Search Our Blog

Sunday, March 27, 2011

T. Manson (1952) on Jeremias and the PA

The Pericope de Adultera (Joh 7 53 – 8 11)
A Footnote to the Article by Professor Jeremias
ZNW 43 (1950 / 51) 145 –150 ”
by T. W. Manson
ZNW 43 (1952 / 53) 255 –256

"In his discussion of the historicity of the trial of Jesus before the Sanhedrin Professor Jeremias offers a very interesting and persuasive exegesis of the Pericope de adultera in support of the contention that at the time of the crucifixion the Sanhedrin did not have competence in capital cases. He concludes that the story is of the same type as the question about paying tribute to the Roman Emperor (Mc 12 13–17). If Jesus sanctions the execution of the woman, he thereby usurps the power of the Roman authorities; if he forbids it, he goes against the plain teaching of the Law of Moses.
This illuminating treatment of the story as a whole leads me to put forward a suggestion concerning one detail of the narrative, the stooping and writing in the dust. This action has been variously explained by the commentators; and there is an interesting attempt to illustrate it from Mohammedan sources in a short article by the late A. J. Wensinck in the Rendel Harris Festschrift (1). 
I have for some time thought that the action of Jesus might be explained from the well-known practice in Roman criminal law, whereby the presiding judge first wrote down the sentence and then read it aloud from the written record (2). The interpretation of the whole story put forward by Prof. Jeremias provides a very satisfactory framework for this way of understanding the writing in the dust. Jesus by this action says in effect: “You are inviting me to usurp the functions of the Roman Governor. Very well, I will do so; and I will do it in the approved Roman manner.”
He then stoops down and pretends to write down the sentence, after which he reads it out: “whoever among you is without sin, let him be the first to cast a stone at her.” If this interpretation is correct, it strengthens the case for interpreting the whole story in the way proposed by Prof. Jeremias. Jesus defeats the plotters by going through the form of pronouncing sentence in the best Roman style, but wording it so that it cannot be executed.

(1).   H. G. Wood (Editor), Amicitiae Corolla (1938), 300–302.) Th. Mommsen, Le Droit pénal romain (Trans. Duquesne, 1907) II, 129–31. Cf. Tertullian, Apol. II, 20 (ed. Hoppe, p.9): denique quid de tabella recitatis illum ‘Christianum’? Acts of
the Scillitan Martyrs (ed. J. A. Robinson, Texts and Studies, I, 2, p. 114) : Speratus proconsul decretum ex tabella recitavit. Cypriani Acta proconsularia (ed. Hartel CSEL, III, iii, p. cxiii) : decretum ex tabella recitavit. Mart. Pionii xx  ed. O. v. Gebhardt, 1902, p. 113) : και απο πινακιδος ανεγνωσθη Ρωμαιστι. Πιονιον εαυτον ομολογησαντα ειναι Χριστιανον ζωντα καηναι προσετεαξαμεν.
(2).   (22. Dc. 1952)

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Mapping the Spread of the PA

One of the reasons Hort's list of evidence in favour of the verses is so small is that he has actually listed part of the evidence in another section (Appendix I. Notes on Select Readings, pg 83).   There, he interprets the evidence in favour of his insertion theory instead. We will examine that later.
Hort immediately classifies the passage as 'Western'. By this he literally means only in the Latin tradition, not the Greek, in spite of its presence in the majority of Greek manuscripts from all parts of the Empire. His begrudging acknowledgement of its Greek presence is a backhanded slap. He calls the Greek tradition here late 'Constantinopolitan': he has coined his own term. He implies the spread of the text into the Greek began in one Eastern city, late in the 4th century.
Click to Enlarge - use backbutton to return

The city of Byzantium was the commercial center of the Eastern Greek provinces, and was renamed 'Constantinople' after Emperor Constantine made it the new capital of the Empire in 326 A.D. According to Hort then, the passage originated in the Latin tradition, and was first brought into the Eastern Greek text from Rome in the 'late' 4th century via Constantinople. From there, it only slowly gained dominance sometime between the 5th and 7th centuries in the Greek lines of transmission.
Its easy to see why Hort's theory of an imposed Latin insertion was popular among extreme anti-Papal Protestants. Yet the full evidence concerning the history of the verses cannot really be dismissed so simply. The passage is actually found to have been popular all over the Empire at least before 400 A.D.

The REAL Spread of the Pericope de Adultera

And its apparent origin appears to be in the Far East according to Eusebius, not the West. The first explicit notice of the passage is given by Papias around 120 A.D. in the middle of Turkey. As Hort himself notes further on:
"[Eusebius] closes his account of the work of Papias (Cent. II) with the words "And he has likewise set forth another narrative (istorian) concerning a woman who was maliciously accused before the Lord touching many sins (epi pollaiV amartiaiV diablhqeishV epi tou kuriou), which is contained in the Gospel according to the Hebrews". (Hort, Introd., Appendix I. Notes on Select Readings, pg 83) Hort had no doubts over the identity of our passage here, and few others do either. The only real questions remaining concern the reliability of both early fathers as to some curious details in this report.
Papias is independantly confirmed as "a hearer of John and companion to Polycarp" by Irenaeus. He apparently lived from about 60-135 A.D. Eusebius calls him 'bishop of Hierapolis' (the modern town of Pamukkale, in Turkey near Colossae) but little else is known. Although Eusebius scorns him as "a man of small mental capacity", this is apparently because Eusebius himself interpreted the Gospels allegorically, while Papias believed in their literal truth.

M. Scott with evidence of Authenticity for PA

The following is exerpted for review and critique from:
Ciphers in the Sand, (2000).
by J. Martin C. Scott

A careful read will show a surprising amount of evidence in support of the genuineness of John 8:1-11, even though Mr. Scott attempts repeatedly to interpret this evidence as supporting a theory of "intelligent copyists" who cleverly added and edited the passage to make it appear "Johannine". What is this, except an admission that the passage indeed has multiple "Johannine" features, all evidence of its authenticity.

The Purpose of the 'Mount of Olives' Reference
Jesus has escaped the grasp of his opponents once more and, for the only time in Johannine story, spends the evening on the Mount of Olives. The geographical detail (8.1) is without exception seen by commentators as a point of disjuncture, and one of the reasons for the story finding a home after Lk. 21.38, which bears a number of similarities to Jn 8.1-2.
From a narrative perspective, this misses a crucial intertextual link, which binds the story closely to Jesus prior words concerning ‘living water’ in Jn 7.37-39.
It is important to note that the Johannine account does not, in fact, use the same expression for ‘Mount of Olives’ which is found in Lk. 21.37 (το ορος το καλουμενον Ελαιων), but instead uses the form found in LXX text of Zech. 14.4: (το ορος των ελαιων).
This text in Zechariah is one of those that offer an echo of the theme of ‘living waters’ (Zech. 14.8;Jn 7.38). 7 As a prophecy of eschatological judgement, if an echo of the Zechariah text is heard in Jn 8.1, it provides both a link back to Jesus’ preceding speech (‘living water’) and a perfect backdrop for what is to follow (judgement theme) in the Johannine context.
It is from this place of judgement that Jesus returns to be tested in judgement at dawn the next day (8.2). It is to the environs of the Temple that he once more comes, alerting the reader to the potential for entrapment, given the immediately preceding plotting of his opponents and the role of the Temple police in it. As so often in the Johannine narrative, many people are present to hear Jesus’ wisdom, but crucially also to witness the events which follow in the unfolding drama.
The life-giving Word is interrupted in mid-flow by the merchants of death (8.3), who arrive abruptly on the scene, taking centre stage while the crowd appears for the moment at least to melt into the background.
The Pharisees are joined here uniquely in the Johannine narrative by the scribes. Although difficult to see from our commonly used Greek texts, it is notable that some manuscripts read ‘chief priests’ instead of ‘scribes’ here, which indicates that at least some copyists were alert to the nuances of Johannine language and sought to align it to the more familiar pattern found at Jn 7.32. 8

The Woman as Pawn in a Deadly Game
The drama really begins to unfold with the announcement of purpose of Jesus’ opponents appearance: they bring a woman with them who they claim has been caught in adultery. The description is startling as she is thrust into the centre of the picture. As Gail O’Day describes it:
‘She is an object on display, given no name, no voice, no identity apart from that for which she stands accused’ (1992: 632).
The reader here may recall an earlier story in the Fourth Gospel in which an unnamed woman is, at least implicitly, accused of sexual license (Jn 4.16-18, the Samaritan woman). There the encounter with Jesus started a process of discovery by which the Samaritan woman entered into new faith and performed the task of true discipleship by calling others of her own people to encounter with Jesus. 9
The Sinister Intent Behind the 'Game'
This image also reminds us of the reality for the woman brought before Jesus: she is on trial for her life. Yet the reader becomes increasingly aware that the trial is not about any form of justice, but is a put-up job.
First, if the woman was truly guilty of adultery, as the next verse tries to confirm, what need would there be to consult Jesus, for whose judgement his opponents to this point have shown only contempt (7.12, 15, 20, 47-49)?
Second, even the most obtuse of readers recognizes that it takes more than one person to commit adultery – yet only a woman is brought to Jesus.
Third, the following verses show that Jesus is being placed in an impossible situation with regard to making a judgement, having to contradict the letter of either the Jewish or the Roman law.

The Pharisees appear to approach Jesus with a measure of respect when they address him as ‘Teacher’ (διδασκαλος, 8.4). This may be evoked by the earlier description of his position, seated on the ground in the traditional manner of a rabbi with his disciples around him (8.2).
Brown sees this as another link with Synoptic style (1966: 333), but it is in fact the most common way of addressing Jesus in the Fourth Gospel, and a title which the Johannine Jesus himself later acknowledges as an accurate description (Jn 13.13, 14) (Scott 1992: 152).
The Ambiguity of the Circumstances in the Johannine Context
A significant narrative ‘gap’ occurs at this point. We hear that the woman was caught in the very act of adultery, but we are not told whether she has already been tried and sentenced or whether Jesus is being sought out as the ‘judge’ in a highly irregular court scene.
Although Schnackenburg, after a whole page of discussion, concludes with some justification that ‘the story itself shows no interest in the question’ (1980: 164), it nonetheless remains an important interpretative crux for the narrative reader.
Is Jesus being placed in the formal position of ‘judge’ by the Pharisees, or is he being, as it were, consulted in passing as the woman is taken already to her place of execution?
The narrative setting into which the story has been placed by the copyists makes the former choice compelling, given the direct relationship which emerges on either side with Jn 7.24 and 8.15. The idea that, in addressing Jesus as ‘Teacher’, the Pharisees are ‘in effect submitting the case to him for decision’ (Schnackenburg 1980: 164), is attractive: the tone is set for what follows by alluding to Jesus as judge.
The Internal Focus of the Story is Hypocrisy, not Adultery
The designation of the crime as ‘adultery’ (μοιχεια) raises a number of issues for a narrative reading. Much of the discussion among historical critics has centered on the nature of the crime, the legality of the accusation in terms of proper witnesses and the martial status of the woman. 10 Again the text reveals nothing of any certainty here, even though the weight of argument seems to favour seeing her as a married woman.
A significant aspect of the way in which the story is told is the uncovering of the hypocrisy of the woman’s accusers, so the suggestion that she is being used as a pawn in a deadly game in which the rules are being flouted sits well with the overall aim of the account. This would suggest that, whatever the legal niceties of the case, which Derrett (1963-64) is at pains to uncover, justice under the law is neither sought nor required by the accusers.
In the light of this, the theme of adultery takes on a different aspect within the Johannine narrative as a whole. It has long been noted that irony is a common technique employed by the Fourth Evangelist (Duke 1985) and this text fits the literary pattern of the Gospel well in theis respect

The Harmony of the Story with the Following Narrative
As George Brooke has pointed out (1988: 107), there is a strong linguistic connection in the LXX between the two terms μοιχεια and πορνεια, the latter of which is used to describe Jesus’ opponents in Jn 8.41.
Whether or not the copyist saw this connection in placing the story where it now appears in the Fourth Gospel, 11 the close conjunction of the words now offers such a literary link to be made by the reader. The irony now lies in the fact that Jesus’ opponents, who seek to condemn another of adultery, themselves come under such suspicion and innuendo within a matter of a few verses!
Adultery as Metaphor for Apostacy
Adultery is used frequently in the Hebrew scriptures, especially in the prophetic materials, 12 as a metaphor for apostasy – turning away from the true God. This is precisely what the Fourth Gospel portrays the opponents of Jesus as doing in rejecting his message of truth for their own ‘lies’ (Jn 8.55).
What irony, then, that those who seek to trap Jesus through complicity in ‘subverting’ the letter of the law on adultery, should themselves end up under accusation of the same charge. That the narrative does infer their guilt here is strengthended by another observation which Brooke makes regarding the use of language in Jn 8.44. Here the word επιθυμια appears for the only time in the Gospel. Brooke connects it to the use of the word to translate the subject of the tenth commandment (‘You shall not covet’) in both of the LXX versions of the Decalogue (Exod. 20,17; Deut. 5.21). He concludes:
"Since the first object of covetousness in the prohibition in the LXX is ‘your neighbour’s wife’, it is perhaps not surprising to find an allusion to this commandment, the tenth, as the dialogue develops from the subject of adultery" (1988: 107).
In reading the unfolding narrative of John’s Gospel, then, the insertion of the story of the Woman Taken in Adultery at the end of ch. 7 serves to underline the hypocrisy of Jesus’ opponents in the following dialogue. But it has a still wider connection to the theme of apostasy by means of yet another vital intertextual allusion: namely, to the figure of Sophia in Israel’s wisdom literature.
Sophia and the Adultress in Wisdom Literature
The comparison between the adulteress, or prostitute and Sophia is a well-worked theme in Proverbs 1-9. The whole image of God’s invitation to humanity, in the form of Sophia as the woman who invites ‘men’ to receive her gifts, functions successfully because it has a perfect foil in the image of the immoral woman who seeks to turn them away from God. This latter figure surely represents apostasy in the Wisdom tradition. Brooke also refers to the Wisdom literature, pointing to the identification of Sophia with Torah in Sir. 24.23 (1988: 107). To reject Sophia is to abandon the law, whose very purpose is to keep ‘men’ from seductive powers of the adulteress (Prov. 6.23-29).
Since the Fourth Gospel contains a sophisticated leitmotif of Jesus as the embodiment of Wisdom over against the idea that she is contained in the Torah, 13 the rejection of Jesus Sophia by his opponents in John 8 is an indication precisely of their apostasy.
The huge irony which the insertion of a story concerning adultery throws up is that their supposed defence of the Torah is calculated at the expense of the true embodiment of Wisdom, Jesus Sophia. In the Johannine terms, the attempt to entrap Jesus through Torah is the ultimate apostasy, since it puts false wisdom in the place of true Wisdom.
Jesus versus Moses
The reference to Moses (8.5) recalls the words of the Johannine Prologue (1.17), where a direct comparison is made between Jesus and the lawgiver. Since at that point the contrast is made between law on the one hand and grace and truth on the other, the reader is already prepared for the potentiality of a merciful judgement from Jesus. In the story of the quite deliberate healing of a man on the sabbath (5.1-18), the Johannine Jesus has also demonstrated before that he is more than willing to flout the letter of the law to engage in the merciful work of God.
When the story is placed into the context of John 7-8, the eventual outcome is less surprising in the light of what has gone before. Barrett notes that grammatically speaking the word ‘you’ () is placed ‘in a position of emphasis, inviting Jesus to set himself against Moses’ (1978: 591). He duly takes up the challenge!
Explicit Challenge to Both Roman and Jewish Legal Codes
Although the story seems primarily concerned with the issue of Jesus’ attitude to the Jewish law, on the level of the wider narrative a double dilemma is a set up for Jesus in this challenge. On the one hand, if he refuses to condemn the woman to death, he will be accused of rejecting the authority of Moses and the Torah.
Of course, the Johannine Jesus has already indicated his claim to superiority over Moses in a prior speech (5.46) and will do so again in the following dialogue (8.58), but the insertion of this story heightens the drama by appearing to make him explicitly override a legal prescription.
On the other hand, if he accepts the verdict and allows the woman to be stoned, he not only subverts the portrayal of his role as the very embodiment of grace and truth (1.14), but also stands in potential conflict with the authority of the Roman law.
Even if we cannot be certain whether the saying in Jn 18.31 was an accurate description of the functioning of Roman rule in Palesine at the time of Jesus, it is quite clear that on the level of a narrative reading, this conflict potentially exists for the Johannine Jesus.
The narrator interrupts the flow of the story at this point (8.6) to make explicit to the reader what has all along appeared to be the case: the woman is merely the bait in a plot to catch a bigger fish – Jesus. Although this aside does not appear in all manuscripts and is considered secondary by such a careful commentator as Becker, it fits well with Johannine style, as Johnson (1966) has pointed out. 14
The late addition of this statement 15 may again reflect the activity of knowledgeable scribes, who adjusted its style to echo Johannine usage. However much the aside now places the focus on the plot against Jesus, the reader remains conscious that it is the woman who lies in most immediate danger of death.
Writing in the Earth
Jesus responds by bending down and writing with his finger on the ground. Perhaps predictably, this mentioned of ciphers in the sand, with its twin in v.8, has been the subject of intense speculation by historical critics, who advance the claims of a variety of possible subjects.
Some commentators assume that Jesus must have written out a text, which eventually pricks the consciences of the accusers. Others think he makes a more general accusation, for example by writing down the sins of his opponents. Yet others see it more in the form of a symbolic action, perhaps evocative of a particular text like Jer. 17.13:
‘Those who have turned away from you will be written in the dust, because they have forsaken the Lord, the spring of living water’.
Among the texts advanced as possible subjects for Jesus’ scribbling, Derrett is confident in identifying consecutively Exod. 23.1b and 23.7. This reflects his opinion that Jesus is challenging the legality of their witness and the honesty of their motives in bringing the charge (1963-64: 16-25).
Derret goes so far as to suggest that, from his position of crouching down, Jesus could only have written some 12 Hebrew characters – which miraculously coincides with the texts he quotes! Ingenious though this is, it is completely speculative and, as Brown comments, ‘if the matter were of major importance, the content of the writing would have been reported’ (Brown 1966:334).
Divine Doodling?
Brown’s own conclusion about the action is untypically lacking in imagination. He thinks that Jesus is simply taking time out ‘doodling on the ground’ in order to contain his anger and revulsion (1966: 334). Even if this were the reason for the first such action, it does not explain the second occurrence.
Strangely, too, the exhaustive treatment of Becker is somewhat banal at this point, since he sees the action of Jesus as merely an insertion by the narrator to offer a pause in the controversy dialogue (1963: 87).
In his commentary on the text he calls it a ‘novelistic-decorative detail’ (1979: 283), rather ignoring the point, taken up by Schondorf, that the double appearance of the motif in such a short text indicates a significant emphasis on it by the writer (Schondorf 1996: 92). 16
Various Explanations of the Writing
Schondorf himself is almost triumphant in his identification of the significance of Exod. 31.18, the closing verse of the giving of the law on Siani, with its telling phrase, ‘the tablets of stone inscribed by the finger of God’. He concludes: ‘Jesus’ finger would be, in fact is the finger of God, which writes down the divine Law and thereby expresses his opinion regarding sin’ (1996: 92; my translation and emphasis).
As an example of intertextual echo around the word ‘finger’ this would make some sense, but as a historical judgement it could scarcely justify Schondorf’s optimism.
In his analysis of the background to the text, Manson cites yet another possible approach to defining the content of the writing. He thinks it may well reflect the practice of the Roman courts, where the judge would first of all write out the sentence before delivering it to the accused (1952-53: 255-56).
This might work with the first instance, the sentence being that announced in v. 7, but in terms of the unfolding of the narrative, the second occurrence, which would by Manson’s analysis be the words of Jesus to the woman in v. 11, already anticipates the departure of the accusers in v. 9.
Beasly-Murray also rightly cautions against reading wider Roman practice into the Palestinian context (1986: 146). 17
Luise Schottroff’s comment probably contains more insight on the realities of the situation, however, when she says:
‘I do not believe that Rome’s representatives, especially the prefect in Caesarea, would have regarded a woman’s execution by stoning as a trespass against Rome’s sole jurisdiction over capital punishment’ (1995: 184).
Schottroff rightly points to the assumption in both the narrative world of the text and the harsh world of the Pax Romana, that the woman is at best a disposable commodity.
Writing Issue is Left Open...
Given this variety of suggestions from those approaching the text from a historical perspective, it is clear that there can be no simple single solution to the riddle of either its content or symbolism. From a narrative perspective, the action of Jesus presents a whole range of imagery for the reader open to its intertextuality.
There is no question that Jer. 17.13 makes a compelling narrative link both with the internal discussion of the pericope (the apostasy theme noted above) and with the surrounding material in the text’s present location in the Fourth Gospel.
Jeremiah’s reference to the ‘spring of living water’ has often been seen as a background to Jn. 7.38. Then on the wider internal level of the Johannine narrative, the story would make a double connection to that of the Samaritan woman through the presence of a woman considered of dubious character and the identification of Jesus either verbally or symbolically as ‘living water’ (see Jn 4.12).
7. This text in Zechariah also connects with this section of John by reference to the Feast of Tabernacles (Zech. 14:16). Jn 2.16 also alludes to Zech. 14:21, indicating the measure to which this text was known and reflected upon by early Christians.
8. Brown 1966: 333. This reading is not evident from the critical apparatus of the Nestle-Aland 27th edition. The edition by C. Tischendorf, Novum Testamentum Graece (1869), however, lists four miniscules which contain the reading 'chief priests'. It is significant insofar as it indicates the care taken by some copyists in inserting material in a manner sensitive to context.
9. See Scott 1992: 184-98.
10. See Blinzler (1957-58: 32-47); Derrett (1963-64); Becker (1963: 165-69).
11. Brooke (1988: 107) suggests that this was the case, and I see no good reason to doubt the ability of an intelligent copyist in making this connection.
12. For details of the main texts, see Brooke (1988: 107).
13. See Scott (1992: 105-106). The comparison begins in Jn 1:17 and continues throughout the Gospel.
14. See also Trites (1974: 147-46).
15. We should note here the astonishing interpretation of Young (1995). He sees the addition of this verse to the tradition as an indicator of a quite different purpose in the original form of the story. Far from being a tale which sought to denigrate the Pharisees, he argues that the text is really about an attempt by the Pharisees to find a way to save the woman from the awful sentence of the law. In the young Rabbi Jesus they find an interpreter who enables them to achieve this end: "They wanted to saver her, and Jesus helped them' (1995: 70). Suffice it to say that only a male commentator was ever likely to think that one up!
16. Also note Schnackenburg (1980: 165-66).
17. See also Schnackenburg (1980: 165).

Friday, March 18, 2011

The Egerton Fragment and the PA

Surprising evidence of the PA comes from one of the earliest unknown 'gospel' fragments so far found:  The  Egerton Papyrus 2 (high resolution photo):

Click to Enlarge: Backbutton to return

This remarkable fragment appears to be a Christian student's composition, drawing from several gospels, notably the Gospel of John.  At first it was thought to be a page from an unknown "lost Gospel", but its plagarized and composite nature has been thoroughly scrutinized and reasonably well understood for some time now.   Whoever composed this work used well-known gospel accounts and lifted both motifs, phraseaology and ideas liberally and crudely in putting together what appears to be elaborated fictional stories of Jesus.

What is less known about the Egerton Fragments, is that they rather plainly reference the PA and its surrounding context in John also, making it the earliest non-canonical witness to both the existence of the PA, and its placement in John's Gospel!

This information was actually nearly lost, as one fragment of the page was not at first recognized as belonging to the same page of this document.
The second part remained as the "Koln 255" fragment, until textual critics put them back together again.  Here is the reverse side of the Egerton Fragment (recto) together with the additional Koln 255 fragment, with the two key-words of interest highlighted:

"Teacher!",  ...."and sin no more!"

 Here is a translation of the first part of the recto side shown:

Fragment 2: Recto (→)

". . . coming unto him began to tempt him with a question, saying, Teacher, Jesus, we know that thou art come from God, for the things which thou doest testify above all the prophets. Tell us therefore: Is it lawful [? to render] unto kings that which pertaineth unto their rule? [Shall we render unto them], or not? But Jesus, knowing their thought, being moved with indignation, said unto them, Why call ye me with your mouth Master, when ye hear not what I say? Well did Isaiah prophesy of you, saying, This people honour me with their lips, but their heart is far from me. In vain do they worship me, [teaching as their doctrines the] precepts [of men] . . ."

However, the use of John being reasonably settled, little thought has apparently been spent upon its possible importance as a witness to the early existence (and location in John) of the Pericope de Adultera.   Admittedly, the evidence is rather slender and tentative. But it is a remarkable coincidence, that several phrases are placed in close proximity, in the correct order (the same as in the Pericope), namely,

"rulers...the crowd..." (verso)
"Teacher! (διδασκαλε = 'rabbi', John 8:4, see also Jn 3:2)" ...
"Go...and sin no more!"(μηκετι αμαρτανε) 8:11
In particular, the combination of "Teacher"...(cf. Jn 8:4) and "Sin no more" (Jn 8:11) are eerily reminiscent of the Pericope de Adultera."


Saturday, March 12, 2011

Old Latin Manuscript r1 (6th cent) photos of PA

The 'Codex Usserianus Primus' (GA label: it-r1) was named after James Ussher, archbishop of Armagh (died 1656), but misleadingly so, as there is no evidence that it was in his library. It contains the four Gospels in a pre-Vulgate text ('Old Latin'), in this order: (Matthew, John, Luke, Mark).

Click to EnlargeClick to Enlarge

This Old Latin manuscript  (circa 550 A.D.) is one of many excellent witnesses which show that the Pericope de Adultera (Jn 7:53-8:11) was fully accepted as Holy Scripture and was found in the Latin translation long before the time of Jerome.   Jerome had produced the Latin Vulgate translation in 394 A.D. directly from Greek manuscripts of the 3rd century he acquired in Constantinople.  He noted at that time that there were "many manuscripts, both Greek and Latin" containing the passage.  These surviving witnesses to the older Latin translation circulating before Jerome's version confirm Jerome's observations.

Here's the blurb from Dublin:
"There are 179 folios, page size varying greatly as a result of damage caused by its enclosure in a shrine as the relic of an unidentified saint.
There are two broadly similar hands, one copying Matthew and John (fols 1r-78r), the other responsible for Luke and Mark (fols 78v-182r).

The major surviving decoration is a cross in red, outlined in black, at the close of the Gospel of Luke (fol 149v), placed within a triple frame of rope and dot patterns, with a crescent on each corner. On either side of the cross, the letters alpha and omega signify the eternity and infinitude of God. There are colophons to Luke and Mark: explicit secundum lucanum ([the Gospel] according to Luke ends); incipit secundum Marcum ([the Gospel] according to Mark begins). A leaf, now lost, between the end of Matthew and beginning of John may also have been decorated. Further decoration includes red dots on top of certain initial letters; rubricated openings to chapters; and line fillers of red 'commas'. Traditionally regarded as the earliest surviving Irish book, produced in Ireland itself or at the Irish missionary foundation of Bobbio in north Italy, the manuscript has recently, and not improbably, been assigned to the 5th century and an origin in continental Europe. If that is correct, it travelled to Ireland, or at least into Irish hands, at an early date. Dry-point glosses, added in the 7th century, include one in Old Irish: at Luke 3.14, stipendiis (rewards) is glossed with the equivalent word in Irish, focrici.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

New Internal Evidence for PA (V) John Smoother without PA?!

Daniel Buck on TC-Alternate-List has laid out problem with omitting the PA. It turns out that contrary to the claims of those wanting to omit it, John does not read any 'smoother', or fit together better without the PA:
"John chapter 7 shifts scene and speaker several times:
Version A: With PA in Place:

v. 1-9      Dialog between Jesus and his brothers in Galilee
v 10-13   Jews looking for Jesus in Jerusalem
v. 14-24  Jesus and the Jews in Jerusalem
v. 25-27  Jews to each other in Jerusalem
v. 28-30  Jesus to the Jews at the temple
v. 31-32  Jews who heard him to each other near the Pharisees
v. 33-34  Jesus to the Jews
v. 35-36  Jews who heard him to each other
v. 37-39  Jesus to the Jews on the last day of the feast
v. 40-44  People who heard him to each other
               - Jesus now certainly absent from the scene -
v. 45-49   Pharisees, guards to each other at Pharisee HQ (see v. 32)
v. 50-52   Pharisees, Nicodemus to each other
v. 53        Pharisees, guards leave the scene

                - Jesus comes back on the scene -
8: 1         Jesus goes to Mount of Olives & back to temple
8: 2         Jesus present teaching people at temple
8: 3-9      Scribes and Pharisees with Jesus at temple
8: 10-11  Jesus, the woman taken in adultery (and left)
8: 12       Jesus to the people in the temple
8: 13-20  Pharisees and Jesus in the temple treasury

Version B: Now See what happens when you take out 7:53-8:11:

v. 35-36  Jews who heard him to each other
v. 37-39  Jesus to the Jews on the last day of the feast
v. 40-44  People who heard him to each other
                - Jesus now certainly absent from the scene -
v. 45-49   Pharisees, guards to each other at Pharisee HQ (see v. 32)
v. 50-52   Pharisees, Nicodemus to each other
                          - - - PA deleted - - - -
8: 12       Jesus to the people in the temple (no entrance!)
8: 13-20  Pharisees and Jesus in the treasury

Jesus speaking "again" in v. 12 must either refer to the people in v. 8:2, or all the way back to the people in v. 7:37-44. Everything in v. 45-53 intrudes on the context, without the PA there.

Notice how Bibles that leave out v. 2 have to mistranslate v. 12 to make sense of it.

Daniel Buck

Thursday, March 3, 2011

New Internal Evidence for PA (Part IV) Culpepper: Linguistic Crosslinks

Internal Analysis

Background to the Internal Evidence
As we said before, the interesting part of Culpepper's book is not his treatment of John 8:1-11, which can only be characterized as woefully inadequate, bordering on special pleading.
The fun part is that Culpepper elsewhere in the book inadvertantly has provided startling and powerful supplimentary internal evidence for the authenticity of the Pericope de Adultera.
To start, Culpepper helpfully diagrams the connections between chapter 5 of John and chapter 7. On page 166 he provides a chart, showing a remarkable and deep linkage between two sections of John, 5:1-47, and 7:15-24:

John 5____________________________________Jn 7:15-24

5:47.........."letters" /what is written' (grammata).....................7:15
5:31..........speaking on His own behalf..................................7:17
5:44..........seeking the glory from God...................................7:18
5:45-47......Moses gave the Law.......................................7:19-25
5:18...........seeking to kill Jesus........................................7:19-20
5:1-18 .......healing of man at pool/'one work'.........................7:21
5:1-18........"I healed a man's whole body on Sabbath............7:23
5:9.............the sabbath...........................................................7:23

Obviously the connections between the two passages run deep. And neither of these two passages are suspected of being additions on any textual grounds. The MSS tradition is unwavering here. Also, no one has ever produced any internal evidence suggesting either or both of these two passages was some kind of addition or insertion.
But now let us add our own second chart, showing the remarkably similar connection between two other passages in John:

Now we extend this list with the parallels between chapter 6 and 8:

John 6__________________________________John 8:1-11

6:14............ the Prophet to come.......................................7:52
6:15.............Jesus retires to mountain alone.......................8:1 was now night................................................8:1
6:22..........the following day, the crowd/people stood.........8:2
6:37,44...........the people came to Him...............................8:2
6:21................they willingly received Him...........................8:2
6:45................they were taught of God..............................8:2
6:25................they said to Him Rabbi/Teacher..................8:4
6:32................Moses gave them bread/law........................8:5
6:30..............."What do you work/say?"..............................8:5
6:36.................they believed Him not................................. 8:6
6:21................on the ground...............................................8:6
6:41-2.............they murmered at/pressed Him....................8:7
6:34...............then they said, "give us this bread"
.......................and they that heard were convicted.............8:9
6:39-40........."I will raise them up"
......................Jesus raised Himself up..............................8:10
6:47.........."whosever believes in Me has eternal life"
....................."Neither do I judge thee"...............................8:11

Note that the parallel includes the 'joining section' (John 7:53-8:1). The whole purpose of this transitional portion is to intentionally connect to the previous part of John (the end of chapter 7).
The parallel also involves the previous verse, 7:52, which is not even in dispute as a part of John's Gospel. There is no textual evidence of a gloss here in 7:52 either.
In case this weren't enough, there are the incredible direct parallels in language between chapter 6 and the passage:

The word-for-word parallels between John 8:1-11 and John 6:1-21:

Jn 6:3 : ανηλθεν δε εις το ορος Ιησουν (But Jesus went to the mountain...)
Jn 8:1 : Ιησουν δε ανηλθεν εις το ορος (But Jesus went to the mountain..)

Jn 6:5 : πολυς οχλος ερχεται προς αυτον (a great crowd came unto Him)
Jn 8:2 : πας ο λαος ηρχετο προς αυτον (all the people came unto Him)

Jn 6:6 : τουτο δε ελεγεν πειραζων αυτον (this He said testing him)
Jn 8:6 : τουτο δε ελεγον πειραζοντεν αυτον his they said testing Him)

Jn 6:10 ανεπεσειν...ανεπεσαν...οι ανδρες (sit down, the men sat down)
Jn 8:6 : ο δε Ιησους κατω κυψας (but Jesus bent down...)

Jn 6:21 ...εγενετο το πλοιον επι της γης (... upon the ground )
Jn 8:6b ........ κατεγραφεν εις της γης (... in the ground )

It becomes obvious that whoever composed John 8:1-11 was intimately familiar with and extensively used John chapt. 6 as a template (or vise versa). But this is exactly the habit and pattern of the composer of 5:1-47, and 7:15-24, namely John the evangelist himself.
Once again it becomes clear that this cannot be any kind of naive 'insertion' of a story previously unrelated to John, by some scribe or editor trying to preserve an 'ancient tradition' or 'authentic oral story'. Either the gospel was extensively and carefully rewritten to include the pericope, or it was always an integral part of John's gospel.

Culpepper versus Zervos
It may not have quite struck the reader how incredibly profound the evidence accidentally noted by Culpepper is, compared to the blatantly artificial and strained attempt of Zervos with the Protoevangelion of James. (See our article on Zervos on the website)
After 43 pages of struggle, Zervos was only able to produce one short phrase of three words, that can connect John 8:1-11 with the Protevangelion of James.
Yet when we compare John 8:1-11 with John chapter 6, we are able to come up with at least three long clauses of near verbatum agreement in the original Greek, as well as about twenty (!) thematic or bite-size connections, resonances or parallels:

Click to Enlarge: Backbutton to return

To understand the power of this connection, we need to realize how unique it is.
Of course we can set up parallel accounts between Gospels, especially when as in the case of the Synoptics, they have borrowed from each other or used common materials.
We can even find short parallels some distance apart when general themes are used repeatedly, or when deliberate chiastic patterns are embedded in a Gospel, such as the O.T. quotation patterns in John.
But we can't just arbitrarily take any two sections of a Gospel and get these kinds of concentrated interconnections.
For instance, no other section or passage in John can be aligned with either chapter 6 or 8:1-11 and be found to have this kind of heavy interconnection. John 8:1-11 is heavily connected to John 6, and not to anything else!.
This is clearly a significant finding, and it simply means this: John 8:1-11 was composed using John 6. It could never have been an independantly 'floating piece of tradition' that somehow ended up between 7:52 and 8:12 by an arbitrary or accidental interpolation of some scribe or a series of errors.
It could NOT have been composed out of the Protevangelion of James, or the Egerton Papyrus, or from the Story of Susanna. It could NOT have been composed by anyone other than the final redactor or issuer of the Gospel of John.
The Pericope de Adultera is heavily dependant upon John 6. But its more than this: Our passage is dependant upon chapter 6 exactly the same way as chapter 7 is dependant upon chapter 5, as Culpepper has shown us.
This means that whoever was imitating John knew more about John than 200 years worth of textual critics and analysts.
But when we combine this fact with the new knowledge about the structure of John itself, from the multi-level chiastic connections to the O.T. Quotation structures, it becomes clear also that the version of John we have is also completely dependant upon 7:53-8:11 for its own coherence and structural integrity.
John 8:1-11 is glued to John and John is glued to 8:1-11 in such a way that it is impossible to pry them apart without doing violence to both.
Who could have done this? John the Evangelist, whoever he may be.

The Critical Text is shown to be Mutilated
Simply omitting Jn 7:53-8:11 just damages the hidden connective structure, without completely removing it.

This means that the text of Aleph and B (Sinaiticus and Vaticanus) cannot be original, since their text retains the broken structure.
Even with minor differences in the text for the rest of John, the above list of connections remains essentially the same when we use either codex B, or a modern critical edition of the NT, or even the Textus Receptus.
Once again, the text of a handful of 2nd-4th century documents artificially prepared for liturgical service is shown to be a secondary, mutilated text.
The discerning Christian who wants the most accurate and logically consistent text of John's Gospel will opt for the traditional or Received text which includes the Pericope de Adultera (John 7:53-8:11).
Those stuck with inferior 'critical' editions of the NT like the UBS text should try to trade them for good copies of the Greek text, like the Robinson/Pierpont text, now being distributed free on the internet.

(exerpted from our Culpepper Internal Evidence page)