A Response To Bart D. Ehrman’s Misquoting Jesus I Antidocetic Changes Lk. 22:17–20.

A Response To Bart D. Ehrman’s
Misquoting Jesus

Thomas A. Howe, Ph.D.

A Response To Bart D. Ehrman’s Misquoting Jesus I Antidocetic Changes Lk. 22:17–20.

A Response To Bart D. Ehrman’s Misquoting Jesus I Anti-adoptionist Changes Lk. 22:17–20.

 

Lk. 22:17–20

Interestingly, in attempting to demonstrate the existence of antidocetic changes, Ehrman again appeals to D, Codex Bezae, as “one of our oldest Greek manuscripts.”43 He is very cunning in the way he presents the problem. After quoting the section following the D manuscript, he asserts, “In most of our manuscripts, however, there is an addition to the text, an addition that will sound familiar to many readers of the English Bible, since it has made its way into most modern translations.”44 He is referring to the fact that some manuscripts omit some or all of the material from verse 17 to verse 20. Metzger points out that there is an “overwhelming preponderance of external evidence supporting the longer form… .”45 (see Figure 2 below, also see the Appendix, for information on the witnesses for each reading and the dates associated with these witnesses). In the way Ehrman states the case he prejudices the reader to think of the material in question as an “addition” to the original text that has “made its way,” somehow, into our English translations. But, if this material is original, it is not an “addition,” and the reason it is in our English translations is because it is original, not because it “made its way into most modern translations.” Ehrman attempts to poison the well with his wording.

 

Figure 2: Apparatus for Lk. 22:17–20

 

The material in question primarily concerns the latter part of verse 19 and verse 20: τοῦτό ἐστιν τὸ σῶμά μου τὸ ὑπὲρ ὑμῶν διδόμενον· τοῦτο ποιεῖτε εἰς τὴν ἐμὴν ἀνάμνησιν. καὶ τὸ ποτήριον ὡσαύτως μετὰ τὸ δειπνῆσαι, λέγων· τοῦτο τὸ ποτήριον ἡ καινὴ διαθήκη ἐν τῷ αἵματί μου τὸ ὑπὲρ ὑμῶν ἐκχυννόμενον.46 In support of his claim that these verses are not part of the original text of Luke, Ehrman says, “For one thing, it is hard to explain why a scribe would have omitted the verses if they were original to Luke (there is no homoeoteleuton, for example, that would explain an omission), especially since they make such clear and smooth sense when they are added.”47

What is “difficult” for Ehrman is apparently not difficult for other textual critics who have at least equal competency in the field. Metzger asserts, “The rise of the shorter version can be accounted for in terms of the theory of disciplina arcana, i.e., in order to protect the Eucharist from profanation, one or more copies of the Gospel according to Luke, prepared for circulation among non-Christian readers, omitted the sacramental formula after the beginning words.”48 In other words, this was not an antidocetic alteration, but an adaptation for public use. It is very unlikely that Ehrman is unfamiliar with either of these explanations, but he does not bother to provide this information to his reader, implying that there is no reasonable explanation for the rise of the shorter version. Ehrman argues that the material was added, “to stress Jesus’s (sic) real body and flesh, which he really sacrificed for the sake of others.”49 Citing an apologetic argument from Tertullian, Ehrman seems to argue that just because the passage was used against Marcion, this is sufficient to prove that it was added, whereas, it is much more likely that Tertullian referred to this material because it was authentic.

[1]

 

 

43 Ibid., 165.

44 Ibid., 166.

45 Metzger, Textual Commentary, 150.

46 “‘This is My body which is given for you; do this in remembrance of Me.’ And in the same way He took the cup after they had eaten, saying, ‘This cup which is poured out for you is the new covenant in My blood’” (Lk. 22:19b–20a).

47 Ehrman, 166. Homoioteleuton means, “same ending.” It occurs when two words, phrases, or lines end with the same sequence of letters. The scribe, having finished copying the first, skips to the second, omitting all intervening words.

48 Metzger, Textual Commentary, 149–50. Metzger also quotes G. Kenyon and S. C. E. Legg’s explanation of the rise of the shorter version (see Appendix 1, page 31).

49 Ehrman, 167.

[1]Christian Apologetics Journal Volume 5. 2006 (vnp.5.2.13). Matthews, NC: Southern Evangelical Seminary.

217-20 {B}verses 17, 18, 19, 20P75אABCLTvidWΔΘΨƒ1ƒ13157180205565579597700892100610101071124112431292134214241505Byz[EGHN]Lectitaur, c, f, q, r1vgsyrh, pal copsa, boarmethgeoslavEusebian Canons(Basil); Augustine // verses 17, 18, 19a(omitting 19b, 20: τὸ ὑπὲρ ὑμῶν … ἐκχυννόμενον)Dita, d, ff2, i, l // verses 19, 17, 18(itb, eonly 19a καὶ λαβὼν … σῶμά μου)syrc // verses 19, add μετὰ τὸ δειπνῆσαι(20a), 17, add τοῦτό μου τὸ αἷμα ἡ καινὴ διαθήκη(20b), 18 (see Mt 26.26-29; Mk 14.22-25; 1 Cor 11.23-26)syrs // verses 19, 20 onlysyrp copboms

{ enclose a letter A, B, C, D which indicates the relative degree of certainty for the reading adopted in the text.
B The letter B indicates that the text is almost certain.
א Uncial Manuscript: א 01
Contents: eacpr
Location: London: Sinaiticus
Date: IV
A Uncial Manuscript: A 02
Contents: eacpr
Location: London: Alexandrinus
Date: V
B Uncial Manuscript: B 03
Contents: eacp
Location: Città del Vaticano: Vaticanus
Date: IV
C Uncial Manuscript: C 04
Contents: eacpr
Location: Paris: Ephraemi Rescriptus
Date: V
L Uncial Manuscript: L 019
Contents: e
Location: Paris
Date: VIII
T Uncial Manuscript: T 029
Contents: e
Location: Città del Vaticano; New York
Date: V

Related fragments
Uncial Manuscript: +0113
Location: Paris
Uncial Manuscript: 0125
Location: Paris
Uncial Manuscript: 0139
Location: Paris

vid The most probable reading of a manuscript where the state of its preservation makes complete verification impossible.
W Uncial Manuscript: W 032
Contents: e
Location: Washington, D.C.
Date: IV/V
Δ Uncial Manuscript: Δ 037
Contents: e
Location: St. Gall
Date: IX
Θ Uncial Manuscript: Θ 038
Contents: e
Location: Tbilisi
Date: IX
Ψ Uncial Manuscript: Ψ 044
Contents: eacp
Location: Athos
Date: IX/X
157 Minuscules Manuscript: 157
Contents: e
Date: about 1122
180 Minuscules Manuscript: 180
Contents: e
Date: XII
205 Minuscules Manuscript: 205
Contents: er
Date: XV
565 Minuscules Manuscript: 565
Contents: e
Date: IX
579 Minuscules Manuscript: 579
Contents: e
Date: XIII
597 Minuscules Manuscript: 597
Contents: e
Date: XIII
700 Minuscules Manuscript: 700
Contents: e
Date: XI
892 Minuscules Manuscript: 892
Contents: e
Date: IX
1006 Minuscules Manuscript: 1006
Contents: er
Date: XI
1010 Minuscules Manuscript: 1010
Contents: e
Date: XII
1071 Minuscules Manuscript: 1071
Contents: e
Date: XII
1241 Minuscules Manuscript: 1241
Contents: ecp
Date: XII
1243 Minuscules Manuscript: 1243
Contents: ec
Date: XI
1292 Minuscules Manuscript: 1292
Contents: ec
Date: XIII
1342 Minuscules Manuscript: 1342
Contents: e
Date: XIII/XIV
1424 Minuscules Manuscript: 1424
Contents: e
Date: IX/X
1505 Minuscules Manuscript: 1505
Contents: ec
Date: XII
Byz The reading of the Byzantine witnesses, i.e., the text of the great majority of all Greek manuscripts, especially of the second millennium.
[ in the text enclose words whose presence or position in the text is regarded as disputed; in the critical apparatus, immediately following the symbol Byz, enclose the symbols for certain Byzantine witnesses (cf. p. 4*).
E Uncial Manuscript: E 08
Contents: a
Location: Oxford
Date: VI
G Uncial Manuscript: G 012
Contents: p
Location: Dresden
Date: IX
H Uncial Manuscript: H 015
Contents: p
Location: Athos; Kiev; Moscow; Paris; St. Petersburg; Torino
Date: VI
N Uncial Manuscript: [N 022] Contents: e
Location: Athens; Lerma; London; New York; Patmos; Città del Vaticano; St. Petersburg; Thessalonica; Vienna
Date: VI
Lect The majority of the selected lectionaries together with the lectionary text of the Greek Church (i.e., the text of the edition published by Apostoliki Diakonia, Athens).
it Old Latin (Itala) version. Superscript letters identify individual manuscripts.; see p. 23*ff.
aur Latin Manuscript: aur 15
Contents: e
Location: Stockholm
Date: VII
Edition: Jülicher/Aland
c Latin Manuscript: c 6
Contents: ea
Location: Paris
Date: XII/XIII
Edition: Jülicher/Aland; Wordsworth/White
Latin Manuscript: f 10
Contents: e
Location: Brescia
Date: VI
Edition: Jülicher/Aland
Latin Manuscript: f 78
Contents: p
Location: Cambridge
Date: IX
Edition: Scrivener
Latin Manuscript: q 13
Contents: e
Location: Munich
Date: VI/VII
Edition: Jülicher/Aland
Latin Manuscript: q 64
Contents: c
Location: Munich
Date: VII
Edition: Thiele
vg Vulgate version.
syr Syriac versions, or a Syriac translation of the text of a Greek Church Father.
h Harclean Syriac version.
pal Palestinian Syriac version.
sa Sahidic (Hintze/Schenke; Horner; Kasser; Quecke; Schüssler; Thompson)
bo Bohairic (Horner)
arm Armenian version, or an Armenian translation of a Greek Church Father.
eth Ethiopic version.
geo Georgian version. (Blake [Mt]; Blake [Mk]; Brière [Lk]; Blake/Brière [Jn]; Garitte [Ac]; Dzocenidze/K. Daniela [Paul]; K’. Lort’k’anidze [Cath], here as a rule only the earliest revision A1 of both Sinaitic manuscripts from A.D. 974 and 977 were used). Georgian Rev was not available.
slav Slavonic version, or a Slavonic translation of a work by a Greek Church Father.
Eusebian Canons Greek Church Father: Eusebian Canons
Date: IV
( in the critical apparatus, indicate that a witness supports the reading for which it is cited, but with minor differences; in the discourse segmentation apparatus, indicate minor differences of detail in segmentation, while the authority supports in general the segmentation for which it is cited.
Basil Greek Church Father: Basil, the Great
Date: 379
Augustine Latin Church Father: Augustine
Date: 430
D Uncial Manuscript: D 05
Contents: ea
Location: Cambridge: Bezae Cantabrigiensis
Date: V
a Latin Manuscript: a 3
Contents: e
Location: Vercelli
Date: IV
Edition: Jülicher/Aland
d

Latin Manuscript: d 5
Contents: ea
Location: Cambridge
Date: V
Edition: Scrivener; Jülicher/Aland
Latin Manuscript: d 75
Contents: p
Location: Paris
Date: V/VI
Edition: Tischendorf
i Latin Manuscript: i 17
Contents: e
Location: Naples
Date: V
Edition: Jülicher/Aland
l

Latin Manuscript: l 11
Contents: e
Location: Berlin
Date: VIII
Edition: Jülicher/Aland
Latin Manuscript: l 67
Contents: ac
Location: León
Date: VII
Edition: Fischer; Thiele
b

Latin Manuscript: b 4
Contents: e
Location: Verona
Date: V
Edition: Jülicher/Aland
Latin Manuscript: b 89
Contents: p
Location: Budapest
Date: VIII/IX
Edition: Frede
e

Latin Manuscript: e 2
Contents: e
Location: Trent; Dublin; Rome; London
Date: V
Edition: Jülicher/Aland
Latin Manuscript: e 50
Contents: a
Location: Oxford
Date: VI
Edition: Tischendorf
c Curetonian Syriac version.
s Sinaitic Syriac version.
p Peshitta Syriac version.
ms indicates that individual manuscripts differ from others or from the text of the standard edition of the version. This symbol is used only rarely with the earlier, less reliable editions.
Aland, K., Black, M., Martini, C. M., Metzger, B. M., Wikgren, A., Aland, B., & Karavidopoulos, J. (2000; 2009). The Greek New Testament, Fourth Revised Edition (with apparatus); The Greek New Testament, 4th Revised Edition (with apparatus). Deutsche Bibelgesellschaft; Stuttgart.
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