Intentional Variants

Doctrinal Alterations


The Church Fathers repeatedly accuse the heretics of corrupting the Scriptures in order to support their special views. For example, Marcion, in the mid-second century, expunged his copies of the Gospel of Luke of all references to the Jewish background of Jesus. Either a scribe eliminated or altered what was potentially damaging to his own views or introduced alterations which would support his view.


John 7:8

Although in this verse Jesus states that he is not going to the feast, he seems to have changed his mind after his brothers leave (v. 10). It seems to suggest that Jesus either lied to them about going to the feast or went back on his prior decision. In any case, scribes were struck by the possible inconsistency and in order to alleviate it, changed the "not" to "not yet" which also appears in a later clause.

Luke 23:32

To avoid the implication in this text that Jesus was also a criminal, most Greek witnesses have changed the sequence of words to solve the difficulty. Of the modern translations, the Revised Standard Version, the New American Standard Bible and the New International Version all follow the largest number of manuscripts instead of the stronger support based on antiquity and on internal evidence.

[Home] [Modern Critical Text] [Index]