Does the Eclectic Text "Allow" Errors and Contradictions?

Discussion in '2003 Archive' started by Pastor_Bob, Apr 23, 2003.

  1. Pastor_Bob

    Pastor_Bob
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    Luke 4:42 And when it was day, he departed and went into a desert place: and the people sought him, and came unto him, and stayed him, that he should not depart from them.
    43 And he said unto them, I must preach the kingdom of God to other cities also: for therefore am I sent.
    44 And he preached in the synagogues of Galilee . (KJV)

    Jesus was in Galilee, not in Judea, as the context makes clear. In the parallel passage, Mark 1:35-39, all texts agree that Jesus was in Galilee. The UBS/NA26 contradicts itself by reading "Judea" in Luke 4:44.

    Bruce Metzger makes clear that the UBS editors did this on purpose when he explains that their reading "is obviously the more difficult, and copyists have corrected it . . . in accord with the parallels in Mt 4.23 and Mk 1.39."
    A Textual Commentary of the Greek New Testament , New York, United Bible Societies, 1971, pgs 137-138

    In essence the UBS editors introduce a contradiction into their text which is also an error of fact. This error in the eclectic text is duplicated by LB, NIV, NASB, NEB, RSV, etc. NRSV takes it a step further, "So he continued proclaiming the message in the synagogues of Judea."

    It begs the question, "What other errors did they 'allow'?"
     
  2. Daniel David

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    Bob, don't you mean the "critical text"?
     
  3. Chick Daniels

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    I don't see how it begs that question at all. Your point is no different that locating a blunder in the textus receptus and then asking, "I wonder what other errors Erasmus introduced."
    No GNT edition perfectly represents the original, and each editor is doing what he believes to be his best...whether Erasmus or Metzger.
     
  4. Chick Daniels

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    Furthermore, I don't see how you can prove that "Judea" is a contradiction. Luke's rendering of Judea doesn't force any contradiction from the context that I can find.
     
  5. Pastor_Bob

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    I use the terms synonymously. Critical, eclectic, and modern text IMO are all more or less synonymus.
     
  6. Pastor_Bob

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    The difference is that the editors of this text purposely introduced a reading that is contradictory and erroneous. I am not aware of any intentional errors that Erasmus introduced into his text.

    My point is not that there are no contradictions in any given text; my point is that this one was clearly allowed in spite of being a known contradiction.
     
  7. Chick Daniels

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    You haven't shown how it is contradictory and/or erroneous, and yes, Erasmus introduced errors into his text...at least one of them purposely.
    Metzger did not purposely introduce an error into the text. He and the others on the committee were doing their best to get it right.
     
  8. AV Defender

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    Would you show us these "errors?"
     
  9. Pastor Larry

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    Bob,

    YOu have misrepresented things here. They did not "purposely" introduce a contradiction. UNless the first edition reads differently than the second edition (Which I have), Metzger says nothing of the sort. HE comments on the support for "Judea" which means that the "contradiction" Was introduced long before Metzger, et al. To say that the UBS editors introduced is simply not true.

    Second, where is the contradiction? This discussion was started on another thread and I cited several lexicons that show us that "Judea" is a word fo all of Palestine. Surely you are not suggesting that Galilee is not in Palestine are you? Unless you are, there is no contradiction. "Judea" stands for the land of the Jews and includes all of Palestine in some contexts. That seems clearly to be the use of it by Luke.
     
  10. kman

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    The footnote for Luke 4:44 in my NASB states that Judea refers to the land of the Jews (including Galilee). No contradiction of fact or error.

    There are a number of very early manuscripts that are geographically disbursed that have the Judea reading. The editors of the UBS ask "which reading best explains the others"?

    If a copiest comes along and reads "judea" in a limited sense (ie not including galilee) and looks at the parallel passages he might think "hmmm..whoever copied the exemplar I'm using goofed...I'll fix it".

    It's harder to explain why a copiest would change Galilee to Judea.

    -kman
     
  11. Pastor_Bob

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    Larry,

    I have absolutely not misrepresented anything. Metzger's quote is right out of the book.

    There is far greater support for "Galilee" which would bring Luke in harmony with the other Gospels. Luke 5:1 clearly tells us where Jesus was preaching. Is the lake of Gennesaret (the Sea of Galilee) in Galilee or Judea?

    Why would Luke, an intelligent physician, be so vague in this instance when he was not anywhere else? He was very specific in the Book of Acts as to where Paul was preaching.

    To allow this reading in the face of abundant evidence supporting Galilee, is IMO, to allow an error and contradiction.
     
  12. Pastor Larry

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    I read his comments in the same book, 2nd edition. And unless the 2nd edition is different than what you have, he says nothing about purposely introducing a contradiction. When you say he purposely introduced a contradiction, you have misrepresented what he said. He gives the evidence that supports this reading and the reasoning why they believe it is the authentic reading.

    As I pointed out, the "contradiction" was not introduced by Metzger. The "contradiction" was introduced more than 1500 years earlier when the manuscripts that read that way were copied. So when you say that Metzger purposely introduced a contradiction, that is a misrepresentation of what he did.

    Secondly, as I also pointed out, you have yet to show a contradiction. "Judea," according to the people who know more than you or I (i.e., the lexicographers), is used at times to refer to the whole land of Palestine. I quoted these references and pointed them out once again in my post above, but you did not respond in anyway to that. Are you so determined to discredit a particular version of God's word that you will ignore the evidence that says there is a legitimate explanation that does not involve a "contradiction"? I can't imagine that from you Bob. You have always been a welcome breathe of fresh air from "your side" of this discussion and I have always appreciated that, even though we disagreed.

    Far greater in terms of what?? It is far greater to you because the reading supports your conclusion. But that is a decision that textual critics must make. The textual critics you prefer chose a reading that they felt had greater support. But they cannot explain how "Judea" would have worked its way into the manuscripts. That is a problem for them. What scribe would have changed "Galilee" to "Judea"? The answer is none. It would make no sense. It can't hardly be an unconscious change; the two words are entirely dissimilar. It would seem to have to be a conscious change by a scribe for whom the reading was so out of line as to be incredible to him. The question is, which of the two readings would seem so out of line as to be a definite error and need to be changed? That is teh question that led Metzger to follow a different reading.

    HE and his fellow textual critics prefer the greater support for Judea becuase of its support and because of its ability to explain where "Galilee" came from. Suppose a Scribe, copying along, thought the way you did. He came to "Judea" and he said, "Luke's a smart man. HE would have never said that. That must be an error. I will change it because we all know what he really meant." So he changed what Luke wrote from "Judea" to "Galilee."

    In this latter case, you have an explanation for where "Galilee" came from. IN the former case, you have no explanation for where "Judea" came from.

    Textual criticism is not as easy as lining up an English version and seeing what texts match it. (I am not suggesting you do that but I think some in your camp do.) Nor is it as easy as piling up the "votes" in two different stacks to see which is the greater stack. And that is what I fear too many people miss in this discussion.
     
  13. Chick Daniels

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    JYD-
    1 John 5:8. There was already a thread (or 2) that dealt with this, on how Erasmus, succumbed to the pressure of those who demanded expanded version because it was in the Latin. There is no unaltered Greek manuscript that includes this phrase prior Erasmus.

    But overall, Erasmus did the best he could with what he had to work with.

    Perhaps I shouldn't say that he introduced an error in the GNT, because the true reading of the text is known. Perhaps better to say that he introduced an error into the textus receptus.
     
  14. Pastor_Bob

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    I agree. My point is, and I'm not sure I've adequately conveyed it yet, is that the Majority Text supports "Galilee" in this passage. Since the Byzantine (Majority) textform dominates over 90% of the extant MSS, this seems like a simple decision to me.

    The USB3/NA26 Text chose to "allow" (I'm detracting the word "introduced") "Judea" on the basis that it was the harder of the two readings. Why? The assumption is that a perceived difficulty would motivate an officious copyist to attempt a "remedy".

    I can easily see how a biased textual critic would default to the eclectic text and formulate a "rational" hypothesis to justify it, even in the face of evidence to the contrary.

    In order to maintain harmony in the Gospels and to alleviate the subsequent explanations necessary, I would think common sense would have leaned toward the Majority text and "Galilee."
     
  15. Pastor Larry

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    Does this not assume without adequate proof that all these manuscripts were copied from an accurate parent text? I think it does, and there are good reasons not to accept that assumption.

    Why is this assumption less solid that your assumption as demonstrated above? They are both assumptions. But the question is, How do you account for the reading "Judea"? Where would it have come from?

    But at the same time, cannot a biased textual critic reject the reading "Judea" because it undermines their hypothesis that certain texts are bad, regardless of the good reasons for maintaining ther reading? My point is that the assumptions you enter with are simply that, assumptions. They are not facts and there are good reasons for vigorous debate.

    But remember, the task of textual criticism is not the maintenance of harmony or the alleviation of subsequent explanations. The task of the modern textual critic is the same task that Erasmus, Stephanus, Scrivener had -- that of determining which readings are authentic. Once the textual critic allows harmony or alleviation to become an unbalanced weight, it enters a dangerous realm that I don't think any of us want to go down. Much of the truth of Scripture has been rejected in teh name of "seeking harmony" or "alleviating explanation" and all of us reject that.

    Thanks for your comments.
     
  16. Daniel David

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    Bob, if one text is wrong, and it is copied many times, they are all wrong. Numbers don't prove accuracy.

    Also, the information you have been given about Judea having the meaning of the entire region of Palestine, it is deceptive on your part to try and create a contradiction. I think a little more objectivity in this matter could be used.
     
  17. Pastor_Bob

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    Larry,

    I would agree with the above comments in the case of a presumed deliberate alteration. That is simply not the case here. Where there is massive agreement among the MSS, as there is in this example, to discard that which would be harmonious to the other Gospels is simply not judicious.

    I, too, thank you for your comments.
     
  18. kman

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    Do you use this same standard of measure with the Comma Johaninne (1 John 5:7) and reject it since it doesn't exist in the Majority of extant manuscripts?

    -kman
     
  19. Chick Daniels

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    Pastor Larry and Pastor Bob,

    It is important to point out that in UBS4 this issue receives a B rating. This means that the committee was not unaminous in its conclusion that Judea belongs in the text and Galilee relegated to the apparatus below. That is why the UBS text is so valuable. They are showing us what 5 scholars who work through the evidence think about each issue. They don't present the committee conclusions with any papal like dogmatism, and even show where they as a committe were divided---why? Because they want the reader to examine the evidence personally, and draw their own conclusions.

    Chick
     
  20. Pastor_Bob

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    I agree 100% with this statement. However, numerous studies have demonstrated that the mass of Byzantine MSS are not monolithic; there are many distinct strands or strains of transmission, presumably independent.

    The information I have been given comes from commentaries and footnotes. There is no Biblical support for this theory. How many times is the word "Judea" used to include all of Palestine?

    Consider Acts 1:8, written by the same man as Luke 4:44.
    Acts 1:8 But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem , and in all Judaea , and in Samaria , and unto the uttermost part of the earth. (KJV)

    Luke records Jesus' words here. He makes a distiction that these disciples will be witnesses in Jerusalem, but not only Jerusalem but in all Judea (a region of Palestine) and also in Samaria (a region of Palestine). If Luke used "Judea" to desscribe all of Palestine, why would he include Samaria, Judea's northern neighbor?
     

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