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Thread: History of Bible Versions - Help

  1. #1

    Default History of Bible Versions - Help

    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/200...hart-help.html
    Mark
    Mark G. Vitalis Hoffman
    Professor of Biblical Studies
    Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettysburg
    ltsg.edu - CrossMarks.com
    Biblical Studies and Technological Tools

  2. #2
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    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

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Eddy View Post
    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!!!

  4. #4

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    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

  5. #5

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    Ditto the above. Stand, don't buckle.
    Dan Phillips
    Books:Web presence:
    tfo+[]l;w> hw"ßhy> tr:îAT-ta, vAr±d>li Abêb'l. !ykiähe ‘ar"z>[, yKiÛ

    s `jP'(v.miW qxoï laeÞr"f.yIB. dMeîl;l.W

  6. #6

    Default Bc-ad / Bce-ce

    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! 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 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.)
    Mark G. Vitalis Hoffman
    Professor of Biblical Studies
    Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettysburg
    ltsg.edu - CrossMarks.com
    Biblical Studies and Technological Tools

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    Quote Originally Posted by MGVH View Post
    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

  8. #8

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    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.
    Dan Phillips
    Books:Web presence:
    tfo+[]l;w> hw"ßhy> tr:îAT-ta, vAr±d>li Abêb'l. !ykiähe ‘ar"z>[, yKiÛ

    s `jP'(v.miW qxoï laeÞr"f.yIB. dMeîl;l.W

  9. #9

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    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 ...

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by MGVH View Post
    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/200...hart-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.
    Last edited by Greg Crawford; 09-17-2007 at 10:57 AM.

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