RE: 1 Cor 4.6

From: Christopher Hutson (
Date: Sat Feb 20 1999 - 10:50:59 EST

>From: "Phil Sanders" <>

>I would like to hear comments about the textual variant in 1 Cor.
4:6. The
>critical apparatus in NA 27 notes the variance between hA GEGRAPTAI
>PHRONEIN, citing the differences. I can trace out the mss from the
>appendix, but I would like to know the credibility of calling the
>reading a marginal note which was added into the text.

Phil, your question is not clear, but let me see whether I understand
you. 1 Cor 4:6 contains two textual variants. First, some mss
replace the neuter plural relative pronoun hA with the neuter singular
hO. Second, some mss insert the word FRONEIN after GEGRAPTAI. But
when you ask about "the former reading" you seem to have neither of
these in mind. Rather, you seem to be thinking about the conjecture
that the phrase TO MH hUPER hA GEGRAPTAI was a marginal gloss that
some scribe copied into Paul's text. Is that what you are trying to
ask about?

If so, then, strictly speaking, this isn't a textual variant at all,
since no mss omit the phrase. It is pure conjecture. I personally
think it is poor method to conjecture a scribal gloss simply because a
phrase seems obscure or a little awkward. Since there is no textual
variant, I would say we should assume that Paul wrote the phrase, and
we should try to make some sense of it. In this case, the phrase is a
noun phrase introduced by the article TO, which indicates a quotation
or a slogan. The slogan to which Paul refers is "Not beyond what is
written." Does that address the thrust of your question? If not,
then please ask again.

On 1 Corinthians, and especially for text critical questions, a good
place to start is Gordon Fee's commentary in the New International
Commentary on the NT series from Eerdmans. He does discuss the
various problems with this verse.


Christopher R. Hutson
          Hood Theological Seminary
          Salisbury, NC 28144

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