Strongest Critiques of the Textus Receptus

Aspiring Homesteader

Puritan Board Freshman
In your opinion, what are the strongest arguments against the Textus Receptus, whether empirically or against the TR camp’s definitions of preservation?
 

Scottish Presbyterian

Puritan Board Freshman
Given the length if time this question (a complete open goal) has been up, and the lack of responses, you may, and should infer that nobody has any strong arguments against the TR.
 

retroGRAD3

Puritan Board Junior
It may also be though that there are a bunch of other threads on this topic already. If you search TR or textus receptus, you will get a bunch of results.
 

Taylor

Puritan Board Graduate
Given the length if time this question (a complete open goal) has been up, and the lack of responses, you may, and should infer that nobody has any strong arguments against the TR.
This is a false dichotomy that also comes across as a cheap shot. There are clearly other options. As one brother mentioned, Puritan Board is literally littered with threads about this very topic, some of which span hundreds of posts. It could also be that there have been six other threads about this very topic started in the last week and a half. It could also be that the board has been somewhat wearied by the needless degree of heat that has been generated here recently in some threads, and members simply don’t want to engage in yet another thread about textual criticism.
 

Scottish Presbyterian

Puritan Board Freshman
This is a false dichotomy that also comes across as a cheap shot. There are clearly other options. As one brother mentioned, Puritan Board is literally littered with threads about this very topic, some of which span hundreds of posts. It could also be that there have been six other threads about this very topic started in the last week and a half. It could also be that the board has been somewhat wearied by the needless degree of heat that has been generated here recently in some threads, and members simply don’t want to engage in yet another thread about textual criticism.
My tongue was a short distance into my cheek when writing it, but sorry for generating more heat!
 

Taylor

Puritan Board Graduate
To the OP, it would really be best if you do a deep dive and search through the Puritan Board for threads on this topic. Nothing will be said here that has not been said over the past fifteen years.
 

Jerusalem Blade

Puritan Board Professor
Except the two oldest – Vaticanus and Sinaiticus – differ with one another, in the Gospels alone, 1036 times. Such witness testimony wouldn't do well in a criminal court.
 

greenbaggins

Administrator
Staff member
Except the two oldest – Vaticanus and Sinaiticus – differ with one another, in the Gospels alone, 1036 times. Such witness testimony wouldn't do well in a criminal court.
I really think that advocates of the TR need to stop using arguments like this. Minuscule 1 Basilensis (one of the key manuscripts Erasmus used in his edition of the New Testament) differs from the Stephanus text 2243 times in just selected parts of the Gospels. And yet Erasmus' text is foundational for the TR. Quoting statistics like this is highly misleading because the nature of the differences is not specified. Do these differences amount to anything other than a hill of beans? Are they spelling differences only? Are they insignificant word order differences? How many of the differences between Sinaiticus and Vaticanus are actually significant in terms of meaning? There is NEVER any context to TR advocates' citing of such statistics, which makes the citation itself highly suspect.

All witnesses in court differ from each other, so that argument is quite weak as well. No two witnesses in a court of law are going to say verbatim what the other witness says. In fact, that would be highly suspect in a court of law because then the likelihood of rehearsing a false story rises. Not a good analogy at all.
 

Jerusalem Blade

Puritan Board Professor
Hello Lane,

A couple of remarks. First, your thoughts on Minuscule 1 Basilensis do not negate H.C. Hoskier’s judgment in the least. From his, Codex B and its allies, a study and an indictment, Vol 2, he states, “In the light of the following huge lists let us never be told in future that either א or B represents any form of ‘Neutral’ text.” (p. 1). And it is on this first page he states his well-known tabulation of significant differences, totaling 3,036. On p. 8 he commences an enumeration and examination of them from his collation, saying, “Here is the list of the principal differences between א and B in the Gospels. (Online version)

I don’t think it is disputed that Vaticanus (B) and Sinaiticus (א) or aleph are the exemplars of the Critical Text. Which Hort and Westcott alleged are “the oldest and most reliable” manuscripts, which edict is repeated in numerous margin notes.

Second, the view that Minuscule 1 Basilensis is key to Erasmus’ NT I don't think is accurate or widely held. Scrivener, for example, lists those 22 readings that clearly came from Codex 1 (Minuscule 1 Basilensis). (F. H. A. Scrivener, A Plain Introduction to the Criticism of the New Testament, Vol 2, London 1894, pp. 183-184.) (Online version)

Scrivener’s and other views of Cod. 1 can be found here, in the sections discussing its Text and History: http://textus-receptus.com/wiki/Minuscule_1#Text_of_the_codex. Take a look for an interesting view.
 

Jerusalem Blade

Puritan Board Professor
For the convenience of those who don't like to click on links, as regards the history, and the references to text critics quoted:

History of the Codex 1 [Minuscule 1 Basilensis]

Dated to the 12th century, because the frequent occurrence of enlarged letters, rounded breathing marks, flourishes, and ligatures would seem to eliminate earlier date.[2] The manuscript was presented to the monastery of the Preaching Friars by Cardinal Ragusio (1380-1443), general of Dominicans.[4] It borrowed by Reuchlin and used by Desiderius Erasmus in the first edition of his Novum Testamentum (1516). In result some of its readings came to Textus Receptus. Erasmus used this codex very little, because its text was different from other manuscripts with which he was acquainted. Oecolampadius and Gerbelius, Erasmus's subeditors, insisted to him for using more readings from this codex in the third edition, but according to Erasmus the text of this codex was altered from the Latin manuscripts, and had secondary value.[9] Since 1559 it was held in the University of Basel.[4] Its later story is the same as that of Codex Basilensis and Minuscule 2.

Bengel made a few extracts from the codex. Wettstein was the first who thoroughly examined this codex. According to him in the Gospels its text agrees with the most ancient codices and patristic quotations.[10] In 1751 he changed his high opinion (Novum Testamentum Græcum). Wettstein dated codex to the 10th century. Wettstein collated this manuscript twice, but with many errors. According to Tregelles his collation was incorrect in more than 1200 readings. Hug supported last opinion of Wettstein that codex was latinizated.[11] Tregelles, and Roth collated this manuscript again. Tregelles noticed that this codex is similar to minuscule 118. Dean Burgon noticed that also codices 131 and 209 are similar. All this group was examined by Kirsopp Lake in 1902.[12] It was named "the Lake Group", or Family 1.

F. H. A. Scrivener (1813-1891) showed, that at least 22 verses of Erasmian text came from minuscule 1:
Matthew 22:28; 23:25; 27:52; 28:3-4; 19:20;
Mark 7:18, 19, 26; 10:1; 12:22; 15:46;
Luke 1:16, 61; 2:43; 9:1, 15; 11:49;
John 1:28; 10:8; 13:20.[13]
_____

References

1. K. Aland, M. Welte, B. Köster, K. Junack, Kurzgefasste Liste der griechischen Handschriften des Neues Testaments, Walter de Gruyter, Berlin, New York 1994, p. 47.
2. Amy S. Anderson, The Textual tradition of the Gospels: Family 1 in Matthew, Leiden; Boston: Brill, 2004, p. 108.
3. Scrivener, Frederick Henry Ambrose, A Plain Introduction to the Criticism of the New Testament, 1894, London, p. 190-191
4. C. R. Gregory, "Textkritik des Neuen Testaments", Leipzig 1900, vol. 1, p. 127.
5. Kurt Aland, Barbara Aland, "The Text of the New Testament: An Introduction to the Critical Editions and to the Theory and Practice of Modern Textual Criticism", transl. Erroll F. Rhodes, William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, Grand Rapids, Michigan, 1995, p. 129.
6. Bruce M. Metzger, Bart D. Ehrman, "The Text Of The New Testament: Its Transmission, Corruption and Restoration", Oxford University Press, 2005, pp. 86-87.
7. Griesbach, Symbolae criticae ad supplendas et corrigendas variarum N. T. lectionum collectiones (Halle, 1785, 1793), 1, S. CCII-CCXXIII.
8. Kirsopp Lake, Codex 1 of the Gospels and its Allies, Texts and Studies, volume vii, Cambridge, 1902, p. XXIV.
9. S. P. Tregelles, An Introduction to the Critical study and Knowledge of the Holy Scriptures, London 1856, p. 208.
10. J.J. Wettstein, Prolegomena ad Novi Testamenti Graeci, 1730, p. 57.
11. John Leonard Hug, Writings of the New Testament, translated by Daniel Guildford Wait (London 1827), p. 165.
12. Kirsopp Lake, Codex 1 of the Gospels and its Allies, Texts and Studies, volume vii, Cambridge, 1902, collates 1 with 118, 131, and 209.
13. F. H. A. Scrivener, A Plain Introduction to the Criticism of the New Testament, London 1894, vol. 2, pp. 183-184.

 
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