I was reading John 1:3-4 and was surprised to see the placement of a particular period.

3 πάντα δι’ αὐτοῦ ἐγένετο, καὶ χωρὶς αὐτοῦ ἐγένετο οὐδὲ ἕν. ὃ γέγονεν

4 ἐν αὐτῷ ζωὴ ἦν, καὶ ἡ ζωὴ ἦν τὸ φῶς τῶν ἀνθρώπων·

All things were made through him, and not one thing was made without him that was made.

In him was life, and the life was the light of men;

The period is in the third verse, immediately before the phrase ὃ γέγονεν. It is a little hard to see, but if you check two different sources, Nestle-Aland and Sacred-Texts, you will see it there too.

I am curious to know, why is the period placed before ὃ γέγονεν and not after, as ὃ γέγονεν is clearly part of the same sentence as the rest of verse three?


P66, Middle of the second century (150 AD) Papyri, does not have the period. It also appears that the Textus Receptus does not have the period.

Comfort Commentary states: "The earliest manuscripts (𝔓66 𝔓75✱ ℵ✱ A B) do not have any punctuation in these verses."

  • Interesting. Seems like the Antoniades edition does not have it either: apostoliki-diakonia.gr/bible/bible.asp?contents=new_testament/…. – ktm5124 Mar 11 '17 at 6:32
  • But I just checked the Society of Biblical Literature Greek New Testament (freely available here: sblgnt.com/download) and it also has the odd-looking period. That makes three sources (Nestle-Aland, Sacred-Texts, and SBLGNT) that have it. – ktm5124 Mar 11 '17 at 6:35
  • 1
    This is good information, but do you have an answer for why it is included in modern texts? – curiousdannii Mar 12 '17 at 4:46
  1. It's my understanding that none of the original authors included
    punctuation marks, chapter numbers, or verse numbers.
  2. Therefore, the period in John 1:3 was placed by some human, and not divinely inspired.
  3. Therefore, we are free to ignore it.
  4. The period doesn't make any sense, adding to our freedom to ignore it.
  5. "God is not the author of disorder, but of peace" (1 Corinthians 14:33). The period causes disorder, so we should ignore it.

Why do some manuscripts have it? I'd guess because some human made a mistake.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.