OceanSide church of Christ




Click here to see all of the YouTube videos belonging to OceanSide
(opens in a new browser)

The videos displayed by YouTube at the conclusion of this clip may not represent Biblical teaching.
OceanSide does not have any control over the videos suggested.


 Previous Return to BibleIntroduction Next 

THE

INSPIRATION-TRANSMISSION-TRANSLATION

OF THE

WORD OF GOD

 

The Codex Sinaiticus & The Codex Vaticanus (2)

Lesson #18

Victor M. Eskew

 

INTRODUCTION

 

A.    In many modern versions of the Bible, these words are found between Mark 16:8 and Mark 16:9.

 

“The most reliable early manuscripts and other ancient witnesses do not have Mark 16:9-20” (NIV).

 

B.      Others will place a footnote at verse 9.  The footnote may read as follows:  “Some of the oldest mss. omit from verse 9 through 20” (NASV).

 

C.     This is the footnote for verse 20 in the NKJV:  “Verses 9-10 are bracketed in the NU-Text as not original.  They are lacking in the Codex Sinaiticus and Codex Vaticanus, although nearly all other manuscripts of Mark contain them.”

 

D.    Many Greek texts that are used to translate the modern versions have been heavily influenced by the Codex Sinaiticus and the Codex Vaticanus.  The main reason is because of the early date of these two codices.

 

E.      Let’s look at both of the codices briefly in this lesson.

 

I.                   THE CODEX SINAITICUS

 

II.                THE CODEX VATICANUS

 

A.    The Vaticanus is another fourth century manuscript of the Greek Bible.

1.      It is an uncial (written in all capital letters).

2.      It was also written in Koine Greek.

 

B.      It is named after its place of conservation in the Vatican Library where is has been kept since the 15th century.

1.      It was recorded in the library’s earliest catalog in 1475 on shelf number 1209.

2.      Textual critics refer to the codex as “B.”

 

C.     The Vaticanus came to light in the 16th century as a consequence of the correspondence between Erasmus and the prefects of the Vatican Library.

 

D.    This codex differs greatly from the Textus Receptus.  The Vaticanus was used by Wescott and Hort in their edition, The New Testament in the Original Greek.

 

E.      The contents of the Vaticanus

1.      All of the Old Testament except Genesis 1:1-46:28a; Ps. 105:27-137:6b; and II Kings 2:5-7, 10-13.

2.      All of the Apocrypha except I – IV Maccabees and the Prayer of Manasseh.

3.      It contains all of the New Testament books except I & II Timothy, Titus, Philemon, and Revelation.

4.      There are numerous verses from the New Testament that are not found in the Vaticanus as well.

a.      Matthew 12:47; 16:2b-3; 17:21; 18:11; 23:14

b.      Mark 7:16; 9:44, 46; 11:26; 15:28

c.       Mark 16:9-20.  The end of Mark in the Vaticanus contains an empty column after verse 16:8, possibly suggesting that the scribe was aware of the missing ending.  It is the only empty New Testament column in the Codex.

d.      Luke 17:36; 22:43-44

e.       John 5:4; John 7:53-8:11

f.        Acts 8:37; 15:35; 24:7; 28:29

g.      Romans 16:24

h.      I Peter 5:3

5.      NOTE:  Partial verses are also omitted in the Vaticanus (Ex., “For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen,” Matt. 6:13).

 

F.      The Vaticanus was held in high esteem after it was brought to light.  The discovery of the Sinaiticus helped to solidify the Vaticanus because they are from the same time period and are very similar in nature.

 

III.             THE DEBATE OVER THESE TWO CODICES

 

A.    The debate over these two codices centers upon age versus majority of manuscipts.

1.      The KJV was translated based upon the majority of the manuscripts.

2.      The modern translations were translated based upon the age of the manuscripts.

 

B.      Two articles from www.gotquestions.com

1.      https://www.gotquestions.org/Codex-Sinaiticus-Vaticanus.html

 

There are varying theories on how these ancient texts should be viewed by modern scholars. On one hand, some believe that the most ancient reading should be followed, as it is closest in time to the original. On the other hand, some believe that the majority should rule. Since there are thousands of ancient manuscripts, they believe we should give precedence to the reading that is represented by the most documents. One issue that is sometimes raised against the majority viewpoint is that many of those documents were written very late (9th-15th century). The answer to this is that many of the early papyrus fragments support the majority reading. Additionally, the question has been raised, “If Vaticanus and Sinaiticus represent the original reading of the text, why are there so few manuscripts that follow their lead?” If they were valued by the early church, you would expect to find many copies made from them, covering a wide period of history. What we actually find is a few early manuscripts which agree with them, but then a disappearance of that text type as we progress through history.

 

2.      https://www.gotquestions.org/majority-text.html

 


Question: "What is the Majority Text?"

Answer:
The Majority Text, also known as the Byzantine and Ecclesiastical Text, is a method of determining the original reading of a Scripture by discovering what reading occurs in a majority of the manuscripts. As the Greek New Testament was copied hundreds of times over 1500 years, the scribes, as careful as they were, occasionally made mistakes. The vast majority of these mistakes are in misspellings, or in whether "the" or a preposition occurs. It is important to remember, though, that no doctrine of the Christian faith is put into doubt by these textual questions. The testimony of the thousands of manuscripts over 1500 years is entirely consistent on all the key issues of the Christian faith.

It is vital, though, that our Bibles are as accurate as possible. The accuracy of the manuscripts plays a large role in determining the accuracy of the translation. While the presence of a the is not usually vital to the meaning of a verse, there are times when it can be. This is where the science of “textual criticism” comes in. The goal of textual criticism is to examine all of the available manuscripts, and by comparison and contrast, to determine what the original text truly was.

The Majority Text method within textual criticism could be called the “democratic” method. Essentially, each Greek manuscript has one vote, all the variants are voted on by all the manuscripts, and whichever variant has the most votes wins. At first glance, the Majority Text method would seem to be the most likely to result in the correct original reading. The problem is that the Majority Text method does not take into account two very important factors: (1) The age of the manuscripts, and (2) the location of the manuscripts.

(1) The age of the manuscripts. The more times a manuscript is copied, the more likely it is that errors will occur. A first-generation copy——one that was copied directly from the original——is very likely to be closer to the original than a tenth-generation copy (a copy that was copied from a copy, from a copy . . . from the original). Manuscripts from the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th centuries should be far closer to the originals than manuscripts from the 12th, 13th, and 14th centuries. The problem is that the majority of the manuscripts are from the 12th, 13th, and 14th centuries. To illustrate, let’s say there is a man named James Smith. Let’s say you are attempting to discover James Smith’s middle name. Who would be a better source, James Smith’s one thousand great-great-great-great-great-grandchildren, or James Smith’s son? Of course it would be James Smith’s son. Similarly, a 2nd- or 3rd-generation copy of the New Testament is far more likely to be correct than a 12th- or 13th-generation copy.

(2) The location of the manuscripts. The vast majority of Christians through the centuries have lived in western and eastern Europe. For cultural, theological, and political reasons, the western and eastern churches split. The western church became the Roman Catholic Church while the eastern church become the Orthodox Church. A few centuries after the start of Christianity, the western church began using Latin as its primary language. The eastern church continued using Greek as its primary language for another thousand years (and in some places, even to today). Textual critics have discovered that the manuscripts discovered in one part of the world tend to be very similar to other manuscripts from that part of the world, likely due to originating from the same source. Since the eastern church continued using Greek as its primary language for 1000+ years longer than the western church, there are significantly more Greek manuscripts that were discovered in eastern Europe than in western Europe. And, these eastern Greek manuscripts (the Byzantine manuscripts) are all very similar to each other. When the Majority Text is applied, this results in the eastern manuscripts having far greater weight than the western manuscripts. However, if the thousands of Latin manuscripts from the western church were thrown into the Majority Text “equation,” the results of the voting would be far more balanced, and would actually tilt away from the eastern / Byzantine reading.

Perhaps another illustration will help. Let’s say that there are two copies of a document, document A and document B, with minor differences between them due to copying mistakes. Document A is copied 100 times, while Document B is copied three times. If you used the Majority Text method, the Document A copies would have 100 votes, while the Document B copies would only have 3 votes. The Document A copies would win every vote. However, since Document A and Document B are both first-generation copies of another document, Document A and Document B and their "descendants" should be given equal weight in determining the most likely original reading.

The principles of age and location, then, result in “the majority rules” not being the best method in textual criticism. What, then, is the best method? The best method would seem to be taking into account all factors: majority, age, location, difficulty of the reading, and which variant best explains the origin of the other variants. This method is known as the “Eclectic Text” or “Critical Text.” Other than the King James Version and New King James Version, all of the modern English translations are based on the Eclectic Text. Most assume that the King James Version and New King James Version are based on the Majority Text. This is not correct.

The King James Version and New King James Version are based on the Textus Receptus. The Textus Receptus is very similar to the Majority Text, but there are in fact hundreds of differences between the Majority Text and the Textus Receptus. The Textus Receptus was compiled and edited by Erasmus in the 16th century. Erasmus used several Greek manuscripts, which were eastern / Byzantine in nature. This explains why the Textus Receptus is very similar to the Majority Text. However, Erasmus by no means had access to all of the Greek manuscripts, so there was no way he could develop a true Majority Text. The Textus Receptus is based on a very limited number of manuscripts, all of them eastern, and all of them dating to around the 12th century. As a result, compared to the Electic Text and the Majority Text, the Textus Receptus is far less likely to have the most accurate reading.

To summarize, the Majority Text is a method within textual criticism that uses the “majority rules” to determine which variant is most likely to be original. While the Majority Text method does result in the most likely original reading in most instances, it should not be employed universally or exclusively. There are many other important factors in determining which variant is most likely to be original.

 

CONCLUSION

 

A.    Those who are proponents of the KJV argue against the modern versions from two standpoints:  1) the omissions from the text, and 2) the accuracy of the translation.

 

B.      Those who argue for the modern translations do so from several standpoints.

1.      The KJV does not take into account the earlies manuscripts, namely, the Codex Sinaiticus and Codex Vaticanus.

2.      The KJV has language in it that is archaic, that is, out of date.

 

C.     Some important points to remember.

1.      Any translation of the Scripture that is accurately brought over from the Greek into the English is the inspired Word of God.

2.      The omissions from the Greek text by the ancient manuscripts account for a .006 difference between the texts (44 omitted verses divided into the 7957 verses found in the NT).

3.      Every version of the Bible has its strengths and weaknesses.  These will be debated in our upcoming studies.

4.      Every individual has a line that he draws when it comes to which versions he accepts and rejects.

5.      The multiplicity of versions that exist has nothing to do with the “need” for a modern translation.  It is due to the desire of the publishing companies to make money off of the Word of God.

6.      There are some versions that should be rejected because

a.      They are not accurately translated.

b.      They have false doctrine injected into the translation.

c.       They are not written in a manner that is respectful of the Word of God.

7.      Having many versions being read in a Bible class can bring confusion to the Bible study because of the difference in the translation.  (See Handout)

 

Matthew 6:1 as found in the Different Versions of the Bible

Taken from:  https://www.biblegateway.com/verse/en/Matthew%206:1

 

KJ21

“Take heed that ye do not your almsgiving before men, to be seen by them; otherwise ye have no reward from your Father who is in Heaven.

ASV

Take heed that ye do not your righteousness before men, to be seen of them: else ye have no reward with your Father who is in heaven.

AMP

[very] careful not to do your good deeds publicly, to be seen by men; otherwise you will have no reward [prepared and awaiting you] with your Father who is in heaven.

AMPC

Take care not to do your good deeds publicly or before men, in order to be seen by them; otherwise you will have no reward [reserved for and awaiting you] with and from your Father Who is in heaven.

BRG

Take heed that ye do not your alms before men, to be seen of them: otherwise ye have no reward of your Father which is in heaven.

CSB

CEB

“Be careful that you don’t practice your religion in front of people to draw their attention. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father who is in heaven.

CJB

“Be careful not to parade your acts of tzedakah in front of people in order to be seen by them! If you do, you have no reward from your Father in heaven.

CEV

When you do good deeds, don’t try to show off. If you do, you won’t get a reward from your Father in heaven.

DARBY

Take heed not to do your alms before men to be seen of them, otherwise ye have no reward with your Father who is in the heavens.

DLNT

“But take-heed not to do your righteousness in-front-of people so-as to be seen by them. Otherwise indeed, you do not have a reward with your Father in the heavens.

DRA

Take heed that you do not your justice before men, to be seen by them: otherwise you shall not have a reward of your Father who is in heaven.

ERV

“Be careful! When you do something good, don’t do it in front of others so that they will see you. If you do that, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven.

ESV

ESVUK

EXB

“·Be careful! When you do good things, don’t do them [or Be careful not to do/parade your righteous deeds] in front of people to be ·seen [noticed] by them. If you do that, you will ·have no [lose the] reward from your Father in heaven.

GNV

1 Alms. 5 Prayer. 14 Forgiving our brother. 16 Fasting. 19 Our treasure. 20 We must succor the poor. 24 God and riches. 25 Careful seeking for meat and drink, and apparel, forbidden. 33 The kingdom of God and his righteousness. Take heed that ye give not your alms before men to be seen of them, or else ye shall have no reward of your Father which is in heaven.

 

GW

“Be careful not to do your good works in public in order to attract attention. If you do, your Father in heaven will not reward you.

 

GNT

“Make certain you do not perform your religious duties in public so that people will see what you do. If you do these things publicly, you will not have any reward from your Father in heaven.

HCSB

“Be careful not to practice your righteousness in front of people, to be seen by them. Otherwise, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven.

ICB

“Be careful! When you do good things, don’t do them in front of people to be seen by them. If you do that, then you will have no reward from your Father in heaven.

ISV

“Be careful not to practice your righteousness in front of people in order to be noticed by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven.

PHILLIPS

“Beware of doing your good deeds conspicuously to catch men’s eyes or you will miss the reward of your Heavenly Father.

JUB

¶ Take heed not to do your alms before men, to be seen of them; otherwise, ye have no reward of your Father who is in the heavens.

KJV

Take heed that ye do not your alms before men, to be seen of them: otherwise ye have no reward of your Father which is in heaven.

AKJV

Take heed that ye do not your alms before men, to be seen of them: otherwise ye have no reward of your Father which is in heaven.

LEB

“And take care not to practice your righteousness before people to be seen by them; otherwise you have no reward from your Father who is in heaven.

TLB

“Take care! Don’t do your good deeds publicly, to be admired, for then you will lose the reward from your Father in heaven.

MSG

“Be especially careful when you are trying to be good so that you don’t make a performance out of it. It might be good theater, but the God who made you won’t be applauding.

MEV

“Be sure that you not do your charitable deeds before men to be seen by them. Otherwise you have no reward from your Father who is in heaven.

MOUNCE

“Take care not to perform · your good deeds before · others so as · to be seen by them; otherwise · you have no reward from · your Father who is in · heaven.

NOG

“Be careful not to do your good works in public in order to attract attention. If you do, your Father in heaven will not reward you.

NABRE

“[But] take care not to perform righteous deeds in order that people may see them; otherwise, you will have no recompense from your heavenly Father.

 

 

 

NASB

NCV

“Be careful! When you do good things, don’t do them in front of people to be seen by them. If you do that, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven.

NET

“Be careful not to display your righteousness merely to be seen by people. Otherwise you have no reward with your Father in heaven.

NIRV

“Be careful not to do good deeds in front of other people. Don’t do those deeds to be seen by others. If you do, your Father in heaven will not reward you.

NIV

“Be careful not to practice your righteousness in front of others to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven.

NIVUK

‘Be careful not to practise your righteousness in front of others to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven.

NKJV

“Take heed that you do not do your charitable deeds before men, to be seen by them. Otherwise you have no reward from your Father in heaven.

NLV

“Be sure you do not do good things in front of others just to be seen by them. If you do, you have no reward from your Father in heaven.

NLT

“Watch out! Don’t do your good deeds publicly, to be admired by others, for you will lose the reward from your Father in heaven.

NMB

Take heed to your alms, that you do not give in the sight of men with the intent to be seen by them, or you will receive no reward from your Father who is in heaven.

NRSV

“Beware of practicing your piety before others in order to be seen by them; for then you have no reward from your Father in heaven.

NRSVA

‘Beware of practising your piety before others in order to be seen by them; for then you have no reward from your Father in heaven.

NRSVACE

‘Beware of practising your piety before others in order to be seen by them; for then you have no reward from your Father in heaven.

NRSVCE

“Beware of practicing your piety before others in order to be seen by them; for then you have no reward from your Father in heaven.

NTE

‘When you are practising your piety, mind you don’t do it with an eye on the audience! Otherwise, you won’t have any reward from your father in heaven.

OJB

Be careful that you don’t practice your tzedakah (charity giving) before Bnei Adam in order to varf (show off, flaunt) to be seen by Bnei Adam; for then you have no sachar (reward) with your Av shbaShomayim.

RSV

“Beware of practicing your piety before men in order to be seen by them; for then you will have no reward from your Father who is in heaven.

 

 

RSVCE

“Beware of practicing your piety before men in order to be seen by them; for then you will have no reward from your Father who is in heaven.

TLV

“Beware of practicing your righteousness before others to be seen by them; otherwise you have no reward from your Father in heaven.

VOICE

Jesus: But when you do these righteous acts, do not do them in front of spectators. Don’t do them where you can be seen, let alone lauded, by others. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven.

WEB

“Be careful that you don’t do your charitable giving before men, to be seen by them, or else you have no reward from your Father who is in heaven.

WE

Do not do good things so that people will see you do them. If you do, you will get no reward from your Father in heaven.

WYC

Take heed, that ye do not your rightwiseness before men, to be seen of them, else ye shall have no need at your Father that is in heavens [else ye shall not have need of your Father which is in heavens].

YLT

`Take heed your kindness not to do before men, to be seen by them, and if not -- reward ye have not from your Father who [is] in the heavens;

 

 

 

The Different Ways of Translating the Words and Phrases in Matthew 6:1

 

Take Heed:  Be careful, Beware, Watch out

 

Alms:  righteousness, good deeds, religion, righteous acts, justice, charitable deeds, kindness, piety, good deeds, religious duties

 

Before men:  publicly, before others, before people, in front of spectators

 

To be seen of them:  to be admired, to show off, flaunt, to attract attention, to make a performance out of, to be noticed

 

No reward of your Father:  no applaud, no recompense