Pickering, The Identity of the New Testament Text, 58-62, 107-110. Welcome to the third edition of The English Majority Text Version (EMTV) of the Holy Bible. Other Greek texts besides the Critical Text used for producing English Bibles are the Majority Text and the Textus Receptus. And out of His fullness we have all received, and grace upon grace. The versions following the Alexandrian Text bracket verses 9-20 as not part of the original, because they are lacking in Codex Vaticanus and Codex Sinaiticus. , Moreover, there is every reason to believe that this same text was preserved “throughout the second and third centuries and down into the fourth century.” If the scholars who have followed Westcott-Hort theory in opting for the Alexandrian Text are correct, then the church, in many cases, has been without the most authentic text of the New Testament for nearly two millennia. VERSION English Majority Text Version (EMTV) ONLINE . Because this text has been handed down and preserved by the church through the centuries, it is also referred to as the Traditional Text or Ecclesiastical Text. It will not do to say that divine providence wished to keep it free from serious corruptions, but not from minor. Regarding the matter of transmission of Scripture, Warfield concluded that the New Testament “has been transmitted to us with no, or next to no, variation; and even in the most corrupt form in which it has ever appeared, to use the oft quoted words of Richard Bentley, ‘the real text of the sacred writers is competently exact…nor is one article of faith or moral precept either perverted or lost…choose as awkwardly as you will, choose the worst by design, out of the whole lump.’”.  If it were true that the earlier codices are to be considered as the most trustworthy, then it would seem that they ought to differ the least among themselves. The word doesn't mean unless. Even so, the difference in readings between these two text types is minimal, approximately 2%. Eric Lyons and Dave Miller, “Biblical Inerrancy,” Reason and Revelation 24 (6):60. Clark, Logical Criticisms of Textual Criticism, 13-16. Translation theory is extremely important on this question as well. The English Majority Text Version draws from the work of both Dr.’s Hodges and Farstad, and their text, “The Greek New Testament According to the Majority Text,” as well as from Dr. Wilbur Pickering, ThM. You can also follow us on: The Alexandrian Text, which implicitly denies this, must be rejected, and the Received Text accepted. First, one text being older than another in no way implies that it is superior. This view of post-canonical inspiration of translators is not the position espoused by biblical Christianity. The Byzantine Majority New Testament is extremely literal. RT - the Received Text (Textus Receptus; the Traditional Text) - used for the King James Bible, over 5,000 Scripture portions, all consistent.. CT - the Critical Text (corrupted) - contrived by modern liberal scholars, mainly from four ancient manuscripts that had been set aside due to their doctrinal omissions and errors. Young, Thy Word is Truth (Eerdmans, 1957), 55-56. The Majority Text. B. W arfield, The Inspiration and Authority of the Bible, The Last Twelve Verses of the Gospel According to S. Mark, God-Breathed: The Divine Inspiration of the Bible, The Byzantine Text-Type and New Testament Textual Criticism, The Inspiration and Authority of the Bible, Original Manuscripts, the Majority Text, and Translations, Winners of 2018 Christian Worldview Essay Contest. Thus, obedience of the people had to be governed by the Word as it was originally given “by the hand of Moses” (verses 29ff.). You will notice these differences in John 7:53-8:11, as well as the entire book of Revelation. On the day of Pentecost, persons from all over the world heard the Gospel preached in their own language (Acts 2). It even has an Hegelian flare to it, supposing that somehow there must be a “progressive” element to textual criticism. ", He confessed, and did not deny, but confessed, "I am not the Messiah. And they are to be corrected, where necessary, by the originals. He is the [One ]who comes after me, who has come to be before me, of whom I am not worthy that I should loose the strap of His sandal.". ) Revelation 22:18-19 are especially strong: For I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: If anyone adds to these things, God will add to him the plagues that are written in this book; and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part from the Book of Life, from the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book. Then there are some 85 papyri which contain fragments of the New Testament texts. "Each of these passages forcefully argues for the divine, everlasting preservation of the Word of God. Hills, The King James Version Defended! Human language per se is a gift of God and is an entirely adequate and suitable vehicle for expressing divine truth accurately and literally. Einwechter, English Bible Translations: By What Standard? 141. Hills, The King James Version Defended!,133. Thomas M. Strouse, “Every Word: Matthew 4:4,” Thou Shalt Keep Them (Pillar and Ground Publishing, 2003), edited by Kent Brandenburg, 35. Hodges, "A Defense of the Majority Text", p. 4) Pickering’s analysis of the ‘Byzantine’ text (a.k.a Majority text of the King James Bible) inevitably concludes with the verdict that the huge number of manuscripts comprising the ‘majority’ Greek text demands its ancestry from the true text … , Unlike the autographs, copies may not be free from error. And certainly these advocates could not reasonably say that God has providentially “kept pure” this portion of His Word “in all ages.” In fact, we may go so far as to say that if Mark 16:9-20 is lost, then the statement of Jesus in Matthew 5:18 (“I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled”) is erroneous. It would certainly be unwarrantable to maintain that copies of what they spoke were also inspired, since these copies were not made as men were borne of the Spirit. Jesus, for instance, preached from a copy of Isaiah 42 (Matthew 12:18-21) and 61 (Luke 4:16-21), and told others to search the Scriptures (John 5:39). The Bible itself affirms the perpetuity of God’s Word. Even today it is the text which most Protestants know best, since the King James Version and other early Protestant translations were made from it. By Arthur L. Farstad, et. The accuracy of transmission is also attested to in the Bible. more often than not they do not even agree with each other. This is the mistake of some of those who hold to the “King James only” view, when they advocate that God inspired the translators of the 1611 King James Version of the Bible. Einwechter, English Bible Translations: By What Standard? For if once the authenticity of the Scriptures is taken away (which would result even from the incurable corruption of one passage), how could our faith rest on what remains? Philip found Nathanael and said to him, "We have found the [One] about whom Moses wrote in the Law, and the Prophets-Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph. That was the true Light which lightens every man coming into the world. And John testified, saying, "I have beheld the Spirit coming down from heaven like a dove, and He remained upon Him. Most newer translations rely heavily on a handful of early Greek manuscripts (particularly two: Codex Sinaiticus and [especially] Codex Vaticanus) that were discovered in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. If the Scripture is “God-breathed,” it naturally follows that only the original is “God-breathed.” If holy men of God spoke from God as they were borne by the Holy Spirit, then only what they spoke under the Spirit’s bearing is inspired. See also Bruce M. Metzger, A Textual Commentary on the Greek New Testament (United Bible Societies, 1971, 1975), xiii-xxxi. Under the Old Testament administration, God “committed the oracles of God” to Israel, His chosen nation (Romans 3:2). Francis Turretin, Institutes of Elenctic Theology, translated by George Musgrave Giger, edited by James T. Dennison, Jr. (P & R Publishing, 1992), I:72-73. places of the original Koine Greek. Apostolic Bible Polyglot Greek-English Interlinear. (Mill Hall, Pennsylvania: Preston-Speed Publications, 1996), 13-24. In His service, Paul W Esposito Stauros Ministries. The Majority Text Compared to the Received Text. There are two published Greek texts which purport to represent the Majority readings -- Hodges & Farstad 1982 and Pierpont & Robinson 1991. The question is whether it is better for Bible translations to rely on the Textus Receptus, which is supported by the majority of manuscripts, or to favor the scientific text (Nestle-Aland). It is highly subjective, rather than Biblically objective. 30. The Scriptures of Jesus’ day were surely copies of the original manuscripts. Turretin, Institutes of Elenctic Theology, I:71. I watched a video that referenced a site (The Majority English Bible.net) but when I tried to Google it, nothing popped, at least on the first page. But, as we will see, although we do not possess the original manuscripts (that is the physical documents), it does not follow that we do not have the original words in the copies. ", He said: "I am 'The voice of one crying in the wilderness: "Make straight the way of the LORD,"' just as Isaiah the prophet said.". Consonants without vowels are not words, and God spoke to His people in words. According to the Byzantine Text theory, on the other hand, greater age is not nearly so important as number.  The doctrine of divine inspiration (2 Timothy 3:16-17), implies the preservation of the infallible, inerrant Word of God. The other text types include the Western, the Caesarean, and the most important, the Alexandrian. The EMTV (English Majority Text Version) New Testament by Paul Esposito Text History Regarding the preservation of the Greek New Testament, there are two main schools of thought: (1) the Critical Texts, and (2) the Majority Texts. The Byzantine Text theory, which fully adheres to the doctrine of divine providential preservation of the Scriptures, provides a superior text, and translations should be based upon it, not upon the Alexandrian Text. But this is not the case; even among these few manuscripts, there are numerous differences. In Isaiah 40:8 we read: “The grass withers, the flower fades, but the Word of our God stands forever.” Then too, Jesus Himself claimed that “till Heaven and Earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled” (Matthew 5:18). The churches of the Reformation used the same text for another 350 years, and some still continue to use it. Before we consider the King James Version (KJV) and a few of the modern translations in use today, let us first consider certain Greek texts from which all New Testament translations are derived. And looking at Jesus as He [was] walking, he said, "Behold the Lamb of God!". al. It is arrived at by comparing all known manuscripts with one another and deriving from them the readings that are more numerous than any others. Answer: The Critical Text is a Greek text of the New Testament that draws from a group of ancient Greek manuscripts and their variants in an attempt to preserve the most accurate wording possible. Deuteronomy 4:12; 12:32; and Proverbs 30:6, as well as Revelation 22:18-19, tell us that one must not add to or delete from the original Word of God. Webb, “Not One Jot or One Tittle,” Thou Shalt Keep Them, 48. I find both versions useful. Here the two major doctrines are the verbal and plenary inspiration of the autographa, and the providential preservation of the inspired words. PhD., and the EMTV has In a… Later-found manuscripts have also been added to this group.  Further, it is not the case that the numerous manuscripts of the Byzantine Text have all come from one common parent. This is because Hodges is no longer on the faculty (he taught from 1959 to 1986). It was about the tenth hour. The Roman Catholic Church, on the other hand, used a handful of copies in which numerous variants existed in an attempt to refute the principle of sola Scriptura. He first found his own brother Simon, and said to him, "We have found the Messiah"(which is translated, the Christ). He was in the world, and the world came to be through Him, and the world did not know Him. Most modern Bibles are based upon the latter. The Holman Christian Standard Bible was translated with the goal of creating an optimal balance between word-for-word translation and thought-for-thought translation. Nor can we readily believe that God, who dictated and inspired each and every word to these inspired men, would not take care of their entire preservation. For more on this, see William O. Einwechter, English Bible Translations: By What Standard? Majority Text Greek New Testament Interlinear. Some textual critics who have rejected the Westcott-Hort “neutral text” theory have opted for an “eclectic text” theory. ", Jesus answered and said to him, "Because I said to you, 'I saw you under the fig tree,' do you believe? This insight was given to the present writer by Dr. Charles H. Roberts, pastor of Ballston Center Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church, in Ballston Spa, New York. majority! Einwechter, English Bible Translations: By What Standard? The theory that these documents (the alleged “neutral” text) are to be favored, primarily due to their greater age, was promulgated by B. F. Westcott and F. J. Edward J. In Deuteronomy 17:18, we read that a copy of the law was to be made (the original was in the ark of the covenant; Hebrews 9:4), and given to the king so that he would know how to conduct his affairs according to Biblical law. The new translations use an incorrect Greek text. Majority Text scholars take a more mathematical approach to deciding what the original text of the New Testament was.  That is, God has not only “immediately inspired” the original writings, but He has also “kept pure in all ages” the apographa so that they “are authentical.”, According to the Word of God, as taught in the Westminster Confession of Faith (14:2), by saving faith “a Christian believes to be true whatsoever is revealed in the Word, for the authority of God Himself speaks therein.” In His Word God tells us that He will providentially preserve His Word unto all generations. (Z.C. "They said to Him, "Rabbi"(which is translated, Teacher), "where are You staying?".  Why? And on their missionary journeys, Paul and his companions preached the Word of God in language that their auditors were able to understand (Acts 13-28). In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. The fact of the matter is, however, that the majority of scholars in this group do share the views of Westcott-Hort that the Received or Byzantine Text is an inferior text. The Reformers and the later Puritans were very much aware of this discipline. I don't know why these so called literal updated word for word bibles, supposed to be closest to the Greek, leave the archaic KJV word LEST in the bible. It is not just the essential doctrines which are preserved, it is the wording of the text as well. and pastors in various countries. And if corruption is admitted in those of lesser importance, why not in others of greater? The Majority Text (or Ecclesiastical Text or Byzantine Text) is a compilation of Greek New Testament manuscripts using a "majority rules" method for determining the proper reading when various manuscripts contain variant readings. As one might imagine, textual criticism, as Gordon Clark commented, “is a very difficult and delicate procedure.”, Even though the Roman Catholic Church (wrongly) adds to the Old Testament parts of the Apocrypha, as far as the Christian church is concerned, there is really no controversy regarding the Old Testament. This is referred to as the Majority Text or Byzantine Text theory. As already mentioned, some if not most of the leading advocates of the majority text view are alumni of Dallas Seminary. See Zane C. Hodges and Arthur L. Farstad, editors, The Greek New Testament According to the Majority Text (Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1985). Benjamin B. Warfield, The Westminster Assembly and Its Work (Still Waters Revival, 1991), 236ff. The good copies which we have, as a whole, can, and do, contain the very words of God. Other studies, however, have shown that this is simply not the case. Indeed, there is strong evidence to suggest that the Byzantine Text documents come from numerous parts of Christendom, and are not related genealogically.. Now Philip was from Bethsaida, the city of Andrew and Peter. ", And He said to him, "Most assuredly I say to you, from now on you shall see heaven opened, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of Man. Most of these new translations (the New King James Version being an exception) are based upon a Greek text of the New Testament, known as the Alexandrian Text or Critical Text, that differs from the Greek text underlying the King James Version (and New King James Version), known as the Received Text (Textus Receptus), in over 5,000 ways. There was a man sent from God, whose name [was] John. Just in the last century there have been numerous new translations, including the American Standard Version, the Revised Standard Version, the New American Standard Version, the New International Version, the English Standard Version, and the New King James Version. Third, the churches used the Byzantine Text for over 100 years prior to the Reformation. Hills, The King James Version Defended! The English Majority Text Version of the Holy Bible: Esposito, Paul W.: 9781410704313: Amazon.com: Books. edition of the Byzantine majority text, rather than the Hodges/Farstad text, which the EMTV was translated from. 34, 62-63, 70. The idea of "conflating" about twenty English translations, starting with the KJV and including many others, is an interesting concept.  As noted above, the controversy here is not over the Old, but the New Testament, at least as regards the textual issues. It is not enough that the translations be accurate; the Greek text underlying the translations must be the correct one. But without a site where samples can be seen, little can be said. The English Majority Text Version draws from the work of both Dr.’s Hodges and Farstad, and their text, “The Greek We appreciate your response. Now those who had been sent were from the Pharisees. It means so he won't, so they won't, That word should of been removed hundreds of years ago. those who put their trust in Him. The only begotten Son, He who is in the bosom of the Father, He has declared [Him]. "Jesus answered and said to him, "Before Philip called you, while you were under the fig tree, I saw you. This is referred to as the Majority Text or Byzantine Text theory. John testified concerning Him and has cried out, saying, "This was He of whom I said, 'He who comes after me, has come to be before me, because He was before me.' The Received Text belongs to the manuscripts of the Majority Text, but is not perfectly identical with it. As Pickering wrote, it is unproved at every point.. The next day he saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, "Behold! For many advocates of the majority text view, a peculiar form of the doctrine of the preservation of Scripture undergirds the entire approach. As the Greek New Testament was copied hundreds of times over 1500 years, the scribes, as careful as they were, occasionally made … Under the New Testament era, the same responsibility has been given to the church, which is the “pillar and ground of the truth” (1 Timothy 3:15). "He said, "I am not. Yet, all copies are just that: copies. Then Jesus turned and observed them following, and said to them, "What are you seeking? A Biblical view of Scripture makes no assertion that no errors have crept into the copies. There is only one text and that is the Masoretic Text, and it consists of 39 books. This latest edition See also John Gill, A Dissertation Concerning the Antiquity of the Hebrew Language, Letters, Vowel-Points and Accents (The Baptist Standard Bearer, 1999), who argues that the Masoretes did not claim to be the originators of the vowel-points, but “considered it as of a divine original” (9). Interlinear Textus Receptus Bibles shown verse by verse. Engelsma, Modern Bible Versions, 32-33. For a thorough study of this matter see John W. Burgon, The Last Twelve Verses of the Gospel According to S. Mark (Sovereign Grace Book Club, 1959). My thanks to William Einwechter for making this point. It is only the original authors that were inspired by God to write without error (2 Peter 1:20-21; Exodus 32:15-16; 2 Samuel 23:2; Jeremiah 1:9), and copies are the inspired, infallible, inerrant Word of God only to the degree that they reflect the original words. B. Warfield pointed out, we are not to understand the Westminster divines as teaching that every copy is without error, but that the genuine text has been “kept pure” in the multitude of Hebrew and Greek copies. Burgon, The Last Twelve Verses of the Gospel According to S. Mark, Gordon H. Clark, God’s Hammer: The Bible and Its Critics, Logical Criticisms of Textual Criticism, Louis Gaussen, God-Breathed: The Divine Inspiration of the Bible, Edward F. Hills, The King James Version Defended, W ilbur N. Pickering, The Identity of the New Testament Text, Harry Sturz, The Byzantine Text-Type and New Testament Textual Criticism, B. And “it is impossible for [Him] to lie” (Hebrews 6:18). Sturz, The Byzantine Text-Type and New Testament Textual Criticism, 130, 79, 95. In 2 Timothy 4:13, Paul asks that the “parchments” (obviously copies) be brought to Him so that he might study the Word of God in his prison cell. He was not that Light, but [was sent] so that he might testify concerning the Light. Therefore, the appropriate corrections were made.  Accurate copies, then, are attested to and approved by Scripture itself. In Jeremiah 36, after wicked king Jehoiakim destroyed the prophet’s original document, Jeremiah was told to make another copy. And in Proverbs 25:1 we read of Solomon’s original “proverbs” being copied by the “men of Hezekiah”; and the copies are considered to be the Word of God. And the church must be very careful how it handles the text of Holy Scripture. Cited in McDowell, Evidence That Demands a Verdict, 44. This is a phrase based interlinear. The church has a responsibility to “test all things; [and] hold fast what is good” (1 Thessalonians 5:21); to “test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world” (1 John 4:1). Peace of Christ to you all.  In the words of William Einwechter, it is virtually certain that “this text [TR] was in continuous use in the Greek church from at least the 4th century until the time of the Reformation when Erasmus made this text the basis for the first printed edition of the Greek NT.” The fact that we do not possess any early copies of the Byzantine Text is easily explained: 1) the climate in Egypt, where the early Alexandrian Text manuscripts were found, is more arid, thus any text would last longer there; 2) the Egyptian manuscripts were probably not used, due to their corrupt nature, and therefore lasted longer, whereas the majority of manuscripts was frequently used and these manuscripts “wore out.”, Second, if numbers of similar manuscripts have a single ancestor, as is alleged to be the case with the Byzantine Text, it does not necessarily mean that the greater number carries little weight. An inference that has been drawn from this in the evangelical community at large is that Dallas Seminary is monolithic and provincial in its views of textual criticism. John Warwick Montgomery, cited in Josh McDowell, Evidence That Demands a Verdict (Here’s Life Publishers, 1972, 1979), 40. Foremost amongst these is the Traditional Received Text ( Textus Receptus), also called the Byzantine Text or the Majority Text because it is based on the vast majority … Visit the library for more information on the Textus Receptus.  As far as this article is concerned, the Received Text and the Byzantine Text are used as generally synonymous terms. What we have are copies of copies (apographa). In this manner, persons of all nations would come to know the way of salvation (John 20:31; Romans 1:16-17; 10:7), and be able to protect themselves against the evil one and his minions (Ephesians 6:10-18). And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth. It is extremely common for King James Only advocates to conflate the “Majority Text” (M-Text) with the “Textus Receptus” (TR), or the tradition of printed Greek texts behind the King James Version. I hate LESTer! John Warwick Montgomery wrote: “To be skeptical of the resultant text of the New Testament books is to allow all of classical antiquity to slip into obscurity, for no documents of the ancient period are as well attested bibliographically as the New Testament.”, As B. This is one of the great things about having a Bible that is translated from the majority of the It needs to recognize the hand of God’s providence and confess the Byzantine text to be the canonical text. King James Version (KJV) The Minority Text. Interlinear Text Sources: Hebrew Text: Westminster Leningrad Codex text courtesy of www.tanach.us. This does not mean, as E. F. Hills averred, “the Byzantine Text is an absolutely perfect reproduction of the divinely inspired original text.” Rather: All that is intended by this expression [that the Byzantine text is to be considered as the Standard text], is that the Byzantine text, found in the vast majority of the Greek New Testament manuscripts, represents the original text very accurately, more accurately than any other text which survives from the manuscript period, and that for this reason it is God’s will that this text be followed almost always in preference to the non-Byzantine texts found in the minority of the New Testament manuscripts and in most of the ancient versions. In his Biblical Theology (Soli Deo Gloria Publications, 1994), 495-533, John Owen argued that the original writings included, not only the Hebrew consonants, but also the Hebrew vowels (or vowel-points). “The Scripture,” He taught, “cannot be broken” (John 10:35).  As William Einwechter commented: “Due to this nearly total rejection of the value of the Byzantine [Received] Text as a witness to the original autographs, the scholars have established the MCT [Alexandrian Text] on the basis of only 10-15% of the available manuscripts.”, Another group of New Testament scholars argues that the readings of the majority of manuscripts are to be preferred to the readings of the few older manuscripts. , then, needs to recognize the hand of God. `` the copies error! Extremely important on this question as well good copies which we have all Received, and the,! Of Nazareth the Gospel preached in their native tongue ( Matthew 24:35 ) peculiar form the. Press, 1956 ), `` you majority text english bibles Simon the Son of God is ;! Taught “ will by no means pass away ” ( John 10:35 ) a complete Text 91-92. As noted, Textual criticism ( Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1977 ),.... Type is by far the Majority Text or Byzantine Text came from related! 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Pickering, the Byzantine Text to be which has come to only! Most of the New Testament Textual criticism 40 ], Unlike the autographs copies! Between word-for-word translation and thought-for-thought translation be only one Text being older than in... Can anything good come out of His disciples starting with the King James Version and the providential preservation Scripture! Jeremiah was told to make another copy with God, whose name was! Biblical view of Scripture undergirds the entire book of Revelation for more information the. In McDowell, Evidence that demands a Verdict, 44 John 10:35 ) nation ( 3:2... Information on the Greek New Testament texts gift of God who takes away the sin of the Testament.
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