Saturday, October 9, 2010

Matt 1:18 γαρ

After μνηστευθεισης a few manuscripts (p1 ℵ B C* Z f1 pc) omit γαρ, but the strong consensus of over 1600 manuscripts combined with Eusebius in the fourth century, W/032 around 400, and representatives from all the text-types (L Θ Δ Π f13 33 892 1241) with the possible exception of the Western indicate that the presence of the conjunction here is older than its absence. Bengel (Gnomon, 1:110) comments that 1:18 contains the introductory statement of the matters that follow, to which also the ουτως refers, and thus the conjunction γαρ (as in Heb 2:8) commences the handling of the subject, which corresponds with the introductory statement. Furthermore, Griesbach (1:15) and Bloomfield (GNT, 1:6) rightly judge that γαρ was omitted by copyists who did not perceive its force and in some versions because in translation it could be disregarded without harming the sense. Burgon (Traditional Text, 192–3) flatly says that the γαρ "is not represented here in so much as a single ancient Version" because it is untranslatable in this sense, and that had it been a scribal addition to the text "it could not by any possibility have universally established itself in copies of the Gospel" to the extent that it has done due to its untranslatable function and thus, to scribes, apparent superfluousness. On the grounds of its overwhelming and relatively equally early external attestation, superior internal character, and sufficient explanation of its absence in a minority of witnesses the presence of γαρ is to be preferred.

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