Lectionary Year B
June 1, 2003
John 17:6-19

Initial Acquaintance/Rough Translation

A. Comparing Translations

(JFC) The English Standard Version and the New Revised Standard Version are compared and contrasted here:

9 I am praying for them. I am not praying for the world - ESV
I am asking on their behalf; I am not asking on behalf of the world - NRSV

12f except the son of destruction, - ESV
except the one destined to be lost, - NRSV footnoted: Gk [except the son of destruction]

19 And for their sake I consecrate myself, - ESV
footnoted: Greek I set myself apart (for holy service to God) And for their sakes I sanctify myself - NRSV

B. Textural Criticism

(JFC) 6 For the aorist, active indicative, e;dwka,j, several significant witnesses change to dedwka,j, a perfect, while more of the same retain the printed text which seems more likely to be original because aorists seem to our eyes and ears more straight forward, more basic, less complex, as we might expect from New Testament Greek - except John's works? Then, a couple of Alexandrian editors replace the perfect, active, indicative, teth,rhkan, at the end of the verse, to an aorist, ethrhsan, again making it more manageable. However, was that this author's primary motivation in such accounts? 7 Several important redactions have variants for e;gnwkan, a perfect, active, indicative, 3rd person plural, while a majority of reliable witnesses keep it as received, which does seem more likely to be original due to its unnecessarily needing renovation. Metzger's Committee (TCGNT) found the first person appealing, yet, probably an incorrect attempt to correct an uncorrectable. Next, several alternatives occur for the perfect, active, indicative, de,dwka,j, while still the majority of witnesses retain the received version, which seems to fit the context of what this part of the prayer is saying. Finally, for this verse, the last word, eivsin, the plural, present, active, indicative, would be replaced by several editors to be a singular, while many more reliable witnesses keep the printed text. 8 Some of the usually dependable witnesses change the aorist, e;dwka,j, into a perfect, which again might be more nearly original, although equally other dependables retain it as received, which also is shorter, if not conducive with John's style of literature in such passages as this one. Translations consulted are equally divided. Then, Metzger calls it "curious that several witnesses . . . lack the words kai. e;gnwsan. Lagrange suggests (ad. loc.) that the phrase may have been deleted because it seemed to contradict 6.69." Could be for that or many other reasons, of course. However, the sentence certainly does need those words, to be sure. 10 One of the strongest Alexandrian editions (a) alters ta. evma. pa,nta sa, evstin kai. ta. sa. evma,, to read, emoi autouj edwkaj, which is certainly shorter, yet too short to get the full impact of what the One praying seems to be trying to emphasize at this point in the prayer. Besides, one redactor is too few in this piece where there are so many variants. 11 For auvtoi., several Alexandrians and others would broaden the concept, evidently, to include more such persons as described as being "in the world", by changing to the similar pronoun, outoi. Still others retain the printed text, prudently probably, since broadening the concept seems incompatible, or, at least, unnecessary to what these lines are praying. Then many Alexandrian witnesses change the dative, w-|, with an accusative o[, or its plural, o[uj, which alternatives seem, grammatically, more correct. However does grammatically correct always indicate original text? Probably not since we are still early in language rules' development. Furthermore, many more significant witnesses preserve the received version as printed. 12 Several reliable witnesses add, again, at the end of the opening phrase, evn tw/| ko,smw|, which is certainly understandable since it was just in the preceding verse. And, since the addition makes the line longer, it seems clear what is meant without having to write it, copy it, etc. And equally numbered and significant versions retain the received text. Then Papyrus 66, of about 200 CE, would change the pronoun referring to Jesus' praying that He kept those for whom He here prays to be one, to be in His name mou, rather than the Textus Receptus' reference to God's name. Such a diversion seems quite unlikely for Jesus to have prayed that way originally in this situation. 18 Papyrus 66 omits the entire second half of this verse, kavgw. avpe,steila auvtou.j eivj to.n ko,smon, for what reason, we can only guess, it could be a scribal error to do so.

C. Rough Translation

(JFC) 6 I have made known of yours the name to the men whom You gave me from the world. To you they were and to me them You gave and the Word of Yours they have kept/observed/obeyed. 7 Now they have known that all which You have given Me from You is/exists/happens, 8 that the sayings which You gave Me I have given/entrusted to them, and they received and they knew truly that from You I came, and they believed that You (nom) Me (acc) sent. 9 I concerning them ask, not concerning the world do I ask but concerning those whom You have given Me, that to You they be/exist/happen, 10 and they Mine all Yours are and the Yours (are) Mine, and I have been honored/praised/glorified in them. 11 And no more am I in the world, and they in the world are, and also I to You am made to appear [present, middle or passive, indicative]. Father Holy, keep them in the name of Yours whom You have given Me, in order that they might be one just as We are. 12 When I was with them I kept/obeyed/observed them in the name of Yours which/whom You have given Me, and I guarded, and no one from them was killed/lost/destroyed except the son of the destruction/hell, in order that the Scripture might/would be fulfilled. 13 But now to You I am coming and these things I speak in the world so that they might/could have the joy/gladness that (is) Mine having been fulfilled [perfect, passive, participle] in them. 14 I have given them the Word of Yours and the world hated them so that not are they from the world just as I not am from the world. 15 Not do I ask that You would/might [aorist, active, subjunctive] take out them from the world, but that You would/might guard/keep them from the evil/bad/wicked/sinful. 16 Of the world not are they just as not am I of the world. 17 Consecrate/Make holy them in the truth; the Word which is of Yours truth is. 18 Accordingly Me did You send into the world, also I send them into the world; 19 and for them I sanctify/consecrate/make holy Myself, so that might/should be also them be consecrated [perfect, passive, participle] in truth.

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