Age of Manuscripts

Discussion in 'Bible Versions/Translations' started by Keith M, Mar 17, 2009.

  1. Keith M

    Keith M
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    In a futile effort to discredit the reliability of older Greek NT manuscripts, Askjo made the comment...

    The older manuscripts that form the basis for most modern Bible translations, because of their age, are more reliable than the later manuscripts forming the basis for the KJVs. In "Dating the Oldest New Testament Manuscripts" (http://scriptorium.lib.duke.edu/papyrus/texts/manuscripts.html] Peter van Minnen, Associate Professor of Classics and Ancient History, PhD, Leuven University, 1997, said "...in textual criticism it is age and quality that counts, not mere quantity."

    Askjo, you're wrong again, as is always the case. Where do you come up with some of these ideas you promote? What about the larger gap between the originals and the later manuscripts? If the gap between the originals and the older manuscripts is too far, then the gap between the originals and the later manuscripts is certainly too far!

    Does it make one bit of sense to say the gap between the original autographs and the older manuscripts is "too far" while holding that later manuscripts, with an even larger gap, are more reliable? If I'm the only one who sees this reasoning as faulty, let me know.
     
  2. Tater77

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    There is 300 years between the Codex Siniaticus and the originals. But there are papyri pages that are far less than that. The oldest fragment is P52 with a fragment of 1st John I think that is dated to the early second century around 100-125AD that is maybe 50 years from the original.

    This is my first post, Hello Everyone :type:
     
  3. NaasPreacher (C4K)

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    Hi Tater and welcome.

    Right here in Dublin, at the Chester Beatty library there are 2nd and early 3rd century papyri. Seen them with my own eyes.

    One of the scraps here is early 2nd century.
     
  4. EdSutton

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    Welcome to the Baptist Board. :wavey:

    I notice you have started off in a rather "hot" area for your first post, for this area of the BB can become rather heated, as you may have or certainly will notice, I'd suggest.

    Might you be in any way associated with, IMO, a good poster who used to regularly post here on the board, when I first arrived, and then just sort of seemed to vanish into thin air, with no real warning or clue, did not seem to be removed or banned by the powers that be as far as I could tell, and who was known as TaterTot and Mrs.Tater? Just curious.

    Ed
     
    #4 EdSutton, Mar 17, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 17, 2009
  5. Tater77

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    I just found this board yesterday, cant say that I know anyone on here yet. Bible Versions is a pretty hot debate but I have taken part in it elsewhere for a good while now. Thanks for the warning though :smilewinkgrin: I have spent the past 5 months debating the KJVO issue, got a little scorched a time or two :tonofbricks:

    C4K , I would love to see the Cheater Beatty Library.
     
  6. NaasPreacher (C4K)

    NaasPreacher (C4K)
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    Bet thing...it's FREE!!!
     
  7. EdSutton

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    As I noted on another, now closed, I believe. thread, the 'truth" lies somewhere between the two ends of these positions. It is certainly true that the more times any single MSS is hand copied, the more opportunities there are to introduce mistakes. When it comes to the Bible MSS, I am extremely reluctant to call this any error, for most any Biblical MSS was likely once someone's only personal copy, and this usually only a partial portion, of the recorded word of God.

    The position of some is that God providentially preserved certain MSS, which reflect 'purity' and did not preserve others, in like manner. The problem is that this is an undemonstratable position, for it is a simple fact that no two MSS agree to the nth degree. So how do you pick "the one perfect manuscript" out of all these 10K or do MSS, virtually none of which are complete MSS of Scripture? You can't, just as the KJV translators [and every other serious translator(s) of Scriupture] recognizes, even while reverencing God's written word, to tthe fullest.

    However let's consider the real facts, here. A large multiplicity of copies of a particular MSS would likely make that source more discernible, and reliable, as spurious readings could be recognized.

    When one copies copies of copies of copies, ad infinitum, the situation is that again, there is more chance for more errata to enter into this chain, as well.

    The problem we have, if indeed there is a problem, is that we do not actually know the genesis of any actual manuscripts, to my knowledge (and virtually every one has its own particular idiosyncrasies). Aside from Dabs1 known as Abschrift, which is a known intentional copy of Codex D 06 Claromontanus, a MSS of the epistles, there are simply none which can be identified as such.

    Even the fairly commonly accepted idea of MSS families such as f1 and f13 is somewhat debatable, as to particular identity, I believe. One fairly competent (IMO) textual scholar phrased it somewhat in this fashion. 'There are no children of MSS, only orphans.'

    Ther is also enough evidence that no one can say that I do not have the actual words of the Word of God, when I have a particular text, in my hand! There is enough uncertainty, as to wording, that I can never dogmatically say that, this particular copy or version is the exact Way God would have his word translated and honored.

    I am now heading into speculation, with this statement I shall make. There is no question that had God so chosen, He could have preserved the copying of His written word, that word that he has magnified above His very name, with no variance, or question of a single word, and that likewise he could have prevented any variance, in the copies. However, it certainly appears that that is not what He, for His own reasons, has chosen to do. Even to the point that the portion of Isaiah that Jesus read, verbatim, is found exactly as He read it, in no extant copy or version of the OT, yet Jesus pronounced this as Scripture.

    As I said I am now to the speculation part, as to the why. Because we worship a triune God, subsisiting in the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, not a quadrune God that is made up (or subsists) of Father, Son, Holy Spirit, and a Bible Version. Nor is the Bible (in any version) to become an idol, or "graven" or "carved" image (Ex. 20:4; Lev. 26:1) to stand in the place of our God, just as the bronze serpent, made by Moses, had become for the Israelites, found in Scripture, which was broken by Hezekiah, along with his setting fire to a wooden Canaanite goddess, who then called the serpent (now) "bronze scrap" and Hezekiah is said to be one who trusted in (or worshipped) the LORD, to the point where he stands above all others, in that regard, including, David, Solomon, Josiah, and the other "good kings" of Israel.

    As the Anathastasian Creed correctly says,
    I realize I followed a "rabbit trail;' but this is simply where it led me. This might be a good place to note that the a King of Israel, was required to make by himself, with his own hand, his own personal copy of the Law. (Deut. 17:18-20) Does anyone think that each of these were exacty identical, and that no king ever made the first mistake of one letter in copying this?

    I don't and think that any age/reliability is a bit of a false issue, according to the Scriptures themselves.

    Ed
     
    #7 EdSutton, Mar 17, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 17, 2009
  8. preachinjesus

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    I'll reply more substantively when I get a freer moment...ah the joy of meetings interrupting good posting time...but I would like to point out the accusations of some concerning the MSS support for the NA27 and UBS4 are highly dubious and full of false accusations.

    Such a silly thing to attempt to discredit goodly translations of the Scriptures.
     
  9. Askjo

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    Did modern versions follow the older manuscripts? Let's look at P66, OLDEST manuscript here:

    P66 had “Holy Spirit” on John 7:39 (125 AD).

    KJV(But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.)

    NIV By this he meant the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were later to receive. Up to that time the Spirit had not been given, since Jesus had not yet been glorified.

    NASB But this He spoke of the Spirit, whom those who believed in Him were to receive; for the Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.

    ESV Now this he said about the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were to receive, for as yet the Spirit had not been given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.

    NKJV’s footnote said, “NU-Text omits Holy.”

    Why did modern version not follow P66 on John 7:39 saying, “Holy”? Remember P66 is OLDEST manuscript. WHERE did MVs follow? Aleph or B? I said 300 years gap between the originals and them.

    P66 had “Christ” on John 6:69

    KJV And we believe and are sure that thou art that Christ, the Son of the living God.

    NIV We believe and know that you are the Holy One of God

    NASB We have believed and have come to know that You are the Holy One of God

    ESV and we have believed, and have come to know, that you are the Holy One of God."

    NKJV’sfootnote said NU-Text reads You are the Holy One of God.

    Why did modern versions omit, “Christ” and not follow P66? You see the KJV agrees with this OLDEST manuscript on John 6:69.
     
  10. Tater77

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  11. Tater77

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  12. EdSutton

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    Are we now to assume that you have changed your position and are now 'voting' ONLY "AYE!" for the oldest manuscripts, i.e. Papyri readings??

    Or is this ONLY when these readings support your preferred edition of a version?

    And you do also realize, of course, that the KJV (1611) (Or is that 1769, since I keep forgetting which one you prefer) and also the NKJV (1982) are indeed properly identified as MVs, as well, despite your implied faulty effective identification that ONLY the MVs do not follow p66 here.

    I note my alter ego, Language Cop, wishes to add something here. Go ahead, L.C..

    " [​IMG] !!

    Let me repeat that, this time with emphasis!

    [​IMG] !!"

    [Sigh!] I gotta' get Language Cop back out on patrol! :rolleyes:

    Ed
     
    #12 EdSutton, Mar 18, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 18, 2009
  13. Tater77

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    I've seen modern versions get blasted for following the older mss, but this one is a first.

    The Greek word pnuema means spirit and is translated as Spirit with caps when talking about the Holy Spirit when the full compound word isn't used. And all pronouns that refer to deity are capitalized along with nouns.

    When I see "Spirit" with a capital S , I know that its talking about the Holy Spirit.
     
  14. jonathan.borland

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    Maurice Robinson has shown pretty easily that there are literally hundreds of verses as printed in the NA27/UBS4 that have not a single manuscript that read the same way for the entire verse, and this is of course not counting misspellings and such. I heard the paper for myself at last year's Evangelical Theological Society meeting in Providence, RI, in November. If you write him he will email you a copy. You may find his email address under the academics --> faculty tab at www.sebts.edu
     
  15. jonathan.borland

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    I do not know one person who dates p66 to AD 125.
     
  16. Rippon

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    In Philip Comfort's book :Essential Guide To Bible versions, he says :

    The manuscript is usually dated ca. 200, but the renowned paleographer Herbert Hunger has argued that p66 should be dated to the first half, if not the first quarter, of the second century. (p.70)
     
  17. Keith M

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    Welcome, Tater77!

    There's a Kingston Pike in the Knoxville area. Is Kingston anywhere near Knoxville?
     
  18. jonathan.borland

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    Thanks. Would you mind posting Comfort's bibliographic information for Dr. Hunger's dating of p66? If Hunger's date is accepted, it only makes all the singular errors and differences from Aleph and B more useful in demonstrating that the earliest manuscripts were much more wild and unstable, and that the earliest manuscripts contained more errors than manuscripts a few hundred years later, or else that Aleph and B contain more errors than the earliest copies.
     
  19. Deacon

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    Herbert Hunger, “Zur Datierung des Papyrus Bodmer II (P66),” Anzeiger der österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften, phil.-hist. Klasse, no. 4 (1960), 12–23.

    Philip Wesley Comfort and David P. Barrett, The Text of the Earliest New Testament Greek Manuscripts, A corrected, enlarged ed. of The complete text of the earliest New Testament manuscripts (Wheaton, Ill.: Tyndale House, 2001). Page 376.
     
  20. Askjo

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