Raul Martín Cruz-mireles - 1 Timothy 3:16 - finds excellent article on grammatical

Steven Avery

1 Timothy 3:16 (AV)
And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness:
God was manifest in the flesh,
justified in the Spirit,
seen of angels,
preached unto the Gentiles,
believed on in the world,
received up into glory.

Trying to find original author

NT Textual Criticism
Raul Martín Cruz-mireles
https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=2295188903875612&set=p.2295188903875612 (change to thread url)
post form #1
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WIP - grammatical paragraphs

Leaving the external evidence to one side, we shall now turn to the internal evidence, where it will be seen, that the accepted reading, ὅς is. to say the least, problematic. It is a commonly known rule in Greek grammar, that, every sentence must contain two parts, a subject and a predicate. The subject is that of which something is stated. The predicate is that which is stated of the subject. (Dr William Goodwin; A Greek Grammar, p. 196. Sec.890). In our present study, the subject would be θεός. and the predicate, musthrion (mystery). However, with the reading ὅς, the subject of the sentence has been removed. The only reason why Paul would have not mentioned the subject, would have been it it were already known to his readers. In this case, the ὅς would be referring us to the subject already mentioned in the context. This would take us back to the use of θεός twice in verse fifteen. However, if this were the case here, then Paul could not have chosen the pronoun, ὅς . Why not, you may be asking? Put simply, it would be incorrect Greek grammar!

There is a lack of agreement with the pronoun "
ὅς", with its antecedent, which, in this case is ‘mystery’. In the Greek, the text literally reads; "great is the of godliness mystery, God...". The noun "musthrion" is in Greek neuter in gender, and would therefore require, not "ὅς" (which is masculine, and would not agree), but "which", as it is the neuter relative pronoun, to which there is no grammatical objection. However, by writing "ὅς", Paul would cause a grammatical abruptness in the flow of the sentence, thus making it difficult to connect with "musthrion". With the reading θεός, no such problem is caused with the grammar! Since the Holy Spirit is Who inspired Paul to write his epistles, it is unthinkable that he could have made such a grammatical error! Even those who support the reading ὅς, cannot hide the fact that it causes grammatical problems. There is yet one commentator who I have come across, who can say with confidence, that the reading ὅς is grammatically sound. We read in some commentaries on this epistle, that Paul was here quoting from some ancient Hymn (which is nothing but conjecture), which was supposedly known to his readers, and he could therefore omit the subject, as it was already known to them! What would have been the harm for him to use the subject in his quotation?, seeing that omitting it causes problems with the grammar. The Expositor's Greek Testament, has another incredible theory (for this is all that it is) for the reading ὅς. They say that ὅς,

"does not form part of the quotation (from the hymn) at all; it is simply introductory, and relative to the subject, Jesus Christ, Whose Personality was, in some terms, expressed in an antecedent sentence which Paul has not quoted" (vol. IV, pp.118-119).

So, this line of argument says, that the words: "without controversy great is the mystery of godliness", are Paul’s own, which are then followed by quotation from some "known" hymn! The more I read the "theories" for the reading
ὅς, the more absurd the whole thing gets. There is no indication anywhere in the passage, that the words are all not Paul’s. Again, it would be grammatically correct, for Paul to have "introduced" the words from this hymn, with the relative ".. ?", which would connect his words to the quotation, rather than use ὅς, which makes an unnatural break in the construction of the sentence!

By reading some of the commentaries on this epistle, one can see the desperation felt by some of the scholars, in trying to discredit the reading
θεός. This is evident, as even in modem times, scholars are prepared to refer to "the idle tale, propagated by Liberatus the Deacon of Carthage, and from him repeated by Hincmar and Victor, that Macedonius Patriarch of Constantinople (A.D.506) was expelled by the Emperor Anastasius for corrupting ὅς into (ὅς with overstrike line) (Scrivener, Introduction. Vol.II. p.394). This tale is referred to in the Expositor's Greek Testament, and by Dean Henry Alford, even though their own evidence shows, that θεός was read at this place two hundred years before Macedonius lived!
William Watson Goodwin (1831-1912)

Goodwin grammar


Steven Avery

baptistboard - is this related ?


God Was Manifested in The Flesh
posted by Martin Andrews, from West Midlands, England, March 31, 2017, he may be the author


In most modern translations of the New Testament, we will discover, that, where the King James Version reads in 1 Timothy 3:16, that "God was manifested in the flesh", it reads: "He Who (or, simply "Who") was manifested in the flesh". The difference between the two readings is very important. In the first reading, we clearly have the Deity of Jesus Christ taught, where Paul calls Him "God". But, in the second reading, we have no such reference to Christ's Deity. The reader who uses such modern versions, will probably find a footnote to this text, as the New International Version has: "some manuscripts God". Footnotes such as this one, give the false impression, that the reading "God" is an invention by some over zealous Christian, who, while copying a manuscript, substituted "Θεοϛ" (God), for "οϛ" (who). When the Scriptures were originally written down, the form which the Greek characters were written in, was contracted. Thus, where we have "God" now written "Θεοϛ", the contracted form would be "ΘC", and for "who", which is now "οϛ", it was "ΟC". As the reader can see, the difference is only the line in the "Ο", and the one above both letters. So, a copyist, who denied the Deity of Jesus Christ, when he came to this text, only had to omit the two horizontal lines, and the reference to Christ's Deity in this text, no longer existed. On the other hand, the opposite could be argued. That a Christian who was copying the manuscript, when he came to this place, inserted the two lines, so as to have the text refer to Christ's Deity! Which is right? The present situation seems hopeless, as the person who affirms Christ's Deity, would maintain that Paul wrote "God"; while the Jehovah's Witnesses would no doubt argue for "Who", as being the work of Paul.

For the reading "οϛ", the earliest evidence dates to the third century, where we find it in the Latin translation of a work by Origen (A.D.185-254), where the Latin is "qui" (who). We must not loose sight of Origen's theology on the Person of Jesus Christ. He taught that Jesus, when referred to by John in his Gospel (1:1), is to be understood as "divine", and not "God", arguing his case from the absence of the article (ὀ) in the Greek with "Θεοϛ" (="ὀ Θεοϛ"), where he says that its meaning cannot be "God"! But, what led him (and the Jehovah's Witnesses, today) to this conclusion, is not because of the Greek grammar, but, because of their theological position on Christ. Origen taught that Jesus is not of the "same essence" as the Father, but different, which was later taken up by the heretic Arius (Arianism). He also went as far as to call Jesus a "creature", thus making him into a "second god"! (See, J F Bethume-Baker: Early History of Christian Doctrine, p.148; F J Foakes Jackson; The History of the Christian Church, p.163). With this theology on Christ, how could Origen quote 1 Timothy 3:16 with "Θεοϛ", and hold to his position, that Christ is not God? There is no doubt that at a very early time, heretics were corrupting the Word of God, especially with respect to the deity of Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit.

Much is made of the fact, the Greek manuscript, the Codex Sinaiticus (otherwise known by the Hebrew letter א ), which is of the fourth century, and the oldest manuscript of the complete Bible in Greek, does not have "Θεοϛ" in 1 Timothy 3:16. But, there again, this manuscript is given far too much credit for what it's worth, especially by those who do not know the history of this Codex! History informs us, that, in about the year A.D.331, the Emperor Constantine ordered fifty copies of the Scripture. Hitherto, Scripture was written in scroll form, but, at this time it was replaced by the codex (book form). We also know, that this task of copying from scroll to codex was undertaken by the efforts of one Acacius and Euzoius (about A.D.350), who were working in the library of Pamphilus, at Caesarea. It is almost certain, that the Codex Sinaiticus was one of these fifty Bible's that were copied by these two. (see, Sir Frederic Kenyon; Handbook to the Textual Criticism of the New Testament, pp.41, 68; and, Dr Frederick Scrivener; A Plain Introduction to the Criticism of the New Testament, vol.II, p.268-270). Now, for those who known their early Church History, the names Acacius and Euzoius, are known for their stand against the truth of the Holy Trinity, they were both hard line Arians, who went further than Arius (who admitted that Jesus was "like" the Father in essence), by teaching that there was no likeness at all, between the Father and Jesus! This, no doubt, resulted in "Θεοϛ" being replaced in 1 Timothy 3:16.

Now, moving on to the reading "Θεοϛ" in 1 Timothy 3:16, we have the very early testimony of the Church father, Ignatius, who was Bishop of Antioch, and who was born just after our Lord's death, in A.D.35, and was martyred under Trajan (about 108 A.D.). In his epistle to the Ephesians he wrote;

"εν σαρκι γενομενοϛ Θεοϛ" (VII.2)

(Dr J B Lightfoot; The Apostolic Fathers, page 107. Note)

"God having come in the flesh"

Not only do we have this reading, but in this same Epistle, in chapter nineteen, we read the words:

"Θεου ανθρωπινωϛ ϕανερουμενου" (God was manifest as man)"

(Lightfoot, ibid, p.111)

It is interesting to note, for the purpose of textual criticism, that even at this place we have a corruption. The Syriac Versionof this fathers writings, has, instead of Θεου, υιου (Son), this is according to Dr Alford in his Greek Testament, Vol.III, p.332). The reading Θεου has by far the strongest evidence.

For those of us who are familiar with the writings of Ignatius, it is clear that he did not always quote Scripture verbatim. This can be seen from the same epistle already mentioned, where, in chapter one he uses the phrase: "εν αιματιΘεου" (by the blood of God), (ibid, pp.172-173), a phrase he would not have used, had he not found it in Scripture. This, of course, is sanctioned by Paul in Acts 20:28, where he speaks of the "Church of God, which He purchased by His own blood"!; proving that the use of "Lord" in Acts 20:28 (as found in some versions) is a corruption.

Not only do we have the early testimony of Ignatius, for the reading "Θεοϛ", but it is also quoted by (a) Hippolytus (170-236), the time of Origen!; (b) Gregory Thaumaturgus (213-270); (c) Didymus (313-398); (d) Gregory of Nyssa (330-395), who quotes this text 22 times with "Θεοϛ"!; (e) Chrysostom (347-407); Cyril Alex. (died 444); (f) Theodoret (393-458); (g)Apollinarius (310-390, heretic!). Here, we have the testimony of writers (all Greek) from the first, to the fifth century, who found "Θεοϛ" in their copies of 1 Timothy 3:16! This evidence is by far stronger than what we have for the corrupted reading "οϛ". It is interesting to note, that, though this text with "Θεοϛ" (as far as I am aware) is not used by Athanasius (296-373), in his disputes with the Arian's. Yet it was known in (and before) his age, especially to Didymus, who was a very good friend of Athanasius, who, with Gregory of Nyssa, uses this text with "Θεοϛ", against the Arian's! It is of course possible, that the writings of Athanasius that have come down to us, have been corrupted. We know from history, that many of the writings of Diodore, Bishop of Tarsus (died 390), were destroyed by the Arias (see, The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church, under "Diodore", on page 401).