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Re: [textualcriticism] Rev 22:19 - book of life - tree of life

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  • Schmuel
    Hi Folks, Hmmm... it is a bit surprising, apparently I hit a little nerve simply by taking the time to list various evidences for book of life . ron minton
    Message 1 of 55 , Aug 4 4:36 AM
      Hi Folks,

      Hmmm... it is a bit surprising, apparently I hit a little 'nerve' simply by
      taking the time to list various evidences for 'book of life'.

      ron minton -
      >These arguments for "tree"

      Hi Ron ...
      again, "book" is what you meant to put here.
      Common error here.

      > seem faith based, not fact based.

      No, with one exception the arguments themselves are simply facts. eg. ... we have
      about five early church writers who have "book of life" and so far none that have
      "tree of life". That is data .. the facts of the early church writers, what they actually
      wrote (or at least is extant in their manuscripts). There is nothing 'faith-based' in
      pointing this out, and asking if the data is accurate and complete.

      Apparently, what is your concern is that the **evaluation** of the significance of
      such facts might include a faith-based component. That is a different question
      entirely, and a reasonable question.

      And In fact there is an element of truth in your concern, and I have discussed
      this about three times in the thread in one context ... in the view of how one
      looks at the internal arguments.

      Those internal arguments here include the fact that "book of life" is a far more
      doctrinally sensible and consistent reading (we have not gone into this in depth),
      one that matches the doctrinal views in the commentary of Irenaeus as well ..

      And also the internal parallelism, or simile or synecdoche (I'm really not sure
      the best way to describe it :-) ) within the verse itself ... mess with the
      book of God, and you are not going to be written in the book of life.

      Presentations and evaluations of internal arguments generally have a anti-faith
      or pro-faith bias naturally included, it is simply unavoidable.

      One person may look at the Bible as consistent and accurate, the second person
      as erratic and errant. The second person clearly brings an anti-faith component
      to the table as his paradigmic base, the first one the inverse. It is difficult, even
      impossible, to find any true 'neutral' position.

      Which one is more proper ?

      Examples of this abound in use and potential abuse of lectio difficilior. It is the
      current popular a priori position, assumed as "scientific", that the original text
      was errant in many ways... geographical, logical, doctrinal inconsistency (that
      one applies here), grammatical, historical, time sequence, etc. And then later
      redactors 'corrected' those initial errors and blunders .. zap .. lectio difficilior .

      To not accept the a priori assumption of heavy-duty errancy is a view that, under
      the current paradigms of 'modern scientific textual criticism' will be attempted to
      be delegitimized, or at least marginalized, by the above accusation of 'faith-based'.

      However this built-in errancy was not the Reformation textual analysis view, and
      even a number of folks on this forum likely chaff from embracing such forced errancy
      (if they truly understand the issue of how it is built into modern scientific textcrit).

      So, if one must choose either an active anti-faith component or its inverse, (and true
      neutrality in evaluation is simply impossible), personally I will defer from accepting
      the anti-faith paradigm. And I will so state here, with a smile.

      Why should anyone be coerced into embracing an anti-faith
      paradigm in order to be a full participant in textual analysis ?


      (As an aside: when the TR was developed afaik lectio difficilior did not even exist
      as a principle. So that when we judge the *consistency* of the multiple TR compilers
      we have to be careful to really try to see what were their views, and not judge them by
      later standards and viewpoints, whatever our opinions of those standards. If in fact the
      Reformation Bible folks did not embrace the current popular anti-faith paradigms such
      as overuse of lectio difficilior, we should be very aware of that in our evaluation of their

      > One way to tell is to consider other passages where similar, but much greater evidence exists for non-TR or non-KJV readings.

      Sure, that would be fine.
      Please share away.

      However, again, lets be sure to understand the various paradigmic views in context.

      eg. modern textcrit really doesn't care much about the mass of later Greek Byzantine
      manuscripts, so it is surprising for them all of a sudden to be making that the sine qua
      none of a true original reading, as is being done with Rev 22:19 (note the 'green cheese'
      comment by another poster, not even taking multiple early church writers and early
      non-Greek attestations and internal evidences as remotely relevant)

      In fact, if Aleph and B agree on a reading (and there is no papyri against) modern textcrits
      will generally sluff off hundreds of the later Greek manuscripts as virtually irrelevant,
      and also sluff off the early church writer evidences (consider e.g. 1 Timothy 3:16 ..
      however there are many even far clearer examples, in terms of the great sluff-off )

      Anyway, that being said, I am always open to comparing views on different verses.
      Consistency is vital.

      e.g. an obvious verse that comes to mind is the Johannine Comma,
      generally sluffed off here, sometimes bitterly, yet with many of the
      identically important elements as Rev 22:19. Here are three.

      a) internal evidences
      b) early church writers
      c) Latin and other lines

      (Ironically, the Tepl has the Comma.. perhaps that is why
      it got the 'wild text' appellation from Metzger or somebody.)

      Anyway in comparison, one could say that the Johannine Comma is actually
      stronger than the "book of life" in internal evidences and early church writers,

      There are a lot of similarities in the Latin situation, with the added factor of the
      Prologue to the Canonical Epistles, which really does appear to be by Jerome

      Off the top of my head, this might be an example to which you were alluding above ?
      Share away any others.

      >In such cases, the same factual evidence often presents the necessity of choosing a text against the TR or KJV. Such is hard to do for a faith based text critic.

      I'm really not sure for what verses you believe the evidence demands such a necessity.
      Perhaps you could be specific :-)

      Steven Avery
    • Larry Swain
      ... No. ... Vulgar Latin as spoken and written in Gaul evolved into Old French and PROVENCAL, Gascon, and Occitan etc over the course of centuries. The first
      Message 55 of 55 , Jan 6, 2009
        Jovial wrote:

        >Are you kidding?<


        > I'm not sure exactly what time periods Gaulic Latin evolved into Old French / Provencial, but I would say that it's probably rather safe to assume that the Old Latin had the biggest influence on that region.<

        Vulgar Latin as spoken and written in Gaul evolved into Old French and PROVENCAL, Gascon, and Occitan etc over the course of centuries. The first bit of Old French we have evidence of is mid-9th century, the Oaths of Strasbourg, though the language that we could Old French would obviously be a bit earlier.

        But no, it is not safe to assume that it is Latin or VL Biblical texts that would be the biggest influence on Gaul in the second century CE. "Old Latin" as a linguistic designation refers to Latin of before 75 BCE, so "Old Latin" wouldn't be influencing Irenaeus in any case.

        For one thing, we don't know quite when or where the various Vetus Latina translations began, but our first solid evidence for such translations are in North Africa with Tertullian and the Scitillan Martyrs, not in Italy, esp. Rome, nor in Gaul.

        For a second thing, Gaul at this period was multi-lingual. The native Gaulish was still spoken and used, Latin was used for official functions and trade etc, and there were other Celtic speakers and Greeks. Irenaeus himself says he learned Gaulish with difficulty and seems to have preached in that language rather than in Latin. Further, the sixth century author, Gregory of Tours, when writing lives of the martyrs and saints for Gaul at this period (he believes Irenaeus a martyr)almost all those he describes have Greek names, a few with Latin names. Irenaeus wrote in Greek: all his writings have Greek as their original language. Taken together, this suggests that not only Irenaeus, but most of the Christian community which he knew were Greek, and if not Greek, knew Greek or spoke Gaulish, not Latin.

        For a third thing, Irenaeus's native language is Greek. He's from Asia Minor. He knew the Bible, the LXX and the early Christian writings in Greek. Why, and for that matter how, would a native Greek speaker who already knew these texts in Greek suddenly jettison all his knowledge and his native tongue in favor of a different language and translation of the texts he already knew? That doesn't make a lot of sense.

        And fourth, so far as I know, there isn't any evidence for Vetus Latina translations in Gaul at this period. It might be interesting as an exercise to compare the Latin translation of Irenaeus with VL readings when he cites Scripture, but ultimately that still would not demonstrate that Irenaeus himself knew and used Vetus Latina translations.

        >> Vulgate was after Irenaeus, but it was influenced by many of the same Old Latin readings as those in Lyon would have had access to.<<

        Not at all. By Jerome's day, 2 centuries after Irenaeus, there would have been a lot more Latin translations and they would have been disseminated more widely, particularly in the West since by this time the empire had pretty well split between Latin and Greek speakers. This is what made Jerome so valuable: he knew and could speak and read both languages. That's a rather significant change in the linguistic map of the empire and so reading the situation in Jerome's lifetime back into Irenaeus' is a problematic anachronism.


        >>One should be open to multiple possibilities when consulting how Church 'fathers' quote scripture, including the possibility they are paraphrasing from incomplete memory.<<
        One should also be open to following the evidence, and certainly nothing I've said on this subject should suggest to you that I'm not aware that many writers paraphrase or cite from memory, sometimes an incomplete or imperfect one.

        Larry Swain

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