NTTC JOHN 9:35: Is It “Do you believe in the Son of Man?” or Is It “Do you believe in the Son of God?”

The Reading Culture of Early Christianity From Spoken Words to Sacred Texts 400,000 Textual Variants 02

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Edward D. Andrews
EDWARD D. ANDREWS (AS in Criminal Justice, BS in Religion, MA in Biblical Studies, and MDiv in Theology) is CEO and President of Christian Publishing House. He has authored over 120 books. Andrews is the Chief Translator of the Updated American Standard Version (UASV).

Major Critical Texts of the New Testament

Byz RP: 2005 Byzantine Greek New Testament, Robinson & Pierpont
TR1550: 1550 Stephanus New Testament
Maj: The Majority Text (thousands of minuscules which display a similar text)
Gries: 1774-1775 Johann Jakob Griesbach Greek New Testament
Treg: 1857-1879 Samuel Prideaux Tregelles Greek New Testament
Tisch: 1872 Tischendorf’s Greek New Testament
WH: 1881 Westcott-Hort Greek New Testament
NA28: 2012 Nestle-Aland Greek New Testament
UBS5: 2014 Greek New Testament
NU: Both Nestle-Aland and the United Bible Society

TGNT: 2017 The Greek New Testament by Tyndale House
GENTI: 2020 Greek-English New Testament Interlinear

4th ed. MISREPRESENTING JESUS The Complete Guide to Bible Translation-2

ΚΑΤΑ ΙΩΑΝΝΗΝ 9:35b 2020 Greek-English New Testament Interlinear (GENTI & WH NU TGNT)  [BRD]
 ΣὺYou πιστεύειςare believing εἰςinto τὸνthe υἱὸνSon τοῦof the ἀνθρώπου;man? 

ΚΑΤΑ ΙΩΑΝΝΗΝ 9:35b 1550 Stephanus New Testament (TR1550)
 ΣὺYou πιστεύειςare believing εἰςinto τὸνthe υἱὸνSon τοῦof the θεου;God?

The P52 PROJECT THE NEW TESTAMENT DOCUMENTS 4th ed. MISREPRESENTING JESUS
John 9:35 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
35 Jesus heard that they had thrown him out, and having found him he said, “Do you believe in the Son of Man?”
John 9:35 English Standard Version (ESV)
35 Jesus heard that they had cast him out, and having found him he said, “Do you believe in the Son of Man?”
John 9:35 American Standard Version (ASV)
35 Jesus heard that they had cast him out; and finding him, he said, Dost thou believe on the Son of God?

GENTI WH NU TGNT   σὺ πιστεύεις εἰς τὸν υἱὸν το νθρώπου;
“Do you believe in the Son of Man?”
P66 P75 א B D W itd syrs cop

Variant/TR συ πιστευεις εις τον υιον του θεου;
“Do you believe in the Son of God?”
A L Θ Ψ 070 0250 f,13 Maj syr,h

NOTE: When there is a superscript א* This siglum refers to the original before it has been corrected. The superscript א1 This siglum refers to the corrector who worked on the manuscript before it left the scriptorium. The superscript א2 refers to correctors in the 6th and 7th century C.E., who altered the text to conform more with the Byzantine text.

9781949586121 BIBLE DIFFICULTIES THE NEW TESTAMENT DOCUMENTS

The original wording in John 9:35 is “Do you believe in the Son of Man?” (σὺ πιστεύεις εἰς τὸν υἱὸν το νθρώπου) in very good early documentary witnesses P66 P75 א B D W itd syrs cop and GENTI WH NU TGNT SBLGNT. We have a variant, “Do you believe in the Son of God?” (συ πιστευεις εις τον υιον του θεου) in A L Θ Ψ 070 0250 f,13 Maj syr,h and the TR. It is highly unlikely that “God” was changed to “man.” The Scribes in the later manuscripts seem to be motivated by Jesus’ being the divine Son.

The English Revised Version (1881-1895) and the American Standard Version (1901) both have “Do you believe in the Son of God?” These versions were a revision of the King James Version, which had Westcott and Hort 1881 and Tregelles 1857 as the basis for their New Testament. Tregelles 1857 has “Do you believe in the Son of God?” (συ πιστευεις εις τον υιον του θεου) Westcott and Hort 1881 has “Do you believe in the Son of Man?” (σὺ πιστεύεις εἰς τὸν υἱὸν το νθρώπου). Thus, likely for the very reasons the scribes changed the text from “man” to “God” (See Comfort below) so too the early translations. However, with the discovery of P66 P75 a few decades later after the 1901 American Standard Version, the 1952 Revised Standard Version had “Do you believe in the Son of man?” The same with the 1989 NRSV, the 2001 ESV, the (1960, … 1995) NASB, NIV, TNIV, NEB, REB, NJB, NAB, NLT, HCSB/CSB, the NET Bible and the 2020 UASV.

APOSTOLIC FATHERS Lightfoot APOSTOLIC FATHERS

On this Philip W. Comfort writes,

Readers continue to be more comfortable with “the Son of God” than with “the Son of Man” because the term “Son of God” seems to be what is required after the verb “believe.” Indeed, “the Son of Man” is never used elsewhere in John as the object of the verb “believe.” (This unusualness may provide one of the reasons why the text was changed.)

In Jesus’ day, it was important that people recognize him as “the Son of Man,” and there are several good reasons why “Son of Man” completely suits the text. First, this passage ends with Jesus affirming his role as the judge (9:39–41), and it so happens that the title “Son of Man” is used for Jesus as the judge of all men (5:27; cf. Dan 7:13–14; Acts 17:31). Second, the Son of Man is also the one who gives eternal life (6:27), which the blind man received when he believed in Jesus. Third, since “Son of Man” was a surrogate title for “Messiah,” Jesus was asking the blind man (now healed) if he believed in the Messiah—knowing full well that this confession would affirm his expulsion from the synagogue (see 9:22). Fourth, for the blind man to realize that Jesus was “the Son of Man” was for him to realize that Jesus was the revelation of God to man. This is important to chapter 9, in which we are presented with the gradual spiritual enlightenment of the blind man, culminating in this realization. The more the Pharisees questioned the man who received his sight, the clearer he became about Jesus. Their blind obstinacy augmented his clarity. At first, the man recognized him simply as “the man called Jesus” (9:11), then as “a prophet” (9:17), then as one who was “from God” and who had performed a miracle never done before (9:32–33), and then finally, when confronted by Jesus, as “the Son of Man”—the Messiah (9:35). – Philip W. Comfort, New Testament Text and Translation Commentary: Commentary on the Variant Readings of the Ancient New Testament Manuscripts and How They Relate to the Major English Translations (Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., 2008), 293.

English Bible Versions King James Bible KING JAMES BIBLE II

Variant Reading(s): differing versions of a word or phrase found in two or more manuscripts within a variation unit (see below). Variant readings are also called alternate readings.

Variation Unit: any portion of text that exhibits variations in its reading between two or more different manuscripts. It is important to distinguish variation units from variant readings. Variation units are the places in the text where manuscripts disagree, and each variation unit has at least two variant readings. Setting the limits and range of a variation unit is sometimes difficult or even controversial because some variant readings affect others nearby. Such variations may be considered individually, or as elements of a single reading. One should also note that the terms “manuscript” and “witness” may appear to be used interchangeably in this context. Strictly speaking “witness” (see below) will only refer to the content of a given manuscript or fragment, which it predates to a greater or lesser extent. However, the only way to reference the “witness” is by referring to the manuscript or fragment that contains it. In this book, we have sometimes used the terminology “witness of x or y manuscript” to distinguish the content in this way.

How to Interpret the Bible-1 INTERPRETING THE BIBLE how-to-study-your-bible1

TERMS AS TO HOW WE SHOULD OBJECTIVELY VIEW THE DEGREE OF CERTAINTY FOR THE READING ACCEPTED AS THE ORIGINAL

The modal verbs are might have been (30%), may have been (40%), could have been (55%), would have been (80%), must have been (95%), which are used to show that we believe the originality of a reading is certain, probable or possible.

The letter [WP] stands for Weak Possibility (30%), which indicates that this is a low-level proof that the reading might have been original in that it is enough evidence to accept that the variant might have been possible, but it is improbable. We can say the reading might have been original, as there is some evidence that is derived from manuscripts that carry very little weight, early versions, or patristic quotations.

The letter [P] stands for Plausible (40%), which indicates that this is a low-level proof that the reading may have been original in that it is enough to accept a variant to be original and we have enough evidence for our belief. The reading may have been original but it is not probably so.

The letter [PE] stands for Preponderance of Evidence (55%), which indicates that this is a higher-level proof that the reading could have been original in that it is enough to accept as such unless another reading emerges as more probable.

The letter [CE] stands for Convincing Evidence (80%), which indicates that the evidence is an even higher-level proof that the reading surely was the original in that the evidence is enough to accept it as substantially certain unless proven otherwise.

The letter [BRD] stands for Beyond Reasonable Doubt (95%), which indicates that this is the highest level of proof: the reading must have been original in that there is no reason to doubt itIt must be understood that feeling as though we have no reason to doubt is not the same as one hundred percent absolute certainty.

NOTE: This system is borrowed from the criminal just legal terms of the United States of America, the level of certainty involved in the use of modal verbs, and Bruce Metzger in his A Textual Commentary on the Greek New Testament (London; New York: United Bible Societies, 1994), who borrowed his system from Johann Albrecht Bengel in his edition of the Greek New Testament (Tübingen, 1734). In addition, the percentages are in no way attempting to be explicit but rather they are nothing more than a tool to give the non-textual scholar a sense of the degree of certainty. However, this does not mean the percentages are not reflective of certainty.

How to Interpret the Bible-1 INTERPRETING THE BIBLE how-to-study-your-bible1

SOURCES

  • B. F. Westcott and F. J. A. Hort, Introduction to the New Testament in the Original Greek: Appendix (New York: Harper and Brothers, 1882)
  • Bruce Manning Metzger, United Bible Societies, A Textual Commentary on the Greek New Testament, Second Edition a Companion Volume to the United Bible Societies’ Greek New Testament (4th Rev. Ed.) (London; New York: United Bible Societies, 1994),
  • Eberhard Nestle and Erwin Nestle, Nestle-Aland: NTG Apparatus Criticus, ed. Barbara Aland et al., 28. revidierte Auflage. (Stuttgart: Deutsche Bibelgesellschaft, 2012).
  • Dirk Jongkind, ed., The Greek New Testament: Apparatus (Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2017).
  • Dirk Jongkind, ed., The Greek New Testament (Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2017), Matt. 6:8.
  • Eberhard Nestle and Erwin Nestle, Nestle-Aland: Novum Testamentum Graece, ed. Barbara Aland et al., 28. revidierte Auflage. (Stuttgart: Deutsche Bibelgesellschaft, 2012)
  • The NET Bible. Garland, TX: Biblical Studies Press, 2006
  • Philip Wesley Comfort, A COMMENTARY ON THE MANUSCRIPTS AND TEXT OF THE NEW TESTAMENT (Grand Rapids, MI: Kregel Academic, 2015).
  • Philip W. Comfort, New Testament Text and Translation Commentary: Commentary on the Variant Readings of the Ancient New Testament Manuscripts and How They Relate to the Major English Translations (Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., 2008).
  • Philip Wesley Comfort and David P. Barrett, The Text of the Earliest New Testament Manuscripts: Text of the Earliest New Testament Greek Manuscripts, 2 Volume Set The (English and Greek Edition) (Grand Rapids, MI: Kregel Academic, 2019)
  • Wallace B., Daniel (n.d.). Retrieved from The Center for the Study of New Testament Manuscripts: http://csntm.org/
  • Wilker, Wieland (n.d.). Retrieved from An Online Textual Commentary on the Greek Gospels: http://www.willker.de/wie/TCG/index.html

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