On The Reading “Only-Begotten God,” In John 1:18; With Particular Reference To The Statements Of Dr. Tregelles -- By: Ezra Abbot
BSac 18:72 (Oct 1861) p. 840
On The Reading “Only-Begotten God,” In John 1:18; With
Particular Reference To The Statements Of Dr. Tregelles1
Θεὸν οὐδεὶς ἑώρακεν πώποτε ὁ μονογενὴς υἱός [al. θεός], ὁ ὤν εἱς τὸν κὀλπον τοῦ πατρός, ἐκεῖνος ἐξηγήσατο.
Λν John 1:18, which reads in the common version: “No man hath seen God at any time; the only-begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him,” it has long been known to scholars that important critical authorities, instead of the expression ὁ μονογενὴς υἱός, “the only-begotten Son” have the remarkable reading μονογενὴς θεός, “only-begotten God” The manuscripts that contain it, though not numerous, are of the very highest rank, including both the famous Vatican manuscript, and the newly discovered Codex Sinaiticus of Tischendorf. This reading has also a respectable support from the ancient versions, and has been supposed to be attested by a great majority of the ancient Fathers, both Greek and Latin. Though not adopted into the text of any edition of the Greek Testament yet published, its genuineness has been maintained by Dr. S. P. Tregelles, the most eminent among English scholars in the department of textual criticism; and it will undoubtedly be presented as the true reading in his long expected edition. It would also have been
BSac 18:72 (Oct 1861) p. 841
received by Lachmann into his text, had he been aware of the authorities by which it is supported.
It is evident from this brief statement of the claims of the reading μονογενὴς θεός, that the question of its genuineness well deserves a critical investigation, while its theological character gives it a special interest, which, however, must not be suffered to bias our judgment. This investigation is the more necessary in consequence of the circumstance that in respect to one very important branch of the evidence, — the quotations of the passage by the ancient Fathers, — no critical edition of the Greek Testament gives even a tolerably complete and accurate account of the facts in the case. On the contrary, the most important editions which have been published since the time of Wetstein, as those of Griesbach, Scholz, Tischendorf, and Alford, not only neglect to state a very large part of the evi...
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