Related to this question, I noticed that the ending of 2 Peter 2:11 is translated respectively by the NIV and ESV as "from the Lord" and "before the Lord." From what I can tell this seems to be owing to a difference in manuscripts. Which rendering was most likely the original rendering?
As best I can tell, there is no major difference in the wording seen in the oldest extant manuscripts dated closest to any original text of 2 Peter. Specifically:
- P72 (ca. 275-325 CE) shows ΠΑΡΑΚΥΡΙΟΥΒΛΑΣΦΗΜΟΝΚΡΙΣΙΝ (παρα κυριου βλασφημον κρισιν), and
- similarly, codex Vaticanus (ca. 325-375 CE) reads ΠΑΡΑΚ̅ WΒΛΑΣΦΗΜΟΝΚΡΙϲῙ (παρα κω βλασφημον κρισι̅ ).
Also, there is scholarship indicating that:
"In order to avoid attributing βλάσφημον κρίσιν [accusation, demeaning judgment, reproaching charge] to God, scribes altered κυριου [in western texts] to κυριω [in eastern texts] or omitted the prepositional phrase entirely as in [codex Alexandrianus, et al.]" (Metzger, TCGNT 633).
The key Greek word in these clauses, IMO, is ΠΑΡΑ (παρα/para). This preposition properly means near, yet can be correctly translated from Greek into English as (inter alia) either before or from. Which word to use is dependent upon which English preposition the translator/translation committee thinks might best express the thought s/he or they wish to convey.
Also, there's no help available from any of the church fathers as to which preposition might be most correct.