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  1. Default Luke 23:34 - Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.

    Resources to be tweaked
    One goal is to put together a master list of ECW references, short and long versions (full quotes when possible.)

    There is a lot of duplication with an earlier thread, the Parallelism element is important there, otherwise generally this is stronger.
    sister thread to combine:
    Luke 23:34 - Father, forgive them
    BCHF Nov, 2018 thread to review

    Referenced in first 4 pages

    Clement of Alexandria
    Origen by Rufinus
    Clement of Rome
    ( Tertullian Epiphanius complex 2nd)
    Archelaus Acts of the Disputation with the Heresiarch Manes
    Gospel of Nicodemus (The Acts of Pilate)
    Pseudo-Justin -
    History of the Passion of the Lord -
    ( Ephrem and Diatessaron )






    James Snapp in 2017 went through some of the early church writer references, working with the material from Wieland Willker:

    Luke 23:34a-
    Answering the Apologists
    James Snapp Jr. Good Friday, 2017

    James was following up on our posts as you can see here:

    And that thread has additional information, including Daniel Wallace and "inauthentic literarily " to be added here.

    James was utilizing information from Wieland Willker:

    A Textual Commentary on the Greek Gospels - Vol 3 Luke
    Wieland Willker


    Facebook and YouTube resources (This post, further down, has one of mine in full.)

    Facebook - PureBible - Feb, 2016
    From the Lips of Jesus or a Scribal Hand? "Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they...

    Facebook - PureBible - Nov, 2015
    Is Luke 23:34 another biblical CORRUPTION?

    Facebook - PureBible - Dec 2017
    A James White Christmas Carol on Father Forgive Them in Luke 23:34

    YouTube - Jonathan Sheffield

    Additional on King James Bible Debate and NT Textual Criticis on Facebook and other spots.
    My 2014 study is on Facebook, Will Kinney's article is above, on the Facebook thread, although he likely has a regular spot:

    Facebook - King James Bible Debate
    Luke 23:34
    Then said Jesus,
    Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.
    And they parted his raiment, and cast lots.


    Now, the evidence for this full verse, with the prayer, is absolutely overwhelming, only a person groping deep in the hortian fog can get as confused and rebellious against the pure word of God has James White. Burgon has a superb section on the verse, we will look for new material here.

    Textual criticism of the New Testament (1897)
    George Salmon
    In these and several other cases of omission, a student who examines the evidence for himself, without having mastered WH's principles of dealing with it, would be likely to think that a bad reading had been adopted in the teeth of evidence, overpowering both in respect of the number and the antiquity of the witnesses in favour of the reading which the Church for many centuries had received. Nay, it would seem as if in the judgment of the new editors any evidence was good enough to justify an omission.

    The evidence is overpowering.


    Even Ehrman accepts the verse, referring to the full verse:

    "It appears, then, that Luke: 23:34 was part of Luke's original text." - Misquoting Jesus, p. 160

    Also the SBLGNT, one of the textcrit endeavors:

    1. [verified: SBLGNT includes "ὁ δὲ Ἰησοῦς ἔλεγεν · Πάτερ, ἄφες αὐτοῖς, οὐ γὰρ οἴδασιν τί ποιοῦσιν" in text, but it is actually enclosed with Unicode half-brackets indicating that a variant reading (in this case omission) has been noted in the SBL apparatus - Ben]

    From the Nazaroo site, from James Snapp, 2010


    The former different confused position of James White is here:

    King James Only Controversy (2009)

    "profound theological implications ... What is highly significant here is the breadth of witnesses not containing this text. ... This witness at least should be kept in mind when placing theological weight upon this passage."


    While the breadth of witnesses for inclusion is far broader, and omitting text is trivially easy, while adding text over various textlines and times and languages and regions is extremely difficult.

    Ironically, White uses this verse as his springboard for criticizing "long-distance mind-reading" of the scribes. This would be a timely warning, except that it is something that James White himself does do, as James Snapp pointed out, on the Mark ending, see p. 320 for an example. Ironically, here White criticizes Ehrman, who has this verse right.

    Remember, the hypocrite James White lauded Burgon's argumentation on 1 Timothy 3:16, yet the evidence here is that much more powerful from Burgon. Even many in the textual academy agree on this one, despite all the indoctrination.

    The following was written by a scholar who was under Ehrman. A library trip will be necessary for the ... part.

    Guardians of Letters: Literacy, Power, and the Transmitters of Early Christian Literature (2000)
    Kim Haines-Eitzen

    "... Constitutions of the Holy Apostles (2.3.16; 5.3.14), Gospel of Nicodemus (10), and the Acts of Philip also cite this verse. Marcion's Luke and Tatian's Diatessaron include the prayer in Luke's Gospel. These witnesses demonstrate that the prayer was known in the second century in Gaul, Alexandria, Palestine, Syria, and Rome."

    "the prayer was known in the second century in Gaul, Alexandria, Palestine, Syria, and Rome."

    This is only explainable by ... authenticity.


    Even the supposed Alexandrian Origen is often focused upon as yet another key early witness. He has two references (maybe more per the review by Peter R. Rodgers of the Haines-Eitzen material).

    [textualcriticism] Luke 23:34a - Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do
    Sept 8, 2010
    In that post, I highlight how the textual criticism mentality can lead to confusion.

    Origen is in Peri Pascha, and:

    Homily 2 on Leviticus
    But it is said of the sin of the congregation, “if they are ignorant and the word concealed from their eyes and they do one thing of all the commands of the Lord which they ought not do,” (Cf. Lev 4.13) then it is also apparent that “the entire congregation” can sin through ignorance. The Lord also confirms this in the Gospels when he says, “Father, forgive them for they do not know what they are doing.”

    Wieland has some here, with text, and some of these with multiple references. Take a look at these confirmed references, tons from the Ante-Nicene period.

    A Textual Commentary on the Greek Gospels

    Gospel of the Hebrews, Gospel of the Nazarenes, Diatessaron, Ignatius, Irenaeus, Marcion, Clement of Alexandria, Origen above and Peri Pascha, Hippolytus, Didascalia, Apostolic Constitutions, Eusebius, Pseudo-Basileus of Caesarea, Ambrose, Gregory of Nyssa, Hilarius, Acts of Philip, Pseudo-Clement, Acta Archelai/Hegemonius, Chrysostom, Pseudo-Justin, Hesychius of Jerusalem, Jerome, Cyril of Alexandria, Philogathus and a number of solid allusions.

    Let's lay it out:

    Gospel of the Hebrews
    Gospel of the Nazarenes
    Clement of Alexandria
    Origen above and Peri Pascha
    Apostolic Constitutions
    Pseudo-Basileus of Caesarea
    Gregory of Nyssa
    Acts of Philip
    Acta Archelai/Hegemonius
    Hesychius of Jerusalem
    Cyril of Alexandria
    and a number of solid allusions

    "The problem is to come up with a good explanation for a secondary addition of the words." (As we often see, as with the Mark ending, there is no sensible addition theory, not over such a wide range of languages and lines.)

    The evidences are massive everywhere, mss and ECW. When there are a plethora of early witnesses, a few mss with an omission mean nothing, and they are, even if 3rd (P75) or 4th century, simply far too late to have any weight. Internal evidences are very fluid, reasons for omission are easy to conjecture, so that gets a lot of the modern ink. However, mind-reading the scribes is really not even necessary to understand the authenticity.

    Another resource mentioned by Wieland is:

    "A Disconcerting Prayer: On the Originality of Luke 23:34a" by Nathan Eubank
    JBL 129, no. 3 (2010): 521-536

    "In this essay I shall review the external evidence, arguing that proponents of the shorter reading have exaggerated their case. Then, after examining the formidable intrinsic evidence in favor of the longer reading, I shall turn to neglected transcriptional evidence that shows that Luke 23:34a was a problem passage in early Christianity."

    The article is available from the author on request in 2010, not sure now.

    Wieland is another textual criticism aficionado de facto agreeing that this is an omission corruption, shared by P75 and Vaticanus.

    [textualcriticism] New article on Luke 23:34a
    Wieland Willker - Sept, 2010

    "Overall Lk 23:34 together with Lk 22:43-44 are two of the most important variants in the Gospels, perhaps THE two most important. If we accept these words to be genuine, which I am inclined to do (still with a big question mark, of course), then we must accept that P75/B suffered from some strange, selective, but serious recensional activity."

    The fact that Wieland, knowing the evidences as above, stays a tad equivocal in favoring authenticity shows you how deep are the hortian deceptions.

    One next step that would be helpful is to increase Will Kinney's already large number of ECW references .

    My summary: easily a textbook case of the textual absurdity behind the modern versions, who follow the NA-UBS Critical Text in omitting the verses (or including them, often in the margin, and claiming they are not authentic.) Similar to the Mark ending in significance and overwhelming evidentiary support for the pure Bible.

    Psalm 119:140
    Thy word is very pure:
    therefore thy servant loveth it.

    Steven Avery

  2. Default e-catena

    e-catena to be checked

    Epistle of Ignatius to the Ephesians
    but prayed for His enemies, "Father, forgive them; they know not what they do."[82]

    Irenaeus Against Heresies Book III
    And from this fact, that He exclaimed upon the cross, "Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do," [348]

    Archelaus Acts of the Disputation with the Heresiarch Manes
    and here, our Lord Jesus prayed that the Pharisees might be pardoned, when He said, "Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do."[531]

    Constitutions of the Holy Apostles Book II
    For our Saviour Himself entreated His Father for those who had sinned, as it is written in the Gospel: "Father, forgive them; for they know not what the

    Constitutions of the Holy Apostles Book V
    And a little afterward, when He had cried with a loud voice, "Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do,"[114]

    Recognitions of Clement VI
    Wherefore, in short, the Master Himself, when He was being led to the cross by those who knew Him not, prayed the Father for His murderers, and saic forgive their sin, for they know not what they do!'[7]

    Clementine Homily XI
    , prayed to the Father that the sin of those who slew Him might be forgiven, saying, ’Father, forgive them their sins, for they know not what they do.'[8]

    Gospel of Nicodemus I The Acts of Pilate
    Then Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying: Father, let not this sin stand against them; for they know not what they do.[106]

    Of the Journeyings of Philip the Apostle
    , was made to drink gall and vinegar, and said, Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.[14]

  3. Default Wieland

    Wieland Willker (used by James Snapp)

    Gospel of the Nazarenes (2nd CE): for the Latin texts see 5QE to the passage
    • "As it is said in the Gospel of the Nazarenes: Due to this word [Lk 23:34a], Thousands of Jews who were standing around the cross became believers." (found in Haimo (of Auxerre, 9th CE) Halberstatensis, Comm, in Isa 53.12)

    • "Note that in the Gospel of the Nazarenes one can read that due to this word, 8000 have been converted later, namely 3000 on Pentecost (Acts 2) and later 5000 (Acts 4)." (found in Historia passionis Domini f. 55r, also quoted in Chronicon Salernitanum, see Flusser)
    Gospel of the Hebrews (2nd CE, possibly, quoted by Jerome in epistle 120, 8, 9): But so much loved the Lord Jerusalem, that he wept and lamented over the city and, hanging on the cross, he said: "Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do." And he achieved what he begged for, and immediately many thousands of Jews believed, and up to the 42nd year they had time to repent, (see SQE for the Latin).
    Wieland continues with over 25 writers, some with multiple citations, especially Chrysostom.

    James Snapp has over 20, with his own commentary, with this interesting note:

    The only writer who challenges the sentence’s right to be in the text is Cyril of Alexandria (c. 425) - hardly surprising considering his location - as reported by the writer Oecumenius, around the year 600, in Asia Minor, in his commentary on Revelation. In the course of commenting on the first part of Revelation 7, Oecumenius cites Luke 23:34a and mentions that “Although Cyril, in the thirteenth book of Against Julian, says that this prayer of the Lord is not found in the Gospels, we use it nevertheless.”


    Original list in Wieland Willker (allusions will be listed separately)

    Gospel of the Hebrews
    Gospel of the Nazarenes
    Ignatius (this might be the Ps-Ignatius of LaParola apparatus)
    Irenaeus (lat according to LaParola)
    Clement of Alexandria
    Origen above and Peri Pascha
    Apostolic Constitutions
    Pseudo-Basileus of Caesarea (this might be Basil of apparatus)
    Gregory of Nyssa
    Acts of Philip
    Acta Archelai/Hegemonius
    Hesychius of Jerusalem
    Cyril of Alexandria
    and a number of solid allusions


    In LaParola apparatus and maybe not in Wieland Willker (check allusions)

    Jacobus-Justus according to Hegesippus
    Eusebian canons

  4. Default John William Burgon - Revision Revised

    Revision Revised (1883)
    John William Burgon

    (4) Next in importance after the preceding, comes the Prayer which the Saviour of the World breathed from the Cross on behalf of His murderers (S. Luke xxiii. 34). These twelve precious words,—(‘ Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do,’)—like those twenty-six words in S. Luke xxii. 43, 44 which we have been considering already, Drs. Westcott and Hort enclose within double brackets in token of the ‘ moral certainty’ they entertain that the words are spurious.1 And yet these words are found in every known uncial and in every known cursive Copy, except four; besides being found in every ancient Version. And what,—(we ask the question with sincere simplicity,)— what amount of evidence is calculated to inspire undoubting confidence in any existing Reading, if not such a concurrence of Authorities as this ?. . . We forbear to insist upon the probabilities of the case. The Divine power and sweetness of the incident shall not be enlarged upon. We introduce no considerations resulting from Internal Evidence. True, that “few verses of the Gospels bear in themselves a surer witness to the Truth of what they record, than this.” (It is the admission of the very man 2 who has nevertheless dared to brand it with suspicion.) But we reject his loathsome patronage with indignation. “Internal Evidence,”—“Transcriptional Probability,”—and all such 'chaff and draff,’ with which he fills his pages ad nauseam, and mystifies nobody but himself, —shall be allowed no place in the present discussion. Let this verse of Scripture stand or fall as it meets with sufficient external testimony, or is forsaken thereby. How then about the Patristic evidence,—for this is all that remains unexplored?

    Only a fraction of it was known to Tischendorf. We find our Saviour’s Prayer attested,—

    (List taken with the Keith Hunt formatting, needs review, also good is CCEL, both in the urls above.)

    In the 2nd century by Hegesippus,1—and by Irenseus:2—

    In the 3rd, by Hippolytus,3—by Origen,4—by the

    Apostolic Constitutions5—by the Clementine Homilies6—by

    ps.-Tatian,7—and by the disputation of Archelaus with

    In the 4th, by Eusebius,9—by Athanasius,10—
    by Gregory Nyss.,11—by Theodoras Herac.,12—by Basil,13—
    by Chryso-stom,14—by Ephraem Syr.,15—by ps.-Ephraim,16—

    by ps.-Dionysius Areop.,17—by the Apocryphal Acta Pilati,18—

    by the Acta Philippi,19—and by the Syriac Acts of the App.20 —

    by ps.-Ignatius,21—and ps.-Justin :22—

    In the 5th, by Theodoret,23—by Cyril,24—by Eutherius :25

    In the 6th, by Anastasius Sin.,26—by Hesychius :27—

    In the 7th, by Antiochus mon.,28—by Maximus,29—

    by Andreas Cret.:30—

    1 Ap. Eus. Hist. Bed. ii. 23.

    2 P. 521 and ... [Mass. 210 and 277.]
    3 Ed. Lagarde, p. 65 line 3.

    4 ii. 188. Hser. iii. 18 p. 5.
    5 Ap. Gall. iii. 38,127.
    6 Ibid. ii. 714. (Horn. xi. 20.)
    7 Evan. Cone. 275.

    8 Ap. Routh, v. 161.
    9 He places the verses in Can. x.

    10 i. 1120.
    11 iii. 289.
    12 Cat. in Ps. iii. 219.

    13 i. 290.

    14 15 times.
    15 ii. 48, 321, 428; ii. (syr.) 233.

    16 Evan. Cone. 117, 256.
    17 i. 607.
    18 Pp. 232, 286.
    19 P. 85.
    20 Pp. 11,16. Dr. Wright assigns them to the 4th century.
    21 Eph. c. x.
    22 ii. 166,168, 226.
    23 6 times.
    24 Ap. Mai, ii. 197 ( = Cramer 52); iii. 392.—Dr. Hort's strenuous pleading for the authority of Cyril on this occasion (who however is plainly against him) is amusing. So is his claim to have the cursive "82" on his side. He is certainly reduced to terrible straits throughout his ingenious volume. Yet are we scarcely prepared to find an upright and honourable man contending so hotly, and almost on any pretext, for the support of those very Fathers which, when they are against him, (as, 99 times out of 100, they are,) he treats with utter contumely. He is observed to put up with any ally, however insignificant, who even seems to be on his side.

    25 Ap. Theod. v. 1152.

    26 Pp. 423, 457.

    27 Cat. in Ps. i. 768; ii. 663.
    28 Pp. 1109,1134.
    29 i. 374.

    30 P. 93.


    In the 8th, by John Damascene,1—besides ps.-Chrysostom,2—ps. Amphilochius,3—and the Opus imperf4.

    Add to this, (since Latin authorities have been brought to the front),—Ambrose,5—Hilary,6—Jerome,7—August ine,8— and other earlier writers 9.

    We have thus again enumerated upwards of forty ancient Fathers. And again we ask, With what show of reason is the brand set upon these 12 words? Gravely to cite, as if there were anything in it, such counter-evidence as the following, to the foregoing torrent of Testimony from every part of ancient Christendom:—viz: ‘ B D, 38, 435, a b d and one Egyptian version ’—might really have been mistaken for a mauvaise plaisanterie, were it not that the gravity of the occasion effectually precludes the supposition. How could our Revisionists dare to insinuate doubts into wavering hearts and unlearned heads, where (as here) they were bound to know, there exists no manner of doubt at all ?

    1 The Editors shall speak for themselves concerning this, the first of tho * Seven last Words —‘ We cannot doubt that it comes from an extraneous source ?—‘ need not have belonged originally to the book in which it is now included:'—is ‘a Western interpolation.'

    Dr. Hort,—unconscious apparently that he is at the bar, not on the bench, —passes sentence (in his usual imperial style)—“Text, Western and Syrian” (p. 67).—But then, (1st) It happens that our Lord’s intercession on behalf of His murderers is attested by upwards of forty Patristic witnesses from every part of ancient Christendom: while, (2ndly) On the contrary, the places in which it is not found are certain copies of the old Latin, and codex D, which is supposed to be our great ‘ Western ’ witness.

    2 Dr. Hurt’s N. T. vol. ii. Note, p. 08.

  5. Default parallelism

    Parallelism Post

    Luke 23:34 - parallelism of Jesus and Stephen accounts

    An additional note. The internal evidences also are clearly strongly in favor of the inclusion of Luke 23:34, as an auxiliary to the massive ECW and manuscript evidences.

    (Noting also the extreme ultra-paucity of omission evidences in every realm.)


    Perfect Martyr: The Stoning of Stephen and the Construction of Christian Identity (2010)
    Shelly Matthew

    Internal considerations also point in the direction of Lukan originality. As many have noted, a close interlocking structure knits the death of Stephen to the death of Jesus across the two volumes 8. Before his death, the persecuted Stephen speaks three times in front of the murderous mob. In the two instances in which the manuscript tradition is secure, his words are modeled closely, though not precisely, on the words of the persecuted Jesus. Compare Jesus before the council in Luke 22.69, "But from now on tne Son of Man will be seated at the right hand of the power of God," with Stephen before the mob in Acts 7.56, "Look, I see the heavens opened and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God!"; and Luke 23.46, "Father into your hands I commend my spirit," with Acts 7.59. "Lord Jesus, receive my spirit." Those who argue against Lukan originality and for later scribal interpolation of 23.34a must presume the unlikely scenario by which the author of Luke-Acts modeled two of Stephen's dying utterances on words of Jesus, then scripted for Stephen a third saying, an original forgiveness prayer, that was later modified and retrojected into the Gospel of Luke.9 The careful parallels in the first two instances of Stephen's speech suggest, to the contrary, that this third and final utterance concerning forgiveness in Acts 7.60 is not a detail Luke introduces here for the first time but that once again he draws from a model saying in the Third Gospel, that is, an original prayer for forgiveness attributed to Jesus in Luke 23.34a. (continues)

    Luke 22:69
    Hereafter shall the Son of man
    sit on the right hand of the power of God.

    Acts 7:56
    And said, Behold, I see the heavens opened,
    and the Son of man standing on the right hand of God.


    Luke 23:46
    And when Jesus had cried with a loud voice, he said,
    Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit:
    and having said thus, he gave up the ghost.

    Acts 7:59
    And they stoned Stephen, calling upon God,
    and saying, Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.


    Luke 23:34
    Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them;
    for they know not what they do.
    And they parted his raiment, and cast lots.

    Acts 7:60
    And he kneeled down, and cried with a loud voice,
    Lord, lay not this sin to their charge.
    And when he had said this, he fell asleep.


    The Nathan Eubank paper also points out that:

    “A Disconcerting Prayer: On the Originality of Luke 23:34a (2010)
    Nathan Eubank

    Finally, the style and vocabulary of Luke 23:34a are distinctively Lukan....

    In sum: the intrinsic evidence offers strong—some would say decisive—reason for supposing that Luke 23:34a was composed by the same person who wrote Luke-Acts. The strength of this evidence is thrown into sharper relief if one considers the alternative: a scribe who assiduously imitated the theology and style of Luke-Acts, who copied the death of Stephen without using any of Stephen's words, and who inserted this prayer only into the Gospel of Luke, but never into the other Gospels.

    James might want to at the turnabout reference (footnote #22) when referencing Adolf Harnack (1851-1930) support, typical lose-lose argumentation from the contras.


    More on the Lukan parallels and internal and consistency and style and doctrinal emphasis here:

    Guardians of Letters : Literacy, Power, and the Transmitters of Early Christian Literature (2000)
    Kim Haines-Eitzen

    Also note how:

    "and made intercession for the transgressors."

    Isaiah 53:12
    Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great,
    and he shall divide the spoil with the strong;
    because he hath poured out his soul unto death:
    and he was numbered with the transgressors;
    and he bare the sin of many,
    and made intercession for the transgressors.

    Fits perfectly with Luke's use of Isaiah 53:12.


    Steven Avery

  6. Default


    The ECW on Luke 23:34 is an amazing issue. It is a joke and a shame and an insult to the word of God that men like James White embarrass themselves and the Christian faith by attacking the Bible, on powerful Bible verses, and in front of unbelievers like the islamists, no less.

    Earlier I gave a list of ECW from Wieland Willker. Those are all confirmed, with quotes (not always translated) although in some cases there were multiple references. The allusions should be listed as well. These can be compared with Burgon and others in an effort to develop a full presentation that will show clearly the powerful use and acceptance of the pure Bible over the hundreds of years, and all the manuscript traditions.

    (Also this contrasts with the scorn of the enemies of the Bible against the historic manuscripts and church writers, the hortian dupes)

    Next I am taking an apparatus listing in order to increase the data pool. I'm getting down what I have which can be tweaked later.


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