On Tuesday we had an interesting paper at the NT Seminar from David Horrell (Exeter) on 1 Peter 4.16. I won't go into the paper in general (except to say that it was generally convincing - in the sense that it defended a view of this verse that I already held - usually the reason for recognising the most convincing papers!), nor into the major textual criticism raised regarding the choice between ONOMATI and MEREI in 4.16b.
In the course of the discussion the reading of Sinaiticus at Acts 11.26; 26.28 & 1 Pet 4.16 was raised. Sinaiticus uses the spelling: XRHSTIANOS. Dirk suggested it was a real variant not a mere spelling error. I proposed that the term was itself a deliberate statement that Christians were 'useful people' (XRHSTOS means useful; cf. 1 Peter 2.3 where it is used in 1 Peter from Ps 33LXX [although not without interesting variants there too]), which might be taken as a mark of the impact of 1 Peter as a whole: that those who have tasted the benevolence/usefulness/kindness of God would be a people themselves marked by kindness/usefulness/benevolence towards others (e.g. 2.12 etc.).
So the variant reading might be a window into the reception- or impact- history of 1 Peter.
Crazy theory I know, but I thought I should share it here first.