Tuesday, April 29, 2008

The Pericope Adulterae in Recent Research

Chris Keith
Recent and Previous Research on the Pericope Adulterae (John 7.53—8.11) Currents in Biblical Research 2008 6: 377-404. [Abstract] [PDF] [References]

Here's the abstract:

"This article surveys recent and previous research on the enigmatic Pericope Adulterae (PA), traditionally placed at Jn 7.53—8.11. The discussion is organized by the methodologies that scholars have applied to PA, and thus the article also demonstrates the various critical approaches in New Testament studies that have found popularity at a given time. While the following study will observe that some scholarly conclusions, such as the theory that PA did not appear in the original version of the Gospel of John, are near consensus, it will also highlight some remaining unsettled issues in PA scholarship."


  1. I tried the pdf but I'm not a member.

    I may not need to see the file anyway because I am looking for a scholarly article on the internet that shows the pros and cons of how the Greek text would read if these verses were not there. I recall there being problems for the presence of absence of the text (I don't remember).

    Can anyone direct me to a web site with such an article?

  2. Although Chris Keith and I obviously differ in relation to PA authenticity, I find the article to be reasonably fair and comprehensive regarding the various authenticity and interpretative views that have been raised.

    To correct one error relating to my Filología Neotestamentaria article on the PA:

    Keith states (p.379) that "Robinson omits eighth and ninth alternative locations", citing MS 1333 and the Georgian MSS.

    While my article did not deal with Keith's 9th (Georgian versional) relocation, it did discuss his 8th location, in MS 1333: "at the beginning of John, while omitting it at 7.52" (p.42).

    Keith on this point cites Parker, who, along with others, erroneously states that "the corrector of MS 1333 places PA at the end of Luke's Gospel" when it actually appears between the end of Lk and the beginning of Jn.

    As my collation notes state:

    "Lk ends on one page bottom, recto , with 5 ll. left empty (leaf 148). Next page (verso of leaf 148) contains the passage complete before the list of KEFALAIA for Jn. It is written in a darker ink, but not necessarily by a different scribe, since there are a number of similarities with the style in the opening section of Jn which follows."

    In addition, the PA as included on this separate leaf is clearly labeled as EK TOU KATA I(WANN)W.

    It would be nice if the handbooks were to end the misleading claim that MS 1333 somehow adds the PA as some sort of appendage to Lk rather than it openly being associated with the Johannine Gospel that it prefaces. One would particularly think that EK TOU KATA IWANNOU is indisputable in this regard.