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Shamax

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PostSubject: Bible Translation and Transmission   Wed Mar 24, 2010 1:13 pm

Since the thread on the Trinity has bled-over heavily into this area, I figured I'd go ahead and start a thread specifically for discussion and questions about the actual text of Scripture. This would be an ideal place to talk about specifics of textual variants, why translations differ, etc. Hopefully the participation here will be as awesome as the Trinity thread has been so far!
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Death over Life

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PostSubject: Re: Bible Translation and Transmission   Wed Mar 24, 2010 2:15 pm

I agree and will contribute later on when I get the chance. Hopefully, it will be just as awesome and informative as well!
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PostSubject: Re: Bible Translation and Transmission   Wed Mar 24, 2010 8:23 pm

Since, this is a reference thread for me, I feel I should at least post a lot of the earlier texts that have been known about so we can pick and choose which one to discuss.

Codex Sinaiticus: 4th Century in Greek
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Codex_Sinaiticus

For proper viewing of this Codex, go to the link here:
http://www.codexsinaiticus.org/en/

It also seems this is the only Codex where you can read and observe it in all it's entirety and translation.

Codex Vaticanus: 4th century in Greek
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Codex_Vaticanus

These 2 are often cited as the Oldest and most accurate of all the Codexes.

Papyrus 45: So far, the oldest known NT text period. According to wikipedia, it was made around 250 ad around Egypt. Written in Greek and only contains the Gospels and Acts, albeit in pieces.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Papyrus_45

Codex Alexandrinus: Following the Sinaiticus and Vaticanus lies the Alexandrinus, which is a 5th century Greek codex.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Codex_Alexandrinus

Codex Bezae Cantabrigensis: Also made in the 5th century, but is written in Greek and Latin. The problem I'm reading on it with wikipedia is saying, this is where a lot of add ons and changes came about and these changes made it to the Latin Vulgate, which in turn is what translated to many of our English Bibles. This I'm reading is where the start of changing the Scriptures came about, if I am reading the wikipedia correctly.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Codex_Bezae

Codex Beratinus: 6th century greek of Matthew and Mark

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Codex_Beratinus

Codex Bobiensis
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Codex_Bobiensis

And with all that said, this really needs to be written:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_New_Testament_Latin_manuscripts

And in conclusion with some of these, it looks like the oldest texts we do have no matter how damaged are the Papyruses.

Now, with all that said, there is 1 issue from the Trinity thread I will challenge here:

Shamax wrote:

Since the discussion is going in this direction though, I think a little more clarification or talk is needed on the nature of the transmission of the biblical text and the existence of "variants". I looked briefly at the link that DoL provided where it referred to such things as "forgeries" but I believe there is too much loaded and implied in that term for it to be used honestly (at least, when referring to the greatest majority of textual variants). True, there *are* places where verses have been "maliciously" inserted, but that's the wonderful thing about have so many different "families" of manuscripts over such a wide range of time and geography - it makes these insertions stick out like a sore thumb. Thankfully most modern translations readily identify them as unoriginal and relegate them either to a footnote or they set them off from the rest of the text by some means.

With that being said, you can claim that about the site itself, but what of the Historical figures and the sites/books they got that from? So, I agree in no point in refuting the site, but that still leaves the links the site used and the words of Justin Martyr, Clement of Alexandria, and Augustine?

Yes, that is a Truth that I am seeing is that we do have so many versions, that forgery is actually easier to see than for a lot of stuff, but that doesn't mean that the exact Scripture is perfect. Even then, the earliest I'm seeing though is 3rd-4th century writings where our True NT was 1st-2nd century. So, call me paranoid, but I'm also making sure that we didn't lose out on any truths when it transferred from 1st-2nd century to the 3rd/4th century texts. Just how much of a shock would it be if some of the verses used in the Trinity thread really were forged from the 3rd century and not initially written in?

And I'm not sure how a proper discussion on this will go, unless it is going to be similar to the Trinity thread and we base this off of that thread, especially with some of my claims made.

EDIT: It may also be best if I put up these links as well:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biblical_manuscript

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Bible_verses_not_included_in_modern_translations

and I'm including what caused me to get into all of this, and to an extent, creation of the Trinity thread:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biblical_criticism

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Criticism_of_the_Bible
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Shamax

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PostSubject: Re: Bible Translation and Transmission   Wed Mar 24, 2010 9:13 pm

One more resource for the manuscripts would be the Center for the Study of New Testament manuscripts at http://www.csntm.org/Manuscripts.aspx
They have archived extremely high-res photos of many of the biblical manuscripts that have been discovered, including codices like Alexandrinus, Vaticanus, etc.

As for the citations of Augustine and others and the shortage of extremely early manuscript discoveries, I'll have to work-up a more proper post there. But I'll most likely be leaning heavily on James White's research for suitable examples.
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BryneVampyr

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PostSubject: Re: Bible Translation and Transmission   Wed Mar 24, 2010 11:32 pm

Quote :
Papyrus 45: So far, the oldest known NT text period. According to wikipedia, it was made around 250 ad around Egypt. Written in Greek and only contains the Gospels and Acts, albeit in pieces.

There are older fragments

"One of the earliest surviving pieces of New Testament Scripture is a fragment of a papyrus codex containing John 18:31-33 and 37-38, called the Rylands Papyrus (P52). This papyrus was found in Egypt, and has been dated at about 125 A.D.
It currently resides at the John Rylands Library in Manchester, England. "

http://biblefacts.org/history/oldtext.html



Magdalen Papyrus (P64)

"A scanning laser microscope can now differentiate between the twenty micrometer (millionth of a meter) layers of papyrus, measuring the height and depth of the ink, and can even determine the angle of the stylus used by the scribe. Dr. Thiede compared the fragments with four other known references: a manuscript from Qumran, dated to 58 A.D.; one from the Herculaneum, dated prior to 79 A.D.; one from Masada, dated between 73-74 A.D.; and one from the Egyptian town of Oxyrynchus, dated 65-66 A.D. He astounded the scholastic world by concluding that the Magdalen fragments were either an original from Matthew's Gospel, or an immediate copy, written while Matthew and the other disciples and other eye witnesses were still alive! "

http://www.khouse.org/articles/2001/333/


Other scholars date is later...around 175 AD - 200 AD...still earlier than the 250 AD date you give for P45.


Other early fragments dated 200 AD or earlier:

P4
P32
P46
P66
P75
P90
P98
P103
P104

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_New_Testament_papyri





Another source to consider is the writings of the early Church Fathers. They quoted the Bible in their writings. We can compare their quotes to what we have today.

"We have 32,000 quotes from before 325 AD, from Irenaeus (182-188 AD), Justin Martyr (before 150 AD), Polycarp (107 AD), Ignatius (100), Clement (96 AD) and many other second and third century fathers. All but eleven verses of the New Testament could be reconstructed through their writings alone."

http://biblefacts.org/history/oldtext.html
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Death over Life

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PostSubject: Re: Bible Translation and Transmission   Wed Mar 24, 2010 11:42 pm

Thank you both so much for the info and corrections! I look forward to your reply Shamax on that answer!

As for the Papyri, I do must ask about which specific books the really early ones go into. As we already know, the Scriptures were written between 50-100 A.D. at least, and Christ didn't die till around the 30-40 A.D. so for those and the very soon therafter, what Scriptures would they be? I would heavily assume the Old Testament, but if the New Testament, I would need a greater explanation on how that came to be.
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BryneVampyr

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PostSubject: Re: Bible Translation and Transmission   Thu Mar 25, 2010 12:10 am

the ones I listed were all early NT papyri. There is a table at the link I posted that lists what verses are contained in each one.
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PostSubject: Re: Bible Translation and Transmission   Thu Mar 25, 2010 12:15 am

Ah, after re-reading that, I misread what you originally wrote with the list. My apologies. I was reading the numbers of the Papyri as if that was the date they were written.
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PostSubject: Re: Bible Translation and Transmission   Thu Mar 25, 2010 12:20 am

Oh...OK...yeah...it is just how they are numbered.
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