A Student's Guide to
New Testament Textual Variants

The Letter of Jude

Jude 5-23


Jude 5:

TEXT: "know all [this], that the Lord who once saved"
EVIDENCE: S Psi C* 630 2495 syr(h)
TRANSLATIONS: NEB TEV
RANK: D

NOTES: "know all [this], that Jesus who once saved"
EVIDENCE: 1241 1739 1881 one lat cop
TRANSLATIONS: NEBn TEVn

NOTES: "know all [this], that God who once saved"
EVIDENCE: one lat syr(ph)
TRANSLATIONS: none

NOTES: "know this once and for all, that the Lord who saved"
EVIDENCE: K L 104 945 Byz Lect
TRANSLATIONS: KJV ASV RSVn NASV NIV ("already")

NOTES: "know all [this] once and for all, that Jesus who saved"
EVIDENCE: A B 33 81 three lat vg
TRANSLATIONS: ASVn RSVn NASVn NIVn

NOTES: "know all [this] once and for all, that God who saved"
EVIDENCE: C2
TRANSLATIONS: RSVn

OTHER: "know all [this] once and for all, that God Christ who saved"
EVIDENCE: p72

OTHER: "know all [this] once and for all, that he who saved"
EVIDENCE: none

TRANSLATIONS: RSV
COMMENTS: The same Greek word can be translated either "once" or "once and for all." Although a minority of the UBS Textual Committee preferred the reading "know all [this] once and for all, that Jesus who saved" because it is the most difficult to understand and thus the most likely to have been changed by copyists, a majority preferred the reading found in the text and explained the reading "Jesus" as a mistake of the eye, since there is only one letter difference between the Greek abbreviations for "Lord" and "Jesus."

Jude 22-23:

TEXT: "·And on some have mercy, who doubt; ·and some save, by snatching [them] out of the fire; and on some have mercy with fear"
EVIDENCE: S
TRANSLATIONS: ASV NASV NIV NEBn TEV
RANK: C

NOTES: "·And convince some, who doubt; ·and some save, by snatching [them] out of the fire; and on some have mercy with fear"
EVIDENCE: A 33 81 1241 1739 1881 most lat vg cop(north)
TRANSLATIONS: ASVn RSV NASVn NEBn

NOTES: "·And some, on whom plyou have mercy when they doubt, save by snatching [them] out of the fire; and on some have mercy with fear"
EVIDENCE: B
TRANSLATIONS: NEB

NOTES: "·And convince some, who doubt; ·and some save, by snatching [them] out of the fire with fear"
EVIDENCE: C*
TRANSLATIONS: none

NOTES: "·And on some have mercy, who doubt; ·and with fear save some, by snatching [them] out of the fire"
EVIDENCE: {C2} K L P {630 2495} Byz Lect {syr(h)}
TRANSLATIONS: KJV

OTHER: "·Some snatch out of the fire; ·and have mercy on those who doubt with fear"
EVIDENCE: p72 one lat syr(ph) cop(south)

OTHER: "·And on some have mercy, who doubt; ·and with fear some save, by snatching [them] out of the fire, and convince some with fear"
EVIDENCE: 104 (omit first "with fear") 945

COMMENTS: The evidence listed above in braces has the words "with fear" at the end of the variation. The seven readings above involve three basic variations with several minor ones. The first is the verb used in the first clause. Some manuscripts read "have mercy on" while others read "convince" (which can also be translated "refute"). A few condense the reading by omitting the first phrase. There is only three letters' difference in the spelling of the words translated "have mercy on" and "convince." Since the word translated "doubt" can also be translated "quarrel," as it is in verse 9, copyists who misunderstood the word in this sense would be tempted to change "have mercy on" to "refute." The second basic variation is the omission of "and some" by one manuscript, making the three clauses into two. The omission was probably accidental. If the words were included, manuscript B would read like manuscript S. The third basic variation is the omission of the words "and on some have mercy," making the three clauses into two. This seems to have been done by later copyists, perhaps to avoid the double use of "have mercy on." A few copyists changed "have mercy on" to "convince" in this last clause for the same reason.


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