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Acts 16:7 - The Spirit {Of Jesus}

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  • Bryan Cox
    Metzger expresses what is probably the opinion of the majority of textual critics today about this variation in Acts 16:7. He states that the phrase, the
    Message 1 of 6 , Sep 6, 2007
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      Metzger expresses what is probably the opinion of the majority of
      textual critics today about this variation in Acts 16:7. He states
      that the phrase, "the spirit of Jesus", was "so unusual that various
      attempts were made to modify it". Thus, some manuscripts have "the
      spirit of the Lord" or "the holy spirit".

      The Byzantine/Majority text appears to have dropped "of Jesus" from the
      phrase, leaving only "the spirit".

      I am curious if anyone knows of and could share, from a
      Byzantine/Majority text "supporter" perspective, any currently existing
      theories on this particular variant and how it might have resulted in
      the other readings.

      Thanks,
      Bryan Cox
      Plano, Tx
    • Bill Ross
      I m not knowledgeable of the details, but I believe that the Eastern and Western churches are largely identified/divided along the lines of whether or not the
      Message 2 of 6 , Sep 7, 2007
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        I'm not knowledgeable of the details, but I believe that the Eastern and Western churches are largely identified/divided along the lines of whether or not the "Holy Spirit" "proceeds" from the father or the father and the son - or something like that. This verse may have figured into that controversy.
         
        I put quotations around "Holy Spirit" because I think that in the Hebrew and the Greek, the word is "breath" not "spirit" as that word was not coined until the middle ages from the Latin word "spiritus" which just means breath. Hence, the verse would only be controversial in later times. Since breath was considered intelligent but communicable, one could have breath that was holy and divine, and communicate that to others by breathing. Hence, this would have not been a controversial situation:
         
        Joh 20:22  And when he had said this, he [Jesus] **breathed** on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye **the Holy Ghost [breath]**:
         
        "ghost" is Saxon for "breath."
         
        Bill Ross
      • Reid Lindner
        Hello Bryan, The external evidence of the text reading is extremely strong from a critical point of view. That said, I can only offer a pseudo-
        Message 3 of 6 , Sep 7, 2007
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          Hello Bryan,

          The external evidence of the text reading is extremely strong from a
          critical point of view. That said, I can only offer a pseudo-
          Byzantine-priority response in order to let you know what you might
          expect from that point of view:

          (1) The "spirit of Jesus" reading is not Lukan;

          (2) The "spirit of Jesus" is not a reading that scribes should have
          stumbled over (cf. Ph 1.19);

          (3) Simply "the spirit" without a modifier (without, e.g., "holy" or
          "of God" or "of the Lord," etc.) is actually more likely to cause a
          problem for scribes (cf. Lk 10.21 from a Byzantine-priority
          perspective or Ac 6.3 from a Byzantine-posteriority perspective,
          keeping in mind the chance of accidental dropping of a nomen sacrum,
          as likely in Ac 8.18);

          (4) The variations of the longer reading support the authentic nature
          of the shorter reading (cf. PNEUMA IHSOU, PNEUMA KURIOU in C*, PNEUMA
          TOU IHSOU in some MSS, PNEUMA TO hAGION in Epiph, PNEUMA CRISTOU in a
          couple Arm. MSS). These instances, from a possible Byzantine-
          priority perspective, are interpreted not as attempts to solve the
          apparent difficulty of "the spirit of Jesus" reading but rather as
          attempts to harmonize and expand the generally less usual reading of
          "the spirit" by itself to something more theologically "accurate,"
          interesting or appealing.

          Now if you want a genuine Byzantine-priority defense, Maurice
          Robinson might be the best one to contact.

          Reid Lindner
        • James Snapp, Jr.
          Bryan Cox, If I wanted to argue for TO PNEUMA, the argument would probably go something like this: (1) TO PNEUMA IHSOU is not a Lucan phrase. The unadorned
          Message 4 of 6 , Sep 7, 2007
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            Bryan Cox,

            If I wanted to argue for TO PNEUMA, the argument would probably go
            something like this:

            (1) "TO PNEUMA IHSOU" is not a Lucan phrase. The unadorned
            reference to "the Spirit," however, is reminiscent of Luke 2:27
            (where Simeon comes into the temple "EN TW PNEUMATI") and 4:1 (where
            Jesus is led "EN TW PNEUMATI" into the wilderness); see Lk. 4:14 and
            Acts 11:12 (where we see "TO PNEUMA" used) also.
            (2) Regarding nomina sacra, the tendency is generally toward
            expansion, not shrinkage.
            (3) We may borrow the reasoning that Metzger employs at 13:33 and
            elsewhere in TextComm ~ if either TO PNEUMA IHSOU or TO PNEUMA KURIOU
            or TO PNEUMA AGION were original, copyists would not have
            deliberately shortened the text so as to produce TO PNEUMA.
            (4) The combination of Byz+Sah+L+Ephraem indicates that the short
            reading persisted in different locales.
            (5) The testimony of D, gig, and Pesh is decreased when one
            considers how these witnesses, in the preceding verse, augment "Holy
            Spirit" into "Holy Spirit of God." After such a mouth-filling
            phrase, the simple reference to "the Spirit" would be a very tempting
            target for expansion.
            (6) Copyists may have surmised that by not repeating "Holy Spirit"
            as in 16:6, Luke must have meant some other spirit, and added "IHSOU"
            (or KURIOU or TO AGION) to make explicit the meaning which they
            perceived.
            (7) A copyist may have added "IHSOU" in order to eliminate any
            possibility, however remote, that readers might think that "the
            spirit" was some sort of territorial demon-principality/genius-spirit
            of Bithynia. (Does anyone know if the word is contracted here or
            not, in witnesses that normally contract PNEUMA?)
            (8) A copyist may have added "IHSOU" in order to make more explicit
            the distinction between the Spirit guiding Paul and the "spirit of
            divination" mentioned later in the chapter.
            (9) A copyist who contracted PNEUMA when it referred to the Holy
            Spirit, but not when it referred to human spirits, may have felt that
            it was necessary to make the divinity of the Spirit mentioned in 16:6
            a little more explicit, in order to settle the question of whether it
            should be contracted or not. (However, this might require that some
            copyists then /uncontracted/ the word while using it to refer to the
            Spirit of Jesus.)

            Yours in Christ,

            James Snapp, Jr.
            Minister, Curtisville Christian Church
            Tipton, Indiana (USA)
            www.curtisvillechristian.org/MarkOne.html
          • Schmuel
            Hi Folks, This is a verse where your understanding will be connected with your views of lectio difficilior and your overall view of Aleph and B versus the
            Message 5 of 6 , Jan 22, 2008
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              Hi Folks,

              This is a verse where your understanding will be connected with your
              views of lectio difficilior and your overall view of Aleph and B versus
              the majority Greek Byzantine text.   There were two excellent answers
              given to Bryan but I just want to add a bit more.

              This is a continuation from September :-) .

              Acts 16:7 (KJB)
              After they were come to Mysia,
              they assayed to go into Bithynia:
              but the Spirit suffered them not.

              Acts 16:7 (NASV)
              and after they came to Mysia,
              they were trying to go into Bithynia,
              and the Spirit of Jesus did not permit them;

              Bryan Cox -
              Metzger ... states  that the phrase, "the spirit of Jesus", was "so unusual that various attempts were made to modify it".  Thus, some manuscripts have "the spirit of the Lord" or "the holy spirit".

              First I would like to note John Gill.

              John Gill
              http://eword.gospelcom.net/comments/acts/gill/acts16.htm
              the Alexandrian copy, and Beza's most ancient copy, and some others, and the Vulgate Latin, Syriac, and Ethiopic versions read, "the Spirit of Jesus": so that it was not an evil spirit, or Satan, that hindered them, who sometimes did; but they were under the direction and guidance of the divine Spirit, called, in the preceding verse, the Holy Ghost;

              I give John Gill to show that textual theories can go both ways.  Gill is not seeing
              "Spirit of Jesus" as harder to be smoothed, but more as an expounding for a
              conjectured spiritual 'safety net'.  Apparently John Gill is not taking a textual stance,
              the expounding could be either Luke or later copyists.

              And note that Jim Snapp in giving his nine reasons, the last four overlap this idea,
              http://groups.yahoo.com/group/textualcriticism/message/3377

              Although Reid Lindner, in his also excellent and related four reasons, let that idea go by.
              http://groups.yahoo.com/group/textualcriticism/message/3376

              Both are thanked for truly excellent posts.

              Bryan Cox
              ...I am curious if anyone knows of and could share, from a Byzantine/Majority text "supporter" perspective, any currently existing theories on this particular variant and how it might have resulted in the other readings.

              Note that this part was covered in the posts above. However more can be shared.

              A good place to start, as often is the case, is in the Dean's office.

              He is less interested in 'how' one reading goes to another (personally I find those
              theories are often tailored to agenda and convenience, with either side takeable
              depending on what is to be demonstrated) but how the longer reading first arose
              -- as part of a pattern of corruptions.

              http://books.google.com/books?id=fX9CAAAAIAAJ&pg=PA288
              The Traditional Text of the Holy Gospels Vindicated & Established (p. 288) - Dean John Burgon
               
              Burgon calls this WH addition part of the "skeptical character of B and Aleph"

              Mentioning Matthew 3:16 and other verses as similar corruptions.  Keep in mind
              that sometimes the B and Aleph readings do not make the modern version texts.
              Also this is only one section amidst a fascinating part of the book, with similar
              sections.

              You would have to do a bit of research on each one to determine your own view
              of the analogous situations.   However for reference I will give you the KJB/TR
              verses, and the Dean note.  The Greek is in the page above. 

              (omission is in itself skeptical)

              Matthew 3:16
              And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water:
              and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God
              descending like a dove, and lighting upon him:

              (Matthew 1:18 - slurring the divine birth in Aleph and B)

              Matthew 1:18
              Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise:
              When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph,
              before they came together,
              she was found with child of the Holy Ghost

              (necessity of the Lord to suffer),

              Luke 24:46
              And said unto them,
              Thus it is written, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer,
              and to rise from the dead the third day:

              Matthew 19:16-17 - Omission of the title 'good' applied to our Lord

              Matthew 19:17
              And, behold, one came and said unto him,
              Good Master, what good thing shall I do,
              that I may have eternal life?

              And he said unto him,
              Why callest thou me good?
              there is none good but one, that is, God:
              but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments.

              And the omission of the ending of Mark as being of a similar nature.

              =======================================================

              There is one other element I would like to share.

              Dr. George Milligan in defending the Revision's longer reading says:

              Expository Value Of The Revised Version - p.99 (1917)
              "Acts 16:7... the striking reading, 'the Spirit of Jesus' (not simply as in the Authorized Version 'the Spirit') implies that the Holy Spirit had so taken possession of the Person of the Exalted Jesus that He could be spoken of as 'the Spirit of Jesus.'"

              Benjamin Wilkinson, pro-TR comments.

              http://kjv.benabraham.com/html/chapter-11.html
              The evident purpose of this change is to open the way to teach ideas of
              the Person of Jesus different from the generally accepted Protestant view.

              Benjamin couches this in the context of Trinitarian orthodoxy, however he
              does not discuss the distinction he would have to make with:

              Romans 8:9
              But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit,
              if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you.
              Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ,
              he is none of his.

              Philippians  1:19 -
              For I know that this shall turn to my salvation through your prayer,
              and the supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ,

              1Peter 1:11
              Searching what,
              or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify,
              when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ,
              and the glory that should follow.


              So for now I would put limited capital into the Wilkinson explanation,
              while allowing for a more complete exposition.

              ================================

              EARLY CHURCH WRITERS

              I think it would be an interesting endeavor to find most of the early church writer references.
              A lot of times the references tell you much more than the citations.  And I think sometimes
              the apparatus "double-dips" Jerome, by giving him the Vulgate reading, rather than his own
              specific writing.  Granted, this was likely an early text-line split.  From Münster :

              WH
              Origenlat Didymusdub Jerome Cyril

              TR
              Ephraem Epiphanius Chrysostom  (Ambrosiaster)

              Shalom,
              Steven Avery
              Queens, NY


            • George F Somsel
              I would hardly think that Gill was here making a text critical decision -- especially since it was really prior to the time that textual criticism became
              Message 6 of 6 , Jan 22, 2008
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                I would hardly think that Gill was here making a text critical decision -- especially since it was really prior to the time that textual criticism became prominent.  It is rather a homiletical comment somewhat akin to Matthew Henry's comment on the creation of woman from Adam's rib  (which I now understand derives from Jewish sources).

                That the woman was made of a rib out of the side of Adam; not made out of his head to rule over him, nor out of his feet to be trampled upon by him, but out of his side to be equal with him, under his arm to be protected, and near his heart to be beloved.

                Henry, M. (1996, c1991). Matthew Henry's commentary on the whole Bible : Complete and unabridged in one volume (Ge 2:21). Peabody: Hendrickson.

                It would be a mistake to mix textual criticism  with homily.

                george
                gfsomsel
                 
                … search for truth, hear truth,
                learn truth, love truth, speak the truth, hold the truth,
                defend the truth till death.
                 
                - Jan Hus
                _________


                ----- Original Message ----
                From: Schmuel <schmuel@...>
                To: textualcriticism@yahoogroups.com
                Sent: Tuesday, January 22, 2008 12:12:05 PM
                Subject: Re: [textualcriticism] Acts 16:7 - The Spirit {Of Jesus}

                Hi Folks,

                This is a verse where your understanding will be connected with your
                views of lectio difficilior and your overall view of Aleph and B versus
                the majority Greek Byzantine text.   There were two excellent answers
                given to Bryan but I just want to add a bit more.

                This is a continuation from September :-) .

                Acts 16:7 (KJB)
                After they were come to Mysia,
                they assayed to go into Bithynia:
                but the Spirit suffered them not.

                Acts 16:7 (NASV)
                and after they came to Mysia,
                they were trying to go into Bithynia,
                and the Spirit of Jesus did not permit them;

                Bryan Cox -

                Metzger ... states  that the phrase, "the spirit of Jesus", was "so unusual that various attempts were made to modify it".  Thus, some manuscripts have "the spirit of the Lord" or "the holy spirit".

                First I would like to note John Gill.

                John Gill
                http://eword. gospelcom. net/comments/ acts/gill/ acts16.htm
                the Alexandrian copy, and Beza's most ancient copy, and some others, and the Vulgate Latin, Syriac, and Ethiopic versions read, "the Spirit of Jesus": so that it was not an evil spirit, or Satan, that hindered them, who sometimes did; but they were under the direction and guidance of the divine Spirit, called, in the preceding verse, the Holy Ghost;

                I give John Gill to show that textual theories can go both ways.  Gill is not seeing
                "Spirit of Jesus" as harder to be smoothed, but more as an expounding for a
                conjectured spiritual 'safety net'.  Apparently John Gill is not taking a textual stance,
                the expounding could be either Luke or later copyists.

                And note that Jim Snapp in giving his nine reasons, the last four overlap this idea,
                http://groups. yahoo.com/ group/textualcri ticism/message/ 3377

                Although Reid Lindner, in his also excellent and related four reasons, let that idea go by.
                http://groups. yahoo.com/ group/textualcri ticism/message/ 3376

                Both are thanked for truly excellent posts.

                Bryan Cox
                ...I am curious if anyone knows of and could share, from a Byzantine/Majority text "supporter" perspective, any currently existing theories on this particular variant and how it might have resulted in the other readings.

                Note that this part was covered in the posts above. However more can be shared.

                A good place to start, as often is the case, is in the Dean's office.

                He is less interested in 'how' one reading goes to another (personally I find those
                theories are often tailored to agenda and convenience, with either side takeable
                depending on what is to be demonstrated) but how the longer reading first arose
                -- as part of a pattern of corruptions.

                http://books. google.com/ books?id= fX9CAAAAIAAJ&pg=PA288
                The Traditional Text of the Holy Gospels Vindicated & Established (p. 288) - Dean John Burgon
                 
                Burgon calls this WH addition part of the "skeptical character of B and Aleph"

                Mentioning Matthew 3:16 and other verses as similar corruptions.  Keep in mind
                that sometimes the B and Aleph readings do not make the modern version texts.
                Also this is only one section amidst a fascinating part of the book, with similar
                sections.

                You would have to do a bit of research on each one to determine your own view
                of the analogous situations.   However for reference I will give you the KJB/TR
                verses, and the Dean note.  The Greek is in the page above. 

                (omission is in itself skeptical)

                Matthew 3:16
                And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water:
                and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God
                descending like a dove, and lighting upon him:

                (Matthew 1:18 - slurring the divine birth in Aleph and B)

                Matthew 1:18
                Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise:
                When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph,
                before they came together,
                she was found with child of the Holy Ghost

                (necessity of the Lord to suffer),

                Luke 24:46
                And said unto them,
                Thus it is written, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer,
                and to rise from the dead the third day:

                Matthew 19:16-17 - Omission of the title 'good' applied to our Lord

                Matthew 19:17
                And, behold, one came and said unto him,
                Good Master, what good thing shall I do,
                that I may have eternal life?

                And he said unto him,
                Why callest thou me good?
                there is none good but one, that is, God:
                but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments.

                And the omission of the ending of Mark as being of a similar nature.

                ============ ========= ========= ========= ========= =======

                There is one other element I would like to share.

                Dr. George Milligan in defending the Revision's longer reading says:

                Expository Value Of The Revised Version - p.99 (1917)
                "Acts 16:7... the striking reading, 'the Spirit of Jesus' (not simply as in the Authorized Version 'the Spirit') implies that the Holy Spirit had so taken possession of the Person of the Exalted Jesus that He could be spoken of as 'the Spirit of Jesus.'"

                Benjamin Wilkinson, pro-TR comments.

                http://kjv.benabrah am.com/html/ chapter-11. html
                The evident purpose of this change is to open the way to teach ideas of
                the Person of Jesus different from the generally accepted Protestant view.

                Benjamin couches this in the context of Trinitarian orthodoxy, however he
                does not discuss the distinction he would have to make with:

                Romans 8:9
                But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit,
                if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you.
                Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ,
                he is none of his.

                Philippians  1:19 -
                For I know that this shall turn to my salvation through your prayer,
                and the supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ,

                1Peter 1:11
                Searching what,
                or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify,
                when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ,
                and the glory that should follow.


                So for now I would put limited capital into the Wilkinson explanation,
                while allowing for a more complete exposition.

                ============ ========= ========= ==

                EARLY CHURCH WRITERS

                I think it would be an interesting endeavor to find most of the early church writer references.
                A lot of times the references tell you much more than the citations.  And I think sometimes
                the apparatus "double-dips" Jerome, by giving him the Vulgate reading, rather than his own
                specific writing.  Granted, this was likely an early text-line split.  From Münster :

                WH
                Origenlat Didymusdub Jerome Cyril

                TR
                Ephraem Epiphanius Chrysostom  (Ambrosiaster)

                Shalom,
                Steven Avery
                Queens, NY





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