1st Century fragments of N.T. Discovered

Discussion in 'Bible Versions/Translations' started by Martin Marprelate, Feb 27, 2012.

  1. Martin Marprelate

    Martin Marprelate
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  2. jonathan.borland

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    Good interview. Thanks for the link. I'm becoming more positive. However, since they're all from Egypt, they probably won't reveal anything different from the other manuscripts from there. All the early manuscripts we have are only from Egypt, since that's the only place where the climate can preserve paper for so long.
     
  3. Greektim

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    JB... if, as many are now coming to admit, that most errors are traced back to the 2nd century and the continuation of those errors geographically extended into the families we have today; wouldn't a 1st century Egyptian Mss be most helpful in (1) establishing that our text is consistent w/ what was copied early on & (2) that given your proclivity towards the Byzantine text it might show the Alexandrian text to be a bit faulty at around the 2nd century??? This could be the opportunity that the Byzantine priority folk are looking for (not that it is needed). It could help to prove transcriptional history advocated by the Byzantine priority group.
     
  4. Martin Marprelate

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    I think the significance of this find may be huge.
    First of all, it kills off all suggestion that the Gospel writers weren't eye-witnesses. Secondly we have documents here that date from only 20 or 30 years after the originals.

    Nonetheless, since the fragments were found in Egypt, we have to accept that they may have been copied dozens of times en route to that country. There was plenty of time for errors to creep in. However, if the fragments are consistent in supporting the Critical Text then those of us who have supported the Byzantine Text are not going to be able to say that Sinaiticus and Vaticanus were faulty documents that were rejected and seldom used. Depending on the size of the fragments and the number of disputed readings, it may be that we're going to have to reconsider our position. There is no point in hanging on for the sake of tradition.

    On the other hand, if the documents support the Byzantine Text consistently, then I think the C.T. will be blown out of the water. Others may disagree, but I can't see how it could be maintained. If, as I rather suspect, the fragments contain a mixture of C.T, and M.T. readings as some of the 2nd Century fragments do, then it will at least prove that the Byzantine readings had an existence right fom the earliest times, which is what Dean Burgon sought to show.

    I can't wait to find out more!

    Steve
     
  5. Greektim

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    It seems like you are resting your entire textual position on this one Ms. That's a pretty weak textual philosophy isn't it? Some might say that it didn't work great for W&H.

    Frankly, I wouldn't be surprised that IF it turns out to be a 1st century mss that it helps us textually no more than P52.

    However, I'm hoping that it will contain a text w/ a major variant that will reveal more about a transmissional history than we previous knew. I'm not sure that I care if it supports one family or another (though I would love to see the Byzantine text get another boost), as long as it is authentically 1st century I'll be content.
     
  6. glfredrick

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    As an aside, I am always curious as to why "written" fragments cause so much consternation (as does oral tradition) for when wriatten one can actually compare it to something versus the fallacy "post office" game that is often used as an analagy to the early transmission of Scripture.

    If I were to write something, then ask a room full of 100 people to copy it, yes, there would certainly be errors in the copying. But in comparison of even a fraction of the total number of copies, one could easily reassemble the original text with 100% accuracy, even with copy errors because no two would likely be identical.

    A new fragment adds to the collective data on hand and gives MORE assurance of the original text, not less, as we can classify family of manuscripts, point to the issuance of scribal errors, etc., and more firmly and surely with the more manuscript evidence discovered.
     
  7. marke

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    I studied the issues of translations many years ago and was persuaded by the 'experts' then of the flawed nature of the Alexandrian texts. Modern revelations of more texts cannot change the flaws that I believe are still in those texts which were promoted by Westcot and Hort and nearly every modern English version since. The issue will never be settled for some, but I find comfort in knowing the translation process for the 1611 KJV was sufficiently thorough enough and held such doiminance among God's people for so many years that now new translations will never displace God's approval on the KJV for hundreds of years. I no longer have to do exhaustive research into not only old texts but also into the backgrounds and beliefs of new textual critics.
     
  8. glfredrick

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    I suggest doing your own comparison. It is relatively easy these days with computers that can display both texts side-by-side. Many have and at a very scholarly level. The assumption here (from you and others) is that these biblical scholars are mere lightweights who place their a priori presuppositions before their actual study of the actual texts. That would be a fail on the part of those who think that is how the process works.

    A second fail is in assuming that the level of scholarship and manuscript evidence is equivalent in 1611 and today. That is horribly incorrect, not to mention that newer scholarship exists than Westcot and Hort.

    Sheesh, at least pick up a Nestle-Aland Greek NT with comprehensive notes and SEE for yourself the issues at hand, the manuscripts referenced, and the fact that textual variants are both noted and accounted for.

    For all of the above... In otherwords, show yourself to be a workman approved... Instead of merely a critic of something that you probably don't even understand well, as evidenced by your remarks, which are most commonly found on weird internet sites by others who do not understand either. No sufficient knowlege of Greek with which to pursue the study? They have schools for that. If the issue is of that level of importance, spend some time and get educated instead of being led around by the nose by others who also failed to get educated.
     
  9. DaChaser1

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    problem here is that textual analysis takes YEARS of study and well versed in manuscripts/transmision/corruption etc

    have to be a real "expert" to actually discuss this topic with certainty...

    Rest like me would be content using the Nestle text and the hebrew for study, accepting at face value scholarship pft those involved in those works!

    frankly, don't think many of us qualify here to make judgements calls on whuch tradition/family of ancients manuscripts/documents best fit the evidence of being closest to originals!
     
  10. glfredrick

    glfredrick
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    My point EXACTLY...

    Yet, they are made as if there is some basis in true understanding, and worse, by those who seemingly lack even the rudimentary understanding of the issues involved to a point where silly statements can be made about the subject.

    This sort of discussion always reminds me of a group of guys talking cars. One tries to impress the crowd because he has a "turbo-fire" 350 under the hood (taken from the name badge on the air cleaner housing). Another knows someone who has a "3/4 race cam" in his Dodge, which of course makes it the fastest car in the county. To someone who understands the nuance of the discussion, that a Chevrolet 350 comes in many configurations with various horsepower and torque ratings based on compression ratio, cam specifications, available RPMs which are dependent on valve springs and piston weight, etc., and that camshafts are measured by lift and duration at .050", and that the ultimate performance of that vehicle is determined by the power to weight ratio, available traction, and the instant center of the suspension that allows the vehicle to accelerate rapidly because of weight shift upon take off, the above conversations are as meaningless as kids playing with matchbox cars in the sandbox.
     
  11. DaChaser1

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    think that there are 3 main groups of Christians in regards to use of the Greek/hebrew for Bible study purposes!

    First would be those who use Strongs concordance, Word study books etc
    can use those study tools by use of the numbering system

    Second would be those who have had intro grammars, can and do use lexicons, use interlinears etc can use to some degree the original texts, as know the alphabets and some of the gramamr/syntex!

    Third group those who are fluent in either greek/hebrew bible use, and who do use maily the Greek/hebrew texts to study off from, use latest lexicons, use advanced grammars etc, are fluent in either greek/hebrew grammar/syntex etc!

    That last group be the ones able to discuss with real understanding the OP question !

    And even then, would defer to "specialists" to deterine whichtext best, which varient fits best etc!
     
    #11 DaChaser1, Feb 29, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 29, 2012
  12. glfredrick

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    I agree, except that you forgot a 4th group -- those who carry a KJV and only read what it says and disavow ANY other study tool at all because the "Bible that was good enough for the Apostle Paul is good enough for me..." :wavey:
     
  13. jonathan.borland

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    It was good for Paul and Silas, it was good for Paul and Silas, it was GOOD for Paul and Silas, it's . . . . .
     
  14. DaChaser1

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    that would be the KJV bible called 'the Sword of the Lord!"

    What I don't undertand about KJVO position held by some that the KJV corrects mitakes in greek/hebrew texts...

    Aren't those SAME texts the source for/of the KJV itself, so wouldn't those "mistakes" had been in it from the start?
     
  15. Martin Marprelate

    Martin Marprelate
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    You may be right. However, I wouldn't want to be in a place where no amount of evidence could persuade me. I also think that having Bible versions with two different texts is not a good thing. I would love to see the matter resolved. My original reading of the article led me to think that there were four fragments from Paul's letters which were also 1st Century. Reading another account, it appears that these are thought to be 2nd Century.

    The question is, how large are the fragments. If they are no larger than P52 then they may not help us very much. If together they give a united position on one of other text in, say, 9 or 10 disputed pericopes, then I think that will be pretty heavy evidence one way or the other.

    Some of us have done this, believe it or not, and when we see that the notes employ the little abbreviation byz to represent 90%+ of the extant manuscripts and then treat them as if they were only one, we don't think this is wise or fair.

    Steve
     
  16. Greektim

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    The NA text doesn't use "BYZ" in its apparatus. Just FYI.

    And honestly, I've heard this argument before, but would you prefer them to list out every single Byzantine Ms? It is a shorter way to refer to the same textform and tradition. I actually find it helpful. I can spot the Byzantine reading much faster. Don't hate... appreciate! ;-)
     
  17. Martin Marprelate

    Martin Marprelate
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    Well I'm sitting here staring at my 4th Edn. UBS Greek New Testament and Byz is exactly what it says.

    What I'd prefer them to do is not to base their decisions on 5% or so of the MSS. That to me is madness.

    When I studied textual criticism as a non-Christian at University, I was dealing with ancient books like the poems of Catullus where there are (if memory serves) only three surviving MSS. In these circumstances, if one MS is known to be older than the others, then in the absence of any other indicators that reading might tentatively be preferred. But to ignore, say, 900MSS in favour of half a dozen, of which two might be older, seems crazy to me.

    The other crackers idea of secular C.T. is to suppose that if there are two competing readings, the most bizarre and ridiculous one is likely to be correct because no one would deliberately insert it unless it were correct. This didn't strike me as being sensible when dealing with secular writings. How utterly blasphemous to use such an idea with reference to the word of God! The most wise and exalted reading is likely to be the one that God inspired.

    Steve
     
  18. Greektim

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    In the quoted context, you were talking about the NA not UBS. Their apparatuses are vastly different, the UBS being so much smaller.

    And in the world of textual criticism outside of the NT, concepts similar to the Byzantine priority are more the majority.

    I'm not arguing against you, just pointing out a minor mistake you made. No biggie.
     
  19. HankD

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    That's rediculous. Paul was a Calvinist and was adamantly "Geneva Only".

    HankD
     
  20. DaChaser1

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    I thought he was into the "Whosoever wills" version!
     

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