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Featured Should the Nestle-Aland 28 have conjectural emendations?

Discussion in 'Other Christian Denominations' started by rlvaughn, Jun 7, 2021.

  1. rlvaughn

    rlvaughn Well-Known Member
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    In a previous recently closed post, we examined Should the Textus Receptus have conjectural emendations? The author of the opening post gave a resounding “No!” I pose as a follow up, “Should the Nestle-Aland 28 have conjectural emendations?” The NA28 is a critical edition of the New Testament most often designated by its two most influential editors, Eberhard Nestle and Kurt Aland. “28” represents the edition number (i.e. 28th edition). The actual title is Novum Testamentum Graece. The 1st edition was published in 1898 and the 28th edition in 2012.

    Ryan Wettlaufer defines conjectural emendation as “the act of restoring a given text at points where all extant manuscript evidence appears to be corrupt.” (No Longer Written: The Use of Conjectural Emendation in the Restoration of the Text of the New Testament, p. 3) Basil Gildersleeve defines it as “the appeal from manuscripts we have to a manuscript [source] that has been lost.” (Encyclopedia Britannica.) Dan Wallace seems to consider something a conjectural emendation only if it is not in either manuscripts, early versions, or quotations from early church fathers. Jan Krans seems to agree, also noting “there are no absolute standards to determine what counts as manuscript ‘evidence’.” He even suggests “a sliding scale of ‘conjecturality’.” (Beyond What is Written, p. 90.) Others consider anything that is not found in a manuscript as a conjectural emendation, even if found in versions and church fathers. Dennis R. MacDonald proposes the use of conjecture after internal problems in a passage cannot be solved by other methods. Conjectural emendation is one method used by scholars to attempt to restore the transmitted text to its authentic state. It is not something that has been rejected by modern scholars (though some do), and is something for which there are varying degrees of support. An extreme conjectural emendation based on no manuscript, early version, or patristic writings is educated guesswork limited to knowledge of corruptions and internal evidence. Conjectural emendations usually arise because of conflicting manuscripts, coupled with evidence from early versions and/or patristic writings.

    Benjamin B. Warfield agreed with the use of conjectural emendation, in theory, where the variants are “so hopelessly in conflict that it cannot be harmonized,” or in the case “on which there are no variations.” Nevertheless, he thought there were few passages that need conjecture, that “the passages in which successful conjectures have been made are fewer still,” concluding “Perhaps no absolutely satisfactory one has yet been made.” (An Introduction to the Textual Criticism of the New Testament, pp. 206ff.) His friend A. T. Robertson basically agreed. In theory emendation might be needed because “We possess no Greek ms. and no early version that are free from errors of some kind. It cannot be assumed therefore that no errors were made by copyists during the hundred or two hundred years intervening between the autographs and our earliest documentary evidence.” (Introduction to Textual Criticism, pp 237-38.)

    Westcott and Hort seemed to be cautious in their advocacy of conjectural emendation, but perhaps not as cautious in their use of it (or at least Dean Burgon thought so). Hort wrote, “The art of Conjectural Emendation depends for its success so much on personal endowments, fertility of resource in the first instance, and even more an appreciation of language too delicate to acquiesce in merely plausible corrections, that it is easy to forget its true character as a critical operation founded on knowledge and method.” (The New Testament in the Original Greek, p. 71.) Scrivener and Burgon, on the other hand, thought it should not be resorted to, “even in passages of acknowledged difficulty.” (The Revision Revised, p. 355.)

    I post the above to provide a glimpse into the past and modern views on conjectural emendation, not that I agree with all of it. There is disagreement among scholars at the ground floor, the definition of “conjectural emendation,” as well as whether and how it should be used.

    Daniel Wallace says there are two conjectural emendations in the NA28, at Acts 16:12 and 2 Peter 3:10. (Wallace does not call them “explicit conjectural emendations” because he is following the definition of Bruce Metzger and Bart Ehrman – having no support in Greek manuscripts, versions, or fathers as opposed to having no support in manuscripts.) Nevertheless, these emendations do not have support in any known Greek manuscripts. In 2006, Wallace also cited a conjecture of Westcott & Hort that changed the spelling on a word in Revelation 21:17 (NA27). However, he does not seem to mention it more recently. Perhaps he decided it should not be considered a conjecture, or perhaps it has been “corrected” in the NA28 (Reinventing Jesus: What The Da Vinci Code and Other Novel Speculations Don’t Tell You, p. 285, endnote 5).
     
    #1 rlvaughn, Jun 7, 2021
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2021
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  2. Logos1560

    Logos1560 Well-Known Member
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    I am surprised that the NA28 is said to have only two conjectural emendations.

    Does that mean that the Textus Receptus may have more conjectural emendations than the NA28?
     
  3. Logos1560

    Logos1560 Well-Known Member
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  4. Yeshua1

    Yeshua1 Well-Known Member
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    Yes
     
  5. rlvaughn

    rlvaughn Well-Known Member
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    Both quotes from The Text of the New Testament: Its Transmission, Corruption, and Restoration, 4th edition, Bruce Metzger and Bart Ehrman, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2005, p. 229

    Metzger and Ehrman seem to suggest that there is a list of all the conjectural emendations in the apparatus of Nestle-Aland GNT, and where they have entered into translations, in "Conjectural Emendations in Modern Translations," by Erroll F. Rhodes in New Testament Textual Criticism, ed. by Eldon J. Epp and Gordon Fee (or maybe they only mean the latter, where they have entered into translations; p. 231 in The Text of the New Testament).
     
    #5 rlvaughn, Jun 9, 2021
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  6. Stratton7

    Stratton7 Member

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    Do you know this and have checked or just arbitrarily saying yes?
     
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  7. Yeshua1

    Yeshua1 Well-Known Member
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    The TR has known ones, so would not be a perfect text!
     
  8. rlvaughn

    rlvaughn Well-Known Member
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    What do you consider is the same answer for both questions?
     
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  9. rlvaughn

    rlvaughn Well-Known Member
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    Unless you know how many are in the TR and how many are in the NA28, you do not know which has more. However, why not stick to the topic, rather than default to your KJVO/TR pitter patter? You skipped the question on the table -- "Should the Nestle-Aland 28 have conjectural emendations?"
     
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  10. Yeshua1

    Yeshua1 Well-Known Member
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    I think this person answered it well
    Thoughts on the Textus Receptus: A Critical Text View
     
  11. Logos1560

    Logos1560 Well-Known Member
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    Considering the large amount of Greek NT manuscript evidence available and considering the Bible doctrine of preservation, I have seen no sound case for suggesting that any textual conjectures are needed in compiling a Greek NT.

    My answer is no unless someone presents a compelling case that proves a need for textual conjecture.
     
  12. rlvaughn

    rlvaughn Well-Known Member
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  13. Yeshua1

    Yeshua1 Well-Known Member
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    Should any text be updated to fit better and newer evidence? of Course!
     
  14. rlvaughn

    rlvaughn Well-Known Member
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    Last attempt to interact with you -- “Should the Nestle-Aland 28 have conjectural emendations?”
     
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  15. Yeshua1

    Yeshua1 Well-Known Member
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    Where needed, yes!
     
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  16. rlvaughn

    rlvaughn Well-Known Member
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    Westcott and Hort, Warfield and Robertson, Metzger and Ehrman all seem to be consistent in agreeing that though it is a tool that will not often be used, conjectural emendation must be one of the tools of the trade available in their tool box.
     
  17. Logos1560

    Logos1560 Well-Known Member
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    While they may condemn any conjectural emendation in the Critical Text editions, TR-only advocates and KJV-only advocates in practice also accept it as one of the tools of textual criticism or do not oppose or condemn its use when it was used in the making of the varying Textus Receptus editions.
     
  18. rlvaughn

    rlvaughn Well-Known Member
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    The quote you referenced mentions no one who is TRO or KJVO, but rather Westcott and Hort, Warfield and Robertson, Metzger and Ehrman. I will assume you do not think they held those beliefs. We had nine pages about conjectural emendation and the TR, but when we have a thread about conjectural emendations and the NA28, you still want to talk about the TR.
     
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  19. Logos1560

    Logos1560 Well-Known Member
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    You keep assuming incorrectly since I did not at all claim or think that the men that you named did not hold that view of textual conjectures.

    I wonder if you may be attempting in effect to excuse or justify conjectural emendations in the Textus Receptus editions by noting them in the NA28 and by asserting that these men claimed that this tool should be available.

    Should it be assumed that you agree with this view of conjectural emendations of Westcott and Hort, Warfield and Robertson, Metzger and Ehrman or is it possible that you may be indirectly trying to undermine those who pointed out conjectural emendations in the TR editions?
     
    #19 Logos1560, Jun 14, 2021
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  20. rlvaughn

    rlvaughn Well-Known Member
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    Check the sentence. The antecedent of "those beliefs" is TRO and KJVO, not textual conjectures. The sentence was a rhetorical device pointing out that you wrote a response that did not address the post quoted, but redirected it to what you want to talk about.
     
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