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John 3:25 (NIV)

An argument developed between some of John's disciples and a certain Jew over the matter of ceremonial washing.

NKJV

Then there arose a dispute between some of John’s disciples and the Jews about purification.

Which version is correct?

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  • Doesn't that beg the bigger Question of how trustworthy any version of John might be, throwing doubt even on everything Jesus teaches Nicodemus? (Stop me if that's off topic)? – Robbie Goodwin Apr 18 at 23:21
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John 3:25 New International Version

An argument developed between some of John's disciples and a certain Jew over the matter of ceremonial washing.

New King James Version

Then there arose a dispute between some of John’s disciples and the Jews about purification.

[a certain] Jew
Ἰουδαίου (Ioudaiou)
Adjective - Genitive Masculine Singular
Strong's 2453: Jewish. From Iouda; Judaean, i.e. Belonging to Jehudah.

At https://biblehub.com/john/3-25.htm, 6 versions use "Jews" and 20 versions use "Jew".

At https://biblehub.com/multi/john/3-25.htm, Scrivener's Textus Receptus 1894 and other manuscripts are different:

ἐγένετο οὖν ζήτησις ἐκ τῶν μαθητῶν Ἰωάννου μετὰ Ἰουδαίων περὶ καθαρισμοῦ.

Jews
Ἰουδαίων (Ioudaiōn)
Adjective - Genitive Masculine Plural

Is Jew singular or plural in John 3:25?

Some Greek manuscripts have it singular and some plural.

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This is a textual variation with evenly divided support. The reason for choosing the singular is changing to the plural makes it read more customary, while it is unlikely for a scribe to switch it to singular.

 3:25      μετὰ Ἰουδαίου {B}

Both Ἰουδαίου and Ἰουδαίων are ancient readings, and external support is rather evenly divided. On the whole, however, it is more likely that the singular (which is unique in John) would have been changed to the more customary plural than vice versa. -- Metzger, B. M., United Bible Societies. (1994). A textual commentary on the Greek New Testament, second edition a companion volume to the United Bible Societies’ Greek New Testament (4th rev. ed.) (p. 175). London; New York: United Bible Societies.

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