Christenen claimen weleens, wij zijn instaat om toevoegingen te verifiëren, aan de hand van onze brede manuscript traditie. Wat vele christenen echter niet weten is het feit dat zelfs aan de vroegste manuscripten toevoegingen zijn gedaan. Een goed voorbeeld hiervan is Johannes 21;24, die in alle vroegste manuscripten voorkomt van de Bijbel, niettemin is het een toevoeging.
Westcott zegt het volgende in zijn commentaar: “these two verses appear to be separate notes attached to the gospel before its publication. The form of verse 24 contrasted with that of XIX 35 shows conclusively that it is not the witness of the evangelist, the words were probably added by the Epaesian Elders, to whom the preceding narrative had been given both orally and in writing”. (Prof streeter, four gospels, 430)
And we know that his testimony is true.—Our first and natural thought is that these are not the words of the writer of the Gospel, but the additional witness of persons knowing him and testifying to his writing. It is usual to explain the “we know” by referring to 1John 5:18-20; but the plural of a letter ought not to be quoted to explain the plural in an historic document, and it is probable that the natural thought is the true one. But though the words are an addition, they are a contemporaneous addition present in every important MS. and version, and an undoubted part of the original text. We cannot tell who are the persons whose words we here read
And we know that his testimony is true — The church probably added these words to this gospel, as Tertius did those to St. Paul’s epistle to the Romans, Romans 16:23.
The internal evidence is the other way. The natural impression produced by John 21:24 is that it is not the writer of the Gospel who here bears witness to his own work, but a plurality of persons who testify to the trustworthiness of the Evangelist’s narrative. So that we possibly have in this verse a note added by the Ephesian elders before the publication of the Gospel. The change to the singular in John 21:25 would seem to imply that this verse is an addition by a third hand of a remark which the writer may have heard from S. John.
Many interpreters think that these two verses were written by some other hand than John’s. Some ascribe John 21:24 and John 21:25 to two different writers. The entire chapter, though bearing unmistakable marks of John’s authorship in its style and language, was probably composed subsequently to the completion of the Gospel.
In Adam Clarke’s commentary staat het volgende;
“We know – Instead of οιδαμεν, we know, some have written οιδα μεν, I know indeed; but this is mere conjecture, and is worthy of no regard. It is likely that these verses were added by those to whom John gave his work in charge.”
Coffman’s commentator zegt het volgende; “The persons who appended this corroborative testimony did not identify themselves; but the most learned opinions of a thousand years have invariably ascribed them to the elders at Ephesus. As Westcott said, “The words were probably added by the Ephesian elders, to whom the preceding narrative had been given both orally and in writing”.
Robertson word Pictures of the New Testament; “We know (οιδαμεν — oidamen). The plural here seems intentional as the identification and endorsement of a group of disciples who know the author and wish to vouch for his identity and for the truthfulness of his witness. Probably we see here a verse added by a group of elders in Ephesus where John had long laboured.”
Wesley’s explanatory notes; “This is the disciple who testifieth – Being still alive after he had wrote. And we know that his testimony is true – The Church added these words to St. John’s, Gospel, as Tertius did those to St. Paul’s Epistle to the Romans, Romans 16:22 “