A Student's Guide to
New Testament Textual Variants

The Gospel According to Matthew

Matt. 1:1-10:3


Matthew 1:10:

TEXT: "and Manasseh the father of Amos, and Amos the father of Josiah"
EVIDENCE: S B C Delta Theta Pi* f1 33 most lat cop
TRANSLATIONS: ASVn RSV NRSV NASVn
RANK: B

NOTES: "and Manasseh the father of Amon, and Amon the father of Josiah"
EVIDENCE: K L W Pi2 f13 28 565 (700 892 Ammon) 1241 Byz most Lect vg syr
TRANSLATIONS: KJV ASV* RSVn NRSVn NASV* NIV NEB TEV

COMMENTS: Amon is more nearly like the Hebrew spelling in the Old Testament, but several Greek Old Testament manuscripts spell his name Amos in various places. It is thus likely that copyists changed the unusual form of the name (i.e., Amos) to the more usual form (i.e. Amon).

Matthew 1:16:

TEXT: "and Jacob the father of Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom Jesus was born, who is called Christ"
EVIDENCE: p1 S B C K L P W Delta Pi 28 33 565 700 892 1010 1241 Byz most Lect some lat vg syr(p,h,pal) cop
TRANSLATIONS: KJV ASV RSV NASV NIV NEB TEV
RANK: B

NOTES: "and Jacob the father of Joseph, to whom being engaged the virgin Mary bore Jesus, who is called Christ"
EVIDENCE: Theta f13 one Lect many lat
TRANSLATIONS: NEBn

NOTES: "and Jacob the father of Joseph; Joseph, to whom the virgin Mary was engaged, was the father of Jesus who is called the Christ"
EVIDENCE: syr(s)
TRANSLATIONS: NEBn

COMMENTS: The second reading seems to have originated from a desire on the part of copyists to make sure the reader understood that Mary was still a virgin at the time Jesus was born. The third reading seems to be a translation of the second where the translator put the sentence in the same form as the earlier verses, thus inadvertently having Joseph father Jesus.

Matthew 1:18:

TEXT: "Now the birth of Jesus Christ was like this."
EVIDENCE: p1 S C K L P Delta Theta Pi f1 f13 28 33 565 700 892 1010 1241 Byz Lect syr(p,h,pal) cop
TRANSLATIONS: KJV ASV RSV NASV NIV TEV
RANK: C

NOTES: "Now the birth of the Christ was like this."
EVIDENCE: lat vg syr(c,s)
TRANSLATIONS: ASVn NEB

OTHER: "Now the birth of Christ Jesus was like this."
EVIDENCE: B

OTHER: "Now the birth of Jesus was like this."
EVIDENCE: W

COMMENTS: The shorter reading "the Christ" may have been taken from verse 17.

Matthew 3:16:

TEXT: "the heavens were opened to him and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove"
EVIDENCE: Sb C D(supp) K L P W Delta f1 f13 28 33 565 700 892 1010 1241 Byz most Lect lat vg syr(p,h) cop(north)
TRANSLATIONS: KJV ASV RSVn TEV
RANK: C

NOTES: "the heavens were opened and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove"
EVIDENCE: S* B syr(c,s) cop(south)
TRANSLATIONS: ASVn RSV NASV NIV NEB

COMMENTS: It is possible that copyists who did not understand the force of "to him" omitted the word as unneeded. The word translated "to him" is bracketed in the UBS text.

Matthew 4:17:

TEXT: "Jesus began preaching and saying, 'Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.'"
EVIDENCE: all Greek most lat vg syr(p,h,pal) cop
TRANSLATIONS: KJV ASV RSV NASV NIV NEB TEV
RANK: B

NOTES: "Jesus began preaching and saying, 'The kingdom of heaven has come near.'"
EVIDENCE: one lat syr(c,s)
TRANSLATIONS: NEBn

COMMENTS: While it is possible that the words "repent, for" were added to make this verse read like Matthew 3:2, it seems that the words are original since all Greek manuscripts include them.

Matthew 4:23:

TEXT: "And he was going about in all Galilee"
EVIDENCE: B one Lect one lat syr(c) cop(south)
TRANSLATIONS: ASVn RSV NASV(Jesus in italics) NEB
RANK: C

NOTES: "And Jesus was going about in all Galilee"
EVIDENCE: S C D K W Delta Pi f1 f13 28 33 565 700 892 1010 1241 Byz most Lect most it vg syr(s,p,h,pal) cop(north)
TRANSLATIONS: KJV ASV NIV TEV

COMMENTS: The word "Jesus" is found in two different places in the manuscripts which contain it. This would seem to indicate that it was originally missing and was added to make the sense clear, especially since this verse started a Lectionary reading section.

Matthew 5:4-5:

TEXT: verse 4 followed by verse 5
EVIDENCE: S B C K W Delta Theta Pi f1 f13 28 565 700 892 1010 1241 Byz Lect syr(s,p,h,pal) cop
TRANSLATIONS: KJV ASV RSV NASV NIV NEB TEV
RANK: B

NOTES: verse 5 followed by verse 4
EVIDENCE: D 33 most lat vg syr(c)
TRANSLATIONS: ASVn

COMMENTS: It seems that some western copyists put verse 5 which speaks of inheriting the "earth" next to verse 3 which speaks of possessing the kingdom of "heaven."

Matthew 5:22:

TEXT: "everyone who is angry with his brother shall be liable to judgment"
EVIDENCE: p67vid S* B 2174vid vg
TRANSLATIONS: ASV RSV NASV NIV NEB TEV
RANK: C

NOTES: "everyone who is angry with his brother without cause shall be liable to judgment"
EVIDENCE: Sc D K L W Delta Theta Pi f1 f13 28 33 565 700 892 1010 1241 Byz Lect lat syr cop
TRANSLATIONS: KJV ASVn RSVn NASVn NIVn NEBn TEVn

COMMENTS: It seems more likely that copyists would soften the teaching by adding "without cause" than leave it out and thus make it more difficult. However, it is also possible that it was accidently omitted when a copyist's eye jumped from eike "without cause" to the next word enokhos "liable."

Matthew 5:25:

TEXT: "lest your opponent should deliver you up to the judge, and the judge to the officer"
EVIDENCE: p64vid S B f1 f13 892 syr(pal)
TRANSLATIONS: ASVn RSV NASV NEB
RANK: B

NOTES: "lest your opponent should deliver you up to the judge, and the judge should deliver you up to the officer"
EVIDENCE: D K L W Delta Theta Pi 28 33 565 700 1010 1241 Byz Lect most it vg syr(c,s,p,h) cop
TRANSLATIONS: KJV ASV NIV TEV

COMMENTS: The words "should deliver you up" were either omitted as a literary refinement, or added to complete the parallel with the first part of the verse. Since manuscripts from two different types of ancient text (Alexandrian and pre-Caesarean) leave out the words, and similar words are found in the parallel in Luke 12:58, it seems more likely that they were added here to increase the parallelism.

Matthew 5:37:

TEXT: "what you say must be 'Yes,' 'Yes' [or] 'No,' 'No'"
EVIDENCE: S D K L W Delta Theta Pi f1 f13 28 33 565 892 1010 1241 Byz Lect lat vg cop
TRANSLATIONS: KJV ASV RSV NASV NIV NEB TEV
RANK: B

NOTES: "what you say shall be 'Yes,' 'Yes' [or] 'No,' 'No'"
EVIDENCE: B 700 1546 syr
TRANSLATIONS: ASVn

COMMENTS: The difference is only one of two letters with no real difference in meaning. Since "must be" is supported by so many different manuscripts from different kinds of ancient texts, it is preferable.

Matthew 5:44:

TEXT: "Start loving plyour enemies and praying for those who persecute plyou"
EVIDENCE: S B v1 one lat syr(c,s) cop
TRANSLATIONS: ASV RSV NASV NIV NEB TEV
RANK: A

NOTES: "Start loving plyour enemies, keep blessing those who curse plyou, keep doing good to those who hate plyou and praying for those who persecute plyou"
EVIDENCE: D K L W Delta Theta Pi f13 28 33 565 700 892 1010 1241 Byz Lect most lat vg (omits "doing good" clause) syr(p,h,pal)
TRANSLATIONS: KJV NIVn NEBn

COMMENTS: The two added clauses occur in four major ways, two of which omit one or the other of the clauses, with many variations, but usually in the same form as in the parallel passage in Luke 6:27-28, from which they were probably taken.

Matthew 5:44:

TEXT: "and praying for those who persecute plyou"
EVIDENCE: S B f1 one lat syr(c,s) cop
TRANSLATIONS: ASV RSV NASV NIV NEB TEV
RANK: A

NOTES: "and praying for those who abuse plyou and those who persecute plyou"
EVIDENCE: D K L W Delta Theta Pi f13 28 33 565 700 892 1010 Byz Lect some lat syr(p,h,pal)
TRANSLATIONS: KJV NEBn

OTHER: "and praying for those who persecute and abuse plyou"
EVIDENCE: most lat vg

OTHER: "and praying for those who abuse plyou"
EVIDENCE: 1241

COMMENTS: The parallel passage in Luke 6:28 reads "those who abuse plyou," from which the addition probably came.

Matthew 6:4:

TEXT: "your Father who sees in secret will repay you"
EVIDENCE: S B D f1 f13 33 some lat vg syr(c) cop
TRANSLATIONS: ASV RSV NASV NIV NEB TEV
RANK: B

NOTES: "your Father who sees in secret will repay you in the open"
EVIDENCE: K L W Delta Theta Pi 28 565 700 892 1010 1241 Byz Lect some lat syr(s,p,h,pal)
TRANSLATIONS: KJV NEBn

COMMENTS: The words "in the open" are absent from the oldest manuscripts of several types of ancient text. It seems that they were added to make a contrast with "in secret."

Matthew 6:6:

TEXT: "your Father who sees in secret will repay you"
EVIDENCE: S B D f1 some lat vg syr(c,s,one pal) cop
TRANSLATIONS: ASV RSV NASV NIV NEB TEV
RANK: B

NOTES: "your Father who sees in secret will repay you in the open"
EVIDENCE: K L W X Delta Theta Pi f13 28 33 565 700 892 1010 1241 Byz Lect some lat syr(p,h,some pal)
TRANSLATIONS: KJV NEBn

COMMENTS: The words "in the open" are absent from the oldest manuscripts of several types of ancient text. It seems that they were added to make a contrast with "in secret."

Matthew 6:8:

TEXT: "for plyour Father knows what plyou need before plyou ask him"
EVIDENCE: S* D K L W Delta Theta Pi 0170vid f13 565 700 892 1010 1241 Byz Lect lat vg syr(c,s,p,pal) cop(north)
TRANSLATIONS: KJV ASV RSV NASV NIV NEB TEV
RANK: A

NOTES: "for God plyour Father knows what plyou need before plyou ask him"
EVIDENCE: Sa B cop(south)
TRANSLATIONS: ASVn

OTHER: "for our Father knows what plyou need before plyou ask him"
EVIDENCE: f1

OTHER: "for plyour heavenly Father knows what plyou need before plyou ask him"
EVIDENCE: 28 syr(h)

COMMENTS: The phrase "God plyour Father" seems to have been borrowed from Paul's writing. It is found only in manuscripts of the Alexandrian text type. The phrase "plyour heavenly Father" seems to have been borrowed from verse 14. The substitution of "our" for "plyour" in some manuscripts is due to a mistake of the ear, because in later Greek the two words were pronounced alike.

Matthew 6:13:

TEXT: "but rescue us from the evil one."
EVIDENCE: S B D 0170 f1 many lat vg most cop(north)
TRANSLATIONS: ASV RSV NASVn NIV NEB TEV
RANK: A

NOTES: "but rescue us from the evil one, because yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen."
EVIDENCE: K L W Delta Theta Pi f13 28 33 565 700 892 1010 1241 Byz Lect some lat syr(p,h,pal) TRANSLATIONS: KJV ASVn RSVn NASV (in brackets) NIVn NEBn TEVn

OTHER: "but rescue us from the evil one, because yours is the power forever and ever."
EVIDENCE: one lat

OTHER: "but rescue us from the evil one, because yours is the kingdom and the glory forever. Amen."
EVIDENCE: syr(c)

OTHER: "but rescue us from the evil one, because yours is the power and the glory forever. Amen."
EVIDENCE: cop(south)

COMMENTS: The familiar ending to the Lord's Prayer is absent from old manuscripts of several types of ancient text. It is found in several forms, the best known of which seems to have come from 1 Chronicles 29:11-13.

Matthew 6:18:

TEXT: "your Father who sees in secret will repay you"
EVIDENCE: S B D K L W Theta Pi f1 f13 28 33 565 700 892 1010 some Byz most Lect some lat vg most syr cop
TRANSLATIONS: ASV RSV NASV NIV NEB TEV
RANK: A

NOTES: "your Father who sees in secret will repay you in the open"
EVIDENCE: Delta 1241 some Byz some lat one syr
TRANSLATIONS: KJV

COMMENTS: The words "in the open" are absent from the oldest manuscripts of several types of ancient text. It seems that they were added to make a contrast with "in secret," perhaps from verses 4 and 6 in those manuscripts in which they are found.

Matthew 6:28:

TEXT: "they neither labor nor spin"
EVIDENCE: Sa B K L W Delta Pi f1 f13 28 33 565 700 892 1010 1241 Byz Lect lat vg syr(p,h,pal) cop
TRANSLATIONS: KJV ASV RSV NASV NIV NEB TEV
RANK: B

NOTES: "they neither card nor spin nor labor"
EVIDENCE: S*(vid)
TRANSLATIONS: NEBn

OTHER: "they neither spin nor labor"
EVIDENCE: Theta syr(c)

COMMENTS: The manuscripts listed as evidence under the text show several variations, especially as to whether the verbs are plural or singular in form. But in Greek a neuter plural noun can take a singular verb with no change in meaning. The footnote reading that includes carding was apparently a scribal idiosyncrasy that was corrected almost immediately. It was discovered only when the manuscript was examined under an ultra-violet lamp.

Matthew 6:33:

TEXT: "But keep seeking first the kingdom of God and his righteousness"
EVIDENCE: K L W Delta Theta Pi f1 f13 28 33 565 700 892 1010 1241 Byz Lect most lat vg syr
TRANSLATIONS: KJV NEB TEV
RANK: C

NOTES: "But keep seeking first the kingdom and his righteousness"
EVIDENCE: S B ("the righteousness and his kingdom") one lat cop
TRANSLATIONS: ASV RSV NASV NIV

COMMENTS: The words "of God" are enclosed in brackets in the UBS Greek text. On the one hand, it is possible that these words were originally absent and they were added by copyists to make the sense clear. On the other hand, since Matthew almost always uses a modifier with the word "kingdom," it is possible that they were originally present and were accidently omitted.

Matthew 7:13:

TEXT: "because the gate [is] wide and the way [is] broad"
EVIDENCE: Sb B C K L W X Delta Theta Pi f1 f13 28 33 565 700 892 1010 1241 Byz Lect some lat vg syr cop
TRANSLATIONS: KJV ASV RSV NASV NIV NEB TEV
RANK: C

NOTES: "because the way [is] wide and broad"
EVIDENCE: S* 1646 some lat
TRANSLATIONS: ASVn RSVn NEBn

COMMENTS: It is possible that the words "the gate" were originally absent and were added from verse 14. But because of the great number of manuscripts of different text type that include them, it is probable that they are original.

Matthew 7:14:

TEXT: "How narrow the gate [is], and confined the way, that leads to life"
EVIDENCE: Sc B3 C K L W X*(vid) Delta Theta Pi f1 f13 28 565 700* 892 1241 Byz most Lect most lat vg syr
TRANSLATIONS: ASVn NIV ("But") NEB ("but") TEV ("But")
RANK: B

NOTES: "Because the gate [is] narrow, and the way confined, that leads to life"
EVIDENCE: S* B* Xc 700c 1010 1071 1546vid some Lect cop
TRANSLATIONS: KJV ASV RSV NASV

NOTES: "How narrow and confined the way [is] that leads to life"
EVIDENCE: 113 182* 482 544 some lat
TRANSLATIONS: NEBn

COMMENTS: Two variations are found in this verse. The first involves the transition word. The difference is between ti ("which") and hoti ("because"). Actually the different is less than that, since the Greek "h" is merely an apostrophe, and was sometimes omitted. Now ti was used as a Semitic exclamation to mean "How!" It is easy to understand therefore why copyists who did not comprehend this Semitism would modify it to read "because" just as verse 13 does. On the other hand, there is no reason for the great majority of copyists to modify the easily understood hoti to ti which would be clearly comprehended only by those who spoke Aramaic or Hebrew. The second variation involves the unexplained absence of "the gate" from three Latin manuscripts dating from the fourth and fifth centuries and four Greek manuscripts dating from the eleventh to the fourteenth centuries. The great majority of manuscripts clearly show that the words are original.

Matthew 8:9:

TEXT: "I also am a man under authority"
EVIDENCE: C K L W X Delta Theta Pi f1 f13 33 565 700 892 1010 Byz Lect some lat earlier vg syr(c,s,p,h) cop(south)
TRANSLATIONS: KJV ASV RSV NASV NIV NEB TEV
RANK: B

NOTES: "I also am a man set under authority"
EVIDENCE: S B most lat later vg syr(pal) cop(north)
TRANSLATIONS: ASVn

COMMENTS: The phrase "set under authority" is found in the parallel account in Luke 7:8, from which it seems to have been added here by a few copyists.

Matthew 8:10:

TEXT: "I have found so great a faith with no one in Israel"
EVIDENCE: B W f1(omit "in Israel") 892 some lat syr(c,pal) cop
TRANSLATIONS: ASVn RSVn NASV NIV TEV
RANK: B

NOTES: "not even in Israel have I found so great a faith"
EVIDENCE: S C K L X Delta Theta Pi f13 33 565 700 1010 1241 Byz Lect most lat vg syr(s,p,h)
TRANSLATIONS: KJV ASV RSV NEB

COMMENTS: The words "not even" are found in the parallel passage in Luke 7:9, from which they seem to have been taken to replace the original "with no one" in this place.

Matthew 8:18:

TEXT: "when Jesus saw a crowd around him"
EVIDENCE: B most cop(south)
TRANSLATIONS: NASV NIV TEV
RANK: D

NOTES: "when Jesus saw crowds around him"
EVIDENCE: S* f1 cop(north)
TRANSLATIONS: NEB

NOTES: "when Jesus saw large crowds around him"
EVIDENCE: Sc C K L X Delta Theta Pi f13 33 565 700 892 1010 Byz Lect lat vg syr(p,h,pal)
TRANSLATIONS: KJV ASV RSV

NOTES: "when Jesus saw a large crowd around him"
EVIDENCE: W some lat syr(c,s)
COMMENTS: It is most likely that the simple "crowd" was amplified by copyists to emphasize the size of the crowd around Jesus.

Matthew 8:28:

TEXT: "to the country of the Gadarenes"
EVIDENCE: S* B C(text) Delta Theta 1010 syr(s,p,h)
TRANSLATIONS: ASV RSV NASV NIV NEB TEV
RANK: C

NOTES: "to the country of the Gergesenes"
EVIDENCE: Sc C(margin) K L W X Pi f1 f13 565 700 892 Byz Lect syr(pal) cop(north)
TRANSLATIONS: KJV RSVn NIVn

NOTES: "to the country of the Gerasenes"
EVIDENCE: lat vg cop(south)
TRANSLATIONS: RSVn NIVn

COMMENTS: Gadara, Gerasa, and Gergesa were all cities of the region called Decapolis, so each reading would refer to the same country. It seems most likely that "Gadarenes" was original here, while "Gerasenes" was original in Mark 5:1 and in Luke 8:26, 37. The reading "Gergesenes" seems to have been proposed by Origen, and added to manuscripts under his influence.

Matthew 9:4:

TEXT: "Jesus, seeing their thoughts, said"
EVIDENCE: S C D K L N W X Delta Pi(margin) Sigma f13 33 892 1010 Byz most Lect lat vg cop(north)
TRANSLATIONS: ASVn RSVn TEV ("perceived")
RANK: C

NOTES: "Jesus, knowing their thoughts, said"
EVIDENCE: B Theta Pi(text) f1 565 700 some Lect syr(p,h) cop(south)
TRANSLATIONS: KJV ASV RSV NASV NIV NEB

COMMENTS: Since "knowing their thoughts" is a more usual expression than "seeing their thoughts", "seeing" was more likely to have been changed to "knowing" than vice versa and is probably original.

Matthew 9:14:

TEXT: "Why do we and the Pharisees fast much"
EVIDENCE: Sb C D K L W X Delta Theta Pi f1 f13 33 565 700 892 1010 Byz Lect two lat syr(p,h,pal) cop
TRANSLATIONS: KJV ("oft") ASV ("oft") RSVn TEV ("often")
RANK: C

NOTES: "Why do we and the Pharisees fast frequently"
EVIDENCE: Sa most lat vg syr(s)
TRANSLATIONS: RSVn

NOTES: "Why do we and the Pharisees fast"
EVIDENCE: S* B few cop(south)
TRANSLATIONS: ASVn RSV NASV NIV NEB

COMMENTS: The word "much" is enclosed in brackets in the UBS text. The reading "frequently" seems to have been borrowed from Luke 5:33. Neither word is found in the parallel in Mark 2:18. It seems most likely that "much" was original and that copyists either changed it to "frequently" or omitted it to make it the same as the parallel passages.

Matthew 9:34:

TEXT: include verse 34
EVIDENCE: S B C K L W X Delta Theta Pi f1 f13 28 33 565 700 892 1010 Byz Lect most lat vg syr(p,h,pal) cop
TRANSLATIONS: KJV ASV RSV NASV NIV NEBn TEV
RANK: C

NOTES: omit verse 34
EVIDENCE: D three lat syr(s)
TRANSLATIONS: RSV2n NEB

COMMENTS: Although it can be argued that the verse was added from Matthew 12:24 or Luke 11:15, the fact that it is missing from only a few manuscripts, all of which are of the Western type of text and only one of which is Greek, would indicate that it is original.

Matthew 10:3:

TEXT: "James the [son] of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus; ·Simon the Cananaean"
EVIDENCE: S B f13 892 some lat vg cop
TRANSLATIONS: ASV RSV NASV NIV NEBn TEV
RANK: B

NOTES: "James the [son] of Alphaeus, and Lebbaeus; ·Simon the Cananaean"
EVIDENCE: D two lat
TRANSLATIONS: RSVn NEB

NOTES: "James the [son] of Alphaeus, and Lebbaeus called Thaddaeus; ·Simon the Cananaean"
EVIDENCE: C K L W X Delta Theta Pi f1 28 33 565 700 1010 Byz Lect one lat syr(p,h,pal)
TRANSLATIONS: KJV RSVn

COMMENTS: The reading "Lebbaeus called Thaddaeus" is a combination of the other two readings. Since "Thaddaeus" is found in several types of ancient text, and "Lebbaeus" only in the Western type of text, "Thaddaeus" would seem to be original.


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