Matt. 18:11 (traditional text)
18:10 .................................................. ...ορατε μη κα-
ταφρονησητε ενος των μικρων τουτων λεγω γαρ υμ-
ιν οτι οι αγγελοι αυτων εν ουρανοις δια παντος βλεπ-
ουσιν το προσωπον του πατρος μου του εν ουρανοις
ηλθεν γαρ ο υιος του ανθρωπου σωσαι το απολωλος
τι υμιν δοκει εαν γενηται τινι ανθρωπω εκατον προβ-
ατα και πλανηθη εν εξ αυτων ουχι αφεις τα εννενηκ-
ονταεννεα επι τα ορη πορευθεις ζητει το πλανωμενον
Beware! -- do not
despise one of these little ones, for I say to you,
that their angels in the heavens do always behold
the face of my Father who is in the heavens;
for the Son of Man did come to save the lost.
`What think ye? if a scribe has a hundred verses,
and one of them there goes astray , does he not --
having left the copyist table, having gone into the
mountains -- then seek that which has gone astray?
Include verse 11: D K W X Δ Π 078 28 565 700 1071 1079 1230 1241 1242 1253 1344 1365 1646 2148 2174 Byz Maj (Majority of all Continuous MSS) Lect. l85pt it-a/aur/b/d/f/ff2/g1/l/n/q/r1 Vg Syr-C/p Arm Geo-1b Diatessaron Hilary(both variants) Chrysostom Augustine (with variations: ) (L-e/g/ 892-mg 1009 1010 1195 1216 l-[10 12 69 70 80 185pt 211 299 303 374 1642, l-950] it-c Syr-h Cop-bo(mss) eth.
Omit: א B L* f1 f13 33 892(txt) it-e/ff1 Syr-s/pal Cop-sa/bo geo-a Origen Apost. Can. Juvencus Euseb. Hilary(both variants) Jerome?
A second glance at the preceding line reveals a startling 14 out of 40 letters in the same order and similar position to the lost line, or 35% of the visual area for each line. almost 25% shared with the following line also helps to blur the position of the copyist.
Similar endings on three consecutive lines add to the fun, with someone in the Alexandrian stream dropping the ball early.
Naturally Hort and friends delete the verse, seeking the shortest
possible text. Nobody told them the shortest text is simply none at
all, and can be had anywhere.
The majority of modern translations delete the verse, which is I suppose some kind of 'majority reading'.
To paraphrase Metzger somewhat,
'The irony of the verse's content is overwhelming.'