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MGVH
09-12-2007, 05:31 PM
I just posted on my blog about a couple charts (Bible and Psalter) I've made depicting the history of the various versions.
I'm both offering them as help to you, but I'm also asking for any help if I've made any real blunder in my generalizing and oversimplification of a very complex topic. Thanks.
http://bibleandtech.blogspot.com/2007/09/bible-versions-chart-help.html
Mark

Mark Eddy
09-14-2007, 03:34 PM
Thank you for the chart. The only "real blunder" that I see is dating the Scriptures "C.E." (Common Era, for onlookers) rather than A.D. (Anno Domini, in the year of the Lord). The years of our calendar are based on the Advent of our Lord Jesus. Please honor the Son as you honor the Father by dating His Scriptures in relation to His coming.
In Christ,
Mark Eddy

Adelphos
09-14-2007, 04:54 PM
Thank you for the chart. The only "real blunder" that I see is dating the Scriptures "C.E." (Common Era, for onlookers) rather than A.D. (Anno Domini, in the year of the Lord). The years of our calendar are based on the Advent of our Lord Jesus. Please honor the Son as you honor the Father by dating His Scriptures in relation to His coming.
In Christ,

AMEN and AMEN!!!

SCSaunders
09-15-2007, 10:16 AM
MGVH,

You've been a huge help to me with all your blogs and posts, so I'm a bit uncomfortable with this - but I gotta agree.

This is one thing I personally wish Christian scholarship would buck the Overall Scholarship system on. Christian scholars preach from their pulpits for us people to stand strong and not replace the "Christ" of Christmas with "Winter-Break" nor the "Easter" of the resurrection with "Spring-Break." "Don't Conform" is their message. Buck the system.

However, us people then watch our scholarly-brothers-of-the-good-book remove all reference to Him from their history-dating system. To us, it seems to send a mixed message. That's all I'm trying to say.

As someone whose benefited from the christian scholars, but prefers to be number with the people:), I gotta concur with the suggestions above, go with BC & AD.

JMHO

Dan Phillips
09-15-2007, 01:27 PM
Ditto the above. Stand, don't buckle.

MGVH
09-15-2007, 08:43 PM
I certainly don't want to get in a fight about this, but I do have my reasons for using BCE/CE... and I am not ashamed to openly declare myself to be a Christian who is doing so.
If we really wanted to honor our Lord's birth in our year numbering, then, as you all doubtless know, we really should be 2010 or 2011 or something. Of course the BCE/CE doesn't address this problem either. So, if we really want to be Bible-based instead of using some 6th century AD/CE invention, then we should be using the Jewish calendar. September 12 was Happy New Year, 5768 (http://www.jewfaq.org/holiday2.htm)! But even if we want to approximate to the birth of Jesus, should we really be using the Gregorian calendar? Perhaps the Ethiopian Christians have it correct. September 12 was Happy New Year, 2000 (http://allafrica.com/stories/200709120941.html) according to their calendar!
More seriously, I understand my writings to be offered to more than just Christians. The BCE/CE annotation is the most widely accepted 'neutral' system. I perceive it as Christian arrogance to impose my BC/AD system on someone else without their assent. (NOTE: I am not charging those of you who want to use the BC/AD system as being arrogant if you are specifically addressing yourself to others within the Christian community. No problem there...) I know I wouldn't be particularly happy if I was forced to use the H/AH Islamic system, because someone was trying to make a point to me that Muslims have the true and proper way of viewing time. (It is now 1428 AH, if you are wondering.)
Bottom line: I think that the BC/AD system presents an impediment to my conversation with non-Christians. I am committed to doing that which serves the Gospel, and I simply don't think that BC/AD does that in my conversations that potentially extend outside the Christian community.
In any case, I think I understand and can appreciate those of you who have expressed different opinions. In my best discernment, I am doing what I think is good. (And I won't be replying again on this topic in this forum which was getting away from BW issues when I first started it.)

Adelphos
09-15-2007, 09:20 PM
I certainly don't want to get in a fight about this... The BCE/CE annotation is the most widely accepted 'neutral' system. I perceive it as Christian arrogance to impose my BC/AD system on someone else without their assent... I know I wouldn't be particularly happy if I was forced to use the H/AH Islamic system... Bottom line: I think that the BC/AD system presents an impediment to my conversation with non-Christians.

I'm not going to fight about it either, but your assumptions in my mind at least require an answer...

You are correct, the BCE/CE is the most widely accepted neutral system.

Personally, however, I'm not neutral, which is another way of saying, I'm not lukewarm, so the neutral system not only has no appeal to me, it is an offence to me, and I may say without fear of revocation that it is also an offence to the Holy Spirit within me, especially since the BCE/CE convention is a relatively recent appellation which was adopted specifically to do away with any reference to Jesus Christ.

Secondly, no one is forcing you to use either system, so I don't know where that assumption comes from. In this country, at least, you are free to use any system you like. The idea that it is being forced on you is puzzling, but perpaps you didn't mean it the way it sounds.

Finally, when I tell people that Jesus Christ is the way, the truth, and the life, and that no man cometh unto the Father but by him, it generally offends a great many people. So do many other truths of the gospel offend a great many people.

Fortunately for me, however, offending other people by speaking these truths is pleasing to Jesus Christ and his Father, especially since it is the Holy Spirit speaking within me who is actually doing the real offending, which is to say, it is really Almighty God Himself, even Jesus Christ, who is doing the true offending, for that is always what happens when the true Spirit of Christ comes into contact with the spirit of this world.

Also fortunately for some -- a remnant, actually -- is that the offence of these truths not only drives away the chaff (which is what the Holy Spirit always intends to do), but the few who remain are generally born into the kingdom of Jesus Christ by the mighty power of that same Holy Spirit because the offence of Jesus Christ and his cross were boldly proclaimed, and thus as a result of genuine conversions there is joy in heaven among the elect angels.

In short, if the gospel proclaimed doesn't offend it is not the gospel of Jesus Christ.

I'll close with a quotation which I love to present when the opportunity seems apropos, as it does here, and I won't address this thread again, at least not in this forum. If someone wants to discuss the matter in the non BibleWorks section, perhaps, but I'm not sure it's necessary since each must be persuaded in his own mind --

"To employ soft words and honeyed phrases in discussing questions of everlasting importance; to deal with errors that strike at the foundations of all human hope as if they were harmless and venial mistakes; to bless where God disapproves, and to make apologies where He calls us to stand up like men and assert, though it may be the aptest method of securing popular applause in a sophistical age, is cruelty to man and treachery to Heaven. Those who on such subjects attach more importance to the rules of courtesy than they do to the measures of truth do not defend the citadel, but betray it into the hands of its enemies. Love for Christ, and for the souls for whom He died, will be the exact measure of our zeal in exposing the dangers by which men’s souls are ensnared." George Sayles Bishop, Sermon, June 7, 1885

Dan Phillips
09-16-2007, 09:18 AM
My brief response, professor, would be that BC/AD has been standard for centuries. It's the BCE/CE that is the imposition, and it is part of a conscious effort to remove Christ from the public place. To use it — to my mind — is to cast one's vote in favor that imposition, in favor of of pretending that Jesus' birth either never happened, or was not the pivotal point of history. It is an act of concession.

Plus, it's dishonest. What shifted? We're still granting the countdown and the count-up. Count-down to what? Count-up from what? "Nothing," the politically correct invention responds, dishonestly.

I just don't see politically-correct retreat as a good start in evangelism.

SCSaunders
09-17-2007, 07:42 AM
MGVH,

This is WHY I don't like responding to posts for people asking for positive or negative feedback. Deep down, folks only want to the positive, which until now is all you've ever received from me. Go reread my post - I didn't flame you.

Ce la vie, deja vu, I've lived my lesson all over again.

However, my only point is that academicians play by different rules. Well reasoned and rationalized to themselves and among themselves, but nevertheless, a different set of rules. The last prof from the local seminary that spoke in our church told the entire congregation on missions Sunday (3 full services) ...
Our Christianity shouldn't be to "Christian."
He emphasized with his voice in a contemptible way the very word Christian, even used his fingers in the universal quotes sign
(At the time I was recalling the "I did not come to bring peace, but a sword" passage)
Furthermore, it is okay to Muslimize Christianity if it works for Muslims
Muslims converts need to be comfortable with their Christianity
This way they can still get along with his Muslim family members, by not offending them with Jesus
After all, we have our pile of book and they have theirs
The icing on the cake was then to offer pricing tickets to come to one of his classes [I didn't go]I didn't realize that a flow chart of Bible versions was intended for a wider audience than your students, one that included Muslims, etc.

With asking for responses to your work, I'm on the "shame on me" stage. Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice ...

Greg Crawford
09-17-2007, 10:06 AM
I just posted on my blog about a couple charts (Bible and Psalter) I've made depicting the history of the various versions.
I'm both offering them as help to you, but I'm also asking for any help if I've made any real blunder in my generalizing and oversimplification of a very complex topic. Thanks.
http://bibleandtech.blogspot.com/2007/09/bible-versions-chart-help.html
Mark

Hi Mark,

I don’t think your graphic accurately depicts the history of manuscript traditions. However, I offer that criticism with severe qualifiers. First, my understanding of the manuscript history is based on my understanding of Emmanuel Tov’s views. You may not agree with Tov; and Tov may not agree with my interpretation of his views! :)

My first criticism is that you have a rather broad bar entitled “pre-Masoretic Hebrew Texts”. I am not sure what you mean by “pre-Masoretic Hebrew Texts”. Is this for you the same as “proto-Masoretic” texts; namely, that family of manuscripts from the Second Temple period to which were added diacritical signs from about the ninth century, but which have remained largely unchanged in consonantal form from the Second Temple period? If so, then I think you have misrepresented the origins of the Septuagint, the Samaritan Pentateuch, and a number of the Dead Sea Scrolls. The Septuagint appears to have been translated from a different Hebrew vorlage than that of the Masoretic tradition (perhaps an earlier version of the OT), as has the Samaritan Pentateuch evolved from pre-Samaritan rather than proto-Masoretic Hebrew manuscript families. (Nevertheless, there appear to have been later revisions of the Septuagint in the direction of MT). Further, there is a whole category of Hebrew manuscripts amongst the Dead Sea Scrolls which does not appear to derive from any of these groups or families. The Dead Sea Scrolls appear to have been composed of five categories of manuscript tradition, of which the proto-Masoretic was only one. Further, the fifth category of "miscellaneous" hides further diversity. If “pre-Masoretic Hebrew texts” does not mean the same for you as “proto-Masoretic Hebrew texts”, then I think the concept of a unity, as represented by your broad bar, is a fiction.

Second, you have free-floating Greek “originals”. I am not sure whether you are implying that the Greek “originals” did not derive from some sort of Hebrew foundation.

Third, you have some free-floating Hebrew originals. Sooner or later one has to represent the scholarly clash, e.g., between the followers of Bauer, de Lagarde and later who propose a Hebrew Urtext; and those of Kahle, who maintain there never was one original Hebrew text.


Of course, I'm am open to correction and enjoy a good debate. :)

Greg

P.S. I think your use of CE rather than AD is appropriate. These texts are shared by Jews, Samaritans and Christians (at least). “AD” is a Christian confession of faith, which should not be imposed by the powerful from without, upon those for whom it has not come from within.

MGVH
09-17-2007, 08:45 PM
Thanks for your comments, Greg.
You have correctly identified some of the gross oversimplifications of the chart.
My "(pre-Masoretic) Hebrew Texts" is meant to cover that amalgam of texts that include proto-Masoretic as well as all the other flavors that get filtered down into the SamPent, DSS, and LXX. (That's why I use "textS" instead of "text.") As you note, there are all sorts of strands of which the proto-Masoretic is only one. So, rather than a fixed bar, I should probably use some kind of ragged edge shape to indicate the uncertain and composite nature of this groupings of texts.
My "Hebrew Original" was meant to indicate that somewhere in the hoary past, there was some kind of original autograph, and my chart does not try to define how they eventually end up in the "pre-Masoretic" pile of texts nor how they may have been edited.
My "Greek Original" was an attempt to acknowledge that some books of the LXX were originally written in Greek (2Macc?, WisSol, Esther additions, etc.) Same deal for the "Aramaic Original." (Daniel sections and parts fo Apocrypha?)

So with your comments in mind, I've updated the charts, and hopefully they are a bit more precise.
History of Biblical Versions.pdf (http://www.gettysburgseminary.org/mhoffman/OTinNT/resources/VersionsHistory.pdf)
History of Versions of the Psalter.pdf (http://www.gettysburgseminary.org/mhoffman/OTinNT/resources/VersionsHistoryPsalter.pdf)Thanks again for your helpful observations.
Mark

Dan Phillips
09-18-2007, 07:19 PM
P.S. I think your use of CE rather than AD is appropriate. These texts are shared by Jews, Samaritans and Christians (at least). “AD” is a Christian confession of faith, which should not be imposed by the powerful from without, upon those for whom it has not come from within.

How does that not amount to a tacit concession of unbelievers' position that the Bible is not one book, that it does not with one voice proclaim the same triune God in an unfolding manner?

Remember: this is a shift. BC and AD have been standard for centuries. Is the other more accurate? As you indicate, no; it is a concession to unbelief.

But I really, really believe that the Bible is as Jesus said, retrospectively and prospectively. So where would my motivation be for bailing on the more truth-oriented convention?

And what was it that made this the "common era"?

Your point about imposition by "the powerful" may contain a grain of truth. But I think you've mis-identified the imposers.

Greg Crawford
09-19-2007, 12:34 AM
Tempted as I am to debate your assertions :), this is a side issue to the valid questions that Mark has raised about textual groupings and translations. You have taken the discussion into individual preferences of theology; ones which I personally, though a Christian, could not assent to. However, this forum is not really the place to have a theological debate. So let us stay with the matter of textual groupings and translations.



How does that not amount to a tacit concession of unbelievers' position that the Bible is not one book, that it does not with one voice proclaim the same triune God in an unfolding manner?

Remember: this is a shift. BC and AD have been standard for centuries. Is the other more accurate? As you indicate, no; it is a concession to unbelief.

But I really, really believe that the Bible is as Jesus said, retrospectively and prospectively. So where would my motivation be for bailing on the more truth-oriented convention?

And what was it that made this the "common era"?

Your point about imposition by "the powerful" may contain a grain of truth. But I think you've mis-identified the imposers.

Adelphos
09-19-2007, 09:50 AM
Tempted as I am to debate your assertions :), this is a side issue to the valid questions that Mark has raised about textual groupings and translations. You have taken the discussion into individual preferences of theology; ones which I personally, though a Christian, could not assent to. However, this forum is not really the place to have a theological debate. So let us stay with the matter of textual groupings and translations.

Actually, textual groupings and translations is no more appropriate for the BibleWorks forum than is a theological debate.

Mark's entire proposal, which requested feedback for a bible chart he constucted, though accommodated, was as entirely inappropriate for this forum as any theological debate might be, especially since the construction of a bible chart is as easily a theological issue as any other, especially seeing as how it invovles a great deal of interpretation, much of which is highly disputed.

So if you want to be technical and remain within the guidelines of the forum, take the advice you gave to Dan and apply it to yourself.

MGVH
09-19-2007, 01:01 PM
My bad. You are right, Scott. If I had been thinking when I first started this thread, I realize now that I should have posted it in the "Non-BW Discussion Forum."
I wanted some feedback, and I did receive some helpful advice.
BW moderators should either move this thread to that forum, lock it, or delete it.
Thanks. Mark

Adelphos
09-19-2007, 01:59 PM
My bad. You are right, Scott. If I had been thinking when I first started this thread, I realize now that I should have posted it in the "Non-BW Discussion Forum."
I wanted some feedback, and I did receive some helpful advice.
BW moderators should either move this thread to that forum, lock it, or delete it.
Thanks. Mark

Personally, I have no problem with you posting here. Technically it should go in the Non-BW discussion area, but I don't see it as a big deal.

My problem is with someone who insist on being a stickler for rules, but who demonstrates a clear bias as to how those rules should be enforced.

For the record, I don't really care about a rigid insistence on these demarcations. I disagree with you on a number of things you've posted, and though no one else may believe this, God is my witness that I have purposely not responded to other educational posts you've displayed here simply because I don't care to debate them.

But I personally have absolutely no problem whatsoever with you posting them here.

Greg Crawford
09-20-2007, 02:18 AM
[quote=Adelphos;12233]Actually, textual groupings and translations is no more appropriate for the BibleWorks forum than is a theological debate.

I think a simple test can be applied to determine the appropriateness of a discussion on the BibleWorks forum. Does it deal with the use of the resources supplied as part of BibleWorks? “Textual criticism” and “Manuscripts” are two of the menu items under the “Resources” menu and these areas are being continually expanded by the use of more modules; and databases supplied by scholarly volunteers. There are a number of resources for New Testament textual studies and hopefully there will be more coming on Hebrew Bible textual studies soon. The subject matter of textual criticism is anchored in the study of objective material, namely, the texts and the demonstrable similarities and dissimilarities between them– something that can be shown by using the ever-expanding range of tools in BibleWorks. While scholars will sometimes have differences of opinion, the debate is always anchored in the objective material – the manuscripts themselves – and must constantly return to them.

Contrast this with someone’s beliefs, either concerning their personal faith, or about the labeling of the dating system. If someone “really, really believes” something, I can no more debate that with them, than debate what is their favorite color. What tool in BibleWorks is used in regard to debating such issues? None.

Consider a practical example. The Hebrew Bible is shared by Jews and Christians. I imagine that Jewish people are using BibleWorks for their studies as well, and study of the Hebrew Bible is greatly enhanced by both groups working cooperatively together. How good it is for Christians and Jews to be able to work together in this field! Is a Jewish person who does not adopt the AD dating system, with its implicit confession of Christian Faith, to be bullied for using CE instead of AD? That is hardly the kind of sensitivity and gentleness one would expect from true Christians. The AD dating system has been used for hundreds of years in the West, most probably because of notions of “Christendom”, where State powers ensured that people adhered to particular forms of faith. Dukes and kings exiled people who did not conform even to particular forms of faith within Christianity. So anchored was the AD dating system within the Christian church and its various beliefs that Protestants and Catholics at times had different dates for the same day. Those days have gone and the modern world is a multi-faith one with freedom of religion. In today’s universities, the BCE/CE dating system is the norm. No doubt the change is still shaking some people out of their comfort zone, because it has always been comfortable for Christians to have their faith endorsed by the State in the West. You may wish to debate this, but I come back to my question above. What tool or resource in BibleWorks provides an answer to this question? If the answer is none, then I do not think it is a valid topic for discussion in the forum. On the other hand, if Mark creates a chart which attempts to graphically represent say New Testament textual groupings; we can go to the resources like Comfort and Barrett within BibleWorks to discuss the chart’s value.

Glenn Weaver
09-20-2007, 09:26 AM
Hi Mark and others,

This item really is off topic for this forum. But the content is useful for Biblical studies.

Further discussion of the CONTENT should go into the non-BW forum.

However, Mark, why not create a new BW Timeline that includes this material. (One advantage of this is that the user specifies the dating nomenclature. :-> )

Or if not a timeline, why not an HTML Help file that could be included as a user-created module in BibleWorks?

Just some food for thought. Thanks for making this information available to BW users, Mark.

Blessings,
Glenn

Adelphos
09-20-2007, 12:02 PM
“Textual criticism” and “Manuscripts” are two of the menu items under the “Resources” menu and these areas are being continually expanded by the use of more modules; and databases supplied by scholarly volunteers. There are a number of resources for New Testament textual studies and hopefully there will be more coming on Hebrew Bible textual studies soon. The subject matter of textual criticism is anchored in the study of objective material, namely, the texts and the demonstrable similarities and dissimilarities between them– something that can be shown by using the ever-expanding range of tools in BibleWorks. While scholars will sometimes have differences of opinion, the debate is always anchored in the objective material – the manuscripts themselves – and must constantly return to them.

Textual criticism discussions are exactly the type of discussions that have been banned from BW forums in the past because such discussions are so highly disputed, and the data from Comfort & Barrett and many other text critical sources in BW are likewise highly disputed. The purpose of the BW forums is to advance the know-how of extracting information from BW and on the actual functionality of the BW program, thereby enhancing the user's ability to extract the information he desires from all of BW's many resources, such as the text critical sources, but the purpose of these forums is NOT on how to intepret the data that has been extracted, and thereby imposing those interpretations on others. Those are two entirely separate disciplines.


How good it is for Christians and Jews to be able to work together in this field! Is a Jewish person who does not adopt the AD dating system, with its implicit confession of Christian Faith, to be bullied for using CE instead of AD? That is hardly the kind of sensitivity and gentleness one would expect from true Christians.

The BW Timeline is delineated in BC and AD, and as of yet nobody has raised a single objection to it.

And your statement about "true Christians" is exactly the opposite of the way "true Christians" act when Jesus Christ is shunted aside in favor of a false peace and a false ecumenism, or a "working together" as you call it, especially since removing all references to Jesus Christ was the actual purpose of abandoning the BC/AD convention in the first place.

Nor is your assumption that someone is being "bullied" when employing the BC or AD convention valild, as it can easily be turned around and asserted that the Christian is being "bullied" when forced to adhere to the BCE/CE system. I wonder if you ever think through your assumptions. Certainly doesn't appear so.

And since YOU brought up the terminology of what makes a true Christian and what doesn't, let me inform you that the Holy Spirit himself testifies that true Christians don't compromise when Jesus Christ is shunted aside, which is just one of the reasons Jesus stated that he didn't come to bring peace on the earth but a sword, and anyone who has actually read and understood the NT would realize that compromise on Jesus Christ is not only not true Christianity, but is in fact anathema in Jesus Christ's eyes.

Adelphos
09-20-2007, 03:51 PM
Soooo....how 'bout them Cubs? :rolleyes:

Well, Bob, I generally enjoy your posts, but I can see right now that I'm going to have to consider you a serious combatant, for it is the Atlanta Braves that deserve the support of all loyal BW users, and those infernal Cubs, well, they can be... darned! ;)

Greg Crawford
09-21-2007, 01:21 PM
[quote=Adelphos;12249]Textual criticism discussions are exactly the type of discussions that have been banned from BW forums in the past because such discussions are so highly disputed, and the data from Comfort & Barrett and many other text critical sources in BW are likewise highly disputed.

Perhaps you should take this up with the BibleWorks people! LOL. Frankly, I have no desire to discuss this with you further.