My next step in this thread about my book The Orthodox Corruption of Scripture will be to discuss the various Christological views known from the second century (Docetic Christologies, adoptionic Christologies, separationist Christologies; and Modalistic Christologies), and then I will try to show how textual changes made by scribes in the period reflect opposition to this, that or the other Christology, in support of the “Proto-orthodox” Christology that came to dominate the early Christian tradition.
Before doing that, I need to clear out one final piece of underbrush. The argument of my book was that Christological changes of the text were “intentional” not simply accidental. But that raises a very large question that I have not addressed on the blog, even though I have discussed intentional changes a number of times. It is this: how can we determine the “intention” of a scribe?
This is part of a much larger question that literary scholars have dealt with for many decades now, going back at least to the middle of the twentieth century, to what is called “New Criticism” in the field of literary theory. In the good ole days, before New Criticism came along, a scholar would interpret a text by showing what it must have meant based on what the author was intending to do. But the New Critics pointed out that we don’t have any access to an author’s intentions, only to his or her final product. So how can you use something you don’t have access to in order to explain that which you do have access to? (How can something you don’t know explain anything?)
The problem is even deeper. Suppose
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