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Tuesday, August 08, 2006

The theology of the incarnation

The very first thing that bothered me about the language debate was not about men and women. It was not about us. It was about what the Bible says about Christ. I find I am not alone. This is the testimony of a Greek Orthodox theologian.
    Remember the Greek language is gender inclusive, just as the Hebrew is, so why is the Jerusalem Bible "traditionally gender non-inclusive"? The whole Theology of the incarnation could be jeapourdised by prefering "Man" to the more correct "human" in translating Greek Anthropos. En-Anthropisis is to become-human not to become the male gender (Man). Kosmas Damianides, Monachos.net

I thought that was an important quote.

You should probably now just skip the rest of this post because it is a rerun, another attempt on my part to understand why people ask about the meaning of anthropos. Why do people want so badly for it to have a male meaning component?

Skip the rest, back to work, everybody, I am just trying to sort this one out, once and for all.

The following is a statement from the ESV website.

    Therefore, to the extent that plain English permits and the meaning in each case allows, we have sought to use the same English word for important recurring words in the original; and, as far as grammar and syntax allow, we have rendered Old Testament passages cited in the New in ways that show their correspondence. Thus in each of these areas, as well as throughout the Bible as a whole, we have sought to capture the echoes and overtones of meaning that are so abundantly present in the original texts.
    As an essentially literal translation, then, the ESV seeks to carry over every possible nuance of meaning in the original words of Scripture into our own language.

However, there is no way that the ESV translators can change all occurances of anthropos to 'man'. And there is no way that the they can claim that 'men' expressses the nuances of anthropos better than 'human'. So they cannot "use the same English word for important recurring words in the original." Maybe anthropos is not important.

On the page on gender issues, the ESV website explains its translation practice with respect to the word 'man'. (Apparently it is important after all.)

    For example, “anyone” replaces “any man” where there is no word corresponding to “man” in the original languages, and “people” rather than “men” is regularly used where the original languages refer to both men and women. But the words “man” and “men” are retained where a male meaning component is part of the original Greek or Hebrew.

And later down the page this,

    Similarly, where God and man are compared or contrasted in the original, the ESV retains the generic use of “man” as the clearest way to express the contrast within the framework of essentially literal translation.

    In each case the objective has been transparency to the original text, allowing the reader to understand the original on its own terms rather than on the terms of our present-day culture.

I think I have quoted this before, but I have to review it because it still confuses me. Do I have to assess each time the word 'man' is used, whether it is in the context of a comparison with God and then 'man' means 'human', anthropos. However, everywhere else, 'man' reflects a male meaning component in the Greek of Hebrew, irrespective of whether the Greek word is aner or anthropos. And this male meaning component is decided on what basis?

So the ESV does not use the words 'man' and 'human' consistently, although these would, in fact, reflect the Greek, aner and anthropos (not exactly, but more or less), possibly because it might appear to be on the "terms of our present-day culture". No, we must use the words 'man' and 'man', because that pattern "allows the reader to understand the original on its own terms".

59 Comments:

At Wed Aug 09, 02:27:00 AM, Blogger Peter Kirk said...

Thank you, Suzanne. Perhaps this rule explains the ESV rendering at 2 Peter 1:21, where the context is clearly the contrast between humans and God, not between males and females. Of course this passage will still be confusing to those readers who no longer use "man" in this generic sense, certainly in the plural, even where contrasted with non-humans. The rule doesn't explain 2 Timothy 2:2, where "men" for anthropoi clearly reflects the translators' presupposition that these people will all be male - as Dr Packer has confirmed.

As for the point about the Trinity, I was interested to see this expounded by a Greek Orthodox theologian, as I suspected that in their theology it was considered significant that the incarnation was into male rather than female flesh. But this has never been the teaching of western theology, as far as I can tell. And it would have all kinds of unfortunate theological consequences, e.g. if "whatever is not assumed is not redeemed", would this teaching imply that women cannot be saved? However, am I right in thinking that there are overtones of such a theology in Grudem's writings?

 
At Wed Aug 09, 03:13:00 AM, Blogger Peter M. Head said...

Suzanne asked about 'the meaning of anthropos. Why do people want so badly for it to have a male meaning component?'
When singular I suppose they may be thinking of the way it is used in the NT, e.g. Matt 8.9; 19.5, 10; 26.24; John 3.1; 18.17; 19.5 etc.

 
At Wed Aug 09, 04:37:00 AM, Blogger Peter Kirk said...

What male meaning component is there in these verses? The person referred to in each case is male, of course. But in English a man can be referred to as a person, but that does not mean that the word "person" thereby acquiring a male meaning component. And similarly the use of anthropos to refer to a man does not give the word a male meaning component. That is elementary semantics.

I agree that Matthew 19:5,10 is a slightly special case, where anthropos is directly contrasted with gune, and in such a case the collocation does imply some kind of male meaning component. The issue is confused because the LXX translation of 'ish in Genesis 2:27 as anthropos is unusual and dubious, and this is what Matthew quotes in 19:5 and alludes to in 19:10.

 
At Wed Aug 09, 07:36:00 AM, Blogger Suzanne McCarthy said...

In the Iliad and the Greek plays being anthropos, humanness, is the most important theme there is. It is about being human and not god/godess, about being human and not beast, not monster, being at the mercy of fate, having human failings, pride and blindness.

It is very explicit what this humanness is. However, there is no confusion, no sense that this strand of thought is mixed with being male and not female. The gods were male and female, monsters are male and female, humans are male and female. So the gender is orthogonal.

So I don't see how in Greek one could possibly confuse the two issues. It just isn't done. Some day I will have to find a way to communicate this better. But I spent 5 years studying the classics, Homer and the plays, philosophy, etc. first, before the Septugint.

The fact that the word anthropos is used for a human male in certain texts is just because it is easier to say in Greek 'a person', and if you don't define it, then it is a male, just as a default. It doens't have the sense of male, but just a guy, somebody, any old person.

Not a male hero, there is that theme too, but a different word. Anyway, the 'suffering male hero' could be a god, Prometheus, a demigod, Heracles, or a human, Achilles, so that theme exists too, but you don't use the word anthropos to define maleness, it just isn't related.

I know that Grudem and Kostenberger have said that using 'human' instead of 'man' for anthropos is a neutering of biblical references to man and Christ. Howver, that has no oonnection to Greek, because anthropos was never male to begin with.

I find this kind of thinking on the part of theologians disturbing, a bit Freudian really, what is so terrible about being human, and not male.

And the worst is that then they have no language and way to communicate clearly what the incarnation is about. They might use humanness in a discussion of Christ becoming human, but they shouldn't say that being human, instead of male is being neutered. There has to be a way of thinking about being human, about that human condition. In fact, I would asy that their position is unique historically. I can't thnk of any body of literature that does not talk about being human as our condition as people. The fact that men were writing about it, doesn't mean that they thought that it was about being male. No, I think these authors just thought that they could express humanness for both sexes, and they weren't concerned about gender.

 
At Wed Aug 09, 07:46:00 AM, Blogger Suzanne McCarthy said...

On Greek Orthodox beliefs, I daresay that maleness is very important, don't they have a male priesthood? but it just isn't expressed by anthropos. They are able to defend the male only priesthood in other ways. So really a conservative American theologian could find a way to preserve the concept of male privilege some other way.

Howevef, the evangelical types don't want to use the concept of priesthood to perserve male privilege, so they have to find some other way, some way of saying that men are really what is meant when the NT says anthropos. Anthropos really is man. Of course, that is just utter nonsense in Greek, where anthropos is human and men are priests. The Greeks themselves don't have trouble with these gender concepts.

 
At Wed Aug 09, 07:47:00 AM, Blogger lingamish said...

I agree with you that a primary concern has to be what such a theology says about Christ. Specifically my concern is the "eternal subjugation of the Son" that is part and parcel of this idea. I blogged on Eternal Subordination recently referencing some of your earlier work and also a post by Ben Witherington.

I've posted the verse that I think is the kingpin of their argument but I'd really like some of you to comment on its meaning.

 
At Wed Aug 09, 08:21:00 AM, Blogger M. J. Mansini said...

Warning, extreme generality or stereotyping, "Howevef, the evangelical types don't want to use the concept of priesthood to perserve male privilege, so they have to find some other way, some way of saying that men are really what is meant when the NT says anthropos.

This statement either needs to be heavily qualified or abandoned. Many evangelicals (most that I know, in fact) don't promote the stuff you despise so heavily.

Perhaps you haven't met many "modern" evangelicals? Or I just live in a strange section of the "Bible Belt".

 
At Wed Aug 09, 08:32:00 AM, Blogger Wayne Leman said...

Peter Head asked and Peter Kirk responded:

What male meaning component is there in these verses?

Peter and Suzanne have answered well. Here's some technical background. In terms of lexical semantics, anthropos does often refer to a man, but anthropos does not mean 'man' lexically. In the Bible translation debates these days, the difference between reference and lexical meaning is often confused. It is most appropriate to translate anthropos with the English word "man" in a number of biblical contexts, but that does not mean that anthropos means 'man.' It does not. It means 'person' or 'human'.

 
At Wed Aug 09, 08:40:00 AM, Blogger Wayne Leman said...

Specifically my concern is the "eternal subjugation of the Son"

That would be "submission" rather than "subjugation." It's those Latinate words in the English vocabulary that give us such grief!! :-)

 
At Wed Aug 09, 08:55:00 AM, Blogger Suzanne McCarthy said...

This statement either needs to be heavily qualified or abandoned. Many evangelicals (most that I know, in fact) don't promote the stuff you despise so heavily.

Absolutely right, Matthew, and I won't delete it to show that I respect your comment. I meant, of those who wish to preserve male privilege, male only leadership, in the church, those who are evangelical vs those who are orthodox or catholic, have more difficulty.

So the catholic and orthodox, who do hold to a priesthood, preserve male leadership by a different paradigm than those evangelical theologians who advocate male only leadership.

Once you have a priesthood of all believers, you have to find another paradigm within which to find women less able to function across the board. So these men, Grudem and Kostenberger, I have read their articles on 'neutering', these two authors at least have decided that translating anthropos as human, effectively neuters 'man'. This is their paradigm. Ouch.

Otherwise, no, evangelicals come in all stripes and I consider myself one. You notice also that I refrained from saying 'evangelical men' but said 'types'. those, whoever they are, male or female, who hold to these particular beliefs about the word anthropos, - those types, are having some linguistic difficulties because Greek doesn't work that way.

 
At Wed Aug 09, 09:30:00 AM, Blogger Sungkhum said...

Susan, you said, "if you don't define it [anthropos], then it is a male, just as a default. It doens't have the sense of male, but just a guy, somebody, any old person."

Can you explain what you mean by this?

I still don't understand the "default" vs. the "defined".

Also you said, "they [the authors of the Bible] weren't concerned about gender."

Would it be possible to prove this rather than just say it? I understand it is what you believe - but how did you come to that belief? Is it from how you see the word anthropos used, or from other sources as well?

Thanks,
Nathan

 
At Wed Aug 09, 09:32:00 AM, Blogger Sungkhum said...

Oh, I am sorry - I just realized I spelled your name wrong Suzanne.

-Nathan

 
At Wed Aug 09, 10:25:00 AM, Blogger lingamish said...

Wayne,

I used "subjugation" because it is a term being used by Grudem, et al.

 
At Wed Aug 09, 10:40:00 AM, Blogger Wayne Leman said...

Lingamish responded:

I used "subjugation" because it is a term being used by Grudem, et al.

Fair enough, Lingamish. But does Grudem use "subjugation" to refer to the eternal relationship between God the Father and God the Son? Or does he use that word to refer to how some women feel about the word "submission"?

As you know, there is a significant difference between subjugation and submission. The latter is voluntary. I have never seen anything in Grudem's writings which indicates that he believes that the Son did anything other than voluntarily place himself in a submissive relationship to the Father.

I don't want to belabor the point, but you may have actually read Grudm referring to the Son's relation to the Father as subjugation. If so, when you get off your boogey board and back to your books, could you please post here one or two actual quotes from Grudem where he uses the word "subjugation" to refer to the relationship within the Trinity?

 
At Wed Aug 09, 10:43:00 AM, Blogger Wayne Leman said...

Lingamish, I do know that Grudem refers to the "eternal subordination" or the Son to the Father.

Off topic: Do you think that subordination could refer to Navy chaplains who minister to sailors on submarines?

 
At Wed Aug 09, 10:52:00 AM, Blogger Wayne Leman said...

Lingamish, I've been surfing (alas, not on a boogey board!) and have come up with this on a webpage:

"This new teaching on the Trinity came to full fruition in 1994 with the publication of W. Grudem’s, Systematic Theology: An Introduction to Biblical Doctrine (Zondervan, 1994). Two chapters in this book outline his doctrine of the eternal subordination of the Son in function and authority. The impact of this book on evangelicals cannot be underestimated. Over 130,000 copies have been sold and the abridged version, Bible Doctrine (ed. J. Purswell; Zondervan, 1999), with exactly the same teaching on the Trinity and women, has sold over 35,000 copies. For Grudem the Son’s role subordination, like that of women, is not a matter of who does certain things as we might expect on seeing the word “role,” but rather a matter of who commands and who obeys. He writes, “the Father has the role of commanding, directing, and sending” and the Son has “the role of obeying, going as the Father sends, and revealing God to us” (Systematic Theology [Zondervan, 1995] 250) These words disclose the key issue; that is, the Son is eternally set under the authority of the Father. Grudem insists that this understanding of the Trinity is historic orthodoxy (cf. his latest book, Evangelicals, Feminism, and Biblical Truth [Multnomah, 2004] 405-43). It is, for him, what the creeds and the best of theologians have maintained throughout church history. "

 
At Wed Aug 09, 11:07:00 AM, Blogger Suzanne McCarthy said...

Nathan,

I am having to think through all this. First, I studied Greek for 5 years as a classical language. Then, I read the Septuagint and related works. Then the NT. So sometimes I am being intuitive, and I really have difficulty seeing where others are coming from.

To me, the TNIV and the NRSV are consistent with Greek literature and all preceding translations. In preceding translations 'man' was generic, then this switched to 'human' and it was a seamless transition to my mind.

The notion that anthropos communicates maleness is a comletely new idea, a concept that I met recently. I am still trying to understand how this notion came about, where did anyone get this idea from. Wayne L. and Peter K. keep trying to explain that these theologians that I quote really think that anthropos communicates maleness, but I can't understand it. I am being very slow about this.

The online LSJ lexicon seems to be down right now but this is from my home lexicon.

ανθρωπος - ο, man, Lat. homo (not vir) plur. οι ανθρωποι, men in general, mankind; so μαλιστα or ηκιστα ανυρωπων most or least of all men. Like ανηρ, it is joined to another substantive, as ανθρωπος οδιτης, a wayfaring man. As opp. to ανηρ it expresses contempt, as Lat. homo, opp. to vir, used in addressing slaves, ω ανθπωπε, The feminine, ανθρωπος, η, (like homo, fem. in Lat.) a woman.

Now, anthropos is like aner grammatically and we say man in English because stylistically we dont say a wayfaring person. English is simply different in this way. But in Greek, anthropos means a person, a human being. This is homo in Latin, as in homo sapiens, not vir, as in the triumvirate. Three powerful men.

So, to my mind, anthropos means more or less what the lexcion says it means, an ordinary, lowly human being, possibly a slave, no status, just a person. I don't know if I can communicate it better than that. I think about the whole idea of humanness in Greek literature - it is a rich theme, but how can I say it, it is about being human.


It is a bit different than being human in the Judea Christian ethic in some ways, but the idea of humanness refers to the same thing, men, women and children, we are all human. This is not in any way related to a feminist viewpoint. People really did think about the human condition before feminism.

 
At Wed Aug 09, 11:07:00 AM, Blogger M. J. Mansini said...

Suzanne said, Absolutely right, Matthew, and I won't delete it to show that I respect your comment. I meant, of those who wish to preserve male privilege, male only leadership, in the church, those who are evangelical vs those who are orthodox or catholic, have more difficulty.

Yes, this qualifies your statement. And now I can say that I agree with your comment on the "priesthood of the believers". That has always been a sore spot for many male "primacy" advocates. On the other hand, the same phrase causes difficult for those who hold to a female "priority", some type of racial priority, etc., etc.

The Bible is a great equalizer (although some would claim otherwise).

By the way, I'm looking for a new Bible translation to use as my primary reading AND studying Bible. Does anyone have any recommendations?

 
At Wed Aug 09, 11:23:00 AM, Blogger Wayne Leman said...

Matthew asked:

By the way, I'm looking for a new Bible translation to use as my primary reading AND studying Bible. Does anyone have any recommendations?

I recommend TNIV or NLT. The TNIV is not as smooth a read as the NLT, but it is much smoother than the ESV, NKJV, or NASB. If you can handle the slightly stilted language of the TNIV (and all other versions which are moderately to higly formal), then the TNIV would be a good version for both primary reading and study. In addition, the TNIV has the advantage that is you are already accustomed to reading from the NIV, the TNIV will sound the same. Most of its verse wordings are identical to those of the NIV.

 
At Wed Aug 09, 11:24:00 AM, Blogger lingamish said...

Wayne,

I think you're right about the vocabulary. I was picking up the term "subjugation" from Ben Witherington's post and commenters on it. Ben's post is accessible from my link above.

"Subjugation" is certainly a more semantically loaded term than "subordination."

Kevin Giles that you have linked to is the author quoted by Ben.

My next adventure is sea kayaking. Currently my wife is trying it with her sister while I watch the kids. Am I being "temporarily subordinated?"

 
At Wed Aug 09, 11:27:00 AM, Blogger Wayne Leman said...

My next adventure is sea kayaking. Currently my wife is trying it with her sister while I watch the kids. Am I being "temporarily subordinated?"

It depends on whether you are watching the kids voluntarily or not!

:-)

 
At Wed Aug 09, 11:33:00 AM, Blogger Suzanne McCarthy said...

Nathan,

Default is an understanding that people assume. If I said that a doctor was preacing next sunday you would assume a male. I remember in Switzerland once, I was ordering some electrical equipment for an American mission organization. I was told that I needed to get some details from the nurse who adminstered to hospital. I simply could not find the 'nurse'.

Okay, he was 6 ft 2, weighed about 220 lbs, had black neatly trimmed beard, and a loud voice. You get the picture, nurse does not have a female semantic component but by default a nurse was female to me.

But even more so, if someone said an American, or Brit or kiwi, or, I don't want to leave any one out here, is coming for dinner, and I wasn't really thinking about it, I might assume that it was a man. It is default meaning. Male is the default human being linguistically. Women can fight this all they want but that is the way language works. So in language, male is unmarked, the default, if no one says anything else, it is a man, but the female is marked. If it is female, then indicate that somehow by a marker. That is why male, means male; and female means female. Because, female is marked by fe- . Male is not marked. Male is IT.

This is not feminist theory, this is linguistic theory.

 
At Wed Aug 09, 02:07:00 PM, Blogger Suzanne McCarthy said...

Nathan,

Here is an excerpt from an article to show you that I am not just making this up as I go along. I am in a way, but I am having the same problems others are having with language.

This is from an article called Imago Dei,

It is these pictures of man (the male) as self-sufficient except the ability to reproduce which informs theological anthropology down the modern period. It is, in its way, a kind of egalitarianism in which women bring nothing to the table but reproductive capacity and ‘man’ (here meaning ‘male’) is the default position for humanity. Thus when we speak of ‘man’ we include everyone, except when dealing with matters particular to females like pregnancy, childbirth and abortion. But this is not simply a matter of language. In Catholic theological anthropology this attitude of sexual monoculture persists right to the texts of Gaudium et Spes and beyond. Sexual difference is largely a matter of indifference, and women are to be treated as ‘men’ except where in certain questions of reproduction or, as already in Gaudium et Spes and in more recent encyclicals, women’s freedom to work, or to marry without force, or to avoid exploitation and so on.

Curiously but predictably the document says even less about men (males) because when ‘man’ is the default position it is difficult to distinguish when it is males specifically and when it is human beings in general who are under discussion. Since ‘men’ are everyone, we don’t have much idea what males are about.

 
At Wed Aug 09, 03:31:00 PM, Blogger M. J. Mansini said...

Wayne, thank you for your recommendation of the TNIV. I had been thinking about this translation as a good alternative to a) an overly literal translation (in which case I ALWAYS find TONS of problems with the English involved) and/or b) an overly functional translation (such as perhaps the GW or GNT).

Some other translations that seem to fall (more or less) into the TNIV category may be the NJB and the NEB/REB and possibly the NET. Am I thinking correctly here?

Also Wayne, I have been studying your Bible accuracy charts (corollations?) and I notice that your measure of accuracy does not favor more literal translations. This brings up an interesting question: Do you consider literal translations as good for study? Or should someone just stick with a dynamic, and when they honestly want to look at a "literal" rendering, go with an interlinear or Greek NT?

One of the things I have struggled with is the obvious fact that most literal translations feel like a hybrid: Greek Structure followed by substitution of English words for the Greek words.

One of the main problems is that the Literal translations have the unfair advantage of "popular perception". Many closest equivalent or functional or dynamic translations are ridiculed by the mere fact that they don't correspond in a word-for-word fashion. This begs the question though: if someone is truly concerned with word-for-word understanding of the Bible, then would they not be better served with a source language text rather than an English translation at all?

I ask all of this because I am trying to wrap my head around the issues. I desperately love the closest equivalent/functional/dynamic translations because they typically demonstrate a much higher competency in English, which, if noone has noticed is the target language we are dealing with here.

Wayne, let me comment on this as well, and I would like your feedback from any field tests or personal experience you have. It was commented to me that "most serious Christians will probably use multiple translations: including a Literal, Mid way (think NIV), and a thoroughly dynamic (think GNT/TEV)." But I have found in my own personal desires and from those I have had correspondance with that it is an inherent desire in many of us to try to use one Bible primarily, and only have to research other translations when necessary. Does this accord with anything you have found to be true?

I guess all of this comes down to an individuals definition of "Accuracy"! Personally, due to huge preconceived notions of "literal = accurate", I have a hard time with my unexplainable desire to primarily make use of many of the functional or dynamic translations.

8(

 
At Wed Aug 09, 03:51:00 PM, Blogger Peter Kirk said...

Lingamish, you asked, "Am I being "temporarily subordinated?"" Have you ever been ordained? If so, when you capsize your kayak, maybe you will experience temporary subordination, and without even a spell of duty as a naval chaplain.

 
At Wed Aug 09, 03:57:00 PM, Blogger Peter Kirk said...

Suzanne, you wrote: "Because, female is marked by fe- . Male is not marked." This is actually misleading. The English word "female" is not actually derived from "male" with a prefix, but from Latin femella, a diminutive of femina "woman". According to the Online Etymology Dictionary, "Spelling alt. late 14c. on mistaken parallel of male."

But your general point about male being unmarked and female marked is spot on, at least for English, Greek and Hebrew, I'm not sure about every language worldwide.

 
At Wed Aug 09, 08:03:00 PM, Blogger Suzanne McCarthy said...

I wrote,

So in language, male is unmarked, the default, if no one says anything else, it is a man, but the female is marked. If it is female, then indicate that somehow by a marker.

Those statements are accurate, as far as I know.

I then wrote,

That is why male, means male; and female means female. Because, female is marked by fe- .

Okay, I noticed as I pushed publish that I did not add a smiley face. ;-)

So, yes, that was very misleading. Thank you, Peter, for the correct etymology. I didnt know it but I was just fooling around, feeling frustrated about trying to explain the concept of 'default'.

Then I said, 'male is IT', but I didn't mean men are 'eye tea' - I meant male is the assumed gender unless you mention otherwise. You can see some of the problems in the article on Imago Dei.

Somehow I don't seem to be very good at explaining the term 'default'. However, maybe the cows, dogs, and men post will do the trick. Thanks for that, Peter.

 
At Wed Aug 09, 08:10:00 PM, Blogger G. D. Grubbs said...

The original quote Suzanne used from the Orthodox person continues:

If you look at the OLd Testament, although it may be good for scholars to see that they use the name of God YHWH and Elohim but the MT (hebrew bible) is wrong and edited by the Jews of the 2nd Century. We use the Greek LXX.

What is that all about?

 
At Wed Aug 09, 08:31:00 PM, Blogger Suzanne McCarthy said...

Here is another quote showing the use of the terms marked and unmarked. The unmarked is the default, male is the default. Human means human, but the male is the default human.

Now, there’s something else functioning there besides these sort of heterosexist assumptions that are being brought to the texts, and that’s the assumption that “maleness” is the universal. Anything that refers to males refers to everybody. That’s sort of a fundamental category mistake that feminist theory has long identified (and feminist theology as well). It’s called the “unmarked” and the “marked.” Linguists use this notion to say that if you take seriously the distribution of power in a society, you recognize that the unmarked population is the normative or the ideal. It identifies who really is considered the ideal human. That’s the population that can stand for everybody or be the universal. The idea of Mankind, as in “Rise up, O Man of God” (and we all stand up, ostensibly).

And then, in contrast to the unmarked, you have the marked. This is the population which has a negative valuation associated with the markedness. These people have “race” or have “gender”. They can never stand for everybody else. Who would stand up if you sang that hymn, “Rise up, O Woman of God”? Women might stand up. So that’s a marked population, and that’s a denigration.


I don't agree with everything in this article but this kind of language is necessary in order to discuss what it means to be human. The notion of marked and unmarked predated feminism as far as I know. It is a grammatical notion. But it was transferred to the social realm.

 
At Wed Aug 09, 08:46:00 PM, Blogger G. D. Grubbs said...

matthew james mansini said:
One of the main problems is that the Literal translations have the unfair advantage of "popular perception". Many closest equivalent or functional or dynamic translations are ridiculed by the mere fact that they don't correspond in a word-for-word fashion. This begs the question though: if someone is truly concerned with word-for-word understanding of the Bible, then would they not be better served with a source language text rather than an English translation at all?


You sound like you're describing my problem. I do like to read less formal translations at times, but every time I do, it always feels like I'm missing something. That probably comes from growing up with more formal versions. What I miss when reading easier to read versions is the type of phraseology like "Walk not in the counsel of the wicked," or even "Do not walk in the counsel of the wicked," if that is your preference. I can't stand it when something takes the imagery out of it and says something like "Don't follow the advice of sinners."

As far as the original languages, then what would I use as the original manuscripts, seeing as how we don't have the originals anymore? I really don't see much point in putting in the time and effort to learn a language to only get into a debate about which manuscripts, instead of which translations.

I know...I'm hopeless.

 
At Wed Aug 09, 09:45:00 PM, Blogger Suzanne McCarthy said...

Matthew.

First, in the winter I blogged about orthotomeo. My point was that it does not mean 'rightly dividing the word of truth'.

However, I felt that 'handle correctly' was insipid. I think 'carving out a straight and level highway' might be closer to the original and create the vivid kind of writing that is found in the Greek. In the end, the topic drifted off without a resolution.

I think some of the recommendations by Anon are good. He has mentionned Robert Alter and Everett Fox for the OT. You might try one of those and let us know what you think.

I am not sure exactly what your question is about manuscripts or if it is on topic for this blog. Interesting though.

 
At Wed Aug 09, 10:08:00 PM, Blogger anonymous said...

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At Wed Aug 09, 10:58:00 PM, Blogger Wayne Leman said...

G. D. Grubbs is perplexed:

As far as the original languages, then what would I use as the original manuscripts, seeing as how we don't have the originals anymore? I really don't see much point in putting in the time and effort to learn a language to only get into a debate about which manuscripts, instead of which translations.

I happen to agree with your lack of desire to argue over the manuscripts, although it actually is an important issue for specialists to be concerned about. (We can be thankful to God that the differences among the manuscripts are, relatively speaking, quite minor.)

But let's also think about this: Why can we trust translations which are not based on the original manuscripts any more than we could trust studying copies of those manuscripts ourselves?

One answer I would have for myself to this question is that the translators are usually far more qualified than I am to translate the biblical languages even though they, like no one else, has the original manuscripts.

But this, for me, removes the issue of whether or not we are working from the original manuscripts from the table. Yes, it is a concern. But if it is big enough concern for us, then we have, I think, only two choices:

1. Give up and say that we can't trust any manuscripts or translations of them because no one has any originals.

2. Be willing to live with less than absolute certainty. We do this with many other things in life. We never know when we step into our bathtub if we might slip and fall and become seriously injured. If we were concerned enought about that possibility we might stop taking baths. We never know when we drive our cars if we might have an accident. But most of us continue to drive our cars. Benefits outweight the risks for many things in life.

 
At Wed Aug 09, 11:30:00 PM, Blogger M. J. Mansini said...

Suzanne said, "I am not sure exactly what your question is about manuscripts or if it is on topic for this blog. Interesting though."

Is this posed to me? I don't actually see in my post where I asked any questions or even made any comments on the "manuscripts" themselves. I did talk about utilizing a Greek NT though, such as a UBS or NA.

I suppose I have a soft spot for the dynamic/functional/closest equivalent translations, but for me I will probably base most of my study and reading out of a more formal translation for a few primary reasons: a)I am Biblically literate, b)formal represents a decent "base" platform from which to attempt interpretation, and c)I'm just too tired to care about some issues anymore.

However, I must ask the following: will functional translations ever be viewed as good for more than just reading? The public opinion seems to suggest, currently, that the answer is no. Time will tell I suppose.

Now, to stress the point one more time, I don't seem to be the one who brought up the "original manuscripts" deal. Perhaps this was perpetuated somewhere else, or by someone else?

As a comment about the text though (for whoever it is that appears to, somewhere, have been interested); it appears that the NT manuscripts are in about 85% total agreement (according to Thomas Nelson).

So the real issue isn't so much the original manuscripts, but more on "How should we go about translating the greek manuscripts?"

For this, I find that functional and formal both appear to have highs and lows, I am just unable to comment on which I perceive as "more accurate".

Although I will say one thing, most professional and experienced translators can interpret scripture TONS better than I can. So, really I am just complaining. I hate using multiple translations when I don't have too, much preferring to stick within one as my primary framework, only "venturing out" when in search of food or assistance!

8D

 
At Wed Aug 09, 11:33:00 PM, Blogger Suzanne McCarthy said...

Sorry, Matthew,

My mistake. Time to sign out. I see Wayne has answered GD. Such a lively conversation the last few days. Thank you all.

 
At Thu Aug 10, 12:27:00 AM, Blogger G. D. Grubbs said...

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At Thu Aug 10, 02:29:00 AM, Blogger Peter Kirk said...

GD wrote:

What I miss when reading easier to read versions is the type of phraseology like "Walk not in the counsel of the wicked," or even "Do not walk in the counsel of the wicked," if that is your preference. I can't stand it when something takes the imagery out of it and says something like "Don't follow the advice of sinners."

But is this last version really missing the imagery? After all, the word "follow" is an image of literal movement just as much as "walk" is. I accept that it is not restricted to movement on foot, whereas "walk" is. But, if you are alluding to (and misquoting) Psalm 1:1, the Hebrew word in question, הָלַךְ halakh, does not imply movement on foot, but just means "go". So, if we want to be pedantic, the only complaint we can really justifiably make here is that "follow" has heightened the imagery, for it implies movement in a particular direction, whereas the Hebrew does not explicitly specify the direction.

GD's real problem here, I suspect, is that he (gender confirmed from his Blogger profile) is not recognising the imagery in the English word "follow". "Follow the advice" or "follow the counsel" was originally a metaphor, but has become a dead metaphor and even an idiom. So when he reads "follow the counsel" he misses the metaphor. Basically, familiarity has bred contempt for this imagery. But because "walk in the counsel" is not a dead metaphor or idiom, he reads it as imagery.

Now, if we could be sure that the original Hebrew here is a striking image, then GD would have a point that it would be better to translate it with a striking image rather than a dead metaphor. (And by the same principle 1 Corinthians 12 would need to be retranslated, to avoid the dead metaphors "body" and "member" which were new and striking images for Paul.) But was the original Hebrew actually a striking image, or was it a dead metaphor? I'm not sure if we can know this. The same Hebrew words for "walk in the counsel" as in Psalm 1:1 are found in 2 Chronicles 22:5, not a poetic passage; also in Psalm 81:12, Jeremiah 7:24 and Micah 6:16 with a different but related word for "counsel"; this suggests but does not prove that this is not striking poetic imagery.

So I would suggest GD's complaint should be withdrawn at least pending some kind of proof that there really is more imagery in the Hebrew original than in the rendering "follow the advice".

 
At Thu Aug 10, 04:27:00 AM, Blogger G. D. Grubbs said...

As far as I can tell, there was no misquote. I was giving an example from Psalm 1, which you apparently were able to recognize. If you guys wish to withdraw it, feel free.

So Peter, as another example, "sit in the seat of scoffers (or mockers)" would also have no more imagery to you than say "join in with scoffers" or "sit in the company of mockers" or "join in sneering at God"? But of course, there probably is a reason for that as well.

Seriously though, I can see what you mean by "follow the advice," but why is it you can get almost any more literal version and it will give the picture of walking, rather than indiscriminate "going," and in some less literal versions that don't in fact use "walk" will be added a footnote that says the literal Hebrew is "walk in." I'm not making that up.

I guess the gist of my comparison is that if I see several different more literal versions compared side by side and they were not in collusion with one another, and they all basically say the same thing, almost identically, that inspires confidence to an extent compared with reading the same passage translated by easy reading versions that may all say many different things.

If someone reads something like Psalm 1:1-2 in the KJV, NKJV, RSV, NRSV (follow), NASB, ESV, ASV, NIV, and even the more literal versions, like Young's, you get the picture of cohesion. When you read it in the NLT, TEV, CEV, NIrV, etc, things start coming apart.

I thought it was odd when I compared Leviticus 20:17 in some formal versions to the NIV even. Just check the other loose translations! Anyone I've shown that to loses confidence in the version that takes radical departure. I haven't performed extensive studies or anything, and I know which versions would be easier for the same people to read, and I know they would identify the easy read versions as easier to read. They are. There is no dispute there. The only problem I see is they inspire lack of confidence in people when I show them how the same passage is translated in so many different ways, and ends up in some places having different meanings entirely.

Feel free to remove my posts about this situation if it offends the sensibilities of anyone because of personal preferences, but I'm just stating my personal preference as well, and giving the reasons for it.

 
At Thu Aug 10, 04:36:00 AM, Blogger G. D. Grubbs said...

Forgot to add: See the notes on the NET Bible or HCSB on the "walk" situation. These and I could be wrong, but you may be able to get the picture of what I'm talking about by comparing versions without either of us being pedantic.

 
At Thu Aug 10, 06:14:00 AM, Blogger Peter M. Head said...

Does ANTHRWPOS in the NT ever refer to a woman?

 
At Thu Aug 10, 06:18:00 AM, Blogger Peter Kirk said...

GD, we have no problem with you expressing your opinions. There is no need to delete or retract them. It is just that I have different opinions, and probably Suzanne and Wayne also do. Even on those matters on which the conrtibutors to this blog agree, we welcome comments in disagreement. I'm sorry if I seem to be coming down heavily on you. Perhaps I need to be more careful about how I word my responses.

I take your point that the sheer variety of modern Bible translations can spread confusion and reduce confidence in the Bible. But then different readings are chosen for good reasons, not just for the sake of being different.

You suggest that there is "no collusion" between different literal versions. That may strictly be true, but it by no means implies that these are independent translations which have made the same translation decisions independently. The more literal translations you list (KJV, NKJV, RSV, NRSV, NASB, ESV, ASV, NIV, Young's) are all based rather closely on Tyndale's original work, and freely borrow from one another, especially from KJV. As KJV had "walk" in Psalm 1:1, it is no surprise that nearly all of these versions follow it, or walk in its way.

I don't say that "walk" is a mistranslation of הָלַךְ halakh, only that the Hebrew word is not as strictly restricted to motion on foot as English "walk". I note for example it is used of the motion of a snake on its belly (Genesis 3:14) and of the motion of ships and of people in ships (1 Kings 22:48,49). I see no reason why "follow" should be considered a less literal rendering than "walk", but the most literal would be "go". You imply that "walk" adds something to the meaning which is not in "go"; if so, this is something which is not in the original Hebrew and so should not be added.

On the point of misquoting, your example was "Walk not in the counsel of the wicked", also "Do not walk in the counsel of the wicked". Are there any versions which have this precise wording? I'm sure none have the capital letters. RSV has "walks not...", KJV has "walketh not...", NIV has "does not walk...". TNIV has your alternative wording "do not walk...", possible because it has made the subject plural, but changes the latter part of the verse. But is there actually any version which has "walk not in the counsel of the wicked"? OK, I am being pedantic to object, but in fact I originally read your versions, with capital letters, as imperative forms, which would be a mistranslation of Psalm 1:1.

I agree with you that "join in with" loses some imagery relative to "sit in the seat of". But I would still want to check whether there is real imagery in the Hebrew behind "sit in the seat of", or just a dead metaphor.

 
At Thu Aug 10, 06:22:00 AM, Blogger anonymous said...

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At Thu Aug 10, 06:30:00 AM, Blogger Peter Kirk said...

Peter Head asked, "Does ANTHRWPOS in the NT ever refer to a woman?"

I think the answer is "no". But the question is irrelevant, because, as all linguists recognise, reference is independent of semantic meaning.

You could ask, Does ANTHRWPOS in the NT ever refer to a British or American person? The answer is again of course "no". But this does not imply that biblical teaching about human beings does not apply to the British or Americans.

And if this sounds like a silly example, you could also ask, Does ANTHRWPOS in the NT ever refer to a Gentile? Surprisingly, the answer is again very close to "no"; I can find only two certain Gentiles so referred to, in Matthew 8:9 || Luke 7:8 || John 4:50, and Mark 5:2,8 || Luke 8:29,33,35, perhaps also Acts 19:16. But even if this were absolutely true, it would not imply that biblical teaching about human beings does not apply to Gentiles. So, we have to distinguish carefully between reference and meaning.

 
At Thu Aug 10, 12:02:00 PM, Blogger M. J. Mansini said...

Anon said, "The situation with Hebrew Scriptures is considerably happier."

Thats for sure. To many assumptions and presuppositions have taken place over the centuries with NT textual criticism.

Some may be interested to look at the research of Wieland Willker (I have no idea if I spelled his name correctly!) and his conclusions on text types and the presence of secondary readings. However, you must realize that his results (as with any ones results) depend on the principles used when evaluating scribal habits etc. Different principles or assumptions produce dramatically different results.

Really in my opinion for those like G D, just do some research and decide on one or the other of the opinions. Most of the NT is pretty much the same anyways. Resting yourself on an opinion can clear up the confusion and worry, and you can just get down to studying what is already there!

I recommend reading: Daniel B. Wallace (much information on the whole subject, especially at bible.org), Bruce Metzger (tons of published work!!!), Willker's Textual Commentary on the Greek Gospels (available for free online). Maybe even check out the critical apparatus in the UBS GNT. Don't forget to check out the work of the Alands. These are typically for an "alexandrian" or "reasoned" opinion (which typically prefers the Alexandrian as a more reliable form of the text).

On the other hand, you can read about a majority or Byzantine priority in the work of Maurice Robinson (has a published Greek text, and many writings: particularly of interest is his essay, "A Case for Byzantine Priority". He probably represents one of the most competent Majority or Byzantine theorists), Kenneth Clarke, Sturz (not pro-maj, but an equal weight advocate), Hodges and Farstad (published greek Text and many essays; interesting work on stemmatics). If you are interested in researching the Majority position, I personally would recommend avoiding the work of Wilbur Pickering, as much of his reasoned opinions center on theological presuppositions (which can be just as dangerous as textual or scribal habits presuppositions). Also, Andrew Wilson has some interesting research which should be looked at (nttext.com).

Really many Christians need to settle their minds over the entire "manuscripts" issue, because much time spent goes towards that issue rather than studying and applying the scriptures to our lives.

It seems to me (who am not an expert), that either priority theory is basically safe (more or less). Too many get caught up in the issues though!

Wow, incredibly long winded (or at least it felt like it).

Oh yah, forgot to mention, you can take a look at the NET Bible Notes, as these give a great feel for current approaches to eclecticism (it also helps show how differing assumptions on scribal habits, in particular, can cause the preferred readings of the text to swing dramatically from one side to the other).

Oh right, I forgot to mention, (again!?!?!?!) that you can find interesting discussions of real textual issues at the, now defunct, TC List, by the TC Journal, at Yahoo! Groups. (Robinson, Waltz, Ehrman, and many others, were active in this group).

 
At Thu Aug 10, 01:28:00 PM, Blogger Peter M. Head said...

Peter H asked: "Does ANTHRWPOS in the NT ever refer to a woman?"

Peter K answered: "I think the answer is "no". But the question is irrelevant, because, as all linguists recognise, reference is independent of semantic meaning."

I don't know all linguists so I don't know whether this is true. But the issue is whether semantic meaning is independent of reference (not the other way around). But perhaps we could start by asking whether "all linguists" know or agree on what "meaning" means?

 
At Thu Aug 10, 02:14:00 PM, Blogger G. D. Grubbs said...

I agree it is a valuable thing for experts to pore over various manuscripts and to debate that issue. I have been studying issues having to do with manuscript evidence, translation issues, gender issues, etc, for a long time, and as someone (I think Matthew JM) has stated before, all of this could cause people to lose faith.

That was certainly not my intention when researching various issues with manuscripts and translations, but I have to admit, I've stumbled over so many things I wish my eyes had not seen. It was so much simpler when all I read was the KJV, but now I can't go back, because I have learned too much to find it trustworthy.

I've read through several different versions, and am about 2/3 through the ESV, and find more dissatisfaction as I go. It likely is not a problem with the different translations, but I envy the people that only had one. The incessant debate going on is disturbing many Christians.

I, for one, am getting to the point that stepping back and looking at it as a purely academic endeavor is just about the only way to approach it, which is a far cry from where I came from, and why I've more considered the NRSV (supposed to be more scholarly), and possibly a study bible that is not really designed as a study bible to increase faith, but a study bible that is more focused on whatever facts scholars have been able to glean about the manuscript evidence, and the true nature of the Christian faith.

I don't mean to muck up your blog with comments like this, but it may be more than passing interest to some that people are really affected by perceived problems with texts and translation. I realize there are not much difference between the Majority and Critical texts, but there is more to be concerned with than that. I go to a church that you could think of as evangelical, and part of the statement of faith is that we believe in the inerrancy of the original documents. However, the more I've studied and considered what we have and what we don't have (originals), the more I've come to see that statement of inerrancy in the originals could be seen as intellectual dishonesty. Now, I wonder if I'm going the way of Bart Ehrman.

 
At Thu Aug 10, 05:42:00 PM, Blogger Suzanne McCarthy said...

GD,

You sound discouraged. Let me tell you a bit about my own experience. When I was 16, and had studied Greek a couple of years, an old family friend was excommunicated. My Dad asked me If I could reread certain key verses from Matt. about excommunication in the Greek and see if there was a way to unexcommunicate this friend of ours. I was unable to say that the Greek meant anything different from the way it was already interpreted, and then our friend, an elderly man, died.

Not long after that, I went to university and found that my linguistics prof, who became a good friend, was the thesis supervisor for W. Pickering, who became president of the majority text society, all about inerrancy of the original manuscripts and the provisory preservation of these same manuscripts. So we were the two Christian students of prof. Al Gleason.

I basically had to decide then and there, if knowing Greek and Hebrew, and all the manuscripts, or not knowing any of this, whether it would change my faith.

Fortunately I still remember the advice of my prof. to enjoy cannonical criticism, not text criticism, and narrative theology, not systematic theology, to understand the history of manuscripts, without making it a matter of faith.

Faith is your life, the way you live. Al Gleason was a far cry from the conservatives I knew but he wasn't a liberal either, and he was recognized by all his non-Christian students as a Christian.

 
At Thu Aug 10, 11:26:00 PM, Blogger M. J. Mansini said...

G D, said, However, the more I've studied and considered what we have and what we don't have (originals), the more I've come to see that statement of inerrancy in the originals could be seen as intellectual dishonesty. Now, I wonder if I'm going the way of Bart Ehrman.

Bart Ehrman's problem (from what I can gather), is that his ideas of "innerrancy" were central to his beliefs (or faith) in general. Personally, my faith is not reliant on inerrancy, and never was, because the doctrine (or dogma... nowadays) of inerrancy is peripheral for me, not a core belief.

For an interesting read on Holy Scripture, and the doctrines that relate to it, "Holy Scripture: Revelation, Inspiration & Interpretation" by Donald G. Bloesch (ISBN: 0830827528).

Suzanne said to understand the history of manuscripts, without making it a matter of faith.

Now this I find to be interesting. For me, my faith never rested on the manuscripts themselves. For me it was always wrestling over "Which is more accurate?" I suppose I felt that since much was debateable between text types, etc., that I may be missing something.

Thankfully, I have gotten over this with my fairly broad opinion of "just use whatever", but I still am interested in the particulars every once in awhile. Personally, I would love to see Eclectics and Majority/Byzantine proponents both be wrong, or at least half wrong. You never know what new evidence will be dug up in the future.

Thankfully, there is much in the new testament that is certain (despite text type). Of course, this will still cause people to question which bible they should use. Personally, I find the "way" in which we translate to be more important than from which text exactly (since those are comparatively similar vs. the different methods of translation).

I'm convinced that I have no idea whether functional or formal is generally better (I say generally, because each is good at something. The question for me is, which can be more generally useful!).

Fun stuff.

 
At Thu Aug 10, 11:28:00 PM, Blogger M. J. Mansini said...

My quote of Suzanne was terrible.

Amend: Suzanne said her professor told her "...to understand the history of manuscripts, without making it a matter of faith."

Better.

 
At Thu Aug 10, 11:49:00 PM, Blogger Suzanne McCarthy said...

Matthew,

To get the full context for my quote you really have to be familiar with Pickering's work. It really is a matter of faith for him. It wasn't ever for me.

 
At Fri Aug 11, 12:39:00 AM, Blogger anonymous said...

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At Fri Aug 11, 03:36:00 AM, Blogger Peter Kirk said...

Matthew wrote: "I would love to see Eclectics and Majority/Byzantine proponents both be wrong, or at least half wrong. You never know what new evidence will be dug up in the future."

The basic difference between eclectic text and majority or Byzantine text supporters is that, if new evidence is dug up in the future, the former will accept it as evidence and allow their position to be changed by it, whereas the latter will dismiss it as irrelevant however certain it is, in fact in principle even if it can be proved to be an original autograph! I suppose the only exception for majority text supporters should be a discovery of a cache of thousands of manuscripts, large enough to affect their majority, but I wonder if such a cache would really be accepted, in other words, if the appeal to a majority is genuine. Compare the reservations people have about democracy when the majority chooses a form of government they don't like!

 
At Fri Aug 11, 06:48:00 AM, Blogger Michael Sly said...

GD,

Your comments have hit home with me - much of what you have described is what I went through a few years ago regarding this entire issue. If you'd like, drop me an email so that I can reply back with some of my conclusions, much of which would be out of scope for the topic of this blog. My email address is: michael at slyfamily dot net. Replace the "at" with "@" and the "dot" with a .

 
At Fri Aug 11, 09:08:00 AM, Blogger G. D. Grubbs said...

I don't have much time right now, but want to thank all the commenters regarding my comment...it is encouraging to know I'm not alone...and am humbled by the offer of contact via email. I have always believed in the infallibility of scripture. I see this sometimes as a loss of faith when pessimistic, but as a possible stage for greater faith when more optimistic.

 
At Fri Aug 11, 11:31:00 AM, Blogger M. J. Mansini said...

Suzanne said, To get the full context for my quote you really have to be familiar with Pickering's work. It really is a matter of faith for him. It wasn't ever for me.

I am familiar with Pickering's work, so I understand your position. It was never a matter of faith for me either.

Anon said, ...but it has a strong bias in its translation... in respect to the NET. Just curious, which exact bias are you talking about (people have identified a few in the NET already)?

Peter said, ...the former will accept it as evidence and allow their position to be changed by it, whereas the latter will dismiss it as irrelevant however certain it is, in fact in principle even if it can be proved to be an original autograph!

Well, currently eclectic approaches have a strong preference for what many would call an "Alexandrian" text type due to the fact that the Byzantine text type is regarded as late, secondary and inferior. Of course, it is an assumption of yours that either side will a)stick to their guns or b)become maleable. It seems to me, that some from both sides (even though there are more than just these two sides) will hold to their current choice irregardless of much future information.

We need to face the possibility that no incredibly different or substantial evidence will turn up soon.

I don't particularly endorse Reasoned Eclecticism and its apparent "Alexandrian" MSS preference or Byzantine Priority and their Reasoned Transmissionalism with favors "Byzantine" MSS; but it does seem that you have stereotyped the two different schools and this is probably unfair to both.

If a geographically (and old) diverse supply of "alexandrian" readings were discovered, I think many of the "Byzantine Priority" would change their minds. On the other hand, if pre-fourth century 'byzantine' MSS should be discovered, I think others will change their mind. At least to certain degrees this must be true. If their is one thing we can say, it is that internal and external evidence and how important they are can be fairly subjective.

Due to your stereotyping, I would suggest you select a little more carefully what you read from both sides of the debate.

Aren't there blogs set up specifically for this so we can get back to translational issues? We will never finish this discussion, because, as it stands, there is just not enough evidence to make one side the "absolute" victor.

 
At Fri Aug 11, 04:27:00 PM, Blogger Peter Kirk said...

Matthew, you are probably right that I should not have stereotyped the Byzantine or Majority Text position as I don't know it well enough. However, I do know well enough the principles and methods of the eclectic text school to know that they would indeed take very seriously a pre-fourth century Byzantine type manuscript, if one should be found and proved authentic. That is not to say that they would abandon all their "Alexandrian" readings. They might in the end treat it, as they do the 5th-6th century Codex Bezae Cantabrigiensis, as "peculiar" and "an unreliable witness". But they would do so only after careful consideration, and they really would reexamine their positions concerning the origin and antiquity of the Byzantine text type.

 
At Fri Aug 11, 04:45:00 PM, Blogger anonymous said...

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At Mon Aug 14, 09:58:00 PM, Blogger G. D. Grubbs said...

Anon, I again appreciate your information. I've read great information about the NIB elsewhere, as well.

Another question -- why did you say you wouldn't recommend the NRSV as a devotional bible except to perhaps an atheist?

Is there a way to get email notifications of when someone puts another post on something you've commented on? That would be nice. It would also be nice if the time-stamp on comments included the date. I know that option is available.

 
At Wed Aug 16, 12:19:00 AM, Blogger anonymous said...

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