Wednesday, April 04, 2012
B.J. Burkholder on John 1:18
In a recent article in Zeitschrift für die Neutestamentliche Wissenschaft, ZNW 103 (2012, pp. 64-83), Benjamin J. Burkholder is "Considering the Possibility of a Theological Corruption in Joh 1,18 in Light of its Early Reception". Citing Fenton J.A. Hort as a motto - "The always questionable suggestion of dogmatic alteration is peculiarly out of place here”, which has been challenged most notably by Bart D. Ehrman - he finally draws the conclusion that "when μονογενὴς θεός does become a litmus test for orthodoxy, it occurs at such a late date that it cannot aid in determining how the reading came into existence ... the extant evidence from early Alexandria does not provide any conclusive evidence that the variant in Joh 1,18 would have arisen from theological motives... the evidence suggests that a theological corruption is an unlikely explanation for the extant readings of Joh 1,18" (p.83).