Biblica: Commentarii Periodici Pontificii Instituti Biblici vol:91 issue:4 pages:534-554
Important early textual witnesses show John 9,38-39a to be absent. Because of the use of uncharacteristic vocabulary, the use of rare verb forms such as efè and pisteuo, and the unique confession of faith and worship of Jesus as “Son of Man” during his earthly life, John 9,38 has been said to stand outside Johannine theology. This article demonstrates, however, that, instead of standing outside Johannine theology, the confession of faith and the worship by the man healed from his blindness function as the first fulfilment of the proleptic prediction of the words in 4,23. First, I explore, and critique, the position that understands John 9,38-39a as a liturgical addition (I). I argue that although John 9,38-39a confronts the Gospel’s reader with uncharacteristic vocabulary, this does not necessarily imply that these words were added by a later hand. I then confront the absence of 9,38-39a with yet another text-critical problem in the larger pericope 9,35-41 (II). In some textual witnesses the title huios to anthropou in 9,35 is replaced by uios tou theou. I argue that these two text-critical problems cannot be separated from one another. Finally, I explore how Jesus’ designation as the “Son of Man” functions within the framework of pisteuo and proskuneo (III). The worship of the Johannine Jesus can hardly be seen as a goal in itself. Instead, it is an acknowledgement that the Father is made known in the person of Jesus (cf. 9,3), and hence is typically Johannine.