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Monday, July 23, 2007

1 Cor. 8:1 - 4

I had very much hoped to post an image from P 46 today, but I can't find online images for the pages that are in the Chester Beatty collection.

While Gordon Fee taught two chapters of 1 Cor. this morning, he only went into text criticism on one section. Today it was 1 Cor. 8:1-4. His contention was that P 46 should be taken as the correct text base for these verses. That would mean excluding the words in red. I have provided Fee's translation in blue.

1 περὶ δὲ τῶν εἰδωλοθύτων
οἴδαμεν ὅτι πάντες γνῶσιν ἔχομεν
ἡ γνῶσις φυσιοῖ ἡ δὲ ἀγάπη οἰκοδομεῖ

Now about food sacrificed to idols:
We know that "We all possess knowledge."
But knowledge puffs up while love builds up.

2 εἴ τις δοκεῖ ἐγνωκέναι τι
οὔπω ἔγνω καθὼς δεῖ γνῶναι

Those who think they know something
do not yet know as they ought to know.

3 εἰ δέ τις ἀγαπᾷ τὸν θεόν
οὗτος ἔγνωσται ὑπ' αὐτοῦ

3 But whoever loves God is known by God.
But if one loves, this one knows [truly]. (Fee's reading.)

4 περὶ τῆς βρώσεως οὖν τῶν εἰδωλοθύτων
οἴδαμεν ὅτι οὐδὲν εἴδωλον ἐν κόσμῳ
καὶ ὅτι οὐδεὶς θεὸς εἰ μὴ εἷς

So then, about eating food sacrificed to idols:
We know that "An idol is nothing at all in the world"
and that "There is no God but one."

5 καὶ γὰρ εἴπερ εἰσὶν λεγόμενοι θεοὶ
εἴτε ἐν οὐρανῷ εἴτε ἐπὶ γῆς
ὥσπερ εἰσὶν θεοὶ πολλοὶ καὶ κύριοι πολλοί

For even if there are so-called gods,
whether in heaven or on earth
(as indeed there are many "gods" and many "lords"),

6 ἀλλ' ἡμῖν εἷς θεὸς ὁ πατήρ
ἐξ οὗ τὰ πάντα
καὶ ἡμεῖς εἰς αὐτόν
καὶ εἷς κύριος Ἰησοῦς Χριστός
δι' οὗ τὰ πάντα καὶ ἡμεῖς δι' αὐτοῦ

yet for us there is but one God, the Father,
from whom all things came and for whom we live;
and there is but one Lord, Jesus Christ,
through whom all things came and through whom we live.

Dr. Fee rightly points out that love in the first verse builds up the community - it edifies. This love, of the members of the community, one for another, is referred to again in verse 3. Fee argues that P 46 is a good 125 years earlier than the next extant manuscript, and should be given more weight than it is.

He argues that the main focus of the passage is putting love for each other before knowledge - not letting go of knowledge but putting love for others first.

Fee explained that the majority of the TNIV committee was convinced that his reading of verse 3 was correct but they believed that because it was not supported by a majority of manuscripts it would not be widely accepted.

Fee argues this case from the principle of lectio difficilior

defined here,
    1901, from L., lit. "harder reading," from phrase maxim difficilior lectio potior. In textual reconstruction (of the Bible, etc.) the idea that, of two alternative manuscript readings, the one whose meaning is less obvious is less likely to be a copyist's alteration, and therefore should be given precedence.
Dr. Fee then pointed out that verse 6 was the first theological proposition in the epistles. He explained that this was a Christian response to the Shema, and could possibly be better translated as "there is one Lord, Jesus, the Messiah".

While many other issues were brought up, they related to the interpretation and I feel that they would be better treated by reading his commentary.


At Tue Jul 24, 03:29:00 AM, Blogger Bob MacDonald said...

I think I mentioned that sometimes I cannot read the Greek font - this one is perfect; every letter readable, no little boxes.

At Tue Jul 24, 04:54:00 AM, Blogger Peter Kirk said...

You have failed to note the p46 variant in verse 2, its omission of τι, which is presumably the basis of the TNIV marginal reading of verses 2-3: "Those who think they have knowledge do not yet know as they ought to know. 3 But whoever loves truly knows." But I am not sure that the p46 version of verse 2 can be supported by the principle of lectio difficilior. Nevertheless in his commentary Fee prefers the p46 reading in both verses.

I'm sure we discussed verse 3 before on this blog or a linked one, but I can't find the details. Does anyone remember this discussion?

At Tue Jul 24, 07:44:00 AM, Blogger Suzanne McCarthy said...


I noted your remark. In IE 7 and Firefox, there is font substitution and it is always readable. However, if you are using something else, there would be little boxes - IE 6, for example.

This time I have defined the font and I will keep on doing that. I didn't realize that anyone was having trouble with it.

At Tue Jul 24, 07:45:00 AM, Blogger Suzanne McCarthy said...


That's right but I don't remember discussing this before.

At Tue Jul 24, 12:28:00 PM, Blogger Suzanne McCarthy said...

Peter, I spent too long hunting for the image for P46, fruitlessly, and then changing the font. However, I doubt I have the font right yet. What order would you suggest, gentium, code2000, Tahoma, Palatino Linotype?

I guess what I don't know is what is best on a Mac.

At Tue Jul 24, 01:13:00 PM, Blogger Peter Kirk said...

I would go for Gentium, Palatino Linotype, Tahoma, and drop code2000 because this is a geeks' font. We can recommend Gentium, and the other two should be on any up to date Windows machine. But I don't know what to do for a Mac, or for that matter an iPhone. Try asking Rick Mansfield.

At Tue Jul 24, 01:50:00 PM, Blogger Suzanne McCarthy said...


Code2000 is in Zhubert's code which has been changed recently - that is why my text has been more variable in the last few posts - I have been trying to decide how to treat text copied from Zhubert.

I am going to put Tahoma first, before PL because I am tired of PL. So G, T, PL


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