Archive for February 26, 2013

By Will Kinney

The Fickle Nature of the “Science” of Textual Criticism

Revelation 13:10 “He that LEADETH into captivity, SHALL GO INTO CAPTIVITY; HE THAT KILLETH WITH THE SWORD, must be killed with the sword.”

The Majority text actually reads: “If any HAS CAPTIVITY, HE GOES. IF ANY BY SWORD, he must be killed.” The Majority omits the verb “leadeth” and omits “into captivity”. Then it also omits “He that killeth with the sword”. No Bible version follows the Majority text here.

Another instance of fickle change and disagreement among the modern versions is found in Revelation 13:10. There we read: “…HE THAT KILLETH with the sword must be killed with the sword…” The phrase: “He that killeth” is in the active voice, that is, he is the one doing the killing. This is the reading found in the Textus Receptus, Sinaiticus and manuscript C. It also USED to read this way in the previous Westcott-Hort, Nestle-Aland Greek texts.

The Nestle-Aland, UBS (United Bible Society) texts, upon which most modern versions are based, are continually changing every few years. The Nestle text used to read the same as the King James Bible Textus Receptus – “HE THAT KILLETH with the sword must be killed with the sword.” So read Wycliffe 1395, Tyndale 1525, Coverdale 1535, Bishops’ Bible 1568, the Douay-Rheims 1582, the Geneva Bible 1587, Wesley’s translation 1755, the Revised Version 1881, Darby, Youngs, the American Standard Version 1901,  Weymouth 1902, Rotherham’s Emphasized bible 1902, Lamsa, Etheridge and Murdocks three different translations of the Syriac Peshitta, Williams N.T. 1937, Goodspeed 1943, J.B. Phillips N.T. 1962, the World English Bible, the New Berkeley Version in Modern English 1969, the New English Bible 1970, the NKJV 1982, the Amplified Bible 1987, the NASB 1960-1995, the RSV 1952 – “if any one slays with the sword, with the sword must he be slain.” the NRSV 1989, Green’s literal 2000, the Third Millenium Bible 1998 and even the 2002 paraphrase called  the Message.

However, later on, they once again changed the Nestle-Aland (UBS) Greek text and they decided to follow the reading of ONE manuscript, (according to the UBS Greek text 4th edition,) that is, Alexandrinus. This single manuscript changes the reading from “he that killeth” to “he that is to be killed.” (passive voice, that is, he is the one being killed by another). The NIV 1977-1984 , the 2001 ESV, the 2003 Holman Standard, Dan Wallace’s NET version and the 2011 Common English Version have now adopted this variant reading based on one manuscript, and they now read: “IF ANYONE IS TO BE KILLED with the sword, with the sword he will be killed.”

Westcott and Hort themselves as well as Tischendorf and the previous Nestle critical Greek texts (I have a copy of the Nestle 4th edition 1934 and the Nestle 21st edition 1975) all read εἴ τις ἐν μαχαίρῃ ἀποκτενεῖ, δεῖ αὐτὸν ἐν μαχαίρῃ ἀποκτανθῆναι. = If any by the sword KILLS, HE MUST be killed by the sword.” Just like the KJB has it.  But then later on, the Nestle 27th edition has changed their text and it now reads: εἴ τις ἐν μαχαίρῃ ἀποκτανθῆναι αὐτὸν ἐν μαχαίρῃ ἀποκτανθῆναι. = if any IS TO BE KILLED, with the sword HE IS to be killed.” The latest, ever changing critical Greek Vatican text has now changed an present active indicative verb (kills=ἀποκτενεῖ) to a passive infinitive (to be killed =ἀποκτανθῆναι)  and they omitted to previous word “ought to” or “it is necessary” = δεῖ

Notice that the RSV and NRSV both followed the King James reading, but now the new ESV (a revision of the old RSV, NRSV) has now “scientifically” decided to go along with the NIV and follow a different text based on just one manuscript.

Actually, if you stop and think about it, the variant textual reading now adopted by the latest UBS, Nestle-Aland critical texts and several of the latest modern versions is the stupidest reading possible. The whole parallel idea of righteous retribution is lost  (you reap what you sow) and the painfully obvious is stated twice. The KJB says: “He that leadeth into captivity shall go into captivity: and he that killeth with the sword must be killed with the sword.” = just retribution for ones actions. However versions like the ESV, NIV, NET and Holman now read: “If anyone is to be taken captive, to captivity he goes; if anyone is to be slain with the sword, with the sword he must be slain.”  Well, Duh!

Among the Catholic versions we see the same typical confusion.  The 1582 Douay-Rheims as well as the 1950 Douay read like the Traditional Greek text and the KJB with “he that shall kill by the sword must be killed by the sword.”  Then the Catholic St. Joseph NAB changed their Greek text and reads like the ESV, NIV, NET, Holman versions with “if anyone is destined to be slain by the sword, by the sword he will be slain.” BUT now the 2009 Catholic Public Domain version has come out and it has gone back to the previous reading of “he that shall kill with the sword must be killed by the sword.” This is how the scholars’ game is played.

We might point out to Mr. James White that not only do his recommended “reliable and trustworthy versions” fail to follow the Majority reading here, but can’t seem to agree among themselves as to which Greek text to follow either.  The RV, ASV, NKJV, NASB go one way and the ESV, NIV another.

“My son, fear thou the LORD and the king: and MEDDLE NOT WITH THEM THAT ARE GIVEN TO CHANGE.” Proverbs 24:21

Another example today of DRBJU’s true colors showing that these “Do Right” groups have no intention of seeing their targets “do” anything but succumb to their agendas.

For whatever reason, the radio station apparently owned by BJU has changed some of their format. But ask a skeptic, and it’s because BJU is “giving up on God” according to the article posted by DRBJU from the blog DEBUNKING CHRISTIANITY.

In the “About” section of the DRBJU page, is stated in part:

 We believe that support for victims is especially important for those who know the love of Christ.

This is an ongoing struggle that we must face together. Abuse is an epidemic throughout all groups, but we Christians have a responsibility to stand with the abused and lift them up, instead of condemning them for their past and present struggles as a result of the abuse.

 (emphasis added)

So I guess according to DRBJU, those who “know the love of Christ” and the Christians who have a “responsibility to stand with the abused” are better off as Christians being pointed to a website that has articles such as “Why I Became An Atheist”, “A Refutation of Christianity”, “How to Destroy Natural Theology”.

The news about BJU’s format is not new to fundamentalists who have frowned upon BJU’s turn towards worldly vices to make their format more appealing , yet it behooved DRBJU to post this information directing it’s readers to a website dedicated to “debunking Christianity”. And to note as we have discussed in previous articles, DRBJU’s founder, Christopher Peterman is a claimed agnostic.

Ironically, the author of the article claims to have received 50 demerits for listening to a Loretta Lynn song in the early 1970’s. I wonder how many demerits he would have received if he had watched Glee in 1970! Oh wait, BJU only gives out  demerits for those they retaliate on, forget about that.

By Will Kinney

Jeremiah 31:3  “unto ME”, “unto HIM”, “unto THEM”, “unto US” or “to ISRAEL”? (Hey, it’s all the same meaning, right?)

Jeremiah 31:3 – “The LORD hath appeared of old UNTO ME, saying, Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love; therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee.”
The Lord hath appeared of old UNTO ME, is the Hebrew text reading and is found in Wycliffe 1395, Coverdale 1535, the Great Bible 1540, Matthew’s Bible 1549, the Bishops’ Bible 1568, the Geneva Bible 1587, the Douay-Rheims 1610, the KJB 1611, the NKJV, the Revised Version 1881, the 1901 ASV – “Jehovah appeared of old unto me, saying, Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee.”, the 1917 Jewish Publication Society version, the 1936 Jewish translation, the Judaica Press Tanach of 2004, the Hebrew Names Bible, Rotherham’s Emphasized bible 1902, Darby, Youngs – “From afar Jehovah hath appeared TO ME, With love age-during I have loved thee, Therefore I have drawn thee with kindness.” Douay 1950, New Berkeley Version in Modern Speech 1969, World English Bible, Green’s interlinear 2000, Third Millenium Bible 1998.
The word “thee” seen twice in this verse, is the SINGULAR you, as opposed to the plural English “you” found in the KJB, Geneva Bible, RV, ASV and JPS 1917 – “the LORD appeared unto ME, Yea, I have loved THEE with an everlasting love; Therefore with affection have I drawn THEE.”, and the only reading that grammatically makes sense is the Hebrew reading found in the KJB – the Lord appeared to ME, saying, I have loved THEE…
Foreign language translations that follow the Hebrew text and read like the KJB are Lamsa’s translation of the Syriac Peshitta – “The LORD has appeared TO ME from afar, saying, Yea, I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn you.”, the Portuguese Almeida Actualizada – “De longe o Senhor ME apareceu, dizendo: Pois que com amor eterno te amei, também com benignidade te atraí.” = “to ME…therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee.”, the Spanish Sagradas Escrituras 1569 and Reina Valera 1909 – “El SEÑOR se manifestó a mí hace ya mucho tiempo, diciendo : Con amor eterno te he amado , the Italian Nuova Diodati of 1991 – “Molto tempo fa l’Eterno MI è apparso, dicendo: «Sí, ti ho amata di un amore eterno; per questo ti ho attirata con benevolenza.” = “appeared TO ME…I have drawn thee with lovingkindness.”, the French Martin 1744 and Ostervald 1996 – “De loin l’Éternel m’est apparu, et m’a dit: Je t’ai aimée d’un amour éternel”, Luther’s German Bible 1545 and the Modern Greek Bible – “Ο Κυριος εφανη παλαιοθεν εις εμε, λεγων, Ναι, σε ηγαπησα αγαπησιν η αιωνιον· δια τουτο σε ειλκυσα με ελεος” = “The Lord appeared to me of old, saying, Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love. Therefore with mercy (lovingkindnes) HAVE I DRAWN THEE to me.”
However the NASB says: “The LORD appeared TO HIM from afar, saying, “I have loved you with an everlasting love; Therefore I have drawn you with lovingkindness.”
The RSV, NRSV, ESV and Holman Standard read the same as the NASB (to HIM), but they all have a footnote that says Greek -to him; Hebrew – to me. The NASB, RSV, NRSV, ESV have all followed the LXX and rejected the clear Hebrew text.
Even the Dead Sea Scrolls agrees with the traditional Hebrew Masoretic text and says: “The LORD appeared TO ME long ago, saying: I have loved you with an everlasting love, so I have drawn you…”
The ESV has not only rejected the Hebrew reading of “to ME” and changed it to “to HIM” but has changed the meaning of the verse.  The ESV reads ” the Lord appeared to HIM [1] from far away. I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore  I have CONTINUED MY FAITHUFLNESS TO YOU.”instead of “I HAVE DRAWN THEE.”  The Hebrew word is “to draw” (as even the RV, ASV, NASB, NIV have it) and is used in “heifer which hath not DRAWN in the yoke” (Deut. 21:3); “a certain man DREW a bow” (1 Kings 22:34); “when he DRAWETH him into his net” (Psalm 10:9), “DRAW me, we will run after thee” (Song of Solomon 1:4); “and they DREW Joseph out of the pit” (Genesis 37:28); “Canst thou DRAW OUT Leviathan with an hook?” (Job 41:1), “So they DREW up Jeremiah with  cords, and took him up out of the dungeon.” (Jeremiah 38:13) etc.
 Furthermore, the ESV says they got their reading of “TO HIM” instead of “TO ME” from the so called Greek Septuagint, but they don’t mention the fact that the LXX has chapter 31 not in 31 but in chapter 38 of Jeremiah, AND even the Greek LXX reads “I have loved thee with an everlasting love, therefore I HAVE DRAWN THEE”!!! This is how modern “scholarship” works, folks.
The Catholic bible versions present us with their typical ever-changing textual changes. The older Douay-Rheims of 1610 and the Douay of 1950 both agree with the Hebrew text and the KJB saying “to ME”, but the St. Joseph  New American bible of 1970 and the Jerusalem bible of 1968 say “to HIM”, but then the New Jerusalem bible of 1985 has now gone back to reading “to ME”.
Dan Wallace’s NET version is so messed up it is unrecognizable. It says: “In a far-off land the Lord will manifest himself TO THEM. He will say to them, ‘I have loved you with an everlasting love. That is why I have continued to be faithful to you.” This goofy version is much like the ESV and changes the Hebrew “to thee” to “to them” and has altered so many things in the Hebrew text that it is beyond recognition. Also reading “to THEM” is the New English Version 1970 and the Revised English Version of 1989.
The NIV has something even different with its “The LORD appeared to US in the past, saying, “I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with loving-kindness.” the NIV has “TO US” instead of the Hebrew “to me” or the Greek “to him”, and just makes up their own text as they go along. However, the NIV Spanish edition follows the Hebrew and says “to ME” – La Nueva Versión Internacional 1999 – “Hace mucho tiempo se ME apareció el Señor y ME dijo…”
The 2007 New Living Translation now has:  “Long ago the LORD said TO ISRAEL: “I have loved you, my people, with an everlasting love. With unfailing love I have drawn you to myself.”
Let’s see – to me, to him, to us, to them or to Israel…Yep, pretty much the same thing, right?
Friends don’t let friends read perverted bible versions. Get yourself a King James Holy Bible and you will never go wrong.  God bless.