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Romans 8:28

Romans 8:28 reads that 'we know that all things work together for good to those who love God' in the majority of manuscripts, but four Greek manuscripts (P46, A, B and 81) instead read 'we know that God works all things together for good to those who love God' (see the NASB and NIV for this reading). Among the versions, only one part of the Coptic  (the Sahidic) and the Ethiopic version follow the minority reading, which is hardly surprising considering the minority manuscripts are Alexandrian. All the other versions, including the Latin, the Syriac and part of the Coptic tradition (the Bohairic) follow the majority of Greek manuscripts. Propinquity thus overwhelmingly favours the majority reading.

In terms of transcriptional probability and internal logic, neither reading clearly stands out as superior. The minority reading seems more clumsy, mentioning God twice in the one phrase, but on the other hand the minority reading also states more explicitly the Christian belief that God is sovereignly guiding us through the turbulent events of life. Because scribes tended to omit rather than add, the minority reading seems more probable, however the fact that the extra words are found in such an extreme minority of manuscripts suggests that the addition could be a scribal addition.

Therefore, it seems that on the grounds of propinquity and number, we should stick with the reading found in the more diverse textual witnesses.

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