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To Cast the First Stone$
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Jennifer Knust and Tommy Wasserman

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780691169880

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: May 2019

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691169880.001.0001

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A Pearl of the Gospel

A Pearl of the Gospel

The Pericope Adulterae in Late Antiquity

(p.251) 7 A Pearl of the Gospel
To Cast the First Stone

Jennifer Knust

Tommy Wasserman

Princeton University Press

This chapter assesses the importance of the Johannine passage in Old Latin and Byzantine texts, with particular attention to paratextual notes, chapter headings, and annotations. Some Old Latin Gospels retain traces of the pericope adulterae's earlier absence, but most include it, highlighting it in capitula—the chapter summaries and lists that also accompanied Vulgate Gospels—often preserving Old Latin forms. By contrast, the story remained comparably marginal in Greek contexts, as scholars have frequently noted. Even so, the story was popular enough to provoke an exceptional event: at some point in late antiquity, the passage was interpolated in some manuscripts into the kephalaia—a set of chapter headings with titles that prefaced most Byzantine copies of the Gospels. This manuscript evidence challenges the impression that the story was marginal, even in Greek.

Keywords:   Old Latin Gospels, Byzantine texts, pericope adulterae, capitula, Vulgate Gospels, late antiquity, kephalaia, chapter headings, chapter summaries

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