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Re: Ehrman Project: Eldon Epp and the original text - "it doesn't ma

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  • Peter Gurry
    Thanks for that reference, Dr. Holmes. I still struggle to see how the enormous plethora of variants overwhelms the hope of attaining the original text.
    Message 1 of 2 , Jul 16, 2012
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      Thanks for that reference, Dr. Holmes.

      I still struggle to see how the enormous plethora of variants overwhelms the hope of attaining the original text. Perhaps if Epp meant to say that the (poor) *quality* of the variants overwhelms this hope I could understand it. But I don't see how mere *quantity* does so, especially if the we're speaking logically. The number of variants simply has no bearing *as such* on the attainability of the original text. It seems to me that the only way the original (= authorial) text would be unattainable is if that text had dropped out of the transmission stream entirely. 

      Perhaps being a relative novice in the field has left me overly optimistic, but I find Holger Strutwolf to be much saner in his assessment of the problem: “The quest for the original text does not as such involve contradictions and logical impossibilities. The goal may be much harder to achieve than was believed before, but why should we not try to get as far back to the roots as possible?” (“Original Text and Textual History,” in The Textual History of the Greek New Testament: Changing Views in Contemporary Research, ed. Klaus Wachtel and Michael W. Holmes [SBL, 2011], 41).

      By the way, Prof. Holmes was perhaps too modest to mention it, but keep an eye out for his chapter on this very issue in the forthcoming 2nd edition of Metzger's Festschrift.

      Peter Gurry

      Web & Graphic Designer
      GurryDesign.com
    • ron minton
      Simple logic says if the original text ever existed (and it did), and if we do not have proof that it was destroyed before copies began to multiply (and we do
      Message 2 of 2 , Jul 16, 2012
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        Simple logic says if the original text ever existed (and it did), and if we do not have proof that it was destroyed before copies began to multiply (and we do not), then the original text is (as far as humans can know) still obtainable.  The real problem (in discovering the "original text") is that one could not know for certain that he had "the original NT text" if he indeed did have it.
        We can know, with the abundant evidence extant, that we can be more than 99.99% certain we have the "original text" - either in the text or the apparatus. 
        God, in his grace, did not allow the "original text" to be 100% certain for two reasons:
        1. Some would worship the text instead of Him - the author.
        2. He knew smart people like Drs. Epp and Holmes would need employment (think of it as job security).
        Ron Minton - Ukraine

        On Mon, Jul 16, 2012 at 9:37 PM, Peter Gurry <uspatriot@...> wrote: 

        Thanks for that reference, Dr. Holmes.

        I still struggle to see how the enormous plethora of variants overwhelms the hope of attaining the original text. Perhaps if Epp meant to say that the (poor) *quality* of the variants overwhelms this hope I could understand it. But I don't see how mere *quantity* does so, especially if the we're speaking logically. The number of variants simply has no bearing *as such* on the attainability of the original text. It seems to me that the only way the original (= authorial) text would be unattainable is if that text had dropped out of the transmission stream entirely. 

        Perhaps being a relative novice in the field has left me overly optimistic, but I find Holger Strutwolf to be much saner in his assessment of the problem: “The quest for the original text does not as such involve contradictions and logical impossibilities. The goal may be much harder to achieve than was believed before, but why should we not try to get as far back to the roots as possible?” (“Original Text and Textual History,” in The Textual History of the Greek New Testament: Changing Views in Contemporary Research, ed. Klaus Wachtel and Michael W. Holmes [SBL, 2011], 41).

        By the way, Prof. Holmes was perhaps too modest to mention it, but keep an eye out for his chapter on this very issue in the forthcoming 2nd edition of Metzger's Festschrift.

        Peter Gurry

        Web & Graphic Designer
        GurryDesign.com

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