Baker Academic

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

An Update on the Location of the Pericope Adulterae in MS 284—Chris Keith

**What follows is an excerpt from the draft of my brief essay on "The Pericope Adulterae (John 7:53-8:11)" in volume 1 of the Reception of Jesus in the First Three Centuries, eds. Chris Keith, Helen K. Bond, and Jens Schroeter (Bloomsbury T&T Clark).  As part of that research, I had the opportunity to look more closely at the location of PA in MS 284.  If anyone has done more research on the paratextual matters of 284, I'd love to know more about how the obelus is used elsewhere in the manuscript.  (Many thanks to the New Testament Virtual Manuscript Room for making images available.)

An update regarding MS 284 is necessary.  On the basis of Robinson and Text und Textwert, I previously noted that a corrector of MS 284 placed PA “after John 10:36” (see Keith, Pericope, 121; Maurice A. Robinson, “Preliminary Observations regarding the Pericope Adulterae based upon Fresh Collations of Nearly All Continuous-Text Manuscripts and All Lectionary Manuscripts Containing the Passage,” Filología Neotestamentaria 113 [2000]: 42; Kurt Aland et al., eds., Text und Textwert der griechischen Handschriften des Neuen Testaments V. Das Johannesevangelium: 1. Teststellenkollation der Kapitel 1–10, ANTF 36, 36, 2 vols. [Berlin: Walter de Gruyter, 2005], 2:211–215).  Subsequently, Maurice A. Robinson, “The Pericope Adulterae: A Johannine Tapestry with Double Interlock,” in The Pericope of the Adulteress in Contemporary Research, eds. David Alan Black and Jacob Cerone, LNTS 551 (London: Bloomsbury T&T Clark, 2016), 119, has addressed this location for PA again.  He states,
MS 284 originally had 7:53 in the normal location, followed by 8:12; but 7:53 was then erased, leaving a gap before 8:12.  Subsequently, PA was inserted on a separate paper sheet between the pages concluding John 10:35 and commencing John 10:36 (all this was known previously).  However, a previously unnoticed obelus was inserted in the main text of MS 284 at the clearly more appropriate location following John 10:39.  This fact, hitherto, had not been observed but—based solely on an educated guess by the present writer—was subsequently confirmed by the INTF.

Based on Robinson’s wording, it is not clear whether the “fact” that INTF confirmed for Robinson was the obelus’s presence or that the obelus indicated that PA should be read “following John 10:39.”  MS 284 is now viewable remotely via the INTF’s incredible New Testament Virtual Manuscript Room at (accessed 6 Dec 2017).
John 7-8 in MS 284
Upon examination, I cannot personally judge whether 7:53 had originally been written it its normal location and then erased, but Robinson is correct that original script was erased and 8:12 written over it.  It is also clear that someone inserted PA, written on a separate sheet of paper, at the John 10 location, though strictly speaking it splits John 10:36 (rather than splitting 10:35 and 10:36 or coming clearly “after John 10:36”), coming between a page that ends with John 10:36’s τὸν κόσμον and a page that begins with the immediately subsequent ὑμεῖς.  Whether the obelus on the next page of 284 clearly indicates that PA should be read after 10:39 (per Robinson), however, is highly questionable.  There is an obelus, but its placement is not “following 10:39.”  The manuscript moves seamlessly between 10:39 and 10:40, with the obelus coming immediately before 10:39.  It almost certainly indicates the omission of πατρί at the end of 10:38 by the original scribe, as the obelus occurs directly between τῷ and ζήτουν, where the missing word belongs.  Furthermore, 284 also reflects a practice of reading PA at John 7:53, though this evidence has not been mentioned by previous scholars.  Someone wrote “Λ Jo” in the margin of 284 where John 7:53 would have been and the same thing at the top of the separate sheet of paper containing PA. 
The added sheet containing PA. 
In short, there is no clear evidence that a corrector of 284 intended PA to be read “after John 10:36” or even “following John 10:39.”  What can be said is there is a placement of a separate sheet of paper containing PA between two pages that end and begin in the midst of John 10:36, with a reading aid in the margin at John 7:53 that corresponds to the separate sheet of paper.  Clearly, more analysis of this interesting manuscript is needed.

Page after the added sheet, with obelus prior to John 10:39.

No comments:

Post a Comment