John 1:18

From: Ray Clendenen (
Date: Thu Feb 04 1999 - 12:55:48 EST

Ray Clendenen@BSSBNOTES
02/04/99 11:55 AM

Bart Ehrman, in The Orthodox Corruption of Scripture, has a strong argument
against the common reading theos vs. huios in Jn 1:18. His 2 strongest
arguments are (1) that the reading huios is more widely attested, and (2)
the reading theos does not fit the context of John or the immediate
context. An aspect of the latter is his argument that an ancient or modern
Greek reader will most naturally read an adjective followed by a noun with
the same inflection as an attributive adjective followed by the noun it
modifies. It is common, however, for modern translations (and even
Wallace's recent grammar) to read the adjective as substantival in
apposition to the following noun, theos. As Ehrman puts it, "When is an
adjective ever used substantivally when it immediately precedes a noun of
the same inflection? No Greek reader would construe such a construction as
a string of substantives, and no Greek writer would creat such an
inconsistency <my xerox copy is unclear here>. To the best of my knowledge,
no one has cited anything analogous outside of this passage."

Does anyone out there have any information about Ehrman's contention. His
argument seems rather strong to me and inclines me to agree that huois is
probably the original reading against the majority of text critics. What do
you think? Thanks.
Ray Clendenen
Broadman & Holman

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