“Son” or “Chosen One”? A Textual Problem in John 1:34
I recently submitted an article in which I examine the textual problem in John 1:34 from a perspective informed by text critical and narrative critical methodologies. I attempted this sort of argument (in a more embryonic form) in an article I published nearly eight years ago, though I’m not really sure how convincing my argument is in that piece. However, I remain interested in exploring how a narrative hermeneutic can inform all kinds of historical critical concerns, especially textual problems. What I have attempted to do is introduce narrative critical concerns as another type of internal evidence in a way that takes into account themes as they develop diachronically. This, I think, has the potential to free discussions of internal evidence from superficial synchronic readings of a given text.
The external evidence clearly favors υἱόϛ (“son”) [P66, 75 A B C L Θ Ψ 0233vid f1,13 33 1241 aur c f l g bo], while the scantily attested reading, ἐκλεκτός (“chosen”) [P106vid א * b e ff2* sys.c] is the more difficult for both the literary and theological presentation of the Fourth Gospel. This “stalemate” leads me to trace the development of a motif that emerges in the first four days of narrated activity (1:19-51). I won’t give it all away (just in case the article is accepted for publication), but I favor ἐκλεκτός and I believe the Christological confessions in 1:29, 36, 41, 44, 49 help shed light on the solution to this difficult textual problem.