John 1:18

John 1:18 [Textus Receptus (Elzevir) (1624)]305
Θεὸν οὐδεὶς ἑώρακε πώποτε· ὁ μονογενὴς υἱός, ὁ ὢν εἰς τὸν κόλπον τοῦ πατρὸς, ἐκεῖνος ἐξηγήσατο.

John 1:18 [Codex Sinaiticus (א or 01) (4th century)]q80f1rc2
Ουδεις εωρακεν πωποτε ┬ μονογενης θς ┬ εις το κολπον του πατρος εκεινος εξηγησατο˙

┬ ο
┬ ο ων

John 1:18 [Codex Alexandrinus (A02) (5th century)]42rc2|Η
Θν ουδεις εωραΚεν πωποτε· ο μονογενης ϔϊος ο ων εις τον κολπον του πρς εκεινος εξηγησατο

John 1:18 [Codex Vaticanus Gr. 1209 (B03) (4th century)]1350c1
Θν ουδεις εωρακεν πωποτε μονογενης θς ο ων εις τον κολπον του πατρος εκεινος εξηγησατο


John 1:18 [Codex Ephraemi Syri Rescriptus (C04) (5th century)]125|Η
Θν ουδεις εωρακεν πωποτε· μονογενης θς ο ων εις τον κολπον του πρς εκεινος εξηγησατο·

John 1:18 [Codex Washingtonianus (W032) (5th century)]114
Θν ουδις εωρακεν πωποτε· ει μη ο μονογενης υς ο ων εις τον κολπον του πρς  εκινος εξηγησατο ημιν·

John 1:18 [Minuscule 503 (Add MS 19389) (13th century)]2r|Η
Θν οὐδεὶς ώρακε πώποτε· ὁ μονογενὴς υἱὸς· ὁ ὢν εἰς τὸν κόλπον τοῦ πρς, ἐκεῖνος ἐξηγήσατο.

Critical Apparatus :

(1) θεον : A, B, C, 503, ℓ1, ℓ339
(2) OMIT θεον : א

(3) ουδεις : א, A, B, C, 503, ℓ1, ℓ339
(4) ουδις : W

(5) εωρακε : 503
(6) εωρακεν : א, A, B, C, W
(7) εορακεν : ℓ1

(8) πωποτε : א, A, B, C, 503, W, ℓ1
(9) ποποτε : ℓ339

(10) ο μονογενης υιος : A, 503, ℓ1, ℓ339, Vulgate
(11) ει μη ο μονογενης υιος : W
(12) μονογενης θεος : א*, B, C, Peshitta
(13) ο μονογενης θεος : א1

(14) εκεινος : א, A, B, C, 503, ℓ1, ℓ339
(15) εκινος : W

(16) εξηγησατο : א, A, B, C, 503, ℓ1, ℓ339
(17) ADD ημιν : W

Early Church Fathers



A Textual Commentary On John 1:18

(a) The reading μονογενὴς θεός with or without in direct , in direct quotations from St John or clear allusions to his text, is attested as follows. Two independent reports of Valentinian doctrine furnished by Clement of Alexandria (Exc. ex Theodoto, p. 968 Pott. : a paraphrastic allusion a little later has υἱός by a natural combination, see p. 32), and Irenæus (p. 40 Mass.: corrupted in the inferior MSS. of both Epiphanius, who supplies the Greek, and the old translation, which in this allusion is faithfully literal). Irenæus himself at least once (256), and I strongly suspect two other times (255, 189) : in all three places the original Greek is lost. Clement himself twice (695, 956 : in the second place, where the language is paraphrastic, Clement has ὁ μ. υἱὸς θεός , as in a still looser paraphrase at p. 102 he has ὁ μ. … λόγος τῆς πίστεως. Origen at least three times (on John i 7 [the commentary on i 18 itself is lost], iv. p. 89 Ru.; [on John i 19, p. 102, the reading of two MSS. only is recorded, and they vary suspiciously between ὁ μ. υἱὸς θεός and ὁ μ. υἱὸς τοῦ θεοῦ ; in an indirect reference shortly afterwards τὸν μ. stands without a substantive;] on John xiii 23, p. 439 ; c. Cels. ii 71, p. 440, certainly in two MSS., apparently in all except two closely allied MSS., from which De la Rue introduced υἱός). Eusebius twice, once as an alternative not preferred by himself (De Eccl. Theol. p. 67, 6 ὁ μονογενὴς υἱός, ἢ μονογενὴς θεός), and in one other exceptional but seemingly unsuspicious place, p. 174. Epiphanius three or four times (Ancor. p. 8 [the clear statement here confessedly leaves no doubt as to the quotation at p. 7, hopelessly mangled in the printed text] ; Panar. 612, 817). Basil at least twice (De Sp. Sanct. 15, 17, pp. 12, 14 Garn., quotation and statement confirming each other, as the Benedictine editor notes, adding that earlier editions, unsupported by any of his six MSS., read υἱός ; the quotation with υἱός at p. 23, which has no note, may therefore be only an unwary reprint). Gregory of Nyssa ten times, always somewhat allusively, as is his usual manner in citing Scripture, (c. Eunom. ii p. 432 [469 Migne] ; 447 [493] ; 478 [540] ; iii 506 [581] ; vi 605 [729] ; viii 633 [772] ; ix 653 [801] ; x 681 [841] ; De vit. Mos. 192 [i 336] ; Hom, xiii in Cant. 663 [i 1045]: on the other hand υἱός is printed twice, c. Eun. ii 466 [521]; Ep. ad Flav. 648 [iii 1004]). The (Homœousian) Synod of Ancyra in 358 (in Epiph. Pan. 851 c: the allusion here is reasonably certain). Didymus three times (De Trin. i 26 p.76; ii 5, p.140 [cf. i 15, p. 27]; on Ps. lxxvi 14, p. 597 Cord, [with absolute certainty by the context, though υἱός is printed] : an allusion on Ps. cix 3, p. 249 Cord, or 284, Mai, drops the substantive). Cyril of Alexandria (ad l. p. 103 [without ] by Mr Pusey’s best MS. and repeated references in the following comment), and in at least three other places (Thes. 137, [without ] 237; Dial. quod Unus, 768: twice {Thes. 365 ; Adv. Nest. 90) Aubert’s text has υἱός, which will probably have to give way, as it has had to do in the commentary. To these might perhaps be added the emperor Julian (p. 333 Spanh.), for though the full quotation and one subsequent reference have υἱός, another has θεός, which the argument seems on the whole to require.

The patristic evidence for [] μονογενὴς υἱός has next to be given. Irenæus twice, but only in the Latin translation (see above), and exactly in the Old Latin form, with nisi inserted before unigenitus, and once with Dei added to Filius, so that we seem to have the reading of the translator, as often, not of Irenæus. Hippolytus (c. Noetum 5) without : all depends on Fabricius’s editing of a modern copy of a single Vatican MS., and the context is neutral. An Epistle from certain bishops at Antioch (260—270 A.D.) to Paul of Samosata (Routh, R. S. iii 297), again dependent on a single MS., unexamined for some generations, and with the detached phrase τὸν μονογενῆ υἱὸν τοῦ θεοῦ θεόν occurring not long before. The Latin version of the “Acts” of the disputation between Archelaus and Mani, c. 32, where again the inserted nisi shews the impossibility of deciding whether author or translator is responsible. Eusebius of Cæsarea six times, De Eccl. Theol. p. 67 (with θεός as an alternative, see above), 86, 92, 142; in Ps. lxxiv. p. 440 Mont.; in Es. vi. p. 374. Eustathius, De Engastr. p. 387 All. Alexander of Alexandria, Ep. ad Alex, in Theodoret, H. E. i 3; but with the detached phrase τοῦ μονογενοῦς θεοῦ on the next page. Athanasius seven times (Ep. de Decr. Nic. 13, 21 ; Or. c. Ar. ii 62; iv 16, 19, 20, 26). Gregory of Nazianzus, Orat. xxix 17. Basil of Cassarea, Ep. 234, p. 358, besides one of the three places in the De Spiritu Sancto already mentioned, where at least one Moscow MS. has θεός : but the evidence adduced above casts doubt on both places. Gregory of Nyssa twice (see p. 3); but the reading is most suspicious. Titus of Bostra (adv. Man. p. 85 Lag. : but p. 93 ὁ μ. υἱὸς θεός). Theodore of Mopsuestia (ad l. bis in Mai, N. P. B. vii 397 f.). Chrysostom ad l., and later writers generally. On Julian see p. 4.

It is unsatisfactory that so much of the patristic testimony remains uncertain in the present state of knowledge ; but such is the fact. Much of the uncertainty, though not all, will doubtless disappear when the Fathers have been carefully edited. In familiar passages scribes, editors, and translators vie with each other in assimilating biblical quotations to the texts current among themselves ; and from the nature of the case the process is always unfavourable to ancient readings, whether true or false, which went out of use comparatively early. It would therefore be absurd to treat the uncertainty as equally favourable to both readings. Where we have a Greek original, without various reading noted, and without contradictory context, υἱός has a right to claim the authority provisionally, in spite of private suspicions : but it would be unreasonable to concede to υἱός any appreciable part in Origen, Gregory of Nyssa, Didymus, or Cyril—I ought to add, in Irenæus or Basil—notwithstanding the variations already mentioned. Serious doubt must also rest on an isolated vies in a neutral context, when, as in the case of the Epistles of the Antioch bishops and of Alexander, μονογενὴς θεός is found at no great distance, though without any obvious reference to John i 18: the doubt it not removed by the fact that one or two Latin Fathers have unigenitus Filius in their quotation, and unigenitus Deus often elsewhere. (F. J. A. Hort, Two Dissertations, pp. 2-6)






This entry was posted in 04. Κατὰ Ἰωάννην. Bookmark the permalink.

Comments are closed.