A History Of The Authorized Version

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Jerusalem Blade

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
Hello Dennis,

Thank you for your kind remarks. Though I’m not a doctor, but an educated layman (true, I’m a Ruling Elder, functioning as a Teaching Elder in a foreign-field mission church). I don’t even have a high school diploma save in the USMC the equivalency diploma I received there (1959/60) and the GED I received in a college in Florida upon being tested before matriculation. I don’t have a college degree, and haven’t darkened the door of a theological cemetery (oops, seminary). I reveal all this to encourage folks to undertake the not-very-difficult study of the basic principles of textual criticism and textual history. I mean, one does not need to be a trained and certified mechanic to understand the production history, quality control, and all-around superiority of a Mercedes-Benz over a poorer-quality vehicle. As our Bibles are without a doubt the most important book in our lives – upon which we stake our eternal destinies, and those of our families – it is appropriate to give some time and effort to study those matters pertaining to it. One does not need to be a textual scholar or critic, or even fluent in the Greek or Hebrew – which I am not – to know the textual and historical issues necessary to comprehend which Bibles are the best. We are not – to use Machen’s memorable phrase – to be under “the tyranny of experts”, seeing as the Lord has made these matters plain to all His people, not just the formally educated. And I flout my inferior educational background to prove this point, perhaps similarly to Paul’s boasting in his weakness and infirmities, in which Christ’s strength may be manifest in fulness (2 Cor 12:9, 10). Note, however, I do not in the slightest mean to denigrate those who have labored in seminaries and universities to better serve the Lord and His people! Were it not for such I would not have the resources I have! My point is that simple folks may know which Bibles are best, and be able to defend their views, discerning the misinformation so prevalent in these times.

A book I would recommend is Crowned With Glory : The Bible from Ancient Text to Authorized Version, by Dr. Thomas Holland.

[ame=http://www.amazon.com/Crowned-Glory-Ancient-Authorized-Version/dp/0595146171]Crowned With Glory : The Bible from Ancient Text to Authorized Version[/ame]


It is irenic, simple, clear, yet astute in its scholarship. It not only deals very well with the issues of the Greek text, but has an unusually good grasp of the Hebrew Masoretic, and that in light of the Dead Sea Scroll manuscripts. An easy read.


Jeff,

The ESV, NASB, NIV and most all modern versions (save the NKJV, MKJV and maybe one or two others in a similar vein) do use the Critical Text as their Greek base, and this is the primary reason for their inferiority.

What is left? The NKJV has some errors due to poor translation, even using the TR in the New Testament, though in the Old it does not use the Masoretic Text as its sole base – which the KJV does – but is eclectic. Notwithstanding this, it is not a bad translation. In fact, it is the pew Bible in the church I serve (the planting church gave me a choice between the NKJV and the ESV, and I opted for the former). The Modern King James Version, by Jay Green, is also not bad, though he has a preference for the Majority Text which shows through in a couple of brackets and some accompanying notes.

I would welcome – for the record – an updated-language AV, as long as the meanings, and the majestic (Hebrew-Greek language-structure rendered into) English were retained. Jakob Van Bruggen’s lesser-known work, The Future of the Bible (available from Russ Spees <[email protected]>, along with all of Ted Letis’ works), deals extensively and in great depth on the translation issue, as well as some textual matters. This is an excellent book.

I would no doubt keep and exclusively use my AV, though an updated form of it would be most welcome, and I could well use it in the church.

It has often been noted that the English of the AV remarkably captures the structure of both the Hebrew and Greek language as spoken by the prophets and apostles, thus re-presenting the majestic cadences of those tongues, as the Lord speaks through them. This is something not accomplished by the modern versions, which generally have a different translation principle. Bruggen goes into these things quite deeply.

Some folks don’t like the old language, and yet there is something to be said for there being a “set-apart” language, set apart from common discourse, for use in the House of God. When in the presence of an earthly king or president, we would be careful to use that speech which is acceptable in protocol on such occasions. Of course, if the king were our dad, we would be intimate in our communication, except when in formal occasions.

So far, the AV is the best translation I have to use.


Mike,

You bring up a good point when you say,

“The problem is that if we hold that God providentially preserved the TR....what about the Alexandrian Church that God apparently decided not to providentially provide with his word?”​

The question has also been phrased thusly:

“Would this mean that God’s people had no access to the TR readings before they were included in the TR? If only the Greek Byzantine was the providentially preserved text, what about other locations in the world that had a different text-type — did they not have an adequate Bible?”

I answer, There is a preserving of the text, and then there is a preserving of the text — where its integrity is held even to minute readings not granted the former. That the former was nonetheless adequate is analogous to the Bibles based upon the Critical Text (underlying the modern versions) being efficacious to save and edify God’s people today, as witnessed by the multitudes regenerated through those who use the NIV, NASB, ESV etc. The minute preservation occurred in the primary edition (KJV/TR) which was to serve the English-speaking people and the translations created for the vast missionary work they undertook, which impacted the entire world. (It is accepted by many today that the English language is now the universal language — the second language of most other nations.) There was a progression in the purifying of the text, so as to almost (some would say completely) perfectly reconstitute the original manuscripts of the apostles, even as there has been, in the area of theology, a restoration of apostolic doctrine, which also went through phases of deterioration and eventual renewal.

Thus, even those areas of the church which were non-Greek-speaking also had a “preserved text” — as do multitudes in this present day — though their texts were not “minutely preserved.” The texts they had were efficacious unto the salvation of souls and the sustaining of the churches.

As regards the “minutely preserved” text, I observe the fait accompli of His work – Him who said, “I am God, and there is none like me, Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all My pleasure” (Isaiah 46:9, 10) – I observe this Book produced in 1611, and I seek to understand in retrospect what He did and how He did it. I am aware some scoff at what they may term my “unscientific and ignorant” approach, but what is that to me? I do not have faith in their “science” or in their “learning,” so their judgment of my approach is not relevant to me. Some may term this (as I have heard said) “invincible ignorance,” but if my approach to knowledge is approved by my Lord, I care not for their disapproval.

Many times the people of God have not understood how a prophecy was to be fulfilled until it was a done thing, and then they looked backward to see how He had worked. It is thus in observing how He fulfilled His promise to preserve His word.

I look at the completed act of His providential preservation, the manuscripts He brought into the possession of (despised-by-many) Erasmus, and those editors who came after him; I follow the transmission backwards, the nature of those texts – behold, in the main they are those of the Byzantine text-type, with some few readings from the Latin Vulgate – and I seek to discern and construct what Maurice Robinson and Wm. Pierpont posited in their Introduction to The New Testament in the Original Greek According to the Byzantine / Majority Textform,

A sound rational approach which accounts for all the phenomena and offers a reconstruction of the history of textual transmission is all that is demanded for any text-critical hypothesis. (p. xxxii)

I am likewise aware that Messrs. Robinson and (the late) Pierpont would disown me as one of their illegitimate progeny, as they make clear on their page xli, but – as mentioned above – I want to make clear I refuse to be under bondage to “the tyranny of experts”. I do not need the knowledge of “experts” who proceed according to methodologies I do not subscribe to. I will consider their work (as much as I am able) and use it if I please.

Consider something else: When the Lord said, “the gates of Hell shall not prevail against...My church” (Matt 16:18), did this mean that no church would ever fail or apostatize? We have in Revelation evidence that some churches were in deep decline even then, and we know from history that many churches have been destroyed by succumbing to satanic wiles. But this does not in the slightest negate the saying of the Lord, for His true church will remain victorious over the dark powers, and He will preserve His elect. Likewise with the Scriptures, does the carelessness of men in handling and copying them, or their wickedness in altering them, negate the Lord’s saying, “Heaven and earth shall pass away, but My words shall not pass away”? (Matt 24:35) No, it does not, for others have been careful to preserve them, by the guiding hand of the Holy Spirit. Does the disobedience of men negate the truthfulness of God?

I repeat what I said above:

Thus, even those areas of the church which were non-Greek-speaking also had a “preserved text”—as do multitudes in this present day—though their texts were not “minutely preserved.” The texts they had were efficacious unto the salvation of souls and the sustaining of the churches.

To give you an example. I know a godly woman who loves God’s Word; she uses the NIV, and that has been her Bible since her conversion over 12 years ago. She may not even be aware of certain missing portions of it. For the last part of Ephesians 5:30, “of his flesh, and of his bones” is omitted from her version, without being testified to by a margin note! So also is Acts 8:37 in its entirety missing. Is her case much different from those pre-TR or MT people living in regions which had very similar omissions? God has preserved His word; the sinfulness of man and the wickedness of the devil have sought to deprive many of it in its unsullied integrity, yet God has triumphed over such darkness by adequately preserving it for the salvation of His beloved elect.

I hope this is helpful.

For King and Kingdom!

Steve
 
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TimV

Puritanboard Botanist
Thus, even those areas of the church which were non-Greek-speaking also had a “preserved text” — as do multitudes in this present day — though their texts were not “minutely preserved.” The texts they had were efficacious unto the salvation of souls and the sustaining of the churches.

As regards the “minutely preserved” text, I observe the fait accompli of His work – Him who said, “I am God, and there is none like me, Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all My pleasure” (Isaiah 46:9, 10) – I observe this Book produced in 1611, and I seek to understand in retrospect what He did and how He did it. I am aware some scoff at what they may term my “unscientific and ignorant” approach, but what is that to me?

I certainly wouldn't use the word "unscientific" since we're dealing with pure faith, not science. And "ignorant" may be a bit too strong as well, but you do need to be aware that if one can find three mistakes in the KJV, a different spelling in any of the texts that compose the TR etc.. then it becomes a question of degree. None of the verses you quote come anywhere near to proving that God would preserve a text "minutely" in any event.

The best that you can argue for is that there are less mistakes in, say, the KJV than in the, say, NIV. And then it becomes a question of "degree" not some such phrase like "minutely preserved" which implies no place name spelling differences etc... I mean that kind of faith boarders on the fanatic and non-systematic to me, although I also prefer the the same texts that you do.

Talking to Afrikaners, who have a similar sub-set to our KJV only crowd (the "Old Translation" is God's Word while the "New Translation" isn't as good since there're several mistakes) I could never understand what they were saying. I suppose most any language with more than one Bible translations has this particular subset of people.

I'll bet there were those types of people during the time of Christ, and that may very well be one of the reasons He mixed his quotes, sometimes quoting the Septuagint and sometimes quoting the Hebrew, perhaps to make the point that while God's Word will never pass away, we shouldn't equate God's Word to any particular text at the expense of others.
 

TimV

Puritanboard Botanist
Leigh, then summed up the issue quite well:

"If the authority of the authentical copies in Hebrew, Chaldee and Greek fall, then there is no pure Scripture in the Church of God, there is no high court of appeal where controversies (rising upon the diversity of translations, or ortherwise) may be ended. The exhortations of having recourse unto the Law and to the Prophets, and our Saviour Christ asking "How is it written," and "How readest thou," is now either of none effect, or not sufficient."

I don't know who Leigh is or was (like Elder R., my degree's in agriculture not theology) but that quote seems, at least on the surface, to be remarkably not well thought out. First, it simply isn't true. In the PCA and I assume most confessional denominations, there is a "high court of appeal" and they allow several translations based on several texts. May I ask which denomination you know of doesn't? This guy seems to be taking personal opinions to the point of excess. Second, Christ Himself, when asking those questions, quoted from two texts which in places are hugely different, so why on earth the man would appeal to an example which refutes his theory is beyond me. (Or, I may not understand the subject, and I trust I will be willing to change my views!).

BTW Thomas, in your fourth paragraph above you shouldn't use the term orthodox as excluding Catholics. It's a technical term.
 

Thomas2007

Puritan Board Sophomore
Leigh, then summed up the issue quite well:

"If the authority of the authentical copies in Hebrew, Chaldee and Greek fall, then there is no pure Scripture in the Church of God, there is no high court of appeal where controversies (rising upon the diversity of translations, or ortherwise) may be ended. The exhortations of having recourse unto the Law and to the Prophets, and our Saviour Christ asking "How is it written," and "How readest thou," is now either of none effect, or not sufficient."

I don't know who Leigh is or was (like Elder R., my degree's in agriculture not theology) but that quote seems, at least on the surface, to be remarkably not well thought out. First, it simply isn't true. In the PCA and I assume most confessional denominations, there is a "high court of appeal" and they allow several translations based on several texts. May I ask which denomination you know of doesn't? This guy seems to be taking personal opinions to the point of excess. Second, Christ Himself, when asking those questions, quoted from two texts which in places are hugely different, so why on earth the man would appeal to an example which refutes his theory is beyond me. (Or, I may not understand the subject, and I trust I will be willing to change my views!).

BTW Thomas, in your fourth paragraph above you shouldn't use the term orthodox as excluding Catholics. It's a technical term.

Hello Tim,

The gentlemen is Edward Leigh, he was an English puritan and theologian of the 17th century. Probably his most important work was his Critica Sacra that he did for the Westminster Divines. The quote there is very well thought out, it echos the general consensus of the high orthodox defending Sola Scriptura against the Tridentine counterattack, others would also utilize very similar language such as John Owen and Francis Turretin which culminated in the Helvetic Consensus Formula of 1675.

The modern departure from historic Reformed orthodoxy that you relate in reference to the PCA is precisely what we are arguing against - and why there is no "high court of appeal" today.

The whole idea of an authentic and legitimate tradition of the original language texts that preserved quoad verba (word) and quoad res (substance) the very words of God is completely redefined today. The historical definition has been abandoned following most notably BB Warfield and his radical departure with his "inerrant original autograph" hypothesis that places Scripture in dialetical tension arguing for priority of the autographs against the apographs. That is what is a "remarkably not well thought out" position. Our Protestant fathers would view that as a concession to Rome, because it was precisely Rome's argument standing upon the nature/grace dialetic of Aquinas and asserting the Roman Magisterium against Sola Scriptura. Rushdoony has insightful comments that would be applicable here:

"The modern view is a development of the position of the Council of Trent, but with an ironic twist. The center of authority is shifted now from the leaders of the Church (Catholic or Protestant) to the scholars of the Church. Well before the 19th century was over, Catholic scholars were questioning the right of Rome to deny them the freedom to pursue their studies to whatever conclusion they deemed necessary. In the second half of the 20th century, Catholic and Protestant prelates increasingly echo the conclusions of textual scholars.

The role of the Spirit of God has been transferred to the spirit of some men, i.e., those Biblical scholars engaged in textual studies. Not the text of Scripture itself but the word of the scholars determines the reading and dating of the text, i.e., its meaning and validity.
Paul tells us, “faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God” (Romans 10:17). Faith and hearing are the work of God in the life of man. It is a direct and personal relationship through Christ and the Holy Spirit. Now we have another mediator, the scholar.

The historic belief of Christians has been that the God who gave the Word preserved the Word. This is the doctrine of the preservation of the Word of God. The Word gives the direct and authentic Word of God. Now preservation has a new meaning. The Biblical scholars hold their’s is a word of restoration, so that preservation requires their restorative word. The triune God is replaced by scholarly men.

Thus, the denial of the Received Text’s validity is no small matter. It rests on a religious revolution with far-reaching implications. This means that many men of Reformed or Arminian theologies, who profess the orthodox doctrines of their communions, hold to a position which undermines their faith. It should not surprise us that seminaries and Biblical scholars have for generations led their churches into various forms of humanism. By playing god over God, they begin with the essence of original sin and humanism, man as his own god, determining the validity of everything, including the Word of God, for himself (Genesis 3:15). In effect, they say, “Yea, hath God said?” (Genesis 3:1) of the best of Scripture." RJ Rushdoony, The Problem of the Received Text

Today, modern Reformed Christians nominally utilize the language of our Confessions but they don't have the same definitions and meaning. And Authority no longer rests in Scripture we possess but in Scripture we don't posses, thus, a new Magisterium has arisen - the textual scholar who mediates God's word to us, quoad verba, through publishing corporations.

The Bride of Christ has been turned into a marketplace where publishing corporations bring forth a new Bible every five or six years that is finally going to get us a little bit closer to the inerrant original autograph, but not quite, and they make merchandise out of her in the process. For example, when the RSV was brought out it was published by Thomas Nelson, when the NKJV was brought out it too was published by Thomas Nelson - two different texts based upon two different theories - but there is a lot of money to be made from Christians with itchy ears always searching for some new thing. Now we have an evangelical update to the RSV called the ESV, something else to buy that finally gets you a little bit closer, but not quite, and still no Authority. Modern Christians spout out "Sola Scriptura" but they don't have the faith of our Fathers and don't believe they have in their hands the actual inspired and infallible Word of God. They are ashamed of that type of thinking and culturally despise those that affirm it.

The primarily theological and Pastoral approach of our Protestant Fathers to preserve and propagate the Prophetic Word unto the Church, has been replaced with a non-theological, non-Pastoral and Profitable Word of unordained and unelected textual scholars. Prophet and Profit may sound the same, but they have radically different meanings, and like Christ we need to take whips into our hands and drive those from the Church of our God that turn it into a den of thieves.

The historic view and arguments concerning autographa and apographa in the Protestant scholastics is one of linguistic continuity, not verbal inerrancy. Muller explains it better than I:

“By “original and authentic” text, the Protestant orthodox do not mean the autographa which no one can possess but the apographa in the original tongue which are the source of all versions. The Jews throughout history and the church in the time of Christ regarded the Hebrew of the Old Testament as authentic and for nearly six centuries after Christ, the Greek of the New Testament was viewed as authentic without dispute. It is important to note that the Reformed orthodox insistence on the identification of the Hebrew and Greek texts as alone authentic does not demand direct reference to autographa in those languages; the “original and authentic text” of Scripture means, beyond the autograph copies, the legitimate tradition of Hebrew and Greek apographa. The case for Scripture as an infallible rule of faith and practice and the separate arguments for a received text free from major (i.e., non-scribal) errors rests on examination of the apographa and does not seek the infinite regress of the lost autographa as a prop for textual infallibility.” Richard Muller, Post Reformation Reformed Dogmatics, Volume 2 - Holy Scripture the Cognitive Foundation of Theology, p. 433

Thus, your statements to Elder Rafalsky clearly indicate that while you may "prefer" the Received Text your thinking is presuppositionally standing upon the thinking of modern criticism. Its just that this thinking is not historically connected to the meaning of Sola Scriptura and Providential Preservation, it's a redefinition of the terms. I don't say that to be a judgment of you as you are probably unaware of the change, but just to inform you of that change.

An analogy that may put this into context and give you a frame of reference is the way in which the First Amendment to the United States Constitution has been reinterpreted through the 14th Amendment and the federal government becomes a central government lording over the States. Hence, the meaning of the First Amendment has been turned "inside out" via the 14th Amendment.

Consistent with this analogy, the "inerrant original autograph" becomes the "14th Amendment" to Sola Scriptura and turns the doctrine inside out. The logical trap erected by Warfield in his "inerrant original autograph" hypothesis to confound the critics asserting errancy now traps Christians also searching for inerrancy - Sola Scriptura as a doctrine of Authority now has no meaning. Rome explicitly understood this because yielding to their position allows them to erect the Magisterium as Authority over Scripture. In legal teminology this is called a "negative pregnant," it's a very sophisticated and complex way of thinking using double negatives to assert a positive and it is this complexity that makes unraveling this mess so difficult.

Hence, I would not approach the issue of the Alexandrian text upon the same grounds that Elder Rafalsky is doing above because the issue has never been one of Authority of that text. In other words, the Alexandrian text never was asserted by our Protestant Fathers in terms of Sola Scriptura and has always been maintained as subordinate to the Church Magisterium as its Latin Translation ascended to priority within that Church over the Hebrew and Greek. Contrariwise, the Byzantine text of the Greek speaking Churches was always appealed to by the continual usage of that text as having Authority over the Latin Vulgate by those who spoke that language. Hence, the authentic and legitimate tradition identified by the Reformers and defended by the Protestant Orthodox following them is based upon the "canonicity" of the text. Thus, Providential Preservation is a doctrine of Authority of the text resting upon the doctrine of inspiration and infallibility of the Word maintained within the linguistic continuity of the authentic and legitimate tradition of the Greek speaking Churches, not one of verbal inerrancy.

Therefore, I follow Turretin and simply dismiss the Alexandrian text as not being a part of the authentic and legitimate tradition because of its descrepancies from it. It must be conformed to the Providentially Preserved text.

“Faithful and accurate copies, not less than autographs, are norms for all other copies...and for translations. If any discrepancy is found in these, whether it conflicts with the originals or the true copies, they are not worthy of the name "authentic," and must be rejected as false and corrupted, and there is no other reason for this rejection except the discrepancy." Turretin, Doctrine of Scripture

Finally, your reference to Christ and the Apostles quoting the Septuagint is backwards - rather the Septuagint was reverse engineered to quote the New Testament. I think Elder Rafalsky has done some work there on PB, you may try searching for it as I don't know which thread it is in.

In conclusion, then, the doctrine of Sola Scriptura and Providential Preservation has always been a doctrine of Authority - not a doctrine of verbal inerrancy. It has never been one of pitting the autographa against the apographa. The radical shift at the beginning of the 20th century to the schools of thought within the text critical position is a heterdox aberration that undermines the Authority of Scripture in the name of Sola Scriptura.

I would point out, then, that denominations like the PCA and even my own, the OPC, have radically departed from the historic Reformed orthodox definition of Sola Scriptura and Providential Preservation. They need to be reformed.

Cordially,

Thomas
 

Jerusalem Blade

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
Hello Tim,

You will probably agree that pure faith and pure science are in perfect accord.

When Jesus says, in Matt 5:18, “Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled,” He is referring to the smallest of the Hebrew letters and parts thereof. Is this not talking of letters and words being kept from passing away, i.e., preserved?

Edward Hills, a textual scholar and KJV defender, said he found 3 errors in the KJV, one of which I know he attributes to Eramsus, and that is in Romans 7:6. I am still researching that. From Ted Letis’ books, I have learned that John Owen (and perhaps Turretin) owned possible minute variants within the TR editions, and their view was that God had allowed them:

This is from Dr. Theodore P. Letis’ The Majority Text: Essays and Reviews in the Continuing Debate:

Owen saw only the minor variants between the various editions of TR as valid areas for discrimination, staying within the broad parameters of providential preservation, as exemplified by “Erasmus, Stephen, Beza, Arias Montanus, and some others.” Within the confines of these editions was “the first and most honest course fixed on” for “consulting various copies and comparing them among themselves.”

This is both the concrete domain of the providentially preserved text, as well as the only area for legitimate comparisons to choose readings among the minutiae of differences. In fact, “God by His Providence preserving the whole entire; suffered this lesser variety [within the providentially preserved editions of the TR –TPL] to fall out, in or among the copies we have, for the quickening and exercising of our diligence in our search into His Word” [for ascertaining the finality of preservation among the minutiae of differences among the TR editions –TPL] (The Divine Original, p. 301)* It is the activity, editions, and variants after this period of stabilization that represent illegitimate activity, or, as Owen says, “another way.”

Thus Owen maintained an absolute providential preservation while granting variants. (“John Owen Versus Brian Walton” fn 30, p. 160)

* Owen’s Divine Original online. This is from volume 16 of Owen’s works.​

This would be in line with the thinking of Dr. Hills. There is another view, and that is God completely – that is, perfectly – preserved the Greek and Hebrew texts, so that they are without any error whatever. And a strong case could be made for that position also. Besides the verse (Matt 5:18) mentioned above, there is also Matt 4:4: “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.” Was the Lord indulging in hyperbole in that statement?

If one wants to understand the matter of the Greek editions (the Hebrew is another discussion) used by the Reformers and post-Reformation divines, it is helpful to learn something of the historical context of those times. Letis’ two books, (to obtain contact Russ Spees <[email protected]>) are excellent historical resources: The Majority Text, and The Ecclesiastical Text: Text Criticism, Biblical Authority, and the Popular Mind. Although there is some excellent work in the latter, I think the former might be the more valuable.

Who knows that the doctrine of providential preservation, and that with regard to the Textus Receptus (the early forms of it), was developed by the post-Reformation theologians to withstand the assault of Rome’s counter-reformation? And that the doctrine of Sola Scriptura was based on God’s preserving the texts these theologians had – the Reformation texts – and it was these “texts in hand” the WCF 1:8 had in mind. Letis’ latter book, The Ecclesiastical Text, has as its first essay the groundbreaking, “B.B. Warfield, Common-Sense Philosophy and Biblical Criticism,” which clearly proves that Warfield redefined the WCF’s understanding of the Scriptures referred to in 1:8 (contrary to the intent of its framers) to refer to the no-longer extant autographs instead of the apographs, the copies they actually had. Warfield meant well, but he departed from the bulwark of the Standards, and what we see today, in terms of the erosion of integrity in the Reformed communions, is in great measure a result of this. Of course there is more to this erosion, such as the recent entertaining of Arminianism within the very precincts of the Calvinist stronghold, yet the loss of a sure Scripture is as a mighty torpedo in the hull. It remains to be seen, the effects of this loss in that one body of congregations that held to the doctrines of grace. Maybe not this generation, but in one or two, should the Lord tarry that long, we will see devastation – as regards spiritual stability – that will make us weep, for this is the province of our children and grandchildren.

But to return to the matter of the text.

Dr. Hills (who got his doctorate in text criticism at Harvard) writes concerning the matter of providential preservation (in Believing Bible Study, pp. 217, 218),

The Logic of Faith – Maximum Certainty

God's preservation of the New Testament text was not miraculous but providential. The scribes and printers who produced the copies of the New Testament Scriptures and the true believers who read and cherished them were not inspired but God-guided. Hence there are some New Testament passages in which the true reading cannot be determined with absolute certainty. There are some readings, for example, on which the manuscripts are almost equally divided, making it difficult to determine which reading belongs to the Traditional Text. Also in some of the cases in which the Textus Receptus disagrees with the Traditional Text it is hard to decide which text to follow. Also, as we have seen, sometimes the several editions of the Textus Receptus differ from each other and from the King James Version.

In other words, God does not reveal every truth with equal clearness. Hence in New Testament textual criticism, as in every other department of knowledge, there are some details in regard to which we must be content to remain uncertain. But this circumstance does not in the least affect the fundamental certainty which we obtain from our confidence in God’s special, providential preservation of the holy Scriptures. Through this believing approach to the New Testament text we gain maximum certainty, all the certainty that any mere man can obtain, all the certainty that we need. Embracing the common faith, we take our stand upon the Traditional Text, the Textus Receptus, and the King James Version and acknowledge these texts to be trustworthy reproductions of the infallibly inspired original text. Admittedly there are some readings which remain undecided, but these are very few. For the special providential preservation of the Scriptures has kept this element of uncertainty down to a minimum.​

Throughout Hills’ books he does take this stance, that in a very few instances there are small errors, or variants about which we do not have certainty. There are other KJVO defenders who will not allow even this minimal uncertainty. In this case Romans 7:6 is more of an issue (to me, at any rate) than 1 John 5:7. Concerning Romans 7:6 (one of the three instances he admits) Hills says concerning the readings,

that being dead wherein we were held, opposed to, being dead to that wherein we were held

that the latter phrase is the correct one, and this error was due to “Conjectural emendation by Beza; correct reading given by KJV translators in margin.” As I said, I am still looking into this.

Let’s look at this matter of certainty versus uncertainty for a moment. I have looked elsewhere at this portion from Pickering’s The Identity of the NT Text where he examines the evidence concerning the CT’s reading of 1 Timothy 3:16 compared to the TR’s (the former deletes “God” and the latter retains it):

The argument from statistical probability enters here with a vengeance. Not only do the extant MSS present us with one text form enjoying a 95% majority, but the remaining 5% do not represent a single competing text form. The minority MSS disagree as much (or more) among themselves as they do with the majority. For any two of them to agree so closely as do P75 and B is an oddity. We are not judging, therefore, between two text forms, one representing 95% of the MSS and the other 5%. Rather, we have to judge between 95% and a fraction of 1% (comparing the Majority Text with the P75, B text form for example). Or to take a specific case, in 1 Tim. 3:16 some 600 Greek MSS (besides the Lectionaries) read "God" while only seven read something else. Of those seven, three have private readings and four agree in reading "who." So we have to judge between 99% and 0.6%, "God" versus "who." It is hard to imagine any possible set of circumstances in the transmissional history sufficient to produce the cataclysmic overthrow in statistical probability required by the claim that "who" is the original reading.​

To do some numerical comparing of our own: the three phrases Hills says are errors (BBS, p. 83) comprise nine Greek words. In the Greek of the Textus Receptus (1894 edition) there are 140,521 words. That is .0064% or sixty-four one thousandths of one percent. Compare that with the variance between the Greek of the TR and the Greek of the Westcott and Hort text: 9,970 Greek words are changed. That is 7.095%. This would be equal to having the entire book of Romans (9,447 words) plus 2 and 3 John (and then some) thoroughly changed (usually the changes are omissions)! The uncertainty is 1,108.59 times greater in the Critical Text. (The word count for the TR is from D.A. Waite’s, Defending The King James Bible, p. xii)

This is what Hills means when he says we opt for maximum certainty instead of maximum uncertainty. I suppose technically you can say that sixty-four one thousandths of one percent is but a degree less than seven percent and ninety-four one hundredths of one percent, but the difference is immense. At any rate, this is a view concerning the degrees of difference.

But in light of the Lord’s saying that man should live by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God, for you to say it “borders on the fanatic” to hold to a “minutely preserved” text is a bit risky. And when He assures us that “His divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness” (2 Pet 1:3) this may easily include that by which we must live, that being His “every word”. So those who make the claim for a perfectly preserved text have warrant for their presupposition that He would fulfill His promises to do so. It is neither far-fetched nor fanatical, although it must indeed take into account the providential – the supernatural – working of the Almighty.

Since you mention it, would you mind showing me where Jesus quoted the Septuagint (as though the Jewish Messiah would speak in Greek to His rabbinic and Pharisaic enemies)?

According to the Presbyterian confession, is not the “high court of appeal” the Scripture in the original languages? From the WCF 1:8:

The Old Testament in Hebrew (which was the native language of the people of God of old), and the New Testament in Greek (which, at the time of the writing of it, was most generally known to the nations), being immediately inspired by God, and, by His singular care and providence, kept pure in all ages, are therefore authentical; so as, in all controversies of religion, the Church is finally to appeal unto them....​

The Greek New Testament spoken of was the Textus Receptus of the Reformers. While what you say to Thomas concerning “confessional denominations” (and I would speak concerning the Reformed ones) is so, and there is a lack of unanimity as to what the genuine word of God is, the trickle-down effect of this is devastating the house of God.

What you say to Thomas re Catholicism, that “technically” they should be included among the “orthodox”: On what technicality can murderers of Christians – centuries worth of murders! – and heretics depriving vast multitudes of the true Gospel of Christ, be called “orthodox”? I know this last question is off topic, but you piqued my curiosity.
 
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TimV

Puritanboard Botanist
As I said, I am still looking into this.

And I can save you two lots of time and huge amounts writing on threads like this by pointing out, again, that Christ quoted both the Septuagint and Hebrew Scripture, which vary 100 times more than the TR does from some other texts used by modern translations. And that totally destroys the basic foundations of your argument. And without reams of writing. If you say God obligated Himself to preserve a text "minutely preserved" then Christ would have quoted from it and from no other.


Since you mention it, would you mind showing me where Jesus quoted the Septuagint (as though the Jewish Messiah would speak in Greek to His rabbinic and Pharisaic enemies)?

Friend, if you substitute Aramaic for Hebrew then that statement would indeed be both silly and ignorant. Do you honestly think that Christ only spoke in Hebrew? Christ speaking Aramaic is page one chapter one when you start learning these things, and what does that have to do with a "Jewish Messiah" anymore than speaking Greek?

But let's start this way. Do you doubt that Christ took quotes from the Septuagint text at times (into whatever language He translated it into) rather than the Hebrew?

And do you know why many churches, like many Eastern Orthodox, use the Septuagint in their Bibles, and even to translate Scripture into different languages, rather than the Hebrew text? Have you found something some of the greatest thinkers in history have missed?
 

Jerusalem Blade

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
Tim,

What I was looking into was Romans 7:6.

It was a simple request, "would you mind showing me where Jesus quoted the Septuagint"?

No doubt the Lord Jesus spoke Greek, and Aramaic was the language of the Jewish people at that time, while the language of the Temple and the synagogue was Hebrew (albeit the latter targumed into Aramaic).

But I wasn't talking about Aramaic; I was talking about Him using Greek (or a Greek version translated for that matter) to the Hebrew-speaking and reading scribes, Pharisees and priests.

You say, "But let's start this way. Do you doubt that Christ took quotes from the Septuagint text at times (into whatever language He translated it into) rather than the Hebrew?" Yes, I do doubt it. Please show me where.

Actually, it is mostly the Greek Orthodox who use the Septuagint as their OT, and I do know why they use it: they consider it superior to the Hebrew, even as they consider their language, church, and philosophy superior to all others. The Russian Orthodox use the Hebrew to translate their OT from, as it is the original language it was written in (for the most part).

Unless you can give me some examples of Jesus using the LXX, you are only begging the question, that is, assuming what you have yet to prove.

I'm sorry if I have offended you in any way, Tim. I have been trying to conduct this conversation in a scholarly yet friendly way.
 

TimV

Puritanboard Botanist
What you say to Thomas re Catholicism, that “technically” they should be included among the “orthodox”: On what technicality can murderers of Christians – centuries worth of murders! – and heretics depriving vast multitudes of the true Gospel of Christ, be called “orthodox”? I know this last question is off topic, but you piqued my curiosity.

It's not off topic, in that we're dealing with private language issues, and private language doesn't help with debate. There is no substitute from a thorough regimen of study. For a technical religious definition of orthodox you need to go to an ecclesiastical encyclopedia and look up the word. It does nobody any good to play rhetorical games. Like the above. Or like "why would the Jewish Messiah speak such and such a language?" when dealing with whether or not He quoted from both the Septuagint and the Hebrew text. It has absolutely nothing to do with the subject.

Read Matthew 13:14-15 in the KJV and then Isaiah 6:9-10 in the same translation. Then read the Isaiah in the Septuagint and tell me which is closer.
 

Jerusalem Blade

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
Steven,

No, I haven't had time to compile my stuff and put it into a blog -- I would also have to organize it somewhat, and I'm pressed for time (there's a lot of material!). Though it is a good idea, and I am thinking about it again. Thanks for asking.

Steve
 

Jerusalem Blade

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
"If Greek was the language of the court and camp, and indeed must have been spoken by most in the land, the language of the people, spoken also by Christ and His Apostles, was a dialect of the ancient Hebrew, the Western or Palestinian Aramaic. It seem strange that this could ever have been doubted. A Jewish Messiah Who would urge His claim upon Israel in Greek, seems almost a contradiction in terms. We know, that the language of the Temple and the Synagogue was Hebrew, and that the addresses of the Rabbis had to be “targumed” into the vernacular Aramaen – and can we believe that, in a Hebrew service, the Messiah could have arisen to address the people in Greek, or that He could have argued with the Pharisees and Scribes in that tongue, especially remembering that its study was actually forbidden by the Rabbis?"

From The Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah, Vol. 1, pp.129, 130; by Alfred Edersheim​

Taken from the thread, http://www.puritanboard.com/f63/what-language-did-Jesus-apostles-read-scriptures-26314/#post321502

Back tomorrow; bedtime here.
 

KMK

Administrator
Staff member
My only argument is with those that would say the KJV is the best/only "acceptable" translation of the TR.

To say that the KJV is the 'best' is not the same thing as saying it is the 'only acceptable' translation.

I find no reason that a group of Godly men couldnt accurately translate the TR today, using current, professional, scholarly english (none of the "yo man/dude trash) version.

No doubt that this is true. However, because 'current' English is simply not as accurate as 'KJV' English, any attempt to modernize the language will result in less accuracy. Take, for example, the 'ye and you' of the KJV would become only 'you' in 'current' English no matter how professional or scholarly.

Those who advocate a 'current' English version of the TR must admit that they believe readability is more important than accuracy.

The flip side of the argument is that we ought to keep the accuracy of the KJV and teach people how to read it. That was the example of our Puritan forefathers because, as was noted before, the English of the KJV was never anyone's spoken English. It has always been a language that had to be learned.

see, the KJV borrows heavily from the GEneva Bible and another translation.

Actually it was the Bishop's Bible that the KJV borrowed from most.

From the KJV translation rules as posted by Andrew here: http://www.puritanboard.com/f63/KJV-translation-rules-20107/

The first instructed them to make the "Bishop's Bible," so called, the basis of their work, altering it no further than fidelity to the originals required…

Id like to see how a ESV/NASB would have any negative effect on Doctrine, reproof, Instruction, etc.. as far as I can read the ESV/NKJV/NASB all use the TR as the primary ORigianl greek.

See this awesome thread: http://www.puritanboard.com/f63/av-theology-compared-modern-versions-19437/
 

Jerusalem Blade

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
I have been challenged by TimK with his assertion that Jesus quoted from both the Hebrew OT and the Greek Septuagint. I asked him for an instance, and he provided this:

Read Matthew 13:14-15 in the KJV and then Isaiah 6:9-10 in the same translation. Then read the Isaiah in the Septuagint and tell me which is closer.​

This is a complex and nuanced topic, so I hope you will bear with me, Tim, even though you have sought to save me “lots of time and huge amounts [of] writing on threads like this” if only I would adopt your view of the texts Jesus quoted. Thanks, but the facts compel me to decline your offer. And it is good exercise for the mind to study and research topics like this, and not having dealt in-depth with this verse before, and desiring to further illumine this matter of the LXX, I am happy to spend the time writing on it.

What facts?

In the book by Floyd Nolen Jones, The Septuagint: A Critical Analysis.pdf, the historical background and quality of the LXX is thoroughly examined. These are among the points concluded (see page 22):

(1) The letter of Aristeas [which purports to give a history of the LXX –SMR] is mere fabrication (Kahle called it propaganda), and there is no hard historical evidence that a group of scholars translated the O.T. into Greek between 285-150 B.C.

(2) The research of Paul Kahle shows that there was no pre-Christian LXX.

(3) No one has produced a Greek copy of the Old Testament written before 150 A.D.

(4) Aquila, Symmachus, Theodotion and Origen produced the first "Septuagints" – that none
existed before their works.

(5) The Septuagint "quotes" from the New Testament and not vice versa, i.e. in the matter of
N.T. - O.T. quotation, the later formulators of the Greek O.T. made it conform with the New
Testament Text which they had before them as they forged their product.

(6) After 1900 years of searching, archaeology has failed to produce a single piece of papyrus
written in Greek before c.150 A.D. that any writer of the New Testament used for a "quotation".

They further point out that the nearest thing to an Old Testament Greek Bible found by anyone is the Ryland Papyrus (No. 458), which has a few portions of Deuteronomy 23-28 on it. This piece of papyrus is dated 150 B.C. (questionable date) which is fifty to one hundred years later than the writing of the so-called original Septuagint (see footnote 1, p. 36).”

The entire book, in pdf format, is provided so one may become familiar with the pros and cons of the LXX debate. Of course, there is an entire industry built around these text-critical matters, where we are told that on our own we cannot hope to sort out the muddle of the textual problems – in both the Old and New Testaments – that confront the reader of the Bible (God having failed to provide an intact one for His people), but for our benefit they will undertake to devote their lives as part of this Bible Industry, and make their living from it. We are only required to buy their books and the periodic “new Bibles” they produce as they pursue “the [ever elusive] authentic text”.

But to the text in question!

The Authorized Version, Matthew 13:14, 15:

And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Esaias, which saith, By hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and shall not perceive:
[see also: Isa 6:9, John 12:40, Acts 28:26]

For this people's heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.
[see also: Isa 6:10, Mark 4:12, Acts 28:27]​

The Authorized Version, Isaiah 6:9, 10:

And he said, Go, and tell this people, Hear ye indeed, but understand not; and see ye indeed, but perceive not.
[see also: Mt 13:14 Luke 8:10 John 12:40 Acts 28:26]

Make the heart of this people fat, and make their ears heavy, and shut their eyes; lest they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and convert, and be healed.
[see also: Mt 13:15 Mark 4:12 Acts 28:27]​

The Septuagint [click for link!] (by Sir Lancelot C.L. Brenton), Isaiah 6:9, 10:

Ye shall hear indeed, but ye shall not understand; and ye shall see indeed, but ye shall not perceive.

For the heart of this people has become gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes have they closed; lest they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and be converted, and I should heal them.​

So here we have two versions of the prophet Isaiah, the Hebrew Masoretic and the Greek Septuagint. Should they both be considered inspired by God? 2 Timothy 3:16 says, “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness...” Can the LXX be considered Scripture, “given by inspiration of God”?

According to Moses (Deuteronomy 31:24, 25), it was to the Levites only that the care of the Scriptures were given, their keeping and their copying. The one exception to this was the king, who was commanded to “write him a copy of this law in a book out of that which is before the priests the Levites...” (Deut 17:18, 19). So when this translation purported to be written by six elders out of each tribe in Israel is presented to us, are we to accept it as of God? It was not done by those appointed and authorized to copy or in any way reproduce God’s word.

So what is the status of the Isaiah 6 passage in the LXX? I maintain it is the same as that in Psalm 14:3 of the LXX (see post #5 in that thread). It was “back-engineered” from the New Testament to conform to what the writers thought was the correct OT reading, not realizing (or caring) that the Lord and the NT authors, inspired by the Holy Spirit, sometimes modified the OT quotes to suit His purposes in the new covenant situation.

There are reports of the five Books of Moses existing before the time of Christ – and the quality of those five books in the Septuagint are of fair quality (see below for more on this), but we have no warrant at all to confidently assert the existence of the rest of the Old Testament in Greek before the time of Christ, or before the end of the first century, for that matter.

Concerning Christ’s quotation in Matthew of the Hebrew Isaiah passage, Calvin says, “these are not the ipsissima verba [the very words] of the prophet; but it does not matter, for all Christ wanted to show was that there was nothing novel or unusual in many people being struck senseless at God’s Word.” Calvin and other reformers knew of the LXX, as it was known to Erasmus before him, being given numerous texts from the Vaticanus manuscript (where the primary LXX text is found!) by a friend of his:

“We are informed by another author that, if Erasmus had desired, he could
have secured a transcript of this manuscript" (Bissell, Historic Origin of
the Bible, p. 84).

"There was no necessity, however, for Erasmus to obtain a transcript
because he was in correspondence with Professor Paulus Bombasius at Rome,
who sent him such variant readings as he wished" (S.P. Tregelles, On the
Printed Text of the Greek Testament, p. 22).

"A correspondent of Erasmus in 1533 sent that scholar a number of selected
readings from it [Codex B], as proof [or so says that correspondent] of its
superiority to the Received Text" (Frederic Kenyon, Our Bible and the
Ancient Manuscripts, Harper & Brothers, 1895, fourth edition 1939, p. 138).

[Taken from a post on the manuscript evidence available to the Reformation editors]​

That the wording of the LXX Isaiah passage is close to the AV reading proves what? Often the Lord and the apostles quoted the OT loosely, and not “the ipsissima verba”, according as the Spirit of God guided them. As with the “back-correcting” of the LXX’s Psalm 14:3 to “match” Romans 3:12-18, this is the same thing.

Consider, the Hebrew priests and Levitical scribes knew in their very bones that they were not to add or take away or change even one letter of the words God gave them through Moses, the prophets and inspired authors of Scripture. They knew the number of letters in each book, and in the entire Scripture, and counted them to make certain they added or omitted nothing while writing a new copy of their Hebrew texts. The writers of the LXX had no such compunctions. They added entire books, omitted things they thought should not be in the Scripture, were careless in their work; in short, they were not the authorized caretakers of God’s Word. What they produced was not God’s Word, but a facsimile of it, and a poor one at that.

When Jesus said that not “a jot or tittle” would be removed from the Law He could only be referring to the Hebrew, for the "Jot" is the Hebrew word "Yodh", the 10th letter of the Hebrew alphabet, and the smallest letter. Tittle refers to the little lines or projections by which the Hebrew letters differ from each other. Dr. Thomas Strouse comments,

“Since the Greek OT (LXX) does not have jots and tittles He was not referring to this inferior translation which has a historical background and timetable that are very suspect.”

(Taken from his larger article on the OT Hebrew Text)​

Jones begins to sum up his finds at the end of his book; he says,

At this point the reader should, in all fairness, be apprised of the fact that very nearly all references in the literature which allude to the Septuagint actually pertain to only two manuscripts, Vaticanus B and Sinaiticus [size=+1]a[/size].

This is especially true of Codex Vaticanus B.[1] Dr. Ira M. Price, who is certainly
no ally to the position and findings of this author (FNJ), nevertheless clearly discloses (as does Swete and Kenyon) that the text of all the "standard" LXX editions over the past 400 years – the 1587 Sixtus, Holmes-Parsons, von Tischendorf (Swete, p. 187), Swete, the Brooke-McLean great Cambridge edition, Rahlfs 1935 edition – has rested mainly on Vaticanus B along with Aleph (= "S" or [size=+1]a[/size]) and Alexandrinus A.[2] This little known reality is generally concealed from the student. When he consults any standard LXX reference on a reading, he finds many various sources cited throughout the work. As a result, he is left with the impression that the LXX before him is a fully representative text of all these many ancient sources. But this is grossly misleading as all those citations merely represent the few thousand variant "corrections" that have been consulted and/or added to the main text; yet the central text is almost exclusively that of B and [size=+1]a[/size].

Hence a false impression has been created, and the student is left deceived as though the extant LXX prepared for general use is something other than it is. Indeed, what real significance can rightly be attached to these few thousand references when one weighs them against the vast bulk of the c.430,000 words (Apocrypha excluded) contained in the Greek Old Testament? These two uncial MSS[3] also contain Bel and the Dragon, Tobit, Judith etc. Thus, it must be recognized that the Septuagint which we actually utilize in practical outworking, the LXX which is cited almost 90 percent of the time, is actually the LXX that was written more than 250 years after the completion of the New Testament canon – and by a "Catholicized Jehovah's Witness" at that!

Notes
[1] Price, Ancestry of Our English Bible, op. cit., pp. 69-70; Horne, An Introduction to the Critical Study and Knowledge of the Holy Scriptures, op. cit., fn. 1 on p. 282 and fn. 3 on p. 288; Swete, An Introduction to the Old Testament in Greek, op. cit., pp. 181-190; Kenyon, Our Bible and the Ancient Manuscripts, op. cit., p. 121. Codex Alexandrinus A is also an LXX MS and is a major source for variant reading considerations; see Price, p. 70 and Horne's fn. 1 on p. 289, fn. 3 on p. 299, & fn. 2 on p. 301.
[2] Kenyon, Our Bible and the Ancient Manuscripts, op. cit., p. 121: "The text of the current editions of the Septuagint are mainly derived from this (i.e., Vaticanus B - FNJ) manuscript".
[3] These MSS (B and Aleph) are probably two of the 50 copies of the Bible (or at least first generation copies of these 50) which Constantine commissioned Eusebius to prepare and place in the major churches throughout the empire. See Frederick Nolan, An Inquiry into the Integrity of the Greek Vulgate or Received Text of the New Testament, (London, Eng: F.C. and J. Rivington Pub., 1815), pp. 25-42, 94, 99; Price, Ancestry of Our English Bible, op. cit., p. 79. Vid. supra the Apocrypha, fn. 3 on p. 23.​

I don’t believe the assertion that the Septuagint is quoted by our Lord and the NY authors. There is too much information which contradicts its authenticity, both historical and textual.

I’m sorry this post is not as well organized as I’d like, but there was a lot of information – too much information! – at my disposal, and I had to opt for some brevity over comprehensiveness. Dr. Jones’ book (link above) will give you far better comprehension than this brief sketch here.

There are so many things which assault our faith in God’s true word. And yet He has raised up faithful men to shine light in the encroaching darkness.

I hope my Reformed brethren will not object to my often using the work of Independent Fundamentalist Baptists; it is the Lord Jesus’ doing that these folks have some of the best scholarship in the area of textual studies and defense. We differ with them on the Doctrines of Grace, but stand with them on the matter of God’s Word.
 

KMK

Administrator
Staff member
When Jesus said that not “a jot or tittle” would be removed from the Law He could only be referring to the Hebrew, for the "Jot" is the Hebrew word "Yodh", the 10th letter of the Hebrew alphabet, and the smallest letter. Tittle refers to the little lines or projections by which the Hebrew letters differ from each other. Dr. Thomas Strouse comments,

“Since the Greek OT (LXX) does not have jots and tittles He was not referring to this inferior translation which has a historical background and timetable that are very suspect.”

(Taken from his larger article on the OT Hebrew Text)​

Very interesting!

Hence a false impression has been created, and the student is left deceived as though the extant LXX prepared for general use is something other than it is. Indeed, what real significance can rightly be attached to these few thousand references when one weighs them against the vast bulk of the c.430,000 words (Apocrypha excluded) contained in the Greek Old Testament? These two uncial MSS[3] also contain Bel and the Dragon, Tobit, Judith etc. Thus, it must be recognized that the Septuagint which we actually utilize in practical outworking, the LXX which is cited almost 90 percent of the time, is actually the LXX that was written more than 250 years after the completion of the New Testament canon – and by a "Catholicized Jehovah's Witness" at that!

Also, very interesting!

I had heard of this book before. Thank you for providing a link!

BTW, why would CT advocates mind if you quote from a fundy baptist since they are so fond of quoting from Metzger? :lol:
 

Jerusalem Blade

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
CT,

I downloaded them in pdf from the same site, but haven't had time to look at them yet. I will shortly, and comment.
 

Grymir

Puritan Board Graduate
Thanks Jerusalem Blade! You know your stuff. This is far better than the tripe I usually hear. I especially liked the line about not needing to be an expert in Hebrew and Greek to know a good translation! Super enjoyable. I'll give thanks tomorrow. See my prayer about dishwasher installation for why.
 

Thomas2007

Puritan Board Sophomore
“We are informed by another author that, if Erasmus had desired, he could
have secured a transcript of this manuscript" (Bissell, Historic Origin of
the Bible, p. 84).

"There was no necessity, however, for Erasmus to obtain a transcript
because he was in correspondence with Professor Paulus Bombasius at Rome,
who sent him such variant readings as he wished" (S.P. Tregelles, On the
Printed Text of the Greek Testament, p. 22).

"A correspondent of Erasmus in 1533 sent that scholar a number of selected
readings from it [Codex B], as proof [or so says that correspondent] of its
superiority to the Received Text" (Frederic Kenyon, Our Bible and the
Ancient Manuscripts, Harper & Brothers, 1895, fourth edition 1939, p. 138).

[Taken from a post on the manuscript evidence available to the Reformation editors]​

That the wording of the LXX Isaiah passage is close to the AV reading proves what?

Steve,

Thanks for taking the time to put this together. I would add a couple of points for clarification to provide a stronger answer to your rhetorical question.

1. In Erasmus travels, in particular the years he lived with Aldus Manutius, and then following was secretary to the Pope, he appears to have actually come into contact and seen the Vaticanus itself. Manutius had gathered together several greek Christians from Constinople, that had escaped the Muslim overthrow, and brought manuscripts of the Scripture with them. They lived together for a number of years pledging to speak and write only in Greek while they did so for the purposes of becoming intimately and organically connected with the language of Scripture. It is here in this environment that Erasmus refined his Greek skills and began his work. Aldus Manutius is the founder of the Aldine Press and also, interestingly enough, inventor of the italic type face which is utilized by the Authorized Version to indicate translational emmendation so as not to impugn the ipsissima verba of the underlying original tongue!

I'm providing a quote below from one of my recent lectures concerning this.

I finished those lecture series this past Lord's Day with a lot of in-depth research that debuncts the majority of the historical revisionism of the critical camp. Moreover, I've arrived at the conclusion that Erasmus has to be examined from an entirely different vantage point to properly understand him and his work. In other words, the apologetic that has been mounted to defend the Recieved Text against the modern critical smears, while many times are factually correct counterpoints, are nevertheless premised upon a false revision of the actual history by the modern critical schools.

For example, one of the critical school smears is how hastily Erasmus worked with Froben, but what they don't tell you is that his license from Maximillius extended him exclusive printing rights for four years. A license, though, is a license of the press - not the scholar. Yet, they insinuate that the haste was required to beat the Complutesian to press - who were, after all, prohibited from printing by the exclusive license. Nor do they tell you that this license and original arrangement for printing was with Erasmus' good friend Aldus Manutius who, however, died in February 1515. This necessitated an arrangement with a new printer, Froben, who wanted to print his Latin translation and annotations separate from the Greek text, but Erasmus wouldn't hear of it because he wanted his translation to be presented as standing upon authority of the original greek. The haste doesn't appear to be attempting to beat the Complutesian to press, as they allege, rather it seems to be over concerns of Froben's partner of printing the Greek text on its own which he did a few months later. Failure to grasp the importance of Erasmus' Latin Translation in relation to the original greek is a major misunderstanding of modern Christians and the basis in which they are so easily deceived by the modern critical schools historical revisionism.

Hence, Erasmus and Manutius were working on this project together, with Erasmus preparing his Latin translations and Annotations for publication while living in England from 1509 to 1515 at the request of King Henry VIII, and Manutius preparing the Greek in Italy. They also don't tell you that the manuscripts he worked from in England were seized by customs officials when he went to Basel. Hence, the necessity of haste where he says: "At last I have escaped from the workhouse in Basel, where I have got through six years work in eight months,” were necessitated because of Manutius death with the preparation of the Greek for printing now falling upon his shoulders amidst the disagreement of how they should be printed - together or separately. This answers so many questions and solves them, as well, like the last six verses of Revelation and more very important ones.

Hence, to properly present the truth, integrity must be built for Erasmus work, and it can be. It most certainly can be!

I've walked away from this study with a lot more respect for Erasmus. It's easy to look at history from one side, especially based upon the theological conflict derived from Luther's Bondage of the Will, and end up with a skewed impression that Erasmus' erred soteriological understanding brands him as a virtual Arminian heretic. However, who knows that Luther owes his very life to Erasmus? When the Elector of Saxony received word that the Pope wanted to see Luther in Rome, and everyone knew what that meant, he sent for Erasmus to advise him. His response was: "Luther has committed two sins: he has touched the pope's crown and the monks bellies." He then advised the Elector to protect Luther.

The truth is much deeper and much clearer than the historical revisionism fed to us in "cunningly devised fables" (2 Peter 1:16) by the modern critical schools.

Here is the quote:

If you remember, Erasmus collated many manuscripts dividing them into two classes, those that coincided with the Byzantine texts and those that coincided with the Vaticanus. Since the Latin Vulgate came into existence in 382 AD, he characterized Greek manuscripts of this era as being corrupted by Arians and Origenists. As he said defending his rejection of their readings in 1527: “We too came across a manuscript of this nature, and it is said that such a manuscript is still preserved in the papal library written in majuscule characters.” Dr. DeJonge says of this statement: “The manuscript to which Eramus refers at the end of this passage is the Codex Vaticanus…designated B, Erasmus regarded the text of this codex as…inferior.” In his textual work from 1522 to 1535 Paul Bombasius and Sepulveda would provide Erasmus several hundred readings from the Vaticanus.​
Interior quote from H.J. De Jonge, Erasmus and the Comma Johanneum

It should be no surprise, then, that the Pope's library was open to the greatest scholar of the day while serving as the Pope's secretary! Further, it should be easier to understand that Erasmus's requests for transcriptions of certain passages are based upon his prior examination of the manuscript itself.

2. Now to answer your rhetorical question: "That the wording of the LXX Isaiah passage is close to the AV reading proves what?" Based upon my studies, I've arrived at this conclusion.

The LXX is held up as an "inspired translation" of the ancient Hebrew text, then it is asserted that Christ and the Apostles approved of this recension quoting it in the New Testament, whereby the LXX is then postulated to represent the true text and the Hebrew Masoretic text is discredited. Hence, the modern support of it is part of the Romanist Tridentine counterattack against Sola Scriptura to bolster the Latin Vulgate and was developed by Trent's apologists in the debate with the Protestants over the integrity of the vowel points of the Masoretic Hebrew text.

This, then, provides a fraudulent foundation for Hort's Lucian recension hypothesis, asserting the superiority of the Vaticanus and Sinaiticus, which so devastatingly demolished the Received Text at the beginning of the 20th century. The authority of which rests upon accepting the BC LXX as representing true quotes in the New Testament. To bring this forth it was then necessary to destroy Christian's faith in the integrity of the Received Text which required the deception of faithful Protestants like B.B. Warfield and many other of our shepherds. That is because the universal position of Protestant Christians was that the Received Text was the preserved word of God in every detail, and once our shepherds were deceived they led the flock of Christ astray. (Jeremiah 50:6) As the Aland's plainly say:

"We can appreciate the better the struggle for freedom from the dominance of the Textus Receptus when we remember that in this period it was regarded as preserving even to the last detail the inspired and infallible word of God himself." The Text of the New Testament, An Introduction to the Critical Editions, Kurt Aland, Barbara Aland, p 16

To carry this out Erasmus work and the integrity of those texts are chided as being late and worthless copies in comparison to their self-claimed "oldest and best manuscripts." Yet, they have no evidence that any BC "Septuagint" ever existed, and further because they hold that the term defining the Greek Old Testament is "the translation of the Seventy" or LXX, and that only comes from the Letter of Aristreas which claims that only the Torah was translated by them, then the question over Isaiah is moot. It can't be LXX and must be a post-Apostolic work because the only evidence of its existence is Origen's Hexapla from which the Vaticanus and Jerome's Latin Translation are derived.

Hence, it seems to me that this is nothing more than a continuation of the Tridentine counterattack against Sola Scriptura. The reason is very simple, they manufacture a cunningly devised fable to assign the authority of the Apostolic witness to the Latin Vulgate via the Greek. This is based upon an hypothetical BC translation of the Hebrew Old Testament into Greek which then is used to establish a fraudulent hypothesis in favor of the Alexandrian text by saying Christ and Apostles quoted it, supporting a hypothetical recension of the Greek into the Byzantine text type from which to dismiss 95% of the manuscript evidence.

Let us never forget that Origen was condemned as a heretic with 15 anathema's against him at the Second Council of Constinople in 553 AD.

"If anyone does not anathematize Arius, Eunomius, Macedonius, Apollinaris, Nestorius, Eutyches and Origen, as well as their impious writings, as also all other heretics already condemned and anathematized by the Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church, and by the aforesaid four Holy Synods and [if anyone does not equally anathematize] all those who have held and hold or who in their impiety persist in holding to the end the same opinion as those heretics just mentioned: let him be anathema."​

This is why this old codex Vaticanus and its text type was abandoned and disappears into obscurity surviving in the Pope's library and the Sinaiticus awaiting it's proper fate as kindling for the monks fires at St. Catherines.

The question, then, must be asked. If the written record existing in Origen's Hexapla of about 250 AD is received as a true translation of a BC Hebrew text upon no manuscript evidence whatsoever - then why can't the Byzantine text which is repeatedly vindicated as representing a text as far back as the second Century be the true text of the New Testament?

The problem is that both Rome and Protestants can't be right. Either Rome is right or Protestants are - either they are condemned or we are. Either the Second Council of Constinople's anathema against Origen condemns the modern critical schools or Trent's anathema's condemn us. Somebody has sown tares into the Church of God and they've done it using the Bible itself! Matthew 13:28 Whoever reads this, study to shew yourself approved of God and work out your own salvation in fear and trembling!

In closing, I am reminded of the words of Earnest Colwell. And who is Earnest Colwell you may ask? He was Dean of Chicago University School of Divinity under whom a young Westminster graduate and protege of J. Gresham Machen would come to study, Edward F. Hills - author of King James Version Defended.

"The genealogical method as defined by Westcott and Hort was not applied by them or by any of their followers to the manuscripts of the New Testament. Moreover, sixty years of study since Westcott and Hort indicate that it is doubtful if it can be applied to New Testament manuscripts…Hort utilized this principle solely to*depose the Textus Receptus, and not to establish a line of descent…Yet, in truth, all of Hort's main points were subjectively-based and were*deliberately contrived to overthrow the Byzantine-priority hypothesis. Earnest Colwell, "Hort Redivivus”​

In Christ's Bonds,

Thomas
 

TimV

Puritanboard Botanist
I just love the methodology of the true Conspiracy Theorist.

It's true that the vast majority of people who have looked into the subject believe that two hijacked planes brought down the two towers on 9/11, but we know different because jet fuel isn't hot enough to melt steel. If you don't believe me, check out this article written by so and so, a licensed architect! Folks, we're dealing with a HUGE conspiracy!!!

And while it's true that virtually all scholars who specialise in the subject, from all denominations, and for all of Christian history believe that there was a Greek translation of at least the Law and some of the Prophets in wide circulation at the time of Christ, and that NT authors quoted from them, it's NOT TRUE!!! And to prove it read this book!!!

I don't have to bow down to people who know the relevant languages and subject matter!!! I can get there using deduction!

You see, in both cases, the Conspiracy theorist works backwards. They first come to a theory, then work backwards to prove their theory by picking and choosing items that support their theory.

But whether one likes it or not, the only true test of a theory is to try to disprove it.
 

Jerusalem Blade

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
Tim,

I would modify your axiom to read thus: “The true test of a theory is will it stand under all attempts to disprove it, and give demonstration of its truth.” And add another: “A theory in full accord with God’s Word is true.”

CT,

I looked at Jones’ Which Version is the Bible?, and Ripped from the Bible, and they seem sound. In the former, looking at Romans 8:1, he avers that Calvinists do not like the AV reading as it seems to deny salvation by grace, but this is not so – though perhaps he has run across some of this ilk (IFBs are strong opponents of Calvinism). Apart from that his textual studies I believe are alright. He is an astute scholar. I have a hard copy of his large book on Bible chronology, but haven’t gone through that yet (I collect books on Bible chronology).

Why do you ask? Have you found anything amiss in him re textual or other matters (apart from the IFB distinctives)?

Thomas,

I didn’t have time to read your post, but will later this evening.


For those of you interested in the topic of the Septuagint I list the table of contents of Jones’ book. Despite TimV’s sarcasm (I do not consider that an adequate response), the scholarship in the book is excellent. I realize that when one says the emperor has no clothes, they will be met with scorn from those who are blinded by their wishful thinking he does!

Two caveats: Jones shows that Terence Brown of the TBS did believe in a pre-Christ LXX (with reservations); see p. 51, footnote 2 of the pdf version. And Edward Hills also believed that (I will find a PB post which shows his view on this sometime soon).




THE SEPTUAGINT: A CRITICAL ANALYSIS

TABLE OF CONTENTS

I. THE HISTORY OF THE LXX................................................... 1

THE SEPTUAGINT (LXX).......................................................... 1
PROBLEMS AT THE ONSET....................................................... 2
THE ORIGINS OF THE SEPTUAGINT .......................................... 3
THE TESTIMONY OF THE "STAR WITNESS" – FALLACIOUS!........... 6
THE SCRIPTURES CONFRONT THE LXX'S "HISTORY..................... 7
THE QUALITY OF THE TRANSLATION......................................... 8
THE PRINCIPAL MATERIALS ..................................................... 9
DISCORDANT AGES OF THE PATRIARCHS IN THE LXX................. 11
DISCORDANT LENGTHS OF KINGS REIGNS IN THE LXX............... 13
BIBLE CHRONOLOGY BASED ON HEBREW (TRUE) O.T. TEXT........ 14
CHAPTER SUMMATION............................................................ 15

II. THE STATUS OF THE LXX.................................................... 17
THE HEXAPLA AND MESSIANIC PROPHECY................................. 17
OTHER REVISIONS OF THE SEPTUAGINT .................................. 19
THE "BIBLE" OF THE EARLY CHURCH?....................................... 20
AN EXTANT PRE-CHRISTIAN SEPTUAGINT? ............................... 21
WAS THERE ACTUALLY A PRE-CHRISTIAN ERA SEPTUAGINT?...... 22
IS THE APOCRYPHA THE CLUE TO THE TRUTH REGARDING THE LXX? ... 23
THE FAITHFULNESS OF THE HEBREW TEXT................................ 24

III. THE AUTHENTICITY OF THE LXX........................................27
DOES THE NEW TESTAMENT QUOTE FROM THE SEPTUAGINT?...... 27
A. DIRECT HEBREW - LXX COMPARISONS ........................... 27
B. IRREFUTABLE INTERNAL EVIDENCE ............................... 34
THE OBJECTION AGAINST THE HEBREW MASORETIC TEXT ANALYZED ... 35
WHY THEN DO CONSERVATIVES UPHOLD THE LXX? ..................... 37
A. TO DEFEND "VIRGIN" IN ISAIAH 7:14....................................37
B. TO ESTABLISH THAT THE ENTIRE O.T. WAS TRANSLATED....... 38
LXX "PROOF TEXTS" FOUND WANTING........................................ 39
THE FALLACIOUS NATURE OF THE LXX DEMONSTRATED ............... 41
THREE "PROBLEM" TEXTS IN THE BOOK OF HEBREWS................... 44

IV. THE LXX VERSUS GOD'S PROMISE.........................................47
THE BIBLE - A "SACRED" BOOK................................................... 47
WHAT DOES GOD HIMSELF PROMISE CONCERNING THE SCRIPTURES? .. 48
OVERVIEW................................................................................ 49
FINAL CONSIDERATIONS ............................................................ 50
CONCLUDING REMARKS.............................................................. 57
BIBLIOGRAPHY..........................................................................58
INDEX.....................................................................................62
 

TimV

Puritanboard Botanist
It's less sarcasm than awe.

I realize that when one says the emperor has no clothes, they will be met with scorn from those who are blinded by their wishful thinking he does!

But the Emperor in this case is 99% of scholars who have studied the matter over the last 2000 years. And I truly don't believe it's wishful thinking on my part.

You, by your own admission, prefer Fundie Baptist scholars.

I hope my Reformed brethren will not object to my often using the work of Independent Fundamentalist Baptists;

But there is a reason that people who write things like "The Trail of Blood" aren't taken seriously by informed people, especially from traditions that have a tradition of serious scholarship. And the reason isn't fear, or wishful thinking, or blindness but rather an amusement that often is tinged with contempt, or sorrow, or frustration or simply disinterest.

I am by no means accusing you, or mocking you. I am just trying to point out that when you hold to things that go against the overwhelming view of the church, while you may be right the actual likelihood of you being right is very slim. So you will have to learn the original languages, and familiarize yourself with the great body of work on the subject rather than cherry picking your sources before you will be given a serious hearing by serious people. On that matter, as I want to point out that my critique of your methodology is no reflection on you as a brother who's done ten times as much for the Kingdom as I have.
 

Thomas2007

Puritan Board Sophomore
I just love the methodology of the true Conspiracy Theorist.

It's true that the vast majority of people who have looked into the subject believe that two hijacked planes brought down the two towers on 9/11, but we know different because jet fuel isn't hot enough to melt steel. If you don't believe me, check out this article written by so and so, a licensed architect! Folks, we're dealing with a HUGE conspiracy!!!

And while it's true that virtually all scholars who specialise in the subject, from all denominations, and for all of Christian history believe that there was a Greek translation of at least the Law and some of the Prophets in wide circulation at the time of Christ, and that NT authors quoted from them, it's NOT TRUE!!! And to prove it read this book!!!

I don't have to bow down to people who know the relevant languages and subject matter!!! I can get there using deduction!

You see, in both cases, the Conspiracy theorist works backwards. They first come to a theory, then work backwards to prove their theory by picking and choosing items that support their theory.

But whether one likes it or not, the only true test of a theory is to try to disprove it.


Hello Tim,

At the end of the 17th century the Letter of Aristreas was proven to be fraudulent by Humphry Hody - who wasn't a conspiracy theorist, he was a Reformed Professor of Greek at Oxford University. This was discussed in this thread: LXX Torah only, or Genesis-Malachi?

The Reformation begins upon the publication by Erasmus of his New Testament in 1516 and Valla's work in 1517. Hence, the Received Text breaks upon the world coupled to the proof that the Isidorian Decretals and Donation of Constantine are fraudulent documents. It is upon this ground that Luther's very first 95 Thesis brings home the point that our Lord's teaching at the beginning of His ministry is "Repent, for the Kingdom of heaven is at hand." This is overturning the sacrament of penance which is derived from the Apocrapha, which comes from the Greek Old Testament and thereby influenced Jerome in the translation of the Latin which reads: "Do penance, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand." (See Matthew 4:17, in the Authorized Version and the Latin Vulgate)

Learning that the LXX is fraudulent is common knowledge and is just the continuation of the Reformation in uncovering the width, height, depth and breadth of the Ole Deluders work at the height of Arianism in the middle of the 3rd century. Everyone has known this and it was a long settled issue and has been for over three centuries. Elder Rafalsky and I have only continued a discussion that is the historic Reformed and orthodox position.

We must, however, rest our opinions upon the truth of Scripture and not the opinions of men in a majority or minority. That is what is being argued for in this thread. Anyone can jump off a building denying the validity of gravity, but the truth of God's Law will prevail - and it doesn't matter which position one takes, you can believe in gravity or disbelieve in it, jump off a building and God's Law will prevail.

We do know that there is a Greek Old Testament that includes the Apocrapha, indeed is the source of it. Where it came from is what is being discussed here. Either way, if you believe it is genuine then certainly you are entitled to your opinion - it's just that as Protestants we have long rejected the Apocrapha and don't recognize its source as being an authentic and legitimate transcription of the Holy Scriptures.

The follower so of Wescott and Hort have now for a century broken upon the Protestant world and made merchandise of the Church disturbing the peace and purity of the Church claiming that all along Rome has always been right.

For you to break in upon a thread accusing the historic Reformed and orthodox position on the true identity of the New Testament as being "fanatical" and that we mustn't forget that the Roman Catholics are "orthodox" too and then respond with your flippant and disrespectful post makes it very difficult to take you seriously.

The question is can you defend your arguments or not? Are juvenile responses like this the best we can expect?

Cordially,

Thomas
 
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TimV

Puritanboard Botanist
At the end of the 17th century the Letter of Aristreas was proven to be fraudulent by Humphry Hody

So what? Nobody has ever relied solely upon him. What have you done with Philo and Aritobulus?

Learning that the LXX is fraudulent is common knowledge

Everyone has known this and it was a long settled issue and has been for over three centuries.

Everyone meaning a hand full of Fundies, right?

it's just that as Protestants we have long rejected the Apocrapha and don't recognize its source as being an authentic and legitimate transcription of the Holy Scriptures.

Well, some of it we do, like the part Jude quotes, and some of it we don't. But we're talking about the Law and Prophets, aren't we.


For you to break in upon a thread accusing the historic Reformed and orthodox position

The view that the Septuagint is a hoax is not the historic Reformed and orthodox position.
 

KMK

Administrator
Staff member
But the Emperor in this case is 99% of scholars who have studied the matter over the last 2000 years.

I am by no means accusing you, or mocking you. I am just trying to point out that when you hold to things that go against the overwhelming view of the church,

You seem to make the mistake of conflating 'scholars' with the church.

1 Tim 3:15 But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.

You keep sarcastically mentioning fundy baptists but have you examined the beliefs of all of these 'scholars' upon whom you trust?
 

TimV

Puritanboard Botanist
You keep sarcastically mentioning fundy baptists but have you examined the beliefs of all of these 'scholars' upon whom you trust?

Have I examined the beliefs of the tens of thousands of scholars who don't think the quotes in the NT seemingly taken from the Septuagint were "back translated" in a titanic hoax?

No, I haven't. And I mentioned the Fundies since Elder A. brought up the fact that he relies heavily on them.

I can think the Masoretic text a preferable text for translating the OT, and I can think that the TR a superior text to translate the NT from without buying into conspiracy theories.
 

KMK

Administrator
Staff member
I can think the Masoretic text a preferable text for translating the OT, and I can think that the TR a superior text to translate the NT from without buying into conspiracy theories.

You are correct. However, your sarcasm in regards to the fundamental baptist beliefs of this scholar do not help you to persuade others unless you can show that none of the scholars whom you trust have similar beliefs. :)

You seem to be setting some kind of 'bar' for acceptable scholarship in regards to textual criticism. Are scholarly opinions acceptable as long as they are not fundamental, baptist or both? Would you accept the scholarship of a man who denies the inerrancy of Scripture, for example? What about a continuationist?
 

Jerusalem Blade

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
A little more information.

From Dr. Kirk D. DiVietro’s, Did Jesus & the Apostles Quote the Septuagint (LXX)?, pages 4, 7:

The Aramaic Talmuds which contained acceptable Aramaic paraphrases of the Hebrew text were considered authoritative commentaries, but not the word of God. The Palestinian Jewish community accepted only the Hebrew Scriptures. This was the community of Jesus and the Apostles.

The prophets and the Hagiographa (Holy Writings), the other two divisions of the Hebrew Scriptures, were the object of various official and unofficial translation attempts. By the days of Philo (100 B.C.) and Josephus (100 A.D.), there was an almost complete Alexandrian version of the Old Testament. While this Greek Old Testament did circulate in the Hellenistic world, it did not enjoy the full confidence of its readers except in the synagogues of Egypt....

Other regions of the Hellenistic world combined the Alexandrian Pentateuch with a regional Greek text of the Prophets and Holy Writings. There were regional Greek Bibles which enjoyed varying confidence by their readers.

In Alexandria, the confidence was almost unshakable. In Israel, the Hebrew Scriptures continued to dominate in the Synagogue. There were forms of the Greek Old Testament available to Jesus and the writers of the New Testament Scripture. Usually the Alexandrian translation of the Law of Moses combined with a regionally done copy of the Holy Writings and the Prophets, is called the Septuagint in a non-technical sense. BUT, there is no reliable evidence that the Septuagint as it is known and published today, did* exist in the pre-Christ world.

In this paper, I will attempt to clarify my use of the term in its setting. We are asking the question, “Did Jesus and the writers of the New Testament use a complete, universally accepted Greek Old Testament, produced in Alexandria, Egypt, as the authoritative Word of God.”

-------------

....If Jesus and the writers of Scripture accepted [the LXX] as authoritative Scripture then the plenary, verbal inspiration of Scripture is irrelevant. If Jesus and the writers of Scripture accepted it as authoritative Scripture then the doctrine of preservation is a sham.

The Value of the Septuagint to Us

What value does the LXX have for us? Just because the LXX is not the Bible of Jesus and the writers of Scripture does not mean that it is valueless. The Septuagint married the vocabulary of Greece to the theology of Israel. If this marriage had not taken place Christianity would have either died as an extension of Israel’s law, or Greece’s logic. But in the Septuagint, God provided a commentary and word study….

The work of the early Greek translators of the Old Testament provided a ready made translational database for Jesus and the writers of Scripture. While on occasion they may have coined a phrase or borrowed vocabulary, the writers of the New Testament had established Greek equivalents to work with. The similarities between fragmentary Greek Old Testament manuscripts and the New Testament may well have been the joyful result of not having to reinvent the wheel. While they may not have used the pseudo-Septuagints for their daily Bible, they may well have used them to shortcut the process of restating a Hebrew quote in the Greek New Testament. When the pseudo-Septuagint fell short in accuracy, the writer would offer a Holy Ghost inspired running translation.

The pseudo-Septuagint offers the modern Bible student a rich source of semi-Biblical, theological literature. Having this large homogenous yet diverse body of literature, the student can determine with relative accuracy the meaning of words he finds in the Greek New Testament. The search facilities of modern computers allows the student to do original statistical analysis and reach first hand decisions on matters of definition and use. The student on no longer servant to the scholars.​

* The manuscript actually reads “did not exist” but I have determined this is a typo; I have sent an email to a friend of DiVietro asking him to contact him for confirmation.

DiVietro examines a large number of purported LXX New Testament quotes as found in John, Acts, and Hebrews. The book can be gotten at The Bible for Today online store.

------------

Tim,

You say,

But the Emperor in this case is 99% of scholars who have studied the matter over the last 2000 years. And I truly don't believe it's wishful thinking on my part.

That’s too sweeping a statement to pass! Over the last two thousand years?

If there is no evidence that a pre-Christ LXX – a complete and standard version – existed, how else say it? I think it clear from all of the above that I am not denying at least a copy of the Pentateuch, and some other portions of the prophets did exist (we have reports of this), but the actual documents, or copies thereof, are no longer extant, and the Septuagint which does exist today is certainly not the same as whatever may have existed in the past. The fact is, we do not know what existed – we do not have any of the words written, save in the “Ryland Papyrus (No. 458), which has a few portions of Deuteronomy 23-28 on it. This piece of papyrus is dated 150 B.C. [with some uncertainty –SMR].” Otherwise there are no extant pre-Christ manuscripts.

What is it you are saying that 99% of the scholars are saying? That there are? And whatever is being asserted concerning Jesus and the NT authors quoting the “Septuagint” is certainly NOT agreed on by “99% of the scholars”. The only “Septuagint” we have now is from Codices B, Aleph, and A, and these manuscripts are notoriously corrupt.

These days perhaps 70% of the scholars do not agree with my statement concerning their corruption. But then again perhaps 80% (more?) of the scholars do not agree with the Reformed distinctives – does this make them right? What if it is 90% Now are they right?

When you disparage “The Trail of Blood” (of which I had not heard before), it makes me wonder (along with your evading the simple question about Catholics & their orthodoxy – apart from “technical ecclesiastical definitions”). Any one who has studied the history of the Waldenses (Vadois) and Albigenses in the mountains of Italy and France, and the trail of blood their Catholic hunters drenched the ground of Europe with as they slaughtered them up through the centuries, would not lightly disparage these Baptists. Now I do not hold that the Waldenses were all Baptists, but the Baptists do claim them, and the trail of blood is the blood of the martyrs, genuine martyrs, and their pursuers the genuine children of the devil.

These “Fundies” you seem to disdain (and, yes, your patronizing “amusement...often tinged with contempt” – is quite evident) are our brothers and sisters in Christ, with whom we shall spend eternity in the Kingdom. Although you will not own it, they are the ones carrying the torch of loyalty to God’s preserved Word ever since our own mighty and beloved (for such he is) Warfield sought to douse it in the waters of rationalist doubt.

That the LXX of today is found in the corrupt B and Aleph is indeed a true guilt by association, for that text-form is notorious.

Before Warfield, in the Reformed and Presbyterian camp, the LXX of the Vatican was not acknowledged as true Scripture. “Hoax” is not the right word. And I never said that. The hoax is when some seek to assert that it is inspired Scripture. As though Moses wrote in Genesis 2:2 that on the sixth day God ended His work.

You are saying that Jude quoted the apocryphal “Book of Enoch”?

Is there a satanic conspiracy against the human race, and especially against those who are the born-again children of God? Was there a satanic conspiracy against the Savior when He was in the world (that is, a concerted effort to thwart His work and destroy Him)? And when He was taken out of it, was there a satanic conspiracy to attack His written word? This is acknowledged by multitudes of Christians – of all Protestant denominations – but not among the liberal scholars who dislike the supernatural. And if there is indeed a satanic conspiracy, do not the demons seek to use humans as agents of their agendas?

Ridicule is only an effective weapon if it is not used against the truth. There are indeed conspiracies of deception, and the conspirators often deceived themselves. This is life on the planet earth.

Good night (for such it is here).
 

TimV

Puritanboard Botanist
However, your sarcasm in regards to the fundamental baptist beliefs of this scholar do not help you to persuade others

No, most Fundamentalist scholars do not share the opinions of the two brothers. It's a segment, like the Missionary Baptists that say there was a continuation of Apostolic Baptists that held pure to the faith all during the ages, and unlike those of us who's traditions came out of Rome, were never tainted by Rome, like the Presbyterians, Lutherans etc.. were tainted. It's the same type of logic and scholarship every time, and that includes reams of material when they reply to posts that don't have anything to do with the questions you ask them.

Are scholarly opinions acceptable as long as they are not fundamental, baptist or both?
They can be Fundamental as long as historic, Western standards of scholarship apply.
Would you accept the scholarship of a man who denies the inerrancy of Scripture, for example?
I do it all the time, as does everyone here. When I have a question about my honeybees I don't look to religion, I look to competence. Same with my mechanic. Everyone reading right now has had the same experiences. We'd all prefer 5 pointers doing difficult electrical work, but there are things more important.
 
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