Hebrew Voices #113 – PART 3/4 Does John 6:4 Belong in the New Testament

In this episode of Hebrew Voices, Does John 6:4 Belong in the New Testament - PART 3 of 4, we examine the controversy about the Gospel of John which has raged for nearly 2,000 years, as we continue our 4-part series to solve a textual conundrum using technology John could not have imagined and drawing on resources unavailable even a few years ago. Be sure to first watch Part 1 and Part 2!

I look forward to reading your comments!

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Hebrew Voices #113 – PART 3/4 Does John 6:4 Belong in the New Testament

You are listening to Hebrew Voices with Nehemia Gordon. Thank you for supporting Nehemia Gordon's Makor Hebrew Foundation. Learn more at NehemiasWall.com.

Michael: And so, now these gentlemen are going to take us on the rest of this journey as we are in now, the Gospel of John.

Nehemia: We’re looking at John 6:4, and we found out that in the 2nd century AD there were some manuscripts that did not have John 6:4, and the proof of that is these Church Fathers. We saw it in Clement of Alexandria, Irenaeus of Lyon, and Origen, and there are others that we couldn’t even get to. This was recognized for hundreds of years by Christian scholars. This is something that’s been discussed, debated and recognized; 1643 is our earliest reference to the debate.

But there is no manuscript anywhere of the New Testament where there’s a textual variant where it says, “Jesus is not the Messiah.” That manuscript doesn’t exist. There is no manuscript of the New Testament where it says that Yeshua did not rise on the third day. That manuscript doesn’t exist.

So what we are really talking about are some of these details, and the same could be said of the Tanakh. There are Tanakh manuscripts, for example, where it’s said of Yehovah, it says, “Adonai” or “Adonai” it says, “Yehovah”. We’ll see an example perhaps later. But we don’t have any manuscripts of the Tanakh where it says that Moses didn’t write the Torah. Every single manuscript agrees that Moses wrote the Torah and that God appeared to the Israelites, 600,000 men and many other women and children, at Mount Sinai and spoke directly to them. Every single manuscript of the Bible that exists preserves that record.

So what we’re really talking about here are some of the finer details, and those details can be important to people, because if you want to understand the chronology, then Michael has presented a possibility. Really, my question from the very beginning is, could Michael be right? I don’t need to prove if he’s right. That comes from what I call the explanatory scope. He can explain all these details and all this information about the Gospels which otherwise seem like random events which are kind of jumbled.

And people have been doing this for centuries. In the 2nd century there was a man named Tatian who took the four Gospels and tried to put them in a chronological order. So this is something the Christian scholars have been doing for many, many centuries. Michael’s attempted to do it. John 6:4 did not fit into his model, and now we’re looking at the evidence for whether that is supported or not.

We talked about Origen who was this 2nd century Church Father, he lived at the end of the 2nd century. He talks about the ministry of Yeshua being one year, and then he says other statements which make it clear he does not have John 6:4 in his Gospel at that time. At the end of Origen’s life, it is argued by those who support the three-and-a-half-year ministry, such as George Ogg; we mentioned his book before. It’s a really good book, you should get it on amazon.com. Ogg argues that Origen not only had the one-year ministry early in His life, but later in His life he actually advocated for a longer ministry. In fact, a three-and-a-half or possibly even a three-year ministry.

John: He doesn’t actually detail the length of the ministry…

Nehemia: Well, he says it’s nearly three years.

John: So the proponents of a three-and-a-half-year ministry will cite Origen as the oldest source for three-and-a-half-years.

Nehemia: They’ll say, “About three years,” yeah.

John: Which is important because even they acknowledge that it’s hard to find sources older than that. There’s Melito of Sardis as a source that’s cited, but it’s disputed. Even for a proponent of the three-and-a-half-year ministry, Origen is often cited as the oldest source, and it comes from some statements he made about Daniel…

Nehemia: Which we’ll get to in a minute.

John: … where they deduce he’s got a chronology that’s longer. He never refuted what he said originally, and the statements said he does say that you can deduce he may have extended the ministry of Yeshua, none of them were based on anything to do with counting Passovers. There’s no reason to think that his text had changed. It was an allegorical interpretation of Daniel.

Nehemia: Right. For example, we mentioned Tatian, who was this Church Father in the 2nd century. He wrote this book called The Diatessaron, where he took all four Gospels and put them in what he thought was chronological order, and he includes John 6:4. However, we only have the Arabic translation of Tatian’s Diatessaron. We don’t have that passage in the original, as far as I was able to find, at least. And the point is, every time we have one of these 2nd century sources, these are always disputed sources. Perhaps the only exception is P66 and P75, that we’ll get to.

But let’s start with Origen. Daniel chapter 9 verse 27. Michael, can you read that, because Origen’s commenting on that.

Michael: “And He shall confirm the covenant with many for one week, and in the midst of the week He shall cause His sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations, He shall make it desolate even under the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.”

Nehemia: Origen in his allegorical commentary on Daniel took this to be a 70-year period. That seven or that week, he somehow took to be a 70-year period. And he said that 70-year period is punctuated in the middle with the death of Christ. That is the first 35 years where from the advent of Jesus all the way up until His death, and then the second 75 years was from the resurrection until the destruction of the Temple in the year 70.

So because of that, he needs the death of Yeshua to be approximately the year 35, or if he thought the Temple was destroyed in 68 - that’s not clear either - then two years earlier, in 33.

Unfortunately, we were not able to get a hold of what Origen actually wrote. This has survived as far as we can tell, in Latin, and we were not able to get hold of a Latin text. We didn’t get it. We did the best we could. We were dealing with these databases. And look, this is an ongoing project, people. We are going to continue this study after this teaching. We’re going to continue and we’re going to find out how many manuscripts actually really have John 6:4 and how many don’t. We’re going to show you what we know today. Everything we’re saying is based on what we know today, and that could change.

John: And beyond the Greek. The old Latin, there are other languages that have preserved…

Nehemia: Yeah, there’s a lot of them.

John: … the manuscripts, not just the Greek manuscripts.

Nehemia: We might find out there are all kinds of languages where John 6:4 is missing. We already know of one, but we’re not going to share that today. We don’t have time to get to that.

So, Origen on Daniel 9:27 has this allegorical interpretation which breaks up the 7 into 70 years, which is 35 and 35, and it’s inferred from that, to the best that we can tell, that he takes Yeshua’s ministry to be about three years, and there’s a second statement where he also seems to indicate that later in his life. These were books that were written towards the end of Origen’s life. So he may be the first one who has a ministry that’s about three years, and he’s already in the 2nd century.

So that is not 100 percent clear, but it does seem… from what we’ve seen, that seems to be the case. The first one we know for sure that has a three-and-a-half-year ministry indisputably, is Eusebius of Caesarea, who lived from 260 to 340 approximately. Eusebius is famous from the Council of Nicaea in 325, where he was one of the main spokesmen. He was also the court historian of Constantine. Tell us a little bit about Eusebius.

John: I think Eusebius is the one figure that we know most about. He was a student of Pamphilus, and Pamphilus was a student of Origen. So he’s a disciple of Origen’s disciple. And as relates to this allegorical interpretation of Daniel that Eusebius comments on, there’s a relationship between what he says and what Origen said. It’s important to note that Pamphilus wrote an apology for Origen after Origen died.

Eusebius actually had to finish Pamphilus’ apology for Origen, because Pamphilus was killed, as well. So he had to write the last book of the apology for Origen. In Pamphilus’ apology for Origen, he quotes the same thing that Origen wrote in First Principles about the one-year ministry. So Origen, even though he had this allegorical interpretation, his disciples still took away the idea of a one-year ministry and continued to write on the one-year ministry, and even defended it in their works.

Nehemia: Remember, if there’s a one-year ministry, you can’t have John 6:4 in the Gospel.

John: So Eusebius, his interpretation - and Nehemia’s going to show the slide – his interpretation is connected to Origen’s interpretation. Origen looked at the week of Daniel and he wanted to fill that week out with years between the advent of Yeshua and the destruction of the Temple. He wanted 35 and 35. He wanted to split the week, and Eusebius does something similar to what Origen does.

Nehemia: Now, before we get to Eusebius’ explanation, really of the length of the full three-and-a-half years, let’s see how he explains John. Because we already brought a quote from Eusebius which said that Matthew, Mark and Luke were one year. So how could the Gospel of John be three-and-a-half years?

So here’s what he says. This is Eusebius. “The three Gospels already mentioned having come into the hands of all, and into John’s too.” That’s really interesting.

Eusebius is writing this book called The Church History, he’s the first one really to do this, and a lot of what we know about the early period of the Church comes from Eusebius. Now, that’s a good thing, but there’s also a danger in there, because Eusebius chose only to share what he thought was appropriate to share. There are all kinds of things Eusebius didn’t tell you about, because he either didn’t think they were relevant, or he thought they were, maybe even from his perspective, heretical. Like, where are all these Jewish believers in Yeshua who are keeping the Torah? Eusebius doesn’t tell you a whole lot about that.

He tells you about Papias. I’ve talked in my teaching, The Hebrew Yeshua Versus the Greek Jesus, I quote Papias. What I’m really quoting is Eusebius quoting Papias. A lot of these books were destroyed, and our only remnant of them comes from Eusebius’ Church History, so it’s a very important book for understanding the first three centuries after Yeshua. He says, “The three Gospels already mentioned, having come into the hands of all, and into John’s too.” So according to Eusebius’ information, John read Matthew, Mark and Luke. That’s incredible, because the way it’s presented in secular scholarship is Luke was written for one church, Matthew was written for another, and a third church had John and the people who read John didn’t know about Luke. That’s not how Eusebius presents it.

“They say that John accepted them and bore witness to their truthfulness, but that there was lacking in them an account of the deeds done by Christ at the beginning of His ministry.” In other words, there was a part of the ministry that John had to fill in the blanks, and everything that’s not in Matthew, Mark and Luke but is in John – let’s say, other than the last few days, that’s obviously at the end – everything else is before Matthew, Mark and Luke. He goes on, “John accordingly in his Gospel records the deeds of Christ which were performed before John the Baptist was cast into prison. But the other three Evangelists mention the events which happened after that time.”

This is according to Eusebius. Now, we’re not saying we agree with this, but it shows you, in a sense, how forced Eusebius’ position is. He’s got to fit every event in John that’s not in Matthew, Mark and Luke into before the one-year ministry which he acknowledges.

“Now, the whole period of our Savior’s teaching and working of miracles is said to have been three-and-a-half-years, which is half a week.” Where is he getting the half a week? John 9:27. So his teacher’s teacher – as well as his teacher – took John 9:27 allegorically, meaning Origen took that allegorically as 70 years. He says, “No, no. A week is 7 years, not 70 years, and half of that week is the teaching of Yeshua on earth before the crucifixion.” And he says, “John the Evangelist in his Gospel makes this clear to the attentive.” That’s really important. We have to stop there for a minute.

When Eusebius says, “John the Evangelist in his Gospel makes this clear that ministry is three-and-a-half-years,” he means, “I’m interpreting this allegorically, but I can find it in John even without the allegory.”

So where is Eusebius finding this? Where is he getting three-and-a-half years from the Gospel of John? It doesn’t say, “Matthew, Mark and Luke,” He agrees that’s one year. Where does he get it from the Gospel of John? Well, the first and the last Passover we all know about, John 2 and John 12. We’ve talked about that. John 5, the unnamed feast, he took to be a Passover, and he must have had John 6:4 as a Passover. That’s what he’s referring to when he says, “John makes this clear to the attentive.” It’s not explicit, but you can turn John 5 “the unnamed feast” into a Passover, and then you get three years and change. That’s where he’s getting it from. Is that clear?

Michael: Yeah.

Nehemia: Everybody’s agreeing on this? All right. He goes on… This is Eusebius. “One week of years therefore would be represented by the whole period of his association with the Apostles. Both the time before his passion…” meaning the crucifixion, “and the time after his resurrection.” [laughing] Did you hear what he just said? Let’s finish. “For it is written that before His passion he showed Himself for the space of three-and-a-half years.” Where is that written? In John. If you take John 5, the unnamed feast to be a Passover, and John 6:4 as another Passover, then you get three years and change. That’s what he means, “For it is written.”

Let’s see. “A space of three-and-a-half years to his disciples, and also those who were not His disciples. But after His resurrection, He was most likely with His disciples a period equal to the years, being seen of them 40 days, and eating with them, and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God as the Acts of the Apostles tell us.” So according to Eusebius, Yeshua was three-and-a-half years before the crucifixion, and then three-and-a-half years after the resurrection.”

Michael: Yeah, there’s your seven weeks.

Nehemia: Someone in the audience said, “Whaat?”


Michael: Yeah. That’s where you’ve get a three-and-a-half-year ministry. You’ve got to accept the seven years, too.

Nehemia: So the origin of the three… I shouldn’t say “the origin”, because he is connecting it to John by reading John 5 and John 6 as Passovers, but his model of the ministry is that this is based on Daniel 9:27, that one week, Yeshua’s cut off in the middle of the week, and then there’s another three-and-a-half years after the resurrection, not really mentioned in the New Testament. Right? Because we’ve got the 40 days and we have various scenes. But three-and-a-half years?

Michael: Hanging out.

Nehemia: What was he doing for three-and-a-half years?

John: Eusebius, he’s coming from an allegorical perspective, and he’s looking at the text of John. He doesn’t come from the text of John and say, “We’ve got these Passovers. It has to be three-and-a-half years.” He’s looking for three-and-a-half years. And when he opens up John and looks – and there’s no question, his text has to have John 6:4.

Nehemia: No question about it.

John: That’s not disputed by anybody.

Nehemia: The proof, by the way, that he’s reading it into the text, is John 5 says nothing about Passover.

John: What he’s doing is, he sees an unnamed feast, and he says, “Hey, I’ll just make that Passover. I have the three-and-a-half years that I’m looking for.”

Nehemia: Exactly. In Jewish history, there’s this great rabbi, Ibn Ezra, and he talks about different ways of reading the Bible. He says the goal is that you fire the arrow and you hit the target. But he says there are some people who don’t do that. What they do is fire the arrow and then they walk over to the plaque and they draw the target around it.


I think that’s what Eusebius is doing here, at least in John 5. At least in John 5, where he takes an unknown feast, and the earlier authors are saying, “Wait. This is a really cramped period of time. There’s really six months or a year between the end of chapter 4 and the beginning of chapter 5? Really, there’s that much time? It doesn’t sound like that.” But that’s how he reads it, because he wants to get to the seven years of Daniel 9:27 and see this as a model of the ministry of Yeshua.

What we’ve seen up until now, everything we’ve seen are Church Fathers. What I want to do right now is bring you the manuscripts. Here’s why the manuscripts are important. In textual studies, we have a distinction between what’s called the emendation – an emendation is, I read the text and I say, “Something’s wrong” and I change it; that’s one thing - and a textual variant. A textual variant means, “I’m not just changing the text. I actually have a manuscript.”

Michael, you gave the example of Matthew 1 where it talks about Joseph, the husband of Miriam, and you had suggested for years, what other people suggest as well, I think Lamsa might have been the first to suggest it, that the word “guvra” there means “husband”, but maybe it also has the sense of the “strong one, the father”. That was a way of interpreting. It seemed a bit forced to me. What you were really suggesting is originally this said “father”. That was an emendation. It was conjecture. We didn’t have that text.

Then I found two manuscripts. They were very late manuscripts, but they both read, “Joseph, the father of Miriam.”

Michael: That was the Hebrew Matthew.

Nehemia: That was in Hebrew Matthew, two late manuscripts Hebrew Matthew have “Joseph the father of Miriam”. And if you want to say it says, “Joseph the husband of Miriam” and be left with Matthew and Luke contradict each other, you can do that. That’s fine.

Michael: And only 13 generations, no more.

Nehemia: It doesn’t really fit that way. But if you look at this variant, everything falls into place. Is that just a coincidence? In this case, I don’t think so, but you have to decide for yourself. In the case of John 6:4, the difference between having manuscripts or not is the difference between is this just conjecture or did something, somewhere in the history of all these thousands of manuscripts survive? And the answer is, we do have something that survived.

Now, we have nine key manuscripts that we’re going to show you. I believe there are more, but we don’t have that more yet. We will look for the more but for now, we’re going to show you what we have today. These manuscripts range in dates from the 11th to the 15th century.

Before we get to the manuscripts, I want to start with what’s called the “critical edition”. The critical edition is hundreds of scholars around the world comb through manuscripts for centuries, and the results of their work have been compiled in a printed Bible called the Nestle-Aland Edition. What I have here up on the screen, is NA26, the 26th edition of Nestle-Aland, and on John 6:4 there’s a little square, and the square means that something is omitted or missing. Missing is a loaded term, because it implies that it’s supposed to be there, so the more neutral term is “omitted”.

What is omitted? The entire verse, and it’s omitted in manuscript 472. What is 472? Every Greek New Testament manuscript is given a Gregory Aland number, and based on that you can then find out a much longer name, what library it’s in. We’ll tell you in a few minutes. Then it says PC. PC in the New Testament – this is called a “critical apparatus” - every little symbol here has significance and meaning. It tells you that something is missing, added, changed or different, very slightly different words. And this is actually kind of a big deal here. The whole verse is missing in manuscript 472, and PC - PC is not Politically Correct [laughter] - it stands for the Latin, pauci, which means several. So it’s 472 plus several other manuscripts in which verse 4 of John 6 is missing. What are those several? Don’t know. How do you find it? Not easy. [laughter] Michael, you had seen the Nestle-Aland 26 or 27?

Michael: Right. Nestle-Aland 26 is the work that I was working from. So when I saw that it was missing from that, that’s what I’ve put in the forward of my book, that 472, those words are missing. I could not get a photograph of this, so I eventually went over to the Lambeth Palace…

Nehemia: I want to you save that story for when we look at 472. That’s really exciting.

Michael: Okay. Yeah, 26. This is what I was looking at and didn’t…

Nehemia: So according to Nestle-Aland 26 it’s manuscript 472 as well as several other manuscripts where it’s missing. The next one we have is Nestle-Aland 27. Same exact story. It’s omitted or missing from 472, the entire first John 6:4, but that is only up until the year 2004, the eighth corrective printing. And guys, to find this out, I was going to libraries all over the place asking them, “Do you have a Nestle-Aland 27?” “Oh, we’ve got a bunch of them.” I’m pulling it up and I’m like, “No, I need this specific one from 2004 and 2005 and 2006.” They’re like, “We don’t know which edition we have. It’s all the same. It’s Nestle-Aland 27.”

No, it’s not all the same, because in 2006, that’s a 2004 edition, the eighth corrected printing – in 2006 they changed it. In the ninth corrected printing, they went over from saying the verse is missing “in 472 and several” to “1634 and several.” 1634 is a different manuscript.

Which one is it? We’ll see in a few minutes. One of my questions when I was doing this research was, “What happened between 2004 and 2006?”

John: This change is confusing, and this is a problem. I’m having discussions, I go to buy the book and it’s not in there at all. A friend of mine says, “Don’t you see? They corrected it. It was a mistake.”

Nehemia: Because in Nestle-Aland 28 it doesn’t have this note at all. It says nothing about John 6:4.

John: There’s nothing there.

Nehemia: If you looked at Nestle-Aland 25 or 28 or 1 through 25, you would not know there was any issue with John 6:4. You’d just think, “Yeah, that’s in there. No question about it.”

John: So I’m arguing with my friend and he says, “Why don’t you email the editors and find out for sure?” So, we did. We emailed the editors. [laughing]

Nehemia: We emailed the editors of the Nestle-Aland 28 and we asked them, “What happened between 2004 and 2006? Why in 2010 is it not in the Nestle-Aland 28 edition?” What they told us, “We have limited space.” So look what we have up here. You have all these different notes, and each note is full of meaning. They say, “We can’t put everything up there. We have limited space. So we have to make a choice of what we think is important, based on the evidence available to us, and in 26 and 27, somebody thought it was important.” By 28 they said, “It’s not that important. We can leave that information out. You guys don’t need to know about that.”

Now, what happened between the 2004 and 2006 is they came out with a book called Text und Textwerk, it’s a book in German.

Michael: And you had to take two years of German to be able to figure this out.

Nehemia: Well, I took two years of German at Hebrew University, but this I actually didn’t need much German for. It’s mostly just textual notations. What you can see up here in this 2005 book, what they did is they went through not every verse in John, but they chose select verses in John that they wanted to check, and they checked those in every manuscript available to them at the University of Munster, where they have a large collection of microfilms of manuscripts.

For example, they took John 6:4 and they looked at it in over 1,000 manuscripts. They determined that John 6:4 does appear in numerous manuscripts. In fact, they list for you up here 162 manuscripts that have John 6:4, where it’s not omitted. And those 162 include some very prominent and important manuscripts. They include P66 and P75. Scholars argue that those two manuscripts date from the 2nd century, so they actually predate Eusebius if that dating is correct. There’s one scholar named Nongbri who’s written these articles claiming that those manuscripts are later, but look, guys, that’s beyond my expertise. If we accept the date of P66 and P75, then John 6:4 appears already in the 2nd century.

What that means is, alongside Origen reading his Gospel of John where there is no John 6:4, somewhere else in the Roman Empire there’s somebody reading a different manuscript which has John 6:4. That’s entirely possible. Origen only had access to what he had access to.

John: But he did have access to a lot of manuscripts.

Nehemia: He sure had access to a lot of stuff.

John: And we can’t say that Origen didn’t see manuscripts that had John 6:4. But if he did, he didn’t consider them important.

Nehemia: Or he didn’t consider them reliable.

John: And he was a textual critic, this was his job, and he was schooled by the best.

Nehemia: In other words, Origen may have had 100 manuscripts in his library, and he saw that 10 of them had John 6:4, and he said, “That was added.” We don’t know. We don’t know. All we know is what we have evidence for. And what we have evidence for is that he must have had a manuscript that did not have John 6:4.

Going back to Text und Textwerk, we see some very important manuscripts listed up here, and we see, 01, 02, 03, 05 that’s Vaticanus, Sinaiticus. These are important manuscripts of the New Testament. 05, I believe is Bezae, if I’m not mistaken.

John: That’s correct.

Nehemia: Very important manuscripts, 162 of them. Interestingly, one of those listed that contains John 6:4 is - 472. So does 472 have John 6:4 or doesn’t it have John 6:4? We’ll find out soon. We’ll come back to that.

At the end of the 162 manuscripts it says, “BYZ”, which means Byzantine, and that means the Byzantine Majority Text. What they mean is there’s a bunch of other manuscripts that have John 6:4 but we can’t list everything because life’s short and we have a limited amount of space on the page, and already, this is a $600 book, and if we made it longer… it literally is like a $500, $600 book.

John: That’s just the John version.

Nehemia: That’s just the Gospel of John!

John: And select verses.

Nehemia: They didn’t even check every verse, and it’s a $500, $600 book. So it says, “BYZ 1653”. That means there are 1,653 manuscripts that have John 6:4, but they only listed for you 162 of them. 1,491 - just take our word for it.

Now, I could already tell you they’re wrong about what they said about 472, as we’ll see. It’s a bit complicated, but they’re wrong. Then they list other information here on the page. One of the things they say is they list three manuscripts in which John 6:4 is not in the text. In one of those it’s in the margin, we’ll see in a minute, in the other two it’s just not there at all.

Now, why did they list three manuscripts? Because that’s what they knew about. There are actually four manuscripts where it’s not in there. Why didn’t they list the fourth? The fourth one is included in their list of Byzantine manuscripts, so they actually made a mistake. So, so far, I’ve found two mistakes on the page and I didn’t even check more than a few hundred… Well, John checked - a few hundred manuscripts. If we checked all 1,653, I bet we’d find more than two mistakes.

Going on, they then say, “Verse 4, kum asteriskis vel obelis.” We’ll get to what that means. They list six manuscripts with asterisk and obelisk. We’re going to wait for that, okay?

One of the sources we looked at was a guy named Von Soden, who wrote in 1907, and he has a critical apparatus of his own. He’s coming along before Nestle-Aland, and he’s saying, “I’m going through every verse, looking at many manuscripts.” He lists two manuscripts that omit John 6:4. Guys, these things are very difficult to read and decipher. For me to find out what he meant by “I-1386” took basically a whole day. And that’s one detail to find out. It’s not simple at all.

Then he has K Iota 20 as the second manuscript where John 6:4 is omitted. What does he mean by that? I-1386 refers to the 472, which is the Lambeth Palace manuscript. Michael will tell you about that in a few minutes. The Lambeth Palace manuscript, the verse is omitted. Also, manuscript 850, which is in the Vatican, barb Greek 504. We’ll see that in a little bit.

Let me summarize everything going on here. John 6:4, when it comes to the manuscript 472. 472 is Lambeth Palace. Von Soden says it’s omitted, and the reason I’m talking about this is Michael in his Chronological Gospels is relying on Nestle-Aland 26. When he published that, there was really no way to find out what was in 472, other than rely on these sources or go to Lambeth Palace. How did that work out? [laughing] Not too well.

Michael: Yeah, I went to Lambeth Palace because I was getting ready for the Spanish version, the Chinese and all that, and so I wanted to get a photograph of this. Because what I have up to this point is, I know it’s not in there, because Nestle-Aland tells me it’s not in there. Then I did the transcript. I do it in Greek characters and I put it in there, and I just leave out John 6:4 and I say, “That’s the way it is in Lambeth Palace.” So I want to go over there and get the photograph of it.

I arrive at the Archbishop of Canterbury’s place, Lambeth Palace, and I meet with the secretary, who lived at a kibbutz in Israel for a number of years, so we hit it off real big. The Archbishop is not in, and this is Armistice Day. This is the day that the war was won. Everyone’s wearing poppies and everything is shut down. And I’ll tell you, if I was able to get in there and take a photograph of this, my heart would have sunk. Because 472 does say, “And Passover, the feast of the Jews is nigh.”

How it arrives there, I would not be able to figure out, because this is way over my pay grade, as is everything that these guys are doing here. Way over my pay grade. I’m simply trying to put the Chronological Gospels together using the evidence, but they have found the evidence. And so what happened with Lambeth Palace Museum in the…

Nehemia: Just to explain, guys, this is no trivial matter to find out answers to these things. To have access to the databases we need, you could buy a new car with what it cost – I’m not exaggerating, a nice, car, too – to get access to these databases. Now, this is an overview of what happened here. Before we get to 472 itself, we have over here… Von Soden says it’s omitted, Nestle-Aland 26 says it’s omitted, Nestle-Aland 27 version 8 says it’s omitted, T&T says, “No, they’ve got it in there.” It’s in there. It’s included without any marks or anything. Nestle-Aland 27:9 doesn’t even mention 472, it mentions 16:34, and Nestle-Aland 28 doesn’t mention John 6:4 at all.

So let’s see what actually is in Lambeth Palace. You can see up there, Lambeth Palace is a place in England, in London, and it has manuscript 1177 dated to the 11th or 12th century. Miniscule 472; miniscule means it’s written in small characters versus the earlier manuscripts written in capital letters. And you can see there the word “to Pascha”, the Passover. So, John 6:4 is in there after all. However, in the margin we have this little guy there, that little star-shaped symbol called an obelisk, and this is mentioned by Text und Textwerk - known as T&T, that book from 2005, the German book - they mention that there are six manuscripts with an obelisk or an asterisk.

Well, what is an obelisk or an asterisk? This is a Famous French cartoon. [laughter] And the French cartoon is actually a pun. The pun is that in Latin and Greek manuscripts, when they have something in the manuscript which is considered doubtful, it is marked with an asterisk or an obelisk. Those are scribal notation symbols. And the author of this cartoon - the cartoon is about these two people in Gaul who are fighting the Romans, named Asterisk and Obelisk, and Obelisk is the big, cute guy. [laughter]

When I was a little kid, I used to read the Sunday comics, and I would read the cartoon, Asterisk and Obelisk. So Asterisk and Obelisk are this pun, and these symbols go back to textual criticism of Greek texts in Alexandria. We mentioned before Origen, and how even before the time of the Origen the Greeks said, “We consider the book of Homer to be sacred, but we have differences in our manuscripts.” So they would mark those differences, the ones they thought to be doubtful, with these symbols.

Origen mentions these and he writes as follows. Origen says… And remember, this is part of his Hexapla. The Hexapla is, he was systematically comparing the Hebrew Tanakh with the Greek translation called the Septuagint. He says, “We marked with an obelus…” Obelus is the Greek word for obelisk, “We marked with an obelus those passages not found in the Hebrew. And we added other passages with an asterisk in order that it might be clear that we have added passages not found in the Septuagint.”

So when he saw something in Hebrew which wasn’t in the Greek, he put it into the Greek, but he said, “I don’t know if this is supposed to be here,” and he marked it with an asterisk, and when he found stuff in the Greek that wasn’t in the Hebrew, he marked it with the obelisk.

“He who so wishes may accept these things, but to one whom this matter causes offense, he may do whatever he wishes concerning the acceptance or not.”

So he’s telling you, “I don’t consider these to be trustworthy, or in some cases, I’m not sure if they’re trustworthy. You decide for yourself.”

Michael: Thank you, Nehemia. Thank you, John.

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  • donald murphy says:

    a pagan concept ( a Roman religion).

  • UKJ says:


    Just a few thoughts on Dan 9 ….

    The number 7 indicates completeness. One day can also stand for one year! If Yeshua’s ministry had been cut off after three and a half years, then this would mean that at the end times, another ministry in the spirit of Yeshua has to last three and a half years, and be cut off after three and a half years .. ? !
    Yeshua’s ministry had been to the House of Judah and Israel!
    Could it be that another ministry in the ‘spirit of Yeshua’ has to go out to the Gentiles? A ministry lasting three and a half years and being cut off after three and a half years as described in … **

    Rev 11:3 And I will give power unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth.

    Zech 4:3 And two olive trees by it, one upon the right side of the bowl, and the other upon the left side thereof.

    Mt 24:14 And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.

    Abomination of Desolation
    **In my view much hangs on the word of Yeshua and his reference to the prophecy in Daniel !!**

    Mt 24:15 When all of you therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso reads, let him understand:)

    • Gregg says:

      Interesting perspective. I like the Two Witnesses part but I prefer the one year ministry of Yeshua concept. That way all four gospels agree. Of course this is just my preference based on the evidence I’ve heard.
      The Two Witnesses will be bringing plagues on the beast kingdom. I also believe they will proclaim the Torah, Yehovah’s Name and faith in Yeshua.

  • daniel says:

    Wow, and Thanks! I’m glad it’s presented in 4 parts, because my brain is full and won’t be able to watch this part again without some sleep and nourishment.

  • Reyes Nava says:

    It would be very interesting and revealing if you could continue your research of other verses including 1John 5:7 and 1Timothy 3:16

    These were discussed in great detail within a dissertation by Isaac Newton in his work “An Historical Account of Two Notable Corruptions of Scripture”

  • paulettegray says:

    I’m looking for the book and can’t wait for Part 4 although I am confident that the hypothesis is already proved to be reasonable.
    I am enjoying your progressive explanation, including the revelation of the biases of the church fathers, and know that this is just a summary of an enormous body of work.

  • Fred says:

    I have also read an interpretation where Jesus ministry was 3.5 years and the other 3.5 yrs is when Steven was stoned by Paul and Paul took over the building of the church which would make Vatican the 3rd Temple. This is not what I believe.

  • pathhacker says:

    Finally part 3. Watched it immediately. Feels like watching it is a mini-course on textual analysis and a semester on seminary and also an Agatha Christie novel. Its wonderful. Can’t wait for part 4. Some may be afraid that this is their Christianity being attacked. I find the opposite. My faith in my faith is strengthened in this seminar and I’m leaving it up to seeing where the journey on this takes us.

    Thank you Michael Rood for inspiring John and Nehemia on this investigation. And thank you John and Nehemia for all the work. What is John’s name by the way – does he have a blog, website, or other way to follow his work?