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3906Re: [textualcriticism] Variants again, can you tell I'm frustrated

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  • Daniel B. Wallace
    Aug 5, 2008
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      Eddie, I understand much better why you have concluded what you have concluded about our current knowledge of the variants. You're still mistaken: we simply don't know the exact number because not all the manuscripts have been fully collated. In fact, the vast majority have not been. The chart in Reinventing Jesus summarizes what is known to exist, but is not meant to imply that all 5700 MSS have been examined. The text leading up to this carefully explains several points which would suggest that modern translations are based on good, critical texts, but not based on an examination of all extant MSS. In reality, most MSS have been examined in selected passages but have not been examined over the entirety of their text. For example, suppose that all surviving MSS have been spot-checked in 1000 places where known and important variation occurs. It can be said that any text produced with this knowledge in mind is based, in some degree, on these manuscripts. But it cannot be said that such a text is based exhaustively on these manuscripts.

      It can also be said that modern translations have a pool of data that is nearly 1000 times larger than that which was used by the KJV translators, but this does not imply that every variant had been examined. Perhaps if you looked at the images of codex 2882 and the pdf description of the MS (at www.csntm.org) you would get a better sense of how the discovery of a single MS can add more data to the pool of variants.

      I hope this helps to explain things a bit better.


      Dan Wallace

      ----- Start Original Message -----
      Sent: Mon, 4 Aug 2008 11:33:44 -0700 (PDT)
      From: Eddie Mishoe <edmishoe@...>
      To: textualcriticism@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: Re: [textualcriticism] Variants again, can you tell I'm frustrated

      > Dr. Wallace: (and others)

      I think you are responding to something I probably (mis)stated or
      (mis)implied but did so in my ignorance. I warned you of me being an
      idiot. I'm not joking. But I'm not interested in all the billions of
      words being put into electronic form; I'm only interested in the GNT with
      all variants being in printed form!!

      I simply have to ask the following three questions.

      1. You state that the NET Bible is based on 5,700 mss (Reinventing Jesus
      chart). Can we assume that the NET committee has indeed reviewed these
      mss in some way or another? Clearly anyone reading your statement would
      conclude that the NET committee is aware of the variants in these 5,700
      mss. To ask it another way, Are there variants in these 5,700
      manuscripts that the committee is NOT aware of?

      2. Now, there are 400,000 total variants, but that includes versions and
      church fathers. So, your committee is aware of all the variants in the
      mss at least. Lets limit ourselves to these then.

      How have these variants been recorded and reviewed by the NET committee?
      Im assuming each variant has to be either included in the text of the
      NET or not. There has to be a LIST somewhere. Questions that come to mind
      are: Where is this list, who put it together, is it in printed form, etc.
      Please dont tell me that those on this committee are unaware of many
      variants in these mss!!

      3. You have personally counted 6,577 differences between the MT and CT
      (so bible.org article). I'm assuming that these differences/variants
      represent what would amount to the "significant" variants that the MT and
      CT committees have come up with. These 6,577 variants take into
      consideration more than just the 5,700 mss; they would include some
      church fathers and versions. I would say that you have personally SEEN
      all significant variants between these two printed texts. Is that right?

      I tried to ask a question on this list earlier but Dr. Willker rejected
      it. What I was looking for is a GNT that combines the MT and CT into a
      GNT with all variants IN THE TEXT. So, in this GNT, the text would be in
      black print, which represents every WORD that is the same in both the
      MT/CT texts. Whenever the MT differed from the CT, those words would be
      red (but still right in the text, not in any apparatus). Whenever the CT
      differed from the MT, those words would be blue, right in the text. I
      would then have a GNT with ALL variants deemed significant by all
      committees of either the MT or CT camps. I would then have a GNT with all
      the original words in the text. (I probably didnt word my question too
      well and hence Dr. Willker rejected it. You get use to that when you have
      my sin nature, something Ive learned to both live with and despise.)

      I consider myself one of your admirers and promise to let you get back to
      doing the great work you do. I know you really don't have time to answer
      questions from every nut case on the Internet. Thanks for whatever time
      you do have.

      Eddie Mishoe

      ----- End Original Message -----
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