My long-awaited article 'Not the Prologue of John' is now out in the Journal for the Study of the New Testament 33 (2011) 375-86.
Here's the abstract:
This article considers the history of the transmission of the opening verses of the Fourth Gospel and the ways in which the text was divided or not divided into segments by commentators (e.g. Ptolemy, Heracleon, Irenaeus, Cyprian, Chrysostom, Augustine, Cyril, Philoxenus), liturgical systems and the scribes of early manuscripts (e.g. Arabic, Armenian, Coptic, Ethiopic, Georgian, Greek, Latin, Syriac). There is then investigation of the division of the text in the period of print from 1495 (the first printing of Jn 1.1-14) to the present. It is found that systems that regarded Jn 1.1-5, 1-14, or 1-17 as a unit preceded those that regarded 1.1-18 as a unit and that these earlier analyses each have distinct exegetical advantages over the common modern position of viewing 1.1-18 as a unit. The reasons for the currently preferred division and its exegetical consequences are explored with the conclusion that Jn 1.1-18 should not be regarded as the prologue of the Fourth Gospel.
In the course of the article, I argue that it is more probable than not that the initial text contained a paragraph mark after 1.5, and that the view which regards Jn 1.1-18 as the prologue of the Gospel is very late. In fact, given that no one in the early church, and hardly anyone later, seems to think that the first 18 verses are the prologue it's hard to imagine that the author clearly intended his readers/hearers to take it as such.