Saturday, April 26, 2014

Live Update from the Pericope of the Adulteress Conference

This is a quick live update from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminar hosting the Pericpoe Adulterae symposium.
Image HT: Jacob Cerone

Right now Jennifer Knust is presenting her paper, "Neither Add Nor Take Away..."(photo by Chris Keith)

You can follow a live twitterstream at @ceronej  hashtag: paconf#

Update: There is liveblogging at and (with videoblog).

Second update: David A. Black summarizes the conference.


  1. Tommy,

    You can see some updates at my website as well ( The actual post is found at the following location:

    We are glad you're here in Wake Forest! Thanks for making the journey!

    I'm happy we finally got your Power Point running yesterday.

    Blessings, TWH

  2. Bless you. Keep up the good work for the Gospel!

  3. I enjoyed this conference very much.

    Anyone who was at the conference who didn't get a printed copy of "John 7:53-8:11 - A Tour of the External Evidence" - I'll be glad to send free digital copies; just e-mail me with a request.

    I thought it was notable that as the panel-session wrapped up, Dr. Black asked those in attendance for a vote, along the lines of "Is the PA original? Yes or no?" Of those in the room who responded, by turn, the "Yes" prevailed over the "No," and it was not close.

    Also: Punch said that he would preach from the PA; Wasserman indicated that he has no problem with preaching from the PA inasmuch as Jude had no problem using the Book of Enoch (twice he raised the question: should we remove Jude from the Bible to?); Knust seemed in favor of using the story for the instruction and edification of the church (though she seemed strangely reluctant to say whether or not it echoes historical events) and by the end of the conference she even seemed willing to reconsider the whole question of omission-via-lectionary-influence; Robinson favors the complete canonicity of the PA.

    Keith, even though he make it clear that he regards the passage as an interpolation -- that is, he considers the PA to be a composition written by *somebody,* which was then reworked by *someone else* who wanted to show that Jesus was able to write (but who, strangely, did not take the step of stating *what* Jesus wrote), who, after making extensive John-mimicking adjustments to this already-existing story, inserted it into the text of the Gospel of John after 7:53), did not -- iirc -- make any drastic statement to the effect that the passage should be removed from the Bible.

    The conference's publicity-image asked if the PA should be proscribed, or proclaimed? The consensus of the speakers, as well as the audience at the end of the conferences, was clear: the Pericope Adulterae should be proclaimed.

  4. If we removed Jude from the Bible Tommy would be in trouble.

  5. Are the conference papers/presentations going to be made available?

  6. Bill,
    I think a book, with each chapter encapsulating each presenter's view, is in preparation.

    In the meantime, the live-blogs convey a fairly good sense of each presenter's approach.

  7. Snapp: ". . . by the end of the conference she [Jennifer Knust] even seemed willing to reconsider the whole question of omission-via-lectionary-influence."

    I think you misunderstood her slightly – she was open to go along with this suggestion for the sake of the argument, willing to hear Robinson out and she asked him to clarify the evidence, but Robinson didn't have much else to refer to than Justin's remark that the memoirs of the apostles (Gospels) were read in church, and the assumption that the great feast would have readings assigned to them at an early stage. However, Robinson was not able to present other evidence that persuaded us – we just do not see the evidence for early lectionary influence, so we do not agree with Robinson on this point. (I say "we" since we are writing a book together on the topic.)

  8. Tommy,

    Not every "seemed" boils down to "did," so it's entirely possible that she was speaking provisionally; i.e., *if* some evidence of early lectionary influence were to appear, she might adopt Dr. Robinson's theory.

    Early lectionary influence was what I had in mind when I asked about Luke 22:43-44: *if* those two verses (supported by Justin and Eusebius and the Old Latin; that's old and broad) are original, then isn't early lectionary influence the least complicated explanation for their absence in the early Alexandrian text?, And, *if* early lectionary influence caused the removal of Lk. 22:43-44, then why not regarding Jn. 7:53-8:11 also?

    But this should not distract very much from my main point, which is that none of the panel-members said anything like what Dan Wallace, Jim Hamilton, and Andreas Kostenberger have proposed; Wallace in 2008, wrote: "I am calling for translators to remove this text from the Gospel of John and relegate it to the footnotes." But on April 26, 2014, nobody at the conference was saying that the passage should be proscribed; all the panelists were saying that it should be proclaimed. In addition, most of those in attendance at the end of the panel-discussion, after hearing the arguments that the passage is original, and that the passage is not original, when asked by Dr. Black what they thought, said that the passage is original.

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