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P45 and the Problem of the ‘Seventy(-two)’: A Case for the Longer Reading in Luke 10.1 and 17

  • Zachary J. Cole (a1)

At Luke 10.17, most modern critical editions incorrectly cite the wording of P45 as ἑβδομήκοντα δύο (72) instead of ἑβδομήκοντα (70). As this is one of the two oldest witnesses to the verse, this revision of external evidence calls for a fresh examination of the textual problem as a whole. Previous discussions have focused almost exclusively on the perceived symbolic values of ἑβδομήκοντα (+ δύο) to identify the ‘more Lukan’ wording, but this essay argues on the basis of new transcriptional evidence that the earlier reading is more likely ἑβδομήκοντα δύο.

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C. H. Roberts , ‘An Early Papyrus of the First Gospel’, HTR 46 (1953) 233–7

B. M. Metzger , ‘Seventy or Seventy-two?’, NTS 5 (1959) 299306

S. Jellicoe , ‘St. Luke and the “Seventy(-Two)”’, NTS 6 (1960) 319–21

R. Develin , ‘Numeral Corruption in Greek Historical Texts’, Phoenix 44 (1990) 3145

U. B. Schmid with W. J. Elliott and D. C. Parker , eds., The New Testament in Greek iv: The Gospel according to St. John, vol. ii: The Majuscules (Leiden/Boston: Brill, 2007)

J. K. Elliott , ‘Manuscripts of the Book of Revelation collated by H. C. Hoskier’, JTS n. s. 40 (1989) 100–11

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New Testament Studies
  • ISSN: 0028-6885
  • EISSN: 1469-8145
  • URL: /core/journals/new-testament-studies
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