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Saturday, November 17

Jesus is Back in Jude

Perhaps this is a little overstated, but it did get your attention.

I just got back from the annual meeting of the Evangelical Theological Society. One of the things I wanted to see is the new release of the standard Greek text of the New Testament, the NA28. I ran into a grinning Wayne Grudem, and he told me about Jude 5.

This is the only place I recall that the ESV diverged from the NA27 Greek text. The ESV reads, “Now I want to remind you, although you once fully knew it, that Jesus (᾽Ιηοῦς), who save a people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed those who did not believe.” The NET and NLT also have “Jesus.”

NA27 reads κύριος, which is followed by most translations. The RSV left it an indefinite “he,” which was changed to “Lord” in the NRSV.

It actually is a fascinating example of text critical issues. Many different readings, and which one is the more difficult, most likely to explain the others?

What caught my eye initially was Metzger’s comment in his textual commentary. I don’t have access to it right now (and if you do, would you post it in a comment to this blog), but it read almost as a dissenting position, and the primary reason given was theological. The committee did not think that Jude would talk about Jesus being active in the Exodus. But it seemed to us that the external evidence was stronger for ᾽Ιηοῦς, and we had no theological problem with this reading.

And so it was much to Wayne’s and my delight that we saw that NA28 now reads, ᾽Ιηοῦς. Jesus is back!

Comments

Metzger's comments: "Critical principles seem to require the adoption of Ιησους, which admittedly is the best attested reading among Greek and versional witnesses ... Struck by the strange and unparalleled mention of Jesus in a statement about the redemption out of Egypt (yet compare Paul's reference to Χριστος in 1 Cor 10.4), copyists would have substituted (ο) κυριος or ο θεος.  It is possible, however, that (as Hort conjectured) 'the original text had only ο, and that ΟΤΙΟ was read as ΟΤΙΙΣ and perhaps as ΟΤΙΚΣ'" (A Textual Commentary on the Greek New Testament, 2nd Ed., p. 657).

Metzger's Commentary on Jude 5 states: Despite the weighty attestation supporting Ἰησοῦς (A B 33 81 322 323424c 665 1241 1739 1881 2298 2344 vg copsa, bo eth Origen Cyril JeromeBede; ὁ Ἰησοῦς 88 915), a majority of the Committee was of the opinion that the reading was difficult to the point of impossibility, and explained its origin in terms of transcriptional oversight (ΚΧ being taken for ΙΧ). It was also observed that nowhere else does the author employ Ἰησοῦς alone, but alwaysἸησοῦς Χριστός. The unique collocation θεὸς Χριστός read by P72 (did the scribe intend to write θεοῦ χριστός, “God’s anointed one”?) is probably a scribal blunder; otherwise one would expect that Χριστός would be represented also in other witnesses.

Hi Bill. On page 657 Metzger says: "[Critical principles seems to require the adoption of Jesus, which admittedly is the best attested reading among Greek and versional witnesses (see above). Struck by the strange and unparalleled mention of Jesus in a statement about the redemption out of Egypt (yet compare Paul's reference to Christos in 1 Cor 10.4), copyists would have substituted (ho) kurios or ho theos." Kevin