Pericope Adulterae - truly scripture - apparatus rigging

Steven Avery

We are starting with the KingJamesBibleDebate thread on Facebook.

Pericope Adultera - Improving the James Snapp review of Daniel Wallace

The permanent edition for improvements is this one (use your bookmarks!) on:

Pericope Adulerae - truly scripture - apparatus rigging

This thread will include improvements and comments upon the James Snapp review of Daniel Wallace that is posted here on the forum. Since James has me blocked, a new thread is the best way (however, since Facebook blocks are two-way, James will not see the thread under his normal name.) And I plan to make a few posts by tomorrow on the Pericope (also engrossed with Luke 23:34, "Father, forgive them..")

And this first post will be largely a resource list:


Now at The Text of the Gospels:
My Favorite Passage About an Adulteress in the Bible
(Or, Twelve Things Dan Wallace Gets Wrong About John 7:53-8:11.)
James Snapp

My Favorite Passage that’s Not in the Bible
Daniel Wallace

Text of the Gospels
James Snapp - December 11, 2017
My Favorite Passage About an Adulteress in the Bible
(James Snapp on Daniel Wallace)


the Apparatus Rigging is directly connected to this discussion
Facebook - PureBible
Daniel Wallace gets trapped by apparatus rigging on Pericope{"tn":"R1"}

"Apparatus Rigging - tricks Daniel Wallace and Wallace tricks the modern version dupes...."


Pericope Adultera - Youtube
Daniel Wallace: Deus nos deu um Texto-8/10-Cr?tica Textua

Wallace claims 3 uncials


Wallace blunder discussed on Snapp's NT Textual Criticism

SA Summary:
Apparatus Rigging Games - Daniel Wallace Snared!{tn:R9}&hc_location=ufi



Laparola Apparatus
(less rigged than NA and UBS)

David Palmer external apparatus
(contra yet no longer a Pericope contra)



In Defense of The Pericope Adulterae Against Dr Bart Ehrman, James White & Daniel Wallace - Oct 15, 2017
Jonathan Sheffield
March, 2017 earlier edition (different comments)

This is special, largely because Jonathan majors in the majors, the incredible testimonies of Jerome, Augustine and Ambrose.

Discussed in the forum of James Snapp

NT Textual Criticism

PureBible - May, 2017
Revised - Oct, 2017

and some KJB forums on Facebook

And the two different YouTubes.



Pericope de Adultera: blog

Nazaroo - August 31, 2011
Obscurantism on the PA
I'm posting a copy of Steve Avery's observations on how the evidence regarding the PA has been handled below:



Causes of the Corruption (1896)
Burgon Appendix p. 232-265



The Text of the Gospels - James Snapp - April 11, 2014
The Pericope Adulterae: A Tour of the External Evidence
File Tour of External Evidence April 18 2014.doc?token=AWz_NbR4B17QmplQVzdDRVdmhxlKB-4wK-pB43CoJ4d0BU-g1LisnFLQuH4gZSRxZlhdZNAmWIRLlxCJJNvfxkeJ_C7XavPTLZ4lrWN8F58NPvPphOc6ieEIE_L-Q72Fqyxg9CPQO1uH5hVTFAib9syJssn1xIuYbD78XK240-fO73ND8zCttIHDWPPiH2BeO2bDI30KhYwrvFPWB7a3Iit1

The Text of the Gospels
June 19, 2017
Dan Wallace's Credo Course: A Few Problems

Text of the Gospels - James Snapp
The 2014 Pericope Adulterae Symposium: Part 1: John David Punch: Ecclesiastical Suppression of the PA
Six Parts


PAPERS - Amy Donaldson


Explicit References to New Testament Variant Readings among Greek and Latin Church Fathers - Volume 1

Explicit References to New Testament Variant Readings among Greek and Latin Church Fathers - Volume 2
Amy Donaldson
p. 431-434

(note that Ambrose is missing)


(to be continued)
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Steven Avery

Jerome - Augustine - Ambrose - Didymus

These quotes are barely the tip of the iceberg. There are many more writers, and these writers have many more quotes.

The paper by James Snapp is possibly the single best source today.
Burgon is still an incredible resource.
Maurice Robinson
These four are from Amy Donaldson and Nazaroo.

However, each one of these four quotes is special.

Augustine and Ambrose specifically discuss the tendency to favor removal.

Jerome worked directly with Greek and Latin manuscripts from antiquity for the Vulgate and mentions that the section is in many Greek and Latin mss.

Didymus is an early "Greek father".


However, the pagan mind obviously shrinks from this comparison, so that some men of slight faith, or, rather, some hostile to true faith, fearing, as I believe, that liberty to sin with impunity is granted their wives, remove from their Scriptural texts the account of our Lord‘s pardon of the adulteress, as though He who said: ‗From now on, sin no more,‘ granted permission to sin, or as though the woman should not have been cured by the Divine Physician by the remission of that sin, so as not to offend others who are equally unclean. (FC 27:107-8)

Sed hoc uidelicet infidelium sensus exhorret, ita ut nonnulli modicae fidei uel potius inimici uerae fidei, credo, metuentes peccandi inpunitatem dari mulieribus suis, illud, quod de adulterae indulgentia dominus fecit, auferrent de codicibus suis, quasi permissionem peccandi tribuerit qui dixit: iam deinceps noli peccare, aut ideo non debuerit mulier a medico deo illius peccati remissione sanari, ne offenderentur insani. (CSEL 41:387-88)

Jerome - Pelag. 2.17 - Against the Pelagians

In the Gospel according to John, there is found in many both Greek and Latin copies the story of the adulteress who was accused in the presence of the Lord. Moreover, the Scribes and Pharisees kept accusing her and kept earnestly pressing the case, for they wished to stone her to death, according to the law. (FC 53:321-22 [modified])

In Euangelio secundum Iohannem in multis et Graecis et Latinis codicibus inuenitur de adultera muliere, quae accusata est apud Dominum. Accusabant autem et uehementer urgebant Scribae et Pharisaei, iuxta legem eam lapidare cupientes. (CCSL 80:76)

Ambrose of Milan

'At the same time also the Gospel which has been covered, could produce extraordinary anxiety in the inexperienced, in which you have noticed an adulteress presented to Christ and also dismissed without condemnation
How indeed could Christ err? It is not right that this should come into our mind...' - Ambrose, Apologia David Altera[SUP]49

49 Ambrose, "Apologia David altera" (1.1, 3), in Corpus Scriptorum Ecclesiasticorum Latinorum, vol. 32: S. Ambrosii Opera, Part 2, ed. Carolus Schenkl (Vindobonae: F. Tempsky, 1887), pp 359-60.[/SUP]

Zane C. Hodges, Problem Passages in the Gospel of John Part 8:
The Woman taken in Adultery (John 7: 53- 8:11) :
The Text, BSac 136 (1979) pp.318-332

The Nazaroo Files
Ambrose on John 8:1-11
James Snapp misses this Ambrose quote, which is the most important because he echoes the concern of Augustine about the pastors or scribes not being comfortable with the text. James does give the following additional Ambrose material, which is an indepth analysis and also discusses how the leaders did not follow the example of Jesus (and thus might prefer the passage not be in the Bible.)

Epistle 26, To Irenaeus (or Studius)

2. Much agitated has ever been the question, and very famous this acquittal of that woman who in the Gospel according to John was brought to Christ accused of adultery. The stratagem which the equivocating Jews devised was this, that in case of the Lord Jesus acquitting her contrary to the Law, His sentence might be convicted of being at variance with the Law, but if she were to be condemned according to the Law, the Grace of Christ might seem to be made void.

3. And still more warm has the discussion become, since the time that bishops 1 have begun to accuse those guilty of the most heinous crimes before the public tribunals, and some even to urge them to the use of the sword and of capital punishment, while others again approve of such kind of accusations and of blood-stained triumphs of the priesthood. For those men say just the same as did the Jews, that the guilty ought to be punished by the public laws, and therefore that they ought also to be accused by the priests before the public tribunals, who, they assert, ought to be punished according to the laws. The case is the same, though the number is less, that is to say, the question as to judgment is similar, the odium of the punishment is dissimilar. Christ would not permit one woman to be punished according to the Law; they assert that too small a number has been punished.

1 (ref to this note in Letter xxiv) He refers to the Bishops Idacius and Ithacins, who had induced Maximus to put Priscillian and others of his party to death, in spite of the remonstrances of S. Martin, who urged Maximus to be content with their having been condemned by ecclesiastical sentence. Priscillian ‘had adopted a strange compound of various errors,’ (Prof. Bright Hist. p. 160.) chiefly Manichean. There is a full account of Maximus’ dealings with them in Fleury, xviil. 29, 30. Newman’s Transl. vol. 1 p. 66—69. S. Ambrose in Letter xxvi. condemns the conduct of these Bishops, and the appeal to the civil sword in Ecclesiastical cases, in still stronger terms.

10. Nor is it without meaning that we read in the Psalms of David of fifteen degrees, and that the sun had risen fifteen degrees, when Hezekiah the righteous king received a new supply of life. 165 Hereby was signified the coming of the Sun of Righteousness, Who was about to enlighten by His presence these fifteen steps of the Old and New Testament whereby our faith mounts up to life eternal. 166 And |188 this leads me to believe that what was read this day from the Apostle of his remaining fifteen days with Peter has a mystical meaning; 167 for it appears that while the holy Apostles held various discourses among themselves upon the interpretation of the Divine Scriptures a full and bright light fell upon them, and the shades of ignorance were dispersed. But now let us come to the absolution of the woman taken in adultery.

11. A woman accused of adultery was brought by the Scribes and Pharisees to the Lord Jesus with the malicious intent, that, if He was to acquit her, He might seem to annul the Law, if He condemned her, that He might seem to have changed the purpose of His coming, since He came to remit the sins of all men. To the same purport He said above 168, I judge no man. So when they brought her they said, This woman was taken in adultery, in the very act; now Moses in the Law commanded us that such should be stoned, but what sayest Thou? 169

12. While they were saying this, Jesus stooped down and wrote with His finger on the ground. And as they waited for His answer, He lifted up His head and said, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her. 170 What can be more Divine than this sentence, that he should punish sins who is himself free from sin? For how can we endure one who takes vengeance on guilt in another and excuses it in himself? When a man condemns in another what he commits himself, does he not rather pronounce his own condemnation?

13. Thus He spake, and wrote upon the ground. What then did He write? This, Thou beholdest the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye. 171 For lust is like a mote, it is quickly kindled, quickly consumed; the sacrilegious perfidy which led the Jews to deny the Author of their salvation declared the magnitude of their crime.

14. He wrote upon the ground with the finger with which He had written the Law. Sinners' names are written in the earth, those of the just in heaven, 172as He said to |189 His disciples, Rejoice, because your names are written in heaven. 173 And He wrote a second time, that you may know that the Jews were condemned by both Testaments.

15. When they heard these words they went out one after another, beginning at the eldest, and sat down thinking upon themselves. And Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst. It is well said that they went out who chose not to be with Christ. Without is the letter, within are the mysteries. For in the Divine lessons they sought, as it were, after the leaves of trees, and not after the fruit; they lived in the shadow of the Law, and could not discern the Sun of Righteousness.

16. Finally, when they departed Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst. Jesus about to remit sin remains alone, as He says Himself, Behold the hour cometh, yea is now come, that ye shall be scattered, every man to his own, and shall leave Me alone; 174 for it was no messenger, no herald, but the Lord Himself Who saved His people. He remains alone, because in the remission of sins no man can participate with Christ. This is the gift of Christ alone, Who took away the sins of the world. 175 The woman too was counted worthy to be absolved, seeing that, on the departure of the Jews, she remained alone with Jesus.

17. Then Jesus lifted up His head, and said to the woman, Where are those thine accusers, hath no man condemned thee? She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee, go, and sin no more. 176 See, O reader, these Divine mysteries, and the mercy of Christ. When the woman is accused, Christ stoops His head, but when the accusers retire He lifts it up again; thus we see that He would have no man condemned, but all absolved.

18. By the words, Hath no man condemned thee? He briefly overthrows all the quibbles of heretics, who say that Christ knows not the day of judgment. He Who says, But to sit on My right hand and on My left is not Mine to give, says also in this place, Hath no man condemned thee? 177 How is it that He asks concerning that which He saw? It is for our sakes that He asks, that we might know the woman was not condemned. And such is the wont of the human mind, often to enquire concerning that which we know. The woman too answered, No man, Lord, that is to say, Who can condemn when Thou dost not condemn? Who can punish another under such a condition as Thou hast attached to his sentence?

19. The Lord answered her, Neither do I condemn thee. Observe how He has modified His own sentence; that the Jews might have no ground of allegation against Him for the absolution of the woman, but by complaining only draw down a charge upon themselves; for the woman is dismissed not absolved; and this because there was no accuser, not because her innocence was established. How then could they complain, who were the first to abandon the prosecution of the crime, and the execution of the punishment?

20. Then He said to her who had gone astray, Go, and sin no more. He reformed the criminal, He did not absolve the sin. Faults are condemned by a severer sentence, whenever a man hates his own sin, and begins the condemnation of it in himself. When the criminal is put to death, it is the person rather than the transgression which is punished, but when the transgression is forsaken, the absolution of the person becomes the punishment of the sin. What is the meaning then of, Go, and sin no more? It is this; Since Christ hath redeemed thee, suffer thyself to be corrected by Grace; punishment would not reform but only afflict thee. Farewell, my son, and love me as a son, for I on my part love you as a parent.

165. Isa. xxxviii. 8.

166. Mal. iv. 2.
167. Gal. i. 18.
168. [SUP]d[/SUP] It was said just afterwards, if this story of the woman taken in adultery be in its right place, which is doubtful.
169. S. John viii. 15. Ib. 4, 5. Lev. xx. 8.
170. v. 7.
171. S. Matt. vii. 3.
172. Jer. xvii. 13.
173. S. Luke x. 20.
174. S. John xvi. 32.
175. Ib. i. 29.
176. Ib. viii. 10.
177. S. Matt. xx. 23.

In Epistle 74, To Irenaeus, paragraph 4, (at ) Ambrose again quotes the words of Jesus found in John 8:11: “But to you, the sun of righteousness [he is alluding to Malachi 4:2] does not allow the shade to be a hindrance; rather, pouring forth the full light of His grace, He says to you, ‘Go and sin no more.’” Clearly, Ambrose discerned a thematic parallel between Malachi 4:2 and John 8:12 (where Jesus describes Himself as “the light of the world”), and saw in 8:11 an example of the radiant grace of Christ.


Therefore we have in some gospels: A woman, it says, was accused by the J[ew]s for a sin, and they sent her to be stoned in the place where it usually hap[pen]ed. The savior, it says, having seen her and noticed that they were prepared to st[on]e her, said to those about to cast stones at her, ―Whoever has not sinned, let him take] up a stone and throw it.‖ If anyone considered himself not to have sinned, let him take a stone and make sport of her. And no one dared; since they knew themselves well and understood that they were also answerable for certain things, they did not dare (to take) that woman (down)

Explicit References to New Testament Variant Readings among Greek and Latin Church Fathers - Volume 2
Amy Donaldson
p. 431-434

Didymus, Jerome and Augustine.
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Steven Avery

Some of the other early references.

John 8:1-11: The Woman Caught in Adultery
Matt Olliffe

Papias (c 125 AD):
‘He [Papias] also notes another story about a woman, who has been accused of many sins before the Lord, which the Gospel according to the Hebrews contains.’: Eusebius, Ecclesiastical History,3:39:
... Some would argue the reference in Papias is vague enough not to refer to the pericope, as it contains mention of ‘many sins’. Weilland Wilker, in his extensive essay, argues: ‘That Papias (ca. 125 CE) knew the story means that it existed ca 100 CE already. This again makes it quite probable that the story contains a genuine Jesus tradition.’:

Didascalia Apostolorum [Apostolic Teachings] (c 230 AD):
A Christian treatise on church order originating from Northern Syria, possibly near Antioch: ‘But if thou receive not him who repents, because thou art without mercy, thou shalt sin against the Lord God; (p. 31) for thou obeyest not our Saviour and our God, to do as He also did with her that had sinned, whom the elders set before Him, and leaving the judgement in His hands, departed. But He, the Searcher of hearts, asked her and said to her:? Have the elders condemned thee, my daughter? She saith to him: Nay, Lord. And he said unto her:? Go thy way:? neither do I condemn thee [cf. John 8:3-11].? In Him therefore, our Saviour and King and God, be your pattern, O bishops, and do you imitate Him, that you may be quiet and meek, and merciful and compassionate, and peacemakers, and without anger, and teachers and correctors and receivers and exhorters; and that you be not wrathful, nor tyrannical [Tit 1.7; cf. 1 Tim 3.3]’: R Hugh Connolly, Didascalia Apostolorum (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1929),, accessed on 15/3/2014;
Constitutiones Apostolorum[Apostolic Constitutions] (c 375 - 380 AD):
A collection of eight treatises on church order originating from Syria, probably Antioch, probably depending on theDidascalia Apostolorum: ‘And when the elders had set another woman who had sinned before Him, and had left the sentence to Him, and were gone out, our Lord, the Searcher of the hearts, inquiring of her whether the elders had condemned her, and being answered No, He said unto her: “Go thy way therefore, for neither do I condemn thee.”’: Book II.24, generally dated to the late third century:

Pacian of Barcelona (c 370-390):
‘Why delay ye, O Novatians, to ask eye for eye, tooth for tooth, to demand life for life, to renew once more the practice of circumcision and the sabbath? Put to death the thief. Stone the petulant. Choose not to read in the Gospel that the Lord spared even the adulteress who confessed, when none had condemned her.’: Epistle 3, 39, PL 13:1077):



Jerome (347-420; c 415):
‘"n the Gospel according to John in many manuscripts in both Greek and Latin, is found the story of the adulterous woman who was accused before the Lord."’, Jerome, The Dialogue against the Pelagians, (2.17), transl. John N. Hritzu, in Saint Jerome: Dogmatic and Polemical Works, (Washington D.C., Catholic U. Press of America, 1965), p.321:; Also

Ambrose (338-397 AD) :
Ambrose is reputed to cite the pericope several times, e.g. Epistle 25,7, Epistle 26,2:

‘At the same time also the Gospel which has been covered, could produce extraordinary anxiety in the inexperienced, in which you have noticed an adulterous presented to Christ and also dismissed without condemnation … How indeed could Christ err? It is not right that this should come into our mind’: Ambrose (ca 397), ‘Apologia David altera’ (1.1, 3), in Corpus Scriptorum Ecclesiasticorum Latinorum, vol. 32: S. Ambrosii Opera, Part 2, ed. Carolus Schenkl (Vindobonae: F. Tempsky, 1887), pp 359-60 cited at

Augustine (354-430 AD):
‘Certain persons of little faith, or rather enemies of the true faith, fearing, I suppose, lest their wives should be given impunity in sinning, removed from their manuscripts the Lord's act of forgiveness toward the adulteress, as if he who had said, Sin no more, had granted permission to sin.’: Augustine, De Adulterinis Conjugiis 2:6–7:

Didymus the Blind (c 313- 398 AD):
Manuscript discoveries of Didymus the Blind in 1941 established that the pericope was present in its usual place in some Greek manuscripts known in Alexandria and elsewhere from the 4th Century onwards: ‘It is related in some gospels that a woman was condemned by the Jews because of a sin and was taken to the customary place of stoning, in order that she might be stoned. We are told that when the Savior caught sight of her and saw that they were ready to stone her, he said to those who wanted to throw stones at her: Let the one who has not sinned, lift a stone and throw it. If someone is certain that he has not sinned, let him take a stone and hit her. And no one dared to do so. When they examined themselves and they recognized that they too bore responsibility for certain actions, they did not dare to stone her’: (Didymus the Blind, Commentary on Ecclesiastes 4.223.6–13):;
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Steven Avery

Nikon - Pericope Adulterae narrative often expunged from Armenian mss

Nikon in Aremenia

ran into a similar situation to that seen by Augustine and Ambrose in the west:

... Nicon, five centuries later, states plainly that the mischievous tendency of the narrative was the cause why it had been expunged from the Armenian version.

Causes of the Corruption, 1896
John William Burgon

The Pericope Adulterae, the Gospel of John, and the literacy of Jesus (2009)
Chris Keith

On the Impious Religion of the Vile Armenians
... For the text of ‘S. Niconi,’ see J.B. Cotelerius, ed., Ss. Patrum, Qui Temporibus Apostolicis Floreuerunt, Barnabae, Clementiis, Hemae, Ignatii, Polycarpi Opera, Vera, el Suppositicia; Una cum Clementis, Ignatii, Polycarpi Actis atque Martyriis (2 vols.; 2d ed.; Amsterdam: R. & G. Wetstenii, 1724), 1.237-239.
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Steven Avery

Burgon list of church writer references.

Causes of the Corruption (1896) p. 247-248
John William Burgon

Jerome (A.D. 385), after a careful survey of older Greek copies, did not hesitate to retain it in the Vulgate. It is freely referred to and commented on by himself in Palestine: while Ambrose at Milan (374) quotes it at least nine times; as well as Augustine in North Africa (396) about twice as often. It is quoted besides by Pacian, in the north of Spain, by Faustus the African (400), by Rufinus at Aquileia (400), by Chrysologus at Ravenna (433), by Sedulius a Scot (434). The unknown authors of two famous treatises written at the same period, largely quote this portion of the narrative. It is referred to by Victorius or Victorinus (457), by Vigilius of Tapsus (484) in North Africa, by Gelasius, bp. of Rome (492), by Cassiodorus in Southern Italy, by Gregory the Great, and by other Fathers of the Western Church.

Ambrose of Milan 9x
Augustine - about 18x
Pacian - north of Spain
Faustus the African (400)
Rufinus at Aquileia (400)
Chrysologus at Ravenna (433)
Sedulius a Scot (434)
two unknown authors
Victorius or Victorinus (457)
Vigilius of Tapsus (484)
Gelasius bp. of Rome (492)
Cassidorus - Southern Italy
Gregory the Great
other fathers of the Western Church
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Steven Avery

Apparatus Rigging Games - Daniel Wallace Snared!

NT Textual Criticism{tn:R9}


The normal UBS-NA CT textual apparatus is rigged in many ways, and one that is little known is to hide uncials that support the TR-Byz reading. Rarely will you find this mentioned, and many people writing on textual matters are deceived.

Clearly, there is no purpose to this in UBS, other than deception, (deliberate or sub-conscious, sometimes bias and animus can be so ingrained that it occurs just as a matter of course.) Since you are only talking about a small amount of space. On top of that, even if he knows the trick, the reader does not by nature know what uncials have that particular chapter and verse and variant. Thus to find out the accurate information, they would have to go to others sources.

This was discussed here:


[TC-Alternate-list] UBS-NA Critical Text apparatus - none dare call it rigging
Steven Avery - April 9, 2013

"All the Alexandrian uncials are listed,
Many of the Byzantine uncials are not listed."


Mike Holmes gave the specific info:

[textualcriticism] NA and UBS omission of majority consistent witnesses, including uncials

“Uncials with a Byzantine text … are represented by the group symbol Byz, along with all other Byzantine manuscripts. The most important Byzantine uncials are represented in brackets [ ] after the symbol Byz as individual witnesses to this text type: in the Gospels the uncials so cited include E F G H N O P Q Σ; in Acts L P, in Paul K L P, and in the Catholic Epistles K L. The full range of the Byzantine text-type, which especially in the earlier manuscripts is not characterized by complete uniformity, is documented in this way.” (UBSGNT, 4th edition [1993], “Introduction,” p. 4*).

So apparently NA, if it only showed the three uncials, is even far more deficient than UBS, and should never be used by anyone. Why so deficient?

UBS, according to Holmes, would have at least shown E F G, etc. but would have omitted a large group.

So the Wallace blunder was triple-fold.

a) never use NA
b) UBS will also rig out many TR-Byz uncials.
c) making a declarative point on totally deficient info


UBS is said to have many fewer variants, because it is for translators. UBS warns that they will omit many significant variants.

Yet, per the above, UBS will have much more info (even if rigged).

Seems like a disconnect. Any experts on all this want to share? Pics of the two sources will help. Even using brackets after Byz, for those not totally omitted, sounds hokey.


Steven Avery
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Steven Avery

Daniel Wallace acknowledges the blunder - claims he misspoke - uncials instead of up to 8th century
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Steven Avery

More on Jerome


Andrew Beardsley uses James Snapp

A Fresh Analysis of John 7:53-8:11 (2017 edition)

I think a good case is made here.
I think more weight should be given to Jerome who clearly say he saw the women caught in adultery in his most ancient Greek and Latin manuscripts.

"""Jerome said in Against the Pelagians, 2:17:
“In the Gospel according to John, there is found, in many of the Greek, as well as the Latin, copies, the story of the adulteress who was accused before the Lord.” In Latin: “In evangelio secundum Ioannem in multis et Graecis et Latinis codicibus invenitur de adultera muliere, quae accusata est apud Dominum.

In the same composition, Jerome offers an interpretation of John 8:6 and 8:8’s record of Jesus writing on the ground, explaining that Jesus, when he wrote in the earth, wrote down the names of the woman’s accusers, using a phrase from Jeremiah 17:13(“Those who depart from Me shall be written in the earth”) as the lens through which to perceive this.

Thirty-three years earlier, in 383, Jerome had included John 7:53-8:11 in the Gospel of John in the Vulgate Gospels. On two occasions, he describes how he went about his translation-project. In the Preface to the Gospels, addressed to Damasus, Jerome wrote that he had revised the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John “by a comparison of the Greek manuscripts. Only early ones have been used. To avoid any great divergences from the Latin which we are accustomed to read, I have used my pen with some restraint, and while I have corrected only such passages as seemed to convey a different meaning, I have allowed the rest to remain as they are.”

Inasmuch as the presence or absence of 12 verses obviously conveys a different meaning, this implies that Jerome, in 383, found John 7:53-8:11 in ancient Greek manuscripts – that is, Greek manuscripts which he considered ancient in 383. It also implies that the church in Rome in 383 was accustomed to read the passage.

In Epistle 27, To Marcella, Jerome wrote, “The Latin manuscripts of the Scriptures are demonstrated to be faulty by the variations which they all exhibit, and my objective has been to restore them to the form of the original Greek.”


Jerome depended upon Greek manuscripts when he assembled the Vulgate text of the Gospels – including John 7:53-8:11 – and at the time this was done, John 7:53-8:11 was already being customarily read in the churches in Rome. And, by 417, Jerome had encountered John 7:53-8:11 in many Greek manuscripts and many Latin manuscripts. Considering that Jerome visited a variety of locales, and considering that he specifically consulted ancient Greek Gospels-manuscripts (I emphasize: they were considered ancient in 383) his testimony goes a long way toward outweighing the Egyptian manuscripts which do not include the passage.""-- - James E Snapp Jr.
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