A Student's Guide to
New Testament Textual Variants

The Letter of James

James 1:17-5:20


James 1:17:

TEXT: "no variation or shadow [cast] by turning."
EVIDENCE: Sc A C K P Psi 81 104 630 945 1241 1739 Byz Lect most lat vg syr(p,h)
TRANSLATIONS: KJV ASV RSV NASV NEBn TEV
RANK: C

NOTES: "no variation that [consists] of the turning of a shadow."
EVIDENCE: S* B
TRANSLATIONS: RSVn NIV NEB

OTHER: "none of variation or of turning of a shadow"
EVIDENCE: p23

OTHER: "no variation or turning of a shadow"
EVIDENCE: 614 2495

OTHER: "no variation or tipping of a shadow."
EVIDENCE: one lat cop(north)?

OTHER: "no shadow or turning or variation."
EVIDENCE: cop(south)

COMMENTS: The difficulty of understanding the passage has led copyists to change it in a number of ways. The UBS Textual Committee felt that the text reading is the least unsatisfactory.

James 2:3:

TEXT: "'You stand there,' or 'Sit down beside my footstool'"
EVIDENCE: A C* ("and") Psi 33 81 614 630 2495 most lat vg syr(h)
TRANSLATIONS: ASV RSV NASV NIV NEBn
RANK: C

NOTES: "'You stand,' or 'Sit down there beside my footstool'"
EVIDENCE: B 945 1241 1739 one lat cop(south) ("here")
TRANSLATIONS: NEB ("here")

NOTES: "'You stand there,' or 'Sit down here beside my footstool'"
EVIDENCE: p74vid S C2 K P 104 Byz Lect syr(p) cop(north)
TRANSLATIONS: KJV NEBn TEV

COMMENTS: It seems that "here" was added to the second phrase by some copyists to improve the parallelism. Others moved "there" from the first phrase to the second.

James 2:19:

TEXT: "·You believe that God is one"
EVIDENCE: p74 S A C K(margin) 33vid 81 104 Byz Lect lat? vg? syr? cop
TRANSLATIONS: KJV ASV RSV NASV NIV? NEB TEV?
RANK: C

NOTES: "·You believe that there is one God"
EVIDENCE: B 614 630 945 1241 1739 2495
TRANSLATIONS: ASVn NIV? TEV?

OTHER: "·You believe that God is"
EVIDENCE: K(text) Psi

COMMENTS: The text reading can also be translated "there is one God." The difference in the readings is between the presence (text) or absence (notes) of the definite article. The evidence for each shows variations in word order.

James 2:20:

TEXT: "faith apart from works is ineffective"
EVIDENCE: B C* 945 1739 most lat earlier vg cop(south)
TRANSLATIONS: ASV RSV NASV NIV NEB TEV
RANK: B

NOTES: "faith apart from works is dead"
EVIDENCE: S A C2 K P Psi 33 81 104 614 630 1241 2495 Byz Lect one lat later vg syr(p,h) cop(north)
TRANSLATIONS: KJV NIVn TEVn

OTHER: "faith apart from works is empty"
EVIDENCE: p74 one lat

COMMENTS: It is likely that the reading "dead" was borrowed by copyists from verses 17 and 26. The reading "empty" was taken from "O empty man" earlier in the verse.

James 4:5:

TEXT: "the Spirit which he has made to dwell in us"
EVIDENCE: p74 S B Psi 104 1241 1739
TRANSLATIONS: ASV RSV NASV NIV NEB TEV
RANK: C

NOTES: "the Spirit which dwells in us"
EVIDENCE: K L P 33 614 630 945 2495 Byz Lect lat vg syr cop
TRANSLATIONS: KJV ASVn

COMMENTS: There is only one letter difference between the two readings in spelling and the two words were pronounced alike. It is likely that the rare causative verb "made to dwell" was replaced by copyists with the more common simple form "dwell." The word is uncertain in manuscripts A and 81.

James 4:14:

TEXT: "not know about tomorrow. What [is] plyour life?"
EVIDENCE: S* B 614 2495 one lat syr(h) one cop(north)
TRANSLATIONS: ASV RSV NASV NIV NEB TEV
RANK: C

NOTES: "not know about tomorrow. For what [is] plyour life?"
EVIDENCE: p74 Sc A K L P Psi 33 81 104 630 945 1241 1739 2495 Byz Lect most lat vg syr(p) most cop
TRANSLATIONS: KJV NASVn

OTHER: "not know about tomorrow. But what [is] plyour life?"
EVIDENCE: one lat

COMMENTS: The text reading can also be translated "not know what sort of life [is] plyours tomorrow." Apparently "For" was inserted by copyists under the influence of the next sentence to prevent this ambiguity.

James 5:20:

TEXT: "·he must know that the one who turns"
EVIDENCE: S A K P 81 104 614 630 945 1241 1739 Byz Lect most lat vg syr(p) cop(north)
TRANSLATIONS: KJV ASV RSV NASV
RANK: C

NOTES:plyou must know that the one who turns"
EVIDENCE: B 2495 syr(h)
TRANSLATIONS: ASVn NIV? NEB TEV?

OTHER: "·that the one who turns"
EVIDENCE: Psi

OTHER: "·the one who turns"
EVIDENCE: p74 one lat cop(south)

COMMENTS: The change from the third person singular to the second person plural seems to have been made to have the statement addressed to the reader. In the same way, the reading of the NIV and TEV is probably translational rather than textual for the same reason.


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