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Discussion in '2003 Archive' started by Harald, Feb 6, 2003.
Which of the following matches or comes closest to your position on editions of the Greek NT?
Major problem that prevents me from responding. The UBS 3/4 and NA 28 are not the "Alexandrian" manuscripts as you first option suggests. They represent the totality of manuscripts. All evidence is considered.
I believe the best Greek text is the one that uses all the evidence as factors (UBS/NA) rather than 95% of it (Majority text- RB or FH) or 8 manuscripts (TR).
I am sorry, Larry, if my poll was not adequately enough made. But your position became clear, for which I thank you of taking the time to state it. It is just that I am one of those who refer to the Westcott-Hort tradition of Greek NT editions as "Alexandrian". I guess you cannot teach an old dog (me) to sit.
IT's no big deal, really. I Understand these polls are not scientifically constructed and they are for fun mostly. I have no great complaints really. However, I would urge you to think about the modern eclectic position as far removed from the WH approach in many ways. It is greatly advanced and improved upon. It should be accorded careful consideration.
Assuming that by Alexandrian we understand eclectic text (thank you for the clarification Larry), I took position 1.
I can't believe that there at least three people at the time of this writing that believe the KJV has replaced the Greek texts, that simply blows my mind!
The KJV was good enough for Paul
and Silas, it is good enough for me!
Its all Greek to me ...
The poll said,
<< I believe the best Greek text of the NT is either the Majority Text or the Eclectic Alexandrian Text, but definitely not the Textus Receptus >>
If a text is Alexandrian, it is not eclectic. "Eclectic" means drawn from many sources.
But even the "Textus Receptus" was intended to be eclectic. They just had fewer sources to draw on. The Textus Receptus was a "critical" text, in that the editors made textual criticism decisions in order to decide which reading to go with.
The current Greek New Testament editions like the UBS 4 and NA 27, are eclectic; they do not prefer any particular branch of Greek texts.
There are times that the Alexandrian reading is agreed to be most definitely not the original, and there are places in the other branches, like the Byzantine, where the reading is most definitely not the original.
Some on this forum has said that the modern Greek text has no errors in it. I would say it does have. And I am not the only one. Below is a link to an article by textual scholar Wilbur N Pickering. He exhibits some clear errors of the modern Greek text, UBS-3. While I do not subscribe to his Majority Text position nor agree with every theological notion or assessment he makes in it I nevertheless think it is worth putting here, as it is an eye-opener as pertains to the textual issue. The fact that the modern Greek text has errors and discrepancies in it is very serious. And it is serious also that some version have been translated from it and thus repeat the same errors and contradictions, making it look like God's word, which they are claimed to be, is not God's perfect and inerrant word, but something else. The blind leading the blind and both fall into the ditch, it says in some good book.
Maybe this won't be too inappropriate of a thread to ask this question. Some twenty years ago or so I heard Ivan Panin's Numeric Greek New Testament highly touted in certain circles. I don't follow this forum on a regular basis, but I don't ever remember reading of it being used or recommended by anyone here. Does anyone have one? use it? recommend it? Any thoughts?
If so, Paul CANNOT have the 1611 KJV in his lifetime. Time machine like a movie, "Back to the Future"?
Harald, thank-you for the link about errors in the UBS Greek text.
On some of the passages, I agree that the UBS text is in error, like the name of the daughter of Herodias in Mark 6:22. My translation of Mark 6:22 follows the traditional text.
In many of the other instances, I believe that the original writers, such as the apostles, were unlearned men, and could have made minor errors because of their unlearnedness. These errors were later corrected by subsequent manuscript copyists, in order to make the apostles look better. There is no doubt in my mind that that took place sometimes.
For example, Mark 2:2 says the quotation is from "Isaiah the prophet," whereas the TR says "the prophets." Well, the NT writers were quite casual in how they quoted the OT. It doesn't bother me at all that Mark (or Peter) would say he is quoting Isaiah, when he is actually quoting a blending of Isaiah, Exodus and Malachi . I believe subsequent copyists wanted to "help out Mark" and wanted to make him look better, and so changed the text of Mark 2:2. But this is nit-picking on their part and on the part of KJV Onlyists, in my opinion. The UBS attempts to present a more authentic text, as non-improved and embellished by the copyists over the centuries.
The Luke 4:44 is easily solveable; it is not a contradiction, but a problem in translaton. See my translation of this passage.
The John 7:8 "anomaly" is easily solved. It is clear to me that later copyists thought the original text made Jesus look like a deceiver, and so they changed the text. But, the resulting text still has Jesus deceiving his brothers; so their attempt failed. See my footnote on this passage in my translation of John.
I could go on, but in general I trust the UBS text more, because it presents how the text was before copyists changed things in order to idealize the apostles and Christ.
"In many of the other instances, I believe that the original writers, such as the apostles, were unlearned men, and could have made minor errors because of their unlearnedness. These errors were later corrected by subsequent manuscript copyists, in order to make the apostles look better. There is no doubt in my mind that that took place sometimes." (HoLogos)
With all due respect, but your statement indicates to me that you do not believe the classical doctrine of infallible divine inspiration of the Scripture. This doctrine says that God inspired an absolutely inerrant and infallible Bible, each single word originally given was given by inspiration of God, no errors whatsoever. The apostles and other original penmen may have been comparatively "unlearned" men, yet God saw to it that what they spoke/wrote down was exactly as He decreed it in eternity, no mistakes, no errors. Your notion impugns God and the holy men He used to give the Scriptures. This is serious error. My wish is that God the Lord may grant you a genuine change of mind on this very vital matter.
This concerned me when I read his post as well.
if god only preserved his thoughts through the ages, what's so wrong with him only inspiring his thoughts at the beginning?
edited to add: this is a serious, non-rhetorical question.
am ha'aretz wrote:
<< if god only preserved his thoughts through the ages, what's so wrong with him only inspiring his thoughts at the beginning?
edited to add: this is a serious, non-rhetorical question. >>
I'm glad you posted this, because this is totally essential to the doctrine of inspiration of scripture. And it is actually a point upon which I agree with KJVOs to a degree:
What good does it do to have the "original" error-free, but then 2000 years later, no one know which words are the original anyway? Answer: It does no one any good!
So, this is what I want Harald and others to consider: We must have the same standard of inerrancy for our current English translations, as we do for the originals.
And that standard has to be real-world, and realistic enough for you and me to live in. Otherwise, there is no one of us in the world who is qualified to translate the Bible into new-found languages in Brazil or Papua New Guinea, etc. And surely you know and agree, that any Bible translation done by humans, like the one done by my father into the Hamtai language of Papua New Guinea, has minor human errors in it.
But, if you believe that the Word of God has "no errors of any kind," but now on the other hand, my father Tom Palmer is not an apostle, therefore his translation today is not inspired by the Holy Spirit, and he was not miraculously enabled to make a Bible as error-free as the original, then the bottom line is, God has provided the Hamtai church a Bible that is not error-free, but he only provided an error free Bible to the very first writers, and to the readers of the very first copy of those writings.
<< With all due respect, but your statement indicates to me that you do not believe the classical doctrine of infallible divine inspiration of the Scripture. This doctrine says that God inspired an absolutely inerrant and infallible Bible, each single word originally given was given by inspiration of God, no errors whatsoever. The apostles and other original penmen may have been comparatively "unlearned" men, yet God saw to it that what they spoke/wrote down was exactly as He decreed it in eternity, no mistakes, no errors. Your notion impugns God and the holy men He used to give the Scriptures. This is serious error. My wish is that God the Lord may grant you a genuine change of mind on this very vital matter. >>
Okay, this is the minor type of error I mean:
As I said earlier: "For example, Mark 2:2 says the quotation is from "Isaiah the prophet," whereas the TR says "the prophets." Well, the NT writers were quite casual in how they quoted the OT. It doesn't bother me at all that Mark (or Peter) would say he is quoting Isaiah, when he is actually quoting a blending of Isaiah, Exodus and Malachi ."
With all due respect, surely you have seen many discrepancies between what the NT writers say, and what the OT says. If not, maybe you are burying your head in the sand? If you are, then that would not serve God, and you would also lose respect from your fellow men, especially non-believers or skeptics.
I believe that it does not serve God or his church to pretend that the apostles were not sometimes perhaps rather casual or had poor memories sometimes when quoting the Old Testament. If your "classical doctrine of divine inspiration" means not even errors like that, then I believe your doctrine is a tradition of men, and not of God. Then it is a "shiboleth" that is man-made, and divides those who otherwise would be united.
Show me a Bible passage that says that the apostles never made minor human mistakes, like when they quote the Old Testament? I believe you are adding to scripture when you add all those other fine-tuned words to your creed, like "no errors of any kind." That is not in the Bible, with all due respect. Are you adding words to the Bible?
That elevates the work of men beyond what you or I could do, and that puts Christianity out of reach for all of us, or at least it certainly puts Bible Translation out of reach for all of us. Because no Bible translator knows what the original words were; and that is the real issue here.
In summation then, I believe we have to believe that the Hamtai Bible done by my father today is just as error free in every respect as the originals; otherwise the doctrine of infallibility of scripture is useless in the real world.
For your information, most Bible translators do not translate the words of the King James Bible into the foreign language. And, believe it or not, most Bible translators, like in Wycliffe/SIL or New Tribes Mission, the two largest Bible translation agencies, cannot even read Hebrew and Greek well enough to translate directly from it.
And also for your information, I know my father well. He is a sinner saved by grace; ie, he is a carnal, proud, desperately wicked person unless he is walking in the Spirit. And what percentage of the time does he actually walk in the Spirit? Not enough, let me tell you.
Same with all other Bible translators, including the ones who translated the King James Version.
[ February 28, 2003, 08:35 PM: Message edited by: HoLogos ]
Harald and Neal,
Okay, I have re-evaluated the post of mine that you have objected to, and one thing I would restate is, I don't think the item in Mark 1:2 should be called an "error," because that is too strong a word. I would call it an "imperfection."
I do not believe the writers of scripture made any errors of consequence. So please don't jump to the conclusion that I don't believe in the inerrancy of scripture. I do believe that copyists of the NT Greek manuscripts may well could have made some small improvements, because of their own over-zealous beliefs in this kind of belief in "no errors of any kind" for scripture.
You should also know, that I am on the same side as you, as far as inpiration of scripture, and authority of scripture only - sola scriptura. What I am trying to tell you, is that this shiboleth standard of inerrancy you seem to prescribe to, is I think artificially strict, and humanly so.
If this does not make sense to you, I am sorry. I respect your high view of scripture. I also have a high view of scripture. I am just not enthusiastic or automatically a subscriber to creeds and shiboleths that human political councils have come up with. I also think those canned creeds and shiboleths make Christians stop thinking, and also have knee-jerk reactions in judgment to those who don't unreservedly have a knee-jerk assent to them.
I also thank you again for the link to Pickering's page. He makes a few good points, that I am evaluating right now.
You might be interested in my latest revision of my translation of the gospel of Mark. On the end, just yesterday (March 01, 2003), I added a 400 KB essay by another writer, which defends the authenticity, or at least canonicity, of the longer ending of Mark. That can be downloaded from this page: http://www.bibletranslation.ws/tran.html
I have decided to add more footnotes to my translations that reflect alternate views on Greek textual differences underlying the New Testament.
Dave. I am certainly able to appreciate that you seem to have given some heed to what me and Neal briefly pointed out. Also that you do not swallow firsthand humanly formulated creeds or such like, whether they actually be good or not in the final check up. Yet, I still disagree with you, and maintain your view of the Scriptures is not in accordance with what itself testifies of itself. My wish is that you may some day come to a correct view of God's infallibly inspired Book.
Myself is much interested in bibliology, including textual matters, but I am still nothing but a novice. It appears we do agree as to the longer ending of Mark. As a Received Text defender I believe it is God-breathed and belongs in the Bible. I did visit your page some days ago, and downloaded some of your translation files, as translation of the NT is one of my great interests. I also downloaded some other things which seemed interesting. I hope some day to take a closer look at your renderings. I have just yesterday made some adjustments to my personal pages on the net, of which the following translation project is a result
If interested take a look. Any comments or critique is welcome.
respectfully in spite of disagreement,