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if indeed, after we have put on[a] our heavenly house,[b] we will not be found naked. For we groan while we are in this tent,[c] since we are weighed down,[d] because we do not want to be unclothed, but clothed, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life. Now the one who prepared us for this very purpose[e] is God, who gave us the Spirit as a down payment.[f]

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  1. 2 Corinthians 5:3 tc ‡ Some mss read “taken off” (ἐκδυσάμενοι, ekdusamenoi) instead of “put on” (ἐνδυσάμενοι, endusamenoi). This alternative reading would change the emphasis of the verse from putting on “our heavenly house” to taking off “our earthly house” (see the following note regarding the specification of the referent). The difference between the two readings is one letter (ν or κ), either of which may be mistaken for the other especially when written in majuscule script. ἐνδυσάμενοι enjoys strong support from the Alexandrian text (P46 א B C 33 1739 1881), Byzantine witnesses, versions (lat sy co), and Clement of Alexandria. The Western text is the only text-form to differ: D*,c reads ἐκδυσάμενοι, as does ar fc Mcion Tert Spec; F and G read εκλ for εκδ which indirectly aligns them with D (and was surely due to confusion of letters in majuscule script). Thus “put on” has the oldest and best external attestation by far. Internal evidence also favors this reading. At first glance, it may seem that “after we have put on our heavenly house we will not be found naked” is an obvious statement; the scribe of D may have thought so and changed the participle. But v. 3 seems parenthetical (so A. Plummer, Second Corinthians [ICC], 147), and the idea that “we do not want to be unclothed but clothed” is repeated in v. 4 with an explanatory “for.” This concept also shows up in v. 2 with the phrase “we desire to put on.” So the context can be construed to argue for “put on” as the reading of the initial text. B. M. Metzger argues against the reading of NA28, stating that ἐκδυσάμενοι is “an early alteration to avoid apparent tautology” (TCGNT 511; so also Plummer, 148). In addition, the reading ἐνδυσάμενοι fits the Pauline pattern of equivalence between apodosis and protasis that is found often enough in his conditional clauses. Thus, “put on” has the mark of authenticity and should be considered autographic.
  2. 2 Corinthians 5:3 tn Grk “it”; the referent (the “heavenly dwelling” of the previous verse) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
  3. 2 Corinthians 5:4 sn See the note in 5:1 on the phrase the tent we live in.
  4. 2 Corinthians 5:4 tn Or “we are burdened.”
  5. 2 Corinthians 5:5 tn Grk “for this very thing.”
  6. 2 Corinthians 5:5 tn Or “first installment,” “pledge,” “deposit” (see the note on the phrase “down payment” in 1:22).

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