Why the Modern Translations should not be used by the Reformed.

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CalvinandHodges

Puritan Board Junior
Simply put: Because the Greek Text (Nestle/Aland 23) used in these translations are not reflective of the inspired originals.

The Westminster Confession, Belgic Confession, London Baptist Confession, Savoy Confession, and all of the Reformation hold to the doctrine of Verbal Plenary Inspiration. That is, that the Inspiration of the Scriptures is found in the Words (Verbal) and all of the Words (Plenary) of the Hebrew and the Greek.

The Confessions, and the Reformed, specifically teach that the Inspiration of the Scriptures is not only found in the Original Autographs of the Bible, but is Providentially Preserved in the copies that we have today such that not one word of the Autographs is missing. Consequently, the copies we have today contain the Inerrant Word of the Original Autographs. See: WCF 1:8; Belgic Article 7; LBC 1:8.

(There are "errors" that do not affect Inspiration or Inerrancy - such as misspelling a word or misplacing a line or phrase in a particular copy. Such "transcription errors" are corrected in other copies - "What error may be found in one copy is corrected in another." Also, translation errors - which can be found in all translations KJV, ESV, NIV, NASB, do not affect the Greek or Hebrew Text, and are simply problems found in the translation of any foreign language text into another language.)

However, the Nestle/Aland Greek Text departs from the Reformed understanding of the Inspiration and Inerrancy of the Scriptures and these errors are reproduced in the NASB and ESV. These errors do affect the Inspiration and Inerrancy of Scripture and should be condemned. Here is a short list:

Compare Mark 1:35-39 with Luke 4:44 - All translations (KJV, ESV, NASB) state in the Mark 1 passage that Jesus went into Galilee. However, in the parallel passage in Luke 4:44, the NASB and ESV (following the Nestle/Aland Greek text) contradict this statement by saying that Jesus went into Judah. Bruce Metzger makes it clear that this change in the Greek Text was done on purpose when he commented on this passage in his Textual Commentary claiming that the "harder reading" was preferred in Luke 4:44. Some Bibles have a note at Luke 4:44, but not all Bibles have footnotes. Also, footnotes are not the text.

The Bible does not contain contradictions - that is the clear teaching of the doctrine of Inerrancy. However, Nestle/Aland has not only introduced a contradiction in the Greek Text (which is not there in the Textus Receptus), but has also produced an error of fact. We are confidently told, however, "that not one doctrine of the Bible is affected by the changes." Is Inerrancy a doctrine of the Bible? Nestle, Aland, and Metzger do not believe the Scriptures to be Inerrant, and such is reflected in their Greek Text.

1 Cor 5:1 - the phrase "is named" is in the Textus Receptus, but is omitted in Nestle/Aland. The ESV follows less literally the translation here. However, the NASB claims that the fornicating sin that Paul speaks of "does not exist" among the Gentiles. This is not simply contrary to what Paul is saying, but is a flat out lie - Greek Mythology talks about the "Oedipus complex."

Matthew 1:8 - "Asaph" does not belong in the genealogy of Jesus - it is generally considered a scribal error (corrected in other copies) of the name "Asa." This "error" found in the Nestle/Aland Greek Text is not reproduced in the NASB, but is noted in the footnotes, it is found in the ESV.

Luke 9:10 "into a desert place" the Nestle/Aland text omits this point. Consequently, both the ESV and NASB state that Jesus went into the town of Bethsaida. The ESV and NASB contradict what they say in verse 12. If Jesus and the crowd were in the town of Bethsaida - which is what the ESV and NASB both claim - then why would they want to send the crowd to the towns and cities, "for we are in a desolate place" (vs. 12). The Nestle Greek Text does not make sense, and the ESV and NASB follow it.

Brothers and Sisters: Scholars have combed the Textus Receptus for centuries, and have found no errors of fact or contradiction in it. The Textus Receptus upholds the Verbal and Plenary Ispiration and Inerrancy of the original Autographs. The Nestle/Aland Greek Text used by the modern translations does not.

Blessings,

Rob
 
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AThornquist

Puritan Board Doctor
 

N. Eshelman

Puritan Board Senior
Rob, I think that you need to rethink your original statement. I too am a TR guy, and I believe that the WCF does support the use of the Received Text in translating the Scriptures... BUT..... you fail to forget that the Westminster Confession also requires that the Hebrew and Greek texts be translated INTO THE VULGAR language of the people.

Personally, I am conflicted between two principles.
1. I believe that the Received Text should be the basis for translation
2. I believe that the Bible should be translated into common language.

We MUST use modern translations if we are Reformed (at least from the Westminster Tradition).

How can that be done in public worship and preaching and teaching?

1. You could use the NKJV which is based on the TR even though other manuscripts were looked at in the translation.
2. You could use the ESV or NASB (or the like) in your reading of the Scripture, but teach your people where the texts differ.

I do the second option, and I do not think that my people are confused or watered down or sent down a false path. It just requires them to think about these things.

What is your practice for reconciling these two principles of the Westminster Confession of Faith, chapter 1?
 

CIT

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
Is it really that expensive to publish a Bible?

Could a group of denoms pool resources and translate one?

How long does it take to translate the NT properly?
 

CalvinandHodges

Puritan Board Junior
Hi:

As far as a new translation in modern language according to the MT and TR - I am all for it - as long as it is not done by a Bible Society, Publishing house, or Foundation, but by the Church of Jesus Christ.

Nathan:

I think that your conscience concerning being true to the Word of God, and also having a translation in the vulgar language is noble, and I always appreciate your godly spirit in this matter. There are, however, many churches out there that use the King James Version exclusively in their pews, and the lay people have no difficulty. Part of this is simply a matter of becoming familiar with the syntax. Part, also, is that words like "Thy, Thee, Thine" are simply not that complicated, and, just about anyone can understand the meaning. The only ones whom I have found that have difficulty with the language of the KJV are "scholars" - and those influenced by them. There are fanatics among them that I have met personally. When I read John 3:16 to them in the KJV they say that they do not understand it because the word "believeth" is incomprehensible.

Since you asked: The KJV has been updated in language over the centuries, and the last time was in the late 1800's. Consequently, I do not believe that it is so far outside the vulgar language of today that it cannot be used in accordance with the WCF. However, I am aware that it is on the fringe, and I think a new translation out of the MT and TR is warranted. In lieu of that I would, very reluctantly, recommend the NKJV as a "bridge" from the modern translations to the KJV. I am more happy with the Modern KJV, but that is out of print and unavailable. I have also looked at the KJV in the 21st Century, but that also has some problems with it.

So, we have to do the best we can according to our consciences.

Blessings,

Rob
 

Jack K

Puritan Board Professor
There are, however, many churches out there that use the King James Version exclusively in their pews, and the lay people have no difficulty. Part of this is simply a matter of becoming familiar with the syntax.

Yes, but shouldn't we also care that the Scriptures be understandable to those who are unfamiliar with them, who haven't had that opportunity to become accustomed to the archaic syntax? And even for those who have learned to deal with the syntax, how is it a faithful translation if it requires learning a new way to read? And how might having the Scriptures in a different dialect than the one used in everyday situations affect one's view of God?

The everyday language argument is not so easily dismissed.
 

C. M. Sheffield

Puritan Board Senior
I'm all for a modern translation of the TR! Having said that, I've preached from the AV for more than 10 years to churches that did not self-identify as KJO and it has never been a hindrance to my ministry. I've never been approached afterwards and told, "I couldn't understand your message because of the Bible you were using!" I personally feel that the "too-difficult-to-understand" card gets overplayed and exaggerated. Just my :2cents:
 

Philip

Puritan Board Graduate
As far as a new translation in modern language according to the MT and TR - I am all for it - as long as it is not done by a Bible Society, Publishing house, or Foundation, but by the Church of Jesus Christ.

And how is it going to get published and distributed again?
 

SolaGratia

Puritan Board Junior
TBS (Trinitarian Bible Society - The Word of God Among All Nations) ALONG with the English speaking Church SHOULD and can do the job. They can publish it, update it together with English speaking Hebrew/Greek scholars found in the English speaking Church, distribute it, etc. That's why they exist:



-To publish and distribute the Holy Scriptures throughout the world in many languages.

-To promote Bible translations which are accurate and trustworthy, conforming to the Hebrew Masoretic Text of the Old Testament, and the Greek Textus Receptus of the New Testament, upon which texts the English Authorised Version is based.

-To be instrumental in bringing light and life, through the Gospel of Christ, to those who are lost in sin and in the darkness of false religion and unbelief.

-To uphold the doctrines of reformed Christianity, bearing witness to the equal and eternal deity of God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit, One God in three Persons.

-To uphold the Bible as the inspired, inerrant Word of God.


TBS is currently updating the 1909 Reina-Valera Biblia, a TR Spanish reformation bible.
 
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TimV

Puritanboard Botanist
Brothers and Sisters: Scholars have combed the Textus Receptus for centuries, and have found no errors of fact or contradiction in it. The Textus Receptus upholds the Verbal and Plenary Ispiration and Inerrancy of the original Autographs. The Nestle/Aland Greek Text used by the modern translations does not.

Rob you seem to go back and forth on this about once every quarter! We started making a list of Reformed theologians who are certain that there are errors in the TR and it got really long, with people like Calvin, Beza, Turratin, Gill and well, lots more. The list of scholars who thought that there were no errors in the TR so far has tentatively John Owen and that's about it.

So, whether you're wrong or right, your statement is at best irresponsible, and probably worse, since unless you're defining scholar in your own personal way that you haven't shared with anyone else (which is irresponsible) the statement is an outright falsehood.
 

CalvinandHodges

Puritan Board Junior
Hi:

TimV:

You have not read my post close enough. If you remember, I pointed out that there are "errors" which do not affect inspiration or inerrancy. These "transcription" and "translation" errors are easily rectified by comparing the copies of the originals that are in existence. There are errors, however, that do affect inspiration/inerrancy, and it is those errors that I am pointing out in the Nestle-Aland 23/27 Greek Text.

The Textus Receptus does not have errors of fact or contradiction - errors that affect inspiration/inerrancy. Thus, the Reformers and Puritans which you cite agree that there may be transcription errors in the Text, but not errors of fact or contradiction.

Blessings, brother!

-Rob
 

TimV

Puritanboard Botanist
The Textus Receptus does not have errors of fact or contradiction - errors that affect inspiration/inerrancy. Thus, the Reformers and Puritans which you cite agree that there may be transcription errors in the Text, but not errors of fact or contradiction

It's impossible for you to be more wrong. For just ONE of many examples, Turratin and Gill and others foam at the mouth saying Cainan shouldn't be included in Luke 3:16, since it's a factual mistake. Whether they are right or wrong is irrelevant. The plain fact is that they say it's a factual error in the TR.

---------- Post added at 03:52 PM ---------- Previous post was at 03:51 PM ----------

PS, Blessings on you too, brother :)
 

Philip

Puritan Board Graduate
However, the NASB claims that the fornicating sin that Paul speaks of "does not exist" among the Gentiles. This is not simply contrary to what Paul is saying, but is a flat out lie - Greek Mythology talks about the "Oedipus complex."

Actually, that was Freud. The story of Oedipus was also about a man who did this unknowingly and therefore does not actually involve an Oedipus complex.

Matthew 1:8 - "Asa" does not belong in the genealogy of Jesus

1 Kings 15--yes it does.

The other errors you cite are fairly trivial. All you've done (at least with regard to me) is to convince me that the TR and CTs aren't all that different.
 

CalvinandHodges

Puritan Board Junior
Hi:

TimV: I just checked my TR, and Cainan cannot be found in Luke 3:16.

PF. Pugh: You are right - I got them mixed - Asa should be in Christ's genealogy - Asaph should not. I will correct it in the OP.

The ESV uses "Asaph" the NASB uses "Asa" but footnotes that the Greek text says "Asaph."

I am not really interested in the translations at this point, but simply the differences between the Greek Text.

Thanks again for pointing this out.

Blessings,

Rob

---------- Post added at 07:40 PM ---------- Previous post was at 07:36 PM ----------

Hi Tim:

If Turretin and Gill are accusing the TR of having a factual mistake, and they are wrong, then it would be relevant - since it would show that the TR does not have factual mistakes.

Blessings,

Rob
 

CalvinandHodges

Puritan Board Junior
Tim:

You said that it is irrelevant if Turretin and Gill are wrong - it would be relevant if they are wrong b/c they are accusing the TR of holding a factual error (according to you). Consequently, if they are wrong, then the TR does not have a factual error in it. Now, Luke 3:16 does not have a factual error in it, because "Cainan" is not in the TR.

So, what are you talking about?

Blessings,

Rob
 

TimV

Puritanboard Botanist
Now, Luke 3:16 does not have a factual error in it, because "Cainan" is not in the TR.

You are wrong, my son. :)
Luk 3:36 Which was the son of Cainan,G2536 which was the son of Arphaxad,G742 which was the son of Sem,G4590 which was the son of Noe,G3575 which was the son of Lamech,G2984

If you had done an ounce of study, you'd know Cainan is in the TR.

brother, you can't win. Only a handful of Fundie Baptists hold to your current theory :)
 

CalvinandHodges

Puritan Board Junior
Hi Tim:

According to Gill - this is not a factual error, but an error of transcription:

This Cainan is not mentioned by Moses in ( Genesis 11:12 ) nor has he ever appeared in any Hebrew copy of the Old Testament, nor in the Samaritan version, nor in the Targum; nor is he mentioned by Josephus, nor in ( 1 Chronicles 1:24 ) where the genealogy is repeated; nor is it in Beza's most ancient Greek copy of Luke: it indeed stands in the present copies of the Septuagint, but was not originally there; and therefore could not be taken by Luke from thence, but seems to be owing to some early negligent transcriber of Luke's Gospel, and since put into the Septuagint to give it authority: I say "early", because it is in many Greek copies, and in the Vulgate Latin, and all the Oriental versions, even in the Syriac, the oldest of them; but ought not to stand neither in the text, nor in any version: for certain it is, there never was such a Cainan, the son of Arphaxad, for Salah was his son; and with him the next words should be connected,

Other commentators rectify this problem by noting that Cainan was the natural father of Salah by his sin in "uncovering" one of Noah's daughters - thus incurring the curse brought down on him by Noah. The young lady then married Arphaxad making Arphaxad the adoptive father of Salah. I think such an interpretation is rather tenuous, and, unless there is a solid textual basis for using "Cainan" in Luke3:36, then I would suggest that this is a transmission error that is caught in other, more reliable, copies of the Book of Luke.

Since there are other copies in the Byzantine tradition that omit "Cainan" in this passage, then what we see is a copy error rather than a factual error. This Gill attests to in his commentary.

Blessings,

Rob

---------- Post added at 10:19 PM ---------- Previous post was at 10:07 PM ----------

Hi:

You should also note that the Critical Text has "Cainan" at Luke 3:36 as well. Hmmmmmm

-RPW
 

CalvinandHodges

Puritan Board Junior
Hi:

TimV you wrote:

brother, you can't win. Only a handful of fundie baptists hold to your position.
I was not aware that we were in competition? But the fundie baptist position that you are referring to either believes that the KJV is the inspired Word of the Living God - a position that I do not hold nor would I defend. Or, they believe that there are no errors at all in the Textus Receptus - a position that I do not hold nor would I defend.

The fundie baptists that you refer to think that I am a liberal - because I believe that there are transcription errors in the Textus Receptus. The Critical Text group labels me a "fundie baptist" or a "KJO fanatic" because I believe the Textus Receptus is the authentic apograph of the autographs. I think this means that I must be doing something right! :)

Blessings, brother!

-Rob
 

TimV

Puritanboard Botanist
Since there are other copies in the Byzantine tradition that omit "Cainan" in this passage, then what we see is a copy error rather than a factual error.

The bandage that you used to cover your false statement is another false statement. Specifically that you equate the TR with the whole of the Byzantine tradition. Cainan is found in all the versions of the TR. Whether it is found in the CT or OTHER Byzantine mss. is totally irrelevant, unless you are using a personal definition of TR that you've neglected to inform the rest of us of.
 

CalvinandHodges

Puritan Board Junior
Hi:

Thanks, Rich, for that break! I hope everyone had as good, or better, Lord's Day as I did! God is good!

TimV:

You wrote: "The bandage that you used to cover your false statement is another false statement. Specifically that you equate the TR with the whole of the Byzantine tradition."

In just about every thread that I posted on concerning Textual matters I have pointed out that I believe the TR to be a collation of the Byzantine MSS, and thus emendable by the copies of the Byzantine MSS. I even mentioned this in the debate with James White on his Dividing Line. This has been the standard understanding of the Reformed since the time of the Textus Receptus. I have even pointed this out in the OP here when I mentioned that copy errors are easily rectified by comparing the copies of the manuscripts, "What error may be found in one copy is corrected in another." As such, I believe the TR to be the best representation of the Byzantine MSS. Such is attested to by Francis Turretin:

Although we give to the Scriptures absolute integrity, we do not therefore think that the copyists and printers were inspired, but only that the providence of God watched over the copying of the sacred books, so that although many errors might have crept in, it has not so happened (or they have not so crept into the manuscripts) but that they can be easily corrected by a collation of others (or with the Scriptures themselves). Therefore the foundation of the purity and integrity of the sources is not to be placed in the freedom from fault of men, but in the providence of God which (however men employed in transcribing the sacred books might possibly mingle various errors) always diligently took care to correct them, or that they might be corrected easily either from a comparison with Scripture itself or from more approved manuscripts. It was not necessary therefore to render all the scribes infallible, but only so to direct them that the true reading may always be found out. This book far surpasses all others in purity, Francis Turretin, Institutes of Elenctic Theology by Francis Turretin, trans. George Musgrave Giger, ed. James T. Dennison, vol 1 (Phillipsburg, New Jersey: Presbyterian and Reformed Publishing, 1992), pp. 72-73.
Concerning Luke 3:36 Turretin writes:

This [i.e. that Cainan in Luke 3:36 is spurious] is plainly proved: (1) by the authority of Moses and of the books of Chronicles which, in the genealogical records formed in three places (Gen. 10:24; 11:13; 1 Chron. 1:18), make no mention of him; (2) the Chaldee paraphrases which uniformly omit Cainan in the book of Genesis and Chronicles; (3) Josephus does not mention him, nor Berosus guided by him, nor Africanus whose words Eusebius quotes in his Chronicorum (cf. 1.16.13 [PG 19.153-54]); (4) the sacred chronology would thus be disturbed and brought into doubt in the history of Moses, if the years of Cainan are inserted between Arphaxad and Sala. Abraham would not be the tenth from Noah as Moses asserts, but the eleventh. (5) It does not exist in any of the Codices. Our Beza testifies that it is not found in his most ancient manuscript (Annotationes maiores in Novum ... Testamentum, Pars prior [1594], p. 262 on Luke 3:36). Ussher ("De Cainano Arphaxadi filio" in Chronologia Sacra 6; cf. Whole Works [1847-64], 11:558) asserts that he saw the book of Luke written in Greek-Latin on the most ancient vellum, in characters somewhat large without breathings and accents (which having been brought from Greece to France was laid up in the monastery of St. Irenaeus in the suburbs of Lyons; and being discovered in the year 1562 was afterward carried to England and presented to the University of Cambridge), and in it he could not find Cainan. Scaliger in his prologue to the chronicle of Eusebius ("Prolegomena," Thesaurus temporum Eusebii .. chronicorum canonum [1606/1968], 1:ii) affirms that Cainan is lacking in the most ancient copies of Luke. Whatever the case may be, even if this passage proves to be a mistake, the authenticity of Luke's gospel cannot be called in question on that account: (a) because the corruption is not universal; (b) this error is of little consequence and a ready means of correcting it is furnished by Moses, so that there was no necessity for that learned man Vossius to throw doubts upon the purity of the Hebrew manuscript in order to establish the authenticity of the Septuagint, ibid., 71-72.
In which Turretin notes that the insertion of "Cainan" is a transmission error, and not a factual error.

Thus, it seems to me, that the two theologians whom you cited earlier as arguing a factual error actually argue against your point.

However, let us look at it from another angle. Let us suppose that the name "Cainan" was actually in the Autograph of Luke - that Luke actually wrote the word exactly where it is placed, and that both the TR and Critical Text are correct in the transmission of this particular text. Would this, then, create a factual error in the Autographs? The answer is a decided "no."

I would recommend that you read Edwin R. Thiele's book, Mysterious Numbers of the Hebrew Kings in which he points out that there are gaps and spaces in Hebrew genealogies.

To give you an easy example: Matthew, in his genealogy of Jesus Christ, calls Jesus the Son of David, the Son of Abraham. Now, would you consider this a factual error since it is clear that David was not the natural father of Jesus, but of Solomon? Or, that Abraham was not the natural father of either David or Jesus, but of Isaac? Are you going to "foam at the mouth" as you put it, and claim that the Autographs have an error in it? - I am asking these questions rhetorically - and mean no offense by them.

Also, continuing in the genealogy of Matthew: The Autographs skip over 2 generations in Mt 1:8 - making Joram the father of Amaziah whereas it is clear, in 1 Chr 3:11,12, that Joram was the father of Ahaziah, who was the father of Joash, who was the father of Amaziah. Thus, the Greek Text says, in Mt 1:8: "...Joram begat Ozias (Amaziah)" but Joram was not the natural father of Ozias, but of Ahaziah.

If the inclusion of "Cainan" was written by Luke under the divine inspiration of the Holy Spirit, then I would suggest that Luke was "filling in" one of the gaps in the genealogy that was left out by the Jews in prior listings. The inclusion of "Cainan" here would not be an error of fact.

Unfortunately, the errors of fact that I have listed above in the Greek Text of the modern translations, are, indeed, errors of fact and contradiction. This makes the Nestle Greek Text erroneous, and, consequently, not inerrant. The Bible translations using this text cannot be considered inspired - as far as translations can be pointed to as the inspired word of God.

Blessings,

Rob
 
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TimV

Puritanboard Botanist
In just about every thread that I posted on concerning Textual matters I have pointed out that I believe the TR to be a collation of the Byzantine MSS, and thus emendable by the copies of the Byzantine MSS.

Calvin Beisner posted something on Facebook the other day about definitions. Are there any theological dictionaries that describe the TR as you do above? When you take people like Matthew Winzer who hold to the Reformed TR only school of thought they say that it is possible for the TR to have corrupt readings, and those readings can be emended, carefully, from the Byzantine family of texts. But I've never heard him or anyone else define the TR in such broad terms as you. But perhaps we're talking past each other.
 

CalvinandHodges

Puritan Board Junior
Does the Trinitarian Bible Society support a new translation of the TR? I'd be interested in knowing.

Hi Pastor:

I am not sure. I believe that the Trinitarian Bible Society would support a new translation done exclusively from the Masoretic Text and the Textus Receptus. I have sent an inquiry to them regarding this question.

Blessings,

Rob

---------- Post added at 04:36 PM ---------- Previous post was at 04:25 PM ----------

In just about every thread that I posted on concerning Textual matters I have pointed out that I believe the TR to be a collation of the Byzantine MSS, and thus emendable by the copies of the Byzantine MSS.

Calvin Beisner posted something on Facebook the other day about definitions. Are there any theological dictionaries that describe the TR as you do above? When you take people like Matthew Winzer who hold to the Reformed TR only school of thought they say that it is possible for the TR to have corrupt readings, and those readings can be emended, carefully, from the Byzantine family of texts. But I've never heard him or anyone else define the TR in such broad terms as you. But perhaps we're talking past each other.

Hi Tim:

To be identified with Pastor Winzer - of whom I respect as a very godly man and a better man than I - is a great honour. However, I am not defining the TR any different than the Francis Turretin quote above, or, how you describe Pastor Winzer's position as well.

As I understand it: We have 5,401 copies of the Byzantine Text available today. There are 501 copies of 1 John alone. We do not use all 501 copies of 1 John in the collation of the MSS - such as the TR - that would create a great redundancy in your Greek Text. Imagine 501 copies of 1 John in your Bible! The text critical process collates these 501 MSS and condenses them down into one text of 1 John, and out comes the TR copy of 1 John. The TR copy of 1 John may still have transmission errors in it. By comparing and contrasting the 501 copies of 1 John we can then weed out the transmission errors and come to the pure apograph of the autograph.

I hope this helps.

Blessings,

Rob
 
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