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Colossians 1:20-21

Context

1:20 and through him to reconcile all things to himself by making peace through the blood of his cross – through him, 1  whether things on earth or things in heaven.

Paul’s Goal in Ministry

1:21 And you were at one time strangers and enemies in your 2  minds 3  as expressed through 4  your evil deeds,

1 tc The presence or absence of the second occurrence of the phrase δι᾿ αὐτοῦ (diautou, “through him”) is a difficult textual problem to solve. External evidence is fairly evenly divided. Many ancient and excellent witnesses lack the phrase (B D* F G I 0278 81 1175 1739 1881 2464 al latt sa), but equally important witnesses have it (Ì46 א A C D1 Ψ 048vid 33 Ï). Both readings have strong Alexandrian support, which makes the problem difficult to decide on external evidence alone. Internal evidence points to the inclusion of the phrase as original. The word immediately preceding the phrase is the masculine pronoun αὐτοῦ (autou); thus the possibility of omission through homoioteleuton in various witnesses is likely. Scribes might have deleted the phrase because of perceived redundancy or awkwardness in the sense: The shorter reading is smoother and more elegant, so scribes would be prone to correct the text in that direction. As far as style is concerned, repetition of key words and phrases for emphasis is not foreign to the corpus Paulinum (see, e.g., Rom 8:23, Eph 1:13, 2 Cor 12:7). In short, it is easier to account for the shorter reading arising from the longer reading than vice versa, so the longer reading is more likely original.

2 tn The article τῇ (th) has been translated as a possessive pronoun (ExSyn 215).

3 tn Although διανοία (dianoia) is singular in Greek, the previous plural noun ἐχθρούς (ecqrous) indicates that all those from Colossae are in view here.

4 tn The dative ἐν τοῖς ἔργοις τοῖς πονηροῖς (en toi" ergoi" toi" ponhroi") is taken as means, indicating the avenue through which hostility in the mind is revealed and made known.



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