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How Biblical Discrepancies Can Be Theologically Liberating for a Christian

I have been trying to show that the portrayal of Jesus going to his death in Mark’s Gospel is radically different from the portrayal in Luke’s Gospel.  I’ve been making this comparison for a purpose, in order to show as clearly as I can that reading the Bible historically – seeing its discrepancies – does not compromise its value.  On the contrary, as I came to see as a committed Christian who was no longer a conservative evangelical, this way of reading the Bible *increases* its value.

A person can still revere the Bible while thinking there are contradictions and discrepancies in it, not only in small things but in large things.  But one has to understand it in a non-fundamentalist way to do so.   The point of finding discrepancies is *not* so you can go away saying that the Bible is worthless (“bunch of contradictions”) but, on the contrary, so you can recognize the vast depths of its theological meaning, as seen precisely *in* the (big) differences you find in it.

Here is how I describe the importance of recognizing the differences in the Bible, in relation to the Passion narratives of Mark and Luke, in my book Jesus Interrupted.


The Pay-off

The problem comes when readers take these two accounts (Mark and Luke on Jesus’ death) and smash them together into one BIG account, in which Jesus says, does, and experiences everything narrated in them both.  When that is done, the messages of both Mark and Luke get completely lost and glossed over.  Jesus is no longer …

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Why Even Bother Being a Liberal Christian?
How Did Judas Iscariot Die? Readers’ Mailbag June 18, 2017



  1. Avatar
    Silver  June 19, 2017

    I am currently listening to your colleague Jodi Magness’ Great Courses lecture series ‘Jesus and his Jewish Influences’. It appears that in her input on Josephus she casts doubt on his credibility, specifically instancing his account of Masada. If his reliability is questionable this causes concern about other areas of his narrative e.g. the dating of Quirinius’ census – an issue which I know apologists have tried to query in order to justify Luke’s Nativity story.
    Please have you any comments?

    • Bart
      Bart  June 20, 2017

      YEs, as with every historical source, one needs to evaluate each and every statement that Josephus makes. But every instance has its own issues. With Quirinius, we have inscriptional evidence that appears to confirm his statements.

      • Avatar
        brandon284  August 18, 2017

        When did Quirinius date the census in comparison to Luke? And how big was this census?

        • Bart
          Bart  August 20, 2017

          Quirinius became governor of Syria in 6 CE; King Herod died in 4 BCE. The census under Quirinius was just for the province of Syria, not for the entire empire.

          • Avatar
            brandon284  August 21, 2017

            Thank you. It’s fantastic to have easy access to an expert on Biblical matters on a site such as this. I do have another question that is a bit of a departure from this thread: What is the earliest evidence we have of Hebrew writings?

          • Bart
            Bart  August 22, 2017

            Do you mean for the Hebrew Bible? The oldest copies are among the Dead Sea Scrolls, over a thousand years prior to our first completely Hebrew manuscript (codex Leningradensis, produced around 1000 CE)

          • Avatar
            brandon284  August 22, 2017

            What is our earliest evidence for Hebrew as a written language? I’ve been to apologetic seminars where they say it’s long been said by atheists that the Hebrew Bible can’t be trusted because the Hebrews didn’t have a written language until well after the stories in the OT would’ve taken place. The evidence that the Hebrews had a written language in close proximity to the Biblical stories is based on pottery evidence and things of that nature. I’m sure these are topics you are very familiar with and I’d appreciate your take.

          • Bart
            Bart  August 24, 2017

            It’s a good question, and I don’t know the answer. I’ll ask my colleague Joseph Lam, who is a Hebrew philologist, and let you know.

          • Bart
            Bart  August 25, 2017

            See today’s post!

  2. Avatar
    RonaldTaska  June 19, 2017

    On to the theodicy problem: For me, the contradictions in the Gospels were a bigger factor than the theodicy problem although the theodicy problem is a HUGE one. With regard to the theodicy probIem, I somehow rationalized that God knew what He was doing better than I knew and that in heaven all would work out better than it had on earth. The Gospel contradictions, in contrast, meant that the Gospels just could not be trusted and that is, for me, even a bigger problem. It meant that the Gospels were made up stories not actual historical events. That changed everything….

    • Avatar
      GregLogan  June 20, 2017


      While generally acknowledging your points, may I suggest something of a third paradigm – that while a given text – or even several texts may be suspect – when one finds clear, repeated, formal statements, e.g. Jesus of Nazareth a MAN attested by God (Acts2:22) – and 10 more texts that formally state that Jesus is a MAN (vs an impersonal human nature actuated by a deity….) then it seems we can comfortably rely on the fact that in THEIR mind Jesus was ontologically a man distinct from God… Which is exactly what Paul says in 1Tim 2:5 – there is one God AND (someone other than the one God), the man Christ Jesus.

      Now as to reconciling and relating to God Himself …frankly I think that is an entirely distinct issue. God met me – and dragged me to Christ (a few months later) – without a single bit of Biblical knowledge (I was raised atheist). The Bible did not come into my life for some months later – though I did, unfortunately, kow-tow to the evangelical memes re the Bible (along with the neo-fascist right-wing memes endemic in evangelicalism) – till relatively recently.

  3. Avatar
    alexius105  June 19, 2017

    Yes. But such contradictions don’t point to a real Jesus. They show Jesus was whoever the gospel author wanted him to be. This is, of course, bad for making dogmas, but denominations still produce them even though they are based on contradictions.
    And theology is about dogmas. It’s about things you must believe in order to get into heaven. They are of most importance. That is why I think contradictions can be a good tool to show people they are following a construct, word, not The Word.

    • Avatar
      godspell  June 20, 2017

      Since we find innumerable contradictions in accounts relating to 100% historical persons, they certainly don’t point away from a historical Jesus.

      If people want to discuss whether Jesus was historical or not, they should study some actual history. Most people never have, and they don’t know how the study of history works.

      Theology is about more than dogmas, incidentally. You might want to study that as well, if you want to critique it intelligently, as Bart has done.

    • Avatar
      GregLogan  June 20, 2017

      Totally agreed.

      In fact to begin to break the Dominionist hegemony we need to break the fallacy of certitude. Recognizing errors in the Bible is key. I am on a game plan for this action – along with many others – by introducing the timing of Jesus cleansing of the temple in Mt and Mk – esp. relative to the cursing of the fig tree… ETC.

  4. Avatar
    dougckatyBE  June 19, 2017

    Thanks for sharing your journey, Bart. It’s one I can relate to in many ways. But…when you say “They were all authoritative in the sense that they showed me legitimate ways to think theologically” my discomfort level rises. It is getting harder and harder for me to take seriously the ‘theology’ of any pre-scientific culture, especially as represented in texts generated by decidedly self-serving elements of the ‘orthodox’ (or soon to be orthodox) religion of the times. The ‘Theo’ behind any theology I am likely to be convinced by these days is going to have to be a lot more universal than just the history of one rather small group of people living in a rather small area the the east end of the Mediterranean Sea over a rather small time span, compared to the ‘Big Picture’ history we are now aware of. But I will continue to be ‘tuned in’ to you and appreciate your work as a good way to better understand the people in that culture and their spiritual descendants that are such a significant and influential part of our culture and political systems today.

    • Avatar
      GregLogan  June 20, 2017

      I like your direction – what is the deal with slaughtering animals….

      OK – one could argue that was the level the Creator needed to meet them at.

      The real issue then becomes – really for each of us – who is this Creator? How can we know? How can we “reconcile”/relate to this Creator….

      For those who find discomfort in such a consideration outside their Nelson Bros ASV – I remind them that there are 400+ denominations all claiming to use the same book… so what good is that???

  5. Avatar
    godspell  June 19, 2017

    “Then you will know the truth and the truth will set you free.”

    But then there’s another truth, and another, and yet another., and none of them agree.


    • Avatar
      GregLogan  June 20, 2017

      You should have a happy face!

      Jesus was clear – HE is the truth.

      See Him – not all the apologists smoke and mirrors (even a little of Bart’s smoke and mirrors…:-) ).

  6. Avatar
    Epikouros  June 19, 2017

    It’s been interesting to read your posts on this topic, especially since your experience was so different from mine. By the time I was 16 or so, I stopped believing that the Bible was factual. At that point, it all fell apart for me. If I didn’t believe that Jesus actually rose from the dead, what was the point of calling myself Christian? I recognized that many people got spiritual insight from the Bible, but why was it any more useful than reading, say, _The Iliad_? I’ve enjoyed reading your posts, which are very informative (and clearly heartfelt). But I still remain somewhat mystified. If you don’t really believe the stories in the New Testament actually happened, why go to church on Sunday and contort yourself into seeing them as somehow metaphorically true? For me, it would be like worshiping at the shrine of _War and Peace_. I’ve read that book multiple times, and love it. Natasha and Pierre are “real” to my imagination, but I know they never actually existed. Why pretend otherwise? I can enjoy the book (and learn from it) as a work of fiction, but why try to make it something it’s not?

    • Avatar
      GregLogan  June 20, 2017

      You need to get to know Bart better…:-)

  7. Avatar
    bradseggie  June 19, 2017

    When you realized that the Gospels were not historically accurate, what did you think had happened historically? Did you conclude it was unknowable and unimportant?

    • Bart
      Bart  June 20, 2017

      No, I thought we could figure it out, and that it did indeed matter — for those of us interested in history (as I deeply am). But that’s not hte same thing as saying that it mattered theologically.

  8. Avatar
    bradseggie  June 19, 2017

    When MLK was shot, Jesse Jackson said he was the last to cradle MLK’s head as Dr. King lay dying on a Memphis motel balcony. The morning after, Jackson appeared on TV wearing the same bloody turtleneck he’d worn the day before. It was stained, he said, with MLK’s blood. King’s associates have long disputed this account.

    Would you say that Jesse Jackson’s statement, though not literally true, was true in the sense that it conveys truth (eg, that Jackson is the moral successor to King)? Does it not matter whether it is historically true?

    • Bart
      Bart  June 20, 2017

      I would say that it is important to know the history for knowing what actually happened, and to know what the claim means metaphorically as well. Both matter.

      • antoinelamond
        antoinelamond  July 6, 2017

        Definitely agree with this. . . .

  9. Josephsluna
    Josephsluna  June 19, 2017

    For the love of knowledge, after earning my M.A. in Communication, I will probably go on to study Classical antiquity. Before Christianity in antiquity (CIA) is my passion. Me and you should start a blog together Bart! It is, not it’s, because we do not use it’s or don’t, or end a sentence with a preposition… (old Havard joke)-called mythology, because we can not prove it true? Or, is it the truth is being kept away by capitalist, and leading authorities because they think they are messengers of God.

  10. Avatar
    doug  June 19, 2017

    What a freeing experience it was for me to no longer have to twist the words of the Bible around to try to get them to be consistent! The fact that I’d had to *try* to make it consistent had started to bother me, in terms of an honest reading of the Bible.

    • Avatar
      GregLogan  June 20, 2017


      Nice statement! When I begin interacting with evangelicals – the basis is “the love of the true” – a good value regardless of theology. If you love the truth – you do not have to twist the facts!!

  11. Lev
    Lev  June 19, 2017

    “When people talk about why I lost my faith (I don’t know why *ANYONE* should care. But they seem to)”

    I can only speak for myself, but I can think of three reasons why I care about your story. The first is the human story element – you’re an exceptionally talented and persuasive scholar and communicator who I admire and respect, so I’m always keen to learn more about the human backstory to Bart Ehrman and what made you the man you are today.

    The second relates to faith. As a Christian, I had a sense of nervousness about hearing your story at first, fearing that learning whatever led you to abandon your faith would lead to a personal crisis of my own! I feared there may have been some dark biblical secret you had unlocked in your research, and if I learnt it also, my own walls would come tumbling down!

    Finally, I had a similar faith journey to you where I spent a few years as an evangelical fundamentalist before becoming a liberal Christian, so when I heard the story you hear – that when you abandoned the doctrine of inerrancy you also abandoned your faith – I was curious to learn if that was the case as I’ve known others to have gone down the road that people falsely attribute to you. I suspect this is why Christians like me care so much about your story.

    • Avatar
      GregLogan  June 20, 2017

      Since Bart did not answer – I can tell you the answer because he has answered in many other places. The answer is NO.

      I will let him address since it is his question – but my understanding is that theodicy is what did in his faith in the “Christian” God.

      Regardless, the real issue is what his faith was originally based on…. That is a matter I have never heard him discuss.

      • Lev
        Lev  June 22, 2017

        Hey Greg – I guess you accidentally responded to my post, rather than the person this was intended for, as I had not asked a question.

        • Avatar
          GregLogan  June 23, 2017


          Thanks for the follow-up.

          I was responding to your last paragraph – this statement specifically –

          that when you abandoned the doctrine of inerrancy you also abandoned your faith – I was curious to learn if that was the case as I’ve known others to have gone down the road that people falsely attribute to you

          The reality is that Bart did not abandon his faith when he abandoned his belief in the reliability of the Bible – but later because of the theodicy issue.


          • Lev
            Lev  June 27, 2017

            Yes Greg – I can see how you may have thought I was asking a question:

            “when I heard the story you hear – that when you abandoned the doctrine of inerrancy you also abandoned your faith – I was curious to learn if that was the case as I’ve known others to have gone down the road that people falsely attribute to you.”

            However, I was referring to question I posed to Bart a few months ago on this subject and I was explaining why I did so. I’m happy to say he answered back then. 🙂

  12. Avatar
    GregLogan  June 19, 2017


    I thought your lecture on this issue – in which you worked your way up through Mark – Jesus being silent – and then only at the end crying out Lama Sabacthnai was superb – and I saw the reality of the Jesus in Mark in such a different manner than the Jesus elsewhere – one much more similar to the one crying with tears to be saved from death in Hebrews (a strange bit for someone who is really a god in a bod…).

    Thanks for breaking this implicit mis-approach to the gospels – to see each of them as complete – and a portrayal of Jesus, etc.


  13. Avatar
    GregLogan  June 19, 2017


    Speaking of reading each within its own self – I find that when we consider the evolution of thought – we need only look at Paul. In his earliest text – 1, 2 Thess – he is all about the magnificent eschatology. Then what happens when Jesus does not return…. He changes focus – till finally we have a whole lot of suffering inc. famine, nakedness and death by the sword… BUT we still have the love of God (not sure how that will help when I am starving – but Paul seems to think it is important…and, maybe I am missing something… but…).


  14. DestinationReign
    DestinationReign  June 20, 2017

    As you rightly point out, the “tone” between Luke and Mark regarding Christ’s dying words is practically irreconcilable, but that is only through the lens of historicity. In reality, this subject is actually one of the most revelatory aspects of higher Truth in the Gospels. Remember, each Gospel pertains to timeline increments of the Church Age; this is one half of the bedrock Truth that brings higher revelations. The other half is the fact that the Christian Church Age has been a time of darkness in which Christ’s people have not represented Him accurately to the world, but have instead desecrated His (higher) image and repelled the world from Truth. (This again relates back to John 9:4-5.) With 30,000+ denominations all seeing and believing conflicting things, Christianity truly is Mystery Babylon.

    As I have mentioned in previous posts, Luke’s gospel pertains to the present juncture – the “end of the age” wherein Christ’s people (the Body of Christ) must awaken (or resurrect) unto Truth as we enter the “third day”/third millennium. This entails a closer and more intimate relationship with God the Father. Hence, after 2,000 years of Christian discord in which God’s people have been “alienated” from him, (Matthew and Mark) Luke’s altered “last words” are revealing these very truths. Also remember, John’s gospel represents the Millennial Kingdom Age – when Christ’s glory will be revealed with finality. So, there we see His last words – “It is finished.” Again (and again), Gospel differences reveal higher prophetic Truth.

    Returning to Luke, it is the gospel directly pertinent to the transition from darkness (2,000 years of Christian religiosity – or the “dark ages”) to light. Luke is the Gospel of awakening in preparation for the coming of the Kingdom. As such, it is the only Synoptic where we see Jesus restoring the hearing of the man whose ear was severed by the sword. This is what Christianity has done for 2,000 years – waywardly wielding the sword/Word of God and preventing a true understanding of Scripture and higher Truth. And so again, only Luke (which means “light”) features Christ restoring ears to hear. That is the point at which we are at now – through an entirely new and transcendent application of Scripture. And the differences (and contradictions) throughout the Gospels is the most significant aspect of that scriptural application.

    Remember, as it says ONLY in Luke’s Gospel pertaining to Christ dealing with His disciples at the time of the third day resurrection – “Then He opened their minds to understand the Scriptures.” Viewing that as only a historical declaration keeps those words dead and buried. But understanding that this is actually being fulfilled NOW brings them to life! OUR minds are now being opened to understand the Scriptures! And so, it is crucial to have an understanding of the purpose and pattern behind Gospel differences/discrepancies/contradictions.

  15. Avatar
    anthonygale  June 20, 2017

    When considering the example you give, I think combining Mark and Luke creates a more interesting portrayal of Jesus. People can experience conflicting emotions that are not always congruent with their thoughts. You could say that in the combined version, Jesus knows what he needs to do but has doubt and, despite his despair, can pull it together for the sake of others who need him. It portrays a Jesus that is more complex than in either account, being a stronger character than in Mark and arguably than in Luke as well. I don’t think faith is the lack of doubt, it is trusting in the face of doubt. Similarly, courage is not the absence of fear, it is doing what it necessary in the face of fear. So, one could argue that the combined story shows there is nothing wrong with doubt or fear. Even Jesus experienced them, yet he trusted God and fulfilled a great destiny.

    I agree that it is a mistake to ignore the individual accounts because, as you point out, there is value in understanding what they say, which is missed if you assume they say the same thing. But I don’t think the combined version is any less meaningful. To play devil’s advocate/apologist, one could claim that the differences between the accounts, which reflect their emphases, result from the authors omitting from their sources. I’m not saying I believe that, but considering how little is certain about the historical Jesus, I don’t see why they (some of them at least) are less likely to be historical.

  16. Avatar
    Alfred  June 20, 2017

    Thanks for another interesting post Bart. I was brought up as a Catholic and at each Mass there was a reading from the OT, the Gospels, and the other books of the NT. These are centrally set readings for the world-wide Church. They are chosen in part for the congruence and this is ten reinforced by the following sermon. This approach almost completely eliminates the possibility of seeing the different books as intended by their author. Of course the Church encourages personal Bible study also but the comparative approach was never something suggested to me. As it seems from your accounts that most/many Protestants also read the Bible in this way is it reasonable to think that generally speaking we’ve been doing it wrong for 1700 years? That this biblical conflation into a single new text has been the basis of Christian thought ever since the books were bundled together?

    • Bart
      Bart  June 20, 2017

      Yes, I think this kind of reading has been going on since the second century, literally.

    • Avatar
      GregLogan  June 20, 2017


      While that is a neat apologist trick to keep the unlearned in bondage – ultimately to buying the apologists’ books – it is completely bogus. The reason is simple – there ARE errors in the Bible – you can find them yourself – as, as Bart noted, once allow for an error – all those other errors that you have been disingenuously sweeping under the carpet for years (decades?) come eagerly to light – and finally, upon a genuine manifestation of a love of the truth – you recognize they are simply errors – you have a clean conscience (which is the end of our charge…).

      The point is simple – God is not the Bible – He can be related to WITHOUT the Bible. The Bible itself TELLS us that, e.g. Enoch, Noah, Abraham, etc., etc.

      OH – and please note – the other huge apologetic fallacy re “need” for an inerrant Bible – there are some 400 different denominations – some vastly different – all based on the Bible…. Hmmmm… which God is real – we still do not know EVEN WITH the Bible as the inerrant Word of God.

    • Avatar
      GregLogan  June 20, 2017

      Maybe that is why they have ended up with a sort of religious madness in the evangelical church – including incorporating Jesus into the essence of God as a distinct person of God….

  17. Avatar
    Mohammed Musa  June 20, 2017

    Once conceding there are errors in the Bible, you have opened a Pandora’s Box. How do you know which parts are true if you admit some parts are false?
    “… But how do you know Jesus except as he is presented to you in the Bible? If the Bible is not God’s Word and does not present a picture of Jesus Christ that can be trusted, how do you know it is the true Christ you are following? You may be worshipping a Christ of your own imagination.” (Does Errancy Matter by James Boice, page 24).
    As the religious reformer, John Wesley, said:
    “If there be any mistakes in the Bible, there may as well be a thousand. If there be one falsehood in that book, it did not come from the God of truth.”
    Bart, majority will ignore your advice.

    • Bart
      Bart  June 20, 2017

      Yes, that’s why scholars devote their lives to deciding what is historical and what is not. It’s not an easy matter of simply throwing everything out once you realize there are mistakes. It’s a matter of engaging in careful historical analysis, as happens with *every* source we have from antiquity. See my book Jesus: Apocalyptic Prophet of the New Millennium.

      • Avatar
        Mohammed Musa  June 21, 2017

        my major problem is that i cannot afford to buy your books (I am earning less than $1/day). I am one of those members benefiting out of your benevolence and i am very grateful for that. Until of recent the only access i have to your materials is your debates on U-Tube and book reviews about your books by your critics. is there any way that members can read your materials online?

        • Bart
          Bart  June 22, 2017

          That’s why God invented public libraries!

        • Avatar
          Pattycake1974  June 22, 2017

          I noticed my local library didn’t have any scholarly books available, so I had them order one for me. I’m actually reading it now.

        • Avatar
          Pattycake1974  June 23, 2017

          I might be able to help out with that. Just click on my name and send me an email.

          • Avatar
            Mohammed Musa  June 29, 2017

            Pattycake 1974,
            i tried sending my E-mail through your blog for days, unfortunately it wasn’t going. Please here is my e-mail mtmusa2000@gmail.com. Your assistance is highly appreciated. Thanks.

    • Avatar
      GregLogan  June 23, 2017


      While that is a neat apologist trick to keep the unlearned in bondage – ultimately to buying the apologists’ books – it is completely bogus. The reason is simple – there ARE errors in the Bible – you can find them yourself – as, as Bart noted, once allow for an error – all those other errors that you have been disingenuously sweeping under the carpet for years (decades?) come eagerly to light – and finally, upon a genuine manifestation of a love of the truth – you recognize they are simply errors – you have a clean conscience (which is the end of our charge…).

      The point is simple – God is not the Bible – He can be related to WITHOUT the Bible. The Bible itself TELLS us that, e.g. Enoch, Noah, Abraham, etc., etc.

      OH – and please note – the other huge apologetic fallacy re “need” for an inerrant Bible – there are some 400 different denominations – some vastly different – all based on the Bible…. Hmmmm… which God is real – we still do not know EVEN WITH the Bible as the inerrant Word of God.

  18. Avatar
    Mohammed Musa  June 22, 2017

    You should try and visit our libraries in Africa one day.

  19. Avatar
    SidDhartha1953  June 24, 2017

    The lack of “reverence” fundamentalist/literalist Christians show for the authors of the Bible is much the same, in my mind, as the way film makers dishonor authors when they release a film called *Bram Stoker’s Dracula* or *Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein* that are anything but. It’s fine to retell the story your own way, but don’t claim that it’s the story you decided to improve(sic).

    • Avatar
      SidDhartha1953  June 24, 2017

      Funny story about “The Seven Last Words of Christ:” my former wife and I were members of a Catholic church choir in Greenville, SC, years ago and we were rehearsing a setting of the Latin text. When we got to the section that begins “Mulier…” (Woman) the first syllable was written as a long musical phrase, so it came out “Moooooo…” That was the end of the rehearsal — we couldn’t get over the thought of Jesus making cow noises from the Cross.

  20. Avatar
    Calvinsx76  July 30, 2017

    In my recent animated video productions as seen below I have challenged the theories of Dr. Ehrman. The underlying question in my videos I am posing to Dr Ehrman is as follows:

    I don’t understand how Chrysostom in 385 A.D could have preached from a revised text at Antioch, whose homilies was copied in shorthand, and are still read to this day in the Greek Orthodox world, and no one noticed it was a revised text until Anthony Hort in 1881. Yet everyone noticed instantly that the RV was a different text, and they didn’t have to wait over 1400 years to realize it. e.g(Jerome changed one word in Jonah and the Churches of North Africa rioted) — Ireneus and Tertullian instantly recognized that Marcion was using a different text than the Apostolic Churches.

    So that is the first question I pose to you Dr. Ehrman? Now the last 12 verses of Mark and the Woman in Adultery are prime examples which are a subset of the larger issue I posed above. Who created these passages, Where was it created? Who were the Scribes, and what was the process that basically got this passage into the majority of independent Greek, Latin and Some Aramaic Apostolic Texts throughout the Mediterranean world without anyone every noticing. So basically who were the ones doing it?

    I hope to be able to get reasonable answers to my sincere questions.

    https://youtu.be/7gZzGqXki0E (Introduction to the Pericope de Adultery)
    Youtube Channel (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCqjsB-lvDBWXDB-DYVLt-Zg

    • Bart
      Bart  July 31, 2017

      It sounds like you’re imagining that scholars say that that there was a single textual tradition throughout Christendom until the time of Chrysostom, and that then a revision of the text took place in Antioch, as evidenced in Chrysostom’s writings. Is that what you have in mind, and that you’re objecting to as being thoroughly implausible? If so, the problem would be that there are not any textual critics who have that view (although I suppose supporters of the Textus Receptus might *claim* that this is the view they are attacking).
      There is a massive scholarly literature on the early history of the text and the formation of the Byzantine/Majority text. If you want some bibliography, I’m happy to give it.

      • Avatar
        Calvinsx76  July 31, 2017

        Thank you for response Bart

        Well I know about the so called Alexandrian, Cesarean, Western, Byzantium, text type theories etc…; I also know about the so called Lucan,conflation, process, standardization, and other theories etc… but what I am asking is did any church father say that the text of Chrysostom was corrupt? This is what I was asking in my original question I posed to you; so to help clarify what I asking, did any church father say that the specific text of Chrysostom which he preached at Antioch was corrupt? All I am asking is about that one specific text, not the Byzantium.

        Thank you for the help in this matter

        • Bart
          Bart  August 1, 2017

          Church fathers often did talk about corruptions of the text. But (apart from Marcion) I don’t know of any church father commenting on the particular text used by one of his opponents. An interesting case is Origen’s opposition to the Valentinian Heracleon, who had written a commentary on the fourth Gospel. Origen objects strenuously to Heracleon’s interpretation, point by point; but he doesn’t appear to realize that one reason Heracleon had a different interpretation of the text was that he was actually using a different text. I demonstrated that some years ago in a couple of technical articles I published. I can give you the references if you’d like.

          Moreover, to my knowledge we don’t have a record of any church father from the period commenting on the sermons of another church father — that is, about *anything* the person said or quoted in his sermon. (So that we *couldn’t* have fathers objecting to Chrysostom’s quotations of Scripture). Do you happen to know of any?

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