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What is wrong with the Bauscher codes?
Shlama all--Combing through this thread I saw two important questions directed my way:

And to Andrew-do you feel comfortable neglecting the woman in adultery scenario as true scripture? I dont see why it would be faked or unoriginal, it describes Yeshua to the very T. Very forgiving and condemning of individuals who judge without compassion.

Well, let me just start by saying that I understand the desire to have a "perfect autograph" text, but I find the way a lot of folks go about it is inconsistent. What I mean by that is invariably their "perfect" text is always the one they feel most familar and comfortable with. So people grow up with the Adulteress story and maybe have an image from a movie like "Jesus of Nazareth" of this very moving episode, and then they look for "evidence" that it makes sense, should be real, etc. To me that's kind of like shooting an arrow and then drawing a bullseye where that arrow lands.

If we go by however the mss record, which we say we do when looking for that "original-autograph" text, the 4 most ancient GREEK codices don't have this story and therefore most scholars have concluded it is a LATER addition, so if you want that original text, isn't that process part and parcel with separating the earliest readings from the later ones? I mean, isn't that the whole point? And this is not even taking the universal silence of the Peshitta collection into account--I say the WESTERN record here speaks volumes in this case.

So I have to ask back: What is more important, having the most ancient and reliable NT or having the most familar NT? These are two separate considerations that often get lumped together.

Now is the story effective and showcases Y'shua's compassion? Of course it is. I love the story personally, but then if most people did not feel that way, there is no way it would have crept into the mss record in the first place, and to my mind the way it got in there is less important than the fact that came later.

So the answer to this question is YES I feel comfortable with telling the truth that this is a later addition, and besides this, Y'shua does show the exact same mercy with adulterers and such elsewhere in the Gospels, like the sinful woman who anointed him at Bethany for example, so it's not as if we must have John 7:53-8:11 to show this side of our Savior.

Next question:

Because I???ve wanted to reserve my own judgment until I could see MARI and how and what all is analyzed for this passage, I???ve held off until now in asking this question. I guess if you???ve already dealt with this angle in MARI, Andrew, then please feel free to just give a nod, and I???ll wait. Just figured it might be one approach unique to Dave???s critical eye, but there???s no way for me to be sure. Guess I thought I???d ask now, since I saw this thread pop up again today, and I???ve already forgotten that I wanted to ask the question here.

My opinion here is the same. David is free to suggest all manner of esoteric linguistic mechanisms, but there is nothing in my view that trumps the Eastern and earliest Western mss traditions in BOTH LANGUAGES. That must be the consistent key, because if we set it aside for the sake of a good story that moves us, then our critics can throw out every other reliable textual witness in Scripture by not being moved with other cases of strong attestation. We have to have equal weights and measures both spiritually and critically, or we are lost.

So, does Mari talk about and compare the Peshitta and Greek on this passage? Of course it does. But do I add to the Aramaic later readings and pretend they are originals and promote a known artificiality as a Masorah?--NO WAY. I must keep the base Aramaic text as pure as I know how, but I am equally determined to discuss all major variants in the NT--and this is definitely a big one--in a way that allows the reader to make up his or her own mind. I think I have balanced these desires that may never be resolved and are somewhat in opposition to one another, though not always.

So I guess what I am saying is that if the choice is between explaining the record accurately and what I am comfortable with or know others are comfortable with, then comfort must be sacrificed for the sake of consistency. Sorry but that's just how it is.

Shlama w'burkate
Andrew Gabriel Roth

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John 7:53-8:11 - by Andrew Gabriel Roth - 10-02-2008, 09:24 PM

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