A Critical Note On John 10:16: Fold Or Flock? -- By: Arthur M. Ross
BETS 4:3 (Nov 1961) p. 99
A Critical Note On John 10:16: Fold Or Flock?
In the KJV of John 10:16 these words are found: “And other sheep I have which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd.” A small but very important variation of this rendering occurs in the ASV: “… and they shall become one flock, one shepherd.” The difficulty lies not so much in our choice between GENEESETAI (impersonal 3rd sg.) and GENEESONTAI (3rd plu.) as it does between a non-existent AULEE (“fold”) and the undisputed POIMNEE (“flock”) of the Greek text. Concurring with ASV’s “flock” are such versions as RSV, The New English Bible, Moffatt’s Translation, and the Berkeley Version. Concurring with KJ is the Douay-Rheims Version. What has caused this discrepancy, since AULEE (“fold”) and POIMNEE (“flock”) occur in this passage without any variations in the Greek text and are so distinguished in the Syriac and Egyptian versions?
The second “fold” has crept into our AV by way of Jerome’s Latin Vulgate (completed A.D. 405), which renders both AULEE and POIMNEE by ovile (“fold”): “Et alias oves habeo, quae non sunt ex hoc ovili: et illas oportet me adducere, et vocem meam audient, et fiet unum ovile, et unus pastor.”1 Following these same words which also appear in his note on Ezek. 46:22, except that he substitutes “atrium” (a hall, or front room of a house) for ovile both times, Jerome adds: “Hoc enim Graecum AULEE significat, quod Latina simplicitasin ovile transtulit” (“Surely this Greek AULEE expresses what Latin simplicity has translated in ovile”). Westcott remarks here: “This observation is interesting for several reasons. It shows how perfunctory Jerome’s criticism of the Latin text. He distinctly prefers atrium to ovile as the rendering of AULEE, and yet he did not introduce it into his revision. And again he implies that AULEE stands in the Greek text in both places, which at least shows that he did not verify his reference.”2 Mgr. R. A. Knox is somewhat more objective in his English translation of the Vulgate New Testament. Although he has retained “one fold” in the text, he does acknowledge in a footnote the more accurate Greek.3
The Old Latin texts (a, b, c, e), upon which Jerome based his N.T., read ovile, grex (“fold,” “flock”). The observation of a Catholic scholar will bear weight here: “There is no doubt that POIMNEE (grex) ‘flock’ is the correct reading in 16b, thou...
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