ORIGINAL TEXT Virtuoso violinist Pinchas Zukerman was giving a master class to a group of young artists who had come to the Aspen Music Festival from the four corners of the world. The auditorium was filled with their peers and distinguished teachers and performers; the atmosphere was electric. To each of the talented performers in turn Zukerman offered friendly advice and encouragement, discussing their playing in detail, and invariably picking up his own violin to demonstrate finer points of technique and interpretation. Finally came the turn of a young musician who performed brilliantly. When the applause subsided, Zukerman complimented the artist, then walked over to his own violin, caressed it, tucked it under his chin, paused a long moment, and then, without playing a note or uttering a word, gently placed it back in its case. Once more the applause broke out, and this time it was deafening, in recognition of the master, who could pay so gracious a compliment.
ERRORS IN THE BIBLE? How can we say the Bible is without error if the ancient manuscripts that are translated into the Bible disagree? “It is a fact that the New Testament text has been transmitted to us through the hands of copyists. It is also a fact that, since these hands were human, they were susceptible to the slips and faults of all human hands.” -Neil Lightfoot
ERRORS OF THE EYE Confusion of letters Transposition (scirbal dyslexia)
ERRORS OF THE EYE Confusion of letters Transposition (scribal dyslexia)
ERRORS OF THE EYE Confusion of letters Transposition Incorrect division (GODISNOWHERE)
ERRORS OF THE EYE Confusion of letters Transposition Incorrect division (GOD IS NOWHERE)
ERRORS OF THE EYE Confusion of letters Transposition Incorrect division (GOD IS NOW HERE)
ERRORS OF THE EYE Confusion of letters Transposition Incorrect division Parablepsis (………them from the) (world ………………..) (……….them from the) (evil one….…………..)
ERRORS OF THE EYE Confusion of letters Transposition Incorrect division Parablepsis (………them from the) (evil one...…………..)
ERRORS OF THE EAR Text - “Death is swallowed up in conflict (neikos)” Correction - “Death is swallowed up in victory (nikos)” Text - “priests (iereis) that looked like an emerald” Correction - “a rainbow (iris) that looked like an emerald”
ERRORS OF THE JUDGMENT Text: (Rom 8:1) There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus... (v. 4) in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.
ERRORS OF THE JUDGMENT Emendation: (Rom 8:1) There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus...who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.
ERRORS OF THE JUDGMENT Luke’s genealogy of Jesus (Luke 3:23-38)
ERRORS IN THE BIBLE? Errors of memory Errors of the pen Errors of speech
INTENTIONAL CORRECTIONS Linguistic or rhetorical Historical Harmonistic Doctrinal “But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father only.” - Matt 24:36
INTENTIONAL CORRECTIONS Linguistic or rhetorical Historical Harmonistic Doctrinal “But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, but the Father only.” - Matt 24:36
INTENTIONAL CORRECTIONS Linguistic or rhetorical Historical Harmonistic Doctrinal Natural
HIGHER TEXTUAL CRITICISM “These men ask me to believe they can read between the lines of the old texts; the evidence is their obvious inability to read (in any sense worth discussing) the lines themselves. They claim to see fernseed and can’t see an elephant ten yards away in broad daylight.”- C. S. Lewis
LOWER TEXTUAL CRITICISM “Textual criticism is the study of copies of any written work of which the autograph (the original) is unknown, with the purpose of ascertaining the original text.” - J. Harold Greenlee
SO WHAT? What difference does all of this make? Yeah. I just want to pastor my flock.
HOW MANY ERRORS? ORIGINAL TEXT OUR BIBLE TODAY BEST TEXT 99.5% COPIES
HOW MANY ERRORS? “There are more variations among our manuscripts than there are words in the New Testament.” “Our manuscripts are…full of mistakes…Not only do we not have the originals, we don’t have the first copies of the originals. We don’t even have copies of the copies of the originals…What we have are copies made later—much later…And these copies all differ…in so many places that we don’t even known how many differences there are.”
HOW MANY ERRORS? 400,000 variants Minus spelling differences, repetitions, articles with proper nouns, word order changes, etc. that are easily corrected 99.5% Accuracy
RULES FOR TEXTUAL CRITICISM 1.Best explanation –Text – “The lock went desperately hard.” –Correction – “The lock went damnable hard.”
RULES FOR TEXTUAL CRITICISM 1.Best explanation 2.Best pedigree 3.Older reading 4.Older type of writing 5.Geographical location 6.More difficult reading 7.Shorter reading 8.Oldest quotations of the text 9.The different text in parallel accounts 10.Less familiar grammar and syntax 11.Normal style and vocabulary of the author 12.Flow of context
RULES FOR TEXTUAL CRITICISM “Not all of these criteria are applicable in every case. The critic must know when it is appropriate to give primary consideration to one type of evidence and not to another. Since textual criticism is an art as well as a science, it is understandable that in some cases different scholars will come to different evaluations of the significance of the evidence.”- Bruce Metzger
ENDING OF MATT 6:13 And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evil… 1.“For yours is the kingdom the power and glory.” 2.“For yours is the power and glory.” 3.“For yours is the kingdom and the glory.” 4.“For yours is the power forever [and ever].” 5.“For thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit forever. Amen.”
ENDING OF MATTHEW 6:13 Not in the best manuscripts or oldest commentaries 1 Chron 29:11-13, “Yours, O Lord, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the victory and the majesty, indeed everything that is in the heavens and the earth; Yours is the dominion, O Lord, and You exalt Yourself as head over all. Both riches and honor come from You, and You rule over all, and in Your hand is power and might; and it lies in Your hand to make great and to strengthen everyone. Now therefore, our God, we thank You, and praise Your glorious name.”
MARK 7:16 “If anyone has ears to hear, let him hear.” Mark 4:9, 23
MARK 16:9-20 Long ending not found in most manuscripts Little attestation in commentaries Abrupt transition between vv. 8-9 Unusual words and phrases in the long ending Apocryphal content Pic of snake handler
JOHN 7:53-8:11 Not in the best manuscripts or oldest commentaries Interrupts the flow of context But has the ring of truth
1 JOHN 5:7-8 (KJV) For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one. And there are three that bear witness in earth, the Spirit, and the water, and the blood: and these three agree in one. (NASB) For there are three that testify: the Spirit and the water and the blood; and the three are in agreement.
1 JOHN 5:7-8 KJV translation not in the best manuscripts or oldest commentaries The text makes an awkward break in the sentence
BHS Josh 21 Text Masora parva Masora magna Textual critical apparatus Added text
BHS Joshua Masora finalis Total verses of the book: six hundred and fifty and six and its middle: [13:26] and 15 sedarim [lessons]
LESSONS LEARNED Greater confidence? “The Christian can take the whole Bible in his hand and say without fear or hesitation that he holds in it the true Word of God, handed down without essential loss from generation to generation throughout the centuries.”- Frederic Kenyon Greater love? “I hate and abhor falsehood, but I love your law. Seven times a day I praise you for your righteous rules. Great peace have those who love your law; nothing can make them stumble.” (Ps 119:163-165)
SCHEDULE 09/27 Introduction 10/04 How did we get our Bible? 10/11 How do we know we have the true Bible? (Part 1) 10/18 How do we know we have the true Bible? (Part 2) 10/25 Why are there so many different translations? 11/01 How do we know the Bible is true? (Part 1) 11/08 How do we know the Bible is true? (Part 2) 11/15 The testimony of Scripture to itself (Part 1) 11/22 The testimony of Scripture to itself (Part 2) 11/29 Thanksgiving 12/06 The testimony of the early church 12/13 The testimony of extrabiblical sources 12/20 The testimony of changed lives 12/27 Christmas
PROTO- MASORETIC TEXT SAMARITAN PENTATEUCH SEPTUAGINT QUMRAN TEXTS SYRIAC PESHITTA HEXAPLA LATIN VULGATE OT Textual Critical Evidence Original 400-100 B.C. 250-150 B.C. 300 B.C. -A.D. 50 A.D. 125-400 A.D. 230 A.D. 390-404