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John 12:7-8

Context
12:7 So Jesus said, “Leave her alone. She has kept it for the day of my burial. 1  12:8 For you will always have the poor with you, but you will not always have me!” 2 

1 tn Grk “Leave her alone, that for the day of my burial she may keep it.” The construction with ἵνα (Jina) is somewhat ambiguous. The simplest way to read it would be, “Leave her alone, that she may keep it for the day of my burial.” This would imply that Mary was going to use the perfumed oil on that day, while vv. 3 and 5 seem to indicate clearly that she had already used it up. Some understand the statement as elliptical: “Leave her alone; (she did this) in order to keep it for the day of my burial.” Another alternative would be an imperatival use of ἵνα with the meaning: “Leave her alone; let her keep it.” The reading of the Byzantine text, which omits the ἵνα and substitutes a perfect tense τετήρηκεν (tethrhken), while not likely to be original, probably comes close to the meaning of the text, and that has been followed in this translation.

2 tc A few isolated witnesses omit v. 8 (D sys), part of v. 8 (Ì75), or vv. 7-8 ({0250}). The latter two omissions are surely due to errors of sight, while the former can be attributed to D’s sometimes erratic behavior. The verse is secure in light of the overwhelming evidence on its behalf.

tn In the Greek text of this clause, “me” is in emphatic position (the first word in the clause). To convey some impression of the emphasis, an exclamation point is used in the translation.



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