John 7.53-8.11--How to Handle from the Pulpit (as Opposed to the Seminary Class)

Discussion in 'Translations and Manuscripts' started by kevin.carroll, Feb 9, 2010.

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  1. kevin.carroll

    kevin.carroll Puritan Board Junior

    Josh Walker, over at Bring the Books, has an interesting post on this notorious passage.

    He follows Carson/Moo in saying it is not Scripture, a position I am unwilling to take for a variety of reasons. My question to you preaching types out there is, how do you handle issues like this when preaching verse-by-verse?

    Back in the "glory days," when everyone had a KJV, issues like this were not issues. But now, when you have various translations relegating the passage to a footnote or, worse, set off by brackets and reader advisories, it seems that you cannot ignore the textual problem.

    I found Calvin helpful:

  2. rbcbob

    rbcbob Puritan Board Graduate

    Some of your people will (likely) be holding in their laps a version which calls the passage into question. Saying nothing about the dispute will tend to leave them unsettled in their hearts. State as briefly as possible your convictions and then let the Word of God have free course.
  3. kevin.carroll

    kevin.carroll Puritan Board Junior

    That's kind of my thought too, Bob. Thanks.
  4. KMK

    KMK Moderator Staff Member

    I would just say something along the lines of Calvin and get on with it. Until the church as a whole comes to a different conclusion, I don't think we need to apologize for trusting in the same Scripture that the writers of our confession trusted in.
  5. Contra_Mundum

    Contra_Mundum Pilgrim, Alien, Stranger Staff Member

    Here's my simple course: Do I hear the Voice of my Shepherd in it? We may receive the Word on abundant witnesses and testimonies, but the infallible assurance that we are in possession of the Word of God is the Holy Spirit himself (who bears witness with our spirit), speaking IN Scripture, that it IS Scripture.
  6. Jerusalem Blade

    Jerusalem Blade Puritan Board Post-Graduate


    I would mention in passing — while expositing the passage — that the evidence thoroughly convinces me the modern critics have it wrong, and I would be glad to meet with anyone later to discuss it.

    Here, for instance, are some (but not all) of the defenses of it that I would bring to enquirers' attention.
  7. Robert Truelove

    Robert Truelove Puritan Board Sophomore

    Though I am a CTer...

    I would simply state that the passage has been disputed and the dispute goes all the way back to the first few centuries. Due to the antiquity of the dispute, I receive it as authentic due to the lack of conclusive evidence to the contrary. I would say the same thing about the last 12 verses of Mark.
  8. BlackCalvinist

    BlackCalvinist Puritan Board Senior

    Mark has a lot more evidence for it's inclusion where it is than John does.

    I think, context-wise, it (John 7:53-8:11) fits in much better at Luke 21:38. 7:53-8:2 are almost a perfect parallel of 21:37-38.
  9. coramdeo

    coramdeo Puritan Board Sophomore

    Is that anything like the conclusive proof in the instant replay rule?:D
  10. CharlieJ

    CharlieJ Puritan Board Junior

    My pastor recently just skipped it, saying that it wasn't included in the best manuscript evidence. As such, he tied v. 13ff back into 7:37ff as part of Jesus' speech on the last day of the feast. This makes a very smooth transition. In any case, I don't think that a pastor can just ignore the textual issue, since many of his congregants Bibles mention it. He has to explain it simply and then preach it according to his best understanding and personal conviction.
  11. kevin.carroll

    kevin.carroll Puritan Board Junior

    IMO, it's better to preach it, with a brief explanation of the issue. God has preserved it.
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