Trying to understand the NKJV manuscript notes when it refers to NU (Critical Text)

Discussion in 'Translations and Manuscripts' started by kodos, Apr 9, 2012.

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  1. kodos

    kodos Puritan Board Junior

    UPDATE: See my post all the way below - I goofed and misread the ESV and UBS Gk. New Testament!.

    Hi all,
    Since becoming a believer, I've struggled to stick to a single good translation. I started with the NIV, then used NASB for some time, then dabbled with the HCSB, and then the ESV (since that's what we use at our church), and then started to read the KJV. Well, I love the KJV but it is sometimes slow going for me trying to translate it in my head :). So I started to use the NKJV recently. Boy, do I love it! I also enjoy the textual information that it supplies.

    All of that said, I have been studying 1 Thessalonians recently, and I noted this under the textual notes for 1 Thessalonians 1:1, "NU omits from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ". This surprises me since the ESV (a CT translation) reads identically. I popped open my UBS 4th revised edition and it states that the phrase exists in their version:

    So... if NU is the Critical Text, which version of the Critical Text is it? Nestle Aland also reads the same...

    Can someone more enlightened in these matters help me out, I'm only recently scratching the surface of Textual Criticism and I'm only starting to learn Greek! I love the NKJV textual notes, but I fear to use them wrongly if I cannot associate NU with Critical Text (which is what the NKJV notes tell us).
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2012
  2. JohnGill

    JohnGill Puritan Board Senior

    I think it has to do with the NU version the NKJV is based on. The CT keeps changing, one day some parts are out, then opinions change, and those parts are back in. A lot of it really depends on what is their underlying theory of textual criticism. So depending on which CT the version of the NKJV you're using is referencing, the passage may or may not be in the "current" CT. I remember reading an article at somewhere, either on this site, or a site promoting another CT version, that covers this. I'll try to find it.
  3. JM

    JM Puritan Board Professor

  4. Bill The Baptist

    Bill The Baptist Puritan Board Senior

    The designation NU-Text in the NKJV represents either the 26th edition of the Nestle-Aland Greek New Testament, or The United Bible Societies Third Edition. Whenever the TR upon which the NKJV was based differs from either of those two editions of the critical text, it will be footnoted with NU-Text. The point is simply to point out whenever the TR has a variant reading, thus the editors did not feel the need to identify which of the two editions of the CT from which the TR deviates. At any rate, Nestle-Aland and UBS are very similar anyway.
  5. rbcbob

    rbcbob Puritan Board Graduate

    The NKJV manuscript notes also indicate where the TR differs from the MT (Majority Text) and where the MT and NU differ from the TR
  6. Bill The Baptist

    Bill The Baptist Puritan Board Senior

    Yes, and this is one of my favorite feature of the NKJV. It allows you to understand where the text differs and make an informed decision as to which is the better reading. Of course the KJV only crowd thinks that this is casting doubt upon God's word.
  7. GulfCoast Presbyterian

    GulfCoast Presbyterian Puritan Board Junior

    Or casting doubt on their personal dogma. ;)
  8. J. Dean

    J. Dean Puritan Board Junior

    All that being said, no translation is a perfect one. Even the NIV has some passages well-translated.
  9. Jerusalem Blade

    Jerusalem Blade Puritan Board Post-Graduate

    Well, this representative of the King James priority crowd likes the NKJV footnotes - they're a handy quick-reference to the variant readings of the differing text-forms.

    When given a choice (by the planting church) whether the pew Bibles our church plant was to be given were ESV or NKJV I chose the latter, which were far superior in my view. But the Bible I preached from was the Authorized Version.
  10. Pilgrim

    Pilgrim Puritan Board Doctor

    Exactly! You can see this state of flux in the CT reflected in various revisions of the NASB, although I can't recall where at the moment.

    Some of the CT translations are more "conservative" than others with regard to what they leave in that isn't considered to be in the "better manuscripts." Generally the NASB leaves more of the traditional renderings in the text, putting them in brackets. (However, their continued printing of the "shorter ending of Mark" seems rather puzzling to me although I have to admit to being a rank amateur in these matters. Apparently the translators think it has nearly as good of a claim at being legit as the traditional ending.) The NIV and ESV and some others will relegate whole verses to the margin at times. Although I haven't broken down and acquired one after all these years, my understanding is that the HCSB leaves more of the TR renderings in the text than the other CT versions. It also has a lot more textual footnotes than other versions (with the exception of the NET.) I think all of it including footnotes are available online, however.

    While I've had an interest in this issue for years, the practical effects were brought home a few years ago when I was teaching a class a few years ago. I was using the NKJV and I forgot to check the textual issues prior to beginning, particularly with regard to what other versions had. Most of the people there had either a NASB or ESV and the NIV probably had some representation as well. I asked a woman to read a certain verse from one of the Gospels and she said it wasn't in her ESV. It jumped right from v. 25 to v. 27 or whatever it was.

    Here is the language from the NKJV preface explaining their footnotes:

    The majority text referred to in the notes is Hodges-Farstad.
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2012
  11. GulfCoast Presbyterian

    GulfCoast Presbyterian Puritan Board Junior

    I just received in the mail a spiffy R.L. Allan HCSB for my wife (her preferred translation). I will scurry forth and check and check it for textual footnotes for all the "usual suspects."
  12. kodos

    kodos Puritan Board Junior

    Okay brothers - I majorly goofed. I must've been really tired and didn't pay attention. The ESV and UBS 4th edition really do omit "from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ" at the tail end of 1 Thess 1:1.

    Late at night, I must've had a dyslexic moment where I saw the first half of the verse (where Paul mentions the church being in union with God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ) and tacked that onto the end of the verse. To be clear:

    Sorry for all the trouble, though this has been very enlightening regardless!
  13. JohnGill

    JohnGill Puritan Board Senior

    Haha! I hate late night studying. I get the same problem. But Jerusalem Blade probably has the info on how the various editions of the CT differ.
  14. PointyHaired Calvinist

    PointyHaired Calvinist Puritan Board Sophomore

    Isn't the Nestle-Aland and UBS text the same, but the footnotes differ?
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