John 10 (ESV)
26 but you do not believe because you are not among my sheep. 27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.
John 10:26 has bothered me. Based on how this verse is translated, it sounds to me like what Jesus is saying is either tautological or he is teaching some kind of determinism in which his “sheep” are people God predestined to believe and that those he was addressing were predestined not to believe.
Last night I looked up John 10 in my CLNT. For those unfamiliar with the CLNT, most words are in bold. From the CLNT’s instructions for use: “Lightface type is used for words (or parts of words) which have been added to clarify the meaning of the Greek, avoid ambiguous renderings, and make the English read more smoothly.” With this in mind, here’s how the CLNT translates the text in question:
26 But you are not believing, seeing that you are not of My sheep, according as I have said to you
27 "My sheep are hearing My voice, and I know them, and they are following Me.
The ESV doesn’t have the v 26 ending that the CLNT translates as “according as I said to you”. The NKJV, KJV, and WEB on the other hand do.
What I find significant is that the “seeing” in v 26 (translated as “because” in the ESV, NKJV, KJV, and WEB) is something that was added. Also significant is that according to the Concordant Greek Text, the Codex Vaticanus and Codex Sinaiticus (two of the three manuscripts the CLNT uses) do not have the “according as I said to you” ending, and these two manuscripts are older than the other manuscript the CLNT uses (Codex Alexandrinus). Assuming the CLNT is correct about all this, here’s what I’d like to propose as an alternative way of reading John 10:26-27:
But you are not believing. That you are not of my sheep, my sheep are hearing my voice, and I know them, and they are following me.