In my previous post I mentioned the interesting story found in the Unknown Gospel (as it is called – even though part of it is now known…) contained in the second-century manuscript Papyrus Egerton 2.  There’s an intriguing aspect of that story that I wanted to post on today, but I realized that first I need to discuss a bit of important background.

So here’s the deal.  There is an interesting textual variant in Mark’s story of the man cured of leprosy by Jesus – that is, some of our textual witnesses have one way of reading one of the verses, and other textual witnesses have a different way.  And it really matters.  Here is the passage (Mark 1:39-45) in a literal translation.  The textual variant I am interested in is in v. 41 (there are lots of other textual variants among our manuscripts in this passage; this particular one is the only one I’m interested in here):

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