My problems with the NRSV continued – Part 5! Trust me, I eventually get back to the question of my relationship with Bruce Metzger. I keep getting sidetracked, but the tracks on the side are interesting. At least I *think* they are!! In my last post, I pointed out that the famous passage of the so-called “bloody sweat” in Luke 22:43-44 is thought by some scholars not to have been original to the Gospel of Luke. I count myself in that number.
Problems with the NRSV – The Bloody Sweat
One of my very first scholarly articles was devoted to the question. I wrote it when I was a first-year graduate student – or rather, co-wrote it, with a friend of mine who was in the Ph.D. program at Princeton Seminary with me. A fellow named Mark Plunkett did a study of the passage of Jesus’ prayer before his arrest and realized something about the structure of the passage. In turn, I realized that if he was right, the two verses about the bloody sweat could not have been original to the passage.
I’ll comment more about that in my next post. At the time, one of the reasons I thought that was so significant is that it confirmed what was already clear to me otherwise. These verses convey a theological understanding of Jesus going to his death that is completely unlike what you find in the rest of Luke.
Our article was published in the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, in 1983, and was called “The Angel and the Agony: The Textual Problem of Luke 22:43-44”.
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