A reasoned-eclectic approach to NT textual criticism examines both external and internal evidence when evaluating textual problems. This study explores the value of narrative criticism as another internal criterion when discussing intrinsic probabilities; specific attention is given to resolving the textual problem in John 1:34 ("Son of God” versus “God’s chosen one"). After examining the external evidence, the discussion turns to the motif of incomplete understanding that emerges over the first four days of the narrative proper (1:19–51). Against the backdrop of the Johannine prologue (1:1–18), which provides the literary audience with a complete description of Jesus’ identity, this pattern of misunderstanding suggests that “God’s chosen one"—an otherwise unattested term in the Fourth Gospel—is to be preferred over the “Son of God” reading.

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