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'THOU SHALT COMMIT ADULTERY' (EXOD. 20:14, AV 1631): A FIRST SURVEY OF ALTERATION INVOLVING NEGATIVES IN THE TRANSMISSION OF THE GREEK NEW TESTAMENT AND OF EARLY CHURCH RESPONSES TO IT

J. Lionel North
The Journal of Theological Studies
New Series, Vol. 60, No. 1 (APRIL 2009), pp. 22-69
Published by: Oxford University Press
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/23970856
Page Count: 48
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'THOU SHALT COMMIT ADULTERY' (EXOD. 20:14, AV 1631): A FIRST SURVEY OF ALTERATION INVOLVING NEGATIVES IN THE TRANSMISSION OF THE GREEK NEW TESTAMENT AND OF EARLY CHURCH RESPONSES TO IT
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Abstract

Like many words in the New Testament, one-fifth of the 3,542 examples of the negative have suffered alteration, trivial or otherwise, through addition or omission or substitution. But the alteration of negatives is more provocative in that, given their function in logic, it can involve contradiction. The Church Fathers had to face questions where dogma was at stake: did Paul believe that 'we all shall not sleep' or 'we all shall sleep', 'we all shall be changed' or 'we all shall not be changed' (1 Cor. 15:51)? Did death reign even over those who had not sinned like Adam (Rom. 5:14)? The unstable negative was also noted in Jewish, classical, and legal circles. Analysis of over 700 examples may prove useful to textual critics, students of scribal habits, and philologists as well as to dogmaticians and historians.

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