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By Wayne C. Kannaday

It's quite often stated that the "original" manuscripts of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John didn't live on the exigencies of heritage. What smooth readers seek advice from because the canonical Gospels are in truth compositions reconstructed from copies transmitted via frequently nameless scribes. Apologetic Discourse and the Scribal culture examines an enormous part of the interesting yet seldom-reported tale of the pursuits that formed the formation of the textual content of the recent testomony. With an educated knowledge of the dynamic discourse among pagan critics and early defenders of early Christianity, and cautious scrutiny of multiple hundred variation readings situated within the literary culture of the recent testomony textual content, the writer drafts a compelling case that a few scribes sometimes transformed the textual content of the Gospels lower than the effect of apologetic pursuits.

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Extra resources for Apologetic Discourse and the Scribal Tradition. Evidence of the Influence of Apologetic Interests on the Text of the Canonical Gospels (Text-Critical Studies, V. 5.)

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69 S. Benko, “Pagan Criticism of Christianity,” 1108. 70 S. Benko, “Pagan Criticism of Christianity,” 1108–10. 71 Labriolle, La Réaction païenne, 128 and 204 f. THE PEN AND THE SWORD 21 assaults on the new movement. Celsus, for example, in his assault against Christianity, founded many of his arguments upon evidence gleaned from his own perusal of Christian sacred texts. 73 Also, the criticisms drafted by Porphyry demonstrated that he had read at least some of the Christian scriptures, most certainly the Gospels.

G. Clarke, trans. The Octavius of Marcus Minucius Felix (New York: Newman, 1974). Labriolle points out an even more direct reference to Fronto in Oct. 1–2, and offers plausible reasons for connecting the reference and oration to Fronto. See P. Labriolle, La Réaction païenne, 91–2. 105 For an insightful discussion of this passage from the Octavius with a focus on its negative treatment and appraisal of early Christian women, see Margaret Y. MacDonald, Early Christian Women and Pagan Opinion: The Power of the Hysterical Woman (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1996), 59–67.

No complete manuscript has survived to the present. All we know of this work, as is also true of Celsus’ True Word, are those allusions and quotations cited by Christian writers, usually with the mind to refute them. See W. H. C. Frend, The Rise of Christianity (London: Darton, Longman, and Todd, 1984), 442. 82 The work of P. Labriolle, La Réaction païenne is not only a classic, but remains a rich and comprehensive survey of these sources. More recently there is the work of S. 2, 1055–1118; and the more popular (but still very useful) treatment of the subject by Robert L.

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