The text of Luke 1:35 according to Erasmus (1519) Stephens (1550) Elzevir (1624) Byzantine Majority (2000) and Byzantine Majority (Family 35) is as follows :

και το γεννωμενον αγιον κληθησεται υιος θεου

and the holy-begotten thing shall be called Son of God [Young's Literal]

However Beza (1598) adds the words εκ σου after γεννωμενον and thus the KJV (1611) and the Geneva (1650) add the words 'of thee' after 'born or begotten'.

Tyndale (1534) the Great Bible (1539) Matthews (1549) the Bishop's Bible (1568) Young's Literal (1864) J N Darby (1871) and the Englishman's Greek New Testament (1877) all reject the Beza inclusion and miss out 'of thee'.

Nearly all of these details are reported by Textus Receptus Bibles. Erasmus is here.

Laying aside the question of Codex Vaticanus and Codex Sinaiticus (which could not have been the reason Beza included εκ σου since both were unavailable) I am trying to discover what prompted Beza's inclusion.

Is there any evidence (uncial, cursive, miniscule, version, patristic citation or lectionary quote) which supports the Beza inclusion ?


Here is what Alford put in his apparatus regarding this phrase. Alford's original in my Logos edition is filled with abbreviations, I replaced some of the less common abbreviations with the expansions for some of the references that you get by hovering over a text here. Finally for the significant manuscripts I left the standard abbreviation (like ABC in the omit section):

aft γεννωμενον ins εκ σου (prob a particularizing addition,—see Matt 1:16: Gal 4:4: so Mey) The CODEX EPHRAEMI 1. 33; the Vulgate version (A.D. 383) (with gat per); Codex Vercellensis, fourth century; Codex Colbertinus, eleventh century; Codex Palatinus Vindobonensis, fourth (or fifth) century; the Peschito (or simple) Syriac version; the Æthiopic version. Assigned to the fourth century; the Armenian version. Made in the fifth century; Protev-5-mss; [Val(in Hipp)] Dialexpr Thaum2; Athanasius, Bp. of Alexandria, 326–373; Epiph1 Ephr [Amphilochius, Bp. of Iconium, 374]; Chr Thdrt Damasc1; Irenæus, Bp. of Lyons, 178; Tertullian, 200; Cyprian, Bp. of Carthage, 248–258; Hilary, Bp. of Poictiers, 354–368; Gaud; Jerome, fl. 378–420.

According to Alford these Manuscripts and lectionaries omit the reading:

ABC3Dא; Amiatinus, written about 541; Codex Veronensis, fourth or fifth century; Codex Brixianus, about sixth century; Codices Corbeienses (very ancient); Codices Sangermanenses (very ancient); Codex Rhedigerianus, about seventh century; the later or Philoxenian version; he Jerusalem Syriac Lectionary; the Coptic or Memphitic Egyptian version; the Gothic version; the Armenian version. Made in the fifth century; Protev-6-mss Dion Petr; Eusebius, Bp. of Cæsarea, 315–320; [Cyr-jer1 Cyr2]; Orig-int1; Tertullian, 200

Henry Alford, Alford’s Greek Testament: An Exegetical and Critical Commentary (Grand Rapids, MI: Guardian Press, 1976), 447.

Here is what Metzger says on his commentary for the UBS4

The words ἐκ σοῦ are apparently an early addition prompted by a desire for greater symmetry after the two preceding instances of the second person pronoun. The expanded reading gained wide currency in the early church through Tatian’s Diatessaron. The reading ܒܟܝ (literally “in thee”), for which Dionysius Barsalibi (died A.D. 1171) argues vigorously in his commentary on Luke,1 is read by the earliest manuscripts of the Peshitta (the Curetonian and Sinaitic Syriac manuscripts are not extant here) and is adopted as the text in Pusey and Gwilliam’s critical edition

Bruce Manning Metzger, United Bible Societies, A Textual Commentary on the Greek New Testament, Second Edition a Companion Volume to the United Bible Societies’ Greek New Testament (4th Rev. Ed.) (London; New York: United Bible Societies, 1994), 108.

As to why Beza may have included it I can't be certain of anything. Perhaps Beza was influenced by the fact that this reading had survived through the Vulgate.

Being curious I looked this up in the various editions of the Greek text that I have to see which ones contain this reading. Even among various Textus Receptus versions it is in some and removed in others. Both Stephens (1550) and Elzevir (1624) omit the reading. Beza's version includes it and so does Scriveners (1894) version, but Scrivener's version is just a modification of Beza's version and not a start from scratch version of the TR. Both Robinson's Byzantine majority text form (2005) and the UBS4 text also omit the reading.

Given the early age of some of the commentaries and the Peshitta (150) version including this reading, it may actually be one of those rare cases where the original was preserved in a very small number of manuscripts. Another controversial example of that type is the famous Johannine comma in 1 John 5:7–8. Like this one I favor the inclusion of the comma as being original, in spite of the very small number of manuscripts.

  • Up-voted for the research. I disagree regarding the Johannine coma and I disagree with this inclusion also. But I appreciate your research. – Nigel J Feb 28 '18 at 16:58
  • Where do I get a printed copy of the Alford information which you refer to as 'Logos edition' ? I am not familiar with it. – Nigel J Feb 28 '18 at 17:01
  • The version I have is in my Logos Bible software, in Logos the apparatus is a separate resource. In the original print edition the apparatus was included in Alford's four volume commentary on the Greek text. As far as I know there was never a separate apparatus that came as a print edition. – Ken Banks Feb 28 '18 at 17:31
  • The Nestle Aland print edition also has an extensive apparatus as well but I have always used Alford for ease of use in Logos. – Ken Banks Feb 28 '18 at 17:53

Erasmus includes it in his first edition in 1516. It is found in the Complutensian. It is found in Coverdale's 1535. It was also, according to Beza, originally there according to its role in a certain ancient controversy, something alleging that Christ was born of himself, this as found in what he terms Athanisius' argument against Dimcerita. All of this is found in Beza's commentaries. Yet whatever should be made of the above, it is unavoidable that Jesus was born of Mary, as witnessed in Matthew 1:18-21, which therefore seems to in the least imply the words 'of you' in the present verse.


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