8. The Western Text of the Book of Acts: A Mirror of the Doctrinal Struggles in the Early Christian Church

By J. Philip Schaelling

J. Philip Schaelling, “The Western Text of the Book of Acts: a Mirror of the Doctrinal Struggles in the Early Christian Church,” in Apocryphal Writings and the Latter-day Saints, ed. C. Wilfred Griggs (Provo, UT: Religious Studies Center, Brigham Young University, 1986), 155–72.

The Western Text of the Book of Acts: A Mirror of the Doctrinal Struggles in the Early Christian Church

J. Philip Schaelling

 

J. Philip Schaelling was an instructor at the institute of religion in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, when this was published.

 

The richness and quantity of ancient manuscripts supporting the New Testament is almost overwhelming. This is not true for other ancient literary works. For example, “The History of Thucydides (c. 460–400 B.C.) is known to us from eight manuscripts, the earliest belonging to c. A.D. 900, and a few papyrus scraps, belonging about the beginning of the Christian era. The same is true of the History of Herodotus (c. 480–425 B.C.).” [1] For these writings, the challenge is to find a sufficient number of manuscripts spread over a sufficient time period to verify the accuracy of the transmission.

In the case of the New Testament, approximately five thousand Greek manuscripts of all or part of the New Testament are currently available. A large number of these manuscripts are of a rather late date (c. A.D. 900–1200), but many excellent manuscripts date from one hundred to three hundred years from the close of the New Testament writings, [2] including one small fragment that dates to within twenty-five to fifty years from when the original record was completed. [3]

The unity as well as the diversity of these manuscripts is staggering. They basically all tell the same story, to the extent, F. Kenyon tells us, that

no fundamental doctrine of the Christian faith rests on a disputed reading. . . . It cannot be too strongly asserted that in substance the text of the Bible is certain. Especially is this the case with the New Testament. The number of manuscripts of the New Testament, of early translations from it, and of quotations from it in the oldest writers of the Church, is so large that it is practically certain that the true reading of every doubtful passage is preserved in some one or other of these ancient authorities. [4]

On the other hand, no two of the five thousand New Testament manuscripts agree exactly in all particulars. [5] The challenge with the New Testament is not to find a sufficient number of good manuscripts to validate its authenticity, for no ancient document has a greater weight of attestation. The problem is to decide which of the many available variants represents the original. (It should be noted that most of the textual variants do not change the meaning of the text. But many of them do change the meaning, and some of these have doctrinal significance.)

Fortunately, the five thousand manuscripts of the New Testament do not represent five thousand separate, individual copyists with no interrelationship. These manuscripts can be grouped into four basic families representing early Christian centers of worship. It seems that as copies were made in one center, they gradually assumed unique differences from those copied in other centers. The four textual families as currently defined are:

1. Alexandrian. This family developed around the Christian center of Alexandria in Egypt.

2. Caesarean. This family originated in Egypt, but was taken to Caesarea, possibly by Origen, and from there to Jerusalem.

3. Western. This group was very widespread in Italy, Gaul, and North Africa.

4. Byzantine. This text probably originated in Antioch of Syria, and was then taken to Constantinople, from whence it was distributed widely throughout the Byzantine Empire.

Of these families, the Alexandrian and the Western have the oldest representation among the manuscripts, though the Alexandrian is represented by a far greater portion of the oldest manuscripts than is the Western. [6] The most apparent variance between the Alexandrian and Western texts occurs in the book of Acts, where the Western text is about 10 percent longer than the Alexandrian text. This extra length is not in the form of a piece that is added on, but occurs as additional words and information spread throughout the book. In addition to the extra length, there are other differences which affect the character of the text. The Western text tends to:

1. Exaggerate the emphasis. Acts 19:8: “And he went into the synagogue, and spake boldly for the space of three months . . .” (KJV) [7] The Western text reads: “‘And he went into the synagogue and spake boldly with great power for the space of three months . . .”

2. Bring things into a set religious formula. Acts 9:17: “And Ananias went his way, and entered into the house; and putting his hands on him said . . .” (KJV) The Western text reads: “. . . and put his hands upon him in the name of Jesus Christ.”

3. Substitute for the simple names of Christ a later and more theological title. Acts 7:55: “. . . and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God.” (KJV) The Western text reads: “. . . and saw the glory of God, and the Lord Jesus standing on the right hand of God.” Another example is Acts 13:33: “God hath fulfilled the same unto us their children, in that he hath raised up Jesus again.” (KJV) The Western text reads: “. . . in that he hath raised up the Lord Jesus Christ again.”

4. Emphasize words and actions as inspired. Acts 15:7: “And when there had been much disputing, Peter rose up, and said . . .” (KJV) The Western text reads: “Peter rose up, and in the Holy Spirit said . . .” Another example is Acts 15:32: “And Judas and Silas, being prophets also themselves . . .” (KJV) The Western text reads: “And Judas and Silas, being prophets full of the Holy Spirit . . .”

In addition to the differences of character which accompany each text, there are also variations which reveal differing basic attitudes and doctrinal positions. In the following pages we will cite several examples illustrating a variety of themes.

The Nature of Christ in the Ascension

Acts 1:9
Alexandrian text: When he had said this, as they watched, he was lifted up, and a cloud removed him from their sight. (NEB) [8]
Western text: When he had said this, a cloud received him, and he was lifted up from their sight. [9]

The Western text reverses the sequence.

Those who have ventured commentary on this passage express a wide range of interpretation, as will be noted from the following examples. From W. M. Furneaux:

The Ascension presents to many minds a greater difficulty than even the Resurrection. It seem to conflict with even an elementary knowledge of physics. Is it to be believed that, in defiance of the laws of nature, the Lord’s body rose through the air till it reached the bounds of the earth’s atmosphere; and then, passing through the spaces of the universe, attained by this process of physical translation to the presence of the Infinite Life? Such a way of conceiving the Ascension is at once a mis-reading of the historical fact and a misapprehension of the inner truth which it represents. It is a fact that the Lord finally withdrew His risen body from the eyes of the disciples, and that, at the moment of His disappearance, he was engulfed by a cloud which travelled upwards. [10]

It is interesting that this commentator, though he reverses the order as does the Western text, does not use the Western text as reference.

Other commentators come to a different conclusion. From E. F. Harrison:

The ascension of Christ meant that he had broken off visible fellowship with his disciples on earth, and, still bearing his resurrected body, had entered into the invisible world of God’s dwelling. [11]

As can be noted, there is a wide variance in interpretation of this passage. B. M. Metzger refers to a statement of Plooij, that “the ‘Western’ reviser did not want to make an explicit statement as to how and in which form of existence Jesus ascended to heaven. After the resurrection Jesus had a body somehow, of whatever kind it might be. But he did not want to say that the apostles saw him ascending to heaven in that body: before he was taken away from them he was enveloped by the cloud.” [12]

Increased Prominence of Peter

Acts 1:23
Alexandrian text: And they put forward two, Joseph . . . (RSV) [13]
Western text: And he put forward two, Joseph . . .

“The Western reading est?sen [he put forward] emphasizes the role of Peter. Here and elsewhere in the Western text, one recognizes clearly the later point of view, according to which Peter rules the church with the authority of the monarchial episcopate.” [14]

Acts 2:14
Alexandrian text: But Peter, standing with the eleven, lifted up his voice. . . . (RSV)

“Codex Bezae [i.e., the Western text] enhances the prominence of Peter by inserting pr?tos [first or foremost] after ep?ren [lifted up],” [15] thus specifying Peter as the leader.

Acts 4:19
Alexandrian text: But Peter and John answered and said . . . (KJV)
Western text: But Peter answered (with John) and said . . . [16]

“The Western text, which Kilpatrick prefers to the ordinary text, is rather to be regarded as an alteration made in the interest of enhancing the position of Peter as chief speaker.” [17]

Acts 11:2
Alexandrian text: So when Peter went up to Jerusalem, the circumcision party criticized him, saying . . . (RSV)
Western text: Now Peter after much time wanted to go to Jerusalem, and calling the brethren and having strengthened them (he departed), speaking much throughout the country, teaching them; who also met them and announced to them the grace of God. But the brethren of the circumcision disputed with him, saying . . . [18]

“It seems that the Western reviser has sought to make Peter less subordinate than the Alexandrian text does to the Church in Jerusalem.” [19]

The motives for the expansion in the Western text appear to be connected with the tendency in that text to avoid putting Peter in a bad light. In order to prevent the reader of the Alexandrian text from gaining the impression that the conversion of Cornelius compelled Peter to break off his missionary work and go to Jerusalem in order to justify himself, the Western reviser introduces a passage which describes how Peter continued his missionary work for a considerable length of time, and how, finally, on his own initiative, he went up to Jerusalem, where, so far from being called to give an account of himself, he voluntarily sought out the brethren at Jerusalem “and reported to them the grace of God.” [20]
Acts 12:7
Alexandrian text: and behold, an angel of the Lord appeared, and a light shone in the cell; and he struck Peter on the side and woke him . . . (RSV)

“The Western text differs in several respects from the generally received text: an angel of the Lord appeared ‘to Peter’; light ‘shone forth from him’ (the angel); and instead of the angel’s ‘striking’ (pataxas) Peter on the side in order to waken him,” he speaks “of his ‘nudging’ (nyxas ) the sleeping apostle.” [21] Whether or not this modification enhances Peter’s position, it certainly approaches him with more respect.

The council at Jerusalem in Acts 15 continues to demonstrate this prominence:

Acts 15:7
Alexandrian text: And when there had been much disputing, Peter rose up, and said unto them . . . (KJV)

“In order to enhance the solemnity of the occasion and the authority of the apostle Peter’s speech, several Western witnesses add, before or after Petros [Peter], ‘in the (Holy) Spirit.’” [22] This would also seem to add one other aspect to Peter’s role on this occasion: not only would it add to the authority of his speech, but it would also imply that he really was the mouthpiece of God on the earth, that he not only had the leadership to declare policy, but also the right, since he was being guided by the Holy Spirit.

Acts 15:12
Alexandrian text: Then all the multitude kept silence, and gave audience to Barnabas and Paul . . . (KJV)

“Perhaps in order to enhance the prestige of Peter, several Western witnesses add at the beginning of the verse the words . . . ‘And when the elders assented to what had been spoken by Peter.’” [23]

The Apostles and the Early Church

The basic themes represented here seem to be the marital status of the Apostles, their unity, and the unity of the early Church.

Acts 1:14
Alexandrian text: All these with one accord devoted themselves to prayer, together with the women. . . . (RSV)

“The Western text, interpreting ‘women’ to mean ‘their wives’ (probably rightly), adds ‘and children.’” [24] “Instead of the colorless ‘women’ Codex Bezae reads ‘with their wives and children.’” [25] This concept of the Apostles as family men could easily have had significance in the later church as the clergy became celibate.

Acts 4:18
Alexandrian text: And they called them . . . (KJV)
Western text: And when they all had agreed to the decision, having called them . . .

This would imply the internal unity which preceded the decisions of the Apostles.

Acts 4:32
Alexandrian text: Now the company of those who believed were of one heart and soul. . . . (RSV)
Western text: Now the company of those who believed were of one heart and soul, and there was no quarrel among them at all. . . .

It is “likely that the Western reading is an extension of the original text, made in the interest of emphasizing the unity of the primitive church.” [26]

Pro-Gentile, Anti-Jew Sentiment

“A more pronounced anti-Jewish tendency has also been detected in Ms. D [Codex Bezae].” [27] This tendency is sometimes expressed, not by actively anti-Jewish, but by very pro-Gentile language. This pro-Gentile tendency is especially evident in the restructuring of Old Testament quotations. “Several of the Western modifications appear to reflect an emphasis on Gentile interests, sometimes approaching what has been called the anti-Jewish bias of the Western reviser.” [28]

Acts 2:17
Alexandrian text: I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh, and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams. (RSV; italics added)
Western text: I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh, and their sons and their daughters shall prophesy, and the young men shall see visions, and the old men shall dream dreams.

“The substitution of aut?n [their] for the first two instances of hym?n [your], as well as the omission of the next two instances of hym?n [your], may have been motivated by the Western reviser’s wish to make the prophetic oracle apply to Gentiles and not exclusively to the Jews to whom Peter was speaking. . . . That such was in fact his intention seems evident by what follows in verse 39, where the Western text alters the second person pronouns to the first person, thus implying that the promises belong to the spiritual Israel, the new people of God, and not to the Israel kata sarka , [according to the flesh] to which Peter is speaking.” [29]

Acts 2:39
Alexandrian text: For the promise is to you and to your children and to all that are far off, every one whom the Lord our God calls to him. (RSV; italics added)
Western text: For the promise is to us and to our children and to all that are far off, every one whom the Lord our God calls to him.
Acts 13:33
Alexandrian text: Thou are my Son, today I have begotten thee. (RSV)
Western text: Thou art my Son, today I have begotten thee. Ask of me and I will give you Gentiles for your inheritance, and for your possession the ends of the earth.

This notes again the restructuring of the Old Testament to allow for the Gentiles.

The Western text also tends to make the Jews “the bad guys”:

Acts 3:17
Alexandrian text: And now, brethren, I know that you acted in ignorance. . . . (RSV)

 

Western text:   We know that you, on the one hand, did a wicked thing in ignorance . . . but, on the other hand, God . . . fulfilled (his purpose).

The Western text stipulates that though the Jews killed Jesus in ignorance, it was a very wicked deed, and also increases the contrast between what they did and the purposes of God. [30] It alters the meaning from that of excusing the Jewish people to that of showing how God managed to fulfill his purposes despite them.

Acts 15:29
Alexandrian text: . . . that you abstain from what has been sacrificed to idols and from blood and from what is strangled and from unchastity. (RSV)

The Western text omits “what is strangled,” thus allowing one to interpret “blood” as an injunction to refrain from murder, and thus unifying the three as moral prohibitions instead of a mixture of moral and food prohibitions. This omission of the Western text could easily be seen as corresponding to its tendency to move away from things Jewish.

Acts 18:12
Alexandrian text: the Jews made a united attack upon Paul and brought him before the tribunal. (RSV)
Western text: the Jews, having talked together among themselves against Paul, and having laid hands upon him they brought him to the governor, crying out and saying . . .

 

These more colorful accounts tend to emphasize the role of the Jews against Paul and thus against early Christianity (especially gentile Christianity).

Anti-Feminist Tendency

Metzger quotes Menoud that “the anti-feminist tendency of the writer of D [Western] text seems to be more or less general in the last decades of the first century.” Metzger also notes that Ropes finds several indications of what may fairly be called an “‘anti-feminist’ tendency.” [31] Peake’s commentary notes in the Western text “a depreciation of the importance of women in the story.” [32]

Acts 28:19
Alexandrian text: But when the Jews objected . . . (RSV)
Western text: But when the Jews objected, crying out, “Away with our enemy”. . .
Acts 17:4
Alexandrian text: And some of them were persuaded, and joined Paul and Silas; as did a great many of the devout Greeks and not a few of the leading women. (RSV)
Western text: . . . and wives of the leading men.

Perish the thought that there should be “leading women”!

Acts 17:12
Alexandrian text: Many of them therefore believed, with not a few Greek women of high standing as well as men. (RSV)
Western text: . . . and many of the Greeks and men and women of high standing believed.

The Western text here tends to diminish the position of the women in the community.

Acts 17:34
Alexandrian text: But some men joined him and believed, among them Dionysius the Areopagite and a women named Damaris and others with them. (RSV)
Western text: . . . among whom also was a certain Dionysius, an Areopagite of high standing, and others with them.

Metzger notes that “the concluding phrase sun autois [with them] specified more than one person (Dionysius) as among Paul’s converts.” [33] It should be noted that the Western text both eliminates the woman (Damaris) from the phrase and increases the stature of the men.

Metzger also notes:

It is curious that Codex Bezae reads eusch??n to indicate the high standing of Dionysius, though being an Areopagite would naturally imply his honorable estate without adding the adjective. Its presence according to an ingenious explanation proposed by J. Armitage Robinson, is to be accounted for as follows. According to Robinson it is significant that in Acts the word eusch??n is used only of women. Under the influence of its usage earlier in Acts some gallant scribe added the word after Damaris. Later, after the church had taken her stand against the pagan or heretical claims advanced in behalf of her ambitious women, a more orthodox if less chivalrous transcriber deleted the name of Damaris altogether, but left the adjective standing, a witness at once against his own deed and the deed of the scribe who had gone before him. [34]

Acts 18:18, 26

Normally in the scriptures, the man’s name precedes the woman’s. In the case of Priscilla and Aquila, however, it was customary in the early Church to refer to her before her husband (cf. Romans 16:3; 2 Timothy 4:19). But the Western text either reverses it so that his name comes first or leaves out her name altogether.

Acts 24:27
Alexandrian text: But when two years had elapsed, Felix was succeeded by Porcius Festus; and desiring to do the Jews a favor, Felix left Paul in prison. (RSV)
Western text: But when two years had elapsed, Felix was succeeded by Porcius Festus, but Paul he kept in prison on account of Drusilla.

The Western text here transfers the blame from Festus and the Jews to Drusilla.

Now that we have analyzed some differences between these two manuscript families, what picture emerges of the church during the century after the close of the New Testament writings? First we can note that the differences in the two texts indicate a difference of beliefs between the church in the East and the church in the West. What we see in the Western text may mirror differing regional beliefs preceding what would later become an actual division of the church.

The Western text also reflects a group of people who are increasing in their tendency to adopt formality and ritual in the use of names and titles. This group appears to feel very strongly about the infallibility of Peter as the leader of the group, and tends to idealize the unity which they felt existed in the earlier Church. The Western text seems to imply that this group consists mainly of Gentiles who were experiencing a slight bias against the Jews, as well as exhibiting a tendency to depreciate the role and worth of women in the church and society. The Western text also seems to reflect a growing ambivalence as to the nature of Christ. This ambivalence as to the nature of Christ is certainly found later in the Docetic and Gnostic material, as well as in the dispute between Arius and Athanasius, which eventually resulted in the Council of Nicea.

It would seem that apostasy, though carried out by people, always has Satan as its guide. He wants us to worship him and his value system. If he cannot accomplish this, at least he wants us to worship something very much like him. This very early confusion as to the nature of Christ perhaps initiated a prophecy by Paul: “For the day will not come until the rebellion (Gr. apostasia [apostasy]) occurs and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the man doomed to destruction. He opposes and exalts himself over everything that is called God or is worshipped, and even sets himself up in God’s temple, proclaiming himself to be God.” (NIV 2 Thessalonians 2:3–4.) [35] Certainly the eventual evolution into the traditional God “without body, parts, or passions” has people worshipping the exact image of the adversary: a being consisting only of spirit and devoid of compassion.

The depreciation of women and hatred and bigotry toward the Jews are other favorite topics of Lucifer. Where Paul said, “Let the husband render unto the wife due benevolence” (KJV 1 Corinthians 7:3), later apostate Jews had the saying, “The wise have said, Each time that the man prolongs converse with the woman (that is his own wife) he causes evil to himself, and desists from the words of Torah and in the end inherits Gehinnom.” [36]

In later centuries the world reduced women to the status of a possession, a not uncommon status of women throughout history. In our enlightened apostasy of today we legalize their prostitution and convince them that to be of worth they must eliminate their sensitivity and compassion, replacing their selflessness with selfishness. Thank goodness the Restoration has restored our appreciation of their special worth.

The tendency for Christians of the West to harbor anti-Jewish sentiments not only found early expression in the Western text, but expressed itself in many ways throughout the time of the Jewish dispersion, reaching a culmination in the Nazi extermination camps. Though it would seem that Satan will continue in his efforts to exterminate this chosen people, Zechariah assures us that Christ will come and save his own (Zechariah 12).

The book of Acts circulated in the early Church in two very distinct forms, but which was right? I believe that this is a question we can now address.

The papyrological and vellum material clearly favors the Alexandrian text over the Western text, but that is to be expected: the Egyptian climate favored manuscript preservation better than the climate in Italy and the West. Many scholars also have favored the Western text as the primary text. It is possible, however, that the Latter-day restoration may help us by identifying apostate doctrines. For example, if we could accept the use of standard, formal titles for Christ, ritualistic religious formula, a disparaging of Christ’s having a resurrected body in heaven, anti-Semitism, and a depreciatory attitude toward women as a part of the original church as established by Christ, then we could consider whether the Western text might have been the original. But if we cannot accept them, then we are forced to admit that some pretty selective editing took place in the Western text.

As members of the Church of Jesus Christ, we sometimes have the idea that the original records were written and then transmitted on a uniform basis throughout the world until they were eventually translated into the King James Version. This often gives us the impression that what we possess biblically should be beyond debate. Until Brother Matthews did his epochal work on the Joseph Smith Translation, [37] this attitude even kept members of the Church from appreciating the tremendous inspired scholarship of the Prophet Joseph. They seemed to approach Joseph’s work almost as though it were apocryphal instead of inspired.

As we can see, textual transmission has by no means been that simple. As time went on, as the Apostasy progressed, some of these apostate attitudes were mirrored in the textual traditions. In addition, some of the fine, early manuscripts contained material which we no longer have, including texts such as the Shepherd of Hermas, or the Epistle of Barnabas. [38] Often these were attached at the very end, perhaps indicative of a secondary nature. But their inclusion certainly connotes respect. On the other hand, here in the Western text of an unquestionably canonical work, the book of Acts, we have a significant amount of material which differs from the other scriptural manuscript traditions. Do we now classify the Western text as apocryphal or as canonical?

Sometimes the difference between apocrypha and canon is treated as though it were black and white, but as we can see, the space between apocrypha and canon is often not a gap, but a continuum.

The Western text is nevertheless of great value in showing us how early these apostate tendencies were entrenched in early Western Christianity (sufficiently to be found in their scriptural tradition). On the other hand, having a knowledge that these are in fact apostate tendencies reinforces the authority of the Alexandrian text over the Western text; and in the challenging world of textual evaluation, that is very valuable information.

The search for the true word of God goes on. But that is a search in which we should all be intensely involved both “by study and also by faith” (DC 88:118). At one time we were loathe to accept Joseph Smith’s inspired scholarship. Now, for many, the pendulum has swung too far in the opposite direction: we seem to feel that Joseph has done all of the work for us. He did not do our work for us, but he did show us how to work. Brother Nibley comments: “All his life Joseph Smith dealt with ancient documents, constantly stretching his own mind to bridge the gap of the unknown, and then calling upon the Lord when a problem exceeded his powers. It is thus that we grow in knowledge and understanding.” [39] By combining scholarship, faith, inspiration, and hard work, we can draw from the scriptures the knowledge of God and of ourselves.

Notes

[1] F. F. Bruce, The New Testament Documents (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1960), 16.

[2] Manuscripts dated from 100 to 300 years from the close of the New Testament canon occur in both vellum and papyrus. The Codex Vaticanus and the Codex Sinaiticus are among those existing in vellum, and the papyrus manuscripts and fragments are very numerous. Some of the major papyrus manuscripts are the Chester Beatty Papyri, the Bodmer Papyri, and the Oxyrhynchus Papyri.

[3] The Rylands Papyrus, a small fragment of the Gospel of John, is dated to 125–140 A.D.

[4] F. Kenyon, Our Bible and the Ancient Manuscripts (New York: Harper Row, 1958), 55.

[5] B. M. Metzger, A Textual Commentary of the Greek New Testament (United Bible Societies, 1971), xxiv.

[6] Alexandrian Manuscripts:

Papyri   Uncial (Vellum)  
p. 45 Chester Beatty B Codex Vaticanus
p. 46 Papyri S Codex Sinaiticus
p. 47   A Codex Alexandrinus (except Gospels)
p. 52 Rylands Papyrus    
p. 64 Magdal Papyrus C Codex Ephraemi Rescriptus
p. 66   L Codex Regius
p. 72 Bodmer Papyri W Codex Washingtonianus (mixed)
p. 74   C Codex Zacynthius
p. 75   Y Codex Laurensis

Western manuscripts:

Papyri   Uncial (Vellum)  
p. 29   D Codex Bezae
p. 38 Michigan Papyrus DP Codex Claromontanus
p. 48 PSI Papyrus 1165 W. Codex Washingtonianus

[7] The Holy Bible, King James Version (1611), abbreviated in the text as KJV.

[8] The New English Bible (Oxford University Press, 1970), abbreviated in the text as NEB.

[9] Alexandrian text:

kai tauta eip?n blepont? aut?n ep?rth?, kai

nepsel? hupelaben auton apo t?n opthalm?n aut?n

Western text:

kauta eipontos autou nephel? hupelaben auton,

kai ap?rth? apo opthalm?n aut?n

[10] W. M. Furneaux, The Acts of the Apostles (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1912), 8 (quoting Professor Swete).

[11] E. F. Harrison, ed. (for New Testament), The Wycliffe Bible Commentary (Chicago: Moody Press, 1962), p. 1125.

[12] Metzger, p. 282.

[13] The Holy Bible, Revised Standard Version (American Bible Society, 1952), abbreviated in the text as RSV.

[14] Metzger, 288.

[15] Ibid., 294.

[16] Alexandrian text:

ho hoe Petros kai I?ann?s apokrithentes eipon

Western text:

apokritheis hoe Petros kai ) I?an?s eipon

[17] Metzger, 320.

[18] H. Chadwick, ed., Harper’s New Testament Commentaries (New York: Harper Brothers, 1957), 51.

[19] Ibid., 140.

[20] Metzger, 383.

[21] Ibid., 393.

[22] Ibid., 428.

[23] Ibid., 429.

[24] M. Black, ed., Peake’s Commentary on the Bible (London: Nelson Sons Ltd., 1962), Acts 1:14.

[25] Metzger, 284.

[26] Ibid., 325.

[27] R. E. Brown et al., eds., The Jerome Biblical Commentary (Englewood Cliffs, N. J.: Prentice-Hall, 1968), 167.

[28] Metzger, 295.

[29] Ibid., 296–97.

[30] Ibid., 313. “The Western text . . . adds pon?ron after epraxate in order to express the idea that, though the Jews’ part in bringing about Jesus’ death was done in ignorance, it was nevertheless a crime. By inserting men in ver. 17 a sharper contrast is afforded between the act of the Jews over against the purpose of God, expressed in ver. 18.”

[31] Ibid., 454.

[32] Black, 885.

[33] Metzger, 459.

[34] Ibid., 456–60.

[35] The Holy Bible, New International Version (1978).

[36] W. R. Nicoll, ed., The Expositor’s Greek Testament, vol. 1, part 2, M. Dods, The Gospel of St. John (1912; reprint ed., Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1974), 729.

[37] R. J. Matthews, “A Plainer Translation”: Joseph Smith’s Translation of the Bible, A History and Commentary (Provo, UT: Brigham Young University Press, 1975.

[38] These texts are at the end of the Codex Sinaiticus.

[39] G. P. Gillum, ed., Of All Things: A Nibley Quote Book (Salt Lake City: Signature Books, 1981), 66–67.