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July 31, 2010

Michaelis on the PA

Excerpt from: J.D. Michaelis, Introduction to the NT, vol. I. Ch.VI Sect.XI p. 315 Eng. Ed. H.Marsh, (Lond., 1802)

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Michaelis: - on the PA:

"Examples of this kind may direct us in judging of the authenticity of other passages, which have been either altered, or omitted for the same reason as the foregoing.

The beautiful paragraph in St. John's Gospel [Jn. 7:53-8:11], which begins with the last verse of the 7th chapter, has been omitted by many of the transcribers, for no other reason that because in their opinion it afforded an excuse for adultery. It is surprising that this motive has never occurred to modern critics, who have themselves made objections to the passage which appear from 262nd section of the Mosaical Law to be totally ungrounded.

Wetstein, from whose judgement I am in this case obliged to dissent, has faithfully quoted in his various readings the opinions of the ancient critics with respect to this passage, from which we may deduce the motives which led them to reject it; but the authorities which he has collected against it are real proofs of its authenticity. 25

Another instance of omission on the very same principles is Matt. 16:2-3. The causes which have produced a variation in passages of this nature may teach us at least to doubt the authenticity of many others [i.e., cases of omissions]."

J.D. Michaelis, Intro to the NT,
Vol. 1, p.317, Eng. Ed. H.Marsh

25. "I have here taken the liberty to omit a long and tedious note, in which our author [Michaelis] combats the opinion of Le Clerc and Wetstein, relative to the theory of the adulteress, because it is impossible to form an adequate judgement in any controversy from single passages, or fragments of arguments, detached from the general connexion. The most complete information may be had in Griesbach's Note to John 7:53." [- H. Marsh]

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