Multiple Originals

Discussion in 'Bible Versions/Translations' started by franklinmonroe, Apr 10, 2007.

  1. franklinmonroe

    franklinmonroe
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    I have not seen this topic brought up since I've been around here (but it is also possible that I somehow missed it).

    Typically, when I have an important written document that I want to share, I make myself a copy before I relinquish the work to the recipient. I may give them the 'copy' or I may give them the 'original'; it hardly matters with modern copying technology (sometimes I get them mixed-up).

    The 'copy' and the 'original' should both be exactly the same in content, although they make differ superficially in other ways (the color or texture of the paper, for example). Actually, I may reproduce several copies for distribution if I wanted all the recipients to read the same content. In many circumstances, I would consider, treat, and accept all these documents as 'originals' (clearly, I'm no lawyer).

    And sometimes when I write something specifically for some one, I later realize that the information might also benefit some one else, especially if I make just a few small edits to customize it for the person, but without changing the bulk of information. If I don't have the 'original' handy, I might work from the last draft, or my memory if its very recent. It may be as little as changing the salutation; or it may require the deletion of some confidential detail; or I might catch a typo and fix it. Although each document is minutely unique, in the end, I feel that I have sent all parties the same message.

    I have presented some unremarkable actions common to documents: that important ones are often copied before they distributed, and that the writer might authorize some small changes between 'copies', and occasionally something slightly unintended might get published.

    There is much discussion on this board around which original language text is closest to the original, and that where ancient manuscripts are different one or the other must be corrupted. Should we entertain the possibility of multiple "originals" in some cases?
     
    #1 franklinmonroe, Apr 10, 2007
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  2. Keith M

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    Multiple "originals" would be more easliy accepted if it was in today's electronics age where photocopying and electronic distribution make this much more a reality. However, when we're talking about Scripture, each page had to be laboriously copied by hand. This left more room for errors and unintentional changes. Since the autographs no longer exist, it is impossible to say which copies are most accurate. All we can do is guess about their accuracy and pray for the Holy Spirit's guidance.
     
  3. Pastor_Bob

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    "Multiple originals," as used in the biblical manuscript issue, is an oxymoron in my opinion. There can be but one "original." Granted, the first generation apographs may be exact replicas of the original, but they remain mere copies of the original.
     
    #3 Pastor_Bob, Apr 10, 2007
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  4. Deacon

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    Some propose that there was more than one original version of Luke's, Acts of the Apostles.
    This theory is not accepted by most modern scholars.

    Rob
     
  5. Hope of Glory

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    Not all were unintentional, BTW.

    One of the common ways that unintentional changes were made was that one person would add a textual note, then the next person would insert it into the text. One good example of this is the Bethesda well. The bit about the angel stirring the water was an old husbands' tale, and someone added the words in question as a note. The next person inserted it into the text. John 5:4 does not belong in the Scriptures, but as a note, it explains why the people were there waiting.
     
  6. franklinmonroe

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    How do we understand the circumstances and methods these first century writers used to compose their work under the guidance of the Holy Spirit? Were they wholly different than the way in which other writers opperated?
    Did they shut themselves up in a room for days without eating until the work was complete?
    Did they interview eyewitnesses and review public records over a period of weeks, months, or years?
    Did they make drafts, then edit them, and rewrite again and again?
    Did they pull elements of personal correspondance and memoirs into a single cohesive chronicle?​
    As a non-professional writer and artist, I know that sometimes I feel that my pieces are not really finished, and therefore I dabble, experiment, and make improvements. Occassionally, I realize that some of my recent edits are not at all satisfactory, and I resort to previous manifestations. In light of the whole creative process, could you define at what point the work becomes the original? Did the Holy Spirit somehow limit the NT authors' spontaneity, expressive processes, or originality?

    In many art galleries hang sketches and artist's "studies" that are works of art in themselves; some books are known in earlier manuscripts or drafts and are considered better than the published work.
     
    #6 franklinmonroe, Apr 10, 2007
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  7. jshurley04

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    No, No! They were not mere copies and have never been mere copies. They are, always have been and always will be the work of preservation of the scriptures by God Himself.

    Besides, Multiple Originals is actually a valid statement about some of the O.T. books. I don't remember right off hand, but I think that it is Isaiah that was originally written much shorter than what we have, it was delievered to the King of Israel who promptly tore it up and tossed it into a fire. Then it was rewritten.

    My thoughts.
     
  8. Deacon

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    That would be Jeremiah.

    (I don't understand why the program changes the formating!?)

    The subject also deals with an aspect of inspiration.
    Who was inspired by the Lord to proclaim his word.

    In the early church tongues and utterances were not uncommon.
    Were their words of incorporated into the cannon?

    Rob
     
  9. tinytim

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    I could see Paul writing letters the way the OP describes...
    After all, Paul didn't know what he wrote was going to be scripture one day IMO.

    So he could have written 2 different "original" letters to 2 different churches....

    Isn't part of Ephesians like part of Colossians?
     
  10. Trotter

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    The "originals" were but the written copy of what God said through the men who penned the bible, so it has always been copies.

    There is nothing mystical about the firsy copies, or the second, or the billionth. They are all copies. The only thing important is if and when any changes crept in.

    Yes and no. A copy is a copy is a copy, but it is by God's hand that those copies were made. A copy is a copy, no matter what it is a copy of.

    Yeah, I'm being opinionated this morning, but I just got home from working third shift. Be glad I'm only a little cranky.

    Ya know, this is actually a little silly, to be arguing/discussing this. but it probably just seems that way to me... the way I see it, multiples don't really make a difference.
     
  11. Pastor_Bob

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    The Scripture is very clear what the process was relative to the original autographs: For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.
    2 Peter 1:21

    Therefore, it is quite safe to conclude that there were no "drafts," "edits," or "rewrites." One of the few things that we can all agree on is that the originals were inerrant. They were God-breathed and therefore perfect and without error.
     
  12. Pastor_Bob

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    I'll have to agree that your statement does sound more spiritual than does mine. However, the fact remains that God decreed that His Word be preserved by faithful copies of the originals. There is no other way to look at it.
     
  13. Pastor_Bob

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    I disagree. The originals were not mere copies of what God had said; the originals were written down by men as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.

    If I dictate a letter to my secretary, the result is not a copy of my letter; it is my original letter.
     
  14. Deacon

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    I'm not accusing you of inaccuracy but could you direct us to where the Scriptures say this?

    Since all known manuscripts differ to varing degrees, how much inaccuracy is still acceptable to consider that God preserved his word in written form?

    We can see that God used multiple authors in the composition of some books in the OT (e.g. Samuel, Kings, Chronicles, Psalms).
    Could God have used multiple authors to develop books in the NT?

    Rob
     
  15. franklinmonroe

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    YES! Verbal, plenary inspiration.
    That is your opinion, and I disagree. What you imply sounds very much like mechanical dictation. Are you saying that drafts could not have been God-breathed? Did the perfection only endure while the pen was pressed onto parchment the very first time? Later you used this example --
    Yes it is dictator's message, however the transcription may not be verbatim; I know that many executives expect that their assistant will 'tighten up' the grammer and make other slight alterations from the originally spoken message.

    It is my view (shared with others) that 'inspiration' does not mean 'dictation'. Although, there are a couple of occurrences of direct dictation from God to the writer (Jeremiah 26:2 and Revelation 2:1,8) that is not the way I understand that most scripture was secured. God did not obliterate the personality, literary style, vocabulary, or cultural background of his men. Acts 1:16 states --
    Men [and] brethren, this scripture must needs have been fulfilled, which the Holy Ghost by the mouth of David spake before concerning Judas, which was guide to them that took Jesus.​
    It seems clear that God did not direct their hand or their mouth. Do you remember that Paul did very little of the pen manipulation on his own letters?
     
    #15 franklinmonroe, Apr 11, 2007
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  16. jshurley04

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    Copies

    Copies are things that anyone can do and are subject to editing as the copies get remade. I believe that preservation is God Himself keeping the original safe in the copying process as well as the translational process to produce a new generation of His original Word.
     
  17. Pastor_Bob

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    Deuteronomy 17:18 And it shall be, when he sitteth upon the throne of his kingdom, that he shall write him a copy of this law in a book out of that which is before the priests the Levites:

    Joshua 8:32 And he wrote there upon the stones a copy of the law of Moses, which he wrote in the presence of the children of Israel.

    It is a given that the originals would not last forever. The biblical method of preservation is through faithful copies.
     
  18. Deacon

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    Thanks Pastor, I know I’ve read that before but I guess it never registered.

    Check out a cross reference to Joshua 8:32 in Deuteronomy 27 and 28.

    “And you shall write on the stones all the words of this law very plainly.”
    Deuteronomy 27:8 (ESV)

    Would Moses have approved the TNIV? :laugh:

    Rob
     
  19. franklinmonroe

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    The purpose was for the king to learn; for him to become intimately familar with the "law" (the actual scope of which is unclear) by absorbing it into his memory while personally transcribing it. Perhaps the "law" he was required to copy was simply those instructions in the immediate preceding text concerning the expected behavior of an Israelite king. But here is a small portion of what Matthew Henry wrote --
    (1.) He must write himself a copy of the law out of the original, which was in the custody of the priests that attended the sanctuary, v. 18. Some think that he was to write only this book of Deuteronomy, which is an abstract of the law, and the precepts of which, being mostly moral and judicial, concerned the king more than the laws in Leviticus and Numbers, which, being ceremonial, concerned chiefly the priests. Others think that he was to transcribe all the five books of Moses, which are called the law, and which were preserved together as the foundation of their religion.​
    This was to be a public display, something that would stay in that place. The stones were not a surface for support, but the medium to be engraved. See Deuteronomy 27:1-3 --
    And Moses with the elders of Israel commanded the people, saying,
    Keep all the commandments which I command you this day.
    And it shall be on the day when ye shall pass over Jordan unto the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee,
    that thou shalt set thee up great stones, and plaister them with plaister:
    And thou shalt write upon them all the words of this law, when thou art passed over, that thou mayest go in unto the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee, a land that floweth with milk and honey; as the LORD God of thy fathers hath promised thee. ​
    Here is a little sample of what Matthew Henry thought --
    1. The law of the ten commandments was written upon stones in the presence of all Israel, as an abridgment of the whole, v. 32. This copy was not graven in the stone, as that which was reserved in the ark: That was to be done only by the finger of God; it is his prerogative to write the law in the heart. But the stones were plastered, and it was written upon the plaster, Deu. 27:4, 8. It was written, that all might see what it was that they consented to, and that it might be a standing remaining testimony to posterity of God’s goodness in giving them such good laws, and a testimony against them if they were disobedient to them. It is a great mercy to any people to have the law of God in writing, and it is fit that the written law should be exposed to common view in a known tongue, that it may be seen and read of all men.​
    In context it can be seen that the main purpose of the "copy" in each of these passages are not only different from each other, but in neither case is the primary purpose that of preservation (in the sense of a duplicate for future replacement of the written original). I have no doubt that the Hebrews made faithful copies (that is evident), but these passages do not really support your assertion that "God decreed" that His Word would be preserved in copies; and by "preserved" I would also assume you intended that it would be both perfect (unlikely in a lengthy personal copy by a king's hand), and complete (unlikely in plastered stone).
     
    #19 franklinmonroe, Apr 11, 2007
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  20. Pastor_Bob

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    Perhaps, but the result certainly was that of preservation.
     

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