[b-greek] RE: EN EFESW

From: Iver Larsen (iver_larsen@sil.org)
Date: Sun Feb 03 2002 - 14:15:10 EST

> B-Greek members, My friend is doing a term paper over Ephesisans being a
> circular letter. The UBS GNT supports this by giving "EV EFESW" a C
> reading. Could you assist him in offering some scholarly sources
> for this
> supposition?

Since the words are included in the latest UBS and Nestle text, it means
that the majority opinion of the committee was that the words were original.
However, a strong minority apparently wanted to weigh the few manuscripts
that do not have the words as more important than the majority of mss that
do have the words, so a bracket was included to indicate a considerable
degree of doubt whether the words were in fact original. The words seem to
be missing from the original copy of Sinaiticus and Vaticanus, but were
included in the corrected versions. They are also missing from papyrus 46,
which is not a particularly reliable MS, although it is old. I am fairly
certain the words were originally present, but that question is not really a
b-greek question, as Carlton has said. (See Metzger's Commentary on the UBS

Another question is what is meant by "circular letter". Some of Paul's
letters were directed to specific individuals, like 1 and 2 Tim, Titus and
Philemon, so they could not be termed circular letters, even though they
include instructions of a general nature.
Others were directed to a specific church in a specific city and addressed
specific issues or problems in those churches. I am thinking of 1 and 2 Cor
and 1 and 2 Thess. I would not call them circular letters either, although
again they deal with some issues of general interest.
Galatians were directed to several churches within the province of Galatia
and therefore could be called a circular letter, being addressed to several
different churches, but within the same area and having a similar problem to
Colossians, Ephesians and Philippians were addressed to specific churches,
but their content is much more general. It is likely that Paul intended for
each of these letters to be shared with churches nearby, and in that sense
they could be termed circular, regardless of whether "in Ephesus" were in
the original MS or not. Paul makes this intention explicit in Col 4:16.
I am not sure this is a b-greek question, either, but I find it of some

Iver Larsen

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