Acts 28:16-31 contains a wonderfully vivid description of Paul's arrival in Rome, his meeting with local Jewish leaders and his subsequent debate with them.

The debate is preceded by a declaration of the leaders that they have heard no gossip or report regarding Paul, would like to hear his views, but know nothing about the Christian sect other than that no one has a good word to say about it - a remarkably candid full disclosure.

Following Paul's closing words in the debate, some editions have verse 29 (Cambridge NEB):

After he had spoken, the Jews went away, arguing vigorously among themselves.

The Cambridge NEB includes this verse in a "Some witnesses add" footnote. The verse is missing from the English Revised Version, and Weymouth New Testament, and the verse is bracketed in the New American Standard 1977 and Darby Bible Translation. The other common translations include the verse.

In which witnesses does this verse appear and why is there disagreement about it?

  • 2
    Irrespective of its historicity, which has been addressed in the answers, it is in the Majority Text and has been retained through the ages by the Greek Churches (it is found, for example, in the Patriarchal Text of the Orthodox Church).
    – user15733
    Dec 2 '16 at 18:19

Acts 28:29 is missing in the all the oldest Greek manuscripts containing this section of Acts, e.g. the Papyrus P74, the Sinaiticus (א) ‎ (4th century), A, B and E. The oldest witness for the verse is P (from the 6th cent). Modern critical studies of the NT are virtually unanimous in rejecting it. It is found in at least some copies of the Latin translation and thence in mediaeval and early modern translations in European languages.

  • 1
    @fdb Why did you remove the citation I added. It is clear that Utley is the source of the data you have presented. Utley says, "This verse is omitted in the ancient Greek manuscripts P74, א, A, B, and E. It does not appear in any Greek manuscript before P, which dates to the sixth century a.d." If you didn't get it from Utley, then you got from someone else who didn't cite Utley. Either way, you should give a reference for your source.
    – enegue
    Dec 3 '16 at 0:08
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    @enegue. I actually took it from Nestle/Aland.
    – fdb
    Dec 3 '16 at 0:34
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    @enegue. Nestle/Aland is part of a long chain of critical editions of the NT, a chain stretching back as far as Erasmus. Generations of scholars have collated and recollated the old manuscripts and papyri and expanded or corrected the work of previous scholars, as necessary. The result is common knowledge (and common property) of the scholarly community. Mr Utley did not recollate the hundreds of manuscripts himself; he is merely summarising the current results of contemporary scholarship, as presented in Nestle/Aland and other critical editions.
    – fdb
    Dec 3 '16 at 12:22
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    @fdb Yes, Bob Utley did the work of summarising the contemporary scholarship, and you clearly didn't. The form of the data you've given bears such a remarkable resemblance to Bob Utley's, it beggars belief that you are claiming it as your own. Why don't you just cite Bob Utley and give credit where credit is due?
    – enegue
    Dec 3 '16 at 12:46
  • 1
    I think it's conventional to not need to cite sources for which manuscripts support which variants.
    – curiousdannii
    Dec 3 '16 at 14:19

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