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The Historical Context For The Insertion Of The Pericope Adulterae Into The Gospel Of John: A Proposal

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Chapter Summary

This chapter examines the Sitz im Leben der Kirche that prompted the interpolator to insert Pericope Adulterae (PA) into Gospel of John (GJohn). It offers a proposed context for PA's insertion that is more plausible than alternative explanations. The chapter suggests that the context for PA's insertion into GJohn is that of second- and third-century Christian responses to pagan criticisms of Christian illiteracy. Along with other traditions concerning Jesus' intellectual capabilities, PA asserts that the teacher who was the fountainhead of the Christian movement was an educated and literate individual, indeed a supraliterate individual. The chapter presents the relevant data that any theory of PA's insertion must account for, discusses previous theories and offers criticisms. It then proposes an original alternative theory by focusing upon the unique contribution of PA to the scriptural image of Jesus (the attribution of grapho-literacy) and other Christian representations of a literate and/or supraliterate Jesus.

Keywords: Gospel of John (GJohn); grapho-literacy; Pericope Adulterae (PA); supraliterate Jesus



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