Oldest is best?

Discussion in 'Bible Versions/Translations' started by NaasPreacher (C4K), Oct 15, 2007.

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  1. NaasPreacher (C4K)

    NaasPreacher (C4K)
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    A post in the Fundamental Baptist forum made me think about something. Scary I know, but bear with me.

    The topic of "oldest is best" has come up a couple of times along with the idea that with a good 19th century dictionary anyone can understand older English.

    My question to those who believe the "oldest is best" concept is this - How far back should we go with "oldest is best?" I know there were some older English versions, but I believe the oldest widely accepted English version was a collaborative work headed by John Wycliffe in the the 1380s. William Tyndale also translated the New Testament in the 16th century. There were other English Bibles, most noticeably the Bishop's and Geneva Bibles. All of the these pre-date the 17th century.

    How far back does "oldest is best" go?

    Another question. If oldest is best than why do most many who oppose new translations do so on the basis that "more is best" when it comes to manuscripts rejecting the oldest Greek manuscripts?

    Why not a simple "best is best"?
     
    #1 NaasPreacher (C4K), Oct 15, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 15, 2007
  2. standingfirminChrist

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    Why not "Most accurate is Best"?
     
  3. NaasPreacher (C4K)

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    Kinda wot I meant by my weak attempt at levity with "best is best".
     
  4. standingfirminChrist

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    Figgered that is what ya meant. It is late.
     
  5. Mexdeaf

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    'Most accurate' or 'best' will always lie in the eye of the Bibleholder.
     
  6. NaasPreacher (C4K)

    NaasPreacher (C4K)
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    Touche! Got me there :)
     
  7. Logos1560

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    The 1560 Geneva Bible is an older English translation than the KJV, and it was widely accepted and loved by believers.

    In his lecture entitled "Access to the Bible in English: The Sixteenth-Century Revolution," David Daniell stated: "In 1560 came the first of the complete 'Geneva Bibles', almost at once our national Bible, remaining so for eighty years. That it was our national Bible is not what one is commonly told. Sometimes beautifully printed, sometimes not, Geneva Bibles were masterpieces of scholarship, the margins full of edification and elucidation, the introductions, summaries, maps, illustrations, cross-references and commentaries all designed for the home student, as we should say. The text was the best in that century, mostly Tyndale brought up to date with occasional better Greek readings, and new understanding of Hebrew."

    p. 2 of the article posted at the website below:
    www.lambethpalacelibrary.org/news/Friendsreport2003/lecture.html

    A modern-spelling edition of the 1599 edition of the Geneva Bible is available from Tolle Lege Press.

    Now a present-day printing of THE GENEVA BIBLE 1560 Edition will be available from Hendrickson.
     
  8. Bluefalcon

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    As far as English translations go, "oldest is best" makes no sense. But as far as the Greek or Hebrew text goes, "oldest is best" is a highly nuanced expression that, in general, is correct. It is correct because the oldest text is the original text.

    Now the oldest physical MSS are still two to three hundred years removed from that, so we are not speaking of the oldest physical MSS but rather the oldest actual text, which may or may not always be reflected in the oldest physical MSS. If you're an Alexandrian-text supporter, for example, one need only look at MSS over a millennia removed from the original text, such as 33 579 1241, etc., which pretty much mirror the readings of our oldest complete MSS, Aleph and B, to demonstrate that later MSS may in fact be just as good, or better, than earlier ones. Byzantine-text supporters thus turn to internal evidence of readings to show that the Alexandrian readings are most of the time results of scribal accidents, scribal confusion, scribal consternation over apparent difficulties in the original reading contained in the Byzantine MSS, etc., to show that in fact the Byzantine readings are older. In short, no matter what side you're on, "oldest is best" is a truism with which we cannot dispense.
     
  9. Maestroh

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    First Time I've Seen This One

    You have hit the nail on the head, stating what I've said a number of times through the years. It's amusing that the REAL reason for KJV Onlyism is 'oldest is best' but that only applies in English.

    Oldest is best only in the sense that the original would, of course, be the oldest. However, this does NOT apply woodenly to the manuscripts. I think it's P46 that is the oldest extant papyri, but it is certainly not the best (or maybe it's P52, I don't feel like looking it up right now).

    Oldest is best is a lousy argument - just as bad as 'majority rules.'

    Btw - 'the rule' for TC is this: choose the reading that best explains the rise of the others. Most of the time this is easy, but sometimes it isn't.

    M
     
  10. kubel

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    This is sort of off topic, but I find that the Geneva Bible is a little more modern sounding than the King James Bible. If both were stripped of their covers and standardized (with spelling and type face) and compared by a reader, I'm sure most people would identify the Geneva as being the newest one, when it's not.

    So oldest is best? I suppose that depends on the reader. But sometimes old isn't best... sometimes it isn't even good because readers have problems deciphering it.

    http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/f/fa/Wycliffe_John_Gospel.jpg

    Of course this is an extreme example (Wycliffe Bible in Middle English).

    I think perhaps a better blanket statement would be "Oldest was best".
     
  11. franklinmonroe

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    You are absolutely correct: the AV was published in 1611, while the first Geneva edition appeared in 1560. But the AV language is based upon high literary Elizabethan English of several decades earlier; while the Geneva (and the Bishop's Bible) seems to be written in a more common vernacular of the late 16th century.
     
  12. OLD SCHOOL

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    Truth is eternal.
    A date about Truth or when it arrived would mean?
    I can't see where it would matter.
    Except for when you got it!
     
  13. Salamander

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    Don't think so, especially when it comes to a langauge so made up of multiple other manguages from which it gets it's own root words/ English.

    The Noah Webster 1828 American Dictionary of the English Language has to be the greatest tool in deciding the intent of God's word as well as what English means.

    We're talking about a brillaint scholar who not only spoke 20 differentlangauges but spent almost his entire life dedicated to the study of English and the Bible from all perspectives allowed him at that time.

    Most accurate is best.Most accurate is then determined by harmony and without any real contradiction excepting those introduuced by ill-meaning, ignorant, and unlearned men. (of corrupt minds as the Bible puts it):wavey:
     
  14. Salamander

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    Then by the establishment of the higher standard, you just qualified the KJB 1611 as better than the Geneva.:wavey:
     
  15. rbell

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    so does that mean that the 1611 (1769) KJV became authoritative in 1828?

    Sincerely,

    An ill-meaning, ignorant, and unlearned man.

    (Thought I'd save Sal the trouble of calling me a name).
     
  16. franklinmonroe

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    I'm so glad that you think so highly of Mr. Noah Webster, because five years after the publication of his dictionary he introduced his revision of the AV. Below is in part what that scholar wrote pertaining to the KJV in his preface (my underscore) --

    ...But in the lapse of two or three centuries, changes have taken place which, in particular passages, impair the beauty; in others, obscure the sense, of the original languages. Some words have fallen into disuse; and the signification of others, in current popular use, is not the same now as it was when they were introduced into the version. The effect of these changes is, that some words are not understood by common readers, who have no access to commentaries, and who will always compose a great proportion of readers; while other words, being now used in a sense different from that which they had when the translation was made, present a wrong signification or false ideas. Whenever words are understood in a sense different from that which they had when introduced, and different from that of the original languages, they do not present to the reader the Word of God. This circumstance is very important, even in things not the most essential; and in essential points mistakes may be very injurious...​
     
    #16 franklinmonroe, Oct 19, 2007
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  17. franklinmonroe

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    "Then you allow men to have authority over the word of God to change it at their own will." -- Salamander, Oct. 11, 2007

    (from the topic Is this use of "bravery" in KJV unusual?, Page 5, Post #49 as his response on this forum to the use of a dictionary with a 'Bible' word)
     
  18. EdSutton

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    Killjoy! :laugh: :laugh:

    Ed
     
  19. EdSutton

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    Is it okay if I laugh, now??

    Naah, I'll be nice!

    Ed
     
  20. EdSutton

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    :thumbs:

    OK, so now I'm gonna' laugh! [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Ed
     
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