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If the NKJV says a Majority (M) of greek manuscripts exclude "καὶ πυρί" in [Matthew 3:11] but the NU-Texts includes "καὶ πυρί", then what specific reason warranted the [inspired] inclusion of "kai pyr" in Textus Receptus?

The NKJV Footnote [fn] on Matthew 3:11 claims the Majority of Greek manuscripts exclude, stating : "M-Text omits and fire."

[Matthew 3:11, NKJV|Textus Receptus] “I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance, but He who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit **and fire**.[fn]" (3:11 ἐγὼ μὲν βαπτίζω ὑμᾶς ἐν ὕδατι εἰς μετάνοιαν ὁ δὲ ὀπίσω μου ἐρχόμενος ἰσχυρότερός μου ἐστίν, οὗ οὐκ εἰμὶ ἱκανὸς τὰ ὑποδήματα βαστάσαι· αὐτὸς ὑμᾶς βαπτίσει ἐν πνεύματι ἁγίῳ **καὶ πυρί·**)

**Although the NKJV Footnotes state the M-Texts excludes "kai pyr", we still find it in the NU-Texts :

[Matthew 3:11, NU-Texts] Ἐγὼ μὲν ὑμᾶς βαπτίζω ἐν ὕδατι εἰς μετάνοιαν, ὁ δὲ ὀπίσω μου ἐρχόμενος ἰσχυρότερός μού ἐστιν, οὗ οὐκ εἰμὶ ἱκανὸς τὰ ὑποδήματα βαστάσαι· αὐτὸς ὑμᾶς βαπτίσει ἐν πνεύματι ἁγίῳ **καὶ πυρί·**

https://www.academic-bible.com/en/online-bibles/novum-testamentum-graece-na-28/read-the-bible-text/bibel/text/lesen/stelle/50/30001/39999/ch/e0f717dede9c9412cce53004e13f135d/

  • This seems to illustrate the quality of NU-Texts over the quantity of M-Texts to the editor(s) of Textus Receptus.

[Please consider the question] : Why would the Textus Receptus edition of Matthew 3:11 include "kai pyr" (καὶ πυρί) if the majority M-Texts omit the words & fewer NU-Texts include them?

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Stephanus Textus Receptus 1550, Matthew 3:11:

ἐγὼ μὲν βαπτίζω ὑμᾶς ἐν ὕδατι εἰς μετάνοιαν ὁ δὲ ὀπίσω μου ἐρχόμενος ἰσχυρότερός μου ἐστίν, οὗ οὐκ εἰμὶ ἱκανὸς τὰ ὑποδήματα βαστάσαι· αὐτὸς ὑμᾶς βαπτίσει ἐν πνεύματι ἁγίῳ καὶ πυρί·

Back in the 1500s, Erasmus examined a few MSS and decided to include πυρί.

Westcott and Hort 1881:

ἐγὼ μὲν ὑμᾶς βαπτίζω ἐν ὕδατι εἰς μετάνοιαν· ὁ δὲ ὀπίσω μου ἐρχόμενος ἰσχυρότερός μου ἐστίν, οὗ οὐκ εἰμὶ ἱκανὸς τὰ ὑποδήματα βαστάσαι· αὐτὸς ὑμᾶς βαπτίσει ἐν πνεύματι ἁγίῳ καὶ πυρί·

In 1881, the NU scholarly committee of Westcott and Hort decided to include πυρί based on their collective expert opinion.

RP Byzantine Majority Text 2005:

Ἐγὼ μὲν βαπτίζω ὑμᾶς ἐν ὕδατι εἰς μετάνοιαν· ὁ δὲ ὀπίσω μου ἐρχόμενος ἰσχυρότερός μου ἐστίν, οὗ οὐκ εἰμὶ ἱκανὸς τὰ ὑποδήματα βαστάσαι· αὐτὸς ὑμᾶς βαπτίσει ἐν πνεύματι ἁγίῳ.

The M-Text people decided not to include πυρί in this verse because they did it by the numbers. The majority of the extant MSS did not have it.

Why would the Textus Receptus edition of Matthew 3:11 include "kai pyr" (καὶ πυρί) if the majority M-Texts omit the words & fewer NU-Texts include them?

TR was decided by one man. NU was decided by a committee. M-Text was decided by the highest number. Different texts, different compilation philosophies.

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  • Thank you for help. Stephanus' [inspired] choices for TR (along with Erasmus) lead scholars to which manuscript primarily? - The idea that was even an [inspired] choice to differentiate from the M-Texts or NU-Texts is very interesting. Oct 29, 2021 at 17:55
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    Stephanus' [inspired] choices for TR (along with Erasmus) lead scholars to which manuscript primarily? I don't know but they looked at more than one MSS.
    – user35953
    Oct 29, 2021 at 17:59
  • I respectfully suggest you read Dean John Burgon Revision Revised and Herman Hoskier Codex B and its Allies to get a better idea of the wealth of textual criticism behind the Textus Receptus and to get a better idea of the Coptic Recension and its influence on the two codices which have been given vastly disproportionate weight in modern times : Aleph and B.
    – Nigel J
    Oct 29, 2021 at 19:38
  • I don't suppose there is an online free link for that :)
    – user35953
    Oct 29, 2021 at 20:14
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Erasmus used 3 manuscripts for the gospels, 2 from the 12th century and one from the 15th century. He did not have access to the majority of manuscripts. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Novum_Instrumentum_omne).

So the easy answer is that since he didn't know about them, he didn't include their readings.

It is interesting to note that in modern additions of the Greek text (Novum Testamentum Graece, Nestle-Aland 28th edition and The Greek New Testament, Tyndale House, Cambridge) only καὶ πυρί is printed and there are no references to any variants. Its omission was not worth noting.

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