A Student's Guide to
New Testament Textual Variants

Paul's Letter to the Ephesians

Ephesians 1:1-6:20


Ephesians 1:1:

TEXT: "To the saints who are in Ephesus and faithful in Christ Jesus"
EVIDENCE: Sc A B3 D G K P Psi(vid) 33 81 104 614 630 1241 1881 2495 Byz Lect lat vg syr(p,h) cop
TRANSLATIONS: KJV ASV RSVn NASV NIV NEB TEV
RANK: C

NOTES: "To the saints who are also faithful in Christ Jesus"
EVIDENCE: p46 S* B* 424c 1739
TRANSLATIONS: ASVn RSV NASVn NIVn NEBn TEVn

COMMENTS: The words "in Ephesus" are in brackets in the UBS text because they are absent from five manuscripts of the Alexandrian type of ancient text.

Ephesians 1:15:

TEXT: "plyour faith in the Lord Jesus and [plyour] love toward all the saints"
EVIDENCE: Sc D G K Psi {81 104} 614 630 1241 2495 Byz Lect lat vg syr(p,h) some cop(north) cop(south)
TRANSLATIONS: KJV ASV RSV NASV NIV NEB TEV
RANK: B

NOTES: "plyour faith in the Lord Jesus and toward all the saints"
EVIDENCE: p46 S* A B P 33 1739 1881 most cop(north)
TRANSLATIONS: ASVn RSVn NASVn

COMMENTS: The evidence listed above in braces has a different word order than that found in the text. The definite article occurs both before and after the Greek word for "love." Although it is possible that it was added by copyists from Colossians 1:4, it is much more likely that it was accidently omitted through a mistake of the eye, when copyists' eyes skipped from the definite article before "love" to the definite article after it.

Ephesians 2:5:

TEXT: "made [us] alive together with Christ"
EVIDENCE: S A(vid) D G K P Psi 81 104 614 630 1241 1739 1881 2495 Byz Lect most lat earlier vg syr(p,h,pal)
TRANSLATIONS: KJV ASV RSV NASV NIV NEB TEV
RANK: C

NOTES: "made [us] alive together in Christ"
EVIDENCE: p46 B 33 three lat later vg cop
TRANSLATIONS: ASVn NASVn

COMMENTS: The Greek word for "made alive together" ends with the two letters that spell the Greek word for "in." Probably the reading "in Christ" arose when copyists accidently saw these letters twice, or perhaps the word was deliberately borrowed from "in Christ" in verse 6.

Ephesians 3:9:

TEXT: "and to bring to light for all [people] what [is] the plan"
EVIDENCE: p46 Sc B C D G K P Psi 33 81 104 614 630 1241 2495 Byz Lect lat vg syr(p,h) cop
TRANSLATIONS: KJV ASV RSV NIV TEV
RANK: D

NOTES: "and to bring to light what [is] the plan"
EVIDENCE: S* A 1739 1881
TRANSLATIONS: ASVn NASV NEB

COMMENTS: The word translated "for all [people]" is in brackets in the UBS text, because it is missing from some early manuscripts. It may have been omitted because copyists felt it contradicted "the Gentiles" in verse 8.

Ephesians 4:9:

TEXT: "he had also descended into the lower parts"
EVIDENCE: p46 S* A C* D G I(vid) 082 33 81 1241 1739 1881 some lat cop(north) one cop(south)
TRANSLATIONS: ASV RSV NASV NIV NEB
RANK: B

NOTES: "he had also descended first into the lower parts"
EVIDENCE: Sc B Cc K P Psi 104 614 630 2495 Byz Lect some lat vg syr(p,h) most cop(south)
TRANSLATIONS: KJV ASVn NASVn TEV

COMMENTS: The addition of "first" seems to be a natural expansion introduced by copyists to make the meaning clear.

Ephesians 4:32:

TEXT: "just as God in Christ also forgave plyou."
EVIDENCE: p46 S A G P 81 614 most lat later vg most cop
TRANSLATIONS: KJV ASV RSV NASV NIV NEB TEV
RANK: B

NOTES: "just as God in Christ also forgave us."
EVIDENCE: p49 B D K Psi 33 104 630 1241 1739 1881 2495 Byz Lect one lat earlier vg syr(p,h) some cop(north)
TRANSLATIONS: ASVn NASVn

COMMENTS: In later Greek the words "plyou" and "us" were pronounced alike. Copyists who did not clearly hear the word were more likely to write down the more general "us" than "plyou" in such a phrase.

Ephesians 5:2:

TEXT: "Christ also loved us and gave himself up for us"
EVIDENCE: p46 Sc D G K Psi 33 104 614 630 1739 1881 2495 Byz Lect most lat vg syr(p,h)
TRANSLATIONS: KJV RSV NASVn NIV TEV
RANK: C on first "us"; B on second "us"

NOTES: "Christ also loved plyou and gave himself up for plyou"
EVIDENCE: B two lat cop
TRANSLATIONS: ASVn NEB

NOTES: "Christ also loved plyou and gave himself up for us"
EVIDENCE: S* A P 0159 81 1241? two lat
TRANSLATIONS: ASV NASV

COMMENTS: In later Greek the words for "us" and "plyou" were pronounced alike. Although the evidence for the first "us" is fairly evenly balanced between "us" and "plyou," the evidence for the second "us" is much stronger than the evidence for "plyou." It seems likely that Paul originally used the same pronoun in both places.

Ephesians 5:9:

TEXT: "the fruit of light [is found] in all goodness"
EVIDENCE: p49 S A B D* G P 33 81 1739* 1881 Lect lat vg syr(p,pal) cop
TRANSLATIONS: ASV RSV NASV NIV NEB TEV
RANK: B

NOTES: "the fruit of the Spirit [is found] in all goodness"
EVIDENCE: p46 Dc K Psi 104 614 630 1241 1739margin 2495 Byz syr(h)
TRANSLATIONS: KJV

COMMENTS: Although it is possible that the word "light" was taken by copyists from the previous line, it is much more probable that "the Spirit" was borrowed by copyists from the phrase "fruit of the Spirit" in Galatians 5:22.

Ephesians 5:19:

TEXT: "psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and"
EVIDENCE: S A (add "with thankfulness") D G K P Psi 33 81 104 614 630 1241 1739 1881 2495 Byz Lect most lat vg syr cop
TRANSLATIONS: KJV ASV RSV NASV NIV NEBn TEV
RANK: C

NOTES: "psalms and hymns and songs, singing and"
EVIDENCE: p46 B two lat
TRANSLATIONS: NEB

COMMENTS: Although it is possible that the word "spiritual" was added from the parallel passage in Colossians 3:16, it is much more likely that it was accidently omitted due to a mistake of the eye, since the word for "songs" (which precedes "spiritual" in Greek) ends in the same three letters as the word for "spiritual."

Ephesians 5:30:

TEXT: "·because we are members of his body."
EVIDENCE: p46 S* A B 048 33 81 1739* 1881 cop
TRANSLATIONS: ASV RSV NASV NIV NEB TEV
RANK: B

NOTES: "·because we are members of his body, of his flesh and of his bones."
EVIDENCE: Sc D G P Psi 104 614 630 1241 1739margin 2495 Byz Lect lat vg syr(p,h)
TRANSLATIONS: KJV

OTHER: "·because we are members of his body, of his flesh and of his body."
EVIDENCE: K

COMMENTS: Although it is possible that the phrase "of his flesh and of his bones" was accidently omitted when copyists' eyes jumped from "his" to "his" (which follow "body" and "bones" in Greek), it is more likely that the words were taken from Genesis 2:23 (where, however, the order is "of his bones and of his flesh") since verse 31 is a quote from Genesis 2:24.

Ephesians 6:1:

TEXT: "keep obeying plyour parents in the Lord, for this"
EVIDENCE: p46 S A Dc I(vid) K P Psi 33 81 104 614 630 1241 1739 1881 2495 Byz Lect most lat vg syr(p,h) cop
TRANSLATIONS: KJV ASV RSV NASV NIV TEV
RANK: C

NOTES: "keep obeying plyour parents, for this"
EVIDENCE: B D* G four lat
TRANSLATIONS: NEB TEVn

COMMENTS: The words "in the Lord" are in brackets in the UBS text. Although it is possible that they were added from Ephesians 5:22 or Colossians 3:20, it is more likely that they were omitted to generalize the text. They are supported by early manuscripts of several kinds of ancient text.

Ephesians 6:20:

TEXT: "that in it I may speak boldly"
EVIDENCE: apparently all other manuscripts
TRANSLATIONS: KJV ASV NASV NEB ("of it") TEV
RANK: -

NOTES: "that I may speak it boldly"
EVIDENCE: p46 B 1739 1881
TRANSLATIONS: RSV NASVn NIV

COMMENTS: Perhaps a few copyists changed "in it" to "it" under the influence of the parallel in Colossians 4:4: "that I may make it apparent."


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