The Codices Sinaiticus and Vaticanus, etc

Discussion in '2005 Archive' started by icthus, Mar 18, 2005.

  1. icthus

    icthus
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    The Codices Sinaiticus and Vaticanus (both 4th Century)

    These two are considered to be the principal Greek Manuscripts, the basis of the Greek texts underlying most of the modern versions in the world, not just in the English language.

    Much has been written on these two Manuscripts, which can be found by doing a search in a search engine like Google. I would like to mention something about the circumstances in which these two Manuscripts were copied. The date for both Manuscripts is generally agreed to be the middle of the fourth century.

    In about A.D. 331, the Emperor, Constantine made a request for “fifty copies of sacred Scripture…to be written on fine parchment in a legible manner, and in a convenient portable form, by professional scribes, thoroughly accomplished in their art” (Eusebius, Life of Constantine, iv.36).. These Manuscripts were to be “bound volumes, of threefold and fourfold forms”

    There are several scholars that believe that the Codices Vaticanus and Sinaiticus, would have been part of these fifty ordered. This is confirmed by the Palaeographer, T C Skeat, of the British Museum, who is an expert in his field. (T.C. Skeat "The Codex Sinaiticus, the Codex Vaticanus and Constantine.", JTS 50 (1999) 583 – 625). We also have Dr Frederic Kenyon, who was Assistant Keeper of Manuscripts at the British Museum, and an authority on Textual Criticism, who wrote: “On the one hand there is the statement of Eusebius (Vit. Constant. iv.36) that the Emperor Constantine about the year 331 ordered fifty copies of the Scriptures on vellum for the Churches in his new capital; on the other hand, there is the statement of Jerome that the (papyrus) volumes in the library of Pamphilus at Caesarea were replaced by copies on vellum through the efforts of Acacius and Euzious (circ. 350)” (Handbook to the Textual Criticism of the New Testament, p.41).

    We must not forget, that Eusebius was a very good friend of Pamphilus, who owned this library in Caesarea, where a large number of manuscripts and works were stored. Pamphilus himself, was a disciple of the heretic, Origen, who is noted for making marginal amendments in manuscripts in his possession! Origen, of course denied the orthodox doctrine of the Holy Trinity, reducing both the Son and Holy Spirit to created beings! Further, both the names mentioned by Jerome who were responsible for the copying of manuscripts, Acacius and Euzious, were themselves both leaders in the Arian party. The former an Arian “theologian”, and the latter, a “bishop”! This is very important to note, since there can be no doubt that their Arian “theology” would have influenced them in their “copying” of the manuscripts! This is no mere assumption, as there are a number on instances where the heretics were involved in actually corrupting the text, especially of the New Testament. Thus, we have at a very early time, “Besides the undersigned and, to a great extent, unavoidable differences subsisting between manuscripts of the New Testament, within a century of its been written, the wilful corruptions introduced by the heretics soon became a cause of loud complaint in the primitive ages of the Church. Dionysius, Bishop of Corinth, addressing the Church of Rome and Soter its Bishop (A.D. 168-176), complains that even his own letters have been tampered with.” (Dr F H Scrivener, A Plain Introduction to the Criticism of the New Testament, vol.II, p.259)
    Add to this the fact, that, “Lucian...priest of Antioch, and founded a school…was martyred at Nicomedia, 7th January(A.D.312). His life’s work was a revised text of the Old and New Testaments. His recension of the New Testament spread from Antioch to Constantinople, and is probably the parent of the great bulk of our Greek MSS” (Dr A Souter; The Text and Canon of the New Testament, p.170. A view also held by Bruce Metzger) Who is this Lucian? Church history informs us that on of his star pupils at his school, was none other than the chief heretic during the fourth century, Arius! Arius was taught his “Christology” by Lucian, who is known as the “father of Arianism”!

    The bottom line is this. There is no doubt that form a very early time, the heretics tampered with the Holy Word of God, and in some cases, got away with it. This is very evident in the reading of the majority of modern versions, which tend to agree with each other, for example, in cases like 1 Timothy 3:16, and 1 John 5:7. This evidence as it stands, as admitted by scholars like Bruce Metzger, that the bulk of our Greek manuscripts, the basis of the modern versions, are copies from the work of Lucian!
     
  2. Spoudazo

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    It is now abandoned by most textual scholars that there was ever such a revision done by Lucian of Antioch or any other *individual*, and in fact, Westcott's and Hort's revision theory. Some argue that this revision is why we have *so many manuscripts* (the MT) that don't agree with B, Aleph, P66, etc.
     
  3. icthus

    icthus
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    Hi, when you say that the revision by Lucian has been "abandoned by most tetual scholars", who do you have in mind? I was not aware there were that many textual scholars around today. One of the biggest names today is Bruce M Metzger, and he is of the of the opinion that Lucian is responsible for the text of the greater part of modern versions!
     
  4. natters

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    icthus, much of your original post sounds like "guilt by association" (e.g. the worst thing you said about Lucius was that one of his students later turned to heresy), without any actual evidence that those heretical corruptions are the reason for textual variations. Also, most of the textual variations have absolutely nothing to do with Arian or Gnostic theology - some Alexandrian variations even sound like they more strongly oppose Arianism (e.g. Jude 1:25).
     
  5. natters

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    I am not an expert on Origen (though I have done some reading about him), and not necessarily interested in defending him, but I would be interested in seeing some evidence for the above claim.
     
  6. Spoudazo

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    Hi, when you say that the revision by Lucian has been "abandoned by most tetual scholars", who do you have in mind? I was not aware there were that many textual scholars around today. One of the biggest names today is Bruce M Metzger, and he is of the of the opinion that Lucian is responsible for the text of the greater part of modern versions! </font>[/QUOTE]Hello [​IMG]

    For example, Gordon Fee and Kenyon have a "processed view" that a revision happened over time which they believe led to the Majority Text itself.

    If Metzger still believes in a revision by one person (as opposed to over time), he does so because he believes that's how we got the Majority Text.

    I don't think you quite understand your own quotes or the bearing they have on the subject. The point of the authors you quote is that *if in fact these men did "revise" the text* then that is where the Majority Text came from, so therefore B, Aleph, the papyri, etc. are closer than the Majority text, and therefore also the TR.

    Your argument if it was 100% correct, would argue great against the Majority Text but it fails greatly if you use it against B and Aleph, which scholars today don't just assume to be correct, as Westcott and Hort were prone to in many instances.

    Thankfully, God used Dean Burgon to show a lot of "holes" in the theories of W&H, this was one of them.
     
  7. icthus

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    I am not an expert on Origen (though I have done some reading about him), and not necessarily interested in defending him, but I would be interested in seeing some evidence for the above claim. </font>[/QUOTE]Hi Natters

    I shall give a few quotations which show the theology of Origen.

    1 "Accordingly he (Origen) accepted a view which by subordinating the Logos to the Father made an essential unity of god and Christ impossible. So far from teaching the Nicene doctrine of the homoousion, he taught that the essence of the Father and of the Son were not the same, but that there was a difference essence (heterotes tes ousias), thus paving the way for Arianism...He says that the eternal generation of the Logos proves that he has an hypostasis of his own; but in granting the personality of the Son, Origen makes him inferior to the Father, and even goes so far as to suggest that he is a creature (ktisma) in so far as he is theopoioumenos" ( F J Foakes Jackson; The History of the Christian Church to A.D.461, pp.163 & 165)

    2. "He (Origen) taught with equal clearness a separateness of essence between the Father and the Son, and the subordination of the Son, as a second, or secondry God beneath the Father, and thus furnished a starting point fot he Arian heresy" (Philip Schaff; The History of the Christian Church, vol.II, pp.619-620)

    3. "The Son was thus reduced to the category of creatures, for according to Origen, creation is from eternity. Another unsatisfactory feature of all these epeculations on the Logos-theory was, that it made no provision for the Holy Spirit. The Logos was the Word, or Son of God, begotten before creation in order to create, or, according to Origen, begotten from eternity; but what was the Holy Spirit...the Father alone, acording to him was ho theos, the Son was simply theos. The Son was theos ek theou, and not autos-theos...Origen taught that the Son was of a different essence from the Father" (Dr Charles Hodge; Systematic Theology, vol.I, pp.451-452)

    Origen, in his commentary on John 1.3 has this to say:

    ""All things were made through Him." The "through whom "is never found in the first place but always in the second, as in the Epistle to the Romans, "Paul a servant of Christ Jesus, a called Apostle, separated to the Gospel of God which He promised before by His prophets in Holy Scriptures, concerning His Son, who was born of the seed of David according to the flesh, deter mined the Son of God in power according to the Spirit of holiness, by the resurrection of the dead, Jesus Christ our Lord, through whom we received grace and apostleship, for obedience of the faith among all the nations, for His name's sake." For God promised aforehand by the prophets His own Gospel, the prophets being His ministers, and having their word to speak about Him "through whom." And again God gave grace and apostleship to Paul and to the others for the obedience of the faith among all the nations, and this He gave them through Jesus Christ the Saviour, for the "through whom" belonged to Him. And the Apostle Paul says in the Epistle to the Hebrews: "At the end of the days He spoke to us in His Son, whom He made the heir of all things, 'through whom' also He made the ages," showing us that God made the ages through His Son, the" through whom" belonging, when the ages were being made, to the Only-begotten. Thus, if all things were made, as in this passage also, through the Logos, then they were not made by the Logos, but by a stronger and greater than He. And who else could this be but the Father? Now if, as we have seen, all things were made through Him, we have to enquire if the Holy Spirit also was made through Him. it appears to me that those who hold the Holy Spirit to be created, and who also admit that "all things were made through Him," must necessarily assume that the Holy Spirit was made through the Logos, the Logos accordingly being older than He. And he who shrinks from allowing the Holy Spirit to have been made through Christ must, if he admits the truth of the statements of this Gospel, assume the Spirit to be uncreated. There is a third resource besides these two (that of allowing the Spirit to have been made by the Word, and that of regarding it as uncreated), namely, to assert that the Holy Spirit has no essence of His own beyond the Father and the Son. But on further thought one may perhaps see reason to consider that the Son is second beside the Father, He being the same as the Father, while manifestly a distinction is drawn between the Spirit and the Son in the passage, "Whosoever shall speak a word against the Son of Man. it shall be forgiven him, but whosoever shall blaspheme against the Holy Spirit, he shall not have forgiveness, either in this world or in the world to come." We consider, therefore, that there are three hypostases, the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit; and at the same thee we believe nothing to be uncreated but the Father. We therefore, as the more pious and the truer course, admit that all things were made by the Logos, and that the Holy Spirit is the most excellent and the first in order of all that was made by the Father through Christ."

    Hope this helps you
     
  8. Anti-Alexandrian

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    Kinda like John 1:18?
     
  9. Dr. Bob

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    I would find myself very much in agreement that Sinaiticus and Vaticanus were part of the faithful few translations before the general revisions made in the Byzantine Catholic Church. The bulk of copies extant (because of the continued use of Greek in the Eastern Orthodox community) are of that inferior Byzantine revision.

    Thank God for His watchcare and protection, in a remote monastery in the desert and in a musty Vatican library. We Baptists owe a debt of gratitude to the faithful of the 350 CE era!
     
  10. icthus

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    You are sadly mistaken if you think that the Sinaiticus and Vaticanus manuscripts are "faithful". This nonsense was promoted by the likes of Tischendorf, who lacked the good judgement of a sound textual scholar. I suggest that you read Dean John Bougon's excellent work, The Revision Revised, in which he ably destroys the myth about these two untrustworthy MSS. I have yet to see anyone answer Burgon on this, as well as his two dessertations, on Mark 16:9-20; and 1 Timothy 3:16! It been well over 100 years, and still the anti-KJV clan cannot deal with the likes of Burgon! They simply don't make them as they did in Burgon's time!

    I am afraid that your "facts", Dr Bob are pretty much flawed!
     
  11. mioque

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    "I am not an expert on Origen"
    "
    Well I'm supposed to be one.
    Blaming speculations by Origenes who died in the middle of the third century as the cause of the theological disputes taking place in the 4th and 5th centuries is a bit much.
    Origenes held to the notion that the inner workings of God are in the end a great mystery and probably would have perceived the specific definitions of the nature of God used by the Arians and Christians as hubris.
     
  12. icthus

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    Hi mioque, I don't follow your reasoning here. My arguments from my initial opening remarks, is to show the fact that because of the doctrinal positions of some involved in manuscript copying, or the writing of marginal notes, as did Origen, that we have historical evidence that many corruptions from the pens of these men did actually find their way into the actual text of Scripture.

    Take, for example, the Gothic version of Ulphilas (311-383 A.D.), where is Arianism is reflected in his translation of Philippians 2:6

    "'Isa theoi' in Phil. 2.6, where he has rendered the Greek by: 'galeiko guda' (=similar to God), whereas it sould have been rendered 'ibna guda'" (see, Bruce Metzger; The Early Versions of the New Testament, p.377)

    'ibna guda', is "equal to God"

    Likewise, in our present time, the Jehovah's Witnesses render: "kai theos en ho logos", as "and the Word was a god" (John 1:1). This has got nothing to do with what the text says in the Greek, where the grammar of the context, and John's understanding of God, would have forbidden him to write anything other than: "and the Word was God". The JW's did this because the deny the Deity of Jesus Christ!

    Thus, we also have the Roman Catholics, who have also changed the reading of Scripture, to support their heresy of the eternal virginity of Mary. The New Jersualem Bible renders Matthew 1:25 as follows: "he had not had intercourse with her when she gave birth to a son; and he named him Jesus." The Greek text give us the reading: "and knew her not UNTIL she had brought forth her firstborn Son: and he called His Name Jesus". The use of "until" clearly shows that Mary did have other Childern after the birth of Jesus!
     
  13. rsr

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    Let Origen speak for himself:


    "And that you may understand that the omnipotence of Father and Son is one and the same, as God and the Lord are one and the same with the Father, listen to the manner in which John speaks in the Apocalypse: 'Thus saith the Lord God, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty.' For who else was 'He which is to come' than Christ? And as no one ought to be offended, seeing God is the Father, that the Saviour is also God; so also, since the Father is called omnipotent, no one ought to be offended that the Son of God is also cared omnipotent."

    — (De Principis, On Christ, Book 1, Ch 2)


    "Nothing in the Trinity can be called greater or less, since the fountain of divinity alone contains all things by His word and reason, and by the Spirit of His mouth sanctifies all things which are worthy of sanctification."

    — De Principis, Book I, ch. 3, section 7)

    " ... there is one God who created and arranged all things... Secondly, that Jesus Christ himself was born of the Father before all creatures...Although He was God, He took flesh, and having been made man, He remained what He was, God"

    — De Principis, Preface, sections 3 - 4)

    "For we do not hold that which the heretics imagine: that the Son was procreated by the Father from non-existent substances, that is, from a substance outside Himself, so that there was a time when He did not exist."

    — (De Principis, Book V, Summary, section 28)

    "The specific points which are clearly handed down through the apostolic preaching are these: First, that there is one God who created and arranged all things, and who, when nothing existed, called all things into existence, and that in the final period this God, just as he had promised beforehand through the prophets, sent the Lord Jesus Christ. Secondly, that Jesus Christ himself, who came, was born of the father before all creatures; and after he had ministered to the father in the creation of all things, for through him all things were made" ... 'Although he was God, he took flesh; and having been made man, he remained what he was, God'

    — Doctrines 1:0:4).

    "For we do not hold that which the heretics imagine: that some part of the Being of God was converted into the Son, or that the Son was procreated by the Father from non-existent substances, that is, from a Being outside himself, so that there were a time when he [the Son] did not exist" ... 'No, rejecting every suggestion of corporeality, we hold that the Word and the Wisdom was begotten out of the invisible and incorporeal God, without anything corporal being acted upon . . . the expression which we employ, however that there was never a time when he did not exist is to be taken with a certain allowance. For these very words `when' and `never' are terms of temporal significance, while whatever is said of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, is to be understood as transcending all time, all ages, and all eternity' ... 'For it is the Trinity alone which exceeds every sense in which not only temporal but even eternal may be understood. It is all other things, indeed, which are outside the Trinity, which are to be measured by time and ages"

    — The Fundamental Doctrines 4:4:1.


    Not Athanasian, perhaps, but not Arian.
     
  14. icthus

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    RSR, you say, "Let Origen speak for himself"

    Then why don't you read my earlier note where I quote directly from Origen's Connemtary on John's Gospel? Then tell me is he is not an Arian, and a heretic!
     
  15. Spoudazo

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    You are sadly mistaken if you think that the Sinaiticus and Vaticanus manuscripts are "faithful". This nonsense was promoted by the likes of Tischendorf, who lacked the good judgement of a sound textual scholar. I suggest that you read Dean John Bougon's excellent work, The Revision Revised, in which he ably destroys the myth about these two untrustworthy MSS. I have yet to see anyone answer Burgon on this, as well as his two dessertations, on Mark 16:9-20; and 1 Timothy 3:16! It been well over 100 years, and still the anti-KJV clan cannot deal with the likes of Burgon! They simply don't make them as they did in Burgon's time!

    I am afraid that your "facts", Dr Bob are pretty much flawed!
    </font>[/QUOTE]We owe a lot to Dean Burgon, but he wasn't right on everything.

    Besides, he didn't argue for the Comma Johanneum (1 John 5:7) nor other TR-specific readings, which I assume you would argue for.

    Many times Burgon would start with his own assumption and go from there. He has a ton of awesome evidence that has helped in this field, but he wasn't right on everything, just as Tishendorf, Wesctott, Hort, etc. were not all right in this area either. No man can claim perfection nor should it be claimed for them.
     
  16. Spoudazo

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    Can't edit my last post anymore, so the last "them" should read "him" for grammar's sake [​IMG]
     
  17. natters

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    Thanks for the info, icthus. However, the first three are quotes about him, and from what I've read, there is much misunderstanding of him as well as attributing writings etc. to him that appeared decades after his death (as mioque mentioned). So I'm not sure how to take those quotes about him. However, I really appreciate the quote directly from him. Do you have the exact reference for that quote you provided?

    Also, I find it difficult to reconcile rsr's quotes. You want him to respond to your quote, but will you also respond to his quotes?

    Kinda like John 1:18? </font>[/QUOTE]Yes. Would Arians call Jesus "God", or would the prefer "Son"?
     
  18. icthus

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    Kinda like John 1:18? </font>[/QUOTE]Yes. Would Arians call Jesus "God", or would the prefer "Son"? </font>[/QUOTE]Guess what. Arius was content with the reading "theos" at John 1:18, as were the heretics, Origen, Valentinus, Theodotus, Ptolemy, Herecleon! Why is this, because Jesus is here referred to as "monogenes theos" and not "ho theos"!
     
  19. Spoudazo

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    So how do you know they were content with that reading? . . .
     
  20. icthus

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    The fact that the gnostics used this verse with the reading "God" for their heresy on Jesus Christ (check Irenaeus, Against Heresies, Book I, etc). And I read some time back, that Aruis was presented this reading and said that it did not prove the Deity of Christ. You must bear in mind, that Origen's "Eternal Generation" of Jesus from the Father, made much use of "begetting", and all this would have done, was to show that the Father alone is "Fons Deitatis", whereas Jesus'Deity is "derived" from the nature of the Father. A heresy that was accepted by many of the orthodox in the early Church. Thus, we read in Schaff's Church History, "Athanasius, it is true, asserts on the one hand that God begets the Son not of His will, but by His nature, yet on the other hand he does not admit that God begets the Son without will...Augustine calls the Son 'will of will'" (vol.II, p.660), etc.
     

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