1. Different readings, Bethany and Bethamara.

Chapter 1
Bethabara, John 1

1. Different readings, Bethany and Bethamara.

It is observed by all that treat upon this evangelist, that the reading doth vary in some copies; and this instance is alleged for one:

"These things were done in Bethabara; but in other copies it is in Bethany."

But Drusius; "The Vulgar Greek copies have it in Bethabara, which Epiphanius, in the place above mentioned, calls Bethamara. Of this reading Petavius is silent."

Nor indeed is it much wonder, that Bethamara should change into Bethania, since Bethamara signifies a place of wool; and Bethania signifies a place of sheep.

But it seems very strange how Bethabara should ever change into Bethany, unless upon some such occasion as these:

Either that Bethabara might be taken for the same with the house of exposition, or the school; whence for explication it is annexed, by some hand or other in the margin, the house of tradition, or doctrine: as if the evangelist were to be understood in this manner; "These things were done or disputed in a certain school beyond Jordan, where John was baptizing." And so that word the house of tradition or doctrine might steal from the margin into the text and common use...