Bible Query Early Manuscripts of 2 John

Feb. 3, 2018 version

 

Q: In 2 Jn, what are early New Testament manuscripts we have preserved today?

A: Here are many of them.

p74 (=Bodmer 17) Acts 1:2-5,7-11,13-15,18-19,22-25; 2:2-4; 2:6-3:26; 4:2-6,8-27; 4:29-27:25; 27:27-28:31; James 1:1-6,8-19,21-23,25,27; 2:1-3,5-15; 18-22, 25-26; 3:1,5-6,10-12,14,17-18; 4:8,11-14; 5:1-3,7-9,12-14,19-20; 1 Peter 1:1-2,7-8,13,19-20,25; 2:6-7,11-12,18,24; 3:4-5; 2 Peter 2:21; 3:4,11,16; 1 John 1:1,6; 2:1-2,7,13-14,18-19,25-26; 3:1-2,8,14,19-20; 4:1,6-7,12,16-17;5:3-4,9-10,17; 2 John 1,6-7,13; 3 John 6,12; Jude 3,7,12,18,24 (7th century)

7th century - 1968 - The Text of the New Testament has James 2:4 and 1 Peter 1:12

7th century - 1975 - Aland et al. 3rd Edition

6th century - 1998 - Aland et al. 4th Revised Edition

Uncial 0232 c.300 A.D. according to The Complete Text of the Earliest New Testament Manuscripts (Aland considers it 5th or 6th century) 2 John 1-9

Vaticanus [B] (325-350 A.D.), Sinaiticus [Si] (340-350 A.D.), and Alexandrinus [A] (c.450 A.D) have all of 2 John.

Bohairic Coptic 3rd/4th century

Sahidic Coptic 3rd/4rth century

Armenian 5th century

Georgian 5th century

Ethiopic [Eth] from c.500 A.D.

Peshitta Syriac [Syr P] 411-435 A.D. Over 350 manuscripts.

Philoxenian Syriac 507/508 A.D. Bishop Philoxenus of Mabug

Harclean Syriac [Syr H] 616.A.D Thomas of Harkel

 

Q: In 2 Jn, what are the manuscript variations with the Textus Receptus, the basis for the KJV?

A: Jay P. Green, Sr. in the Interlinear Bible records variations in approximately 2 words between the Textus Receptus and the majority text. These are in 2 places. He does not record any additional alternates.

 

Q: In 2 Jn, what are some of the manuscript variations?

A: The book of 2 John has a total of 245 Greek words in 13 verses. This is the count in both Aland et al. 3rd edition and Aland et al. 4th revised edition, with no words in brackets. The text of the 3rd edition is on-line at http://www.greekbible.com. 2 John has an estimated word-for-word accuracy of 97.6%, with 6 words in question. These are in 4 verses (6 places).

Below are the variations with the primary choice and the top alternate choice. Aland et al. 4th revised edition and 3rd edition, from which this primarily is based, also give a judgment of the degree of certainty per variation. The list below does not include many places where the evidence for a particular reading is so strong that the alternatives are very unlikely. See the next question for which manuscripts support which variants.

2 Jn 2 (&&&) 1 word not counted in the totals

2 Jn 3 "Jesus" vs. "Lord Jesus"

2 Jn 5 "kuria" here could be Lord or a proper name. (No difference in letters, so 0 words counted in the totals)

2 Jn 8 "Watch yourselves" vs. " You (plural) watch them" (Irenaeus Against Heresies (182-188 A.D.) book 3 ch.16.8 p.443) (1 letter difference, adding an eta) (not counted in the totals)

2 Jn 8a "we may lose" vs. "you do not lose"

2 Jn 8b "we may receive" vs. "you be rewarded"

2 Jn 8c "we worked for" vs. "you worked for"

2 Jn 9 "teaching" vs. "teaching here"

2 Jn 11 (absent) vs. "behod, Ihav eforewarned you, that in the day of the Lord yo may not be confounded" (Only in the Sixtine edition fo the vulgate and some inconsistent Latin manuscripts) (9 Latin words not counted in the totals)

2 Jn 12 "our" vs. "your" (1 letter difference)

2 Jn 13 add "amen" at the end in some later manuscripts. (1 word not counted in the totals)

Some manuscripts add the postscript, "Of John letter Second"

Bibliography for this question: The Greek New Testament Third Edition by Kurt Aland et al., The Greek New Testament Fourth Edition by Kurt Aland et al., Interlinear Greek-English New Testament by George Ricker Berry, the Interlinear Bible by Jay P. Green, The Expositor's Bible Commentary volume 8, A Textual Commentary on the Greek New Testament 2nd edition by Bruce M. Metzger, The Orthodox Corruption of Scripture by Bart Ehrman, The Complete Text of the Earliest New Testament Manuscripts edited by Philip W. Comfort and David P. Barrett, The Expositor's Greek Testament edited by W. Robertson Nicoll, and footnotes in the NASB, NIV, NKJV, and NRSV Bible translations. Manuscripts of the Greek Bible : An Introduction to Paleography by Bruce M. Metzger also has interesting information on the characteristics and quality of the copying of each manuscript.

 

Q: In 2 Jn, how do the early manuscripts compare with each other?

A: The table below shows each of the places in question, and the number says which variant is in each manuscript.


This chart shows the variations of some of the manuscripts of 2 John, with the one Aland et al. views as correct labeled as "1", the next choice "2", and so on. Corrections to manuscripts by later scribes are not included. A question mark means it is probably but not certain the manuscript had these words. Parentheses means fragmentary or hard to read. Where there is more than one number, such as "1 /2?", this means that one or more manuscripts in the family give the first choice, and one or more manuscripts are not clear, but appear to give the second choice. A parenthesis, such as (6), means that through translation or loss of letters are not sure, but it appears to support reading 6. There are so many manuscripts and writers that they cannot all be listed here; this shows the most significant early ones.

 

The witnesses are ordered chronologically, as much as possible.

Columns: blue=Bible manuscript, white = early Christian writer, orange=schismatic writer

 

Place of variant

words

p74

B

Si

Lucif

Did

Aug

A

C

048

0232

Vulgate

Ital

Eth

Arm

Geo

Syr Ph

Syr P

Syr H

Sah

Boh

Byz

2 Jn 2a

1

-

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1?

 

 

 

 

 

 

1

 

 

 

2 Jn 3

1

-

1

4

-

-

4

1

-

1

1

1?/2?/3?/4?

2/5

1

3

1

(3)

-

3

1

3

3

2 Jn 8a

1

-

1

2

1

-

-

1

-

-

1?

1

1

1

1

1

1

-

1

1

1

3

2 Jn 8b

1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2 Jn 8c

1

-

1

2

2

-

-

2

-

-

1?

2

2

2

2

1

2

-

2

1/2

2

1

2 Jn 9

1

-

1

1

3

1

2?

1

-

-

-

1/ 2?/3?

1/ 2

2

1

2

3

-

3

1

1?/2

2

2 Jn 12

1

-

2

1

-

-

-

2

-

-

-

1?/2

1

2

1

1

1

-

1

3

2

1

2 Jn 13

1

-

1

1

-

-

-

1

-

-

-

1/ 2?/3?/4?

1

(4)

4

1

4

-

4

1

1

2

Place of variant

words

p74

B

Si

Lucif

Did

Aug

A

C

048

0232

Vulgate

Ital

Eth

Arm

Geo

SyrPh

SyrP

SyrH

Sah

Boh

Byz

by Steven M. Morrison, PhD.