Did the NKJV depart from the TR in 2 Pet 2:15?

Discussion in 'Bible Versions/Translations' started by franklinmonroe, Aug 10, 2011.

  1. franklinmonroe

    franklinmonroe
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    καταλίποντες τὴν εὐθεῖαν ὁδὸν ἐπλανήθησαν ἐξακολουθήσαντες τῇ ὁδῷ τοῦ Βαλαὰμ τοῦ Βοσόρ ὃς μισθὸν ἀδικίας ἠγάπησεν (TR)
    According to Metzger (A Textual Commentary on the Greek New Testament, 2nd Ed, p.635) the reading Bosor in 2 Peter 2:15 is "strongly supported by almost all Greek manuscripts, and by most early versions", including the Latin Vulgate ["versions" here means ancient foreign language translations]. The transliterated place name "Bosor" was the rendering of all early English (TR-based) translations from Tyndale through the Bishop's Bible. It is also the rendering of these translations --
    Which have forsaken the right way, and are gone astray, following the way of Balaam [the son] of Bosor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness; (KJV)

    having forsaken a right way, they did go astray, having followed in the way of Balaam the [son] of Bosor, who a reward of unrighteousness did love, (YLT)

    having left [the] straight way they have gone astray, having followed in the path of Balaam [the son] of Bosor, who loved [the] reward of unrighteousness; (DBY)

    Who have forsaken the right way, and gone astray, following the way of Balaam [the son] of Bosor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness; (WEB)

    having forsaken [the] right way, they went astray [fig., were deceived], having followed in the way of Balaam the [son] of Bosor, who loved [the] wages of unrighteousness, (ALT)
    Indeed, Bosor is the Greek spelling of that ancient location in many modern critical editions. The variant Beor seems to be found only in two Greek manuscripts (B 453) and a very few other early versions; it is also the "prevailing spelling of the Septuagint". Why then does the NKJV depart from the traditional TR reading? --
    They have forsaken the right way and gone astray, following the way of Balaam the son of Beor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness; (NKJV)

    They have left the straight way and wandered off to follow the way of Balaam son of Beor, who loved the wages of wickedness. (NIV)

    forsaking the right way, they have gone astray, having followed the way of Balaam, the son of Beor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness; (NASB)
     
    #1 franklinmonroe, Aug 10, 2011
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  2. Van

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    According to the NET footnote, Beor was chosen over Bosor to harmonize with the Old Testament, rather than because of some variant in the Greek. The Greek critical text reads Bosor.
     
  3. jbh28

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    Βοσόρ is in the UBS 4th as well. It's just a spelling difference as Van said to keep the same spelling as it was in the OT.
     
  4. franklinmonroe

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    James Moffatt (D.D. LL.D. D.Litt & Scottish translator) in his commentary on the General Epistles writes "Bosor was the name of a town in Gilead, which had no connexion with Balaam; it is a mistake for Beor, and the correction was made in some early texts". (pg.197-198)
     
    #4 franklinmonroe, Aug 11, 2011
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  5. franklinmonroe

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    Easton's Bible Dictionary states under the listing BOSOR that it is "the Chaldee or Aramaic form of the name Beor, the father of Balaam".
     
    #5 franklinmonroe, Aug 11, 2011
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  6. franklinmonroe

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    Yes, that is essentially what the footnote states. Is that what a translation should do? I like the NET, and I am reading through it's NT now (I haven't gotten to 2 Peter, yet). BTW, the NET did not try to harmonize with the OT; it has "Bosor" in it's main text.
     
  7. franklinmonroe

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    I agree that it is one of those several modern critical editions I alluded to also have Bosor. However, my Marshall's interlinear displays an older Nestle Greek that actually has Beor.
     
  8. John of Japan

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    Huh? Westcott-Hort is the only modern edition I can find with Beor. Besides the TR, Tischendorf, Hodges-Farstad, Robinson-Pierpont, UBS (and therefore Nestle's), etc. all have Bosor.

    But I think this is a non-issue, just a harmonization with OT spelling as someone else said.
     
  9. franklinmonroe

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    I concur; I think you may have misread what I wrote because I did indicate that the vast majority of Greek texts have Bosor.

    It is a non-issue, except as it relates to the NKJV's fidelity to the traditional TR texts.
     
    #9 franklinmonroe, Aug 12, 2011
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  10. franklinmonroe

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    The NKJV notes do not inform the reader that the translated text may be 'harmonized' with OT Hebrew, the LXX, or something else at this verse --
    NKJV Footnotes:
    (2:3) M-Text reads will not.
    (2:17) NU-Text reads and mists.
    (2:17) NU-Text omits forever.
    (2:18) NU-Text reads are barely escaping.
    (2:22) Proverbs 26:11
     
  11. Van

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    So this is a case where the KJV has Bosor, but the NKJV has Beor at 2 Peter 2:15. Both have Beor at Numbers 22:5. Even if Bosor is simply the Aramaic spelling of Beor, the correct translation, unless you think the text that reads Bosor is corrupted, would be Bosor. A footnote should explain that Bosor is "the Chaldee or Aramaic form of the name Beor, the father of Balaam (2 Peter 2:15)."

    Is the above what you are pointing out???
     
  12. John of Japan

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    Oops sorry about that!
    I've been told that the NKJV editors simply had a stated policy of making NT names conform to the OT. So to them that policy simply trumped the policy of conforming to the TR.
     
  13. Van

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    Clark says it is a typo

    "The son of Bosor - Instead of Βοσορ, Bosor two ancient MSS. and some of the versions have Βεωρ, Beor, to accommodate the word to the Hebrew text and the Septuagint. The difference in this name seems to have arisen from mistaking one letter for another in the Hebrew name, בעור Beor, for בצור Betsor or Bosor; tsaddi צ and ain ע, which are very like each other, being interchanged. "

    Bottom line: We do not know why but have these guesses:

    1) Clark's typo

    2) Aramaic spelling

    3) relying on the two early MSS that read beor rather than the TR.

    4) Harmonizing with the Hebrew spelling of Numbers 22:5.

    This observation is found in many of the lists of folks who claim the NKJV is a corruption of the KJV. But the NKJV is actually a far superior translation than the KJV, but like all translations has its flaws. In this verse (2 Peter 2:15) both the NET and HCSB chose the literal translation of Bosor.
     
  14. franklinmonroe

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    Good summary, so far. However, I can think of at least two more--

    First, it is common in Scripture that a man be called the "son of" a grandfather or even an earlier ancestor (as in Matthew 1). Therfore, it is possible that Bosor is not a referrence to Balaam's direct biological father but to some other relative.

    Second, the words "son of" are not actually in the Greek but are inserted into the English translation. Is it possible that Bosor is not a personal name at all but rather a referrence to a location (place name) or something else?
     
    #14 franklinmonroe, Aug 13, 2011
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