HIS house, HER house or THEIR house? 

Colossians 4:15 KJB – “Salute the brethren which are in Laodicea, and Nymphas, and the church which is in HIS  house.” 


Revised Version 1881, ASV 1901 – ” Salute the brethren that are in Laodicea, and Nymphas, and the church that is in THEIR house.”


ESV, NIV, NASB – “Give my greetings to the brothers at Laodicea, and to Nympha and the church in HER house.” 


Westcott and Hort and the present UBS/Nestle-Aland/Vatican Critical text read “the church that is in HER house” καὶ τὴν κατ’ οἶκον αὐτῆς ἐκκλησίαν.  


While Tischendorf went with “the church that is in THEIR house.” – τὴν κατ’ οἶκον αὐτῶν ἐκκλησίαν.


“HIS house” -(καὶ τὴν κατ’ οἶκον αὐτοῦ ἐκκλησίαν.) again is the Majority reading including D, F, G, K, L, Psi, the Old Latin ar, c, d, den, div, e, f, g, mon, x, z, and the Armenian, Syriach Peshitta and Gothic ancient versions and is so quoted by early church writers as Chrysostom, Theodoret, Euthalius and John-Damascus.


“HIS house” is the reading of and that of Etheridge, Murdock and Lamsa’s translations of the Syraic Peshitta, Aramaic Bible in Plain English and all Bibles translated from the Traditional Reformation Texts, which include Tyndale 1525, Coverdale 1535, Great Bible 1540, Matthew’s Bible 1549, the Bishops’ bible 1568, the Geneva Bible 1599, The Beza N.T. 1599, Wesley’s N.T. 1755, Haweis N.T. 1795, Sawyer N.T. 1858, Darby 1890, Youngs’ 1898, Living Bible 1971, The Lawrie Translation 1998, The Koster Scriptures 1998, God’s First Truth 1999, The Last Days N.T. 1999, The Faithful N.T. 2009, World English Bible 2000, The Tomson N.T. 2002, The Apostolic Polyglot Bible 2003, The Pickering N.T. 2005, The Conservative Bible 2010, The Jubilee Bible 2010, The Hebraic Transliteration Scriptures 2010, The Far Above All Translation 2014, the Modern English Version 2014 and the NKJV 1982. 

It is also the reading of Luther’s German bible 1545 – “Nymphas und die Gemeinde in seinem Hause.” = “Nymphas and the church in his house.”, 


the Modern Greek Bible – “Ασπασθητε τους εν Λαοδικεια αδελφους και τον Νυμφαν και την κατ’ οικον αυτου εκκλησιαν·” 


and  the Modern Hebrew Bible – שאלו לשלום האחים אשר בלודקיא ולשלום נומפס והקהלה אשר בביתו׃


However Vaticanus, virtually all by itself, says HER house ( αὐτῆς – autees) and so do the NASB, NIV, RSV, NRSV, Holman, Jehovah Witness NWT, the ESV and (quite naturally) Dan Wallace’s NET version. Then Wallace footnotes – 


“The harder reading is certainly αὐτῆς (HER house), and thus Nympha should be considered a woman.” 


Oh…, because it has hardly any textual support except that of the Vatican manuscript, and is the least likely and the hardest reading, therefore it MUST BE the legitimate one!  Do you see how this “science” of textual criticism really plays out?



But Sinaiticus, A and C read THEIR HOUSE (αὐτῶν – autwn) and so also do Tischendorf’s and Tregelles Greek texts, the Revised Version 1881, the American Standard Version of 1901, Godbey N.T. 1902, Weymouth 1912, the Bible in Basic English 1961, The Yah Sacred Scriptures 2001 and The New European Version 2010 – “the church that is in THEIR house”.   



The Catholic Connection



The older Douay-Rheims bible of 1582-1610 read “and Nymphas and the church that is in his house.”, and so did the 1950 Douay Version. But the 1969 Jerusalem bible said “HER house”. Then the 1970 St. Joseph NAB went with “HIS house” and then the 1985 New Jerusalem went back to “HER house”. Oh…but there is more.  Now the 2009 Catholic Public Domain Version has come out and it once again goes back to “Nymphas and the church that is at HIS house.”



So, is it HIS house or HER house or THEIR house? 



“Who knows and Who cares? They’re all the inspired word of God, right?”  (This seems to be the attitude of so many Christians today.)