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tc-list UBS4 & NRSV on Jn 1:18

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  • Jeff Cate
    Does anyone know why the NRSV committee chose to include son in Jn 1:18 instead of going with the UBS4 decision (rated B) to omit son ? The preface to the
    Message 1 of 5 , Nov 2, 1999
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      Does anyone know why the NRSV committee chose to include "son" in Jn 1:18
      instead of going with the UBS4 decision (rated B) to omit "son"?

      The preface to the NRSV does state, "Only in very rare instances have we
      [i.e., the NRSV committee] replaced the text or the punctuation of the
      Bible Societies' edition by an alternative that seemed to us to be
      superior."

      It seems somewhat odd to me that the NRSV would make a change to a
      B-rated reading in UBS4. Yes, I am familiar with the difficulties of
      translating 1:18 without "son" but that doesn't justify overturning
      textual evidence.

      Jeff Cate, Ph.D.
      Associate Professor of Christian Studies
      California Baptist University
      Riverside, California 92504

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    • Bruce Prior
      The discussion of this matter is the same in the first and second editions of Metzger s A Textual Commentary on the Greek New Testament. The B rating for the
      Message 2 of 5 , Nov 2, 1999
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        The discussion of this matter is the same in the first and second editions
        of Metzger's A Textual Commentary on the Greek New Testament. The B rating
        for the chosen text in the 3rd Corrected Edition was retained in the 4th
        Revised Edition. The dissenting voice belongs to Allen Wikgren, who was no
        longer on the Greek New Testament committee for the 4th revised edition.

        Metzger makes clear in his memoir that the GNT committee was entirely
        recruited by him, whereas Metzger worked on the committee which produced the
        NRSV as a relatively junior scholar for a number of years before he acquired
        the gavel once wielded by Luther A. Weigle. The GNT committee, in short,
        was more closely knit and more firmly in Metzger's control than was the NRSV
        committee.

        I realize that this is not a satisfactory answer to your query. John 1:8
        merely highlights some of the give-and-take which characterized the
        decisions of the two committees. The committees were very different. They
        simply had in common one strong force: Bruce M. Metzger.

        J. Bruce Prior in Blaine, WA


        >From: Jeff Cate <jeffcate@...>
        >Reply-To: tc-list@...
        >To: tc-list@...
        >Subject: tc-list UBS4 & NRSV on Jn 1:18
        >Date: Tue, 2 Nov 1999 16:02:23 -0800
        >
        >Does anyone know why the NRSV committee chose to include "son" in Jn 1:18
        >instead of going with the UBS4 decision (rated B) to omit "son"?
        >
        >The preface to the NRSV does state, "Only in very rare instances have we
        >[i.e., the NRSV committee] replaced the text or the punctuation of the
        >Bible Societies' edition by an alternative that seemed to us to be
        >superior."
        >
        >It seems somewhat odd to me that the NRSV would make a change to a
        >B-rated reading in UBS4. Yes, I am familiar with the difficulties of
        >translating 1:18 without "son" but that doesn't justify overturning
        >textual evidence.
        >
        >Jeff Cate, Ph.D.
        >Associate Professor of Christian Studies
        >California Baptist University
        >Riverside, California 92504
        >
        >___________________________________________________________________
        >Get the Internet just the way you want it.
        >Free software, free e-mail, and free Internet access for a month!
        >Try Juno Web: http://dl.www.juno.com/dynoget/tagj.

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      • Joseph Crea
        Hello Jeff! ... CREA Actually, the NRSV is pretty much in conformity with the majority of recent translations which claim to base themselves on UBS^3 and UBS^4
        Message 3 of 5 , Nov 2, 1999
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          Hello Jeff!

          At 04:02 PM 11/2/99 -0800, you wrote:
          >Does anyone know why the NRSV committee chose to include "son" in Jn 1:18
          >instead of going with the UBS4 decision (rated B) to omit "son"?
          >
          >The preface to the NRSV does state, "Only in very rare instances have we
          >[i.e., the NRSV committee] replaced the text or the punctuation of the
          >Bible Societies' edition by an alternative that seemed to us to be
          >superior."
          >
          >It seems somewhat odd to me that the NRSV would make a change to a
          >B-rated reading in UBS4. Yes, I am familiar with the difficulties of
          >translating 1:18 without "son" but that doesn't justify overturning
          >textual evidence.


          CREA
          Actually, the NRSV is pretty much in conformity with the majority of
          recent translations which claim to base themselves on UBS^3 and UBS^4 --
          NAB, REB, NIV, TEV, CEV as well as the "God's Word" translation (just to
          name versions in my own library) all include some sort of "son" language at
          John 1:18. The note found in my copy of the NAB (with study helps)
          explains their choice of language as follows (italics shown by inclosure in
          angled brackets < >):


          "<The only Son, God>: while the vast majority of later textual
          witnesses have another reading, "the Son, the only one", or "the
          only Son", the translation above follows the best and earliest
          manuscripts, <monogEnes theos>, but takes the first term to mean
          not just "Only One", but to include a filial relationship with
          the Father, as at Luke 9:38 ("only child") or Heb. 11:17 ("only
          son") and as translated at John 1:14. The Logos is thus "only
          Son" and God, but not Father/God."


          CREA
          Hope that this helps.


          With Mettaa,

          Joseph Crea
          <Joseph.Crea@...>
        • Maurice A. Robinson
          On Tue, 2 Nov 1999 16:02:23 -0800 ... [snip] The real problem with the NRSV (or NAB as Dykes noted) is that their rendering God the only Son is a
          Message 4 of 5 , Nov 3, 1999
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            On Tue, 2 Nov 1999 16:02:23 -0800
            <tc-list-owner@...> writes:

            >Does anyone know why the NRSV committee chose to include "son" in Jn
            >1:18
            [snip]


            The real problem with the NRSV (or NAB as Dykes noted) is that their
            rendering "God the only Son" is a deliberately-conflated reading which
            has no Greek MS support. Perhaps this was a compromise to satisfy
            conflicting views on the NRSV committee or was considered to be an
            interpretative necessity?

            The NAB note quoted by Crea, ("the translation above follows the best and
            earliest manuscripts, <monogEnes theos>, but takes the first term to
            mean not just "Only One", but to include a filial relationship with the
            Father"), is, I suspect, an inadequate attempt to justify the otherwise
            unsupported conflation and to have the best of both worlds. I would note
            that the claim of the NAB editors in this note runs contrary to that
            stated by Frederick C. Grant, "'Only-Begotten' -- A Footnote to the R .S.
            V.", _Bible Translator_ 17 (1966) 11-14, where on p. 12 Grant
            specifically states that "in ordinary use _monogenes_ did not carry any
            more weight than _monos_, 'only'", referencing Moulton-Milligan, p. 416f.
            The matter of "Son" or any filial relation would still need to be stated
            following such a descriptive, as Grant demonstrates from NT, LXX, and
            extra-biblical usage.

            >Yes, I am familiar with the difficulties of translating 1:18 without
            "son" but that >doesn't justify overturning textual evidence.

            Preference for the reading "Son" is not exactly "overturning textual
            evidence," but merely making a different choice based on application of
            different principles to the same evidence. As I recall, Ehrman argues
            specifically for the originality of the Byzantine reading "Son" in this
            location, on the supposition that the Alexandrian reading of "God" was an
            "orthodox corruption" (this differs from Dykes' claim, so please correct
            me if I am wrong -- I don't have Bart's book close at hand, but I thought
            he argued for the originality of UIOS as opposed to the bare MONOGENHS as
            the original reading).


            ==============================================
            Maurice A. Robinson
            Professor of NT and Greek
            Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary
            Wake Forest, North Carolina

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          • Bill Combs
            ... I have not followed this thread closely, but I wonder if God the only Son is simply the way the NRSV translators felt that MONOGENHS QEOS should be
            Message 5 of 5 , Nov 3, 1999
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              > From: "Maurice A. Robinson" <seventh.guardian@...>
              > Reply-To: tc-list@...
              > Date: Wed, 03 Nov 1999 12:52:01 EST
              > To: tc-list@...
              > Subject: Re: tc-list UBS4 & NRSV on Jn 1:18
              >
              > The real problem with the NRSV (or NAB as Dykes noted) is that their
              > rendering "God the only Son" is a deliberately-conflated reading which
              > has no Greek MS support. Perhaps this was a compromise to satisfy
              > conflicting views on the NRSV committee or was considered to be an
              > interpretative necessity?

              I have not followed this thread closely, but I wonder if "God the only Son"
              is simply the way the NRSV translators felt that MONOGENHS QEOS should be
              translated and thus this is not a textual issue at all. There is an article
              by Fennema, "John 1:18: 'God the Only Son'"(NTS 31 [January 1985]: 124­35),
              where this translation is argued as being the correct one.
              --
              Bill Combs
              Detroit Baptist Theological Seminary
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