The Name of the Pool in Joh 5,2. A Text-Critical Note Concerning 3Q15

Reinhart Ceulemans 1
  • 1 Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Dept. of Biblical Studies, Sint-Michielsstraat 6, 3000 Leuven, Belgium.


1. The Textual Evidence

For a long time the proper name of the pool in Joh 5,2 has been subject to discussion. According to the 27th edition of Nestle-Aland's Novum Testamentum Graece, the text reads Bηθζαθα. Since this name is a biblical hapax, a priori one has to be skeptical about this reading. The critical apparatus to NA27 demonstrates that this proper name indeed is not without problems. Already the sheer number of variants is illustrative for the problem. Moreover, the uncertainty concerning this place name has arisen early, which is denoted by the “alten Papyri als Zeugen für eine aus inneren Kriterien als unmöglich auszuschliesende Lesart”.

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A highly reputed journal published since 1900, the Zeitschrift für die neutestamentliche Wissenschaft is an international journal for the exegesis of the New Testament and knowledge of the early church (patristics).