Sunday, September 29, 2013

Matt 6:16 οτι

As in Matt 6:5, after αμην λεγω υμιν the word οτι is omitted in some witnesses (ℵ B D 0233 0250 f1.13 565 700 al it) but retained in most (including E G K L M S U V W Γ Δ Θ Π Σ Φ Ω [Byz] 33 c g1 lat). See note on Matt 6:5 οτι, where also cases of both omission and addition of that word in a minority of witnesses throughout Matthew are noted. Reasons in favor of οτι here include: (1) the paucity and similarity of the witnesses that also omit the word in Matt 6:5; (2) the greater likelihood that an editor would harmonize all three occurrences of the saying that first appears in Matt 6:2 (αμην λεγω υμιν απεχουσιν τον μισθον αυτων) than disharmonize the second and third occurrences of the saying in Matt 6:5, 16 in most witnesses: αμην λεγω υμιν οτι απεχουσιν τον μισθον αυτων (cf. notes on Matt 6:4 αυτος, Matt 6:4 εν τω φανερω, Matt 6:5 αν); (3) the superfluousness of the word (it can be left out without harming the sense), coupled with the observation that scribes habitually omitted words, especially shorter ones, far more often than they added them (cf. note on Matt 1:22 tου and the literature cited there). Thus the reading contained in the consensus of most witnesses is to be preferred. On the omission of οτι in largely related witnesses and for similar reasons, see Matt 5:31 οτι.

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