Iver Larsen wrote:Paul consistently uses ὑπὲρ as in 1 Cor 15:3, 2 Cor 5:21, Gal 1:4. John has settled for περὶ and it may well be that the small distinction was lost over time. The variant περὶ in Gal 1:4 appears to be a later adjustment to such a change in usage.
I don't want to bring this into a discussion on textual variants, but if your last statement is true, would we not see a few manuscripts that change ὑπὲρ to περὶ in more verses (and I guess vice-versa), other than, as far as I can find in the NA apparatus, this one place in Gal 1:4?
And as Mr. Carlson mentioned in his first post, Papyrus 46 has περὶ rather than ὑπὲρ (dated around 150-200 CE (and P46 also omits τῶν from the text as well)), therefore showing that the difference probably shouldn't be classed as a "later" adjustment, but quite an early one in the textual tradition of the NT.
I don't see any particular difference between ὑπὲρ and περὶ, as both have meanings that overlap, but the change from περὶ to ὑπὲρ in Gal 1:4 is probably a more "correction" to conform Gal 1:4 with 1 Cor 15:3, as περὶ only ever appears with ἁμαρτία in Paul's writings in Romans 8:3, but that isn't "with regards to our sins". I'm actually quite surprised to see that ὑπὲρ and ἁμαρτία only appear together in the Pauline writings in the three verses you mentioned above. I thought it was a bit more common than it actually is
In fact, ὑπὲρ with ἁμαρτία is extremely rare in the NT itself (1 Cor 15:3; 2 Cor 5:21; Gal 1:4 (questionable); Heb 5:1, 7:27, 10:2), when compared with περὶ and ἁμαρτία (John 8:46, 15:22, 16:8, 9; Rom 8:3; Heb 5:3, 10:6, 8, 18, 26, 13:11; 1 Pet 3:18; 1 John 2:2, 4:10).
Does anyone know whether someone has done a study on these two prepositions as they are used in the NT? It would be quite helpful in determining whether it is just a stylistic difference, or whether a definite difference of meaning can be determined between the two