Chronology of Printed Greek NTs 1500-1800

Discussion in 'Other Christian Denominations' started by Nazaroo, May 1, 2011.

  1. Nazaroo

    Nazaroo
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    Mr. Scrivener has made a new chart showing both a chronology and a genealogy of printed Greek New Testaments in the critical periods of the Reformation.
    He is also giving a background history and notes on readings of these editions, here:
    History of Printed GNTs

    Here is the first chart:
    [​IMG]
    __________________
     
  2. Nazaroo

    Nazaroo
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    I'm adding Coverdale's posts from FFFboard because they are informative and illustrative, once my own comments have been added:

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Coverdale [​IMG]
    Bruce Metzger claimed that “the text of Erasmus’ Greek New Testament rests upon a half-dozen minuscule manuscripts” (Text, p. 102). KJV-only author Robert Sargent asserted that Erasmus “used only two manuscripts for the bulk of his work, with another two for comparison, and a fifth for the book of the Revelation” (English Bible, p. 155). William Combs wrote: “Seven manuscripts were used by Erasmus in Basel to compile the Greek text which was printed alongside his Latin translation” (Detroit Baptist Seminary Journal, Spring, 1996, p. 45). Combs observed that “Erasmus had 3 manuscripts of the Gospels and Acts; 4 manuscripts of the Pauline Epistles, and only 1 manuscript of Revelation” (Ibid.). Erasmus had examined some other Greek manuscripts during his travels. He referred to some of them in his annotations. M. A. Screech maintained that “Erasmus can be maddeningly vague about the number and location of the manuscripts he consulted” (Erasmus’ Annotations, p. xiv).

    Metzger's estimate is itself of course inaccurate, his purpose being to downplay the value and quality of the TR, and justify centuries of textual criticism which followed. Metzger disqualifies himself as an honest unbiased reporter, given he fathered the notorious RSV/NRSV, which sabotages virtually every prophecy of Christ in the O.T., in favor of modern Jewish interpretations of the Torah.

    Metzger's Betrayal in the NRSV Click here.

    A more reasonable estimate of MS count is probably closer to a dozen or more. Erasmus did not merely casually 'examine' other MSS while in Britain. He based his Latin translation on a thorough collation of these. It is likely he had compressed his collations into his translation, but he obviously carried that with him to Europe and continued in the same vein there, incorporating his judgement of the best readings into his final printed editions. The small number of changes (although some quite significant), indicate his care and interest.
     
  3. Nazaroo

    Nazaroo
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    Again, Coverdale's posts with my notes:

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Coverdale [​IMG]
    Stephanus, who had served as royal printer to French King Francis I (a Roman Catholic), had published several Latin Bibles (1527-28, 1532, 1540) in which "he followed as closely as possible the text of Jerome" (New International Dictionary of the Christian Church, p. 353). Armstrong observed that Stephanus' "primary aim in 1527 was certainly to give the best possible text of St. Jerome's version" (Robert Estienne, p. 75). MacGregor also confirmed that Stephanus “tried to follow Jerome’s text as closely as possible” (Literary History, p. 42).

    NID, Armstrong (date? please) and MacGregor (date?) are all inaccurate here. Combined, they seem to assert an absurdity.

    Jerome himself never even attempted to issue a critical Greek NT.
    He only translated the Greek into Latin afresh for a new Latin version. So Stephen could not possibly have "followed as closely as possible the text of Jerome" (NID), which never existed.

    It would be absurd for Stephen to attempt to publish a Greek text which conforms to the Latin Vulgate, as no one in Protestant Europe was interested in that, and that was not his purpose at all. This is just Roman Catholic nonsense.

    Stephen did attempt to publish a more accurate Greek text, and consulted more manuscripts as well and used the editions of Erasmus as a base, improving printing errors. He certainly also consulted the readings of the Latin, through the Complut. Edition, but he hardly forced the text of Erasmus to conform to the Vulgate. This is just mythology.

    Quote:
    Scrivener noted that Stephanus published an important edition (1538-40) of the Latin Vulgate in which he made use of seventeen manuscripts and that "this edition is practically the foundation of the Modern Vulgate" (Plain Introduction, II, p. 62).
    Scrivener's statement is accurate as usual, as far as it goes, but it does not support in any way the three previous statements.

    Stephen was certainly familiar with the Latin Vulgate, published it, and further improved the accuracy of its text by consulting more Latin manuscripts. This may have also coloured his opinion as to the value of the Latin translation in assisting to evaluate variant readings among the Greek manuscripts.


    Quote:

    Richard PorsonGentleman’s Magazine, May, 1789, p. 387; also Letters, pp. 56-57).

    J. Scott Porter [1848] also maintained that “the MSS. were collated, and their readings noted, by Henry Stephens, son of Robert, then a youth of eighteen” (Principles, p. 250).

    Samuel Tregelles [1860s] wrote: "Robert Stephens, ten years before, in editing the Latin Vulgate, had made pretty extensive use of MSS.; and in giving the work of Greek collation into the hands of his son Henry, then aged only eighteen, he might have had some thoughts of similarly applying criticism to the Greek text" (Account, p. 31).

    Smith’s Dictionary of the Bible
    (1759-1808) wrote that “Robert was aware, that by telling his readers who was the collator he might infuse a suspicion into their minds that the work was negligently performed; he therefore carefully avoided mentioning that circumstance” (
    Scrivener
    [1870s] noted that “Robert Stephen professed to have collated the whole sixteen for his two previous editions,” but that “this part of his work is now known to be due to his son Henry [1528-1598], who in 1546 was only eighteen years old” (Introduction, II, p. 190).

    "Dr." Vance
    [1993, self-published] acknowledged that the text of Stephanus included the “collations of his son Henry” (Brief History, p. 13).
    [1875] affirmed that “the collations were made by his son Henry Stephens” (III, p. 2131).
    It appears Porson's inaccurate statement is the original source for the allegation that "ALL" the collations were by Stephen's son. Porter appears to repeat or embellish the statement. Smith just copies the misunderstanding. Tregelles obviously is merely guessing. He has no new evidence or sources to reference. Trgelles' tendency to edit his predecessors is well known:

    Tregelles' rewrite of Horne's Intro. Click here.


    The matter is cleared up and stated more conservatively by Scrivener, again the more careful and accurate of the historians, and Scrivener's view is apparently repeated by Vance, for what thats worth.



    Ongoing Discussion of the 'Marginal Notes':

    Quote:
    Scrivener suggested that “the degree of accuracy attained in this collation may be estimated from the single instance of the Complutensian, a book printed in very clear type” (Introduction, II, p. 190). Scrivener then indicated that “forty-eight, or one in twelve [of Stephen’s citations of the Complutensian] are false” (p. 190, footnote 1).

    Tregelles maintained that “it may be said, that as the Complutensian text is often incorrectly cited in Stephen’s margin, we may conclude that the same thing is true of the MSS which were collated; for it would be remarkable if manuscripts were examined with greater accuracy than a printed book” (Account, p. 31).

    Smith’s Dictionary maintained that “while only 598 variants of the Complutensian are given, Mill calculates that 700 are omitted” (III, p. 2131). In a note,
    John Eadie commented: “The margin of the New Testament of Robert Stephens, 1550, is not of great value. He did not print all the various readings which his son Henry had gathered, nor did he fully collate all the sixteen MSS” (English Bible, II, p. 214).

    Samuel Newth maintained that the manuscripts used by Stephanus were “imperfectly collated” (Lectures, p. 86). Frederic Gardiner claimed that the collation in this edition “is neither complete nor accurate” (Principles, p. 5).

    Richard Porson asserted that “Stephen’s margin is full of mistakes in the readings and numbers of the MSS” (Gentlemen’s Magazine, May, 1789, p. 386; Letters, p. 55). Porson noted that Stephens “has favored us with only a part of the various readings, (probably less than half) and has frequently set down a reading as from one manuscript which belonged to another” (Letters, pp. 88-89).

    Charles Hudson reported that the “various readings collated by his son” . . . “are known to be given very inaccurately” (Greek and English Concordance, p. xiv).

    This is all a great 20/20 hindsight view of the early collations.
    This is hardly unique to Stephen's edition, and all early collations have many errors. This has not affected the basic text of the Byzantine text-type or the Majority text, as consulting either Hodges/Farstad (1985) or Robinson/Pierpont (2005) will confirm.

    The TR/Majority Text, while not without a few variants,
    is 99% in agreement with itself in virtually all printed versions,
    from 1522 to 2005.



    Quote:
    Are KJV-only advocates trusting 100% the collations of an eighteen year old? Has anyone ever checked and confirmed the accuracy of all his collations?

    Distracting Sensationalism.

    The truth is, no one cares about the marginal notes of Stephen, or any other early publisher of the Textus Receptus. Any modern printing can secure suitable and accurate collations for the text, so neither KJV-only advocates, nor anyone else needs to rely upon or even use the marginal notes of any printed edition older than 1900.

    So there is no real point here. We appreciate the quotations, although dates of publication and proper temporal ordering would make dependencies clearer.

    Thanks for the posts.
    Nazaroo
     
  4. Nazaroo

    Nazaroo
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    Chronology of Printed GNTs: 1600 - 1700


    [​IMG] Click to Enlarge


    The 17th Century (1600 - 1700)
    The 17th century is characterized by increased interest and activity in collating existing and available manuscripts. In part this was driven by doctrinal disputes between Protestants and Roman Catholic authorities, and in part by a desire to establish the authoritative text for the Reformers, as against temporal authorities like church organizations. Awareness and interest in textual variants grew, especially as descrepancies arose between the popular texts and those of a few very ancient copies, such as Codex D (Bezae), Codex A (Alexandrinus), and Codex B (Vatican MS 1209). Readings from these MSS as well as others were gathered into the evolving 'apparatus' of critical notes.


    Theodore Beza, as noted in the previous post, began to gather and critically assess the readings of fresh MSS and also the most ancient in his possession, namely, Codex Bezae (Gospels, 4th-5th cent.) and Cantabrigensis (Acts, Epist.).


    Both Beza's and Stephen's texts were used, in combination with earlier translations, to produce the King James Bible, which became the defacto standard in English, supplanting the Bishop's Bible and other earlier works.


    Brian Walton (1657) next published a polyglott (multi-language NT) with variants, incorporating readings from Codex Alexandrinus ("A" - the oldest MS then known), as well as collations of 16 new MSS from Archbishop Ussher.

    John Fell (1675), then added a small edition with further collations and citations of the Memphitic (Lower Egyptian) and the ancient Gothic versions, made soon after the time of Constantine (5th century). This was the first time a translation other than the Latin was used critically.

    John Mill (1707), assisted by Bishop Fell, now produced the crowning achievement of the century, (d. 1686). Mill still followed closely the text of Stephen, but with printing and other corrections. Dr. Scrivener (1881) describes the work: "..Of the criticism of the NT in the hands of Dr. John Mill it may be said, that he found the edifice of wood, and left it marble."
    Mill was aware of the danger of rash judgements, and like Maestricht, was more focussed on the classification of documents, a necessary preliminary to future critical editing.


    The beginning of the 18th century also saw one bizzare and unfortunate additional publication, an attempt which would be repeated in subsequent centuries:


    Nicholas Toinard (1707), a Roman Catholic priest from Orleans, simultaneously published alongside Mill: M. Vincent (1899) tells us; ​
    "Toinard was the first Roman Catholic since Erasmus, and the last before Scholtz (1830), who undertook a critical edition. In his Prolegomena he announces that he has made a Greek Testament according to the two oldest Vatican codices and the Old Latin Version, where it agreed with them. He was thus working on the same principle afterward proposed by Bentley."


    Toinard however had also previously published a 'Harmony' of the Gospels: ​
    "Locke's interest in the harmony of the Gospel narrative was quickened during his travels in France, when he met Nicolas Toinard. In December 1678, Toinard presented him with the sheets of his Harmony of the Gospels; and in the same year, Locke inscribed in a notebook a fragment of a harmony of the life of Jesus.39 This chronology of the history of Jesus, from the annunciation of the birth of John the Baptist to Jesus’ baptism by John, follows Toinard. Noteworthy in the sequence of texts is the location of the prologue to St John’s Gospel. Locke places it, following Toinard, after the baptism. While the relocation of the prologue may raise suspicions of Socinianism, Toinard’s accompanying comment, that the prologue, even although relocated in the history of the Gospel, signifies ‘the eternal and divine origin of the word, that is, of Jesus Christ’, offers a ready, although perhaps insufficient, assurance of orthodoxy."
    (Christianity, Antiquity, and Enlightenment: Interpretations of Locke, V. Nuovo, (Springer, 2011), Ch. 2: Locke's Theology)​
    This same Toinard then, seems to be the "M. Toinard" [bad scan?] mentioned but misnamed in Illustrations of Biblical Literature,....Rev. James Townley, (1833?) p. 28:​
    "In some parts of the Pentateuch, transpositions appear to have taken place, by which the chronological order is interrupted; ... Father Simon, and Dr. A. Clarke suppose, that by being inscribed upon leaves, or portions of bark or papyrus, the [pages] were very liable to be deranged, especially as [they lacked pagination]. But Dr. Kennicott conjectures, that many of the first manuscripts were upon skins sewed together; and that these transpositions were occasioned by the skins being separated, and afterward misplaced; and finds a singular instance in a roll preserved in the Bodleian library, at Oxford. Mr. Whiston and M. Toinard have attempted to prove similar transpositions in the NT, from the same cause; but have been successfully refuted by the Rev. Jeremiah Jones, in his Vindication of the former part of St. Matthew's Gospel, ch. xiv."
    The key point here is that long before there were any coherent theories or developed practices (i.e., a scientific methodology), we have a Roman Catholic priest proposing abandoning all evidence except the two oldest manuscripts (conveniently owned by the Vatican) and the Old Latin. As Vincent noted, this is the same proposal as Richard Bentley (1716), only it clearly originates 10 years earlier with a Roman Catholic committed to reversing the Protestant Reformation. Toinard's wild ideas concerning the drastic rearrangement of John's Gospel is also a serious red flag, indicating typical Roman Catholic flights of fancy, later to be picked up and carried out by Bultmann (1941).


    (from mr.scrivener's post on KJV2)


     

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