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JoeyA
Sep 1st 2010, 08:14 PM
Hey All.

I've sort of been struggling with which Bible translation to read, off and on for months now. For the most part I just stuck with the NIV, and recently started to read more of the NASB. But every once in awhile I get stuck back wondering if its the right/best version. I don't seem to let it go, and it can get very frustrating.

've read a bit about the kjvo arguments, and alot of the time I think its just crazy, then there are times I think maybe they have a point, then sometimes not so much.

What did sort of hit me more when reading online, was the difference between the Textus Receptus and the Alexandrian Texts. It started to make sense to me that something isn't quite right with the Alexandrian Texts. So here are a couple things I've found about it, and tell me if I'm wrong or missing something.

1.) There are just a few Alexandrian Texts compared to the TR, but because the Alexandrian Texts are older they are therefore considered more reliable?

2.) The Alexandrian Texts don't match with eachother as much as the TR's do.

3.) This seems the most important, which to me sort of proves the Alexandrian Texts were tampered, please tell me what may be wrong with this.
The Alexandrian Texts don't have the long ending of Mark, it ends at 16:8. But the TR does have the long ending of Mark. Therefore this proves that either one of them is false. Either the TR added it, or the Alexandrian Text took it out or lost it. I can't see a third option.
So with that in mind, how can you prove either? Which I thought. Now Irenaeus quoted from the long ending of Mark, and he did this years and years before the Alexandrian Texts we have. How could he quote from something that didn't exist? Doesn't this therefore prove there must have been a long ending to Mark, and therefore the Alexandrian Texts must have been altered, and that part taken out. While the TR kept it, showing it stayed reliable.



Now, That third comment has been the most convincing to me. It's hard to look past it, doesn't it prove the Alexandrian Texts must have taken the ending of Mark out if it was quoted before those manuscripts? And if that was changed, who knows what else. This makes me think more that the TR is much more reliable than the Alexandrian Texts.

And therefore seems like the KJV is the only one that bases itself on it, as much as I do have a harder time reading it. I'd like to read a newer Bible based on the TR if the TR is indeed more reliable, but there doesn't seem to be good ones. Is the NKJV fully based on the TR? One moment I think yes, and then the next I read things online that says it also has Alexandrian influences in it.


Anyway, that's about it.

Obadiah
Sep 2nd 2010, 02:35 AM
Joey:

First thing, you need to distinguish between the Textus Receptus and the Majority Text.

MajT is a manuscript tradition which is reflected in the vast majority of NT manuscripts (mss) -- hence the name. It's also sometimes called the Byzantine Text, although I believe that's a misnomer.

TR, on the other hand, is the text as edited by Erasmus in the 16th century. It varies considerably from MajT, including a couple of places where Erasmus back-translated from the Latin because he was missing a leaf of the Greek.

For a long time I've favored MajT. You can read an excellent summary of its advocacy in Wilbur Pickering's The Identity of the New Testament Text. I think the historical arguments on behalf of MajT carry a lot of weight.

Recently, though, I've been looking at a number of specific textual issues and I'm finding it more difficult to maintain my MajT position. There are a number of factors normally considered in evaluating competing mss readings. Perhaps the most prominent is Lectio difficilior potior ("the more difficult reading is the stronger"). It stands to reason that when you have two readings, one of which makes easier sense than the other, that the other is original. It's not common to change something easily understood to something grammatically difficult; the scribal tendency is to simplify and streamline rather than to complicate.

On Mark 16:9-20, the patristic evidence -- citations in early Christian writings -- is overwhelming, in my opinion.

JoeyA
Sep 2nd 2010, 04:21 AM
Thanks alot for the post Obadiah. That does clarify that for me a bit. Yeah, its the Majority Text that I've recently found to be more reliable.
Now, is there a good Bible that is based on the Majority Text? I just did a quick Google search and didn't really find anything. Thanks.

EDIT: I just looked a little more into the Majority texts, and its giving me more questions. Why do so many people prefer the Alexandrian Text over the Byzantine?

I guess my other question is, does the Byzantine text have the end of Mark while the Alexandrian doesn't? Is this correct? If so, its hard to dismiss that something is fishy with the Alexandrian not having it when earlier Christian writings have it.

Obadiah
Sep 2nd 2010, 04:33 AM
Pauls Esposito's translation is available at http://majoritytext.com/. Overall I like it, although I'm always a little wary of a Bible translation (even just the NT) made by one individual.

JoeyA
Sep 2nd 2010, 05:59 AM
Overall I like it, although I'm always a little wary of a Bible translation (even just the NT) made by one individual.

Thanks for the reply. Kind of interesting you said that, as I was just kind of saying/thinking to myself earlier today about being weary of a Bible written by one person. They could be good, and have great intentions, and great beliefs, but doing it by yourself errors, or biases (even unknown to yourself) my seep in.

But the only other Bible I've been able to find that is based on the Majority, is the WEB Bible (http://ebible.org), which is still in the process. Its based on the ASV, but for the new testament they are doing it using the Majority Text. It seems promising.

Anyway, I don't seem to know which Bible to go with now. As I don't really know if I can trust the Alexandrian Texts as I think early quotes prove some things were taken out, and if so, who knows what else was changed. But it seems most Bibles are based on the Alexandrian Texts. So I don't know what to read exactly, except maybe try and learn Greek.
Well is the KJV closet to the Byzantine texts than other Bibles? You said it varies considerably Obadiah.

Obadiah
Sep 2nd 2010, 04:00 PM
I'd go with the NEW king james -- I believe their notes indicate where they deviate from the MajT.

Radagast
Sep 4th 2010, 07:53 AM
1.) There are just a few Alexandrian Texts compared to the TR, but because the Alexandrian Texts are older they are therefore considered more reliable?

Well, there's only one TR, produced by Erasmus. But in general, we would expect older manuscripts to be more reliable, since there was less time for errors to creep in.


3.) This seems the most important, which to me sort of proves the Alexandrian Texts were tampered, please tell me what may be wrong with this.
The Alexandrian Texts don't have the long ending of Mark, it ends at 16:8. But the TR does have the long ending of Mark. Therefore this proves that either one of them is false. Either the TR added it, or the Alexandrian Text took it out or lost it. I can't see a third option.

The ending of Mark is a thorny issue, and perhaps not the best reason for making a choice. Both versions of the ending of Mark are very old, so age on its own won't decide that question.

Bandit
Sep 5th 2010, 04:48 PM
Hello JoeyA,

I read both the NKJV and NASB (along with occasional RSV reading and even less occasional NIV). The NASB is one of the best English translations which is more word-for-word. The NKJV is also a good woord-for-word version. The KJV is simply outdated English; the NKJV is an up-to-date version of the KJV. The NIV uses what is called "dynamic equivalence". The NIV is ok, like for casual reading, but when I really want to study the word, the NASB (or even the NKJV) is the better chioce. If I had to choose between the NIV or the NKJV, I would definitely go NKJV. In my opinion, even though the NIV may have started from better Greek texts, the translators of the NIV followed a translation process which led to (in my opinion) a less satisfactory translation than the NKJV.

JoeyA
Sep 7th 2010, 04:56 AM
Radagast you say the ending of Mark is a very thorny issue and shouldn't be used in making a decision why? If the ending of Mark is in the Byzantine text and not the Alexandrian, then cleary either it was either added to the byzantine text or taken out in the alexandrian. I don't see a third option. So logically maybe the older mss would be more accurate. But when we have quote(s) from the long ending which pre-date the earliest alexandrian mss we have, doesn't this prove it was indeed taken off from the alexandrian texts? (As well as John 7:53.) And then therefore they shouldn't be as trusted?
I'm just trying to figure this out, because it doesn't make sense to me that our newer bible translations are based on the alexandrian texts and not the byzantine.
And I could easily be wrong on this one, but didn't christians use primarily the byzantine text for centuries, and trust it? Didn't we teach for centuries the ending of Make and John 7:53 happened, and was real scripture? Now all of a sudden after hundreds of years those manuscripts and verses are no longer "real" or considered as reliable. That all the bible scholars and christians for the past several hundred years were wrong? That all of a sudden after centuries Westcott and Hort tell us our manuscripts we've been faithfully using for centuries are no good, and we gotta start using the ones they say are good.

It just doesn't make sense to me, it doesn't add up. Please correct me if I'm wrong, I feel in a small way my worlds been turned over, and I'm trying to figure it all out.

Radagast
Sep 7th 2010, 08:09 AM
Radagast you say the ending of Mark is a very thorny issue and shouldn't be used in making a decision why? If the ending of Mark is in the Byzantine text and not the Alexandrian, then cleary either it was either added to the byzantine text or taken out in the alexandrian.

There are old manuscripts with the long ending of Mark, and old manuscripts without. Irenaeus and Tertullian use the long ending. Clement and Origen do not. Obviously something was either added or cut; but it's not a simple Byzantine vs Alexandrian thing -- whatever happened, happened very early on, and both versions of the ending of Mark seem to have circulated in different parts of the Roman Empire from a quite early date.

If you look at the Codex Sinaiticus (the oldest complete Bible: here (http://codexsinaiticus.org/en/manuscript.aspx?book=35)), it doesn't have the long ending; but it has a blank space, almost as if the scribe new about different endings, and wasn't sure how to finish the book until he checked with his boss.

Samuel Owen
Sep 7th 2010, 02:18 PM
There are thousands of differences between the modern versions, and the KJV. The NKJV uses the TR manuscripts for the NT, but does not use the same Masoretic text for the OT. This makes quite a big difference in the OT between the KJV, and NKJV.

Westcot and Hort also did not help the Alexandrian text, and neither did the Dead Sea Scrolls. In fact these sources added even more confusion; to an already corrupted text. :)

JoeyA
Sep 7th 2010, 04:30 PM
Interesting, thanks for the reply Radagast. Gives me more to chew on.
It's been kind of frustrating/exhausting, this search. Up until now usually when I had some question, it was clarified, and I had a sound conclusion to end the matter.

I'm having a hard time here to just "pick a bible" as I don't want to do it without even thinking about it.

You said "it's not a simple Byzantine vs Alexandrian thing". Are there some byzantine mss that don't have the ending of Mark or John 7:53? Are there some alexandrian that do?

I'm just wondering why are english Bibles for the past few hundred years were all seemed to be embedded in the byzantine instead of the alexandrian, then all of a sudden it gets reversed. Is that correct?

And Samuel Owen, I haven't even really begun to look at the mss used for the ot, thats gonna be something I have to tackle as well.

Brother Mark
Sep 7th 2010, 06:49 PM
Hi JoeyA. I can't help you much with the research you are doing but there are some people on here that can. BadDog is one and Theophilus is another. Both of them are very well versed in the questions you are asking. Also, you could do a search on the topic KJVO or KJV only. That might turn up some previous threads though many of them were archived in the system upgrade.

Anyway, my brief testimony on the KJVO issue is that was what I was raised in. But as an adult, I was exposed to some believers who had power, I mean real power, in their lives. They overcame sin. They walked with God. And they used another version. It was their testimony and their walk with God that moved me past the KJVO issue. But it took a few years and of course, I have left much out in this little paragraph. I wish you well in your studies!

Mark

Radagast
Sep 7th 2010, 11:27 PM
You said "it's not a simple Byzantine vs Alexandrian thing".

Manuscripts aren't just divided into "Byzantine" and "Alexandrian." And there are actually THREE endings of Mark in circulation.


I'm just wondering why are english Bibles for the past few hundred years were all seemed to be embedded in the byzantine instead of the alexandrian, then all of a sudden it gets reversed. Is that correct?

At first, Bibles were based on the Latin Vulgate, handed down in the Catholic church. After Erasmus, people used the TR, based on the Byzantine texts handed down in the Greek Orthodox church. However, after about 1800 many older manuscripts were discovered, including the "Alexandrian" ones, and translators started taking them into account. For example, the Codex Sinaiticus (the oldest complete Bible) was discovered by Europeans in the Monastery of Saint Catherine at Sinai around 1800.

JoeyA
Sep 9th 2010, 07:00 PM
Thanks for the reply Brother Mark. It is hard if not impossible to say the NIV, NASB, etc are not real, or good Bibles when so many people have grown with them. I myself never really grew up with the KJV, or NIV, or any Bible really. I just became a Christian a few years ago, and read the NIV primarily, until I started wondering about all these versions. And thanks for the people that know about this stuff, I may send them a message.

And thanks for the continued replies Radagast, I appreciate it.

I did a quick Google search for Codex Sinaiticus Reliable and found http://www.timetracts.com/Whatarethemostreliablemanuscripts2.htm
I'm wondering if what it says is true. Primarily, does the Codex Sinaiticus have Bel and the Dragon, Tobit, and Shepard of Hermes in it? And does the Shepard of Hermes teach Take the Mark of the Beast, and Works are part of one's salvation?
If so, why would we possibly take this as a reliable Bible? It freaks me out a bit, that newer Bibles are based somewhat on this Bible, if this is true.
I myself, if I found a really old Bible and saw it had additional books, and some of them had heresies in them, I wouldn't use that Bible to translate others, I would probably just throw it away. Because if they added a book of heresies to the Bible, who knows what else they tampered with.

If someone has a logical explanation for this, then please tell me, as this doesn't make sense to me. Thanks.

Radagast
Sep 9th 2010, 09:38 PM
... does the Codex Sinaiticus have Bel and the Dragon, Tobit, and Shepard of Hermes in it?

Yes. First, because the apocryphal books like Bel and the Dragon and Tobit were part of the Greek OT used by Jews at the time, and the Codex Sinaiticus copied those. Protestant bibles today only use books which are part of the Hebrew OT, and so leave out books like Bel and the Dragon and Tobit.

The Shepherd of Hermas does NOT teach "Take the Mark of the Beast" -- I don't think the website you looked at was very reliable. However, after the Codex Sinaiticus was written, people decided that books like the Shepherd, the Epistle of Barnabus, etc. should not be included in the NT.

The Codex Sinaiticus didn't "add a book of heresies to the Bible" -- the question "what is the Bible?" was still being decided in those days.

JoeyA
Sep 9th 2010, 10:18 PM
Thanks for the reply again Radagast. That's why I'm asking here, as I don't know how much I can trust some of these sites, as they seem to be way out there sometimes. I'm trying to find what might be the truth in all of it. I've read some sites say the KJV is the infallible, innerrent word of God. Which I don't believe, I don't think any of the english translations can be 100% correct. Some may just be more accurate than others, and thats what I'm trying to figure out, which is the most accurate.

Not sure what else to ask right now. Was anything wrong with the Shepard of Hermas? I've never heard if it before, I've heard of Tobit.

Thanks again.

Radagast
Sep 10th 2010, 08:09 AM
Was anything wrong with the Shepard of Hermas?

It's not a fantastic piece of writing (see here (http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/shepherd.html)), but Christians in the 2nd century liked it. However, its inclusion in the Codex Sinaiticus doesn't really matter -- what matters is the accuracy of the NT texts.

David Taylor
Sep 10th 2010, 03:18 PM
There are thousands of differences between the modern versions, and the KJV.

There are also over 3,000 differences between the two Critical Text (Alexandrian) Manuscripts Sianiaticus and Vaticanus.

So, thousands of differences, verses few differences; doesn't seem to be a good candidate for validity or trustworthiness.

Rather, contextually, and doctrinally, are there any major differences? That to me, is a better question.

If there aren't any significant contextual or doctrinal differences between the English translations (regardless of the manuscript text-base), then it comes down to a matter of preference and style.

A good Parallel bible tends to alleviate the concern as well. :)

Muz
Sep 10th 2010, 05:12 PM
Hey All.

I've sort of been struggling with which Bible translation to read, off and on for months now. For the most part I just stuck with the NIV, and recently started to read more of the NASB. But every once in awhile I get stuck back wondering if its the right/best version. I don't seem to let it go, and it can get very frustrating.

If you're doing an in depth study that includes the need to know precise phrasing and word selection, then NASB or ESV is going to be most accurate. If you are reading for devotional purposes, the NIV is fine.


've read a bit about the kjvo arguments, and alot of the time I think its just crazy, then there are times I think maybe they have a point, then sometimes not so much.

Once you study how the TR was put together, you'll want to get away from them.


What did sort of hit me more when reading online, was the difference between the Textus Receptus and the Alexandrian Texts. It started to make sense to me that something isn't quite right with the Alexandrian Texts. So here are a couple things I've found about it, and tell me if I'm wrong or missing something.

1.) There are just a few Alexandrian Texts compared to the TR, but because the Alexandrian Texts are older they are therefore considered more reliable?

The TR is based in the Byzantine text type. While there are a very large number of copies, these copies were mostly made later, after most errors had been introduced into the Byzantine type.

If you think about it for a moment, if two groups of people start making copies at the same rate, they'll probably make about the same number of errors. But after a few years of making copies, if one group stops, and the other groups kicks into high gear making copies, the later, more numerous copies aren't going to get any better than the older ones that already had the errors.


2.) The Alexandrian Texts don't match with eachother as much as the TR's do.

Again, not a huge deal. The vast majority of differences between any two texts are normally inconsequential. "Jesus Christ" vs. "Christ Jesus" for instance. Especially in Greek, word order just isn't as important as it is in English. They key isn't quantity of differences, but the quality of those differences.

Also, each type has errors that it tends to make. The Byzantine (TR) text type tended to have scribes that would correct or make insertions into the text to "make it clearer." Alexandian types tended not to do this so much.


3.) This seems the most important, which to me sort of proves the Alexandrian Texts were tampered, please tell me what may be wrong with this.
The Alexandrian Texts don't have the long ending of Mark, it ends at 16:8. But the TR does have the long ending of Mark. Therefore this proves that either one of them is false. Either the TR added it, or the Alexandrian Text took it out or lost it. I can't see a third option.

Uh... Better get another source besides KJVO. There are actually four endings to Mark in various text types. I believe two or three are found in the Byzantine type. Again, the Byzantine scribes tended add things, in this case traditional material (same with John 7:53-8:11), so having a longer ending isn't necessarily correct just because this type has it.


So with that in mind, how can you prove either? Which I thought. Now Irenaeus quoted from the long ending of Mark, and he did this years and years before the Alexandrian Texts we have. How could he quote from something that didn't exist? Doesn't this therefore prove there must have been a long ending to Mark, and therefore the Alexandrian Texts must have been altered, and that part taken out. While the TR kept it, showing it stayed reliable.


This proves that there was a traditional text that some in the church thought might be from Mark. But it isn't universal. Again, there are four endings to Mark that we can choose from. Two are just insane. One ends at 16:8, and the other continues.

Given that there are a variety of endings to Mark suggests that various scribes wanted more than what Mark provided, and tended to add traditional endings to the book.


Now, That third comment has been the most convincing to me. It's hard to look past it, doesn't it prove the Alexandrian Texts must have taken the ending of Mark out if it was quoted before those manuscripts? And if that was changed, who knows what else. This makes me think more that the TR is much more reliable than the Alexandrian Texts.

Well, you're assuming the ending of Mark that the TR uses is valid. However, this isn't necessarily the case. Given that the Byzantine type is the only type to have it, and that there are other endings that the Byzantine type also utilizes, there is reason to think that those scribes wanted the book of Mark to end differently, and given there was a tradition about additional material for Mark,they added it.


And therefore seems like the KJV is the only one that bases itself on it, as much as I do have a harder time reading it. I'd like to read a newer Bible based on the TR if the TR is indeed more reliable, but there doesn't seem to be good ones. Is the NKJV fully based on the TR? One moment I think yes, and then the next I read things online that says it also has Alexandrian influences in it.

Well, here's a few problems:

The TR was actually compiled by a Roman Priest named Erasmus. And although he had access to hundreds of manuscripts, he only used 8 or 9, one of which was Alexandrian, and all of which were fairly young, and thus would have had traditional material and other additions from the Byzantine text type.

However, Erasmus didn't have all of the New Testament. He was missing a section of Revelation. Worse yet, rather than going and getting a manuscript with that passage in it, He translated those verses from the Latin Vulgate back into Greek. And in doing so, creates several new and unseen Greek variants. These verses are at the end of Revelation.

So, the TR itself has a few problems right off the bat.

Then there is the passage in 1 John 5 that is disputed. In his original version, Erasmus didn't include it. People objected because it was a beloved phrase, and Erasmus said that he'd include it in his next version if a manuscript could be produced that included it. And, lo and behold, a new copy, ink still fresh, direct from England arrived with the addition, and Erasmus, true to his word, added it.

Not exactly the best way to search for the original.

Also, since Erasmus (and the construction of the KJV) there have been many important textual finds, including the Dead Sea Scrolls, which include some very ancient scripts and partials, including a small scrap from the book of John dated to around 130AD.

These help textual critics to make further determinations that are based on more complete information than Erasmus had in compiling the TR.

This isn't to say that the TR is horrible or that the KJV is worthless, they are not. But they are dated and not based upon complete textual information as modern translations are today.

Hope that helps.

BadDog
Sep 11th 2010, 04:00 AM
Hey All.

I've sort of been struggling with which Bible translation to read, off and on for months now. For the most part I just stuck with the NIV, and recently started to read more of the NASB. But every once in awhile I get stuck back wondering if its the right/best version. I don't seem to let it go, and it can get very frustrating.

've read a bit about the kjvo arguments, and alot of the time I think its just crazy, then there are times I think maybe they have a point, then sometimes not so much.
Joey,

I am quite busy these days, and don't have much time to give many details in my comments. But let me just say that whether you use a TR-based Bible (KJV or NKJV) or one that is based upon the Byzantine text (the WEB) or the Alexandrian text, you're fine. They are all quite OK.

But a very high percentage of textual critics today believe the Byzantine text to be somewhat corrupt and not very close to the original manuscripts (MSS). We know historically, it is far-removed in terms of time. That is a serious concern. Why aren't there any majority text MSS very old? Now you might want to ask yourself why so few textual critic authorities hold to the Byzantine text. If you ignore that, you're burying your head in the sand IMO. I am one who held to the majority text for 15 years. I was involved in a revision of the ASV-1901 into a majority text version (the WEB). But the paucity of MSS very old had convinced me.

I'll comment within the text below in Green.


What did sort of hit me more when reading online, was the difference between the Textus Receptus and the Alexandrian Texts. It started to make sense to me that something isn't quite right with the Alexandrian Texts. So here are a couple things I've found about it, and tell me if I'm wrong or missing something.

1.) There are just a few Alexandrian Texts compared to the TR, but because the Alexandrian Texts are older they are therefore considered more reliable?
BD: Well, there are more Byzantine texts, true. But there are also certainly more than just a few. And one significant fact I am about to explain was what convinced me about 8 - 10 years ago to switch from the Byzantine text to the Alexandrian text in allegiance:

If you count the MSS of the 9th century and earlier, it is the Alexandrian texts which are in the majority. IOW, the vast majority of the Byzantine MSS, probably over 85%, are quite recent MSS. IOW, they're just recent copies of older MSS. Who cares about a recent copy of a MS? They have no authority.

Now IMO any MSS after the 9th century has little value textually. And the closer you get to the originals, the Alexandrian texts begin to become an overwhelming majority. You find only a handful before the 6th century.

2.) The Alexandrian Texts don't match with each other as much as the TR's do.
BD: True. And that is a good argument for the Byzantine text (MT). But it is believed, little real proof here, that the MT MSS were copied from a few very similar MSS during Constantine's purge in the 4th century. We do know he did a purge of MSS. We do not know for a fact that the MT is a result of that purge. Yet most textual critics do believe the Byzantine text was a result of Constantine's purge. FWIW.

While the larger variation within the Alexandrian family of texts (CT) is a bit unsettling, the fairly close similarities within the MT should concern us of intentional manipulation of the text for that to happen as well.

3.) This seems the most important, which to me sort of proves the Alexandrian Texts were tampered, please tell me what may be wrong with this.
The Alexandrian Texts don't have the long ending of Mark, it ends at 16:8. But the TR does have the long ending of Mark. Therefore this proves that either one of them is false. Either the TR added it, or the Alexandrian Text took it out or lost it. I can't see a third option.
I think that the "tampering," to whatever extent it happened, was not intentional in general. The Alexandria school held to a more free interpretation style since they felt that the deepest meanings came from allegory treatment of the text. Hence what happened was probably some carelessness in copying.


So with that in mind, how can you prove either? Which I thought. Now Irenaeus quoted from the long ending of Mark, and he did this years and years before the Alexandrian Texts we have. How could he quote from something that didn't exist? Doesn't this therefore prove there must have been a long ending to Mark, and therefore the Alexandrian Texts must have been altered, and that part taken out. While the TR kept it, showing it stayed reliable.
Well, I very much doubt the authenticity of the long ending to Mark. Few textual critics do. It is found in no MSS very old. And we do not know that Irenaeus quoted from the Markan text, do we. Di he specifically say that he was quoting the gospel of Mark?

The longer ending of Mark seems to come from Luke 24 and John 20. Let me quote www.bible-researcher.com on this:

Mark 16:9-20 has been called a later addition to the Gospel of Mark by most New Testament scholars in the past century. The main reason for doubting the authenticity of the ending is that it does not appear in some of the oldest existing witnesses, and it is reported to be absent from many others in ancient times by early writers of the Church. Moreover, the ending has some stylistic features which also suggest that it came from another hand. The Gospel is obviously incomplete without these verses, and so most scholars believe that the final leaf of the original manuscript was lost, and that the ending which appears in English versions today (verses 9-20) was supplied during the second century. Below are some excerpts from various scholarly sources that conclude that the verses are a later addition.

Then they go one to list the following very strong authorities on this:
The Westminster Study Edition of the Holy Bible (Philadelphia: Westminster Press, 1948); A Commentary on the Holy Bible, edited by J.R. Dummelow (New York: MacMillan, 1927), pages 732-33; Bruce Metzger, A Textual Commentary on the Greek New Testament (Stuttgart, 1971), pages 122-126 [Probably the foremost textual critic of the 20th century--I have this book, an excellent resource for your library]; Bruce Metzger, The Canon of the New Testament: its Origin, Development, and Significance (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1987), pp. 269-270; F.H.A. Scrivener, A Plain Introduction to the Criticism of the New Testament, fourth ed. (London: George Bell and Sons, 1894), volume 2, pp. 337-344 [Schrivner is one who held to the Byzantine text-one of the top authorities of the 19th century, perhaps #1. And he argues that though he had held to the longer ending, that the arguments by Hort convinced him to the contrary.];

Incidentally, Metzger says that many of the Church fathers of the 2nd century saw the longer ending of Mark as "due to tampering by heretics." You can find a couple of the Church fathers who held to the longer ending, but many more who did not. Metzger says that it isfound in oly one somewhat old MS (an uncial-cap letters). Almost all of the older uncial and minuscules do not have the longer ending. That is significant. And it is significant that the Byzantine reading follows the addition which has almost no old MSS to support its inclusion.


Now, That third comment has been the most convincing to me. It's hard to look past it, doesn't it prove the Alexandrian Texts must have taken the ending of Mark out if it was quoted before those manuscripts? And if that was changed, who knows what else. This makes me think more that the TR is much more reliable than the Alexandrian Texts.

And therefore seems like the KJV is the only one that bases itself on it, as much as I do have a harder time reading it. I'd like to read a newer Bible based on the TR if the TR is indeed more reliable, but there doesn't seem to be good ones. Is the NKJV fully based on the TR? One moment I think yes, and then the next I read things online that says it also has Alexandrian influences in it.


Anyway, that's about it.
Joey,

Who's to say that the long ending of mark was removed? Why not assume that it was added? It reads just fine without it. (Though some think the shorter ending too abrupt-Metzger does-and that the last page of the original MS was lost, and later manufactured.) But if someone thought that Mark's gospel needed a great commission statement, then there is some motivation to add it. Perhaps it was commentary that was written in the margin and later got added when copied.

And just FYI the NKJV is 100% based on the TR for the NT Greek... unfortunately. I say unfortunately because the TR is a poor representative of the Byzantine text. Erasmus only had 7 partial MSS to use to come up with a composite Greek text. You do know that there is not a single Greek MSS even very close to the TR, don't you? There are about 2000 differences between the TR and the MT. Many of them are minor, spelling differences, word order changes, etc.. But the TR is a compiled text.

The two texts that the Alexandrian text follow the most are essentially complete MSS. (Codexes Vaticanus and Sinaiticus) And they're both from the 4th century. So why go with a compiled text that is not represented fully in a single MS when you can go with an actual original complete Greek MS?

Again, I don't think you should have serious concerns either way you go. Both families are good representatives of the original texts.

Take care, and don't buy into any of that Textus Receptus or KJ-only crude. It's a conspiracy itself. :P People who really think for themselves generally tend to recognize when people are making a mountain out of a molehill. You should feel free to use either your NKJV, NASB, NIV, or other translations.

Incidentally, if you're interested in a listing of most of the MSS and their dates, you'll find it here:
http://rosetta.reltech.org/TC/extras/Robinson-list.html (By Maurice Robinson)

Note that micuscules don't really show up until the 9th century, and very few MT MSS are uncials.

BD

Jemand
Sep 11th 2010, 06:36 PM
Joey,

I have very little time to devote to your questions, but since the issue of text-types has become a major concern for very many Christians in their selection of a translation of the Bible to read and study, I will touch briefly on the question that seems to trouble you the most—was Mark 16:9-20 penned by Mark or someone else? The evidence against the possibility of Mark having been the author is so overwhelming that New Testament scholars today are nearly unanimous in their belief that Mark 16:9-20 was not penned by Mark. This evidence is of four kinds.

1. The oldest and best manuscripts of the New Testament do not include it.

2. The vocabulary of Mark 16:9-20 is strikingly different from the vocabulary of the rest of the Gospel.

3. The style and basic character of Mark 16:9-20 is strikingly different from the style and basic character of the rest of the Gospel, and especially chapter 16:1-8. In vv. 1-8, Mark paints for his readers a detailed picture of the scene at the tomb along with quotations of the words of the women and the angel; in vv. 9-20 we have a mere listing of events and a very different version of the Great Commission.

4. Mark 16: 6-8 parallels Matthew 28:5-8,

Matt. 28:5. The angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid; for I know that you are looking for Jesus who has been crucified.
6. “He is not here, for He has risen, just as He said. Come, see the place where He was lying.
7. “Go quickly and tell His disciples that He has risen from the dead; and behold, He is going ahead of you into Galilee, there you will see Him; behold, I have told you.”
8. And they left the tomb quickly with fear and great joy and ran to report it to His disciples.

Mark 16:6. And he *said to them, “Do not be amazed; you are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who has been crucified. He has risen; He is not here; behold, here is the place where they laid Him.
7. “But go, tell His disciples and Peter, ‘He is going ahead of you to Galilee; there you will see Him, just as He told you.’ ”
8. They went out and fled from the tomb, for trembling and astonishment had gripped them; and they said nothing to anyone, for they were afraid.

Mark 16:9, however, abruptly begins a new account of the same event and changes the story. Instead of “Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome” (v. 1) we have Mary Magdalene alone. The biggest change in the story, however, is that Mark 16:9-20 does not give Jesus an opportunity to go to Galilee.


We all need to be very careful when we read information on the internet because very much of it is not factual. A good safeguard when reading information on the internet is to avoid assuming to be correct any information for which the name of the author is not given and to assume to be correct only information written by an author who has earned advanced degrees from universities and seminaries internationally known for their academic excellence. It is also very important when reading to distinguish between opinion and established fact. This includes, of course, posts (including mine) on message boards.

(All quotations from the Scriptures are from the NASB, 1995)

JoeyA
Sep 14th 2010, 03:31 AM
Thanks for the replies. Helps clarify things. I think this matter should really be brought up in Church's. As it can be hard and confusing to try and do it by yourself online, with one site saying this and another that. But this has helped.