OT: Canonicity by denomination of John 7:53-8:11, Mark 16:9-20 (e.g.)

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Nov 3 2019 11:17 AM

Rich DeRuiter:
Is anyone aware of any denomination or stream that has made official decisions regarding the canonicity of John 7:53-8:11, Mark 16:9-20 (and perhaps some other passages)?

As the lessons/readings of the lectionary are by definition canonical all users of the following lectionaries have declared one or both to be canonical:

  • Anglican Church in North America (daily and Sunday) - John, Mark
  • Book of Common Prayer (1979) (daily and Sunday) - Mark
  • Byzantine Lectionary - Mark
  • Catholic daily lectionary - John, Mark
  • Episcopal Church (USA) Revised Common Lectionary - Mark
  • Revised Common Lectionary (daily) - Mark

Mind you, as we lack Liturgy of the Hours and other liturgical books this should not be taken as anything more than a small sample that proves the positive (in canon) but not the negative (outside canon).

Orthodox Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev: "To be a theologian means to have experience of a personal encounter with God through prayer and worship."

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Robert Neely | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Nov 3 2019 11:31 AM

Looking forward to this volume coming out of pre-pub on 12 Nov.

https://www.logos.com/product/175338/the-pericope-of-the-adulteress-in-contemporary-research 

Here is some additional description on this volume.

                Conference participants convened to answer two questions: (1) Was the PA original to John’s Gospel or a later interpolation? (2) Should it be proclaimed or proscribed? Participants responded to the second question in the Q&A and Panel Discussion portions of the conference, where they all whole-heartedly agreed that the pericope reflects an early Jesus tradition of value to the church that should, therefore, be proclaimed. It is the answer to the first question, however, that functioned as the basis for the main sessions of the conference and which will function as the heart of this volume.

                By focusing solely on the question of originality, our goal is to provide readers with cutting-edge research on the PA from two scholarly camps: those who argue for its originality (minority view), and those who regard it as a later scribal interpolation (majority view). Accordingly, each essay presents the most recent evidence and arguments—several of which are made here for the first time— allowing readers to engage in the controversy and weigh the evidence themselves. It is now to this evidence that we must turn our attention.

                

and a pretty thorough review here if interested.

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Brad | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Nov 3 2019 12:58 PM

Robert Neely:

Looking forward to this volume coming out of pre-pub on 12 Nov.

https://www.logos.com/product/175338/the-pericope-of-the-adulteress-in-contemporary-research 

...

and a pretty thorough review here if interested.

Thank you for the tip, Robert!

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Puddin’ | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Nov 4 2019 3:06 AM

The links below to very affordable—and meticulous—recent works on the PA & the LEM provide very persuasive evidences for the inclusion of these variant readings.  And, I am ANYTHING but a TR/KJVO guy (to put it mildly)...but these works are excellent, detailed and recent.

Lunn’s work on the LEM is fabulous, and there is currently a paradigm shift occurring amongst textual critics that favors the LEM (cf., e.g., Gurry, etc.).  

https://www.amazon.com/Fresh-Analysis-John-External-Evidence-ebook/dp/B01HBC8EGQ

https://www.amazon.com/Original-Ending-Mark-Case-Authenticity-ebook/dp/B00OU6OB78

I really wish Logos would offer these works.

See also this paper suggested by Wallace from one of his students on the PA:  

https://taarcheia.files.wordpress.com/2012/08/the-lukan-special-material-and-the-tradition-history-of-the-pericope-adulterae.pdf

*Note:  This PDF is also a very fair and even-handed presentation of this variant.

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SineNomine | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Nov 4 2019 7:49 AM

Rich DeRuiter:
Please, let's not debate the canonicity of those texts here. For this discussion, I'm interested in any official decisions by any denominations regarding these texts.

In his Festal Letter of AD 367, the archbishop of Alexandria (St. Athanasius), whose patriarchal authority extended far beyond his own diocese, promulgated by his authority the earliest ever known list of works to be regarded as the canonical New Testament that corresponds exactly to the 27 books of the New Testament widely used today.

What I do not know, but which could probably be figured out (even via Logos/Verbum), is whether or not the manuscripts St. Athanasius was familiar with included either of these disputed texts.

While St. Athanasius was not himself a "denomination", his decree indubitably influenced the (identical and similarly authoritative) determinations of the NT canon made at the subsequent local councils of Hippo (394) and Carthage (397), contributing thereby to the authoritative letter (c.405) of Pope Innocent I to Exsuperius of Toulouse, which itself effectively closed the issue of the composition of the canon of the NT (and OT) in Europe until the Reformation. (Whether these disputed passages were also found in the manuscripts available to the participants of those councils and to Innocent I is thus also obviously relevant.)

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Ken McGuire | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Nov 4 2019 8:09 AM

MJ. Smith:
As the lessons/readings of the lectionary are by definition canonical

I see more than a little of your point, MJ. But the Anglican church has famously waffled on canonicity of certain works while admitting they are good to read and including them in lectionaries for centuries, and we Lutherans have often said similar things - without ever officially coming up with a list of what is indeed canonical... And as a Roman Catholic, in what way would the Patristic readings in the Service of Readings in the Office be considered canonical?

The Gospel is not ... a "new law," on the contrary, ... a "new life." - William Julius Mann

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SineNomine | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Nov 4 2019 9:55 AM

Ken McGuire:
And as a Roman Catholic, in what way would the Patristic readings in the Service of Readings in the Office be considered canonical?

They are not considered canonical.

A lectionary, as Catholics almost always use the term, contains Scripture readings for use during Mass (or Divine Liturgy). The second reading in the Office of Readings, which is often from a patristic source, is not (ever) a reading from Scripture.

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Nov 4 2019 1:24 PM

Ken McGuire:
And as a Roman Catholic, in what way would the Patristic readings in the Service of Readings in the Office be considered canonical?

I was sloppy on terminology to try to cover all denominations and multiple langauges. The term "lesson" as used in some lectionaries is more precise and the Patristic readings are not "lessons".

Ken McGuire:
Anglican church has famously waffled on canonicity of certain works while admitting they are good to read and including them in lectionaries for centuries, and we Lutherans have often said similar things

Yes - and no. For going across all denominations and all time, the following definitions hold in my usage which is derived from Jewish and historical sources:

  • Protocanonical: used for lessons and for doctrine
  • Deuterocanonical: used for lessons but not as the only source of doctrine [Note this term is also used to indicate the Greek portion of the Old Testament as written second.]
  • Tritocanonical: not used for lessons or doctrine but recommended for private reading and usually bound in Bible

Deuterocanonical & Tritocanonical are sometimes grouped together under the title "broad canon" as in the Ethiopian church.

So Anglicans and Lutherans have been quite consistent. However, most liturgical churches have retained a few antiphons from books considered for the canon but ultimately excluded.

Orthodox Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev: "To be a theologian means to have experience of a personal encounter with God through prayer and worship."

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