Earliest manuscripts are best? Come on!

Discussion in '2005 Archive' started by Bluefalcon, Feb 13, 2005.

  1. Bluefalcon

    Bluefalcon
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    Still reading here. Simplifications and omissions abound in the earliest manuscript in the world containing Ephesians. A couple more include the omission of "Wherefore" beginning Eph. 4:25 and the simplification of "in the kingdom of Christ and God" in Eph. 5:5 to simply "in the kingdom of God." P46 also changes "but knowing what the will of the Lord is" in Eph. 5:17 to "...the will of Christ is," and changes "singing to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs" in Eph. 5:19 to "...in psalms and hymns and songs."

    The earliest has no guarantee of being the best, especially in NT manuscript studies.

    Yours,

    Bluefalcon

    [ February 13, 2005, 09:53 AM: Message edited by: Bluefalcon ]
     
  2. Joseph_Botwinick

    Joseph_Botwinick
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    So you think a later copy is better than an earlier copy? Why is that? Because it doesn't agree with what you have always known or thought?

    Have you ever played the gossip game? What usually happens to the original message the further down the gossip chain it goes?

    Joseph Botwinick
     
  3. natters

    natters
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    Technically you are correct. But in general the older a manuscript, the less opportunity for copyist mistakes to creep in.

    Also, you can't really determine the accuracy of a manuscript by what "sounds better". For example, you say "the simplification of "in the kingdom of Christ and God" in Eph. 5:5 to simply "in the kingdom of God."". Suppose I produced a manuscript tomorrow (which certainly wouldn't be an old manuscript) which said in this verse "in the kingdom of Christ our saviour and God our Father". Would that be even better?
     
  4. Trotter

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    Hmm...because an older amnuscript doesn't have all the extra that an older manuscript does, it has to be wrong?

    And what of the possibility of copyists elaborating upon what they were writing?

    Yeah, it is obvious. The older ones just removed all of that so it read like they wanted it to... :rolleyes:

    In Christ,
    Trotter
     
  5. Bluefalcon

    Bluefalcon
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    Later is not necessarily worse, and early is not necessarily better. A ninth century MS carefully copied from a 2nd century MS may be more accurate than another 2nd century MS that was not carefully copied or that was carefully copied but from a MS that itself had not been carefully copied. This scenario cannot be disproven, and in fact the instances I gave above regarding the earliest MS for Ephesians are ALL considered corruptions by editorial committees of modern versions. That is to say, in the examples above, the later MSS in the above instances have the more accurate text every time.

    Yours,

    Bluefalcon
     
  6. natters

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    Thus textual criticism is needed. Sometimes the more accurate reading is in one manuscript, sometimes another, sometimes another. Put all the evidence on the table.
     
  7. Trotter

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    Now, now, natters. There you go...making sense again... :rolleyes:

    In Christ,
    Trotter
     
  8. PastorSBC1303

    PastorSBC1303
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    yeah we sure wouldnt want to make sense around here [​IMG] :confused:
     
  9. Bluefalcon

    Bluefalcon
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    In general, a singular reading in only one MS out of all we have available today is not likely to be original. We might as well conjecture the original readings out of our heads if the original readings are likely to be in only one singular MS, for if in only one out of some 5500, they are just as likely to have disappeared altogether from any MS. Now I'd like to see Natters fighting for KJVO-like preservation -- that would be something!

    What has to be shown is WHY the original reading was the object of such malicious intent that it disappeared from all MSS but one or even none, and the latter is just as likely a possibility arguing from this position as the former! What is harder to show than why is HOW this could have occurred. Just what is one's theory of textual transmission of the NT that allows for this scenario. And furthermore, how unreliable the NT is if this is the case! Josh McDowell, look out! Here comes Natters!

    I bet he's shaking in his boots -- NOT!

    Yours,

    Bluefalcon
     
  10. natters

    natters
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    I agree. But note that you said "In general" and "not likely". These are not absolute statements. Thus we need all the evidence and textual criticism to help identify the exceptions.

    I'd be perfectly willing to, if someone was able to truly explain to me how it would be logically and doctrinally supportable.

    Exactly. At least textual criticism attempts to examine these issues. Some would have us simply throw out pieces of evidence just because the questions are hard.

    Not at all. The end result is a very small percentage of questionable readings, none of which need affect doctrine if rightly divided. Does "monogenes uios" vs. "monogenes theos" in John 1:18, or "poiountes tas entolas" vs. "plunontes tas stolas" in Rev 22:14 affect my understanding or my day-to-day walk with the Lord in the slightest? Nope. The NT is still reliable.
     

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