• Welcome to Christian Forums
  1. Welcome to Christian Forums, a forum to discuss Christianity in a friendly surrounding.

    Your voice is missing! You will need to register to be able to join in fellowship with Christians all over the world.

    We hope to see you as a part of our community soon and God Bless!

Only Negligible Differences?

Discussion in 'Semper Reformanda' started by JM, Sep 30, 2014.

  1. JM

    JM pre·des·ti·nar·i·an Supporter

    +1,678
    Canada
    Protestant
    Married
    CA-Others
    Might be my last post on the subject, not sure. I tend to post from my phone and these exchanges are getting LONG! lol

    I logged into a desktop to respond.



    It didn't seem like it.



    Not completely true. The passage wasn’t viewed as a “forgery.” Erasmus, Luther, Calvin, Beza and every OTHER Reformer, all Protestants during the 17th, 18th and almost all of the 19th century included 1 John 5.7 as scripture knowing that only Latin works from the 2nd century on had the passage. The witness of the church overcame doubt.



    “The oldest known citation of the Comma is in a fourth-century Latin treatise entitled Liber apologeticus.” That means this verse was used to combat heretical teaching during the Trinitarian controversy and Metzger, an unbelieving critic, also cites the passage being found in other mss traditions. source



    I was simply giving an example that not all “textual criticism” is equal.



    “Containing the word” and “they are the word” would imply different meanings.



    A faulty testimony creates reasonable doubt. That can’t be disputed. Modern textual criticism was created, defined and employed by unbelieving liberals in the 20th century. The method needs to be re-examined. As I mentioned above and quoted before all Protestants insisted on the Textus Receptus as the very word of God.

    "In a period when the Textus Receptus held sway and when only occasionally an independent spirit ventured to question its authority....the Greek text incorporated in the editions of Stephanus, Beza and Elzevirs had published succeeded in establishing itself as 'the only true text' of the New Testament, and was slavishly reprinted in hundreds of subsequent editions. It lies at the basis of the King James Version and of all principle Protestant translations in the languages of Europe prior to 1881." The Text of the New Testament Its Transmission, Corruption, and Restoration, 3rd edition, Bruce M. Metzger, pg. 95-118.



    Brother, I agree. What is the basis for our faith? Let’s take a truly Reformed position on the textual issue and use presuppositionalism to hold fast to that which we have received and not assume every modern “evidence” is worthy of consideration. The church has confessed its faith. The canon is closed. We should not be reopening the canon to feed liberal unbelief. And let me add that I do not believe one is a liberal or unbeliever for using modern electric versions of scripture but I do believe these versions exist because of liberalism.



    As I pointed out above those who believed in Christ, the witness of His church and the authority of scripture did not perform modern textual criticism. This was the invention of 19th century liberals. Erasmus new certain passages did not have support in the early Greek mss but still, as a matter of consistent faithful witness included them. Same with Luther, Calvin and Beza, etc.



    Phantom mss sound a lot like make belief…at the very least it’s pure fideism. It’s like saying I know unicorns exist even if I’ve never seen them, can’t prove it at all, I just know they do. It’s the same with the phantom mss.



    And the issue was settled.



    Can’t speak to that point because I’m not as familiar with the history of the transmission of the OT.



    A faithful mss exists, has been used, we witness it’s transmission in church history, recorded in the fathers, used by the church in the East for well over a 1000 years. When we consider the weight of this testimony I’m convinced.



    Not everyone. In fact, once the canon was settle upon by the Reformers, it wasn’t touched.

    "In a period when the Textus Receptus held sway and when only occasionally an independent spirit ventured to question its authority....the Greek text incorporated in the editions of Stephanus, Beza and Elzevirs had published succeeded in establishing itself as 'the only true text' of the New Testament, and was slavishly reprinted in hundreds of subsequent editions. It lies at the basis of the King James Version and of all principle Protestant translations in the languages of Europe prior to 1881." The Text of the New Testament Its Transmission, Corruption, and Restoration, 3rd edition, Bruce M. Metzger, pg. 95-118.

    Edward Hills demonstrates from history that what Metzger wrote above applies to the 16th, 17th, 18th and 19th centuries of church history.



    I do not find your position logical. You claim to believe in scripture and will quote passages against heretics when defending the faith, to brothers and sisters who need encouragement with a foundational idea that it may be “proven” at some latter point to not be God’s word at all. That is the position you are taking. If some mss is unearthed that is “older” and therefore “better” because it is believed to be “closer to the original” (this point cannot be proven, it must be assumed by the text critic and without merit or support) than what you quoted might not or is not now consider “scripture.” That is the undeniable conclusion you must reach. I side with the confessional church and say the canon is closed. You side with, what Wallace essentially calls unbelievers who perform textual criticism, on a text to suit you. What you are advocating for is pure individualism.

    Gotta run.

    Peace,

    jm
     
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2014
  2. abacabb3

    abacabb3 Newbie

    +274
    Christian
    Married
    I understand and it is fine if we disagree. I am just grateful that God has made His revelation available to us, warts and all in translation issues and manuscript selection.

    However, God promised us that He would "lead us into all truth." So, it is my understanding that God sufficiently has given us whatever we need to come to know the Son and give Him glory. In some times in Christian history, when the Scripture was closed off because it was in unreadable Latin, the Lord was merciful in opening peoples eyes using the Holy Spirit. IN this day, when Bibles are so common they are throw away items, we are blessed with so much more but even still ultimately rely upon the Spirit to understand His truth.

    Lastly, I would say, I have a major fundamental issue with every translation starting with Jerome's in the 5th century (and that is going way back!) The New Testament writers quoted OT Scriptures with different renderings than what we have found in the Hebrew manuscripts. As Paul said, "I think I have the Spirit of God" in 1 Cor 7, if he in his humility does not outright say, "Yes, I speak by the Spirit" as this was clear to all we can understand that when he quotes the OT he does so accurately.

    The fact that we rely upon Hebrew manuscripts which have consistently disagreed with the Scriptures Paul quoted from as proof texts is to me highly questionable and shows that the manuscripts we are working with now, that disagree with what Paul has been working with, are obviously corrupted.

    This is why I take such issue with people thinking the Masoretic Text, which is used in all translations for the OT and even given preference over the Septuagint even when the Septuagint can be rendered identical with the NT when the MT disagrees!

    Yet, God is still merciful, and even through our imperfect methods of retaining His word, makes Himself known to us anyway.

    I did it right on my bed with my chromebook as my wife was doing something to get ready for bed herself! I suggest you do the same. I seriously cannot find any significant divergences that effect meaning unless I really dig for them, and even then, what we have usually is the absence of passages (no 1 John 5:7, no John 10, no Mark 16:8-20, etc.). Interestingly enough, I can still come to know Christ without having ever read any of those passages, or the entirity of Scripture for that matter. So, I don't view the issue as critical.

    Though I would appreciate proof that the Old Latin (pre-Vulgate Latin) translation retained this rendering, we have no testimony at all from the Church Fathers. This is curious especially because this was when the Trinitarian controversy was taking place and it would have obviously been used as a proof text if it existed.

    So, you can list a bunch of big guys from the 1500s on, but I can list all the big guys from the first 500 years of the church and say the opposite. In this case, chronology wins.

    Again, all the big guys, not a few listless Bishops perhaps.

    I cannot find "Liber Apologeticus" online, though I can find a text with the same name written by Tertullian, which does not include the passage. Further, reading your link, it claims that Cyprian quoted the passage. The problem is, fi you read Cyprian, he didn't. He said "the three are one" but no other part of the Comma Johannine. He could have been loosely quoting "there are three that testify." Certainly not enough to go by that he had the whole passage in front of him, especially when quoting it in full would have proved his point in his De catholicae ecclesiae unitate 6 so much better when he says, “The Lord says, ‘I and the Father are one’; and again it is written of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, ‘And these three are one.’”

    When we get into the history of renderings, as we just did in the above, we are using textual criticism. It cannot be avoided.

    No, they are the word of God, but not word-for-word as dictated in the original autographs at every single point. I do not think it can be demonstrated that we have a perfect set of manuscripts that are. As I said in the beginning, to the modern day we have issues with simply quoting the Old Testament, such a large and glaring discrepancy that it even gets in the way of understanding prophecy. In my honest opinion, we should go with Septuagint renderings of OT passages quoted in the NT, but we still fail to do so. If it was good enough for Jesus in Matt 21:16 where he quotes the Septuagint rendering, it is good enough for me.

    Time to convert to Islam then. They have one singular testimony of manuscripts. It has been memorized throughout the world as a guard against corruption of the text. However, if the text was uniformly corrupted 1300 years ago, and all competing traditions destroyed, we would never know. The True God has preserved His true revelation by not allowing one faulty, man made tradition to destroy every single other tradition. The fact we have a plurality of traditions, but no real disagreements of anything doctrinal in the actual manuscripts, means what we have today is in substance an accurate rendering of the Scripture no matter the tradition.

    Further, the TR went through a building process, as 1 Joh 5:7 was not initially in it. Further, the last 5 verses in Revelation were quoted from the Vulgate and not the Greek, including the reading that we can have our names erased from the book of life.

    So, I ask, why the TR? WHat sets it apart from other renderings in the Greek? And, why is the TR not in of itself 16th century biblical criticism?

    I have to get ready for work! Hopefully I can check out the rest later.
     
  3. abacabb3

    abacabb3 Newbie

    +274
    Christian
    Married
    Erasamus was strongarmed into including 1 John 5:7 for example. He addedt he last 5 verses of Revelation from the vulgate because he did not have a Greek Text to pull from. These hardly seem like inspired decisions.

    When Christ quotes Psalm 8:2 in Matt 21:16, he quotes from an unknown Hebrew manuscript, as none of them preserve that reading. Granted, the Septuagint keeps the rendering so we might not be dealing with a "phantom manuscript" but if we prefer the Septuagint rendering it does show that the accurate Hebrew rendering is now missing.

    And this is essentially the crux of your position, which I simply cannot comprehend. The Vulgate translated from the best manuscripts in the 5th century? Not good enough. The Septuagint translated from the best Hebrew manuscripts in the 2 century BC to 1 century AD? Also not good enough. Critical editions in the 19th and 20th centuries? Also not good enough.

    Honestly what makes the TR really stand out? It's reliance on an arbitrary set of manuscripts in the 16th century, not all of which agreed on each other on every point, is simply textual criticism with a smaller amount of manuscripts to go by. It simply is not a sensible position. Erasamus was a Catholic for Pete's Sake. It is not like he was a prophet correctly discerning which manuscripts were truly Scripture and which weren't.

    You have had to come across passages in the OT in your translation that read much differently than how they are cited in the NT. Just look at Matt 21:16 and Psalm 8:2, we have been working with that example in these posts we can stick with it.

    THe last 5 verses of Revelation in the Eastern Church are different in the Greek than yours. Now, how do you decide which you like better?

    So the reformers of the 16th and 17th century, who themselves made several different translations from the TR, then mean the rest of us must be wedded to the TR? Even when these reformers used the Masoretic Text which was clearly in error at certain points?

    I think you are putting a lot of words in my mouth pertaining to "individualism." I already said, not a single manuscript in 600,000 contradicts other manuscripts in any part of doctrine. If we find one 5 years from now that does, even if it is older, we may reject it because of its obvious disagreement with the unanimous voice of the the church. However, my view of the Scripture does not stand and fall with the use of a plural versus a singular, or an additional verse or story, or it being excised, when it does not affect doctrine.

    Further, tell me which translation you prefer. Because, I can definitely prove from your own translation, whatever it is, that your translation internally is inconsistent. This is a very serious charge. But, all I need to do is show how verses like Is 64:4 and 1 Cor 2:9, Matt 21:16 and Ps 8:2, and others don't match up. Then, when we see that they do match up in the Septuagint, it kind of lays waste to the Reformers having "settled" the matter which manuscripts really are the Scripture.
     
  4. JM

    JM pre·des·ti·nar·i·an Supporter

    +1,678
    Canada
    Protestant
    Married
    CA-Others
    It all boils down to presuppositions as well as evidence and that will take a lot more time to discuss...time which I just don't want to spend on the subject. Thanks for the exchange brother.

    Peace
     
  5. abacabb3

    abacabb3 Newbie

    +274
    Christian
    Married
    I do request you look at NT renderings of the OT in modern translations such at Matt 21:16 and Ps 8:2. I have been looking for any intellectually defensible reason for the translation-practice to choose the masoretic text over the septuagint in the OT in these passages, even when the Spetuagint agrees with the NT.

    Let me know if you can.
     
  6. JM

    JM pre·des·ti·nar·i·an Supporter

    +1,678
    Canada
    Protestant
    Married
    CA-Others
    Having come to an understanding of the NT and it's transmission, first in the Eastern Orthodox church, latter in the confessional tradition of the Reformed church I'm sure I have an answer for that question on my desktop at home but I can't claim to be convinced by it.

    When I first came to Christ I was attending an Anglican parish, visited with the Roman Catholics for a while but eventually stay for some time in a Greek Orthodox church until my Augustinianism eventually moved me out. I had always been a "Calvinist" but confused over where to go from there. It was during my time in the Greek church that I learned that the LXX and the MT were the traditional mss for the Bible. When I attended Bible studies at St. Nektarios one of the ladies used the NIV and the protopsaltes (aka cantor) who had studied to be an Orthodox priest would consistently say the TR was better and go on to cite the church fathers who quoted the now doubted passages. This stayed with me over the years and found the same arguements expressed again on the PuritanBoard, in the work of Dr. Edward Hills (Reformed) and others.

    Jerusalem Blade’s Posts | Feileadh Mor

    I'll look into my files when I get home from work today and see if I still have the paper on why the Masoretic is used and not the LXX.

    Yours in the Lord,



    jm
     
  7. abacabb3

    abacabb3 Newbie

    +274
    Christian
    Married
    For what it is worth, from my discussions with the Greek Orthodox, they prefer the LXX for the OT. So, I'd be interested to see what you have.

    I suppose, my overall point is, if we know the LXX to be preferable to the MT at any point or reference at all, it reflects that even still we don't have translated into English a perfect rendering of the Scripture.
     
  8. JM

    JM pre·des·ti·nar·i·an Supporter

    +1,678
    Canada
    Protestant
    Married
    CA-Others
    Yes, the Patriarch of Constantinople around 1900 made the LXX and a Greek edition similar to the TR their official Bible. The Patriarch if "first among equals" but most Orthodox will follow their example. Russia tends to view itself as "the Third Rome" so they may take longer coming around.

    UFN is on tonight. A guy from my town will be fighting on the card, can't miss it. This is what I found with a little reading.
    Although the existing copies of the Masoretic Text date back only to the tenth century, two other important textual evidences bolster the confidence of textual critics that it is accurate. The first is the successive discoveries of manuscripts at Qumran by the Dead Sea since 1947. These revealed portions of manuscripts several centuries older than any previously known. The second is the comparison of the Masoretic text to the Greek translation called the Septuagint (or LXX), which was written around 200-150 B.C. The oldest existing manuscripts date back to the fourth century A.D. Both the Septuagint and the Dead Sea Scrolls reveal an amazing consistency with the Masoretic Text, assuring us that God was indeed divinely and sovereignly protecting His Word through thousands of years of copying and translating.
    Here is an Eastern Orthodox view. Keep in mind the LXX is the standard so only the LXX will do. I get it. I can understand how they come to this conclusion and admit I'm simplistic to it. It was and remains the ecclesiastical text just as the TR has been ours.

    Masoretic Text vs. Original Hebrew | The Orthodox Life

    Yours in the Lord,

    jm


     
  9. abacabb3

    abacabb3 Newbie

    +274
    Christian
    Married
    I did some reading up on the LXX and it appears that it not only has better agreement with the OT quoted in the NT, but also matches better with the dead sea scrolls than the MT.

    So, even if the TR just so happens to be the best edition (or perfect one) of the NT, it appears to me to be an absolute certainty that the Reformers worked with an inferior OT.
     
  10. JM

    JM pre·des·ti·nar·i·an Supporter

    +1,678
    Canada
    Protestant
    Married
    CA-Others
    Here's a good quote:

    "Sometimes the NT writers quoted. Sometimes the paraphrased. Sometimes they used the MT, and sometimes they used the LXX. I do not believe the LXX is inspired. However, as any translation is an interpretation, sometimes it seems the NT writers regarded the LXX interpretation as the correct one, and so used it. Other times, perhaps, they did not see a substantial difference (touching their point in the context), and since they were writing in Greek, freely used the Greek translation.

    You should understand, however, that there really is no such thing as the LXX. Simply peruse the first chapters of Swete or Jellicoe or any other Septuagint introduction and you'll see that the text critical situation of the LXX is a mess. Add to that the whole issue of Daniel and Theodotian and you'll see that the MT isn't a super clean situation either.

    I don't think there is any question that the temple would have been using the Hebrew. The Masoretes clearly demonstrate that the vocalic tradition they preserved was remarkably faithful and precise. So, with few exceptions, I think Jesus would have been dealing with essentially the MT.

    But the NT authors use the 'LXX' frequently. But the LXX they use may differ from the one we have today. Origen's well intentioned fiasco has makes knowing what the text they had before them looked like very difficult.

    Again, I'm not inviting a discussion of preservation, etc. I'm just offering my two cents. If you'd like more specific information about the textual situation of the LXX (or the MT) let me know. Clark Brooking, Pastor of Living Hope Presbyterian OPC"
     
  11. JM

    JM pre·des·ti·nar·i·an Supporter

    +1,678
    Canada
    Protestant
    Married
    CA-Others
    Another goody from Rev. Winzer on the PuritanBoard:

    "...vague term which he calls "LXX" without telling us where it is to be found. I think he knows he is going to have a very difficult task in showing us where it is to be found for the simple reason that this so-called universal agreement of scholars actually concurs in saying there was no such thing as the "LXX" at the time of Christ. What we actually have are various oral and written traditions which scholars now accept as the "LXX." Flowing from that, there are numerous Christian adoptions of the "LXX." There is no single literary achievement known as the Greek translation of the Old Testament which is known to have existed and been widely used at the time of Christ."

    My motherboard on my desktop is fried! I'm looking at buying Alienware and if that happens...I'll be online a lot more. :)

    Yours in the Lord,

    jm
     
  12. abacabb3

    abacabb3 Newbie

    +274
    Christian
    Married
    I think we are ignoring the 800 lb gorilla in the room. If what the TR quotes in the NT differs from what is said in the OT, either the TR is wrong or the manuscript used in the OT is wrong. You cannot have it both ways.
     
  13. JM

    JM pre·des·ti·nar·i·an Supporter

    +1,678
    Canada
    Protestant
    Married
    CA-Others
    No, I’m not ignoring your assertion but I cannot concede this to be a simple “either or dilemma.” I haven’t explored the issue concerning OT mss enough to make a conclusion and it would be a sign of immaturity to jump to conclusions based on a few passages or posts found on the internet. I have a very high view of Protestant ecclesiology, so before I go and reject what the church has said or taught for about 450 years, I must take a more measured approach and draw a conclusion only after much reading and study. The WCF, the LBC and catechisms all cite, use and conclude the Masoretic Text was the standard for the OT. I cannot ignore that witness. It wouldn't be prudent or wise.

    I do want to thank you for asking the difficult questions. It has sparked my interest in the subject once again.

    Yours in the Lord,

    jm
     
  14. abacabb3

    abacabb3 Newbie

    +274
    Christian
    Married
    You might want to be careful with your claims, as you began the thread essentially saying without a view that exalts the TR and the Masoretic Text, which were used by the reformers, what we otherwise have would not be the word of God. However, just one single example which shows the TR and MT do not match (and believe me there are not a little but a lot) pretty much definitively disproves your position.

    So, you at least have to concede that the TR or MT is not 100% inferrant as a word-for-word presentation of what the original autographs said. To not admit this, is to me, is either incredibly ignorant at best or highly dishonest at worst. But, I will drop the matter as I am willing to be convinced the other way (it is not that I really love any manuscripts more than another). However, I do not see a real solid effort on your part other than an argumentum ad populum.

    I appreciate your contribution on this board and I will bow out now.
     
  15. JM

    JM pre·des·ti·nar·i·an Supporter

    +1,678
    Canada
    Protestant
    Married
    CA-Others


    Thank God I don’t have to! The canon is settled. It’s not an issue for me. I did take a look at a translation of the MT and the TR. The MT is in black the TR in red. It looks to be the same to me.

    17 And the Spirit and the bride say, "Come!" And let him who hears say, "Come!" And let him who thirsts come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.

    17 And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.

    18 I testify to everyone hearing the words of the prophecy of this book: If anyone adds to them, may God add to him the plagues having been written in this book.

    18 For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book:

    19 And if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, may God take away his part from the tree of Life, and from the holy city, and from the things having been written in this book.

    19 And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.

    20 He who testifies to these things says, "Yes, I am coming quickly." Amen. Yes, come, Lord Jesus!

    20 He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus.

    21 The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with all the saints. Amen.

    21 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.

    I'll try to respond as time allows. This one popped out at me so I answered it.

    Yours in the Lord,

    jm



     
  16. abacabb3

    abacabb3 Newbie

    +274
    Christian
    Married
    Ran across the following in reading Augustine's On Perseverance of the Saints:

    Apparently, what Augustine refers to is a difference in verbage between the Old Latin translation that Cyprian approved of and the Greek works then extant, that Augustine implies are more accurate.
     
Loading...