A popular answer among commentators goes something like this: John was originally not part of the Gospel of John. It was a brief composition – probably recording an authentic historical event, but not one that John included in his Gospel-account – that was a “floating anecdote,” and it was so popular that copyists eventually inserted it into the Gospel of John, or into the Gospel of Luke. Sometimes – the theory goes – the copyists inserted it at one place, and sometimes the copyists inserted it in a different place. The appearance of the passage in several locations – it is said – is proof that it is an addition to the text.
|MS 2404 (The Barnabas Gospels) - |
At the beginning of John 7:37,
the red lectionary-notes convey that this
is where the lection for the Sunday
after Pentecost begins. (The section-number
is also written in the margin.)
MS 2404 - After John 7:52 is the red "Skip forward"
symbol. In the lower margin the chapter-title is written,
"About the Adulteress." Four dots beside John 8:4
signify the beginning of the chapter.
|MS 2404 - After John 8:11, the red lectionary notes|
convey that the lector should resume reading here
on Pentecost. (The section-number is also
written in the left margin.)
I will continue to explain why copyists moved the pericope adulterae in Part 2.