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Durham University

Department of Theology and Religion


Publication details for Dr Jane Heath

Heath, Jane (2012). 'You Say that I Am a King' (John 18.37). Journal for the Study of the New Testament 34(3): 232-253.

Author(s) from Durham


Nestle-Aland punctuate Jn 18.37 σὺ λέγεις ὅτι βασιλεύς εἰμι. The present article argues for voicing the text rather with the pause one word later: σὺ λέγεις ὅτι βασιλεύς εἰμι ἐγώ. This voicing resonates with the Johannine ἐγώ εἰμι sayings, which, together with the theme of Jesus’ kingship, form a significant part of how John conveys who Jesus is throughout the Gospel narrative. If Jn 18.37 is voiced as proposed here, then the effect is to yoke together two Christologically significant expressions on Jesus’ lips, but in a way that teases the reader semantically and contributes to the challenge of Pilate’s question, ‘What is truth?’