NKJV Departures from the TR

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Taylor

Puritan Board Graduate
I have read several articles online that claim the NKJV departs from the TR (or at least doesn't translate it) in X amount of places. Many folks claim to have a list of such places, yet I've never seen one. Does anyone have or know of a list where I can see these places where the NKJV is said to depart from or not translate the TR?
 

Taylor

Puritan Board Graduate
My pastor made this awhile back, not sure if it's what you're looking for but maybe it will help a bit.
This is actually the video that sparked my wondering. Haha. Yes, he did alert me to some issues, but he said he couldn't go through all of them. I want to know them all. ;)
 

Jerrod Hess

Puritan Board Freshman
Gotcha. I've enjoyed your posts a lot and trust you. I would be glad to give you his email also if you'd like to chat more about that subject to him personally. Other than that, I'll let others chime in.
 

Scottish Presbyterian

Puritan Board Freshman
Probably the TBS would be the best place to go for researched material. I think Albert Hembd has written an article on this, I don't know how to link to it, but if you Google "Trinitarian Bible Society NKJV" it should come up with a pdf of his article near the top.
 

Jake

Puritan Board Senior
There's a list here, but most of the listed differences are actually a matter of how the Greek is translated not of textual differences: https://cdn.ymaws.com/www.tbsbibles...0F/The-New-King-James-Version-A-Critique_.pdf

It claims 7 departures from the Received Text, most of which I could see argued are just differences in how to render into English that could still be based on the TR. The list of 7 starts on pg 8 going by the printed page numbers and pg 11 going by the PDF document's page numbers.
 

Scottish Presbyterian

Puritan Board Freshman
There's a list here, but most of the listed differences are actually a matter of how the Greek is translated not of textual differences: https://cdn.ymaws.com/www.tbsbibles...0F/The-New-King-James-Version-A-Critique_.pdf

It claims 7 departures from the Received Text, most of which I could see argued are just differences in how to render into English that could still be based on the TR. The list of 7 starts on pg 8 going by the printed page numbers and pg 11 going by the PDF document's page numbers.

In fairness, 5 of the 7 instances Rev Watts cites of departures from the TR he claims that the NKJV follows the Critical Text. The other 2 he points out that it seems to follow neither the TR or the CT. He then follows that with a longer list of criticisms of translation choices, so the distinction in his criticisms is clear in the paper.
 
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Logan

Puritan Board Senior
I looked at the critique from Watts and was a bit put off by his "guilt by association" methodology, e.g., saying "the NKJV omits...as does the Critical Text", when it's possible there is an alternative explanation, since there are variants even within the TR "family".

I was curious that perhaps the NKJV translators had left some explanations or notes, and while I didn't find that, I found this, which had some helpful potential alternative explanations for at least some of Watts' list.

https://byfaithweunderstand.com/201...detailed-response-to-a-set-of-fair-questions/

These explanations seem more reasonable to me than the idea that the NKJV translators, for some bizarre reason, decided to follow the Critical Text on seven inconsequential, uncontroversial, and obscure portions and hold to the TR on all the controversial ones. I can't fathom why, if true, it would make sense to do that.
 

Jake

Puritan Board Senior
I looked at the critique from Watts and was a bit put off by his "guilt by association" methodology, e.g., saying "the NKJV omits...as does the Critical Text", when it's possible there is an alternative explanation, since there are variants even within the TR "family".
It makes me wonder if Watts has a review of the KJV that is as detailed as that review. I have many problems with the KJV translation after using it as my main translations for many years along similar lines. Certainly the KJV has proved the test of times in many ways, but it still has many issues in its translation (without getting into the manuscript issues).
 

Scottish Presbyterian

Puritan Board Freshman
Albert Hembd's review can be found here - it is somewhat longer and perhaps more technical (in a linguistics sense) that Rev Watts' (I have not read either in full, just skimmed both).
 

Logan

Puritan Board Senior
Perhaps part 2 of Hembd's article is better, but aside from many of the historical points (which I believe are simply wrong), his entire polemic is to sow doubt and cast aspersion upon the NKJV, and once again uses guilt by association (e.g., Dr Price was editor of the Old Testament, and he also worked on the Majority Text, ergo he doesn't believe that Textus Receptus is the only pure text and therefore the NKJV is suspect. QED :scratch:).

The conclusion sums up the polemic with purple prose:
  • "We have demonstrated that the editors of the New King James Version are wrong for including the corrupt readings of the Egyptian text in their marginal notes, as though they were potentially valid"
  • "They are wrong in disdaining the Providentially preserved text, the Textus Receptus" (disdaining by what measure?)
  • "They are very wrong in including heretical readings from the Alexandrian text in their marginal notes, enabling a heretic to find refuge in the NKJV from these notes" (I find it hard to take that sentence seriously)
To be clear, so far the strong condemnation of the NKJV is for the apparently unforgivable sin of including alternative readings in marginal notes (which the KJV also had), from which all kinds of unsubstantiated conclusions are drawn. We haven't even gotten to the specific technical translational or textual arguments but the goal so far appears to be to destroy the reputation of the NKJV translators and only when we don't trust them, to explore the merits of the translation itself. I find that sort of polemic to be dishonest and manipulative.
 

Scottish Presbyterian

Puritan Board Freshman
Perhaps part 2 of Hembd's article is better, but aside from many of the historical points (which I believe are simply wrong), his entire polemic is to sow doubt and cast aspersion upon the NKJV, and once again uses guilt by association (e.g., Dr Price was editor of the Old Testament, and he also worked on the Majority Text, ergo he doesn't believe that Textus Receptus is the only pure text and therefore the NKJV is suspect. QED :scratch:).

The conclusion sums up the polemic with purple prose:
  • "We have demonstrated that the editors of the New King James Version are wrong for including the corrupt readings of the Egyptian text in their marginal notes, as though they were potentially valid"
  • "They are wrong in disdaining the Providentially preserved text, the Textus Receptus" (disdaining by what measure?)
  • "They are very wrong in including heretical readings from the Alexandrian text in their marginal notes, enabling a heretic to find refuge in the NKJV from these notes" (I find it hard to take that sentence seriously)
To be clear, so far the strong condemnation of the NKJV is for the apparently unforgivable sin of including alternative readings in marginal notes (which the KJV also had), from which all kinds of unsubstantiated conclusions are drawn. We haven't even gotten to the specific technical translational or textual arguments but the goal so far appears to be to destroy the reputation of the NKJV translators and only when we don't trust them, to explore the merits of the translation itself. I find that sort of polemic to be dishonest and manipulative.

OK, you disagree, we understand (though on this board we tend to refrain from labelling brothers with whom we disagree as dishonest and manipulative). I was merely supplying the article to try to answer Taylor's request for resources in the OP. As I said, I haven't even read the article in full, so cannot possibly comment on whether I agree more with the substance of the article, or with the substance of your critique of it.

Editing to recognise that you didn't actually label Rev Watts or Mr Hembd as dishonest or manipulative, not directly in any case.
 
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Logan

Puritan Board Senior
OK, you disagree, we understand (though on this board we tend to refrain from labelling brothers with whom we disagree as dishonest and manipulative).

I did say that I found the polemic dishonest and manipulative (and I do understand that you have only skimmed the article so it's not directed at you). I hope I'm fair enough to say the same of those who, in critiquing the translational qualities of the KJV, would start with the character of King James and the beliefs of Erasmus as means of casting doubt upon the KJV and TR before even presenting an analysis of the merits of the translation or textual tradition itself.

In these types of questions I think it extremely important to be fair and honest with criticisms and be wary of arguments that are designed to bolster a particular case at the expense of another and admit no fault in its own.
 

Scottish Presbyterian

Puritan Board Freshman
I did say that I found the polemic dishonest and manipulative (and I do understand that you have only skimmed the article so it's not directed at you). I hope I'm fair enough to say the same of those who, in critiquing the translational qualities of the KJV, would start with the character of King James and the beliefs of Erasmus as means of casting doubt upon the KJV and TR before even presenting an analysis of the quality of the translation or merit of the textual tradition itself.

In these types of questions I think it extremely important to be fair and honest with criticisms and be wary of arguments that are designed to bolster a particular case at the expense of another and admit no fault in its own.

Indeed, I edited my response to recognise this, apologies if I seemed to be casting aspersions. Yes it is important to be fair and honest in this as in every debate. Personally I do think it is right and fair and honest to point out the textual traditions preferred by translators, particularly if they differ from the main text being translated. I'm not sure if that is part of the argument being made in these articles (from your critiques I assume so), or if any such argument was made fairly; but I would say that the bare fact of making the argument is not in itself dishonest or manipulative, or indeed polemical.
 

Logan

Puritan Board Senior
Not to derail, but as an aside, I have often seen this point of view before regarding the TR, and find it extremely problematic and concerning (this from Hembd's article):

"We shall show how the Textus Receptus was the result of faithful men who laboured to see that the best text from the copies of the traditional text found its way into the printed editions, that many eyes were on the text to correct it, and that the Reformation fathers were right in eight passages in the Textus Receptus to follow a Greek minority reading when that reading was backed with nearly universal Latin support; and that thereby, through consulting an overwhelming Latin witness, the true readings were restored universally on the printed page."

Edward Hill held the same position, if I recall correctly.
 

Scottish Presbyterian

Puritan Board Freshman
Not to derail, but as an aside, I have often seen this point of view before regarding the TR, and find it extremely problematic and concerning (this from Hembd's article):

"We shall show how the Textus Receptus was the result of faithful men who laboured to see that the best text from the copies of the traditional text found its way into the printed editions, that many eyes were on the text to correct it, and that the Reformation fathers were right in eight passages in the Textus Receptus to follow a Greek minority reading when that reading was backed with nearly universal Latin support; and that thereby, through consulting an overwhelming Latin witness, the true readings were restored universally on the printed page."

Edward Hill held the same position, if I recall correctly.

Again, you disagree with his opinion I presume, but, "extremely problematic and concerning"? Hyperbole?
 

Logan

Puritan Board Senior
Again, you disagree with his opinion I presume, but, "extremely problematic and concerning"? Hyperbole?

No, not hyperbole. It's extremely problematic with any kind of orthodox methodology of the preservation of the text, particularly ones that aren't a posteriori. Corruption in the Greek and preservation in the Latin was exactly what the Roman Catholic church argued for and the Reformers argued against with their "ad fontes" cry.

If one argues that Textus Receptus is faithful to the Greek, yet at the same time argues that some readings in it were restored from the Latin (thus restoring the true text) then your entire methodology has been shot to pieces. It becomes an inconsistent methodology which is ultimately reduced to a matching game of what ended up in the KJV rather than a true witness of the original languages. It also poses a problem for those who hold to WCF 1:8 meaning that it was kept "pure in all ages", because it purports that the Greek was indeed corrupted or lost in some places and had to be restored from the Latin (which by the way, seems strange coming from those who critique the CT for "restoring" readings which are in extant Greek texts, not even Latin). It's also problematic in that I am certain you could find no Reformer or Reformed commentator who held to a position like this.

At this point I am often accused of defending the CT so I should say up front: I am not a defender of the Critical Text and believe that it and its methodologies deserve critiquing. But not by inconsistent arguments or methodologies. I'll defer to a myriad of past TR threads.
 

Eyedoc84

Puritan Board Freshman
Not to derail, but as an aside, I have often seen this point of view before regarding the TR, and find it extremely problematic and concerning (this from Hembd's article):

"We shall show how the Textus Receptus was the result of faithful men who laboured to see that the best text from the copies of the traditional text found its way into the printed editions, that many eyes were on the text to correct it, and that the Reformation fathers were right in eight passages in the Textus Receptus to follow a Greek minority reading when that reading was backed with nearly universal Latin support; and that thereby, through consulting an overwhelming Latin witness, the true readings were restored universally on the printed page."

Edward Hill held the same position, if I recall correctly.
Just to clarify, he is not saying they scrapped the Greek to adopt the Latin. There were minority readings in Greek where a preponderance of versional evidence led them to adopt the minority reading.
 

Scottish Presbyterian

Puritan Board Freshman
No, not hyperbole. It's extremely problematic with any kind of orthodox methodology of the preservation of the text, particularly ones that aren't a posteriori. Corruption in the Greek and preservation in the Latin was exactly what the Roman Catholic church argued for and the Reformers argued against with their "ad fontes" cry.

If one argues that Textus Receptus is faithful to the Greek, yet at the same time argues that some readings in it were restored from the Latin (thus restoring the true text) then your entire methodology has been shot to pieces. It becomes an inconsistent methodology which is ultimately reduced to a matching game of what ended up in the KJV rather than a true witness of the original languages. It also poses a problem for those who hold to WCF 1:8 meaning that it was kept "pure in all ages", because it purports that the Greek was indeed corrupted or lost in some places and had to be restored from the Latin (which by the way, seems strange coming from those who critique the CT for "restoring" readings which are in extant Greek texts, not even Latin). It's also problematic in that I am certain you could find no Reformer or Reformed commentator who held to a position like this.

At this point I am often accused of defending the CT so I should say up front: I am not a defender of the Critical Text and believe that it and its methodologies deserve critiquing. But not by inconsistent arguments or methodologies. I'll defer to a myriad of past TR threads.

OK, I don't think he is saying what you think he is saying, and his view is not unorthodox, or at odds with the doctrine of preservation, or indeed even that uncommon. In the interests of not derailing the thread we should perhaps leave it at that - there was a recent thread on the Comma (started by Reformed Covenanter I think), in which i made exactly the point which i understand your quote from Mr Hembd to be making (unlike him, I am no scholar or expert on the subject). It's not a Roman Catholic point, and it is entirely consistent with WCF 1.8. I hope your concerns are somewhat alleviated.
 

Logan

Puritan Board Senior
Just to clarify, he is not saying they scrapped the Greek to adopt the Latin. There were minority readings in Greek where a preponderance of versional evidence led them to adopt the minority reading.

Understood that that is what he said, but in actuality the Greek support for some passages is slim to non-existent, depending one's view of what counts as Greek support (we're down to marginal notes in some cases). So saying "Greek minority" is strictly true as far as I know, but severely misleading in some cases.

E.F. Hill "King James Version Defended" says:
"There are also a few passages in which the Latin Vulgate has preserved the true reading rather than the Greek Traditional New Testament Text. As we shall see in the next chapter, these few true Latin Vulgate readings were later incorporated into the Textus Receptus, the first printed Greek New Testament text, under the guiding providence of God."

"Are the readings which Erasmus thus introduced into the Textus Receptus necessarily erroneous? By no means ought we to infer this. For it is inconceivable that the divine providence which had preserved the New Testament text during the long ages of the manuscript period should blunder when at last this text was committed to the printing press. According to the analogy of faith, then, we conclude that the Textus Receptus was a further step in God's providential preservation of the New Testament text and that these few Latin Vulgate readings which were incorporated into the Textus Receptus were genuine readings which had been preserved in the usage of the Latin-speaking Church. Erasmus, we may well believe, was guided providentially by the common faith to include these readings in his printed Greek New Testament text. In the Textus Receptus God corrected the few mistakes of any consequence which yet remained in the Traditional New Testament text of the majority of the Greek manuscripts."
 

Logan

Puritan Board Senior
It's worth pointing out here for clarity that E.F. Hill and Albert Hembd are two distinct people.

And Hembd cites extensively from Hill...
Yet again, I've never seen any Reformer or Reformed commentator take this position. I'd be happy to be proven wrong on that.
 

Scottish Presbyterian

Puritan Board Freshman
And Hembd cites extensively from Hill...
Yet again, I've never seen any Reformer or Reformed commentator take this position. I'd be happy to be proven wrong on that.

The view that it is legitimate to prefer a reading that is minority in the Greek texts but has near universal support in Latin? I'm no expert and couldn't name names off hand, but it's a fairly uncontroversial view I thought.
 

Logan

Puritan Board Senior
I was curious who Hembd was (had never heard of him before). Graduate student, computer science guy, and TBS enthusiast, maybe?

Also stumbled across another article on the website I linked above that looks at Hembd's articles. I haven't read through it all but supply it as reference for the interested.
https://byfaithweunderstand.com/202...ys-examination-of-the-new-king-james-version/

Edit: I found a bit of time to read the article and it was gracious and well-reasoned. I appreciated it.
 
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