Bible Query - Early
Manuscripts of 1 Thessalonians

Q: In 1 Thess, what are early New Testament manuscripts we have preserved today?
A: Here are many of them.
p30 1 Thess 4:12-13,16-17; 5:3,8-10,12-18,25-28; 2 Thess 1:1-2; 2:1,9-11 (early 3rd century)
3rd century - 1968 - The Text of the New Testament.
p46 Chester Beatty II 100-150 A.D. has 17 verses of 1 Thessalonians. Specifically, it has 1 Thess 1:1; 1:9-2:3; 5:5-9,23-28 and other parts of Paul's letters and Hebrews. The Complete Text of the Earliest New Testament Manuscripts has a photograph of part of p46 on p.192. It also says on p.197-198 that the quality and the stichiometric marks show that a professional scribe wrote this.
First half of 3rd century - 1936 - Frederic G. Kenyon according to The Complete Text of the Earliest New Testament Manuscripts.
2nd century, 200 A.D. - 1935 - Ulrich Wilken according to The Complete Text of the Earliest New Testament Manuscripts.
200 A.D. - 1968 - The Text of the New Testament.
81-96 A.D. - 1988 - Young Kyu Kim according to The Complete Text of the Earliest New Testament Manuscripts.
About 200 A.D. - 1975 - Aland et al. Third edition.
About 200 A.D. - 1998 - Aland et al. Fourth revised edition.
Early to middle 2nd century - 1999 - The Complete Text of the Earliest New Testament Manuscripts. This is based in part on the handwriting being very similar to Papyrus Oxyrhynchus 8 (late first or early second century) and Papyrus Oxyrhynchus 2337 (late first century).
p61 Romans 16:23,25-27; 1 Corinthians 1:1-2, 2-6; 5:1-3, 5-6, 9-13; Philippians 3:5-9, 12-16, Colossians 1:3-7, 9-13, 1 Thessalonians 1:2-3; Titus 3:1-5, 8-11, 14-15 Philemon 4-7. c.700 A.D.
c.700 A.D. - 1968 - The Text of the New Testament.
About 700 A.D. - 1975 - Aland et al. Third edition.
About 700 A.D. - 1998 - Aland et al. Fourth revised edition.
p65 1 Thess 1:3-2:1; 2:6-13. Middle 3rd century The Complete Text of the Earliest New Testament Manuscripts has a photograph of part of p49 on p.348. It also says that p49 and p65 were written by the same scribe. They are Alexandrian texts.
3rd century - 1968 - The Text of the New Testament.
Alexandrinus [A] c.450 A.D.
Vaticanus [B] 325-350 A.D.
Sinaiticus [Si] 340-350 A.D.
Ephraemi Rescriptus [C]
Claromontanus [D] 6th century
I Washington, D.C. 5th century
Bohairic Coptic [Boh] 3rd/4th century
Sahidic Coptic [Sah] 3rd/4rth century
Fayyumic Coptic [Fay]
Italic [Ital] 4th to 13th centuries
Vulgate [Vulg] 4th and 5th centuries
Gothic 493-555 A.D.
Armenian [Arm] from 5th century
Georgian [Geo] from 5th century
Ethiopic [Eth] from c.500 A.D.
Palestinian Syriac [Syr Pal] from c.6th century
Peshitta Syriac [Syr P] 411-435 A.D... Over 350 manuscripts.
Harclean Syriac [Syr H] 616.A.D Thomas of Harkel

Q: In 1 Thess, 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 17 words between the Textus Receptus and the majority text. These are in 16 places (1 Thessalonians 1:8,10; 2:2,6,8,11,14,18; 3:3,5,8; 4:1,6,8,13; 5:21). He does not record any additional alternates.

Q: In 1 Thess, what are some of the manuscript variations?
A: The book of 1 Thessalonians has a total of about 1,477 Greek words and a word-for-word accuracy of 98.2%, with only 26 words in question. These are in 14 verses (14 places), out of 89 total verses. Below are the variations with the primary choice and the top alternate choice. Aland, from which this primarily is based, also gives a judgment of the degree of certainty for each variation.
1 Thess 1:1 "peace" (Vaticanus, Sahidic Coptic, Fayyumic Coptic) vs. "peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ" (Sinaiticus, Alexandrinus, Byzantine Lectionary) (7 words)
1 Thess 1:5 "our good news" (p65, Vaticanus, Alexandrinus, Claromontanus, Byzantine Lectionary, Sahidic Coptic, Bohairic Coptic, Chrysostom) vs. "good news of God" (corrected Sinaiticus, Ephraemi Rescriptus) vs. "our good news of God (original Sinaiticus) (3 words)
1 Thess 2:7 "childlike/infants" vs. "gentle" (1 letter difference) The Text of the New Testament by Bruce Metzger p.192 says the oral pronunciation of the two is almost the same.
1 Thess 2:12 "calling you" vs. "who calls you" (2 words)
1 Thess 2:15 "the prophets" vs. "their own prophets" (Aland, NRSV)
1 Thess 2:16 "wrath (most manuscripts) vs. "wrath of God (Claromontanus, Italic, Priscillian) (2 words not counted in the totals)
1 Thess 3:2 "minister and" vs. "minister of God and" (3 words)
1 Thess 3:13 "amen" is absent as the last word.
1 Thess 4:1 "even as you are walking" vs. "even as you received" (2 words)
1 Thess 4:11 "with your own hands" (original Sinaiticus, Alexandrinus, corrected Claromontanus, Byzantine Lectionary) vs. "with your hands" (Sinaiticus 2nd corrector, Vaticanus, original Claromontanus, Chrysostom)
1 Thess 4:17 "we the living who remain" vs. "we the living" (Tertullian, "F" (9th century) so 2 words not counted in the totals)
1 Thess 5:4 change case of Greek word for "thief" (nominative singular)
1 Thess 5:21 "all things test" vs. "all things but test"
1 Thess 5:25 "pray for us" vs. "pray and for us"
1 Thess 5:27 "all the brothers" vs. "all the holy brothers". One can see a very legible rendering of the Greek of 1 Thess 5:27 in Codex Sinaiticus in The Journey from Texts to Translations p.231.
1 Thess 5:28 "amen" at the end (Sinaiticus, Alexandrinus, Claromontanus corrected, Byzantine Lectionary, some Italic, some Syriac, Bohairic Coptic, Gothic, Ethiopic) vs. absent (Vaticanus, original Claromontanus, some Italic, some Syriac, Sahidic Coptic, Armenian)
1 Thess 5:28 Absent vs. some manuscripts have "To Thessalonians First written from Athens." (Alexandrinus, corrected Vaticanus, Textus Receptus) (6 words not counted in the totals)
Conclusion: 1 Thessalonians would have very high precision (99.5%), except for 7 words in 1 Thess 1:1.
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 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 1 Thess, 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.

Place

words

p30

p46

p65

Si

A

B

C

D

I

Sah

Boh

Fay

Origen

Ital

Vg

Eth

Chrys

Byz

Arm

Geo

SyrH

SyrP

Syr Pal


1 Thess 1:1

7
     
3

3

1
 
2

3

1
 
1
 
2
 
1

1/ 3

3

1

1/3

3

1

1/3?

1 Thess 1:5

3
   
1

3

1

1

2

1
 
1

1

1
 
2
 
1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1 Thess 2:7

1
   
1

1

2

1

1
 
1

1?/2?

1

2
 
1
 
1

2

2

2
 
(2)

(2)
 

1 Thess 2:12

2
         
1
 
1
 
2

2

2
 
1/2
   
2

1

2

2

2

2
 

1 Thess 2:15

1
     
1

1

1
 
1

1

1

1

1
 
1
 
1

2

2

1

1/2

2

2
 

1 Thess 2:16

2
     
1

1

1
 
2
 
1

1

1
 
2
 
1

1

1

1

1

1

1
 

1 Thess 3:2

3
     
2

2

~1
 
1
 
2

2

2
 
1/2/3
 
4

4

4
 
2/4

4

4
 

1 Thess 3:13

1
     
1

1

2
 
1
 
2

1/2
   
1
 
2?

2

2

2

2

2

2

2

1 Thess 4:1

2
     
1

1

1
 
1
 
1

1
   
~1
 
1

2

2

1

2
 
2
 

1 Thess 4:11

1
     
1

1

2
 
2
 
2

2
   
2
 
2

2

1

2

2

2
   

1 Thess 4:17

2

1?
   
1

1

1
 
1

1

1

1
   
1/2
 
1

1

1

1

1

1
 
1

1 Thess 5:4

1
     
1

2

2
 
1
 
1

1/2
   
1
 
1

1

1

1

1

1

1
 

1 Thess 5:21

1
     
2

2

1
 
1
 
1

2
   
1
 
1

1/ 2

1/2

2
 
1

2

2

1 Thess 5:25

1

1
   
2A

2A

1
 
1
 
1

2A
   
1/ 2A
 
2A

1

2A

1

1

1

2A

1

1 Thess 5:27

1
 
2?
 
1

2

1
 
1
 
1

2
   
1
 
2?

2

2

2
 
2

2

2

1 Thess 5:28

1
     
2

2

1
 
1
 
1

2
   
1/2
 
2

2

2

2

2

2

2

1

Postscript

6
     
2

3

2
       
4
       
4
             

Place

words

p30

p46

p65

Si

A

B

C

D

I

Sah

Boh

Fay

Origen

Ital

Vg

Eth

Chrys

Byz

Arm

Geo

SyrH

SyrP

Syr
Pal



For more info please contact Christian Debater™ P.O. Box 144441 Austin, TX 78714. www.BibleQuery.org


 December 2016 version. Copyright (c) Christian Debater(tm) 1997-2017. All rights reserved except as given in the copyright notice.