Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Aleph and B Get It Right in Acts 21:8

Can Aleph and B ever get it right? Absolutely!

Here's an interesting variant I encountered in my morning Bible time. 

In Acts 21:8, the ESV reads:

"On the next day we departed and came to Caesarea."

But the NKJV has:

"On the next day we who were Paul's companions departed and came to Caesarea."

The reading of the ESV has widespread geographical attestation (= both the Alexandrian and Western families), while the reading of the NKJV is supported only by the Byzantine family, whose reading strikes me as a needless interpolation. The words "who were Paul's companions" is also lacking in the Syrian, Coptic, and Vulgate versions. The Cambridge Study Bible says, "We can see at once how such a marginal comment, thought useful by the reader of an early MS., would be brought into the text without scruple by the next copyist." In fact, the Byzantine reading reminds me of the kind of additions one often finds in the Western text of Acts.

For a Sturzian, the Greek behind the ESV is likely to be the original because of its ubiquity. It's also supported by the internal evidence. Which means that Aleph and B have gotten it right!

Just something you might want to consider in your own study of the Bible.