Hubner now claims that the earliest copies are important, and that it is a "faulty assumption" to give the TR priority over the texts of the early MSS. He reduces Riddle's position to: (1) over 900 MSS contain the PA; (2) some 5th century Christians and a few earlier sources include it. This says Hubner is a very weak basis for the originality of the PA. If this were all there was to say, it might be a weak case. But this is a straw-man argument. Riddle's reliance on Hills is irrelevant. The fact is, all three stooges here are completely out of touch with the real evidence and also any effective and credible scientific method.
Hubner tries to make the argument that the later copies are numerous simply because of circumstance: MS production is far easier in some places and at some times than in other places and times. This is simply absurd. This is not the reason there are thousands of later MSS and only a few early ones.
The large number of later manuscripts is not the result of any 'special circumstances' or uneven distribution of resources. Its a universal effect independent of any local variations in production.
(1) Overall, the number of Christian texts exhibited constant exponential growth, because Christianity itself experienced constant exponential growth for nearly two thousand years.
(2) Typically, many copies were made from almost every master-copy, throughout the entire period. As a result, the total number of copies continually expanded, and just as importantly, because of this method of reproduction later copies would ALWAYS outnumber earlier copies by a large factor, even with wide variations in production at various times and places.
(3) That would be true if no manuscripts at all were ever lost or destroyed. But the fact of the matter is that the vast majority of the earliest manuscripts have indeed been lost or destroyed, making the later MSS outnumber the earlier in even greater numbers.
(4) The 'early manuscripts' have indeed virtually all perished (i.e. pre-300 A.D.) as a result of a combination of:
(a) the moist conditions of most of the Mediteranean, mold and rot,
(b) the manuscripts almost all suffered heavy use from popularity,
(c) the early manuscripts were confiscated and destroyed by authorities,
(d) the only manuscripts to survive come from Egypt, where they were preserved in bone-dry desert conditions and buried in sand, protected from oxidation, insects, and moisture.
These are the main factors which have resulted in many later manuscripts, and almost no early manuscripts at all. Variations in production at different times and places have nothing to do with it. Hubner doesn't know what he's talking about.
Hubner admits he hasn't faced down Hodges or Robinson, but his confidence is undisturbed. He says,
"(Now, if Riddle wants to appeal to an argument from Hodges or Burgon or Robinson, they can be dealt with, though I’m not sure I have much more to add (or have time to) than what has been already said by Wallace, Fee, and others.)"Against Hodges and Dr. Maurice Robinson, he would match Wallace and Fee. But they are simply not up to the task. Fee is out of date, and Wallace has refused open debate on the question of the authenticity of John 7:53-8:11, and has repeatedly tried to stop productive discussions everywhere. Against these two (Laurel and Hardy), there is no real contest: Hodges properly reopened the question of authenticity in his landmark articles (1979), carefully sifting the textual and patristic evidence. Dr. Maurice Robinson (2001, etc.) is probably the world's leading expert on the Pericope de Adultera, after having personally collated every surviving manuscript known.
It may be that Fee felt he had the better of Hodges in their debates over the Byzantine text-type, but this has little to do with the evidence proper for the PA.
Next, Hubner quotes Metzger's tired blurb against the PA (Commentary, p 187 fwd), which hasn't been significantly updated since 1971. Ehrman, Metzger's groomed clone, merely added a reluctant footnote on Didymus the Blind for the 1994/2000 reprint. Ehrman's lying propaganda campaign against the PA is well documented.
What Hubner doesn't tell the reader is that Metzger is the closet Jewish heretic responsible for the infamous RSV and NRSV, who spearheaded the complete sabotage of all the Messianic prophecies in the Old Testament, based on the modern Jewish interpretation of the O.T.
|Betrayer of 20th century Christianity|
If most Christians knew the real diabolical nature of Metzger and his friends, they would burn all copies of this infamous mistranslation.
Wallace describes Cardinal Martini as follows:
What kind of Protestant would describe a committed Roman Catholic as "squeaky clean", with "impeccable credentials"?!? His lifetime commitment to Roman Catholicism ought to be credentials enough to utterly reject him as a candidate for the 'reconstruction' of the Protestant Bible. Wallace has obviously been bought and walks down the same road as Billy Graham, toward a "new world order" and "universal religion", concocted in the backrooms of the Vatican."the...5 editors on the [UBS] committee. ...Another was a Roman Catholic scholar, Cardinal Carlo Martini, formerly the Archbishop of Milan (from 1980 to 2002). Martini was highly considered for the papal office, too. The point is that Martini is a squeaky-clean Catholic with impeccable credentials. Yet, on the committee for the United Bible Societies' Greek New Testament, he agreed with the rest of the committee (it was a unanimous decision each time) that Mark 16.9-20 and John 7.53-8.11 were not original to the Gospels but were added later. "
Unconcerned about Roman Catholic 'ecumenicalism', 'Hubris' marches forward to attack the (now dated) defense of E. F. Hills (1984), another straw-man attack which does nothing to address the current state of Johannine studies in regard to the PA.
(To be continued...)