Re: John 10:29a

From: Ben Crick (
Date: Fri Apr 03 1998 - 19:00:15 EST

On Thu 2 Apr 98 (18:52:53), wrote:
> I notice that the NRSV and a couple other versions translate the
> beginning of John 10:29 as, "What my Father has given me is greater
> than all else....," rather than the usual, "My Father, who has given
> (them) to Me, is greater than all...." I don't understand the
> rationale behind the NRSV rendering. Will someone be kind enough to
> explain it to me?

 Dear Ted,

 John 10:29 is a textual crux. My GNT reads hO PATHR MOU *hO* DEDWKEN MOI
 PANTWN MEIZON ESTIN, KTL... This is attested by Vaticanus, the whole Latin
 tradition, the Egyptian Bohairic, Ambrose, and Jerome. The Vulgate reads
 Pater meus *quod* dedit mihi, majus omnibus est: etc. The English Revised
 Version relegates this to the Margin, however.

 The other reading is hO PATHR MOU *hOS* DEDWKEN MOI, ktl. This corrects the
 neuter relative pronoun hO to the masculine hOS. This reading is supported
 by the Bodmer Papyrus p66 (circa 200 AD), the Syriac, the Sahidic, the
 Achmimic, and the Subachmimic St John; also the cursive families f1 and f13
 and the Byzantine text (behind the KJV); and is the preferred RV Text.

 The masculine pronoun hOS makes better sense and is what we would expect;
 bu the Westcott & Hort principle is that the least appropriate and most
 difficult variant is more likely to be the original, because a copyist
 would be tempted to alter a difficult reading to a simpler one, not vice

 But let's be sensible and prefer the Bodmer p66 and not try to be difficult
 and obscurantist. Or understand that "Father" God is gender-neutral, (or
 gender-inclusive), so therefore the neuter relative pronoun is quite in
 order... 8-)


 Revd Ben Crick, BA CF
 232 Canterbury Road, Birchington, Kent, CT7 9TD (UK)

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