BAR 38:03, May/Jun 2012
Jesus’ Anger Rewritten as Compassion
Textual variants among ancient manuscripts aren’t always this controversial. One scribe might have spelled a word differently on his manuscript, while another might have accidentally skipped or repeated some of the text he was copying. These cases are minor variants and don’t really change the meaning of the text. Other times, however, scribes added or even changed text to clarify a passage or suit the theological preferences of their communities. That’s when things get interesting, and Mark 1:41 is an especially intriguing example.
In Mark 1:41, a leper has approached Jesus seeking to be healed. Most Greek manuscripts (the New Testament was originally written in Greek), as well as later translations, say that Jesus was moved …