Re: "Majority Text"
- Maurice Robinson wrote;
>Class 2: Majority Text Proper advocatesYou have clearly differentiated your position here from that of Hodges and
>One definite demarcation line is now crossed: the remaining two groups are
>not tied to the KJV or the TR in any manner whatsoever, even though some
>of their works are misquoted and misapplied by KJV-Only distortionists.
>(4) Within the "Majority Text" camp proper one finds Zane Hodges and
>Arthur Farstad, who produced the Majority Text Greek NT edition. These
>are joined by Wilbur Pickering who wrote "The Identity of the NT Text"
>volume some years back -- a work which was long on critique of the W-H
>theory but quite short on "majority text" theory.
>A basic contention of this group is theological: the text found in the
>greatest number of copies is that which God providentially preserved.
>Pickering alleged from this that virtually all other variant readings were
>the result of Satanic and heretical activity, since scribes were (in his
>opinion) uniformly "orthodox" and had a "high view" of Scripture,
>including its inerrancy.
>The theological argument in Hodges and Farstad is not so explicit, but is
>still mentioned as an underlying factor in their theory (Hodges and
>Farstad sacrifice much of their theory, however, in Revelation, where they
>follow stemmatics and end up favoring a sub-group (Ma) comprising only 20%
>of the known MSS, thus giving rise to the anomaly that their "majority
>text" in Revelation at times has only 20% support as opposed to the "true"
>80% majority. *:-)
>(5) The Byzantine-priority group (which I claim to reflect) does not begin
>nor end with a theological agenda regarding providential preservation
>(i.e., if such occurred, then all MSS of all texttypes reflect that
>preservation), nor is "number" a primary factor. Rather, the question of
>whether the Byzantine text as a texttype might be more likely to reflect
>the autograph text is the primary question.
>This approach is coupled with a detailed historical transmission
>hypothesis and takes into account all the relevant data, as well as
>performs praxis by utilizing standard external and internal criteria of NT
>textual criticism (with modifications befitting the transmissional
>William Pierpont and I have produced our own edition of the
>Byzantine/Majority Textform in both printed and electronic form (text
>only; no apparatus), utilizing the data from the Von Soden, Tischendorf,
>and the Nestle26-27/UBS3-4 apparatuses. Even if one does not share the
>same hypothesis, our edition provides a distinct Byzantine text which is
>not abandoned at any point for extraneous reasons such as in that of
>It is true that most if not all advocates of the true "Majority Text" or
>"Byzantine-priority" hypotheses (groups 4 and 5 above) reflect a
>theological conservatism, including a belief in biblical inerrancy. This
>position does not, however, dictate our choice of variant readings, nor
>does it imply any desire to make the resultant text match the TR or KJV
>or any other translation.
>I have presented a number of papers to the Evangelical Theological Society
>on aspects of Byzantine priority, and have not made any conclusions which
>were imposed by inerrantist or "preservationist" beliefs (I originally
>held to a "reasoned eclectic" position, and only changed that view after
>a careful consideration of all the evidence and questioning the theories
>currently in vogue, thanks to the help and guidance received from my
>text-critical mentor, Kenneth W. Clark).
Farstad. Your statement about biblical inerrancy is interesting. I do now
wish to open that can of worms again on this list or b-greek, but I suspect
that it plays a greater role than you allow, but I must read your work and
examine your textual decisions before I make such assertions. I had hoped
that when I finished Hodges/Farstad that I could settle back into my easy
eclectism and be happy with my new "Textus Receptus" (UBS-N-A) and just
read the NT.
Carlton L. Winbery
LA College, Pineville, La
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