In my previous post I began to look at the “internal” evidence that the voice at Jesus’ baptism in Luke’s Gospel said the words that are found among Greek manuscripts *only* in Codex Bezae of the early fifth century: “You are my son, today I have begotten you,” as opposed to the words found in all the other Greek manuscripts (the voice as recorded also in Mark): “You are my son, in you I am well-pleased.” If you’ll recall, there are two kinds of internal evidence that scholars consider: “transcriptional probabilities” (which reading would a scribe more likely have preferred and therefore created by changing the text) and “intrinsic probabilities (which reading would the author have been more likely to have written originally). The last post was on transcriptional probabilities showing that the reading in Codex Bezae is probably the older form of the text. Now in this blog and the next one (or two) I will discuss the “intrinsic probabilities,” which point in the same direction. All of these arguments are meant to work together as a coherent and cumulative whole. Again, I borrow the discussion from my book The Orthodox Corruption of Scripture.




These transcriptional probabilities become particularly compelling when we recognize how well the reading attested in codex Bezae coincides with the theological agenda of Luke himself, even though his agenda may not have been shared by later proto-orthodox scribes. Here there is a powerful confluence of factors, for the reading that proved such an obvious embarassment for orthodox Christians of later times shows remarkable affinities with Luke’s own view of Jesus’ baptism.

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