Was Jesus Indignant or Compassionate?

Discussion in 'Bible Versions/Translations' started by John of Japan, Jun 11, 2008.

  1. John of Japan

    John of Japan
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    I am on an e-mail list of translators. Some of these guys are heavy hitters, known scholars, so I just kind of keep quiet and try to learn. But I've been blown away by learning that the TNIV translates "Jesus was indignant" instead of "moved with compassion" in Mark 1:41.

    How did this come about? There is a textual variant. Almost all mss, with both the Byzantine/Majority and Alexandrian text types agreeing, have σπλαγχνισθείς (having compassion, aor. part.), with the main one opposing being Bezae (or D; 5th cent.), with ὀργισθείς (indignant, aor. pass. part.). A few Old Latin mss. agree, as does Ephraem, a minor 5th cent. Greek manuscript of mixed text types.

    So get the picture. Every single Greek mss agrees that Jesus was compassionate instead of indignant before he healed a man except two (only two, count 'em), one Western and one mixed. Metzger (Textual Commentary on the Greek NT, 2nd ed.) gives "compassion" a B possibility (pretty much certain), but the TNIV translators decide to go with the Western reading. Why? They can't figure out how the reading "indignant" became "having compassion," but can figure out how "having compassion" might have become indignant. For a more complete discussion see: http://homepage.mac.com:80/rmansfield/thislamp/files/20070103_mark_1_41_in_the_tniv.html

    Now I am left with one thought. Where in the world is the common sense? The TNIV translators here just didn't have their heads on straight. In fact, if you'll read the blog I just linked to, one TNIV translating consultant missed the textual variant altogether and assumed "indignant" was a translation of σπλαγχνισθείς, which would be exceedingly strange, since the verb only occurs 12 times in the NT, and the other 11 are clearly compassion! And I just can't imagine Jesus being indignant because He was politely and desperately asked to heal someone!

    I am not attacking the TNIV in general, not even having a copy, but this one very strange rendering in particular, so please don't inform me about how great the rest of the translation is. (Hmm, who would be likely to do that? :D ) It's a clear case of scholars following slavishly a "rule" of textual criticism (go with the explanation of the change that sounds more likely) more instead of their common sense and the vast majority of the mss.
     
  2. Mexdeaf

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    I guess it just goes to show that no matter how great ANY translation is, they ALL have their faults.
     
  3. Salamander

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    I would have to stand where the Bible gives us the objective to understand that Jesus is indignant of the spirit of unbelief and self-righteousness all the while having compassion on the desparate and in need.

    When we look at the account of the "Maniac of Gedara" we see the compassion of the Lord upon the man, while we also see the indignation against "Legion" and the ultimate conclusion of his compassion being the maniac was later fund clothed and in hs right mind.

    The other ultimate conclusion of the indignation expressed in conjunction with his compassion is the drowning of the swine.

    It is commonly understood that while having compassion it is also one has indignation towards those who inflict others with pain.:godisgood:
     
  4. Salamander

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    Both.:godisgood:
     
  5. Deacon

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    Wieland Willker has a four page write up on this passage in his Textual Commentary on Mark [LINK] (1.3MB download)

    His conclusions: Difficult variant

    Arguments in favor of σπλαγχνισθείς
    1. In Mk 3:5 metV ovrgh/j is safe! Mk 10:14 is safe!
    2. In Lk 6:10 a lot of witnesses (including D!) add metV ovrgh/j. Note also the
    addition of evpitimh,saj in Mk 10:14.
    3. Very limited Western support for σπλαγχνισθείς
    4. σπλαγχνισθείς could be a conformation to evmbrimhsa,menoj verse 43.
    5. Other appearances of Jesus' anger have not been changed.

    Arguments in favor of σπλαγχνισθείς
    1. The appearance of ovrgisqei.j in Ephrem's Diatessaron commentary.
    2. It's the harder reading.
    3. Both Mt and Lk omit the word.

    His conclusion: "indecisive".

    Rob
     
  6. Mexdeaf

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    I have to know... WHAT HAVE YOU DONE WITH OUR SALAMANDER?

    :laugh: :wavey:
     
  7. John of Japan

    John of Japan
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    Since Salamander's identity has been stolen, I guess it's up to me to defend the King James. Hey, everyone, the King James has "moved with compassion" here, and it's right! :thumbs:
     
  8. John of Japan

    John of Japan
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    Hi, Rob.

    This is a great resource! Thanks for pointing it out.

    The argument illustrates a flaw IMO in the eclectic method--it ignores the possible geneology of the text. Using a geneological method, both Robinson-Pierpont (doesn't even include the reading in the apparatus; nor does Hodges) and Westcott-Hort have σπλαγχνισθείς.

    WH even gives a plausible explanation for the ὀργισθείς which I see Willker also has. Their note (and this is all they say about this supposedly "difficult" reading) is: "Western (Gr.[D] Lat.). A singular reading, perhaps suggested by v. 43, perhaps derived from an extraneous source" (p. 23 of their appendix in vol. 2, "Notes on Select Readings").
     
    #8 John of Japan, Jun 11, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 11, 2008
  9. Salamander

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    I suppose I should say, "Thank you", but the KJB doesn't need defending, it stands alone.

    I wasn't agreeing with the TNIV, btw, I was showing how when one has the word of God, the Spirit can and does guide us into all truth concerning the aspects given by the word. Mark 5 being an excellent example.
     
  10. John of Japan

    John of Japan
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    And I agree! :thumbs:

    All very true. It just wasn't an answer to the OP. :saint:

    Glad to know you havn't been kidnapped by aliens or had your BB identity stolen. :thumbs:
     
  11. Salamander

    Salamander
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    They brought me back. Said they needed a better specimen.
     
  12. AntennaFarmer

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    :laugh: That was a good one!
     
  13. HankD

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    Hi John,
    I believe it is as you say "slavish" adherence to a rule (but which rule).

    Wescott and Hort would choose the "more difficult rendering" especially from an older witness no matter the mss family.

    Burgon would go with the number of witnesses which of course would be the majority texts.



    HankD
     
  14. John of Japan

    John of Japan
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    Hi, Hank. Hope you're doing well.

    You're basically right here, except that in this case W&H went with the reading attested by all Alexandrian mss, rather than the more difficult one, as I wrote in a previous post. In this case their geneological rule overruled their difficulty rule. Robinson-Pierpont also makes use of the WH geneological theory, going with the reading in all Byz/Maj mss.

    All of this points up the fact that textual criticism is a highly subjective scholarly discipline, and certainly not a science, as some like to think. You evaluate the text, choose your rule and make your subjective choice.

    If textual criticism were truly a science, scholars would use the scientific method in determining their rules. For example, I'd love to see experimentation involving people copying mss. You could have a group of Greeks copy them (similar to the Byzantine tradition), some with Greek as a second language, then a control group of Greek teachers. No one has ever done anything similar that I know of, though James Price wrote some computer programs to do textual criticism back in the day.
     
  15. Salamander

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    That's certainly telling; making the issue one of subjectivity according to one's own choice!

    What can I say? As far as the English is concerned One choice rises above the rest beforehand and towers over the latter examples.:godisgood:

    Can the word of God and its Author be subjected to the scientific method?

    Wouldn't that be a contradiction to His thoughts being above ours and His ways past finding out?
     
  16. Salamander

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    Yeah, it was two little Mexican boys found me on a Rock who came here with their parents and without a green card.:wavey:
     
  17. John of Japan

    John of Japan
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    No, not really. God invented science.

    If textual criticism, as subjective as it is, were wrong to do, then the TR editors and the KJV translators were all wrong.
     
  18. John of Japan

    John of Japan
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    Looking through Dr. David Alan Black's New Testament Textual Criticism, A Concise Guide, I found on pp. 39-40 a description of the current four approaches to textual criticism. Concerning "Radical Eclecticism" he says they believe:
    "a. The text is to be based on internal evidence alone.
    b. No manuscript or group of manuscripts is to be preferred.
    c. The result is a purely "eclectic" text."

    So this explains why someone--a radical eclectic--would prefer "indignant" to "moved with compassion" in Mark 1:41.
     
  19. TomMann

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    What a depressing thought...... glad I don't share your view!
     
  20. Ed Edwards

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    Amen, Brother Salamander -- Preach it! :thumbs:

    from dictionary.com
    in·dig·nant [​IMG] -adjective -- feeling, characterized by, or expressing strong displeasure at something considered unjust, offensive, insulting, or base

    John of Japan: //And I just can't imagine Jesus being indignant because He was politely and desperately asked to heal someone!//

    Jesus was indignant not against the leper but indignant against the leprosy. In fact, Jesus was so indignant against the leprosy that He KILLED the leprosy.
     
    #20 Ed Edwards, Jun 14, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 14, 2008

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