100 Whereto we have already attained, let us walk. Phil. 3:16

100 Whereto we have already attained, let us walk. Phil. 3:16.

100 Whereto we have already attained, let us walk. Phil. 3:16.
Whenever a longer and shorter version of a text do exist in the available manuscripts, I believe that one could on logical grounds make an interim decision on which version most probably could represent the original autograph.
When would a responsible person like a scribe remove part of a sentence? 1) It is of course possible that a sentence may contain something inacceptable or vulgar, or causing a contradiction. For example, Jesus said He would not go up to the feast in Jerusalem, yet later He did go. (John7:8-10) Someone could remove part of verse 8, since it contradicts with what Jesus did in fact do. 2) It is also possible that someone could remove something that contradicts his own dogma or interpretation of some Scripture. In the Bible it is possible that someone could remove something to enhance his Gnostic ideas. In the same way a very legalistic monk could remove some sentence that emphasizes Christian freedom.
But look at the three versions below and see whether anyone could gain anything by removing the parts of the longer versions to end up with the short version. What gain is at all possible?

Whereto we have already attained, let us walk.
Whereto we have already attained, let us walk, let us mind the same thing.
Whereto we have already attained, let us walk by the same rule, let us mind the same thing.

What gain could it have at all to remove the second parts of the longer versions?

On the other hand it is quite possible that something could be added unnoticed.
Do not most of us make notes in the margin of our Bibles, or even in-between the lines? This could be a short explanation or emphasis, or something that could enhance the point made. If a future scribe sees that note, he could reason that it had previously been left out by mistake and add it to his new copy.

Do look at the three versions of the sentence above. To me the most logic explanation would be that the shortest sentence could be the original, and that the longer versions represent elaborations on the original.
But my feeling or reasoning without evidence is not good enough. Not when working with the Word of God. Let us rather see whether the manuscripts available shed any light on this subject.

Philippians 3:16

Possibilities Let us walk: let us walk, let us mind the same thing: let us walk by the same rule, let us mind the same thing.:
Witnesses: Greek: Translations: Church Fathers: Greek: Translations: Church Fathers: Greek: Translations: Church Fathers:
101-200 p46
201-300 p16 Sahidic
301-400 Sinaiticus, Vaticanus Bohairic Hilary Ambrosiaster, Victorinus-Rome Vulgate, Gothic
401-500 Alexandrinus, Washington P Augustine, Theodotus-Ancyra Bezae Armenian, 1 Syriac Chrysostom*, Euthalius, Theodore, Theodoret
501-600 Ferrandus 1 Old Latin
601-700 1 Syriac
701-800 At.- Laurae 1 Old Latin John-Damascus
801-900 Mosquensis, Porphyrianus, Minuscule 33 Boernerianus 3 Old Latin 2 Old Latin
901-1000 1 Minuscules 8 Minuscules 1 Old Latin
1001-1600 1 Ethiopic 13 Minuscules Byzantine Lectionary 3 Old Latin, 1 Ethiopic

Manuscript evidence:
Papyrus manuscript 46, dating from around 200 A.D. could have been made from a first copy or even the original autograph itself. Together with Papyrus manuscript 16 of about 250 A.D. and no less than four other ancient manuscripts supporting the short version, the evidence is overwhelming. Opposing these six manuscripts, the first Greek manuscript with the intermediate version, is the codex Bazae. (±450 A.D.) This codex is famous as the New Testament manuscript with the most extraordinary variations, additions and omissions of words, sentences and even events!
To make it easier, I accumulated no less than four different variations of the longest version in my table above. This expansion, as is found in the King James Version has its oldest Greek support in the Atous Laurae. (±750 A.D.) But this long version is also found in the Roman Catholic Vulgate dating about 350 A.D.
Let us compare some of the versions available in English:
NIV: Only let us live up to what we have already attained.

BBE: Only, as far as we have got, let us be guided by the same rule.

MKJV: Yet, as to what we have already attained, let us walk in the same rule, let us mind the same thing.

With no logical reason why anybody would remove the words of the longer versions, and with overwhelming manuscript evidence in support of the short version, I am convinced that this version represents the words God gave Paul to write to the Philippians.
What is your opinion? Do share it at the bottom of this page or via e-mail to me at: bibledifferences@gmail.com
God bless,

About Herman of bibledifferences.net

The reasons for the differences between older Bibles like the King James Version and newer Bibles like the New International Version have fascinated me ever since my studies in Theology at the University of Pretoria in the seventies. I have great respect for scribes through the ages as well as Bible translators, so there must be good reasons for the differences. With more than 5600 Greek manuscripts and more than 19000 manuscripts of ancient translations to our disposal, the original autographs of the New Testament can be established without doubt. I investigate the reasons behind the differences and publish the facts in a post on my blogs www.bibledifferences.net (Afrikaans: www.bybelverskille.wordpress.com) to enable my readers to judge for themselves. Personally I love to make an informed decision based of facts. That is why I endeavor to provide that same privilege to the readers of my blogs. Since 1973 I am married to my dear wife and greatest friend, Leah Page, founder director of Act-Up Support (www.actup.co.za) a prayer ministry for families struggling with drug-, occult- and other dependencies. We are blessed with two daughters and two sons, four grand sons and two grand daughters. God is alive and omnipotent! Glory to His Name! Herman Grobler.
This entry was posted in Causes for Variations, KJV/NIV Controversy, United Bible Societies Text. Bookmark the permalink.

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