Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Hubner's garbage on the PA (Part 7)

E. F. Hills

Hubner continues to attack E. F. Hills, rather than analyze the current data on the PA (John 7:53-8:11).  By now the siren song is getting tedious.  The examination is superficial, and so inaccurate as to border on dishonesty:

" 5.  Hills makes another poor conjecture:
'...offence was taken at the story of the adulterous woman brought to Christ, because she seemed to have received pardon too easily. Such being the case, it is surely more reasonable to believe that this story was deleted from John’s Gospel by over-zealous disciplinarians than to suppose that a narrative so contrary to the ascetic outlook of the early Christian Church was added to John’s Gospel from some extra-canonical source.'          (E. F. Hills, - KJV Defended)
This is a conclusion based on one citation from early church history. It is a leap of logic that is incredible – especially given that all of the external and internal witness (see above quote by Metzger) points in the other direction."

The fact is, Hubner is just slagging Hills again.   Before quoting Cyprian,  Hills has actually just finished quoting some half-dozen early Christian writers;

(a) Ancient Testimony Concerning the Pericope de Adultera (John 7:53-8:11)
The story of the woman taken in adultery was a problem also in ancient times. Early Christians had trouble with this passage. The forgiveness which Christ vouchsafed to the adulteress was contrary to their conviction that the punishment for adultery ought to be very severe. As late as the time of Ambrose (c. 374), bishop of Milan, there were still many Christians who felt such scruples against this portion of John's Gospel. This is clear from the remarks which Ambrose makes in a sermon on David's sin. "In the same way also the Gospel lesson which has been read, may have caused no small offense to the unskilled, in which you have noticed that an adulteress was brought to Christ and dismissed without condemnation . . . Did Christ err that He did not judge righteously? It is not right that such a thought should come to our minds etc." (32)
According to Augustine (c. 400), it was this moralistic objection to the pericope de adultera which was responsible for its omission in some of the New Testament manuscripts known to him. He wrote, "Certain persons of little faith, or rather enemies of the true faith, fearing, I suppose, lest their wives should be given impunity in sinning, removed from their manuscripts the Lord's act of forgiveness toward the adulteress, as if He who had said 'sin no more' had granted permission to sin." (33) Also, in the 10th century a Greek named Nikon accused the Armenians of "casting out the account which teaches us how the adulteress was taken to Jesus . . . saying that it was harmful for most persons to listen to such things." (34)
That early Greek manuscripts contained this pericope de adultera is proved by the presence of it in the 5th-century Greek manuscript D. That early Latin manuscripts also contained it is indicated by its actual appearance in the Old Latin codices b and e. And both these conclusions are confirmed by the statement of Jerome (c. 415) that "in the Gospel according to John in many manuscripts, both Greek and Latin, is found the story of the adulterous woman who was accused before the Lord." (35) There is no reason to question the accuracy of Jerome's statement, especially since another statement of his concerning an addition made to the ending of Mark has been proved to have been correct by the actual discovery of the additional material in Codex W. And that Jerome personally accepted the pericope de adultera as genuine is shown by the fact that he included it in the Latin Vulgate.

Thus E.F. Hills' "poor conjecture" is not based on a single citation (i.e., Cyprian), but rather the surviving patristic evidence combined.  Hills could have cited another half-dozen more early Christian writers, which lend even more corroborative support to the view given by early Christian writers (ECWs).

Again, it looks like Hubner is hoping that readers simply won't check his omitted facts.   The full section written by E. F. Hills is available online here:

E. F. Hills on the PA  - - click here.

Dozens of other textual critics who have analyzed the evidence are available here:

Experts on the PA  - - Click here.


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