which text is which??

Discussion in '2004 Archive' started by Gayla, Sep 3, 2004.

  1. Gayla

    Gayla
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    Will some one please explain the "Texts", Manuscripts" or whatever else they are called?

    Are some of the different names referring to the same documents?
    example: MSS = Masoretic
    Are Alexandrian, Byzantine the same thing?
    The whole ball of wax.

    Please give the 'long version' along with the acronym(?) 'cause it can get confusing.
    thanks in advance. [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  2. Craigbythesea

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  3. superdave

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    Real basic, the texts or manuscripts (interchangeable in most cases) are original autographs of scripture, or copies of originals (we dont know if they are originals or not) that have been preserved throughout the centuries since the originals were written. They are the basis for the modern English versions we have today.

    They are grouped into families based on similar characteristics either in writing style, textual similarities, or regarding where they were copied or discovered.

    Someone else with a degree in this stuff can go into more detail on the specifics of the various text types.
     
  4. Charles Meadows

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    Gayla,

    Yes it is a big ball of wax!! MSS is just manuscripts (plural). The Old Testament in pretty much all bible versions is translated from the Masoretic text. This is a Hebrew text preserved by the Masoretic scribes. They were responsible for adding vowels to help with pronunciation - so the correct vocalization was not lost (Hebrew properly had only consonants).

    The big disagreements come in with the New Testament manuscripts. Erasmus was trying to be the first (before the pope!) to put out a Greek New Testament (1500s). He used what he could get. All of his manuscripts are of the Byzantine tradition. These have been preserved and perpetuated by the Eastern Orthodox church for years. The vast majority of manuscripts are of this type. Erasmus' eventual Greek text, in its later form, is called the Textus Receptus (TR). This forms the foundation of the NT in the KJV.

    The "Alexandrian" manuscripts were found in Egypt. The three most well known are Codex Sinaiticus, Codex Vanticanus, and Codex Alexandrinus. Sinaiticus was found in a garbage can in an Alexandrian monastery (by Tischendorf I believe) and Vaticanus was found in the basement of the Vatican. These manuscripts are much older than any existent Byzantine type manuscripts but this type is far outnumbered by the newer Byzantine ones.

    The argument stems from this. The KJVO people assert that the Byzantine manuscripts should be preferred since they are more numerous. They are also more "full". By that I mean when the Byzantine and Alexandrian manuscripts disagree (and they do in many little places) the Byzantine version is usually longer. "Lord Jesus" instead of "He". KJVO say these are omissions in the Alexandrian manuscripts (from which the NIV and NASB come) while MV proponents say that the Byzantine manuscripts (from which the KJV came) contain scribal additions. KJVO proponents also point out that since Alexandria was known to be a center of Gnosticism and other secular isms the Alexandrian manuscripts cannot be trusted. MV proponents say that they are older and thus more likely to be authentic.

    Whew... That's the short of it!! ;)
     
  5. Gayla

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    Thank you, Charles
     
  6. Dr. Bob

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    The garbage can story of Sinaiticus is, of course, a myth to discredit the documents.

    Here are some simple definitions</font>
    • AV1611 = original King James including apocryphal (non-inspired) books</font>
    • KJV = usually 1762 Cambridge or 1769 Oxford revisions of the AV1611. 5000 changes, including 150+ major changes</font>
    • MV = modern versions, usually any other English translation since 1880</font>
    • TR = textus receptus, actually finalized about 20 years AFTER the AV1611 was translated</font>
    • MT = this is tricky. In this assylum it is usually the Majority Text, the compilation of Greek documents that all come from the same family (copies of copies of copies from the same source copy). Elsewhere it may mean Masoretic Text, the 10th Century CE compilation of Hebrew Old Testament documents and those use by EVERY English translation from 1611 to today.</font>
    • WH = Wescott/Hort text which is 96% MT (majority text) with some changes, mostly subtracting added Greek words that had crept into the MT and forming a new eclectic text closer to the original</font>
    • Nestle/UBS = continued revisions and "tweaking" of the 5000+ Greek documents into the most accurate reflection of the original Greek from which they were translated.

      Remember, we have NO single Greek document that looks remotely like our eclectic blended Greek text of the MT or WH or UBS.</font>
     
  7. Craigbythesea

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    Not according to Bruce Metzger in his The Text of the New Testament, pp. 42-45:

    In 1844, when he was not ye thirty years of age, Tischendorf, a Privatdozent in the University of Leipzig, began an extensive journey through the Near East in search of Biblical manuscripts. While visiting the monastery of St. Catharine at Mount Sinai, he chanced to see some leaves of parchment in a waste-basket full of papers destined to light the oven of the monastery. On examination these proved to be part of a copy of the Septuagint version of the Old Testament, written in an early Greek uncial script. He retrieved from the basket no fewer than forty-three such leaves, and the monk casually remarked that two basket loads of similarly discarded leaves had already been burned up! Later, when Tischendorf was shown other portions of the same codex (containing all of Isaiah and 1 and 4 Maccabees), he warned the monks that such things were too valuable to be used to stoke their fires. The forty-three leaves which he was permitted to keep contained portions of 1 Chronicles, Jeremiah, Nehemiah, and Esther, and upon returning to Europe he deposited them in the university library at Leipzig, where they still remain. In 1846 he published their contents, naming them the codex Frederico-Augustanus (in honour of the King of Saxony, Frederick Augustus, the discoverer's sovereign and patron).

    In 1853 Tischendorf revisited the monastery of St. Catharine, hoping to acquire other portions of the same manuscript. The excitement which he had displayed on the occasion of his discovery during his first visit had made the monks cautious, and he could learn nothing further about the manuscript. In 1859 his travels took him back once more to Mount Sinai, this time under the patronage of the Czar of Russia, Alexander II. The day before he was scheduled to leave he presented to the steward of the monastery a copy of the edition of the Septuagint which he had recently published in Leipzig. Thereupon the steward remarked that he too had a copy of the Septuagint, and produced from a closet in his cell a manuscript wrapped in a red cloth. There before the astonished scholar's eyes lay the treasure which he had been longing to see. Concealing his feelings, Tischendorf casually asked permission to look at it further that evening. Permission was granted, and upon retiring to his room Tischendorf stayed up all night in the joy of studying the manuscript—for, as he declared in his diary (which as a scholar he kept in Latin), quippe dormire nefas videbatur ('it really seemed a sacrilege to sleep')! He soon found that the document contained much more than he had even hoped; for not only was most of the Old Testament there, but also the New Testament was intact and in excellent condition, with the addition of two early Christian works of the second century, the Epistle of Barnabas (previously known only through a very poor Latin translation) and a large portion of the Shepherd of Hermas, hitherto known only by title.

    The next morning Tischendorf tried to buy the manuscript, but without success. Then he asked to be allowed to take it to Cairo to study; but the monk in charge of the altar plate objected, and so he had to leave without it.

    Later, while in Cairo, where the monks of Sinai have also a small monastery, Tischendorf importuned the abbot of the monastery of St. Catharine, who happened to be in Cairo at the time, to send for the document. Thereupon swift Bedouin messengers were sent to fetch the manuscript to Cairo, and it was agreed that Tischendorf would be allowed to have it quire by quire (i.e. eight leaves at a time) to copy it. Two Germans who happened to be in Cairo and who knew some Greek, an apothecary and a bookseller, helped him transcribe the manuscript, and Tischendorf revised carefully what they copied. In two months they transcribed 110,000 lines of text.

    The next stage of the negotiations involved what may be called euphemistically 'ecclesiastical diplomacy'. At that time the highest place of authority among the monks of Sinai was vacant. Tischendorf suggested that it would be to their advantage if they would make a gift to the Czar of Russia, whose influence, as protector of the Greek Church, they desired in connexion with the election of the new abbot—and what could be more appropriate as a gift than this ancient Greek manuscript! After prolonged negotiations the precious codex was delivered to Tischendorf for publication at Leipzig and for presentation to the Czar in the name of the monks. In the East a gift demands a return (compare Genesis xxiii, where Ephron 'gives' Abraham a field for a burying plot, but nevertheless Abraham pays him 400 shekels of silver for it). In return for the manuscript the Czar presented to the monastery a silver shrine for St. Catharine, sent a gift of 7,000 roubles for the library at Sinai and a gift of 2,000 roubles for the monks in Cairo, and conferred several Russian decorations (similar to honorary degrees) on the authorities of the monastery. In 1862, on the one-thousandth anniversary of the founding of the Russian Empire, the text of the manuscript was published in magnificent style at the expense of the Czar in four folio volumes, being printed at Leipzig with type cast for the purpose so as to resemble the characters of the manuscript, which it represents line for line with the greatest attainable accuracy.

    The definitive publication of the codex was made in the twentieth century when the Oxford University Press issued a facsimile from photographs taken by Professor Kirsopp Lake (New Testament, 1911; Old Testament, 1922).
     
  8. mioque

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    And now I'm going to disagree with Charles.

    "The big disagreements come in with the New Testament manuscripts."
    ''
    That's mostly because many KJVO's can fake some knowledge of New Testament Greek but not Hebrew, not because there isn't plenty of ammunition for debating text variants in Old Testament documents.

    "Erasmus was trying to be the first (before the pope!) to put out a Greek New Testament (1500s)."
    ''
    Both Erasmus and the competition basically worked for the pope. In fact pope Leo X was a friend of Erasmus and the first edition of what would grow into what we call the Textus Receptus nowadays was dedicated to that pope.

    "Sinaiticus was found in a garbage can in an Alexandrian monastery (by Tischendorf I believe)"
    ''
    A version of the events I've heardis that Tischendorf stole Sinaiticus from the library of the convent of St. Catharina where he found it. The guy that was abbot at the time apparently was not amused, mostly because he used it as his studybible.
    Edit&lt;who am I to disagree with the great Bruce Metzger&gt;

    "Vaticanus was found in the basement of the Vatican."
    ''
    Vaticanus Had a rather prominent place in the Vatican library, the problem was more that for many centuries it was mostly seen as a priceless anrique and not as a valuable resource for Bible translators.
    I suspect that dr. Bob would say that the original Heidelberger Cathechism is nowadays suffering a similar fate. Stored in the Vatican Library as a priceless antique and not used to reconsider RC theology.
     
  9. Gayla

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    thank you Dr. Bob, I'll print that out and see if I have any more questions (probably will)


    Craig - interesting story - I'd never heard any details, just 'found in a Monastery trash can'
     
  10. Ransom

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    Dr. Bob: The garbage can story of Sinaiticus is, of course, a myth to discredit the documents.

    Craigbythesea answered:

    Not according to Bruce Metzger in his The Text of the New Testament, pp. 42-45

    But what Metzger really says is:

    Thereupon the steward remarked that he too had a copy of the Septuagint, and produced from a closet in his cell a manuscript wrapped in a red cloth.

    Metzger doesn't say Sinaiticus was found in a trash can. Dr. Bob is right.
     
  11. Charles Meadows

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    Metzger doesn't say that the trash can story is a myth - Craig quoted correctly from Metzger's, "The Text of the NT, Its Transmission, Corruption, and Restoration."

    Tishendorf's final product had been hand copied but he did evidently initially find some of the original pieces in the trash!
     
  12. Dr. Bob

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    Actually, some of the leaves were found in a box that was occasionally used as kindling to get a fire started. NOT a "trash" basket, as the defamers of God's preserved Word would imply.

    The original interest in it saved it, as the monk recognized a possible profit form it!

    But had God not loved us so much to preserve this copy of His Word, it probably WOULD have been burned. And Satan would have rejoiced and we would be much the poorer.
     
  13. Charles Meadows

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    "Actually, some of the leaves were found in a box that was occasionally used as kindling to get a fire started. NOT a "trash" basket, as the defamers of God's preserved Word would imply."

    Good point! It wasn't a trashcan - that sounds a little more demeaning!
     
  14. Gayla

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    Trash basket, kindling basket - not much difference really.


    But then the steward had another copy (?) or another part in his closet.
     
  15. natters

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    The whole problem with the Sinaiticus-in-the-trash/kindling story is that Sinaiticus is from approx 350 A.D., but was "discovered" in the basket in 1844 A.D. That's an AWFUL long time between taking out the trash. Obviously it was in the basket by mistake, as it is valuable because of its age if nothing else.

    When I hear of the "trash basket" story, I don't think "ya, the Sinaiticus is trash", but instead I think "What an amazing story of preservation!"
     
  16. natters

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    P.S. only a few pages were found in the basket, containing sections of 1 Chron, Jeremiah, Nehemiah, and Ester. Last time I checked, none of these books were in the New Testament, nor was Sinaiticus used for general translating of these books in any English translation that I am aware of. The rest of Sinaiticus, obtained on later visits back to the monastery, had been kept carefully preserved in fantastic shape, and were never in the basket nor considered for discarding or destruction.
     
  17. russell55

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    Absolutely. It seems to me that God purposefully and providentially kept it from becoming trash by ensuring that it was discovered before it was no longer recoverable.
     
  18. Dr. Bob

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    But Natters, the defamers of the miraculous preservation of God's Word in ancient texts will keep using the "trash" attack no matter the fact.

    They will not read the fact and adjust their thinking; they will continue to spew the venom and spurrious attack because they are willingly blinded to the truth.

    Doesn't mean you should stop TRYING!
     

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