The original text of the NT is the “published” text—that is, the text as it was in its final edited form and released for circulation in the Christian community.
One of the vital and until recently, more tedious, tasks in the work of textual criticism was that of collating every extant Greek manuscript or fragment of the New Testament. We may be overjoyed at the abundance of sources available to us, which include the papyri, the codices, and even citations in the fathers; without collation, however, we would have no practical way to access and use them.
There is a bewildering variety of variant readings here. The number of variants is evidence that the scribes had some serious difficulties. There can only be one reading, which is the original reading. The reading that the other readings most likely came from is
Codex Vaticanus (03, B) contains the Gospels, Acts, the General Epistles, the Pauline Epistles, the Epistle to the Hebrews (up to Hebrews 9:14, καθα[ριει); it lacks 1 and 2 Timothy, Titus, Philemon, and Revelation. It is written on 759 leaves of vellum and is dated to c. 300–325 C.E.
Codex Vaticanus (03, B) contains the Gospels, Acts, the General Epistles, the Pauline Epistles, the Epistle to the Hebrews (up to Hebrews 9:14, καθα[ριει); it lacks 1 and 2 Timothy, Titus, Philemon, and Revelation. It is written on 759 leaves of vellum and is dated to c. 300–325 C.E. Arguably, one could say that Codex Vaticanus…
As we have noted elsewhere in other articles, the textual scholar looks at two forms of evidence: external (manuscripts) and internal (what the author or scribe wrote). Internal evidence concerns what might have led to scribal errors. Therefore, we will discuss scribal practices and tendencies, to get an image of how the Word of God came down to us by way of the copyist.
The first two words of 5:20, the third-person imperative and the demonstrative pronoun (γινωσκέτω ὅτι ginōsketō hoti) would seem to be the original reading and were altered to the second-person plural imperative (γινώσκετε ginōskete).
"Copyists were perplexed, not knowing whether ψυχὴν αὐτοῦ (his soul) referred to the soul of the person converted or to the soul of the person who converted someone else."
One of the greatest tragedies in the modern-day history of Christianity [1880 - present] is that churchgoers have not been educated about the history of the New Testament text.