Luke 23:43 - Where does the Comma Go?

From: Williams, Wes (
Date: Fri Apr 03 1998 - 15:29:45 EST

        Has this verse been discussed before?
        Luke 23:43

        Is it equally legitimate to put the comma after SHMERON, or is
this usual
        break up more likely to be correct?

        I hope it is kosher for me to say that the people who want the
comma after
        SHMERON, seem to have theological, not grammatical reasons.

        David McKay

Dear David,

The placement of the comma has been discussed on b-greek in 1996. While
true that the placement of the comma is subject to grammatical and
theological debate, there exists some manuscript evidence supporting the
comma after SHMERON. The Vatican 1209 (4th century) has a point written
by the first hand after SHMERON. There is no other early manuscript
having a point in this verse that has a point to the contrary (does
anyone know of other early manuscripts having a point before SHMERON?).
Curetonian Syriac (fifth century) translates Luke 23:43 in a manner that
the point must be understood to be after SHMERON: "Amen, I say to thee
to-day that with me thou shalt be in the Garden of Eden.'" While true
that some may rightly say that these are inconclusive, they are early
witnesses to the post-placement.

In view of the foregoing, the words "the people who want" is perhaps not
the proper expression to describe those who place a comma after SHMERON.
It may be equally true, or even more so in light of the above (and
more), to suggest that placement of the comma before SHMERON have
theological, not grammatical reasons. Both sides of the grammatical
issue need careful examination.

Both sides of the discussion were presented on b-greek, which I
appreciated. The last post on the subject was the following:

Wes Williams

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