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Monday, February 28, 2011

New Internal Evidence for PA (Part III) Chiastic Patterns

One of the most interesting and powerful proofs that the PA (Jn 7:53-8:11) originally belonged to John's Gospel is the startling and crisp chiastic pattern found in the surrounding context with the PA embedded in it:

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This pattern is left broken and impoverished by the removal of the verses.  What does this mean?  It means that the surrounding Gospel was composed with this section in place.

Those who argue that John originally lacked the passage simply don't really understand the problem:  The very manuscripts which omit the passage, also preserve the text of John in the surrounding areas, along with the evidence for the deliberate and conscious chiastic structure here.

If the Gospel itself had been tampered with to create this chiastic pattern, then there would be no evidence of the pattern in the "original" text without the verses.   Put another way, it is clear that the passage was removed from John after it had already been inserted, and after John had already been modified to accommodate it.   But if that is so, then the manuscripts missing the passage cannot be the original text, and they instead witness to its removal much later than its insertion. 

The real original John would not have looked anything like the text presented in the four early manuscripts that leave out this passage, for they are all pretty much identical to the version of John that was created to contain it.

But the only manuscripts attesting to this passage's absence are these secondary manuscripts which at the same time betray a version of John that contained it.  That is, P66, P75, B and  א  can't be the original version of John, but they are the only reason the passage came to be in doubt in the first place.

Those interested in more information on Chiastic Structures in John, can look at our webpage here:

Chiasm in John's Gospel   < - - Click here!


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