Archive for the ‘Pericope adulterae’ Tag

The Pericope adulterae in Old Georgian   Leave a comment

Just over a year ago I wrote on the Pericope adulterae in an East Syriac manuscript in our collections (CCM 64; see here). I’ve recently read over the passage in the two Old Georgian versions that include it (Pre-Athonite and Athonite; not in Adishi). Birdsall wrote on it, and Chris Keith discusses the passage in Georgian a little, especially its placement, in his 2009 book (pp. 124-126). As far as I know, the texts have never been published together, nor is any English translation available, so I have prepared a document with a synoptic presentation of each verse of the passage in Greek (NA27) and the two Georgian versions together with some verse-by-verse vocabulary and grammatical notes (file here). I offer no full textual commentary, but some sense of the distinctive readings of each version compared with each other (and with Greek) will also be evident in the English translation of each Georgian version I give below. These English translations are literal, but nevertheless not every difference between the two versions can be indicated.

Bibliography

J. Neville Birdsall, “The Pericope Adulterae in Georgian,” Studia Patristica 39 (2006): 185–92.

Chris Keith, The Pericope Adulterae, the Gospel of John, and the Literacy of Jesus (Leiden, 2009).

(See some artwork from HMML collections related to the scene here, here, here, and here.)

English translation

PA 7:53 And each one left for his home.
At 7:53 And each one left for his home.

PA 8:1 But Jesus went up to the Mount of Olives.
At 8:1 But Jesus left for the Mount of Olives.

PA 8:2 And the next day [OR in the morning] he went again to the temple, and all the people were coming to him, and he was teaching them.
At 8:2 And at dawn he went again to the temple, and all the people were coming to him, and he sat down and was teaching them.

PA 8:3 The high priests and Pharisees brought a woman and stood her in their midst.
At 8:3 But the scribes and Pharisees brought him a woman, who was caught in adultery openly before the people, and they stood her in their midst.

PA 8:4 And they said, “Teacher, this woman was caught seen in adultery.
At 8:4 And they said, because they were testing him, “Teacher, this woman was caught in adultery openly.

PA 8:5 And in the Law of Moses, for such [women] he commands us to throw stone[s]. Now, what do you say?“
At 8:5 And Moses commanded us in the Law to throw stone[s] at such [women]. What, then, do you say?“

PA 8:6 But they said this and were testing him, that they might have something to accuse him of, but Jesus was looking downward and was marking on the ground with his finger.
At 8:6 But they said this and were testing him, that they might have [something] to accuse him of, but Jesus bent down to the ground, was marking on the ground with his finger, and he was saying nothing.

PA 8:7 And when they stood there a while and were looking at him, then he straightened up and said to them, “Whoever among you is sinless, let him first throw a stone at that [woman].”
At 8:7 And when they stood there a while and were looking at him, he straightened up and said to them, “Whoever of you is sinless, let him first throw a stone at that [woman].”

PA 8:8 And he again bent down to the ground.
At 8:8 And he again bent down and was marking on the ground.

PA 8:9 But when they heard it, the elders and scribes began, and one by one they were going away, and he himself was left alone, and the woman stood before Jesus.
At 8:9 But when they heard it, exposed from their conscience, they were going away one by one. They began from the elders, until he himself was left alone, and the woman stood in the midst.

PA 8:10 And Jesus looked and said to her, “Woman, where are your accusers? No one accuses you?”
At 8:10 And Jesus straightened up and saw no one except the woman, and he said to her, “Where are your accusers? No one accused you?”

PA 8:11 But she said, “No one, Lord!” And Jesus said to her, “I don’t accuse you either. Go, and from now on don’t sin.”
At 8:11 But she said, “No one, Lord!” But Jesus said to her, “I don’t accuse you either. Go, and from now on don’t sin.”

The pericope adulterae (John 7:53-8:11) in a Syriac-Arabic (Garšūnī) lectionary   5 comments

The famous passage known as the pericope adulterae, about which there is a long bibliography and on which Chris Keith has written perhaps most recently (e.g. this survey paper and this book), is not a regular part of the Bible in Syriac. That is, it is not in the typical text of the Peshitta, nor in the Old Syriac, nor even the Harqlean, but we have traces of it, on which see Gwynn, Remnants of the Later Syriac Versions of the Bible (1909), lxxi-lxxii, texts on 41-49, and notes on 140. Gwynn (lxxii) refers to a late Syriac copy, which he does not print, “judging from internal evidence that it was merely a translation from the Latin Vulgate probably connected with the action of the Synod of Diamper,” but he does give some Syriac texts of the passage. The situation with biblical texts in Arabic versions generally being more complicated than Syriac, we can’t say much without further work, but in my recent cataloging work I have come across a copy of the passage in both languages in a late seventeenth-century lectionary (CCM 64) with Syriac and Garšūnī in parallel columns. According to this manuscript’s long colophon on ff. 202r-205r, the book was finished on 7 Ḥzirān (June), a Friday, 1695 AD and 2006 AG, written in the village of ʕayn Tannūr by a scribe named ʕabdā l-ḥad, whose name is given explicitly and also cryptically and acrostically in the series of words ʕabdā bṣirā dawyā allilā lellā bannānā d-šiṭ min kolhon bnaynāšā (“unworthy slave, weak, insignificant, foolish, slothful, more wretched than anyone”).

The text appears in the lection on ff. 77v-80r, for the fifth Sunday of the Fast (Lent), which contains John 7:37-8:20. In a marginal note, the scribe notifies the reader that the verses we call 7:53-8:11 are not in Syriac copies, but he has translated them from Latin:

CCM 64, f. 79r, marginal note

CCM 64, f. 79r, marginal note

Know, dear reader, that this pericope [pāsoqā] is lacking in our Syriac copy [lit. the copy of us Syriac people], but we have seen it among the Latins [r(h)omāyē], and we have translated it into our Syriac language and into Arabic. Pray for the poor scribe!

John 7:53, in both languages is written interlinearly, but 8:1-8:11 appear just like the rest of the text. (The word pāsoqā above can mean “verse” as well as “section, pericope”; given the history of this passage, in Syriac and other languages, I have taken the word to have the latter meaning here, and not to be merely a reference to the interlinear verse.) Were it not for the marginal note, the reader would have no idea that the passage does not normally occur in the text. Here, then, is a little something for other Syriac and Arabic/Garšūnī readers; I have not compared this Syriac version carefully with those given by Gwynn, but for anyone who wishes to do so, here it is. Happy reading!

CCM 64, f. 79r

CCM 64, f. 79r

CCM 64, f. 79v

CCM 64, f. 79v

CCM 64, f. 80r

CCM 64, f. 80r

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