Jn.3:15,16 PISTEUW EN

c stirling bartholomew cc.constantine at worldnet.att.net
Mon Oct 15 17:26:52 EDT 2001


Hello Iver,

on 10/15/01 12:43 PM, Iver Larsen wrote:

> One may choose the "harder reading" because a difficult reading is more
> likely to be "corrected". However, I prefer to put quite a bit of emphasis
> on the question: What is the author most likely to have written from the
> standpoint of his own style, preferences and what fits the context? Given
> John's very marked preference for EIS with PISTEUW, it seems unlikely that
> he would have written EN.

Only if you presuppose that EN is to be joined with PISTEUW. If on the other
hand we take  EN AUTWI with the following verb then we have a construction
which finds lots of support in John and 1John (see Metzger Text. Comm. Jn
3:15). 

I decided to follow up on Metzger's suggestion and read  some of 1John to
see how many times I could spot and adverbial EN + Substantive placed before
a verb. I was surprised how frequent this is. I ignored cases were the verb
was EISTIN  (there were several of these). Take a look at 1Jn 1:6, 1:7, 2:3,
2:5, 2:24, 3:6 . . . (I stopped at this point).

Look at the following examples from John and 1John:

John 5:39 hOTI hUMEIS DOKEITE IN AUTAIS ZWHN AIWNION EXEIN

John 16:33 TAUTA LELALHKA hUMIN hINA
EN EMOI EIRHNHN EXHTE. EN TWi KOSMWi QLIYIN EXETE . . .

1Jn 3:6 PAS hO EN AUTWi MENOWN OUK hAMARTANEI . . .

Note that the first three examples all appear with the same verb.
Significant? Probably not. The last example is found with a participle
MENOWN  but I include it because it is semantically relevant to Jn 3:15.


> Of course, one needs to look at the possibility that EN AUTWi might be
> constructed with the following words rather than PISTEUW. But this would
> give an emphasis on the fronted EN AUTWI that is not supported by the
> immediate context, and therefore not very likely.

Again, this fronting for emphasis is a matter of some dispute is it not? All
the smoke hasn't cleared on this topic yet and probably will not in the near
future. I think that the fronting = emphasis equation needs to be applied
with discrimination. I suspect that you would agree.

>Therefore, I think that
> the EN was a careless mistake introduced by either P75 or a parent of it.

If forced to choose (no one is forcing me) I would lean toward this solution
and read EIS rather than EN. P75 and B are not infallible. The strongest
support for the reading EN comes from its ability to explain the other
readings. Metzger in the first edition of his Textual Comm. doesn't sound
very dogmatic about this reading. However, Metzger is typically very
cautious. 

Clay

--  
Clayton Stirling Bartholomew
Three Tree Point
P.O. Box 255 Seahurst WA 98062





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