In textual criticism, Christian interpolation generally refers to textual insertion and textual damage to Jewish source texts during Christian scribal transmission, but may also refer to possible interpolation in secular Roman texts, such as the case of Tacitus on Christ.
Notable disputed examples in the works of Josephus include Josephus' sections on John the Baptist, which is widely accepted, and on Jesus of Nazareth, which is widely regarded as at best damaged.
Old Testament pseudepigrapha
Notable examples among the body of texts known as Old Testament pseudepigrapha include the disputed authenticity of Similitudes of Enoch and 4 Ezra which in the form transmitted by Christian scribal traditions contain arguably later Christian understanding of terms such as Son of Man. Other texts with significant Christian interpolation include the Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs and the Sibylline Oracles.
New Testament scribal interpolations
Matthew 17:21 Is an interpolation to assist in harmonizing with Mark 9:29 referencing the removal of a demon. Matthew 23:14 is added to help harmonize with Mark 12:40 and Luke 20:47. Mark 16:9-20 is not found in the oldest texts of Mark. Luke 2:33 has been modified in some translations to replace 'Jesus father' with Joseph, to imply that Joseph is not Jesus father. The famous image of Jesus sweating drops of blood as he prayed in the garden prior to the crucifixion, fails to appear in the earliest copies of Luke. John 5:4 which tells of an angel stirring the waters to heal the people is also not found in early texts. The parable of the adulterous woman and the famous phrase 'Let he who is without sin cast the first stone' is either missing entirely, or placed in different parts of John, or even in different parts of Luke. The story of the Ethiopian eunuch was also modified, presumably to fit the authors position on salvation through baptism. First John 5:7-8 also appears to have been modified to reinforce the concept of the holy trinity, as the earliest manuscripts state (starting with verse 8 "The Spirit, the water, and the blood" Whereas popular translations such as the King James Version show (starting in verse 7) "For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one. And there are three that bear witness in earth, the Spirit, and the water, and the blood: and these three agree in one"
- John the Baptizer and Prophet: A Sociohistorical Study - Page 39 1597529869 Robert L. Webb - 2006 "2.3 The Authenticity of Ant. 18.116-19 The authenticity of Josephus' narrative concerning John the Baptist has often been critically examined. While a few have rejected it as a Christian interpolation, most scholars have accepted it."
- Josephus: The Essential Writings - Page 265 Paul L. Maier - 1990 "scholars have long suspected a Christian interpolation, since Josephus would not have believed Jesus to be the ..."
- G. Nickelsburg, “Son of Man.“ in Anchor Bible Dictionary 6.138.
- The Enoch-Metatron Tradition - Page 82 3161485440 Andrei A. Orlov - 2005 "The same interchangeability is observable in the titles “son of man“ and “chosen one.” Here ... 88 Some scholars believe that these chapters might represent later interpolation(s) and do not '83 G. Nickelsburg, “Son of Man.“ ABD 6.138."
- The Lamb Christology of the Apocalypse of John Page 87 316148164X Loren L. Johns - 2003 " 2.2 Testament of Benjamin 3:8 The same sort of Christian interpolation is evident in Testament of Benjamin 3:8, where, according to Howard Clark Kee, "the major text traditions include a Christian interpolation."53"
- Conner, David (2017). All That's Wrong With the Bible: Contradictions, Absurdities, and More. pp. 100–103. ISBN 978-1976427091.
- "Bible Gateway passage: Mark 16:9 - New International Version". Bible Gateway. Retrieved 2020-07-03.
- "Luke 2:33 - Bible Gateway". www.biblegateway.com. Retrieved 2020-07-03.
- "Bible Gateway passage: Luke 22:43-45 - New International Version". Bible Gateway. Retrieved 2020-07-03.
- "Bible Gateway passage: John 5:4 - New International Version". Bible Gateway. Retrieved 2020-07-03.
- "Bible Gateway passage: John 7:53 - New International Version". Bible Gateway. Retrieved 2020-07-03.
- "Bible Gateway passage: Acts 8:36-37 - New International Version". Bible Gateway. Retrieved 2020-07-03.
- "Bible Gateway passage: 1 John 5:7-8 - New International Version". Bible Gateway. Retrieved 2020-07-03.
- "Bible Gateway passage: 1 John 5:7-8 - King James Version". Bible Gateway. Retrieved 2020-07-03.