While reading Col. 2:2 this week, I happened upon something that escaped my attention hitherto.
ἵνα παρακληθῶσιν αἱ καρδίαι αὐτῶν συμβιβασθέντες ἐν ἀγάπῃ καὶ εἰς πᾶν πλοῦτος τῆς πληροφορίας τῆς συνέσεως, εἰς ἐπίγνωσιν τοῦ μυστηρίου τοῦ θεοῦ, Χριστοῦ, (NA28)
The KJV and NKJV render the text similarly--to wit:
"that their hearts may be encouraged, being knit together in love, and attaining to all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the knowledge of the mystery of God, both of the Father and of Christ,"
The mystery of God (τοῦ μυστηρίου τοῦ Θεοῦ) is identified with both the Father and Christ. The Hebrew Names Version and Vulgate also read:
"that their hearts may be comforted, they being knit together in love, and gaining all riches of the full assurance of understanding, that they may know the mystery of God, both of the Father and of Messiah," (HNV)
"ut consolentur corda ipsorum instructi in caritate et in omnes divitias plenitudinis intellectus in agnitionem mysterii Dei Patris Christi Iesu" (Vg).
But the NASB translates:
"that their hearts may be encouraged, having been knit together in love, and attaining to all the wealth that comes from the full assurance of understanding, resulting in a true knowledge of God's mystery, that is, Christ Himself"
Metzger gives the reading τοῦ θεοῦ, Χριστοῦ, a [B] grade indicating that this lectio is highly certain. Explaining his position, Metzger writes:
"Among what at first sight seems to be a bewildering variety of variant readings, the one adopted for the text is plainly to be preferred (1) because of strong external testimony (P46 B Hilary Pelagius Ps-Jerome and (b) because it alone provides an adequate explanation of the other readings as various scribal attempts to ameliorate the syntactical ambiguity of τοῦ θεοῦ, Χριστοῦ."
[I need to check the Mextzger quote in order to make sure I'm quoting accurately.]
the Catholic NABRE translates Col. 2:2 as follows:
"that their hearts may be encouraged as they are brought together in love, to have all the richness of fully assured understanding, for the knowledge of the mystery of God, Christ,"
The New Jerusalem Bible also renders Col. 2:2-3:
"It is all to bind them together in love and to encourage their resolution until they are rich in the assurance of their complete understanding and have
knowledge of the mystery of God in which all the the jewels of wisdom and knowledge are hidden."
Finally, I quote NWT 2013: "This is so that their hearts may be comforted and that they may be harmoniously joined together in love and may have all the riches that result from the full assurance of their understanding, in order to gain an accurate knowledge of the sacred secret of God, namely, Christ."
From a textual perspective, as Metzger points out, the reading found in NA27 and UBS4 is contained in P46, B, VGms and Hilary. See also NA27 for MSS in which the reading of the KJV is found. But NA27 has now been updated to NA28.
Thursday, January 12, 2017
Colossians 2:2: Which Mystery?
Originally written 7/30/2003 and edited 1/9/2017; 1/11/17; 1/12/17.