I Just Could Not Resist

   Jeff Downs sent me a link about the reading of 1 Timothy 3:16 in Codex Alexandrinus, and though I have a ton of things to be doing this morning before the DL (mainly packing!), I just could not resist taking the time to do what I love to do. Here’s a close up of the text. For those who are not familiar with the issue, it is one of the major textual variants in the NT, hence, one that comes up in the KJV Only debate, and, of course, with Jehovah’s Witnesses and Muslims as well. I addressed it rather fully in The King James Only Controversy as well. The difference in reading, in English, is between “God was manifest in the flesh” and “He was manifest in the flesh.” While at first glance that seems like a major variant (and it is, as far as meaning is concerned), the actual difference in the Greek is rather slight, the difference between OS and QS with a line over it. Well, more and more, high-quality digital images of the NT manuscripts are becoming available on line, this one coming from a tremendously valuable resource, www.csntm.org (a group well worth your support, I might add). Those of you who can read a little Greek (and more, can read uncial text), can make it out, even in this small version (the version on line is higher quality). Here is the uncial text of the passage so you can follow along with it:
KAIOMOLOG
OUMENWSMEGAESTINTOTHSEUSEB
EIASMUSTHRIONOSEFANERW
QHENSARKIEDIKAIWQHENPNE
UMATIWFQHAGGELOIS

Here is the same line but in more standard (non-uncial) script: kaiomolog
oumenwjmegaestintothjeuseb
eiajmusthrionojefanerw
qhensarkiedikaiwqhenpne
umatiwfqhaggeloij

Yes, I know, the BibleWorks font does not have an exact representation of an uncial final form sigma, which, as you can see in the graphic, looks like a capital “C” in the English script. In any case, here is a blow up of the point of the variant. If you check your NA text, they list the “original” as OS and the “corrected” as QS. Now, they may have been able to do some kinds of studies with ultraviolet light, etc., to come to that conclusion, but you sure can’t tell that from this image. It is fascinating to see this text, and hopefully, it is useful in calming the wild-eyed fears created by KJV Onlyists who run about screaming about how Westcott and Hort “altered” the text and “took out the deity of Christ” and all that stuff. The difference between the two readings, orthographically, is small. I don’t know about you, but it sure looks like it reads “God” to me!
   OK, enough of this enjoyable stuff, back to work I must go! Oh, almost forgot. I was sent multiple links to this all-too accurate advertisement on the Sacred Sandwich website. Hey, I really had nothing to do with its production…aside from being the one who prompted some of the doll’s statements, anyway.