The English translation of 1 Tim. 1:4 according to the King James Version states,

4 Neither give heed to fables and endless genealogies, which minister questions, rather than godly edifying which is in faith: so do. KJV, 1769

However, the Greek text according to the Textus Receptus states,

Δʹ μηδὲ προσέχειν μύθοις καὶ γενεαλογίαις ἀπεράντοις αἵτινες ζητήσεις παρέχουσιν μᾶλλον ἢ οἰκονομίαν θεοῦ τὴν ἐν πίστει TR, 1550

Why did the translators who produced the King James Version write “edifying” if the 1550 Textus Receptus has «οἰκονομίαν», meaning “dispensation,” as in “the dispensation of God.”1


1 cp. Col. 1:25: «ἡς ἐγενόμην ἐγὼ διάκονος κατὰ τὴν οἰκονομίαν τοῦ θεοῦ τὴν δοθεῖσάν μοι εἰς ὑμᾶς πληρῶσαι τὸν λόγον τοῦ θεοῦ»

1 Answer 1


1 Tim 1:4 μηδε προσεχειν μυθοις και γενεαλογιαις απεραντοις αιτινες ζητησεις παρεχουσιν μαλλον η οικοδομιαν θεου την εν πιστει (textus receptus)

1 Tim 1:4 μηδὲ προσέχειν μύθοις καὶ γενεαλογίαις ἀπεράντοις αἵτινες ἐκζητήσεις παρέχουσιν μᾶλλον ἢ οἰκονομίαν θεοῦ τὴν ἐν πίστει (critical text)

Because of the one-letter difference between a "d" and an "n", translations based on the Textus Receptus (TR) have "edifying", while translations based on the critical text (CT) have "administration".

The TR is based on a few relatively late manuscripts, but is generally speaking in line with the Majority Text (which relies on thousands of manuscripts, though most of them are from after 1000 AD). The CT, on which almost all modern translations are based, gives more weight to the older manuscripts. In my opinion, and in the opinions of most scholars today (evangelical and liberal), the CT is generally more reliable.

  • The Stephanus 1550 has οἰκονομίαν. Which "Textus Receptus" has οικοδομιαν? bibles-online.net/1550/NewTestament/15-1Timotheus
    – user862
    Dec 1, 2013 at 8:48
  • 3
    @H3br3wHamm3r81 There are several different "versions" of the Textus Receptus. Stephanus (1550) is one, but cf. Scrivener for the reading "οικοδομιαν". The KJV is based on Beza's edition, which is very similar to the Stephanus 1550. However, the KJV will sometimes seem to have Stephanus 1550 readings rather than Beza's because of its dependence on earlier English translations (esp. the Bishop's Bible, which has its origins with Tyndale's bible.)
    – Niobius
    Dec 1, 2013 at 17:19

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