inclusion-omission - widespread text-split - geography and language and text-lines - the text is authentic

Steven Avery


The recent videos by Jonathan Sheffield, including on the Pericope Adultera, have made this point, and it is one that is simply not understood by the textual criticism crew.


This is simple logic and sense 101. While it is always easy for various lines or mss to drop a section, ("I heard it is not authentic", "we don't agree that this could be Jesus", "this will go against church discipline") wide-ranging geographical and language split must favor inclusion of a section or verse or phrase. There is no vector of transmission that will explain getting into languages and areas throughout Europe, Asia and North Africa.

This is trivially easy to understand, and is one of the points (along with the early church writers) of the videos from Jonathan Sheffield. An insertion will tend to be localized (e.g. there were a few phrases that did make it into a number of Old Latin texts and were kicked out by Jerome's Vulgate.)

It is an interesting question to what degree any scholars from the Reformation era to today actually made this point. (You are not likely to learn this from Wallace, Ehrman, or Snapp or even Maurice Robinson.)

Peter Heisey his principle, noted by Steven Avery (and also elucidated by Burgon), is one that is often ignored these days when it comes to these "disputed" passages

Revision Revised - 1 Timothy 3:16 - p. 494-495

"The copies of which we speak, (you are requested to observe,) were produced in every part of ancient Christendom,—being derived in every instance from copies older than themselves ; which again were transcripts of copies older still. They have since found their way, without design or contrivance, into the libraries of every country of Europe,—where, for hundreds of years they have been jealously guarded. And,—(I repeat the question already hazarded at pp. 445-6, and now respectfully propose it to you, my lord Bishop; requesting you at your convenience to favour me publicly with an answer;)—For what conceivable reason can this multitude of witnesses be supposed to have entered into a wicked conspiracy to deceive mankind ? p. 446

"For do but consider that these copies were one and all derived from yet older MSS. than themselves; and that the remote originals of those older MSS. were perforce of higher antiquity still, and were executed in every part of primitive Christendom. How is it credible that they should, one and all, conspire to mislead ? I cannot in fact express better than Dr. Berriman did 140 years ago, the logical result of such a concord of the copies:—“ From whence can it be supposed that this general, I may say this universal consent of the Greek MSS. should arise, but from hence,—That QEOS is the genuine original reading of this Text ? ” (p. 325.)

A similar point, but not really covering cross-language and continent support.

Steven Avery

Irish Quarterly Review (1855)


Followed by good homoeteleuton discussion.
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