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Discussion Forum : Scriptures and Doctrine : Maurice Robinson and the Byzantine Textform

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philologos
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Joined: 2003/7/18
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 Re:

I don't want to be pedantic in rejecting your accusation of pedantry but...

just joking.

Yes, that's what a 'reader' is designed to do. It should try you uncluttered access to the Greek text but just have helps available as you need them.


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Ron Bailey

 2010/8/15 13:39Profile
philologos
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 email exchange Maurice A Robinson and Ron Bailey

an email conversation between Maurice Robinson and Ron Bailey:
Where MAR quotes from MY post to the SermonIndex thread and MY email I have placed those quotations in quotation marks.

email from Maurice Robinson dated 14 Aug 2010
Dear Mr Bailey,

Regarding your SermonIndex.net post of 8/11 regarding my position...

While I thank you for your comments, the explanation of my point regarding sequential variants as they appear in the NA/UBS edition is somewhat distorted and could use some clarification. You write:  

" Robinson makes the point that in order for their theory of textual transmission to hold true they have to create a 'form of words' for which there is actually no historical evidence. To put that simply as an illustration...

"If we have one manuscript family that says... the fruit was red
and another that says... the fruit was yellow...

then the original, says the theory, must have said... the fruit is orange.

This is a ridiculous over-simplification but it should give some idea of what happens with an eclectic text"

Actually that point would reflect conjectural emendation (which I also reject, but which is engaged in by the NA/UBS Committee at Ac 16:12). My point about sequential variants would better be illustrated by the following example:

Text 1 = the fruit is green  (MSS a, b, c read this way)
Text 2 = the cucumber is ripe (MSS d, e, f read this way)
NA/UBS = the cucumber is green (*no* MSS whatever read this way)

"except that Robinson is talking about word order rather than single words. The issue here is that the order of words in a Koine Greek sentence is not as fixed as in English."

Actually word order is not the issue (although some cases involve such); rather, it is eclectic choice of words supported by one group of witnesses in one variant unit that are coupled later in the same verse with another eclectic choice of words supported by a different group of witnesses that cancel out the ones supporting the first variant unit (if that is not clear, see the example once more).

MAR

my reply to Maurice Robinson
Dear Mr Robinson
I am so grateful for your taking time to write and putting me straight on these points. I was very aware that my illustrations were far too simplistic.  I was trying to make a complex subject accessible for folks who are quickly swamped by academic detail.  My apologies for any distortions I have created.  Can I have your permission to post your post and these corrections on Sermonindex?  I would obviously omit your email address.

Thank you again for all your work in these matters.  My own fairly basic studies in these things were done over 40 years ago but from time to time I get drawn into such matters.

I am fully intending to buy a copy of the Readers New Testament; it will help refresh my dusty recollections of my Greek studies!

Maurice Robinson email of 15 Aug 2010
Dear Mr Bailey,

"I am so grateful for your taking time to write and putting me straight on these points. I was very aware that my illustrations were far too simplistic."

Nothing wrong with a simplistic explanation, so long as it makes the correct point in question. As I noted, your example was a fine illustration of conjectural emendation, but merely did not illustrate the point I was making in my article on NA zero-support verses.

"Can I have your permission to post your post and these corrections on Sermonindex?  I would obviously omit your email address."

Certainly. No problem for me, so long as I don't end up with an endless series of emails from all and sundry (for which I simply would not have time to reply).

"My own fairly basic studies in these things were done over 40 years ago but from time to time I get drawn into such matters."

Somewhere around 45 years ago I began studying Greek and textual variants. It hasn't let up since.

"I am fully intending to buy a copy of the Readers New Testament; it will help refresh my dusty recollections of my Greek studies!"

Very good. If you like it, please recommend it to others as opportunity permits. Even those using the NA/UBS text will find it remains 94% identical in text, with that amount of the helps therefore pertinent.

MAR


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Ron Bailey

 2010/8/15 14:01Profile
RobertW
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Joined: 2004/2/12
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 Re: email exchange Maurice A Robinson and Ron Bailey

Quote:
Text 1 = the fruit is green (MSS a, b, c read this way)
Text 2 = the cucumber is ripe (MSS d, e, f read this way)
NA/UBS = the cucumber is green (*no* MSS whatever read this way)



Looks like what MAR is saying is that in his view it has to be one or the other (text 1 or text 2); it cannot be both. I think he is right.

The difference in Ron's illustration (which also shows an attempt to combine both texts) is that Ron's introduced a new word (orange) into the text in place of either red or yellow. This, according to MAR, is more accurately defined as conjectural emendation. In other words, in Acts 16:12 Nestle Aland/United Bible Societies GK NT take this approach to the passage in an attempt to improve on the texts available by the speculative use of a word not found in any manuscripts. Hmmm. Seems like that approach may almost qualify as 'adding to' what has been written.


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Robert Wurtz II

 2010/8/15 14:34Profile
philologos
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 Re:

Robert W writes
"Looks like what MAR is saying is that in his view it has to be one or the other (text 1 or text 2); it cannot be both. I think he is right. "

I think you are right.

When he says "While I thank you for your comments, the explanation of my point regarding sequential variants as they appear in the NA/UBS edition is somewhat distorted and could use some clarification." I hadn't realised from the brief interview that he was talking about what he calls 'sequential variants'. I thought he was referring to 'conjectural emendations' which is what I tried to illustrate.

The key to 'conjectural emendations' is that they are emendations/amendments to the actual text based on 'conjecture'. Such a conjecture might be allowable in a marginal comment but to build it into the text that you are then going to translate into English means there is no way back to the original and the original words will be obscured forever.


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Ron Bailey

 2010/8/16 5:34Profile
RobertW
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Posts: 4636
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 Re:

Quote:
Such a conjecture might be allowable in a marginal comment but to build it into the text that you are then going to translate into English means there is no way back to the original and the original words will be obscured forever.



It seems that to do such things is little different than what Erasmus did. It's still fabrication. What disturbs me is how easily scholars become their own authority and feed things in in their NT Greek texts (and commentaries that shape ideas about God's word) and have at best a shaky foundation. I think men that take hold of God's word ought to reverence God more than that. I think it is evidence of their lack of faith that God has protected His Word. I have some old text books on textual criticism (Marvin Vincent's for example) that predate 1900 or shortly after and the term 'conjectural emendations' is not in the index. Is this a newer practice?


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Robert Wurtz II

 2010/8/16 10:41Profile
philologos
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 Re:

"the term 'conjectural emendations' is not in the index. Is this a newer practice?"

I suspect it is. Have you tried 'googling' it?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conjecture_(textual_criticism)

That definition seems to remove any possibility of understanding what the experts are up to unless you yourself are an expert!


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Ron Bailey

 2010/8/16 13:42Profile
RobertW
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Joined: 2004/2/12
Posts: 4636
Independence, Missouri

 Re:

It seems that eclecticism came into vogue in the middle 1800's and 'conjectural emendations' has since followed. It is not surprising given the higher criticism that arose in that time. What is striking to me is that modern exegetes actually believe the Bible can be rightly understood independent of the Holy Spirit. This is a slightly different issue, but I think the trend is away from men of God doing the influencing and more the critical academics. I see this as a serious problem.


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Robert Wurtz II

 2010/8/16 14:33Profile





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