Manuscript comparisons: Critical or Majority text?

Discussion in 'Sacred Scripture' started by Scottish Knight, Mar 25, 2013.

  1. Scottish Knight

    Scottish Knight Well-Known Member

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    I've been doing a lot of pondering about the biblical text and I hope I can take advantage of the knowledge base here :)

    The critical text seems to be based on the supposition that only the original text written by the original author is inspired. A problem I can see with this is that even in the old testament for example the Pentateuch its pretty obvious that someone other than Moses edited them and added material (eg Moses' death) and yet that account along with the rest of the old testament is taken to be fully inspired. There were some academics and professors did a presentation at my old church a couple of years ago, and in answer to the question on the passage of the adulteress passage they responded they don't think this passage should be preached in churches because of the consensus this was not part f the original book. However if this story was accepted in the canon by the early church with a consensus throughout the Church (if anyone knows if this was the case or not I'd be grateful for info on this) then surely this should be accepted as inspired?

    I don't know much about the subject so looking for more information

    Any thoughts on which one is better?
     
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  2. Scottish Monk

    Scottish Monk Well-Known Member

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    This is a very interesting topic, but one that has been discussed in many online discussions and printed books. A while back, I started a thread on this topic: Manuscript Transmission.

    There are several manuscript transmission resources that I posted in that thread, as well as some resources posted by other forum members who used to post on this forum.

    *****

    Regarding English translations of the various manuscripts, currently I use the following.

    1st read: New Revised Standard Version (1989) (critical text)
    2nd read: New Living Translation (2007) (critical text)
    3rd read: King James Version (majority text)

    Lately I find myself using the NLT as the 1st read for many of the Pauline books in the New Testament because I find the syntax of the NLT easier to grasp during the 1st read (especially Romans) than the other English translations.

    I say this is my current reading because I sometimes change the reading preference of my Bibles from time to time. I guess many others do this, unless they feel strong loyalty to a specific English version.

    Additionally, I sometimes find the KJV takes me deeper than the modern translations. However, this is not always the case if I first read the KJV before the NRSV or NLT. I guess my brain needs to grasp the syntax of the modern translations before it can delve into the depth of the Elizabethan prose and poetry used in the KJV.

    Finally, as you probably know, the increasingly popular English Standard Version uses the critical text as its foundation (Revised Standard Version) with gender and theological changes added.

    I hope this helps.
     
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  3. anglican74

    anglican74 Well-Known Member Anglican

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    What about the credibility of the majority text from a textual perspective? Imagine that the critical text is able to verifiably prove about the lack of evidence for a given passage -- won't that make the majority text less credible in consequence?
     
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  4. Jeff F

    Jeff F Well-Known Member

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    I think it's beneficial to look at the contribution (term used very loosely) of Wescott & Hort, they started a tidal wave of doubt and unbelief that continues to this very day. Their collection of critical manuscripts comprised less than 5% of the available manuscripts, and exhibited excessive omission and/or contradiction. They appear by their life and writings to be a predecessor to John Shelby Spong.

    Jeff
     
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