Textual Evidence

The Clumsy Commentators
and John 8:1-11

taken from: Previously Unconsidered Evidence for John 8:1-11 Thread, www.christianforums.com, (2006-7)

Page Index

Last Updated: Feb 19, 2009

Section 1: - Introduction: The Hirelings (Jn 10:11-13)

Section 2: - The Blind Leading the Blind (Matt.15:14)

    R. H. Lightfoot
    E. C. Hoskyns
    Leon Morris
    C. K. Barrett
    R. E. Brown
    Barnabas Lindars
    R. V. G. Tasker
    C. S. Keener

    R. H. Lightfoot
    E. C. Hoskyns
    Leon Morris
    C. K. Barrett
    R. E. Brown
    Barnabas Lindars
    R. V. G. Tasker
    C. S. Keener

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Modern Commentators: - 'The Uncertain Trumpet' (1st Cor. 14:8)

A large number of commentators have felt compelled to comment on the textual critics' belief that the Pericope de Adultera (Jn 7:53-8:11) was some kind of 'insertion' into John's Gospel.

Unfortunately, most commentators who have discussed the textual situation did no independant investigation of their own, but have simply parrotted the statements of various academics. The commentators have limited themselves to weak statements about the 'probability that the story is an ancient tradition about Jesus', or that it is 'a wholesome story that does no harm to Christian doctrine' etc.

Scholars and Academics: "Indeed, has God really said...?" (Gen. 3:1)

The Academics however, are for the most part not even Christians, but mostly agnostics who treat the Holy Scripture as a strictly human set of writings with little authority or relevance for modern man. These 'scholars' view the process of the transmission of the text of the Bible as a strictly ordinary affair, subject to haphazard and accidental forces, and even the whims of those who would alter the text for doctrinal or political purposes.

From the academic point of view, there is no 'divine inspiration' or 'providential preservation' for the Bible text. To them it is simply a haphazard collection of human documents, most of which have no historical value.

The Weakening of the Faith: - 'vain philosophy' (Col. 2:8)

From a Christian point of view however, the commentators have let us down in the most disappointing and damaging manner. Rather than firmly and consistently uphold the doctrines of Divine Inspiration and the Providential Protection of God over the Holy Scriptures, the commentators have adopted the philosophies of the academics, and have left themselves in a ridiculous, even ironically self-contradictory position.

The commentators, in trying to remain 'Christian' at least in sound and appearance, almost unanimously ramble on about how that even if this story (John 8:1-11) was not a part of John's Gospel, it was nonetheless 'inspired' and 'authentic' in the sense that it is 'probably based' upon a real incident in the life of Jesus.

Most Christians when confronted by this 'patchwork quilt' picture of Holy Scripture find their faith and confidence in the Holy Scripture itself eroded and weakened.

The Solution

What Christians should do however, is question instead the academics who question the authority and integrity of Holy Scripture, and demand evidence for any and every claim made against its reliability.

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The Clumsy

Abundant Examples of Sloth

The following sample of popular commentators on John 8:1-11 was taken from the Internet Infidels internet forum.

The fact that a website dedicated to agnosticism and atheism happily uses the work of standard 'Christian' commentators sadly underscores the true value of the work of these supposed 'defenders of the faith'.

In the guise of a more 'liberal' and scholarly approach to the Bible, commentators in fact simply provide copious ammunition to opponents and enemies of Christ and the Christian Gospel.

Commentators on John 8:1-11

R. H. Lightfoot 1 [1957] writes of 'internal evidence':

"This points even more strongly to the conclusion that the section was not part of the original text of John. Thus the character of the story and also the style and the vocabulary (e.g. the expressions 'the Mount of Olives' and 'the scribes', and the particles used) are more in keeping with the earlier gospels than with John:

And certain resemblances to St. Luke's gospel are especially striking.

Again, the opening words 7:53, 8:1,2 suggest agreement with the earlier tradition Mt. 21:17, Mk. 11:11,12,19,20,27, Lk. 21:37,38, 22:19, that during the days at Jerusalem the Lord left the city each evening, and returned next morning to the temple.

But as this passage stands in John, the occasion is 'the feast of tabernacles' [7:2]; and a consideration of the immediate context on each side will show that the passage is ill adapted to its present position." (St. John's Gospel: A Commentary, p. 346)

E. C. Hoskyns 2 [1947] writes:

"The evidence of the tradition of the text is not the only ground for judging the passage to have been inserted into the text.

At both ends the junction with what precedes and what follows is so awkward as to make it almost impossible that it could have belonged to the original narrative. Jesus is discoursing to the Jews at the Feast of Tabernacles (vii. 37). viii. 1, however, presumes that the episode of Jesus and the Woman took place at the conclusion of the ministry immediately before the final Passover, when Jesus retired to the mount of Olives and returned each morning to the Temple (Mark xi. 11, 19, xiii. 3; Luke xxi. 37, xxii. 39).

viii. 9 leaves Jesus entirely alone. viii. 12, however, presumes the crowd of Jews mentioned in vii. 40, to whom Jesus continues His discourse. Not only are the joins almost intolerably awkward, but if vii. 53-viii. 11 be omitted the narrative runs perfectly smoothly.

Moreover, the passage is marked by so large a number of variant readings (Plummer counts eighty variant readings in 183 words) that it would seem to have had a separate and uncertain textual tradition, which would be intelligible if it had had a wandering circulation and only found a disciplined home in the canonical gospels at a fairly late date.

Commentators also point out that the style and phraseology bring the passage within the orbit of the synoptic rather than the Johannine tradition. For example, the connecting particle "but" [de] takes the place of the characteristic Johannine "then" [oun], and neither the "Mount of Olives" nor the "scribes" are mentioned elsewhere in the gospel."

(The Fourth Gospel, p. 565)
[1947, (1954, posthumous, finished by F. N. Davey)]

Leon Morris 3 [1995] writes: "Note such things as:

the frequent use of de instead of John's oun;

poreuomai eiV (v. 53) where John prefers proV (14:12, 28; 16:28, etc., though he uses eiV in 7:35);

orqrou (v. 2) as in Luke 24:1, whereas John uses prwi (18:28; 20:1);

laoV (v. 2) is used often in Matthew and Luke, but only occasionally in John, who prefers ocloV;

apo tou nun (v. 11) is not found in John, though it is frequent in Luke (Luke 1:38; 5:10, etc.).

Stylistically the passage belongs with the Synoptics rather than with John." (The Gospel According to John, p. 779)

C. K. Barrett 4 [1955] writes:

"This verse [verse two] contains several points of contact with the Lucan writings, as follows.

(a) orqrou occurs elsewhere in the New Testament only at Luke 24.1; Acts 5.21.

(b) paraginesqai is a Lucan word (Luke 8 times, Acts 20; John 2 (including this verse); rest of the New Testament 7).

(c) laoV is a Lucan word (Luke 37(36) times, Acts 48; John 3 (including this verse); the rest of the New Testament 56(55), of which 22 are in Hebrews and Revelation).

(d) kaqisaV edidasken. Cf. Luke 4.20; 5.3 (kaqisaV ... edidasken). In John 7.37; 10.23 Jesus stands.

- The Gospel According to St. John:
An Introduction with Commentary
and Notes on the Greek Text.
(1955, 2nd ed. 1978 Westminster ) pp. 588-592

R. E. Brown 5 [1970] writes of verse six:

"They were posing this question to trap him. This is almost the same as the Greek of John vi 6 (see Note there). so that they could have something to accuse him of. [and] Almost the same Greek is found in Luke vi 7."

(The Gospel According to John, vol. 1, p. 333)

Barnabas Lindars 6 [1990] writes:

"By a happy chance this fragment of an unknown work has been preserved in the MS. tradition of John. The fact that it is a piece of a more extensive collection is indicated by the first two verses, which appear to be the conclusion of another incident.

The story itself tells how Jesus was able to deal compassionately with a woman, whose guilt rendered her liable to the death penalty. He neither condones her sin nor denies the validity of the law; nevertheless, he gives her an incentive to make a new start in life."

... "The general tone of the story has more in common with the Synoptic Gospels than with John. The motif of special concern for the outcast is reminiscent of Luke (7.36-50; 8.2; 15.1f. 19.1-10)."

(The Gospel of John, p. 305, 306)

R. V. G. Tasker 7 writes:

"It may have been inserted here as an illustration of Jesus' words in viii. 15, I judge no man; or possibly to show that, while the Jews could not convict Jesus of sin (see viii. 46), Jesus could and did, particularly on this occasion, convict them.

The mention of the Mount of Olives would naturally account for its presence after Luke xxi. 38;

and its insertion after John xxi. 24 is evidence of the desire to keep it as an addition to the narrative of the four Gospels, even though the scribes were ignorant of where it should be inserted.

Incidentally, the fact that these particular MSS placed it after xxi. 24 and not after xxi. 25 is some indication that this Gospel was once in circulation without verse 25, for it would have been somewhat unintelligent to insert a passage of this length between the two closing verses of the Gospel, but perfectly intelligent to add it as an appendix to the Gospel as a whole (see further the note on xxi. 25).

(John, p. 111)

Craig S. Keener 8 [2004] writes: writes:

"If one responds that the later church wished to remove it because it felt that it condoned adultery or challenged androcentric bias, one wonders why other passages, such as Jesus ' encounter with the Samaritan woman, were not similarly excised; further, why 7:53-8:2 would be omitted along with 8:3-11."

(The Gospel of John: A Commentary, vol. 1, p. 735)

"To be honest, all of my commentaries posit that the passage was interpolated."

- Peter Kirby, msg #2 Pericope de Adultera--Internal Evidence thread, Internet Infidels (www.iidb.org)

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Modern Footnotes

Footnotes courtesy of Nazaroo:

1. We deal in detail with R. H. Lightfoot (1957) here:

R. H. Lightfoot on Jn 8:1-11 <-- Click Here.

2. E. C. Hoskyns writes: "Not only are the joins almost intolerably awkward, but if vii. 53-viii. 11 be omitted the narrative runs perfectly smoothly."

We have often noted before:

If you hear someone say a phrase like "the narrative runs perfectly smoothly" in regard to John's Gospel, there are only two real options:

Either you are listening to Oscar Wilde, and have missed a punchline, or you are listening to a mind so dull that it would class chess and football as similar sports.

We may only note in passing that the (perhaps oversensitive) Bultmann found so many seams in John he had to make over 180 cuts and rearrangements. At least Bultmann was awake, no matter how ill-equipped he himself was to cope with John.

Finishing off Hoskins....

"...For example, the connecting particle but (de) takes the place of the characteristic Johannine then, (oun) and neither the Mount of Olives nor the scribes are mentioned elsewhere in the gospel." (The Fourth Gospel, p. 565)

This is another one of those cases where an 'expert' sounds so reasonable and obviously right, that we might actually feel guilty asking for some supporting evidence, or resent anyone arrogant enough to challenge the respected professor.

And yet we are obligated by scientific principles of verification to check.

Opening the standard critical Greek text (UBS for instance, or Hodges & Farstad), we make a count of the three most popular connecting particles in John's Gospel in a few roughly equivalent places (sections):

John 5:1-11:

kai - eight times
de - four times
oun - once in verse 4.

Well, that doesn't look like John's style at all. Perhaps chapter 5 is also an addition.

John 6:1-11:

kai - five times
de - eight times!
oun - once in verse 5.

Uh oh, this is getting embarrasing: it looks like John is quite capable of long paragraphs without 'oun', regardless of the material covered.

John 7:1-11:

kai - six times
de - seven times.
oun - once in verse 5.

...No comment.

John 8:1-11:

kai - nine times
de - nine times
oun - once in verse 5.

You know, its annoying, but I can't see any difference in John's use of 'oun' anywhere in the Gospel.

Instead, what I do see is that John's use of 'de' (a softer connecting particle somewhere between 'and' and 'but') can fluctuate wildly, sometimes not appearing for long stretches, and at other times in a flurry of instances almost replacing 'kai'.

Is this any way to define John's writing style? No. That would be like defining the position of a pendulum by a few random snapshots.

For a complete analysis of John's use of these particles in the Gospel, see our article here:

'de' and 'oun' in John <-- Click Here.

Regarding Hoskyns' last point, I can only remark that the 'scribes' are the group of people responsible for the earliest copies of the gospels, before Christians could set up their own 'in house' copying scriptoriums. It hardly seems remarkable that the one passage casting the professional 'scribes' in a bad light has been removed from some copies of John.

On the other hand, why aren't the scribes mentioned anywhere else in John? Is it because the disputes with the scribes have been left out of John's sample stories of the ministry of Jesus entirely? Probably. Was this the intent of John, or a result of previous 'scribal' activities? We may never know!

Is it evidence that the passage is foreign to John? Hardly. Is it evidence that scribes can't be trusted to copy a gospel when it comes to scorning their own profession? Probably.

Someone might say, "Wait a minute Nazaroo, aren't the scribes criticized, mocked and 'woed' in the Synoptics?

Yes, but with an important difference: In the synoptics the scribes are not accused of framing a relatively innocent woman for a stoning, in a dirty plot to trap the Messiah.

They are rather involved in disputes over the law and its interpretation. The scribes did not have the same reason to fear those points of dispute, as they would rightly fear this open accusation of attempted murder.

3. In spite of his writing in 1995, Leon Morris only offers us a sampling of an argument made 150 years ago by Samuel Davidson, based upon vocabulary and alleged 'style'. The problem is, this case was discredited almost immediately after it was made, by S. P. Tregelles, who was no friend of John 7:3-8:11, but rejected it on textual grounds.

Tregelles on John 8:1-11 <-- Click Here.

The short version is simply that such arguments from 'style' and vocabulary are just invalid. The sample sizes are too small, the real statistical knowledge of the authors is too ambiguous and poorly understood, and even the basic knowledge of Greek usage is too flimsy for such claims.

Such arguments were first formulated before a basic understanding of Koine Greek, author's styles, and the limits of the genre were available.

A good refutation of all arguments from vocabulary can be had here:

Internal Evidence: Davidson on John 8:1-11 <-- Click here.

4. The poster, Peter Kirby, is certainly right in citing C. K. Barrett utterly rejecting the verses as a part of John:

"...that the ceremony of lights may have suggested the inclusion in the same context (it must be remembered that, since 7:53-8:11 is not part of the original text of the gospel (see pp. 589ff.), the context is the same) of the..." (p. 335)

"It is certain that this narrative is not an original part of the gospel. Its textual history..." (p. 589)

- Barrett, The Gospel Acc. to St John

However, its not Barrett's certainty (who cares?) that is the issue, but rather Barrett's evidence.

(a) The use of orqrou ('Dawn') in verse 8:2 may only occur elsewhere in the NT in Luke/Acts, but it is absurd to call this a "Lukanism". It is an archaic word, foreign to the normal speech of both Luke and John.

In fact, it is a 'Septuagintism', or rather a 'Jeremiah-ism', since it was an ancient word even in Jesus' day, and occurs in the Septuagint (the LXX, the Greek translation of the O.T.), only in the Greek Jeremiah, in the story of the Levite girl who was raped and murdered (Judges) and once in a popular Psalm.

Both Luke and John use the word for dramatic effect, to point to Judges and Jeremiah, not to point to each other. It may be that Luke has taken the idea from John, but his purpose is the same as John's: to draw attention to Old Testament parallels to the NT scene at hand.

To miss this is a tragedy, and for experts like Barrett to deliberately mislead readers like this is an experiment in misdirection that disappoints.

(b) Barrett calls paraginesqai a 'Lucan' word, but in the same sentence admits John uses it twice, once elsewhere in a place not under serious textual dispute. How many times must a man use a word for it to be his own? Only Bob Dylan knows.

(c) laoV again is claimed as a Lukan word. The numbers Barrett uses are deceiving however, since not only is Luke the largest Gospel (nearly twice the size of John) but Luke has authored TWO large books, counting Acts. Again, Barrett admits that nearly half of the occurances of laoV elsewhere are in Hebrews and REVELATION (according to tradition written by John the Seer!).

We have the right to ask, How is this word supposed to be a Lukan word? Because Luke uses it more liberally than a handful of other writers?

But the real issue is this: laoV ("the people") and its counterpart, ocloV ("crowd"), are not synonyms, as if they were interchangable and simply stylistic preferences of the narrator.

They are technical words, used precisely by both writers, and only as required by the context and story. There is no room here for 'style'.

(d) kaqisaV edidasken. Barrett gives examples of the same words in Luke. But he makes no mention of the possibility that Luke may have been written later, and is simply copying the expression and style of John. Without convincing arguments for priority, or a solution to the complex Synoptic Problem and a relative placement of John in that framework, all such claims must remain ambiguous.

We have discussed all the 'stylistic' arguments based upon vocabulary and grammar in great detail here:

Internal Evidence: Davidson on John 8:1-11 <-- Click here.

The Dubious (Vanishing) Lukan Connection

Barrett now brings up another possibility, that of a Lukan origin for the passage, in an attempt to make its rejection as a part of John's Gospel more plausible:

"...It remains to note that [Family 13] places the pericope not in this gospel but after Luke 21:38 (it has been suggested that Luke 21:37f, was composed to fill the gap caused by the removal of this paragraph); ..." (p. 589)

- Barrett, The Gospel Acc. to St John

The problem is, he exposes the serious flaw in this proposal in the very act of 'suggesting' it. Textual Critics including Barrett recognize that the Pericope de Adultera cannot simply be placed in Luke between 21:38 and 22:1 as it is typically placed in Family 13 (12th cent.). Because it fits there as badly or worse than the 'seam' it is supposed to have where it sits in John!

The only way to plausibly fit the passage in Luke is to hack out two more verses, Luke 21:37-38, so that we don't have redundant and incompatible material which creates a 'double-beginning'.

So critics (and Barrett hides who) must also suggest that these verses in Luke are also "insertions", additions placed there to cover up the removal of John 7:53-8:11.

But here's the irony: Once these verses are removed from Luke as 'interpolations', suddenly we now lack the single largest 'Lukan' connection to the Pericope. The main and most convincing evidence for a 'Lukan' origin for the passage were the expressions in these very verses! Now we have to remove them as 'fakes' in order to place the verses 'back' in Luke.

Is a simpler explanation possible? Yes. Luke wrote after John, and simply used John and other material from the Johannine community (cf. Luke 10:1-24!, esp. Luke 10:2-3, 10:21-22 etc.) to compose his own gospel, just as he freely used Mark. Luke himself admits as much in the first verses (Luke 1:1-4).

5. Raymond E. Brown, a Roman Catholic expositor, tries to have it both ways here. He wants to accept John 8:1-11 as an authentic ancient tradition regarding the life of Jesus, but follows the critics as to the interpretation of the textual evidence.

As a result, he bends all the internal evidence in the direction of supporting a 'non-Johannine' origin for the Pericope de Adultera. By this Brown means not even an origin in the 'Johannine Community', an incredibly extreme position. But is this scholarship, or just personal bias?

There has always been a strong bias in favour of Roman Catholic tradition and a practically infamous systemic misogeny in the Latin church. Brown is between a rock and a hard place because Catholic dogma asserts the authenticity of the passage, against the views of modern academic scholars.

But here neither Brown's faith, nor his scholarship are adequate to the task of ruling on the authenticity and origin of the verses. We deal with Brown in more detail here:

Raymond Brown on John 8:1-11 <-- Click Here.

6. Lindars offers for us another remarkable case of blindness.

Lindars notes that "the first two verses appear to be the conclusion of another incident". To anyone but Lindar, they are the obvious conclusion to John 7:45-52. No other incident in any gospel makes a better front-end to 7:53-8:1.

More in Common with the Synoptics than John?

The motif of special concern for the outcast is reminiscent of John 4:7-16 (Samaritan woman), John 5:2-14 (the cripple), John 9:34-38 (the blind beggar), and John 12:2-7 (Mary sister of Lazarus) as well!

If John were of a similar length to Luke, we'd probably have double the number of examples. How then does the tone of the story have more in common with the Synoptics than John?

7. Tasker represents the all too common inability to see the forest for the trees.

After furnishing evidence FOR authenticity, and plausibly accounting also for its position in some late manuscripts of Luke, he completely misreads the evidence of both Family 13 and also Family 1:

In both cases, the scribes have taken a portion of John's gospel, and deliberately preserved the passage, while making it unlikely to be noticed by anyone checking to see if has been omitted (as in all probability ordered).

It is extremely unlikely that more than one or possibly two scribes would not know about this passage, or know where it belonged. On the other hand, if they were under orders to omit the passage, it is perfectly logical and understandable that they would hide it in some other place.

One place was just before the last verse in John, (so that the end would look normal at a glance), and even better (possibly second attempt), embedded in the narrative of Luke, where it fits in a not too clumsy fashion.

Why would scribes do this? Why risk their jobs, and even severe punishment for keeping something they were told to leave out? We need look no further than to the famous ending of the Book of Revelation, familiar to every scribe who copied the New Testament:

...And if any man shall take away from the words of this book, God shall take away his part out of the Book of Life, and out of the Holy City, and from the things which are written in this book!"

- Revelation 22:19

What more motivation does a religious copyist need, than a dire warning such as this?

Acting in this fashion is totally understandable, while the proposal that a scribe would simply delete passages or insert them, regardless of who gave the order, is extremely implausible. We invite the reader to ponder what the best explanation for the phenomena of Family 1 and Family 13 really is.

8. What appears to be a plausible question as a starting point, ends as an extremely lame argument against John 8:1-11.

A Plausible Textual History

No serious defender of the passage today would claim that the textual history of the Pericope de Adultera is a case of simple omission. That idea cannot explain the combination of textual data, patristic citation, and internal evidence of all kinds, which has now accumulated.

Modern proponents of the authenticity of John 8:1-11 base their case on a series of events that create a plausible textual history for the verses which can adequately account for the evidence as it really is.

Early Omission in Alexandria

It is believed that the original omission was very early in the textual history, possibly the early 2nd century, at some location, probably Egypt, likely Alexandria.

Here, amid a large Jewish population, some fleeing the Roman/Jewish Wars, others native to Egypt, there was great acrimony between Christians (mostly Jews) and Jews (those rejecting the Gospel). The danger for Christians was high, as the record in Acts shows regarding Saul (Paul) and subsequent arguments and conflicts.

The Underground Church Closes Ranks

The Gospel of John was a 'hot potatoe' in the ensuing conflicts. The Jewish Christians had to conduct their services underground, inviting 'Christ-friendly' Jews to listen. Probably quite early there were angry reactions from Palestinian Jews regarding this story, which painted the Pharisees (and especially scribes) as wicked murderers in the style of the Story of Susanna.

Thus the original motive for skipping the public reading of the story and omitting it from manuscripts, was likely persecution by Jews turning the Christians in as troublemakers and religion-breakers. This is precisely the explanation Origen gives for the omission of Susanna:

Origen on Jn 8:1-11 <-- Click here for more.

In Alexandria, manuscripts were made which omitted the verses, preventing them from being publicly read or found when seized by authorities. These early Christians probably maintained the verses in separate booklets or as oral tradition to avoid giving up incriminating evidence. This would only be necessary in places where there were large Jewish populations seeking to disrupt or betray Jewish Christians.

Most Early Copies Lost, a Few Egyptian MSS Survive

In other places in the Roman Empire, the 'normal' transmission, copying of continuous copies of John containing the passage, would continue independantly. Most of these early papyrus manuscripts however, could not ultimately survive in the moist climates elsewhere around the Mediteranean. Only a handful in the most extremely dry climates, like the Egyptian desert, would survive to modern times.

Second Outbreak of Omission

In the time of Emperor Constantine, with the legalization of Christianity, and government infusion of funds, a new series of 'Bibles' were produced under the direction of Eusebius. These expensive books, made on parchment, were meant for churchs and public reading in worship services.

Although 'Christian-friendly', it is well known that Constantine was not a 'model Christian', but rather a typical emperor, prone to violence. In one case, Constantine has his own son brutally killed for alleged adultery with his queen. Later he came to believe this was an error, and then had his own queen boiled alive.

It is not difficult to understand why Eusebius might have prudently left out the story of the 'Woman Taken in Adultery' from public Bibles as a way of avoiding any problems. Eusebius was quite sophisticated and capable of making such decisions in the interest of himself and the church.

Significant Omissions were not Unusual

It has been recorded by Philostorgius that the bishop of the Goths (appointed by Eusebius and Constantine) left out two whole books of the Old Testament (books of the Kings) because they felt the Goths were already too 'warlike' and might be encouraged by those books.

Philostorgius on John 8:1-11 <-- Click Here.

Given the excuse of an earlier omission of John 8:1-11 in Alexandria for reasons of 'prudence', it is likely that Eusebius revived the practice temporarily during the reign of Constantine.

Later, after Constantine's death, and perhaps the deaths of his sons, church leaders felt confident enough to restore the verses in the majority of manuscripts made since that time.

The Loss of Most Early MSS is Consistent with Authenticity

Later, even though many manuscripts were recycled due to the expense of the materials, the majority of later manuscripts would be found to contain the verses. This would be true even though older manuscripts were indescriminately destroyed and recycled, whether they contained the verses or not.

Thus, while a simple reason and a single instance of omission cannot account for the manuscript situation, a more detailed and plausible series of events can: And any serious textual history would have to have the same level of complexity as the scenario presented by defenders of the passage.

Internal Evidence for John's Authorship is Compelling

Keener's objection to authenticity based upon an over-simplified model of omission is simply not compelling in the face of overwhelming internal evidence for the Johannine authorship of the passage.

J. P. Heil on John 8:1-11 - internal evidence
A. W. Wilson on John 8:1-11 - more evidence
O.T. Quotation Structure of John - more evidence
Internal Evidence for John 8:1-11 Yet more evidence.

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