A Student's Guide to
New Testament Textual Variants

The Acts of the Apostles

Acts 1:19-11:23


Acts 1:19:

TEXT: "called in their own language Hakeldamach"
EVIDENCE: B 1175
TRANSLATIONS: NASVn
RANK: -

NOTES: "called in their own language Akeldama"
EVIDENCE: C Psi Maj later vg
TRANSLATIONS: KJV ASV RSV NASV ("Hakeldama") NIV NEB TEV

OTHER: "called in their own language Acheldamach"
EVIDENCE: p74 S A 81 most lat earlier vg

OTHER: "called in their own language Akeldaimach"
EVIDENCE: D

OTHER: "called in their own language Akeldamak"
EVIDENCE: E

COMMENTS: The "ch" in Greek is usually pronounced like a fricative "k" at the back of the tongue, as in the Scottish word "loch" or the German word "ich." The Aramaic word for "field of blood" is Hakel Dema', where the apostrophe represents aleph, a glottal stop. The glottal stop makes no sound; it is the absence of sound caused by closing the glottis in the throat. Since there was no letter for it in Greek, the "ch" was sometimes used to transliterate the aleph in Aramaic words. Its omission in later manuscripts is probably due to a desire to more correctly transliterate the Aramaic words. The "H" at the beginning of the word is indicated by a breathing mark in Greek; the breathing marks are not found on early Greek manuscripts.

Acts 1:26:

TEXT: "he was counted with the eleven apostles."
EVIDENCE: S A B C E Psi 33 81 614 945 1241 1739supp 2495 Byz Lect three lat vg syr cop
TRANSLATIONS: KJV ASV RSV NASV NIV NEBn TEV
RANK: A

NOTES: "he was counted with the twelve apostles."
EVIDENCE: D (both Greek and Latin)
TRANSLATIONS: NEB

COMMENTS: The Greek manuscript D takes the Greek word "with" in the sense of "among" and reads "twelve." The NEB follows it in this.

Acts 2:5:

TEXT: "there were dwelling in Jerusalem Jews, devout men"
EVIDENCE: A B C D E Psi 33 81 614 945 1241 1739supp 2495 Byz Lect most lat vg syr(h) cop
TRANSLATIONS: KJV ASV RSV NASV NIV NEB TEV
RANK: B

NOTES: "there were dwelling in Jerusalem devout men"
EVIDENCE: S one lat syr(p)
TRANSLATIONS: NEBn

COMMENTS: The word "Jews" seems to have been deleted from a few manuscripts because the next phrase says they were "from every nation under heaven."

Acts 2:37:

TEXT: "and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles"
EVIDENCE: p74vid S A B C E P Psi 33 81 614 945 1241 1739 2495 Byz two lat vg syr most cop
TRANSLATIONS: KJV ASV RSV NASV NIV NEBn TEV
RANK: B

NOTES: "and said to Peter and the apostles"
EVIDENCE: D 241 three lat some cop(north)
TRANSLATIONS: NEB

COMMENTS: The Greek words for "the," "rest of," and "apostles" all end in the same three letters. The omission of "rest of the" in a few manuscripts is probably due to a mistake of the eye.

Acts 2:43:

TEXT: "signs were being done through the apostles. ·And"
EVIDENCE: B D P 81 614 945 1241 1739 Byz Lect four lat syr(h) cop(south)
TRANSLATIONS: KJV ASV RSV NASV NIV NEB TEV
RANK: C

NOTES: "signs were being done through the apostles in Jerusalem; and great fear was on all. ·And"
EVIDENCE: p74 S A C {Psi} 2495 one lat vg {cop(north)}
TRANSLATIONS: ASVn NASVn

OTHER: "signs were being done through the apostles in Jerusalem. ·And"
EVIDENCE: {E} 33 {one lat} syr(p)

COMMENTS: The evidence listed above in braces reads "through the hands of the apostles." Although it is possible that the words "in Jerusalem; and great fear was on all" were deliberately omitted because they were redundant, it is more likely that they were added to smooth the transition to verse 44.

Acts 2:44:

TEXT: "all who believed were in the group and were having all things in common"
EVIDENCE: p74 S A C D E P Psi 33 81 614 945 1241 1739 Byz Lect three lat vg syr cop
TRANSLATIONS: KJV ASV RSV NASV NIV TEV
RANK: D

NOTES: "all who believed in the group were having all things in common"
EVIDENCE: B 234 2495 (include "and") two lat
TRANSLATIONS: NASVn NEB

COMMENTS: The omission of "were" and "and" in a few manuscripts seems to be a stylistic improvement. The Greek words translated here "in the group" can also be translated "together." See the comments on the next entry.

Acts 2:47-3:1:

TEXT: "the Lord was adding to [their] group every day those who were being saved. ·Now Peter and John were going up to the temple"
EVIDENCE: p74vid S A B C 81 1175 three lat vg cop
TRANSLATIONS: ASV RSV NASV NIV NEB TEV
RANK: B

NOTES: "the Lord was adding to the church every day those who were being saved. ·Now Peter and John were going together up to the temple"
EVIDENCE: {D} E P Psi 33 614 {945} 1241 {1739 2495} Byz two lat syr
TRANSLATIONS: KJV

COMMENTS: The words translated "to [their] group" are literally "on the same." They form an idiom which ordinarily means "together" but several times in the scriptures have a semi-technical sense that means something like "in church fellowship" (see Acts 1:15; 2:1; I Corinthians 11:20; 14:23). In the Greek they are found at the end of verse 47. The reading "to the church" was probably a marginal explanation of the phrase that was added to the text by later copyists. The words "on the same" were then taken with chapter three in the sense of "together." The evidence listed above in braces takes "on the same" with verse 47.

Acts 3:21:

TEXT: "God spoke through the mouth of his holy prophets from an age [long ago]."
EVIDENCE: p74 S A B C E P Psi 81 614 945 1241 1739 2495 Byz Lect two lat vg syr
TRANSLATIONS: KJV ASV RSV NASV NIV NEBn TEV
RANK: C

NOTES: "God spoke through the mouth of his holy prophets."
EVIDENCE: D 629 three lat
TRANSLATIONS: NEB

COMMENTS: The words translated "from an age [long ago]" can also be taken in the sense "since the world began." Perhaps they were omitted by copyists who wondered if there had really been prophets from the beginning of the world.

Acts 4:1:

TEXT: "the priests and the captain of the temple"
EVIDENCE: S A D E P Psi 0165 33 81 614 945 1241 1739 2495 Byz Lect lat vg syr cop
TRANSLATIONS: KJV ASV RSV NASV NIV NEBn TEV
RANK: C

NOTES: "the chief priests and the captain of the temple"
EVIDENCE: B C
TRANSLATIONS: ASVn NEB TEVn

COMMENTS: The word "chief priests" is a much more common word in the New Testament than "priests." Since it seems to be the Jewish leaders who were persecuting the apostles (see verse 6 where the chief priests are named), it is probable that copyists changed "priests" to the frequently used and appropriate word "chief priests."

Acts 4:6:

TEXT: "Annas the high priest and Caiaphas and John and Alexander"
EVIDENCE: p74 S A B E P Psi 0165 33 81 614 945 1241 1739 2495 Byz Lect three lat vg syr cop
TRANSLATIONS: KJV ASV RSV NASV NIV NEBn TEV
RANK: C

NOTES: "Annas the high priest and Caiaphas and Jonathan and Alexander"
EVIDENCE: D three lat
TRANSLATIONS: NEB

COMMENTS: Both John and Alexander are unknown from other historical writings. The Jewish historian Josephus (in Antiquities, XVIII, iv, 3) says that Jonathan, the son of Annas, was made high priest in A.D. 36 in succession to Caiaphas. Probably the name Jonathan was inserted from this reference.

Acts 4:10:

TEXT: "by him this [man] is standing before plyou healthy."
EVIDENCE: p74 S A B D P Psi 0165 33 614 945 1241 1739 2495 Byz Lect three lat vg syr cop
TRANSLATIONS: KJV ASV RSV NASV NIV NEB TEV
RANK: A

NOTES: "by him this [man] is standing before plyou healthy today, and by no one else."
EVIDENCE: E two lat
TRANSLATIONS: NEBn

COMMENTS: The words "by no one else" seem to have been added from verse 12.

Acts 4:12:

TEXT: "head of the corner. ·And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name"
EVIDENCE: p74vid S A B D (omit "salvation") E P Psi 0165 33 614 945 1241 1739 2495 Byz four lat {two lat (omit "salvation")} most vg syr cop
TRANSLATIONS: KJV ASV RSV NASV NIV NEB TEV
RANK: A

NOTES: "head of the corner. ·For there is no other name"
EVIDENCE: one lat one vulgate manuscript
TRANSLATIONS: NEBn

COMMENTS: The word "salvation" may have been omitted because it seemed redundant before "saved." The text reading is found in early manuscripts of several kinds of ancient text.

Acts 4:25:

TEXT: "who by the mouth of our father David, your servant, did say through the Holy Spirit, 'Why did the Gentiles'"
EVIDENCE: p74 S A B E Psi 33 945 1739 one lat syr(h)?
TRANSLATIONS: ASV RSV NASV NIV TEV
RANK: D

NOTES: "who through the mouth of David, your servant, did say, 'Why did the Gentiles'"
EVIDENCE: P 614 1241 2495 Byz
TRANSLATIONS: KJV ASVn NEBn

NOTES: "who through the mouth of David, your servant, did say through the Holy Spirit, 'Why did the Gentiles'"
EVIDENCE: D (both Greek and Latin) syr(p) most cop
TRANSLATIONS: ASVn? NEB

OTHER: "the Holy Spirit, through the mouth of our father David, your servant, did say, 'Why did the Gentiles'"
EVIDENCE: 629 two lat vg syr(h)? some cop(north)

COMMENTS: The word order of the text reading is very confusing, "our father" preceding "through the Holy Spirit" which precedes "the mouth of David." This difficult word order probably accounts for the changes made in this passage. Several copyists omitted "our father" which seems to be grammatically stranded at the beginning of the sentence. Perhaps others questioned the theology of having God speak "through the Holy Spirit," like they are two different entities, and omitted the words "the Holy Spirit," leaving "through" to precede "the mouth of David."

Acts 4:33:

TEXT: "resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and"
EVIDENCE: p8 B P Psi 614 1241 Byz one lat syr(h) cop(south)
TRANSLATIONS: KJV ASV RSV NASV NIV NEB TEV
RANK: C

NOTES: "resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ, and"
EVIDENCE: S A D E 945 1739 2495 most lat vg some cop(north)
TRANSLATIONS: ASVn NASVn

OTHER: "resurrection of Jesus Christ, and"
EVIDENCE: syr(p) some cop(north)

COMMENTS: The evidence listed above shows seven different variations of word order. There was a tendency for copyists to expand the titles given to Jesus, which accounts for the addition of "Christ."

Acts 5:32:

TEXT: "we are witnesses to these things"
EVIDENCE: p74vid S A D* 614 four lat vg syr most cop
TRANSLATIONS: ASV RSV NASV NIV NEB TEV
RANK: C

NOTES: "we are witnesses in him to these things"
EVIDENCE: B 945 1739 one cop(north)
TRANSLATIONS: ASVn NASVn

NOTES: "we are his witnesses to these things"
EVIDENCE: Db E P Psi 1241 2495 Byz Lect one lat
TRANSLATIONS: KJV NASVn

COMMENTS: The word "his" is perhaps borrowed from Jesus' statement in Acts 1:8--"my witnesses." The words "in him" seem to be some sort of scribal mistake.

Acts 5:32:

TEXT: "and [so is] the Holy Spirit whom God has given to"
EVIDENCE: p45 S A D E P Psi 614 945 1241 1739 2495 Byz Lect lat vg syr
TRANSLATIONS: KJV ASV RSV NASV NIV NEB TEV
RANK: B

NOTES: "and God has given the Holy Spirit to"
EVIDENCE: B 436 cop
TRANSLATIONS: ASVn

COMMENTS: The difference in the two readings is the omission of "whom" in the notes. It is only a one letter word in Greek and was perhaps accidently omitted.

Acts 6:3:

TEXT: "·Now, brothers, look for seven men"
EVIDENCE: S {A} B most cop(south)
TRANSLATIONS: ASVn NASV
RANK: C

NOTES: "·Therefore, brothers, look for seven men"
EVIDENCE: C E P Psi 33 614 945 1241 1739 2495 Byz Lect four lat vg syr cop(north)
TRANSLATIONS: KJV ASV RSV NEB TEV

NOTES: "·Brothers, look for seven men"
EVIDENCE: p74 D (Greek only) one lat one cop(south)
TRANSLATIONS: NIV

OTHER: "·Now therefore, brothers, look for seven men"
EVIDENCE: 1175

COMMENTS: Manuscript A listed above in braces contains a synonym of the text reading which is also translated "Now" and which differs from the text by only one letter. The text reading can also be translated "But." Verses 1, 2, and 4 also begin with the word "Now." Although it is possible that copyists changed "Therefore" to "Now" to make all four verses alike, "Therefore" is so appropriate that it is much more likely that "Now" was changed to "Therefore" to produce a variation of style.

Acts 7:43:

TEXT: "and the star of the god Raiphan"
EVIDENCE: p74 Sc A 1175 syr
TRANSLATIONS: NASVn
RANK: -

NOTES: "and the star of the god Rompha"
EVIDENCE: B
TRANSLATIONS: NASV

NOTES: "and the star of the god Romphan"
EVIDENCE: S*
TRANSLATIONS: NASVn

NOTES: "and the star of the god Rephan"
EVIDENCE: C E Psi 33
TRANSLATIONS: ASV RSV NASVn NIV NEB TEV

NOTES: "and the star of the god Rempham"
EVIDENCE: D
TRANSLATIONS: NASVn

OTHER: "and the star of the god Remphan"
EVIDENCE: 323 945 1739 most lat vg

TRANSLATIONS: KJV
COMMENTS: Other spellings found in manuscripts are Repha, Rempha, and Rephphan. The Greek Old Testament spells the name Raiphan. All of these are variations of the Egyptian name Repa for the god Saturn. It is possible that the reading Raiphan came from an attempt to make the quote read more like the passage in Amos 5:26. It is also possible that the spellings with "e" were corrections by copyists toward the more classical spelling of the name.

Acts 7:46:

TEXT: "find a dwelling place for the house of Jacob."
EVIDENCE: p74 S* B D (both Greek and Latin) one cop(south)
TRANSLATIONS: NASVn NIVn NEBn TEVn
RANK: C

NOTES: "find a dwelling place for the God of Jacob."
EVIDENCE: Sc A C E P Psi 33 81 614 945 1241 1739 2495 Byz four lat vg syr most cop
TRANSLATIONS: KJV ASV RSV NASV NIV NEB TEV

COMMENTS: The expression "a dwelling place for the house of Jacob" is difficult and not clear. On the other hand, the expression "find . . . a dwelling place for the God of Jacob" is found in Psalm 132:5. Although it is possible that "God" was original here and copyists objected to this reading on the basis that God does not dwell on earth (see Solomon's prayer in I Kings 8:27), it is more probable that the difficult reading "house" was changed to the more usual expression "God."

Acts 8:10:

TEXT: "This [man] is the power of God which is called Great."
EVIDENCE: p74 S A B C D E 33 81 945 1739 lat vg syr(h) cop(north)
TRANSLATIONS: ASV RSV NASV NIV NEB TEV
RANK: B

NOTES: "This [man] is the great power of God."
EVIDENCE: P Psi 1241 2495 Byz Lect syr(p) cop(south)
TRANSLATIONS: KJV

COMMENTS: The expression "which is called" is slightly awkward, which probably accounts for its deletion by later copyists.

Acts 8:18:

TEXT: "Simon saw that the Spirit was given"
EVIDENCE: S B cop(south)
TRANSLATIONS: ASV RSV NASV NIV NEB TEV
RANK: C

NOTES: "Simon saw that the Holy Spirit was given"
EVIDENCE: p45 p74 A C D E P Psi 33 81 614 945 1241 1739 2495 Byz Lect lat vg syr cop(north)
TRANSLATIONS: KJV ASVn

COMMENTS: It was natural for copyists to expand "the Spirit" to "the Holy Spirit."

Acts 8:37:

TEXT: omit verse 37
EVIDENCE: p45 p74 S A B C P Psi 33vid 81 614 1241 2495 Byz Lect earlier vg most syr most cop
TRANSLATIONS: ASV RSV NASV NIV NEB TEV
RANK: A

NOTES: include verse 37: "·And Philip said, 'If you believe with your whole heart, you may.' And he answered by saying, 'I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.'"
EVIDENCE: E 945 1739 lat later vg syr(h)margin one cop
TRANSLATIONS: KJV ASVn RSVn NASVn NIVn NEBn TEVn

COMMENTS: Verse 37 is found in Western manuscripts with many variations. It is not found in most Greek manuscripts.

Acts 9:12:

TEXT: "and in a vision he has seen a man named Ananias"
EVIDENCE: B C E P Psi (omit "man") 33 614 945 1241 1739 2495 Byz Lect two lat syr one cop(north)
TRANSLATIONS: KJV NASV NIV NEB TEV
RANK: C

NOTES: "and he has seen a man named Ananias"
EVIDENCE: p74 S A 81 three lat vg most cop
TRANSLATIONS: ASV RSV NASVn

COMMENTS: The words "in a vision" are enclosed in brackets in the UBS text. They are found in two different places in the manuscripts that include them. It is possible that they were added by copyists as an explanation of "seen"; on the other hand, it is also possible that they were omitted as unnecessary and perhaps as stylistically harsh since "in a vision" is also used in verse 10.

Acts 10:19:

TEXT: "Behold, three men are seeking you."
EVIDENCE: p74 S A C E 33 81 945 1739 three lat vg syr(p) cop
TRANSLATIONS: KJV ASV RSV NASV NIV NEBn TEV
RANK: C

NOTES: "Behold, men are seeking you."
EVIDENCE: D P Psi 614 1241 2495 Byz four lat syr(h)
TRANSLATIONS: NIVn NEB TEVn

NOTES: "Behold, two men are seeking you."
EVIDENCE: B
TRANSLATIONS: NASVn NIVn NEBn TEVn

COMMENTS: If the reading "two" is original, it refers to the two household servants and not the soldier, and was changed to "three" by copyists to include the guard. If no number is original, "two" or "three" were added by copyists from verse 7, depending upon whether they counted the guard. If "three" is original, it was replaced by a copyist with "two" from verse 7, and omitted accidently when copyists' eyes jumped from the end of "men" to the end of "three," which follows "men" in the Greek. On the whole, the reading "three" seems to have the best evidence, being found in early manuscripts of both Alexandrian and Western types of ancient text.

Acts 10:24:

TEXT: "on the next day he entered into Caesarea."
EVIDENCE: B D Psi 81 614 some Lect three lat vg most syr most cop(south)
TRANSLATIONS: ASVn NASV NIV NEB TEV
RANK: C

NOTES: "on the next day they entered into Caesarea."
EVIDENCE: p74 S A C E P 945 1241 1739 2495 Byz some Lect two lat syr(h)margin cop(north) one cop(south)
TRANSLATIONS: KJV ASV RSV

COMMENTS: Although it is possible that "they" was changed to "he" by copyists because verse 23 says that "he went off," it is more likely that "he" was changed to the plural "they" because both "accompanied" before this place and "them" after it are plurals.

Acts 10:30:

TEXT: "I was praying at the ninth [hour]"
EVIDENCE: p74 S A* B C 81 945 1739 vg cop(north)
TRANSLATIONS: ASV RSV NASV NIV NEB TEV
RANK: D

NOTES: "I was fasting and praying at the ninth [hour]"
EVIDENCE: p50 A2 D E P Psi 614 1241 2495 Byz Lect lat syr cop(south)
TRANSLATIONS: KJV TEVn

COMMENTS: Copyists had a tendency to add fasting to prayer.

Acts 10:36:

TEXT: "plYou know the word which he sent to the sons"
EVIDENCE: p74 S* C D E P Psi 945 1241 2495 Byz Lect one lat syr
TRANSLATIONS: KJV ASV RSV NASV NIV TEV
RANK: C

NOTES: "plYou know he sent the word to the sons"
EVIDENCE: Sa A B 81 614 1739 most lat vg cop
TRANSLATIONS: ASVn NASVn NEB

COMMENTS: The difference in the two readings is the inclusion or omission of "which" which is included in brackets in the UBS text. The text reading is not proper Greek but it is the sort of Greek that one would expect in a translation from Aramaic. Since the last two letters of the Greek word for "word" spell the Greek word for "which," it is possible that the word "which" was accidently added when copyists saw those letters twice. On the other hand, it is also possible that the word "which" was originally present and it was accidently omitted when copyists' eyes jumped from the end of "word" to the end of "which."

Acts 11:11:

TEXT: "stood by the house in which we were, sent to me"
EVIDENCE: p74 S A B D (Latin reads "they were") one lat
TRANSLATIONS: ASV RSV NASV NEBn TEVn
RANK: C

NOTES: "stood by the house in which I was, sent to me"
EVIDENCE: p45 E P Psi 33 81 614 945 1241 1739 2495 Byz three lat vg syr cop
TRANSLATIONS: KJV NIV NEB TEV

COMMENTS: Since verse 5 says "I was" and the singular is used throughout, including in "sent to me," it is likely that copyists changed the plural to the singular here.

Acts 11:12:

TEXT: "go with them, making no distinction. And these"
EVIDENCE: p74 {S*} Sc A B {E Psi} 33 81 945 1739 three lat? vg? syr(p)? cop?
TRANSLATIONS: ASV RSV NASVn NEBn
RANK: C

NOTES: "go with them, with no doubting. And these"
EVIDENCE: H L P 614 1241 2495 Byz three lat? vg? syr(p)? cop?
TRANSLATIONS: KJV NASV NIV NEBn TEV

NOTES: "go with them. And these"
EVIDENCE: p45vid D three lat syr(h)
TRANSLATIONS: NEB

COMMENTS: The text reading is in the aorist tense. The evidence listed under it in braces is in the present tense. The difference in the first two readings is between the active and middle voice, which affects how the phrase is translated. The reading in the notes with the middle voice ("with no doubting") seems to have been borrowed by copyists from Acts 10:20. Although it is possible that the Western omission is original and that the text reading was taken from the same passage, the fact that early manuscripts have the reading in the active voice ("making no distinction") with a little difference in meaning from the middle voice found in Acts 10:20 would indicate that it was not taken from there but rather was original.

Acts 11:20:

TEXT: "started speaking to the Greek-speaking people also"
EVIDENCE: B Db E P Psi 81 614 945 1241 1739 2495 Byz Lect
TRANSLATIONS: KJV ASVn RSVn NASVn TEVn
RANK: C

NOTES: "started speaking to the Greeks also"
EVIDENCE: p74 Sc A D* lat? vg? syr? cop?
TRANSLATIONS: ASV RSV NASV NIV {NEB TEV ("Gentiles")}

OTHER: "started speaking to the evangelists also"
EVIDENCE: S*

COMMENTS: The word translated "Greek-speaking people" can also be translated "Hellenists," that is, "Greek-speaking Jews." It is a rare word that is not found in Greek literature written before the New Testament. Therefore, it is probable that some copyists changed it to the more familiar word "Greeks." Not much weight can be put on the translations into Latin, Syriac, and Coptic because those languages have no special word for Greek-speaking people. The nonsense original reading of manuscript Sinaiticus is probably due to the fact that the next word "proclaiming the gospel" is spelled very much like "evangelists" in Greek and the reading is probably due to a mistake of the eye.

Acts 11:23:

TEXT: "to keep remaining [true] to the Lord with purpose of heart"
EVIDENCE: p74 S A D E P 81 614 945 1241 1739 2495 Byz Lect one lat syr one cop(south)
TRANSLATIONS: KJV ASV RSV NASV NIV NEB TEV
RANK: B

NOTES: "to keep remaining [true] to [their] purpose of heart in the Lord"
EVIDENCE: B Psi most lat vg most cop
TRANSLATIONS: ASVn

COMMENTS: The difference in the two readings is that the reading in the notes has the word "in" before "the Lord." Since "in the Lord" is found often in Paul's writings, but nowhere else in Acts, it is likely that "in" was borrowed from there by copyists.


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