(The papyri have simply confirmed their views.) Rather, he deliberately set out to construct a theory that would vindicate his preconceived animosity for the Received Text.”8 But has not Pickering done the same thing? The significance of these early versions is twofold:37 (1) None of the versions produced in the first three centuries was based on the Byzantine text. The Byzantine text type is the majority or received text. 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. This is also the text that agrees with more than 95% of the Bible Manuscripts in Koine (common) Greek. 26 Sometimes it is alleged that there is no ascension of Christ in the Western texts (e.g., Theo. 42 Frederic G. Kenyon, Handbook to the Textual Criticism of the New Testament, 2d ed. But “In the beginning was the Word” is a “reading.” The fact that it is found in John 1:1 in both the KJV and the NASB does not imply that the NASB in toto existed in 1611. For example in 196… 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. 56–63.) After the invention of the Guttenberg printing press in 1455, it would be this Byzantine text which would become the first printed edition by way of Desiderius Erasmus in 1516. But are the differences between the TR and the Byzantine Text really so great that remarkably different results will be obtained if one uses Byz, instead of the TR, or the TR instead of Byz, as a gauge of a MS' text's normality? 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. Indeed, several of the critiques made in that article of Hodges’s “stemmatic reconstruction” are voiced by other majority text advocates. Yet this is the kind of inference that majority text advocates try to make out of isolated Byzantine readings that existed before the fourth century, almost all of which are found in other, demonstrably early texttypes. Apparently to jettison the majority text would be a departure from orthodoxy for many of its advocates. Answer: The Textus Receptus (Latin for “Received Text”) is a Greek New Testament that provided the textual base for the vernacular translations of the Reformation Period. In this sweeping statement, he has condemned B. Actually this kind of argument is more befitting defenders of the Textus Receptus. 88–103; idem, “St. So the agreement is better than 99 percent. But once again an ounce of evidence is worth a pound of presumption. Epiphanius (d. 403) supported MT 74% (41% against Alexandrian); 15 Although Pickering provides no proof text for his view of preservation, he views it as the logical corollary to inspiration: “If the Scriptures have not been preserved then the doctrine of Inspiration is a purely academic matter with no relevance for us today. Consequently, it is certain that the original wording is found either in the text or in the apparatus. “Reasoned eclecticism” maintains today that several canons of internal evidence are “objectively verifiable,”54 or virtually so. For one thing, it agrees with the critical text 98 percent of the time. Second, assuming that the majority text is the original, then this pure form of text has become available only since 1982.18 The Textus Receptus differs from it in almost 2,000 places—and in fact has several readings that have “never been found in any known Greek manuscript,” and scores, perhaps hundreds, of readings that depend on only a handful of very late manuscripts.19 Many of these passages are theologically significant texts.20 Yet virtually no one had access to any other text from 1516 to 1881, a period of over 350 years. Well, between, , there are 115 differences in Mt., 82 differences in Mk., 97 differences in Luke, and 114 differences in Jn. Here is a good instance in which the evidence dictates the shape of the proposition, not vice versa. Clement of Alexandria (d. 215) supported MT 44% (15% against Alexandrian); This is true for any textual tradition. The Textus Receptus is the text that has been used for 2,000 years by Christians. The present writer does not think so. And Jerome, who produced the Latin Vulgate on the basis of the best Greek manuscripts, “deliberately sought to orientate the Latin more with the Alexandrian type of text” (Metzger, The Early Versions of the New Testament: Their Origin, Transmission and Limitations, p. 359). (I'm using "contamination" here in a technical sense, not as if to imply that non-Byzantine readings are comparable to some dreaded disease.) In textual criticism there are three categories of external evidence: the Greek manuscripts, the early translations into other languages, and the quotations of the New Testament found in the church fathers’ writings. But his thesis, which unashamedly declared this doctrinal position, preceded the book by 12 years. In fact majority text advocates often see the issue as so black and white that if even one majority text reading were proved false, their whole theory would collapse. Does this mean that the majority text is worthless? There is in fact some evidence that suggests that it was not until the ninth or tenth century that the Byzantine manuscripts really had high agreement with the Majority Text. But I'm pretty sure that the textual character of any MS could be identified confidently whether it was collated against NA25 or against NA27. Textual criticism is not involved in reinventing the original; it is involved in discarding the spurious, in burning the dross to get to the gold. “Some Second Thoughts on the Majority Text,” and “A Textual Variant in 1 Thessalonians 1:10: ᾿Εκ τῆς ᾿Οργῆς vs. ᾿Απὸ τῆς ᾿Οργῆς,” Bibliotheca Sacra 588 [October–December 1990]: 470–79). Early patristic writers are especially valuable in textual criticism because it can be determined when and where they lived. James: hhmmm...I'll see if I can fix Naz's post here. His particular view of preservation seems to have dictated for him that the majority text must be right. Since it backfires for majority text advocates, it has no place in the discussion. 43 Remarkably, Pickering has most recently argued on both sides of the issue. It is not a text type of its own. All of these are isolated “readings.” Even with all these isolated readings that existed in 1611, it is not true that the NASB existed in 1611.) For example, of 522 complete or nearly complete manuscripts of the General Epistles collated by the Institute for New Testament Textual Research in Mü… Since that time almost 100 have been discovered. The rationale may be somewhat complex, but the method is quite simple: count “noses.”. Hodges and Farstad give a second principle: “(2) Final decisions about readings ought to be made on the basis of a reconstruction of their history in the manuscript tradition” (p. xii). Yet this was only a small corner of the world after the fourth century. The primary premise in the majority text view is this: “Any reading overwhelmingly attested by the manuscript tradition is more likely to be original than its rival(s).”30 In other words when the majority of manuscripts agree, that is the original.31 Majority text advocates have turned this presumption into a statistical probability.32 But in historical investigation, statistical probability is almost always worthless. Six verses that were not witnessed in any of these sources, he back-translate… In all of this material I have found one invariable: a good critical edition of a father’s text, or the discovery of early MSS, always moves the father’s text of the NT away from the TR and closer to the text of our modern critical editions.44, In other words when a critical study is made of a church father’s text or when early copies of a church father’s writings are discovered, the majority text is found wanting. Textus Receptus. These are actually pretty good numbers, and I think it makes the case *FOR* using a Byzantine like RP2005. Happy New Year: Past, Present, and Future Perspectives. It is extremely common for King James Only advocates to conflate the “Majority Text” (M-Text) with the “Textus Receptus” (TR), or the tradition of printed Greek texts behind the King James Version. "The Textus … First italics added; second, Pickering’s. The King James Version is a “text,” as is the New American Standard Bible. One other point should be mentioned here: Carson’s statement that Christian doctrines are not jeopardized by textual variants is based on the manuscript evidence, not on the doctrine of preservation. Methodius (280?) My guess is he quoted a secondary (edited) copy of your post somehow...Unorthodox Faith: Yes, I hope no one thinks the TR is a text-type, when it is really a later printed edition of a pretty good (fortunate) collation of the Byzantine text-type.James: Are any of the 366 differences significant, in terms of translation? 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. A characteristic of this text type was the inclusion of additional words in the text itself due to scribal notes. But this is demonstrably not true. At the end of the fourth century. His Greek Grammar Beyond the Basics: An Exegetical Syntax of the New Testament ... More. But in doing so, majority text proponents make the evidence say more than it really does. Do they agree only 30 percent of the time? 58 It would not do justice to say that none of these splits is significant (e.g., ἔχομεν/ἔχωμεν in Rom 5:1). Further, if one assumes careful copying by Byzantine scribes (as majority text advocates do), then an alteration of a church father’s text away from the majority text could not be due to carelessness. The editions of the . Gordon Fee speaks of Pickering’s “neglect of literally scores of scholarly studies that contravene his assertions,” and states, “The overlooked bibliography here is so large that it can hardly be given in a footnote. And where they are, the majority text (as well as the Western text) almost always has an inferior reading, while the Alexandrian manuscripts almost always have a superior reading.55, One may consult, for example, Metzger’s A Textual Commentary on the Greek New Testament to see some of the rationale for accepting one reading over another. The present author writes from the perspective of “reasoned eclecticism,” the text critical theory that stands behind almost all modern versions of the New Testament (the New King James Version excepted). 49 Michael W. Holmes, “The ‘Majority Text Debate’: New Form of an Old Issue,” Themelios 8:2 (1983): 17. In these instances the Textus Receptus often follows Erasmus' Reuchlin manuscript (2814). 46 A few comments should be made here about Aland’s recent study in Trinity Journal, since that study seems to counter this statement (cf. Second, he rarely tells which book he is quoting from. Dean Burgon, one of the main supporters of the Textus Receptus, declared that the Textus Receptus needs correction. But in light of the 2,000 differences, “purity” becomes such an elastic term that it is removed from being a doctrinal consideration. 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. The Andreas text is recognised as related to the Byzantine text in Revelation; but most textual critics nevertheless consider it to be a distinct text-type. 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. 86–91. differ from each other as well. 32 The Identity of the New Testament Text, “Appendix C: The Implications of Statistical Probability for the History of the Text,” pp. (For rebuttal of so early a date, see ibid., pp. 7 More recently, Pickering has linked inspiration and preservation so closely that he argued that a denial of one was the denial of the other: “Are we to say that God was unable to protect the text of Mark or that He just couldn’t be bothered? From Europe to the Near East, the Textus Receptus was derived from 95% of the Bible manuscripts that are referred to in common as the Majority Text, Byzantine Text, Antiochan Text, Authorized Version, etc. In his rebuttal of Kurt Aland’s “The Text of the Church?” (Trinity Journal 8 : 131–44), where Aland gives substantial evidence that the early fathers did not use the majority text, Pickering says, “Something that Aland does not explain, but that absolutely demands attention, is the extent to which these early Fathers apparently cited neither the Egyptian nor the Majority texts—about half the time. It was a printed text, not a hand-copied manuscript, created in the 15th century to fill the need for a … Not at all. In this translation, instead of rendering Cyril’s quotations from Scripture, Rabbula inserted the wording of the current Syriac version—a method which more than one author followed in translating from Greek into Syriac” (ibid., p. 58). 159–69. -- 408 in all. As Hodges points out: The reason for this resemblance, despite the uncritical way in which the TR was compiled, is easy to explain. The Textus Receptus departs from both the Nestle-Aland Text and the Byzantine Majority Text considerably in the Book of Revelation. God has preserved the text of the New Testament…the Traditional Text is in the fullest sense of the term, just that.9, In other words, according to Pickering, it seems that the Christian’s presupposition is that the majority text is the original text. But that is not what is found. Nevertheless the point is not disturbed. 30 The Greek New Testament according to the Majority Text, p. xi. 285–93. Why? In his work in stemmatics, Hodges has actually demonstrated that the majority text is a minority text in several places (see Wallace, “Some Second Thoughts on the Majority Text,” pp. Pickering does not accept this second principle as valid and consequently parts company with Hodges at this point. But it would be a gross misrepresentation of the facts to say that all these witnesses of the early period agree with each other all the time. However, the earliest manuscripts that provide distinguishable readings date to about 200 AD (e.g. 51 Holmes, “The ‘Majority Text Debate’: New Form of an Old Issue,” p. 17. The Byzantine Text-Type & New Testament Textual Criticism by Harry A. Sturz, p.13 It is not legitimate to declare a priori what the situation must be, on the basis of one’s presuppositions” (The Identity of the New Testament Text, p. 153). For over 250 years, New Testament scholars have argued that no textual variant affects any doctrine. 45 For example, concerning Origen’s commentary on John, Fee says that “in citations where we have the highest level of certainty, Origen’s text is 100 per cent Egyptian” (“Origen’s Text of the New Testament and the Text of Egypt,” New Testament Studies 28 : 355). 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. He adds, “At the same time not a few Western readings are embedded in this Antiochian base, many of which agree with Old Latin witnesses.”. Here is a summary of the comparison for the Gospels: On Willker's textual criticism list (Yahoo Groups) James Snapp Jr . 11 It is noteworthy that Pickering has changed his wording between his master’s thesis and The Identity of the New Testament Text. In addition any view of preservation must be the same for both testaments, else one is subject to the charge of Marcionism. Hort held the opposite (no distinctive Byzantine reading is original), and majority text advocates continue to write in a triumphant manner when they can prove Hort wrong on this point, usually assuming that reasoned eclecticism is thereby falsified. Asterius (d. 341) supported MT 90% (50% against Alexandrian); 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. Common ) Greek put forth as to which group I will side with ( ibid., 32. 800-Year leap of faith Carson has perhaps mildly overstated the case * for * a! 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