John 14:14: “If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it.”

The WH NU has ἐάν τι αἰτήσητε με ἐν τῷ ὀνόματι μου “whatever you ask me in my name,” which is supported by P66 P75vid א B W Δ Θ 060 f13 33. The variant/TR has εαν τι αιτησητε εν τω ονοματι μου “whatever you ask in my name,” which is supported by A D L Q Ψ.

The “if you ask me anything” has the support of the earliest manuscripts. Scribes likely omitted με (“me”) so as to bring 14:14 into harmony with 14:13, as well as 15:16 and 16:23. In Codex Veronensis (itb), the entire verse of John 14:14 is omitted along with manuscripts X f1 565 1009 76 253 vgmss syrs, pal arm geo Diatessaron. Ancient versions were known to omit repetitive material. The omission could have been accidental or intentional. Below is an image of where John 14:14 would be in P75. There is a lacuna there, which is a gap where something is missing in the manuscript. The vid in P75vid (Latin videtur, “it seems so”) is an indication that the reading is in the witness, but there is no absolute certainty because of a lacuna. Nevertheless, there is space for the με (“me”) in the reading that would be there.

Lacunae in P75 John 14-14

John 14.14 Textual Criticism

If one is wondering why ego (“I”) is missing, it may be that the scribe or some previous scribe left it out, because it is redundant in the verse. Because the personal ending on the verb poieso (“I will do”), has the “I” and there is no real need for ego.

TC Principle/Rule: The reading that the other rose from is likely the original. Was it more likely that “me” was omitted or added? It is more likely that “me” was omitted, to be in agreement with 14:13, 15:16 and 16:23.

TC Principle/Rule: The more difficult or awkward reading is often preferable. Which is the harder reading? “Me” is at odds with verses 14:13; 15:16 and 16:23, and the rest of the Gospel of John.

TC Principle/Rule: The reading that is deemed immediately at odds with the context is preferred if deemed intentional because a scribe is more likely to have smoothed the reading out. The scribe likely omitted “me” to bring verse 14 in harmony with verses 14:13, 15:16 and 16:23, as well as the rest of John. In addition, “me” seems logical when we consider it with the “I” at the end of the sentence.

“If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it.”

If you ask anything in my name, I will do it.”


TC Principle/Rule: Within the synoptic gospels especially, a less identical reading is preferred, as scribes had a tendency to harmonize readings. Even though John is not one of the synoptic gospels, it seems the copyists were trying to harmonize by omitting “me.”

TC Principle/Rule: The Alexandrian text-type is generally preferred (especially P66 P75 01 and 03) There is no doubt that we have the best Alexandrian support.

Rule: A represented reading from more than one geographical area may be preferred to even an Alexandrian text-type reading. “Me” has Alexandrian and Western family support.

Rule: An author-doctrine reading is preferred. If a reading matches the doctrine of the author, it is preferred, and the variants that are foreign to that doctrine are questionable. This is the only principle that stands against “me.”

The με (“me”) in “If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it,” must be considered almost certain because of the excellent weighty external evidence P66 P75 א A B D L W Θ it cop.