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Som 153-02 textual criticism – john 5--1-7

SOM-153 is the third class in the Missional Discipleship program of SEATS Schools of Missions. SEATS SOM Level 1, Track 2

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Som 153-02 textual criticism – john 5--1-7

  1. 1.
  2. 2. Textual Criticism – John 5:1-7<br />
  3. 3. In your readings for this past week you may have noticed that the NIV does not include John 5:3b-4 with the rest of the passage. Rather, it places those verses in a footnote and says, “Some less important manuscripts ….” What does this mean? Why is it not included in NIV but included in KJV/AV? <br />
  4. 4. The passage in full reads as follows(The italicised portions are included in the NIV footnote):<br />1 Some time later, Jesus went up to Jerusalem for a feast of the Jews. 2 Now there is in Jerusalem near the Sheep Gate a pool, which in Aramaic is called Bethesda and which is surrounded by five covered colonnades. 3 Here a great number of disabled people used to lie – the blind, the lame, the paralysed – and they waited for the moving of the waters. 4 From time to time and angel of the Lord would come down and stir up the waters. The first one into the pool after each such disturbance would be cured of whatever disease he had. 5 One who was there had been an invalid for thirty-eight years. 6 When Jesus saw him lying there and learned that he had been in this condition for a long time, he asked him, “Do you want to get well?” 7 “Sir,” the invalid replied, “I have no one to help me into the pool when the water is stirred. While I am trying to get in, someone else goes down ahead of me.”<br />
  5. 5. Imagine, if you will, your job as a Bible translator. Since your goal is to faithfully translate the word of God, you collect together all the copies, or manuscripts, of the Bible that you have. You also realise that since there were no Xerox machines for most of the history of the Bible, the copies you have will be handwritten. These handwritten copies will have been painstakingly copied by scribes throughout the years. While the scribes were very good at their jobs, sometimes problems would arise, as follows:<br />
  6. 6. Typographical errors would be made.<br />Notes or verses would be added to make the Bible easier to understand.<br />Words that the scribes thought wrong would be “corrected.”<br />Eg. “Gusto koangtubig” would be changed to “Gusto kongtubig” because it is more grammatically correct. However, it is also correct to use ang rather than ng, depending on the situation. <br />
  7. 7. Keeping all this in mind, you would want to find the oldest manuscripts you could to make sure that these copying mistakes would be eliminated. Imagine, then , after a few years, someone found some more manuscripts, that were older, and that were sometimes different from the ones you used before. What would you do? Did you know that this is what really happened?<br />
  8. 8. During the translation of the Bible into the King James Version (Authorised Version), the translators had a lot of manuscripts available to them. However, since the translation of the KJV in 1611, Bible scholars have discovered more manuscripts, some of them older than those used by the KJV. These “newly discovered” manuscripts form the basis for the NIV. The difficulty arises when manuscripts do not agree on what a verse says. Here is a summary of what the ancient texts say about John 5:3b-4. <br />
  9. 9. Texts without John 5: 3b-4<br />Texts with John 5:4<br />Name Date (Approx.)<br />p66 AD 100-299<br />p75 AD 200-299<br />a AD 300-399<br />B AD 300-399<br />C* AD 400-499<br />D AD 400-599<br />Wsupp AD 400-499<br />0125 AD 400-499<br />atbp.<br />Name Date (Approx.) <br />A AD 400-599<br />C3 AD 400-599<br />K AD 1000-1099<br />L AD 900-999<br />Xcomm AD 1000-1099<br />D AD 1000-1099<br />Q AD 1000-1099<br />Y AD 900-1099<br />063 AD 1000-1099<br />078 AD 1000-1099<br />atbp.<br />
  10. 10. Notice that the manuscripts that include 5:3b-4 are much older than the texts that omit it. What this chart does not tell you is that among those manuscripts that include these verses, there is a lot of disagreement. Some include all of it, others include different parts of it. Some include it but have “*” around it so that we know there is something unique about it – namely, that it may not be original. <br />
  11. 11. The translators of the NIV chose to omit the verse based on the evidence from the various manuscripts. <br />So, what does this mean for you, the Bible teacher who doesn’t read Greek? Can the Bible be trusted?<br />
  12. 12. The answer is, “Yes!” It can be trusted because there are people who work very hard making sure that the Bible we have in front of us is as close as possible to what the original writers wrote so many years ago. <br />
  13. 13. So, what do you do when someone asks you about it?<br />Explain the process a little bit.<br />Look to see if the verse teaches a major point of doctrine or theology.<br />Don’t base your theology upon questionable verses.<br />

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SOM-153 is the third class in the Missional Discipleship program of SEATS Schools of Missions. SEATS SOM Level 1, Track 2

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