John 2:17 and KATAFAGETAI

Eric Weiss eweiss at gte.net
Mon Mar 18 22:38:32 EST 2002


John 2:17 states ... hOTI GEGRAMMENON ESTIN, hO ZHLOS TOU OIKOU SOU
KATAFAGETAI ME.

The quote is from Psalm 69:9 (English verse numbering; 69:10 Hebrew).
This rendering of KATAFAGETAI (future) is a change from a "past tense"
(qatal, I believe) in the Hebrew MT and the aorist (KATEFAGE) in the
LXX.

Neither UBS-4 nor N-A 27 list variants for KATAFAGETAI. The Expositor's
Greek Testament prints "KATEFAGE" in the text but has the footnote:
"KATAFAGETAI in all uncials."

Comfort-Barrett (The Text of the Earliest NT Greek Manuscripts,
corrected edition) has three papyri with John 2:17:
- P66 has KATAFAGETE -- a 2nd person plural aorist imperative(!) I
believe. (p. 394) I would guess that this is a scribal error, as there
is no 2nd person plural subject that I can see.
- P75 has KATAFAGETAI (p. 571)
- 0162 has KATAFAGETAI (p. 684)

1. Is The Expositor's Greek Testament implying (by its footnote) that
the better rendering in fact is KATAFAGETAI?

2. Is it likely that the author of John "changed" the LXX aorist/Hebrew
past tense to make the Psalm messianic/predictive of Christ's
crucifixion -- i.e., the zeal Jesus showed for God's house WILL result
in His being "consumed" (crucified)? Or, is there evidence for a Jewish
tradition/Targum/text the author drew upon for his use of the future
tense verb, similar to how Eph. 4:8 changes "received gifts from men" to
"gave gifts to men" apparently based on the way a Targum (I believe)
renders or comments on this verse from Psalm 68?

3. Where does the KATAFAGETE of P66 come from? Is it a recognized error?

--
Eric S. Weiss
http://home1.gte.net/eweiss/index.htm
S.D.G.





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