From: Paul S. Dixon (
Date: Sat Nov 01 1997 - 02:04:44 EST

On Fri, 31 Oct 1997 10:56:01 -0700 "Williams, Wes"
<> writes:
>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),
>SU EI hO BASILEUS TOU ISRAHL (P66, Aleph, theta, majority text).
>Metzger does not address this in his "Textual Commentary on the Greek
>New 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
>article? 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
>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
>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
>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
>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

If SU BASILEUS EI TOU ISRAHL is the correct reading, then I would agree
with your analysis. The significance is probably qualitativeness. In my
Th.M. thesis, "The Significance of the Anarthrous Predicate Nominative in
John," (the concluding chapter of which is online
[]) I found that in 50 of 53 (94%)
occurrences of the precopulative anarthrous predicate nominative in John
the significance was qualitativeness.

The question, of course, is whether this is the correct reading, or if
the post-copulative articular predicate nominative reading is correct.
Style-wise (1:1c, 1:14), I say let's go with the anarthrous reading.
Yet, is this sufficient reason to think subsequent scribes would change
from the articular to the anarthrous reading? I doubt it. I think it
would be more likely scribes would want to change from an anarthrous
reading to the articular construction.

Paul Dixon

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.4 : Sat Apr 20 2002 - 15:38:35 EDT