROJECT 4th ed. MISREPRESENTING JESUS

Matthew 21:44

TR WH NU [καὶ ὁ πεσὼν ἐπὶ τὸν λίθον τοῦτον συνθλασθήσεται· ἐφʼ ὃν δʼ ἂν πέσῃ λικμήσει αὐτόν.]
“And the one falling on this stone will be broken to pieces; and it will crush anyone on whom it falls.”
א B C L W Z (Θ) 0102 f1, Maj syrc,,p cop

Variant omit verse
𝔓104 D 33 it syr Origen Eusebius

The critical texts TR WH NU read ([καὶ ὁ πεσὼν ἐπὶ τὸν λίθον τοῦτον συνθλασθήσεται· ἐφʼ ὃν δʼ ἂν πέσῃ λικμήσει αὐτόν.] “And the person falling on this stone will be shattered. As for anyone on whom it falls, it will crush him.” This is supported by א B C L W Z (Θ) 0102 f1, Maj syrc,,p cop. A variant reading that is very much possibly the original reading omits the verse and is supported by P104 D 33 it syr Origen Eusebius, which is why the verse is in brackets, to signal the readers that there are doubts concerning it being a part of Matthew’s gospel. The documentary support for including the verse is good and would be enough to warrant most textual variants. However, the weight of P104 (c. 100-125 C.E.), the earliest manuscript omitting it, and internal considerations cast doubt on its originality.

9781949586121 THE NEW TESTAMENT DOCUMENTS

Philip W. Comfort writes,

This verse is included in WH NU but is bracketed to signal the editors’ doubts about it being a part of Matthew’s original composition. The inclusion of the verse has good documentary support, the kind that would usually affirm legitimacy for most textual variants. However, it is challenged by the testimony of 𝔓104, one of the very earliest manuscripts (early second century; see the discussion in Comfort 2005, 160–163). Although 𝔓104 is not cited in NA27 or UBS4, the reconstruction of its text can be done only with the exclusion of v. 44 (see Text of Earliest MSS, 644). The added testimony of D 33 it syr Origen and Eusebius strongly suggests that the verse was borrowed from Luke 20:18. Had the verse originally been in Matthew, it is difficult to explain what would have prompted its deletion. These concerns should give more translators cause for relegating the verse to the margin.

The first quote, in Matt 21:42, is taken from Ps 118:22–23; it is quoted in all the gospels to underscore the reality that Jesus, though rejected by the Jews, would become the cornerstone of the church. The next verse affirms this truth when it says, “the kingdom of God will be taken away from you [the Jews] and given to a people who will produce its fruit.” Then follows 21:44: “he who falls on this stone will be broken to pieces, but he on whom it falls will be crushed” (taken from Isa 8:14–15 and Dan 2:34–35, 44–45). This prophecy depicts Christ as both the stone over which the Jews stumbled and were broken (cf. Rom 9:30–33; 1 Cor 1:23) and the stone that will smash all kingdoms in the process of establishing God’s kingdom.

Bruce M. Metzger writes,

21:44 [Καὶ … αὐτόν.] {C}

Many modern scholars regard the verse as an early interpolation (from Lk 20:18) into most manuscripts of Matthew. On the other hand, however, the words are not the same, and a more appropriate place for its insertion would have been after ver. 42. Its omission can perhaps be accounted for when the eye of the copyist passed from αὐτῆς (ver. 43) to αὐτόν. While considering the verse to be an accretion to the text, yet because of the antiquity of the reading and its importance in the textual tradition, the Committee decided to retain it in the text, enclosed within square brackets.

Roger L. Omanson and Bruce Manning Metzger write,

21:44 [Καὶ … αὐτόν.] ([And … him.]) {C}

Many modern scholars regard this verse as an early addition from Luke 20:18 into most manuscripts of Matthew, and it is omitted by REB, NJB, and TEV. However, this verse could be original since the words here are not the same as in Luke; and a more appropriate place for adding them would have been after v. 42. If original, these words may have been omitted when the eye of a copyist passed from αὐτῆς at the end of v. 43 τὸ αὐτόν at the end of v. 44. Although this verse is probably a later addition to the text, it is kept in the text in brackets because of its antiquity and its importance in the textual tradition.

APOSTOLIC FATHERS Lightfoot

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 itIt 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.

Copyists made some additions to their Greek text at times. They were more inclined to do this than to omit material. One must always carry out careful research of the external and internal evidence to uncover such scribal interpolations. Hence, the most dependable witnesses are from the Alexandrian family of manuscripts found to be the most condensed. On the other hand, the Byzantine family is the most drawn out and extended from scribes taking liberties with the text.

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.

APOSTOLIC FATHERS Lightfoot APOSTOLIC FATHERS

SOURCES

  • 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),
  • 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

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