Tuesday, September 01, 2009

John 14:17c

Jim Hamilton draws my attention to his extended discussion of the text of John 14:17c in James M. Hamilton Jr., "Appendix 2: 'He Is with You, and He Is in You?' The Text of John 14:17c," in God's Indwelling Presence: The Holy Spirit in the Old and New Testaments (NACSBT; Nashville: Broadman and Holman, 2006), 175–82.


  1. And what is his conclusion?
    In the online commentary I give it as "indecisive".

  2. Well if you don't mind the suprise being spoiled, he reads ESTAI.

  3. Hamilton mentions that the UMIN preceding ESTAI may have caused the accidental conformation of ESTAI to ESTIN.

    There is perhaps a strong possibility of conformation of the future tense to the present tense due to the recurrence of the present tense (5 times) in John 14:17.

    The present tense (_est_) in the OL mss (e a b d c ff2* f etc.) might be explained by conformation to the preceding present tense of _manet_ in that version. The cause of variation of ESTAI in Greek, especially since it only appears in a few mss, might mirror the cause of variation in Latin.

    In my opinion it is also prudent not to underestimate the apparent sympathy of early scribes for the readings of the widely used OL version, especially in areas where Greek was a second language (e.g., Egypt).

    Jonathan C. Borland

  4. I am wondering if P75 really reads ESTAI. Probably both Porter and Swanson are relying on the ed.pr. in which ]AI with dots is given.
    On the image nothing certain can be seen at that position though.

    Thanks Stephen for the pointer. I am able to read the article. Unfortunately Hamilton does not discuss P75.
    I think that an argumentation from silence (p. 180, no correction from ESTAI to ESTIN is found) is in these cases worth nothing.
    "Whence then came the present?" That is exactly the question and Hamilton cannot answer this. His proposals are very weak. The only possibility that I could accept (which Hamilton does not note) is that ESTIN is a conformation to the tense of GINWSKETE, so Bernhard Weiss.
    The tense of MENEI is equivocal.

    With ESTIN being original, ESTAI would be a natural conformation to context. Also note that John uses three times elsewhere EN + dative of a person + ESTIN, but never ESTAI (7:18, 12:35, 14:10).

  5. Wieland asks, "Whence came the present?" and then suggests that I cannot answer this question. But the paragraph immediately following the alleged argument from silence on p. 180 (assuming Swanson's readings are right, the more than twenty mss that note no correction would seem to be worth something, wouldn't they?), I do suggest unintentional scribal error as the cause of the ending IN rather than AI.

    And I maintain that both external and internal evidence favor the future.

    Thanks for the interaction!


  6. Well, a correction *may* indicate something, that's true, but the absence of a correction does not mean anything. There are hundreds of variants where no correction appears.