A Student's Guide to
New Testament Textual Variants

Paul's First Letter to the Corinthians

1 Corinthians 1:4-16:24


1 Corinthians 1:4:

TEXT: "·I thank my God always for plyou"
EVIDENCE: p61vid Sb A C D G P Psi 33 81 104 614 630 1241 1739 1881 2495 Byz Lect lat vg syr(p,h) cop
TRANSLATIONS: KJV ASV RSVn NASV TEV
RANK: B

NOTES: "·I thank God always for plyou"
EVIDENCE: S* B
TRANSLATIONS: ASVn RSV NASVn NIV NEB

COMMENTS: Although it is possible that the word "my" may have been borrowed by copyists from passages such as Romans 1:8 or Philippians 1:3, the fact that it is included in early manuscripts of several kinds of ancient text indicates that it is original.

1 Corinthians 1:13:

TEXT: "·Has Christ been divided?"
EVIDENCE: S A B C D G P Psi 33 81 104 614 630 1241 1739 1881 2495 Byz Lect lat vg syr(h) cop(north)
TRANSLATIONS: KJV ASV RSV NASV NIV NEB TEV
RANK: B

NOTES: "·Christ has not been divided, [has he]?"
EVIDENCE: p46vid syr(p,pal) cop(south)
TRANSLATIONS: TEVn

COMMENTS: Some copyists and translators added the word "not" to make the question of the same form as the following one.

1 Corinthians 1:14:

TEXT: "·I thank God that I baptized none of plyou"
EVIDENCE: Sc {A} C D G P Psi {33 81} 104 614 630 1241 1881 2495 Byz Lect some lat {some lat} vg syr(h) {syr(p,h+) some cop(north) most cop(south)}
TRANSLATIONS: KJV ASV RSVn NASV NEB TEV
RANK: D

NOTES: "·I give thanks that I baptized none of plyou"
EVIDENCE: S* B 1739 most cop(north) some cop(south)
TRANSLATIONS: ASVn RSV NASVn NIV

COMMENTS: The difference in the two readings is the inclusion or omission of "God"; the same word can be translated "I thank" or "I give thanks." The word "God" is enclosed in brackets in the UBS text. The evidence listed in braces reads "my God"; apparently the word "my" was borrowed by copyists from verse 4. Although it is possible that the word "God" was added by copyists after the pattern found in such passages as 1 Corinthians 1:4 and 14:18, it is also possible that the word was accidently omitted through a mistake of the eye, since the word for "I thank" ends in the same letter as "God" in Greek.

1 Corinthians 1:28:

TEXT: "the scorned things, [that is], things that are not"
EVIDENCE: p46 S* A C* D* G 33 1739 four lat one cop(south)
TRANSLATIONS: ASVn RSV? ("even") NASV NEB
RANK: C

NOTES: "the scorned things, and things that are not"
EVIDENCE: Sc B C3 Db P Psi 81 104 614 630 1241 1881 2495 Byz Lect most lat vg syr(p,h) most cop
TRANSLATIONS: KJV ASV RSV? NIV TEV

COMMENTS: Apparently some copyists failed to note that "things that are not" is in apposition to "the scorned things" and added the word "and" from the earlier part of the verse to make it another item in the list.

1 Corinthians 2:1:

TEXT: "I proclaimed to plyou the mystery of God."
EVIDENCE: p46vid S* A C two lat syr(p) cop(north)
TRANSLATIONS: ASVn RSVn NASVn NIVn NEBn TEV
RANK: C

NOTES: "I proclaimed to plyou the testimony of God."
EVIDENCE: Sc B D G P Psi 33 81 104 614 630 1241 1739 1881 2495 Byz Lect most lat vg syr(h) cop(south)
TRANSLATIONS: KJV ASV RSV NASV NIV NEB TEVn

COMMENTS: There are only three letters difference between the two words in Greek, which are spelling similarly. If "mystery" is original, copyists borrowed "testimony" from verse 6 of chapter 1. If "testimony" is original, copyists borrowed "mystery" from verse 7 of chapter 2. The UBS Textual Committee felt that the reading "mystery" fits better with what Paul is trying to say.

1 Corinthians 2:10:

TEXT: "·But God has revealed [them] to us"
EVIDENCE: S A C D G P Psi 33 81 104 614 630 1241 1881 2495 Byz most lat vg syr(p,h) some cop(north)
TRANSLATIONS: KJV ASV NASVn NIV TEV
RANK: C

NOTES: "·For God has revealed [them] to us"
EVIDENCE: p46 B 1739 one lat some cop(north) cop(south)
TRANSLATIONS: ASVn NASV TEVn

NOTES: "·God has revealed [them] to us"
EVIDENCE: Lect one cop(north)
TRANSLATIONS: RSV NEB

COMMENTS: The word "For" seems to be a refinement introduced by copyists.

1 Corinthians 3:17:

TEXT: "God will destroy him."
EVIDENCE: p46 S A B C Psi 104 630 1739 1881 2495 Byz Lect most lat most vg cop
TRANSLATIONS: KJV ASV RSV NASV NIV NEB TEV
RANK: C

NOTES: "God destroys him."
EVIDENCE: D G L P 33 81 614 1241 one lat some vg syr(p,h)
TRANSLATIONS: NEBn

COMMENTS: Probably copyists changed the future tense to the present tense to make it the same tense as the preceding phrase: "If anyone destroys the temple of God."

1 Corinthians 5:5:

TEXT: "spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord."
EVIDENCE: p46 B 630 1739
TRANSLATIONS: ASVn RSVn NASVn NIV NEB TEV
RANK: C

NOTES: "spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus."
EVIDENCE: 048vid? ("our Lord") S Psi 81 614 2495 Byz Lect earlier vg syr(h) one cop(north) ("our Lord")
TRANSLATIONS: KJV ASV RSV NASV

OTHER: "spirit may be saved in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ."
EVIDENCE: A D ("the Lord") G P 33 104 1241 1881 most lat (three read "the Lord") later vg syr(p,h+) most cop

COMMENTS: There was a tendency for copyists to expand the name of Jesus. Although it is possible that copyists shortened the phrase to the familiar "day of the Lord," it is also possible that they lengthened it to "day of the Lord Jesus" influenced by verse 4, where "Lord Jesus" is found twice.

1 Corinthians 7:7:

TEXT: "·And I wish that all men were as indeed [I] myself"
EVIDENCE: p46 S* A C D* G 81 lat earlier vg cop(north)
TRANSLATIONS: ASV ("Yet") NASV ("Yet") TEV ("Actually")
RANK: B

NOTES: "·For I wish that all men were as indeed [I] myself"
EVIDENCE: Sc B Db,c K P Psi 104 614 630 1241 1739 1881 2495 Byz Lect later vg syr(p,h) cop(south)
TRANSLATIONS: KJV ASVn NASVn

COMMENTS: The RSV, NIV, and NEB omit the conjunction in translation. The word translated "And" or "Yet" is an adversative conjunction. Apparently copyists who did not notice the slight opposition between this sentence and the previous one replaced this conjunction with "For."

1 Corinthians 7:15:

TEXT: "But God has called plyou in peace."
EVIDENCE: S* A C K 81 cop(north)
TRANSLATIONS: ASVn RSVn NASVn TEV
RANK: C

NOTES: "But God has called us in peace."
EVIDENCE: p46 Sc B D G Psi 33 104 614 630 1241 1739 1881 2495 Byz Lect lat vg syr(p,h) cop(south)
TRANSLATIONS: KJV ASV RSV NASV NIV

COMMENTS: In later Greek both "plyou" and "us" were pronounced alike. Thus the variation may be due to a mistake of the ear. Copyists would be more likely to write down the more general word "us," so it is possible that "plyou" is original. The NEB omits both words.

1 Corinthians 7:34:

TEXT: "please [his] wife, ·and [his interests] are divided. And the unmarried woman and the virgin are concerned"
EVIDENCE: p15 {p46 S A} B P {33 81} 104 {1739 1881} 2495 most lat vg cop
TRANSLATIONS: ASV RSV NASV NIV NEB TEV
RANK: D

NOTES: "please [his] wife. ·There is also a difference between a wife and a virgin. The unmarried [woman] is concerned"
EVIDENCE: Dc F G K L Psi 614 630 1241 Byz Lect four lat syr(p,h)
TRANSLATIONS: KJV ASVn NASVn NEBn

OTHER: "please [his] wife, ·and the woman is divided. And the unmarried virgin is concerned"
EVIDENCE: D*

COMMENTS: There are nine variations of this passage within the two major groups, mostly involving the inclusion or omission of two uses of "and" or "also," the location or omission of the word "unmarried," and the position of punctuation. The same Greek word can be translated "are divided" or "there is a difference between." The evidence listed in braces is a combination reading that has "the unmarried woman and the unmarried virgin" (the adjective "unmarried" follows "virgin" in the Greek). The original reading of manuscript D actually supports the reading in the notes. The word order is the same; it is misplaced punctuation that makes for the strange reading. Although it is possible that copyists who misread the reading in the notes as "and is divided. And the wife and the unmarried virgin are concerned" moved the word "unmarried" from following "virgin" to following "wife" or "woman" (thus producing the text reading), the fact that the text reading is found in early manuscripts of both the Alexandrian and Western kinds of ancient text makes this unlikely. It is more likely that copyists who had trouble seeing why he wrote both "unmarried woman" and "virgin" changed the text reading by moving "unmarried" to follow "virgin" and making a third sentence.

1 Corinthians 8:3:

TEXT: "·But if anyone loves God, he is known by him."
EVIDENCE: p15 S* (omit "by him") Sc A B D G K P Psi 33 (omit "by him") 81 104 614 630 1241 1739 1881 2495 Byz Lect lat vg syr(p,h) cop
TRANSLATIONS: KJV ASV RSV NASV NIV NEBn TEV
RANK: B

NOTES: "·But if anyone loves, he is known."
EVIDENCE: p46
TRANSLATIONS: NEB ("he is acknowledged by God.")

COMMENTS: The omission of "God" here by manuscript p46 is due to a generalizing of the text by the copyist of that manuscript. It also omits "something" in verse 2, and "by him" at the end of verse 3.

1 Corinthians 8:7:

TEXT: "because of [their] custom regarding an idol"
EVIDENCE: S* A B P Psi 33 81 630 1739 1881 syr(h)margin cop
TRANSLATIONS: ASV RSV NASV NIV NEB TEV
RANK: B

NOTES: "because of [their] conscience regarding an idol"
EVIDENCE: Sc D G 104 614 1241 2495 Byz Lect lat vg syr(p,h)
TRANSLATIONS: KJV NEBn

COMMENTS: The words "custom" and "conscience" in Greek are spelled similarly. Apparently the word "conscience" was borrowed by copyists from the last part of the verse.

1 Corinthians 8:12:

TEXT: "wound their conscience when it is weak, plyou sin"
EVIDENCE: S A B D G K P Psi 33 81 104 614 630 1241 1739 1881 2495 Byz Lect lat vg syr(p,h) cop
TRANSLATIONS: KJV ASV RSV NASV NIV NEBn TEV
RANK: A

NOTES: "wound their conscience, plyou sin"
EVIDENCE: p46
TRANSLATIONS: NEB

COMMENTS: The word for "when it was weak" was probably deliberately omitted to keep someone from thinking that it is all right to wound a strong conscience. This is a generalizing tendency, which manuscript p46 also shows in 1 Corinthians 8:3.

1 Corinthians 9:20:

TEXT: "[I became] as [one] under [the] law--though not being under law myself--so that"
EVIDENCE: S A B C D* F G P 33 104 630 1739 2495 lat vg syr(h) cop
TRANSLATIONS: ASV RSV NASV NIV NEB TEV
RANK: A

NOTES: "[I became] as [one] under [the] law, so that"
EVIDENCE: Dc K Psi 81 614 1241 1881 Byz Lect syr(p)
TRANSLATIONS: KJV

COMMENTS: The phrase "not being under law myself" was probably accidently omitted by a mistake of the eye when copyists' eyes jumped from "under law" to "under law" (which ends the phrase in Greek).

1 Corinthians 10:2:

TEXT: "all were baptized into Moses"
EVIDENCE: p46* ("were being baptized") S A C D G Psi 33 81 104 630 2495 lat vg syr(pal) vg
TRANSLATIONS: KJV* ASV RSV NASV NIV TEV
RANK: C

NOTES: "all had [themselves] baptized into Moses"
EVIDENCE: p46c B K P 614 1241 1739 1881 Byz Lect syr(p,h)
TRANSLATIONS: NASVn NEB (both read "received baptism")

COMMENTS: The text reading is in the passive voice, which corresponds to the Christian practice. The reading in the notes is in the middle voice, which corresponds to the Jewish practice of baptizing oneself (although in Acts 22:16 the middle voice is used of Christian baptism). The middle voice here obviously refers to the fact that the Israelites themselves walked down into the sea bed. The question is whether Paul or copyists made this fine distinction. Although it is quite possible that many copyists changed the middle to the passive voice to reflect Christian baptism, a majority of the UBS Textual Committee preferred the passive voice because elsewhere Paul uses it of Christian baptism and it is found in early manuscripts of both Alexandrian and Western types of ancient text.

1 Corinthians 10:9:

TEXT: "·Nor should we be putting Christ to the test"
EVIDENCE: p46 D G K Psi 614 630 1241 1739 1881 2495 Byz Lect lat vg syr(p,h) cop
TRANSLATIONS: KJV ASVn RSVn NEBn TEVn
RANK: C

NOTES: "·Nor should we be putting the Lord to the test"
EVIDENCE: S B C P 33 104
TRANSLATIONS: ASV RSV NASV NIV NEB TEV

OTHER: "·Nor should we be putting God to the test"
EVIDENCE: A 81

COMMENTS: Although it is possible that "Christ" was borrowed from verse 4, it is more likely that copyists who saw a difficulty in explaining how the Israelites in the wilderness could have put Christ to the test changed it to the more general words "Lord" or "God."

1 Corinthians 10:28:

TEXT: "and [for] conscience' [sake]--·now by conscience"
EVIDENCE: S A B C* D F G H* P 33 81 630 1241 1739 1881 lat vg syr(p) cop
TRANSLATIONS: ASV RSV NASV NIV NEB TEV
RANK: A

NOTES: "and [for] conscience' [sake]--for 'the earth [is] the Lord's, and [so is] its fulness'--·now by conscience"
EVIDENCE: Hc K L Psi 104 614 2495 Byz Lect syr(h)
TRANSLATIONS: KJV NIVn

OTHER: add phrase after verse 31
EVIDENCE: C3

COMMENTS: The additional phrase seems to have been added by copyists from verse 26. The shorter reading is supported by early manuscripts from both the Alexandrian and Western types of ancient manuscripts.

1 Corinthians 11:10:

TEXT: "having [a symbol of] authority on [her] head"
EVIDENCE: p46 S A B C D G H K P Psi 33 81 104 614 630 1241 1739 1881 2495 Byz Lect most lat vg syr(p,h) some cop(north) cop(south)
TRANSLATIONS: KJV ASV RSVn NASV NIV NEB TEV
RANK: A

NOTES: "having a veil on [her] head"
EVIDENCE: one lat some cop(north)
TRANSLATIONS: RSV* NEBn

COMMENTS: The reading "veil" is an explanatory translation in a few manuscripts of the difficult reading "authority," as also in the RSV.

1 Corinthians 11:24:

TEXT: "This is my body which is for plyou."
EVIDENCE: p46 S* A B C* 33 1739*
TRANSLATIONS: ASV RSV NASV NIV NEB TEV
RANK: B

NOTES: "This is my body which is broken for plyou."
EVIDENCE: Sc C3 Db,c G K P Psi 81 104 614 630 1241 1739margin 1881 2495 Byz Lect three lat syr(p,h)
TRANSLATIONS: KJV ASVn RSVn NASVn

OTHER: "This is my body which is shattered for plyou."
EVIDENCE: D*

OTHER: "This is my body which is given for plyou."
EVIDENCE: most lat vg cop

COMMENTS: The reading "given for" was borrowed by copyists from the parallel passage in Luke 22:19. Probably the reading "broken for" was taken from the first part of the verse that says of the bread: "he broke [it]."

1 Corinthians 13:3:

TEXT: "if I deliver up my body so that I may boast"
EVIDENCE: p46 S A B 048 33 1739* cop
TRANSLATIONS: KJV ASV RSV NASV NIV NEB TEV
RANK: C

NOTES: "if I deliver up my body to be burned"
EVIDENCE: C D F G {K} L {Psi} 81 104 {614} 630 {1739c} 1881* {1881c} 2495 {Byz} Lect lat vg syr(p,h)
TRANSLATIONS: ASVn RSVn NASVn NIVn NEBn TEVn

COMMENTS: There are only two letters' difference between the two readings. The evidence in braces uses the rare future subjunctive which is only one letter different from the text reading. On the one hand it is possible that copyists who could not understand how an act of self-sacrifice such as giving up one's body to be burned could be rejected by God, supplied one by changing "burned" to "boast." On the other hand, it is also possible that when death by burning became a common form of persecution, the change of one or two letters to read "be burned" was easy for copyists to make.

1 Corinthians 14:38:

TEXT: "if anyone ignores this, he is ignored."
EVIDENCE: S* A*(vid) G 048 33 1739 two lat syr(pal) cop
TRANSLATIONS: ASVn RSV NASV NIV ("will be") NEB
RANK: B

NOTES: "if anyone ignores this, he must ignore [it]."
EVIDENCE: p46 Sc A2 B Db,c K Psi 81 104 614 630 1241 1881 2495 Byz Lect syr(p,h)
TRANSLATIONS: KJV ASV NASVn NIVn NEBn

OTHER: "if anyone ignores this, plyou ignore [him]."
EVIDENCE: D*

TRANSLATIONS: TEV
OTHER: "if anyone ignores this, he will be ignored."
EVIDENCE: most lat vg

COMMENTS: The original reading of manuscript D is due to a mistake of the ear. The word for "plyou ignore" is pronounced like "he is ignored" although spelled slightly different. The imperative "he must ignore" may have been suggested to copyists by Revelation 22:11. The text reading is supported by early manuscripts from the Alexandrian, Western, and Palestinian forms of ancient text.

1 Corinthians 15:14:

TEXT: "our preaching [is] in vain and plyour faith [is] in vain."
EVIDENCE: S A Db,c G K P Psi 104 614 630 2495 Byz Lect most lat vg syr(p,h) cop(north) some cop(south)
TRANSLATIONS: KJV ASV RSV NASV NIV NEB TEV
RANK: C

NOTES: "our preaching [is] in vain and our faith [is] in vain."
EVIDENCE: B D* 33 81 1241 1739 1881 one lat some cop(south)
TRANSLATIONS: ASVn

COMMENTS: The words "plyour" and "our" were pronounced alike in later Greek, so the variation is probably due to a mistake of the ear. It is possible also that "plyour" was taken by copyists from verse 17 or that "our" was taken from "our preaching." All things considered, the context seems to require "plyour faith."

1 Corinthians 15:49:

TEXT: "we shall also wear the image of the heavenly One."
EVIDENCE: B I 630 1881 Lect syr(p) cop(south)
TRANSLATIONS: KJV ASV RSV NASV NIV NEB TEV
RANK: C

NOTES: "let us also wear the image of the heavenly One."
EVIDENCE: p46 S A C D G K P Psi 33 81 104 614 1241 1739 2495 Byz lat vg cop(north)
TRANSLATIONS: ASVn RSVn NASVn NIVn TEVn

COMMENTS: The passage is a teaching passage, not an exhortation. For this reason the UBS Textual Committee preferred the text reading despite the poorer manuscript evidence that supports it.

1 Corinthians 15:54:

TEXT: "·And whenever this perishable [nature] puts on imperishability, and this mortal [nature] puts on immortality, then shall take place"
EVIDENCE: Sc B C2(vid) D K P Psi 33 81 104 614margin 630 1241 1739margin 1881 2495 Byz two lat syr(p,h)
TRANSLATIONS: KJV ASV RSV NASV NIV NEBn TEV ("when this takes place")
RANK: C

NOTES: "·And whenever this mortal [nature] puts on immortality, then shall take place"
EVIDENCE: p46 S* 088 1739* four lat vg most cop(north) one cop(south)
TRANSLATIONS: ASVn NEB

OTHER: "·And whenever this mortal [nature] puts on immortality, and this perishable [nature] puts on imperishability, then shall take place"
EVIDENCE: A one cop(south)

OTHER: "·Then shall take place"
EVIDENCE: F G 614* two lat one cop(north)

COMMENTS: The omission of the first phrase seems to have happened accidently when copyists' eyes jumped from the beginning of the first phrase to the beginning of the second phrase. The reversal of order of the phrases probably happened when copyists accidently omitted the first phrase and then noticed it and added it in the wrong order. The omission of both phrases probably happened when copyists' eyes jumped from "immortality" at the end of verse 53 to "immortality" at the end of the second phrase.

1 Corinthians 16:24:

TEXT: "·My love [be] with plyou all in Christ Jesus."
EVIDENCE: B 33 81 (omit "in Christ Jesus") 630 1881 three lat syr(p) some cop(north) cop(south)
TRANSLATIONS: NIVn TEV
RANK: C

NOTES: "·My love [be] with plyou all in Christ Jesus. Amen."
EVIDENCE: S A C D K P Psi 104 614 1241 (omit "in Christ Jesus") 1739 2495 Byz Lect most lat vg syr(h,pal) most cop(north)
TRANSLATIONS: KJV ASV RSV NASV NIV NEB

COMMENTS: It was common for copyists to add "Amen" to the end of a letter.


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