This morning, as I was doing some work in the Greek text of I Timothy 3:16 and Colossians 2:2-3, I noticed an interesting textual variant that contributes to an understanding of the Oneness of God. The New King James Version (NKJV) which, of course, follows the same Greek text as the King James Version (KJV), translates this text as follows:
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, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.
Our interest here is in the phrase “both of the Father and of Christ, in whom.” I had previously noted in the margin of my Bible that the pronoun “whom,” which in the NKJV has “the Father and of Christ” as its antecedent, is singular. This would, of course, indicate the singularity of the Father and Christ.
But the phrase καὶ πατρὸς καὶ, translated “both of the Father and” is found in the Byzantine text, which represents more recent Greek manuscripts. The phrase is not found in the earlier manuscripts. For that reason, many English translations render the latter part of Colossians 2:2 something like these:
that they may know the mystery of God, even Christ, (Col. 2:2 ASV)
the certain knowledge of the secret of God, even Christ, (Col. 2:2 BBE)
the knowledge of God’s mystery, which is Christ,
(Col. 2:2 ESV)
for the knowledge of the mystery of God, Christ, (Col. 2:2 NAB)
They will know the mystery of God. That mystery is Christ. (Col. 2:2 NIRV)
This singular reading would certainly anticipate the singular pronoun of Colossians 2:3. There is but one mystery here, and it is the same mystery Paul had in mind in I Timothy 3:16. It is the miraculous mystery of Incarnation, God manifested in human existence in the person of our Lord Jesus Christ.[archive]