Mark 6:22 - his daughter Herodias ("foulest blot" - Burgon) hard error

Steven Avery

Mark 6:22 (AV)
And when the daughter of the said Herodias came in, and danced,
and pleased Herod and them that sat with him,
the king said unto the damsel,
Ask of me whatsoever thou wilt,
and I will give it thee.

Mark 6:24
And she went forth, and said unto her mother,
What shall I ask?
And she said, The head of John the Baptist.

Matthew 14:6-8
But when Herod's birthday was kept,
the daughter of Herodias danced before them, and pleased Herod.
Whereupon he promised with an oath to give her whatsoever she would ask.
And she, being before instructed of her mother, said,
Give me here John Baptist's head in a charger.

sister thread
Inerrancy and Textual Criticism - ETC blog

Will Kinney
The Nestle-Aland 27th & 28th editions - The Merry Go Round of Modern Textual Criticism - 2 Peter 3:10; Mark 6:22; Jude 5
Facebook - CARM

Martin Shue
Mark 6:22


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Steven Avery

Burgon rips the 'foulest blot' to shreds

A bit of editing, and adding footnotes on the Corruption, remains here.

Revision Revised (1883)

The foulest blot of all remains to be noticed. Will it be believed that in ver. 22, codices <big>א</big> B D L Δ (Delta) conspire in representing the dancer (whose name is known to have been ‘Salome’) as another ‘"Herodias"— Herod's own daughter ? This gross perversion of the truth, alike of Scripture and of history—a reading as preposterous as it is revolting, and therefore rejected hitherto by all tbe editors and all the critics—finds undoubting favour with Drs. Westcott and Hort. Calamitous to relate, it also disfigures the margin of our Revised Version of S. Mark vi. 22, in consequence.
The Traditional Text of the Holy Gospels Vindicated and Established (1896)
Burgon edited by Miller

The truth of history, otherwise sufficiently attested both by St. Matthew and Josephus, absolutely forbids (Grk) (<big>א</big>BDLΔ) to be read for (Grk) (St. Mark vi. 22), and in consequence the wretched daughter of Herodias to be taken to have been the daughter of Herod.
Causes of the Corruption of the Traditional Text of the Holy Gospels

[Another startling instance of the same phenomenon is supplied by the substitution in St. Mark vi. 22 of τῆς θυγατρὸς αὐτοῦ Ἡρωδιάδος. for τῆς θυγατρὸς αὐτῆς τῆς Ἡρωδιάδος. Here a first copyist left out τῆς as being a repetition of the last syllable of αὐτῆς, and afterwards a second attempted to improve the Greek by putting the masculine pronoun for the feminine (ΑΥΤΟΥ for ΑΥΤΗC). The consequence was hardly to have been foreseen.]

Strange to say it results in the following monstrous figment:—that the fruit of Herod’s incestuous connexion with Herodias had been a daughter, who was also named 33Herodias; and that she,—the King’s own daughter,—was the immodest one[SUP]47[/SUP] who came in and danced before him, ‘his lords, high captains, and chief estates of Galilee,’ as they sat at the birthday banquet. Probability, natural feeling, the obvious requirements of the narrative, History itself—, for Josephus expressly informs us that ‘Salome,’ not Herodias,’ was the name of ‘Herodias’ daughter[SUP]48[/SUP],—all reclaim loudly against such a perversion of the truth. But what ought to be in itself conclusive, what in fact settles the question, is the testimony of the MSS.,—of which only seven (אBDLΔ with two cursive copies) can be found to exhibit this strange mistake. Accordingly the reading ΑΥΤΟΥ is rejected by Griesbach, Lachmann, Tregelles, Tischendorf and Alford. It has nevertheless found favour with Dr. Hort; and it has even been thrust into the margin of the revised Text of our Authorized Version, as a reading having some probability.

This is indeed an instructive instance of the effect of accidental errors—another proof that אBDL cannot be trusted.
Sufficiently obvious are the steps whereby the present erroneous reading was brought to perfection. The immediate proximity in MSS. of the selfsame combination of letters is observed invariably to result in a various reading. ΑΥΤΗCΤΗC was safe to part with its second ΤΗC on the first opportunity, and the definitive article (τῆς) once lost, the substitution of ΑΥΤΟΥ for ΑΥΤΗC is just such a mistake as a copyist with ill-directed intelligence would be sure to fall into if he were bestowing sufficient attention on the subject to be aware that the person spoken of in verses 20 and 21 is Herod the King.

[This recurrence of identical or similar syllables near together was a frequent source of error. Copying has 34always a tendency to become mechanical: and when the mind of the copyist sank to sleep in his monotonous toil, as well as if it became too active, the sacred Text suffered more or less, and so even a trifling mistake might be the seed of serious depravation.]


And the daughter of Herodias came in and danced in the midst of the company, and pleased Herod and those that sat with him.

27. A banquet of death is set out with royal luxury, and when a larger concourse than usual had come together, the daughter of the queen, sent for from within the private apartments, is brought forth to dance in the sight of men. What could she have learnt from an adulteress but loss of modesty? Is anything so conducive to lust as with unseemly movements thus to expose in nakedness those parts of the body which either nature has hidden or custom has veiled, to sport with the looks, to turn the neck, to loosen the hair? Fitly was the next step an offence against God. For what modesty can there be where there is dancing and noise and clapping of hands?

The Wilbur Pickering section is excellent, and helps show the massive support for the pure Bible reading. There are additional modern versions that do not part company with their text.

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Steven Avery

Daniel Wallace, NETBible, inerrrancy and Herodias blunder in Mark 6:22

[textualcriticism] inerrancy and Herodias, the daughter of Herod (Mark 6:22)

> Bart D. Ehrman
> they *do* have this rule about inerrancy at DTS. :)
Daniel Wallace
Actually, it's not a rule, Bart. It's a belief. There's an important difference. A rule is something that I would have to knuckle under in order to stay at DTS. A belief is something I embrace willingly and if I decide that I can no longer embrace it, I leave. ... As for DTS's position on inerrancy (which is a rather minimalist statement, by the way, with virtually no definition to it),... even regarding your implicit definition of inerrancy, there may be problems.

And I wonder if Daniel Wallace would comment as to whether his acceptance of inerrancy also includes the actual Critical Text or the actual NETBible text of Mark 6:22. First the Authorized Version.

Mark 6:22 (KJB)
And when the daughter of the said Herodias came in, and danced,
and pleased Herod and them that sat with him, the king said unto the damsel,
Ask of me whatsoever thou wilt, and I will give it thee.

While the NetBible is accurate to the Critical Text and has:

Mark 6:22
When his daughter Herodias came in and danced,
she pleased Herod and his dinner guests.
The king said to the girl,
"Ask me for whatever you want and I will give it to you."

Do you accept and defend the inerrancy of "his daughter Herodias" ?

And the underlying proposed apographic text from which you translate the NETBible ?


Yes, Daniel, I am reasonably familiar with your writings on inerrancy, and would be most happy to discuss the general concepts, including specific verses in the Received Text and the Authorized Version, both where they agree with the Critical Text and where they do not. On any discussion forum.

However, in your writings I have not seen you address certain difficult issues, and I offer you one here..

Also on the PBF

Inerrancy and Textual Criticism - ETC blog

Steven Avery 5/18/2017

The more basic question is whether "textual criticism", in today's usage, is conceptually compatible with either evangelicism or inerrancy. Hmmm...

For the thread, a good study verse is:

Mark 6:22 (AV)
And when the daughter of the said Herodias came in, and danced,
and pleased Herod and them that sat with him,
the king said unto the damsel,
Ask of me whatsoever thou wilt, and I will give it thee.

The ultra-minority Vaticanus-primacy variant (with Sinaiticus) is accepted by WH and NA and is translated properly as in the NetBible.

Mark 6:22
When his daughter Herodias came in and danced,
she pleased Herod and his dinner guests.
The king said to the girl,
“Ask me for whatever you want and I will give it to you.

Daniel Wallace, by theory an evangelical who signs inerrancy statements, has written claiming his preferred Bible text is "ok" for inerrancy. Yet he is responsible for this NETBible text which is a disaster for apologetics and inerrancy. Daniel Wallace always would take verses with smaller issues for discussion, avoiding the hard cases.

Should Wallace (and others with Critical Text theory) abandon ship here? Should he say "Bible perfection trumps my textual theory"? Or just dance and evade?

Granted, for Received Text and Majority proponents there is no issue. And since this only gets a "D" in the infamous ABCD code system, an editor can jump ship claiming personal prerogative. Meaning the word of God is simply your preference. Or you can come up with a creative translation theory that does not give the NETBible text. When folks simply want an "out", they can be quite creative.
The continuation is on either the Evangelical blog or the PBF sister page.

Daniel Wallace has never answered this question.
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Steven Avery

chart from Azim Mamanov placed on Facebook forum

New Testament Textual Criticism - Oct 24, 2018

Edward's footnotes (pillar commentary) where he mentioned that down in vs. 24 Salome is called Herodias' daughter, concluding that that would make the NA/UBS reading "confusing to the point of meaningless."... it seems advisable to opt for the reading thygatros autēs Hērō̧diados (“the daughter of Herodias herself”), which is supported by several important uncials (A C K W) and many minuscule manuscripts, plus the Vulgate and Syriac versions.

James R. Edwards, The Gospel According to Mark, PNTC; Accordance electronic ed. (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2002), 214.

Amim offers a correction and a good, albeit limited, chart and a link to the James Snapp discussion.

Azim Mamanov
Here is the chart with Greek uncials witnessing for either “αὐτου” or “αὐτῆς”. The only uncial left uncovered is V (9 CE). Is everything correct in the chart?

Amim Mamanov.jpg

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Steven Avery

examples of blunderama versions - his daughter Herodias - NRSV NLT NETBible

When his daughter Herodias came in and danced,
she pleased Herod and his dinner guests.
The king said to the girl, Ask me for whatever you want and I will give it to you.

When his daughter Herodias came in and danced,
she pleased Herod and his guests;
and the king said to the girl,
"Ask me for whatever you wish, and I will give it."

Then his daughter, also named Herodias,
came in and performed a dance that greatly pleased them all.
"Ask me for anything you like," the king said to the girl, "and I will give it to you."


GWT (tries to cover the problem)
His daughter, that is, Herodias' daughter, came in and danced.
Herod and his guests were delighted with her.
The king told the girl, "Ask me for anything you want, and I'll give it to you."

Many modern versions simply can't stomach the error, how can such a blunder be in their versions, and depart from their source Greek text.
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Steven Avery

review of how this blunder became part of the mdoern corruption versions

Section (updated) from:

[TC-Alternate-list] Mark 6:22 - the daughter of the said Herodias - "palpably false" Alexandrian & WH blunders


Dean Burgon tore this to shreds, (quotes in linked posts) since he examined the GNT of Westcott-Hort and saw their attempt to peddle the corruption, and knew that the blot made the revision margin.

This verse example is a borderline case where the question arises as to whether the Vaticanus-Hortian blunder is so absurd that it is rejected despite meeting all other Hortian Fog qualifications. Generally the rule is that most everything in Vaticanus (or Sinaiticus in certain cases, like Vaticanus omission) is accepted, unless the text is so absurd that it just makes the GNT editor look dumb. Nonetheless, Westcott and Hort wanted the "his daughter" corruption. The Revision, Schurer, Vincent and others rejected WH, although the Revision left the 'foul blot' (Burgon) in the margin.

Ironically, maybe for our humor, Marvin Richardson Vincent gave the reason for rejecting Hort as "intrinsic probability" against "strong manuscript evidence". :)

Incidentally, Richard Lovett (1851-1904) gives this as one of the variants that are fully Hortian, ie. they do not appear in the earlier writers. His list may be good fodder for finding some of the very worst Hortian blunders.

Frederick William Danker's (1920-Feb 2, 2012) rejection, citing Scrivener, is insightful:

Biblical Greek Language and Lexicography: Essays in Honor of Frederick W. Danker (2004)
Lexical Evolution and Linguistic Hazard
Frederick W. Danker
...The only reasonable rendering of the Greek text in Mark 6:22 (N27), without indulgence in translation calisthenics, is:
"When his (Herod's) daughter, Herodias, came in and danced, she pleased Herod and his guests."
But this sets history on its head, without apology to Mark, who is now alleged to make Herod the father of the dancer and ascribe to her the name of her mother.
43 A lexicon should not be the administrator of discredited textual theory, including that of the alleged superiority of the Westcott-Hort approach with its benign confidence in the marriage of Sinaiticus and Vaticanus. whose impress is left on the Nestle tradition of Mark 6:22.44

43. See Frederick H. A. Scrivener. Plain Introduction to the Criticism of the New Testament. 4th ed. by E. Miller. 2 vols. (London: Bell. 1894). 2:303; for genealogical data. see Justin Martyr, cited in Aland. Synopsis, no. 144. lines 48-52. where Salome is called Herod's "niece."

44. Borger. "Nestle Textkritik." 25-27.

Apparently Danker was, at least here, willing to speak up about Westcott Hort nonsense.

A plain introduction to the criticism of the New Testament (1883)
Frederick Henry Ambrose Scrivener
.. admitted into the text by Westcott and Hort .. certainly false

Scrivener gives a good overview, including the pure text pronoun issue .. "auths strongly expresses the writer's feeling that even Herodias could stoop so low, and being used emphatically has so much offended a few that they omit it altogether..."



Some followed Hort - "determined and imaginative apologists" (but why convolute apologetics simply to support an ultra-minority corruption ?)

John the Loyal: Studies in the Ministry of the Baptist (1911)
Archibald Thomas Robertson (1863-1934)

A. T. Robertson tries to excuse the Hortian blunder by convoluted corrupt text apologetics, by making Herodias his (step)daughter, with both names, Herodias and Salome. Better to simply take the historic Bible reading and reject the textus corruptus.

Next we get to the main textual "authority", anything written by Bruce Metzger:

James Snapp

Metzger, well aware of the problem that seems to be posed by the reading in B and Aleph, stated that a majority of the compilers of the UBS text "decided, somewhat reluctantly, that the reading with AUTOU, despite the historical and contextual difficulties, must be adopted on the strength of its external attestation." (Notice how the external evidence has been "weighed" -- the combination of Aleph, B, L, Delta, 565, D and "(arm)" is assigned greater weight than everything else. Is this equitable? Or is this kind of "weighing" really a kind of handicapping that guarantees which horse wins the race?) A footnote in the NET practically echoes Metzger, stating that the reading in Aleph and B, "despite its historical difficulties, is most likely original due to external attestation and the fact that it most likely gave rise to the other readings as scribes sought to correct it."

Yes, due to the Matthew text, basically Metzger and the parrot NETBible-Wallace basically say that they take the ultra-minority Alexandrian reading -- which has the additional corroborative support of being a de facto factual error. This is lectio difficilior turned extra raw and ugly, a tool to fabricate errors and blunders in the Bible text. However, this only taking modern theories to their logical Bible conclusion and confusion.

In fact, it is unclear to what extent lectio difficilior is actually believed, since any true textual science is very cautious in application of such a principle (same with lectio brevior, as discussed here recently). What we may have is simply that lectio difficilior is a handy tool, or excuse, to support the ultra-minority Alexandrian variants, including blunders, by those in the Hortian Fog.

In modern times, the main Metzger parrot (his borrowed word usage pointed out by James) appears to be Daniel Wallace. (Does the NETBible make it clear to its readers that these learned notes are often simply warmed-over Metzger ? If not, what is the word that applies ?)

Yet this blunder is too much even for most committed Metzgerites and Hortians.
If you find others, even Ehrman types, who supports the errant text as original, feel free to share away.

Wieland Willker (p. 229-230) leaves it as a difficult variant and "indecisive".

J. Harold Greenlee is said to support the corruption in this review by J. K. Elliot:

ethereal inerrancy - no verse is sure - Matthew 27:9 - Jeremy
Mark 6:22 - should modern version cornfuseniks defend the 'his daughter' blunderama ?
(no longer up)

The overall modernist double-mindedness about this blunder is fascinating to behold, any real Hortian will hardly ever abandon Vaticanus and Sinaiticus.
This was pointed out here by Walter L. Porter, succinctly, and I have filled in some Metzger text

Preserving the Word of God
Walter L. Porter
Another example of their preference for the old remnant manuscripts even if it results in a Biblical contradiction concerns the story of the girl who danced before Herod. In both Matthew and Mark, the traditional Textus Receptus calls her Herodias's daughter. Codices Sinaiticus and Vaticanus plus a few others call her Herodiass daughter in Matthew, but Herods daughter in Mark*a clear contradiction between the two Gospels. Yet rather than doubt their favorite manuscripts, these modern critics accept the reading in Mark that contradicts the one in Matthew, saying (Metzger 1994 pg 77), "A majority of the Committee [of the UBS/NA text] decided
somewhat reluctantly, that the reading with autou, despite the historical and contextual difficulties, must be adopted on the strength of its external attestation, despite the historical and contextual difficulties, "; meaning, because Codex Sinaiticus and Codex Vaticanus plus a few others have it that way..


A review of how they tie themselves up in knots, referencing J. K. Elliott (partial in the page) to try to undo the damage.
You can compare the Elliot and Burgon (Causes of the Corruption) analysis of how the corruption arose.

"But it is Not So Among You": Echoes of Power in Mark 10.32-45 (2003)
Alberto De Mingo Kaminouchi
"serious historical difficulties" ... lectio difficilior potior .. argument in favor"

Next, Randolph O. Yeager defends the blunder with the concept "no major themes are changed" :

The Renaissance New Testament
Randolph O. Yeager
As is always the case when there is doubt about the precise reading of the text the main thrust of the story is not threatened regardless of which reading we take.

And here is a Metzger pic (sometimes they do not come through when I place more than one in post).

Textual Commentary of the Greek New Testament - Metzger, Bruce - UBS

Tom Hennell in a Wikipedia comment:
"the (step)daughter of him by Herodias" as Hort proposed; .... Hort, as he held that the agreement of Aleph and B (unless clearly a miscopying) must be a "Neutral" text, and hence could not be allowed to incorporate a redactional conjecture (especially one that created a clear error of historical fact).

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Steven Avery

James Snapp 2018 blog

Mark 6:22 - Whose Daughter Danced?
James Snapp - July, 2018


Mark 6:22 (NET): “When his daughter Herodias[SUP]34[/SUP] came in and danced . . .”
Mark 6:22 (NRSV): “When his daughter Herodias[SUP]q[/SUP] came in and danced . . .”
Mark 6:22 (NIV): “When the daughter of[SUP]a[/SUP] Herodias came in and danced . . .”

Mark 6:22 (CSB®): “When Herodias’ own daughter[SUP]p[/SUP] came in and danced . . .”
Mark 6:22 (ESV): “For when Herodias’ daughter came in and danced . . .”

Mark 6:22 (KJV): “And when the daughter of the said Herodias came in, and danced . . .”

Whose daughter danced for Herod? Was it his own daughter, or the daughter of Herodias? The first-century historian Josephus reports (in Antiquities of the Jews, Book 18)) that Herodias’ daughter was named Salome and that she was Herod’s grand-niece, not his daughter. Matthew 14:6 affirms that she was Herodias’ daughter.

Not only was the dancer not Herod’s physical daughter; she was not Herod’s daughter under Mosaic Law, either: her mother Herodias, after marrying Herod II (the son of Herod the Great and Mariamne II), had divorced him, and – against Jewish Law – married his brother, Herod Antipas. As Josephus stated: “Herodias took it upon herself to confound the laws of our country, and divorced herself from her husband while he was alive, and was married to Herod Antipas.” It was because of this violation of Jewish law that John the Baptist, according to Matthew 14:3-4 and Mark 6:17-18, had spoken out against the unlawful marriage – with the result that Herod Antipas had John the Baptist imprisoned.


Quite a bit more data is found in the NET’s textual note, in which the annotator explains that the NET’s editors chose to have their translation say that the dancer was Herod’s daughter despite the “historical difficulties” that it involves. Or to put it another way: even though Matthew says that Herodias was the dancer’s mother, the NET’s editors chose to adopt the reading in which Mark says otherwise, because it is the most difficult reading – difficult, because it is erroneous – and thus the reading which copyists were most likely to alter.


Why, then, did the editors of the current edition of the Nestle-Aland compilation adopt a reading which makes Mark appear to contradict his fellow-evangelist Matthew and the historical data from Josephus? Because textual critics tend to accept the principle that the more difficult a reading is, the more likely it is to be original – which means in this case that the first reading is more likely to be original because it is the variant that copyists would be most likely to attempt to adjust. That, at least, was the reasoning at the conclusion of the NET’s defense of the reading: “It most likely gave rise to the other readings as scribes sought to correct it.” (So much for the annotator’s “embarrassment of riches,” when he declares that at this point in the text, 99.9% of the coins in the treasury are most likely counterfeit!)

Neverthless, Metzger, instead of promoting the reading with αὐτου on internal grounds, stated that the UBS Committee narrowly decided in its favor due to the external evidence, stating in his Textual Commentary, “A majority of the Committee decided, somewhat reluctantly, that the reading with αὐτου [i.e., the first reading], despite the historical and contextual difficulties, must be adopted on the strength of its external attestation.” This illustrates that “reasoned eclectic” approach of the UBS editors is, to a very large extent, eclectic in name only, favoring the joint testimony of a very small team of manuscripts over virtually everything else.


is it plausible that Mark wrote τῆς θυγατρὸς αὐτου Ἡρῳδιάδος? The answer is firmly no. Introducing the dancer as Herod’s daughter, fully aware that she was Herodias’ daughter (as Mark affirms in 6:24), immediately after explaining that Herod’s marriage to Herodias was not valid, would be like saying that a man and a woman were committing adultery, and then saying that the woman’s daughter was nevertheless the daughter of the adulterer – and that she happened to have the same name as the adulteress. It is extremely unlikely that Mark would ever drop such a statement upon his readers without explanation; it is much more likely that an early copyist made a simple mistake, which a small number of disciplined copyists perpetuated.


These three considerations in unison attest that the Byzantine reading at this point in Mark 6:22 is original, and that the Alexandrian reading is a mistake, albeit not quite so nonsensical that every copyist would recognize it as such.

While Wieland has the normal textcrit puzzle and confusion, he does add good info.

Wieland Willker p. 231-232

A Textual Commentary on the Greek Gospels

Vol 2. - Mark

The daughter of Herodias is meant. According to the txt reading she has the
name Herodias as well. This is possible, although other sources (Josephus)
report the name Salome for her.
She is also not the daughter of Herod, but only a grand-niece of him. She is the
daughter of Philip. So the txt reading is factually wrong.
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Steven Avery

LaParola appartus onlnie shows overwhelming support

This goes with the Wilbur Pickering Greek line study above.

Mark 6:22


Westcott and Hort
καὶ εἰσελθούσης τῆς θυγατρὸς αὐτοῦ Ἡρῳδιάδος καὶ ὀρχησαμένης, ἤρεσεν τῷ Ἡρῴδῃ καὶ τοῖς συνανακειμένοις. ὁ δὲ βασιλεὺς εἶπεν τῷ κορασίῳ Αἴτησόν με ὃ ἐὰν θέλῃς, καὶ δώσω σοι·

καὶ εἰσελθούσης τῆς θυγατρὸς αὐτῆς τῆς Ἡρῳδιάδος καὶ ὀρχησαμένης, καὶ ἀρεσάσης τῷ Ἡρῴδῃ καὶ τοῖς συνανακειμένοις, εἶπεν ὁ βασιλεὺς τῷ κορασίῳ, Αἴτησόν με ὃ ἐὰν θέλῃς, καὶ δώσω σοί·

This can be seen in John Hurt GNT, Blue Letter Bible, etc. as well.
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