I have published a new article on Jerome’s role in establishing the story of Jesus and the woman accused of adultery in the gospel of John, which appears in the latest issue of Conversations with the Biblical World. The title of the article is “Jerome, Paula, and the Story of the Adulteress: Why Did Jerome Overrule His Old Greek Copies?”. The article is posted here.
An early form of the article was presented at the Pacific Northwest Regional SBL meeting on May 4, 2019 at Central Washington University in Ellensburg, Washington. The article explores the possibility that the story was first introduced into the gospel of John in Jerome’s Vulgate along with those features of the story that are characteristic of its Johannine form.
The abstract follows:
In his Praefatio in evangelio, Jerome claims to have consulted only old Greek manuscripts in producing his Vulgate revision of the Old Latin gospels. If this is true, it is surprising that he included the story of Jesus and the adulteress after John 7:52 in his revision, given that our oldest surviving Greek manuscripts consistently lack this story. At the same time, the manuscript tradition of the Vulgate is unanimous in including the story, suggesting that it was present in this version from the beginning due to Jerome’s own editorial decision to include it. In this paper, I examine points of contact between the story in its Vulgate form and the circumstances of Jerome’s bitter departure from Rome in 385, concluding that Jerome may have had personal motives to include the story even if it were not present in the old copies he presumably consulted.