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The Textual Problem Of "οὐδὲ ὁ υἱός" In Matthew 24:36

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A curious textual problem occurs in Matt 24:36. The NA27/UBS 4 text reads Περὶ δὲ τῆς ἡμέρας ἐκείνης καὶ ὥρας οὐδεὶς οἶδεν, οὐδὲ οἱ ἄγγελοι τῶν οὐρανῶν οὐδὲ ὁ υἱός, εἰ μὴ ὁ πατὴρ μόνος1 (But concerning that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, except the Father alone). Many manuscripts (א1 L W f1 33 Ï), however, omit οὐδὲ ὁ υἱός. Perhaps the omission was a theologically motivated change in order to preserve Jesus’ omniscience. However, why would the scribes omit the phrase in Matt 24:36 and not in Mark 13:32? Only Codex X, the Latin Vulgate, and a few other Greek manuscripts omit it. Is it possible that certain scribes could have harmonized the text of Matt 24:36 to that of Mark 13:32? Several factors need to be considered in this problem besides external evidence and the theological motivations of certain scribes. First, could the anti-Arian discussions among the church fathers of the fourth and fifth centuries CE have affected the transmission of Matt 24:36? Second, do the scribes of א, B, D tend to harmonize toward Matthew or toward Mark? Third, how would scribes have interpreted εἰ μὴ ὁ πατήρ in Mark 13:32? Could the ancient scribes interpreted εἰ μὴ ὁ πατήρ in Mark 13:32 as simply preeminently true as opposed to exclusively true? If so, they could omit the phrase in Matthew, but not necessarily in Mark. These three factors need to be taken into consideration in order to evaluate adequately the internal evidence of this textual problem.

External Evidence

Before we take a look at the internal arguments, a brief examination of external evidence is in order. Favoring the reading of οὐδὲ ὁ υἱός is א and B the two fourth century primary uncials of the Alexandrian textttype. The Western text is represented by the fifth century uncial D as well as several manuscripts of the itala, some of which are as early as the fourth century. The Caeserean text is represented by minuscules of f13 and 28, but no manuscript is earlier than the eleventh century. The Byzantine text is represented by Θ from the ninth century and 1505 from the eleventh century. In addition to the Greek manuscripts and the itala, there is versional evidence in the Latin Vulgate, Ethiopic, Armenian, Georgian versions. Patristic evidence includes Irenaeus (Latin),2 Origen (Latin),3 Epiphanius,4 Dydimus,5 Cyril of Alexandria,6 Chrysostom,7 Hilary,8 Ambrose,9 Augustine,10 and Latin manuscripts according to Jerome.11 Geographic distribution, therefore, includes all four texttypes, but only in the Alexandrian and Western texttypes is the distribution definitive before the fifth century.12 In terms of genealogical solidarity, the witness of א and B suggests that the reading goes back to an early second century archetype. The Western text also points to a second century archetype with the alignment of D, the early itala, and the witness of Irenaeus. Thus, there is good and early manuscript support for the inclusion οὐδὲ ὁ υἱός.

The support for the omission is not as impressive but it does have some merit. The evidence is mainly Byzantine including the uncials N W Σ of the fifth and sixth centuries. Codex L and 33 represent the Alexandrian texttype, while f1 565 and 579 represent the Caeserean text. In addition to this, the first corrector of א also represents the omission, a point that should not be overlooked since Sinaiticus may very well have been corrected before it left the scriptorum. While the Greek manuscripts are not that impressive, the omission has good versional support in Coptic, Syriac, and the Latin Vulgate. There is also patristic support in Origen, Athanasius,13 Dydimus,14 Jerome,15 Greek manuscripts according to Jerome16 and Ambrose,17 Phoebadius, Gregory of Nyssa,18 and Basil.19 The omission also has geographic distribution in all four regions, and it is early in the Alexandrian, Western and Byzantine regions.20 Genealogical solidarity can only be found in the Byzantine texttype, which has a fourth century archetype.

While the inclusion of οὐδὲ ὁ υἱός definitely has the edge in terms of date and character and genealogical solidarity, geographic distribution is practically a tie, and perhaps leans in the direction of the omission. It is also to be noted that there is no representation from the papyri for either reading, so the external evidence is not as one-sided as it is often made out to be. External evidence should be probably be rated a B+ according to the UBS rating scale in light of all the factors.

Internal Evidence

The internal evidence is much more difficult to decide. Before we address the main disputes it would be helpful to examine transcriptural probability to see if the possibility of an accidental error is possible.

Transcriptural Probability

The following is a layout of how the variants would look in uncial script.


It is possible that a scribe simply skipped over οὐδὲ ὁ υἱός because of the first οὐδέ phrase. This, however, would not explain the deliberate deletion by the first corrector of א.22 Whether the first corrector was conforming the text to the exemplar or to other manuscripts that he knew to omit the phrase is a matter of speculation. While an accidental error is possible, it may not be the best explanation.

Two divergent explanations have been given that argue for an intentional alteration. Note Metzger’s comments.

The words “neither the Son” are lacking in the majority of the witnesses of Matthew, including the later Byzantine text. On the other hand, the best representatives of the Alexandrian, the Western, and the Caesarean types of text contain the phrase. The omission of the words because of the doctrinal difficulty they present is more probable than their addition by assimilation to Mk 13.32. Furthermore, the presence of μόνος and the cast of the sentence as a whole (οὐδὲοὐδὲ…belong together as a parenthesis, for εἰ μὴ ὁ πατὴρ μόνος goes with οὐδεὶς οἶδεν) suggest the originality of the phrase.

However, the textual note on Matt 24:36 in the NET Bible argues differently:

Early Alexandrian and Western witnesses add οὐδὲ ὁ υἱός (oude Jo Juios, “nor the son”) here. Although the shorter reading is suspect in that it seems to soften the prophetic ignorance of Jesus, the final phrase (“except the Father alone”) already implies this. Further, the parallel in Mark 13:32 has οὐδὲ ὁ υἱός, with almost no witnesses omitting the expression. Hence, it is doubtful that the omission of “neither the Son” is due to the scribes. In keeping with Matthew’s general softening of Mark’s harsh statements throughout his Gospel, it is more likely that the omission of “neither the Son” is part of the original text of Matthew, being an intentional change on the part of the author. Further, this shorter reading is supported by the first corrector of א as well as the following: E F G H K L M N S U V W Γ Δ Π Ë1 33 Byz vg syr cop, along with several mss with which Jerome was acquainted. Admittedly, the external evidence is not as impressive for the shorter reading, but it best explains the rise of the other reading (in particular, how does one account for virtually no mss excising οὐδὲ ὁ υἱός at Mark 13:32 if such an omission here is due to scribal alteration? Although scribes were hardly consistent, for such a theologically significant issue at least some consistency would be expected on the part of a few scribes).23

The arguments appear to be somewhat balanced. On the one hand, Metzger and the majority of commentators24 argue for the inclusion on the basis of the harder reading, the tendency of scribes to remove theological difficulties,25 and grammar.26 On the other hand, Allen, Plummer, and Wallace argue for the omission on the basis of the shorter reading, scribal harmonization to Mark 13:32, and Matthean style of softening Mark’s harsher statements. In order to evaluate the weight of these arguments, three things need to be considered: 1) scribal tendencies in harmonizing the Gospels of Matthew and Mark, 2) the use of Matt 24:36 and Mark 13:32 in the Arian controversies of fourth century CE, and 3) the range of meaning of εἰ μὴ ὁ πατήρ.

Scribal Tendencies in Harmonizations

When we looks at the textual variants involving scribal harmonizations between Matthew and Mark, we note that it was more common for scribes to harmonize Mark to Matthew. In the table in Appendix II, we have 61 of the most significant instances involving harmonization.27 Of the 61, only eighteen involve harmonizations from Matthew to Mark or about 30%. Therefore, about 70% involve harmonizations from Mark to Matthew. What is also significant is that scribes harmonized Mark 13:32 to Matt 24:36 in two places.28 But what are the scribal tendencies of the major manuscripts, א, B, and D, in harmonizing the Gospels of Matthew and Mark? The scribe of Codex Sinaiticus harmonizes Matthew to Mark about six times, while he harmonizes Mark to Matthew nineteen times. The scribe of Codex Vaticanus harmonizes Matthew to Mark only twice, but conforms Mark to Matthew twelve times. The scribe of Codex Bezae conforms Matthew to Mark seven times, while Mark is harmonized to Matthew nineteen times. Both א and D change Mark’s ἤ τῆς to καί in Mark 13:32. Clearly the tendency among these scribes is to conform Mark to Matthew, especially the scribe of Vaticanus.

However, this does not settle the issue. Since Matthew has a tendency to soften Mark’s harsher statements and to strike out statements that imply Jesus’ ignorance, one needs to look at whether texts that involve this type of softening are harmonized to Mark. Texts in Mark, but not in Matthew where Jesus expresses ignorance or inability include Mark 1:45; 5:9, 30; 6:5, 38, 48; 7:24; 8:12, 23; 9:16, 21, 33; 11:13; 14:14. However, none of these statements in Mark appear in the manuscripts of Matthew surveyed. Neither are the statements in manuscripts of Mark omitted to conform to Matthew. In fact, the only place where Matthew’s “softening” language is altered by the scribes is in Matt 19:17 where τί με ἐρωτᾷς περὶ τοῦ ἀγαθοῦ is replaced with τί με λέγεις ἀγαθόν in C,  E, F, G, H, W, Δ, Σ, f13, Ï. But this is a much different type of change than the addition of οὐδες ὁ υἱός in Matt 24:36. Therefore, even though Matthew has a tendency to soften Mark’s harsher language, the ancient scribes very rarely assimilated Matthew to the harsher language, and even avoided conforming Mark to Matthew’s softer language.

Matt 24:36 and Mark 13:32 in the Arian Controversies

Matthew 24:36 and Mark 13:32 was a storm-center amidst the church fathers in the Arian controversies of fourth century AD. Both sides utilized these texts in their arguments and at several points the inclusion or omission of οὐδες ὁ υἱός in Matt 24:36 becomes the center of attention. The fathers that argue about these texts the most are Athanasius, Gregory Nazianzen, Basil, Ambrose, Hilary, and Augustine. Athanasius basically argued that Jesus only knew according to his divine nature, but did not know according to his human nature.29 He argues that Jesus really did know the time of his coming, but portrayed himself to the disciples as ignorant in order to teach them not to speculate. Athanasius is also reported to claim at the council of Nicea that οὐδες ὁ υἱός was not in Matthew, but only in Mark. He then tries to demonstrate that Mark 13:32 must be understood differently than Matt 24:36 by appealing to Jesus’ oneness with the Father (John 10:30) and asserts that if the Son is one with the Father, he must also be one in knowledge.30 Even though this text is considered spurious, it probably reflects Athanasius’ sentiments, if not his words.  Similarly, Gregory Nazianzen, in answering the tenth objection of the Eunomians concerning the Son’s ignorance of the last day, argued that the Son knew as God and did not know as man. He also argues that if the Father knows, then the Son also knows in terms of the First Nature.31 Basil compares Matt 24:36 and Mark 13:32 and understands the texts differently. Since Basil’s text of Matthew omits οὐδες ὁ υἱός, and Mark omits μόνος, he reasoned that Mark meant something different from Matthew. He argued that the Son’s knowledge proceeds from the Father. He asserted that Matthew’s μόνος had reference only to the angels and that the Son was not included in the matter of ignorance.32 Chrysostom argues that the Son is not ignorant of anything, but said this only so the disciples would not pursue the question further.33

Ambrose interacts with the Arians’ citation of Matthew 24:36 by claiming that the ancient manuscripts do not contain οὐδὲ ὁ υἱός but the Arians added it in order to corrupt and falsify the passage. Ambrose completely ignores the fact that the words are in Mark 13:32 or believes that either the words are missing in Mark also or that Mark must be interpreted differently.34 Hilary goes to great lengths to prove that Christ was omniscient. He argued that Christ was simply accommodating himself to the language of man because he was also man. Therefore, in human terms, he does not know that which is not yet time to declare or that which is not worthy of his recognition.35 Finally, Augustine claimed that the Son’s ignorance is in reference to making other’s ignorant. In other words, since it was not yet time for Christ to reveal the time of his coming to the disciples, he thus professed “ignorance.”36 In a sense his argument is very similar to Hilary’s.

The Interpretation of εἰ μὴ ὁ πατήρ in Mark 13:32

It is apparent from the preceding discussion that several of the church fathers were interpreting εἰ μὴ ὁ πατήρ in Mark 13:32 differently from that of Matt 24:36. Matthew’s μόνος makes the interpretation of the εἰ μή clause as an absolute exception certain. But is it necessary to view it this way in Mark? While it is often observed in the grammars that the use of εἰ μή with the verb omitted means “except” or “but” and is considered a substitute for ἀλλά,37 this is not always the case. Εἰ μή conditionals are actually very ambiguous; therefore, two contextual assessments need to be made which will determine whether or not a translation of “except” or “but” for εἰ μή is adequate. First, the context must suggest that the author/speaker believes that the unnegated protasis is true. Second, the context must suggest that the author/speaker considers the unnegated protasis to be exclusively true in some way rather than simply preeminently true.38 If either of these things are not true, then the meaning of the author will be changed if such sentences are translated with “except” or “but.”

In preeminently true conditionals, the protasis does not name something that is an exception or exclusively true. Instead, it names something that is preeminently true. With these kinds of conditionals, a dynamic equivalent or periphrastic translation is often necessary to bring out the preeminently true sense of the conditionals. There are 27 instances of this type of conditional in the NT, but two examples will suffice.39

First, in Matt 11:27, after reproaching the cities that did not repent because of his signs and ministry, Jesus turns and thanks his Father for his wisdom concerning those he did draw to Jesus. He then invites the disciples and those around him to come to him for rest. The basis for his invitation is the mutual relationship between the Father and the Son, and the privilege of the Son to reveal the Father to others.40 Most English translations give the appearance that the Son is exclusively known by the Father. But certainly many people knew Jesus apart from the Father. While it is possible that ἐπιγινώσκει could refer to some “special” knowledge of the Son,41 that meaning would be difficult to prove here, especially since the parallel in Luke 10:22 uses γινώσκει. Romans 1:21 asserts that all men have some knowledge of God, and even here, some people can know the Father. It seems strange to claim that some people can have knowledge of the Father while only the Father can know the Son. This would make knowledge of the Son more obscure than knowledge of the Father.42 Since the conditional statements do not demand that the unnegated protases are exclusively true, it seems better to see them as preeminently true. The Father knows the Son preeminently, or better than anyone else, and the Son knows the Father preeminently, or better than anyone. Therefore, the Father is preeminently knowledgeable about the Son, and the preeminent source for knowledge of the Father is the Son.43

Second, in Matt 13:57 (Mark 6:4), when Jesus returns to Nazareth and teaches in the synagogue there, he is met with opposition. Jesus replies to their opposition with this statement: “A prophet is not without honor, if not in his hometown, and in his household” (οὐκ ἔστιν προφήτης ἄτιμος εἰ μὴ ἐν τῇ πατρίδι καὶ ἐν τῇ οἰκίᾳ αὐτοῦ). This statement raises a couple of questions. First, does Jesus believe that the unnegated protasis is true (a prophet is without honor in his own hometown)? While he believes that it is true in his case and in the case of many prophets, it does not necessarily mean that it is true in every case. More than likely this is a proverbial statement, something that is usually true, but not necessarily true.44 So, Jesus is saying that it is usually true that a prophet is without honor in his hometown, not that a prophet cannot have honor in his hometown. Second, is the unnegated protasis exclusively true? In other words, the prophet must have honor everywhere else, except in his hometown. This is certainly false. Many prophets were not honored in most of the places they went. Jesus himself was rejected in many places outside his hometown. Therefore, this statement is saying that the prophet’s hometown is the preeminent place in which he is without honor. It is the first place a prophet can be expected to be rejected.45

This preeminent sense seems to be the way the church fathers are understanding Mark 13:32. This is especially clear in Basil. In a letter to Amphilochius,46 He specifically addresses the issue of Christ’s ignorance of the day and hour of the end and takes issue with the Anomoeans. His first argument is that οὐδείς is not necessarily inclusive of everyone in Scripture. His first example of this is Mark 10:18: “No one is good if not one, God” (οὐδεὶς ἀγαθὸς εἰ μὴ εἷς ὁ θεός). He argues that the Son is excluded in reference to these words and that it should be understood that this is a reference to the Father being the “first good” (τὸ πρῶτον ἀγαθόν), with the word “first” being understood (τὸ οὐδεὶς συνυπακουομένου τοῦ πρῶτος). He argues the same way with Matt 11:27, as we did above, only that he asserts that the Spirit is not charged with ignorance, but that Christ acknowledges that the knowledge of his own nature exists with the Father first. The Father has the first knowledge of the things present and future, and the statement in Matt 11:27 was indicating to all the First Cause. Thus, he clearly shows that the εἰ μή clauses were to be understood in a preeminent sense.

Basil next applies this understanding to Mark 13:32 in comparison with Matt 24:36. As noted above, he makes much of Matthew’s omission of οὐδὲ ὁ υἱός and the absence of μόνος in Mark. He also capitalizes on John 10:15 (even as the Father knows Me, I also know the Father). He then recasts Mark 13:32 into a second class condition47 and argues that no one would know the day and the hour, not even the Son would have known, if the Father had not known. Thus, he argues that the Son derives all knowledge from the Father and the Father is the cause of his knowledge in everything.

Finally, Basil admits to Amphilochius at the beginning of the letter that his understanding of this issue and these passages was that which he learned from the fathers since his boyhood and that the issue had been examined by many. This strongly suggests that this understanding of the Mark 13:32 has been in the church for some time. Therefore, this understanding is probably also shared by Athanasius, Gregory Nazianzen, Ambrose, and the other church fathers who entered into the Arian controversy. It seems most probable then that ancient scribes familiar with the preeminent understanding of εἰ μή clauses, desired to adopt that interpretation of Mark 13:32. However, knowing that μόνος in Matt 24:36 made this understanding impossible, they dropped οὐδὲ ὁ υἱός to harmonize it with their interpretation of Mark.48

Conclusion on Internal Evidence

It appears that internal evidence leans toward the inclusion of οὐδὲ ὁ υἱός in Matt 24:36. First, scribes tended to conform Mark toward Matthew far more than Matthew to Mark. Second, scribes almost never conform Matthew’s softer language to Mark’s harsher statements, nor do they alter Mark to Matthew’s softer language. Third, in two places Mark 13:32 was conformed to Matt 24:36. Fourth, Matt 24:36 and Mark 13:32 were a hotbed of debate in the Arian controversies of the fourth century, and the omission οὐδὲ ὁ υἱός in Matthew was often used against the Arians. The fathers, then, understood Mark 13:32 differently from Matt 24:36. Finally, εἰ μή clauses can have a preeminent sense if the context so determines. It is clear that Basil understood Mark 13:32 in this way, and this is the most probable explanation for the understanding of this text by the other church fathers. The inclusion of οὐδὲ ὁ υἱός is the harder reading and appears to better explain the rise of the omission. Internal evidence should probably rated a C.


External evidence clearly favors the inclusion of οὐδὲ ὁ υἱός in Matt 24:36. The reading is represented by the best and earliest manuscripts in א and B. It has good geographical distribution among the versions and the Fathers, and it has good genealogical solidarity among the Alexandrian and Western texttypes. Internal evidence is a bit more difficult but the inclusion of the phrase is the harder reading. It also seems to be the better explanation for the rise of the omission because the scribes would be motivated by christological reasons to omit the phrase. There is evidence of this motivation in the church fathers in that they seem to interpret Mark 13:32 in a preeminent, rather than an exclusive sense. Also scribal harmonizations tend toward Matthew, and rarely is Matthew conformed to Mark’s harsher language. Overall, the decision concerning this conclusion should probably rated a C+.

Finally, it is more likely that Mark did intend 13:32 to be understood in an exclusive sense, and it is this sense that Matthew makes clear with the addition of μόνος. The attitude of the church fathers is understandable. They were still in the process of doctrinal development with respect to the Trinity and the hypostatic union. They wanted to defend Christ’s deity and still affirm his humanity. The continuing controversies with the Arians and their allies forced them to wrestle with the theology of these texts. And perhaps they were closer to the truth than they are currently given credit for. There may be some sense that Christ knew what the Father had planned for the final outcome. But Jesus had not yet completed his mission on earth. The time of his coming in glory is contingent upon the completion of his earthly mission. Until he experienced his death and resurrection, he could not really know the time of his return. He even had questions concerning the necessity of his death (cf. Matt 26:39-42; Mark 14:36; Luke 22:42). But upon his resurrection and ascension, both the fact and time of his coming became a certainty for Him.

Appendix I
Chart Of External Evidence

Reading #1

οὐδὲ ὁ υἱός
















*, - IV, B- IV

D- V



1505- 1084

f13 XI-XV, 28- XI









l 5471⁄2- XIII


eth- VI


arm- V

geo- V


ita, aur, b, c, d, (e), f, ff1, ff2, h, q, r1 - IV-VII



Church Fathers


Chrys- IV

Hesych- V


Orlat- III

Epiph- IV

Dydimus- IV

Cyril- V

Irenlat- II

Hilary- IV

Ambrose- IV

Latin MSSacc. to Jerome- IV

Aug- IV-V

Varimad- V


Reading #2
















G- IX, H- IX

K- IX, M- IX, N- VI, S- 949 U- IX, V- IX, W- V, Γ-X

Δ- IX, P-IX,







180- XII


597- XIII

700- XI

1006- XI

1010- XII

1292- XIII

1424- IX-X

Byz- IX-XV



579- XIII

33- IX

892- IX



157- 1122

1071- XII

1241- XII

1243- XI




Lect- IX-XVI






syrp, h- V-VI


copsa, meg, bo- III

itg1, l- VIII-IX vg- IV-V

syrs- II-III


Church Fathers

Basil- IV

Greg Nys- IV


Origen- III

Athan- IV

Didymusdub- IV

Greek MSSacc. to Jerome- IV

Greek MSSacc. to Ambrose- IV Jerome- IV-V

Phoebad- IV

Pailinus-Nola- V


Appendix II
Table Of Matthew/Mark Scribal Harmonizations


Harmonized to



Matt 10:42

Mark 9:41


Adds ὕδατος

Matt 13:55

Mark 6:3

K, L, W, Δ, 0106, f13

᾿Ιωσήφ to ᾿Ιωσής

Matt 14:22

Mark 6:45

B, K P Θ, f13

Add αὐτοῦ

Matt 14:24

Mark 6:47

, C, L, W, Δ, O73, 0106, f1, Ï; D

Several variants; see apparatas

Matt 15:36

Mark 8:6

C, L, W, Ï

Add αὐτοῦ

Matt 16:13

Mark 8:27

D,E, F, G, H, L, O, Δ, Σ, Θ, f1, f13, Ï

Add μέ

Matt 17:21

Mark 9:29

2, C, D, L, W, Δ, f1, f13, Ï

Add the words from Mark 9:29

Matt 19:7

Mark 10:4

, D, L, Z, Θ, f1

Omits αὐτήν

Matt 19:16

Mark 10:17

C, E, F, G, H, W, Θ, Σ, Δ, f13, Ï

Add ἀγαθέ

Matt 19:17

Mark 10:18

C,  E, F, G, H, W, Δ, Σ, f13, Ï

Substitutes the words from Mark 10:18

Matt 20:17

Mark 10:32

, D, L, Z, Θ, f1, f13

Omits μαθητάς

Matt 20:22

Mark 10:38

C, E, F, G, H, K, M, O, U, V, W, X, Γ, Δ, Π, Σ, Φ, 0197, Ï

Add the words from Mark 10:38

Matt 20:30

Mark 10:47

, L, N, Σ, Θ, f13

Add ᾿Ιησοῦ

Matt 21:39

Mark 12:8

D, Θ

Order conformed to Mark’s

Matt 22:23

Mark 12:18

2,  E, F, G, H, K, L, O, Σ, Θ, f13

Add article before λέγοντες

Matt 22:32

Mark 12:27

, D, W

Article omitted.

Matt 23:13

Mark 12:40

E, F, G, H, O, W, Σ, 0102, 0107, 0233, f13, Ï

Add Mark 12:40

Matt 24:36

Mark 13:32

*, 2, B, D, Θ, f13

Add οὐδὲ ὁ υἱός,?

Matt 27:46

Mark 15:34

, B, 33

Changed to ᾿ελωϊ

Mark 1:8

Matt 3:1

A, D, E, F, G,  L, P, W, Σ, f3, f13, Ï

Add ἐν

Mark 1:11

Matt 3:17

, D

Omit ἐγένετο

Mark 1:29

Matt 8:14

B, D, W, Σ, Θ, f1, f13

Changes participle and verb to the singular.

Mark 2:16

Matt 9:11

, C, L, Δ, f13

Add ὁ διδάσκαλος ὑμῶν

Mark 2:22

Matt 9:17

, A, C, D, E, F, G, H, L, W, Δ, Σ, Θ, f1, f13, Ï

Adds ἐκχεῖται

Mark 2:22

Matt 9:17


Adds βάλλουσί

Mark 2:26

Matt 12:4

D, W

Omit reference to Abiathar

Mark 5:1

Matt 8:28

A, C, E, F, G, H, Σ, f13, Ï

Changed to Γαδαρηνῶν

Mark 6:3

Matt 13:55

Ì45, Σ, f13, 33

Assimilated to τοῦ τέκτονο ὑιός και

Mark 6:39


, B, Θ, O187

Changed to the active to the passive ἀνακλιθῆναι

Mark 6:41

Mat 14:19

, B, L, Δ, 0187, 33

Omit αὐτοῦ

Mark 7:24

Matt 15:21

, A, B, E, F, G, H, N, Σ, f1, f13, 33, Ï

Add καὶ Σιδῶνος

Mark 7:28

Matt 15:27

, A, B, E, F, G, H, L, N, Δ, Σ, 0274, f1, 33, Ï

Add ναί

Mark 8:10

Matt 15:39

D, D2, W, Σ

Change μέρη to ὅρια

Mark 8:10

Matt 15:39

D, D2, Θ, f1, f13

Change Δαλμανουθά to Μαγδάλα or Μελεγάδα

Mark 8:15

Matt 16:6

Ì45, C, 0131, f13

Add καί

Mark 8:16

Matt 16:7

A, C, L, Θ,0131, f13, Ï

Add λέγοντες

Mark 8:16

Matt 16:7

, A, C, L, Θ, f13, Ï

Change 3rd per to 1st per.

Mark 9:42

Matt 18:6

A, B, C2, E, F, G, H, L, N, W, Θ, Σ, Ψ, f1, f13, Ï

Add εἰς ἐμέ

Mark 10:1

Matt 19:1

C2, D, G, W, Δ, Θ, Σc, f1, f13

Omit καί

Mark 10:2

Matt 19:3

, A, B, C, E, F, G, H, K, L, N, W, Γ, Δ, Θ, Σ, Ψ, f1, f13, Ï

Add προσελθόντες φαρισαῖοι or some variation

Mark 10:7

Matt 19:5

A, C, D, E, F, G, H,  L, N, W, Δ, Σ, Θ, f1, f13, Ï

Add the rest of the citation from Gen 2:24 as in Matt

Mark 10:19

Matt 19:18

B, W, Δ, Σ, Ψ, f1, f13

Omit μὴ ἀποστεπήσης

Mark 10:34

Matt 20:19

A, E, F, G, H, N, W, Θ, Σ, 0233, f1, f13

Change to τῇ τρίτῃ ἡμvερᾳ

Mark 10:40

Matt 20:23

*,2, Θ, f1

Add ὑπὸ τοῦ πατρός μου

Mark 11:24

Matt 21:22

D, Θ, f1

Changed to λημvψεσθε

Mark 11:26

Matt 6:15

A, C, D, E, F, G, H, N, Θ, Σ, 0233, f1, f13, 33, Ï

Add Matt 6:15

Mark 13:22

Matt 24:24

, A, B, C, E, F, G, H, K, L, W, X, Δ, Π, Σ, Ψ, 0235, f1, Ï

δώσουσιν for ποιήσουσιν?

Mark 13:32

Matt 24:36

, D, W, Θ, f1, f13

replaces ἤ τῆς with καί

Mark 13:32

Matt 24:36

Δ, Θ, Φ

Add μόνος

Mark 14:4

Matt 26:8

D, Θ

οἱ μαθηταὶ αυτοῦ for τινες

Mark 14:25

Matt 26:29

, C, D, L, W, Ψ

Omits οὐκέτι

Mark 14:30

Matt 26:34

, C, D, W

Omits δίς

Mark 14:65

Matt 26:68

W, Δ, Θ, f13, 33

Add τίς ἐστvιν ο παίσας σε with minor variations

Mark 14:68

Matt 26:71

, B, L, W, Ψ

Omit καὶ ἀλέκτωρ ἐφώνησεν

Mark 14:72

Matt 26:74

, C, L

Omit ἐκ δευτέρου

Mark 14:72

Matt 26:75

, A, C

Change ἐκλαίεν to ἐκλαύσεν

Mark 15:10

Matt 27:18

B, f1

Omit οἱ ἀρχιειρεῖς

Mark 15:12

Matt 27:22

, B, C, W, Δ, Ψ, f1, 13, 33

Omit θέλετε

Mark 15:12

Matt 27:21

A, D, E, F, G, H, N, Θ, Σ, 0250, Ï

Add θέλετε; alternative to the omission

Mark 15:25

Matt 27:36


ἐφυλάσσον instead of ἐσταύρωσαν

Mark 15:34

Matt 27:46

A, C, E, F, G, H, P, Δ, Θ, f1, f13, 33, Ï

Reverse order of ἐγκατέλιπες με

Mark 15:39

Matt 27:50

A, C, D, E, G, H, N, Δ, 0233, f1, f13, 33, Ï

Include κράξας


1 Mark 13:32 has ἢ τῆς (Å D W Θ f1 f13 157 pm it syrs, p sa bopt read καί) instead of καί, ἐν οὐρανῷ instead of τῶν οὐρανῶν, and lacks μόνος (Δ Θ Φ 13. 565 pc sa bopt add μόνος). These differences can be significant in determining which passage the church fathers are quoting. Of these three differences the reflection of μόνος should be the deciding factor. The reflection of καί is virtually negligible since the church fathers usually reflect καί rather than ἢ τῆς even when its clear the father is citing Mark 13:32. Note that these differences have been virtually ignored in Alexander Roberts, & James Donaldson, eds., Ante-Nicene Fathers, vols. 1-10  (Edinburgh: T & T Clark, 1867-72; reprint, Peabody, MA: Hendrickson, 1994); Philip Schaff, ed., Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, First Series, vols. 1-14 (New York: Christian Literature, 1886-90; reprint, Peabody, MA: Hendrickson, 1994); Philip Schaff, & Henry Wace, eds., Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, Second Series, vols. 1-14 (New York: Christian Literature, 1890-1900; reprint, Peabody, MA: Hendrickson, 1994) despite the fact that the editors and translators were aware of the textual problem.

2 Adversus haereses 2.28.6 omits the reference to the angels, οὐδὲ οἱ ἄγγελοι τῶν οὐρανῶν. Irenaeus may be quoting from memory.

3 De Principiis 198E.

4 Ancoratus 22.4.3; Panerion 3.165; 3.191.8

5 Commentarii in Zacharian 5.78.6 (οὐτέ instead of οὐδέ)

6 Responsiones ad Tiberium diaconum sociosque suos 583.19; Trin. 75.20.57; 75.368.46; 75.377.34t

7 Hom. Matt. 77.1. Chrysostom omits μόνος but retains τῶν οὐρανῶν. It may be that he actually has Mark 13:32 in mind even though the homily is on Matt 24:32-36.

8 Trin. 1.29; 9.2, 58 all reflect ἐν οὐρανῷ rather than τῶν οὐρανῶν. He also may be quoting from memory. Whether he has Matt 24:36 or Mark 13:32 is another question. Because he reflects Matthew’s μόνος, it is more likely that he unconsciously assimilated Matthew to Mark.

9 Fid. Grat. 5.5.192 also reflects ἐν οὐρανῷ rather than τῶν οὐρανῶν.

10 Enarrationes in Psalmos

11 Commentarii in euangelium Matthaei 590.4.591

12 It is possible that the Latin text of Origen represents the Caesarean textttype, which would make the distribution over three regions. If Chrysostom is referring to Matt 24:36, then the distribution is in the fourth century over all four regions.

13 Disputatio contra Arium 26.472.52. This text is supposedly a report of Athanasius’ debates with the Arians at the council of Nicea. document is most likely spurious because Athanasius was only a deacon under Alexander, bishop of Alexander, and it is unlikely that he would have even been given the opportunity to speak, much less have a long-winded debate with Arius. It is even disputed that Athanasius was even at the Council of Nicea.

14 Trin. 39.917.8. The text also has ἢ τῆς instead of καί.

15 Commentarii in euangelium Matthaei 590.4.590

16 Commentarii in euangelium Matthaei 590.4.591

17 Fid. Grat. 5.5.192

18 Adversus Arium et Sabellium de patre et filio 3.76.26. His text reads: Οὐδεὶς οἶδὲ τὴν συντελεστικὴν ἡμέραν καὶ τὴν ὥραν, οὐδ᾿ οἱ ἄγγελοι τῶν οὐρανῶν οὐδὲ ὁ υἱός, ἐν τοὶς κατὰ Μάρκον εἰρημένοις, εἰ μὴ ὁ πατὴρ μόνος… Gregory cites Matthew but attributes οὐδὲ ὁ υἱός to Mark.

19 Epistula 236.28.

20 Again, if Origen’s text is Caesarean, then the distribution is early over all four regions.

21 While υἱός and πατήρ commonly are denoted with nomina sacra, both Codex Sinaiticus and Vaticanus spell the terms out; therefore, their example is followed.

22 The first corrector drew a line over oudeouios to denote that he believed the phrase should not be present. The second corrector apparently attempted to erase the line to show his judgment.

23 cf. Daniel B. Wallace, “The Greek New Testament according to the Majority Text: A Review Article,” GTJ 4, no. 1 (Spring 1983): 125. See also Henry Alford, Revised by Everett F. Harrison, The Greek New Testament, vol  1 (Chicago: Moody Press, 1958), 245; W. C. Allen, A Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the Epistle to the Gospel according to S. Matthew, 3rd ed., ICC, ed. S. R. Driver, A. Plummer, & C. A. Briggs  (Edinburgh: T & T Clark, 1912), 260; Alfred Plummer, An Exegetical Commentary on the Gospel according to St. Matthew (London: Robert Scott, 1915; reprint, Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1982), 339.

24 See Craig L. Blomberg, Matthew, NAC, ed. David S. Dockery, vol. 22 (Nashville: Broadman, 1992), 365; Frederick Dale Bruner, Matthew: The Churchbook: Matthew 13-28, vol. 2 (Dallas: Word, 1990), 879-80; D. A. Carson, “Matthew,” in EBC, ed. Frank E. Gabelein, vol. 8 (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1984), 508; W. D. Davies, and Dale C. Allison, A Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the Epistle to the Gospel according to Matthew, vol.3, XIX-XXVIII, ICC, ed.  J. A. Emerton and C. E. B. Cranfield (Edinburgh: T & T Clark, 1997), 377; Robert H. Gundry, Matthew: A Commentary on His Handbook for a Mixed Church under Persecution, 2nd ed. (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1994), 491-92; Donald A. Hagner, Matthew 14-28, WBC, ed. David A. Hubbard and Glenn W. Barker, vol. 33B (Dallas: Word, 1995), 709.

25 Blomberg, Matthew, 365 argues that it was omitted by scribes with a docetic christology.

26 Apparently, Metzger believes οὐδὲοὐδὲ…must be a correlative pair. But this is not at all necessary. Matthew uses the single οὐδέ with the meaning “not even” in several places (6:28; 21:32; 25:45; 27:14). It also makes good theological sense because it was commonly believed that God kept counsel with the holy angels, although he did not necessarily reveal the hour of Israel’s deliverance (4 Ezra 4:52; b. Sanh.99a). Curiously, Carson, “Matthew,” 508 believes that Metzger’s grammatical argument is the strongest for the inclusion, although he does not explain why.

27 The table records probable scribal harmonizations between Matthew and Mark. These are not all the possible harmonizations, but it does include most of probable ones that involve the major manuscripts.

28 See footnote 1.

29 Athanasius, Orationes contra Arianios 3.28.42-50.

30 Athanasius, Disputatio contra Arium 27.473.52-54.

31 Gregory of Nazianzus, De filio 30.4.15-16.

32 Basil, Epistula 236.

33 John Chrysostom, Hom. Matt. 77.1.

34 Ambrose, Fid. Grat. 5.5.192.

35 Hilary of Poitiers, Trin. 9.58-66.

36 Augustine, Trin. 1.12.

37 BDF §448.8; A. T. Robertson, A Grammar of the Greek New Testament in the Light of Historical Research (Nashville: Broadman Press, 1934), 1024-25; M. Zerwick, Biblical Greek Illustrated by Examples, 4th ed. (trans. Joseph Smith: Rome: Pontificii Istituti Biblici, 1963), §468-71.

38 For further discussion of εἰ μή clauses see Charles E. Powell, “The Semantic Relationship between the Protasis and the Apodosis of New Testament Conditional Constructions” (Ph.D. diss., Dallas Theological Seminary, 2000), 180-207; “Εἰ Μή Clauses in the New Testament: Interpretation and Translation” (paper presented at the national annual meeting of ETS, 2000), 1-17.

39 Other examples include Matt 12:39; 15:24; 16:4; Luke 11:29; John 3:13; 10:10; Rom 7:7; 13:8; 1 Cor 1:14; 2:2; 12:3, 5, 13; Gal 1:7; Eph 4:8; 1 John 2:22; Rev 2:17; 14:3; 19:12.

40 Πάντα μοι παρεδόθη ὑπὸ τοῦ πατρός μου, καὶ οὐδεὶς ἐπιγινώσκει τὸν υἱὸν εἰ μὴ ὁ πατήρ, οὐδὲ τὸν πατέρα τις ἐπιγινώσκει εἰ μὴ ὁ υἱὸς καὶ ᾧ ἐὰν βούληται ὁ υἱὸς ἀποκαλύψαι. All things have been handed over to me by My Father; and no one knows the Son, except the Father; nor does anyone know the Father, except the Son, and anyone to whom the Son wills to reveal him.

41 Donald A. Hagner, Matthew 1-13, WBC, ed. David A. Hubbard and Glenn W. Barker, vol. 33A (Dallas: Word, 1993), 320.

42 Several scholars recognize the tension and argue that it is a deep, intimate knowledge between the Father and the Son that is exclusive. While this is close to the point, it still suffers from the assumption that εἰ μή must mean “except.” See Leon Morris, The Gospel according to Matthew, Pillar Commentary  (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1992), 293-94; John Nolland, Luke 9:21–18:34, WBC, ed. Glenn A. Hubbard (Dallas: Word Books, 1993),  273-75.

43 J. K. Baima, “Making Valid Conclusions from Greek Conditional Sentences” (Th.M. thesis: Grace Theological Seminary, 1986), 64-65.

44 Morris, Matthew, 366-67.

45 Baima, “Making Valid Inferences,” 62-63.

46 Basil, Epistula 236.

47 The text reads περὶ δὲ τῆς ἡμέρας ἐκείνης ἢ ὥρας οὐδεὶς οἶδεν, οὔτε οἱ ἄγγελοι τοῦ Θεοῦ, ἀλλ᾿' οὐδ᾿ ἄν ὁ Υἰός ἒγνω, εἰ μὴ ὁ πατήρ. By adding ἀλλά and  ἄν ἔγνω to the apodosis, the implied verb in the protasis is then understood to be ἔγνω rather than οἶδεν.

48 The reason they chose to drop οὐδὲ ὁ υἱός rather than μόνος may be to preserve Matthew’s style of using μόνος, especially in εἰ μή clauses in the exclusive sense. See Matt 12:4; 17:8; 21:19. The reasons for the omission of οὐδὲ ὁ υἱός in Mark 13:32 by X and a few other Greek MSS may be either accidental, or due to theological motivation because of not being familiar with the preeminent understanding of εἰ μή clauses, or possibly due to harmonizing the text to Matt 24:36, since more than likely those manuscripts did not include the phrase there either.

Related Topics: Textual Criticism