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John 4:1-3

Context
Departure From Judea

4:1 Now when Jesus 1  knew that the Pharisees 2  had heard that he 3  was winning 4  and baptizing more disciples than John 4:2 (although Jesus himself was not baptizing, but his disciples were), 5  4:3 he left Judea and set out once more for Galilee. 6 

1 tc Several early and important witnesses, along with the majority of later ones (Ì66c,75 A B C L Ws Ψ 083 Ë13 33 Ï sa), have κύριος (kurio", “Lord”) here instead of ᾿Ιησοῦς (Ihsou", “Jesus”). As significant as this external support is, the internal evidence seems to be on the side of ᾿Ιησοῦς. “Jesus” is mentioned two more times in the first two verses of chapter four in a way that is stylistically awkward (so much so that the translation has substituted the pronoun for the first one; see tn note below). This seems to be sufficient reason to motivate scribes to change the wording to κύριος. Further, the reading ᾿Ιησοῦς is not without decent support, though admittedly not as strong as that for κύριος (Ì66* א D Θ 086 Ë1 565 1241 al lat bo). On the other hand, this Gospel speaks of Jesus as Lord in the evangelist’s narrative descriptions elsewhere only in 11:2; 20:18, 20; 21:12; and probably 6:23, preferring ᾿Ιησοῦς most of the time. This fact could be used to argue that scribes, acquainted with John’s style, changed κύριος to ᾿Ιησοῦς. But the immediate context generally is weighed more heavily than an author’s style. It is possible that neither word was in the original text and scribes supplied what they thought most appropriate (see TCGNT 176). But without ms evidence to this effect coupled with the harder reading ᾿Ιησοῦς, this conjecture must remain doubtful. All in all, it is best to regard ᾿Ιησοῦς as the original reading here.

2 sn See the note on Pharisees in 1:24.

3 tn Grk “Jesus”; the repetition of the proper name is somewhat redundant in English (see the beginning of the verse) and so the pronoun (“he”) has been substituted here.

4 tn Grk “was making.”

5 sn This is a parenthetical note by the author.

6 sn The author doesn’t tell why Jesus chose to set out once more for Galilee. Some have suggested that the Pharisees turned their attention to Jesus because John the Baptist had now been thrown into prison. But the text gives no hint of this. In any case, perhaps Jesus simply did not want to provoke a confrontation at this time (knowing that his “hour” had not yet come).



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