Corruption of the Critical Text Vs. Majority Text

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NickCamp

Puritan Board Freshman
I have a question regarding the charge against earlier manuscripts in saying that they are corrupted. I am not saying that all who hold to the Majority text view or the Received Text do this, but I have noticed many state that they believe the manuscripts to be corrupt (though the best argumentation I have seen from them is based on the variations between the Critical text and Majority text).

My question is; Wouldn't it be more probable for the Majority Text or Received Text to be corrupted vs the Critical Text? I'm not saying it is, but for arguments sake it seems like corruption would be most likely found in the Majority Text or Received text.

My reasoning: We could say that Roman Catholic Church most corrupt before the Reformation sometime in between 700 C.E. or 1500 C.E. (the reformation being 1517). If that is when the church was most corrupt as a political institution, and the majority text dates between 1000 C.E. and 1500 C.E., how do you reckon those manuscripts not corrupted? They were produced within the time frame of the corrupt church. Not only this, but when looking at the received text, and considering that Erasmus was a humanist devout Catholic. You have a Catholic, creating a greek text that is based off of manuscripts formed within the time frame of a corrupted Roman Catholic Church. How would it be that those manuscripts be more "preserved" than the manuscripts of the critical text that date as early as 300 C.E.? Two hundred years from Christ himself vs a thousand. If ANY manuscripts were corrupted (which I don't believe any have been), it would have been the manuscripts of the received text, right?
 

MW

Puritanboard Amanuensis
The critical text advocate claims the text is corrupted and must be restored. They acknowledge that most of what they call corruptions had developed by the second century, which is prior to their earliest mss. At best they hope to reconstruct the text as it stood in the fourth century.

Those who hold to the received text stand on the teaching clearly pronounced at the reformation that God has preserved His word pure.
 

NickCamp

Puritan Board Freshman
The critical text advocate claims the text is corrupted and must be restored. They acknowledge that most of what they call corruptions had developed by the second century, which is prior to their earliest mss. At best they hope to reconstruct the text as it stood in the fourth century.

Those who hold to the received text stand on the teaching clearly pronounced at the reformation that God has preserved His word pure.

You didn't answer the question, which was the whole point of the post. Also; I have yet to see the claim that the majority text is corrupted, but the received text is "inferior" because we have earlier manuscripts. Aside from the fact that The view regarding God preserving his word is inconsistent if it doesn't include the earlier manuscripts, I don't want to get into the classic debate, which is why I posed the question, wouldn't it be more likely that the majority text be corrupted given the context?
 

MW

Puritanboard Amanuensis
You didn't answer the question, which was the whole point of the post.

I corrected the misinformation behind your question. As your question stands it cannot be answered without granting something which is denied by textus receptus advocates and without denying something which is granted by critical text advocates -- corruption.
 

NickCamp

Puritan Board Freshman
I corrected the misinformation behind your question. As your question stands it cannot be answered without granting something which is denied by textus receptus advocates and without denying something which is granted by critical text advocates -- corruption.

So, and please don't think my wording as rude (just can't think of a better way to put it), the question can't be addressed rationally or logically because of preconceived notions? Doesn't this frame of mind put the received text advocates in a position of potentially being wrong yet never being able to see it?

It would seem that, logically you could determine (a) these manuscripts date during the corrupted church, (b) they have variants and additions from earlier manuscripts, (c) therefore they could possibly be corrupted.

Of course, I think "corrupted" is a very, over the top, and strong word since New Testament variants of all manuscript traditions hardly affect anything. In fact, I would say nothing.
 

MW

Puritanboard Amanuensis
Your question was, "If ANY manuscripts were corrupted (which I don't believe any have been), it would have been the manuscripts of the received text, right?"

No critical text advocate believes this. Their whole field of study is built on the premise that the manuscripts contain corruptions. As I said in my reply, the corruptions pre-date their earliest mss. As for the textus receptus, its advocates argue that God has preserved His word free from corruption.
 

NickCamp

Puritan Board Freshman
Your question was, "If ANY manuscripts were corrupted (which I don't believe any have been), it would have been the manuscripts of the received text, right?"

No critical text advocate believes this. Their whole field of study is built on the premise that the manuscripts contain corruptions. As I said in my reply, the corruptions pre-date their earliest mss. As for the textus receptus, its advocates argue that God has preserved His word free from corruption.

Again, you're just avoiding the point of the question. The probability of corruption given the historical circumstances. "No Critical Text advocates believes this", I suppose that isn't true given that (a) I think corruption is a misleading word and (b) I don't believe that, but believe we should consider all manuscripts, not because of corruption because that assumes variants that are bigger than what we actually see in the texts. Consider me a minority that debunks your claim that "No critical text advocates believes this".

Now you've avoided the second question following your non-answer of the original question.

(1) Wouldn't the probability of corruption be higher given the dating of the majority text, and the historical backdrop?
(2) Can the question be addressed rationally or logically despite preconceived notions? Doesn't this frame of mind put the received text advocates in a position of potentially being wrong yet never being able to see it?

At this point you've answered, indirectly, yes to #2 while avoiding #1. Putting aside preconceived notions, can we ask the question from an objective lens?

If you aren't going to actually address the question in some form of answer other than "critical text advocates don't believe that and received text advocates don't believe this", why are you bothering to reply?
 

NickCamp

Puritan Board Freshman
As stated, to correct your misinformation. You are incorrect. Is it inconceivable that you are incorrect?

I'm incorrect that "no critical text advocate believes this" when I believe it? So you're telling me that my misinformation is about my own view? You're basically telling me I don't hold a view simply because you say, "no critical text advocate believes this". Again, why are you replying?
 

MW

Puritanboard Amanuensis
It is basic to the critical approach to suppose that the critical approach is needed, and the only reason it is needed is owing to corruption. If you do not think there is any corruption you have no need for a critical approach. If you think there is no corruption you cannot be a critical text advocate.
 

MW

Puritanboard Amanuensis
It is basic to the critical approach to suppose that the critical approach is needed, and the only reason it is needed is owing to corruption. If you do not think there is any corruption you have no need for a critical approach. If you think there is no corruption you cannot be a critical text advocate.

That is my final response.
 

NickCamp

Puritan Board Freshman
It is basic to the critical approach to suppose that the critical approach is needed, and the only reason it is needed is owing to corruption. If you do not think there is any corruption you have no need for a critical approach. If you think there is no corruption you cannot be a critical text advocate.

Regardless of what you believe is the case, as I would still disagree, you're missing the point of the question. On a historical and logical basis. Without even considering other manuscripts, only examining the majority text, or received text, is it probable that they were
"corrupted" given the historical context and circumstances?
 

Bill The Baptist

Puritan Board Graduate
Regardless of what you believe is the case, as I would still disagree, you're missing the point of the question. On a historical and logical basis. Without even considering other manuscripts, only examining the majority text, or received text, is it probable that they were
"corrupted" given the historical context and circumstances?

What do you mean by corrupted? Do you mean there was at some point a conspiracy to change the text? This has been asserted by many throughout history but there is not even a shred of evidence to support it. Do you mean that it is rife with errors? The majority text enjoys remarkable consistency across thousands of manuscripts while the Alexandrian texts have considerably less agreement across far fewer texts. Given this, which is more likely to be the product of scribal error?
 

NickCamp

Puritan Board Freshman
What do you mean by corrupted? Do you mean there was at some point a conspiracy to change the text? This has been asserted by many throughout history but there is not even a shred of evidence to support it. Do you mean that it is rife with errors? The majority text enjoys remarkable consistency across thousands of manuscripts while the Alexandrian texts have considerably less agreement across far fewer texts. Given this, which is more likely to be the product of scribal error?

I don't think "corrupted" is the best word, maybe altered, but I suppose some people would call that corrupted. It wouldn't have to be a conspiracy if everyone was for the Catholic Church. "Not even a shred of evidence to support it", how could you support for or against it?

Right, how could you know if they hadn't been changed? Consistency doesn't mean that they hadn't been changed. If we have the Catholic church, with the resources and ability to produce Cathedrals, go into the crusades, etc. and we have manuscripts dating smack in the middle of the Catholic church prior to the reformation, wouldn't the probability of the manuscripts being influenced (that is a better word than corrupted I think) by the Catholic church be higher?

I mean consider that the Catholic church changed a lot of things from biblical Christianity, and Pope Gregory was that who began with the notion that the church had authority over scripture, while also having the resources to mass produce a variety of things (including the manuscripts), it would seem more likely that the majority text have alterations. The mass production of manuscripts from the Catholic church was clearly possible since we have the majority text, but if you look at the timeline for manuscripts the byzantine tradition is essentially non-existent prior to the 10th century. That in itself is strange considering all these other factors.

It wouldn't have to be a conspiracy, just a church that was obviously, and dangerously, headed in the wrong direction. The extent and influence of the Catholic church could also account for such consistency. How could you demonstrate that these manuscripts weren't changed in the midst of this corrupted church, which did produce the manuscripts?
 

Bill The Baptist

Puritan Board Graduate
I don't think "corrupted" is the best word, maybe altered, but I suppose some people would call that corrupted. It wouldn't have to be a conspiracy if everyone was for the Catholic Church. "Not even a shred of evidence to support it", how could you support for or against it?

Right, how could you know if they hadn't been changed? Consistency doesn't mean that they hadn't been changed. If we have the Catholic church, with the resources and ability to produce Cathedrals, go into the crusades, etc. and we have manuscripts dating smack in the middle of the Catholic church prior to the reformation, wouldn't the probability of the manuscripts being influenced (that is a better word than corrupted I think) by the Catholic church be higher?

I mean consider that the Catholic church changed a lot of things from biblical Christianity, and Pope Gregory was that who began with the notion that the church had authority over scripture, while also having the resources to mass produce a variety of things (including the manuscripts), it would seem more likely that the majority text have alterations. The mass production of manuscripts from the Catholic church was clearly possible since we have the majority text, but if you look at the timeline for manuscripts the byzantine tradition is essentially non-existent prior to the 10th century. That in itself is strange considering all these other factors.

It wouldn't have to be a conspiracy, just a church that was obviously, and dangerously, headed in the wrong direction. The extent and influence of the Catholic church could also account for such consistency. How could you demonstrate that these manuscripts weren't changed in the midst of this corrupted church, which did produce the manuscripts?

Our confessions state that God has kept his word pure in every age, and the evidence, including quotes from the early church fathers, demonstrates that no such systematic corruption has occurred. I would be careful with making such assumptions because they will lead you down a dangerous path. For evidence, see the career of Bart Ehrman.
 

Dachaser

Puritan Board Doctor
The first thing that we must all agree with on this subject is that since the originals were lost to history, there has NEVER been just One received/critical text that was in complete an absolute reproduction of the Originals from God. The so called Critical text is an attempt to reconstruct the earliest known copies of those texts that were circulated among the early Christians, and yes, being closest to those, should have less chance for original errors and corruptions within the texts themselves. The 2 main arguments used to counter that by those holding to the received/majority texts would be that they have the one that most agreed upon was the best copy to the originals, but that assumes that the ones they use were not revised and altered/changed, and also, many revert back to saying that the critical texts users deny the inerrancy of the scriptures, that somehow hold to a less than view on the scriptures!

The ones in the KJVO camp on this really have nothing to stand upon, while those holding to the preference of the Majority text do, but still feel that the Critical text best represents to us what the Original were, but do think that all can be used, and not an issue to divide us apart!
 

Timotheos

Puritan Board Freshman
I have a question regarding the charge against earlier manuscripts in saying that they are corrupted. I am not saying that all who hold to the Majority text view or the Received Text do this, but I have noticed many state that they believe the manuscripts to be corrupt (though the best argumentation I have seen from them is based on the variations between the Critical text and Majority text).

My question is; Wouldn't it be more probable for the Majority Text or Received Text to be corrupted vs the Critical Text? I'm not saying it is, but for arguments sake it seems like corruption would be most likely found in the Majority Text or Received text.

My reasoning: We could say that Roman Catholic Church most corrupt before the Reformation sometime in between 700 C.E. or 1500 C.E. (the reformation being 1517). If that is when the church was most corrupt as a political institution, and the majority text dates between 1000 C.E. and 1500 C.E., how do you reckon those manuscripts not corrupted? They were produced within the time frame of the corrupt church. Not only this, but when looking at the received text, and considering that Erasmus was a humanist devout Catholic. You have a Catholic, creating a greek text that is based off of manuscripts formed within the time frame of a corrupted Roman Catholic Church. How would it be that those manuscripts be more "preserved" than the manuscripts of the critical text that date as early as 300 C.E.? Two hundred years from Christ himself vs a thousand. If ANY manuscripts were corrupted (which I don't believe any have been), it would have been the manuscripts of the received text, right?
How many of the Byzantine Mss came from the Western church? As I understand the textual families, the RCC were not putting out Greek Mss but Latin. Thus concerning text-types and textual families, to gain the Western reading you have a few older Greek text (like D) and mostly Latin.
 

Dachaser

Puritan Board Doctor
The critical text advocate claims the text is corrupted and must be restored. They acknowledge that most of what they call corruptions had developed by the second century, which is prior to their earliest mss. At best they hope to reconstruct the text as it stood in the fourth century.

Those who hold to the received text stand on the teaching clearly pronounced at the reformation that God has preserved His word pure.
Think we holding to the critical texts agree also with that!
 

Timotheos

Puritan Board Freshman
Also, have you studied the Byzantine prioritists' view on the transmission history of the text? I'm not in the Byzantine priority camp, although I consider the Byz with more validity than most eclectics would since I studied w/ Dr. Maurice Robinson. I'm somewhere between the Sturz camp and eclectics. But what gives the Byz Priority view credence and what really the entire basis of the "priority" position is has to do w/ their understanding of transmission history of the text.
 

Dachaser

Puritan Board Doctor
Our confessions state that God has kept his word pure in every age, and the evidence, including quotes from the early church fathers, demonstrates that no such systematic corruption has occurred. I would be careful with making such assumptions because they will lead you down a dangerous path. For evidence, see the career of Bart Ehrman.
The keeping it pure though was that God preserved for us so many manuscripts and variants reading, not that he kept reserve a single sole text since the originals were lost!
 

Bill The Baptist

Puritan Board Graduate
The keeping it pure though was that God preserved for us so many manuscripts and variants reading, not that he kept reserve asingle sole text since the originals were lost!

Perhaps, but the assertion I was responding to was of a widespread, intentional corruption. This is contrary to our confessions and the evidence.
 

Dachaser

Puritan Board Doctor
Perhaps, but the assertion I was responding to was of a widespread, intentional corruption. This is contrary to our confessions and the evidence.
That would be true, and think most of the corruptions happened due to just simple copying mistakes, or when scribes comments /notes got copied into text over time!
 

Ask Mr. Religion

Flatly Unflappable
Moderator Note:
There was a reason that this forum was marked to be moderated posts only in the past. The passions that accompany the topic often tend to get the better of us, especially as occasional unstated agendas begin to surface. We are closing this thread.
 
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