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(1.00) (Rev 20:9)

tn On the phrase “broad plain of the earth” BDAG 823 s.v. πλάτος states, “τὸ πλάτος τῆς γῆς Rv 20:9 comes fr. the OT (Da 12:2 LXX. Cp. Hab 1:6; Sir 1:3), but the sense is not clear: breadth = the broad plain of the earth is perh. meant to provide room for the countless enemies of God vs. 8, but the ‘going up’ is better suited to Satan (vs. 7) who has recently been freed, and who comes up again fr. the abyss (vs. 3).” The referent here thus appears to be a plain large enough to accommodate the numberless hoards that have drawn up for battle against the Lord Christ and his saints.

(1.00) (Rev 18:3)

tc ‡ Several mss (א A C 1006* 1611 1841 2030 MK), including the best witnesses, read “have fallen” (πεπτώκασιν or πέπτωκαν [peptōkasin or peptōkan]). The singular πέπτωκεν (peptōken), which is better grammatically with the neuter plural subject πάντα τὰ ἔθνη (panta ta ethnē, “all the nations”), is read by 1854 2062; 2042 reads πεπότικεν (pepotiken). A few mss (1006c 2329 latt syh) read “have drunk” (πέπωκαν/πεπώκασιν, pepōkan/pepōkasin); the singular πέπωκεν (pepōken) is read by P 051 1 2053* al. The more difficult reading and that which has the best ms support is “have fallen.” That it is not too difficult is evidenced by the fact that the great majority of Byzantine minuscules, which have a tendency to smooth out problems, left it stand as is. Nonetheless, it is somewhat difficult (TCGNT 683 says that this reading is “scarcely suitable in the context”), and for that reason certain mss seem to have changed it to “have drunk” to agree with the idea of “wine” (οἴνου, oinou). One can understand how this could happen: A scribe coming to the text and seeing the term “wine” expects a verb of drinking. When he sees “have fallen” and knows that in Greek the verbs “have fallen” and “have drunk” are spelled similarly, he concludes that there has been a slip of the pen in the ms he is using, which he then seeks to correct back to the “have drunk” reading. This appears to be more reasonable than to conclude that three early majuscules (i.e., א A C) as well as a great number of other witnesses all felt the need to change “have drunk” (πέπωκαν) to “have fallen” (πέπτωκαν), even if “fallen” occurs in the immediate context (“fallen, fallen, [ἔπεσεν ἔπεσεν, epesen epesen] Babylon the great” in the preceding verse). The preferred reading, on both external and internal grounds, is “have fallen,” and thus the Seer intends to focus on the effects of wine, namely, a drunken stupor.

(1.00) (Rev 15:3)

tc Certain mss (P47 א*,2 C 1006 1611 1841) read “ages” (αἰώνων, aiōnōn) instead of “nations” (ἐθνῶν, ethnōn), which itself is supported by several mss (א1 A 051 M). The ms evidence seems to be fairly balanced, though αἰώνων has somewhat better support. The replacement of “ages” with “nations” is possibly a scribal attempt to harmonize this verse with the use of “nations” in the following verse. On the other hand, the idea of “nations” fits well with v. 4 and it may be that “ages” is a scribal attempt to assimilate this text to 1 Tim 1:17: “the king of the ages” (βασιλεὺς τῶν αἰώνων, basileus tōn aiōnōn). The decision is a difficult one since both scenarios deal well with the evidence, though the verbal parallel with 1 Tim 1:17 is exact while the parallel with v. 4 is not. The term “king” occurs 17 other times (most occurrences refer to earthly kings) in Revelation and it is not used with either “ages” or “nations” apart from this verse. Probably “nations” should be considered the earlier reading due to the influence of 1 Tim 1:17 on this passage.

(1.00) (Rev 13:1)

tc ‡ Several mss (A 051 1611 1854 2053 2344 2351 MK) read the plural ὀνόματα (onomata, “[blasphemous] names”), while the singular ὄνομα (onoma, “name”) has somewhat better support (P47 א C 1006 1841 2329 MA). The plural reading seems motivated by the fact that what is written is written “on its heads.” In the least, it is a clarifying reading. NA28 puts the plural in brackets, indicating doubts as to its authenticity.

(1.00) (Rev 12:17)

tc Grk ἐστάθη (estathē, “he stood”). The reading followed by the translation is attested by the better mss (P47 א A C 1854 2344 2351 lat syh) while the majority of mss (051 M vgmss syph co) have the reading ἐστάθην (estathēn, “I stood”). Thus, the majority of mss make the narrator, rather than the dragon of 12:17, the subject of the verb. The first person reading is most likely an assimilation to the following verb in 13:1, “I saw.” The reading “I stood” was introduced either by accident or to produce a smoother flow, giving the narrator a vantage point on the sea’s edge from which to observe the beast rising out of the sea in 13:1. But almost everywhere else in the book, the phrase καὶ εἶδον (kai eidon, “and I saw”) marks a transition to a new vision, without reference to the narrator’s activity. On both external and internal grounds, it is best to adopt the third person reading, “he stood.”

(1.00) (Rev 8:11)

sn Wormwood refers to a particularly bitter herb with medicinal value. According to L&N 3.21, “The English term wormwood is derived from the use of the plant as a medicine to kill intestinal worms.” This remark about the star’s name is parenthetical in nature.

(1.00) (Rev 8:11)

tn That is, terribly bitter (see the note on “Wormwood” earlier in this verse).

(1.00) (Rev 8:11)

tn Grk “and many of the men died from these waters because they were bitter.”

(1.00) (Rev 6:1)

tc The addition of “and see” (καὶ ἴδε or καὶ βλέπε [kai ide or kai blepe]) to “come” (ἔρχου, erchou) in 6:1, 3-5, 7 is a gloss directed to John, i.e., “come and look at the seals and the horsemen!” But the command ἔρχου is better interpreted as directed to each of the horsemen. The shorter reading also has the support of the better witnesses.

(1.00) (Rev 1:5)

tc The reading “set free” (λύσαντι, lusanti) has better ms support (P18 א A C 1611 2050 2329 2351 MA sy) than its rival, λούσαντι (lousanti, “washed”; found in P 1006 1841 1854 2053 2062 MK lat bo). Internally, it seems that the reading “washed” could have arisen in at least one of three ways: (1) as an error of hearing (both “released” and “washed” are pronounced similarly in Greek); (2) an error of sight (both “released” and “washed” look very similar—a difference of only one letter—which could have resulted in a simple error during the copying of a ms); (3) through scribal inability to appreciate that the Hebrew preposition ב can be used with a noun to indicate the price paid for something. Since the author of Revelation is influenced significantly by a Semitic form of Greek (e.g., 13:10), and since the Hebrew preposition “in” (ב) can indicate the price paid for something, and is often translated with the preposition “in” (ἐν, en) in the LXX, the author may have tried to communicate by the use of ἐν the idea of a price paid for something. That is, John was trying to say that Christ delivered us at the price of his own blood. This whole process, however, may have been lost on a later scribe, who being unfamiliar with Hebrew, found the expression “delivered in his blood” too difficult, and noticing the obvious similarities between λύσαντι and λούσαντι, assumed an error and then proceeded to change the text to “washed in his blood”—a thought more tolerable in his mind. Both readings, of course, are true to scripture; the current question is what the author wrote in this verse.

(1.00) (Jud 1:20)

tn The participles in v. 20 have been variously interpreted. Some treat them imperativally or as attendant circumstance to the imperative in v. 21 (“maintain”): “build yourselves up…pray.” But they do not follow the normal contours of either the imperatival or attendant circumstance participles, rendering this unlikely. A better option is to treat them as the means by which the readers are to maintain themselves in the love of God. This both makes eminently good sense and fits the structural patterns of instrumental participles elsewhere.

(1.00) (Jud 1:12)

tc Several witnesses (A Cvid 88 1243 1846 2492 al), influenced by the parallel in 2 Pet 2:13, read ἀπάταις (apatais, “deceptions”) for ἀγάπαις (agapais, “love-feasts”) in v. 12. However, ἀγάπαις has much stronger and earlier support and makes much better sense in the context; it should therefore be considered authentic.

(1.00) (Jud 1:4)

tc Most later witnesses (Pvid Ψ 5 88 1175 1611 1735 2492 M sy) have θεόν (theon, “God”) after δεσπότην (despotēn, “master”), which appears to be a motivated reading in that it explicitly links “Master” to “God” in keeping with the normal NT pattern (see Luke 2:29; Acts 4:24; 2 Tim 2:21; Rev 6:10). In patristic Greek, δεσπότης (despotēs) was used especially of God (cf. BDAG 220 s.v. 1.b.). The earlier and better witnesses (P72,78 א A B C 0251 33 81 323 436 442 1241 1243 1739 2344 al co) lack θεόν; the shorter reading is thus preferred on both internal and external grounds.

(1.00) (Jud 1:1)

tn Or “by.” Datives of agency are quite rare in the NT (and other ancient Greek), almost always found with a perfect verb. Although this text qualifies, in light of the well-worn idiom of τηρέω (tēreō) in eschatological contexts, in which God or Christ keeps the believer safe until the parousia (cf. 1 Thess 5:23; 1 Pet 1:4; Rev 3:10; other terms meaning “to guard,” “to keep” are also found in similar eschatological contexts [cf. 2 Thess 3:3; 2 Tim 1:12; 1 Pet 1:5; Jude 24]), it is probably better to understand this verse as having such an eschatological tinge. It is at the same time possible that Jude’s language was intentionally ambiguous, implying both ideas (“kept by Jesus Christ [so that they might be] kept for Jesus Christ”). Elsewhere he displays a certain fondness for wordplays; this may be a hint of things to come.

(1.00) (3Jo 1:9)

tn Since the verb ἐπιδέχομαι (epidechomai) can mean “receive into one’s presence” (BDAG 370 s.v. 1; it is used with this meaning in the next verse) it has been suggested that the author himself attempted a previous visit to Diotrephes’ church but was turned away. There is nothing in the context to suggest an unsuccessful prior visit by the author, however; in 3 John 9 he explicitly indicates a prior written communication which Diotrephes apparently ignored or suppressed. The verb ἐπιδέχομαι can also mean “accept” in the sense of “acknowledge someone’s authority” (BDAG 370 s.v. 2) and such a meaning better fits the context here: Diotrephes has not accepted but instead rejected the authority of the author to intervene in the situation of the traveling missionaries (perhaps because Diotrephes believed the author had no local jurisdiction in the matter).

(1.00) (1Jo 5:18)

tn The meaning of the phrase ὁ γεννηθεὶς ἐκ τοῦ θεοῦ τηρεῖ αὐτόν (ho gennētheis ek tou theou tērei auton) in 5:18 is extraordinarily difficult. Again the author’s capacity for making obscure statements results in several possible meanings for this phrase: (1) “The fathering by God protects him [the Christian].” Here a textual variant for ὁ γεννηθείς (ἡ γέννησις, hē gennēsis) has suggested to some that the passive participle should be understood as a noun (“fathering” or perhaps “birth”), but the ms evidence is extremely slight (1505 1852 2138 latt [syh] bo). This almost certainly represents a scribal attempt to clarify an obscure phrase. (2) “The One fathered by God [Jesus] protects him [the Christian].” This is a popular interpretation, and is certainly possible grammatically. Yet the introduction of a reference to Jesus in this context is sudden; to be unambiguous the author could have mentioned the “Son of God” here, or used the pronoun ἐκεῖνος (ekeinos) as a reference to Jesus as he consistently does elsewhere in 1 John. This interpretation, while possible, seems in context highly unlikely. (3) “The one fathered by God [the Christian] protects himself.” Again a textual problem is behind this alternative, since a number of mss (א Ac P Ψ 33 1739 M) supply the reflexive pronoun ἑαυτόν (heauton) in place of αὐτόν in 5:18. On the basis of the external evidence this has a good possibility of being the autographic wording, but internal evidence favors αὐτόν as the more difficult reading, since ἑαυτόν may be explained as a scribal attempt at grammatical smoothness. From a logical standpoint, however, it is difficult to make much more sense out of ἑαυτόν; to say what “the Christian protects himself” means in the context is far from clear. (4) “The one fathered by God [the Christian] holds on to him [God].” This results in further awkwardness because the third person pronoun (αὐτοῦ, autou) in the following clause must refer to the Christian, not God. Furthermore, although τηρέω (tēreō) can mean “hold on to” (BDAG 1002 s.v. 2.c), this is not a common meaning for the verb in Johannine usage, occurring elsewhere only in Rev 3:3. (5) “The one fathered by God [the Christian], he [God] protects him [the Christian].” This involves a pendant nominative construction (ὁ γεννηθεὶς ἐκ τοῦ θεοῦ) where a description of something within the clause is placed in the nominative case and moved forward ahead of the clause for emphatic reasons. This may be influenced by Semitic style; such a construction is also present in John 17:2 (“in order that everyone whom You have given to him, he may give to them eternal life”). This view is defended by K. Beyer (Semitische Syntax im Neuen Testament [SUNT], 1:216ff.) and appears to be the most probable in terms both of syntax and of sense. It makes God the protector of the Christian (rather than the Christian himself), which fits the context much better, and there is precedent in Johannine literature for such syntactical structure.

(1.00) (1Jo 4:21)

tn The ἵνα (hina) clause in 4:21 could be giving (1) the purpose or (2) the result of the commandment mentioned in the first half of the verse, but if it does, the author nowhere specifies what the commandment consists of. It makes better sense to understand this ἵνα clause as (3) epexegetical to the pronoun ταύτην (tautēn) at the beginning of 4:21 and thus explaining what the commandment consists of: “that the one who loves God should love his brother also.”

(1.00) (1Jo 3:18)

sn The noun truth here has been interpreted in various ways: (1) There are a number of interpreters who understand the final noun in this series, truth (ἀληθείᾳ, alētheia) in an adverbial sense (“truly” or “in sincerity”), describing the way in which believers are to love. If the two pairs of nouns are compared, however, it is hard to see how the second noun with tongue (γλώσσῃ, glōssē) in the first pair can have an adverbial sense. (2) It seems better to understand the first noun in each pair as produced by the second noun: Words are produced by the tongue, and the (righteous) deeds with which believers are to love one another are produced by the truth.

(1.00) (1Jo 3:19)

tn Once again there is the problem of deciding whether the phrase ἐν τούτῳ (en toutō) refers (1) to what precedes or (2) to what follows. When an explanatory or epexegetical ὅτι (hoti) clause follows, and the ὅτι clause is not grammatically unrelated to the phrase ἐν τούτῳ, then the ἐν τούτῳ is best understood as referring to what follows. Here in 3:19-20 there are no less than three ὅτι clauses that follow, one in 3:19 and two in 3:20, and thus there is the difficulty of trying to determine whether any one of them is related to the ἐν τούτῳ phrase in 3:19. It is relatively easy to eliminate the first ὅτι clause (in 3:19) from consideration because it is related not to ἐν τούτῳ but to the verb γνωσόμεθα (gnōsometha) as an indirect discourse clause giving the content of what believers know (“that we are of the truth”). As far as the two ὅτι clauses in 3:20 are concerned, it is difficult to see how believers could know that they belong to the truth (19a) by means of either, since the first speaks of a situation where they are under self-condemnation (“if our heart condemns us…”) and the second ὅτι clause seems to give a further explanation related to the first (“that God is greater than our heart…”). Therefore it seems better to understand the phrase ἐν τούτῳ in 3:19 as referring to the preceding context, and this makes perfectly good sense because 3:18 concludes with a reference to the righteous deeds with which believers are to love one another, which are produced by the truth.

(1.00) (1Jo 3:10)

tn Once again there is the problem (by now familiar to the interpreter of 1 John) of determining whether the phrase ἐν τούτῳ (en toutō) in 3:10 refers (1) to what precedes or (2) to what follows. If it refers to what precedes, it serves to conclude the unit which began with 2:28. The remainder of 3:10 would then form a transition to the following material (another “hinge” passage). On the other hand, if the phrase ἐν τούτῳ refers to what follows, then the entirety of 3:10 is a summary statement at the end of 2:28-3:10 which recapitulates the section’s major theme (conduct is the clue to paternity), and provides at the same time a transition to the theme of loving one’s brother which will dominate the following section (3:11-24). Although R. E. Brown (Epistles of John [AB], 416) prefers to see the phrase as referring to the preceding material, it makes better sense to refer it to the remainder of 3:10 that follows, and see the entirety of 3:10 as both a summary of the theme of the preceding section 2:28-3:10 and a transition to the following section 3:11-24.

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