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Translations and Manuscripts discuss Do textual variants give us confidence? in the The Scriptures forums; "Through his study of the writings of Jerome and other Church Fathers Erasmus became very well informed concerning the variant readings of the New Testament ...

  1. #41
    KMK's Avatar
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    "Through his study of the writings of Jerome and other Church Fathers
    Erasmus became very well informed concerning the variant readings of the
    New Testament text. Indeed almost all the important variant readings known
    to scholars today were already known to Erasmus more than 460 years ago and
    discussed in the notes (previously prepared) which he placed after the text
    in his editions of the Greek New Testament. Here, for example, Erasmus
    dealt with such problem passages as the conclusion of the Lord's Prayer
    (Matt. 6:13), the interview of the rich young man with Jesus (Matt. 19:17-
    22), the ending of Mark (Mark 16:9-20), the angelic song (Luke 2:14), the
    angel, agony, and bloody seat omitted (Luke 22:43-44), the woman taken in
    adultery (John 7:53-8:11), and the mystery of godliness (I Tim. 3:16)."
    <Hills, pp. 198-199.>
    Apparently, Erasmus and the Reformation era translators did not share the view that variant readings give us confidence in the organic inspiration of the scriptures.

    Mr. Rafalsky, to be fair, are you aware of any scholarly works that refute the assertions of Cloud, Letis, Hills, Burgon etc? Or are they simply ignored? And if so, what reason do modern text critics give for their silence?


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    Hi Ken,

    You said,

    Quote Originally Posted by KMK View Post
    Apparently, Erasmus and the Reformation era translators did not share the view that variant readings give us confidence in the organic inspiration of the scriptures.

    Mr. Rafalsky, to be fair, are you aware of any scholarly works that refute the assertions of Cloud, Letis, Hills, Burgon etc? Or are they simply ignored? And if so, what reason do modern text critics give for their silence?
    You are correct in your first paragraph above, nor did I espouse that view, it was only Bryan Chapell in your OP, and which has been the topic here. To my thinking such a view is an anomaly.

    Actually Erasmus did personally accept some variants, but deferred to the "common readings" of the church (and not the RC) in his Greek editions.

    And yes, there are those who attempt to refute the men you mention in your 2nd &#182;.

    I realize it is a laborious task, reading the arguments of one school, then the other, then comparing and weighing them. I was actually — it was around 1981 or 82 — about to spend my hard-earned $ on an NASB and separate like concordance, when I first heard the argument for the AV, so I held off and considered it. I already had a quality RSV & concordance (& other Bibles — along with my KJV), but I appreciated the arguments for the AV, and eventually held to it.

    There is a remark attributed to Erasmus, "When I have a little money I buy books, and if there is anything left over I buy food, and clothing." That's how I conducted myself. Where some people save and buy homes, or cars, or guns, clothing, etc etc, I bought books. I said to myself, after Machen's saying, "I will not be held under 'the tyranny of experts'." There are so many apostate "expert" teachers, Greek and Hebrew scholars, even theologians! I was determined to have the scholarly resources and lexical tools to study and learn of things for myself.

    I know that the view I espouse is in the minority today (it certainly was not in the Reformation and post-Reformation periods), but I am convinced of the position I hold. I continue to study the arguments of those who oppose me, 1st, so as to be ready for them, and 2nd, to be better able to interact intelligently with them, hopefully giving more light than heat. I am currently studying Dr. James White's arguments on the textual situation. I have even learned — and had to change some views — from opponents.

    I may not have convinced you of the superiority of the TR 1894 / AV, but I am willing to share the information I have gathered and which I believe is in accord with the truth. A lot is at stake in this textual business. Language is my forte, and I see the decline in confidence in the language of the Bible — the very words of it — a distancing of the heart & mind from the heart and mind of God. The diminishing of this confidence is a slow, gradual process, like the growing of a great tree. There are trends that develop over the course of generations, over decades and even centuries. It is said that in the present is the seed — or embryo — of the future. The variants you brought up in your OP are like a cancer in the minds of many, even today. It was the variants Rome used as a weapon to try to subvert the Reformation, and its doctrines built on Sola Scriptura against the doctrine of "Sola Rome". And weapons they are! Arrows designed to foment doubt, and instill distrust. Such are deadly.

    "A man is only as good as his word," the saying goes. It is patently obvious the sure word of God is not that "good" anymore in the views of many. What we get by on, our grandchildren may not be able to rely on. "Has He really spoken," they may say, "and even if He has, have His words been preserved down to our day? The experts tell us the Scripture text is uncertain, we have a general idea of what they are, and perhaps we can muster up a general faith in them."

    I have been asked to visit a Jordanian couple (Eastern Orthodox) a woman from church knows, who are experiencing poltergeist and other satanic-type phenomena on Friday. I'd better have a sure confidence in my Lord and His word to mix in that stuff! [Prayer solicited, folks!]

    At any rate, Ken, I will be praying for the Lord to give you wisdom and discernment in these matters. Since you seem to ask close, detailed questions, perhaps the Burgon book I recommended, The Revision Revised, will be the best to start with. Few and far between are those who even attempt to refute his assertions, so meticulous is his research, evidence, and argumentation. He covers the things you show interest in.

    Steve
    Last edited by Jerusalem Blade; 08-28-2007 at 02:34 PM.
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  3. #43
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    Thank you, Mr. Rafalsky. And I was not doubting or disagreeing with you. I was just curious as to the reaction of the opposition. Since critics in favor of the CT are in the majority, maybe they do not feel the need to refute the arguments of Burgon, Hills, Letis etc. Or maybe they are just speechless.


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    Which mss did the pastors of the church through the ages use for their preaching, teaching and counseling?
    This to me is really the heart of the issue today. It is not so much between the versions themselves such as the NASB, KJV, NKJV, NIV, ESV, RSV and so on, but the heart of it comes down to as Pastors what MSS are we going to go to in our Greek studies?

    I am an NASB users and like to use the NA27 in my Greek studies. Recently though I came across some discrepancies that really bugged me between the NASB/NA27 and the TR/Majority text. Words/phrases have been dropped from the NASB without notation or cause. I understand that numerous verses had been bracketed and noted as not being in earlier MSS, but I always thought they made note on every difference between the NA27 and the TR/Majority text. That is not the case. There were over 60 plus verses with words/phrases dropped for no reason or changed without notation.

    The main question I keep coming back to is why would God allow the TR/Majority text to have been the MSS of choice for hundreds of years though bibles like the Geneva and the KJV and then in the early to mid 1900's come back and say that He wants to change things and reveal a different set of MSS that remove and change verses?

    Now I remind you that I am a huge NASB fan so this is really tough for me to consider, but when I see so many differences between the NA27 and the TR/Majority text it really begins to bother me and I have to ask what shall we do with two different MSS? Which one do we go to as the finnal authority on a verse with so many differences? Is it the MSS version that came out in the early to mid 1900s or the one that has been around for hundreds of years?

    Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated.
    Last edited by mbj0680; 08-28-2007 at 03:32 AM.
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    No thoughts, just a testimony.

    Brother, I have blindly followed modern evangelical scholarship and outright rejected the KJV. Surely White and Carson could not be wrong? It was good in it's day, let's move on. I only use it to read the Scriptures to old people in nursing homes and hospitals.

    That was then, now I am slowly doing my own research and I find myself retreating back to the old paths. Lately, I have been saying things in my sermons like, "I believe the KJV has it right and my NAS does not". I even desire to read the KJV for personal devotion and let the NAS collect dust. I am not sure what has come over me. Once a KJVO basher, now a KJV praiser coming out of the darkness.
    Paul Woods
    Reformed Baptist
    Pastor
    Lighthouse Bible Church
    Missouri

    Men could be content to have the kingdom of Heaven; but they are loathe to fight for it. They choose rather to go in a feather bed to Hell than to be carried to Heaven in a ‘fiery chariot’ of zeal and violence. Thomas Watson Heaven Taken by Storm
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  6. #46
    Ivan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mbj0680 View Post
    Which mss did the pastors of the church through the ages use for their preaching, teaching and counseling?
    This to me is really the heart of the issue today. It is not so much between the versions themselves such as the NASB, KJV, NKJV, NIV, ESV, RSV and so on, but the heart of it comes down to as Pastors what MSS are we going to go to in our Greek studies?

    I am an NASB users and like to use the NA27 in my Greek studies. Recently though I came across some discrepancies that really bugged me between the NASB/NA27 and the TR/Majority text. Words/phrases have been dropped from the NASB without notation or cause. I understand that numerous verses had been bracketed and noted as not being in earlier MSS, but I always thought they made note on every difference between the NA27 and the TR/Majority text. That is not the case. There were over 60 plus verses with words/phrases dropped for no reason or changed without notation.

    The main question I keep coming back to is why would God allow the TR/Majority text to have been the MSS of choice for hundreds of years though bibles like the Geneva and the KJV and then in the early to mid 1900's come back and say that He wants to change things and reveal a different set of MSS that remove and change verses?

    Now I remind you that I am a huge NASB fan so this is really tough for me to consider, but when I see so many differences between the NA27 and the TR/Majority text it really begins to bother me and I have to ask what shall we do with two different MSS? Which one do we go to as the finnal authority on a verse with so many differences? Is it the MSS version that came out in the early to mid 1900s or the one that has been around for hundreds of years?

    Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated.
    This is precisely what we are discussing at our church. I'd appreciate more thoughts, links or references in this matter.
    [FONT=Book Antiqua][SIZE=2][COLOR=black]Ivan Schoen ~ [/COLOR][/SIZE][/FONT][FONT=Book Antiqua][SIZE=2][COLOR=black]The Church in [/COLOR][/SIZE][/FONT][FONT=Book Antiqua][SIZE=2][COLOR=black]Poplar Grove, IL[/COLOR][/SIZE][/FONT]
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    [LEFT][SIZE=2][FONT=Book Antiqua][COLOR=black][SIZE=2][FONT=Book Antiqua][COLOR=black]"As a single footstep will not make a path on the earth, so a single thought will not make a pathway in the mind. To make a deep physical path, we walk again and again. To make a deep mental path, we must think over and over the kind of thoughts we wish to dominate our lives." ~ Henry David Thoreau[/COLOR][/FONT][/SIZE][/COLOR][/FONT][/SIZE][SIZE=2][FONT=Book Antiqua][COLOR=black][/LEFT]
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  7. #47
    armourbearer is offline. Moderator
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul G. Woods View Post
    No thoughts, just a testimony.

    Brother, I have blindly followed modern evangelical scholarship and outright rejected the KJV. Surely White and Carson could not be wrong? It was good in it's day, let's move on. I only use it to read the Scriptures to old people in nursing homes and hospitals.

    That was then, now I am slowly doing my own research and I find myself retreating back to the old paths. Lately, I have been saying things in my sermons like, "I believe the KJV has it right and my NAS does not". I even desire to read the KJV for personal devotion and let the NAS collect dust. I am not sure what has come over me. Once a KJVO basher, now a KJV praiser coming out of the darkness.
    What a testimony! God is good!
    Yours sincerely,
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  8. #48
    Pilgrim's Progeny's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ivan View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by mbj0680 View Post
    Which mss did the pastors of the church through the ages use for their preaching, teaching and counseling?
    This to me is really the heart of the issue today. It is not so much between the versions themselves such as the NASB, KJV, NKJV, NIV, ESV, RSV and so on, but the heart of it comes down to as Pastors what MSS are we going to go to in our Greek studies?

    I am an NASB users and like to use the NA27 in my Greek studies. Recently though I came across some discrepancies that really bugged me between the NASB/NA27 and the TR/Majority text. Words/phrases have been dropped from the NASB without notation or cause. I understand that numerous verses had been bracketed and noted as not being in earlier MSS, but I always thought they made note on every difference between the NA27 and the TR/Majority text. That is not the case. There were over 60 plus verses with words/phrases dropped for no reason or changed without notation.

    The main question I keep coming back to is why would God allow the TR/Majority text to have been the MSS of choice for hundreds of years though bibles like the Geneva and the KJV and then in the early to mid 1900's come back and say that He wants to change things and reveal a different set of MSS that remove and change verses?

    Now I remind you that I am a huge NASB fan so this is really tough for me to consider, but when I see so many differences between the NA27 and the TR/Majority text it really begins to bother me and I have to ask what shall we do with two different MSS? Which one do we go to as the finnal authority on a verse with so many differences? Is it the MSS version that came out in the early to mid 1900s or the one that has been around for hundreds of years?

    Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated.
    This is precisely what we are discussing at our church. I'd appreciate more thoughts, links or references in this matter.
    Ivan, this thread answers that question well IMHO. But, a thorough reading of the texts that Steve suggested would be a start. Also, one would be amiss not to ask, what did the reformers and puritans use? Therein, I believe, is your answer. What did they whom God used most mightily in recent ages past,IMO, use as there primary mss? This is where I am at.
    Paul Woods
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    Missouri

    Men could be content to have the kingdom of Heaven; but they are loathe to fight for it. They choose rather to go in a feather bed to Hell than to be carried to Heaven in a ‘fiery chariot’ of zeal and violence. Thomas Watson Heaven Taken by Storm
    From my latest read

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    Thank you, Paul.
    [FONT=Book Antiqua][SIZE=2][COLOR=black]Ivan Schoen ~ [/COLOR][/SIZE][/FONT][FONT=Book Antiqua][SIZE=2][COLOR=black]The Church in [/COLOR][/SIZE][/FONT][FONT=Book Antiqua][SIZE=2][COLOR=black]Poplar Grove, IL[/COLOR][/SIZE][/FONT]
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    Ivan,

    Look through the table of contents of this online book, Forever Settled: A Survey of the Documents and History of the Bible -- http://www.biblebelievers.net/BibleV...s/kjcforv1.htm, -- and see if there isn't info you desire, such as in ch. 11, "Examples Of The Patristic Support For The TR Readings". I have the hard copy of this as well -- my only caveat about it is he doesn't cite his references. I have many of the works he cites, but I prefer documentation.

    What was said above by Paul is right, that the texts the Reformation and post Reformation men used -- the TR editions and the Geneva, AV, etc -- are those God provided for His people. They were aware of the old Egyptian/Roman Catholic mss, and rejected them.

    Steve
    Steve Rafalsky
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    "Strengthened with all might, according to His glorious
    power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness...
    " (Colossians 1:11)

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    mbj0680 is offline. Puritanboard Freshman
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    Paul,

    No thoughts, just a testimony.

    Brother, I have blindly followed modern evangelical scholarship and outright rejected the KJV. Surely White and Carson could not be wrong? It was good in it's day, let's move on. I only use it to read the Scriptures to old people in nursing homes and hospitals.

    That was then, now I am slowly doing my own research and I find myself retreating back to the old paths. Lately, I have been saying things in my sermons like, "I believe the KJV has it right and my NAS does not". I even desire to read the KJV for personal devotion and let the NAS collect dust. I am not sure what has come over me. Once a KJVO basher, now a KJV praiser coming out of the darkness.
    Thank you for that Paul. I am right there with you. It really makes me mad because now I am beginning to question what I thought was the final word on Scripture, the once anointed NAS. I don't know about you, but when I use the KJV as my primary text I feel out of place or lost because I am so use to my NAS and where things are and how things read in Scripture.

    Another thing that is interesting to note about the NAS is that it claims to have no differences in doctrinal issues. The haunting question for me is what about the doctrine of Bibliology and the inerrancy of scripture? If you come back and add/change/remove text by claiming to have a more accurate original "earlier" MSS are you not stating that you believe that what we have in the TR/Majority Greek text is wrong and is in error and thus by default messing with the doctrine of inerrancy of scripture?


    Also, one would be amiss not to ask, what did the reformers and puritans use? Therein, I believe, is your answer. What did they whom God used most mightily in recent ages past,IMO, use as there primary mss?
    That is also a great point Paul.
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  12. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jerusalem Blade View Post
    Ivan,

    Look through the table of contents of this online book, Forever Settled: A Survey of the Documents and History of the Bible -- http://www.biblebelievers.net/BibleV...s/kjcforv1.htm, -- and see if there isn't info you desire, such as in ch. 11, "Examples Of The Patristic Support For The TR Readings". I have the hard copy of this as well -- my only caveat about it is he doesn't cite his references. I have many of the works he cites, but I prefer documentation.

    What was said above by Paul is right, that the texts the Reformation and post Reformation men used -- the TR editions and the Geneva, AV, etc -- are those God provided for His people. They were aware of the old Egyptian/Roman Catholic mss, and rejected them.

    Steve
    Thank you, Steve.
    [FONT=Book Antiqua][SIZE=2][COLOR=black]Ivan Schoen ~ [/COLOR][/SIZE][/FONT][FONT=Book Antiqua][SIZE=2][COLOR=black]The Church in [/COLOR][/SIZE][/FONT][FONT=Book Antiqua][SIZE=2][COLOR=black]Poplar Grove, IL[/COLOR][/SIZE][/FONT]
    [SIZE=2][FONT=Book Antiqua][COLOR=black]=================================[/COLOR][/FONT][/SIZE]
    [LEFT][SIZE=2][FONT=Book Antiqua][COLOR=black][SIZE=2][FONT=Book Antiqua][COLOR=black]"As a single footstep will not make a path on the earth, so a single thought will not make a pathway in the mind. To make a deep physical path, we walk again and again. To make a deep mental path, we must think over and over the kind of thoughts we wish to dominate our lives." ~ Henry David Thoreau[/COLOR][/FONT][/SIZE][/COLOR][/FONT][/SIZE][SIZE=2][FONT=Book Antiqua][COLOR=black][/LEFT]
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    mbj0680 is offline. Puritanboard Freshman
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    Steve,

    This is a good book. I may have to get it for my shelf. The auther makes a great point in relation to:

    What was said above by Paul is right, that the texts the Reformation and post Reformation men used -- the TR editions and the Geneva, AV, etc -- are those God provided for His people. They were aware of the old Egyptian/Roman Catholic mss, and rejected them.
    Check this quote out. Pretty amazing thought. It's from the bottom of page 171. That whole section is actually interesting to read on foreign language versions:


    Unquestionably, the leaders of the Reformation German, French and English were convinced that the Received Text was the genuine New Testament, not only by its own irresistible history and internal evidence, but also because it matched with the Received Text which in Waldensian form came down from the days of the apostles.
    http://www.biblebelievers.net/BibleV...rv6.htm#XXVIII
    Last edited by mbj0680; 09-05-2007 at 07:11 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by satz View Post
    For what little it is worth, I agree with you.

    I think variant texts and translations actually make the bible less authoritative. Even if they are inevitable, I think they ought not to be celebrated.

    A paper by Dennis Kenaga, a member of of Grace OPC in Lansing, MI, that deals in part with this question was recently posted at the Grace OPC website. It can be found here.Skeptical Trends in New Testament Textual Criticism
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    How can I know if what I'm reading in the Bible is part of scripture or not?
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    Quote Originally Posted by yeutter View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by satz View Post
    For what little it is worth, I agree with you.

    I think variant texts and translations actually make the bible less authoritative. Even if they are inevitable, I think they ought not to be celebrated.

    A paper by Dennis Kenaga, a member of of Grace OPC in Lansing, MI, that deals in part with this question was recently posted at the Grace OPC website. It can be found here.Skeptical Trends in New Testament Textual Criticism
    I just came across this article. It favors the Byzantine Text but of course the KJVO's won't like it because the author thinks the NKJV is an acceptable translation as well. Although I haven't had the chance to read it all yet, but overall it seems to articulate the position that I have come to. I found some excellent portions like this:


    If one text is as likely as the other to approximate the original, and the church has already held the Byzantine position for over twelve centuries, then retaining the Byzantine position is an intelligent option today. Challenging the church’s text on speculative grounds, as if the new texts were more accurate, has been an expensive historical sidetrack. It is easier to tear down than to build up.

    At first it might seem difficult to dispute with all those current experts. They will not hesitate to tell you how much they know and snow you with jargon. As Colwell says, “the more lore the scholar knows, the easier it is ... to produce a reasonable defense of or to explain almost any variant.”[39] Convincing the experts is impossible, but opposing them is actually easy to do. Just open up to almost any page of their works (TCGNT is a good example) and look at some claim based on alleged scribal habits or text history or text types and say, “That is just speculative. They do not know that. I do not believe there ever was a stable Alexandrian text type. Other experts think differently. They cannot all be right. Alexandrian textual scholars have been proven wrong before.” Try it. You will see how easy it is. The sturdy old Protestants did something like that to the priests 500 years ago.

    If Alexandrian proponents claim that their texts are better than the Byzantine ones, ask them what theological difference it makes. If they say none, then tell them the new texts do not matter much. If they tell you what theological difference it makes, remind them that the whole Alexandrian victory in the church depended on claims by its promoters that it was theologically neutral. If they are changing their storyline now, maybe it is time to revisit the orthodoxy of the scribes from the land of the gnostic gospels of Thomas and Judas. But be sure to tell them that you do not have the definitive text answer. If they like their Alexandrian Bible, peace be upon them. If they had a better case, you would seriously consider it. But since they do not, it seems intelligent to stick with the historic text. Ordinary KJV or NJKV readers can say that to the most learned expert and hold their ground.
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    And he called his ten servants, and delivered them ten pounds, and said unto them, Occupy till I come. Luke 19:13

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