Readers Digest - Early Text of the New Testament

by TheWonderofYou 7 Replies latest watchtower bible

  • TheWonderofYou

    I recommend to read the introduction (free preview) at Google preview containing stuff about

    - Early Text and Original Text p3
    - Papyri and early text
    - Classifying early papyri readings
    - Text quality - earl text a free text?
    - Transmission quality
    - Public and privat copies
    - Textal and scribal culture
    - Book trade in the roman empire

    This preview gives a good overview about the current expert meanings and their "classificiatons"-methods of the early text witnesses.

  • slimboyfat

    I've got this book. It does tend to present a rather conservative view of textual criticism and they are on the optimistic end of the spectrum in terms of the stability and faithfulness of the early transmission of the NT.

    The other end of the spectrum is Brat Ehrman who argues that the text of the NT was corrupted at a very early stage before the text is well attested in the manuscript tradition.

    But my favourite scholar on textual criticism is David Parker who is one of those who argue now that it is misguided to view the "original" text of the NT as the ultimate goal of textual scholarship. Instead he argues that texts are always fluid and their dynamism should be explored rather than tamed by dubious static notions of originality and corruption.

  • TheWonderofYou

    sThank you for the information.

    Instead he argues that texts are always fluid and their dynamism should be explored rather than tamed by dubious static notions of originality and corruption.

    Thats indeed a very important saying. Because from the oral tradition to the writings and even in the time of writing down the New Testament memories or letters there was no central authority that decided what kind of text is "acceptable" or not. The "writing down"-project was a "living" project.... as you call it "dynamic".

    The fact that there are version of the text e.g. in Acts where we have a text with and without "strangled", texts with better grammer or less grammer, more fanciful stories and more autere stories, all this is hint that it doesnt turn around what is the earliest manuscript but about how the text developed, was accepted, then how it was used, by whom and for what and where. Alone these things are things we can be happy to have a bible, a single word, or phrase can reveal much about the history of development but doesnt urge us to become literalits and bigoted.

    This is an interesting series of lectures about the Development of the New Testament, by Prof. Dr. Stefan Schreiber at University Heidelberg. - from oral tradition until biblical canon principle. He compares the development of the biblical canon with the differene between sect and church.

    "Plurality is allowed and at the same time limited, thats the canon principle."

    This decision is important if one thinks socialogical.
    For a sect, as social term, its characteristic that it creates homogenity. Members of a sect have to follow very plain the rules of the group and there is nothing outside of the group. A very plain limited course.

    For a church it is again characteristic that it is plural but not arbitrary. In a church more streams will have room.

    For me that seems to be very important if I look in my church.....where there are certain tendencies of narrowing. It is not liked anymore that one thinks to much in this or that direction. That is not in.

    Thats understandable at one hand, because one has then a clear line, but on the other side there is the problem that the plurality that is inherent for Christendom falls by the wayside.- Then church becomes a narrow corrodor and no vastness" (translation mine)

    The bible development, the acceptance of bandwith, more spectrum than one in the canonization-process, how the church handled it, itself is a witness for PLURALITY at one hand and LIMITATION at the other hand. Thoughts have to be allowed. A sect can even be created by publishing an own bible translation.

    If the Governing Body would listen to such information that would change much in the watchtowers understanding.

  • TheWonderofYou

    All Scriptures are inspired - a JW bible explanation about the biblical canon

    That is totally nonsense what they say about the catolic church and about the process of canonization. That is excactly everthing, the whole knowlegde a typical JW how we cam to the bible, what they know about canonization. This is no 0 % edcuation

    And what about the myth that the canon was decided by Emporer Constantine already at the Nicene Council 325?

    There are so many conspiracy theories.

    The most strange thing is that.

    So they belief that the holy spirit formulated the biblical canon, made a catalog of books, made a did play no role, their discussion played no role . .really?

    P.S. "Then Why did the so called " Governing body in Jerusalem " not already in the 1st century decide about the biblical canon if it was inspired? why did God not already back then when there was no falling off yet canonize the bible and give herewith a stabile basis for the truth. Why did he allow "non-inspired" catalogers to make a bible.

    And if the spirit had made the decicsion to make a catalog already in the 1st century then again the spirit had done it and withouth usage of men, they had been only necessary to serve as human pens to write down the will of the spirit.

  • TheWonderofYou
  • slimboyfat

    Thanks for the video. I can understand some German but the German in this video is quite difficult for me probably because of the technical language.

    You are right JWs have no good explanation why they accept the canon of the fourth century church without accepting the authority or validity of the church. They don't mention here either (maybe they do elsewhere) that it was Athanasius who is regarded as supplying the first complete canonical list as now accepted in his Easter letter 367 AD.

    What draws you to textual criticism? Personally I find it fascinating, also the nomina sacra and books on paleography and the codex.

  • TheWonderofYou

    The famous Codex Vaticanus in the Vatican Library, a Greek codex of the Old and New Testaments. It consists of the same books in the same order as in Athanasius’s festal letter—which is particularly noteworthy given the peculiar order: Gospels, Acts, Catholic Epistles (James, 1 and 2 Peter, 1, 2, and 3 John, and Jude), Pauline Epistles (including Hebrews between 2 Thessalonians and 1 Timothy), and Revelation. The Codex Vaticanus probably was written in Rome, in 340, by Alexandrian scribes for Emperor Constans, during Athanasius’s seven-year exile in the city. It would thus predate the festal letter. Even though Athanasius was probably not far away when the Codex Vaticanus was written, one realizes that the establishment of the canon was not a sudden decision made unilaterally by a bishop in Alexandria, but a process of careful investigation and deliberation, documented in a codex of the Greek Bible and, twenty-seven years later, in a festal letter.

    In this concern the fact is interesting that Codex Vaticanus is seen as that collection which has the best text quality of all of the earliest codices, which speaks for the job which Athanasisus had done. The text form of the codes is Alexandrian. Alexandria was a cosmopolitan city including Greeks, Jews, Egyptians, other native Africans and Romans. Its place in trade was dominant. It also had a long literary tradition and a special Platonic tradition which Eudorus represented. Its libraries were central in its learning. The patriarchy of Alexandria had after the Roman and Constantinople patriarchy the third rank.

    Codex Vaticanus (B): According to Aland the by far best manuscript especially with the gospels. From Hebrew 9,14 on the original text is lost due to damage. Alexandrian texttype; 4th century

    Early catalogues according the mentioned book from 1990 All Scriptures are Insprired.

    Athanasisus' is included.

  • TheWonderofYou

    I am dealing with the question: If so many early witnesses are for a catalogue of the NT scriptures, why can anyone serioulsy argue or hold to the theory that at the council at Nicea at 325 A.D. Emporer Ceaser Constantine had decided which scriptures would become the New Testament with the evil ulterior motive to unify the church or to give power to the orthodoxy? Was the canon made to give the orthodoxy more power at all or for other reasons? Was the reason for the 325 council not that JW would get a full bible with all books in the last days for the worldwide work?

    Did at 325 the church really begin or later after the synod of Cartage at 397 to maliciously destroy or exclude gnostic and apocryph books and did it even burn the books of gnostic apostates so that the so called 'Catolic church" would gain more and absolute power over all believers and the gnostic would be annihilated as apostates. Went the christian mobs around to burn the gnostic books? Did the orthodox christian then pry about and betray the gnostic christians?

    But mainly: How could that the canonization be the reason for any pogroms or bookburning against gnostics if the canon already existed in the 2nd century?

    Perhaps it was really only more an emperors trial to settle dogmatic conflicts about the Arianism/Trinity and not so much about selection of canon?

    I think that the bishops wanted to give the emperor Ceaser the honour and so it looks for us like he decided, but in reality the canon already was spoken about in an "a process of careful investigation and deliberation" since longer and also in talks with the jewish what relates the hebrews.

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