From: Harold R. Holmyard III (email@example.com)
Date: Tue Mar 21 2000 - 12:16:38 EST
On the variant TOU QEOU at 1 Cor 2:14 in the UBS3 GNT, the omission of
this phrase occurs as early as Irenaeus. He flourished before the year A.D.
200, and p46, which includes the phrase, dates to about A.D. 200.
Although the reading TOU QEOU appears as early as about A.D. 200, that
is some one hundred and fifty years from the authorship of 1 Corinthians.
There is a lot of time in a century and a half for errors to creep into
copies of the text. So textual critics can benefit from as many early
testimonies to the text as possible. A text that we have from the seventh
century may trace a lineage back to a manuscript earlier than p46. So
sometimes an younger manuscript may preserve a correct reading that an
older manuscript does not. And even if one manuscript is older than
another, that does not make it preferable at 1 Cor 2:14 if it contains a
copyist's error there that a later manuscript does not. The manuscripts
usually have been copied from different forefather manuscripts from a
variety of geographical points of origin. It is good to have witnesses to
these many early forefather manuscripts, because they may differ in
quality, and may differ in quality at different places in the New
Testament. Perhaps an older copy from Alexandria might not be as good in
John as a younger copy from Antioch. I am just making up this situation,
but you can see the point.
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