Life for a scribe was hard before computers and typewriters. In this 12th century manuscript, minuscule 2220, (picture below) which resides in the Limonos Monastery in Lesbos, the scribe was copying and writing the Pericope of the Adulteress section of the gospel of John. In the first page you can see the end of John 7:52, ἴδε ὅτι προφήτης ἐκ τῆς Γαλιλαίας οὐκ ἐγήγερται – “see that there is no prophet risen out of Galilee.” Then next he wrote John 8:1, Ἰησοῦς δὲ ἐπορεύθη εἰς τὸ ὄρος τῶν Ἐλαιῶν – “But Jesus went to the Mount of Olives.”
Then, he realized that he had skipped John 7:53. And so he erased what he had written on the rest of the folio, and started the next folio with John 7:53, και απηλθεν εκαστος εις τον οικον αυτου “and each went to his own home.” (the Antoniades, Hodges and Farstad, Pickering reading.) The scribe thought, and I would agree, that starting on a new page was preferable to writing over erased text.
Now why did he skip John 7:53 in the first place? Some other MSS did also, some of them clearly because of homoioteleuton or homoioarcton. Because 7:53 is each departing to their own home, and 8:1 is Jesus departing to the Mount of Olives. Scribes skipped from επορευθη to επορευθη, or from απηλθεν to απηλθεν. In the case of GA 2220 here, he could have had more than one exemplar, and one had επορευθη and another had απηλθεν. Manuscripts 295 and 2411 also skip 7:53, 2411 from επορευθη to επορευθη.
Singular (or rather in this case, rare) readings are fun. John 8:8-9 says Jesus said “Let him who is without sin cast the first stone,” then bent down again and was writing in the earth. Then after that all the manuscripts say “when they heard Οι δε ακουσαντες. Except 992 and 20 other manuscripts, which say “when they read” what he wrote.
These are the activities of David Robert Palmer in October 2023:
I am updating, and adding more manuscripts to my chart of the manuscript readings for the Pericope Adulterae, in the style of Swanson. Then the plan is to add it to my 2nd edition of the Gospel of John. In addition to soon publishing a Second Edition of my eclectic-text based Gospel of John, I am composing a Robinson-Pierpont edition, which will also include the PA chart. You can download the PA chart by itself still, at this link: https://bibletranslation.ws/trans/pachart.pdf
On the side I am casually making a harmony of five translations of the Book of Enoch, blending the translations of Richard Laurence, R.H. Charles, M. Knibb, George Schodde, and Matthew Black, plus consulting two Greek manuscripts myself. If you like you can download that file now, and keep checking back for updates: https://bibletranslation.ws/down/enoch.pdf