A Student's Guide to
New Testament Textual Variants

The Revelation to John

Revelation 14:13-22:21


Revelation 14:13:

TEXT: "'Lord from now on.' 'Yes,' says the Spirit, 'that'"
EVIDENCE: Sc A C P {046} 051 1 {94} 1006 1611 1854 2344 {Maj(K,C)} Maj(A,B) lat vg syr(ph,h) cop(south)
TRANSLATIONS: KJV ASV RSV NASV NIV NEBn TEV
RANK: B

NOTES: "'Lord.' 'From now on,' says the Spirit, 'that'"
EVIDENCE: p47 S* cop(north)
TRANSLATIONS: NEB

NOTES: "'Lord from now on.' 'Indeed,' says the Spirit, 'that'"
EVIDENCE: 2053
COMMENTS: The evidence listed in braces has a different word order from the text reading. Although it is possible that "yes" and "indeed" are expansions by copyists, the great manuscript support for "yes" makes it likely that the text reading is original.

Revelation 15:3:

TEXT: "O King of the nations!"
EVIDENCE: Sa A P 046 051 1 1854 2053 Maj two lat cop(north)
TRANSLATIONS: ASVn RSVn NASV NEBn TEV
RANK: C

NOTES: "O King of the ages!"
EVIDENCE: p47 S*,c C 94 1006 1611 2344vid most lat vg syr(ph,h) cop(south)
TRANSLATIONS: ASV RSV NASVn NIV NEB TEVn

OTHER: "O King of the saints!"
EVIDENCE: 296 2049

TRANSLATIONS: KJV
COMMENTS: The manuscript evidence for the reading in the text and the notes is almost balanced. Although it is possible that "nations" was borrowed from verse 4, a majority of the UBS Textual Committee felt it was more likely that "ages" was borrowed by copyists from 1 Timothy 1:17.

Revelation 15:6:

TEXT: "clothed in clean bright linen, and"
EVIDENCE: {p47 S} P {046} 051 1 {94} 1006 1611 Maj later vg syr(ph,h) cop(north)?
TRANSLATIONS: KJV ASVn RSV NASV NIV NEB TEV
RANK: B

NOTES: "clothed in clean bright stone, and"
EVIDENCE: A C 2053 lat earlier vg
TRANSLATIONS: ASV NASVn

OTHER: "clothed in clean bright, and"
EVIDENCE: cop(south)

COMMENTS: The evidence listed in braces has a different spelling, but supports the text reading. There is only one letter's difference between the Greek words for "linen" and "stone." Even though there is a superficial parallel to wearing stone in Ezekiel 15:6, it seems most likely that the reading "stone" is due to a copying mistake.

Revelation 16:3:

TEXT: "every living soul died that was in the sea."
EVIDENCE: A C 051 {1006} 1611 2344 {syr(h)}
TRANSLATIONS: ASV RSV NASVn
RANK: -

NOTES: "every living soul died in the sea."
EVIDENCE: p47 S ("on") Maj(A,C) lat vg syr(ph) cop
TRANSLATIONS: KJV NASV NIV NEB TEV

NOTES: "every soul died in the sea."
EVIDENCE: Maj(K,B)
TRANSLATIONS: none

COMMENTS: The evidence in braces has a slightly different reading than the text reading: "of those" instead of "that was." The words "that was" are a translation of the definite article, which is omitted in the readings in the notes. The article is plural here and can be translated "the things that were."

Revelation 16:4:

TEXT: "poured out his bowl into the rivers and the springs of water, and it became blood."
EVIDENCE: S C P 046 051 1 94 Maj four lat vg
TRANSLATIONS: ASV NASVn
RANK: C

NOTES: "poured out his bowl into the rivers and the springs of water, and they became blood."
EVIDENCE: p47 A 1006 1611 1854 2053 three lat syr(ph,h) cop
TRANSLATIONS: KJV ASVn RSV NASV NIV NEB TEV

COMMENTS: Probably "it became" was changed to "they became" under the influence of the plural "rivers" and "springs."

Revelation 16:16:

TEXT: "a place which is called in Hebrew Harmagedon."
EVIDENCE: S {Sa ("Armegedon")} A E some Maj(A) Maj(B,C)
TRANSLATIONS: ASV NASV
RANK: -

NOTES: "a place which is called in Hebrew Armageddon."
EVIDENCE: 2049 2081c some lat {most lat most vg ("Armagedon")}
TRANSLATIONS: KJV ASVn ("Armagedon") RSV NASVn NIV NEB TEV

OTHER: "a place which is called in Hebrew Magedon."
EVIDENCE: Maj(K) some Maj(A) some vg? syr(ph)? cop(north)?

OTHER: "a place which is called in Hebrew Mageddon."
EVIDENCE: 046 1611 2053 some vg? syr(ph)? cop(north)?

COMMENTS: The place name which is traditionally spelled "Armageddon" in English is spelled over a dozen different ways in the manuscripts. The text follows a spelling found in over 90 manuscripts.

Revelation 16:18:

TEXT: "such as had not been since man was on the earth"
EVIDENCE: p47vid ("man were") A most cop
TRANSLATIONS: ASVn NASV NIV NEB ("human history") TEV
RANK: C

NOTES: "such as had not been since men were on the earth"
EVIDENCE: S 046 051 1 94 1006 1611 1854 2053 2344 Maj lat vg syr(ph,h) some cop(north) one cop(south)
TRANSLATIONS: KJV ASV RSV

COMMENTS: The words translated "has been" and "was" are the same word in Greek. Perhaps in order to avoid having the same word three times so close together, some manuscripts omitted "was" before "earthquake" (046 Maj(K,B)) while others changed "man was" to "men were."

Revelation 17:8:

TEXT: "is going to ascend out of the abyss and is going to destruction"
EVIDENCE: A 1611 2053 lat vg syr(ph) cop
TRANSLATIONS: ASVn NASVn NEB TEV?
RANK: C

NOTES: "is going to ascend out of the abyss and to go to destruction"
EVIDENCE: S P 046 051 1 94 1006 1854 Maj syr(h)
TRANSLATIONS: KJV ASV RSV NASV NIV

COMMENTS: There is only one letter's difference between the present indicative (text reading) and the present infinitive (reading in the notes). Since the indicative is not as smooth in this context as the infinitive, it is more likely that copyists changed the indicative to the infinitive than vice versa, although it is possible that the indicative was borrowed from verse 11.

Revelation 18:2:

TEXT: "and a haunt of every unclean spirit, and a haunt of every unclean bird, and a haunt of every unclean and hateful beast"
EVIDENCE: 2329 some Maj(B) (with "and hateful" before "bird" instead of "beast") one lat (add "and hateful" before "spirit" and "bird") syr(h) cop(south)
TRANSLATIONS: none
RANK: C

NOTES: "and a haunt of every unclean spirit, and a haunt of every unclean and hateful bird"
EVIDENCE: S C 051 2053 Maj(K,C) some Maj(B) one lat vg cop(north)
TRANSLATIONS: KJV ASV RSV NASV NIV NEB TEV

OTHER: "and a haunt of every unclean and hateful spirit, and a haunt of every unclean and hateful beast"
EVIDENCE: A P

OTHER: "and a haunt of every unclean bird, and a haunt of every unclean and hateful beast"
EVIDENCE: 1611

OTHER: "and a haunt of every unclean and hateful spirit"
EVIDENCE: Maj(A) syr(ph)

COMMENTS: The words "and a haunt of every unclean beast" are enclosed in brackets in the UBS text. The adjectives "unclean and hateful" follow the nouns in Greek. Since the three phrases are so similar it is easy to see how one or more of them might be accidently omitted through a mistake of the eye. However, the words which are missing from a majority of manuscripts are enclosed in brackets.

Revelation 18:3:

TEXT: "·because all nations have drunk of"
EVIDENCE: {P 051 1} 1006c 2053* some Maj(K) Maj(B) {some Maj(A) Maj(C)} lat vg syr(h)
TRANSLATIONS: KJV ASVn RSV NASV NIV NEB TEV
RANK: D

NOTES: "·because all nations have fallen on account of"
EVIDENCE: S A C 046 1006* 1611 {1854 2053c} some Maj(K) cop
TRANSLATIONS: ASV RSVn NASVn NEBn ("been ruined")

OTHER: "·because she has made all nations drink of"
EVIDENCE: {94 some Maj(A) syr(ph)}

COMMENTS: The evidence listed in braces has the singular instead of the plural. The reading "made drink" was borrowed from Revelation 14:8. There is only one letter's difference between the reading in the text and the reading in the notes: a "T" following a "P" (Pi). Since the Greek letter "Pi" is made like a "T" with two vertical strokes instead of one, it is easy to see how a "T" could have been accidently added or omitted through a mistake of the eye. The UBS Textual Committee felt that "fallen on account of" was not suitable in the context, and that "fallen" was borrowed from verse 2.

Revelation 18:3:

TEXT: "of the wine of the anger of her fornication"
EVIDENCE: S 046 94 1006 Maj(K) some Maj(B) one lat later vg one cop(north) cop(south)
TRANSLATIONS: KJV ASV RSV NASV NIV NEB TEV
RANK: C

NOTES: "of the anger of her fornication"
EVIDENCE: A C? ("of the fornication of her anger") 1611 2053 four lat earlier vg some cop(north)
TRANSLATIONS: ASVn

OTHER: "of the anger of the wine of her fornication"
EVIDENCE: P 051 1 Maj(A,C) some Maj(B) one lat most cop(north)

OTHER: "of the wine of her anger"
EVIDENCE: syr(h)

OTHER: "of the wine of her fornication"
EVIDENCE: 1854 syr(ph)

COMMENTS: Perhaps "of the wine" was accidently omitted when copyists' eyes jumped from "the" to "the." The many readings here seem to be due to carelessness in copying a phrase which is difficult to understand.

Revelation 18:8:

TEXT: "because strong is the Lord God who judges her."
EVIDENCE: S C P 046 051 1 94 1611 1854 Maj (some have "Lord God Almighty") two lat syr(h) cop
TRANSLATIONS: KJV ASV RSV NASV NIV NEB TEV
RANK: C

NOTES: "because strong is the God who judges her."
EVIDENCE: A 1006 2053commentary most lat vg
TRANSLATIONS: ASVn

OTHER: "because strong is the Lord who judges her."
EVIDENCE: 2053text syr(ph)

COMMENTS: Although copyists had a tendency to expand the titles of God (which happened here when "Almighty" was added), it is possible, since "strong" and "Lord" end with the same two letters, that "Lord" was accidently omitted due to a mistake of the eye.

Revelation 18:22:

TEXT: "and no craftsman of any craft shall be found in you"
EVIDENCE: C P 046 051 1 94 1006 1611 1854 2053 2344 Maj lat vg syr(h) cop(south)
TRANSLATIONS: KJV ASV RSV NASV NIV NEB TEV
RANK: C

NOTES: "and no craftsman shall be found in you"
EVIDENCE: S A cop(north)
TRANSLATIONS: ASVn

OTHER: omit phrase
EVIDENCE: syr(ph)

COMMENTS: Since "craft" and "craftsman" end with the same two letters the phrase "of any craft" was probably accidently omitted due to a mistake of the eye. The whole phrase was probably omitted for the same reason since it is similar to the surrounding phrases.

Revelation 19:11:

TEXT: "the One sitting on it [is] called Faithful and True"
EVIDENCE: {S} 046 94 1006 1611 1854 2053 2344 Maj(K,B,C) {some Maj(A)} most lat {some lat earlier vg} later vg syr(ph,h) cop
TRANSLATIONS: KJV ASV RSV NASV NIV NEB TEV
RANK: C

NOTES: "the One sitting on it [is] Faithful and True"
EVIDENCE: A P 051 1 most Maj(A)
TRANSLATIONS: ASVn

COMMENTS: The word "called" is enclosed in brackets in the UBS text. The evidence listed in braces has the word "called," but in a different place than the text reading. Although the different positions of "called" might make it seem added by copyists, it may have been deliberately omitted lest the reader think Jesus was only "called" faithful and true and was not in fact.

Revelation 19:13:

TEXT: "he [is] clothed in a cloak dipped in blood"
EVIDENCE: A 046 051 1 94 1854 Maj syr(ph)? cop(south)
TRANSLATIONS: KJV ASVn RSV NASV NIV NEB TEV? ("covered")
RANK: C

NOTES: "he [is] clothed in a cloak sprinkled with blood"
EVIDENCE: S P 1006 1611 2053 lat vg syr(h) syr(ph)? cop(north)
TRANSLATIONS: ASV RSVn NEBn ("splattered")

COMMENTS: There are six different forms of the word "sprinkled" supporting the reading in the notes. These variations make it suspect. Since Old Testament ritual involved sprinkling with blood, "dipped" was more likely to be changed to "sprinkled" than vice versa.

Revelation 20:6:

TEXT: "they shall reign with him the thousand years."
EVIDENCE: S 046 94 1611 2053 most cop
TRANSLATIONS: ASVn NEB
RANK: C

NOTES: "they shall reign with him a thousand years."
EVIDENCE: A 051 1 1006 1854 Maj one cop(north)
TRANSLATIONS: KJV ASV RSV NASV NIV TEV

COMMENTS: The definite article "the" is enclosed in brackets in the UBS text. Although copyists had a tendency to add the definite article, the UBS Textual Committee felt it best to include it here in brackets because of the strong evidence that includes it.

Revelation 20:9:

TEXT: "and fire came down out of heaven and"
EVIDENCE: A {94} 2053commentary some Maj(A) some cop(north)
TRANSLATIONS: ASV {RSV NASV NIV NEB TEV}
RANK: C

NOTES: "and fire came down from God out of heaven and"
EVIDENCE: Sb P {051 1} 1006 1611 2053text {some Maj(A)} three lat vg syr(h)
TRANSLATIONS: KJV ASVn RSVn

NOTES: "and fire came down out of heaven from God and"
EVIDENCE: 046 Maj(K,B,C) two lat syr(ph) most cop
TRANSLATIONS: RSVn

OTHER: "and fire came down from God and"
EVIDENCE: 1854 one lat

OTHER: omit through "into the lake" in verse 10
EVIDENCE: S*

COMMENTS: The evidence and translations listed in braces have "from heaven" and "out of God." The words "from God" may have been borrowed by copyists from Revelation 21:2 and 10. The omission by the original copyist of manuscript S was probably accidental.

Revelation 21:3:

TEXT: "and they shall be his peoples, and"
EVIDENCE: S A 046 1 94 2053 Maj(A) one lat
TRANSLATIONS: ASV RSVn
RANK: D

NOTES: "and they shall be his people, and"
EVIDENCE: P 051 1006 1611 1854 Maj(K,B,C) most lat vg syr(ph,h) cop
TRANSLATIONS: KJV RSV NASV NIV NEB TEV

COMMENTS: The Old Testament speaks of the one people of God. Did the writer here speak of many peoples who belongs to God, and copyists change it to the Old Testament usage? Or did he speak of one people, and copyists were influenced by "they" to change it to the plural? A majority of the UBS Textual Committee preferred the former explanation.

Revelation 21:3:

TEXT: "God himself shall be with them, [and be] their God."
EVIDENCE: A P 051 1854 2053 most Maj(A) most lat vg syr(ph,h)
TRANSLATIONS: KJV ASV RSVn NASVn NIV NEBn TEV
RANK: D

NOTES: "God himself shall be with them."
EVIDENCE: S 046 1 94 Maj(K,B,C) some Maj(A) one lat most cop(north)
TRANSLATIONS: ASVn RSV NASV NEB

OTHER: "God himself shall be God with them."
EVIDENCE: 1006 1611 some cop(north) cop(south)

COMMENTS: The words "their God" are enclosed in brackets in the UBS text. Although it is possible that these words were added by copyists from Isaiah 7:14 or 8:8, it is also possible that they were omitted by copyists as unneeded.

Revelation 22:14:

TEXT: "·Blessed [are] those who rinse their robes"
EVIDENCE: S A 1006 2053 most lat vg cop(south)
TRANSLATIONS: ASV RSV NASV NIV NEB TEV
RANK: B

NOTES: "·Blessed [are] those who do his commandments"
EVIDENCE: 046 1 94 1611 1854 Maj one lat syr(ph,h) cop(north)
TRANSLATIONS: KJV RSVn

COMMENTS: The two readings are pronounced similarly in Greek. It is not hard to see how PLUNONTESTASSTOLASAUTON might have changed into POIOUNTESTASENTOLASAUTOU (that is, how "rinse their robes" changed into "do his commandments"), especially since "do his commandments" would be much more expected than "rinse their robes." Elsewhere John writes "keep the commandments" (Revelation 12:17; 14:12).

Revelation 22:21:

TEXT: "·The grace of the Lord Jesus"
EVIDENCE: S A 1611supp 2053 {cop(south)}
TRANSLATIONS: ASV RSV NASV NIV NEB TEV
RANK: B

NOTES: "·The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ"
EVIDENCE: 046 051supp 94 1006 1854 Maj {lat vg syr(ph,h)}
TRANSLATIONS: KJV ASVn

OTHER: omit
EVIDENCE: cop(north)

COMMENTS: The evidence in braces reads "our Lord." There was a tendency for copyists to expand the name of Christ.

Revelation 22:21:

TEXT: "[be] with all."
EVIDENCE: A one lat earlier vg
TRANSLATIONS: ASVn RSVn NASV NEBn TEV
RANK: C

NOTES: "[be] with the saints."
EVIDENCE: S one lat
TRANSLATIONS: ASV RSVn NASVn NIV NEBn TEVn

NOTES: "[be] with all the saints."
EVIDENCE: 046 051supp 94 1006 1611 1854 2053 Maj syr(h) syr(ph) ("all his saints") cop(north) (add "forever and ever") cop(south)
TRANSLATIONS: RSV NEBn TEVn

NOTES: "[be] with plyou all."
EVIDENCE: most lat later vg
TRANSLATIONS: KJV NEB

COMMENTS: The best supported reading ("all the saints") appears to be a combination of the first two. Between them the UBS Textual Committee preferred "with all."

Revelation 22:21:

TEXT: omit "Amen" at the end
EVIDENCE: A 1006 most Maj(A) two lat
TRANSLATIONS: NEB TEV
RANK: C

NOTES: include "Amen" at the end
EVIDENCE: S 046 051 94 1611 1854 2053 Maj(K,B,C) some Maj(A) most lat vg syr(ph,h) cop (one reads "Amen, Amen")
TRANSLATIONS: KJV ASV RSV NASV NIV NEBn

COMMENTS: Copyists had a tendency to add "Amen" at the end of a book they had copied. If it were original, there is no way to explain its omission from so many manuscripts.


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