Errors Caused by Mental Lapse

Assimilation of Wording


Scribes who worked for many years in copying the same manuscripts (e.g. Biblical) became very familiar with the wording of the texts. This could account for some of the times when a phrase in a manuscript has included in it the wording from a parallel passage.


Matt. 19:17

The earlier manuscripts of Matthew contain this quotation of Jesus as being distinct from the other Synoptic Gospels (Mark 10:17; Luke 18:18). Yet later manuscripts have a variant reading which assimilates the wording from the parallel passages.

Col. 1:14

Some of the letters ascribed to Paul contain passages that closely parallel other of the Pauline letters. Assimilation often occurs.

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