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My question is simple. How many more versions of the bible will there be before we one right? Seems every time a scholar thinks they have a better version to correct the problems with the previous versions they publish it? How many English bibles do we have now? Now some of the reasons to publish include readability, better scholarship on older witnesses, making a more accurate thought for thought or word for word version, etc, etc.

One last question. Should there be a super committee formed of all the current and soon to be bible scholars who have or will soon have versions published? Where they all agree to peer review everyone's work? Where all such works are condensed into two final works being one thought for thought and one word for word? No individual work will be published. No versions need be published other than these two version for many many years or until the language significantly changes again. What do you think?

I see such a work unifying all the churches, promoting memorization again, increased study, understanding and individual reading. A good thing right?

Tags: Bible, church, memorization, reading, scholarship, scripture, study, translation, unity

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Thanks, Steve.  Got to ask a question though because my recent post about the KJV becoming an idol demands it.  Considering the level of "veneration" given (kissing it and so forth), can you explain how that ISN'T an idol?  I don't believe you see it that way, but the clarification would be nice. :)  Or, to put it a different way, how would it differ if it WAS an idol?

As far as the differences between manuscripts, we understand and accept two things:

 

1) That copyist errors, and even complete verse editions DO creep in.

2) That these do not affect the doctrine and teaching of the Church, since we did not receive that from the Scriptures, but from Christ, through the Apostles, who taught faithful men who were able to (and did) teach others also.

 

Item 2 is why I said much earlier in the thread that the answer to the question of manuscripts is the same as the answer to the question of canonicity of whole books, and also the question of authority.

 

Simply put...it's not a problem.  We correct the errors when and where possible, and we preserve the text as exactly as possible.

 

I think it's funny that the KJVO crowd loves to harp on using the "Received Text", that is, the Byzantine Textform (i.e. the Orthodox Bible), and yet they poo-poo the Codex Sinaiaticus, and reject the deutero-canonical books.  Irony at its best!  But I digress.

 

Let me give you an example of a reading that could possibly make a doctrinal difference.

 

In 2 Thess. 2:13 and 14 the KJV reads:

2 Thess. 2:13, 14

But we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth: Whereunto he called you by our gospel, to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. (emphasis mine)

 This is, of course, a favorite proof text for Calvinists.

The Greek for the phrase "from the beginning", reads, in the Majority/Byzantine/Received Text (including, btw, the Codex Sinaiaticus*), "ἀπ᾿ ἀρχῆς", which does indeed mean "from the beginning."

However, you'll notice that the ESV, along with some other modern editions, reads "because God chose you [as the] firstfruits to be saved."

That's because the minority text, reads, in the Greek, "απαρχην", which means "firstfruits".

This is a difference of one letter (since spaces are not used in the early Greek manuscripts), easily explainable by a copyist error somewhere along the way.

The Orthodox Church has kept the reading of "from the beginning".  However, we do not at all acknowledge it's calvinistic predestinational interpretation, because that is contrary to the doctrine of the Church, which espouses free will.  There are other (more plausible, in the context, btw...but that's another thread) interpretations that do align with the received doctrine of the Church, and so this is not an issue.

We freely acknowledge that the other reading ("as the firstfruits") may be the correct one, or this may be.  The fact is that it doesn't matter.  The Scriptures are part of the tradition of the Church, and cannot be interpreted properly outside of that Tradition.  So if a doctrinal difference in a reading comes up, we compare the reading to a) the rest of the manuscripts, and b) the doctrine of the Church.  There has never yet been a case where this was not sufficient, nor do we anticipate one coming up.

Therefore, regarding translations, we do prefer a word-for-word method, wherever possible.  However, we recognize that it is not possible in every case, nor conducive to the understanding of the listener in all cases.  So while we prefer the KJV, the NKJV, the ESV, etc., and tend to stay away from the NIV, the Message, etc. for liturgical use, personal use of the latter, especially by those with pastoral and teaching duties, is fine.

----

*from here: http://www.codex-sinaiticus.net/en/manuscript.aspx?book=45&chap...

Sure.  This really folds back into the discussion about the difference between veneration and worship.

Many people and things can be venerated, but only God can be worshiped.  We do not hold that the Scriptures are "God in writing", and so we do not worship them.  We do, however, hold that Jesus Christ is "God in the flesh", and so we do worship Him.  (Note: this is because God is not an abstraction, but a Trinity of Persons.  A book cannot be a Person, but a man can be.)

On the other hand, they are holy and treasured because He can be found on every page.  And so, like the saints, in whose lives He is found as well, and who brought us the Gospel, we hold the books in high honor, and kiss them, etc.  IF there is worship above veneration involved, it is directed toward the One of Whom the Scriptures speak, not the Scriptures themselves, and certainly not the paper/vellum/papyrus and ink!


Daniel said:

Thanks, Steve.  Got to ask a question though because my recent post about the KJV becoming an idol demands it.  Considering the level of "veneration" given (kissing it and so forth), can you explain how that ISN'T an idol?  I don't believe you see it that way, but the clarification would be nice. :)  Or, to put it a different way, how would it differ if it WAS an idol?

As I said, meaningless.

Daniel said:

1. I think it was Bit closing it so he wouldn't have to keep ignoring the points we made. :)

2. I take "literal" as speaking of real events.  It isn't as if we have a lot of folks here that believe it to be figurative of something else or pure myth or something.  I think the YECs have co-opted the "literal" word to mean their particular literal understanding of it.  But one can believe in a literal historical Adam and such and still have a different understanding of HOW things  played out.  Just look at Augustine's "literal meaning of Genesis".  It isn't the same as what Ken Ham preaches, but it is still taking the text literally.

Marv said:

Daniel,

Thanks about the closing-the-thread business. What's the deal with that?

 

But also Daniel,

You don't know anyone who doesn't take Genesis as literal. Oops, pardon me while I choke on something here. I tend not to use literal because it is problematic. One problem: it seems to have lost it's meaning...

Marv, -1. But seriously, this thread is not my second career. Steve pointed out that I'm sloppy in my responses and doing damage, all of which the lot of you are happy to jump all over as if you will win the argument with the latest snarky remark. Daniel tries, I don't get where he find all his energy, but I think Marv is the best.Finely honed skill he has. You never see it coming. Daniel is too predictable. Too bad he's also a mod.

Anyway the evidence is all over the Bible. I have a new study I'm going to conduct, which will take some time to complete, but it's mostly for me because if you "know it better" scholars look down your noses at one of your own, Pagels, I think that's her name, in the April Fool's thread, then I expect loads of snickering when I get back to this topic.

Parting shot. No one has challenged the notion that the church is ill equipped to refute the heresy infiltrating the church. Nearly all* such churches test positive for NIV. Just sayin'. (* Hyperbole firmly lodged in my cheek and all. )


Marv said:

As I said, meaningless.

Bit, this was a retort to Daniel... about 47% having a little fun with him... the rest, rolling my eyes out of their sockets, that he'd say he doesn't know any of us with non-literal views of Genesis 1 on this board after years of back and forth about it... This means just about any view anyone names espouses a "literal" view of the chapter, which I told him in an earlier post deprived the term of any meaning... after which he reiterated his statement, at which point I reiterated my point that "literal" had become essentially meaningless if it can mean anything.

Bit Brush said:

Marv, -1. But seriously, this thread is not my second career. Steve pointed out that I'm sloppy in my responses and doing damage, all of which the lot of you are happy to jump all over as if you will win the argument with the latest snarky remark. Daniel tries, I don't get where he find all his energy, but I think Marv is the best.Finely honed skill he has. You never see it coming. Daniel is too predictable. Too bad he's also a mod.

Anyway the evidence is all over the Bible. I have a new study I'm going to conduct, which will take some time to complete, but it's mostly for me because if you "know it better" scholars look down your noses at one of your own, Pagels, I think that's her name, in the April Fool's thread, then I expect loads of snickering when I get back to this topic.

Parting shot. No one has challenged the notion that the church is ill equipped to refute the heresy infiltrating the church. Nearly all* such churches test positive for NIV. Just sayin'. (* Hyperbole firmly lodged in my cheek and all. )


Marv said:

As I said, meaningless.

Oh, I get it. Down a point, cool... ;-)

 

Oh, and sad to say, I don't think the Pagels post WAS an April Fool's thread. Alas. I did (snarkily) feign to believe that it was... but the author was serious, if I am not greatly mistaken.

 

Huh, NIV, oh like HIV, that's...  funny?

Bit Brush said:

Marv, -1. But seriously, this thread is not my second career. Steve pointed out that I'm sloppy in my responses and doing damage, all of which the lot of you are happy to jump all over as if you will win the argument with the latest snarky remark. Daniel tries, I don't get where he find all his energy, but I think Marv is the best.Finely honed skill he has. You never see it coming. Daniel is too predictable. Too bad he's also a mod.

Anyway the evidence is all over the Bible. I have a new study I'm going to conduct, which will take some time to complete, but it's mostly for me because if you "know it better" scholars look down your noses at one of your own, Pagels, I think that's her name, in the April Fool's thread, then I expect loads of snickering when I get back to this topic.

Parting shot. No one has challenged the notion that the church is ill equipped to refute the heresy infiltrating the church. Nearly all* such churches test positive for NIV. Just sayin'. (* Hyperbole firmly lodged in my cheek and all. )


Marv said:

As I said, meaningless.

This just hit my news feed and I thought I'd mention it.  

Dr. William Combs on the Beginnings of KJV-Onlyism

Interesting...we shall see.

Daniel said:

This just hit my news feed and I thought I'd mention it.  

Dr. William Combs on the Beginnings of KJV-Onlyism

I don't know how hard this is to grasp, but my definition of literal, when it comes to Genesis or the even the whole Bible for that matter, is that the text tells us what should and should not be taken literally...and I believe that a literal event can also be a type and foreshadow. When it comes to the penalties God handed down to man and the serpent, I believe we also have our first prophecy.

Marv said:

Bit, this was a retort to Daniel... about 47% having a little fun with him... the rest, rolling my eyes out of their sockets, that he'd say he doesn't know any of us with non-literal views of Genesis 1 on this board after years of back and forth about it... This means just about any view anyone names espouses a "literal" view of the chapter, which I told him in an earlier post deprived the term of any meaning... after which he reiterated his statement, at which point I reiterated my point that "literal" had become essentially meaningless if it can mean anything. 

Okay, now if we say "literal" is to take literally what the text tells us to take literally and to take figuratively what the text tells us to take figuratively, that's two meanings of literal right there. Because that seems to mean that to take a figurative passage figuratively is the literal reading. So literal A is sometimes literal B and sometimes figurative. 

That is akin to what I think Daniel is saying about Genesis: no matter what view one takes, day-age, framework, myth, if one believes it is the correct position then one can call it "literal." It ceases to mean anything.

But for a lot of people when they say "I don't take it literally" they mean they take something with "a grain of salt" or not all that seriously, i.e. they pick and choose what part of the author's intended meaning they wish to embrace. So that lets say a Jewish person might say "We are not supposed to eat pork, but I don't take that literally." That person knows full well that the intent of that law excludes pork, quite literally. But they mean they don't adhere to it strictly. Likewise, one may well believe that Genesis one really does say God created in six days, but that person may say "but I don't take it literally" and mean by it that they applaud the general sentiments of it in a broad sense, but don't give the actual details real serious consideration. People use "literal" like this all the time. It's a misuse of the word, I think, but it is common.

So I don't find the word that useful. Then there is "literal translation" which mean absolutely none of the above.

And people say thing like "When I told Dad about my grades he literally exploded." They use it as an intensifier and absolutely not in it's normal sense.

Ok, then, I don't take Genesis as 100% alegory. How's that?

Marv said:

Okay, now if we say "literal" is to take literally what the text tells us to take literally and to take figuratively what the text tells us to take figuratively, that's two meanings of literal right there. Because that seems to mean that to take a figurative passage figuratively is the literal reading. So literal A is sometimes literal B and sometimes figurative. 

That is akin to what I think Daniel is saying about Genesis: no matter what view one takes, day-age, framework, myth, if one believes it is the correct position then one can call it "literal." It ceases to mean anything.

But for a lot of people when they say "I don't take it literally" they mean they take something with "a grain of salt" or not all that seriously, i.e. they pick and choose what part of the author's intended meaning they wish to embrace. So that lets say a Jewish person might say "We are not supposed to eat pork, but I don't take that literally." That person knows full well that the intent of that law excludes pork, quite literally. But they mean they don't adhere to it strictly. Likewise, one may well believe that Genesis one really does say God created in six days, but that person may say "but I don't take it literally" and mean by it that they applaud the general sentiments of it in a broad sense, but don't give the actual details real serious consideration. People use "literal" like this all the time. It's a misuse of the word, I think, but it is common.

So I don't find the word that useful. Then there is "literal translation" which mean absolutely none of the above.

And people say thing like "When I told Dad about my grades he literally exploded." They use it as an intensifier and absolutely not in it's normal sense.

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