Friday, January 23, 2015

The Textual Criticism of Luke 22

Yesterday morning the new issue of TC: A Journal of Biblical Textual Criticism came out. The lead article is by my colleague, Lincoln Blumell. It deals with the textual criticism of Luke 22:43-44. This is the passage in the gospel of Luke that deals with Jesus sweating blood in the garden of Gethsemane and the angel appearing to him and strengthening him. Several New Testament manuscripts drop this passage. The conventional wisdom has been that this passage was added later. Blumell turns that on its head. He shows that the earliest manuscripts actually had the passage but that Christians were criticized for it in the second and third centuries and so they dropped the passage from their Bibles. Anyone interested in the textual history of this passage would be well advised to carefully consider Blumell's argument.