A salty problem in Mk. 9:49

Discussion in '2004 Archive' started by Bluefalcon, Nov 20, 2004.

  1. Bluefalcon

    Bluefalcon
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    Mk. 9:49 (HCSB): "For everyone will be salted with fire."

    Mk. 9:49 (NKJV): "For everyone will be seasoned with fire, and every sacrifice will be seasoned with salt."

    The Alands say in their Introduction (p. 307-8), "Not only does the manuscript evidence require ['for everyone will be salted with fire'] as the original text, but so do the internal criteria. It is the lectio difficilior which alone can account for the development of the other forms of the text (including the misconstructions) in a genealogical pattern."

    First of all, the MS evidence is overwhelmingly Egyptian, from a region where a recognized and developed church is not documented until after A.D. 180, and where NT documents from around that time period are wild and erratic.

    Second, a simple scribal error called homoioteleuton (accidental skipping of text due to similarity of endings of words) easily accounts for the shorter text and additionally offers a reason for its extremely localized nature.

    The Nestle-Aland Greek NT reads:
    pas gar puri alisqhsetai
    ('for everyone will be salted with fire')

    The Byzantine Greek NT reads:
    pas gar puri ALISQHSETAI kai pasa qusia ali ALISQHSETAI
    ('for everyone will be salted with fire, and every sacrifice will be salted with salt')

    After writing the first 'alisqhsetai' of Mk. 9:49 an early Egyptian scribe's eye accidentally skipped to the end of the second 'alisqhsetai' and the accidental omission of the text in question was complete. The singular Greek reading of Codex Bezae ('for every sacrifice will be salted with salt') could easily have come from Lev. 2:13 LXX, or better yet been influenced by the Old Latin tradition that also omits the obviously more difficult text 'for everyone will be salted with fire'. The failure of critics like the Alands even to offer such as a plausible explanation highlights their blind preference for a few, many times localized, MSS against the mainstream NT textual tradition and the consensus of all Greek MSS.

    Yours,

    Bluefalcon
     
  2. HankD

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    I've always heard that it's a lot easier to add salt than to take it out.

    HankD
     
  3. Bluefalcon

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    Unless an accidental cutting is reasonably involved; then one can see how it's easier to leave it out than add it.

    Yours,

    Bluefalcon
     
  4. robycop3

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    Maybe some scribes thought that it was impossible to be salted with fire, same as it is to be ignited with salt.
     
  5. Keith M

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    It seems there are many more versions than just the HCSB that contain the shorter reading:

    NASB - salted with fire

    CEV - salted with fire

    RSV - salted with fire

    BBE - salted with fire

    GOD'S WORD - salted with fire

    ASV - salted with fire

    Weymouth NT - salted with fire

    Maybe it's more of a TR thing?
     
  6. Phillip

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    It is. Correct me if I am wrong, but Bluefalcon feels that Byzantine documents are closer to the originals than the Alexandrians.

    THIS, I have no problems with. It is not KJVonlyism.

    This is strictly preference and belief in which is the most accurate stream of texts. A lot of scholars believe the same way and others believe the other stream is best; both for differing reasons.
     
  7. Craigbythesea

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    Mr. Falcon,

    You have chosen for us to evaluate one of the most difficult passages in the entire Bible. And what, you may ask, is the basis of that statement? My reply:

    “The passage is exceedingly difficult.” Grimm

    “This is confessedly one of the most difficult passages to interpret in the N.T.” Gould

    “It is exceedingly obscure.” Jansen

    “It is exceedingly vexed.” Wolf

    “It is exceedingly vexing.” Heumann

    “There is great difficulty in this verse.” Clarke

    “A difficult verse, on which much has been written—some of it to little purpose.” Brown

    “Perhaps no passage in the New Testament has given more perplexity to commentators than this, and it may be impossible now to fix its precise meaning.” Barnes

    “This is one of the most difficult passages in the whole book, both the meaning of the terms and the connection with what goes before being doubtful and obscure.” Alexander

    “There is perhaps no passage in the New Testament which has so defied all efforts to assign to it any certain interpretation.” Bloomfield

    “It is one of those knots which are yet untied, in the exposition of Scripture.” Ryle

    “It has put to the rack the ingenuity of many learned men.” Grotius

    “It is one of those passages in which, because of their extraordinary obscurity, crosses seem to be fixed on which to torture expositors.” Fritzsche

    “It is certainly among the passages that are hard to be understood.” Spanheim

    “Almost all expositors and critics speak of these expressions, and especially the former, as among the most difficult in the Bible.” Morison

    James Morison further wrote (in 1884) of Mark 9:49, “Many separate treatises have been published on it, and very many long and elaborate notes, full of ingenuity and learning, have been written to throw light upon it.”


    And needless to say, not only is the text difficult to understand, it is no less difficult to ascertain. In my personal opinion, gross simplifications of either are highly inappropriate.

    [​IMG]
     
  8. Dr. Bob

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    And attacking the passage because it is Egyptian? How ludicrous. We've had a large thread on that red herring blue falcon.
     
  9. Bluefalcon

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    My main attack was that scribal error by homoioteleuton accounts for the shorter passage, but such an explanation is completely ignored by modern textual critics because of their blind textual preferences. (The Alands' one-way-or-the-highway explanation doesn't even mention the possibility of h.t. error in their preferred MSS here.) The rather localized nature of the passage also lends credence to such an explanation, and allows one to wonder why the "quality" of MSS from that region are so esteemed when errors of this sort are as common as they are. That's all I was saying.

    Yours,

    Bluefalcon
     
  10. Bluefalcon

    Bluefalcon
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    I'm glad you read Samuel Bloomfield. I have his 3-volume Greek New Testament and he's certainly one of my favorite interpreters of all time. What do you think of his textual notes and decisions, Craigbythesea? HAHAHAHA!

    Yours,

    Bluefalcon
     
  11. Bluefalcon

    Bluefalcon
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    No, it's not a TR thing, although the TR indeed has the longer passage. It's a consensus of all Greek manuscripts thing, and the TR eclectic (pick-and-choose) text happens to have it right here. I'm not supporting the longer reading because it's in the TR, but rather because the shorter reading has a valid explanation (error by homoioteleuton) and is extremely localized, while the longer reading is in the mainstream textual tradition and represents the consensus of all Greek manuscripts.

    Yours,

    Bluefalcon
     
  12. Craigbythesea

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    Am I misunderstanding something here, or do I see a bit of arrogance in you attitude?

    [​IMG]
     
  13. Craigbythesea

    Craigbythesea
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    They remind me of The Old Curiosity Shop on Portsmouth Street in London. [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  14. Bluefalcon

    Bluefalcon
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    But, alas, part of successful argumentation is the confident presentation of ideas. Let's not let that detract from the facts of the case in Mk. 9:49 and the lack of critics' mention of possible h.t. error on the part of the Alexandrian witnesses!

    Yours,

    Bluefalcon
     
  15. HankD

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    For those who may not know:

    Part of the Wescott and Hort theory was that the Byzantine texts were "conflated" (Scripture combo) and "smoothed" (words/phrases added for clarity) and that was done very early on in the copying of the manuscripts and perhaps even as far back as to the "smoothing" out of the originals.

    They felt that the Alexandrian mss were of a greater purity being older, they were especially fond of Aleph and B even though Burgon called them (Aleph and B) "corrupt" because they were not only in such a great degree of disagreement with the Byzantine mss but that these two ancient Alexandrian mss (Aleph/B) were "hopelessly in disagreement" with each other.

    We currently have almost 6000 Byzantine mss, but W/H focused in on about 6 Alexandrian mss as a representative of the Greek NT.

    Modernly we have papyri mss discoveries such as p66 which are older than Aleph and B, which have Byzantine type "conflated" and/or "smoothed" readings.

    W/H no doubt would call this a "smoothed" incident. But if "conflated" then where does clause b come from?

    Personally, I would go with the Byzantine reading (no surprise) and view Aleph/B as a scribal omission.

    As to the meaning, I would relate this passage to the following Scriptures:

    clause a) For every one shall be salted with fire

    1 Peter 4:12 Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you:
    13 But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ's sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy.

    clause b) and every sacrifice shall be salted with salt.

    Romans 12:1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.

    Hebrews 13:15 By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name.

    HankD
     
  16. Dr. Bob

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    It goes both ways - some texts DO show conflation or additions through other copyist errors. But some DO show omissions.

    Hence taking only ONE type of manuscript (whether western or eastern) and claiming "superiority" or, worse yet, 'perfection", is ludicrous. Burgon was just as wrong in that assumption to the Byzantine Catholic as was Aland or W/H to the Roman Catholic.

    Praise God we can examine ALL Greek texts. 99% of the differences are pretty obvious (conflation or omission); others we will disagree on.

    And, if we STILL don't know, we can always follow the lead of Erasmus (a CATHOLIC dealing with BYZANTINE texts) and go for the Vulgate!! :eek:
     
  17. HankD

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    Amen, et dicet omnis populus amen!

    HankD
     
  18. Phillip

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    No, it's not a TR thing, although the TR indeed has the longer passage. It's a consensus of all Greek manuscripts thing, and the TR eclectic (pick-and-choose) text happens to have it right here. I'm not supporting the longer reading because it's in the TR, but rather because the shorter reading has a valid explanation (error by homoioteleuton) and is extremely localized, while the longer reading is in the mainstream textual tradition and represents the consensus of all Greek manuscripts.

    Yours,

    Bluefalcon
    </font>[/QUOTE]Cause and effect issue. . .

    I only meant it was a TR thing because you prefer the text stream that the TR used in that particular verse.

    And, I feel the same for most of the TR. You have a preference for those text streams due to your scholarship based on your theory of homoioteleuton. That's fine, I do not have an argument if that is your belief. I am not a scholar of old manuscripts, so I cannot say that your theory is the correct one. Although, you do make a point.

    Personally, based on my HUMBLE experience, I tend to believe minor additions occurred and minor subtractions are both relevant in different scriptures.

    But, like Dr. Bob says, the amazing thing about God's Word is the TOTAL amount of agreement with Greek Documents (unlike that of any other ancient manuscripts) is so minute, that God's Word has obviously been well preserved.

    I did not say this is true just because you like the TR, but it IS somewhat of a TR thing when your most of the documents making up the TR are, in your opinion, the best. No disagreement with what you are saying. ...just wanted to be clear. I am NOT trying to make this a KJVo thing. Okay? [​IMG]
     
  19. Bluefalcon

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    Most of the time the Byzantines are supported by representatives of the other types, just as here in Mk. 9:49 the consensus of all Greek manuscripts (i.e., the Byzantines) has the reading supported by part of the Egyptian Bohairic tradition, the Western Vulgate and part of the Old Latin tradition, and the so-called "Caesarean" MSS Codex Coridethianus (Theta) and Codex Ephraemi Syri Rescriptus (C), as well as the "more-Egyptian-than-Byzantine" MS Codex Athous Lavrensis (Psi).

    So according to Dr. Bob's logic, it appears the "Byzantine" reading, which is really not Byzantine but more rather "worldwide", is the only possible correct text in Mk. 9:49, and the original can be nothing except: "Everyone will be salted with fire, and every sacrifice will be salted with salt."

    But it is not a fine practice in NT textual criticism to go with the best MSS only when other relatively corrupt ones align with it, and then to refuse them when the others don't corroborate. That's why Westcott-Hort went with the "best" MSS (i.e. Egyptian) basically all the time, and it IS a consistent position to go with the "best" MSS all the time, so long as the best MSS are really the best.

    Yours,

    Bluefalcon
     

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