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Switch to Forum Live View KJV: Translation from Inferior Text?
10 years ago  ::  Feb 28, 2008 - 4:58PM #31
CalKnox
Posts: 330
Allow me to offer a few reasons to believe in the authenticity of John 7:53-8:11. 

The oldest extant complete manuscript of the New Testament is Sinaiticus dating from 330-350 AD.  It does not contain John 7:53-8:11.

However, literature prior to 330 does refer to this passage about the woman caught in adultery:

The Didascalia (200-250 AD) speaks of this passage:

". . . to do as He also did with her that had sinned, whom the elders set before Him, and leaving the judgment in His hands departed. But He, the Searcher of Hearts, asked her and said to her, 'Have the elders condemned thee, my daughter?" She saith to Him, 'Nay, Lord.' And He said unto her, 'Go thy way: Neither do I condemn thee.'["

Many in the early Christian regarded adultery as such a serious sin that it could only be forgiven, if at all, after severe penance.  Cyprian (c. 250) says that certain bishops in North Africa "thought that reconciliation ought not to be given to adulterers and allowed to conjugal infidelity no place at all for repentance." These would have taken offence at the account of an adulterous woman brought to Christ, because she seemed to have received pardon too easily.

This being the case, it is more reasonable to believe in a tendency to deleted such a passage from the text than to add such because it did not support ascetic and disciplinary view of the early church, especially in Africa where Sinaiticus comes from.  The prevailing prejudice makes it difficult to believe in the insertion of this passage into the gospel of John.

Augustine (c. 400) mentions such moralistic objection to the pericope de adultera being responsible for its omission in some of the New Testament manuscripts known to him. "Certain persons of little faith or rather enemies of the true faith, fearing, I suppose, lest their wives should be given impunity in sinning, removed from their manuscripts the Lord's act of forgiveness toward the adulteress, as if He who had said 'sin no more' had granted permission to sin."

A 10th century Greek named Nikon accused the Armenians of "casting out the account which teaches us how the adulteress was taken to Jesus . . . saying that it was harmful for most persons to listen to such things."

An early 5th century (401-500) manuscript D contained this periocope de adultera.  Jerome says in 415 AD, “..."in the Gospel according to John in many manuscripts, both Greek and Latin, is found the story of the adulterous woman who was accused before the Lord." Jerome accepted the passage as authentic and included it in his Latin Vulgate translation.  He certainly had access to manuscripts as old or older than Sinaiticus.

Sinaitucus does not provide us with sufficient reason to say “the oldest and most reliable manuscripts do not contain this passage.”
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10 years ago  ::  Feb 28, 2008 - 10:00PM #32
Verdugo
Posts: 5,258
[QUOTE=CalKnox;320499]Allow me to offer a few reasons to believe in the authenticity of John 7:53-8:11. 

The oldest extant complete manuscript of the New Testament is Sinaiticus dating from 330-350 AD.  It does not contain John 7:53-8:11.

However, literature prior to 330 does refer to this passage about the woman caught in adultery:

The Didascalia (200-250 AD) speaks of this passage:

". . . to do as He also did with her that had sinned, whom the elders set before Him, and leaving the judgment in His hands departed. But He, the Searcher of Hearts, asked her and said to her, 'Have the elders condemned thee, my daughter?" She saith to Him, 'Nay, Lord.' And He said unto her, 'Go thy way: Neither do I condemn thee.'["

Many in the early Christian regarded adultery as such a serious sin that it could only be forgiven, if at all, after severe penance.  Cyprian (c. 250) says that certain bishops in North Africa "thought that reconciliation ought not to be given to adulterers and allowed to conjugal infidelity no place at all for repentance." These would have taken offence at the account of an adulterous woman brought to Christ, because she seemed to have received pardon too easily.

This being the case, it is more reasonable to believe in a tendency to deleted such a passage from the text than to add such because it did not support ascetic and disciplinary view of the early church, especially in Africa where Sinaiticus comes from.  The prevailing prejudice makes it difficult to believe in the insertion of this passage into the gospel of John.

Augustine (c. 400) mentions such moralistic objection to the pericope de adultera being responsible for its omission in some of the New Testament manuscripts known to him. "Certain persons of little faith or rather enemies of the true faith, fearing, I suppose, lest their wives should be given impunity in sinning, removed from their manuscripts the Lord's act of forgiveness toward the adulteress, as if He who had said 'sin no more' had granted permission to sin."

A 10th century Greek named Nikon accused the Armenians of "casting out the account which teaches us how the adulteress was taken to Jesus . . . saying that it was harmful for most persons to listen to such things."

An early 5th century (401-500) manuscript D contained this periocope de adultera.  Jerome says in 415 AD, “..."in the Gospel according to John in many manuscripts, both Greek and Latin, is found the story of the adulterous woman who was accused before the Lord." Jerome accepted the passage as authentic and included it in his Latin Vulgate translation.  He certainly had access to manuscripts as old or older than Sinaiticus.

Sinaitucus does not provide us with sufficient reason to say “the oldest and most reliable manuscripts do not contain this passage.”[/QUOTE]


It would seem to me that the more logical conclusion would be that the passage is NOT original to John, but that it DOES refer to a real, historical incident-- perhaps one that was recorded in some other forum and later inserted into John.
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10 years ago  ::  Feb 29, 2008 - 2:00PM #33
CalKnox
Posts: 330
[QUOTE=Verdugo;321172]It would seem to me that the more logical conclusion would be that the passage is NOT original to John, but that it DOES refer to a real, historical incident-- perhaps one that was recorded in some other forum and later inserted into John.[/QUOTE]

What evidence or logical argument?  You make a statement about logic without demonstrating it.

The existence of an old manuscript, even the oldest extant manuscript, not containing a particular passage does not prove that pericope not original.

Especially, when one translating the Bible (Jerome) fifty years after the date of the particular manuscript under consideration, who had access to multiple manuscripts as old or older, included this passage in his translation. Though the Vulgate can not serve as the definitive text; it can demonstrate what was considered the reliable text at the time of Jerome’s work between 382 and 390.  Remember Sinaiticus dates from no earlier than 330, with 350 being the more common date attributed.

And, considering Augustine, about fifty years after the date of Sinaiticus, said some because of theological bias against this passage “removed from their manuscripts the Lord's act of forgiveness toward the adulteress.”

Why the need to come up with an alternative theory of this passage coming from some other source?

Would you preach on this passage?  Would you say it is the word of God?

So, is the Authorized KJV or the NRSV based upon the more “reliable” manuscripts?  By what logical argument?
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10 years ago  ::  Mar 01, 2008 - 12:52PM #34
Verdugo
Posts: 5,258
[QUOTE=CalKnox;322600]What evidence or logical argument?  You make a statement about logic without demonstrating it.

The existence of an old manuscript, even the oldest extant manuscript, not containing a particular passage does not prove that pericope not original.

Especially, when one translating the Bible (Jerome) fifty years after the date of the particular manuscript under consideration, who had access to multiple manuscripts as old or older, included this passage in his translation. Though the Vulgate can not serve as the definitive text; it can demonstrate what was considered the reliable text at the time of Jerome’s work between 382 and 390.  Remember Sinaiticus dates from no earlier than 330, with 350 being the more common date attributed.

And, considering Augustine, about fifty years after the date of Sinaiticus, said some because of theological bias against this passage “removed from their manuscripts the Lord's act of forgiveness toward the adulteress.”

Why the need to come up with an alternative theory of this passage coming from some other source?

Would you preach on this passage?  Would you say it is the word of God?

So, is the Authorized KJV or the NRSV based upon the more “reliable” manuscripts?  By what logical argument?[/QUOTE]


I never said "proof".  I said "logical conclusion."  Both of us are looking at the same set of data, both of us are speculating on a possible chain of events that could lead to the same outcome/ set of data.  Both are "logical" in that both posit a logical, orderly chain that would lead to the current data.  I suggested mine was "more logical"-- a better phrase would have been "more likely/probable".  That's simply my take on the data you helpfully laid out, both of us are speculating.
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10 years ago  ::  Mar 01, 2008 - 9:58PM #35
CalKnox
Posts: 330
[QUOTE=Verdugo;324935]I never said "proof".  I said "logical conclusion."  Both of us are looking at the same set of data, both of us are speculating on a possible chain of events that could lead to the same outcome/ set of data.  Both are "logical" in that both posit a logical, orderly chain that would lead to the current data.  I suggested mine was "more logical"-- a better phrase would have been "more likely/probable".  That's simply my take on the data you helpfully laid out, both of us are speculating.[/QUOTE]

A “logical conclusion” must be based upon facts and logical arguments.  The only fact supporting the non authenticity of John 7:53-8:11 is its not being in Sinaiticus. 

The facts I present demonstrate the presence of this pericope in manuscripts at the same time and before Sinaiticus.  In addition, Augustine provides testimony regarding his contemporaries actions and a motive for their removing the pericope de adultera from the text.  That is more than opinion or preference.

Remember my purpose in this thread: to demonstrate claims of inferiority of the KJV bacause it differs from extant older manuscripts is based upon questionable arguments not considering all the historical facts.  It is not simply a matter of holding a physical specimen of an old piece of papyrus or parchment.  Such does not demonstrate what other older non-surviving manuscripts might have contained.  There exists additional historical evidence in quotations of the church fathers and early translations of the text.  These demonstrate what contemporaries found in their texts and sought to preserve.  There is sufficient reason to question the authenticity and reliability of Sinaiticus and Vaticanus.
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10 years ago  ::  Mar 02, 2008 - 8:37PM #36
Verdugo
Posts: 5,258
[QUOTE=CalKnox;326139]A “logical conclusion” must be based upon facts and logical arguments.  The only fact supporting the non authenticity of John 7:53-8:11 is its not being in Sinaiticus.[/QUOTE]

But that is still a fact.  And a logical argument can be built upon that fact for the non-authenticity of John 7:53-8:11.  And of course a counter-argument can be made, as you have ably demonstrated.  Both are logical conclusions-- differing hyposthesis posited to explain the same set of facts.  Either is possible.  The only dispute is which hypothesis is a more compelling or probable explanation for the existing facts.


[QUOTE=CalKnox;326139]Remember my purpose in this thread: to demonstrate claims of inferiority of the KJV bacause it differs from extant older manuscripts is based upon questionable arguments not considering all the historical facts. It is not simply a matter of holding a physical specimen of an old piece of papyrus or parchment. Such does not demonstrate what other older non-surviving manuscripts might have contained. There exists additional historical evidence in quotations of the church fathers and early translations of the text. These demonstrate what contemporaries found in their texts and sought to preserve. There is sufficient reason to question the authenticity and reliability of Sinaiticus and Vaticanus.[/QUOTE]

Yes, I understand your goal, that is precisely what I am responding to.  There is no question that the hypothesis that KJV relies on inferior texts is "arguable"-- I have said that from the very beginning.  But it is still a reasonable and logical explanation for the existing data.  And you have quite ably presented a quite reasonable and logical counter-explanation.  I'm simply stating that I'm still unconvinced.  Others may disagree and in fact be persuaded by your argument.  Either is possible, the question is again which is more probable.
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10 years ago  ::  Mar 03, 2008 - 6:42PM #37
mnwillems
Posts: 53
[QUOTE=CalKnox;322600]Would you preach on this passage?  Would you say it is the word of God?[/QUOTE]

For those communities for whom that particular passage was included in Scripture (regardless of placement) It would have been included as part of WHAT THEY CONSIDERED to be the Word of God. Thus it would have been used as such in the context of worship. As I indicated earlier, this particular passage may or may not have been part of John's original Gospel but we'll never know with absolute certainty one way or the other. However it does seem to be an authentic story from the life of Jesus. It does not contradict his other teachings, in fact it compliments them quite well. The way in which the teachers of the law and the Pharisees are portrayed is in keeping with the overall way they are depicted, especially in the Synoptics. It seems to meet all the requirements for inclusion in the Gospel accounts. So yes, I would use this passage as a pericope for preaching. Doing so would imply that I believe it is the Word of God. I would probably also indicate (in passing) that this particular passage is not found in some Greek manuscripts. Having said that, I need to remind myself that it is not the Word of God because I or any other human declared it to be so, "But the Spirit of God, bearing witness by and with the Scriptures in the heart of man, is alone able fully to persuade it that they are the very word of God." Westminster Confession - Larger Catechism - Q4

[QUOTE=CalKnox;322600]So, is the Authorized KJV or the NRSV based upon the more “reliable” manuscripts?  By what logical argument?[/QUOTE]

Once again, since agreement is evident in over 90% of the texts and most of those are minor, what difference does it make? What are the theological issues at stake here? (Christology, Soteriology, the nature of God, etc.) If it could be established that the KJV manuscripts are more "reliable" does that mean that translations based on other manuscripts are no longer the Word of God? If it's just about proving who is a more able logician, then all the debating in the world is nothing more than "sounding brass."
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10 years ago  ::  Mar 03, 2008 - 6:42PM #38
mnwillems
Posts: 53
[QUOTE=CalKnox;322600]Would you preach on this passage?  Would you say it is the word of God?[/QUOTE]

For those communities for whom that particular passage was included in Scripture (regardless of placement) It would have been included as part of WHAT THEY CONSIDERED to be the Word of God. Thus it would have been used as such in the context of worship. As I indicated earlier, this particular passage may or may not have been part of John's original Gospel but we'll never know with absolute certainty one way or the other. However it does seem to be an authentic story from the life of Jesus. It does not contradict his other teachings, in fact it compliments them quite well. The way in which the teachers of the law and the Pharisees are portrayed is in keeping with the overall way they are depicted, especially in the Synoptics. It seems to meet all the requirements for inclusion in the Gospel accounts. So yes, I would use this passage as a pericope for preaching. Doing so would imply that I believe it is the Word of God. I would probably also indicate (in passing) that this particular passage is not found in some Greek manuscripts. Having said that, I need to remind myself that it is not the Word of God because I or any other human declared it to be so, "But the Spirit of God, bearing witness by and with the Scriptures in the heart of man, is alone able fully to persuade it that they are the very word of God." Westminster Confession - Larger Catechism - Q4

[QUOTE=CalKnox;322600]So, is the Authorized KJV or the NRSV based upon the more “reliable” manuscripts?  By what logical argument?[/QUOTE]

Once again, since agreement is evident in over 90% of the texts and most of those are minor, what difference does it make? What are the theological issues at stake here? (Christology, Soteriology, the nature of God, etc.) If it could be established that the KJV manuscripts are more "reliable" does that mean that translations based on other manuscripts are no longer the Word of God? If it's just about proving who is a more able logician, then all the debating in the world is nothing more than "sounding brass."
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10 years ago  ::  Mar 04, 2008 - 1:42PM #39
CalKnox
Posts: 330
[QUOTE=mnwillems;330341]For those communities for whom that particular passage was included in Scripture (regardless of placement) It would have been included as part of WHAT THEY CONSIDERED to be the Word of God.



This implies the canon of Scripture is a mere subjective opinion of a particular Christian community for a limited time.  Roman Catholics and Eastern Orthodox include the Apocrypha is the Word of God?  Does that make it so?

For the Scriptures to have objective authority, there must be a definitive text with definite limits.

... I need to remind myself that it is not the Word of God because I or any other human declared it to be so, "But the Spirit of God, bearing witness by and with the Scriptures in the heart of man, is alone able fully to persuade it that they are the very word of God." Westminster Confession - Larger Catechism - Q4



As the whole human race has fallen into sin, the human heart is darkened and gripped with a prejudice against accepting the Bible as God’s Word.  Apart from the regenerating power of the Holy Spirit, not a single individual would recognize the supernatural revelation of God in the Bible.    Yet: “The authority of the holy Scripture, for which it ought to be believed and obeyed, depends not upon the testimony of any man or church, but wholly upon God (who is truth itself), the author thereof, and therefore it is to be received, because it is the word of God.” [WCF I:iv]

Once again, since agreement is evident in over 90% of the texts and most of those are minor, what difference does it make? What are the theological issues at stake here? (Christology, Soteriology, the nature of God, etc.)



While one must agree most essential Christian doctrines do not depend upon the less than ten percent of the original text in question, there are some essential doctrine at stake- those of the divine inspiration and preservation of the Scriptures.

Origen wrote concerning divine preservation of Scripture in the third century, “Are we to suppose that that Providence which in the sacred Scriptures has ministered to the edification of all the churches of Christ, has no thought for those bought with a price, for whom Christ died!”

A naturalistic approach to textual criticism presupposes the Bible is nothing more than a human book.  A consistent believing approach presupposes God’s supernatural inspiration and providential preservation of the Scriptures.

The Bible itself promises not one jot or tittle of his self revelation will pass away; and, “For ever, O LORD, thy word is settled in heaven.”  The Scriptures warn against our additions to or deletions from his Revelation.  Are we to assume an Almighty and Sovereign God would not providentially preserve his own words?  Did passages like Jn. 7:53-8:11 get added to the accepted word of God until Tichendorf discovered Sinaiticus at St. Catherine’s Monastery in 1844? Was God’s full revelation unknown until then?  What further additions or deletions are to be made dependent upon future discoveries of yet unknown ancient manuscripts?  Doesn’t that leave the whole of God’s word up for future revision?  How can it therefore be a unique and authoritative witness to Jesus Christ?

If it could be established that the KJV manuscripts are more "reliable" does that mean that translations based on other manuscripts are no longer the Word of God?



Previously answered.  As more than 90% of the text is unquestionably original, accurate translations of those passages are undoubtedly the word of God.  The problem with translations based upon unreliable manuscripts is the additions and deletions.  Reading one of these translations, how does one know what has been added or taken away from the original?  Without checking the original language text (which is why Presbyterians insist on ministers studying Hebrew and Greek), one cannot know which parts are undoubted and which are questionable.  However, knowing Greek doesn’t help if one presupposes part of the text has been lost or augmented and is subject to continuing revision based upon new discoveries and the opinion of scholars who reject the providential preservation of the text.

If it's just about proving who is a more able logician, then all the debating in the world is nothing more than "sounding brass."[/QUOTE]

That is a rather judgmental statement implying motives you cannot possibly know; suggesting that to ably, intelligently and logically defend a position in a public discussion forum is either motivated by pride or is useless babbling.  Such is a very un-Presbyterian attitude toward intellectual discourse. What good is an educated ministry if they are unable or unwilling to speak up for the truth?

Now, is your Bible the providentially preserved and inspired word of God, the unique and authoritative witness to Jesus Christ; or a purely human collection of documents, subject to continuing and subjective revision, addition and deletion?  Did the great spokesmen of the Reformation- Luther, Calvin, Beza, Knox- have access to a reliable and accurate text of the New Testament, from which they made their vernacular translations- Biblia das ist die ganze Heilige Schrifft Deudsch, the Geneva Bible, and the Authorized Version? The Reformation was guided by the Textus Receptus.

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9 years ago  ::  Jul 01, 2009 - 8:43PM #40
Roodog
Posts: 10,168

The KJV was the the best Bible available at that time(1611).It is the most trusted by the people and the most loved.


That is true unless you think the Geneva Bible was superior, which I don't know, I had just gotten mine not too long ago.


I had used the KJV along with others for almost 40 years.

For those who have faith, no explanation is neccessary.
For those who have no faith, no explanation is possible.

St. Thomas Aquinas

If one turns his ear from hearing the Law, even his prayer is an abomination. Proverbs 28:9
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