Are There Critical Text Readings in the NKJV after All? A Nerdy and Detailed Response to a Set of Fair Questions

"My recent post charging KJV defenders with sin because they 1) repeated the claim that the NKJV includes critical text readings and yet 2) never produced any evidence for that claim—that post has been answered by someone holding a minority viewpoint." - Mark Ward

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Aaron Blumer's picture

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But I have now gone through [Kent Brandenburg's] list, and it is my belief that I do not have to retract anything—not my blog post, and not my above-quoted statement from Authorized. I am currently enjoying that delicious internet feeling of I am still right, with only a tiny dash of he has a point. I will, as a result of this exchange, add a footnote to that line in my book because of that point, one I will explain in due course. But I will not change the statement. The NKJV New Testament still, to my knowledge, does not use any critical text readings.

ScottS's picture

Nice article and I appreciate the charitable discussion between Ward and Brandenburg.

Scott Smith, Ph.D.

The goal now, the destiny to come, holiness like God—
Gen 1:27, Lev 19:2, 1 Pet 1:15-16

Bert Perry's picture

....on the textual issues, as the KJVO position just ignores, in whatever form it takes, the key issue of how ancient texts are handed down, as well as the difficulty of exact copy-writing.   If we had a body of texts that did indeed have the same form down to the letter, that would be remarkable--but as far as I know, we don't, and certainly not among the however many editions of the Textus Receptus we have.  So at its root, the whole movement, IMO, boils down to "It's not the KJV", whichever revision of the KJV/AV is approved.  Count me out, as it casts huge doubt into the whole enterprise of Bible translation.

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

TylerR's picture

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A friend from many years ago attends this church in Colorado Springs. One of the most heretical statements of faith I've seen. Note the inspired KJV and repentance-less Gospel.

Tyler is a pastor in Olympia, WA and an Investigations Manager with a Washington State agency. He's the author of the book What's It Mean to Be a Baptist?

Darrell Post's picture

1) The original autographs have perished.

2) All witnesses to the text of the NT have differences. (The only exception being tiny fragments barely large enough to establish the writing as Scripture.)

The two ways to respond to these facts are either to a) evaluate all the evidence and use logic and reason best deduce what the original wording was for each book, chapter, and verse; or b) ignore all that evidence and make a claim of 'faith' in one manuscript pulled from the pile. In the case of the TR it was actually a small handful of manuscripts to cover the entire NT (except for the last few versus of Revelation). 

But the TR position isn't even that simple, given that there were many revisions of it with numerous changes, and the fact that despite all the corrections, there were printer errors that persisted all the way through that made it into the KJV, like the one I mentioned before, Revelation 17:16, 'upon the beast.'

ScottS's picture

Darrell, I agree with what you stated:

Darrell Post wrote:

1) The original autographs have perished.

2) All witnesses to the text of the NT have differences. (The only exception being tiny fragments barely large enough to establish the writing as Scripture.)

The two ways to respond to these facts are either to a) evaluate all the evidence and use logic and reason best deduce what the original wording was for each book, chapter, and verse; or b) ignore all that evidence and make a claim of 'faith' in one manuscript pulled from the pile. In the case of the TR it was actually a small handful of manuscripts to cover the entire NT (except for the last few versus of Revelation). 

But the TR position isn't even that simple, given that there were many revisions of it with numerous changes, and the fact that despite all the corrections, there were printer errors that persisted all the way through that made it into the KJV, like the one I mentioned before, Revelation 17:16, 'upon the beast.'

But I do think some critical clarifications are needed. For the two main points:

  1. True (so far as we know), the original autographs have perished; but the original readings persist in copies (if people did not believe that, then no textual criticism would occur, as no one would care to try to figure out what the proper reading is). This is, of course, the marvelous thing about language: that words can persist through copies and carry the same weight, force, and ideas beyond the lifespan of the original writing.
  2. Also true, but I do think it is a disservice to not remind people that while all the manuscripts have differences, most all have the majority of the text the same (i.e. most places in the text agree). This is not just referring to the TR or Majority Text, but eclectically across "all" witnesses, which aligns to your point (a) to "evaluate all the evidence."

Regarding the subpoints you note:

a) I agree that all the evidence should be evaluated; unfortunately, modern textual criticism is just starting to take seriously looking at the majority of texts (rather than lumping them all together as a single piece of evidence placed against the "older" copies). How that evidence should be evaluated, however, is also what makes a big difference on where one falls regarding what is the best reading to consider original (i.e. Critical Text or Majority Text).

b) I think your statement oversimplifies the issue here. That "small handful of manuscripts" was already known by Erasmus to fairly faithfully represent the majority of then known extant Greek manuscripts in testifying to the same readings. So Erasmus was attempting to collate majority readings for his text (in most cases, there are exceptions). This is why the TR matches, in most cases, the Majority Text. It wasn't just a random "one manuscript pulled from the pile" idea. And the book of Revelation is challenging because there are a few places where the readings are split such that there is not a clear majority (nearly 50/50 in extant manuscripts).

Regarding the last point you make about the many revisions to the TR, I again agree. I think the modern TR advocates fail to recognize that the TR (i.e. that used for the KJV) was still a work in progress in attempting to isolate the Majority Text. That is, my view is that the Majority Text is the true Received Text of the church (by which I mean, it is the text form that had the readings dispersed to the majority of churches across time and space); what is labeled as the TR today was part of the beginning stages of collating that into a single text for printing. Further investigation of the thousands of manuscripts in the Majority Text ought to be done and modifications made as manuscripts are examined.

I realize there are a number of other factors that can be discussed regarding this, but I just wanted to make some clarifications from my Majority Text position regarding the statements you made that I otherwise generally agree with.

Scott Smith, Ph.D.

The goal now, the destiny to come, holiness like God—
Gen 1:27, Lev 19:2, 1 Pet 1:15-16

Darrell Post's picture

Scott, thanks for your interaction. Obviously, I was writing in bullet point form, without going into much depth. Yes it is true that for the most part all manuscripts agree. If we ignore minor issues, like change of word order, spelling variations, obvious nonsense readings, etc. then the percentage of agreement goes much higher. As to a few of your other comments,

"modern textual criticism is just starting to take seriously looking at the majority of texts"

This is a bit of a generalization, and there is of course a meta-narrative to this. The vast majority of NT Greek manuscripts are late (9th century and later) and are themselves copies of local exemplars and a goodly number of them are in hard to reach places like Mount Athos in Greece where over 1,000 manuscripts are stored in nearly two-dozen monasteries and sketes. Fortunately, the work of groups like the CSNTM has made many previously hard to study manuscripts now fully available. Also, the INTF has recently put online their collection of microfilm images of most NT Greek manuscripts.

It wasn't the case that these late manuscripts were not at all taken seriously during the 20th century, as much as it was the fact that they were hard to reach, and represented a later text, while at the same time newly discovered early manuscripts were available to study. It is no wonder that the newly discovered ancient witnesses received the attention they did, even though it is also true there was a degree of over-reach of excitement. Even so, the vast stores of late manuscripts were explored by scholars, who left behind their legacy with the thousands of microfilm images now on display on the INTF web page. 

Furthermore, there are times even in the UBS4/NA27 text where the reading of Sinaiticus (01) and Vaticanus (03) sit alone in the textual apparatus while the reading of the MT is in the body of text. James 5:4 is one example. So we can debate how large of a seat these late manuscripts should have at the table, but they have always had a place, and have never been totally shut out.

Thankfully (now returning to the recent changes you alluded to) we are on the cusp of a great period of research going forward on these later manuscripts as online images are being indexed and manuscript collations are being completed. I personally completed the collation work on GA-2907, a damaged tenth century copy of the four gospels. Eventually this work of indexing and collating will result in a much greater understanding of these texts and the archetypes on which they were based. I personally do not expect this work to overturn the place of much older manuscripts, but many individual readings could be sharpened by this important work. 

"rather than lumping them all together as a single piece of evidence placed against the 'older' copies"

Ok, but 100 copies that all come from a near exemplar doesn't provide a lot of individual evidence. I am sure the playing field would be fair if 100 manuscript copies were found that all seem more or less alike and were all just a few generations removed from Vaticanus, they would more or less be counted as one witness. 

"That "small handful of manuscripts" was already known by Erasmus to fairly faithfully represent the majority of then known extant Greek manuscripts in testifying to the same readings. So Erasmus was attempting to collate majority readings for his text"

When Erasmus came to Basel in 1514, it was with the intent to publish the Latin Vulgate text, with his own annotations. He wanted to show places where the Vulgate could be improved. His publisher, Froben, eventually persuaded him to do much more. Rather than printing the Vulgate with notes, he would print an entirely new Latin translation, with his notes at the end of the volume. This resulted in a very hastily edited and insufficient first edition of his new Latin translation. To further support the changes made to the Latin text, Froben persuaded Erasmus to also include a printed Greek text. Erasmus had not been prepared for this, so he simply gathered what manuscripts were available to him in Basel, and made a few editorial adjustments, from a few other manuscripts, on manuscripts now known as GA-2 (for the gospels), and GA-2815 (for Acts, and the epistles). Then he handed GA-2 and GA-2815 to Froben for printing. The book of Revelation had the manuscript now famous for lacking the last six verses of the book which forced Erasmus to back-translate from the Latin into Greek, introducing a number of errors. This manuscript is now known as GA-2814. None of these manuscripts were already known to Erasmus before his arrival in Basel, and his primary and almost sole focus was on the Latin. His concern was not over the faithfulness of these manuscripts to the Majority Text, nor was he attempting to faithfully represent the Majority Text. And he certainly wasn't attempting any sort of collation. In fact, he used the other manuscripts lightly in his corrections written on GA-02 and GA-2815. Furthermore, GA-2814 also included a commentary, and so to not confuse Froben, Erasmus had a hand-copy made of GA-2814 and it was actually that copy that Froben used to set the type for Revelation. That copy, hastily done, introduced a number of errors. So clearly, the Latin was Erasmus' primary focus, not the Greek. 

"It wasn't just a random "one manuscript pulled from the pile" idea"

Certainly there wasn't a 'pile' of manuscripts in Basel, but my point is Erasmus just pulled out what was handy to him locally in Basel. There was no planning ahead on which manuscripts to use, because it was never in his plan to print Greek. Had he decided to go to a different city in Europe to print his notes on the Latin Vulgate, and then followed the same path, he would have ended up using other manuscripts available to him there, and the TR would have ended up being different.

I appreciate you posting your comments toward bringing greater depth to the issues. I do find value in the Majority Text, to the extent that these witnesses need to be fully studied with the hope that they will positively affect the GNT. 

ScottS's picture

I do understand your point:

It wasn't the case that these late manuscripts were not at all taken seriously during the 20th century, as much as it was the fact that they were hard to reach, and represented a later text

I grant the hard to reach point, but what I meant by "just starting to take seriously looking at the majority of texts" is related to two other points you make:

  1. In the above quote, you state also one of the reasons is "and represented a later text." That is the assumption that divides the views of text criticism. While the manuscripts are later, whether the reading (the textform) in the text is later or not is what the whole discussion between the views is about. Because the manuscripts are later, the assumption is made that textform is also. But an early (i.e. including original) textform can exist in later copies through the copying process and loss of vorlage. That type of "dismissal" of it as a "later text" is what I partly meant by how serious the MT has been taken. The "newly discovered early manuscripts" no doubt generated great excitement and attention, but also were given an undo "status" (IMO) simply because they were older.
  2. You also note "we are on the cusp of a great period of research going forward on these later manuscripts as online images are being indexed and manuscript collations are being completed." I understand the benefits of such work and how our modern era makes that possible. But my point about "just starting to take seriously" was the lack of major textual scholars having done that manual "research" you note is just now beginning on the MT texts during the 20th century, focusing almost exclusively on the newly found texts.

Regarding your point:

Ok, but 100 copies that all come from a near exemplar doesn't provide a lot of individual evidence.

That is where a philosophical distinction can emerge between views. One way to look at it is as you note, that essentially these 100 count as 1 (since they originated from 1 exemplar). But from my view, there are three problems with that.

  1. All extant manuscripts ultimately trace their "source" to the original autograph as the original exemplar of the chain of copies; but clearly, we would not then lump all the manuscripts together and count them as 1 (and only 1) piece of evidence. My point here is that such a reduction misses the point that since we don't have the originals, any particular reading (barring nonsense one's, as you noted) could be the original form. Even a case where clear editing occurred, such that ms B is known to have exemplar A as its vorlage, but incorporated a particular different reading from some other "branch" X, the edited in X reading or the A reading each may be the original textform. I realize all this is much more complicated than this example, and there can be some obvious cases of how a new reading arose. But given that we are missing so much textual history in the early years when variants arose (prior even to nearly all of our most ancient texts, so the history is missing from all "families" of manuscripts, hence why "earlier" manuscripts do not necessarily carry more weight over later ones), there is no way to discover clearly how many textforms arose (or if they in fact carry on faithfully). That leads to my next point:
  2. Ancient copyists (the more professional ones, anyway) would have been familiar with the ancient manuscripts they were copying from, and possibly others with variant readings also, which manuscripts are the ones no longer extant for us to view. It is not unreasonable to assume they chose vorlages to copy in bulk (i.e. your example of 100 from 1) because of the quality they felt that manuscript had in its textform. In short, the choice to bulk copy from a single ms. has a weight in my opinion about the textform that the church considered valid (what had been received).
  3. The elephant in the room about whether God would/would not (did/did not) super-intend the copying process to insure His originally inspired words were preserved in a way that would be recognizable to those willing to look. This is obviously a matter of faith, which secular philosophy of textual transmission cannot consider, but a Christian philosophy has to give consideration to. My personal view is that God gave the principle of "witness testimony" for determining "truth" (in a legal sense) in Scripture as by 2 or 3 witnesses. Was that about determining textforms? No, not directly. But the principle at coming to truth applies across all types of subjects. I take the "or" to be because if 2 do not agree, then a 3rd is needed to "break the tie" (so 2/3rds majority witness); if the 2 did agree, then that was enough to convict (to determine truth). Obviously, this double check may not work against conspiring false witnesses (those intentionally seeking to deceive), the more witnesses one has, the more likely truth can be determined apart from falsehood as the majority begins to distance itself in numbers (2 of 3 is a tight race, 1 away from 50%; whereas 2000 of 3000 is 500 away from 50%). So even if God does not oversee the continuation of His word (I believe He does) through the imperfect men copying through the ages, statistically, in my opinion, more weight should be given to the majority against the minority. Here, I include super-majority as well, meaning that even if by chance a mispelling of a word ended up in a majority set of texts of the NT, the majority of total extant Greek texts (even outside NT texts) testify to the mispelling as being incorrect, and therefore in need of correction.

Finally, regarding Erasmus, I can agree completely with your statements here:

When Erasmus came to Basel in 1514, it was with the intent to publish the Latin Vulgate text, with his own annotations. He wanted to show places where the Vulgate could be improved.... Erasmus just pulled out what was handy to him locally in Basel. There was no planning ahead on which manuscripts to use, because it was never in his plan to print Greek.

But I think we differ in our understanding of (1) the implications of your points above and (2) the history as related to this statement of yours:

None of these manuscripts were already known to Erasmus before his arrival in Basel, and his primary and almost sole focus was on the Latin. His concern was not over the faithfulness of these manuscripts to the Majority Text, nor was he attempting to faithfully represent the Majority Text. And he certainly wasn't attempting any sort of collation. 

According to William W. Combs' article "Erasmus and the Textus Receptus" in Detroit Baptist Seminary Journal 1 (1996), much of Erasmus's career after mastering Greek was working on improving Lorenzo Valla's methodology (whose work he discovered in 1504) of evaluating the Latin Vulgate in light of the Greek New Testament (p.38-39). Erasmus's "own annotations" you noted were a continuation of Valla's work, and those annotations involved careful study of variants in the Greek texts (p.40) to understand better the Latin readings. As Combs states (p.39):

Erasmus was convinced that the Vulgate New Testament had many deficiencies which could only be corrected by appeal to the Greek New Testament

Indeed, the situation with the Vulgate was parallel to the modern KJV only view that it (the Vulgate) was inspired and should not be corrected by the Greek (p.39 and p.51). So Erasmus was very interested in a standard GNT by which to evaluate the Vulgate by, and he had studied various Greek manuscripts to that end in pursuit of his own Annotations, such that "his letters indicate considerable progress" on that project leading up to the year 1514. Combs quotes Erasmus (according ot the footnote, from Epistle 296, in Collected Works of Erasmus 2:300 [p.40], which writing was "dated July 8, 1514" [p.40], a month before going to Basel in August [p.41]) as stating the following (bold added by me; p.40):

After collation of Greek and other ancient manuscripts, I have emended the whole New Testament, and I have annotated over a thousand passages, not without benefit to theologians

So the point here is that Erasmus had already done extensive collation work of GNT texts and his annotations (which he did have with him in Basel) were based off that; but once the decision was made to include the GNT in the publication, he did have to "rely on Greek manuscripts locally available" (p.42), as you noted. But he still had his notes on variants and an understanding from his previous years of study on what the common readings were "out there" in the manuscript world. So again, I can agree with your point, as Combs also notes (p.44):

The primary purpose of Erasmus was to publish his annotations along with his Latin translation. The Greek text was only there for the purpose of confirming the Latin translation.

But that means Erasmus generally had a "standard" Greek text in mind from his studies on variants by which he was evaluating the Latin translation for conformity to the Greek, or variant readings that might explain the Latin. This is evident from "his dedication to Pope Leo X" (p.44) in the first publication, which Combs quotes (p.44):

"I perceived that that teaching which is our salvation was to be had in a much purer and more lively form if sought at the fountain-head and drawn from the actual sources than from pools and runnels. And so I have revised the whole New Testament (as they call it) against the standard of the Greek original."

Comb's further states

In all of this, Erasmus gives not a hint that he is also offering an edition of the Greek text.

But that misses the point. He was offering an "edition" of the GNT as the "standard" to revise the Latin "against" that standard. Erasmus is treating the Greek as a received text which is worthy of being a standard for the Latin. This then reverses Combs's analysis (p.44-45):

This is not to say that the Greek text was not important, but clearly it was subordinate to the Latin translation.

The Greek may be subordinate in the sense that the translation of the Latin (rather than the explicit evaluation of the Greek textform) was his goal, but definitely not subordinate in the evaluation of accuracy, for the point was to have the right Greek behind the new Latin translation so that it "proved his Latin translation was not plucked out of thin air" (p.45). Erasmus had attempted some corrections of the Greek for the publication (using two primary manuscripts), some of which made it to publication and some rejected (p.46). This editing certainly involved the other available manuscripts in Basel (p.46), but no doubt also his notes from prior collation in his annotation work.

That said, Erasmus was aware that his "standard" GNT text still needed adjustments, hence the later variations in later publications (p.48). Then of course the whole Johannine Comma fiasco (p.48-49) that lacked manuscript support in a big way.

But my overall point is that while Erasmus was obviously not aware of the manuscripts discovered after his time, I think his knowledge because of his annotation work was broad enough to be aware of what the "majority" readings were in many places, having collated variants, and so he was comfortable using the "small handful of manuscripts" to get a workable "standard" for the Latin to be compared to.

Scott Smith, Ph.D.

The goal now, the destiny to come, holiness like God—
Gen 1:27, Lev 19:2, 1 Pet 1:15-16

Bert Perry's picture

I'm not quite convinced that Erasmus would not have known about the huge quantity of MT manuscripts, to be honest.  Keep in mind that the Renaissance of which Erasmus was a part was started as monks and priests of the eastern Orthodox church fled the fall of Constantinople in 1453, and Erasmus was born in 1466.  So I'd have to guess that either Erasmus knew some of those monks personally, or he studied under people who did.  Inference; he would have known that throughout the Byzantine Empire, there were manuscripts studied by the very monks who had fled the Ottoman Turks.

Now that doesn't mean he recognized their significance, or agreed with any party here on their authority, but I think it's extremely likely he was aware of huge number of manuscripts in the Eastern Orthodox world.  He simply couldn't travel to see them for himself.

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

Darrell Post's picture

"The elephant in the room about whether God would/would not (did/did not) super-intend the copying process to insure His originally inspired words were preserved in a way that would be recognizable to those willing to look."

I follow Wallace and many others on the point that there is no place for a priori assumptions when it comes to the study of NT Greek manuscripts. In the Scriptures there is no mention of how God would preserve the actual written text. The fact that the manuscripts with later text-forms do not appear as consistent patterns of variations in the earliest witnesses forces one who favors them to either appeal to silence or presume what God must have done without the force any revelation from God. I was recently reading an excellent article by Jan Krans' who refutes of the work "Crowned with Glory" by Thomas Holland (who was trying to defend the last six verses of Revelation in the TR.) http://www.reltech.org/TC/v16/Krans2011.pdf

In that article he comments on the presumptions behind Holland's work: "Even more alarming, theologically speaking, is that Holland knows exactly what God did. In doing so, he creates his own God, one that corresponds with minute detail to his own human needs and demands. This constitutes a text-book example of hubris."

Now this of course was in response to one who has argued for the perfect preservation of the TR. I know the Majority Text position agrees with me in the refutation of the 'perfect TR' position. But I would caution against the appeal to any similar a priori assumptions. If major discoveries of ancient NT manuscripts are found, lets say, for example, a cache of late first century copies of all of Paul's letters, my first reaction will be 'praise the Lord!' regardless what those manuscripts show. If they end up showing the longer Byzantine text that we otherwise don't see until the 9th century in Paul's letters, then that's what it is, and we can re-write a lot of books. I would be happy to rejoice with you Scott if that happened. But if these all turned out to be just about like p46, then we would have another affirmation of the apparent lateness and inferiority of the Byzantine text-forms. 

I would also encourage you to read Beyond What Is Written: Erasmus and Beza as Conjectural Critics of the New Testament by Jan Krans. This excellent work provides keen insights into the methods and perspectives of Erasmus as he completed his work in Basel.  Erasmus' work in the Greek wasn't really that advanced at the time he worked in Basel, and regardless the work he had done prior, he made only sparse use of his notes, his knowledge, or readings from the handful of other manuscripts. As we can see from the print copies he handed to Froben to print, the corrective notes are not all extensive. So it is very much fair to say the TR is essentially minuscules 2, 2814, 2815 and 2817 (I left his one out of my above comment). The changes to the Greek text from Erasmus' Annotations and other manuscripts were minimal for the 1516 edition. And again, the work of Krans shows how much Latin was the focus of Erasmus, not the Greek. 

"But that misses the point. He was offering an "edition" of the GNT as the "standard" to revise the Latin "against" that standard."

This point is a bit overly optimistic about Erasmus' posture toward the Greek. His original plan was to just print the Vulgate and then his notes afterword--the notes were what were most important to Erasmus. Once he committed to print an altered Vulgate (based on his notes), the Greek was there simply to support the notes, not as some sort of attempt to produce or represent a standard Greek text. He simply saw the Vulgate as corrupted, and the Greek to which he had access as a better text upon which the Vulgate could be corrected, without seriously attempting to edit a standard Greek text out of the witnesses in Basel. Here is a quote from Krans' work I mentioned above, p. 16: "Erasmus compared the Greek and Latin 'witnesses' variant by variant. This remained his method during the rest of his life. Therefore, while he saw many trees, the forest remained hidden from his eyes. Second, in the comparison, the roles were unevenly assigned from the start: the Vulgate was seen as part of the polluted stream, while the exclusively Greek manuscripts to which Erasmus had access represented the pristine source. Third, Erasmus never showed any interest in recensio, the evaluation and classification of manuscripts and families of manuscripts. In his time, the beginnings of such an approach existed, as the work of Angelo Poliziano or Beatus Rhenanus indicates, but Erasmus steered clear of it."

Then Krans, again, p. 67: "Erasmus did not make a thorough recension or revision of the Greek text; he merely provided one. Although he choose to print the Greek text as he found it, with some emendations mainly from other manuscripts than the ones he used as printer's copy, he regularly raised questions about the quality of its text. Sometimes these questions became conjectures on the text. Their place, as we will see, is mostly in the annotations, not in the printed text."

"So the point here is that Erasmus had already done extensive collation work of GNT texts and his annotations (which he did have with him in Basel) were based off that;"

As to the extent of Erasmus' prior Greek collation work, do you have any idea how extensive that was? Following the chronology in Combs' article, Erasmus was in Italy from 1506 to 1509, during which he finished learning Greek. Then he returned to Cambridge, England in 1509 and had advanced in his mastery of the language to the point that he taught Greek starting in 1511. He departed for Basel in 1514, and published his first edition in 1516.

How much work on the Greek text could he do in just five years? I have personally collated one manuscript of the four gospels, one manuscript of Mark's gospel, and one manuscript that contained a portion of Acts, the General Epistles, and the Pauline letters. This work took over two years. And I had the benefit of a computer. Assuming my other responsibilities were more or less the same as Erasmus' other responsibilities, how many witnesses to the Greek New Testament text could he have actually collated in five years? 8? 10?

He was working as a pioneer in a time when few knew the answers or the questions. His focus was the improvement of the Latin, and the work in the Greek text was clearly secondary, as a means to the desired end.

I appreciate the interaction, I really do. I had no idea there was anyone on SI who was knowledgeable on the issues. We don't agree on all the details, but I am confident we agree on much more than we disagree. I have friends who adhere to the Majority Text position, and I highly respect Maurice Robinson. It is very nice to have a friendly exchange with a brother on these issues. 

 

ScottS's picture

Darrell, we probably do "agree on much more than we disagree," even if coming at it from opposing viewpoints.

I considered posting some other points of refutation here to your last set of comments, but decided against it at this time. There may be room for further discussion at a later date. I will make an effort at some point to look at the work of Krans (though I may need to limit that to the pdf you linked, since Amazon has Beyond What Is Written at over $200! That may have to be a library loan ...).

Scott Smith, Ph.D.

The goal now, the destiny to come, holiness like God—
Gen 1:27, Lev 19:2, 1 Pet 1:15-16

ScottS's picture

I only had to read the opening paragraph of the linked pdf to realize that I agree with Krans at least regarding the issue of trying to defend that portion of Scripture in the TR. Erasmus admitted to the back-translation, so clearly, his version of the Greek there would be "inadmissable" as having any direct line (i.e. a copy) from the original Greek text.

I think Holland's view is quite different from a Majority Text view.

Scott Smith, Ph.D.

The goal now, the destiny to come, holiness like God—
Gen 1:27, Lev 19:2, 1 Pet 1:15-16