Alpha & Omega Ministries Apologetics Blog
A Christmas Textual Variant :-)
12/25/2004 - James WhiteFirst, a blessed Christmas to you all. For those rejoicing, may you do so to His glory. For those of you bearing burdens at this time of year, especially those who have lost a loved one in the past year, may you find God to be your consolation and comfort in all things.
Just one entry today (and yes, I wrote it yesterday and set it to appear Christmas morning). One of the most famous "Christmas" passages is taken from the King James Version:
Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.
But you may notice that the Christmas card company avoids modern translations like the NASB:
"Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace among men with whom He is pleased."
All of a sudden the "fluffy wuffy" element of the KJV rendering is gone, and we are back to that consistent message of God's holiness, man's sin, the need for reconciliation and redemption, etc. So what's the difference? Yes, it is textual in nature. In fact, it is the difference of a single letter, final form sigma, which often took a form in ancient uncial texts that could easily get "lost" in transcription. Here's a comparison:
The first is what is found in the underlying Greek text of the KJV; the second what is found in the modern Nestle-Aland text. The Majority Text supports the KJV reading, of course. So in case you were wondering about that (a lot of folks do this time of year), there is the difference.
Taking tomorrow off as I am preaching on Isaiah 7 through 9 in the services at PRBC (and teaching on 2 Cor. 5:21 in the AM Bible Study). Lord willing, back on Monday afternoon.