Eph 5:30 variant: Christ’s Body, the Church, as ‘Flesh and Bones,’ in view of Lk 24:39 & the LXX

In this paper, I will examine the textual variant in Ephesians 5:30. The Alexandrian text has the shorter reading without “flesh and bones,” as opposed to both the Byzantine and Western support of the longer reading. The various translations following the critical text opt for the shorter reading based on Metzger’s following suggestion:
Although it is possible that the shorter text, which is supported by early and good witnesses (including P46 Aleph* A B 33 81 1739* copsa, bo), may have arisen by accidental omission occasioned by homoeoteleuton (αὐτοῦ … αὐτοῦ), it is more probable that the longer readings reflect various scribal expansions derived from Gn 2.23 (where, however, the sequence is “bone . . . flesh”), anticipatory to the quotation of Gn 2.24 in ver. 31.
Contrarily, Harold Hoehner in his exegetical commentary makes a strong case for the longer reading “because of its overwhelming external evidence and because it is the harder reading with regards to its internal evidence.” So also, Peter Rodgers supports the longer reading and dismisses charges of “an early anti-Gnostic gloss” since the Gnostics were not against any reference to “flesh and bones.”
An unexplored source of the longer reading could possibly be the use of the paired terms in the LXX, albeit in reverse order at times. This point was raised at the Evangelical Textual Criticism blog by Maurice Robinson in the comments under Peter Gurry’s 2016 post titled “A Case for the Longer Reading at Ephesians 5:30?” The present study will go beyond the Genesis 2:24 reference and examine Luke 24:39 and all the LXX usage of the paired terms (flesh and bones) to show that the longer reading is more than likely original, especially since it does not perfectly match the Genesis 2:24 reference in Ephesians 5:31.
Furthermore, this paper is in line with the theme of the 2023 ETS meeting: Theological Anthropology.

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