[b-hebrew] [TL] Textus Receptus

Schmuel schmuel at nyc.rr.com
Wed Aug 10 12:24:30 EDT 2005

Hi Harold, 

>Dear Steven,
>Thanks for the post, and I really don't think it needed to be censored. We're not children.

I agree.  In fact, I will send this post in to the forum (with my and your intervening post superceded), and see if they will allow the thread to be picked up.  And try to snip some parts that were not really helpful or edifying.  I don't think they understand that I consider you an excellent poster on many issues (like the Creation controversy) and a good thinker and scholar -- lots of respect there... just that in my understanding you get out of the wrong side of the bed when it comes to the Bible text :-)  This makes you somewhat of a reluctant apologist for the modern versions, through the back door of defending modern scientific textcrit, but not the resultant Bible versions.

> But perhaps it sounded like too many unsupported claims.

That cuts all ways.  I put rather considerable effort in supporting most any specific claim I make, and I am the only one proclaiming and defending a tangible inerrant Bible, so of course there is a wider swatch of various attacks against my view of a tangible inerrant, perfect preserved Bible.

And those who do not so proclaim and defend, like yourself, have little need to support any claim, since they really don't have any.  You have no tangible Bible to defend, so your time supporting claims is basically zilch.

>>  In fact, I gave you a nice list of the general topics of these claimed errors in the underlying Masoretic text on my last post.
>HH: I wonder if you know biblical Hebrew.

Nor do I know biblical Aramaic nor Greek. 
My English competence is passable. 

My research on issues like Jeremiah 8:8 or Hebrews 9:9  or any other text I write about stands for its own examination.  Without tooting, I'm a decent researcher and inquirer, and have many contacts with all sorts of folks with language savvy way beyond mine, from native Greek and Hebrew and Aramaic speakers to translators and those deeply enmeshed in the Hebraic and rabbinist source material.   

>>correct.  100%
>>The scholars you follow do not claim that ANY text is the Word of God.

>HH: This is a false claim. The scholars I follow also believe in inerrancy. But you skew the term to mean perfect preservation.

Then what tangible text is the Word of God ?
 Name it, or your accusation of a "false claim" falls to the ground.

In fact, you specifically just said, in a moment of interesting candor ...
"The scholars I've read do not claim that the critical text is the word of God."

If not the critical text, then what ?

>HH: But's that's just the question, isn't it. Which reading is the original reading?

No, the question is "where is the inspired and preserved Word of God"

As to 'original reading' 500 people can have 500 different ideas about what is the "original reading" and nobody could ever prove any one of them right or wrong, since there are no "originals" of any book or 
verse extant. 

>HH: It's not a canard. This is the problem. You're a dogmatist. You're convinced that there is perfect preservation, so you arbitrarily decide what has the best odds of being the perfect preservation and go for that.

No, nothing arbitrary, nothing about odds.. you seem to deliberately want to misrepresent the inspired and preserved position.  I suggest you simply read an author like Thomas Holland carefully on this question.

>>Perhaps you are conservative in theology, but not in text.
>HH: Textual issues are tough.

I'm glad to see that you do not claim to be conservative in text.

>>>but I know from years of experience that there are sometimes difficulties in understanding the Bible
>>>due to text-critical factors.
>>This is about the fifth time you have made the same claim that the Bible is corrupt.  You seem to put more faith in the corruptness of your Bible versions than anybody I have encountered.
>HH: Well, perhaps I spend more time doing detailed study in the Hebrew text than most people. Also, I was  a translator.

Translator or not, a lot has to do with the lens with which we see the text.  In the current scholarship translator environment, with few exceptions, the idea of the text being a Received Text (a la Lawrence Schiffman) is simply not entertained, and all seeming difficulties are molded through the 'scribal error' textcrit lens, and the alexandrian text lens, rather than the true inerrancy perfection lens.  That is where the spiritual struggle is entailed.

>>>HH: The problem in the text exists however one looks at the problem.
>>This claim that all Bibles are in error is becoming something of a broken record. It appears to be your main Bible tenant  - "everything is corrupt". And then you wonder why the islamists and skeptics have lunch ?
>HH: I did not say everything was corrupt. But there are textual issues on practically every page of BHS, and on most pages of Nestle-Aland.

"everything" was a figure of speech of course :-)

"Textual issues" morph into "scribal errors" for a modern scientific textcrit perspective, while they are simply interesting and insightful historical and apologetic challenges, and edification, from an inspiration and preservation Received Text perspective.

>>My primary point is not modern text-critical abuse -- it is that the principles themselves are wrong.
>HH: You don't agree with them. There is nothing wrong with the principles. They are based on common sense.

no.. I strongly disagree.  
Many of the principles are actually against inspiration of the Word of God, and I gave a rather clear demonstration of one earlier that you simply passed by with little comment. 

The modern scientific textcrit principles were first developed in the crucible of secular scholarship like Shakespeare and Chaucer, and then deliberately adapted, changed and honed to be a wedge against the historic Bible.  We even have quotes from the early days of Westcott and/or Hort that show that they came to the table with a primary desire of overthrowing the historic Bible, the Authorized Version, rather than simply bringing some objective standard to their analysis.  And ironically, their proof-text methodology is abhorrent today even to folks using the eclectic methodology, even when the eclectics are defacto using virtually the same methodology. 

>>o.. John Gill's and many other excellent historic commentaries like JFB do not try to "determine the best reading".  They accept the historic Bible as the Scriptures, and then do commentary on the Bible.  There is absolutely no requirement for a commentary writer to reject the historic scripture text, none !
>HH: John Gill probably misses many of the the issues then.

Wow..  this is an amazing claim. 
    (Forum-ites please note --  alert..alert)

Question, Henry, do you ever study and reference John Gill's commentary in any depth ?

>>In my view, when modern commentaries try to each recreate the Bible to match their very limited language and textual understandings, they are doing a disservice to their readers, and I will generally bypass such commentaries.
>HH: That would be most if not all detailed commentaries dealing with the original languages.

I'm curious what commentary you think I am missing out on :-)  
(snip a bit more on this)

>>1 Timothy 3:16 is a great example of the impoverishment of modern textcrit, as they mangle perhaps the most important verse declaring the Deity of Messiah.
>>1 Timothy 3:16
>>And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness:
>>God was manifest in the flesh,
>>justified in the Spirit,
>>seen of angels,
>>preached unto the Gentiles,
>>believed on in the world,
>>received up into glory.
>>I cordially invite you to start a thread trying to defend the decision to eliminate one of the grandest phrases in the Bible declaring the Deity of Messiah --
>HH: The problem with this remark is that you had already invited me to give an example, to which you said you would reply, so I gave 1 Tim 3:16 and you did not respond to the comments made by the NET Bible.

Right. I invited a full separate thread, where you write in your own words, 
rather than a cut-and-paste job.

Similarly, I could give you a Dean John Burgon article on the same issue and say to you 
   "where's your response" ?  Jump, Harold. 

And when you don't spend an hour typing up a response, then I could similarly throw out the same tude as you do above after your cut-and-paste. 

Henry, I think you have enough experience to realize and utilize the Net dynamic more properly.

Now, would you like to have a nice separate 1 Timothy 3:16 thread, as I suggested ?
We could limit it to 3 to 5 posts each, and we both are required to put our viewpoints and arguments  in our own words, not cut-and-paste. 

>>I see that below you simply quote Wallace's normal skewered analysis ..:-) lol sheesh.

>HH: We don't know that it was Wallace, do we?

He is, I understand, the overseer of the NetBible project, so the commentary can properly be referred to as Wallace unless otherwise stated.

The standard Metzgar arguments are being used, with is generally the Wallace motif.  

>>One thing I will point out right away, since it matches our other discussion.
>>   "and clear up the syntax at the same time".
>>In other words, Wallace is defacto acknowledging that the "original" text had a deficient syntax, an error as the "harder reading".
>HH: There is no error admission. The author says that quoted song or poetry fragments could begin with a relative pronoun.

This is a 'both ends against the middle' argument.  

Using the relative pronoun is awkward, and needed to be smoothed, 
but I will simply call the section a hymn and say that its ok then, 
but the scribes didn't understand this and smoothed it anyway :-) lol

Let's go over this article more on our separate thread, if you agree.  

For now.. notice also the harder reading approach here, giving you a "theologically pale" Bible.
  "“Who” is not only a theologically pale reading by comparison;"

Notice also that NetBible changes the actual text away from "who" to "he"
on basically zilch manuscript evidence.  Yoiks.  Doesn't that concern you 
one bit, Harold ?  If 'who' was the original reading, apparently your position,
what right do you have to  change it to "He".  

>>Part of the abject overuse of the very principle at the heart of so many apologias for using the scribally horribly corrupt Vaticanus and Sinaticius texts.
>HH: This is the kind of comment that may have provoked the censorship.

However I referenced specifically the Dean John Burgon quotes on the **SCRIBAL** (not textual)
condition of Vaticanus and Sinaiticus.  This is an issue that is very discomfiting for modern textcrit
so it provokes a lot of hand-waving and obfuscation.

>>Harold, let me ask you sincerely ... have you ever looked at the evidences on all sides on 1 Timothy 3:16.  Have you read carefully the articles and views ?
>HH: I haven't spent multiplied hours on the topic. I have read standard commentary analyses of the issue, and perhaps a journal article.

Then I suggest you spend at least a good hour, before we begin my suggested dialog on the verse.
I'll be happy to supply you with what I consider the very best 3 to 5 sources (and my view of articles on both sides of the issue) before we begin.

>>Perhaps the folks on the forum would like to think this through themselves, as an excellent "test case".  Are you ready for a discussion, in your own words, discussing the particulars I mention above ?
>HH: This post of yours was the time to reply.

See above.  And I don't jump "how high" every time somebody cuts-and-pastes an article into text.  And I don't think you do either,  since you have been posting on forums for a good while. 

Notice that you acknowledge very limited familiarity with the issues above.  And I have made a very reasonable offer to help you get up to speed -- so we can have a specific, focused dialog on 1 Timothy 3:16, using primarily our own words.  Please give a yes or no to the dialog request, where we focus on this on its own separate thread.  It is such a dynamic and powerful verse, so beautiful for the Deity of Messiah (at least in the TR) that that seems only fair.

>>Wrong.  There are tons of harder readings that are erroneous that they accept.  Quick examples - The geographic blunder Gerasa, the Greek NA grammatical abominations in Revelation -- if you like, if errancy really matters to you, I will list more.
>HH: Grammatical anomalies exist in the Greek of Revelation. To deny it is more ostrich-in-the-sand behavior. See any good commentary on the book.

Ahhh.. Harold.. have you noticed that the grammatical anomalies or abominations are really in the NA text, not the Received Text ?  Would you be interested in multiple examples of same ?

Meanwhile, how about Gerasa, and the 30 mile pig marathon to the sea of Galilee ???
I often like to use that as a simple and clear example of a NA-induced alexandrian harder-reading error.
It is especially easy to deal with since it is geography, and not doctrine, so we don't come to it with any doctrinal baggage. 

>>Above, you are assuming incorrectly that their view of the "harder reading" postulate is constrained by consistency, accuracy or scripture integrity.
>>The sad truth, Harold, that you should face up to, is that it is not.  And they state this clearly.  Scripture integrity is not considered relevant in their "reconstructing" of the text.
>HH: You cannot make such generalizations with any validity. Inerrantists care about the state of the text.

No, you miss the point.  The textual criticism 'scientists', doing their discipline, reject inspiration, preservation, inerrancy, consistency and perfection of the text as having any positive weight or import in their textual criticism process.   

Even worse, I have shown that they approach these in a negative way, that the inconsistent or errant or 'theologically pale' rendering will actually be preferred, under their postulates.  Think it through a bit, and it should concern you and any believer.

And we have already discussed that in this thread in the examples above, like Gerasa and the Revelation grammatical abominations, and 1 Timothy 3:16

>>We can do tiqqune sopherim and qere/ketiv questions separately.  To give you the short answer, I (and the historic translators) simply accept the Masoretic written text, not the marginal words to be spoken, nor do we accept the Bullinger understanding of Christian David Ginsburg's Massorah that the text was changed and should be amended back.  You might want to study others on this, such as Professor Lawrence Schiffman or Nehemiah Gordon, who also state quite firmly the view that the Bullinger understanding is simply wrong.
>>>HH: So when you speak of the MT, which do you prefer, the Qere or the Kethiv? Do you accept the
>>>tiqqune sopherim, the emendations of the scribes? All these are differences from a set text. To
>>>make a choice is to engage in text criticism.
>>You are very confused here. 
>>To ACCEPT the Masoretic text is not to engage in "modern scientific textual criticism",
>>in fact it is the antithesis thereof. 
>HH: Well, it is mindless to assume the Kethiv is always right. Even the Masoretes didn't do that.

Wow..  I will put this with your John Gill quote, and ask our moderators to note, since they are particularly concerned that we don't go out of bounds.

Now, meanwhile, why don't you give a specific example where it is 'mindless" to use the Masoretic Text.  Which particular reading in my King James Bible, or Soncino or Art Scroll or JPS, that uses the Masoretic Text as its text is 'mindless' and errant, in your opinion.  For this, I will be happy to settle for just one such 'mindless' translation.

>>Taking your view to the apex, you should throw out your current Tanach, and implore Emanuel Tov to write you a new one with all his preferred changes from the DSS and the Greek OT and other sources.. 
>>Are you doing that ?  Why are you even bothering with the "Masoretic Text".  How could you possibly trust it, from your view,.in any translation, if the text is so corrupt ?
>HH: You evaluate each case. I have a strong bias towards the Hebrew text, but that does not work in all cases.

You didn't really answer the question.  On what is your bias based ?  
e.g. Why not throw it out and replace it with DSS readings here, there and everywhere.

>>>Likewise your defence of the Johannine comma in a previous post was text criticism.
>>I wish you would not make such blatantly incorrect statements.  Modern text criticism has a number of postulates that I simply believe are false at base and/or falsely applied, and I have made that abundantly clear.
>HH: You are making yourself look silly. The textual evidence in Greek is against the Johannine Comma, so you used textual evidence in non-Greek material to support it. You are doing textual criticism.

Here we go again.. please learn to dialog more properly.

When did I ever say that my textual analysis, or more importantly that of the historic Bible, including Erasmus, Stephanus, Beza and Elzivir, was limited to only Greek ?

>>If you want to say that Erasmus and Stephanus and Beza and Elzivir engaged in a type of textual analysis that accepts inspiration and preservation of the Bible, I will give a hearty amen.  And I also am very happy and willing to analyze and explain how are Bible has been Preserved by the providential hand of God, to the best of my limited abilities.  However, that is simply not "textual criticism" as the term is used today.
>HH: So your theology leads you to accept the Johannine Comma, which has almost no support in the Greek text.

No, you have this in reverse.  I did a full study on all the evidences as this verse was just about my final holdout against the King James Bible and the Received Text. 

And that study included looking carefully at the material of Cyprian, Jerome, Priscillian and others, and other issues like the grammar of the section.  

Henry, allow me to ask, have  you done a careful study of the early church references and usages to the Johannine Comma, including Cyprian, the Council of Carthage (Eugenius) Priscillian, Athenasius, Jerome's epistle to Eustochium  (Introduction to the Canonical Epistles) ?

>>>>One good examples is the mistranslation of Jeremiah 8:8, another is the weak version of 1
>>>>Timonty 3:16, another more general one is pointing out that the Bible could not really be
>>>>the Word of God if no one even knows what it is, and what it almost is, is full of errors.
>>>HH: I'm not sure what mistranslation of Jer. 8:8 you're talking about, but it is a difficult
>>Here is an excellent translation of
>>Jeremiah 8:8 (KJB)
>>How do ye say,
>>We are wise, and the law of the LORD is with us?
>>Lo, certainly in vain made  he it; the pen of the scribes is in vain
>HH: This is not an excellent translation of Jer. 8:8, and you do not even seem to realize that it requires the addition of a Mappiq point to get "made he it." So one must use a minimum of text criticism even to get the translation you offer. But it surely is a poor translation because the obvious subject of the verb "made" is the pen of the scribes. 

Henry, I have discussed this with folks deeply immersed in the Hebrew and they strongly and emphatically disagree. If you like I can share with you some of their commentary, (and the historic rabbinic commentary as well) here, or we might want to bring this over more to b-hebrew where it has been discussed earlier, and the technical aspects of the discussion will be more on-topic. There are many issues, such as the particular usage of shequer in Jeremiah. And perhaps you missed the earlier thread on b-hebrew.

 Note for the time being that basically every Jewish translation disagrees with you about the "obvious subject" and "probably matches " apparently because they do a more complete contextual translation. 

And please carefully note the following, from your own post, which I referenced in my last post...

.... The interpretation of the NJPS, "Assuredly, for naught has the pen labored, for naught the scribes," surely deserves consideration within the context; i.e. it hasn't done any good for the scribes to produce a reliable copy of the law, which the people have refused to follow. That interpretation has the advantage of explaining the absence of an object for the verb "make" or "labored" but creates a very unbalanced poetic couplet.

Notice that this agrees 100% with the Geneva, the King James Bible, and every Jewish translation that I have seen, and from my studies and research is actually the dynamic and contextually accurate translation.  NetBible doesn't mention that it is essentially the KJB translation :-)

And for the forum, I would like to again emphasize that the mistranslation that Harold gives of "lying scribes" is often the #1 attack against the Bible by many groups, from islamists to skeptics to gnostics to others.  Understandably, since it creates the "liar's paradox".

>>You are welcome to post your version.
>>Simply compare the historic Bibles (King James Bible, Geneva) which agree with virtually every Jewish Bible, compare them to the modern translation error in the NIV, etc.  It tis absolutely astounding.
>HH: This is another reason the post may have been censored. You are so over the top. You don't realize how shrill you sound. The NIV was done by conservatives who uphold inerrancy. So you just do not realize how strange you sound. 

Harold, you don't make any sense here, as I was asking you to post your version of Jeremiah 8:8

(snip continual misunderstanding of Jeremiah 8:8 context)

>>> (snip philosphizing) Bible scholars who spend a lot of time in the original languages are by-and-large > going to ignore you, because they know the value of using the entire tradition that we have received.
>>Bible scholars tend to be against any concept of inspiration and preservation, and I am much more concerned with my approval from God than from Ehrman, Metzger, Wieland et al.
>H: This is another falsehood. Scholars do not "tend" to be against any form of inspiration. They also believe in preservation, but on a level that matches the evidence. 

Again, textual criticism RULES OUT inspiration and preservation, consistency and perfection, as having any relevance in "reconstructing" the text.  In fact they go the other direction, as clearly demonstrated time and again..  

The scholars themselves are mixed,.and many, like Ehrman, are in fact not believers.

(snip section)

>>.. And the Maurice Robinson,  William G. Pierpont and Wilbur Pickering material (some on the web) refutes a lot of this "textbook" conflation mishegas.  Have you read it and considered ?
>HH: I have read some of their writings.

Have you read the conflation appendix, which directly relates to your claim

Please remember the context was your claim that the Majority Text is a 

"conflate, smoothing text bearing marks of editorial emendation because it is true and demonstrable in places. You can go to textbooks that show this sort of conflation and smoothing."

I am asking you for a tangible example, but may I suggest you read the article above first.

>.This material is readily available in textbooks. Honestly, I don't have the desire to get into all of it, 
> Steven. I would need to go to the library and find the material. It is detailed stuff.

Yet you apparently haven't even read the best conflation article on the web !

(snip Psalm 12, as indicated, there are only so many detailed issues to go into at one time... and I do not claim on that one that Harold's alternative is a "mistranslation" .. simply that the Preservation of the Word is an excellent translation, augmented by lots of additional material .. e.g. Jesus referencing "jot and tittle".. that we haven't got into on this thread.).

Steven Avery

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