In Response To: Jeffery Hodges
On: OT in John
Jeffery had mentioned (from memory) that Jn 13:18 (quoting Ps 12:9b) is
closer to the Masoretic than to the Septuagint text. That seems to be a very
accurate epitome. Köstenberger (in Carson et al) finds 14 explicit OT
citations in John, of which only the one in Jn 13:18 seems unambiguously to
be from the Hebrew. The other near candidate is Jn 19:37 (quoting Zec
12:10), where the LXX is a mistranslation, not followed by John, but it is
possible, albeit not likely, that John here "drew on a Christian testimonium
with which he was familiar," so Menken 185. Several other Jn quotes *seem*
to be closer to the Hebrew, but there are alternate explanations available.
One that clearly covers some cases is conflation of more than one OT
passage; another is influence from elsewhere in John's own narrative (which
is heavy with Passover symbolism among other things). As with Lk's use of
Matthew, so John's use of OT seems to be more magisterial than strictly
For convenience, here is the Köstenberger list of specific OT quotes (not
Jn 1:23 < Isa 40:3
Jn 2:17 < Psa 69:9a
Jn 6:31 < Ps 78:24b
Jn 6:45 < Isa 54:13a
Jn 10:34 < Psa 82:6a
Jn 12:13 < Psa 118:26a
Jn 12:15 < Zec 9:9
Jn 12:38 < Isa 53:1
Jn 12:40 < Isa 6:10
Jn 13:18 < Psa 41:9b
Jn 15:25 < Psa 35:19 or 69:4
Jn 19:24 < Psa 22:18
Jn 19:36 < Exo 12:46 / Num 9:12; Psa 34:20
Jn 19:37 < Zec 12:10
The OT total (including an additional 2 Psa quotations proposed by
Daly-Denton) is 1 Exo/Num, 11 Psa, 4 Isa, and 2 Zec.
There are several considerable stretches where no explicit OT quotes occur.
Presumably these coordinate with the narrative strategy of gJn, and though I
haven't checked in detail, that seems to be generally so.
The list of echoes PLUS quotations is very long (Carson 419-420), and
includes all books of John except Jn 11 (the Raising of Lazarus), 14 (Jesus'
Admonitions to his Disciples), and 18 (Arrest and Conviction).
[E Bruce Brooks
Warring States Project
University of Massachusetts at Amherst]