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date: 01 June 2020

Abstract and Keywords

The textual transmission of the Gospel and Letters of John provides evidence both for their earliest text and its reception across the centuries. This chapter first considers the sources for these writings, comprising Greek papyrus, majuscule, and minuscule manuscripts, early translations into Latin, Coptic, and Syriac, and quotations in Christian writers. The form, contents, and distribution of the documents sheds light on their understanding and use: the Johannine writings were rarely transmitted together; they were particularly popular in Egypt; gospel manuscripts were used as amulets and for divination. Following an introduction to currently scholarly editions, notably the Editio Critica Maior, a selection of readings is presented to exemplify the nature of textual variants in these writings and how they are evaluated. This includes passages which were not originally present, including the Woman Taken in Adultery and the Johannine Comma.

Keywords: Johannine writings, Gospel, Letters of John, transmission, textual tradition, variant readings, manuscripts, early translations, textual criticism

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