Is the Byzantine Text a "late" text?

Discussion in '2003 Archive' started by Will J. Kinney, Nov 9, 2003.

  1. Will J. Kinney

    Will J. Kinney
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    Is the Byzantine Greek Text, that underlies the King James Bible, a "late" or recent text?

    I often hear advocates of the modern versions, which are usually based on the Westcott-Hort Greek text, affirm that the New Testament text upon which the KJB is based represents a later text and not the earliest one. They must be listening to men like James White and erroneously concluding that James actually knows what he is talking about.

    James White, in his book The KJV Controversy, says on pages 152-153 "Every one of the papyrus manuscripts we have discovered has been a representative of the Alexandrian, not the Byzantine text type" and "The early Fathers who wrote at this time did not use the Byzantine text-type" and "the early translations of the New Testament reveals that they were done on the basis of the Alexandrian type manuscripts, not the Byzantine text-type" and "the early church fathers who wrote during the early centuries give no evidence in their citations of a familiarity with the Byzantine text-type".

    I frankly was dumbfounded that Mr. White actually wrote this. People who read his book would automatically assume he is right. Afterall, he has been to seminary and is an authority on such matters, isn't he?. Well, let's take a look at what other scholars who are just as qualified have to say regarding the antiquity of the Traditional Text, the church Fathers and the ancient versions, shall we?

    Dr. Hort himself, who introduced the Alexandrian Greek text now used by most modern versions and which changes some 5000 words - mostly omissions - in the New Testament of the KJB, writes:

    "The fundamental Text of late extant Greek MSS generally is beyond all question identical with the dominant Antiochian or Graeco-Syrian Text of the second half of the 4th century." (Hort, The Factor of Geneology, pg 92---as cited by Burgon, Revision Revised, pg 257).

    Dean Burgon immediately comments: “We request, in passing, that the foregoing statement may be carefully noted. The Traditional Greek Text of the New Testament, - the TEXTUS RECEPTUS, in short - is, according to Dr. Hort, ‘BEYOND ALL QUESTION the TEXT OF THE SECOND HALF OF THE FOURTH CENTURY.’

    The Antiquity of the Received Text, from the booklet titled The Providential Preservation of the Greek Text of the New Testament, by Rev. W. MacLean, M.A.

    Mr. MacLean quotes Bishop Ellicot, who worked on the Revised Version of 1881 and was by no means a King James Onlyist. "The fact is admitted by Bishop Ellicot the chairman of the revisers in his pamphlet, "The Revisers and the Greek text of the N.T. by two members of the N.T. Company," pages 11-12. "The manuscripts which Erasmus used differ, for the most part only in small and insignificant details from the great bulk of the cursive MSS. The general character of their text is the same. By this observation the pedigree of the Received Text (which underlies the King James Bible) is carried up beyond the individual manuscripts used by Erasmus...That pedigree stretches back to remote antiquity. The first ancestor of the Received Text was at least contemporary with the oldest of our extant MSS, if not older than any one of them."

    Mr. MacLean continues: "It must be emphasized that the argument is not between an ancient text and a recent one, but between two ancient forms of the text, one of which was rejected and the other adopted and preserved by the Church as a whole and remaining in common use for more than fifteen centuries. The assumptions of modern textual criticism are based upon the discordant testimony of a few specimens of the rejected text recently disinterred from the oblivion to which they had been deliberately and wisely consigned in the 4th century."

    In the preface of the NKJV 1982 edition, the following words are found on page vii. Keep in mind that these men have the same seminary training and information as James White, and several of the NIV translators also worked on the NKJV, yet they completely contradict what James White says in his book.

    "The manuscript preferences cited in many contemporary translations are due to recent reliance on a relatively few manuscripts discovered in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Dependence on these manuscripts, especially two, the Sinaitic and Vatican manuscripts, is due to the greater age of these documents.

    However, in spite of their age, some scholars have reason to doubt their faithfulness to the autographs, since they often disagree with one another and show other signs of unreliability.

    On the other hand, the great majority of existing manuscripts are in substantial agreement. Even though many are late, and none are earlier than the fifth century, MOST OF THEIR READINGS ARE VERIFIED BY ANCIENT PAPYRI, ANCIENT VERSIONS, AND QUOTATIONS OF THE EARLY CHURCH FATHERS. This large body of manuscripts is the source of the Greek text underlying the King James Bible. It is the Greek text used by Greek-speaking churches for many centuries, presently known as the Textus Receptus, or Received Text, of the New Testament."

    Then on page 1231 the NKJV editors say: "The Byzantine Text. This text was largely preserved in the area of the old Byzantine Empire, the area which is now Turkey, Bulgaria, Greece, Albania, and Yugoslavia. OVER EIGHTY-FIVE PERCENT of the extant manuscripts belong to the Byzantine text type. Also, from the oldest to the most recent manuscripts of this type, there is greater homogeneity than among the manuscripts of any other text type. The King James Version is based largely on a Byzantine type Greek text."

    Dr. Thomas Holland addressing the common criticism that the Byzantine text is of late or recent origen. The full article can be found at http://www.purewords.org/kjb1611/html/advanc01.htm

    Objection: "Did you know that the Textus Receptus, from which the KJV was translated, was based on half a dozen small manuscripts, none earlier than the 10th century?

    Dr. Holland replies: This is yet another misrepresentation of the facts. The Textus Receptus and the KJV reflect the Byzantine line of manuscripts, also called the Traditional Text. The question leaves the impression that there is no textual support for the KJV before the 10th century. This, however, is not the case.

    From the 9th century we have Codex Boreelianus (09), Codex Seidelianus (011), Codex Seidelianus (013), Codex Cyprius (017), Codex Mosquensis (018), Codex Angelicus (020) and Codex Campianus- all of which are Byzantine type manuscripts and support the TR and KJV. And there are many, many more besides these.

    From the 8th and 7th centuries we have Codex Basilensis, Princeton's 047, and the Institute for Manuscripts' 0211 located in Germany. These are Byzantine type manuscripts.

    From the 6th century we find Codex Petropolitanus Purpuresus (022), Codex Sinopensis (023), Codex Guelferbytanus A (024), Codex Nitriensis (027), Codex Rossanensis (042), Codex Beratinus (043), and 0253 (formerly of Damascus), just to name a few which are Byzantine.

    And even from the 5th century we have Codex Guelferbytanus B (026) which is likewise Byzantine. Not to mention the Byzantine readings we find in other manuscripts and Byzantine type readings found among the early papyri manuscripts. (see Aland, pp. 107-128).

    Here are a few selected portions from the excellent article by Dr. Edward F. Hills from his book The King James Version Defended showing the antiquity of the Byzantine text.

    http://www.revelationwebsite.co.uk/index1/kjvd/kjvdcha7.htm

    "Between 18 and 24 of the 27 New Testament books were written originally to cities in Asia Minor and Greece. None were written to Alexandria. But it was precisely in these Western and Alexandrian areas that corrupted pretenders to the true text became prominent.

    What, in the meantime, is to be thought of those blind guides, those deluded ones, who would now persuade us to go back to those same codices, of which the Church hath already purged herself.

    During the march of the Traditional (Byzantine) text toward supremacy many manuscripts of the Traditional type must have perished. The investigations of Lake (1928) and his associates indicate that this was so. "Why", he asked, "are there only a few fragments (even in the two oldest of the monastic collections, Sinai and St. Saba) which come from a date earlier than the 10th century". There must have been in existence MANY THOUSANDS OF MANUSCRIPTS (caps are mine) of the gospels in the great days of Byzantine prosperity, between the 4th and the 10th centuries.

    As a result of these investigations, Lake found it "hard to resist the conclusion that the scribes usually destroyed their exemplars when they copied the sacred books." If Lake's hypothesis is correct, then the manuscripts most likely to be destroyed would be those containing the Traditional text. For these were the ones which were copied most during the period between the 4th and the 10th centuries, as is proved by the fact that the vast majority of the later Greek New Testament manuscripts are of the Traditional type.

    By the same token, the survival of old uncial manuscripts of the Alexandrian and Western type, such as Vaticanus, Sinaiticus and D, was due to the fact that they were rejected by the Church and not read or copied but allowed to rest relatively undisturbed on the library shelves of ancient monasteries.

    Dr. Zane Hodges remarks: "Herein lies the greatest weakness of contemporary textual criticism. Denying to the TR any claim to represent the actual form of the original text, it is nevertheless unable to explain its rise, its comparative uniformity, and its dominance in any satisfactory manner."

    Mr. Hodges adds: "The existence in early times of this text (the Alexandrian) outside of Egypt is unproved...on the other hand, witnesses to the Majority Text came from all over the ancient world." (The Greek N.T. According to the Majority Text).

    The Syriac Peshitta Version

    http://www.biblebelievers.com/Hills_KJVD_Chapter7.htm Dr. Edward Hills

    The Evidence of the Peshitta Syriac Version

    The Peshitta Syriac version, which is the historic Bible of the whole Syrian Church, agrees closely with the Traditional Text found in the vast majority of the Greek New Testament manuscripts. Until about one hundred years ago it was almost universally believed that the Peshitta originated in the 2nd century and hence was one of the oldest New Testament versions. Hence because of its agreement with the Traditional Text the Peshitta was regarded as one of the most important witnesses to the antiquity of the Traditional Text. In more recent times, however, naturalistic critics have tried to nullify this testimony of the Peshitta by denying that it is an ancient version.

    The fickleness and trickery of Dr. Westcott.

    In his book on the N.T. Canon (1855), Westcott himself saw "no reason to desert the opinion which has obtained the sanction of the most competent scholars, that the formation of the Peshitto Syriac was to be fixed withing the first half of the second century. The very obscurity which hangs over its origin is proof of its venerable age, because it shows that it grew up spontaneously among Christian congregations...Had it been a work of later date, of the 3rd or 4th century it is scarcely possible that its history should be so uncertain as it is."

    In the "Introduction to the N.T. Greek," 1882, Westcott contradicted himself on all these points and contended that Curetonian Syriac was of greater antiquity, and that the Peshitto was an authoritative revision in the latter part of the 3rd or 4th centuries.!!!

    The commonly accepted English translation of the Syriac Peshitta is that of Lamsa's translation of the Syriac.

    The NASB complete New Testament was first published in 1960. It bracketed 14 entire verses in the New Testament, thus indicating they were of questionable authority. They continued doing this through the 1977 edition - but they still left out some large portions of several verses and a couple whole verses in Luke 24. Then in 1995, the new update NASB omitted over 7000 words from their previous 1977 edition but they also added most portions of the verses back to Luke 24 which all the previous NASBs had omitted. So it might well be asked, "Which of all these conflicting NASBs was the real words of God?"

    For my article dealing with Luke 24 in the ever changing NASB, see this site. http://www.geocities.com/brandplucked/whbins.html

    The NIV as well as the RSV, ESV continue to omit these 14 verses. In fact, the RSV, NRSV go even further than these 14 verses and also omit Matthew 12:47, 21:44, Luke 22:20, 24:12, and 24:40. The RSV also omitted large sections of Luke 24:3,6 and 12, but then the NRSV put them back in again. The new ESV revision still omits Matthew 12:47 "Then one said unto him, Behold, thy mother and thy brethren stand without, desiring to speak with thee.", but it went ahead and put the other four verses back in! This is the kind of "scholarship" followed by today's Bible of the Month Club members.

    Modern scholarship is focused on man and his abilities to restore what God supposedly lost, rather than first looking to God Himself and His promises to preserve His words till heaven and earth pass away. The result is over 100 conflicting English versions and uncertainty as to what God has said.

    The following list shows the verses omitted by bible versions based on the Westcott-Hort texts, but they are all in the Byzantine texts, the KJB and in the Syriac Peshitta which dates to at least 100 years before Sinaiticus and Vaticanus.

    Here is a site online that has two translations of the Syriac Peshitta - that of James Murdock, and one by John Wesley Etheridge. There is another translation of the Syriac you can buy which was translated by Lamsa in 1933. I have a copy of this in my study.

    http://www.peshitta.com/

    This site tells the history of the Syriac Peshitta and shows the support for it being a very early translation dating perhaps as early as 150 A.D., almost 200 years before Vaticanus and Sinaiticus.

    http://www.peshitta.com/jamesmurdock/appendix.html

    Matthew 17:21 "Howbeit this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting", 18:11 "For the Son of man is come to save that which was lost", 23:14 "Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye devour widows' houses, and for a pretence make long prayer: therefore ye shall receive the greater damnation."

    These verses are all found in the Syriac and the ending of the Lord's prayer in Matthew 6:13 is also there - "for thine in the kingdom, and the power, and the glory for ever. Amen" . The NIV, NASB, ESV omit these words precious words of our Lord.

    Mark 7:16 "If any man have ears to hear, let him hear", 9:44,46 "Where their worm ieth not, and the fire is not quenched"; 11:26 "But if ye do not forgive, neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive your trespasses"; 15:28 "And the scripture was fulfilled, which saith, And he was numbered with the transgressors."

    All these verses are omitted by the NIV, RSV, ESV and bracketed in the NASB. All are found in the Byzantine texts and the Syriac Peshitta.

    Luke 9:55, 56 "and said, Ye know not what manner of spirit ye are of. For the Son of man is not come to destroy men's lives, but to save them." 17:36 "Two men shall be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left"; 23:17 "For of necessity he must release one unto them at the feast."

    John 3:13 "even the Son of man which is in heaven", John 5:4 "waiting for the moving of the water. For an angel went down at a certain season into the pool, and troubled the water: whosoever then first after the troubling of the water stepped in was made whole of whatsoever disease he had." Also the whole section dealing with the woman taken in adultery in John 8:1-11 is included in the Syriac but is omitted by both the Sinaiticus and Vaticanus manuscripts.

    Acts 8:37 "And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God"; 9:5-6 "And the Lord said,... it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks. And he trembling and astonished said, Lord, what wilt thou hav me to do? And the Lord said unto him..."; 15:34 "Notwithstanding it pleased Silas to abide there still."; 24:6b-8a "and would have judged according to our law. But the chief captain Lysias came upon us, and with great violence took him away out of our hands, Commanding his accusers to come unto thee" and 28:29 "And when he had said these words, the Jews departed, and had great reasoning among themselves."

    Romans 16:24 "The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen."

    All of these verses are omitted in the NASB or in brackets, and omitted from the texts of the NIV, ESV, RSV and Jehovah Witness versions, but they are included in the Authorized King James Bible, Tyndale, Geneva Bible, NKJV and in the three Syriac translations.

    So much for the modern version proponents like James White who says: "no early translation was based on the readings found in the Byzantine manuscripts."

    http://www.deanburgonsociety.org/whowasdb.htm

    Early Church Fathers and the Byzantine Text

    As a result of his research, Dr. Dean Burgon compiled an index of sixteen folio volumes of more than 86,000 quotations of or allusions to Scripture which were used by the Church Fathers.  They are presently in London's British Museum. These are very valuable indexes, but as yet are unpublished. 

    Who were some of the Church Fathers?  This is another name for the leaders of the  early church, whether pro-Textus Receptus or not.  They were men such as Origen, Jerome, Athanasius, Cyprian, Clement of Alexander, Augustine, Tertullian, and Eusebius.

    In the writings of the Church Fathers whom Burgon researched, he found that these early leaders quoted from various Greek and Latin texts of Scripture. There were approximately seventy-six Church Fathers who died before 400 A.D. whose writings made frequent reference to the New Testament.   Not only did quotations of these seventy-six Church Fathers from the Textus Receptus prior to 400 A.D. exist, but these Textus Receptus quotations were in the Majority.                    

     The testimony of Dr. Scrivener who worked on the committee of the Revised Version of 1881: "It is no less true to fact than paradoxical in sound, that the worst corruptions to which the New Testament has ever been subjected, originated within a hundred years after it was composed; that Irenaeus and the African Fathers and the whole Western, with a portion of the Syriac church used far inferior manuscripts to those employed by Stunica, or Erasmus, or Stephen, thirteen centuries after, when molding the Textus Receptus…” Introduction to the New Testament by F.H.A. Scrivener.

    Dear Christian reader, these are the facts. God has kept His promises to preserve His inspired words of truth to all generations. God's pure, infallible words have been placed for the last 400 years in the Authorized King James Holy Bible. Men like James White do not have any bible they consider to be the complete, inspired words of God. Mr. White now works for the NASB committee, yet he himself disagrees both with the text and translation of the NASB in several places. He and all other modern version promoters set up their own minds as being the final authority. If they do happen to speak of the Bible as being the inspired word of God, they are not referring to anything you can buy, hold in your hands, read, memorize and believe with all your heart. Instead, they are referring to a mystical bible that not only does not exist now, but never did exist in one Book.

    "Thus saith the LORD, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls." Jeremiah 6:16

    Will Kinney
     
  2. Scott J

    Scott J
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    There are indeed some facts here. There are also unproven conjectures and quotes of the opinions of others... which remain "opinions". Quoting an error accurately does not make it a fact.

    Notably, you persistently equate and interchange the terms "TR" with "Byzantine" or "Majority". As you know, the TR is a text derived mostly from the Byzantine family and is representative. However, it contains readings that do not represent the majority and have weak or non-existent support in the BT type. It is dishonest to make this equation.
    If you are talking about a word for word text then it cannot be the TR which did not exist until a RCC scholar collated it. If your claim is something else then please cite that one manuscript from the Byzantine family that represents this preservation. Remember, all mss from the BT differ from each other. In fact, there is more variance of substance within the BT family than there is between our current English translations. For instance, only a few hundred contain any part of I John... a rather significant omission, wouldn't you agree?
    Nothing in this whole long rambling post comes close to justifying this kind of leap of logic.

    There is only one way for this statement to be true. It is requisite (for your belief) that God inspired the KJV translators... and, at that, they were ignorant of the inspiration and this inspiration extended to various editors up until 1769. This is the only possibility if the words are "pure" and "infallible". These men claimed the word choices for themselves and denied that they were above question or infallible in their choices.

    If every single thing you wrote above is true and complete in its treatment of the subject, the most you can claim is that the Byzantine Text family is superior to the Alexandrian Text family.

    You have not established that MV's derived from critical texts are not the Word of God.

    You have not demonstrated the KJV to be pure or perfect in its wording.
    This is deception on your part in the form of one letter 's'. No, we do not have "inspired words" in a single text of any language. We do have the complete, inspired "Word" of God in several forms.
    And the reason you know this is because he, and the scholars he works with, are honest about the evidence and their disagreements. He may be wrong. They all may be wrong. However, even if they are wrong, that does not prove you right.
    In fact, your complete inconsistency and lack of factual proof for your conclusions demonstrates that you are wrong for much worse reasons than those who attempt to consider the evidence with a willingness to let it shape their views... rather than shaping the evidence to fit their views.
    Much less so than you. They can point to evidence that supports their final conclusions whether right or wrong.

    You believe what you do about the KJV in spite of the evidence, in spite of the words of the KJV translators, and in spite of scripture itself. The scripture plainly demonstrates that things different than the KJV are to be considered the Word of God.

    You start with your conclusion and, to no great surprise, end with your conclusion. By definition, your own mind is your final authority on this subject because no Bible (even the KJV) teaches what you believe.
    This is bearing false witness. I have read White's book and you misrepresent his words and views. Holding a different understanding than yours does not make White nor anyone else wrong... unless of course, your mind is their final authority as well. Which is really what KJVOnlyism is about at the core. Men with strong opinions being angry that others disagree with them.
    This verse of course has absolutely NOTHING to do with the KJV. The KJV is not old paths being referred to. The KJV was new at one time... and that time was not in the days of scripture's inspired beginnings.
     
  3. Will J. Kinney

    Will J. Kinney
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    Will>>>If they do happen to speak of the Bible as being the inspired word of God, they are not referring to anything you can buy, hold in your hands, read, memorize and believe with all your heart.
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------Scott>>>This is bearing false witness. I have read White's book and you misrepresent his words and views. Holding a different understanding than yours does not make White nor anyone else wrong.

    How am I misrepresenting James White? He does not believe any translation is inspired. He recommends several versions as being "reliable", yet these versions differ radically from each other in hundreds of verses. As for the Hebrew and Greek, which Hebrew and which Greek? White never says, does he? So, where do we find the inspired words (or word) of God?

    Will>>>Men like James White do not have any bible they consider to be the complete, inspired words of God.
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------Scott>>>This is deception on your part in the form of one letter 's'. No, we do not have "inspired words" in a single text of any language. We do have the complete, inspired "Word" of God in several forms.


    Hi Scott, can you tell me then where I can get a copy of "the complete, inspired "Word" of God in several forms."?

    I notice you capitalized Word. The Word refers the Christ, not His words.

    If God's word is complete, then nothing is lacking, right? If it is inspired, then it cannot be in error, correct? So, where can I get a copy?

    Will
     
  4. Archangel7

    Archangel7
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    Relatively speaking, yes. We know for certain that the Alexandrian and Western texts existed by c. 200 A.D. On the other hand, the evidence tells us that the Byzantine text didn't exist in the earliest centuries, appears in its early form in the 4th C., and gradually develops until it reaches its full form in the 9th C.

    The extant papyrii present a more complex picture of the text in the earliest centuries than Mr. White's statements would lead us to believe. Some of these early papyrii have a "mixed text" (e.g. P66), some of them have a Western text (e.g. P38), and some of them have an Alexandrian text (e.g. P75). However, what is true is that *none* of them have a Byzantine text. As for the early Fathers, Mr. White is correct -- some of them used a Western text (e.g., Cyprian), some of them used an Alexandrian text (e.g. Origen), but *none* of them before the 4th C. used a Byzantine text. Chrysostom was the first Father to use a Byzantine text extensively, and even his text wasn't fully Byzantine. As for the early versions, Mr. White is incorrect in saying that they were done on the basis of Alexandrian-type MSS. Certainly the early Coptic versions were, but the oldest Syriac and Latin versions were based on a Western-type text. It is true, though, that none of the *earliest* versions -- namely, pre-4th C. -- were based on a Byzantine text. (Note: we do find isolated Byzantine *readings* in the early source material, but not a Byzantine *text* where all those readings appear together in single documents with an overall Byzantine character).

    ON THE PESHITTA

    In 1855, Westcott saw "no reason to desert the opinion" of a 2nd C. date for the Peshitta. Three years later the discovery of the then-oldest known Syriac MS (the Curetonian Syriac) with an older, pre-Peshitta text gave him an excellent "reason" to leave "opinon" behind. Fact trumps opinion every time.

    Interestingly, the Peshitta has some notable readings:

    Mark 1:2
    "the prophets" (Byzantine text)
    "Isaiah the prophet" (Peshitta; agrees with Aleph, B, D, Old Latin, Coptic)

    John 1:18
    "the only begotten Son" (Byzantine text)
    "the only begotten God" (Peshitta; agrees with P66, P75, Aleph, B)

    How we know the Peshitta is late 4th-early 5th C. and not 2nd C. ---> LINK

    ON BURGON'S PATRISTIC CITATIONS

    Why Burgon's patristic citations are almost useless for reconstructing the text of the early Fathers ---> LINK
     
  5. kman

    kman
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    Good balanced post Archangel7. A few questions for you below:


    What specific evidence can you provide to back up
    this assertion? p75? p46? early father's quotes?


    In your mind what textual evidence would you classify as early Byzantine? Codex A in the
    gospels? some early church fathers? gothic
    version?

    thx,
    kman
     
  6. HankD

    HankD
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    Personally, I believe far too much weight is put on two manuscripts, Aleph and B, by MV supporters in the face of the thousands (howbeit later) of Greek miniscules, translations, fathers and lexicons. I support and use the non-TR MVs as the Word of God, useful for discovering the sense of the Scriptures but lacking in places of scribal accuracy.

    I am reserving my final judgement (based upon evidence) until the historical picture is better balanced.

    This may not happen in my life time so my faith decision is on the Byzantine (somewhat synonymous with the later TR collation/distillations) which came out of the churches of the Apostolic Great Commission (Asia Minor) of which koine Greek was either the common language or the lingua franca.

    Apart from Athanasius and a small handful of others the Alexandrian local churches were nothing but heresy and trouble for the orthodox.

    I just don't have the trust in Aleph and B to change my TR preference.

    My opinion of course.

    HankD
     
  7. Archangel7

    Archangel7
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    What specific evidence can you provide to back up this assertion? p75? p46? early father's quotes?</font>[/QUOTE]P75 (c. 200 A.D.) and the *analyzed* quotations of Origen (d. 251 A.D.) establish the early existence of an Alexandrian text. P75 is especially interesting because its text resembles B as closely as any two members of the Lake group (f1) resemble each other, and the MSS in the Lake group are *known* to be direct copy descendents.

    As for the Western text, P38 (c. 300 A.D.) and the *analyzed* quotations of Cyprian (d. 258) establish its early existence.

    In your mind what textual evidence would you classify as early Byzantine? Codex A in the gospels? some early church fathers? gothic version? </font>[/QUOTE]A in the Gospels, W in Matthew and Luke 8:13-24:53, and the *analyzed* quotations of Chrysostom are the earliest examples of the Byzantine text.
     
  8. Archangel7

    Archangel7
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    Antioch had more than its share of heretics plaguing the orthodox too. According to Eusebius (Church History 3.29), Nicholas of Antioch (cf. Ac. 6:5) was the founder of the heretical Nicolatian sect condemned in the Book of Revelation (Rev. 2:6, 15). There was Saturninus of Antioch, a 2nd C. Gnostic teacher; and the Encratite sect of Antioch with its extreme ascetecism. Then we have Paul of Samosata, the Bishop of Antioch in the 3rd C., who had an adoptionist Christology; and Meletus of Antioch, who refused to subscribe to "homoousios" at the Council of Nicea. And let us not forget Lucian of Antioch, whose subordinationist Christology led his student Arius to formulate the heresy that plagued the Christian church throughout the late 3rd and early 4th centuries -- a heresy fought by the orthodox Athanasius of *Alexandria*. And no list of Antiochene heretics would be complete without Nestorius of Antioch, whose name lives on in "Nestorianism," the term given to his heretical doctine of the two natures of Christ; or Severus of Antioch, the influential Monophysite who taught that Christ has only one nature, divine only.

    The presence of heretics alongside the orthodox in any given region is insufficient reason in and of itself to reject MSS from that region.
     
  9. Askjo

    Askjo
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    No, you are mistaken. The Old Syriac (Peshitta) Bible is 2nd Century. The revised peshitta is between 4-6 Century.
     
  10. Archangel7

    Archangel7
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    No, you are mistaken. The Old Syriac (Peshitta) Bible is 2nd Century. The revised peshitta is between 4-6 Century. </font>[/QUOTE]If the Peshitta really was 2nd C., and if it really was the common text of the ancient Syriac church, how do you explain the fact that no Syriac Father before 400 A.D. used it?
     
  11. HankD

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    I repeat:

    Apart from Athanasius and a small handful of others the Alexandrian local churches were nothing but heresy and trouble for the orthodox.

    HankD
     
  12. Will J. Kinney

    Will J. Kinney
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    Is the oldest extant today the best?
    From:
    www.geocities.com/johnthe...tions.html
    &gt;&gt;&gt;
    Kurk Aland, however, says, "...the fact [is] that the oldest manuscript does not necessarily have the best text. P47 is, for example, by far the oldest of the manuscripts containing the full or almost full text of the Apocalypse, but it is certainly not the best." (Which Bible, pg. 27) It is a myth that the oldest MSS are best. I can see the logic in thinking the oldest is best, because it is closer to the original autograph. However, this logic does not hold up when we take the early Bible corrupters into account. The most notorious corrupters were Origen (Alexandrian Text) and Eusebius (Western Text)

    Principals to note:

    1.The oldest manuscripts are not necessarily carefully written.
    3.The oldest manuscripts were subject to the greatest corruption.
    4.The oldest manuscripts are in perpetual disagreement with each other.
    2.The oldest manuscripts extant are not necessarily copied from oldest manuscript master.
    (www.hutch.com.au/~rlister...mvam1.htm)

    The next earliest is called the Bodmer Papyri p66, p72, p75 and dates around 200 AD and is a mixture of Alexandrian and Western text-types.

    Here again oldest is not best:

    P66 contains portions of the Gospel of John. It has:

    * 200 nonsense readings.
    * 216 careless readings
    * 269 corrections
    * 482 singular readings
    * 54 leaps forward, 22 backwards
    Pickering notes it has "Roughly two mistakes per verse."

    P75 contains portions of Luke and John. It has:

    * 275 singular readings
    * 57 careless readings
    * 27 leaps forward, 10 backwards
    Pickering notes, "...scarcely a good copy."

    Here is more info on your oldest texts. As we see, if you try to use the argument that the Byzantine (KJB readings) were not used consistently, then the same applies to your Vaticanus-Sinaiticus readings.

    http://www.purewords.org/kjb1611/html/kjvdeba.htm
    By Kevin James, author of The Corruption of the Word: The Failure of Modern New Testament Scholarship
    Kevin James, author of The Corruption of the Word, the Failure of Modern New Testament Scholarship

    Early Greek texts, Fathers, Versions

    Thesis 1: There is no unambiguous evidence that the Byzantine text-type was known before the middle of the fourth century. (pg44)

    Carson hedges a little bit here, because after such a bold statement, he says a few lines down: "In each case the evidence is uniform: the mature Byzantine text-type appears nowhere before the fourth century." (my italics). He doesn't define "mature" but we can assume he means in totality, such as a text that has no wordings found in the other "text-types" such as "Alexandrian," or "Western."

    Well, we can say the same thing of the mature "Alexandrian" text: There is no unambiguous evidence that the Alexandrian text-type ever existed in totality, anywhere. Except for a few small fragments, all the early father quotations, the early versions and the early manuscripts have a "mixed" text, showing varying degrees of support for the KJV Greek, the modern Greek, the "Western" text-type, as well as a large portion of "un-rated" wordings.

    For example, from the 26th edition of the modern Greek New Testament, the following early fathers show their support for either the KJV Greek, the modern Greek, or neither:


    Early Christian Writer Evidence
    Writer Century KJV MV Neither
    Marcion Second 20 17 82
    Ireneaus Second 53 48 53
    Clement of Alexandria Second 76 107 94
    Origen Third 78 141 165
    Cyprian Third 35 31 93


    Origen would be the closest "Alexandrian" text-type early father but 20% of the time he supports the KJV, 37% the modern Greek, and 43% of the time, neither. Clement of Alexandria, who lived in the heart of the "Alexandrian" text-type area in the second century supports the KJV 27% , the modern Greek 39%, and neither 34%.

    Ireneaus, a second century writer who is classified as a "Western" text witness, goes with the KJV 34%, the modern Greek 31%, and neither 34%.

    The evidence of the manuscripts is similar. From the Nestle-Aland text references of every early manuscript through the fourth century (except for their favorites, Aleph and B), we find that 12.6% of the time, the KJV is supported, the modern Greek finds support in 34.7% of the references,, and a whopping 52.8% of the time these manuscripts go out on their own. Note that not all the manuscript variants are shown in Nestle-Aland.

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------


    Let's try the early translations. From the book of Matthew we get these figures:


    Early Translation Evidence
    Language KJV MV Neither
    Old Latin 54 28 165
    Syriac 165 73 98
    Middle-Egyptian 93 113 157


    Again, realize that not all variants from these early versions are shown. But the Old Latin, existing in the second century, gives strong support for the KJV at 22% versus 11% for the modern Greek. The Syriac version, also old but whose exact age is disputed, supports the KJV at 49% versus 22%. Even the Middle-Egyptian version, existing in a manuscript from the 4th/5th century goes with the KJV 26% versus 31% for the modern Greek.

    (The previous evidence for the fathers, manuscripts, and versions comes from my book, The Corruption of the Word: The Failure of Modern New Testament Scholarship, Chapter 3.) [See link at top of page.]

    This is pretty "unambiguous" evidence that the Byzantine text-type existed as far back as we can go, for where did all these sources get the "Byzantine" wordings, if the actual manuscripts didn't exist yet? And, if it is argued that all these Byzantine wordings are just bits and pieces, the same thing can be said about the Alexandrian wordings.
     
  13. Askjo

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  14. Askjo

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  15. Archangel7

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    Actually, the most notorious "Bible corrupters" in the pre-Nicene years were those in the early centers of Christianity (including Antioch and Rome) where oral tradition -- stories and teachings about Jesus and the apostles passed down by word of mouth -- was valued as much as any written source. Papias of Hierapolis (c. 60-130 A.D.), for example, preferred the "living voice" of those who had been with the disciples rather than "things out of books" (Eusebius, Church History 3.39). Some of these oral traditions eventually found their way into Western and Byzantine copies of the Scriptures (e.g., in Mt. 3:15, the light at Jesus' baptism; in Mk. 15:27, Zoathan and Chammatha as the names of the two thieves crucified next to Jesus; in Lk. 3:22, the heavenly voice saying "You are my beloved Son; this day I have begotten you;" in Jn. 5;4, the legend about the angel stirring the waters of the pool; in Ac. 8:37, the eunuch's confession). The only place that seems to have been largely immune to the effect of corruption of the Scriptures by oral tradition was Alexandria, precisely because of its distance from apostolic centers like Antioch and Rome.

    You forgot one very important thing --

    5. The oldest MSS were made in the time *before* Constantine, *before* Nicea, and *before* ecclesiastical authorities had the power to control, shape, and standardize its official texts. That's what makes them so valuable.

    Also, even though the oldest MSS are not technically good copies, the vast majority of their errors are "surface errors" (e.g., mispelled words) which are easily recognizable. You don't seem to understand that it's possible to have a poor copy of an otherwise excellent underlying text. By your argument, we'd have to reject both Erasmus' 1516 TR and the 1611 KJV because they had hundreds upon hundreds of printing errors.

    There are three ways of determining the textual character of a document: Colwell and Tune's Quantitative Analysis, Aland's Teststellen (test passages), and the Claremont Profile Method. If a document has a "mature Byzantine text" it means that its text has a recognizably overall Byzantine character when it is analyzed in these ways.

    You are mistaken. The text pf P75, for example, demonstrates that the mature Alexandrian text of Luke and John existed c. 200 A.D.

    This comparison is methodologically flawed for two reasons. (1) "The KJV, the modern Greek, and neither" don't correspond to any of the known textual groupings ("Alexandrian, Western, and Byzantine"). The KJV and the modern Greek texts are both eclectic mixtures with readings drawn from all three text types. (2) The statistical sampling is too small to draw any firm conclusions. If you want an example of how to properly analyze a Father's text, check out The Text of the Fourth Gospel in the Writings of Origen by Ehrman, Fee, and Holmes. They have painstakingly collected, sorted, and analyzed every citation and allusion to John's Gospel in Origen's vast corpus. Origen's text of John is "mature Alexandrian," agreeing some 90% of the time with P75-B. (By the way, these same methodological flaws also apply to your discussion of early versions.)

    Oral tradition would be one source. Scribal activity to improve the style of the text, or harmonize it with parallel passages, or make the text "more orthodox" in light of the theological contoversies of the day would be another.

    What would prove beyond all doubt that the Alexandrian text, or the Western text, or the Byzantine text existed *as a text* in the early centuries? Answer: the existence of an actual MS with a demonstrably Alexandrian, Western, or Byzantine text from the period before Constantine. Do we have any such MSS with a demonstrably Alexandrian text? Yes -- P75 (c. 200 A.D.). Do we have any such MSS with a demonstrably Western text? Yes -- P38 (c. 300 A.D.). Do we have any such MSS with a demonstrably Byzantine text? No. Not one. Not a *single* source before Constantine has a demonstrably Byzantine text. If such a source were to be found, it would prove beyond all doubt that the Byzantine text was indeed early.
     
  16. Archangel7

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    The Syrian church used it. </font>[/QUOTE]The only way we can know what text the Syrian church used before 400 A.D. is by analyzing the Scriptural quotations in the writings of the Syrian Fathers who *belonged* to the Syrian church and who lived before 400 A.D. In every single case, the Scriptural quotations of the early Syriac Fathers show either a Diatessaron or an Old Syriac text. *None* of them show a Peshitta text. So if the Syrian Church used the Peshitta in its earliest centuries, how come not a single one of its earliest writers used it? Where is the *hard evidence* of the existence of the Peshitta before 400 A.D.?
     
  17. kman

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    Well..50 years ago you'd have to say the same thing about the Alexandrian text as well..since p75 hadn't been discovered yet.

    What text type was used in the Greek/Asia Minor areas pre-Constantine? We don't know do we?

    Dr. Robinson stated that we don't have any
    manuscript, versional, or patristic evidence
    from before the mid-4th century for the
    areas of southern Italy, Greece and modern
    Turkey.

    Why is it a big leap to think that post-Constantine they used the same text type they
    used pre-Constantine? (ie. Byzantine text)?


    What leaps did Westcott and Hort make when they believed the Alexandrian text was the early text even though they had no hard evidence? I don't see that respectable Byzantine priority figures such as Maurice Robinson are doing any different.
    And perhaps one day somebody will dig up their
    "p75".

    -kman
     
  18. Scott J

    Scott J
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    They aren't directly inspired in their wording, not even the KJV. Even the KJV translators themselves deny this notion.

    Translations do have derived inspiration due to their accurate representation of the message transmitted in the originals.
    I can give you the names of several reliable dictionaries.... none of which use the same words. However, they are in great agreement as to substance and one who uses them will be fully enabled to communicate clearly.

    Same as the various "reliable" Bible versions.
    I asked you the same question. Please cite that single ms that represents this perfect, word for word transmission that you ascribe to God. Remember, it can't be the TR since it is a collated text, not a copy.

    Oh... and while you are at it, name the parent document of that one ms as well.

    You can "consider" anything you want... but the KJV does not have inspired words.
    CBD, Scripturetruth.com, Amazon, any walk-in bookstore, Walmart, K-mart...

    "Word of God" is a proper noun. It is correctly capitalized.

    Yes, and this is the proper definition of "perfect" to be applied to faithful, "reliable" translations.
    The originals, as a direct work of God, were inspired and did not have errors of any kind. Translations are not direct works of God so they are subject to "imperfections" in as much as they are not facsimiles of the originals. However, the substantial agreement of text and complete agreement of doctrine testifies that God's Word is preserved.
    See above.
     
  19. tinytim

    tinytim
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    &gt;:&gt;&gt;&gt;Hi Scott, can you tell me then where I can get a copy of "the complete, inspired "Word" of God in several forms."?&lt;:&lt;&lt;&lt;&lt;&lt;


    Without stealing Scott's thunder, I just wanted you to know you can buy a parallel bible at any Bible bookstore -- I just bought one with KJV, NIV, NLT, and NASB -- Those should cover all the inspired word!! [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  20. Will J. Kinney

    Will J. Kinney
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    ------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Originally posted by Will J. Kinney:
    www.geocities.com/johnthe...tions.html
    www.hutch.com.au/~rlister...mvam1.htm
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------
    These websites that you posted did not work. I tried to open them. Please correct them for me because I want to read their information.
    Thanks!

    Hi Askjo, sorry about that. I don't recognize the second one, and the first one is no longer there.

    Will
     

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