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Reconstructing a text which has no manuscript support

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  • Ronald Price
    To anchor this discussion to a synoptic example, I have in mind two related cases: Mk 14:28 and Mk 16:7. These verses contradict the authorĀ¹s attitude towards
    Message 1 of 1 , Jun 22, 2013
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      To anchor this discussion to a synoptic example, I have in mind two related
      cases: Mk 14:28 and Mk 16:7. These verses contradict the authorĀ¹s attitude
      towards Peter revealed elsewhere in the gospel, which includes having Jesus
      call him "Satan", having him deny his master three times, and having him
      fall asleep three times when his master had asked him to stay awake.

      But my concern here is the general case rather than the above example. I
      have been aware for many years now that there are scholars who, while
      appearing quite liberal regarding NT criticism generally, behave rather like
      fundamentalists when it comes to arguments in favour of a text which has no
      manuscript support. They regard all such arguments as a waste of time.

      I cannot understand such an attitude. We know that extant NT documents and
      fragments contain thousands of variations. We know that the earliest extant
      fragment of an NT text is generally a hundred years or more later than the
      original, so it is almost certain that changes to the NT text took place
      during that period. Why do such scholars assume that it is impossible to
      reconstruct the original in those circumstances, even where the original is
      posited simply to have lacked a specific sentence from the best extant text?

      Ron Price,

      Derbyshire, UK

      http://homepage.virgin.net/ron.price/index.htm



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