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(0.19) (Ezr 3:4)

tn The Hebrew phrase אֶת חַג־הַסֻּכּוֹת (ʾet khag hassukot, “Feast of Shelters” [or “Huts”]) is traditionally known as the Feast of Tabernacles. The rendering “booths” (cf. NAB, NASB, NRSV) is probably better than the traditional “tabernacles” in light of the meaning of the term סֻכָּה (sukkah, “hut; booth”), but “booths” are frequently associated with trade shows and craft fairs in contemporary American English. The nature of the celebration during this feast as a commemoration of the wanderings of the Israelites after they left Egypt suggests that a translation like “shelters” is more appropriate.

(0.19) (2Ch 8:13)

tn The Hebrew phrase הַסֻּכּוֹת[חַג] (khag hassukkot, “[Feast of] shelters” [or “huts”]) is traditionally known as the Feast of Tabernacles. The rendering “booths” (cf. NAB, NASB, NRSV) is probably better than the traditional “tabernacles” in light of the meaning of the term סֻכָּה (sukkah, “hut; booth”), but “booths” are frequently associated with trade shows and craft fairs in contemporary American English. The nature of the celebration during this feast as a commemoration of the wanderings of the Israelites after they left Egypt suggests that a translation like “shelters” is more appropriate.

(0.19) (Deu 16:13)

tn The Hebrew phrase חַג הַסֻּכֹּת (khag hassukkot, “Feast of Shelters” or “Feast of Huts”) is traditionally known as the Feast of Tabernacles. The rendering “booths” (cf. NAB, NASB, NRSV) is now preferable to the traditional “tabernacles” (KJV, ASV, NIV) in light of the meaning of the term סֻכָּה (sukkah, “hut; booth”), but “booths” are frequently associated with trade shows and craft fairs in contemporary American English. Clearer is the English term “shelters” (so NCV, TEV, CEV, NLT). This feast was a commemoration of the wanderings of the Israelites after they left Egypt, in which they dwelt in temporary shelters.

(0.19) (Exo 15:2)

tn The word וְזִמְרָת (vezimrat) is problematic. It probably had a suffix yod (י) that was accidentally dropped because of the yod (י) on the divine name following. Most scholars posit another meaning for the word. A meaning of “power” fits the line fairly well, forming a hendiadys with strength—“strength and power” becoming “strong power.” Similar lines are in Isa 12:2 and Ps 118:14. Others suggest “protection” or “glory.” However, there is nothing substantially wrong with “my song” in the line—only that it would be a nicer match if it had something to do with strength.

(0.18) (Exo 30:11)

sn This brief section has been interpreted a number of ways by biblical scholars (for a good survey and discussion, see B. Jacob, Exodus, 829-35). In this context the danger of erecting and caring for a sanctuary may have been in view. A census would be taken to count the losses and to cover the danger of coming into such proximity with the holy place; payment was made to ransom the lives of the people numbered so that they would not die. The money collected would then be used for the care of the sanctuary. The principle was fairly straightforward: Those numbered among the redeemed of the Lord were to support the work of the Lord to maintain their fellowship with the covenant. The passage is fairly easy to outline: I. Every covenant member must give a ransom for his life to avoid death (11-12); II. The ransom is the same for all, whether rich or poor (13-15); and III. The ransom money supports the sanctuary as a memorial for the ransomed (16).

(0.16) (2Th 2:3)

tc Most mss (A D F G Ψ 1175 1241 1505 M al lat sy) read ἁμαρτίας (hamartias, “of sin”) here, but several significant mss (א B 0278 6 81 1739 1881 2464 al co) read ἀνομίας (anomias, “of lawlessness”). Although external support for ἁμαρτίας is broader, the generally earlier and better witnesses are on the side of ἀνομίας. Internally, since ἁμαρτία (hamartia, “sin”) occurs nearly ten times as often as ἀνομία (anomia, “lawlessness”) in the corpus Paulinum, scribes would be expected to change the text to the more familiar term. At the same time, the mention of ἀνομία in v. 7 and ὁ ἄνομος (ho anomos, “the lawless one”) in v. 8, both of which look back to v. 3, may have prompted scribes to change the text toward ἀνομίας. The internal evidence is thus fairly evenly balanced. Although a decision is difficult, ἀνομίας has slightly greater probability of authenticity than ἁμαρτίας.

(0.16) (Gal 6:12)

tcGrk “so that they will not be persecuted.” The indicative after ἵνα μή (hina mē) is unusual (though not unexampled elsewhere in the NT), making it the harder reading. The evidence is fairly evenly split between the indicative διώκονται (diōkontai; P46 A C F G K L P 0278 6 81 104 326 629 1175 1241 1505 2464 pm) and the subjunctive διώκωνται (diōkōntai; א B D Ψ 33 365 1739 pm), with a slight preference for the subjunctive. However, since scribes would tend to change the indicative to a subjunctive due to syntactical requirements, the internal evidence is decidedly on the side of the indicative, suggesting that it is the autographic wording.

(0.16) (Act 3:6)

tc The words “stand up and” (ἔγειρε καί, egeire kai) are not in a few mss (א B D sa), but are included in A C E Ψ 095 33 1739 M lat sy mae bo. The external testimony is thus fairly evenly divided, with few but signficant representatives of the Alexandrian and Western textual clusters supporting the shorter reading. Internally, the words look like a standard scribal emendation, and may have been motivated by other healing passages where Jesus gave a similar double command (cf. Matt 9:5; Mark 2:9, [11]; Luke 5:23; [6:8]; John 5:8). On the other hand, there is some motivation for deleting ἔγειρε καί here, namely, unlike Jesus’ healing miracles, Peter raises (ἤγειρεν, ēgeiren) the man to his feet (v. 7) rather than the man rising on his own. In light of the scribal tendency to harmonize, especially in immediate context, the longer reading is slightly preferred.

(0.16) (Mar 7:24)

tc Most mss, including early and significant witnesses (א A B ƒ1,13 33 M lat), have here καὶ Σιδῶνος (kai Sidōnos, “and Sidon”). The Western text, as well as several other significant mss (D L W Δ Θ 28 565 it), lack the words. Although the external evidence is on the side of inclusion, it is difficult to explain why scribes would omit the mention of Sidon. On the other hand, the parallels in v. 31 and Matt 15:21 would be sufficient motivation for scribes to add Sidon here. Furthermore, every other mention of Tyre in the Gospels is accompanied by Sidon, putting pressure on scribes to conform this text as well. The shorter reading therefore, though without compelling external evidence on its side, is strongly supported by internal evidence, rendering judgment on its authenticity fairly certain.

(0.16) (Jer 47:1)

sn The precise dating of this prophecy is uncertain. Several proposals have been suggested, the most likely of which is that the prophecy was delivered in 609 b.c. in conjunction with Pharaoh Necho’s advance into Palestine to aid the Assyrians. That was the same year Josiah was killed by Necho at the battle of Megiddo and four years before Necho was defeated by Nebuchadnezzar, the foe from the north. The prophecy presupposes that Ashkelon is still in existence (v. 5); hence it must be before 604 b.c. For a fairly complete discussion of the options see G. L. Keown, P. J. Scalise, T. G. Smothers, Jeremiah 26-52 (WBC), 299-300.

(0.16) (Pro 29:10)

tn Heb “and the upright seek his life.” There are two ways this second line can be taken. (1) One can see it as a continuation of the first line, meaning that the bloodthirsty men also “seek the life of the upright” (cf. NIV, NRSV). The difficulty is that the suffix is singular but the apparent referent is plural. (2) One can take it is as a contrast: “but as for the upright, they seek his life”—a fairly straightforward rendering (cf. ASV). The difficulty here is that “seeking a life” is normally a hostile act, but it would here be positive: “seeking” a life to preserve it. The verse would then say that the bloodthirsty hate the innocent, but the righteous protect them (W. McKane, Proverbs [OTL], 637; cf. NAB, NASB, TEV).

(0.16) (Pro 27:10)

sn The meaning of the verse is very difficult, although the translation is rather straightforward. It may simply be saying that people should retain family relationships but will discover that a friend who is available is better than a relative who is not. But C. H. Toy thinks that the verse is made up of three lines that have no connection: 10a instructs people to maintain relationships, 10b says not to go to a brother’s house [only?] when disaster strikes, and 10c observes that a nearby friend is better than a far-away relative. C. H. Toy suggests a connection may have been there, but has been lost (Proverbs [ICC], 485-86). The conflict between 17:17 and 10b may be another example of presenting two sides of the issue, a fairly frequent occurrence in the book of Proverbs.

(0.16) (Pro 25:4)

tn The Hebrew כֶּלִי (keli) means “vessel; utensil” (cf. KJV, ASV, NASB). But purging dross from silver does not produce a “vessel” for the silversmith. Some versions therefore render it “material” (e.g., NIV, NRSV). The LXX says “that it will be entirely pure.” So D. W. Thomas reads כָּלִיל (kalil) and translates it “purified completely” (“Notes on Some Passages in the Book of Proverbs,” VT 15 [1965]: 271-79; cf. NAB). W. McKane simply rearranges the line to say that the smith can produce a work of art (Proverbs [OTL], 580; cf. TEV “a thing of beauty”). The easiest explanation is that “vessel” is a metonymy of effect, “vessel” put for the material that goes into making it (such metonymies occur fairly often in Psalms and Proverbs).

(0.16) (Num 10:2)

sn The instructions are not clearly spelled out here. But the trumpets were to be made of silver ingots beaten out into a sheet of silver and then bent to form a trumpet. There is archaeological evidence of silver smelting as early as 3000 b.c. Making silver trumpets would have been a fairly easy thing for the Israelites to do. The trumpet would have been straight, with a tapered form, very unlike the “ram’s horn” (שׁוֹפָר, shofar). The trumpets were used by the priests in Israel from the outset, but later were used more widely. The sound would be sharp and piercing, but limited in scope to a few notes. See further C. Sachs, The History of Musical Instruments.

(0.12) (Rev 15:3)

tc Certain mss (P47 א*,2 C 1006 1611 1841) read “ages” (αἰώνων, aiōnōn) instead of “nations” (ἐθνῶν, ethnōn), which itself is supported by several mss (א1 A 051 M). The ms evidence seems to be fairly balanced, though αἰώνων has somewhat better support. The replacement of “ages” with “nations” is possibly a scribal attempt to harmonize this verse with the use of “nations” in the following verse. On the other hand, the idea of “nations” fits well with v. 4 and it may be that “ages” is a scribal attempt to assimilate this text to 1 Tim 1:17: “the king of the ages” (βασιλεὺς τῶν αἰώνων, basileus tōn aiōnōn). The decision is a difficult one since both scenarios deal well with the evidence, though the verbal parallel with 1 Tim 1:17 is exact while the parallel with v. 4 is not. The term “king” occurs 17 other times (most occurrences refer to earthly kings) in Revelation and it is not used with either “ages” or “nations” apart from this verse. Probably “nations” should be considered the earlier reading due to the influence of 1 Tim 1:17 on this passage.

(0.12) (2Th 3:6)

tc The reading “you received” (παρελάβετε, parelabete) is found predominately in Western witnesses (F G), although the support of B and the Sahidic version (along with 1505 2464) strengthens the reading considerably. The reading “they received” is found in two different forms: παρελάβοσαν (parelabosan; in א* A [D*] 0278 33) and παρέλαβον (parelabon; in א2 D1 Ψ 1175 1241 1739 1881 M). (παρέλαβον is evidently a correction of παρελάβοσαν to the more common spelling for the third person aorist form). The external evidence is divided fairly evenly, with παρελάβετε and παρελάβοσαν each having adequate support. Internal evidence leans toward “they received”: Given the second person reading, there is little reason why scribes would intentionally change it to a third person plural, and especially an archaic form at that. There is ample reason, however, for scribes to change the third person form to the second person form given that in the prior context παράδοσις (paradosis, “tradition”) is used with a relative clause (as here) with a second person verb (see 2:15). The third person form should be regarded as authentic.

(0.12) (Col 1:20)

tc The presence or absence of the second occurrence of the phrase δι᾿ αὐτοῦ (di autou, “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 significant witnesses have it (P46 א A C D1 Ψ 048vid 33 M al sy bo). Both readings have strong Alexandrian support, which makes the problem difficult to decide on external evidence alone. The phrase, however, has stronger evidence geographically. Internal evidence points to the inclusion of the phrase as autographic. 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 sum, 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, though a decision is not easy. The NA28 prints the prepositional phrase in brackets indicating some doubts as to its authenticity.

(0.12) (Eph 2:15)

tn Or “rendered inoperative.” This is a difficult text to translate because it is not easy to find an English term which communicates well the essence of the author’s meaning, especially since legal terminology is involved. Many other translations use the term “abolish” (so NRSV, NASB, NIV), but this term implies complete destruction which is not the author’s meaning here. The verb καταργέω (katargeō) can readily have the meaning “to cause someth. to lose its power or effectiveness” (BDAG 525 s.v. 2, where this passage is listed), and this meaning fits quite naturally here within the author’s legal mindset. A proper English term which communicates this well is “nullify” since this word carries the denotation of “making something legally null and void.” This is not, however, a common English word. An alternate term like “rendered inoperative [or ineffective]” is also accurate but fairly inelegant. For this reason, the translation retains the term “nullify”; it is the best choice of the available options, despite its problems.

(0.12) (Joh 1:16)

tn Grk “for from his fullness we have all received, and grace upon grace.” The meaning of the phrase χάριν ἀντὶ χάριτος (charin anti charitos) could be: (1) love (grace) under the New Covenant in place of love (grace) under the Sinai Covenant, thus replacement; (2) grace “on top of” grace, thus accumulation; (3) grace corresponding to grace, thus correspondence. The most commonly held view is (2) in one sense or another, and this is probably the best explanation. This sense is supported by a fairly well-known use in Philo, Posterity 43 (145). Morna D. Hooker suggested that Exod 33:13 provides the background for this expression: “Now therefore, I pray you, if I have found χάρις (LXX) in your sight, let me know your ways, that I may know you, so that I may find χάρις (LXX) in your sight.” Hooker proposed that it is this idea of favor given to one who has already received favor which lies behind 1:16, and this seems very probable as a good explanation of the meaning of the phrase (“The Johannine Prologue and the Messianic Secret,” NTS 21 [1974/75]: 53).

(0.12) (Joh 1:9)

tn Or “He was the true light, who gives light to everyone who comes into the world.” The participle ἐρχόμενον (erchomenon) may be either (1) neuter nominative, agreeing with τὸ φῶς (to phōs), or (2) masculine accusative, agreeing with ἄνθρωπον (anthrōpon). Option (1) results in a periphrastic imperfect with ἦν (ēn), ἦν τὸ φῶς…ἐρχόμενον, referring to the incarnation. Option (2) would have the participle modifying ἄνθρωπον and referring to the true light as enlightening “every man who comes into the world.” Option (2) has some rabbinic parallels: The phrase “all who come into the world” is a fairly common expression for “every man” (cf. Leviticus Rabbah 31.6). But (1) must be preferred here, because: (a) In the next verse the light is in the world; it is logical for v. 9 to speak of its entering the world; (b) in other passages Jesus is described as “coming into the world” (6:14; 9:39; 11:27; 16:28) and in 12:46 Jesus says: ἐγὼ φῶς εἰς τὸν κόσμον ἐλήλυθα (egō phōs eis ton kosmon elēlutha); (c) use of a periphrastic participle with the imperfect tense is typical Johannine style: 1:28; 2:6; 3:23; 10:40; 11:1; 13:23; 18:18 and 25. In every one of these except 13:23 the finite verb is first and separated by one or more intervening words from the participle.

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