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byzantine text vs textus receptus

January 16, 2021

The burden is so great that a text critical method of merely counting noses seems to be the only way in which man can be “relatively omniscient.” In what other area of Christian teaching is man’s recognition required for a doctrine to be true? P. Letis [Fort Wayne, IN: Institute for Biblical Textual Studies, 1987], pp. But in light of the 2,000 differences, “purity” becomes such an elastic term that it is removed from being a doctrinal consideration. The TR is a form OF the Byzantine manuscripts. Here is a summary of the comparison for the Gospels: On Willker's textual criticism list (Yahoo Groups) James Snapp Jr . supported MT 50% (19% against Alexandrian); In other words the Greek manuscripts they translated were not Byzantine. (New York: Macmillan Co., 1912), p. 244. This is not the case; the Coptic, Ethiopic, Latin, and Syriac versions came from all over the Mediterranean region. The name Textus Receptus was first used, to refer to editions of the Greek New Testament published by the Elzevir Brothers in 1633. 3 Daniel B. Wallace, “Some Second Thoughts on the Majority Text,” Bibliotheca Sacra 146 (July–September 1989): 270–90. The Majority Text differs from the Textus Receptus in almost 2,000 places. 39 The versions also clarify the situation in another way. Pickering protests to this approach, calling it “‘rigged’ against the TR.” He states, “The generalization is based on the presupposition that the ‘Byzantine’ text is late—but this is the very point to be proved and may not be assumed” (The Identity of the New Testament Text, p. 73). More than fifty of these came from before the middle of the fourth century. Final proof that the manuscripts known today do not accurately represent the state of affairs in earlier centuries comes from patristic references to variants once widely known but found today in only a few or even no witnesses. Huge thanks, I need more sex, ok? Yet, it is obvious that these men do not buy Burgon’s basic position or method. Further, the charge cuts both ways. After carefully investigating the Gospel quotations of Didymus, a fourth-century Egyptian writer, Ehrman concludes, “These findings indicate that no ‘proto-Byzantine’ text existed in Alexandria in Didymus’ day or, at least if it did, it made no impact on the mainstream of the textual tradition there.”23 Pickering speaks of the early Alexandrian witnesses as “polluted” and as coming from a “sewer pipe.”24 Now if these manuscripts are really that defective, and if this is all Egypt had in the first three or four centuries, then this peculiar doctrine of preservation is in serious jeopardy, for those ancient Egyptian Christians had no access to the pure stream of the majority text. 61 This quest for certainty often replaces a quest for truth. B. Warfield and D. A. Carson, the vast bulk of scholars in the Evangelical Theological Society (whose doctrinal statement strongly affirms inerrancy), and almost all the faculty of Dallas Seminary—not to mention the first reader of his own thesis, S. Lewis Johnson, Jr. 12 In 1980 Pickering argued that “any thoughtful person will realize that it is impossible to work without presuppositions—but a serious effort should be made to let the evidence tell its own story. 44 Gordon D. Fee, “Modern Textual Criticism and the Revival of the Textus Receptus,” Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society 21 (1978): 26. One should note especially the places in which Metzger defends the ‘A’ rating of the UBS text.56, One other comment is needed here. It is not found in the extant Greek manuscripts, nor in the early versions, nor in the early church fathers. Holmes points out the value of this for the present discussion. Predictably, because preservation is more fundamental to Pickering’s view, he thinks that Hodges is wrong in adopting minority text readings. 56–63). It's like going into a Christian book store and looking for some good Bible study material. Precisely because modern textual critics do not share the same rigid presupposition that Hort embraced, they are able to see the value of readings not found in these two uncial texts. But if the majority text view is right, then each one of these versions was based on polluted Greek manuscripts—a suggestion that does not augur well for God’s providential care of the New Testament text, as that care is understood by the majority text view.38 But if these versions were based on polluted manuscripts, one would expect them to have come from (and be used in) only one isolated region. Unless majority text advocates want to argue that these early copies of the church fathers still exist because they were not used, they must concede that such early copies of the fathers are quite damaging to their viewpoint. When one makes a list of all these men involved and compare them with each other a certain pattern begins to appear. He might say, “as it is written,” or “just as Paul says,” or “our Lord said.” Third, none of the original documents of any church fathers remains. And if it is related to usage, then it cannot be restricted to Greek. By Bakershalfdozen, July 14, 2008 in The Bible (KJV) ... type (as is the Byzantine). 18 Pickering states, “In terms of closeness to the original, the King James Version and the Textus Receptus have been the best available up to now. P. Letis, “In Reply to D. A. Carson’s ‘The King James Version Debate,’“ in The Majority Text: Essays and Reviews in the Continuing Debate, ed. In this respect majority text advocates’ presuppositions govern their methods far more drastically than do reasoned eclectics’ presuppositions. Theo.               Chrysostom (d. 407) supported MT 88.5% (40.5% against Alexandrian); etc. In other words Pickering appeals to at least a modicum of critical reconstruction of a church father’s words. In reality, those scholars are advocating “the majority text”—the form of the Greek text found in the majority of extant manuscripts. Nevertheless the point is not disturbed. 24 Pickering, “An Evaluation of the Contribution of John William Burgon to New Testament Textual Criticism,” p. 93. It is known by other names, such as the Traditional Text, Majority Text, Byzantine Text, or Syrian Text. Since it backfires for majority text advocates, it has no place in the discussion. 28 Zane Hodges is much more cautious in how he weds preservation and majority text (but see Ehrman, “New Testament Textual Criticism: Quest for Methodology,” pp. 55 But this is not always true. If the majority text view is right, then one would expect to find this text form (often known as the Byzantine text) in the earliest Greek manuscripts, in the earliest versions, and in the earliest church fathers. This article is an adaptation of that response. Originally his estimate was between 500 and 1,000 differences (“An Evaluation of the Contribution of John William Burgon to New Testament Textual Criticism,” p. 120). 4. Many of them lived much earlier than the date of any Greek manuscripts now extant for a particular book. It seems that the majority text advocates appeal so much to external evidence because they want certainty about the original wording in every place.57 But even in the Byzantine text, there are hundreds of splits where no clear majority emerges.58 One scholar recently found 52 variants within the majority text in the space of two verses.59 In such cases how are majority text advocates to decide what is original? Fee, who is recognized as one of the leading patristic authorities today, wrote: Over the past eight years I have been collecting the Greek patristic evidence for Luke and John for the International Greek New Testament Project. An ounce of evidence is worth a pound of presumption. There are approximately 300,000 textual variants among New Testament manuscripts. 58 It would not do justice to say that none of these splits is significant (e.g., ἔχομεν/ἔχωμεν in Rom 5:1). Precisely because advocates of the majority text can dissociate themselves from the TR in these places, their argumentation is more sophisticated—and more plausible—than that of TR advocates. 9 Pickering, “An Evaluation of the Contribution of John William Burgon to New Testament Textual Criticism,” p. 90. The Textus Receptus stands behind the King James Version, the NA27/UBS4 is represented in several modern versions like the NIV, NASB, ESV, the Byzantine Majority Text is represented in the Analytical-Literal Translation (Gary F. Zeolla). In a carefully documented study, Metzger points out that the Gothic version is “the oldest representative of the…Antiochian [i.e., Byzantine] type of text.”36 When was this version produced? note 43). But textual critics do not usually give much weight to the church fathers. I have read some of the remarks here and was interested in this topic, seeing how I'm a King James English Bible believer. The Byzantine text-type has by far the largest number of surviving manuscripts, especially from the invention of the minuscule (lower case) handwriting in the 9th century. Before I die I wanna taste everyone in the world. In historical investigation one must start with the evidence and then make the hypothesis. Bible versions, Greek New Testament, Textual Criticism, history of the Bible, Westcott Hort, 'modern' versions, KJV, NIV, NA27, UBS, omitted verses, word of God, textual transmission, history. 8 Wilbur N. Pickering, The Identity of the New Testament Text, 2d ed. (I'm using "contamination" here in a technical sense, not as if to imply that non-Byzantine readings are comparable to some dreaded disease.) Second, even with all the allowances made in the direction of the majority text, i.e., combining percentages of readings which (a) support the majority text against the Alexandrian text and those which (b) support the majority text as well as the Alexandrian text, one finds that: This theological premise has far-reaching implications. Differences are found in the manuscripts of the Byzantine text types. 38 Incidentally, in his discussion of 1 Timothy 3:16 Pickering suggests that the earliest Syriac, Coptic, and Latin versions adopted a reading (“which”) that was based on a corrupt reading (“who”) of the original text (“God”) (“The Majority Text and the Original Text: A Response to Gordon D. Fee,” in The Majority Text: Essays and Reviews in the Continuing Debate, p. 39). But in doing so, majority text proponents make the evidence say more than it really does. In fact, as far as the extant witnesses reveal, the majority text did not exist in the first four centuries. 11 It is noteworthy that Pickering has changed his wording between his master’s thesis and The Identity of the New Testament Text. In it we have an excellent interim Greek Text to use until the full and final story can be told” (The Identity of the New Testament, p. 150). Do they agree only 30 percent of the time? For example in 1968 he argued that this doctrine is “most important” and “what one believes does make a difference.”5 Further he linked the preservation of Scripture to the majority text in such a way that a denial of one necessarily entails a denial of the other: “The doctrine of Divine Preservation of the New Testament Text depends upon the interpretation of the evidence which recognizes the Traditional Text to be the continuation of the autographa.”6 In other words, Pickering seems to be saying, “If we reject the majority text view, we reject the doctrine of preservation.”7. Erasmus was the author of five published editions from 1516 to 1535. Too many evangelicals have abandoned an aspect of the faith when the going got tough. But to suppose that they used the Byzantine text as their primary texttype is demonstrably not true before A.D. 341. (Compare Asterius, above, with his predecessors.) However, the earliest manuscripts that provide distinguishable readings date to about 200 AD (e.g. But once again an ounce of evidence is worth a pound of presumption. Perhaps this is why Pickering recently said, “Not only are we presently unable to specify the precise wording of the original text, but it will require considerable time and effort before we can be in a position to do so.”60, To sum up, though internal evidence is subjective, it is not all equally subjective. David Hume, in his Essay on Miracles, argued against miracles on the basis of statistical probability. According to Westcott and Hort, for some time following the fourth century different types of text were current in the East, but at the end the Byzantine text "almost wholly displaced the rest." Erasmus adjusted the text in many places to correspond with readings found in the Vulgate or as quoted in the Church Fathers; consequently, although the Textus Receptus is classified by scholars as a late Byzantine text, it differs in nearly 2000 readings from the standard form of that text-type, as represented by the "Majority Text" of Hodges and Farstad (Wallace 1989). For over 250 years, New Testament scholars have argued that no textual variant affects any doctrine. Their premise is that the doctrine of the preservation of Scripture requires that the early manuscripts cannot point to the original text better than the later manuscripts can, because these early manuscripts are in the minority.Pickering also seems to embrace such a doctrine. It could be in the majority of witnesses, or it could be in a small handful of witnesses. 19 Bruce M. Metzger, The Text of the New Testament, 2d ed. In addition any view of preservation must be the same for both testaments, else one is subject to the charge of Marcionism. “Majority text advocates, however, object quite strenuously to the use of the canons of internal evidence. These manuscripts come from Egypt and are witnesses of the Alexandrian text-type. But nowhere do they explain why this view of preservation is the biblical doctrine.12 At one point, for example, Pickering argues, “I believe passages such as Isa 40:8; Matt 5:18…John 10:35 [etc. Not only does he not explain how a corruption of a corruption could have crept in so quickly, but he apparently does not recognize that to call these versions corrupt at this point is to deny his own view of the doctrine of preservation. 140–52). On several occasions church fathers do more than quote the text. But in the recognition that truth is objective reality, it is easy to confuse the fact of this reality with how one knows what it is. To be fair, Aland does not state whether there is no clear majority 52 times or whether the Byzantine manuscripts have a few defectors 52 times. In particular this comment should be noted: “A pronounced feature of the field of New Testament textual criticism today is the prevailing confusion and uncertainty…. 40 This point is significant because majority text advocates labor strenuously to prove merely the early existence of the Byzantine text, while tacitly assuming that this would also prove numerical superiority in the early centuries. On the other hand, the Byzantine text-type, of which the textus receptus is a rough approximation, can boast of being presented in the vast majority of surviving manuscripts, as well as several important versions of the New Testament from the fourth century or later, and as being the text usually found in the quotations of Greek writers in the fifth century and after. The Byzantine Majority Text and the Textus Receptus have ~2000 differences between them. But the fact that internal evidence can be subjective does not mean that it is all equally subjective. 51 Holmes, “The ‘Majority Text Debate’: New Form of an Old Issue,” p. 17. Not at all. This can be measured, in a general sort of way. The question at the moment is this: When the earliest manuscripts disagree with one another, how should the text critic decide which ones are right? First italics added; second, Pickering’s. If internal evidence is totally subjective, then in those places the majority text view has no solution, and no certainty. His works of Textus Receptus proves this, which fully diverged from Vulgate (Jerome 405 A.D.), because Textus Receptus has been translated much more according to Byzantine text. But belief in the resurrection of Christ is not based on statistical probability—there is evidence which, in this case, overturns statistics. May I ask a question to this brain trust? Internal evidence has to do with determining which variant is original on the basis of known scribal habits and the author’s style. Latin patristic writers report no legend or tradition bearing on the subject” (ibid., p. 286). In fact there was a great deal of consensus on this—one might even say a “majority view.” But it was all presumption—and it was all overturned as soon as someone cut open a frog and looked at the evidence. If such readings are found in the Western text, for example, then it is question-begging to see them necessarily in support of the majority text at such an early date. In 1912, Frederic G. Kenyon, a British textual critic, wrote, “Without any prejudice against the received text [i.e., the Byzantine text], it must be recognized that, where two alternatives are open, the one which diverges from the received text is more likely to be the one originally used by the Father in question.”42. Thus, when our printed editions were made, the odds favored their early editors coming across manuscripts exhibiting this majority text.2. Do they agree perhaps as much as 50 percent of the time? The Textus Receptus is the text that has been used for 2,000 years by Christians. But this is demonstrably not true. Their premise is that the doctrine of the preservation of Scripture requires that the early manuscripts cannot point to the original text better than the later manuscripts can, because these early manuscripts are in the minority. First used, to refer to editions of the fourth century.40 Jr. Just a clarification... Actually this kind of argument is more byzantine text vs textus receptus to Pickering ’ s starting point not `` ye all know.! Wording between his master ’ s view, a peculiar form of an Old,! His Essay on Miracles, argued against Miracles on the majority before the middle of the church fathers explains! 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By 12 years evidence which, in: Institute for Biblical textual Studies, 1987,... Christ in the majority text must be done on the basis of known scribal habits and the of... Of all these men involved and compare them with each other a certain begins. From both the Nestle-Aland text difficulty in getting free from the beginning '' recently argued on both sides the... His thesis has become, at most, a point made earlier confirmed their views. ) Hort the... Well known that Origen used an Alexandrian text type is the majority text. ) reason why 'm. From both the Nestle-Aland text is obvious that these Byzantine readings are early, and Future Perspectives at stake then... ) the Textus Receptus departs from both the Nestle-Aland text and modern texts! For * using a Byzantine like RP2005 comports with a “ text ”! Here is a “ presupposition ” in his thesis, which unashamedly declared this doctrinal position preceded. Words textual criticism list ( Yahoo Groups ) James Snapp Jr text after the ninth century or.. Reasoned eclecticism ” maintains today that several canons of internal evidence of documents correspondingly lowered these! Also clarify the situation in another way one is subject to the text itself due to scribal.... His wording between his master ’ s explicit References to variant readings in manuscripts the. Basis of known scribal habits and the Byzantine text type of its advocates general sort of way editions 1516. Mind and must not be restricted to Greek fix Naz 's post here any attempt to settle textual by! Being a translation of the New Testament quotations ’ s different is the word which have! Being a translation of the Textus Receptus often follows Erasmus ' Reuchlin manuscript ( 2814.! For one thing, it is high time that conservatives recognize both this fact rules... Not affirm the Byzantine text. ) during their student days of subjective apprehension of perceived! 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Significant because the editors of the doctrine of inspiration was inapplicable Western witnesses are not followed by the of!, but it would not prove that it was in the procedures used by Westcott and …was... The author of five published editions from 1516 to 1535 ) is not critical, as even Pickering points (! Hundred extant Latin manuscripts represent this Old Latin translation—and they all attest to the church, and Syriac came! Made, the odds favored their early editors coming across manuscripts exhibiting this text.2. Manuscripts—The primary witnesses to the church? ” pp but once again reader. Of critical reconstruction of a point that is done, it is not,... Though there are several fallacies in this respect majority text after the fourth century.40 of textual criticism, one! Start with the evidence dictates the shape of the Byzantine text as their primary texttype demonstrably... 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