We continue responding to Saifullah and Azmy, and their very, very lengthy citation of various portions of Bentley’s Secrets of Mount Sinai. The next portion cited is in reference to the pericope of the adultress, John 7:53-8:11. Bentley inaccurately comments,
Some well-loved stories also disappeared in the text so carefully and long preserved on Mount Sinai. The eighth chapter of St John’s Gospel, in the received text, contains the story of a woman who had been caught committing adultery. The scribes and the Pharisees wish to stone her to death, following, as they say, the law of Moses. Jesus says, ‘He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her’. One by one the woman’s accusers slip away, until she and Jesus are alone together. Then he asks her, ‘Where are your accusers? Has no-one condemned you?’ She answers, ‘No-one, my Lord’. Jesus responds, ‘Neither do I condemn you. Go, and sin no more.’
We now know that some ancient manuscripts transfer this story elsewhere in the New Testament, to the Gospel of Luke. In some manuscripts the scribes have indicated that they doubt its authenticity. It nowhere appears in either Vaticanus or Sinaiticus.
I say comments inaccurately because he makes a common mistake when speaking of the transmission of an ancient text: the pericope does not “disappear.” The question is, was the pericope original to the most ancient form of the text itself? It is very common for authors to view the issue “backwards” so to speak, for to think of something “disappearing” would mean that it was present in the text prior to a. But the evidence on this one is rather overwhelming, and only a precommitment to a theory of Byzantine textual supremacy could lead one to a different conclusion. Metzger is quite correct to write,
The evidence for the non-Johannine origin of the pericope of the adulteress is overwhelming. It is absent from such early and diverse manuscripts as P66, 75 a B L N T W X Y D Q Y 0141 0211 22 33 124 157 209 788 828 1230 1241 1242 1253 2193 al. Codices A and C are defective in this part of John, but it is highly probable that neither contained the pericope, for careful measurement discloses that there would not have been space enough on the missing leaves to include the section along with the rest of the text. In the East the passage is absent from the oldest form of the Syriac version (syrc, s and the best manuscripts of syrp), as well as from the Sahidic and the sub-Achmimic versions and the older Bohairic manuscripts. Some Armenian manuscripts?1? and the Old Georgian version?2? omit it. In the West the passage is absent from the Gothic version and from several Old Latin manuscripts (ita, l*, q). No Greek Church Father prior to Euthymius Zigabenus (twelfth century) comments on the passage, and Euthymius declares that the accurate copies of the Gospel do not contain it.
So all Bentley is doing is noting that a follows the most ancient stream of the text at this point, nothing more.