Title

The Polemical Origin of Luke 6.5D: Dating Codex Bezae’s Sabbath-Worker Agraphon

Keywords

Agrapha, Codex Bezae, Jewish-Christian, Luke 6.1-5, Luke 6.5D, Sabbath, textual criticism

Abstract

In the late fourth- or early fifth-century bilingual Codex Bezae (D), Lk. 6.5 includes the following agraphon in Greek and Latin: ‘On the same day, when [Jesus] saw someone working on the Sabbath, he said to him, “Man, if you know what you are doing you are blessed, but if you do not know then you are cursed and a transgressor of the law”’. Although scholars generally agree that this passage did not originate with the author of Luke, its precise origin and meaning remain contested. Previous studies implicitly agreed that the agraphon’s origin must be sought in the texts and traditions of the earliest Christian era. Based on literary parallels between Lk. 6.5D and the writings of Church Fathers, especially from the fourth century ce, this article argues that the Sabbath-Worker agraphon originated in the throes of later Christian polemic against Jewish and Judaizing practices of Sabbath observance.

Original Publication Citation

Combs, J. R. (2019). The Polemical Origin of Luke 6.5D: Dating Codex Bezae’s Sabbath-Worker Agraphon. Journal for the Study of the New Testament, 42(2), 162–184. https://doi.org/10.1177/0142064X19873521

Document Type

Peer-Reviewed Article

Publication Date

2019

Publisher

Journal for the Study of the New Testament

Language

English

College

Religious Education

Department

Ancient Scripture

University Standing at Time of Publication

Assistant Professor

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