pericope de adultera and stemmatics
- It is IMO certain that the pericope de adultera is not an originalportion of John. However there is uncertainty about its early textualhistory. And particularly whether it is an original part of theByzantine text.If the history of the early text proposed for Mark by Stephen Carlsonon the basis of stemmatics is applicable to John then this may throwlight on the problem.The pericope is clearly not present in the narrow or strict Alexandriantext. It appears not to be present in the broad or pre-ByzantineAlexandrian text. (absent in 33 and probably absent in codexEphraemi where the missing pages lack space for the pericope).It appears not to be present in the Caesarean text (absent in codexKorideti and 565 at end of John in family 1 etc).. It is present in partof the strict Western text (Codex Bezae and SOME Old Latin althoughsome of the supposedly Old Latin support may be a result of Vulgateinfluence.) . It also has Latin Fathers in support (AmbroseAmbrosiaster Augustine) that is probably independent of the Vulgate.If as Stephen Carlson suggests the Byzantine text is a conflation ofthe broad Alexandrian text with the Caesarean text without theinfluence of the strict Western text then one would not expect thispericope to be part of the text. This is in agreement with its absencefrom such early representatives of the Byzantine text as Codex Yand probably Codex Alexandrinus (where the missing pages lackspace for the pericope) and from such Byzantine influenced versionsas the Gothic and Peshitta. One particularly interesting result of thestemmatic analysis is that it makes Codex Petropolitanus (N) whichlacks the pericope, a representative of the primitive Byzantine textin Mark. If this analysis holds good in John it may tip the balancedecisively in favour of a Byzantine text which originally lacked thepericope de adultera.If this analysis is sound it would imply that the pericope is originallyfound only in part of the strict Western text, and that its presence inthe Vulgate is a consequence of the Western influences on that text.It was not originally part of the Byzantine text until several centuriesafter the origin of that text.Andrew Criddle
- Malcomb wrote:
<< One final note, the pericope presupposes that the Jews of Jesus'
ministry on earth had the authority to kill. This [is refuted]
elsewhere in the Gospel narrative.>>
There are a couple of problems with this assertion.
1) The text specifically says that this was a setup by the Scribes
and/or Pharisees. It should have been a lose/lose proposition for
Jesus: if he said "stone her," he would be in trouble with the Romans
for instigating a lynching, as alluded to in 18:31. If he said "free
her," he would be seen as "soft on crime" and loose popular support.
They did not, of course, forsee the third option, which made them out
to be the losers instead. But no authority under ROMAN law to execute
was ever claimed; only under MOSAIC law.
2) Lynchings by stoning did in fact occur during that era, as seen by
the examples of Stephen in Acts 7 and James in the History of