This KJVO article has ruined the ESV for me :-(

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Philip

Puritan Board Graduate
As to Bahnsen and Van Til, Derrida and Nietzsche? Really? Your confused as to where presuppositional apologetics came from and are confusing Van Til with Barth. Presuppositional Apologetics originated in scripture, not in the vain philosophies of autonomous reasoning.

Two things here Chris:

a) Presuppositional apologetics is not the view of the reformers at all. They were common-sense realists of the pre-modern variety (think Thomas Aquinas with a more robust view of the fall).

b) The methods of presuppositionalism are exactly those of Kant and Nietzsche. The vocabulary of Van Tillian apologetics is lifted from 19th century continental philosophy. This is, I realize, a side note, but it shows that plenty of Christian apologists and theologians (who we respect and admire) have drawn on the insights and methods of non-believers. Augustine drew on Plato: Calvin drew on Cicero.

Canon cannot be settled without the text being settled since the canon is made up of the text.

Ok, so what was the text when canon was decided in the Early Church? What evidence do you have for this proposition? The problem is here that you're always asking a historical question and therefore the methods of historical-textual analysis are those which we use to determine it.

And as stated earlier, since modern textual criticism is a rejection of the Reformed view of Bibliology

And I disagree with this. You haven't shown how it is necessarily such---you lump methods together with motivations as if you can't use certain methods of analysis without an agenda of discrediting the Scriptures. This is just silly. I can use a vote to try and elect a Godly man or I can use it to vote in an ungodly man. I can use a rifle to defend myself against an evildoer or I can use it to murder. I can use transcendental argumentation to argue for the faith or to destroy the faith of others. And I can use modern textual-critical methods to help contend for the authority of Scripture, or I can use them to undermine it. There is nothing inherently bad about the methods of textual criticism---what's bad is using them wrongly.

Following your view, gnostic corruptions to the text of scripture are ok if Christians worked on those same texts whether they removed the gnostic corruptions or not.

Not at all---the question here is how we determine which version is the corrupted one (and I'm still waiting for your reasoning as to why you wouldn't accept the Peshitta despite the fact that it has been in continuous use since the early Church).

By the way, which edition of the TR are you defending?
 

Jerusalem Blade

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
It is asked, “What makes some think the Byzantine Text – from which the Textus Receptus came, after certain refinements – is a better text than the Alexandrian, of Egypt?” In the OP JimmyH wants to know why the ESV completely omits words and phrases while the other modern versions at least have them in the footnotes and margins. I suppose one would simply have to say that is the result of editorial fiat. The more pertinent question would be, “How does it come to be that the Critical Greek Text (on which these modern versions are based) have so many omissions, while the Byzantine Text does not have them?” What are the differences between the Byz and the CT in terms of their pedigrees, so to speak?

These are good questions, and I would briefly like to begin answering by quoting from chapter 5 in Wilbur N. Pickering’s, The Identity of the New Testament Text, where he talks about the history and factors involved concerning the copies made from the autographs. Please note that this later version of the book (the online version) is slightly different from the earlier hardcopy book:


We have objective historical evidence in support of the following propositions:


  • The true text was never "lost".


  • In A.D. 200 the exact original wording of the several books could still be verified and attested.


  • There was therefore no need to practice textual criticism and any such effort would be spurious.


However, presumably some areas would be in a better position to protect and transmit the true text than others.


[SIZE=+1]Who Was Best Qualified?[/SIZE]

What factors would be important for guaranteeing, or at least facilitating, a faithful transmission of the text of the N.T. writings? I submit that there are four controlling factors: access to the Autographs, proficiency in the source language, the strength of the Church and an appropriate attitude toward the Text.

Access to the Autographs

This criterion probably applied for less than a hundred years (the Autographs were presumably worn to a frazzle in that space of time) but it is highly significant to a proper understanding of the history of the transmission of the Text. Already by the year 100 there must have been many copies of the various books (some more than others) while it was certainly still possible to check a copy against the original, should a question arise. The point is that there was a swelling stream of faithfully executed copies emanating from the holders of the Autographs to the rest of the Christian world. In those early years the producers of copies would know that the true wording could be verified, which would discourage them from taking liberties with the text.

However, distance would presumably be a factor—for someone in north Africa to consult the Autograph of Ephesians would be an expensive proposition, in both time and money. I believe we may reasonably conclude that in general the quality of copies would be highest in the area surrounding the Autograph and would gradually deteriorate as the distance increased. Important geographical barriers would accentuate the tendency.

So who held the Autographs? Speaking in terms of regions, Asia Minor may be safely said to have had twelve (John, Galatians, Ephesians, Colossians, 1 and 2 Timothy, Philemon, 1 Peter, 1 and 2 and 3 John, and Revelation), Greece may be safely said to have had six (1 and 2 Corinthians, Philippians, 1 and 2 Thessalonians, and Titus in Crete), Rome may be safely said to have had two (Mark and Romans)—as to the rest, Luke, Acts, and 2 Peter were probably held by either Asia Minor or Rome; Matthew and James by either Asia Minor or Palestine; Hebrews by Rome or Palestine; while it is hard to state even a probability for Jude it was quite possibly held by Asia Minor. Taking Asia Minor and Greece together, the Aegean area held the Autographs of at least eighteen (two-thirds of the total) and possibly as many as twenty-four of the twenty-seven New Testament books; Rome held at least two and possibly up to seven; Palestine may have held up to three (but in A.D. 70 they would have been sent away for safe keeping, quite possibly to Antioch); Alexandria (Egypt) held none. The Aegean region clearly had the best start, and Alexandria the worst—the text in Egypt could only be second hand, at best. On the face of it, we may reasonably assume that in the earliest period of the transmission of the N.T. Text the most reliable copies would be circulating in the region that held the Autographs. Recalling the discussion of Tertullian above, I believe we may reasonably extend this conclusion to A.D. 200 and beyond. So, in the year 200 someone looking for the best text of the N.T. would presumably go to the Aegean area; certainly not to Egypt.

Proficiency in the source language

As a linguist (PhD) and one who has dabbled in the Bible translation process for some years, I affirm that a 'perfect' translation is impossible. (Indeed, a tolerably reasonable approximation is often difficult enough to achieve.) It follows that any divine solicitude for the precise form of the NT Text would have to be mediated through the language of the Autographs—Greek. Evidently ancient Versions (Syriac, Latin, Coptic) may cast a clear vote with reference to major variants, but precision is possible only in Greek (in the case of the N.T.). That by way of background, but our main concern here is with the copyists.

To copy a text by hand in a language you do not understand is a tedious exercise—it is almost impossible to produce a perfect copy (try it and see!). You virtually have to copy letter by letter and constantly check your place. (It is even more difficult if there is no space between words and no punctuation, as was the case with the N.T. Text in the early centuries.) But if you cannot understand the text it is very difficult to remain alert. Consider the case of P66. This papyrus manuscript is perhaps the oldest (c. 200) extant N.T. manuscript of any size (it contains most of John). It is one of the worst copies we have. It has an average of roughly two mistakes per verse—many being obvious mistakes, stupid mistakes, nonsensical mistakes. From the pattern of mistakes it is clear that the scribe copied syllable by syllable. I have no qualms in affirming that the person who produced P66 did not know Greek. Had he understood the text he would not have made the number and sort of mistakes that he did.

Now consider the problem from God's point of view. To whom should He entrust the primary responsibility for the faithful transmission of the N.T. Text? If the Holy Spirit is going to take an active part in the process, where should He concentrate His efforts? Presumably fluent speakers of Greek would have the inside track, and areas where Greek would continue in active use would be preferred. For a faithful transmission to occur the copyists had to be proficient in Greek, and over the long haul. So where was Greek predominant? Evidently in Greece and Asia Minor; Greek is the mother tongue of Greece to this day (having changed considerably during the intervening centuries, as any living language must). The dominance of Greek in the Aegean area was guaranteed by the Byzantine Empire for many centuries; in fact, until the invention of printing. Constantinople fell to the Ottoman Turks in 1453; the Gutenberg Bible (Latin) was printed just three years later, while the first printed Greek New Testament appeared in 1516. (For those who believe in Providence, I would suggest that here we have a powerful case in point.)

How about Egypt? The use of Greek in Egypt was already declining by the beginning of the Christian era. Bruce Metzger observes that the Hellenized section of the population in Egypt "was only a fraction in comparison with the number of native inhabitants who used only the Egyptian languages."[21] By the third century the decline was evidently well advanced. I have already argued that the copyist who did P66 (c. 200) did not know Greek. Now consider the case of P75 (c. 220). E.C. Colwell analyzed P75 and found about 145 itacisms plus 257 other singular readings, 25% of which are nonsensical. From the pattern of mistakes it is clear that the copyist who did P75 copied letter by letter![22] This means that he did not know Greek—when transcribing in a language you know you copy phrase by phrase, or at least word by word. K. Aland argues that before 200 the tide had begun to turn against the use of Greek in the areas that spoke Latin, Syriac or Coptic, and fifty years later the changeover to the local languages was well advanced.[23]

Again the Aegean Area is far and away the best qualified to transmit the Text with confidence and integrity. Note that even if Egypt had started out with a good text, already by the end of the 2nd century its competence to transmit the text was steadily deteriorating. In fact the early papyri (they come from Egypt) are demonstrably inferior in quality, taken individually, as well as exhibiting rather different types of text (they disagree among themselves).

The strength of the Church

This question is relevant to our discussion for two reasons. First, the law of supply and demand operates in the Church as well as elsewhere. Where there are many congregations and believers there will be an increased demand for copies of the Scriptures. Second, a strong, well established church will normally have a confident, experienced leadership—just the sort that would take an interest in the quality of their Scriptures and also be able to do something about it. So in what areas was the early Church strongest?

Although the Church evidently began in Jerusalem, the early persecutions and apostolic activity caused it to spread. The main line of advance seems to have been north into Asia Minor and west into Europe. If the selection of churches to receive the glorified Christ's "letters" (Rev. 2 and 3) is any guide, the center of gravity of the Church seems to have shifted from Palestine to Asia Minor by the end of the first century. (The destruction of Jerusalem by Rome's armies in A.D. 70 would presumably be a contributing factor.) Kurt Aland agrees with Adolf Harnack that "about 180 the greatest concentration of churches was in Asia Minor and along the Aegean coast of Greece." He continues: "The overall impression is that the concentration of Christianity was in the East. . . . Even around A.D. 325 the scene was still largely unchanged. Asia Minor continued to be the heartland of the Church."[24] "The heartland of the Church"—so who else would be in a better position to certify the correct text of the New Testament?

What about Egypt? C.H. Roberts, in a scholarly treatment of the Christian literary papyri of the first three centuries, seems to favor the conclusion that the Alexandrian church was weak and insignificant to the Greek Christian world in the second century.[25] Aland states: "Egypt was distinguished from other provinces of the Church, so far as we can judge, by the early dominance of gnosticism."[26] He further informs us that "at the close of the 2nd century" the Egyptian church was "dominantly gnostic" and then goes on to say: "The copies existing in the gnostic communities could not be used, because they were under suspicion of being corrupt."[27] Now this is all very instructive—what Aland is telling us, in other words, is that up to A.D. 200 the textual tradition in Egypt could not be trusted. Aland's assessment here is most probably correct. Notice what Bruce Metzger says about the early church in Egypt:

Among the Christian documents which during the second century either originated in Egypt or circulated there among both the orthodox and the Gnostics are numerous apocryphal gospels, acts, epistles, and apocalypses. . . . There are also fragments of exegetical and dogmatic works composed by Alexandrian Christians, chiefly Gnostics, during the second century. . . . In fact, to judge by the comments made by Clement of Alexandria, almost every deviant Christian sect was represented in Egypt during the second century; Clement mentions the Valentinians, the Basilidians, the Marcionites, the Peratae, the Encratites, the Docetists, the Haimetites, the Cainites, the Ophites, the Simonians, and the Eutychites. What proportion of Christians in Egypt during the second century were orthodox is not known.[28]​

It is almost enough to make one wonder whether Isaiah 30:1-3 might not be a prophecy about N.T. textual criticism!

But we need to pause to reflect on the implications of Aland's statements. He is a champion of the Egyptian ("Alexandrian") text-type, and yet he himself informs us that up to A.D. 200 the textual tradition in Egypt could not be trusted and that by 200 the use of Greek had virtually died out there. So on what basis can he argue that the Egyptian text subsequently became the best? Aland also states that in the 2nd century, 3rd century, and into the 4th century Asia Minor continued to be "the heartland of the Church." This means that the superior qualifications of the Aegean area to protect, transmit and attest the N.T. Text carry over into the 4th century! It happens that Hort, Metzger and Aland (along with many others) have linked the "Byzantine" text-type to Lucian of Antioch, who died in 311. Now really, wouldn't a text produced by a leader in "the heartland of the Church" be better than whatever evolved in Egypt?

Attitude toward the Text

Where careful work is required, the attitude of those to whom the task is entrusted is of the essence. Are they aware? Do they agree? If they do not understand the nature of the task, the quality will probably do down. If they understand but do not agree, they might even resort to sabotage—a damaging eventuality. In the case of the N.T. books we may begin with the question: "Why would copies be made?"

We have seen that the faithful recognized the authority of the N.T. writings from the start, so the making of copies would have begun at once. The authors clearly intended their writings to be circulated, and the quality of the writings was so obvious that the word would get around and each assembly would want a copy. That Clement and Barnabas quote and allude to a variety of N.T. books by the turn of the 1st century makes clear that copies were in circulation. A Pauline corpus was known to Peter before A.D. 70. Polycarp (XIII) c. 115, in answer to a request from the Philippian church, sent a collection of Ignatius' letters to them, possibly within five years after Ignatius wrote them. Evidently it was normal procedure to make copies and collections (of worthy writings) so each assembly could have a set. Ignatius referred to the free travel and exchange between the churches and Justin to the weekly practice of reading the Scriptures in the assemblies (they had to have copies).

A second question would be: "What was the attitude of the copyists toward their work?" We already have the essence of the answer. Being followers of Christ, and believing that they were dealing with Scripture, to a basic honesty would be added reverence in their handling of the Text, from the start. And to these would be added vigilance, since the Apostles had repeatedly and emphatically warned them against false teachers. As the years went by, assuming that the faithful were persons of at least average integrity and intelligence, they would produce careful copies of the manuscripts they had received from the previous generation, persons whom they trusted, being assured that they were transmitting the true text. There would be accidental copying mistakes in their work, but no deliberate changes. It is important to note that the earliest Christians did not need to be textual critics. Starting out with what they knew to be the pure text, they had only to be reasonably honest and careful. I submit that we have good reason for understanding that they were especially watchful and careful—this especially in the early decades.

As time went on regional attitudes developed, not to mention regional politics. The rise of the so-called "school of Antioch" is a relevant consideration. Beginning with Theophilus, a bishop of Antioch who died around 185, the Antiochians began insisting upon the literal interpretation of Scripture. The point is that a literalist is obliged to be concerned about the precise wording of the text since his interpretation or exegesis hinges upon it.

It is reasonable to assume that this "literalist" mentality would have influenced the churches of Asia Minor and Greece and encouraged them in the careful and faithful transmission of the pure text that they had received. For example, the 1,000 MSS of the Syriac Peshitta are unparalleled for their consistency. (By way of contrast, the 8,000 MSS of the Latin Vulgate are remarkable for their extensive discrepancies, and in this they follow the example of the Old Latin MSS.) It is not unreasonable to suppose that the Antiochian antipathy toward the Alexandrian allegorical interpretation of Scripture would rather indispose them to view with favor any competing forms of the text coming out of Egypt. Similarly the Quarto-deciman controversy with Rome would scarcely enhance the appeal of any innovations coming from the West.

To the extent that the roots of the allegorical approach that flourished in Alexandria during the third century were already present, they would also be a negative factor. Since Philo of Alexandria was at the height of his influence when the first Christians arrived there, it may be that his allegorical interpretation of the O.T. began to rub off on the young church already in the first century. Since an allegorist is going to impose his own ideas on the text anyway, he would presumably have fewer inhibitions about altering it—precise wording would not be a high priority.

The school of literary criticism that existed at Alexandria would also be a negative factor, if it influenced the Church at all, and W.R. Farmer argues that it did. "But there is ample evidence that by the time of Eusebius the Alexandrian text-critical practices were being followed in at least some of the scriptoria where New Testament manuscripts were being produced. Exactly when Alexandrian text-critical principles were first used . . . is not known."[29] He goes on to suggest that the Christian school founded in Alexandria by Pantaenus, around 180, was bound to be influenced by the scholars of the great library of that city. The point is, the principles used in attempting to "restore" the works of Homer would not be appropriate for the NT writings when appeal to the Autographs, or exact copies made from them, was still possible.

Conclusion

What answer do the "four controlling factors" give to our question? The four speak with united voice: "The Aegean area was the best qualified to protect, transmit and attest the true text of the N.T. writings." This was true in the 2nd century; it was true in the 3rd century; it continued to be true in the 4th century. And now we are ready to answer the question, "Was the transmission normal?", and to attempt to trace the history of the text.

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Notes

[21]Metzger, Early Versions, p. 104.
[22]Colwell, "Scribal Habits," pp. 374-76, 380.
[23]K. and B. Aland, The Text of the New Testament (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1981), pp. 52-53.
[24]Ibid., p. 53.
[25]Roberts, pp. 42-43, 54-58.
[26]K. and B. Aland, p. 59.
[27]K. Aland, "The Text of the Church?", Trinity Journal, 1987, 8NS:138.
[28]Metzger, Early Versions, p. 101.
[29]W.R. Farmer, The Last Twelve Verses of Mark (Cambridge: University Press, 1974), pp. 14-15. He cites B.H. Streeter, The Four Gospels, 1924, pp. 111, 122-23.​

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I post this fairly lengthy section of Pickering’s to give an idea of the text-critical hypothesis he gives to account for the existence of the Byzantine text, and also to put in perspective the phenomenon of the Alexandrian textform. Dr. Maurice Robinson, in his Introduction to his edition of the Byzantine Text, said,

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. (From the Introduction to The New Testament in the Original Greek according to the Byzantine/Majority Textform, by Maurice Robinson and William Pierpont.)

The history of those manuscripts which are the foundation of the Critical Text, Codices Aleph and B, have quite different pedigrees. To be continued.
 

CalvinandHodges

Puritan Board Junior
Hi:

That Origen sought to interpret Scripture from his own philosophy was proven by Steven above. My intention is to show the actual verses in which Origen admits to actually doing this. Here it goes:

Origen On First Principles, book 4, (All quotes of Origen are from the Ante-Nicene Fathers, Hendrickson, 1994, volume 4 - unless otherwise noted):

Rejects Zechariah 9:10; Isaiah 7:15, 11:6-7 not from Textual issues, but because they contradict his eschatology, (pg. 356).

He rejects Exodus 16:9, "...for no living being is able to sit throughout a whole day, and remain without moving from the sitting position". The correct reading being: "stay where he is" rather than "sit".

In his second Homily on Exodus Origen finds a problem with Exodus 1:21 which reads in his Bible: "Because the midwives feared God, they made houses for themselves." This leads him to comment: "This statement makes no sense according to the letter. For what is the relationship that the text should say, "Because the midwives feared God, they made houses for themselves."? It is as if a house is built because God is feared. If this be taken as it stands written, not only does it appear to lack logic, but also to be inane. But if you should see how the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments, teaching the fear of God, make the houses of the Church and fill the whole earth with houses of prayer, then what is written will appear to have been written rationally." (Origen, "Homilies on Genesis and Exodus," trans. Ronald E. Heine, The Fathers of the Church, Vol. 71. [Washington, D.C.: Catholic University of America Press, 1981], 242-243).

The solution to this can be found when one translates the Greek word oikias correctly in this context as "families" instead of "houses". The verse then reads: "And because the midwives feared God, he gave them families of their own." The figurative use of this term can be found throughout the Book of Acts.

Origen rejects Matthew 5:29 & 39 in On First Principles 4.1.18 because they seem to him impossible. There he writes that the command that the right cheek should be struck is most incredible, because every one who strikes (unless he happens to have some bodily defect) strikes the left cheek with his right hand, (pg. 367).

In his Commentary on Romans(2.9) Origen rejects the Mosaic command of circumcision (Lev. 12:3): "Now the law of nature can be in harmony with the law of Moses according to the spirit, not according to the letter. For what natural sense is there in, for example, the command to circumcise a child on the eighth day." (Expositor's Bible Commentary, Vol. 2. (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1990), 573-574).

Origen's text critical approach was based on his preconceived views of what he thought of as rational. The above is a sampling of the nature of his thought. He discarded readings in the Scriptures simply because they contradicted his own philosophy.

Blessings,

Rob
 

CalvinandHodges

Puritan Board Junior
Hi:

An itch that I need scratching concerning issues brought up on previous posts. I believe that the Word of God is so powerful that if Led Zepplin quoted Scripture in their songs that people would be converted to Christianity. I myself was converted in an evening service at a Baptist church with a copy of Ryrie's Study Bible (I think RSV or NRSV) in my lap. With this in mind I need to scratch my itch.

Even though modern translations like the ESV, NIV and NASB use inferior Greek texts, and the NIV (TNIV) also uses an inferior translation method, I agree in principle with what Steve Rafalsky has written above. However, and this is a big caveat, it seems to me that if someone is emotionally committed to a translation - even if that translation is the KJV or NKJV - to such an extent that criticism of the translation causes one to walk away from the faith, then it seems to me that there is some kind of idolatry, immaturity, or unbelief involved with such a person. (The determination of which is on a case by case basis). I think this is one of the major problems with the King James Only group. They are so emotionally committed to the KJV that they feel their "god" is being attacked when the translation is criticized. There is an idolatry there that does not seem to be healthy. I also think that the Critical Text group has a similar mentality, but are far more polite in their presentations.

My own personal belief is that the Byzantine mss - even those mss available to Erasmus and the Reformers back in the 1500's - contain the infallible copies of the infallible Autographs. Not that any one copy is infallible or inerrant, but that where there is a mistake in one manuscript it is corrected by a comparison with the others. Thus, like Burgon and Scriverner before me, I can admit errors in the Textus Receptus as long as those errors can be substantiated in the extant Byzantine mss.

"Where there is confusion there is every evil work." Satan is always trying to divide the people of God. I have been in churches where people sitting to my left and right are reading different versions. I have also been to churches where the pew Bibles have changed over time from the KJV to the NIV to the ESV. One of the legitimate complaints about the KJV is that the language is outdated, and the syntax hard to follow. However, there are two remedies for this 1) when a passage seems unclear one can ask his/her pastor about it, and, 2) following in the KJV tradition there are modern updates of the text (NKJV). Quite frankly I think that a new and fresh translation needs to be made using only the Masoretic text and the Textus Receptus (and do away with the modern philosophy). But given the Zeitgeist of modern textual criticism I find such an endeavor highly problematic as there will always be the temptation to use the "older" (Alexandrian) mss.

So, as long as people remain emotionally committed to a translation, then my itch remains. One can be converted and live a godly life reading one of the inferior translations and/or Greek texts, but to be emotionally committed to something that is inferior to such an extent that one will leave the Church over it, does not strike a right chord in my soul.

Blessings,

Rob
 

Galatians220

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
However, and this is a big caveat, it seems to me that if someone is emotionally committed to a
translation - even if that translation is the KJV or NKJV - to such an extent that criticism of the translation causes one to walk away from the faith, then it seems to me that there is some kind of idolatry, immaturity, or unbelief involved with such a person.

Rob, I can't see anyone ever walking away from the faith because of criticism of a particular translation. To the contrary, I've been tossed from a church because I merely privately requested that the KJV not be further ridiculed from the pulpit. I would have stayed, but they used a CT version and they didn't want me as a member anymore. It was fine, though, and I retained my friends there. You can have a faith-based commitment to the KJV or the 1599 Geneva as better than other versions, but an "emotional commitment" that would cause a person to act like a nut or a child, or reasonably to be put under suspicion as a heretic or an idolater? :eek:

One of the legitimate complaints about the KJV is that the language is outdated, and the syntax hard to follow. However, there are two remedies for this 1) when a passage seems unclear one can ask his/her pastor about it, and, 2) following in the KJV tradition there are modern updates of the text (NKJV).

In the vast majority of Reformed churches now, if you are reading the KJV and having trouble with it, it is suggested that you switch translations, not that you refer to the glossary in most KJV editions, or use other study aids. The NKJV is based upon the CT; it is not a mere modernizing of the KJV.

I am "emotionally committed" to God, to my family and to my friends. If every KJ or Old Geneva Bible were suddenly wiped off the face of the earth, well, I still have a great deal of the King James in my memory and I would be fine, with the aid of the Holy Spirit, in being able to meditate on God's word in my heart. As a lay-person, I don't see why there was this huge push, from about 1881 onward, to "make the Bible better." What hubris... For over 1,800 years, there were millions of conversions based on the MSS that were not "older and more reliable." You can't say that the world is rushing towards God and His Word with every new translation that rears its head every year and a half or so; I think the world concludes on the evidence that "hath God said...?" is, instead, justified by those who claim Christ but yet need a new version of God's word every so often. What's worse is that the accuser - having been the first to suggest that we need "to know what God really" said - receives implicit encouragement with every "improvement" on the Bible that Thomas Nelson, Zondervan, Crossways, etc. decide to market.

Peace and blessings.
 

J. Dean

Puritan Board Junior
It's interesting that (and I just found this out), at least with the Baptist sect of KJVO-ites, several of the people they champion for KJVO views were NOT KJVO people, like J. Frank Norris, C.I. Scofield, Ryrie and the like. Many of these people championed the NASB and maintained that the KJV incorrectly translated several passages (one of the most prominent being Daniel 3, in which Nebuchadnezzer's actual words regarding the fourth person in the fiery furnace with Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego should be translated "a son of the gods" and not "the Son of God" as the KJV renders it).

And again, which version of the KJV do KJVO-ites hold to? The one we have now is not the same one as the 1611 version.
 

Galatians220

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
I could throw up some verse comparison charts here (AV 1611 to 18th-century revisions and others, to NKJV, to NASB, to NIV, to ESV, etc., etc.), but that wouldn't suffice. There would be a little change in vocabulary from the 1611 KJV to later ones, but the doctrines would all be intact and Scripture would interpret Scripture very adequately. One can't say the same thing about various CT versions, all bearing copyright dates in the late 20th-early 21st century.

I really love going to Bible studies and spending 80% of the time listening to people saying, "Well, my ESV says this..." "But the NKJV translates it as..." :rolleyes: Makes one envious of those who attended Bible studies 100+ years ago and who were able to say, "Thus saith the Lord." At the studies (I'm talking about women's Bible studies only), I just sit silently with my KJV; I've no desire to make waves. It's very sad to see Christians so confused when they need not be. Political correctness dictates that one must not advocate for the KJV in any group or church if there's another version in common usage there.

I will throw out a couple of verses, though. How about 2 Corinthians 2:17? Or try comparing Genesis 15:1 in the KJV and the same verse in the ESV and the Holman Christian Standard Bible and then judging the implications of the uncertainty expressed in the latter two versions versus the certainty of Abram's "exceeding great reward" in the KJV. Interesting.
 

Philip

Puritan Board Graduate
I really love going to Bible studies and spending 80% of the time listening to people saying, "Well, my ESV says this..." "But the NKJV translates it as..."

I wonder if our Puritan forebears did this with the Geneva Bible, Bishops Bible, Coverdale's Bible, and the 1611.
 

Jerusalem Blade

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
To take a look at the “pedigrees” of the foundational manuscripts of the Critical Text, which basically are only two: codex Vaticanus, or B, and Codex Siniaticus, or [SIZE=+1]a[/SIZE] / Aleph. There are a handful of others that are similar, but none have the stature or fame of these.

It is noteworthy how few people are familiar with the works which examine the alleged “most reliable and early manuscripts and other ancient witnesses” that the Critical Text (CT) is based upon, which latter derives in the main from the Westcott and Hort (W&H) Greek text of 1881.

The quote above is from the margin note found in the NIV, and meant to indicate the spuriousness of Mark 16:9-20, as well as other passages. The margin notes in the NASB and ESV are similar and to the same effect, the CT being the Greek they are also based upon.

The primary, and almost exclusive “ancient witnesses” that omit these 12 verses of Mark are Vaticanus and Sinaiticus, both of Alexandrian origin. Without looking at their origins in detail at the moment, they were very likely Egyptian manuscripts modified by Origen, or at least accepted by him, and made into the official NT text by Eusebius of Caesarea (265-339) when Constantine requested 50 Bibles of him, due to the scarcity of Scripture after the destruction of churches, Bibles, and believers in the reign of Diocletian and his 10 years of horrific persecution (302-312). The fierce conflict in the days of Eusebius between the orthodox Christians and the Arians and Sabellians led to the manuscripts being tampered with for doctrinal reasons, as has been documented.

More to the point here is how these two manuscripts were resurrected from obscurity into places of prominence in the 19th century, and what the characters of each are.

Herman C. Hoskier was a textual scholar of the Greek New Testament who minutely examined and then opposed Westcott and Hort’s principal texts, Vaticanus and Sinaiticus in a two-volume study. The first is titled, Codex B And Its Allies: A Study and an Indictment; the second volume, which we will quote from here, is titled, Codex B And Its Allies, Part II: Chiefly concerning [SIZE=+1]a[/SIZE], but covering three thousand differences between and [SIZE=+1]a[/SIZE] and B in the Four Gospels, with the evidence supporting each side, including the new manuscript evidence collected by VON SODEN, and the collateral readings of other important authorities.(1) Hoskier states,

In the light of the following huge lists let us never be told in the future that either [SIZE=+1]a[/SIZE] or B represents any form of “Neutral” text…

Our little study [after the examination of B in Volume I] would be quite incomplete without a further account of the idiosyncrasies of [SIZE=+1]a[/SIZE]. This is best shown by exhibiting the principal places where [SIZE=+1]a[/SIZE] and B differ, which, in number, far exceed what anyone might suppose who does not go deeply into the comparative study of the two documents. As a matter of fact the “shorter” text of the two is found in [SIZE=+1]a[/SIZE] …

I have tabulated the major part of these differences between [SIZE=+1]a[/SIZE] and B in the Gospels and given the supporting authorities on each side. They amount to—

Matt. . . . 656+
Mark . . . 567+
Luke . . . 791+
John . . . 1022+
Total . 3036+ (2)​


Hoskier’s study continues on for 381 pages of documentation (412 including a Scriptural index), if anyone is interested in pursuing a comparative examination of [SIZE=+1]a[/SIZE] and B, the foundation of W&H’s critical text. What he is saying is that B and Aleph disagree with each other 3,036 times in the Gospels alone!

(1) Codex B And Its Allies, by Herman C. Hoskier (London: Bernard Quaritch, 1914).
(2) Ibid., Vol. II, page 1.

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In a courtroom when two witnesses testifying to the same matter disagree sharply with one another, they cannot be called “reliable” witnesses, but rather they impugn one another’s testimony. And when such unreliable witnesses are scrutinized in the light of a virtual multitude of other witnesses who disagree with the two while agreeing with one another, the evidence becomes preponderant in favor of the majority. Mere “age” of a manuscript may easily be offset by other more weighty factors. It is a given regarding the condition of a manuscript that those exhibiting the least wear have been used the least; often it is because they have been set aside as of inferior quality. In my own library the books that are in the worst shape, and which sometimes have to be replaced, are those I use the most. Those in the best shape I use the least.

[SIZE=+1]a[/SIZE] was discovered by textual critic Constantine Tischendorf in a rubbish bin – likely ready to be burned – at St. Catharine’s Greek Orthodox Monastery on Mt. Sinai in 1844. Vaticanus has been in the Vatican Library at least since 1481, when it was catalogued. Those with some historical knowledge will remember that these were the years of the Inquisition in Spain during the reign of Pope Sixtus IV (1471-1484). In 1481 some 2,000 believers dissenting with Rome were burned alive, with multitudes of others tortured (M’Crie, History of the Reformation in Spain, p. 104). When Pope Innocent VIII (1484-1492) sat in the royal “Throne of Peter,” he followed in the vein of his namesake Innocent III and commenced anew a persecution against the peaceful Waldensian Christians in the northern Italian Alps, commanding their destruction “like venomous snakes” if they would not repent and turn to Rome. (Wylie, History of the Waldenses, pp. 27-29) Bloodbaths followed against these harmless mountain peoples, who had their own Scriptures from ancient times, and worshipped in Biblical simplicity and order.

It perplexes many people that the Lord of these many hundreds of thousands of Bible-believing saints who were tortured with unimaginable barbarity and slaughtered like dogs by the Roman Catholic “church” for centuries (it is no exaggeration to say for over a millennium) should have kept His choicest preserved manuscript in the safekeeping of the Library of the apostate murderers, designating it by their own ignominious name: Vaticanus. But it well suited W&H, who loved Rome, and despised the “evangelicals” of their own day, and the Traditional Text they used to preach with power.

As concerns Mark 16:9-20, it is odd that it is almost exclusively these two MSS. that omit the verses, which almost all other uncials, miniscules, and lectionaries retain. What gives these two MSS. such weight over all others? W&H developed a theory to support their prized MSS., but it has been demonstrated to be devoid of any historical attestation whatsoever. It is mere conjecture, which I am asked to assent to, and to ignore voluminous evidences – both historical and textual – to the contrary.

Nor would I allow either of these two men, Westcott or Hort, despite their ecclesiastical “attainments,” to preach or teach in the church I serve, seeing as they were heretics and reprobates, both in belief and in conduct, which assertions are documented. I find there is much secular attestation, beside the testimony of their sons in their respective unabridged biographies of their fathers, to their spiritualism.

In a book, a former president of The Society For Psychical Research acknowledged its origins in “The Cambridge ‘Ghost Society’” formed by Westcott and Hort:

Lightfoot, Westcott and Hort were among its members…Lightfoot and Westcott both became bishops, and Hort Professor of Divinity. The S.P.R. has hardly lived up to the standard of ecclesiastical eminence set by the parent society. (The Society For Psychical Research: An Outline Of Its History, by W.H. Salter (President, 1947-8), (London, Society For Psychical Research, 1948), pages 6, 7.)



I could go on with documentation of their unbelief in the historicity of the opening chapters of Genesis (and affirming solidarity with Charles Darwin and his theory), and other evidences of their unregenerate state. (To deny the historicity of Genesis, is to deny the Fall, the sinful condition of the human race, the need for an atoning sacrifice, etc etc.) That they fiercely demanded the presence of a notorious Unitarian on their revision committee , Dr. Vance Smith (who later published, gloatingly, of the textual damage done regarding the deity of Jesus Christ in the revision), indicating they considered him a brother Christian nonetheless, says something about their hearts.

Does it not make sense what was happening? Unregenerate men had infiltrated the church, and not only the church, but the inner precincts of scholarship and textual reproduction. The enemy had taken the inner stronghold, and put unholy hands on the written Word of God, to alter it.

And the means by which they did this was to use the two ancient manuscripts that were produced around the time of Eusebius – likely by the authority of Emperor Constantine – and Tischendorf, as well others, were of the opinion that Aleph and B were among those royally commissioned Bibles; they were, after all, written on very expensive material – vellum (treated animal skin).

It is a dramatic story in itself how W&H managed to bring these manuscripts into the Jerusalem Chamber of Westminster Abbey and over a ten year period insinuated the text-critical method of Origen – and the mss that probably came from texts at the Origen library in Caesarea – into a Bible version that has pretty much taken over the English speaking world, not to mention the multitudes of foreign-language translations made from the modern Critical Greek Text.

There is so much more that can be said, but I would rather keep it short. The Alexandrian mss, although the documents themselves are old (4th century), do not represent the older texts of the early church (these apostolic mss were not written on hardy vellum, but fragile papyrus), although the history of these Byz documents have their own trail of transmission.

I will close this with an excerpt from a text-critical study on an aspect of the repercussions of using the Alexandrian texts. Judge for yourselves.

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In the book Dr. Theodore Letis’ edited (and contributed to), The Majority Text: Essays and Reviews in the Continuing Debate, James A. Borland has an essay, “Re-Examining New Testament Textual-Critical Principles and Practices Used to Negate Inerrancy” [reprinted from the Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society; Vol. 25, No. 4 (December 1982), by permission]. In this essay Borland shows how that one thrust of TC practice is indeed used to negate the inerrancy of the apostles’ original writings; in other words, the apostles were in error in the things they wrote. I quote the opening paragraph of the essay:

Perhaps it is not shocking to assert that Satan uses every means at his disposal to attack the credibility, reliability and authority of God’s Word. He began the assault in the garden with Eve and has not stopped yet. But often his ways are more subtle than the blatant lie succumbed to by Eve. We live in a modern era of sophistication. Even in Biblical and textual studies we hear more and more about the use of computers and other highly technical tools. And Satan is more than willing to accommodate our sophistication in the area of textual criticism. Especially is this so when it occasionally allows men to assert fallibility in the New Testament autographs based on widely accepted principles and practice of textual criticism.


He briefly surveys the established tenets of NT text critical theory, and then in particular Dr. Hort’s, which postulates the “primacy of the two earliest uncial MSS, Aleph (Sinaiticus) and B (Vaticanus), which date from the middle of the fourth century A.D. These two MSS were given the question-begging designation of being the ‘neutral text.’” He continues,

In short, the resultant practice of these new sophisticated principles was to overturn completely the textual critical practices of the past. Since the majority Byzantine text was judged to be a later text, the supposedly more ancient, more pure “neutral text” was substituted at the junctures of innumerable variants…

In referring to the Westcott and Hort theory, George Ladd approvingly writes, “The basic solution to the textual problem has been almost universally accepted.” He goes on to assert that “it is a seldom disputed fact that critical science has to all intents and purposes recovered the original text of the New Testament.” Ladd believes that “in the search for a good text, piety and devotion can never take the place of knowledge and scholarly judgment.” [the quotes are from Ladd’s book, The New Testament and Criticism (Eerdmans 1967) In a footnote Borland quotes Gordon Fee in the same vein saying, “Fee is equally bold in asserting that ‘the task of NT textual criticism is virtually completed’” (in “Modern Textual Criticism and the revival of the Textus Receptus,” JETS 21, 1978, 19-33).] Yet it is precisely this “almost universally accepted” “knowledge and scholarly judgment” that if followed too often leads to the conclusion that the very autographs of Scripture recorded errors and blunders.​


He then considers more deeply Westcott and Hort’s rules of external evidence regarding the manuscripts (by which they were able to dispose of the testimony of the majority of manuscripts), and then their rules of internal evidence, which came to the forefront after their external rules had gotten rid of the MT. Borland goes on,

Naturally each of these canons [of internal evidence] to a large degree must be subjectively applied. When a decision is difficult in the area of the internal evidence of readings, scholars often resort to the old circular reasoning that “certain MSS tend to support the ‘original’ text more than others and that those MSS are the early Alexandrian. Therefore, when internal evidence cannot decide, Gordon Fee advises, “the safest guide is to go with the ‘best’ MSS.” [Fee, “Textual Criticism of the New Testament,” Expositor’s Bible Commentary, p. 431] Thus all too often external evidence is the last resort, and when it is appealed to, the results have already been determined by a preconception of which MSS are the “best.”….[L]et us examine several examples of this prevalent textual-critical method—which ultimately asserts that the autographs did indeed contain incontrovertible mistakes.

In other words, the prevalent textual methodology can be and is being used to deny the inerrancy of the original autographs.

Nearly a century ago George Salmon astutely observed that Westcott and Hort had attributed to the gospel writers “erroneous statements which their predecessors had regarded as copyists’ blunders.” Salmon noted that “there was indeed but little rhetorical exaggeration in the statement that the canon of these editors was that Codex B was infallible and that the Evangelists were not. Nay, it seemed as if Hort regarded it as a note of genuineness if a reading implies error on the part of the sacred writer.” [G. Salmon, Some Thoughts on the Textual Criticism of the New Testament (London: John Murray, 1897)]

I. The Case of Asa and Amon

One example of current import is found in the readings of Matthew 1:7, 10. These texts contain part of the kingly genealogy of Christ. Many conservative commentators seem almost oblivious to the problem [and in a footnote he lists a number]. But scholars who do not adhere to the doctrine of inerrancy do not pass up a chance to point out what they consider to be a fallacy in Matthew’s autograph. The majority of all MSS read Asa (Asa; v. 7) and Amōn (Amon; v. 10), easily recognized as two kings of Judah who were ancestors of Christ. Matthew’s point is to demonstrate our Lord’s royal lineage. But the United Bible Societies’ text instead chooses alternate readings based on the “better” manuscripts as well as some very subjective internal considerations. They substitute for the kings Asa and Amon the names “Asaph” and “Amos,” a psalmist and prophet respectively. They reason that “the evangelist may have derived material for the genealogy, not from the Old Testament directly, but from subsequent genealogical lists, in which the erroneous spelling occurred.” [B.M. Metzger, et al., A Textual Commentary on the Greek New Testament (NY: United Bible Societies, 1971), p.1] Prior to that confident assertion, Bruce Metzger and others, claimed that “most scholars are impressed by the overwhelming weight of textual evidence supporting Asaph.” [Ibid.]

What is the composition of this “overwhelming weight of textual evidence” in favor of the Asaph blunder? Heading the list are the fourth and fifth century codices, Aleph B and C. Next come the minuscules of families 1 and 13 and two eleventh- and twelfth-century cursives, 700 and 1071, followed by fourteenth-century manuscript 209. Among the versions are several Old Latin MSS (notably k, Bobiensis, a fourth or fifth century production), along with others of the seventh century and beyond. The Coptic, following the basic Egyptian text of Aleph and B, agrees; and the Armenian, Ethiopic and Georgian translations, each perhaps related to Caesarean origins (of f1 and f13), indicate Asaph also. In the Harclean Syriac it merits only a listing in the margin. In summary, barely more than a dozen Greek MSS carry the Asaph reading, followed by a few Old Latin MSS, the Coptic and several minor versions.

On the other hand, the expected reading of Asa is found in literally hundreds of Greek witnesses beginning with uncials E K L M U V W G D and P. These MSS date from the fifth through the tenth centuries and no doubt represent a wide geographic distribution, including Washingtoniensis (the Freer Gospels of the fifth century) and Regius (L), which in Metzger’s opinion has a good type of text, “agreeing very frequently with codex Vaticanus.” [Metzger, The Text of the New Testament: Its Transmission, Corruption, and Restoration, 2[SUP]nd[/SUP] ed. (NY: Oxford Univ. Press, 1968), p. 54] In addition, hundreds of cursives lend their support including numbers of those known “to exhibit a significant degree of independence from the so-called Byzantine manuscript tradition.” [Metzger, Textual Commentary, p. xvii] These would include 33 (the queen of the cursives and constant ally of Aleph and B) and other minuscules beginning with the ninth century. To this may be added the entire bulk of cursive manuscripts that must represent nearly every geographical point where Greek was studied and copied throughout the middle ages and demonstrates an unbroken continuity of evidence sorely lacking in the paucity of material supporting the Asaph reading.

The lectionaries too stand solidly behind Asa, as do a number of Old Latin MSS including the notable fourth-century Vercellensis. the entire Vulgate is another early and uniform witness to Asa—as are the Curetonian, Sinaitic, Peshitta, Harclean and Palestinian versions of the Syriac. To these may be added both Ephiphanius and Augustine of the first quarter of the fifth century. Only a preconceived notion as to which witnesses are best would cause anyone to deny that the truly “overwhelming weight of textual evidence” favors the traditional reading of Asa.

If such is the case, then Asaph should be viewed as an early scribal blunder injudiciously copied into (fortunately) only a handful of Greek MSS. The evidence for Amon versus Amos in Matthew 1:10 is somewhat similar. It is difficult to believe that Matthew, no doubt an educated literary Jewish writer, was incapable of distinguishing between the Hebrew āsā’ and āsāp’ or between the even more distinguishable āmôn and āmôs. Not only would he have known the names of Israel’s kings by memory, but he probably would have used the genealogy of 1 Chronicles 3:10-14 in securing the names he used.

Lest one thinks this all amounts to academic irrelevance, we should be aware that the Revised Standard Version places the prophet’s name Amos in the text of Matthew 1:10 with the note “other authorities read Amon.” The Catholic New American Bible (1970) reads Amos without explanation. The American Standard Version, the RSV and the New American Standard Bible each read Asa for Matthew 1:7 but append a note indicating that the Greek reads Asaph. But where does the reading for Asa come if not from the Greek? The ASV and NASB do the same for Amos in Matthew 1:10, and the Jerusalem Bible is similar. At the least, this nomenclature is certainly inconsistent with the usual way of introducing a textual variant. We might well believe that Matthew got his kings, prophets and psalmists a bit confused! (excerpted from pp. 46-52)​

Thank you for bearing with this longish but significant portion of essay. He goes on with another example, but so as not to stretch my availing myself of the “fair use” policy of copyrighted material I will refrain.

If you will look at the ESV this thread started on, you will see that in Matthew 1 it reads both Asaph and Amos instead of the kings! And it is that way in the Greek of Aleph and B. It’s not right.
 

Jerusalem Blade

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
Thanks, AMR!

By the way, I'll be looking at J. Dean's oft-repeated question re "different versions" of the King James shortly. Didn't mean to ignore your question, J. Dean!

What I really want to start on is a response to Bart Ehrman's attack on the Bible – that's one of maybe 5 writing projects I'll be putting on the front burner (at 70 I have to radically prioritize my work – don't know how much longer the Lord will give me). I've dealt sufficiently with demonstrating that the TR and AV can be intelligently defended, and that those who hold to these have a sound faith in God's providentially preserving His word, as He promised He would. So I hope y'all (ye – KJV) will not mind if I retire (for the most part) from the Translations and Manuscripts forum so as to complete work I really want to get done!
 

J. Dean

Puritan Board Junior
Thanks, AMR!

By the way, I'll be looking at J. Dean's oft-repeated question re "different versions" of the King James shortly. Didn't mean to ignore your question, J. Dean!

What I really want to start on is a response to Bart Ehrman's attack on the Bible – that's one of maybe 5 writing projects I'll be putting on the front burner (at 70 I have to radically prioritize my work – don't know how much longer the Lord will give me). I've dealt sufficiently with demonstrating that the TR and AV can be intelligently defended, and that those who hold to these have a sound faith in God's providentially preserving His word, as He promised He would. So I hope y'all (ye – KJV) will not mind if I retire (for the most part) from the Translations and Manuscripts forum so as to complete work I really want to get done!

In fairness, Steve, let me be clear on my position: the KJV is a beautiful Bible translation. Some of the best Bible passages I've committed to memory are from my days being in a KJVO church. I have no problem with somebody reading from the KJV for their own private study, or even hearing it from the pulpit.

But when I would go and hear a preacher preach from the KJV, and especially somebody professing to be KJVO, and they would "update" the language while preaching, I wondered why they just didnt' get a modern version of the Scriptures which did what they suggested. For example, whenever a preacher would talk about the word "conversation" in the KJV, they would explain that the word "conversation" does not mean what it means now, but that it should mean "conduct" or "behavior."

I would respond with, "Okay, then why not use a translation of the Bible which gives an updated and more applicable translation of that particular word?"

"Oh, no!" they would reply, "We have to stick with the KJV because only THAT is the Word of God!" (I kid you not; the KJVO Christian school I attended as a youth even went so far as to warn parents to avoid even the NKJV).

Do you see the problem here, Steve? People were taking the liberty to verbally do what they forbid to be done on paper, as if audibly stating an alternate translation of the text during a sermon was somehow not the same as putting it in print. That struck me as awfully inconsistent.

The other thing that influenced me were the commentaries of reputable men such as Francis Schaeffer and Charles Hodge, who during their expositions would reference the orginal Greek and clearly state that the KJV did not render the original Hebrew or Greek accurately (again, I reference Nebuchadnezzer's "Son of God vs. son of the gods." Mind you, these were not liberals: these are doctrinally sound men who had no intention of permitting liberalism into the church.

So, while I respect the heritage and history of the KJV, I do not believe it is exclusively "God's translation," nor do I believe that any other and every other translation is necessarily the product of some "liberal conspiracy" to destroy the Bible just because "thee" and "thou" are not used in the English. I realize this is not the attitude of everybody else here, but I HAVE seen this attitude, and it comes off as unnecessarily close-minded and hostile, attributing ill-intentions to people who are not ill-intentioned at all, but just believe that it's okay to put the Bible in a language easier to understand.
 

JimmyH

Puritan Board Senior
Last night I was reading chapters 9 through 16 of Luke's gospel. I'm following John MacArthur's "How To Study The Bible" program. I'll read those chapters for a month, splitting up the longer books into 3 months of daily reading. The shorter books, such as 1 John, read straight through daily for 30 days. Last night I read the current NASB. Sometimes I'll use the KJV, other times the NKJV, ESV or NASB. Reading the same text day after day I don't see a major difference in the content in the various translations. As the Reverend D Martyn Lloyd-Jones said, quoted in my earlier post #84 above,"and we are entitled to go further and say the text, so called , of Westcott and Hort we can undoubtedly take with confidence as being the original manuscripts and documents."

I do appreciate Brother Rafalsky's erudite and voluminous posts defending the AV but I must defer to the opinion of the Doctor, Lloyd-Jones in validating Wescott & Hort. I find it hard to believe that such a man, who dedicated his life to The Book and spreading the gospel, would have been #1 uneducated in all of the issues, and # 2 fooled by the conclusions of the translators. Having just finished the 8 volumes of sermons the Reverend Doctor preached on the book of Ephesians I cannot count the number of times he gave reference to superior choices translators used in the AV versus the RV and visa versa. Sometimes one was considered, by the Doctor, as a better choice of words to convey the meaning, sometimes the other. Other translations were referenced at times as well. Either as better in conveying the true meaning of the author of an epistle or gospel or not.

To think that all of the translations that have been published since the RV in 1881 are corrupt is something that I just cannot accept as credible. The devil is the author of confusion and if this debate is nothing else it is confusion personified. The Word Of God liveth and abideth forever and In my humble opinion, it lives and abides in more translations than the AV. If nothing else has come out of this thread to my personal benefit it is the conviction that the fore mentioned translations that I am reading are valid and represent the Word Of God. If I seem to be using the Doctor's name as some sort of mantra it is as a result of reading so much of his material and being blessed by it.
 

Fogetaboutit

Puritan Board Freshman
but I must defer to the opinion of the Doctor, Lloyd-Jones in validating Wescott & Hort. I find it hard to believe that such a man, who dedicated his life to The Book and spreading the gospel, would have been #1 uneducated in all of the issues, and # 2 fooled by the conclusions of the translators

We should be carefull when using the "opinion" of a man (even a great man of God) to make our mind on a subject. I could do the same and point to many great men of God do agree with my position and use it as an argument but that would be inconclusive. Your position on this subjet should be based on theological understanding of what it means for God to preserve his word (all of it or most of it?) and then look at which position better fits. Even the greatest men of God are fallible. You might perceive this discussion to be splitting hair, but let's remember that we are talking about scriptures which is our "sole" authority in all matter of faith and practice. What we are dealing with is the integrity of God's revelation. God is not bound by specific Greek texts or translations, but the way we handle these says a lot about how we view God and how we cherish the revelation he has gracefully given us.


The devil is the author of confusion and if this debate is nothing else it is confusion personified

Would you say confusion increased or decreased with modern textual criticism and the creation of the CT in 1881? Sitting back and not standing for truth will not help to stop confusion it will only give it more room to grow.


To think that all of the translations that have been published since the RV in 1881 are corrupt is something that I just cannot accept as credible

here lies the problem, most of this debate is an issue of the heart, we do not choose the truth, we wrestle with it, evidence and logic is not the issue in this debate.
 

JimmyH

Puritan Board Senior
We should be carefull when using the "opinion" of a man (even a great man of God) to make our mind on a subject. I could do the same and point to many great men of God do agree with my position and use it as an argument but that would be inconclusive. Your position on this subjet should be based on theological understanding of what it means for God to preserve his word (all of it or most of it?) and then look at which position better fits. Even the greatest men of God are fallible. You might perceive this discussion to be splitting hair, but let's remember that we are talking about scriptures which is our "sole" authority in all matter of faith and practice. What we are dealing with is the integrity of God's revelation. God is not bound by specific Greek texts or translations, but the way we handle these says a lot about how we view God and how we cherish the revelation he has gracefully given us.
Quoting the Reverend Doctor again, he said that "all we have is this book, it is our sole authority." He was more than well aware of the importance of the accuracy and relevance of the translations of the Holy Scriptures. It is true he was, like as we all are, a fallible man. Taking that into account I have to look at the reality that I am a 63 year old man who has to choose where to spend whatever time I have left in this world of time wisely. For me reading the Bible, in the fore mentioned translations , is preferable to attempting to learn the original languages at this late date, and draw my own conclusions. Unless I do so I will have to depend on one 'fallible' man or another and draw from their conclusions.

In my personal experience I was saved when the Holy Spirit enlightend the eyes of my understanding while reading the first chapter of the book of Romans in a New Scofield Reference Bible in 1986. I had that and a Scofield Reference NIV which I used when I couldn't quite understand the meaning within the KJV. Paul's epistle. An example being verses 7:14 through 25. The NIV is on the shelf and will remain there since I don't read dynamic equivalence translations but my point is that I was saved reading texts that most people on this board consider less than ideal. The Word Of God, being sharper than any two edged sword, with the Holy Spirit, saved me regardless of the translation or the editor of the study Bible. Anyway, I appreciate your concern and I don't intend to change anyone's viewpoint. Just expressing my own.
 

Fogetaboutit

Puritan Board Freshman
In my personal experience I was saved when the Holy Spirit enlightend the eyes of my understanding while reading the first chapter of the book of Romans in a New Scofield Reference Bible in 1986. I had that and a Scofield Reference NIV which I used when I couldn't quite understand the meaning within the KJV. Paul's epistle. An example being verses 7:14 through 25. The NIV is on the shelf and will remain there since I don't read dynamic equivalence translations but my point is that I was saved reading texts that most people on this board consider less than ideal. The Word Of God, being sharper than any two edged sword, with the Holy Spirit, saved me regardless of the translation or the editor of the study Bible. Anyway, I appreciate your concern and I don't intend to change anyone's viewpoint. Just expressing my own.

I understand that not everybody will take time to study this subject in detail, all I was saying is that it is not unimportant. Many on this board (including myself) have gone through situations from which we had to change our views, I have fallen for false doctrine and had to change my convictions many times already and I'm sure it will keep happening, I'm not implying that God cannot work in us through these errors, but what I'm saying is that when we start looking into an issue (or when it is brought to our attention) we should be carefull not dismiss what we find because we dislike the outcome.

Lukewarmness is not the way to go, I understand that certain things take time to understand and/or accept, but we should always meditate on these things and seek God's guidance before sweeping them under the rug.
 
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CalvinandHodges

Puritan Board Junior
Hi:

JimmyH:

I would second what Etienne wrote above, and caution you about following the opinions of men - even such godly men as MLJ. You should remember that MLJ used the King James Version exclusively in the pulpit as well. What I would also like to point out is one of your last statements, "To think that all of the translations that have been published since the RV in 1881 are corrupt is something that I just cannot accept as credible..."

I believe that the Bible does not contradict itself. I also believe that MLJ would hold to such a position as well. I believe that you hold to verbal plenary inspiration of the Holy Scriptures. However, the modern Greek text does not, and it has deliberately corrupted the Scriptures. Here is my evidence:

Read Luke 4:44 and cross reference it with Mark 1:39. These two passages are talking about the same event in the life of Jesus Christ. In the Textus Receptus (including the vast majority of Greek mss, and all translations with the majority of lecterns) reads in Luke 4:44 that Jesus went into Galilee. This is consistent and non-contradictory. However, reading the Critical text, and, by extension, the modern translations that come from the Critical text, the passage is changed at Luke 4:44 to "Judah," but the original is retained in Mark 1:39 "Galilee.* Bruce Metzger points out that the committee made this decision based on the "Harder reading" rule of the modern textual philosophy. The only translation that tries to explain this contradiction in the modern philosophy is the NASB which states that "Judah" included Galilee. But the context renders such a supposition unacceptable, because they would have Jesus visiting all of the synagogues of Judah and Galilee (including those in Jerusalem) - which was clearly not what he did.

Read Matthew 19:17 and cross reference it with Mark 10:18 and Luke 18:19. The justification for the difference in these passages by Bruce Metzger is that the critical text passage is "the more obscure one."

Read Mark 1:2. The Old Testament quote in Mark 2 is from Malachi 3:1 not Isaiah. Verse 3 is a quote from Isaiah 40:3. The majority of manuscripts side with the Byzantine reading at this point. Bruce Metzger says that the "harder reading" was used in the critical text.

Read Matthew 27:49. The critical text reading states that Jesus was speared by the Centurian before he died. This is in direct contradiction to John 19:34 where Jesus first "gives up the ghost" before he was pierced by the Centurian. Bruce Metzger questions the validity of Matthew 27:49 even though just about every single Greek text, the vast majority of ancient translations, and the vast majority of lecterns upholds the Byzantine readings in the Matthew passage.

These contradictions in the Critical Text are not introduced because of textual difficulties, but because of the philosophy of the text critics "the harder reading is preferred" or, "the more obscure reading is preferred."

In light of all of this one cannot state that "no doctrine of the Christian church is affected by the modern philosophy" because, it seems quite apparent, that the Critical Text introduces contradiction and error in the Greek text where there is no error or contradiction. Consequently, at least one doctrine of the Christian faith is affected by the Critical text: the Inerrancy of the verbally inspired Scriptures.

As I mentioned above - there is enough good teaching in the modern translations for one to be converted and live a godly life. But to say that the modern Greek text, "does not deny any precept of the Christian faith" is simply not true.

Blessings,

Rob
 

JimmyH

Puritan Board Senior
Hi:

JimmyH:

I would second what Etienne wrote above, and caution you about following the opinions of men - even such godly men as MLJ.
Hi Rob. My thinking is that there are two ways to go. One is to learn the original languages, obtain copies of the texts and become textual critics ourselves. The other is to depend on the conclusions drawn by other men who have gone that route. I haven't read James White, Bruce Metzger or the many others who've spoken to the textual issues specifically. I must say that MLJ , John MacArthur, WA Criswell among others accepting the alternatives to the KJV, while still valuing the AV has an influence on my opinion. OTOH, I am not closed minded and will, no doubt research the questions further. I've said all I really have to say in this thread. I didn't intend to restart the debate between KJVO and others but I guess, in retrospect it was inevitable, given my OP.
 

CalvinandHodges

Puritan Board Junior
Hi:

Jeff:

Thank you for your corrections. In response I would like to commend you on your diligence in searching for the truth. You write:

The modern Greek text doesn’t hold to verbal plenary inspiration any more than the chair I’m sitting in doesn’t hold to VPI. The men who compiled the MGT may not hold to VPI. But the text itself isn’t capable of doing anything. Let’s not forget that.
I take no issue with most of your points, but just wanted to offer another side on a couple.
Will you allow me to use a figure of speech? I would rather do so than inject personalities into a discussion that may or may not engender a more emotional reaction. The Greek text that I am mentioning is the product of a false philosophy that was invented by certain men.

Next you write:

I preached on this text not too long ago and as such, had to deal with this citation. In my studies I discovered a commentator who in his research discovered that it’s not at all uncommon for an ancient writer to only cite the more eminent name even when citing multiple sources. Mark was thus only mentioning Isaiah by name because he was a major prophet. Either way, we shouldn’t get bent out of shape when 1st century writers don’t abide by our 21st century standards of citation. They simply weren’t as concerned about it! (Thus the writer of Hebrews can say “For He has said somewhere regarding the seventh day…”)
It seems to me that you are not interacting with the point I made. The majority of manuscripts follow the Byzantine reading here, "as it is written in the prophets." What are your text-critical reasons for introducing a deliberate error in the manuscript? I would like to hear your reasons without recourse to the modern philosophy. Why would you insert a deliberate error into the text when the majority of texts claim that such an error was not made? The reason you give is not sufficient in this particular passage.

Next,

This is not the reading of the CT. Rather, it simply adds that some mss contain the reading you’re referring to. It’s certainly not the preferred reading. Even the 1881WH has it in double brackets. So I don’t think it’s very honest to say it’s “the critical text reading.”
Correct. It is the reading of the "older manuscripts" and, as I was reading Metzger here, I made the mistake of inferring that the passage was in the CT.

Finally:

Sure we can. Because no one I know holds that the inerrancy of the verbally inspired Scriptures hangs on which edition of the GNT you prefer. Every single scholar I’ve ever read affirms this is only true of the autographs. The TR is not a photo copy of the autographs. Neither is the CT or the MT. We simply don’t have them. So your complaint falls flat.

BTW. For full disclosure, I happen to hold to the priority of the Byzantine Mss. I had Dr. Robinson as a prof in seminary and find his arguments very compelling. I just think we do the Christian community a disservice by causing a hysteria over these things, making mountains out of mole hills, and accusing the CT and its compilers and advocates of all sorts of unsubstantiated offenses.
For you to say these things seems to miss the point I am making: That errors and contradictions appear in the Critical Text as a direct result of using the modern text philosophy appears to me to be a different understanding of the inspiration of the Scriptures than the orthodox view of verbal plenary inspiration. To give you an example: If I were to insert a new philosophy into the doctrine of Justification by Faith Alone, would that seem relevant to you? That scholars today affirm that inspiration extends only to the original autographs, and not to the copies of the autographs is also a modern theory that was first proposed by B.B. Warfield. As Richard Muller notes:

Even so, Turretin and other high and late orthodox writers argued that the authenticity and infallibility of Scripture must be identified in and of the apographa, not in and of lost autographa. The autographa figure in Turretin's argument only insofar as they were written in Hebrew and Greek and are, therefore, best represented quod verba and quoad res in the extant Hebrew and Greek apographa. The issue raised by the Protestant scholastic discussion of the relation of autographa and apographa is one of linguistic continuity rather than one of verbal inerrancy. The orthodox do, of course, assume that the text is free of substantive error and, typically, view textual problems as of scribal origin, but they mount their argument for authenticity and infallibility without recourse to a logical device like that employed by Hodge and Warfield, Richard A. Muller,Post-Reformation Reformed Dogmatics: Volume Two: Holy Scripture, (Grand Rapids, Baker, 2003), 415.
It must be remembered that the Greek text the orthodox are referring to are the Byzantine manuscripts represented in their day as Stephens 1550 and others. In referring to Warfield's "logical device" Muller notes:

The point made by Hodge and Warfield is a logical trap, a rhetorical flourish, a conundrum designed to confound the critics - who can only prove their case for genuine errancy by recourse to a text they do not (and surely cannot) have, Muller, 414, note.
Though your signature indicates that you subscribe to the 1649 Baptist Confession of Faith, and there is no authoritative statement in that confession concerning the Scriptures at all, the later Baptist Confession of 1689 does indicate the same authenticity for the copies as for the autographs:

The Old Testament in Hebrew (which was the native language of the people of God of old), and the New Testament in Greek (which at the time of its writing was most generally known to the nations) were immediately inspired by God, and were kept pure through subsequent ages by His singular care and providence. They are therefore authentic , so that in all controversies of religion , the church must appeal to them as final. 1:8.
The offenses cited above are not unsubstantiated.

Blessings in Jesus,

Rob
 
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Galatians220

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
I do appreciate Brother Rafalsky's erudite and voluminous posts defending the AV but I must defer to the opinion of the Doctor, Lloyd-Jones in validating Wescott & Hort.

Point of information: Pastor Rafalsky is also properly addressed as Dr. Rafalsky, but he doesn't advertise it here in a huge manner.
 

JohnGill

Puritan Board Senior
As to Bahnsen and Van Til, Derrida and Nietzsche? Really? Your confused as to where presuppositional apologetics came from and are confusing Van Til with Barth. Presuppositional Apologetics originated in scripture, not in the vain philosophies of autonomous reasoning.

Two things here Chris:

a) Presuppositional apologetics is not the view of the reformers at all. They were common-sense realists of the pre-modern variety (think Thomas Aquinas with a more robust view of the fall).

b) The methods of presuppositionalism are exactly those of Kant and Nietzsche. The vocabulary of Van Tillian apologetics is lifted from 19th century continental philosophy. This is, I realize, a side note, but it shows that plenty of Christian apologists and theologians (who we respect and admire) have drawn on the insights and methods of non-believers. Augustine drew on Plato: Calvin drew on Cicero.

Canon cannot be settled without the text being settled since the canon is made up of the text.

Ok, so what was the text when canon was decided in the Early Church? What evidence do you have for this proposition? The problem is here that you're always asking a historical question and therefore the methods of historical-textual analysis are those which we use to determine it.

And as stated earlier, since modern textual criticism is a rejection of the Reformed view of Bibliology

And I disagree with this. You haven't shown how it is necessarily such---you lump methods together with motivations as if you can't use certain methods of analysis without an agenda of discrediting the Scriptures. This is just silly. I can use a vote to try and elect a Godly man or I can use it to vote in an ungodly man. I can use a rifle to defend myself against an evildoer or I can use it to murder. I can use transcendental argumentation to argue for the faith or to destroy the faith of others. And I can use modern textual-critical methods to help contend for the authority of Scripture, or I can use them to undermine it. There is nothing inherently bad about the methods of textual criticism---what's bad is using them wrongly.

Following your view, gnostic corruptions to the text of scripture are ok if Christians worked on those same texts whether they removed the gnostic corruptions or not.

Not at all---the question here is how we determine which version is the corrupted one (and I'm still waiting for your reasoning as to why you wouldn't accept the Peshitta despite the fact that it has been in continuous use since the early Church).

By the way, which edition of the TR are you defending?

As I stated earlier, Provide the biblical justification for the canons and the practice of modern textual criticism. Without this, your replies fall within the informal fallacy known as the red herring.

The bolded I found particularly funny in that it shows you haven't read my posts very closely.
 

JohnGill

Puritan Board Senior
Thanks, AMR!

By the way, I'll be looking at J. Dean's oft-repeated question re "different versions" of the King James shortly. Didn't mean to ignore your question, J. Dean!

What I really want to start on is a response to Bart Ehrman's attack on the Bible – that's one of maybe 5 writing projects I'll be putting on the front burner (at 70 I have to radically prioritize my work – don't know how much longer the Lord will give me). I've dealt sufficiently with demonstrating that the TR and AV can be intelligently defended, and that those who hold to these have a sound faith in God's providentially preserving His word, as He promised He would. So I hope y'all (ye – KJV) will not mind if I retire (for the most part) from the Translations and Manuscripts forum so as to complete work I really want to get done!

I keep hoping you'll write a paper on the difference between the Reformed view of Verbal Plenary Inspiration and Verbal Plenary Preservation versus the modern view of Inspiration and Preservation.
 

Philip

Puritan Board Graduate
As I stated earlier, Provide the biblical justification for the canons and the practice of modern textual criticism.

I have shown that a) the so-called "canons" are in fact motivations that aren't necessary to the practice b) that your appeal to the practices of the reformation is not an appeal to Scripture but to tradition. The criticisms that you make are therefore either a) fallacious (the genetic fallacy, in this case) b) non-unique---ie: they apply as much to your position as to mine.

Please, I'm waiting on the proof-texts that would show the earlier practices to be the default ones.
 

Mushroom

Puritan Board Doctor
I do appreciate Brother Rafalsky's erudite and voluminous posts defending the AV but I must defer to the opinion of the Doctor, Lloyd-Jones in validating Wescott & Hort.
Point of information: Pastor Rafalsky is also properly addressed as Dr. Rafalsky, but he doesn't advertise it here in a huge manner.
I'm sorry Margaret, but his blog profile states 2+ years of college, nothing about a doctorate. Could you or he elaborate? And I have yet to hear of his ordination, would be interested in finding out about that as well. I want to give proper honor where honor is due, and if Steve is ordained to Church Office it would be helpful to know that in addressing him.
 

JohnGill

Puritan Board Senior
As I stated earlier, Provide the biblical justification for the canons and the practice of modern textual criticism.

I have shown that a) the so-called "canons" are in fact motivations that aren't necessary to the practice b) that your appeal to the practices of the reformation is not an appeal to Scripture but to tradition. The criticisms that you make are therefore either a) fallacious (the genetic fallacy, in this case) b) non-unique---ie: they apply as much to your position as to mine.

Please, I'm waiting on the proof-texts that would show the earlier practices to be the default ones.

Ok then, what is necessary to the practice of textual criticism upon scripture? Provide biblical justification for what you deem necessary and for the practice of textual criticism.

As I stated before, the burden of proof is upon the modern view of text criticism of scripture. You must provide biblical justification for the modern view in order for the Reformed view to be overthrown. As I've pointed out the Reformed view can be found in the writings of Turretin, Owen, Beza, Gill, Whitaker. They may also be found in modern writers such as Muller, Letis, Hills, and in the writings on this forum by Brother Rafalsky. Go there and to the Reformed confessions for your proof-texts.

The burden of proof rests upon those who would replace the TR family of manuscripts with the modern creation known as the Critical Text. You must overthrow from scripture the Reformed views of Verbal Plenary Inspiration and Verbal Plenary Preservation and then replace them with justification from scripture with the modern views of preservation and inspiration.

Demonstrate first from scripture why the Reformed view is wrong and then demonstrate from scripture why the modern view is correct. Until you, or others in the CT camp can do so, CT & MTC arguments are irrelevant.
 

Jerusalem Blade

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
Dear Margaret, I appreciate your usual encouragement and kindness, but I must correct your recent error: I am not a doctor / PhD, but in fact was a high-school dropout, got my GED while in the USMC, went to college and dropped out from that in order to hit the road Kerouac/Bob Dylan-style so as to get experience in life, and study literature. The Lord Jesus arrested me in my errant way at age 26, and I’ve been in His school since. I sort of hold forth my lack of educational credentials in order to show folks that a formal education is not needed to be learned, or to be able to stand up to so-called experts that think to tyrannize those without degrees – such as in this matter of textual criticism. Nor am I a pastor now, but was till last year on a foreign mission field, though not seminary trained (trained in the Lord’s wilderness); before that I was appointed a ruling elder. But thanks for your heart.

Before answering J. Dean I’d like to say just a word to JimmyH about his recent posts.

I appreciate your heartfelt protestation against the confusion engendered by the Bible version debate! I planted and pastored a church in the middle east (Cyprus) and taught pastors and elders in Africa (for MERF in northern Kenya), and often have had to address the confusion this issue has caused as a part of pastoral care. It is not a “cold intellectual topic” to me!

For me it primarily comes down to individual readings (and not delegitimizing various editions of Bibles) – are the readings true or false? What is the true reading in Matt 1:7 and 10? Is it Asa or Asaph? Amon or Amos? Did the apostle get it wrong in his original gospel? If so, then what about the doctrine of divine inspiration? Is it not true? There are repercussions of these things that affect doctrine, such as the Inspiration and Providential Preservation of Scripture.

What of Mark 16:9-20? Are these verses authentic, or not? When you quote Dr. Lloyd-Jones as saying “the text, so called, of Westcott and Hort we can undoubtedly take with confidence as being the original manuscripts and documents”, do you think he was vouching for the authenticity of their having the apostle put Asaph and Amos into Christ’s genealogy, and discounting the last 12 verses of Mark? Was he giving his stamp of approval on the disallowance of the TR’s version of the genealogy and this Markan passage?

So has this confusion you rightly decry arisen because of the discussion here? Or has it arisen because doubt has been sown regarding the integrity – the intactness – of the Holy Bible? I see this discussion as an investigative foray into the history of the transmission of the Biblical manuscripts – from the very beginning – in an attempt to discover where the errors and discord originated (for it was not so in the beginning, if one believes that the original Scriptures were inspired by God, and without error).

I am sorry you are hurt by this discussion; it was as sort of an antidote to this very thing that I gave my views of the larger picture in post #86. Nonetheless, there is a growing skepticism and doubt toward the Bible in many quarters. You see the trouble it causes here, among brothers and sisters in Christ who are fairly knowledgeable regarding textual issues – imagine what it does and will do as younger and not knowledgeable souls come to the Lord, seeing as the very foundations of the faith are shaken and in dispute?

Men of equal stature with MLJ have come down on both sides of the issue. B.B. Warfield, as great a thinker, teacher, and defender of the faith as he was, was part of the problem in introducing the contentious textual variants (see here and here). Owen and Turretin took the opposing view (they had awareness of the basic W&H readings from the Roman Catholics – Codex Vaticanus was in Rome’s library, and its readings were made known to many – which the Counter-Reformation threw at them, seeking to undermine the Reformer’s doctrine of Sola Scriptura). One cannot (or I cannot) use one or another man’s views as a sure answer. One must understand the issues pertaining to what is the authentic text, and make up one’s own mind.

This issue, once opened to a sincere mind, is as a Pandora’s box – the evils contained therein cannot be contained or exterminated (this side of the Resurrection) – and the sole antidote is to become educated in the matter (and even then it may not act as an antidote for some).

---------

J. Dean,

The KJO preacher you heard “updating the language” I think would fall into the category of expositing or “unpacking” the language and text, making it relevant to folks who live in this day and age. When I preached from the AV I would often “modernize” the words so they would be understandable to the congregation, for many of whom English was a second language (the pew bibles were NKJV, a choice I had to make between the planting church’s offer of ESVs or that – in Africa I had seen the havoc the ESV was causing among some of the class I taught; I saw the NKJV as far superior).

My view is one I am willing to “put on paper” (if one counts these discussion boards as “paper”). There are a few places where I prefer a modern version’s translation, and have put it in the margin of my Bible (I know this will give some KJVO folks the horrors). One of my favorite commentators on the NT is William Hendriksen, and he is a thorough-going CT person. I love his exegeses, and still retain my textual views. Remember, I call myself KJV priority, so as to acknowledge the legitimacy of other Bibles (I came to this position here at PB, interacting with godly men holding other views – and Bibles – and could not deny their integrity and devotion to the Lord and to His word). I make this clear in post #86 above.

With regard to Daniel 3:25 and the AV’s rendering “like the Son of God”, while I realize it is by far a minority rendering of the Hebrew (I have found only Lamsa’s translation from the Syriac Peshitta that agrees), I think it is a defensible choice, as that is who it was. I, for one, though, would not call the other translation choices bad. I have confidence in no other Bible’s underlying original-language texts, and I trust the AV translators’ work. Their translation choices are not the only ones possible, but they are good. I would not object to a fair and true modernization of the AV, but I do not think it possible given the current state of men’s minds and hearts.

I am still working on your question re differing “versions” of the King James Bible. I thought it would be a breeze, but have discovered it is actually a complicated matter. I have a hardcopy of F.H.A. Scrivener’s, The Authorized Edition of the English Bible (1611): Its Subsequent Reprints and Modern Representatives, which I am going through. He was not an AV man, but a Traditional Text (sort of Majority Text) man. I’ll have to report back to you on that shortly.

As I’ve said above, what I really want to do is start to work on the contra Bart Ehrman piece (I’ve loaned some of those books out to a pastor, and have just called them back in, giving a few weeks leeway).

-------

Chris (JohnGill), I think interacting with Ehrman’s views will call for my take on a Reformed presentation of VPI and VPP, although with the twist that it will be from the AV / TR position. I have a number of refutations of him from the CT school (books, online articles, and his debate with James White [haven’t listened to it yet]), but it is their very textual stance that puts the wind in his sails, so to speak. I ask the Lord for the ability to do this and whatever else I undertake. And I thank you for your labors in this area!
 

JohnGill

Puritan Board Senior
Chris (JohnGill), I think interacting with Ehrman’s views will call for my take on a Reformed presentation of VPI and VPP, although with the twist that it will be from the AV / TR position. I have a number of refutations of him from the CT school (books, online articles, and his debate with James White [haven’t listened to it yet]), but it is their very textual stance that puts the wind in his sails, so to speak. I ask the Lord for the ability to do this and whatever else I undertake. And I thank you for your labors in this area!

I've listened to the White v Ehrman debate and must agree with Joel McDurmon's view on the debate. (It's online at American Vision.) Ehrman v Wallace had many of the same issues, though there appeared to be even less disagreement between the two. It was after hearing/watching these two debates that I bought Ehrman's Orthodox Corruption of Christianity & Misquoting Jesus. Ironically Burgon's Causes for Corruption & Traditional Text refute Ehrman's Orthodox Corruption, yet Burgon is held in mean esteem by the modern school. I find Ehrman to be consistent in his presentation and agree with his critiques of both White & Wallace during and after the debates. McDurmon's critique of White v Ehrman had much in common with Ehrman's own take on the debate. I also find Ehrman's works to be valuable since he takes the modern view to its logical conclusion. He unknowingly refutes the modern view by reducing it to absurdity.

I pray God gives you the wisdom for the critique and the time to complete it.

Eventually I plan to offer an online database with books, articles, etc. available from both schools.
 

Philip

Puritan Board Graduate
Ok then, what is necessary to the practice of textual criticism upon scripture?

Linguistic and textual analytical methods such as we would use on any other document to determine what it looked like originally. The Bible is as truly human, after all, as it is Divine and God-Breathed. If the TR is, as you say, the perfectly preserved version, then you should have nothing to fear.

You must overthrow from scripture the Reformed views of Verbal Plenary Inspiration and Verbal Plenary Preservation and then replace them with justification from scripture with the modern views of preservation and inspiration.

I don't have to---I believe this as you do. I disagree that a particular textual methodology is necessitated by this.
 
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