Does he who has been born of God? 1 John 5:18
«We know that whoever is born of God does not sin; but he who has been born of God keeps himself, and the wicked one does not touch him.» (1 Jn 5:18, King James Version). One of the phrases in this verse has two readings, which are well attested to in Greek manuscripts: «keeps himself» and «keeps him». In order to determine the closest meaning to the original text, the author of this article has performed a short textual (external evidence), lexical, syntactic and theological (internal evidence) analysis. The theological analysis seeks to find the meaning of the phrase «born of God» in the context of the Epistle of John. Does the word «born» refer to a Christian or to Christ? Does Christ, who is born of God, keep the one who is born of God or does the one born of God keep himself? Based on his research, the author comes to a conclusion that the reading «Christ keeps the Christian» is a better match to the content and context of 1 John.
Alford, Henry. 1884 The Greek Testament. Vol. IV (London: Rivingstons).
Boice, James Montgomery. 1979 The Epistles of John (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House).
Brooke, A. E. 1957  A Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the Johannine Epistles (The International Critical Commentary. Edinburgh: T. & T. Clark).
Brown, Raymond E. 1982 The Epistles of John (The Anchor Bible. Vol. XXX. Garden City, NY: Doubleday & Company).
Brown, Raymond E., Joseph A. Fitzmyer, and Roland E. Murphy, eds.
The Jerome Biblical Commentary. Vol. II (Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall).
Bruce, F. F. 1970 The Epistles of John: Introduction, Exposition and Notes (Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company).
Bultmann, Rudolf. 1973 The Johannine Epistles (Hermeneia: A Critical and Historical Commentary on the Bible. Philadelphia: Fortress Press).
Dodd, C. H. 1961 The Johannine Epistles (The Moffatt New Testament Commentary,
ed. J. Moffatt. London: Hodder and Stoughton Limited).
Gore, Charles, Henry Leighton Goudge, and Alfred Guillaume, eds.
A New Commentary on Holy Scripture Including the Apocrypha (London: Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge).
Grayston, Kenneth. 1984 The Johannine Epistles (New Century Bible Commentary, eds. R. E. Clements, and M. Black. Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publ. Co.).
Haas, C., M. de Jonge, and J. L. Swellengrebel. 1972 A Translator's Handbook on the Letters of John (Helps for Translators Series. Vol. XIII. London: United Bible Societies).
Houlden, J. L. 1973 A Commentary on the Johannine Epistles (Black's New Testament Commentaries, ed. Henry Chadwick. London: Adam & Charles Black).
Huther, J. E. 1882 Critical and Exegetical Handbook to the General Epistles of James and John (Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament, ed. H. A. W. Meyer. Edinburgh: T. & T. Clark).
Kistemaker, Simon J. 1986 Exposition of the Epistle of James and the Epistles of John (New Testament Commentary. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House).
Kysar, Robert. 1986 1, 2, 3, John (Augsburg Commentary on the New Testament. Minneapolis, MN: Augsburg Publishing House).
Law, Robert. 1968  The Tests of Life: a Study of the First Epistle of St. John (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House).
Marshall, Howard I. 1978 The Epistles of John (The New International Commentary on the New Testament. Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company).
Metzger, Bruce M. 1971 A Textual Commentary on the Greek New Testament (London: United Bible Societies).
A Textual Commentary on the Greek New Testament (2nd ed. Stuttgart: Deutsche Bibelgesellschaft).
O'Neill, J. C. 1966 The Puzzle of 1 John (London: S.P.C.K.).
Plummer, Alfred. 1980  The Epistles of St. John (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House).
Richards, W. L. 1977 The Classification of the Greek Manuscripts of the Johannine Epistles (SBL Dissertation Series, 35. Missoula, MT: Scholars Press).
Ross, Alexander. 1963 The Epistles of James and John (London: Marshall, Morgan & Scott).
Scrivener, F. H. A. 1894 A Plain Introduction to the Criticism of the New Testament. Vol. II (London: George Bell & Sons).
Smalley, Stephen S. 1984 1, 2, 3 John (Word Biblical Commentary. Vol. LI. Eds. David A. Hubbard, and Glenn W. Barker. Waco, TX: Word Books).
Smith, David. 1967 The Epistles of John (The Expositor's Greek Testament. Vol V. Ed. W. Robertson Nicoll. Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company).
Stott, J. R. W. 1964 The Epistles of John: an Introduction and Commentary (Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company).
Strecker, Georg. 1996 The Johannine Letters: a Commentary on 1, 2, and 3 John (Hermeneia: A Critical and Historical Commentary on the Bible. Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press).
Torrance, D. W., and T. F. Torrance, eds. 1979 Calvin's Commentaries: The Gospel According To St. John and the First Epistle of John (Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company).
Westcott, Brooke Foss. 1960  The Epistles of St. John: the Greek Text with Notes and Essays (Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company).
Copyright (c) 2020 Taras DYATLIK
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.
THEOLOGICAL REFLECTIONS: EASTERN EUROPEAN JOURNAL OF THEOLOGY
ISSN 2521-179X (Online), ISSN 2415-783X (Print)