John 8:1-11

Discussion in '2003 Archive' started by North Carolina Tentmaker, Dec 22, 2003.

  1. North Carolina Tentmaker

    North Carolina Tentmaker
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    I preached from John 8:1-11 this last Sunday. As I researched this passage I found that there is some question to whether or not it was originally part of the book of John. According to my commentaries, some ancient manuscripts place this passage in Luke and many omit it completely.

    Does anyone have further insight to this passage? My commentaries say some manuscripts, but which ones? Which ones leave it out and which ones move it? My Scofield notes say that Augustine commented on these verses in the forth century and said that they had been removed from some manuscripts because of a fear that they would promote adultery. Again I ask, which manuscripts? I would appreciate your thoughts.
     
  2. Dr. Bob

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    Most believe it is accurate, but does NOT belong in that location in John. I would and have preached from the text on many occasions.
     
  3. aefting

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    Here is some information from the <Bible Researcher Site>.

    My understanding is that the textual support for the passage is quite meager. Consequently, I view the story as equivalent in authority and trustworthiness to the Apocrypha.

    Preachers love to speculate on what Christ wrote on the ground, though! As one person said, He probably wrote, "The best and oldest manuscripts do not contain this passage." [​IMG]

    Andy
     
  4. HankD

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    But Andy,

    The "best" and "oldest" manuscripts are by definition the originals which we don't possess, so no can say for sure concerning it's presence or absense.

    The usual wording is the best and oldest "extant" manuscripts...

    But again this is a subective call as to the criteria for "best". Of course "oldest" is objective, however in this case it can change if someone finds older mss than Aleph/B (which has happened with some of the papyri).

    HankD
     
  5. aefting

    aefting
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    OK, how 'bout this (from the RSV):

    "The most ancient authorities omit 7.53-8.11; other authorities add the passage here or after 7.36 or after 21.25 or after Luke 21.38, with variations of text."

    Andy
     
  6. North Carolina Tentmaker

    North Carolina Tentmaker
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    OK, this is all good, but which manuscripts have it and which omit it? Does anybody know.

    As far as what Jesus wrote on the ground that is a great thing to speculate about because nobody knows. My guess would be the same as many that I read that Jesus wrote a list of sins, either specific sins of the crowd or perhaps the same words written by the hand of God in Exodus, the 10 Commandments.

    The greatest part of this story is that Jesus covered this woman's sin. He did not just forgive her but paid the penalty for her sins and gave her the ability to "go and sin no more." Her sins, and my sins, like those words written in the sand were wiped clean by the Son of God.
     
  7. Dr. Bob

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    As a teen my heavy-on-the-guilt-trip Youth Pastor taught that Jesus was writing names and dates in the sand . . where each one of the accusers had been guilty of similar sins.

    And that Jesus would do the same on a big movie screen at the Judgment Seat and all MY evil thoughts, etc, projected for everyone to see.

    Sure had this hormone-crazed teen running scared for a while.

    (Of course, the subtle abuse of such false guilt teaching is evident. But in 1960 I lived in 100% FEAR.

    Thank God for His grace!)
     
  8. skanwmatos

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    The passage is missing from p66, p75, Aleph, A, B, C, L, N, T, W, X, Y, Delta, Theta, Psi, 053, 0141, 22, 33, 157, 209, 565, 1230, 1241, 1253, 2193.

    It is contained in D, F, G, H, K, M, U, Tau, 28, 700, 892, 1009, 1010, 1071, 1079, 1195, 1216, 1344, 1546, 2148, all of the Byzantine manuscripts (about 400 of them). The old versions are split about 2 to 1 in favor of the reading.

    So, the manuscript evidence is overwhelmingly in favor of the passage.
     
  9. Charles Meadows

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    I'd have to politely disagree that manuscript evidence is IN FAVOR of the passage. Most of the older manuscripts do NOT include it. P66, P75 in particular do not have it and neither do the early Syriac versions (which suggests that the story was perhaps npt accepted in the Eastern churches).

    Two questions must be asked on a critical level.

    1. Is it historical? I for one believe we should give the bible some credit for being God's word. In the opinion of most scholars, conservative and more liberal, the passage does seem to the markers of historical believability.

    2. Is it Johannine? The answer to this is NO according to most scholars. It does not seem to fit where it is in John.

    Anyway it's in our bibles so perhaps God wanted it there even if it did not make the first "draft" of John. I should mention that some suggest that it was removed early on in fear that it would make Jesus look too lenient on sin! [​IMG]
     
  10. Archangel7

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    This assumes that all MSS are of equal value; however, they aren't. All of the most ancient Greek MSS on your list (p66, p75, Aleph, A, B, C, N, T, W) don't have it; it appears only in Greek copies of the 6th C. and later. It's not found in the oldest Greek MSS of the Alexandrian (p75, B) and Byzantine (A) text types. It's not found in the most ancient copies of the oldest versions -- Old Latin (a), Syriac (Old Syriac or the Peshitta), or Coptic (Sahidic). This ancient and widespread lack of attestation makes it highly suspect as a later addition to the text.
     
  11. HankD

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    True, but who draws up the criteria to determine that value and their personal prejudices can skew the final weight.

    HankD
     
  12. aefting

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    Are you sure about that? If God did not breathe out this passage through John originally, then I highly doubt that God would want it included as Holy Scripture. Such action would be a violation of God's command against adding to His Word. What the modern versions do is appropriate -- translate it for the reader but note the legitimate doubtfulnes of its authenticity.

    Andy
     
  13. Charles Meadows

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    Good point Andy,

    But can it still be authentic (an accurate historical account) and not be Johannine? Most scholars today (even conservative ones) doubt that Peter wrote 2 Peter but we embrace it in our bibles anyway (even though it was not included in a few early manuscripts). Just a thought! [​IMG]
     
  14. Dr. Bob

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    Hence the discussion on the seven "canons" of establishing the validity of a text and its inclusion if our various English translations.
     
  15. aefting

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    Certainly. I want to maintain a distinction, though, between what may be a true historical account and what is inspired/God-breathed Scripture. When I use the word, authentic, I mean that it was part of the inspired originals, not that it was merely true historically.

    Some manuscripts have this passage in Luke, so theoretically, Dr. Luke could have been the inspired penman.

    This is a different issue but if Peter did not write 2 Peter, then I could not accept it as canonical. Notice that 2 Peter begins with, "Simon Peter, a servant and an apostle of Jesus Christ to them that ...." If Simon Peter was not the author, then this opening statement is (1) a lie and (2) in error. I'm not sure who these conservative scholars are that you refer to that doubt Petrine authorship. They don't sound very conservative to me.

    Andy
     
  16. skanwmatos

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    Good point! Whose bias is the better bias to be biased with?
     
  17. aefting

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    Ultimately, it is up to each individual as a matter of soul liberty. For me, the older extant manuscripts hold much more weight than the greater number of younger manuscripts. But if you think the other way, that is fine. I don't beleive it is an issue of being conservative/liberal or smarter/dumber or godly/ungodly. It is true that the average layman probably has not studied the issue enough to make the most informed decisions but in the grand scheme of things it matters very little.

    If I was teaching through John, I would not teach on 7:53-8:11 because I don't view it as authentic Scripture. On the other hand, I might teach through the longer ending of Mark, even though I don't view it as authentic either, only to correct misunderstandings that occur within that passage -- snake handling, baptisimal regeneration, etc.

    Funny thing -- I posted a poll a while back asking if people thought the Pericope of Adultery and the Longer Ending of Mark were part of authentic Scripture. My understanding is that there is MUCH more support for the Longer Ending of Mark than the Pericope of Adultery but the poll came back with just the opposite view. I think it's because preachers like to preach on John 8:1-11 and speculate on what Jesus wrote on the ground.

    Andy
     
  18. kman

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    They don't sound conservative to me either.

    Both 1st and 2nd Peter claim to be written by Peter the apostle. If they were written by different people then ONE of them is a liar and fraud. Now the problem (if you believe such nonsense) would be which was written by the original Peter and which by the imposter? Without more Peterine writings this cannot be determined.

    -kman
     
  19. robycop3

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    They don't sound conservative to me either.

    Both 1st and 2nd Peter claim to be written by Peter the apostle. If they were written by different people then ONE of them is a liar and fraud. Now the problem (if you believe such nonsense) would be which was written by the original Peter and which by the imposter? Without more Peterine writings this cannot be determined.

    -kman
    </font>[/QUOTE]Of course, Peter could've had scribes write for him as did Paul, with one scribe's writing style a little different from another's.(I don't know if Paul always used the same scribe or not.)
     
  20. HankD

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    OK, but so far these criteria don't exactly line up with John Burgon's but seem skewed towards the W&H hypothesis of textual criticism.

    So, Dr. Bob, if it's OK with you (when I have time to look them up and get them right the first time) Could I give his 5 tests of textual authenticity?

    HankD
     

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