Jude 5, a conversation in textual criticism

Discussion in 'Bible Versions/Translations' started by Greektim, Dec 13, 2012.

  1. Greektim

    Greektim
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    I just read this article by Mounce

    He pointed out that the NA28 has put in "Jesus" instead of NA27's "Lord" reading. Mention was made to Metzger's commentary as to why "Jesus" was not used despite the decent external support.

    So... where do you stand on the issue. Which reading is best???

    (There are many other options by the way)

    The variants are listed from laparola here:
     
  2. Yeshua1

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    Wouldn't the contex be referring that Jesus/Lord is same person being mentioned here anyways?
     
  3. Van

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    The reading of Jesus is very difficult, since the reference at best is to the pre-incarnate Word. Thus the many variants where scribes have copied it in many different ways. So rather than calling into question, the Jesus reading, the many variants to more common statements actually reinforces the Jesus reading (at least that is how I read the NET footnote). The ESV and the NET go with Jesus, most others say Lord, but some footnote the Jesus reading.
     
  4. preachinjesus

    preachinjesus
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    What a good idea for a thread, apologies that I have only now been able to reply. This evening I spent a bit of time looking at some commentaries and evaluating the subject.

    It is true that Metzger himself makes a sound argument for the use of "Jesus" over Lord. However, I must agree with the committee's point that the use here is inconsistent with the employment of "Jesus" in the rest of the text.

    What is interesting about this case is that it seems to demonstrate the challenge of a high Christology, or at least traditions deferring to early Jesus worship in the burgeoning Christian communities. I wonder what Hurtado would say. It does appear that Bauckham supports the use of "Lord" (sorry I don't have my fancy Greek fonts available when using my iPad.) That should be pretty significant.

    When I checked several major translations (newer ones) I found that the ESV and NET both use "Jesus" while the NIV11 and HCSB (that caught me by surprise) use "Lord."

    The choice isn't inconsequential. Perhaps these early transcriptions (reflected in the earliest attestations using "Jesus") are all reflecting that high Christology which Jude, generally, doesn't embrace. Being such a unique text, I'd call it an apocalyptic epistle, that utilizes a lot of charged OT imagery, this verse seems to be better suited to settle in that apocalyptic tradition using OT language rather than taking the name of Jesus and backcasting it into the OT context. While we cannot rule out that Jude, or the author of Jude here, is being intentional about pointing out the pre-existent Christ in the OT, I don't see a corresponding theology elsewhere in the book.

    It really pretty interesting that the HCSB uses "Lord" here. I've always taken that translation to be a bit more Christologically charitable than others. Maybe this will allow me to re-evaluate that thought.

    Good conversation!
     
  5. Yeshua1

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    Does the use of either jesus/lord really change the meaning at all, as the author was thinking of jesus as lord anyways, wasn't he?
     
  6. Greektim

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    This is a thread of textual criticism. Textual critics (i.e. geeks like me) know that the variant is really not going to cause a controversy of meaning. But this is a significant variant nonetheless, and it does have literary and theological consequences that are important. And hopefully you will admit that though there are a number of good and likely variants, we should be honest academics and try our best to figure out the best candidate for the variant.
     
  7. Van

    Van
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    Referring the the pre-incarnate Word, Logos, as Jesus is not limited to Jude. In Hebrews we have the Son as God Almighty. Then we have John saying the pre-incarnate Word is God. Thomas referred to Jesus as our Lord and God. This change reinforces the argument Jesus is God and adds Jude 5 as a supporting verse. Way to go!!
     
  8. Yeshua1

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    I agree with that, but the point still is that regardless which varient is chosen, the main idea of jesus is Lord still sticks!
     
  9. preachinjesus

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    Yeshua1/Dachaser1/JesusFan, if you can't substantively contribute to a thread please don't add comments. Thanks
     
  10. Greektim

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    Textual criticism is not a pursuit of theology but of text. So in that regard, I want to know what Jude wrote. And if he used "Jesus", then that has important theological and hermeneutical ramifications (similar to Paul seeing the rock as Jesus). See my siggie for more of that.
     
  11. Greektim

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    Coming back to the point of the thread, my textual position usually follows a Sturzian style to make final textual decisions. And so it does seem "lord" is the best attested geographically. Internal evidence aside, it seems "Lord" is best. Since internal evidence is usually self contradictory, I try to avoid it for final decision making. I think it is corroborative at best.

    To complicate this more, if we didn't put this into a test-tube but read these readings amongst a larger portion of text, than the readings get very complicated. Jude has many variants. I wonder if the NA is representing a larger reading that never existed in any text. I'll have to investigate further.
     
  12. Deacon

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    I've stayed out of this so far recognizing my amateur status in this rather difficult variant but bumped up against it Sunday while teaching in Genesis 18-19 in Adult Sunday school (re: Sodom and Gomorrah).

    Of course there's an obvious theophany in the text there – Jude picks up on it and expands on the Angel of the Lord motif.

    Henry Alford had no problem with the "Jesus" reading based upon this very idea.
    I thought Metzger's explanation of the divine abbreviations illuminated a potential cause of the difficultly well.
    He noted the Committee had great difficulty in arriving at a decision, noting that the only recourse was to print the least unsatisfactory reading.

    I use the ESV which like the NET uses "Jesus" with a textual note.

    Rob
     
    #12 Deacon, Dec 17, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 17, 2012
  13. jonathan.borland

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    Hi Tim,

    You make many great points. I can add just a little as I have Tommy Wasserman's The Epistle of Jude: Its Text and Transmission in front of me. You ask whether a short stretch of text containing the variant in question appears in any known witness to the NT text. I can say that no witness has the 6-word sequence in NA27: υμας παντα οτι ο κυριος απαξ. There is a single witness (ℵ/01) that has that sequence without the definite article (ο), though. The interesting thing is that the reconstructed text that Wasserman proposes also has no ms in support: υμας απαξ παντα οτι κυριος.

    NA28 has: υμας απαξ παντα οτι ιησους, and this is supported by only one ms (B/03).

    As Wasserman notes, there are four main problems with the section of text in question:

    1. The presence of υμας (or ημας)
    2. The location of απαξ
    3. The originality of παντα (as opposed to τουτο for example)
    4. The κυριος/Ιησους variation (among others)

    First, I have no problem with the presence of υμας.

    Second, I think the location of απαξ within the relative clause correlates nicely with το δευτερον and thus I can see no reason why this sequence, if original, would have been rejected by most scribes in favor of the more difficult sequence that has it before the relative clause. In other words, the Byz reading that has απαξ before the relative is more difficult due to the presence of το δευτερον later in the relative clause. The difficulty of this lack of correlation caused some to conform the text into a more sensible construction, i.e., the Lord first did this, second did that. But as far as this reading is concerned, the ESV rendering is perfectly sensible from the Greek (i.e., you once fully knew, . . . [Jesus/the Lord] afterward destroyed . . .

    Third, the presence of τουτο (Byz and others) against the παντα is far more difficult, also presenting a reason for its alteration by a few scribes. Wasserman writes:

    A further reason for changing τουτο into παντα is the presence of similar statements even within the Catholic Epistles. Cf. 1 John 2:20, 27; also, Rom 15:14.

    Fourth, the Ιησους variation would not have presented any difficulty to a 2d- or 3d-century scribe, since in the early centuries authors frequently wrote that "Jesus" was active in the OT, while the NT authors never mention this name with reference to the preexistent activity of Christ, preferring "Christ" (1 Cor 10:4) or "Lord," etc. In addition, Jude himself uses κυριος with reference to Jesus not only in v. 4 preceding, but also in vv. 17 and 21. There is more of a chance that a few scribes wished to clarify the christological significance by using "Jesus" than that most chose to lessen it by using κυριος, which is ambiguous and could simply refer to YHWH (the LORD).

    Sincerely,

    Jonathan C. Borland
     
    #13 jonathan.borland, Dec 20, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 20, 2012
  14. Greektim

    Greektim
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    Thanks, JB, for a good and helpful post. It helps that we have similar background in learning tc.

    Here is how the NET explains their textual choice of "Jesus":
    I also just read this from Dan Wallace's blog post about the NA28:
     

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