An examination of the three earliest extant copies of 2 Peter (namely those found in Papyrus 72, Codex Sinaiticus and Codex Vaticanus) is made in order to determine how the meaning of 2 Peter is affected by differences among the three copies, especially the textual variations among them. These textual variations produce significantly different understandings of Jesus in the three copies of 2 Peter, as well as other less prominent differences in meaning.
More than once a great number of different readings of the same text can be found. If one wants to find the authentic text, one should look according to Griesbach for the reading 'e qua caeterarum ortus facillime ex plicetur', the reading that easily explains the rise of the others. However, textual criticism involves more than simply determ ining the original text. It also entails seeing how that text came to be modified over time. In addition, one may think of the efforts of Amphoux who distinguishes several 'editions' of the gospels before the text of the great uncials of the fourth century. In this study I will expose my method and illustrate my way of handling textual variants by five texts from the first chapter of the gospel of Mark. The Bezan Codex D.05 is evidently an important witness for this gospel.