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Pilgrim
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#40727 - Fri Nov 14, 2008 12:19 PM New Testament Texts  
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john Offline
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Recently I have started to study a little Greek with the intent of studying the New Testament in Greek. One of the issues I have encountered concerns the large number of manuscripts. I don't understand all the issues very well, but it seems there are two major lines of manuscripts: the received (majority) text and the critical text. The received text seems to come mostly from the Byzantine line of manuscripts and the critical text mostly from the Alexandrine line of texts . The KJV/NKJV and I suppose the Geneva Bible were mainly translated from the received text, but most modern versions (NASB,ESV,NIV,etc.) of the Bible seem to be translated from the critical text. I have found a number of web pages that say the critical text has many alterations that have been influenced by gnosticism. For example,

http://www.studytoanswer.net/bibleversions/gnostic.html

A specific example listed was

Quote

John 1:18

Textus Receptus - Qeon oudeiV ewrake pwpote. o monogenhV uioV, o wn eiV ton kolpon tou patroV, ekeinoV exhghsato.

(No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him. - KJV)

NA 21 - Qeon oudeiV ewraken pwpote. monogenhV qeoV o wn eiV ton kolpon tou patroV, ekeinoV exhghsato.

(No one has ever seen God, but God the One and Only, who is at the Father's side, has made him known. - NIV)


The NASB gives "No one has seen God at any time; the only begotten God who is in the bosom of the Father, He has explained Him. "

Does any one have any thoughts concerning this issue?

Thanks,
John

#40728 - Fri Nov 14, 2008 12:47 PM Re: New Testament Texts [Re: john]  
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CovenantInBlood Offline
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Hi John,

There are some helpful articles on the subject of the Greek manuscripts and textual criticism here. On the particular passage, John 1:18, see this.


Kyle

I tell you, this man went down to his house justified.
#40729 - Fri Nov 14, 2008 3:31 PM Re: New Testament Texts [Re: john]  
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Pilgrim Offline
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Pilgrim  Offline

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John,

First, one must be very careful to recognize the long-standing "battle" that has existed for ages over which manuscript "group", let's call it, is the "real deal"; Textus Receptus vs. Majority Text. The latter group is decidedly older (earlier) and better attested to vs. the former which is much later. The former is said to have been "preserved of God" and the latter admittedly older but fraught with scribal errors, etc. And so it goes.

Second, there is the matter of translation method; formal equivalence vs. dynamic equivalence. The former is what the historic Church has relied upon and the latter is a very recent method which, IMHO, to varying degrees mitigates against the doctrine of the divine verbal plenary inspiration of the Bible.

It is this second subject which the believer should concern himself/herself with and not the first. Textual Criticism is not something the average student of the Bible should fret over. In fact, unless one understands the true intent of that discipline it can prove very detrimental, i.e., shake one's faith in the divine authorship and reliability of the Bible itself rather than a valuable aid to the serious student. You will find that the difference between those translations which use the formal equivalence method of translation is minimal compared to those using the dynamic equivalence method.

My advice, unless you are willing to read through at least one or two GOOD books (conservative authors) on the science of biblical textual criticism, ignore any reference to variances in manuscripts as you are studying. <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />

In His grace,


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simul iustus et peccator

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#40730 - Wed Nov 19, 2008 8:28 AM Re: New Testament Texts [Re: CovenantInBlood]  
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john Offline
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Quote
CovenantInBlood said:
Hi John,

There are some helpful articles on the subject of the Greek manuscripts and textual criticism here. On the particular passage, John 1:18, see this.


Thanks for the links. Very interesting.

John

#40731 - Wed Nov 19, 2008 8:35 AM Re: New Testament Texts [Re: Pilgrim]  
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john Offline
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Quote
Pilgrim said:
John,

First, one must be very careful to recognize the long-standing "battle" that has existed for ages over which manuscript "group", let's call it, is the "real deal"; Textus Receptus vs. Majority Text. The latter group is decidedly older (earlier) and better attested to vs. the former which is much later. The former is said to have been "preserved of God" and the latter admittedly older but fraught with scribal errors, etc. And so it goes.

Second, there is the matter of translation method; formal equivalence vs. dynamic equivalence. The former is what the historic Church has relied upon and the latter is a very recent method which, IMHO, to varying degrees mitigates against the doctrine of the divine verbal plenary inspiration of the Bible.

It is this second subject which the believer should concern himself/herself with and not the first. Textual Criticism is not something the average student of the Bible should fret over. In fact, unless one understands the true intent of that discipline it can prove very detrimental, i.e., shake one's faith in the divine authorship and reliability of the Bible itself rather than a valuable aid to the serious student. You will find that the difference between those translations which use the formal equivalence method of translation is minimal compared to those using the dynamic equivalence method.

My advice, unless you are willing to read through at least one or two GOOD books (conservative authors) on the science of biblical textual criticism, ignore any reference to variances in manuscripts as you are studying. <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />

In His grace,


Pilgrim,

Thanks for the advice.

I don't know whether I will have time to read any good books on textual criticism, but are there any good ones that you recommend? I don't have a great interest in textual criticism, but I do want to be aware of the major issues. Also, do you recommend any particular Greek New Testament; there are quite a number available.

Just a few notes.

1. I was not referring to formal vs. dynamic equivalence translation methods. I agree that formal equivalence translation is superior to dynamic equivalence translation whether no matter which Greek text you are using.

2. Is not the real "battle" between the Textus Receptus / Majority Text vs. the Critical Text? I was under the impression that, although the Received Text and Majority Text are not the same, they are much more similar to each other than to the Critical Text.

John

#40732 - Wed Nov 19, 2008 1:22 PM Re: New Testament Texts [Re: john]  
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Pilgrim Offline
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Pilgrim  Offline

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Quote
john wrote:
1. I was not referring to formal vs. dynamic equivalence translation methods. I agree that formal equivalence translation is superior to dynamic equivalence translation whether no matter which Greek text you are using.

I have both; a) Textus Receptus and b) Nestle-Aland Greek Text from the United Bible Societies. The latter is probably most used in education institutions. I use it most often as well.

Quote
john asked:
2. Is not the real "battle" between the Textus Receptus / Majority Text vs. the Critical Text? I was under the impression that, although the Received Text and Majority Text are not the same, they are much more similar to each other than to the Critical Text.

Yes to both. A good supplement to have on hand is Bruce Metzger's A Textual Commentary on the Greek New Testament, also published by the United Bible Societies.

And, if you are going to venture out to study Koine Greek, although there are quite a number of choices to choose from in regard to Greek grammar texts, I'm partial to Gresham Machen's New Testament Greek for Beginners. That would go a long way toward learning NT Greek. <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />


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simul iustus et peccator

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