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49 But the rest said, “Leave him alone! Let’s see if Elijah will come to save him.”[a]

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  1. Matthew 27:49 tc Early and significant witnesses, including the chief Alexandrian mss (א B C L Γ 1010 and some versional witnesses) add a sentence at the end of this verse: “And another [soldier] took a spear and pierced him in the side, and water and blood flowed out.” This comment finds such a strong parallel in John 19:34 that it was undoubtedly lifted from the Fourth Gospel by some early, well-meaning scribe and inserted into Matt 27:49. The alternative—that this sentence was part of Matthew’s Ausgangstext—has serious difficulties, as Metzger notes: “It might be thought that the words were omitted because they represent the piercing as preceding Jesus’ death, whereas John makes it follow; but that difference would have only been a reason for moving the passage to a later position (perhaps at the close of ver. 50 or 54 or 56), or else there would have been some tampering with the passage in John, which is not the case. It is probable that the Johannine passage was written by some reader in the margin of Matthew from memory (there are several minor differences, such as the sequence of ‘water and blood’), and a later copyist awkwardly introduced it into the text” (TCGNT, 59). Consequently, even though the support for the shorter reading (A D W Θ ƒ1,13 33 565 579 700 1241 1424 M lat sy sa bo) is not as impressive, internal considerations on its behalf are compelling.