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Reason No. 64: P46 Reads Paul that way – 100 Reasons πίστις Χριστοῦ is an Objective Genitive

Posted by NT Wrong on December 22, 2008

pistis_christouThe following post is an abridged version of one of the 100 reasons πίστις Χριστοῦ is an Objective Genitive included in my forthcoming book:

100 Reasons πίστις Χριστοῦ is an Objective Genitive

Reason No. 64: P46 Reads Paul that way

A plausible further early witness to the objective genitive intepretation is provided by the scribe of P46, who altered the text of Galatians 3.26 from διὰ τῆς πίστεως ἐν Χριστῷ Ἰησοῦ to διὰ τῆς πίστεως Χριστοῦ Ἰησοῦ (Matlock 2003).

P46 removes the ambiguity of the majority reading, and brings it in line with Gal 2.16 and 3.22, and is thus the less difficult and later variant (Matlock 2003: 435). So, the manuscript provides an early example of a scribe who made an interpretive amendment of Paul. Matlock argues that it can reasonably be assumed that the scribe made the change because he incorrectly read πίστεως and ἐν Χριστῷ together and, knowing the phrase appeared nowhere else in Paul’s letters, sought to substitute an equivalent Pauline expression for “faith in Christ”, thereby demonstrating that the scribe considered Paul’s phrase πίστεως Χριστοῦ Ἰησοῦ to have an objective genitive meaning (2003: 437).


  • R. Barry Matlock, “ΠΙΣΤΙΣ in Galatians 3.26: Neglected Evidence for ‘Faith in Christ’?” New Testament Studies 49 (2003): 433-439
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