Heinz Schmitz's Response to Lynn Lundquist's "The Tetragrammaton and the Christian Greek Scriptures"
"A son honoreth his father, and a servant his master: if then I
am a father, where is mine honor? and if I am a master, where is my fear? saith
Jehovah of hosts unto you, O priests, that despise my name." Malachi 1:6,
American Standard Version
Lynn Lundquist has undergone a major work (at http://www.tetragrammaton.org) addressing, and criticizing the New World's Translation insertion / addition / interpolation / substitution / restoration of the Divine Name "Jehovah" in the New Testament. I will try as best as I can to respond to this voluminous work by Lundquist. I realize also that Greg Stafford and Hal Fleming have also responded. I am privy to what Brother Fleming has written, but not Brother Stafford. I hope there will be no overlapping, and any that is would be quite unintentional.
Also, we will see, that by Lundquist's criteria of accuracy, few Bibles would pass his test of accuracy in regard to Divine Names and titles.
P. 23 After quoting Wilbur Pickering's statement on the negligence of copyists lengthening or shortening as they please, Mr. Lundquist goes on to say,
"As ones who love and respect God's written word, we would strongly denounce any attempt to alter Scripture. We would correctly demand a faithful reproduction of God's revelation by both the scribal copyists in early centuries and a translator's rendering of the text into another language today."
This is one tactic Lundquist uses to undermine the addition of the Divine Name in the NWT-NT, especially as the Name does not appear in the earlier Alexandrian mss.
Choosing Pickering's statement is an interesting choice, as he is an advocate of the later Byzantine text as opposed to the earlier Alexandrian texts, and points out that most errors were introduced into the mss within the first two centuries. (See The New Testament Text, p. 108)
Commenting on Pickering, D.A. Carson points out,
"Errors were not added one per generation, generation by generation, but wholesale, as it were." The King James Version Debate, p. 115
It is this dramatic "wholesale" error/change that I will try to focus on, and the reasons, whether theological or even, anti-semitic, that I will bring up later.
P. 51 Lundquist:
"It is particularly interesting to note the variety of English words used by the New World Translation for the 714 occurrences of the word Kyrios throughout the Christian Greek Scriptures."
Of these, some examples are: Lord, Jehovah, master, sir, owners, and in one situation, God.
The word Kyrios and the Hebrew equivalent, adon, has always held a variety of meanings, as the following helps us to realize from Vine's Dictionary of Bible Words:
properly an adjective, signifying "having power" (kuros) or "authority," is used as a noun, variously translated in the NT, "'Lord,' 'master,' 'Master,' 'owner,' 'Sir,' a title of wide significance, occurring in each book of the NT save Titus and the Epistles of John. It is used (a) of an owner, as in Luke 19:33, cp. Matt. 20:8; Acts 16:16; Gal. 4:1; or of one who has the disposal of anything, as the Sabbath, Matt. 12:8; (b) of a master, i.e., one to whom service is due on any ground, Matt. 6:24; 24:50; Eph. 6:5; (c) of an Emperor or King, Acts 25:26; Rev. 17:14; (d) of idols, ironically, 1 Cor. 8:5, cp. Isa. 26:13; (e) as a title of respect addressed to a father, Matt. 21:30, a husband, 1 Pet. 3:6, a master, Matt. 13:27; Luke 13:8, a ruler, Matt. 27:63, an angel, Acts 10:4; Rev. 7:14; (f) as a title of courtesy addressed to a stranger, John 12:21; 20:15; Acts 16:30; from the outset of His ministry this was a common form of address to the Lord Jesus, alike by the people, Matt. 8:2; John 4:11, and by His disciples, Matt. 8:25; Luke 5:8; John 6:68; (g) kurios is the Sept. and NT representative of Heb. Jehovah ('Lord' in Eng. versions), see Matt. 4:7; Jas. 5:11, e.g., of adon, Lord, Matt. 22:44, and of Adonay, Lord, Matt. 1:22; it also occurs for Elohim, God, 1 Pet. 1:25."
And McKenzie's Dictionary of the Bible under the heading, "Lord:"
"The use of kyrios in the Synoptic Gospels...is also a designation of God in quotations from the LXX or as a substitute for the name of God, and in the common profane sense of owner or master." p. 517
Of further note is the lexical evidence pointing to Kyrios as YHWH:
"In the NT, likewise, KURIOS, when used as a name of God...most usually corresponds to hwhy Jehovah, and in this sense is applied." A Greek and English Lexicon to the New Testament, by J. Parkhurst, revised ed. of 1845, p. 347
A Greek English Lexicon of the New Testament by J.H. Thayer, 1889 ed., p.365 says inder Kurios: "c. This title is given a. to God, the ruler of the universe (so the Sept. for adonai, eloah, elohim, Jehovah and Jah)."
A Greek-English Lexicon, by Liddel and Scott, 1968 ed., on p. 1013, under Kurios: "B....4. O KURIOS, = Hebr. Yahweh, LXX Ge. II. 5, al."
This is what we should remember. When asked as to why he defends the NWT, even when it uses "Jehovah" in the NT, Professor Jason Beduhn replies that it is merely a substitute, much like most Bibles substitute "LORD" for YHWH in the OT.
The Divine Name certainly falls within the dictionary, lexical (see above) and semantic range of Lord/Kyrios, and that is why many other versions/translations have seen fit to also include the Name in their NT's. See:
Bibles with a Form of God's Name and
Comprehensive List of Occurences of the Divine Name in the New Testament
I have printed out about 500 pages of material from your site, Mr. Lundquist, and frankly I would have been more impressed if you had addressed your concerns against mainstream Bibles that have allowed tradition, and not the Hebrew to influence their decision in this regard. To me, the crime and focus should be on those who have removed this Name 6828 times, not on those who seek to restore it. But more on this further down.
All Hebrew versions trace their source to ancient Greek manuscripts of the Christian Greek Scriptures. (The only exception is J 9 which comes from the Latin Vulgate.) Inasmuch as these versions were published in the 16th century and later, we are able to verify the Greek text used as their source. In 223 instances, the Greek word Kyrios (), rather than the Tetragrammaton, is found in the Greek text. The Tetragrammaton used in these Hebrew translations was never derived from hwhy in the Greek text.
The Greek texts and many modern Bible versions in circulation now are based on an eclectic text. Daniel Wallace is heavily involved with the NET Bible, and though he uses the Nestle-Aland Greek text, he disagrees with it in about 500 places. Wallace calls this position reasoned eclecticism. When the NWBTC committee deviated from their source text (W/Hort), this was not to supplant this text and neither were they saying that the Hebrew versions were consistently more accurate, just as Wallace would never say that the later Byzantine or TR text is consistently better, but there are instances where they are useful. For the NWT to include the Tetragrammaton from these versions is, based on the facts, reasoned eclecticism.
We realize that the Name does not appear in the two major Alexandrian texts, and we do not hide that fact, as seen from our production of the Westcott and Hort Text. We also know, as seen above, that the Divine Name falls within the semantic, lexical and dictionary range of Kyrios. In fact, each subsequent release of Nestle-Aland's Greek text allows for more readings from a later tradition, thus moving away from the older Alexandrian text. Most Greek manuscripts in existence are of the later Byzantine tradition (also called the Majority Text) that contain many embellishments in certain areas as opposed to the older Alexandrian text. Where do these come from? The debate rages on.
Is relying on Versions for how we translate the Divine Name solely an NWT practice. No it is not. Take note:
"In regard to the divine name YHWH, commonly referred to as the Tetragrammaton, the translators adopted the device used in most English versions of rendering that name as "LORD".." New International Version Preface
The RSV, NRSV and the Good News Bible read much the same, along with note indicating an incorrect understanding of the ancient LXX.
Most others appeal to tradition, not on any text, for their exclusion of the Divine Name.
Yet it seems that the NWT is always unfairly singled out in its zeal to promote the name of the almighty God Jehovah.
P.86, 91 and 104
...our understanding of the limit of inspiration leads us to a single conclusion. No supplementary information can be added to the inspired revelation of the Christian Greek Scriptures beyond that which was written by the inspired Christian writers themselves. This is the reason why we categorically dismiss the writings of Joseph Smith, the Gnostic Gospels, or even the early non-canonical writings of the Christian congregation as being outside the limit of inspiration.
To accept late Hebrew translations as a higher authority than the best preserved Greek manuscripts from which they were translated violates our understanding of the canon of the Christian Greek Scriptures. The New World Translation cites only 12 Greek manuscripts and eight early versions in support of the Greek word Kyrios ( Kuvrio") in the 237 Jehovah passages. On the other hand, the United Bible Societies' Greek New Testament actually cites 754 Greek manuscripts, 86 versions, and 149 lectionaries in support of the Kyrios passages within the Christian Greek Scriptures. In all, there are a total of over 5,000 extant Christian Greek manuscripts.
We fully acknowledge that the transmission of the Sacred Scriptures was under the careful plan and supervision of Jehovah. Nonetheless, there was an apparent randomness in the method he used to preserve these texts. The accuracy of the various texts which have been safeguarded, and their geographical location which made preservation possible, were random events. On the other hand, removal of all traces of the Tetragrammaton would, of necessity, have been a deliberate and planned undertaking. It would represent a statistically impossible series of events for the Tetragrammaton to have been removed from copies of the original writings, leaving no trace of that heresy today.
I think the question that everyone SHOULD be asking, is why has the Divine Name, used in the Hebrew text 6828 times, more than all other divine titles put together, and more than any other name,... completely disappeared?
Regarding the Hebrew versions, one scholar writes"
"Supposing a Christian scholar were engaged in translating the Greek Testament into Hebrew, he would have to consider, each time the word Kurios occurred, whether there was anything in the context to indicate its true Hebrew representative; and this is the difficulty which would arise in translating the N.T. into all languages if the title Jehovah had been allowed to stand in the [LXX]." Synonyms of the Old Testament, Girdlestone, p. 43
Moving along though, any discussion on textual criticism inevitably involves including the Ante-Nicene Fathers (hereafter, ANF). How did they feel about God's name?
"God has no name, for everything that has a name is related to created things." Aristides (c. 125, E) 9.264
"He has many virtues as are distinctive to a God who is called by no proper name." Justin Martyr (c. 160, E), 1.165
"To the Father of all, there is no name given" Justin Martyr (c. 160, E), 1.190
"As to the name of God the Father and Lord of the universe,... if anyone dares to say that there is a name, he raves with hopeless madness." Justin Martyr (c. 160, E) 1.183
"God cannot be called by any proper name. For names are given to mark out and distinguish various subject matters, because these matter are many and diverse. However, no one existed before God who could give Him a name, nor did He Himself think it right to name Himself. For He is one and unique... On this account, He said to Moses, "I am the Being." By the participle *being,* He taught the difference between the God who is and the gods who are not. Justin Martyr (c. 160, E), 1.281
"If we name Him, we do not do so properly." Clement of Alexandria (c. 195, E) 2.464
"The name of God the Father had been published to no one." Tertullian (c. 198, W) 3.682
"Neither must we ask for a name of God. God is His name. We have no need of names when a multitude are to be separated into individuals...To God, who is alone, the name "God" is the whole. Mark Minucius Felix (c. 200, W) 4.183
"We say the name Sabaoth, Adonai, and the other names treated with so much reverence among the Hebrews, do not apply to any ordinary created things. Rather, they belong to a secret theology concerning the Framer of all things." Origen (c. 248, E), 4.407
"Christians in prayer do not even use the precise names that divine scriptures applies to God." Origen, 4.653
"God's own name also cannot be declared, for He cannot be conceived....For the name is the significance of whatever thing can be comprehended from a name." Novatian, 5.615
"Neither must you ask the name of God. God is His name. Where a multitude is to be distinguished by the appropriate characteristics of names, there is a need of names. However, to God - who alone is - belongs the whole name of God." Cyprian 5.467
Here, despite the fact that the Name occurs so many times in the Hebrew text, there is evident hostility towards the name. Is it because of the Name's association with the Jews the early Christians were trying to disassociate and distinguish themselves from?
"the Torah is not the itself the name of God but the explication of the Name of God. To him (the Kabbalist] meant exactly what it meant for Jewish tradition, namely the tetragrammaton YHWH. And this is the true meaning of "God's Torah." on The Meaning of the Torah/On the Kaballah and Its Symbolism, by Gershom Scholem, p.42
The Jews and the Name were solidly bound together. Perhaps, this is why the ANF were not only hostile to the Name, but to the people of the Name.
"In Christian sources, the charge of Jewish hate is unrelieved. St. Justin (A.D. 100-65), in his Dialogue with Trypho, returns again and again to the point. On one occasion he confronts Trypho the simple declaration, 'You hate and (wherever you have the power), you kill us." Tertullian (c. A.D. 155-c. 222) labels Jews 'the seed-plot of all calumnies against us;' and in the early fourth century, Emperor Constantine (A.D. 306-37) said, 'Let us have nothing to do with the most hostile Jews.'
Taken from many available accusations, these few samples convey the seriousness of the charge. The answer has been made that the accusers, having entertained few relations with real Jews, constructed a theological abstraction having little relation to reality."
What did this lead to?
"In steering a course between the extremes of Judaeo-Christianity and the anti-Judaism of Marcion and the Gnostics, that Church had to prove to the gentiles - and to the Jews - that it was the true Israel, that Judaism was a pretender that refused to abdicate a lost kingdom - and all this from Judaistic sources....Exegetical disputes inevitably arose between the apologists and the rabbinate. The latter accused the former of mutilating the text of the Septuagint...and replaced it with several new Hebrew translations. Christian polemicists countered with charges of textual suppressions by the Jews." Anguish of the Jews, Edward Flannery, p. 32
Do you see that the fighting between the two factions initially involved allegations of textual corruption?
The move away from Judaism, the formation of a new religion and the great apostasy foretold in the NT was enough fuel to create "wholesale" changes in the text. This was helped in part by the abbreviations of divine names and titles. You recommend the Book, The Jesus Papyrus by Carston Thiede, which says:
"With the first Greek manuscripts of the Old Testament, YHWH acquired the visible form of an abbreviation - initially, because the Hebrew consonants were inserted in the Greek text wherever "God" appeared. This custom was continued into the Middle Ages and had its variations, which made the abbreviating nature of the exercise more obvious - such as writing only the first letter of the Hebrew word yod, doubling to to look like a twinfold z and drawing a horizontal bar through the middle of both letters. A find from Qumram dating from the period just before the 'birth' of the first Christian texts documents the use of Greek rather than Hebrew letters to abbreviate God's unpronounceable name.
In a fragmentary Greek papyrus scroll discovered in Cave 4 - Pap4QLXXLev b, with parts of Leviticus - "God" is written neither with the full Greek word theos nor with the Greek translation of Adonai, kyrios ('Lord'), but with the Greek vowels alone (!) iota/alpha/omega, to sound something like Ya-oh or Ya-ho. In brief, by the time the first Christians wrote their own Greek manuscripts rather than copying Old Testament texts, they were already accustomed to the concept of contracting the name and title of God. We do not know if kyrios was already contracted as this earliest stage, the period of the scrolls. It could have been abbreviated in Greek consonants (KS) or with the Hebrew tetragrammaton or with the Greek vowels IAO. But we have no direct Christian manuscript evidence of this word dating from this period. However, if the identification and reconstruction of 7Q4 as 1 Timothy 3:16 - 4:3 is any indication of standard practice, the word 'God' itself, theos, was apparently not abbreviated, nor was another extant nomen sacrum...Let us suppose then, that the first (Jewish)-Christian scribes initially did what they had always done as Jews, resisting the temptation - if temptation it was - to break with the traditional practice.
As we see above, in fact, as we see often, divine titles are usually abbreviated. But the Divine Name is substituted for a circumlocution. We will come back to this later.
Let us continue on with Thiede, and let's take note of the following "wholesale" change:
"Suddenly, however, all of this changed. Almost at a stroke, at the beginning of the second phase of transmission, the phase of the codex. 'holy names' were being abbreviated in Christian papyri....this was also the period when Jews and Christians were becoming estranged, beginning with the killing of St. James...This was the moment for the scribes to make a statement - a statement of faith. It was no longer necessary to show diplomatic or missionary consideration for Jewish sensitivities. Christian documents could begin to assert unequivocally the divinity of Jesus. It was a final step, from oral preaching via the more cautious scroll documents to the boldly unambiguous handwritten signs in the oldest codex and its successors: Jesus Christ is Lord and God." p. 143
From reading your book, you seem to think the removal of the Divine Name must be a gradual change, but as we see above, by Thiede's and Carson's comments, the changes took place abruptly. Couple this anti-semitism with the neo-Platonic thought rampant amongst the ANF (Plato's trinity included a NAMELESS 'ONE') and you have enough of a push for change. The one thing that I have learned while studying textual criticism, is that corruption happened almost immediately. As you said:
"For a heresy of this magnitude to take place so soon after the Apostles' deaths is most difficult to believe?"
Exactly how many mss do we actually have that can be dated within one generation of the Apostles? Very few, and even they are disputed.
G. D. Kilpatrick states in his Etudes de Papyrologie Tome Neuvieme that between the periods 70-135 C.E. that there were three major changes in the transmission of the text. The change from scroll to codex, the tetragrammaton was replaced by Kyrios and nomina sacra (sacred names) were abbreviated. See pp. 221, 222
You have provided a list of manuscripts, a list that is also available to anyone who has the Nestle-Aland or UBS Greek text. But even the oldest and most reliable of these are centuries removed from the autographs.
You and I can both agree that it is heresy to remove the name from the OT, but yet that did not stop later LXX copyists from removing it, and it did not prevent Jerome from removing it in his Vulgate. As we have seen above, the ANF, as representing the mindset of the post 1st century Christian, simply did not like the Name.
Again, as is your habit, you repeat:
"We fully acknowledge that the transmission of the Sacred Scriptures was under the careful plan and supervision of Jehovah. Nonetheless, there was an apparent randomness in the method he used to preserve these texts. The accuracy of the various texts which have been safeguarded, and their geographical location which made preservation possible, were random events. On the other hand, removal of all traces of the Tetragrammaton would, of necessity, have been a deliberate and planned undertaking. It would represent a statistically impossible series of events for the Tetragrammaton to have been removed from copies of the original writings, leaving no trace of that heresy today."
We have to look at preservation from the viewpoint of history as a whole. For over 1000 years all we have had was the divine Name-less Latin Vulgate. There were no vernacular versions or translations, and the penalty for owning one was death. Our oldest manuscripts were not even discovered until after the dark ages. It is evident that Jehovah WAITED until nearly our day to reveal his Bible in its oldest form. The message of the Bible though has not changed.
Can changes happen in a short period of time in regards to Bible translation? Yes.
In the 1400's we had no English Bible versions, yet 100 years later, there were several. In the 19th Century, Bibles containing the Divine Name Jehovah were quite common, but not so a century later. 100 years ago, Versions were largely Formal Equivalent (literal), now they are largely Dynamic Equivalent (meaning-for-meaning, thought-for-thought, paraphrase).
On pages 158-160 you address your displeasure with the New American Standard Version policy on not translating the Divine Name in the Hebrew Scriptures, yet you still end this chapter with a diatribe against the NWT.
Simply doing the math leads me to the conclusion that removing the name over 6800 times is far more serious than adding it over 200 times.
I wonder if you are equitable in your treatment of the New American Standard Version or Lockman Foundation and had spent any time writing lengthy polemics against them?
I wonder if you are equitable in your treatment of the New Revised Standard Version or the National Council of Churches or Oxford and had spent any time writing lengthy polemics against them?
I wonder if you are equitable in your treatment of the New King James Version or Nelson book publishers and had spent any time writing lengthy polemics against them?
I wonder if you are equitable in your treatment of the New International Version or Zondervan and had spent any time writing lengthy polemics against them?
I wonder if you are equitable in your treatment of the New Living Translation or Tyndale publishers and had spent any time writing lengthy polemics against them?
I wonder if you are equitable in your treatment of the New American Bible and their publishers and had spent any time writing lengthy polemics against them?
I wonder if you are equitable in your treatment of the English Standard Version or Crossway and had spent any time writing lengthy polemics against them?
I wonder if you are equitable in your treatment of the Contemporary English Version and their publishers and had spent any time writing lengthy polemics against them?
I wonder if you are equitable in your treatment of the Revised English Bible and Oxford University Press and the Churches that sponsored this in the UK and had spent any time writing lengthy polemics against them?
I wonder if you are equitable in your treatment of New Century Version and had spent any time writing lengthy polemics against them?
I wonder if you are equitable in your treatment of The Message and had spent any time writing lengthy polemics against their publishers? etc., etc., etc., ...
I think I already know the answer. According to you, the above Bible are wrong 6828 times, the NWT is wrong only 237 times, in other words, the NWT is almost 97% more correct (by your criterion) than the above versions, yet all your energy has been directed against the NWT, which leads to the inescapable conclusion that you have a devious agenda in mind, an agenda directed against Jehovah's Witnesses and the NWT. (This explains why your book is available from web-sites hostile to Jehovah's Witnesses)
There is another way of looking at the above though. The above translated as they have, for the sake of their target audience, and the same can be said for the NWT. Where the Zondervan (NIV and NASB) Study Bibles have extensive (and often helpful) footnotes, yet these same footnotes fail to even capitalize LORD where it refers to YHWH in the OT. On the other hand, the NWT has supplied its target audience with a Reference edition and an interlinear (AT NO CHARGE YET) explaining the facts in regards to the Greek text used. There is not attempt to hide our translation philosophy in this regard, quite the opposite in fact.
To top this off, the WTS also prints the KJV, ASV, Byington's Bible in Living English, and had distributed the Jerusalem, New English, Good News and New American Bibles (amongst others) in order to promote study and comparisons between various versions with differing styles and theories of translation. It has been my experience that my brothers use and own more versions and translations than any other religious group.
Then there is the fact that many of the Bibles listed above are "meaning-based" translations, and even the most literal use some form of Dynamic Equivalence. The NASB is touted as the most literal, yet it chooses the dynamic equivalent "LORD" in place of the divine name in the OT. The inclusion of the divine name in the NT certainly counts as a meaning based equivalent, especially in light of the fact that YHWH falls within the dictionary, lexical and semantic range of Kyrios.
Another note needs to be made in regards to the embellishment of Jesus' status in the NT, which has happened so much that it is now difficult to know exactly how many times the words "Jesus" and "Christ" actually appear. Take note:
NIV Jesus = 1226 Christ = 499
KJV Jesus = 943 Christ = 522
NASB Jesus = 881 Christ = 493
NRSV Jesus = 1088 Christ = 45
RSV Jesus = 926 Christ = 534
Darby Bible Jesus = 904 Christ = 507
Young's Literal Version Jesus = 932 Christ 529
Wesley N.T. Jesus = 951 Christ = 497
God's Word Jesus = 1504 Christ = 516
New Living Translation Jesus = 1404 Christ = 536
Douay Jesus = 932 Christ = 534
ASV Jesus = 883 Christ = 501
Bible in Basic English Jesus = 905 Christ = 496
Good News Bible/TEV Jesus = 1543 Christ 502
New Century Version Jesus = 1846 Christ 604
NKJV Jesus = 941 Christ = 530
How do we get from 883 occurrences of the name "Jesus" (American Standard Version) to 1846 in the NCV. It seems I have already mapped out your next project, Mr. Lundquist.
This is not a recent phenomenon.
Here are a few ancient examples:
John 19:40, "They took the body of Christ" to "they took the body of God"
Luke 2:26 changed to "Christ, namely God." Old Latin ff
Luke 9:20 "the Christ of God" changed to "Christ, God" Coptic
Mark 3:11 "You are the Son of God" changed to "You are God, the Son of God." MS69
Luke 7:9 "when Jesus heard this" changed to "when God heard this" 124
Luke 8:28 "Jesus, Son of the highest God" changed to "Jesus, the highest God" 2766
Luke 20:42 "the lord said to my lord" changed to "God said to my God" Persian Diatesseron
2 Peter 1:2 changed to "in the knowledge of God, our Lord Jesus" P72
Jude 5 changed to "Jesus" or "the God Christ" who saved the people from Egypt P72
Gal 2:2 "Son of God" changed to "God the Son" MS1985
Acts 20:28 "church of God" changed to "church of the Lord" or "church of the Lord and God" various
1 Cor 10:5, "God was not well pleased: for they were overthrown in the wilderness" changed to "Christ" MS81
Rom 14:10, "we shall all stand before the judgment-seat of God." changed to "judgment-seat of Christ" 048, 0209 Byz etc
Matt 24:36, "But of that day and hour knoweth no one, not even the angels of heaven, neither the Son, but the Father only." The Byx mss omit "neither the Son." Interestingly, the Codex Siniaticus originally had "neither the Son", but was removed by a later scribe...and then was restored by yet another scribe.
The New Testament manuscripts were not produced impersonally by machines capable of flawless production. They were copied by hand, by living, breathing human beings who were deeply rooted in the conditions and controversies of their day. Did the scribes' polemical context influence the way they transcribed sacred Scriptures? The burden of the present study is that they did....."
The Orthodox Corruption of Scripture by B. Ehrman, p. 3
In fact, the early scribes were more prone to omit than they were to add.
P45 has 28 additions, but 63 omissions.
P46 has 55 additions and 167 omissions.
P47 has 5 additions and 18 omissions.
P66 has 14 additions and 19 omissions.
P72 has 16 additions and 29 omissions.
P75 has 12 additions and 41 omissions.
These changes did not stop early on:
"When an intentional change affects the meaning of the passage, there is a demonstrable tendency to move the meaning in the direction of the orthodoxy of the time, not away from it. By 'demonstrable' I mean that even within the Byzantine tradition, the later witnesses are inclined to change things in favor of giving more titles to Christ, not fewer"
D.A. Carson, The King James Version Debate, p. 62
It must be remembered that these intentional scribal changes were made by those in the orthodox position, not by fringe "heretical" groups.
But even here again, allegations went the other way.
"The number of deliberate alterations made in the interests of doctrine is difficult to assess. Irenaeus, Clement of Alexandria, Tertullian, Eusebius, and many other Church Fathers accused the heretics of corrupting the Scriptures in order to have support for their special views. In the mid-second century Marcion expunged his copies of the Gospel according to Luke of all references to the Jewish background of Jesus. Tatian's Harmony of the Gospels contains several textual alterations which lent support to ascetic or encratic views. Even within the pale of the Church one part often accused the another of altering the text of the Scriptures. Ambrosiaster, the fourth-century Roman commentator on the Pauline Epistles, believed that where the Greek manuscripts differed on any important points from the Latin manuscripts which he was accustomed to use, the Greeks 'with their presumptuous frivolity' had smuggled in the corrupt reading."
The footnote reads:
"Such changes prove that the autographs of the books of the New Testament were no longer in existence, otherwise an appeal would have been made directly to them. Their early loss is not surprising, for during persecutions the toll taken by imperial edicts aiming to destroy all copies of the sacred books of Christians must have been heavy. Furthermore, simply the ordinary wear and tear of the fragile papyrus, on which at least the shorter Epistles of the New Testament had been written (see the reference to CARTHS in 2 John, vs. 12), would account for their early dissolution. It is not difficult to imagine what would happen in the course of time to one much-handled manuscript, passing from reader to reader, perhaps from church to church (see Col. iv. 16), and suffering damage from the fingers of eager if devout readers as well as from climatic changes." The Text of the New Testament, 3rd Edition, by Bruce M. Metzger, p.201
So here (and further above) we have allegations of corruption from all circles. Some of this even being influenced by anti-semitism. [Eldon Jay Epp follows this anti-Semitic conclusion on the book of Acts in the Western Text in his Theological Tendency, pp. 165-71; see also D.C. Parker's Codex Bezae: An Early Christian Manuscript and Its Text, pp. 189-92 and 279-86. These anti-Semitic tendencies have also been suggested for the papyri in H. Eshbaugh's Textual Variants and Theology: A Study of the Galatians Text of Papyrus 46, JSNT 3 (1979) 60-72; and Mikael C. Parsons A Christological Tendency in p75, JBL 105 (1986) 463-79].
Couple this with the fact that early Christian scribes were zealous to promote a certain viewpoint, and you have a dangerous mixture:
The scribe of P66 made nearly five hundred corrections to his own manuscript....the early Christians did not necessarily treat the NT text as a 'sacred' text - i.e., as a fixed, written, canonized text, sacred to the very letter...By contrast, the Jews had come to regard the OT text with deep reverence and therefore copied it with extreme fidelity." p. 6, Early Manuscripts and Modern Translations of the New Testament, by Philip Wesley Comfort.
"The story of the manuscript tradition of the New Testament is the story of progression from a relatively uncontrolled tradition to a rigorously controlled tradition....The general nature of the text in the earliest period has long been recognized as 'wild,' 'uncontrolled,' 'unedited.'"
Colwell, Hort Redivivus: A Plea and a Program, pp 195, 166n3
"The plain fact of the matter is that early Christians did not take nearly the pains with their Scriptures that the Jews did with theirs; and this is evidenced not only by the Christians handling of the New Testaments documents but also in their handling of the LXX." D.A. Carson, The King James Only Controversy, p.116
"In the earliest time of our tradition, one can as a scribe still deal relatively freely with the text of an author....Circumstances change fundamentally from the ninth century on. The demands on exactness and discipline become incomparably higher in a scribal tradition carried on chiefly by monks." B. Aland, "Neutestamentliche Textfortschung und Textgeschichte" NTS 36 (1990) 339-40
The textual/corruptional debate continues to this day. A growing number of people feel that the later Byzantine text (Majority text) is a truer form of the autograph (pointing to the many corruptions of the Alexandrian texts), while the other side feels the older Alexandrian text is truer to the autographs, because of age. The supporters of the Byzantine text that the King James is part of, want to preserve scriptures that defend the belief that "God was manifested in the flesh" (1 Tim 3:16) and the hard-core Textus Receptus defenders want to preserve the trinitarian formula in the Comma Johanneum (1 John 5:7).
The supporters of the Alexandrian text realize that while there are corruptions in the older text, the above examples are cases of even clearer corruption. Again, the debate rages on. The differences between the two text-types are judged to be between 60-85%. I believe they are closer, as many involve word order and embellishments in titles belonging to Jesus. But if you are arguing for preservation, and the majority of texts preserved are of a later date, then the inescapable conclusion lies in the fact the God must have preserved and preferred the later text over the older ones, which lies at odds with your argument. Again, it should be noted to others that these difference do not affect the overall message of the Bible, and it is this message, that was preserved by God.
The Divine Name and the LXX
You repeat the statement that the LXX used the divine name, but only when it was used for Jews, not for Christians. The problem with this is, when Jesus was reading from the LXX, it was one made for Jews. There were no Christians then making copies of the LXX, as there were no Christians then, period. We also have nothing in the writings of the Apostles indicating that were members of the EKKLHSIA involved in the copying of the LXX. In fact, all copies of the LXX in the first century were made by Jews, for Jews, and were doubly enjoyed by Jewish Christians.
"My research is accomplishing just this, documenting and discussing this divine name's surprisingly frequent appearance in Christian copies of originally Jewish onomastica of the LXX, in definitely two and possibly up to four classical authors, in ecclesiastical sources, and in the Mishnah. Taken together, this evidence indicates that some Jews continued to use and indeed pronounce this Greek form of the divine name in the Greco-Roman period, and this helps provide a background for understanding the name's appearance in 4QLXX Levb." Presentation by Frank Shaw, Univ of Cincinnati at the 1999 SBL/AAR conference
This leads to my next question. If later copies by an apostate church can remove the Tetragrammaton from the LXX without any hint of discussion among the ANF of this heresy, then why is it so hard to admit that this could have happened with the later copies of the Christian Greek Scriptures? Is it because we don't want to see it? Is it because we are trying to promote a later teaching of the Trinity?
On a side note, there is no indication that later copies of the LXX made by Christians were better, in fact, quite the opposite seems to be the case. Origen, after discussing several Apocryphal books in the LXX, made this statement:
"And, forsooth, when we notice such things, we are forthwith to reject as spurious the copies in use in our Churches, and enjoin the brotherhood to put away the sacred books current among them, and to coax the Jews, and persuade them to give us copies which shall be un-tampered with, and free from forgery." The Ante-Nicene Fathers, IV, 387
"We can only assume that the New World Bible Translation Committee was aware of the Nomina Sacra, yet chose not to bring this material into their textual apparatus to establish the presence of the Tetragrammaton in a limited 237 instances within the Christian Scriptures. The great number of occurrences of Nomina Sacra (surrogates) within the text of the Christian Scripture Greek manuscripts would preclude such an attempt. Any appeal to the Nomina Sacra with the intent of establishing the presence of the divine name in the Christian Greek Scriptures would, of consequence, identify the person of Christ with Jehovah. If it were to be argued that the Nomina Sacra in the form of k—"— (for kuvrio") is a derivative of hwhy, then it could be forcefully argued—with a large number of examples of k—"— referring to Jesus—that the inspired Christian writers used hwhy of Jesus himself."
There is a very big difference between Nomina Sacra (which were not really surrogates as much as they were abbreviations) and the use of actual substitutions (surrogates, circumlocutions, Paleo-Hebraic letters) in regards to the Divine Name. It is because of the use of circumlocutions for the Divine Name (which as you know was even used in Shem Tob's Matthew) that differentiates, and therefore elevates it above the abbreviated Nomina Sacra. The same Nomina Sacra that held words like "Man/human" (ANQRWPOS), Israel, David and mother also as sacred. I do not know of any occurrences of the Nomina Sacra as being substituted for Hashem, Name, PIPI, or even as we have discovered, a triangle.
Your argument is what happens when we fall into the trap of partitioning the Bible into the Old and New Testaments, when we really should be arguing from within the corpus of the entire Bible. If the name "Jesus" indeed replaces "Jehovah", then why exactly the name "Jesus?" Why simply another "Joshua?" Why another Jesus Barabbas? Why another Jesus ben Sirach?
When we take the Bible as a whole, without the man-made division, the name YHWH reigns supreme, and no other name can touch it.
From "Hallelujah in the Christian Greek Scriptures:
"It is also interesting to note that the divine name [ALLHLOUIA] was not removed from these four verses [Rev 19:1, 3, 4 and 6]. To anyone familiar with the language background during the second and third centuries C.E., these four occurrences of the word hallelujah were obviously a reference to Jehovah. Why then, if there had been a heresy aimed at removing his name, were these verses overlooked?"
You yourself acknowledge that Jerome was aware of the Name, and that the earlier copies of the LXX contained it. Yet later copies of the LXX that had removed the Name, as had Jerome's Vulgate, still contained the word ALLHLOUIA at Psalms 135, 136, 146, 147, 147, 149, 150 and 3 Macc 7:13, Tobit 13:18. The reason for this is due to the fact that translators and copyists are generally less hostile to the Name if it is part of another word or name. This is why translators, even of English versions that do not consistently use the Name, will use it as part of a place name at Gen 22:14 [Jehovah-jireh]; Ex 17:16 [Jehovah-nissi]; Jg 6:24 [Jehovah-shalom] and Ezek 48:35 [Jehovah-shammah]. And then there are the common names of persons that contain parts of the Divine Name, like Jehoaddah, Jehoaddan, Jehoahaz, Jehoash, Jehohanan, Jehoiachin, Jehoiada, Jehoiakim, Jehoiarib, Jehonadab, Jehonathan, Jehoram, Jehoshabeath, Jehoshaphat, Jehosheba, Jehoshua, Jehozabad, Jehozadak etc. It would be ridiculous to have to rename these, as for example, TheLORDshaphat.
Is the NWT consistent in its use of the Hebrew Versions?
No, and why should they be? The Greek texts in use today, be it the Nestle Aland or the United Bible Societies, Von Soden's etc., construct a critical apparatus, whereby certain scriptures in, lets say, Vaticanus or Siniaticus are accepted or rejected based on what is deemed accurate or corrupted. Even the two Majority Texts in publication (Hodges-Farstad vs. Robinson-Pierpont) disagree over 200 times. Bible Translators even pick and choose what scriptures they accept or reject in those texts. As we have seen, Professor Wallace rejects the Nestle Aland text 500 times in his NET Bible. Let us take on example. Had we faithfully followed Shem Tob's Matthew, then the NWTTC could have rejected any mentioned of the Father Son and holy spirit at Matt 28:19. However, Shem Tob's reading of this text and omission of the three was rejected as inferior. One important mss, Codex Alexandrinus, reads the word "firstborn" at Revelation 1:18, thereby watering down one of your favorite chapters as a "proof-text" for the deity of Christ. This reading was rejected by the NWTTC, W/Hort, UBS etc., as an inferior reading.
The Hebrew versions simply do not have any critical apparatus, so it was necessary, and required, to accept and reject many occurrences of the Divine Name, whereby creating our own apparatus, in a sense.
Westcott and Hort do not use every scripture as it is laid out in Sinaiticus or Vaticanus, and neither does the NWTTC need to use faithfully every occurrence of YHWH or the varying occurrences of Adon from the Hebrew versions, especially since the Hebrew versions are not the base text, but are used as exemplars for proof that it could be done in some circumstances. As we have seen above, bias can play a part as to how a translator might view a certain chapter. When a Hebrew version has, "Sanctify the Christ as Jehovah in your heart," (1 Peter 3:15) we realize that the translators bias (since some do come from the Trinitarian Bible Society) also play a part. What is commendable though is that the NWT Reference Edition does not hide this fact, and includes this reading in the margin. This leads to another question though.
Are there Scriptures used of Jehovah that apply to Jesus, and does that make them the same or equal?
This is something Yes, there certainly circumstances in the Bible where Jesus and Jehovah have scriptures applied to each other. This kind of adaptation is not uncommon, and dangerous if exegeted consistently by your average "evangelical Protestant."
Let us compare 2 Samuel 24:1 with 1 Chron 21:1:
2 Sam reads, "And again the anger of Jehovah was kindled against Israel, and he moved David against them, saying, Go, number Israel and Judah." ASV
1 Chron reads, "And Satan stood up against Israel, and moved David to number Israel." ASV
Are we here to conclude, by the argument mentioned in Lynn's book, that Jehovah and Satan are the same person or equal?
In the book of Job we have the same situation ("and comforted him concerning all the evil that Jehovah had brought upon him" Job 42:11 ASV, when we know it was Satan).
The book "Alleged Discrepancies in the Bible" by John W. Haley had this comment:
"It is consistent with Hebrew modes of thought that whatever occurs in the world, under the overruling providence of God, what he suffers to take place, should be attributed to his agency."
The Jews obviously understood this.
"The main point of the Jewish law of agency is expressed in the dictum, "A person's agent is regarded as the person himself." Therefore any act committed by a duly appointed agent is regarded as having been committed by the principle." The Encyclopedia of the Jewish Religion, R.J.Z. Werblowski and Geoffrey Wigoder
GRB Murray (in _Gospel of Life: Theology in the Fourth Gospel_ ) cites the Jewish halachic law as follows: "One sent is as he who sent him." He then adds: "The messenger [the Shaliach] is thereby granted authority and dignity by virtue of his bearing the status of the one who sent him. This is the more remarkable when it is borne in mind that in earlier times the messenger was commonly a slave" (Murray 18).
"He, therefore, can fill any position in the God's universe, and represent his Father in any purpose. This is something to keep in mind when we are looking at the various quotes that are applied to Jesus. As we consider how the NT quotes the OT, we must stress that an "ontological" identity between the persons mentioned in the quotes is not at all obvious." p. 195, Theology and Bias in Bible Translation by Rolf Furuli
Professor Furuli then goes on to point out some examples of this. In Hosea 11:1 the reference is to Israel, but the same words are later applied to Jesus at Matt 2:15. In Jeremiah Rachel is described as weeping over her sons, but this is later applied to the children of Bethlehem.(Mt 2:17, 18) Paul applied Habakkuk 1:5, 6 in his sermon at Acts 13:40, 41, but the earlier application was to the Chaldeans, the later was not.
"Then there is the identification of John the Baptist with the prophet Elijah. Malachi 4:5 prophecied that Elijah the prophet would come before the great and fear-inspiring day of YHWH. Jesus quoted these words in Matthew 17:12 and said that "Elijah has already come." Verse 13 tells us that the disciples perceived that he spoke about John the baptist. In Matthew 11:14 Jesus states the matter clearly, 'He himself is Elijah who is destined to come." There can hardly be a more way to express ontological identity that to say John the baptist is Elijah! But this is not what is meant, because John was neither the resurrected nor the re-incarnated Elijah. But John did the same work as Elijah, under circumstances which were comparable to those of Elijah." Furuli, p 195
Buchanan puts it nicely:
"Like other scholars of his time, the author was also capable of taking an Old Testament passage out of context and attributing it to the Messiah. For example in LXX Deut 32:43, in which the object of worship for the sons of God according to the Proto-Massoretic text was Israel, the author of Hebrews applied it to the first-born, namely Jesus (1:6). Since the term "first-born" could be applied either to Israel (Exod 4:22) or to the Messiah, the author made the shift. By the same logic, since the "Lord" was a title of respect used both for God and for kings, such as Jesus, he may also have made the shift here to apply to Jesus the durability of God in contrast to the temporal nature of the angels. If this were the case, then Jesus would also have been thought of as a sort of demiurge through whom God created the heaven and the earth, as well as the ages (1:2, 10). In either case it does not mean that Jesus was believed to be God or was addressed as God." Hebrews 1:10 Anchor Bible/Buchanan
A Trustworthy Greek Text, P. 140:
"We are told that the Greek text of the Christian Scriptures is trustworthy for faith. Do we accept these Scriptures as published in the Kingdom Interlinear Translation, or do we acknowledge the alternate wording of the New World Translation in these 237 instances as having precedence over the Greek text?"
In my vehicle I always have a copy of the Revised Standard Version, and I often have a little pocket-size RSV in my shirt pocket. To me, the RSV is a trustworthy Bible for faith, even though, it has wrongly removed the Name from the Hebrew text 6828 times. The WTS also provides and prints other Bibles that have also removed the Name, at the same time, we acknowledge what you are unwilling to do, that YHWH falls within the dictionary, lexical and semantic range of Lord/kyrios. It seems that Jehovah's Witnesses, and others, have a healthier view of preservation and inspiration. We even print the King James Version, which, as a 50's Awake magazine points out, contains 50,000 errors. Yet we still deem this version trustworthy enough to print it.
"It should be pointed out that providential preservation is not a necessary consequence to of inspiration. Preservation of the Word of God is promised in Scripture, and inspiration and preservation are related doctrines, but they are distinct from each other, and there is a danger in making one the necessary corollary of the other. The Scriptures do not do this. God, having given the perfect revelation by verbal inspiration, was under no special obligation to see that man did not corrupt it."
The Byzantine Text-Type & New Testament Textual Criticism, by Harry A. Sturtz, p. 38
A Note for all Opposers of the New World Translation:
Professor Alan S. Duthie once wrote that the NWT was no more "full of heresies" than any other version. Yet, considering the constant attacks on it, in print, and on the web, opposers are involved in an diabolical task...they are providing fodder for atheists and Muslims in their constant attack on the Bible. The New World Translation has not changed the message of God. The New International Version has not changed the message of God despite having homosexuals working on it. Johannes Greber has not changed the message of God, despite his new-ageism. Catholic Bibles have not changed the message of God, despite what Baptists are telling me. The sign at the Watchtower headquarters reads, "Read God's Word, the Holy Bible daily," it does not say to only read a certain version. Perhaps we should all be promoting a return to the Bible rather than promoting an agendaized partisan opposition against a certain group. God has obviously blessed the NWT with a distribution of 100 million copies worldwide, as he has also blessed the myriads of copies of other versions. Let us simply take comfort in that fact, instead of attacking it.
Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, Jehovah, the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, hath sent me unto you: this is my name forever, and this is my memorial unto all generations. ASV
You must tell the Isrealites this, that it is JEHOVAH the God of their forefathers, the God of Abraham, The God of Isaac, the God of Jacob, who has sent you to them. This is my name forever; this is my title in every generation." The New English Bible
Series of Replies: Much if what Lynn has replied to is also repeated in the downloadable book on his site. For the sake of brevity, I have only attached the meat of what was written. The replies from Lynn have been somewhat troublesome, as the main points of my arguments were almost completely ignored:
Lynn: I feel guilty in dismissing the number of pages Heinze has so carefully prepared. Yet, the great divide between us has little to do with the scope of the information he presented. Very simply, we differ on the fundament issue of using only the most accurate Greek text of the Christian Scriptures. As the basis of my faith, I must insist that the wording of my English Bible faithfully conveys the meaning of the best reproduction of the Hebrew and Greek autographs. This wording must be based on verifiable manuscript evidence. (This is why I agree so heartily with Witnesses regarding the use of the divine name in the "Old Testament.") Notwithstanding the content of his present paper, I expect that Heinze would demand the same verifiable manuscript evidence for almost all of the text of his Bible as well. However, in respect to the Tetragrammaton in the Christian Scriptures, Heinze must depend on manuscript evidence that has never been seen or reported, and to a hypothesized heresy which has no reference in any of the voluminous writings of the church fathers. Thus, Heinze will elevate this one area of speculation (supported with Hebrew versions) to a higher level of inspiration than the best available manuscript evidence.
Lynn: Heinze is completely correct in saying, "Few Bibles would pass his test of accuracy in regard to Divine Names and titles." The New World Translation is a Bible that does "pass my test" in regard to the use of the divine name in the Hebrew Scriptures.
Reply: What about the Divine Name in the Bible as a whole. This is one of the points I pointed out that you have ignored. I see no indication in the Bible that we should be partitioning them into sections.
Lynn: The reliability of the Christian Scripture text we have today
I want the reader to carefully consider what Heinze has said throughout his paper regarding the reliability of the biblical text. He has inadvertently presented an argument that is equal to any of the 19th and early 20th century literary critics who refuted the inerrancy of Scripture. He has used exactly their same methodology that degrades the reliability of the transmission of the text.
Reply: This coming from a man who also seeks to cast doubt on the Bible by making sure a copy of his book is distributed without benefit of letting the market decide. Atheists also use the NWT, but if they came across your book, they will see that, according to you, God was unable to preserve His text in regards to the NT. What does this tell them. 19th Century critics were also positive in their handling of textual evidence:
"These various readings, though very numerous, do not in any degree affect the general credit and integrity of the text: the general uniformity of which, in so many copies, scattered through almost all countries in the known world, and in so great a variety of languages, is truly astonishing, and demonstrates both the veneration in which the scriptures were held, and the great care which was taken in transcribing them. Of the 150,000 various readings which have been discovered by the sgacity and diligence of collators, not one tenth, nor one hundredth part, make any perceptible, or at least any material variation in any sense. Introduction to the New Testament in an Improved Version Upon the basis of Archbishop Newcome's New Translation 1808
"of these again, it will appear, on examination, that nineteen out of twenty are of no sort of consequence as affecting the sense; they relate to questions of orthography, or grammatical construction, or the order of words, or such other matters as have been mentioned above, in speaking of unimportant variations. They concern only the form of expression, not the essential meaning. This reduces the number to perhaps 400 which involve a difference in meaning, often very slight, or the omission or addition of a few words, sufficient to render them objects of some curiosity and interest, while a few among them be relatively important."
Critical Essays, Ezra Abbot, p.209 (1888)
I think this is wonderful and amazing. I work with Protestants, and when I had them sit down with their Bible, and the NWT, they could see no difference. Despite the attacks the NWT has to occur from its opposers, God has still managed to preserve His word and message. Unless we are willing to admit that JW's are stronger than God in this regard, then it has to be admitted that the NWT is an acceptable translation of holy writ.
If my methodology degrades the reliability of the transmission of the text, then it is fair to say that your criticism degrades divine providence as it relates to the NWT, and many other Bibles that have restored the Name to the NT.
Lynn: For true Christianity to exist, the details must be correct . If you do not have a reliable reproduction of the original writings of the apostolic authors, you have no foundation for your Christian faith. Your Bible becomes nothing more than religious literature. This was exactly the threat to true Christianity presented by the literary critics mentioned earlier. By challenging the accuracy of the Bible text, they undermined the faith of all true Christians.
Reply: Does not each subsequent release of a new Bible version amongst primarily Protestant Evangelicals challenge the accuracy of the Bibles previous to this, especially as many of these claim to be more accurate? This year alone we have had two new "Standard" Bibles released, the Holman Christian Standard Bible and the English Standard Version. Does this not cast doubt on the NASB, NIV, NRSV, RSV, NKJV, KJV, and any other previous versions?
Lynn: We simply cannot have both a highly reliable Christian Scripture on which we can build our faith, while at the same time have a Christian Scripture that has lost all evidence of a feature as important as the divine name.
Reply: You above statement is misleading. For 1200 years we had nothing but the Vulgate, which did not have the Divine Name...period. Is the Vulgate not reliable? Is it unable to build our Christian faith on?
I have already addressed the "debate" issue, but you saw fit to ignore this evidence, so why bother repeating myself.
Lynn: Textual variations. As Heinze mentions, certainly not all early Christian Scriptures were carefully copied, nor was the pattern of change always identical. In some cases, change was gradual and in others (for example, the Western text) it may have occurred suddenly. However, Heinze leads the reader to believe that textual variants are undecipherable. In fact, the very reason they are identified as variants is because they do not correspond with the majority (or most reliable) manuscript evidence. Among the 5,000 extant Greek manuscripts making up the body of textual evidence for the Greek text, there are probably tens of thousands of variants. Yet, in all but a small percentage of instances, the variants can be identified as textual anomalies because they vary from a well-established norm. (However, neither age nor frequency is the sole criterion for that norm.)
Reply: How much of a percentage is 237 out of tens of thousands? And despite all the discussion about text and transmission, is this a translational or a transmissional issue?
We have seen that YHWH falls under the lexical, dictionary and semantic range of "Lord."
The difference often changes things dramatically within a certain perspective. Is Jesus "worshipped" (Heb 1:6) or is he simply paid honor (New English Bible)? Is he God (John 1:1) or is he "divine" (Moffatt)? Did God bleed (Acts 20:28 NASB) or was it His Son (RSV)? Did Jesus go to Hell (Acts 2:31) or the grave (TEV)?
Is it difficult to assume that Scriptures that refer to the Father actually do refer to the only name in the Bible that is attached to God the Father. (Isaiah 64:8 MT, ASV)
[On a side-note, it is interesting that Lynn brings up the Western text as the one text-type that has sudden changes, whereas the evidence shows that it happened early in the Alexandrian text. The Western text actually contains many readings indigenous to the Alexandrian text.]
Lynn: Tabulating names between versions. Comparing the frequency of names such as "Jesus" or "Christ" in different versions (translations) is meaningless. The Greek language often embeds the subject within the verb, noun and other parts of speech. The Greek sentence does not require frequent repetition of a name but only a "he" or "him" suffix which is grammatically linked with the subject of the sentence. Languages such as English do not use a suffix identifying person. Therefore, an English translation may use either the pro noun "he" or "him" as a third person, singular, masculine construction identifying Jesus, or it may use the proper noun "Jesus." It is often the English sentence that determines the frequency of a name like "Jesus" or "Christ" in a translation.
Reply: And I could say that within the Biblical corpus as a whole, our Bibles can use the anglicized form "Jehovah" since this is the only name (YHWH) attached to God the Father in our original Bible. (See Isaiah 64:8; Deut 32:6)
I fail to see how we can substitute Jesus for a pronoun, but condemn the substitution of YHWH for our Lord the Father, especially when it falls within the lexical, Biblical, dictionary and semantic range of this word.
To simply brush off embellishments regarding the Jesus' name as "meaningless" but attack the honoring of His Father as a corruption smacks of hypocrisy.
Lynn: The LXX. For argument's sake, let's assume that all of the Septuagint copies used by Jesus and the inspired writers used the Tetragrammaton. Let's also assume that Jesus freely used the divine name.
Reply: Most, if not all papyri of the Greek Scriptures before 150 A.D. contained the Divine Name in one form or another. There is no need to assume anything.
Lynn: This does not alter the need for using the best manuscript evidence available to determine the actual word written in the Greek Scripture autographs. We are not so much interested in what the inspired writers read or spoke as we are in w hat they wrote under inspiration. There is no Christian Greek Scripture manuscript evidence indicating that the Tetragrammaton was used in the autographs.
Reply: Again, I have dealt with this previously (see above). I did not expect you to accept it.
Lynn: Finally, in using the Septuagint evidence to suggest what Christian copyists did in the Christian Scriptures, it is often overlooked that the example manuscripts from the Septuagint did survive. It then needs to be explained why Septuagint manuscripts from the same era using the Tetragrammaton survived while Christian Scripture manuscripts supposedly using the Tetragrammaton did not.
Reply: As I have already pointed out previous, the early copyist did not hold the Christian scriptures with the same reverence they held for the OT. The Septuagint was actually deemed to be "Inspired Scripture" (see Letter of Aristeas), Philo etc.
Couple this with the fact that:
"Only ten percent of people in the Roman Empire could read...and those were generally in the upper classes. ...Few churches had any authoritative texts at all. Texts of any sort were prohibitively expensive; a single sheet of papyrus could cost two-thirds the daily wage of a common laborer....By Tertullian's time, Christian teaching based on written Christian texts was still in its early stages...a New Testament did not begin to exist until late in the second century." River of God, Gregory J. Riley, pp. 66-67
The rest by Mr. Lundquist has been deemed as speculation on my part, despite the evidence I have collected. I cannot and will not proceed any further to a half-hearted and butchered response that simply ignores relevant details to the discussion at hand (see main body above).
It is this kind of apathy that has led to the problem of the Divine Name in the first place.
Consider my name. It is FIVE LETTERS only, "Heinz." It is a common enough name, considering it is on the label of Ketchup bottles and other cans in virtually every household.
Yet, you misspelled my name each of the FIFTEEN times you wrote it (Heinze).
THIS is how these things happen Lynn!!! Through carelessness and lack of respect.
Lynn's MY REPLY #2 TO HEINZ'S
Lynn: My apology for misspelling your name. I am a poor speller and didn't catch my mistake...
I think all of us need to refocus on the central issue of my books since that was the starting point of this debate. That central issue was simply to determine the word used in the autographs (original apostolic documents) in these 237 instances. Let's leave theology, discussions of the merit of other translations, etc., etc. out of our debate.
Lynn: I must again express the same idea. I regret not answering each comment in Heinz's second reply. However, WE MUST RETURN TO THE SINGLE AND CENTRAL ISSUE OF THE TEXTUAL EVIDENCE FOR THE TETRAGRAMMATON VERSUS THE GREEK WORD KYRIOS. Does manuscript evidence exist for the Tetragrammaton in the Christian Scriptures? What evidence can you cite?
In fairness to me, it should be mentioned that the best and oldest mss do not use Kyrios, they use KS. If we were true the closest that we have to the autographs, all Bibles should now read Ld instead of Lord.
Lynn then numbers a list of 6 point, most of which he has previously dealt with in his book and other replies, so I am not going to post them here, but I will give you a brief sampling:
1. Was it the Tetragrammaton or was it kyrios?" The answer must be based on manuscript evidence just as every other word in Scripture is based.
2. I have conscientiously tried to avoid biblical interpretation (theology) as the basis for my answer.
3. I have freely stated my objection to the English Bible tradition's use of LORD in their "Old Testament" to replace the divine name. However, establishing ratios of 2,828 / 237 does not determine translation accuracy.
4. I do not divide the Bible in any sense of minimizing the "Old Testament." (Though certainly some in Christendom do.) I regard both the Hebrew and Christian Scriptures as equally inspired and both as being important for the Christian's personal study.
5. I must reiterate my position regarding the inspiration of Scripture, the inerrancy of the autographs, and the transmission of a reliable text.
6. We must avoid confusing the Greek text itself and translations made from that text.
I have dealt with much of this above. As for #2, our theology determines how we translate certain passages that are ambiguous. I cannot think of any Bible that does not.
For 3#, the ratio is important (not to mentioned that it is misrepresented by you, as it should read 6,828/237). You say that you have tried to help your own by posting an open letter on your web-site to the members of your own faith to have them restore the Divine Name to their OT corpus. But YOU MAILED copies of your book to every Kingdom Hall whether they wanted it or not. This smacks of an agenda, and this shows without a doubt that you have unfairly focused on the 237 ratio, and merely made mention of the 6828. This brings us back to number 2, does it not, as for the Protestant-Evangelical mindset, Jehovah became Jesus in the NT.
Lynn: In fairness to you, Heinz, I need to acknowledge your first paragraph which says, "This is in reply to Lynn Lundquist's latest reply. He has ignored many issues I have addressed, issues that he has not dealt with in his book, issues that lends incredible doubt to his theory regarding the NWTCGS." I have repeatedly read through both your first and second replies. In spite of our need to deal with the topic of textual evidence, I certainly do not want to ignore any "issues that lend incredible doubt to [my] theory regarding the NWTCGS." Please do not take your time to restate what you have already said, but I would appreciate a simple one sentence statement of each of these issues (I will refer to the first reply for the full context). Then, please state why that particular issue raises doubt to my contention that there is no manuscript or historical evidence today supporting the Tetragrammaton's use in the autographs. Thank you for your patience with me in clarifying that.
Well Lynn, I guess our replies comes down to a numbers game also. Let me paraphrase the proceedings thus far. You initially wrote a 250 (plus) page book criticizing the NWT's use of the Divine Name in the NWT. I read it completely and offered a reply of about 19 pages dealing with the few points you had raised. These were points I felt you had ignored in your book. Then you replied in 5 pages that you could not address all my points, and then you returned to your ONE point, which I had already addressed. Your latest reply was even more brief, and you asked me to simply reply in a one sentence statement. Here is my one sentence answer: *Reread my initial reply to your book.* If you object to my use of evidence regarding anti-Semitism, the ANF, the wholesale changes in the early mss, the lexical, dictionary, Biblical, Septuagintal and semantic range of Kurios, the target audience for the NWT, and your agenda, as shown by the devious groups that are boosting your book, then simply state one. But I cannot continue with a point(s) that I have already addressed, but ignored by you.
Lynn’s Third Response…he has trouble grasping if he is missing anything.
Lynn: However, to my knowledge, there is no indication in the patristics' writings that reference was ever made to the Tetragrammaton in the Christian Scriptures or to an ensuing debate among early congregations' because of its removal.
Reply: And again, there was no debate among these concerning the removal of the Divine Name in the LXX either, even though the early LXX was considered "divinely inspired" (Letter of Aristeas; Philo, etc).
The historical evidence conveys that the Church was more interested in blurring the distinction between the Father and the Son (When Jesus Became God, p. 67, Rubenstein).
You have again ignored the quotes where "wholesale" changes were made "almost at a stroke." You have ignored the "intentional" changes, and that the scribes were more prone to omit than add.
You have ignored that there were disputes, and this is evidence that the autographs no longer existed, in fact, according to Gregory J. Riley's River Of God, "a New Testament text not begin to appear until late in the second century." P. 67
Lynn: However, when considering both patristic writers' biases and anti-Semitic feelings among Gentiles during the second century C.E., there is insufficient evidence to justify altering Scripture on this information alone. We still maintain that only manuscript evidence can be used as the basis for establishing the Greek text.
Reply: And your position HAS to ignore history. As I have pointed out, via the quotes of others that the early scribes made numerous "corrections," and they were indeed careless. In fact, Pickering, whom you quoted, described the oldest Alexandrian texts as "polluted" and a "sewer." We have simply used reasoned eclecticism and the entire corpus of scripture to provide our target audience a better understanding of the text within the bounds of the lexical and semantic range of Kyrios, to better aid the student to distinguish between the ambiguous and tautological "Lord," while at the same time providing him with the Greek text in use.
There is a dictum in textual criticism used by Kurt Aland, that the evidence must be weighed, not counted.
You are counting them, we are weighing them.
Heinz, Thanks. That helps me. I have to get on something else (I am helping a Russian Christian learn English and need to get some material lined up for him), but will get back to this as soon as possible. Again, thanks for the patience with me.
It seems we are going around in circles, but there are a few issues I would like to address:
Lynn: Reasoned eclecticism. [The reviewer] presents two arguments with a similar foundation. The first argument is that "the Divine Name falls within the semantic, lexical and dictionary range of Kyrios." However, if that argument can be used to justify Jehovah in the Christian Scriptures, it can at least be turned inside out to argue that the Septuagint versions of Jesus' day that used Kyrios were equally within the semantic, lexical and dictionary range of the same word. This is certainly a true statement when used judiciously by the translator, but it seems to have more peril for [the reviewer] than it does for us.
Reply: Can you name a LXX manuscript in Jesus day that did NOT use the Divine Name?
I can give you ones that did:
1) 4Q LXX Lev (b)
2) LXX P.Fouad Inv. 266
3) LXX VTS 10b
4) LXX VTS 10a
5) LXX IBJ 12
6) LXX P. Oxy. VII 1007
and there are 4 others Aquila's (2), Symmachus, Ambrosian (of a later date).
The reason that the Hebrew versions used the Name is that they did not display the inhibitions regarding the Name that others would, and that in the Hebrew, YHWH is an equivalent to Lord.
For instance, missionary translations have often used the Divine Name in the NT to aid the reader in determining which "Lord" was meant.* You cannot argue that it is an ambiguous term. It is not a name or an exclusive title.
The NWT has helped its target audience by supplying them with a determining factor enabling the student thru this ambiguity, at the same time, supplying said student with the Westcott and Hort Greek text, and if he wishes, the Griesbach text. The student is also helped by the many footnotes reminding the student that KYRIOS is in the Greek text, not YHWH. The student is also helped to learn that YHWH falls within the lexical range of "Lord" as supplied by the quotes I have given you already.
Previous exchange: There is a dictum in textual criticism used by Kurt Aland, that the evidence must be weighed, not counted.
You are counting them, we are weighing them.
Lynn: Very possibly we need to give potential readers a brief explanation of the intent of Aland's dictum. For example, the Western text was an early textual family, yet it was not a highly reliable one. These manuscripts characteristically contained many additions and omissions as well as paraphrases rather than correct word-for-word copies. When evaluating a particular word in question, a textual critic may choose a word from a more reliable text family even though there are more numerous extant copies of the older Western text having an alternate wording. Thus, the textual critic has determined the merit (weight) of the text, rather than merely counting the number of texts using a given variant.
Reply: I am non-plussed as to why you keep bringing up the Western text, when the issue seems to me to be the older Alexandrian texts. The Western text-type is highly represented by the Old Latin versions, and few Greek.
There is no need to discuss this text until we have exhausted the Alexandrian text regarding the issues. The main thrust of the original dictum actually concerned itself with the fragmentary evidence considering the oldest texts, as opposed to the majority of late ones. I am within my rights to use it for my own purposes.
Weighing the evidence can also have a theological bend, which is exactly the reason for your insistence in this matter. Let us look at your persistence:
Lynn: Over 50,000 copies of our four books have already been distributed around the English-speaking world in our first three years of publication. We expect as many more to be distributed in the following two years. In addition, translations of key books have either been completed or are in progress in important languages in which the New World Translation has been published. Of course, our web site is freely accessible worldwide to Witnesses pursuing this topic.
Also: I have freely stated my objection to the English Bible tradition's use of LORD in their "Old Testament" to replace the Divine Name. However, establishing ratios of 2,828 / 237 does not determine translation accuracy.
Most English Bibles are undeniably in error in this regard. They must change and accurately represent the Hebrew and Greek texts from which they are translated. That accurate representation must include the divine name 2,828 times in the "Old Testament." I hold Protestant Bible publishers to that standard in my writing. However, accurate representation of the inspired text must also faithfully translate the word used in the best manuscript evidence in each of the 237 Christian Scripture references in question.
Reply: Establishing ratios of "6828/237" actually speaks volumes, whether you want to disregard the facts in this matter or not. Did you send out 50,000 letters to churches across the country who use the KJV, NKJV, NRSV, NAB, NASB etc? The answer is a resounding NO!!! Oh sure, you make noise about how wrong your own brethren are in this matter, but actions speak louder than words, and simply posting an open letter on a website is a far cry from going to the extreme of mailing out 50,000 copies of your book. This demand to be heard underlies a misguided arrogance that I think is truer to the heart of the issue. The truth of the matter is entirely theological, and can be summed up in three words that sum up the belief of the Protestant Evangelical: "Jesus is Jehovah!"
The issue was always theological, and as we are simply repeating each other anyways, I will repeat Carsten Thiede with another example of a "wholesale" change:
"Suddenly, however, all of this changed. Almost at a stroke, at the beginning of the second phase of transmission, the phase of the codex. 'holy names' were being abbreviated in Christian papyri....this was also the period when Jews and Christians were becoming estranged, beginning with the killing of St. James...This was the moment for the scribes to make a statement - a statement of faith. It was no longer necessary to show diplomatic or missionary consideration for Jewish sensitivities. Christian documents could begin to assert unequivocally the divinity of Jesus. It was a final step, from oral preaching via the more cautious scroll documents to the boldly unambiguous handwritten signs in the oldest codex and its successors: Jesus Christ is Lord and God." p. 143, The Jesus Papyrus
You again, seem to come back to:
Lynn: In spite of the voluminous writings of the patristics, there are no descriptions of such a heresy."
Reply: Again, if the ancient Latin versions of the OT can remove the name without dispute or mention, as is also the case with the LXX, then why should an apostasized Church, deeply entrenched in the Platonic philosophy of the day (Plato's God was the "Nameless *One*"), with a leadership, as we have seen, hostile to the name, why would they really care. We have an illiterate hoi polloi without an NT text until the end of the 2nd century, and, as we have seen above in Thiede's statement, a scribe with a theological statement to make.
"The earlier they [accretions] were inserted, the more difficult it is to detect them. And of course, beyond a certain point, which occurs early in the second century, there is no longer any possibility of cleaning up the text."
A History of Christianity by Paul Johnson, p. 27
He further points out,
"even if substantial first-century fragments were discovered, it is feared they would enlarge, rather than reduce, the areas of uncertainty." P. 26
But in conclusion, all of this is besides the point. We know that, taken the Bible as a whole, YHWH is more than an acceptable form of Kyrios or Theos where it applies to the Father, as it is the only name attached to O PATHR (Is 64:8), a name to last forever (Ex 3:14, 15).
Micah 4:1,5, "But in the latter days it shall come to pass, that the mountain of Jehovah's house shall be established on the top of the mountains, and it shall be exalted above the hills; and peoples shall flow unto it.... For all the peoples walk every one in the name of his god; and we will walk in the name of Jehovah our God for ever and ever." ASV
I do believe that Jehovah's name is finally being elevated in these latter days, and I do not believe it is being done by any Protestant Evangelicals.
I see no reason for you to reply, unless you have something new to add, and I do not see that being the case, as it has not been, thus far.
*Others have used names/titles of local deities, such as Manitou and Allah.
The French have preferred the title "Eternal," which, like "LORD," is a substitution.
P.S. My criticism of Lynn's agenda might be *pleading* to some, but several days after this last correspondence, the Watchtower Observer Webmaster sent me a missive that was laced with profanity.
Lynn's entire book is also available on the Watchtower Observer web-site. Mr. Lundquist, you are being judged by the company you keep!