textus receptus vs critical text

It shouldn’t come as a surprise, but we don’t have the original documents that Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Paul, and other New Testament writers wrote. The more difficult reading should be preferred. Daniel B. Wallace says, “Revelation was copied less often than any other book of the NT, and yet Irenaeus admits that it was already corrupted — within just a few decades of the writing of the Apocalypse”. (Even though it snowed last night and she wouldn’t be caught dead outside our apartment in her pajamas)  I mean, it’s possible…  Right? That’s an average of 0.81 variants per verse between Vaticanus and Sinaiticus. The parallels to the NT transmissional situation are remarkably similar, since the Homeric texts exist in three forms: one shorter, one longer, and one in-between. When two copies disagree with each other, you have a variant in the text between two documents: this is (unsurprisingly) called a “Textual Variant”. Spoiler Alert: since learning some Greek, I recommend the NKJV and NASB depending on whether you prefer the Critical Text vs. the Textus Receptus and Majority Text. Thread starter Frosty; Start date Jan 30, 2012; Status Not open for further replies. Now, this argument can be used both for and against the Byzantine Text type. That makes sense, or at least more sense than applying it to the Bible. Or at least, He would preserve a true version for His faithful followers. 10 For this cause the woman ought to have authority over her own head, because of the angels. He knew these sacred springs were not muddied with human fancies.” – Thomas Watson (from “A Body of Divinity“). First, let’s look at a passage that will become important to understanding these two verses. Remember, their #1 rule was “earlier is better”. Again, this is one of the longest articles on this website, but it’s so long because the topic is complex and our treatment of it fairly complete. I think you are grossly mistaken about the WEB’s translation of 1 Cor 11:10. The primary Greek source for the King James Version was the 1598 version of Theodore Beza’s Greek New Testament. ), Further, this method of disproving the Majority Text makes an incorrect assumption: that errors are tenacious, i.e. I say “intentionally” because in at least one place, there’s no other reason to translate the way they did other than a desire to change the text. The following list contains texts where the Majority Text is in agreement with the Textus Receptus, against the critical text. Same idea. It might sound simplistic, but there’s a good mathematical reason and a good common sense reason behind it. Majority Greek Text vs. Modern Versions ... also called the Novum Testamentum Graece or Critical Text. I’m 23 (born again when I was 20) and have been studying which Greek textual basis best reflects the NT Scripture as originally penned for about 2 1/2 years now. A particular reading signifies one that is most definitely false. However, things change if you include the Latin manuscripts we’ve found. The Textus Receptus correctly puts king Asa in They have several verses they use to support this (which we’ll look at in a moment). They aren’t the only ones to say this either. One scholar said of the Western text type: “Words and even clauses are changed, omitted, and inserted with surprising freedom, wherever it seemed that the meaning could be brought out with greater force and definiteness.”  Unsurprisingly, they aren’t given too much weight because of this freeness. And I leave the discussion as to what is important and what is unimportant to the critics. Textual Variants that are Meaningful, but not viable. The western part of Christendom stopped using Greek as their primary language in the mid-1st millennium. For a sense of scale, we’ve already seen that (doing the math and estimating) there are ~6470 textual variations between the Codex Vaticanus and Codex Vaticanus. Because I’m a lot of times. In fact, this Textual Variant (movable Nu) is the single most common Textual Variant. Matthew 19:30 New King James Version (NKJV) Regardless, that is the Confessional Position. Now, I repeat, both of these translations are accurate representatives of the two Greek texts. We’ll talk more about this later. 6 The words of the LORD are pure words; Thank for the kind words, and I’m so glad you enjoyed the article. Otherwise I really like it. However, one could certainly make the case that the Textus Receptus is overall the best Greek New Testament out there. These findings include – but aren’t limited to – Papyrus from the 200s and 300s. Reply to this topic; Start new topic; Recommended Posts. For what they breathed-out “is profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness”. I especially loved that you point out that this is a less than 1% issue that affects no essential Christian doctrine, even as Bart Ehrman has admitted. The most commonly cited confession of faith from Confessional Position Christians is the Westminster Confession of Faith. One thing i wanted to mention is i recently came into possession of the Eastern Orthodox Bible, New Testament. 4. Again, they believed that the Byzantine Text type was a combination of the Alexandrian and Western text types. A translation based on the official text of the Ecumenical Patriachate of Constantinople. 1st generation: 2 correct copies, 1 incorrect copy (, 2nd generation: 4 correct copies, 3 incorrect copies. This is the second longest article on this website (after the one on Revelation), but that’s because it’s extremely complete. The Textus Receptus is a 16th century Greek New Testament on which the King James Bible is based (in the New Testament). Syriac is a dialect, or group of dialects, of Eastern Aramaic, originating in and around Assuristan (Persian ruled Assyria). He proposed an approach which he calls “Equitable Eclecticism” which he explained in two articles. Even if you don’t hold to the Confessional Position, you might think the Textus Receptus is the best/most accurate edition of the New Testament. Mediocre might be the best description, though some would say “poor”. Because the word means both. Throughout Europe the Elzevir editions came to occupy a place of honor, and their text was employed as the standard one for commentary and collation. Let’s assume – for the sake of argument – that the Majority Text is essentially identical to the original. Behold, His reward is with Him, Any form of eclecticism which accepts this principle will hardly succeed in establishing the original text of the New Testament; it will only confirm the view of the text which it presupposes. So the agreement is better than 99 percent. 7 Thou shalt keep them, O LORD, thou shalt preserve them from this generation for ever. By an Alexandrian Church father’s own admission, manuscripts in Alexandria by 200 AD were already corrupt. Westcott & Hort Had… Questionable beliefs? Now some might object by saying the King James translators used a better source document. However, don’t trust the English there, look at the shorthand underneath the English words. Second, this is Matthew 24; nearly the entire chapter is prophecy. The two relevant excerpts are below. The idea that Scribes chose to copy better manuscripts makes perfect sense. Not perfect by any stretch (especially in Revelation) but very good. Personally, I would say the Textus Receptus is overall a very good document. The result is called a “Critical Text”. ), There is a system for naming manuscripts of the New Testament. There are three major competing Greek sources to use for translating the New Testament: the Critical Text, the Majority Text, and the Textus Receptus. Parallels with Textual Criticism of Non-Biblical works, Removing Copies from the Stream of Transmission. The Elzevirs were notable printers, and their editions of the Greek New Testament were accurate and elegant. 16 So the last will be first, and the first last. You who bring good tidings, If the basis of your faith is the Westminster Confession of Faith, I would humbly suggest you move to a firmer foundation. (This is made even more clear by the chiastic structure of 1 Corinthians 11:2-16, which places verse 10 at the apex/focal point). It gets copied and ends up in other manuscripts.”  To support this statement, White appealed to Kurt & Barbara Aland’s similar statement:  “Once a variant or a new reading enters the tradition it refuses to disappear, persisting (if only in a few manuscripts) and perpetuating itself through the centuries. The “Aland” rules get their name from Kurt and Barbara Aland, who were instrumental in the publication of the Greek Critical Text that nearly all modern New Testament are based on: The Nestle-Aland “Novum Testamentum Graece” (The New Testament in Greek), The first edition of the Novum Testamentum Graece was published by Eberhard Nestle in 1898, but an updated version was introduced in 1901. I hope that helps. Further, we’ll assume the “persistence of errors”, meaning faithful scribes will copy even the errors of previous scribes. The Greek word kephalē has two meanings: 1 (primary meaning) the part of the body called the head; 2 (symbolic meaning) the chief, master or lord. The Majority Text differs from the Textus Receptus in almost 2,000 places. 19 but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot. Other translations render this correctly, and we’ll add verse 5 for some context. Further – and I can’t stress this enough – there is more to the Majority Text theory than simply counting manuscripts. Because there were not two sons of Sceva but seven sons of Sceva! One of the major underpinnings for the Majority Text theory is that scribes will generally choose to copy better manuscripts over worse manuscripts. Persecution under Septimus Severus (202-210). That’s from the 4th century to the ~15th century; a period of 1,100 years (over a millennia) with virtually no change. It’s curious that Codex Vaticanus is given the position of “most important” when the actual quality of the transcription leaves something to be desired. A sad fact of history is that when Christians are persecuted, copies of the Bible are usually caught in the crossfire. 20 He indeed was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you. Let’s further assume the “persistence of errors”, which assumes every mistake is copied down to every manuscript after it. Further assume you had two manuscripts to choose from when copying. Besides the obvious problem with saying that God “must” do something, there’s no basis for that assertion besides a few man-made creeds. You’re welcome. These types of Textual Variants make up ~24% of all Textual Variants. In later editions, Erasmus adjusted his text of the last six verses of Revelation in several places once he could consult complete Greek manuscripts. There’s no scriptural basis for the idea whatsoever, and so asserting it dogmatically is a very bad idea. The manuscript is believed to have been housed in Caesarea in the 6th century, together with the Codex Sinaiticus, as they have the same unique divisions of chapters in Acts. In the Book of Revelation he altered his fourth edition (1527) in about 90 passages on the basis of the Complutensian text. There were already ten major periods of persecution of Christians before Nicea: One of the most ruthless of these persecutions was that of Diocletian in the early 4th century. (disclaimer: It’s an “open source” translation where anyone can critique the translation work, and I *might* have gone back and forth a LOT about this verse with the translator…). These two codices – Codex Vaticanus (“B”) and Codex Sinaiticus (“א”) – are the foundation for nearly all modern New Testaments. 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. However, we’ll only concentrate on the two most influential. All four Gospel writers apply verse 3 to John the Baptist, who prepared the way for Jesus. We have more manuscripts of the Byzantine text type by far than the other two families combined. Notice, he specifically said “the law”. Rather, decisions in textual criticism must be worked out afresh, passage by passage (the local principle). (Majority Text advocates will say this is the most likely scenario.). The Reasoned Eclecticism theory created the modern Critical Text (NA28/UBS5), which is what most modern New Testaments are based on. The King James Bible is a translation of an edition of the Greek New Testament text called the Textus Receptus. The original texts were written in all capital letters and there were no spaces between the words. There’s no proof of that, but it’s possible. Now, it’s clear God did preserve His scriptures extremely well over the years. Westcott & Hort thought the Byzantine text family resulted from some scribes combining the other two text types to try and get closer to the original document (much like they were doing). “Codex Alexandrius is a very interesting manuscript in that in the Gospels, it’s a Byzantine text largely, which means it agrees with the majority of manuscripts most of the time. Please remember, the original Greek texts were all capital letters, so the translators added the capitals. “I had no idea till the last few weeks of the importance of text, having read so little Greek Testament, and dragged on with the villainous Textus Receptus … Think of the vile Textus Receptus leaning entirely on late MSS; it is a blessing there are such early ones.” – Fenton Hort. Calling all experts: Textus Receptus vs. Critical Text. Notice too, that – in Homer – the shorter Alexandrian “text type” was regarded to be the result of “scholarly revision”. But take note that the ASV states the demon possessed man lept on “both” of them. (It’s also called “Haplography”, but the two are technically slightly different”)  This error occurs when two words or phrases end with the same letters/words, and the scribe accidentally skips everything in between. For example, let’s say that three scribes copied from the original, and one of them made an error. Thank you for a very educational and splendid essay on comparative text types. Granted, unlike some of my brethren, I fully accept that the enduring words of God preserved in English can also be found in most translations, even the those that are Critical Text products… but as one cannot separate the promise God made Abe from the word that Abe believed on, one cannot separate THE Word from the words of God that have occasioned and compelled our faith in Christ having done and doing what God said He would. )Click here to collapse the full list of the Aland rules of Textual Criticism. Because these manuscripts are so foundational to modern Critical Text, they bear a closer look. And the rough places smooth; 5 The glory of the Lord shall be revealed, When he finished he had produced an edition of the Greek New Testament which more closely underlies the text of the AV than any one edition of the Textus Receptus.”, G. W. Anderson and D. E. Anderson, “The Received Text: A Brief Look at the Textus Receptus.” (Trinitarian Bible Society, 1999). Many will directly claim that the TR is the M-Text, or will say that the TR represents “the vast majority of Greek manuscripts.” Neither of these are true statements. Again, it takes its name from a “confession of faith”. In the 480-page edition of the Trinitarian Bible Society Textus Receptus this would amount to almost 34 pages, the equivalent of the final two books of the New Testament, Jude and Revelation” (Thomas Strouse, Review of “From the Mind of God to the Mind of Man,” November 2000). Thus there were places in which it is unclear what the Greek basis of the New Testament was. Some doctrines are certainly strengthened in the Byzantine Majority text and the Textus Receptus, but no major, central part of the gospel is affected. But the Majority Text differs from the modern critical text in only about 6,500 places. It was a combination of primarily Westcott & Hott’s work, along with two other Greek New Testaments. The Confessional Position is the exact opposite. One reason could be that “something is always lost in translation”. Ironically, Westcott & Hort recognized this too. It always means two. The Confessional Position says the God must have “kept (the scriptures) pure in all ages”. Was There a Scribal Preference to Copy Better Manuscripts? In visiting the library of the monastery, in the month of May, 1844, I perceived in the middle of the great hall a large and wide basket full of old parchments; and the librarian, who was a man of information, told me that two heaps of papers like these, mouldered by time, had been already committed to the flames. In fact, it was Roman policy to destroy Biblical manuscripts at one time. Reasoned Eclecticism uses a set of rules to sift through all the Textual Variants and arrive at what they believe is original. It is no exaggeration to say that Codex Vaticanus (“B”) and Codex Sinaiticus (“א”) are the foundation for virtually all modern New Testament Bible translations. So the Majority Text changes very significantly when you include just the other versional manuscripts. This actually makes a lot of sense if you look at the Greek word used. Why? Typically, these variants are found only in a single manuscript, or in a small group of manuscripts from one small part of the world. The difference is insignificant because the number of transmission points from … The Bible: 66 books vs 73 and Why (the “Apocrypha” Explained), Lobegott Friedrich Constantin (von) Tischendorf, You can read Tischendorf’s entire account of finding it – in his own words – here. I’m almost hesitant to include this, as it comes close to an Ad Hominem attack on the entire Alexandrian Text type/family. Kephalē is found nine times in 1 Corinthians chapter 11. But if you’re working from poor translations like the NLT, NIV, or any of the paraphrase translations, you’re basically out of luck. (Note: the “He” in the quote below is Dean Burgon). The reason we’ve spent so much time talking about Westcott & Hort is because the New Testament Critical Text that nearly all modern Bible are based on is virtually unchanged since 1881. Therefore, ~130 pages were going to be burned. You still need to sift through the manuscripts and apply more careful methodology than simple “nose counting”. (Also known as the “Authorized Version”, or “AV” for short.). They also said of where those two manuscripts agreed: “No readings of אB can safely be rejected absolutely,”, Yes, they believed these two manuscripts were that important, and this understanding follows naturally if you believe their #1 rule that “earlier is better”. Very Helpful The science of assembling these manuscripts is called “Textual Criticism”, and you can consider this a complete Textual Criticism 101 article because we’ll look at these topics in exhaustive detail. Thank you for this wonderful, well informed article. This is a big difference. Remember “The Word” is one of Jesus’ main titles, especially in the writings of John. Any insights would be appreciated. The [fourth-century] text of Chrysostom and other Syrian [= Byzantine] fathers … [is], must have had in the greater number of extant variations, The overwhelming majority of readings,” “almost all variants,” and “practically all the substantive variants in the text of the New Testament”, The criticism of the Homeric epics proceeds on much the same line, The shorter form in Homer is considered to reflect Alexandrian critical know-how and. It occurs 76 times in the Greek new testament and the primary meaning of head as part of the human body occurs in 62 of the 76 places. 7 You, O LORD, will keep them; The short version is this. However, a significant number of variants can be explained by this simple scribal error. Erasmus originally assembled his Greek text based on 7 Greek manuscripts and published it in 1516 as the “Novum Instrumentum omne“. This is especially interesting because they also said the “Antiochian” (Byzantine) text was the “dominant” text in the second half of the 4th century (the later 300s). Despite the Byzantine text type being vindicated by extremely early manuscript findings, there remains a persistent bias against Byzantine readings for no apparent reason. The Majority Text isn’t perfect, and there are places where adjustments need to be made based on the evidence. And so saying, he took down from the corner of the room a bulky kind of volume, wrapped up in a red cloth, and laid it before me. Further, no Christian was ever “born again” through the Bible; we are “born again” through Jesus’ blood and His work on the cross. If you look at the earlier papyrus, there’s even more singular readings. I’m planning to get an LSB when it comes out, and I too am looking forward to it. They comprise less than 1% of all Textual Variants. So instead of creating a new popular reading, they’re more likely to create several unique readings… and even these are in a small minority. My wife didn’t sleep very well last night so she’s still in bed…  or is she? RT - the Received Text (Textus Receptus; the Traditional Text) - used for the King James Bible, over 5,000 Scripture portions, all consistent.. CT - the Critical Text (corrupted) - contrived by modern liberal scholars, mainly from four ancient manuscripts that had been set aside due to their doctrinal omissions and errors. Their text was heavily based on the Codex Vaticanus and Codex Sinaiticus. In both classical and NT traditions there thus seems to be a “scribal continuity” of a basic “standard text” which remained relatively stable, preserved by the unforced action of copyists through the centuries who merely copied faithfully the text which lay before them. In Christianity, the term Textus Receptus (Latin for "received text") designates all editions of the Greek texts of the New Testament from the Novum Instrumentum omne established by Erasmus in 1516 to the 1633 Elzevier edition; the 1633 Elzevier edition is sometimes included into the Textus Receptus. Looking forward to reading more of your articles. Not perfect by any stretch and it definitely has mistakes, but very good overall. Did God Preserve the Scriptures Perfectly in All Ages? It’s often abbreviate as “NA” plus the version number. Scrivener in his reconstructed and edited text used as his starting point the Beza edition of 1598, identifying the places where the English text had different readings from the Greek. In the Vulgate, we find over half of the Alexandrian readings. Because most of our New Testament manuscripts come from the Byzantine Text family (which we’ll explain lower down), the document that results is often called the “Byzantine Majority text”. The TR had the singular in 1550 but was changed to the plural ῥάβδους in the 1894 TR. Eusebius, Church historian of the same era, recorded that many “Scriptures” were burned during the Diocletian persecution. There’s no other evidence for this – so take with a grain of salt – but they are the only two manuscripts that share that characteristic. The Codex Vaticanus also contains several of the deuterocanonical books, namely: the Book of Wisdom, Ecclesiasticus (Sirach), Judith, Tobit, Baruch, and the Letter to Jeremiah. Could this have been mis-transcribed from the end of chapter 19: Also, if you want to look up Greek or Hebrew words words, I highly recommend the interlinear bible on biblehub.com. The WEB’s ‘authority over her own head’ is quite in order. It seems likely from Tischendorf’s description that only some worn out pages from Sinaiticus were going to be burned, but it’s hard to be sure. I gave it a look and was far from impressed. (An excellent article BTW, though a bit technical.). (Side note: I’ve spent some time in the marketing world in my life. But Jesus isn’t the Bible, and neither Peter nor Isaiah were talking about the Bible; they were talking about Jesus. Now, because all the oldest manuscripts we’ve found are of the Alexandrian text type/family, it’s unsurprising that they ended up with a basically Alexandrian document. And all its loveliness is like the flower of the field. There’s a Textual Variant on the word “gentle”. a copy of the Greek translation made by the Seventy. For now, let’s look at the underpinnings for the Majority Text theory. However, you’d like to keep a copy, so you hire a scribe to copy the letter before passing it on. No, and Here’s Proof, Yes, The Bible CLEARLY Says Sex Outside of Marriage is Wrong, Seeing the Bible from the Hebrew Cultural Perspective, Readings are approved or rejected by reason of the quality, and not the number, of their supporting witnesses, The reading that best conforms to the grammar and context of the sentence should be preferred, The reading that best conforms to the style and content of the author should be preferred. I know almost nothing about Latin, or I’d check. If you ask most people, the “Textus Receptus” is the Greek text assembled by Erasmus from which the King James Version was translated. There is one man who has proposed another model I find agreeable, and I confess I got many of my ideas from him. Jan 30, 2012 #1 I know there have been countless PB threads on the textual issues in the past. Majority Greek Text vs. Modern Versions ... also called the Novum Testamentum Graece or Critical Text. Those three are probably the most well-known, but there are many more. Shortly after the publication of his third edition, Erasmus had seen the Complutensian Polyglot, and used its text for improvement of his own text. ), In a similar vein, Kurt Aland considers Greek manuscripts which are “purely or predominately Byzantine” to be “irrelevant for textual criticism.”. 6 The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times. You could translate it “will by no means be voided from the law“. But we proved to be gentle among you, as a nursing mother tenderly cares for her own children. Now, that could be a good thing if you believe Westcott & Hort did a good job originally. It’s almost certainly extremely close, but it’s almost certainly not identical. An Introduction to Textual Criticism: Part 8–“Traditional Text” Positions: Textus Receptus and Majority Text Only Colin Smith , April 19, 2008 August 27, 2011 , Textual Issues Those who hold to the view that only the King James Version of the Bible is the normative text of the church cannot be considered among rational, textual scholars. For example: Greek applies this rule more frequently, and that’s the most common textual variant. Actually, we know it did… we just don’t know if it happened with errors. Even so, the oldest manuscripts, being of the Alexandrian text-type, are the most favored, and the critical text has an Alexandrian disposition. The mistakes which the original transcriber made are of perpetual recurrence. By this, they mean that God wouldn’t allow the true version of the Scriptures to be replaced with a corrupt version of the scriptures. Eminent scholars such as E. C. Colwell, G. D. 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M just don ’ t keep the errors because they are mistaken ) that no major Doctrine is affected the., B. F. Westcott and Hort were mistaken as nearly all modern translations accurate... Highly “ considered ”, some read “ little children ” and one of the LORD is good ; mercy! Part 1 is mostly a history lesson for context, and based upon facts own for quite sometime read... Here for instructions on how to break this model are well-covered in this verse but not in Alexandria 200. Happened with errors think that it is a very good document, and the NT tradition what... In context it ’ s look at how they compare to each other, and their place in history. Translators used the 1525-1525 Masoretic Text is about 5 % smaller than the Byzantine Text is... In any amended versions or separately verbal, word-for-word, inspiration and divine Preservation of undergirds! The opposite approach, preferring to look at the versional witnesses before this. Alexandrian Church father ’ s far more practical s merely an “ n ” sound.. Terribly often anymore theology is likely not original “ truth ” in the past a of. The value of this ought to have authority over her own head ’ is quite different than other. In God ’ s a certain sense where this is the “ Critical Text are identical the Book Revelation. Present Greek Critical texts bear an extremely high weight to readings that are found in... Did indeed copy the best manuscripts. ). ” chose to the...

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