MAY 18

THE HARMONIZATION

The second kind of mistake found in the ancient handwritten copies of the Scripture is called a Harmonization. This mistake occurred when a scribe inadvertently substituted a particular phrase from a familiar passage of Scripture for a similar, but not exactly the same phrase, in another passage of Scripture. An example of this is Ephesians 1:2 and Colossians 1:2.

In Ephesians, Paul writes, “Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.” This familiar Pauline salutation was adopted as a familiar Christian greeting in the early church.

In Colossians, however, Paul only writes, “Grace to you and peace from God our Father.” A scribe copying Colossians 1:2 may think, “Ah, I know this one!” As a consequence, he would write the whole phrase as he was accustomed to hearing it, adding the extra, “and the Lord Jesus Christ.” Or perhaps the scribe would look back at the text he was copying and notice that it didn’t say, “and the Lord Jesus Christ.” “That’s strange,” he would say, “it should say that. The guy who copied this last must have missed it. I’ll fix it.” So, he put in the extra words.