Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Scholz and MacMichael (1831-1854) on the PA


Scholz (1830), Roman Catholic professor of Sacred Literature in Bonn*, searched extensively all over Europe, and discovered an additional 600 manuscripts of the NT.  He personally collated many of these in full, and prepared a new edition of the Greek NT based on Griesbach's earlier (1806-1818) work.

Scholz, like Griesbach, was convinced of the authenticity of John 7:53-8:11, although he was well aware of the difficult textual problems surrounding the passage.

MacMichael (1854) republished a newer and almost completely corrected final edition of Scholz' Greek text, spending nearly 20 years carefully checking and correcting Scholz.   He tells us:
"In a few instances, where deliberate consideration of the text and readings led to the adoption of some other reading than that of the original text [Scholz], the latter is presented in the notes.  These deviations, however are very rare; their number, it is believed, will not be found to exceed twenty." (MacMichael, Preface, iii)
MacMichael adds extensive English notes to the text of Scholz in the lower margin (apparatus).  On the PA he states:
"The genuineness of the text from 7:53 to 8:11 (both inclusive) has been much questioned: see Olsh., following Beza, Grotius, Hammond, Wetst.  It is defended by Whitby, Mill, Selden (d Uxor. Heb.), Bloomfield.
Of its antiquity there can be no doubt (it is noticed by Tatian, A.D.160), and its authenticity, or truth as a genuine fragment of the Gospel narrative, handed down from Apostolic times, has hardly been questioned.  Its position here, unconnected as it stands with what precedes or follows it, has suggested the idea that it was originally inserted in the margin, as an incident illustrative of our Lord's words, εγω κρινω ουδενα (8:15)."
MacMichael, although properly allowing for the weakness of connection of the three adjoining sections, comes in on the side of the essential authenticity and integrity of the passage.

It may be noted that many sections in John are weakly joined, and John's gospel does not purport to be a continuous and complete narrative, but rather a collection of key incidents in Jesus' ministry, often vaguely connected. (cf. John 20:30-31).
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* John Martin Augustine Scholz (b. at Kapsdorf, near Breslau, 8 February, 1794; d. at Bonn, 20 Oct 1852), the German Catholic Orientalist and exegete

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