The Epistle To The Galatians.
The changes in this brief Epistle need not occupy us long. In Gal. 1:6 the present force is properly given, “ye are so quickly removing” (not “removed”), and “in” (not “into”) the grace of Christ, and of course, “unto a different [not “another”] gospel:” a very considerable correction of mere renderings, and long known to be necessary, for a single verse. So also the slight shade of distinction between “should preach” in verse 8 and “preacheth” in verse 9 is due to truth. — The revision of verse 18 seems more cumbrous and less Pauline than as it stands in the Authorised Version.
In Gal. 2:2-4 we have to complain of the same defect in catching and conveying the scope, which we saw so conspicuously in 2 Corinthians 3 and 13, reproduced here also in a punctuation which quite destroys the true, and insinuates a false, connection. It is the more striking because the Company show no disinclination to avail themselves of parenthetical signs for verse 8, to which nobody demurs, though these are less required there than here: they were guided in both by their predecessors, who so marked verse 8 but not verse 8. There is strictly another insertion in verse 6; but there is perhaps less necessity there to indicate it, though there be parenthesis within parenthesis. The late Mr. Bagge was more right than Dean Alford or the Bishops of Bristol and Durham. — But the rendering of verse 16 in the text is really strange, “save” being here most inadequate to convey the strongly oppositive exception conveyed by
ἐὰν μή. The margin “but only” is much better, for it excludes works of law, whereas “save” admits of them conjointly with faith in Jesus Christ. Now the entire argument, and especially this verse, contradicts any such combination. Justification is not by law-work; it is through faith. We believed on Christ Jesus that we might be justified by faith in Him, and not by law-works, because by law-works shall no flesh be justified. Hence every shade of orthodoxy concurs in giving a stronger opposition to the phrase than the Company convey in their singularly mild version. Law-works are excluded from being put with faith in Christ in order to justification. It is really stronger than
ἀλλά, whatever the common point implied besides the contrast.
Here we see, too, how little the Revisers estimated the force of the anarthrous construction. They put in the margin “works of law,” and “law,” where their text gives “the works of the law,” and “the law;” and they do not always mark this, as twice in the latter part of verse 16. It is as opposed to fact as to philological principle that the article was inserted or omitted arbitrarily. Prepositions are no exceptions, though from their nature they suit with peculiar facility the anarthrous usage; but the presence or the absence of the article depends on its general principle. Thus in Romans 3:19 the article is twice required with
νόμος, and once with a preposition; in verse 20 it is twice left out just as correctly, and in verse 21 it is once both omitted and inserted with
ν., and in each with a preposition; in the last verse of the chapter it is twice anarthrous, and in both the object of verbs. It is bad grammar and perhaps feeble theology to confound
τὸν ν. The apostle generalises, though no doubt “the” law falls under the expressly characteristic term. So it is often in Romans, as in Galatians and elsewhere; but there is not the least backwardness or laxity in giving the article with this word or any other where its presence is really wanted. The indefinite article of our tongue would be quite improper in all or most of these cases; nor does English idiom forbid the exact representation of its anarthrous usage in at least very many instances like these cited, and Gal. 2:19, 21, Gal. 3:2, 5. — Verses 10-13 are valuable in confirming the refutation of the too prevalent fallacy, where we have the broad principle in its characteristic and therefore anarthrous form, and then the article for the particular matter of fact; see again the principle in verse 11, and the fact in verses 12, 13. If the Company had understood the true force of the anarthrous usage, they never would in my opinion have agreed to consign to the margin what ought to have been unhesitatingly set out in the text.
In Gal. 3:1 they have rightly struck out the addition (from the end of Gal. 5:7), though it has no little ancient support in manuscripts, versions, and Fathers, also at the end of the verse. — In verse 12 it is rightly “he” (not “the man”); but “upon” in verse 14 goes beyond
εἰς (unto). It is not Paul, but his translators and commentators who fail in the force of the preposition. — In verse 17 the gloss “unto Christ” rightly vanishes. — In verse 20 the article is no doubt generic; but why should we not say “the” Mediator, though we only speak of one descriptive of the class? Perhaps in this particular instance it was desirable to avoid the equivoque of more previous mention, which is not at all the reason of its insertion here. Again, it seems to me that the italic insertion here is needless, and rather enfeebles the apostle’s idea that it “is not of one” (that is, it supposes at least two parties, whilst God is one), promising and accomplishing Himself. — Nor is there any need of inserting “to bring us” in verse 24, where “up to,” or “unto,” is better than “until,” as expressive of the object in view, and not of a temporal limit only. — Nor does the severance of “faith” from “in. Christ Jesus,” here insinuated by the punctuation, seem warranted. — Our being one in Christ Jesus follows in verse 28; but here it is not one in Christ, nor Abraham’s seed, that is being urged, But that the Galatian saints were God’s sons through faith in Christ Jesus. Drs. Alford and Ellicott were right, not the Bishop of Durham. — In verse 28 they translate
ἔνι by the more forcible “there can be,” and omit the copulative in verse 29.
In Gal. 4:7 the critical reading which rests on superior authority is adopted, for the comma softening down the sense in Text. Rec. and the Authorised Version. — But do the Revisers really understand the import of verse 12? The apostle exhorts the Galatians to be as he is, free from law, “for I [am] as ye.” To say “as ye are” seems to spoil the thought, for at that time they were affecting the law, and from this he is earnestly dissuading them. They did him no wrong in affirming that he taught or practised freedom from the law in virtue of Christ’s death; for such is the doctrine and the life of the Christian, as Romans, Galatians, and Colossians clearly prove. Are the Revisers justified in treating
δι᾽ ἀσθένειαν as “because of infirmity”? No one, of course, questions that
διά with the accusative ordinarily means “on account of;” but the question is, whether this narrow view which yields so strange a sense be here intended, when in poetry at least such a form was notoriously used to express a state in which one might be. The Greek fathers saw no difficulty in thus interpreting the Pauline phrase, and never thought of confounding it with the phrase in Thuc. vi. 102; and it appears to me that Nicias would have startled his audience beyond measure if he had said
δι᾽ ἀσθένειαν ἔσωσα τὸν κύκλον, in the sense of “on account of an infirmity I saved, etc.” though he might very simply be left behind on that account. Again, the version of verse 18 seems hazardous, and little agreeing with the context, though one can readily admit the difficulty of the passive form, which some believe to be a true middle. But the passive sense makes sad havoc in the verse and its connection
Gal. 5:1 is an entangled question as to text and translation: whether the Revisers were wise in giving us so awkward a result seems doubtful. — Is the rendering of verse 10 English? “I have confidence to your word in the Lord” — confidence to, or toward a person! Who ever heard of such language save among youths whose mother-tongue got spoilt by Greek idiom? On the other hand the “in” of the Authorised Version goes beyond
εἰς, which in this connection should be translated “as to.” — Verse 12 appears to be fairly given. — The rendering of verse 17 is uncompromisingly accurate.
In Gal. 6 there is nothing specially calling for remark beyond the correct rendering of verse 11, and the omission of “the Lord” in verse 17.
The Epistle To The Ephesians.
In Eph. 1:1 the common class is obscured by putting in “the” before “faithful,” like Dean Alford, though less than in the Authorised Version, reproduced by Bishop Ellicott. Mr. Green is more accurate. — I do not think that
τὴν ἀπολ. in verse 7 is rightly rendered “our” redemption, though no doubt it is ours. The article simply designates redemption as a distinct object which we have in Christ, like
παρρ. in Eph. 3:12 where the Revisers do not say “our,” and this properly. But passing over questionable points, is not the version of verse 11 distinctly for the worse as compared with the Authorised Version? It is exactly one of the marked points of contrast between the faithful now and Israel of old, that these are designated the inheritance of Jehovah, those are styled God’s heirs and Christ’s joint-heirs. Hence the force of
ἐκληρώθημεν is that we were allotted our inheritance, not “made a heritage,” the
καί adding this to our being called. For there are two main parts in the blessing: our calling, and also our inheritance, which embraces the universe as put under Christ (cf. verse 10), given as Head over all things to the church which is His body. The church is in God’s grace and purpose the heavenly Eve of the Last Adam, to possess all things, not merely the things on the earth like the first man, but the things in the heavens. Here accordingly it will be noticed that the apostle speaks not of the glory of God’s grace (ver. 6), nor of the riches of His grace (ver. 7), but of His glory (vers. 12, 14). He looks not at present privilege, but onward to the redemption of the purchased possession which will be then, as distinguished from the redemption we have now through His blood, the forgiveness of our offences. There is no doubt that God purchased the church with the blood of Christ, and that the believers from among the Jews are now reckoned a people of possession, or peculiarly His own, as indeed are all saints. but this does not at all decide the true force of the purchased possession here, which is really the inherited universe when His glory dawns. There is no need for introducing the italic supplement “God’s” here or elsewhere. Of our inheritance in that day the Holy Spirit of promise is meanwhile earnest, because we are not yet in possession.
- Next we have an instance of what seems nothing less than hardihood in the Company, due probable to scholastic influence overriding all right spiritual fooling: a too common fault in the Revised New Testament. Three of the primary copies with later uncials, also a single cursive, and a few Fathers, omit
ἀγαπὴν τήν: an omission obviously accounted for by one of the most frequent causes of various readings, homeoteleuton. The omission, to my mind, gives us no sense; and this has positively passed muster as the collective judgment of the Company! “For this cause I also, having heard of the faith in the Lord Jesus which is among you, and which ye show toward all the saints.” Of course they say in the margin that many ancient authorities insert “the love;” but what temerity in adopting for their text what Lachmann alone (now followed by Westcott and Hort), never hindered by the least apprehension of divine truth, ventured to endorse! No doubt Bishops Ellicott and Wordsworth, and Drs. Brown and Scrivener, and one would hope others, protested, but were outvoted. Tischendorf and Tregelles were daring, especially after the Sinaitic MS gave sometimes its voice in accordance with the occasionally wild readings of the Vatican copy; but even they, in spite of their tendencies, here withstood this idolatry of ancient documents to the destruction of truth. Love “toward all the saints” (Col. 1:4) should have guarded against such an error in their thoughts of Ephesians 1:15, though each scripture has its peculiar form. — There are other things by no means sure in the chapter; but we pass on.
With Eph. 2:18 compare Eph. 1:7 and Eph. 3:12. They are right in adopting
ἐστε (verse 19), and
εἰρήνην (verse 17), omitted in Text. Rec. — Against their dropping the article, though sustained by corr. A C P many cursives, etc., in verse 21, I have anything save objection; but their version, as so often in such cases, is in no way justified, though it might seem so on a first glance at the anarthrous form. But
πᾶσα ἡ οἰκ. would imply that the building was complete, in contradiction to the express teaching of the clause that it is only in process — “groweth into a holy temple in the Lord.” So the Revisers themselves render
πᾶς οἶκος Ἰσραήλ in Acts 2:36, though they give “every house” in the margin. This they might have done here with less opposition to God’s word generally; for “each several building” is irreconcilable with what is everywhere else insisted on. There is no such thought in scripture as ecclesiastical independency, but intercommunion. It may not be here the church as one, but as a whole, not every part. (Cf. the revision of Matt. 3:15; Eph. 1:1; and many like cases.)
In Eph. 3:7 was there any real need to say “that” grace of God? — Of course in verse 9 it is “dispensation” not “fellowship” as in Text. Rec. and Authorised Version, and “by Jesus Christ” disappears. — In verse 14 they appear to be justified in rejecting “of our Lord Jesus Christ,” as also in saying (not all the, but) “every family.” But they do not seem right in verse 18, which should be “being rooted and grounded in love in order that ye,” etc. This adds to the clearness of the truth, if it be not absolutely needful. External authority is confessedly strong for the insertion of
ἐν Χ. Ἰ. in verse 21; but one does not wonder that Ellicott, Green and Wordsworth rejected, and that Alford hesitated to accept it even in the face of A B C and other witnesses.
In Eph. 4:6 most editors, like many copyists, have lost the finely drawn truth by a misapplied love of uniformity. It is exceedingly hard to suppose the insertion of
ὑμῖν as in Text. Rec. and Auth. Ver.) unless it were really of God. Man would be prone to remove it even in the early days, as we find it wanting in A B C Ocorr. P and not a few cursives, etc. But the mass of testimony in MSS uncial and cursive, Versions and Fathers, favours “us all.” And so beyond cavil does the internal requirement. For as the apostle had traced vital or intrinsic unity in verse 4, and external unity in verse 5, he closes with the unity of the God and Father of all, universally supreme and permeating, and withal most intimate for “us all,” but this limited to us all (them who believe). No blunderer, still less a forger, could have hit on a shade of truth so unexpected beforehand, yet so momentous and happy when expressed. If people had introduced a gloss, they would have extended the pronoun to all three. — In verse 10 “due” measure seems hardly allowable. — Do not verses 22, 23, set forth truth in the person of Jesus? “Your putting [or having put] away,” etc. (Compare Col. 3:9, 10.) For the Christian it is a fact already accomplished in the Saviour, of which faith lays hold; as mysticism always strains after it in man’s own feelings. — And what is the meaning, verse 30, of “the Holy Spirit of God, in whom ye were sealed”? etc. The sealing was in His power, or in virtue of Him. — The Revisers rightly say in verse 32, “even as God also in Christ forgave you.”
In Eph. 5:1 they correctly say “imitators” of God, and in verse 4 “befitting” for the obsolete synonym “convenient.” In verse 5 they read
ἐστε) λ.; as also the fruit of “light” in verse 9, so agreeable to the context. But whether their view of the end of verse 13 is sound may be doubted. — With verse 20 compare note on 1 Corinthians 15:24. — “Christ” is right in verse 21; and the more correct “washing” stands in the text of the Revisers as in the Authorised Version. Only they say “with” for “by” the word, which is regrettable perhaps. — In verse 29 it is “Christ,” not “the Lord,” as in the Authorised Version followed by Text. Rec. — In verse 30 they leave out the latter half in Text. Rec., as in the Authorised Version also.
In Eph. 6 but little appears to demand notice. — See verse 5 for a change of order, and verse 9 for a necessary correction of the Text. Rec. and of the Authorised Version. — The rendering of verse 12 is also much better, “high” places being unequivocally wrong. — The last verse ends rightly with an uncorruptness,” or incorruption. “Sincerity” is misleading.
The Epistle To The Philippians.
Phil. 1:5 is more correctly translated “in furtherance of,” not “in” (
εἰς), the gospel, as the same proposition should be “for” (Rev. Ver. “unto”), not “till” (Auth. Ver.) the day of Christ in verse 10. — In verse 18, instead of “in all the palace, and in all other places,” the Revisers prefer “throughout the whole praetorian guard and to all the rest.” — The interference with the true order of verses 15-17, to give a more mechanical exactitude, is rectified, whereas as originally written it is more forcible. — But verse 22 seems ill-represented. Does not
ἔργου = operae pretium, worth while? Thus the connection would run: If to live in the flesh (fall to me), this (is) to me worth the while; and what I shall choose I know not, whereas not only does the arrangement of the Revisers seem cumbrous, but the result is unsatisfactory. ”But if to live in the flesh — if this is the fruit of my work, then what I shall choose I wot not.” What does this mean, if the sentence would bear so awkward and violent a construction? Even the literal sense given in the margin appears far preferable, “this is the fruit of my work,” or this is to me fruit of my work. It gives me opportunity for longer labour and its yield in the Lord’s harvest. — Nor are the Company happy in their rendering of the last words in verse 27, where they miss the apostle’s animated identification of the saints with the faith of the gospel, personified as the agent engaged in conflict. Striving “with,” that is, in concert with, is much better than “for.”
In Phil. 2:1 “comfort” and “consolation” rightly change places. — In verse 6 “a prize to be on an equality” is more correct than “robbery to be equal,” as also “emptied himself” in verse 7. — In verse 9 the right reading “the” (not a) name is adopted, and “in” (not at) the name in verse 10. — But why ‘things” instead of “beings” when we have the knee and tongue called to confess that Jesus Christ is Lord? Is not this very distinct from the personification of universal nature in Psalm 148 or elsewhere? The groaning or deliverance of creation in Romans 8 is quite another thing, and
ὑποκάτω τῆς γῆς in Revised Version is not at all the Same as
καταχθονίων here, being things which burrow, not the lost infernal beings. — In verse 80 it is surprising the Revisers did not see that the Rescript of Paris in giving simply “the work” preserves the true reading, to which others added
ΚΥ. But others must here have overborne the Bishop of Durham. The insertions are easily accounted for.
Phil. 3:3 “worship by the Spirit of God” is the right; and “have I counted” in verse 7. — Of course that in verse 11 it is the resurrection from (or from among the dead, not “of” as in the Authorised Version, following the bad reading
τῶν ν. instead of
τὴν ἐκ ν., not to speak of the intensified form of the word
(ἐξανάστασις) here, only occurrent in the New Testament, as has been often noticed and is obvious.
[But let me here express my astonishment at a very learned Reviser’s comment on verses 12-16, as if St. Paul (!) held “the language of hope, not of assurance.......My brothers, let other men vaunt their security. Such is not my language,” etc. What surprising ignorance even of the gospel practically! How could men so short of ordinary christian faith be expected to translate the New Testament adequately, no matter what their scholastic attainments? They may be pious, but do not see that the apostle treats of enjoying Christ experimentally, and then of being actually in glory with Christ, not in the least of assurance as to eternal life in Christ or the forgiveness of sins, which are matters of common christian knowledge. (1 John 2:12, 13.) He could not rest in anything short of what characterised Christ — the out-resurrection and glory — to be with and as Himself on high. It was this prize he had not already obtained, in this respect he was not already perfected. There is no question of false security, but of eye and heart set on the goal above, instead of the profession of Christ combined with the minding of earthly things. Other scriptures denounce fleshly license; here judaising or fleshly religion. The Right Rev. Reviser is quite mistaken (pp. 70, 151, 152) in the apostle’s drift. It is unchristian nomianism, not corrupt antinomianism, of which he here writes such solemn and even stern words of warning.]
The version of verse 20 is an improvement on the Authorised Version, but is it not feeble? We await as Saviour the Lord Jesus Christ. Salvation in this epistle is regarded as incomplete till the body of our humiliation has its fashion changed into conformity with the body of His glory.
The Authorised Version is duly corrected in Phil. 5:2, 8, in its misunderstanding of the female names, a false reading, and a false rendering. — There are also corrections of misreadings in verses 18 and 23, But nothing of special moment. — The rendering is improved especially in verses 5, 6, 7, 8, 12, 15, 17.
The Epistle To The Colossians.
Col. 1:1, we have “Christ Jesus” rightly: verse 2, a proper omission of “and Lord Jesus Christ” and in verse 8 of “and” — “God the Father,” etc. — But the Revisers are capricious in their treatment of
οἱ οὐρ., giving sometimes “heaven,” sometimes “the heavens.” The inspired writers use the two phrases with distinctness of purpose. Thus it is always in Matthew “the kingdom of the heavens,” but in the Revised Version, as in the Authorised Version, “of heaven;” and so with “your,” “our,” or “My Father which is in heaven,” whereas really it is “in the heavens.” Yet the evangelist uses the singular form in Matt. 5:18, 34; Matt. 6:10, 20, 26; Matt. 8:20; Matt. 11:23, 25; Matt. 13:32;
Matt. 14:19; Matt. 16:1, 2, 3 (if 2, 3 be genuine); Matt. 18:18 twice (Matt. 19:21 being doubtful perhaps); Matt. 21:25 twice; Matt. 22:30; Matt. 23:22; Matt. 24:29, 30 twice, 35; Matt. 26:64; Matt. 28:2, 18. On the other hand, the Revisers rightly say “the heavens” in chapter 3:16, 17, but not (in addition to the phrases already referred to) in Matt. 5:12; Matt. 16:19 twice, while again they give “the heavens” in Matt. 24:29, yet the singular form wrongly in verses 31, 36. Similar caprice might be shown in Mark and Luke where both forms occur (for John’s Gospel has only the singular), save that the Revisers in the Acts give the plural correctly in its two occurrences. In Ephesians they give the plural twice rightly, and twice as singular wrongly, as also in Philippians 3:20, the only occurrence there. In our Epistle, chapter 1, they give the plural three times accurately in verses 5, 16, 20 (in Col. 4:1 they adopt the singular variant), but not in 1 Thessalonians 1:10. In Hebrews they are right save in Heb. 12:23, 25, in both like the Authorised Version. In 1 Peter 1:4 they are wrong, in 2 Peter 3:5, 7, 10, 12, 13 right, in both again following the Authorised Version. In the Revelation there is but one plural occurrence, and the Authorised Version and Revised Version agree in reflecting it rightly.
- In verse 6 the Revisers follow the good authorities in giving “and increasing,” or “growing” which the Text. Rec. omits, and in dropping the expletive “also” in verse 7, where they adopt the absurd reading of many ancient and modern authorities,
ἡμῶν, “our,” instead of
ὑμῶν, their marginal alternative. Here however Westcott and Hort had not only Alford, Lachmann, Tregelles, to keep them in countenance, but the Elzevirian Text. Rec. of 1633. This however may have been a mere printer’s error, like that of the copyists; for the first (1624) and the latter editions of the Elzevirs adhere to the reading of Erasmus, of the Complutensian, of Colinaeus, of Stephens, and of Beza; as it holds its ground rightly to this day. The ancient versions are unanimous in rejecting
ἡμῶν; and no wonder: for the sense which would result from this reading is untrue, as it would seem that Epaphras, valued and faithful as he may have been, was in no sense “vice apostoli,” as says a Latin commentator contrary to all others, Greek or Latin, who allude to it.
- In verse 10 “increasing in” seems a questionable rendering. Is not “growing by” better, as the margin suggests for the last word? — There is no doubt that “through his blood” should vanish from verse 14. It stands rightly in Ephesians 1:7, whence probably it was introduced here. The person is the point here, not yet the work, which comes afterwards in verses 20-22. — “In him” in verse 16 appears a bald or mystic expression. It was in His power or in virtue of Him that all things were created. To be in Christ, to walk or dwell in Him, is for believers as intelligible as it is blessed; but for the universe to be created in Him, what is the meaning? It is assumption to Fay that we are shut up to any such rendering. No doubt
ἐν is more than
διά (the expression of the means or instrument) and supposes intrinsic ability.
- The next matter of weight for consideration is in verse 19, where the old fault of the Authorised Version reappears. There the excellent Tyndale led the way in error, Wiclif before and the Rhemish since being nearer the truth. The doctrine is as bad as the version, and derogatory to the Son as well as the Spirit in our epistle, and the very part where the prime object is to assert the glory of Christ in every way. For in Him all the fulness was well-pleased to dwell, and through Him to reconcile all things unto itself, having made peace through the blood of His cross. The margin offers a less offensive rendering than the Revised text; but Col. 2:9 goes far to commend a version which needs no words to be supplied and wonderfully falls in with the grand aim of exalting Christ’s person. — In verse 25 the context suggests “complete” rather than “fulfil.” There was a blank left in the revelations of God; and the apostle, as minister not only of the gospel but of the assembly, was given to complete the word of God, who would now manifest to His saints the mystery hidden from the ages and from the generations. Such was the dispensation or stewardship of God given him toward the Gentiles. Compare Ephesians 3 “Perfect” in verse 28, as in Philippians 3:15, means “full-grown,” as the Revisers, following the Authorised Version “of full age,” give in Hebrews 5:14.
Col. 2:3 does not exhibit a satisfactory text, though there are added and indefensible words in the text which the Authorised Version followed. It is very doubtful whether “and of Christ” should stand any more than “and of the Father,” the importance of which omission would be that the version would run “in which.” That is, all these treasures are in the mystery. — Nor is there need for “so” in verse 6. — “Of the sins” is an error in the common Greek text which the Revisers, with the critics, properly omit in verse 11. — But are they not adventurous in following the few uncials and cursives, though supported by Greek and Latin ecclesiastics, which drop
ἐν and give the force “through” in verse 13? — In verse 15, dropping the interpolated copulative, they adhere to the literal or ordinary force of
ἀπεκδυσάμενος, “having put off from himself,” with Alford and Ellicott, which results in an apparently fanciful meaning, which it is hard to believe intended by the Spirit of God. Every scholar knows that later usage employed middle forms where a middle sense cannot be recognised, though there is a distinction from the active voice. Hence even Winer does not accept the strict middle sense here, any more than Meyer or others, inclining to some such force as in the Authorised Version. If God be the subject throughout, the Latin application to the Lord’s divesting Himself of the flesh or body is out of the question; and certainly the word is rarely if ever used absolutely or with such an ellipsis. Theodoret and Chrysostom are vague, but regard Christ as the subject. — In verse 18 they drop the negative with several of our bolder modern critics, which would thus express the pretension of the mystics whom the apostle is exposing. — Their version of the last clause in verse 23 is no less bold, though no doubt it suits the context if it were tenable. But does the preposition
πρς ever convey the idea of counteraction or adverse aim save from the context, as from any word of fighting or the like, of which there is no trace here? If “against” therefore be improper in this connection, the force would be a warning against ascetic treatment, without a certain honour due to the vessel of the Holy Spirit, which is really for satisfaction of the flesh.
In Col. 3 there is happily but little to remark. The stronger and more accurate force we saw in Galatians 3 reappears in verse 11. — But it is very questionable whether “Christ” is not changed for the worse in verse 13 into “Lord” as in A B Dp.m. F G, etc., Vulgate, etc. The Sinaitic reads “God;” the ordinary reading has ancient and extensive support, especially in versions and citations. — But the Revisers, with all critics, on the best authority have the peace “of Christ” in verse 15. — In the end of verse 16 they rightly give to “God,” and omit “and” in verse 17, as well as “own” in verse 18. — In verse 22 it is rightly “the Lord,” not “God” as in the Authorised Version following the Received Text; and the copulative is dropt at the beginning of verse 23, and the causal conjunction before the final clause of verse 24. — Of course the first verse of Col. 4 is properly connected with Col. 3 as its true close.
In the last chapter there is yet less to notice. — Verse 8 is a plain instance where the influence of most of the oldest copies has misled editors and the Revisers. The Paris rescript — and the mass of uncials and cursives and versions are confirmed in their reading as right by the end of verse 9 as well as the beginning of verge 7. — In verse 10 it is properly “cousin.” — In verse 12 they rightly supply “Jesus” omitted in Text. Rec. — In verse 13 it is as in the best copies “labour,” not “zeal,” the manuscripts differing singularly. — The main question of verse 15 lies between “their” ( A C P, eight cursives, etc.) and “his” (D E F G K L and the mass with some ancient versions, etc.), “her” (though adopted by Lachmann who reads
Νύμφαν, after the Vatican and very little more) being given in the Revisers’ margin, and not “his,” which seems strange.