Western non-interpolations

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Western non-interpolations is the term named by F. J. A. Hort[1] of the shortest texts of all the New Testament text types. The Alexandrian text is generally terse or concise; the Western text is larger and paraphrased at places; the Byzantine text is a combination of those two. Nevertheless, the Western text is in certain places shorter than the Alexandrian text. All these shorter readings Hort named western non-interpolations. Since the 19th century, scholars have preferred the shorter reading. It was the authentic text according to B. F. Westcott and F. J. A. Hort. When they printed The New Testament in the Original Greek (1882), in almost all cases, it followed the Alexandrian text with the few exceptions that use the Western non-interpolations instead. According to Westcott and Hort, on some rare occasions Western textual witnesses have preserved the original text, against all other witnesses.[2]

Commonly accepted Western non-interpolations[edit]

  • Matthew 27:49 – ἄλλος δὲ λαβὼν λόγχην ἒνυξεν αὐτοῦ τὴν πλευράν, καὶ ἐξῆλθεν ὖδορ καὶ αἳμα (the other took a spear and pierced His side, and immediately came out water and blood), this reading was derived from John 19:34 – is found in א, B, C, L, U, Γ, 1010, 1293, syrpal, ethmss, but is omitted by all other texts, including A, D, E, F, G, H, K, M, S, W, Δ, Θ, Σ, 090, Byz, it, vg, syrcur, copsa, copbo, arm, geo); it was omitted also in late witness of the Alexandrian text-type in Minuscule 892
  • Luke 22:19b-20 – τὸ ὑπὲρ ὑμῶν διδόμενον... τὸ ὑπὲρ ὑμῶν ἐκχυννόμενον (which is given for you... which is shed for you), omitted by D, a, (b, e have a different word order) d, ff2, i, l (syrcur omits only verse 20)
  • Luke 24:3 – τοῦ κυρίου Ἰησοῦ (of the Lord Jesus), omitted by D, a, b, d, e, ff2, l, r1, (579, 1071, 1241, syrcur have του Ιησου but omit κυριου)
  • Luke 24:6 – οὐκ ἔστιν ὢδε, ἀλλ(ὰ) ἠγέρθη (He is not here, but is risen!), omitted by D, a, b, d, e, ff2, l, r1, armmss, geoB
  • Luke 24:12 – entire verse omitted by D, a, b, d, e, l, r1
  • Luke 24:36 – καὶ λέγει αὐτοῖς εἰρήνη ὑμῖν (and said to them: Peace to you), omitted by D, a, b, d, e, ff2, l, r1
  • Luke 24:40 – καὶ τοῦτο εἰπὼν ἔδειξεν αὐτοῖς τὰς χειρᾶς καὶ τοὺς πόδας (and when He said this, He showed them His hands and His feet), omitted by D, a, b, d, e, ff2, l, r1, syrsin, syrcur
  • Luke 24:51 – καὶ ἀνεφέρετο εἰς τὸν οὐρανόν (and carried up into heaven), omitted by א*, D, a, b, d, e, ff2, l, (hiat r1), sin (syrcur) geo1
  • Luke 24:52 – προσκυνήσαντες αὐτὸν (worshiped Him), omitted by D, a, b, d, e, ff2, l (hiat r1), sin (syrcur), geo2

Other possible Western non-interpolations[edit]

  • Matt. 6:15 – τὰ παραπτώματα αὐτῶν (their trespasses), omitted by א D 1-118-205-209-1582, 22, 892*, a, aur, c, ff1, g1, syrh
  • Matt. 9:34 – οἱ δὲ Φαρισαῖοι ἔλεγον ἐν τᾡ ἂρχωντι τῶν δαιμονίων ἐκβάλλει τὰ δαιμόνια (But the Pharisees said, "He casts out demons by the ruler of the demons), omitted by D, a, d, k, sin, Hilary (hiat e syrcur)
  • Matt. 13:33 – ἐλάλησεν αὐτοῖς omitted by D, d, (k), sin, syrcur
  • Matt. 21:44 – entire verse omitted by 104, D, 33, a, b, d, e, ff1, ff2, r1, syrsin, Irenaeus (lat), Origen
  • Matt. 23:26 – καὶ τῆς παροψίδος (and dish), found in: B, C, L, W, 33, Byz, cop; but omitted by D, Q, 1-118-209-1582, 700, a, d, e, ff1, r1, sin, geo, Irenaeuslat, Clement (hiat, b, syrcur)
  • Mark 10:2 – προσελθοντες Φαρισαιοι (the Pharisees came), or προσελθοντες οι Φαρισαιοι (word order varies), omitted by D, a, b, d, k, r1, syrsin (syrcur)
  • Mark 14:39 – τὸν αὐτὸν λόγον εἰπών (spoke the same words), omitted by D, a, b, c, d, ff2, k, (syrcur)
  • Luke 5:39 – entire verse omitted by D, a, b, c, d, e, ff2, l, r1 (syrsin syrcur)
  • Luke 10:41-42 – instead μεριμνας και θορυβαζη περι πολλα, ολιγων (ενος) δε εστιν χρεια Μαριαμ γαρ (you are worried and troubled about many things, but not much (one thing) is needed) has only θορυβαζη (worried) with (D has Μαριαμ) (a, b, d, e, ff2, i, l, r1, syrsin, Ambrose omit θορυβαζη)
  • Luke 12:21 – entire verse omitted by D, a, b, d
  • Luke 22:62 – entire verse omitted by (0171 does not appear to leave space) a, b, e, ff2, i, l, r1
  • Luke 24:9 – απο του μνημειου (from the tomb), omitted by D, a, b, c, d, e, ff2, l, r1, arm, geo
  • John 4:9 – ου γαρ συγχρωνται Ιουδαιοι Σαμαριταις (Jews have no dealings with Samaritans), omitted by א*, D, a, b, d, e, j, copfay

Outside the Gospels[edit]

  • Rom. 6:16 – εις θανατον (for death) omitted by D, 1739*, d, r, am, pesh, sa, armmss, Ambrosiaster
  • Rom. 10:21 – και αντιλεγοντα (and contrary), omitted by F, G, g, Ambrosiaster, Hilary
  • Rom. 16:20 – η χαρις του κυριου ημων Ιησου (Χριστου) μεθ υμων omitted (The grace of our Lord Jesus (Christ) with you), by D*vid, F, G, d, f, g, m, bodl Ambrosiaster Pelagiusms
  • Rom. 16:25-27 – verses omitted by F, G, 629, d**?, g, goth?, Jeromemss
  • 1 Cor. 15:3 – ο και παρελαβον (I received), omitted by b, Ambrosiaster, Irenaeuslat, Tertullian?
  • 1 Cor. 15:15 – ειπερ αρα νεκροι ουκ εγειρονται (if in fact the dead do not rise), omitted by D, a, b, r, bam, ful**, harl*, kar, mon, reg, val*, pesh, Ambrosiaster, Irenaeus (lat), Tertullian?
  • 2 Cor. 10:12-13 – ου συνιασιν. ημεις δε omitted (are not wise. We, however), by D*, F, G, a, b, d, f, (429?) Ambrosiaster
  • 1 Tim. 5:19 – εκτος ει μη επι δυο η τριων μαρτυρων (except from two or three witnesses), omitted by b, Ambrosiaster, Pelagius, Cyprian

Influence on the New Testament editions[edit]

The "Western non-interpolations" were not included in the main text of Westcott-Hort edition (1881), but were instead moved to the footnotes. The editions of Nestle and Nestle-Aland did the same. In 1968, "the editorial committee (or more precisely its majority) decided to abandon the theories of Westcott-Hort and the Western non-interpolations."[3] Since 1968 they are included in the main text, but marked with brackets.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ B. F. Westcott and J. F. A. Hort, The New Testament in the Original Greek, vol. II (Cambridge and London, 1881; 2nd ed., 1896), pp. 175-177.
  2. ^ Bart D. Ehrman, "The Orthodox Corruption of Scripture. The Effect of Early Christological Controversies on the Text of the New Testament", Oxford University Press, 1996, p. 223
  3. ^ Kurt Aland & Barbara Aland, The Text of the New Testament, Wm. Eerdmans 1995, p. 33.

Further reading[edit]

  • Bart D. Ehrman, "The Orthodox Corruption of Scripture. The Effect of Early Christological Controversies on the Text of the New Testament", Oxford University Press, New York - Oxford, 1996, pp. 223–227.
  • Bruce M. Metzger, "A Textual Commentary on the Greek New Testament: A Companion Volume to the United Bible Societies' Greek New Testament", 1994, United Bible Societies, London & New York, pp. 164–166.
  • M. W. Martin, Defending the "Western non-interpolations": The case for an anti-separationnist Tendenz in the longer Alexandrian readings JBL 124 (2005), pp. 269–294.
  • J. K. Elliot, "The Case for Thoroughgoing Eclectism", in Rethinking New Testament Textual Criticism, ed. D. A. Black, Baker Academic 2006, pp. 115–116.

External links[edit]