This article explores the possibility that a significant but little-known singular reading in P⁴⁶ may hold existential priority over the rest of the extant tradition. At Rom 15:31 in P⁴⁶, Paul prays that his “ministry for Jerusalem” (the so-called collection) might be “acceptable through the saints (διὰ τῶν ἁγίων).” The rest of the manuscript and Patristic witnesses preserve the more typically Pauline τοῖς ἁγίοις. This singular reading has never been included in the apparatus of the hand-editions of the Novum Testamentum Graece and thus has been unknown to commentators on Romans since the publication of P⁴⁶ in the 1930s. We argue, based on the habits of the scribe of P⁴⁶, that its singular witness of διὰ τῶν ἁγίων was also the reading of its exemplar and that this earliest preserved reading is more likely than not the earlier of the two possible readings. We then offer several ways of understanding Rom 15:31 in light of its priority, one of which rewrites our understanding of Paul's relationship with the city of Jerusalem as a whole. It understands the saints in Jerusalem as the agents through which the collection, broadened in scope toward the end of Paul's journey to include all of the poor in Jerusalem, including those who have not believed in Jesus, would be administered.

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