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Translations and Manuscripts discuss Revelation 5:9-10 1st Person ("us") or 3rd Person ("them")? in the The Scriptures forums; ...

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    Revelation 5:9-10 1st Person ("us") or 3rd Person ("them")?

    Which reading is correct?

    “And hast made us [hemas] unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth.” (Revelation 5:10 KJV)

    “You have made them [autous] to be a kingdom and priests to our God; and they will reign upon the earth.” (Revelation 5:10 NASB)

    see Alpha and Omega blog:
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    Greetings:

    I actually preferred the Opera singer to the article by Alan Kurschner for several reasons:

    First, the TR is a text-type - just as the CT is as well - consequently it will have agreements with the "majority" as well as disagreements. This, the CT does as well within its own limited sphere of "older is better" mss.

    Second, Alan Kurschner theology seems a bit shaky. The "four and twenty elders" that sit before the throne in vs. 8 are singing. These elders are the Federal representatives of the Elect in all ages. (I think they are the 12 sons of Jacob, and the 12 apostles but that is speculation on my part.) Nevertheless, they do represent the Elect. Consequently, from a theological point of view the word "us" cannot be ruled out. Matthew Henry, by the way, interprets the passage as referring to the Church. I doubt one could argue that he was a KJonlyist.

    Third, the CT relies on many "minority" readings in its text: that to cite the handfull of differences between the TR and majority readings is rather silly. People in glass houses should not throw stones.

    Finally, "So what?" Scholars have pointed out thousands of "errors, omissions and corrections" to the "older texts" that the CT so blindly relies upon that it is rather laughable if the issue was not so serious.

    The TR may be right or it may be wrong on this passage. However, I will cower behind one of the arguments that CTOnlyists make: "Not one doctrine of the Scripture is denied."

    Blessings,

    -CH
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    Note: The author of the article is actually Alan Kurschner, not James White.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Devin View Post
    Note: The author of the article is actually Alan Kurschner, not James White.
    Thanks - I changed it.

    -CH
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    The discernment of textual matters in the Book of Revelation differs from the rest of the NT. Alan Kurschner’s remarks concerning Rev 5:9, 10 I would think are the standard view of the CT proponents, and not only the CT, but some MT (Majority Text – as in Hodges and Farstad) advocates as well. In this passage three differing textforms vie for dominance: the NU (Nestle-Aland/UBS), TR 1894, and the Byzantine / Majority Text-type. In this passage not only does the TR contend with the CT, but with the MT!

    In this discussion I will be drawing on a book I have mentioned elsewhere on PB, and which is crucial for understanding the textual issues involved when the AV / TR differs from the Majority Text, and in particular in the Book of Revelation, namely, Hodges/Farstad 'Majority' Text Refuted By Evidence (also titled When the King James Departs from the “Majority Text”), by Jack Moorman. I recommend it as having the latest and most comprehensive information on this topic – to my knowledge, as of this writing.

    It is available at The Bible For Today online bookstore (http://www.biblefortoday.org/search_result.asp), under the title, Hodges/Farstad 'Majority' Text Refuted By Evidence, and both books have the same item #: 1617, and can be purchased from them ($16). Possessing information like this is equivalent to being well-armed in combat. If your mind is not fortified with solid facts it will get blown away when someone puffs at you with seeming knowledge.

    With these two verses there is a CT component involved, but first let’s look at the MT.

    I will only touch upon some general principles of the AV – MT disparities here, as I want to get into Revelation. Hodges & Farstad (HF), as well as Robinson and Pierpont (RP), in their respective editions of the Majority Text, relied on Hermann Von Soden’s 1913 edition of a massive gathering and collation of the “majority” cursive manuscripts. Although remarkable for the enormity of information gathered, as can be seen in its apparatus, later scholars examining it have declared it “honeycombed with errors” (H.C. Hoskier; JTS, 15-1914, p. 307)

    Frederik Wisse, in his, The Profile Method for the Classification and Evaluation of Manuscript Evidence (Eerdmans, 1982), says

    Once the extent of error is seen, the word “inaccuracy” becomes a euphemism…

    …von Soden’s inaccuracies cannot be tolerated for any purpose. His apparatus is useless for a reconstruction of the text of the MSS he used. (pp. 16, 17)

    Yet, as Moorman remarks, “…Hodges and Farstad went ahead and used von Soden to reconstruct the Received Text!” (When the KJV Departs…, p. 11)

    What Moorman brings out, Von Soden's collating of the MSS was very incomplete, and relatively few of the thousands of MSS were represented. It was not in the least a depiction of how the majority of cursives read.

    The “Majority Text” of the Book of Revelation, however, is different, as it does not rely on Von Soden’s work. It relies on the more comprehensive and complete work of Herman C. Hoskier, in his two-volume, Concerning the Text of the Apocalypse: Collations of All Existing Available Greek Documents With the Standard Text of Stephen’s Third Edition, Together with the Testimony of Versions, Commentaries and Fathers. Hoskier was also the author of the two-volume devastating-to-the-Westcott/Hort (CT)-production, Codex B and its Allies: A Study and an Indictment. So why does the MT of Hodges & Farstad differ from the TR (1894) if they used the superior work of Hoskier?

    Please note that I am using Jack Moorman’s aforementioned work for my writing here.

    What Hoskier showed, basically, is that there are two groups of manuscripts exhibited in those that have the Apocalypse, the Andreas group and the 046 group. Moorman says, “Hoskier did not elevate 046 but merely cited the data.” (p. 17) Hodges and Farstad did not allot to the Andreas group all the MSS due it, and thus “the 046 group in the Majority Text edition is made to look much larger and appear dominant.” (Moorman, Ibid.)

    How this happened is through their use of the scholar Josef Schmid’s work and their misconstruing his count of the respective MSS in Andreas and 046. The places where the MT and the TR 1894 differ in Revelation – save at the very end of the book, which we have discussed elsewhere at PB – is due to this.

    Moorman proceeds with an extended discussion of various factors and issues in this matter. He remarks,

    At the outset the Bible believer will be very happy to know that [or is it “what” –SMR] Hoskier’s basic conclusion was toward the 200 plus MSS he collated for Revelation:

    I may state that if Erasmus had striven to found a text on the largest number of existing MSS in the world of one type, he could not have succeeded better, since his family-MSS occupy the front rank in point of actual numbers, the family numbering over 20 MSS besides its allies. (The John Rylands Bulletin 19-1922/23, p 118.)

    It should be noted that this exemplary MS used by Erasmus was of the Andreas group, the readings of which we find in the AV. Perhaps needless to say, we do not think it coincidence this primary manuscript fell into the hands of Erasmus. For we believe that the Lord providentially preserved His word, and the only place it makes sense to have been preserved in was the Greek Textus Receptus as discerned by Erasmus, Stephens, Beza, and the AV translators, and given to us in the AV.

    No doubt such remarks will bring the wrath of the gods down upon me, but I shall look to the Lord for help.

    ----------

    Here we have the introduction to our topic: there are two basic text groupings comprising the varying readings in Revelation – within the Majority Text camp! – as well as some CT readings. The MT groups are the 046 and the Andreas. After discussing the passage a while, I will go more into the qualities of the Andreas vis-à-vis 046.

    I would like to consider Rev 5:9 first, as the CT has a reading in it – an omission, actually – that directly bears on our discussion. Both the MT (HF & RP editions concurring) and the TR agree against the CT by having the passage read,

    tw qew hmajus to God” rather than the CT’s,

    tw qewto God”, with the word “men” being supplied by the editors, and not in the Greek.

    KJV: And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation

    NASB: And they sing a new song, saying, Worthy art thou to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou was slain, and didst purchase unto God with thy blood [men] of every tribe, and tongue, and people, and nation

    The late Dr. Bruce Metzger, in his A Textual Commentary on the Greek New Testament (1975 ed. UBS) says regarding the CT reading,

    Although the evidence for tw qew is slight (A eth), this reading best accounts for the origin of the others.

    The CT’s reading (in the 1975 edition) is given a {C} rating which indicates that in “the mind of the Committee….there is a considerable degree of doubt whether the text or the apparatus contains the superior reading” (p. xxviii). [Note Sept 9, 07: It has been pointed out to me by Mr. Kurschner that in the latest edition of 1994 the Committee decided to raise the rating to an {A}, which in their eyes "signifies that the text is certain." This verse, and its UBS "rating", will be further discussed in the forthcoming thread, "Answering Alan Kurschner of aomin".]

    So the CT’s reading is admittedly conjectural and uncertain. And yet it is pivotal in the Committee’s view of the correct reading in Rev 5:10,

    KJV: And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth.

    NASB: and madest them [to be] unto our God a kingdom and priests; and they reign upon earth.

    We are only looking at the TR’s basileusomen “we shall reign” vs. the NASB’s basileusousin “they reign” for the moment (the MT’s 046 does agree with the CT here). Metzger says of this,

    Of the three variant readings, it is obvious that basileusomen [of the TR] is a secondary development, arising from the introduction of hmaj [us] in the preceding verse…

    It is amazing how far a doubtful conjecture can be stretched! From {C} uncertainty to apparent certainty!

    The CT’s replacement of “kings” with “a kingdom” we will not bother with, as the TR and MT agree, and where they disagree is our concern now.

    And that is with “made us” – ettoihsaj hmaj – vs. “madest them” – ettoihsaj autouj – of the Andreas group of mss and the 046 group, respectively. Before comparing the merits of these two groups, let me mention that, as Moorman notes, “There is no previous mention as to who ‘them’ would be; ‘us’ refers to the 24 elders representing the church before the throne.” He says the same regarding the “they reign” we looked at previously.

    (Alan Kurschner’s remark, “…since the four living creatures are clearly celestial beings, it is absurd to argue that they have been redeemed” – hoping to obviate the “us” in the song – assumes the four beasts, besides falling down before the Lamb together with the elders, had also joined in singing the song the 24 elders sang; will one assume they were playing the harps also? I don’t think so.)

    Moorman is right, there is no prior group “they” could refer to. It is us – they sang – who have been redeemed! The 046 reading – and the 046 readings throughout Revelation – are not to be accounted genuine. One thing I like about the margin notes in the NKJV is it gives the variants and their text-types, so I can see the situation with regard to other versions.

    Hodges does admit, “…the Textus Receptus much more closely approximates Andreas than 046 – in fact, hardly resembles the latter group at all” (from “The Ecclesiatical Text of Revelation,” Bibliotheca Sacra, April 1961, p. 121).

    Hoskier says,

    We trace the origin of the B (046) group not further back than 8th or possibly 7th century. Now many many cursives are identified with this family group, whereas in the main our Textus Receptus is not, and has at any rate avoided the bulk of this revision (Apocalypse p. xxxvii)

    We cannot get much further back for the Apoc. than 200 A.D., and here we ought to come close to the ipsissima verba…[Talking of agreement in Hippolytus and Methodius in Andreas readings, Hoskier says,] This is what we mean when we say it is dangerous to tamper with the oldest readings of the TR (Ibid., p. xli).

    This may be the proper place to emphasize why the Textus Receptus of the Apocalypse is intrinsically good. Apoc. 1, on which it is founded, is an old text. See how it comes out in Hippolytus…

    It is actually possible to reconstruct a first-class text from Hipp.—47—and Textus Receptus, and a far better one than that of any of our five uncials. Why? Well, apart from a few idiosyncrasies, which the whole body of subsequent evidence rejects, Hippolytus represents as old a text as we can get. Then 47, also apart from a few distinguishing idiosyncrasies easily identified and rejected owing to lack of other support, is throughout a straightforward, careful witness. And lastly, the Textus Receptus, apart from any instinctive and intrinsic excellence, happens to prove back to the very order of words used by Hippolytus’ codex; in places where t.r. disagrees we let 47+Hipp. guide us and they nearly always lead us in the right path, namely with the consensus of general evidence.(Ibid., p. xlvii)

    Hodges and Farsted do admit, “There is no reason why the parental exemplar of the Andreas texttype could not go back well into the second century.” (The Greek New Testament According to the Majority Text, p. xxxvi) And yet, besides misconstruing Schmid’s count of Andreas mss, they were also influenced by opinions of his that prejudiced them with regard to it. Moorman does a review of both Hoskier’s and Schmid’s count of the mss for each group, and Andreas is at least equal in number or greater than 046. In places, Moorman’s work is quite technical.

    Moorman summarizes, “The great number of changes Hodges and Farsted introduced into the text of Revelation is based on their choice of the 046 MSS rather than the Andrean. Apart from the fact that the Andrean text is older, more cohesive, and has been the traditional text for the Apocalypse; the editors have greatly misrepresented the relative number of each.” (p. 125)

    So it is evident that Mr. Kirschner’s statements that the AV’s reading of “us” reflects an “inferior” text is unfounded. Regarding his “it is found in a minimum of patristic and versional witnesses”, I suppose I could list the Fathers and versions to counter this, but I have gone on quite long already! Perhaps I shall do so shortly. On another of his points, I am not pretrib, but amil, and the account in the AV does no violence at all to that.

    Those who hold to the KJV or NKJV or MKJV need not be concerned that the Lord has not kept His promise to preserve His word, and that we have it in our hands.

    On closing this I will repeat what Hoskier’s basic conclusion was toward the 200 plus MSS he collated for Revelation:

    I may state that if Erasmus had striven to found a text on the largest number of existing MSS in the world of one type, he could not have succeeded better, since his family-MSS occupy the front rank in point of actual numbers, the family numbering over 20 MSS besides its allies. (The John Rylands Bulletin 19-1922/23, p 118.)

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    Those who hold to the KJV or NKJV or MKJV need not be concerned that the Lord has not kept His promise to preserve His word, and that we have it in our hands.

    Ahhhhhhhh, thank you brother. Could you post a 'must read' list?

    Thank you, once again.

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    Hi Jason,

    I posted a suggesting reading list on another thread (see link below), of books to help someone understand -- and be able to defend -- the AV / TR-preference, as well comprehend the Byzantine-priority view, and the failure of the Westcott-Hort / CT paradigm.

    Do textual variants give us confidence?

    As regards my recommending the NKJV in a post above, it does have a few problems, but I, for one, can work with it. It is the pew Bible in my church, and I opted for that version against the ESV (which the pastor of the planting church wanted to give us).

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    " (Colossians 1:11)

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    Thank Brother Rafalsky.

    I also found this.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jerusalem Blade View Post
    The late Dr. Bruce Metzger, in his A Textual Commentary on the Greek New Testament (1975 ed. UBS) says regarding the CT reading,

    Although the evidence for tw qew is slight (A eth), this reading best accounts for the origin of the others.

    The CT’s reading is given a {C} rating which indicates that in “the mind of the Committee….there is a considerable degree of doubt whether the text or the apparatus contains the superior reading” (p. xxviii).

    So the CT’s reading is admittedly conjectural and uncertain. And yet it is pivotal in the Committee’s view of the correct reading in Rev 5:10,

    KJV: And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth.

    NASB: and madest them [to be] unto our God a kingdom and priests; and they reign upon earth.

    We are only looking at the TR’s basileusomen “we shall reign” vs. the NASB’s basileusousin “they reign” for the moment (the MT’s 046 does agree with the CT here). Metzger says of this,

    Of the three variant readings, it is obvious that basileusomen [of the TR] is a secondary development, arising from the introduction of hmaj [us] in the preceding verse…

    It is amazing how far a doubtful conjecture can be stretched! From {C} uncertainty to apparent certainty!
    Veeerrry interesting!


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    Alan Kurschner's response to your post Mr. Rafalsky. I didn't mean to get a fight started, just looking for answers to questions is all. I just can't believe Alan lead with, "If You Understand One Thing About The "King James Only" Phenomenon it is Imperative to Know This..." I don't understand why we needed this type of leading...lets flip the logic...

    ...The textual end justifies the textual means. They are motivated only in defending a modern printed text and any questions of methodology are irrelevant because they are governed by their a priori that the oldest text is the best text (only the Greek which we don't have) is without error.

    huh?

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    I see Alan Kurschner has taken issue with my previous remarks on these verses. He says,

    27 June
    If You Understand One Thing About The "King James Only" Phenomenon it is Imperative to Know This...


    ...The textual end justifies the textual means. They are motivated only in defending a modern printed text and any questions of methodology are irrelevant because they are governed by their a priori that the Textus Receptus (the Greek printed edition that lies behind the KJV) is without error. [All emphases his. –SMR]
    There sure are a lot of assumptions about what I supposedly believe in that statement! Before we talk about Rev 5:9, 10, a few more remarks. First, both Owen and Turretin – E.F. Hills and Letis concurring – allowed some minor errors in the TR, and thus in the AV. And Owen and Turretin were the architects of the Reformation doctrine of “providential preservation” (which doctrine I believe Dr. Daniel Wallace does not hold to in any respect). I suppose we King James folks “all look alike”!

    I do not hope to convert Alan Kurschner to my view, but am writing to edify those who are looking on.

    “Questions of methodology” are important to me, quite apart from my presuppositions concerning the preservation of the text. For instance – and this is a view shared by Majority or Byzantine Text (MT) defenders as well – the Hortian assumptions regarding the histories of the respective text-types do not hold water, as even some eclectic-text folks will admit. I think both Maurice Robinson and William Pierpont (R&P) in their Introduction to THE NEW TESTAMENT IN THE ORIGINAL GREEK ACCORDING TO THE BYZANTINE / MAJORITY TEXTFORM, as well as Jakob Van Bruggen in his, The Ancient Text Of the New Testament, ably critique the Critical Text (CT) assumptions. To look at me like I belong in a zoo because I hold to some of the MT premises – which devastatingly scrutinize the Critical Text theory – seems a bit odd to me. Okay, I go beyond the MT, but nonetheless stand on its foundation, as it accounts for a good part of the textual history I hold true in my own views.

    In their Introduction, R&P state,

    A sound rational approach which accounts for all the phenomena and offers a reconstruction of the history of textual transmission is all that is demanded for any text-critical hypothesis.

    Although I seek to offer such for the TR/KJV (though it is under fire from all other camps, including R&P’s!), the CT is likewise under fire, and such a withering blast it is that I do not see how one can maintain it, yet some do. No, not “some”, many – but “many” is not the determining criterion for the truth of a thing.

    In Ted Letis’ book, The Majority Text: Essays And Reviews In The Continuing Debate, after a discussion of 1 Timothy 3:16, he says,

    Some will fault me for not answering every objection of Carson’s, but it was only our intention to raise the old issue of presuppositions and to underscore the fact that this debate is not one between experts with data and non-experts with dogma, but rather one between experts with the same data, but different dogma—the dogma of neutrality versus the dogma of providence…(from the essay, “In Reply to D.A. Carson’s ‘The King James Version Debate’”, p. 204)

    Some would like to paint us as the “dummy camp of Bible-thumping ignoramuses,” but that is in the eye of the beholder, and not righteous judgment. There are scholars amongst us as well.

    Mr. Kurschner continues,

    That is why you will often notice (I will provide a perfect, recent case in point) King James Only advocates cite in their defense "modernistic" textual critics when they agree with their conclusion, and in the next breath they will anathematize the very method of those same textual critics that led them to that conclusion! And yet when those same textual critics disagree with the Textus Receptus in other areas using the same methodology, King James Only advocates will be inconsistent and disagree with their results.
    Wait a minute! Am I being told I cannot cite a critic with whom I differ whose view I think notable? But let’s get to the “case in point” to see what Mr. Kurschner is talking about.

    First another intro from him:

    …it bears repeating that to understand the King James Only phenomenon, it is imperative that you understand that the reasoning process of the hard textual and historical data is irrelevant, as long as their modern printed text of the Textus Receptus is defended. Once someone understands their fundamental presupposition, one can explain the particulars in this KJVO phenomenon, even predict their behavior at times.
    I don’t think it is irrelevant, maybe I just look like someone else who does. What is my guiding presupposition? That God has promised to preserve His word, and has done so. So I consider the data and choose what best accords with this presupposition. Yes, I know this brings a theological consideration into what some allege is strictly a scientific textual matter, but this is where, as Letis pointed out above, our dogmas differ.

    Kurschner:

    A case in point, this fideistic and inconsistent phenomenon is practiced by Steve Rafalsky in responding to a recent article I have written on a few related variants. Keeping in mind the a priori that was explained above, we will observe it in action in Rafalsky's necessary defense of the King James readings.

    fideism, a mode of philosophical or theological thought according to which knowledge depends upon a fundamental act of faith.

    [from The Standard Encyclopedia of Philosophy] “Fideism is the name given to that school of thought—to which Tertullian himself is frequently said to have subscribed—which answers that faith is in some sense independent of—if not outright adversarial toward—reason.”

    Is my presupposition concerning God’s promise to preserve His word an instance of fideism? How about my presupposition that His word is true, and thus His account of creation in Genesis is to be believed despite all supposed evolutionary "evidences" to the contrary? Is this fideism? Is it unreasonable to base my knowledge primarily upon God’s revelation through His word? At any rate, let us continue. So far I have not noted inconsistency in this Rafalsky character.

    Kurschner:

    Since two of the three readings in the King James Bible I dealt with in Revelation 5:9-10 are only supported by the minority of manuscripts, this is problematic for many King James Only advocates since they are fond of citing the "majority" argument.
    In post #5 above I briefly discuss the differences between the Majority Text and the Textus Receptus, both as regards the New Testament and the Book of Revelation, which latter involves different textual issues.

    How strange it is hearing about the “minority of manuscripts” when the reigning establishment in manuscript classification suppresses the testimony of thousands of mss. categorized as “majority” from the preconception they are of little worth! A few words on this follows. (I take this liberty to edify onlookers as that is why I am responding to Alan Kurschner’s views – I consider his opposition as presenting a “teaching moment”!) The following is from Kevin James’, The Corruption of the Word: The Failure of Modern New Testament Scholarship (distributed by Micro-Load Press, 1990, ISBN: 0962442003):

    Providential Preservation

    Because New Testament manuscripts present many wording differences, there are several theories that attempt to account for these differences. The New Testament scholarship behind modern versions says the most accurate wording is found in a small group of old (A.D. 200 to fourth century) manuscripts strongly associated with the scholarship of Egypt.

    Another theory is that the true wording of God is found when a majority of existing manuscripts agree. That is, if scholars compare 1,000 copies of the New Testament at a verse and 900 agree against 100, the 900 correctly represent the original.

    The theory that God guided the scholars responsible for the text underlying the King James to the right wording of the originals is the third theory. It pays little attention to the testimony of the oldest copies or the majority of manuscripts.

    The idea that God watched over the transmission of His word through the ages to ensure the purity of His revelation is called providential preservation. Providential preservation says that, although one copy will differ slightly from another, the differences are so minor that there will be no hindrance to the correct understanding of the text. The true text has always been available by the providence of God.

    Modern scholarship denies any role for providential preservation in determining the correct text to follow. The church lost the true text sometime around A.D. 300 (Aland, Kurt and Barbara, The Text of the New Testament, Erdmans, 1987, p. 65). However, in a small area of Egypt the original wording was preserved.

    This true text was recovered around A.D. 1881 and is found in modern versions. It opposes the agreement between the majority of existing copies and the King James in thousands of places.

    The second theory, called the Majority Text theory, states that, although the King James agrees with the wording of a majority of manuscripts most of the time, it does not always represent the true text. It would do so if revised to be in agreement with the wording of the majority of existing manuscripts for each verse. For this theory, providential preservation means that God preserved his true word in the majority wording of the manuscripts.

    The third theory uses providential preservation to support the King James when it does not follow the majority text. Regardless of the witness of the majority of manuscripts or of the modern versions, the King James preserves the true text. In other words, God guided sixteenth century scholars to the true text and it has been preserved in the King James version.

    This writer believes, based on the information complied for this book, that there is much evidence supporting providential preservation, as defined in the third theory. Therefore, the Greek text underlying the King James should be accepted as accurate until overwhelming opposing evidence appears to indicate otherwise.

    Some examples of places where a King James wording seemingly has little support are given in the following chapters. Seemingly, because, while most existing New Testament copies have been roughly categorized into “majority” or “non-majority” groupings, the exact text of thousands of existing manuscripts is unknown except in a handful of places. [Emphasis mine –SMR]

    It should be understood that it is impossible to prove which of two or more competing wording variations is the original since the originals have long since disappeared. But it is the height of folly to throw the settled received text of three and one-half centuries into the dustbin to make a revision when the exact contents of thousands of existing copies of mainstream tradition manuscripts is unknown [this last emphasis mine –SMR]. A clear picture of New Testament manuscript transmission history is also lacking. Finally, unless the vigilance of a living God is recognized, attempts at revision of the King James can easily stray from a stated target of supplying God’s people with a “better” New Testament.

    Paul said: “Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.” (1 Thessalonians 5:21.) This should be the guiding principle for the Christian church when dealing with the intricacies of the wording of the original text. (pp. viii, ix)

    For those interested in reading this now out-of-print work, he collates and studies a number of Greek manuscripts in the following chapters.

    To continue examining this phenomenon of thousands of majority text manuscripts deliberately unexamined and their testimony thus consigned to silence by the prejudice of the establishment CT critics, we turn to Frederik Wisse, in his, The Profile Method for the Classification and Evaluation of Manuscript Evidence (Eerdmans, 1982).

    The late Kurt Aland, director of the manuscript centre at Muster Germany – where about 80% of all Greek manuscripts are available on microfilm – admitted,

    …the main problem in N.T. textual criticism lies in the fact that little more than their actual existence is known of most of the manuscripts…(The Significance of the Papyrii pp. 330,1, quoted in Pickering’s The Identity of the New Testament Text)

    Jack Moorman points out (quoting from his book referred to in post #5), “However, Aland’s interest in the vast repository of MS evidence which he oversees is not what we would expect…Wisse explains:”

    Yet Aland’s interest in the miniscules is not for their own sake. He is no longer satisfied with Hort’s judgment that the discovery of important cursives is most improbable. He wants to find the few hypothetical nuggets which Hort did not think were worth the effort. Aland wants to be able to say that he has searched the miniscules exhaustively for anything of value. This search of course, presupposed that the miniscules as such are of little value…Miniscules have to pass a test before they are worthy of inclusion in a textual apparatus. All MSS which are generally Byzantine will fail (Profile Method, p. 4)

    Moorman continues, “Therefore, when we read about many more cursives being cited in the latest Nestle-Aland Greek NT; we are not to believe that a significant shift away from the Alexandrian text has taken place…Wisse singles out the central reason why textual criticism cannot afford to pass over the great mass of manuscripts:”

    In a situation where MS evidence runs into more than 5000 separate items and a time span of more than fourteen centuries, it should be questioned whether all this evidence is relevant for the establishment of the original text. It may well be that the oldest copies in existence are adequate representatives of the MS tradition so that the rest can be ignored. After all, why start more than thirteen centuries after the autographs were written and wade back through literally thousands of MSS in an immensely complicated process…To find the foundation of a building one does not first climb the roof; one starts somewhere below the ground floor.

    This argument…forms the background for all those who consider it justified to ignore all, or almost all, miniscules…

    There is basically only one argument which can circumvent the task of studying all the late miniscules…This argument is that among the early uncials there are the MSS which stand in a relatively uncorrupted tradition, and which show all other text-types of the period to be secondary and corrupted. Only if this argument can be proved, and if it is clear from some sampling that late miniscules fall predominantly in the tradition of one of the corrupted texts, can we safely omit a full study of these MSS (Profile Method, pp. 1, 2)

    Moorman continues, “When Aleph and B, the two main pillars of the critical text, display 3,000 clear differences in the Gospels (they must be weary of hearing this!); then what candidate do they propose for ‘relatively uncorrupted tradition.’?

    “They have none! Yet they continue to work at the miserable business of keeping the TR-KJV out of public sight, without giving all the witnesses a chance to speak. Hodges and Farstad reacted against this and turned to the work of Hermann von Soden for help.

    “Wisse sums it up:”

    Except in von Soden’s inaccurate and unused pages, the miniscules have never been allowed to speak (Profile Method, p. 5).

    Interesting information, no? (The above quotes from Jack Moorman's, Hodges/Farstad 'Majority' Text Refuted By Evidence, pp. 4-7.) Be sure that the opposition will come in like a flood and try to explain away all these facts. But solid facts are hard things to bury. Nonetheless, the facts we ultimately stand on are the words of God, and they shall never be buried, for He will see to it.

    Having digressed a little to give this info on the supposed “minority” readings of the KJV vis-à-vis the MT in our passage in Revelation, let me return to the fray.

    Mr. Kurschner says,

    There are two glaring blunders on Steve Rafalsky's use of Metzger.

    1) Notice that Rafalsky is citing one of the most authoritative modern textual critics! Did you see his a priori in action? That's right, he cites Metzger's conclusion, but what do you see missing? Bingo...a discussion of Metzger's methodology (reasoned eclecticism) of how he reached his findings. Why is this? Simply because Metzger's textual critical methodology is anathema to King James Only advocates. But since Metzger "C" rating of this variant casts doubt according to Rafalsky, then the "end justifies the means."

    If you cite a conclusion, then to be consistent you should support the reasoning behind the conclusion otherwise one is participating in dishonest special pleading. And in this case, Metzger is being cited merely because of his authority but Rafalsky rejects his very reasoning to reach that conclusion!
    Now really, must I discuss Metzger’s entire erroneous methodology when I simply cite his evidences for a particular reading – and that to show its inferior attestation? Shall I be bogged down in such pedantry merely because someone does not like my citing an opponent? Unless highly compelling reasons can be shown for my needing to do this, I shall ignore this advice! This accords with no view of scholarly ethics and/or protocol I am aware of, except maybe the “Get-your-opponent-to-bury-himself-in-his-own-verbiage school”!

    Now the second blunder is of some interest, partly because Kurschner is right, and I stand corrected, and partly because he is wrong, on which I shall elaborate shortly. He says,

    2) This second blunder is another example that the end justifies the means for King James Only advocates. He cites from the dated 1971 1st edition and conveniently does not mention that there is a 1994 updated second edition! Why is this? Why the silence on the UBS's committee's revaluation on this particular variant? We are not told. Possibly because the Revelation 5:9 variant has a "A" reading! Which means, "The letter {A} signifies that the text is certain" (emphasis mine, p. 14*)

    Now, it is very hard to believe that Rafalsky is not aware of the second edition. Apart from a Greek apparatus, Bruce Metzger's second edition of his Textual Commentary is the most popular and commonly used resource in learning about New Testament variants. And maybe he does not think that his readers are aware of this or they will not double-check his facts. But this is consistent with the a priori. As long as the printed Textus Receptus is defended, the means is irrelevant, even using selectivity and citing their textual foes' conclusions for support of the Textus Receptus, it is justified.

    Finally, any serious student of textual criticism knows that when you are evaluating a variant, you don't pull off Metzger's text from the bookshelf and flip open to the variant under question to see the "rating" and thus use it as an argument as Rafalsky does in this case. That is simply naive because the responsible critic examines arguments, reasoning, and data. And so if Rafalsky disagrees with the "A" rating, then that is fine, but he needs to give meaningful reasoning for a method to reach a conclusion. But again, this is not observable for KJVO advocates because textual principles and methodology do not exist for them.
    To deal with one thing at a time. First, the edition of Metzger’s A Textual Commentary on the Greek New Testament is the “Corrected Edition, 1975” and not the 1971. Second, I stand corrected, as I was not aware of a 1994 revised edition, much less that the rating was changed. Okay, so I will accept the rating for that variant is now {A} i.e., certain according to the committee. Third; Alan, is it a light thing to you to impugn the integrity of a minister in Christ’s church, assuming that an error made in ignorance was “conveniently” done to obscure facts, taking advantage of readers unfamiliar with the works cited, and thus an example of my outright dishonesty, and that “it is very hard to believe” was otherwise? Whatever happened to the concept “judgment of charity,” where we do not assume the worst of motives in a Christian brother (especially an officer in the service of the kingdom)? Please, to assume that I would stoop so low as to cheat and deceive, and that in a public discussion, is unworthy of you as a brother of Christ, notwithstanding the fervency of your opposition to the Authorized Version and those who love it. You know what is said of knowledge without love.

    Being stuck here in the Middle East, and on a fixed retirement income (which is growing smaller!), and without the wonderful Christian bookstores where I may browse even if broke, and the Interlibrary Loan Systems so plentiful in the states, you may confidently believe I do not have access to – nor have been aware of – Metzger’s 1994 edition, if my word before the Savior is of any worth to you. My being out of the academic loop for financial and geographical reasons has its liabilities.

    Lastly, Alan says,

    In conclusion, there are a couple of more errors that Rafalsky uses that I will take up another time, such as avoiding meaningful discussion on points I raised on the minority of support for the KJV readings in verse 10. Further, his attempt to explain how Revelation should be used in textual criticism is flawed; and omitting any germane discussion about how the same scribal habits are at play in the book of Revelation as they are with any other book, codex, manuscript. And this latter absence is relevant to our target variants in vv.9-10 since there was a tendency of scribes to clarify (change and add), rather than the other way around by obfuscating the text.
    I think there has been “meaningful discussion” concerning the so-called “minority of support” for the AV readings in verse 10, as given above. Concerning the “scribal habits” exhibiting “a tendency…to clarify (change and add), rather than the other way around by obfuscating the text”, to apply this to verses 9 and 10 is sheer conjecture on his part, the using of Dr. Hort’s fallacious critical method to justify his supposition.

    I hope I will not be taken to task for using a citation of the Drs. Aland, as Mr. Kurschner seems not to like my use of scholars I do not agree with, unless I interact with the intricacies of their views. I think it is understood by many on this board – from the discussions we have had – that the Alands and Metzger are (were) the premier Critical Text scholars, using an eclectic approach nonetheless based a great deal on the 1881 Greek Text of Westcott and Hort. Here on this board, assuming that many of those who visit it have been following the discussions for a while (and posting links to previous discussions for those who haven’t), it does not seem needful to me to “interact” with these critics every time I write.

    Concerning something Alan addressed to CalvinandHodges, and his perhaps too hasty response (for he has ably interacted with the textual data on other occasions), and that is “He [CH] must be consistent and say that Jesus died for the four celestial angels since they are singing about their redemption if he takes a KJV rendering.”

    Philip Mauro says, “It should be carefully noted that in this passage the four living creatures join with the elders in the song of redemption, and expressly include themselves among the redeemed.” (Things Which Must Soon Come To Pass, p. 151) Alan says it is absurd that they should do this, but I see no compelling reason to give up the rendering of the AV. Because there is a difficult reading, the sense of which eludes us, does not mean we should opt for a reading because it is easier.

    Alan says it is eisegesis for CH to say the 24 elders represent the elect of all ages, but Hendriksen says the same, “…and upon these thrones twenty-four elders, probably representing the entire Church of the old and the new dispensation. Think of the twelve patriarchs and the twelve apostles.” (More Than Conquerors, p. 85).

    When I receive the expected castigation from Mr. Kurschner, keep in mind, dear reader, the various points I have made regarding the alleged “minority” of the (suppressed) readings, the woeful mindset of rigid thinking me and my ilk have been accused of (to see if it seems true to you), and consider if I have not portrayed a reasonable defense for the AV view over the CT and MT views (brief and sketchy though it has been).

    Sometimes painters who paint with a broad brush make a mess when they work on delicate objects.

    Steve
    Last edited by Jerusalem Blade; 07-01-2007 at 07:11 AM.
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    All I can say is I thank God for you brother Steve.
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    Although I seek to offer such for the TR/KJV (though it is under fire from all other camps, including R&P’s!), the CT is likewise under fire, and such a withering blast it is that I do not see how one can maintain it, yet some do.
    In many ways, the CT advocates have become exactly what they accuse KJV advocates to be.

    It should be understood that it is impossible to prove which of two or more competing wording variations is the original since the originals have long since disappeared. But it is the height of folly to throw the settled received text of three and one-half centuries into the dustbin to make a revision when the exact contents of thousands of existing copies of mainstream manuscript tradition manuscripts is unknown...and...Moorman continues, “When Aleph and B, the two main pillars of the critical text, display 3,000 clear differences in the Gospels (they must be weary of hearing this!); then what candidate do they propose for ‘relatively uncorrupted tradition.’?
    Equals: Folly indeed


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    Alan Kurschner,

    I understand you will be responding to my latest, and would you please give a link to this thread so all may see my remarks past -- and to come -- in their context? The links to your articles have been posted here.

    Thanks,

    Steve
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jerusalem Blade View Post
    Alan Kurschner,

    I understand you will be responding to my latest, and would you please give a link to this thread so all may see my remarks past -- and to come -- in their context? The links to your articles have been posted here.

    Thanks,

    Steve
    I would agree. A bit of fairness.
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    Alan Kurschner,

    It is going on a couple of months now and you still haven't answered my response to your last remarks. I do thank you for pointing out to me I have been remiss in not having the latest edition of Metzger's Commentary on the NT text (nor did I have the USB 4th Ed.) I have since obtained them. Though I do hope you do not persist in asserting I was disingenuous in saying I was unaware of the former. That would be the same sort of tactic some of Dr. White's adversaries in the RC camp unfairly employ to discredit his character. Or some of his opponents in the KJVO camp. We must beware lest we become like those who fight against us by ungodly means!

    In any event, I am looking forward to your response. And your posting a link to my responses would be appreciated, so it may be seen by all what transpires between us. We post your links here.

    Thanks,

    Steve
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jerusalem Blade View Post
    Alan Kurschner,

    It is going on a couple of months now and you still haven't answered my response to your last remarks. I do thank you for pointing out to me I have been remiss in not having the latest edition of Metzger's Commentary on the NT text (nor did I have the USB 4th Ed.) I have since obtained them. Though I do hope you do not persist in asserting I was disingenuous in saying I was unaware of the former. That would be the same sort of tactic some of Dr. White's adversaries in the RC camp unfairly employ to discredit his character. Or some of his opponents in the KJVO camp. We must beware lest we become like those who fight against us by ungodly means!

    In any event, I am looking forward to your response. And your posting a link to my responses would be appreciated, so it may be seen by all what transpires between us. We post your links here.

    Thanks,

    Steve
    Do we know that Alan Kurschner checks this thread on the PB? He may need to be contacted. I'm not sure if someone sent him a cut and paste of brother Steve's post or if he actually visits here.

    Anticipating . . .
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jerusalem Blade View Post
    On closing this I will repeat what Hoskier’s basic conclusion was toward the 200 plus MSS he collated for Revelation:

    I may state that if Erasmus had striven to found a text on the largest number of existing MSS in the world of one type, he could not have succeeded better, since his family-MSS occupy the front rank in point of actual numbers, the family numbering over 20 MSS besides its allies. (The John Rylands Bulletin 19-1922/23, p 118.)

    Steve
    Thankyou Steve for your usual attention to detail.
    Yours sincerely,
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  20. #20
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    Greetings:

    I just noticed that he tried to answer my post as well. He wrote:

    Um...the TR and CT are not "text-types"...they are Greek editions. Text-types would be the "Byzantine," "Alexandrian," "Western" and "Cesarean."
    I should remind myself that I should not write posts late at night. I should have placed the word "represents" in my post so that it reads:

    First, the TR represents a text-type - just as the CT represents one as well - consequently it will have agreements with the "majority" as well as disagreements. This, the CT does as well within its own limited sphere of "older is better" mss.
    I think the context would have pulled this out, but it was my bad. I thank Mr. Kurschner for pointing this out to me. The point that I was trying to make is that the TR contains many different readings from mainly the Byzantine "text-type." Consequently, you will find different readings (majority and minority) within this text-type. The same can be found for the CT as well - except it's "text-type" follows a more limited number of mss, i.e. "older."

    Next, he points out:

    CH avoids dealing with the textual data since he turns the discussion toward the theology of the text---rather than what my article was about: textual considerations. But a few remarks nevertheless,
    i. My theology is determined by what the text says, not what I want it to say.
    ii. Nowhere does it say that the elders represent the elect of all ages. That is called eisegesis.
    iii. He must be consistent and say that Jesus died for the four celestial angels since they are singing about their redemption if he takes a KJV rendering.
    iv. As far as the identification of the twenty-four elders, that is the wrong question, since they are already identified: They are twenty-four elders of a special celestial order that suggests some leadership.
    v. And given the last point, maybe we should be more interested in the focal point of the text: The slain Lamb, Christ. He continues,
    That I avoid dealing with the textual data is rather a harsh thing to say. Does Mr. Kurschner mean to imply that we should not take the theological implications of a textual change into consideration? I think that even Bruce Metzger would disagree with him on that point. I will answer him point by point:

    i: That is nice, but what happens when there are two different texts involved - like what we are discussing here? In hermeneutics there is a concept called the "grammatical-historical-theological" approach. I would suggest that something similar applies here as well.

    ii: Eldership presupposes representation of some kind. There are 28 beings (24 Elders and 4 beasts) yet the text says they represent, "every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation." Are we to suppose that there are only 28 different nations in the world? I think the last count in the UN was 150 or so, and that is only in modern times.

    iii: If the four beasts are representing "something" (probably redeemed nature and gentiles) then it does not necessarily follow that they themselves need redemption. Jesus represents us before the Father, but Jesus Himself needed no redemption. That angels cannot stand before God without some kind of mediatory or intercessory work (they cover their faces with their wings) implies some kind of mediation between them and God.

    iv: The elders "suggest some leadership" but a leader is a representative of his people. Yet, Mr. Kurschner says that representation is not in the text? Hmmm.

    v: I was not the one who brought up the "they/us" problem.

    Next, he writes:

    "Third, the CT [Critical Text] relies on many "minority" readings in its text."
    No, the CT does not "rely" on mere numbers since numbers of manuscripts is a naive way of doing textual criticism. The CT relies on the earliest, the best, and geographically widespread manuscripts. We don't rely on very late Greek manuscripts, and in some cases as in the KJV more than a thousand years later (e.g. KJV reading of 1John 5:7-8).
    "The earliest, the best, and geographically widespread manuscripts" is rather vague. How does one define "the best" for example? If a book written by James White had over 8,000 different kinds of errors in it - would anyone read it? (even if I had a "first edition" or "ancient" copy of it?) Does "the best" include sloppily copied mss? Or, "geographically widespread" means what?

    Considering geography lends one to reject the "older" mss. All of the autographs were written either in or for churches that spread from Israel, through Asia minor (Corinith, Galatia, Ephesus, Phillipi, Thessalonica, etc) to Rome. Consequently, it would be these predominately "Byzantine" churches that would be able to recognize true copies of the autographs. Thus, we would expect a larger number of copies to be produced from the autographs then from areas where the autographs were not to be found - such as Alexandria and Sinai.

    Well, anyway, I thank Mr. Kurschner for his response to my post.

    Blessings,

    Rob
    Last edited by CalvinandHodges; 08-21-2007 at 03:18 AM. Reason: typos
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