A Student's Guide to
New Testament Textual Variants

The Revelation to John

Revelation 1:5-14:3


Revelation 1:5:

TEXT: "and has loosed us from our sins by his blood"
EVIDENCE: p18 S A C 1 1611 2344 Maj(A) two lat syr(ph,h)
TRANSLATIONS: ASV RSV NASV NIV NEB TEV
RANK: B

NOTES: "and has bathed us from our sins by his blood"
EVIDENCE: P 046 94 1006 1854 2053 Maj(K,B,C) most lat vg cop(north)
TRANSLATIONS: KJV ASVn

COMMENTS: There is only one letter's difference between the Greek words for "loosed" and "bathed," and the words may have been pronounced alike at one time. Copyists may have been influenced by the reference in Revelation 7:14 to Christians who "rinsed their robes . . . in the blood of the Lamb" in understanding the word as "bathed."

Revelation 1:6:

TEXT: "to him [be] the glory and the might forever and ever"
EVIDENCE: S C 046 1 94 1006 1611 1854 2053 2344 most Maj lat vg syr(ph,h)
TRANSLATIONS: KJV ASV RSV NASV NIV NEB TEV
RANK: C

NOTES: "to him [be] the glory and the might forever"
EVIDENCE: p18 A P some Maj(A) cop(north)
TRANSLATIONS: ASVn

OTHER: "to him [be] the glory and the might"
EVIDENCE: 2344

COMMENTS: The text reading translated "forever and ever" is literally "to the ages of the ages." The reading in the notes is literally "to the ages." The words translated "of the ages" are enclosed in brackets in the UBS text. Although there was a tendency for copyists to expand such liturgical formulas as this, the fuller form is found eleven other times in Revelation. The words may have been omitted accidently by copyists.

Revelation 2:10:

TEXT: "and plyou will have tribulation for ten days."
EVIDENCE: S 046 94 1006 1611 Maj(K) most lat vg syr(ph,h) some cop(north)
TRANSLATIONS: KJV ASV RSV NASV NIV NEB TEV
RANK: C

NOTES: "and plyou may have tribulation for ten days."
EVIDENCE: A P 1854 2344 most cop(north)
TRANSLATIONS: ASVn

OTHER: "and plyou must have tribulation for ten days."
EVIDENCE: C 1 Maj(A) 2053 cop(south)

COMMENTS: There are two letter's difference between the future indicative (text reading) and the present subjunctive (reading in the notes). Since the preceding verb is in the present subjunctive, it is likely that copyists changed the future to the present subjunctive here. The imperative found in some manuscripts is probably due to a mistake of the ear.

Revelation 2:13:

TEXT: "you did not deny my faith even in the days"
EVIDENCE: A C 1854 2053 2344 most lat most vg syr(ph) cop
TRANSLATIONS: KJV ASV RSV NASV NIV NEB TEV
RANK: C

NOTES: "you did not deny my faith in the days"
EVIDENCE: S P 046 1 94 1006 1611 Maj three lat one vg syr(h)
TRANSLATIONS: none

COMMENTS: The word translated "even" is more usually translated "and." It was apparently omitted by copyists who failed to see its meaning "even" here.

Revelation 2:13:

TEXT: "days of Antipas my witness, my faithful one, who was killed"
EVIDENCE: A C 2053 2344 most lat vg syr(ph) cop
TRANSLATIONS: ASV RSV NASV NIV NEB TEV?
RANK: C

NOTES: "days in which Antipas my witness, my faithful one, who was killed"
EVIDENCE: S P {046} 1 {94 1006} 1611 1854 Maj(A,B,C) {Maj(K)} two lat {one lat syr(h)}
TRANSLATIONS: KJV ASVn ("text . . . uncertain") TEV?

COMMENTS: In the evidence listed in braces the word "in" is only implied, not actually present. The Greek word for "days" ends with the three letters which spell the Greek word for "which." Although it is possible that "in which" was accidently omitted through a mistake of the eye, when copyists' eyes jumped from the end of "days" to the word "which," it is also possible that the word "which" was accidently inserted when copyists saw the last three letters of "days" twice. Other copyists may have added the word "in." This explanation is preferable since including "in which" produces an incomplete sentence. The NEB and TEV read "when" and omit "who" in their English translation.

Revelation 2:20:

TEXT: "that you tolerate the woman Jezebel"
EVIDENCE: S C P 1 1611 2053 2344 some Maj(A) lat vg cop
TRANSLATIONS: KJV ASV RSV NASV NIV NEB TEV
RANK: C

NOTES: "that you tolerate your wife Jezebel"
EVIDENCE: A 046 94 1006 1854 most Maj syr(ph,h)
TRANSLATIONS: ASVn

COMMENTS: The same Greek word is translated both "woman" and "wife." The variation in question is the absence or presence of the word "your." Perhaps copyists were tempted to add "you" because of the many uses of "your" and "you" in verses 19 and 20.

Revelation 2:22:

TEXT: "I am throwing her into a sickbed"
EVIDENCE: S C P 046 1 94 1006 1611 1854 2053 2344 Maj lat vg syr(ph,h) cop(north)
TRANSLATIONS: KJV ASV RSV NASV NIV NEB TEV
RANK: A

NOTES: "I am throwing her into jail"
EVIDENCE: A
TRANSLATIONS: none

NOTES: "I am throwing her into an oven"
EVIDENCE: 2071 and the Armenian translation
TRANSLATIONS: NEBn ("furnace")

OTHER: "I am throwing her into sickness"
EVIDENCE: cop(south)

COMMENTS: Apparently some copyists tried to increase her punishment by changing "sickbed" to "jail" or "oven."

Revelation 2:22:

TEXT: "unless they repent of her works"
EVIDENCE: S C P 046 94 1006 1611 2053 Maj(K,B,C) some Maj(A) two lat earlier vg cop
TRANSLATIONS: ASV RSV NASV NIV NEB TEV ("they did with her")
RANK: B

NOTES: "unless they repent of their works"
EVIDENCE: A 1 1854 2344 most Maj(A) most lat later vg syr(ph,h)
TRANSLATIONS: KJV ASVn NASVn

OTHER: "unless they repent"
EVIDENCE: some cop(north)

COMMENTS: Apparently some copyists changed "her" to "their" to agree in number with "they."

Revelation 3:2:

TEXT: "I have not found your works made full"
EVIDENCE: S P 046 94 1006 1611 1854 2053 Maj
TRANSLATIONS: KJV ASVn RSV NASV NIV TEV
RANK: C

NOTES: "I have found no works of yours made full"
EVIDENCE: A C 1margin
TRANSLATIONS: ASV NEB

OTHER: "I have not found yours made full"
EVIDENCE: 2344

COMMENTS: The difference between the readings is the presence (text) or absence (notes) of the definite article before "works." The ancient translations could be from either reading. The omission of the definite article seems to have been an accidental oversight.

Revelation 5:6:

TEXT: "which are the seven spirits of God"
EVIDENCE: p24 S 046 94 1854 2053 2344 most Maj most lat later vg syr(ph,h) cop
TRANSLATIONS: KJV ASV RSV NASV NIV NEB TEV
RANK: C

NOTES: "which are the spirits of God"
EVIDENCE: A P(vid) 1 1006 1611 some Maj(A) two lat earlier vg
TRANSLATIONS: ASVn

COMMENTS: The word for "seven" is enclosed in brackets in the UBS text. Although it is possible that it may have been borrowed by copyists from such passages as Revelation 1:4; 3:1; and 4:5, it is also possible that it was accidently omitted when copyists read TAEPTA as TA.

Revelation 5:10:

TEXT: "and they shall reign on earth."
EVIDENCE: S P 1 94 1854 2053 2344 some Maj(K) most Maj(A) Maj(B,C) most lat earlier vg syr(ph) cop
TRANSLATIONS: RSV NASV NIV NEB TEV
RANK: C

NOTES: "and they reign on earth."
EVIDENCE: A 046 1006 1611 most Maj(K) some Maj(A) one lat syr(h)
TRANSLATIONS: ASV

OTHER: "and we shall reign on earth"
EVIDENCE: one lat later vg

TRANSLATIONS: KJV
COMMENTS: Since in Revelation 20:6 manuscript A changes "they shall reign" to "they reign," a majority of the UBS Textual Committee felt that the same thing had happened here.

Revelation 6:1:

TEXT: "say, as with a voice of thunder, 'Come!' ·And I saw, and behold"
EVIDENCE: A C P 1 94 1006 1611 1854 2053 most Maj(A) Maj(C) earlier vg cop
TRANSLATIONS: ASV RSV NASV NIV NEB TEV
RANK: C

NOTES: "say, as with a voice of thunder, 'Come and see!' ·And I saw, and behold"
EVIDENCE: S {046} 2344 {Maj(K,B) some Maj(A) three lat} three lat later vg syr(ph,h)
TRANSLATIONS: KJV ASVn NASVn

COMMENTS: The evidence listed in braces omits the words "And I saw." Although it is possible that the words "and see" were omitted by accident when copyists' eyes jumped from "and" to "and," it is also possible that copyists who understood the command as given to John either added "and see" or changed "and I saw" to "and see."

Revelation 6:3:

TEXT: "the second living being say, 'Come!' ·And out came"
EVIDENCE: A C P 046 1 94 1006 1611 1854 2053 most Maj earlier vg syr(ph,h) most cop
TRANSLATIONS: ASV RSV NASV NIV NEB TEV
RANK: C

NOTES: "the second living being say, 'Come and see!' "And I saw, and behold, out came"
EVIDENCE: S 2344 Maj(B) {lat later vg} one cop(north)
TRANSLATIONS: KJV ASVn NASVn

COMMENTS: The evidence in braces omits "I saw and behold." The evidence seems to indicate that these words were added from the parallels in verses 2, 5, and 8. Although it is possible that "and see" was accidently omitted when copyists' eyes jumped from "and" to "and," it is more likely that "and see" was added by copyists who took the command to be given to John rather than the horseman.

Revelation 6:4:

TEXT: "given [the power] to take peace from the earth"
EVIDENCE: S* C P 046 1 94 1006 1611 1854 2053 2344 ("on") most Maj lat vg syr cop
TRANSLATIONS: KJV ASV RSV NASV NIV NEB TEV ("bring war on")
RANK: C

NOTES: "given [the power] to take peace of the earth"
EVIDENCE: A some Maj(A)
TRANSLATIONS: ASVn

OTHER: "given [the power] to take peace"
EVIDENCE: Sc

COMMENTS: Two different Greek words for "from" are found in the evidence for the text reading. The lesser used one and "on" are attempts at stylistic improvements by copyists. The omission of the preposition by a few copyists was probably accidental.

Revelation 6:5:

TEXT: "the third living being say, 'Come!' And I saw, and behold"
EVIDENCE: A C P 1 94 1006 1611 {1854} 2053 Maj(A,C) {one lat} earlier vg {syr(ph) cop(south)} cop(north)
TRANSLATIONS: ASV RSV NASV NIV NEB TEV
RANK: C

NOTES: "the third living being say, 'Come and see!' And I saw, and behold"
EVIDENCE: S {046 2344 Maj(K,B) most lat later vg} syr(h) TRANSLATIONS: KJV ASVn NASVn
COMMENTS: The evidence listed in braces omits the words "And I saw." Although it is possible that the words "and see" were omitted by accident when copyists' eyes jumped from "and" to "and," it is also possible that copyists who understood the command as given to John either added "and see" or changed "and I saw" to "and see."

Revelation 6:7:

TEXT: "the fourth living being say, 'Come!' ·And I saw, and behold"
EVIDENCE: A C P 1 94 1006 1611 {1854} 2053 most Maj(A) Maj(C) earlier vg {syr(ph)} cop
TRANSLATIONS: ASV RSV NASV NIV NEB TEV
RANK: C

NOTES: "the fourth living being say, 'Come and see!' ·And I saw, and behold"
EVIDENCE: S {046 2344 Maj(K,B) some Maj(A) most lat} one lat {later vg} syr(h)
TRANSLATIONS: KJV ASVn NASVn

COMMENTS: The evidence listed in braces omits the words "And I saw." Although it is possible that the words "and see" were omitted by accident when copyists' eyes jumped from "and" to "and," it is also possible that copyists who understood the command as given to John either added "and see" or changed "and I saw" to "and see."

Revelation 6:11:

TEXT: "until [the number of] their fellow slaves also and their brothers should be filled up"
EVIDENCE: A C 2344 lat vg syr(ph,h)
TRANSLATIONS: KJV ASVn RSV NASV NIV NEB TEV
RANK: C

NOTES: "until their fellow slaves also and their brothers should fulfill [their course]"
EVIDENCE: S P 046 1 94 1006 1854 2053text most Maj
TRANSLATIONS: ASV

OTHER: "until their fellow slaves also and their brothers fulfill [their course]"
EVIDENCE: 1611 2053commentary some Maj(A)

COMMENTS: The passive subjunctive tense of the text reading is rather rare, which probably prompted copyists to change it to the active subjunctive (reading in the notes) or active indicative tenses, both of which are pronounced and spelled similarly.

Revelation 9:13:

TEXT: "a voice from the four horns of the golden altar"
EVIDENCE: P 046 1 1006 1854 most Maj one lat later vg syr(ph)
TRANSLATIONS: KJV RSV NASV TEV
RANK: C

NOTES: "a voice from the horns of the golden altar"
EVIDENCE: p47 Sa A 0207 94 1611 2053 2344 some Maj(A) most lat earlier vg syr(h) cop
TRANSLATIONS: ASV NASVn NIV NEB

OTHER: "voice of the golden altar"
EVIDENCE: S*

COMMENTS: The word for "four" is enclosed in brackets in the UBS text. The words translated "a voice" are literally "one voice." Since there was a horn on each of the four corners of the golden altar of the tabernacle, it is possible that copyists added "four" to parallel the "four angels" of verse 14. On the other hand, since the Greek words for "the" and "four" end with the same two letters, it is also possible that "four" was accidently omitted by copyists when their eyes jumped from the end of "the" to the end of "four."

Revelation 9:21:

TEXT: "not repent of their murders nor of their sorcerous drugs nor"
EVIDENCE: p47 S C 1006 1611 1854 Maj(K,B) cop(north)
TRANSLATIONS: none
RANK: C

NOTES: "not repent of thei murders nor of their sorceries nor"
EVIDENCE: A P 046 1 94 2053 2344 Maj(A,C) syr(p,h) most cop(south)
TRANSLATIONS: KJV ASV RSV NASV NIV NEB TEV

OTHER: "not repent of their murders nor"
EVIDENCE: two lat one cop(south)

COMMENTS: There are only one or two letters' (depending on how "sorceries" is spelled) difference between "sorcerous drugs" and "sorceries." Since "sorcerous drugs" is found nowhere else in the New Testament and "sorceries" is found in Galatians 5:20 and Revelation 18:23, copyists would have been more likely to change the former to the latter than vice versa.

Revelation 10:6:

TEXT: "and the earth and the things in it, and the sea and the things in it, that"
EVIDENCE: p47 Sc C P 046 1 94 1006 1854 2053 Maj most lat vg syr(h) cop(north) one cop(south)
TRANSLATIONS: KJV ASV RSV NASV NIV NEB TEV
RANK: B

NOTES: "and the earth and the things in it, that"
EVIDENCE: S* A 1611 2344 one lat syr(ph) most cop(south)
TRANSLATIONS: ASVn

COMMENTS: The words "and the sea and the things in it" were probably accidently omitted by copyists whose eyes jumped from "and the things in it" to "and the things in it."

Revelation 11:8:

TEXT: "and their corpse [will lie] in the street"
EVIDENCE: A C 1006 2053 Maj(K,B)
TRANSLATIONS: ASVn NASVn
RANK: -

NOTES: "and their corpses [will lie] in the street"
EVIDENCE: p47 S P 1 1611 1854 Maj(A,C) lat vg syr some cop(north) cop(south)
TRANSLATIONS: KJV ASV* RSV NASV NIV NEB TEV

COMMENTS: Apparently copyists changed "corpse" to the plural "corpses" to agree in number with "their."

Revelation 12:17-13:1:

TEXT: "Jesus. And he stood on the sand of the sea. ·And I saw"
EVIDENCE: p47 S A C 1854 2344 lat vg syr(h)
TRANSLATIONS: ASV RSV NASV NIV NEB TEV
RANK: C

NOTES: "Jesus. ·And I stood on the sand of the sea; and I saw"
EVIDENCE: P 046 051 1 94 1006 1611 2053 Maj syr(ph) cop
TRANSLATIONS: KJV ASVn RSVn NASVn NIVn NEBn TEVn

COMMENTS: The difference between the two readings is only that of one letter. The question is whether the dragon (text) or John (notes) was standing by the sea. Since the following phrase has "I saw," it is more likely that copyists changed "he" to "I" than vice versa.

Revelation 13:1:

TEXT: "and on its heads [were] names of blasphemy."
EVIDENCE: A 046 051 94 1611 1854 2053 2344 Maj(K,B,C) some lat syr(h)
TRANSLATIONS: ASV NASV NEB ("each head . . . a name")
RANK: C

NOTES: "and on its heads [was] a name of blasphemy."
EVIDENCE: p47 S C P 1 1006 Maj(A) some lat syr(ph) cop
TRANSLATIONS: KJV RSV NIV? TEV?

COMMENTS: The last two letters on the Greek word for "names" (which are the letters that make the word plural) are enclosed in brackets in the UBS Greek text. Although it is possible that copyists changed "name" to "names" because "heads" is plural, it is also possible that others misread ONOMATA as ONOMA when their eyes jumped from the first A to the next.

Revelation 13:6:

TEXT: "and his dwelling, [that is] those who dwell in heaven."
EVIDENCE: S* A C 046c 94 1006 1611 1854 2053commentary 2344 Maj(K,B,C)
TRANSLATIONS: ASV RSV NASV NEBn
RANK: C

NOTES: "and his dwelling, and those who dwell in heaven."
EVIDENCE: Sc P 046* 051 1 2053text Maj(A) lat vg syr(h) cop
TRANSLATIONS: KJV NIV TEV

NOTES: "and his dwelling in heaven."
EVIDENCE: p47
TRANSLATIONS: NEB

OTHER: "and his dwelling of those who dwell in heaven."
EVIDENCE: syr(ph)

COMMENTS: The grammar of the text reading (taking the phrase in apposition to "his dwelling") was likely to be simplified by copyists, either by adding "and" or by omitting "those who dwell." The copyist of manuscript p47 elsewhere shows a tendency to omit words.

Revelation 13:7:

TEXT: "·And [the right] was given to it to make war with the saints and overcome them. And authority was given it"
EVIDENCE: S 046 051 1margin 94 1006 1611 1854 2344 most Maj lat vg syr(ph,h) cop(north)
TRANSLATIONS: KJV ASV RSV NASV NIV NEB TEV
RANK: B

NOTES: "·And authority was given it"
EVIDENCE: p47 A C P 1text 2053 some Maj(A) cop(south)
TRANSLATIONS: ASVn RSVn NEBn

COMMENTS: Since both sentences begin with exactly the same words "and there was given to it," it is likely that the first sentence was accidently omitted when copyists' eyes jumped from the beginning of the first sentence to the beginning of the second sentence.

Revelation 13:10:

TEXT: "if anyone [is] to be killed with the sword, he [is] to be killed with the sword."
EVIDENCE: A
TRANSLATIONS: NIV TEV
RANK: C

NOTES: "if anyone shall kill with the sword, he has to be killed with the sword."
EVIDENCE: S C P 046 051 1 94 1006 1611 1854 2053 2344 Maj(A,B,C) lat vg syr cop
TRANSLATIONS: KJV ASV RSV NASV NEB

OTHER: "if anyone [is] with the sword, he has to be killed."
EVIDENCE: Maj(K)

COMMENTS: Since the saying involves a Hebrew idiom regarding endurance and the will of God which was hard for copyists to understand, many of them modified it to a law of retribution perhaps modeled after Matthew 26:52. Despite the apparent overwhelming evidence listed above supporting the reading in the notes, in actuality that evidence supports eight different variations which have the same general idea, and have thus been included together here.

Revelation 13:15:

TEXT: "the image of the beast might even speak and cause"
EVIDENCE: A P {051 1} 1006 {1854 some Maj(A)} lat vg syr(ph) cop(south)
TRANSLATIONS: KJV ASV NASV NIV NEB TEV
RANK: D

NOTES: "the image of the beast might even speak; and he shall cause"
EVIDENCE: S 046 94 1611 most Maj syr(h) cop(north) (omit "he shall cause")
TRANSLATIONS: ASVn NASVn

NOTES: "the image of the beast might even speak, and to cause"
EVIDENCE: p47? (a large section of text is omitted)
TRANSLATIONS: RSV

COMMENTS: A word which can be translated "in order that" is enclosed in brackets in the UBS text. It is omitted from the reading in the notes. It goes with "they should be killed" and together they are translated "to be killed." The evidence listed in braces has a different word order than the text reading, although it supports it in meaning. The unusual word order of the text reading caused some copyists to move the word "in order that" and others to omit it. Manuscript C accidently omits from the first occurrence of "image of the beast" to the third.

Revelation 13:18:

TEXT: "And its number [is] six hundred [and] sixty-six."
EVIDENCE: p47 S A P 046 051 1 94 1006 1611 1854 2053 2344 Maj most lat vg syr cop
TRANSLATIONS: KJV ASV RSV NASV NIV NEB TEV
RANK: B

NOTES: "And its number [is] six hundred [and] sixteen."
EVIDENCE: C one lat?
TRANSLATIONS: ASVn RSVn NASVn

OTHER: "And its number [is] six hundred [and] forty-six."
EVIDENCE: one lat

COMMENTS: When Greek letters are used as numerals, there is only one letter's difference between 666 and 616. But perhaps the reading 616 was intentional, for "Nero Caesar" written in Hebrew letters has the value 616.

Revelation 14:3:

TEXT: "·and they sing as [it were] a new song"
EVIDENCE: A C 051 1 1006 Maj(A) most lat vg syr(ph)
TRANSLATIONS: KJV ASV NASVn
RANK: C

NOTES: "·and they sing a new song"
EVIDENCE: p47 S P 046 94 1611 1854 2053 2344 Maj(K,B,C) two lat syr(h) cop
TRANSLATIONS: RSV NASV NIV NEB TEV

COMMENTS: The word for "as" is enclosed in brackets in the UBS text. While it is possible that "as" was added by copyists from verse 2, it is also possible that it was omitted as unnecessary, perhaps in imitation of Revelation 5:9, which simply says, "they sing a new song."


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