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Romans 16:25-26

Context

16:25 1 Now to him who is able to strengthen you according to my gospel and the proclamation of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery that had been kept secret for long ages, 16:26 but now is disclosed, and through the prophetic scriptures has been made known to all the nations, according to the command of the eternal God, to bring about the obedience of faith –

1 tc There is a considerable degree of difference among the mss regarding the presence and position of the doxology of 16:25-27. Five situations present themselves from the ms tradition. The doxology is found in the ancient witnesses in three separate locations: (1) here after 16:23 (Ì61 א B C D 81 365 630 1739 2464 al co), (2) after 14:23 (Ψ 0209vid Ï), or (3) after 15:33 (Ì46). The situation is further complicated in that some of the mss have these verses in two places: (4) after 14:23 and after 16:23 (A P 33 104 2805 pc); or (5) after 14:23 and after 15:33 (1506). The uncertain position of the doxology might suggest that it was added by later scribes. But since the mss containing the doxology are so early and widespread, it almost certainly belongs in Romans; it is only a question of where. Further, the witnesses that omit the doxology are few: F G 629 Hiermss. (And of these, G has a blank space of several lines large enough for the doxology to belong there.) Only two positions (after chapter 14 only and at the end of the letter only) deserve particular notice because the situation of the mss showing the doxology in two places dates back to the 5th century. Later copyists, faced with the doxology in two different places in the mss they knew, may have decided to copy the doxology in both places, since they were unwilling to consciously omit any text. Because the textual disruption of the doxology is so early, TCGNT 472 suggests two possibilities: either (1) that Paul may have sent two different copies of Romans – a copy lacking chapter 16 and a copy with the full text of the epistle as we now have it, or (2) Marcion or some of his followers circulated a shortened form of the epistle that lacked chapters 15 and 16. Those mss that lacked chapters 15-16 would naturally conclude with some kind of doxology after chapter 14. On the other hand, H. Gamble (The Textual History of the Letter to the Romans [SD], 123-32) argues for the position of the doxology at 14:23, since to put the doxology at 16:25 would violate Paul’s normal pattern of a grace-benediction at the close of the letter. Gamble further argues for the inclusion of 16:24, since the mss that put the doxology after chapter 14 almost always present 16:24 as the letter’s closing, whereas most of the mss that put the doxology at its traditional position drop 16:24, perhaps because it would be redundant before 16:25-27. A decision is difficult, but the weight of external evidence, since it is both early and geographically widespread, suggests that the doxology belongs here after 16:23. For a full discussion, see TCGNT 470-73.



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