Calfskin TBS TR released

JH

Puritan Board Freshman
Best to snag these if you even wouldn't need one immediately, the last run they did was out for quite some time. Having seen one in person, because of a congregant that has one, they're pretty nice
 

John Yap

Puritan Board Sophomore
Best to snag these if you even wouldn't need one immediately, the last run they did was out for quite some time. Having seen one in person, because of a congregant that has one, they're pretty nice
Thankful TBS lists down how many are in stock so I can procrastinate my purchase in peace.
 

NM_Presby

Puritan Board Freshman
In case it's of any interest to you all, I did buy this and received it in the mail today and it is an improvement on the blue hardback edition in several respects beyond just the cover material. The paper is the thinner Bible paper (a more pleasing texture in my opinion, and still plenty thick for durability), the margin space is slightly more usable with the more flexible binding, the type is significantly sharper (and seems to be in a nicer font). Also, the verse numbers are actually in the text rather than in the margins (not a major difference, but I like it this way). Of course the calfskin is really nice too. All in all, I'd say it's very worthwhile, particularly if you plan to get a lot of mileage out of it.
 

Logan

Puritan Board Senior
The original preface to Scriviner's TR is quite interesting. I've dug into more of his work recently as he was a devoted student of the KJV and it's been helpful in these threads. I thought I would include this, as it doesn't seem like this TBS edition includes the preparer's preface: https://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id=hvd.hwt6pn&view=1up&seq=5

Thanks for the link, it's always helpful to look at the sources and I'd never actually read this one before. Scrivener was a textual critic, and a very careful and good one in my estimation. But he was no TR man and wrote some extensive analysis of the of the readings found in the TR. But while working on the Revised Version, the editors wanted to enumerate the places where the Revised Version differed from the KJV in its underlying Greek. Only...they didn't have the underlying Greek of the KJV exactly. It seemed to follow Beza's 1598 (latest printed Greek edition at the time of the translation) but not completely. So Scrivener re-constructed the Greek text of the KJV and found that it followed Beza's 1598 in almost all places, Stephanus' 1550 in some, and some it followed no printed text (possibly privately owned manuscripts of the translators) and some it seemed to follow the Latin, for which Beza found the closest approximation in some Greek manuscript. Once Scrivener had the "base Greek text" of the KJV, he could then compare it to the Greek text underlying the Revised Version, which was the entire purpose of publication.

I have always found it to be a bit dishonest to reprint the "TR" half without any mention whatsoever of where it came to be, i.e., without Scrivener's preface or a preface that talks about what Scrivener was doing. It's like saying "look! We have the Textus Receptus and amazingly, it exactly matches our English Bible (KJV), so we have perfect unity of standards!" But it was artificially constructed to be that way. If we want to use it as "the standard" then that's fine, I think it's close enough, but please be honest about where it came from.

That said, this is a beautiful edition and it's as good a standard as any other edition. I'd buy it if I knew Greek!
 

NM_Presby

Puritan Board Freshman
I have always found it to be a bit dishonest to reprint the "TR" half without any mention whatsoever of where it came to be, i.e., without Scrivener's preface or a preface that talks about what Scrivener was doing. It's like saying "look! We have the Textus Receptus and amazingly, it exactly matches our English Bible (KJV), so we have perfect unity of standards!" But it was artificially constructed to be that way. If we want to use it as "the standard" then that's fine, I think it's close enough, but please be honest about where it came from.
That's an interesting point you guys make. In the TBS preface they do briefly mention that their edition is a compilation of earlier editions put together by Scrivener, and in my entry into the TR position, I was never given the impression that it was anything else, so it has never seemed to me that any deception is happening. But perhaps that is not the case for all who embrace the TR.
 

Jake

Puritan Board Senior
Thanks for the link, it's always helpful to look at the sources and I'd never actually read this one before. Scrivener was a textual critic, and a very careful and good one in my estimation. But he was no TR man and wrote some extensive analysis of the of the readings found in the TR. But while working on the Revised Version, the editors wanted to enumerate the places where the Revised Version differed from the KJV in its underlying Greek. Only...they didn't have the underlying Greek of the KJV exactly. It seemed to follow Beza's 1598 (latest printed Greek edition at the time of the translation) but not completely. So Scrivener re-constructed the Greek text of the KJV and found that it followed Beza's 1598 in almost all places, Stephanus' 1550 in some, and some it followed no printed text (possibly privately owned manuscripts of the translators) and some it seemed to follow the Latin, for which Beza found the closest approximation in some Greek manuscript. Once Scrivener had the "base Greek text" of the KJV, he could then compare it to the Greek text underlying the Revised Version, which was the entire purpose of publication.

I have always found it to be a bit dishonest to reprint the "TR" half without any mention whatsoever of where it came to be, i.e., without Scrivener's preface or a preface that talks about what Scrivener was doing. It's like saying "look! We have the Textus Receptus and amazingly, it exactly matches our English Bible (KJV), so we have perfect unity of standards!" But it was artificially constructed to be that way. If we want to use it as "the standard" then that's fine, I think it's close enough, but please be honest about where it came from.

That said, this is a beautiful edition and it's as good a standard as any other edition. I'd buy it if I knew Greek!
Interesting. I'll read your thread and look more into this. When I found this preface and some other works of Scrivener I knew something was "up."

I did notice that Wikipedia says Scrivener takes the Majority Text position, which may be a bit simplistic. However, I was surprised that Scrivener's TR is the one TBS so readily publishes and recommends when they also start their critique of the NKJV by critiquing its general editor Dr Farstad because he believes MT is the best text and not the TR, despite the NKJV being based on the TR (well, Scrivener's TR).
 

NM_Presby

Puritan Board Freshman
I did notice that Wikipedia says Scrivener takes the Majority Text position, which may be a bit simplistic. However, I was surprised that Scrivener's TR is the one TBS so readily publishes and recommends when they also start their critique of the NKJV by critiquing its general editor Dr Farstad because he believes MT is the best text and not the TR, despite the NKJV being based on the TR (well, Scrivener's TR).
I have always felt that TBS's strong repudiation of the NKJV has felt a bit forced and inconsistent. If we could just be a bit more relaxed and open, I think it would go a long way to commending the TR position to many, or at least soothing some of the tension it raises.
 

JimmyH

Puritan Board Senior
Thanks for the link, it's always helpful to look at the sources and I'd never actually read this one before. Scrivener was a textual critic, and a very careful and good one in my estimation. But he was no TR man and wrote some extensive analysis of the of the readings found in the TR. But while working on the Revised Version, the editors wanted to enumerate the places where the Revised Version differed from the KJV in its underlying Greek. Only...they didn't have the underlying Greek of the KJV exactly. It seemed to follow Beza's 1598 (latest printed Greek edition at the time of the translation) but not completely. So Scrivener re-constructed the Greek text of the KJV and found that it followed Beza's 1598 in almost all places, Stephanus' 1550 in some, and some it followed no printed text (possibly privately owned manuscripts of the translators) and some it seemed to follow the Latin, for which Beza found the closest approximation in some Greek manuscript. Once Scrivener had the "base Greek text" of the KJV, he could then compare it to the Greek text underlying the Revised Version, which was the entire purpose of publication.

I have always found it to be a bit dishonest to reprint the "TR" half without any mention whatsoever of where it came to be, i.e., without Scrivener's preface or a preface that talks about what Scrivener was doing. It's like saying "look! We have the Textus Receptus and amazingly, it exactly matches our English Bible (KJV), so we have perfect unity of standards!" But it was artificially constructed to be that way. If we want to use it as "the standard" then that's fine, I think it's close enough, but please be honest about where it came from.

That said, this is a beautiful edition and it's as good a standard as any other edition. I'd buy it if I knew Greek!
Thanks for posting this Logan. I have the previous TBS calfskin edition with the verse #s in the margin. I don't really 'know' Greek, but I've been self studying it for quite some time and can read some with helps.

Anyway .... James R. White, in one of his you tube videos of a few years ago now, mentions Scrivener's TR and says that "he back translated it from the KJV." I was curious about this assertion ever since I first heard him say it, and never brought the question into any of these TR threads until now.

So that explains his purpose in compiling the text as he did. Glad to know that. Somehow I think White should have put that info out there along with his criticism. The impression he gave, at least to me, is that Scrivener was being dishonest in some way.
 

Imputatio

Puritan Board Freshman
It blew me away when I first learned what Scrivener was actually trying to accomplish and why, and then comparing that to how some TR folk paint the picture. Another nail in the Confessional Bibliology coffin.

As an aside, I think it’s clear that Erasmus, Stephanus, Beza, the KJV translators, and Scrivener would all fundamentally disagree with the Confessional Bibliology position.

Back to the thread—sounds like a nice edition!
 

Jie-Huli

Puritan Board Freshman
Just to avoid any (no doubt unintentional) insinuation that TBS bases its defence and promotion of the Textus Receptus on misunderstandings (or, worse, misrepresentations) of the textual tradition and the role/status of Scrivener's edition - especially to casual readers of this thread - that is not the case. The article at the below link, including a discussion of the minor variations in the manuscripts underlying the Textus Receptus, and of how Scrivener put together his edition, is enough to show this:

https://www.tbsbibles.org/page/ReceivedText?&hhsearchterms="textus+and+receptus"

The purpose for which Scrivener put his edition together, while of interest, is not really material to the main issue. His task was to work out the underlying Greek text that the King James translators c.250 years before had decided on in putting together their translation, and that was his work product. He was not, of course, "back translating" from the King James English, but rather working through the extant Greek manuscripts in the TR tradition (which the King James translators also had) to work out in detail which readings (in the small number of places where there were minor differences in the TR manuscripts) the translators had viewed as being the correct readings forming the authentic received text. TBS publishes his edition because it is the best one that pulls this together in one place. And irrespective of Scrivener's private views, it is perfectly sound to regard this edition as essentially representing what the King James translators 250 years before had judged (in their scholarship and ecclesiastical authority) to be the authentic Greek text, as close as we could get to the translators having themselves published the agreed received text of the Greek at the same time as publishing the Authorised Version.

I do not mean to start a debate about any of this (which is not the purpose of this thread), but merely to provide a fuller picture of TBS's position (not that I speak on its behalf, but just as a supporter). The TR position is based on multiple grounds, and there are a lot of resources out there for people to weigh the arguments.
 

PointyHaired Calvinist

Puritan Board Sophomore
I have always felt that TBS's strong repudiation of the NKJV has felt a bit forced and inconsistent. If we could just be a bit more relaxed and open, I think it would go a long way to commending the TR position to many, or at least soothing some of the tension it raises.
This is why I can’t call TBS anything but a KJVO organization. No, they aren’t opposed to other language translations of the TR (neither was Ruckman, Waite, Cloud, or anyone I know of but maybe Sam Gipp), and they aren’t Ruckmanites, but when you find reasons to hate on all other English translations of the TR, and find NO problems with the KJV, you’re not just TRO anymore.
 

Jie-Huli

Puritan Board Freshman
This is why I can’t call TBS anything but a KJVO organization. No, they aren’t opposed to other language translations of the TR (neither was Ruckman, Waite, Cloud, or anyone I know of but maybe Sam Gipp), and they aren’t Ruckmanites, but when you find reasons to hate on all other English translations of the TR, and find NO problems with the KJV, you’re not just TRO anymore.

As always, it comes down to what one means by “KJV only”, but given the wide divergence in views of those to whom this label is applied, and in particular the negative associations with movements that bear no resemblance to TBS’s position, it certainly seems to me an unfair moniker. TBS does not claim perfection for the KJV (it has recognised minor issues such as the apparently inadvertent use of “Easter” in Acts), nor does it spiritually condemn those who use other versions. It simply maintains that the Authorised Version is the best translation of the Hebrew Masoreric text and Greek Textus Receptus (which it maintains to be the best underlying texts) in existence, which has been the shared heritage of the English-speaking reformed church for generations and cannot be replaced without further fragmenting the church, and promotes its continued use on those grounds. This brief article notes some of the practical issues with “updates” to the KJV:

https://www.tbsbibles.org/page/FiveQuestionsAbouttheAV

Again, I do not wish to start a debate about the points made in the linked article, my only point here is that I think to label TBS as KJV only stretches the term beyond any useful meaning.
 

Logan

Puritan Board Senior
Just to avoid any (no doubt unintentional) insinuation that TBS bases its defence and promotion of the Textus Receptus on misunderstandings (or, worse, misrepresentations) of the textual tradition and the role/status of Scrivener's edition - especially to casual readers of this thread - that is not the case. The article at the below link, including a discussion of the minor variations in the manuscripts underlying the Textus Receptus, and of how Scrivener put together his edition, is enough to show this:

https://www.tbsbibles.org/page/ReceivedText?&hhsearchterms="textus+and+receptus"
You're concerned for the casual readers of this thread, which I think is entirely appropriate. I'm concerned for the casual readers of TBS, or who purchase the Scrivener TR without digging for a paragraph or two at the end of an article 99% will never come across (I see you had to search for it). To those who are unfamiliar with the history, it gives the impression that this is the received text that everybody in all ages has accepted. And this simply isn't true, even if there are only 190 differences or so from Beza's 1598 (is that the standard?). It seems like it's perfectly willing to let people be under the impression that this is "the TR".

The purpose for which Scrivener put his edition together, while of interest, is not really material to the main issue. His task was to work out the underlying Greek text that the King James translators c.250 years before had decided on in putting together their translation, and that was his work product. He was not, of course, "back translating" from the King James English, but rather working through the extant Greek manuscripts in the TR tradition (which the King James translators also had) to work out in detail which readings (in the small number of places where there were minor differences in the TR manuscripts) the translators had viewed as being the correct readings forming the authentic received text. TBS publishes his edition because it is the best one that pulls this together in one place. And irrespective of Scrivener's private views, it is perfectly sound to regard this edition as essentially representing what the King James translators 250 years before had judged (in their scholarship and ecclesiastical authority) to be the authentic Greek text, as close as we could get to the translators having themselves published the agreed received text of the Greek at the same time as publishing the Authorised Version.

Right, I don't want to start a debate on this either but allow me a few comments if you will. First, I think that if one is going to use "the TR" then one might as well use Scrivener: it's readily available, it closely approximates past texts, and if you use the KJV, it has the (artificially constructed) bonus of matching the KJV. I do not overstate the differences and would not use the term "backtranslated" as White does.

However, the issue I see, and why Scrivener is sometimes brought up, is that the "confessional bibliology" position stresses that "kept pure" means that the framers believed they had the pure text (I agree with that but as I've noted in other threads, it needs to be taken with additional information: they didn't stop there and had a more nuanced view).

The "confessional bibliology" side then uses this as a weapon against anyone who doesn't side with the TR, because after all, they are using a text which wasn't in use by the church, which the Framers didn't have.

Yet by using Scrivener, they too are using a text which wasn't in use by the church until the late 1800s, and which the Framers didn't have (because it wasn't published until the late 1800s)! Keep in mind that Scrivener also noted readings which were found in no Greek text, but which exactly matched the Latin. Is that acceptable to the "confessional bibliology" side which claims to have the pure Greek?
1. If the defense is that it was in the KJV, well, that isn't what the Confession means when it talks about the purity of the Hebrew and Greek.
2. If the defense is that the differences are minor, well, why does the quantity matter when one takes the position on principle rather than statistics? What is the limit of acceptable differences? 200? 300? 1000? Whatever was done in the past is fine but 0 allowed today?
3. If the position is that those readings were available in some text, somewhere, then why isn't that allowed anymore?
4. One has to accept that the KJV translators were doing textual criticism, and therefore that the Scrivener edition is a textual critical edition. The evidence is that the KJV translators used printed copies as a base text (which the whole committee could conveniently use and which was uniform), but incorporated readings from whatever sources they judged reliable, or even from the Latin. Why is this acceptable then, but denied to any translator today?

This especially applies to those who argue for jot and tittle in the TR. Did the church only have access to these texts in the KJV? I've seen some say that it's okay to have differences, but they only acknowledge differences in the various printed editions of "the TR". Why that restriction? Since no two printed editions match completely, which one has all the jots and tittles?

And keep in mind that there are 190 differences from Beza's 1598, and others from each of the other "TR" editions. Is the 1598 the standard that we count differences from? Is the body of printed Greek texts before the 1700s the standard, somehow, of which Scrivener's is the best compilation? Why is it the best compilation? Because that's what the KJV translators appear to have decided on? So then is the KJV the standard of the Greek text (some have said yes!!)?

This is why when the confessional bibliology side says "you shouldn't use those Greek texts, they weren't what was available to the Framers of the WCF who believed they had every jot and tittle", yet then turns around and uses Scrivener's text, it seems weird. Because the Framers didn't have Scrivener's text, however minor the differences, and they certainly weren't pointing at their copies of the KJV as the standard.

And that's why Scrivener's text is brought up. It strikes many as a weird inconsistency to say on the one hand that we have to stick with texts that the Framers had, with some even claiming that they had every jot and tittle, and on the other to use an edition which does not match what they had, and was artificially constructed for the first time in the late 1800s. Like I said, if one is going to use "the TR" then Scrivener's is about as good as any. It just seems weird when that particular edition is defended...
 

alexandermsmith

Puritan Board Junior
I do not mean to start a debate about any of this (which is not the purpose of this thread), but merely to provide a fuller picture of TBS's position (not that I speak on its behalf, but just as a supporter). The TR position is based on multiple grounds, and there are a lot of resources out there for people to weigh the arguments.

Thank you for your very informative post. And indeed whilst this is not the purpose of this thread some people can't help themselves and must criticise and seek to undermine the KJV whenever the opportunity arises (and create such opportunities when they do not). Yet I am told there is not a constant criticism of the KJV on this forum...
 

Logan

Puritan Board Senior
Then why do so? Why proceed at length to, yet again, try to undermine our trust in the KJV?
Brother Alexander, what did I say that would undermine trust in the KJV? That certainly was not the intent. I've never been opposed to the KJV. I've never tried to undermine someone's faith it it. I'm comfortable using it as a faithful translation. Don't confuse criticism of bad arguments with criticism of the KJV.

I also held my tongue for 10 days after this was posted so it's not like I'm always trying to attack anybody. I have no quibble with using Scrivener's TR or appreciating a fine new edition. But once the subject of Scrivener's purpose in developing it had been brought up, I thought it helpful to include some general remarks. If we can't have an open dialogue without assuming ill-intent, then I don't know that we can have dialogue at all.
 

danekristjan

Puritan Board Freshman
Then why do so? Why proceed at length to, yet again, try to undermine our trust in the KJV?
I don't think the recital of facts that we too often refuse to acknowledge undermine our confidence in the TR. Seems like a radical overreaction to take his post as in anyway undermining anyones confidence in the KJV. Shouldn't our confidence be in the Word of God anyway, not just the KJV? If facts cause us to panic, maybe that says more about our ideology concerning the CB position than it does about the TR or the KJV.

The fact of the matter is that John Owen never saw a scrivener text in his life, yet we too often Use his words as though he were speaking of the scrivener. He had Beza, Stephanus, Or an Elzevir, or maybe all of them. But he certainly had nothing like a Scrivener.
 

J.L. Allen

Puritan Board Sophomore
Can the moderators please jump in? It would be really nice to see this thread not descend into the same vitriol as the other recent TR/KJV threads.
 

Imputatio

Puritan Board Freshman
Vitriol, as in “very cruel and bitter comments or criticism?”

See Dane’s post above as a remedy to seeing that.
 

NaphtaliPress

Administrator
Staff member
Moderating. The moderators are aware of these threads and are following them and see no reason to have to close them. But let this serve as a reminder to follow board and scripture rules on demeanor in our postings.
 

NM_Presby

Puritan Board Freshman
You're concerned for the casual readers of this thread, which I think is entirely appropriate. I'm concerned for the casual readers of TBS, or who purchase the Scrivener TR without digging for a paragraph or two at the end of an article 99% will never come across (I see you had to search for it). To those who are unfamiliar with the history, it gives the impression that this is the received text that everybody in all ages has accepted. And this simply isn't true, even if there are only 190 differences or so from Beza's 1598 (is that the standard?). It seems like it's perfectly willing to let people be under the impression that this is "the TR".



Right, I don't want to start a debate on this either but allow me a few comments if you will. First, I think that if one is going to use "the TR" then one might as well use Scrivener: it's readily available, it closely approximates past texts, and if you use the KJV, it has the (artificially constructed) bonus of matching the KJV. I do not overstate the differences and would not use the term "backtranslated" as White does.

However, the issue I see, and why Scrivener is sometimes brought up, is that the "confessional bibliology" position stresses that "kept pure" means that the framers believed they had the pure text (I agree with that but as I've noted in other threads, it needs to be taken with additional information: they didn't stop there and had a more nuanced view).

The "confessional bibliology" side then uses this as a weapon against anyone who doesn't side with the TR, because after all, they are using a text which wasn't in use by the church, which the Framers didn't have.

Yet by using Scrivener, they too are using a text which wasn't in use by the church until the late 1800s, and which the Framers didn't have (because it wasn't published until the late 1800s)! Keep in mind that Scrivener also noted readings which were found in no Greek text, but which exactly matched the Latin. Is that acceptable to the "confessional bibliology" side which claims to have the pure Greek?
1. If the defense is that it was in the KJV, well, that isn't what the Confession means when it talks about the purity of the Hebrew and Greek.
2. If the defense is that the differences are minor, well, why does the quantity matter when one takes the position on principle rather than statistics? What is the limit of acceptable differences? 200? 300? 1000? Whatever was done in the past is fine but 0 allowed today?
3. If the position is that those readings were available in some text, somewhere, then why isn't that allowed anymore?
4. One has to accept that the KJV translators were doing textual criticism, and therefore that the Scrivener edition is a textual critical edition. The evidence is that the KJV translators used printed copies as a base text (which the whole committee could conveniently use and which was uniform), but incorporated readings from whatever sources they judged reliable, or even from the Latin. Why is this acceptable then, but denied to any translator today?

This especially applies to those who argue for jot and tittle in the TR. Did the church only have access to these texts in the KJV? I've seen some say that it's okay to have differences, but they only acknowledge differences in the various printed editions of "the TR". Why that restriction? Since no two printed editions match completely, which one has all the jots and tittles?

And keep in mind that there are 190 differences from Beza's 1598, and others from each of the other "TR" editions. Is the 1598 the standard that we count differences from? Is the body of printed Greek texts before the 1700s the standard, somehow, of which Scrivener's is the best compilation? Why is it the best compilation? Because that's what the KJV translators appear to have decided on? So then is the KJV the standard of the Greek text (some have said yes!!)?

This is why when the confessional bibliology side says "you shouldn't use those Greek texts, they weren't what was available to the Framers of the WCF who believed they had every jot and tittle", yet then turns around and uses Scrivener's text, it seems weird. Because the Framers didn't have Scrivener's text, however minor the differences, and they certainly weren't pointing at their copies of the KJV as the standard.

And that's why Scrivener's text is brought up. It strikes many as a weird inconsistency to say on the one hand that we have to stick with texts that the Framers had, with some even claiming that they had every jot and tittle, and on the other to use an edition which does not match what they had, and was artificially constructed for the first time in the late 1800s. Like I said, if one is going to use "the TR" then Scrivener's is about as good as any. It just seems weird when that particular edition is defended...
I think your points here are why I have come to the conclusion that the TR position is more about a canonical shape of the text rather than literally having no variants to decide between (I may be somewhat idiosyncratic among Reformed TR guys, though I believe Robert Truelove has advocated something along these lines?). I may even want to distance myself slightly from the "jots and tittles" language. There's a clear textual form that became the consensus among Protestants and the various editions are so similar as to be functionally the same. Therefore while the Scrivener edition technically did not exist at the time, for all intents and purposes it is the same text and can comfortably be used as "the TR".
 

danekristjan

Puritan Board Freshman
I think your points here are why I have come to the conclusion that the TR position is more about a canonical shape of the text rather than literally having no variants to decide between (I may be somewhat idiosyncratic among Reformed TR guys, though I believe Robert Truelove has advocated something along these lines?). I may even want to distance myself slightly from the "jots and tittles" language. There's a clear textual form that became the consensus among Protestants and the various editions are so similar as to be functionally the same. Therefore while the Scrivener edition technically did not exist at the time, for all intents and purposes it is the same text and can comfortably be used as "the TR".
Exactly. I think if you pick up any of the reformation era "TR's" you have the "jots and tittles". Although Scrivener doesn't fit that time period, his text represents a hybrid form of those texts based on the KJV translators' choices from those texts.
 
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