1

What is the manuscript evidence for the variant reading "apart from God" in Hebrews 2:9?

3

The text of interest:

τὸν δὲ βραχύ τι παρ᾿ ἀγγέλους ἠλαττωμένον βλέπομεν Ἰησοῦν διὰ τὸ πάθημα τοῦ θανάτου δόξῃ καὶ τιμῇ ἐστεφανωμένον, ὅπως χάριτι θεοῦ ὑπὲρ παντὸς γεύσηται θανάτου. (NA28)

But we do see Him who was made for a little while lower than the angels, namely, Jesus, because of the suffering of death crowned with glory and honor, so that by the grace of God He might taste death for everyone. (NASB)

As pointed out in the NA28 apparatus, the variant χωρις θεου ("apart from God") is found in Codex Ruber,1 minuscule 1739,2 and at least one manuscript of the Latin Vulgate. On the other hand, the reading χάριτι θεοῦ ("by the grace of God") is found consistently in the earliest witnesses to both the Alexandrian and Western text types 3

The variant χωρις θεου, although poorly attested by New Testament manuscripts, shows up frequently in patristic writings, include those of Origen, Ambrose, and Fulgentius. Bruce Metzger explains that this variant likely arose

either through a scribal lapse, misreading χάριτι as χωρίς, or, more probably, as a marginal gloss (suggested by 1Cor 15.27) to explain that "everything" in ver. 8 does not include God; this gloss, being erroneously regarded by a later transcriber as a correction of χάριτι θεοῦ, was introduced into the text of ver. 9.4


1. 0121b, a 10th C. uncial grouped with 0243in the Apparatus

2. 10th C., original reading

3. 𝔓46 ℵ A B C D 33 81 330 614 et al

4. Bruce M. Metzger, A Textual Commentary on the Greek New Testament (New York: UBS, 1994), p. 594.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.