From: Williams, Wes (
Date: Fri Oct 31 1997 - 12:56:01 EST

I know I am late in responding, but I wanted some time to think about

Paul S. Dixon" <> wrote:

>> In Jn 1:49 Nathaniel says to Christ, hRABBI, SU EI hO hUIOS TOU QEOU,
then either SU BASILEUS EI TOU ISRAHL (P75, A, B, L, W, Psi, f), or
SU EI hO BASILEUS TOU ISRAHL (P66, Aleph, theta, majority text).

Metzger does not address this in his "Textual Commentary on the Greek
Testament." Which construction should we prefer and why?

Should we opt for the anarthrous construction because scribes might be
expected to make the second part more closely parallel to the first by
arranging the word order similarly and by including the definite
 Or, are there other considerations? <<

I have some thoughts about "are there other considerations" that I would
like to share. I do not feel strongly one way or the other and so would
appreciate feedback from the list, but I have a leaning based on the
reasoning below.

One consideration upon which neither Colwell nor Harner commented is
that Herod Antipas was hO BASILEUS TOU ISRAHL at the time. This would
make two Kings of Israel alive (Jesus king-designate) at the same time.
This is a factual situation, but did Nathaniel intend by stating that
Jesus was the King of Israel that Herod was NOT the King of Israel? I
think not. So, a monadic "King of Israel" can be excluded. A class of
"Kings of Israel" can be introduced, of which Herod and Jesus are
members. Therefore, the issue becomes: is Jesus as BASILEUS TOU ISRAEL
definite (THE King of Israel) or indefinite (one of the "Kings of
Israel")? To what extent is it qualitative ("truly" King of Israel) with
secondary emphasis on the class? How would the scribes have understood

Membership in the class does not appear to be what Nathaniel is
stressing (even though this is true).

I suspect the scribes saw the same issue (i.e.; Herod was King of the
Jews) and reflected their _understanding_ in their different styles,
some choosing to stress qualitativeness at John 1:49, and reflecting
that in their word order, while others chose definiteness. This is a
reasonable possibility as to the differences in my mind.

Colwell assumed definiteness at John 1:49, but did Colwell consider that
Herod was King of Israel or not? I do not know. Harner followed with
reservation ("perhaps Colwell is right on this point").

What did the original hand of John write? I don't know. However, unlike
Colwell, I do not think definiteness should automatically be assumed
here since other possibilities exist. My leaning is that the primary
stress is qualitative since Herod was the King of Israel and Jesus was
the "real" King, with a secondary indefiniteness (one of the class) or
definiteness (Jesus was THE promised future King if that was Nathaniel's
point of view). However, if the hO BASILEUS reading is original, then it
would be definite without regard for Herod.

I welcome feedback and constructive criticism on the above. Thanks in

Wes Williams

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