D.A. Carson on John 8:1-11

Review of: D.A. Carson, "Silent in the Churches":
On the Role of Women in 1 Corinthians 14:33B-36
, (1987/2002)

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D.A. Carson
on John 8:1-11

Lest we think that only the critics of a hundred years ago thought cases built from the internal evidence were weak, perhaps due to a lack of preparation (which should hardly be the case now), we have the complimentary confession of D.A. Carson on the same topic! In his rather over-enthusiastic critique of Fee regarding a few verses of Paul, Carson lets slip the most remarkable assessment of his own case against the Pericope de Adultera:

Excerpt from: On the Role of Women

... Finally, Fee joins other scholars who have noted that there are some usages in these two verses that are not typically Pauline- though it must be said that he prejudges this issue by saying, rather more strongly, that they "seem quite foreign to Paul."{10} Of course, many passages that all concede are Pauline contain one or more hapax legomena (expressions that occur only once, whether once in the Pauline corpus, or once in the New Testament).

In light of this, we ought to be very careful about relegating any passage to the level of redactional addition where part of the argument turns on odd usage.

[now the zinger! ...nazaroo:]
This is not to say that such arguments are never valid: I myself have argued against the authenticity of John 7:53-8:11, in part by appealing to usage.

But even there, where the usage arguments are considerably stronger than here (in part because the text is much longer), the usage arguments would not be judged very powerful were it not for the very strong manuscript evidence favoring omission-evidence entirely lacking in this instance. ...

With all respect to a brother whose text-critical prowess is far greater than my own, his arguments in this case sound a bit like the application of a first-class mind to the defense of a remarkably weak position. [ !!! ]

- D. A. Carson,

Nothing like hearing it from the horse's mouth!

That's right: Carson spends three pages tearing a chunk out of Fee's behind for doing exactly the same thing he himself did regarding the Pericope de Adultera, and excuses it on the basis of 'textual evidence'.

I can't tell if this is an illegal cockfight or just a friendly shark-fest. But it is fascinating to watch in the same way that it is morbidly riveting to watch a snake slowly swallow a live rat.

As for the crumbling castle of TEXTUAL evidence, alleged to justify D.A. Carson's INTERNAL argument against the passage, see our thread on Textual evidence in this site.

- Nazaroo

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