John 9:4 - I must work - absurd corruptions go into plural "we"

Steven Avery

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The Last Twelve Verses of Mark (1871)

Revision Revised (1881)
"obvious blunders" (also John 9:11)

Also on p. 140 listing many errant Revision changes

Will Kinney
John 9:4 “ I must work the works of him that sent ME, while it is day.” Both “I” and “him that sent ME” are the Majority reading, and Sinaiticus correction, A and C, but P66, 75, Sinaiticus original and Vaticanus say “WE must work the works....” The NASB, NIV have adopted this reading. But wait. Instead of “him that sent ME” which is even the reading of Vaticanus (and so in the NASB, NIV), the Sinaiticus, P66 and 75 actually say “ of him that sent US.”

Scion of Zion - Ken Matto

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Steven Avery

Tischendorf blunder 1877

Westcott-Hort 1881


Spurgeon 1897 takes blunder text

Chadwick ignorantly follows Westcott error


Bruce Terr

John 9:4:
TEXT: "We have to work the works of the One who sent me"
EVIDENCE: {p66 p75 S*} B D (both Greek and Latin) {L W} 0124 syr(pal) {some cop(north)} cop(south)
NOTES: "I have to work the works of the One who sent me"
EVIDENCE: Sa A C K X Delta Theta Pi Psi f1 f13 28 33 565 700 892 1010 1241 Byz Lect most lat vg syr(s,p,h) some cop(north)

COMMENTS: Because of the "me" in the last of the phrase and the fact that "I" is found twice in the next verse, it is more likely that copyists would have changed "we" to "I" than visa versa, although the reading with "we" is found with two different word orders. The evidence listed in braces reads "sent us."


Bruce Metzger - Textual Commentary


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Steven Avery

Homiletic Review (1895)
Samuel Worcester Whitney

***** What is the True Text of John ix. 4?

B and D unreliable
Broadus Tischendorf et al


The Life and Times of Jesus
Alfred Edersheim


International Critical Commentary NT -
John Henry Bernard (1929)

4. ἐὲδῖἐγζσα τ ἔγ τῦπματςμ. So אΓΘ the Lat. and Syr. vss. (including Syr. sin.). But א read ἡᾶ δῖ and for τῦπματςμ, א read τῦπματςἡᾶ. The latter variant may be rejected, both on the MS. evidence and because the phrase “He that sent me” is characteristically Johannine (see on 4:34), while “He that sent us” would be foreign to the phraseology of the Gospels. But ἡᾶ δῖἐγζσα, etc., would give a tolerable sense (see on 3:11). It is adopted by Westcott-Hort, and by the R.V., as having the weight of uncial authority, the combination of א (and also apparently the evidence of Origen) being strong. Yet although it is true of all of us that “we must work while it is day” (cf. Ecclus. 51:30), “the works of Him that sent me” in this passage has special reference to the ἔγ τῦθο, such as were made manifest in the cure of the blind man, which could not be wrought by the disciples, but were the “signs” of Jesus alone. In the doing of such ἔγ Jesus never associated others with Himself.

Nor, again, is it in the manner of Jn. to report a mere maxim of experience, such as “We must all work while it is day” would be. The force of δῖgoes deeper, for the words of Jesus here (vv. 3, 4) express that Divine predestination of events which is so prominently brought out in Jn. (see Introd., p. clii, and on 2:4). The man ’s blindness had been foreordained in the Divine purpose ἵαφνρθ τ ἔγ τῦθο ἐ ατ (v. 3); and in like manner there was a Divine necessity that Jesus should do the works of “Him that sent Him” (see on 4:34 for this phrase). The only reading that brings out the force of the passage and gives consistency to the sentence is the rec. reading ἐὲδῖἐγζσα τ ἔγ τῦπματςμ.

Some expositors find in these words an allusion to 5:17 ὁπτρμυἕςἄτ ἐγζτι κγ ἐγζμι(see note in loc.); this healing at Siloam, like the healing at Bethesda, having been wrought on a Sabbath (v. 14). But the allusion to 5:17 is doubtful.

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Steven Avery

Ken Matto
Affected Teaching The word “I” in John 9:4 has been changed in the modern versions to “we.” They have taken a singular word and exchanged it for a plural one. In John 9:4, the Lord was in the middle of a discourse with his disciples. He was about to open the eyes of a blind man and He made the statement that “I must work the works of him that sent me…” The opening of the blinded eyes was symbolic for a person becoming saved, having their spiritual eyes opened. Blind eyes cannot let in the light, only eyes which work. If we follow the leading of the modern versions, then it was not only the Lord Jesus Christ who opened the eyes of the blind man but the disciples did it too. Now this is an important replacement because it is basically telling us that man has a part in his salvation, and this is incorrect. Man can do nothing to procure salvation. It is all of the Lord. (John 5:21 KJV) For as the Father raiseth up the dead, and quickeneth them; even so the Son quickeneth whom he will. Does it say that the Lord and the disciples will quicken or just the Lord will quicken? It is true that the Lord will eventually hand over all evangelism to His followers but here in this verse He is telling us that it is He that opens the eyes of the blind, in other words, it is He that does the saving. Further in John 9, when the man is examined by the religious rulers, he does not claim that the disciples had anything to do with his healing only the Lord. So the testimony of the singular word pointing to the Lord Jesus alone follows the true context of this narrative. The singular “I” is found back in the oldest versions of the Bible in the line of the King James. It actually antedates the corrupted Alexandrian Manuscripts. It is found in the pre-Gothic manuscripts of 350 AD and before. Here is the verse written in the Wycliffe Bible. If you notice, it too states that it is Jesus doing the works. Wycliffe Bible of 1382-89 - It bihoueth me to worche the werkis of hym that sente me, as longe as the dai is; the nyyt schal come, whanne no man may worche.