Manuscript choice?

Discussion in '2005 Archive' started by Phillip, Mar 25, 2005.

  1. Phillip

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    While reading another thread, I noticed a person said that modern Bibles have a better manuscript choice than the KJV. I have no doubt about that because the TR is not exactly the best choice of the Byzantine texts, nor is the Vulgate (when used).

    However, I would like some discussion from people who prefer the CT to the MT and some scientific reasons why it is better.

    Do NOT turn this into a KJVo debate. That is NOT the intention, so if you wish to make unwarranted statements on how the MT is better, then start your own thread.

    I would like to hear from both sides, but let us stick to WHY we believe the documents are superior and what proof is available.

    Have at it.
     
  2. icthus

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    Phillip, You say that you have no doubt that the modern versions have a better manuscript choice.

    Are you saying by this, that the conclusion must follow that therefore these versions are based on better manuscripts than the TR is? Also, are you making your judgement based on your use of these modern versions, and reading what others say about the evidence; or, is it because you are yourself a student of textual matters?

    You can find my own views on this matter on other threads, where I have shown that the TR is by far the superior Greek text, which are based on more reliable manuscripts than the USB; Nestle & Aland, and other modern texts.
     
  3. Phillip

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    icthus, I didn't really explain myself properly. I was trying to keep this from becoming a KJV vs MV issue. I wanted it to be a Byzantine Text vs. Alexandrian Text (or actually CT) issue.

    What I meant by the statement was that the KJV used only a very small portion of the MT, which later became the TR after it was reverse engineered. Besides that, it also used the Vulgate to fill in some blanks, particularly the last six verses of Revelation.

    I am not convinced the TR is the best "set" of the Byzantine documents, since there are many more to compare than used by the KJV translators.

    So, really we are looking at the CT vs. the MT and not including the TR. That is all I really meant, but it certainly didn't come out that way. I admit that right up front.

    Thanks for questioning it.
     
  4. Gold Dragon

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  5. Phillip

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    I know how the science works, I am looking for a discussion of those who prefer the CT to defend it over the MT.
     
  6. Phillip

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    Oh, thanks for the links. I didn't mean to sound harsh. I'm moderating another thread where I am about to GET harsh. Sorry if I came across that way.
     
  7. Gold Dragon

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    No problem about sounding harsh. I'm pretty thick skinned and not easily angered on a message board. [​IMG]

    I'm still confused about what you are asking. It sounds like you are looking for why readings from the Critical Texts may be favoured over the Byzantine majority readings. That reasoning is basically the entire field of modern textual criticism.
     
  8. Bluefalcon

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    I don't prefer the modern critical eclectic method over the method that favors the Consensus of all Greek documents. I'd be glad to discuss/refute the best examples representing the modern critical text dominance over the Consensus readings, but no one has yet presented any such examples.

    Yours,

    Bluefalcon
     
  9. Bluefalcon

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    Why don't we deal with some specific textual examples here that demonstrate the critical/minority text's superiority over the Consensus/majority text? Since I'm for the Consensus side, however, I can't think of any........Someone from the other side needs to come up with them according to the first post of this thread.

    Yours,

    Bluefalcon
     
  10. av1611jim

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    I am posting this as a request to my better skilled brethren. Please get busy and demonstrate both sides of this thing. And please don't use evasive tactics by saying it emcompasses this entire discipline.

    As bro. BF has requested, how about some specifics?

    In HIS service;
    Jim
     
  11. Gold Dragon

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    I think we can all agree that Textual Criticism is the science of using extant manuscripts to produce as close as possible the original text of the autograph(s), understanding that what we produce is only our best estimate, correct?

    Can we also agree that all honest biblical textual critics should consider the all of the manuscript evidence available to them, valuing some as being closer to the autographs while still considering the relationship of those that appear to be more distant from the autographs?

    A final assumption is that even honest scribes were limited in the manuscripts available to them for their source of copying and transcription in addition to being prone to human errors which would be propogated to future copies.

    So with these assumptions, I present a few arguments commonly used when Alexandrian readings may be favoured over Byzantine ones even though there are many more. It should be noted Byzantine readings are not dismissed but also considered by modern textual critics and modern translations.

    1. Age of the manuscripts
    2. Translations into other languages
    3. Quotations by Church Fathers
    4. Textually accounting for other text-types

    Age of the Manuscripts
    It can be argued that the Byzantine tradition may predate the Alexandrian one or that age shouldn't necessarily be the determining factor. However, the dramatic difference in age of the majority of Byzantine and the majority of Alexandrian manuscripts is difficult to ignore, especially with the short amount of time between the canonization of the bible and the key witnesses of the Alexandrian tradition, Vaticanus and Sinaiticus. While authorship of the autographs was a few hundred years before that, the gap is still small compared to the 900 year gap of our key witnesses of the Byzantine type. I admit that there are Byzantine readings of the gospels that are earlier.

    The common argument for intentional "corruption" of the Alexandrian readings may be possible but unlikely given that the key passages supporting those theologies said to be disliked by the "corruptors" are left intact.

    Translations into other Languages
    The early translated witnesses of the Greek are Latin, Syriac and Coptic. While the gospels in the Peshitta (Syriac) does appear to support the Byzantine readings and is the earliest Byzantine witness, it should be noted that the rest of the Peshitta does not. Most of the other early translations appear to support the Western or Alexandrian types if they support any of them.

    I'm running out of time so I'll address these two in a later post.

    Quotations from Church Fathers
    Textually accounting for other text-types

    [ March 29, 2005, 01:24 PM: Message edited by: Gold Dragon ]
     
  12. natters

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    I've been asking certain people about Jude 1:25 ("through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages"), Acts 4:25 ("through the Holy Spirit") and Phil 1:14 ("God") for a long time, perhaps we could look at those from a TC perspective?
     
  13. Bluefalcon

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    Does Jude 25 really demonstrate minority text dominance over the Consensus? Let's start with this one.

    First, the critical text reads: "... through Jesus Christ our Lord be glory, majesty, power and authority before all time ...".

    Second, the oldest manuscript containing the passage (p72), and thus the one intrinsically "closer" to the autographs, is not even followed by the critical text. For the critical text quoted above, P72 reads,

    "to him be glory, power, honor through Jesus Christ our Lord, to him be glory and majesty".

    Here is a perfect example of the one MS intrinsically closer to the autographs being dead wrong, and thus the danger in following "earlier" MSS that preserve a relatively poor text over and above "later" MSS that preserve a good text.

    Third, the Consensus text at this place reads,

    "... be glory and majesty, power and authority ...".

    The Consensus text at this point is by far the shorter text, and according to modern rules of textual criticism, is thus more likely to be the one added to by scribes (cf. the reading of p72 and the MSS supporting the minority/critical text). The multitude of scribes covering many centuries representing the Consensus of all MSS resisted the temptation to "improve" what Jude wrote and refused to add to the text "Jesus Christ our Lord" and also "before all time".

    And thus here, as in so many other places, the "older" MSS actually represent a text far earlier and more original than the "earlier" MSS. I admit that "through Jesus Christ our Lord" sounds really good, and was used several times by Paul, but this fact alone argues against its authenticity in Jude, for some earlier scribe, either intentionally or not, exchanged what was more familiar or what sounded better to him for what did not sound as good or familiar, and thus the "devotional improvement" but nonetheless an "error" came into existence.

    Yours,

    Bluefalcon
     
  14. Dr. Bob

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    No extant copies of Shakespeare's plays exist. All we have are copies. Within a few years, there were varying versions/editions with all sorts of changes, etc.

    Historical literature goes thru detailed evaluations and searches to find exactly what the Bard of Avon said v what redactors changed.

    Now, instead of 1600 CE go back to 100 CE. Thus the work of textual critics, searching for unadulterated, unadded, un-byzantined texts.

    Yes, I believe the modern compilation of Nestle/Aland/Aland is much more faithful than 'rasmus valiant but flawed attempt from 1520
     
  15. Bluefalcon

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    Dr. Bob, why don't you quit trying to divert the subject and answer some of the objections to the praxis behind the modern Textus Receptus at a specific place in Jude 25?

    BTW, in my opinion your arguments against the Textus Receptus of the former age also apply to your own modern Textus Receptus. The Alands are on record as saying that the Byzantine MSS, 95 percent of all MSS, are basically worthless and should not be relied upon, and furthermore at an incredible number of places they rely on as few sources (or fewer) as Erasmus did.

    Yours,

    Bluefalcon
     
  16. icthus

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    Yes, I believe the modern compilation of Nestle/Aland/Aland is much more faithful than 'rasmus valiant but flawed attempt from 1520 [/QB][/QUOTE]

    Even though Kurt Aland did not accept the infallibiblty of Scripture, and questions our canon of the Holy Bible?

    Yet you would consider the work of this man to be "faithful"!
     
  17. Bluefalcon

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    On page 1 of this thread I've presented a couple objections to a minority text reading in Jude 25. This passage was brought up supposedly as a test case to prove the dominance of the minority text position! Does anyone wish to defend it, especially he who brought it up in the first place?

    Yours,

    Bluefalcon
     

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