Books on Canon and Translation

Discussion in '2004 Archive' started by LaymansTermsPlease, May 7, 2004.

  1. LaymansTermsPlease

    LaymansTermsPlease
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    This is one area of study that I've definitely not delved deeply into before.

    I don't know much about Vulgate versus Textus Receptus versus Critical Text, versus Majority Text, etc.

    I've read a lot of Church fathers stuff recently and gotten fragments about canonical selection, but never a whole picture.

    Can anyone recommend good books on these subjects.

    Here is one I'm considering:

    The Canon of the New Testament: Its Origin Development, and Significance by Bruce M Metzger I think this one covers some manuscript issues as well as canonical selection, but I'm not sure.

    Any opinions on this one in particular or other suggestions?

    Thanks
     
  2. Phillip

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    This is not a book, but it ought to become one. Skanwmatos answered a LOT of my questions regarding the old manuscripts. You will find it in the discussion on the "ALT" Bible. I think (unless I messed this up) the link is:
    http://www.baptistboard.com/cgi-bin/ultimatebb.cgi/topic/4/1584.html?

    His answers will not give you any information regarding the canon and its creation, but it gives an EXCELLENT overview of the manuscripts that are available to translators today and where they came from. Take a look at that post. I actually printed it out so I could keep it with my study materials.

    You will get a great overview of the TR, CT and other ancient manuscripts and what category they fit in. I think you will enjoy it.
     
  3. skanwmatos

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    The canon was not decided by the Roman Catholic Church, nor by any Church Counsel, nor by Church Fathers. The canon was recognized by the local churches in the first century as the books were being given. Jesus pre-authorized the canon in the Gospels, and the first century Christians, as led by the Holy Spirit, recognized the inspiration of the books as they were being given. The idea that the Roman Catholic Church "gave us the canon" is Papist hogwash. It took them until the 19th century to decide what was in the canon, and they still got it wrong!
     
  4. mioque

    mioque
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    "It took them until the 19th century to decide what was in the canon,"
    19th century?
     
  5. gb93433

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    Any of the books covering the topic by Metzger are good. The book you mentioned is slow tedious reading but it is very good.

    Manuscripts of the Greek Bible by Metzger is quite good. The book has photos of some manuscripts with some comments about them.

    If you stick with reputable publishers you are less likely to find books that are poorly written.

    A book everyone should read is "The Text of the New Testament: Its Transmission, Corruption, and Restoration" by Bruce Manning Metzger

    In my opinion books by Metzger are probably the best. They are not cheap though.
     
  6. skanwmatos

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    Yes, and still didn't get it right! They argued over which books of the Apocrypha were canon and which weren't, from the time of the Council of Trent until the mid-19th century. [​IMG]
     
  7. mioque

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    "They argued over which books of the Apocrypha were canon and which weren't, from the time of the Council of Trent until the mid-19th century."
    Details please.
     
  8. Craigbythesea

    Craigbythesea
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    skanwmatos wrote,

    This post is hogwash! :D gb93433 is correct. [​IMG] The books by Bruce Metzger published by Oxford University Press give the correct information. [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  9. Phillip

    Phillip
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    This post is hogwash! :D gb93433 is correct. [​IMG] The books by Bruce Metzger published by Oxford University Press give the correct information. [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] </font>[/QUOTE]I'm not saying tht gb is wrong, but I am questioning you: How do you know? Were you there? :D
     
  10. Craigbythesea

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    As I recall, I was not there, but we know from the writings of the Ante-Nicene Church Fathers and other documents which books were used and/or recognized as canonical in various churches during the first three centuries. Also, several church fathers compiled lists of books that they believed to be canonical. There was a general consensus regarding most of the books currently in the Protestant New Testament, but several books, including James, 2nd Peter, and Revelation were hotly disputed. James and 2nd Peter have been continually seriously questioned down to this day. The authorship of 2nd Peter was very seriously questioned from the very beginning, and therefore its canonicity highly doubted by many.

    This subject has been studied in very great detail by many scholars. I you are interested in knowing the who, what, when, and where of the matter, Bruce Metzger’s books are an excellent place to start, but they are only a beginning. A thorough study of the literature on the subject would take a lifetime to study.
     
  11. skanwmatos

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    The canon was established at Trent as part of the counter reformation, but that created a problem for the RCC in that they had no official canon for 1500 years. It was not until John Henry, Cardinal, Newman formulated the idea of the "development of doctrine" which allowed for the relative silence of the Church Fathers on this issue to be explained away. Cardinal Newman was a 19th century English author and scholar.
     
  12. Dr. Bob

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    Metzger would get [​IMG] [​IMG] from this home boy.
     
  13. gb93433

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    It’s much like history. You may not have been there but through research you can take your best educated guess. History is always in past tense.

    If you were to read Metzger’s book “The Canon of the New Testament: Its Origin, Development, and Significance” you would notice that his book has documentation on almost every page to support his findings. The book is 326 pages. If you were to read other books and notice the agreement you can come to some conclusions. But in the end I still must trust the authors integrity if I have not done the research myself.

    When I read something somebody writes, I want to take a look at their sources of information. People have been misquoted out of context. Some have actually lied about what the author wrote.

    Some other good books on the subject are:

    The Complete Text of The Earliest New Testament Manuscripts
    Edited by David Barrett & Phil Comfort
    Text of The Earliest New Testament Greek Manuscripts
    Edited by David Barrett & Phil Comfort
    The Old Testament Canon of the New Testament Church and its Background in Early Judaism
    by Roger Beckwith
    New Testament Criticism & Interpretation Editors David Alan Black & David S. Dockery
    New Testament Documents: Are They Reliable? By: F.F. Bruce
    The Books and the Parchments bt F.F. Bruce
    The Canon of Scripture by F.F. Bruce
    The Origin of the Bible By: Philip Comfort
    Memory & Manuscript: Oral Tradition & Written Transmission with Tradition & Transmission In Early Christianity By: Birger Gerhardsson
    Manuscripts of The Greek Bible: An Introduction To Palaeography by Bruce M. Metzger
    The Canon Of The New Testament: Its Origin, Development, and Significance
    By Bruce M. Metzger
    The Text of The New Testament: Its Transmission Corruption, and Restoration
    By Bruce Metzger
     
  14. Craigbythesea

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    gb93433,

    Thank you!
     
  15. mioque

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    "The canon was established at Trent as part of the counter reformation, but that created a problem for the RCC in that they had no official canon for 1500 years."
    Indeed they didn't, but when the Catholic Church claims they created the Canon usually they are talking about the New Testament.
    The New Testament is the one everybody agrees on since the 4th century (unless you are Luther).
    At Trente the RCC finally decided what books made up their canon of the Old Testament. The 4 branches of Christianity all disagree on the canon of the Old Testament.
     
  16. Craigbythesea

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    The New Testament Canon
    Written in 1996 by Dave Armstrong

    In order for Protestants to exercise the principles of sola Scriptura they first have to accept the antecedent premise of what books constitute Scripture - in particular, the New Testament books. This is not as simple as it may seem at first, accustomed as we are to accepting without question the New Testament as we have it today. Although indeed there was, roughly speaking, a broad consensus in the early Church as to what books were scriptural, there still existed enough divergence of opinion to reasonably cast doubt on the Protestant concepts of the Bible's self-authenticating nature, and the self-interpreting maxim of perspicuity. The following overview of the history of acceptance of biblical books (and also non-biblical ones as Scripture) will help the reader to avoid over-generalizing or over-simplifying the complicated historical process by which we obtained our present Bible.
    A Visual Diagram of the History of the New Testament Canon
    Explanation of Symbols: * Book accepted (or quoted)
    ? Book personally disputed or mentioned as disputed
    x Book rejected, unknown, or not cited

    New Testament Period (c.35-90)
    In this period there is little formal sense of a Canon of Scripture
    ****************************************************************************
    Apostolic Fathers (90-160) **************************************************************************** Summary: The New Testament is still not clearly distinguished qualitatively from other Christian writings -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Gospels Generally accepted by 130
    Justin Martyr's "Gospels" contain apocryphal material
    Polycarp first uses all four Gospels now in Scripture
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Acts Scarcely known or quoted -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Pauline Corpus Generally accepted by 130, yet quotations are rarely introduced as scriptural
    Philippians, 1 Timothy: x Justin Martyr
    2 Timothy, Titus, Philemon: x Polycarp, Justin Martyr ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Hebrews Not considered canonical
    ? Clement of Rome
    x Polycarp, Justin Martyr -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    James Not considered canonical; not even quoted
    x Polycarp, Justin Martyr -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    1 Peter Not considered canonical -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    2 Peter Not considered canonical, nor cited -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    1, 2, 3 John Not considered canonical
    x Justin Martyr
    1 John ? Polycarp / 3 John x Polycarp -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Jude Not considered canonical
    x Polycarp, Justin Martyr -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Revelation Not canonical
    x Polycarp **************************************************************************** Irenaeus to Origen (160-250)
    ****************************************************************************
    Summary: Awareness of a Canon begins towards the end of the 2nd century
    Tertullian and Clement of Alexandria first use phrase New Testament ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Gospels Accepted ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Acts Gradually accepted ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Pauline Corpus Accepted with some exceptions:
    2 Timothy: x Clement of Alexandria
    Philemon: x Irenaeus, Origen, Tertullian, Clement of Alexandria ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Hebrews Not canonical before the 4th century in the West.
    ? Origen
    * First accepted by Clement of Alexandria ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    James Not canonical
    ? First mentioned by Origen
    x Irenaeus, Tertullian, Clement of Alexandria ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    1 Peter Gradual acceptance
    * First accepted by Irenaeus, Clement of Alexandria ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    2 Peter Not canonical
    ? First mentioned by Origen
    x Irenaeus, Tertullian, Clement of Alexandria ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    1 John Gradual acceptance
    * First accepted by Irenaeus
    x Origen -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    2 John Not canonical
    ? Origen
    x Tertullian, Clement of Alexandria -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    3 John Not canonical
    ? Origen
    x Irenaeus, Tertullian, Clement of Alexandria -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Jude Gradual acceptance
    * Clement of Alexandria
    x Origen
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Revelation Gradual acceptance
    * First accepted by Clement of Alexandria
    x Barococcio Canon, c.206 =================================================================== Epistle of Barnabas * Clement of Alexandria, Origen -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Shepherd of Hermas * Irenaeus, Tertullian, Origen, Clement of Alexandria -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The Didache * Clement of Alexandria, Origen -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The Apocalypse of Peter * Clement of Alexandria -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The Acts of Paul * Origen
    * Appears in Greek, Latin (5), Syriac, Armenian, & Arabic translations -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Gospel of Hebrews * Clement of Alexandria ===================================================================***************************************************************************
    Muratorian Canon (c.190)
    Excludes Hebrews, James, 1 Peter, 2 Peter
    Includes The Apocalypse of Peter, Wisdom of Solomon ***************************************************************************
    Origen to Nicaea (250-325)*************************************************************************** Summary: The Catholic epistles and Revelation are still being disputed ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Gospels, Acts, Pauline Corpus Accepted -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Hebrews * Accepted in the East
    x, ? Still disputed in the West -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    James x, ? Still disputed in the East
    x Not accepted in the West -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    1 Peter Fairly well accepted -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    2 Peter Still disputed -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    1 John Fairly well accepted -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    2, 3 John, Jude Still disputed -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Revelation Disputed, especially in the East
    x Dionysius **************************************************************************** Council of Nicaea (325)
    Questions canonicity of James, 2 Peter, 2 John, 3 John, and Jude
    ****************************************************************************From 325 to the Council of Carthage (397) ****************************************************************************
    Summary: Athanasius first lists our present 27 New Testament books as such in 367. Disputes still persist concerning several books, almost right up until 397, when the Canon is authoritatively closed ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Gospels, Acts, Pauline Corpus, 1 Peter, 1 John Accepted -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Hebrews Eventually accepted in the West -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    James Slow acceptance
    Not even quoted in the West until around 350! -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    2 Peter Eventually accepted -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    2, 3 John, Jude Eventually accepted -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Revelation Eventually accepted
    x Cyril of Jerusalem, John Chrysostom, Gregory Nazianz =================================================================== Epistle of Barnabas * Codex Sinaiticus - late 4th century -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Shepherd of Hermas * Codex Sinaiticus - late 4th century
    Used as a textbook for catechumens according to Athanasius -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    1 Clement, 2 Clement * Codex Alexandrinus - early 5th century (!)
    Protestants do, of course, accept the traditional Canon of the New Testament (albeit somewhat inconsistently and with partial reluctance - Luther questioned the full canonicity of James, Revelation and other books). By doing so, they necessarily acknowledged the authority of the Catholic Church. If they had not, it is likely that Protestantism would have gone the way of all the old heresies of the first millennium of the Church Age - degenerating into insignificant, bizarre cults and disappearing into the putrid backwaters of history.
    Sources for N.T. Canon Chart (all Protestant):
    1) Douglas, J.D., ed., New Bible Dictionary, Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1962 ed., 194-98.
    2) Cross, F.L., and E.A. Livingstone, eds., The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church, Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press, 2nd ed., 1983, 232,300,309-10,626,641,724,1049,1069;
    3) Geisler, Norman L. & William E. Nix, From God to Us: How We Got Our Bible, Chicago: Moody Press, 1974, 109-12,117-25.

    [ May 09, 2004, 03:11 PM: Message edited by: Craigbythesea ]
     
  17. Keith M

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