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Thread: two lines - two streams - two trees

  1. Default two lines - two streams - two trees

    This will be the spot for a single thread on this question of a popular AV presentation. There is a myth-buster element involved.
    Last edited by Steven Avery; 05-31-2017 at 02:47 PM.

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    First, some earlier writings.

    KJV Bible Forums
    Streams of Bibles, the Reformation Bible & KJB Defense

    ================================================== ==========


    Alexandrian Cult - I agree that the blind allegiance of many today to the modern version probability-possibililty critical text (based on two corrupt manuscripts) is irrational .. not understandable logically, and "Alexandrian cult" is one reasonable explanation. Many people simply do not want there to be a final authority, so they are attracted to theories that allow them to reject the one pure Bible and tangible inspiration and preservation. A smorgasbord approach is preferred.

    (After all, even James White says he prefers the KJB text of 1 Timothy 3:16 .. those who have the Alexandrian cult mentality do not really believe their text is the pure word of God, it is simply a possible starting point for thoughts and redactions and rejections and changes and the person's own decisions. And they never want to state clearly their actual "probability" that a verse they are reading is the word of God rather than the tampering of man. They will simply tell you what they are "comfortable with" .. a recent response I received .. and they are comfortable with not knowing God's word from man's tampering. No verse is sure. )

    However the modern versions today, full of errors and corruptions and omissions, do not represent any "stream of Bibles" at all. No known Greek or Latin or Syriac Bible churches and communities from 400 AD to 1881 were ever reading such corrupt versions as are put out today from the "Critical Text", nothing even remotely close.

    Over the period from 400 AD to today, many were reading the Latin Vulgate, yet the Latin Vulgate is not remotely as corrupt as the Critical Text today, e.g. it has the resurrection account of the Lord Jesus in the Gospel of Mark, the Pericope Adultera, the heavenly witnesses, Acts 8:37, John 1:18 correct and more. While also having many corruptions as in 1 Timothy 3:16, Matthew 5:22 , and also a number of poor translations from Greek to Latin.

    The difficulty of talking about streams of Bibles is something like this, working with a purity quotient.


    KJB - 100%
    TR - Reformation Bible - 99% (some editions have corruptions like Luke 2:22)
    Greek Byzantine MSS - 85 %
    Peshitta 75%
    Old Latin 55% (variable by manuscript)
    Vulgate 50%
    Critical Text - 5% (W-H, or NA-27)
    Vaticanus - Sinaiticus - 1% (Bezae is similar).

    Numbers are my estimates, based on research and studies.

    The Reformation Bible was developed in a providential manner, see REFORMATION BIBLE DYNAMIC below, which is why it is exceedingly pure.

    Returning to STREAMS OF BIBLES -- > the Critical Text and Vaticanus-Sinaiticus simply have no significant historical attestation. They represent a certain amount of limited usage in the 4th century (since there is a connection to the Constantine 50 Bibles). By the fifth century the Greek world was working with the pure Byzantine Text and the Latin world was working with the fair Vulgate and Old Latin lines, the alexandrian corruption manuscripts were of little note. A few Greek extant manuscripts over the next 1000 years show a mild affinity to the alexandrian mss (perhaps up to 10 more manuscripts, less than 1%, are said to have some affinity, yet these often agree with our Byzantine text and will not have many of the alexandrian corruptions in Vaticanus and Sinaiticus). We know of no church which utilized these texts, east or west, after whoever used the Constantine-Eusebius-published Bible in the 300s and its small lineage.


    The problem with talking of "streams of Bibles" is that it tends to underplay the significance of the abject corruption in the modern versions, which corruption, hundreds of blunders, errors, omissions .. simply has no significant historical ecclesiastical or textual support. No stream of Bibles is reflected. No churches in Antioch or Rome or Greece or Spain or Constaninople or England or Carthage was reading a Bible that was corrupt in the manner of the modern GNT or the even worse underlying manuscripts, Vaticanus and Sinaiticus.

    Remember the English translations fudge a lot of issues (keeping the reader guessing) by including text in special print or location or footnote that their own GNT actually claims is not original scripture, in their normal "we are not really sure" fashion. And this is after the Critical Text GNT ignores hundreds of obvious blunders in its own underlying proof-texts, Vaticanus and Sinaiticus. See e.g. the Tischendorf offhand reference to "many obvious blunders" or the Dean John Burgon analysis, or the verses given by Scrivener and Hoskier.

    Thus a fabricated text (first secretly foisted in 1871 by Westcott and Hort upon the revision committee with no public or peer review and analysis and discussion) was created that has about 200 verses (Professor Maurice Robinson, precise number unsure) with no exemplar in any language whatsoever. This is because within one verse a dubious word can be taken from Vaticanus here and a phrase from Sinaitcus there, creating a unique textual hybrid hopeful monster. Which then becomes a modern version "Bible".

    Also the Stream of Bible argument tends to be unfair to the Vulgate, which is downgraded to an equivalence to the ultra-corrupt modern versions as an "Alexandrian cult" text. Also it tends to lift up the Old Latin too much, as if this was clearly a distinct and major improvement over the Vulgate texts.


    And by making the Vulgate the textual enemy, the KJB defender has to work awkwardly around the fascinating and powerful Reformation Bible dynamic, which actually incorporated together the preservation from the Greek fountainhead and the Vulgate and Old Latin, with excellent reference to and support from early church writers and internal evidences. Thus the lacks in the Greek text that were correct in the Latin (often simply omissions, the most trivial scribal error, like the heavenly witnesses and minority textual representation for Acts 8:37) were easily seen to be pure scripture by the solid combination of textual considerations. This was done by the Bible textual giants of Erasmus unto Stephanus unto Beza .. with a providential process of correction and purification unto 1611.


    Not understanding these issues fully has led to two competing defective KJB positions. On one side, the Dean John Burgon society folks, and some others, try to fudge the actual development process of the Textus Receptus and mix it up with the Greek Byzantine Text (a major component in development, but a different text), a major conceptual error. This can be seen clearly in a recent Kirk DiVietro interview.

    As a side-error the DBS claims that they are essentially "TR Only" (no inspiration for you, AV) that they support by trying to work around the clear words of the AV in 2 Timothy 3:16 that scripture is present-tense ie. today. This is a terrible inconsistency, since they claim to affirm the English KJB words on one hand, and then try to "correct" them by Greek twirling, simply to try to separate the AV from inspired scripture. A real scholastic travesty, almost humorous in its transparent inconsistency.

    Also the DBS struggles with the simple fact they have no one TR text, that the TR was a process of textual correction and purification. Trying to affirm the Scrivener 1881 text, derivative from the KJB, is clearly logically futile. And in fact the King James Bible actually represents the apex of purity and perfection of the Received Text development and dynamic.

    The other defective position is given by Gail Riplinger who seeks to emphasize the northern European "vernacular versions" (e.g. Gothic, Gaellic, Celtic, Old Saxon) as a supposed significant element of development of the King James Bible, which is a sidestep around the providential Reformation Bible. This emphasis simply lacks historical and textual support. Those European vernaculars were usually Old Latin and Vulgate derivative, the Gothic is Greek-derivative, their texts were of minimal textual import from 1500 to 1611 to today, except to help corroborate specific readings (e.g. Gothic Codex Argentus supports the Mark ending yet not the Pericope Adultera).

    Aware King James Bible defenders, I would suggest, should avoid both ditches. In a certain sense the DBS ditch is more conceptually serious, since it involves the very definitions of scripture and inspiration and which text is the pure and perfect word of God. Yet the Riplinger diversion to a non-relevant issue away from the Reformation Bible can only hinder our defense of the pure Bible. We should simply want our exposition to be on a sound basis.

    Here is Edward Hills on the providential element of the Reformation Bible.

    "the formation of the Textus Receptus was guided by the special providence of God. There were three ways in which the editors of the Textus Receptus Erasmus. Stephanus. Beza. and the Elzevirs, were providentially guided. In the first place, they were guided by the manuscripts which God in His providence had made available to them. In the second place, they were guided by the providential circumstances in which they found themselves. Then in the third place, and most of all. they were guided by the common faith. Long before the Protestant Reformation, the God-guided usage of the Church had produced throughout Western Christendom a common faith concerning the New Testament text, namely, a general belief that the currently received New Testament text, primarily the Greek text and secondarily the Latin text, was the True New Testament Text which had been preserved by God's special providence. It was this common faith that guided Erasmus and the other early editors of the Textus Receptus." - Edward Hills
    This is a good starting point for a more balanced understanding, as long was we continue that providential element unto the Authorized Version !

    (follow-up post at the url on top.)
    Facebook - King James Bible Debate - Nov 9, 2014 nts=27

    The key error in these charts is simple, it is the false dichotomy created in the Latin lines. In point of fact, the Old Latin and the Vulgate with the ECW that used those latin Bibles, all contributed to the excellence of the Reformation Bible.

    The error here is from the heritage of Benjamin Wilkinson mangling Frederick Nolan, in order to paint the Vulgate as the bad Bible against the Waldensian good Bible. In point of fact, the people of the hills likely loved the sound and rhythm of their Bibles and resisted ... at some times, yet not fully ... the Vulgate. If so, and it is not easily demonstrable, this was more cultural and linguistic, the community of faith expressed, than textual.

    All charts and expositions that put the Old Latin and the Vulgate on opposite sides of the Bible divide are not aligned with the textual truth. Jerome updated the existing Old Latin mss, rather faithfully. And it is hard to tell what Greek ms he used, since the updates were small and we don't have the 400 AD Vulgate extant. And the problem overall is not a small problem, because it then becomes necessary to fog up the excellent use of the Greek fountainhead and Latin traditional Bibles by the learned men who gave us the Reformation Bible.

    See Edward Freer Hills as an AV defender who acknowledged this contributions. This fogging is done by many. Gail Riplinger, as one example, attempts to squeeze in vernacular versions -- as the replacement for the true history that would acknowledge the Latin contribution to our Bibles. However the basic problem came decades before Gail Riplinger.

    The rcc even supported the fine scholarship of the Complutensian and of Erasmus, against the Latin Bible cultrual primacy as late as the early 1500s. It was only the counter-reformation of Trent around 1546, against the pure Received Text, where they went wildly astray. Then in the 1900s they supported the ultra-corrupt Westcott-Hort recension, going even more astray. Perhaps they angled for that as a plan B, as in the two meetings with Tischendorf, in one of which the pope virtually kissed his ring.


    Textually, the Old Latin and the Vulgate are about equal, in fact the Old Latin has some wildness in readings where the Vulgate is more attune to the pure Bible.

    Hope this helps, I know many AV defenders have found the simplified two lines charts to be colorful, largely accurate, and effective.

    ** And there are two major Greek lines, that can be described as Antiochan and Alexandrian. **
    However, a chart like the one above shoots for a lot more, and can wound you in the foot.
    CARM 2014 (purged)
    The two streams charts are oversimplified, and have some major problems.

    The biggest single problem can be seen by looking at the Latin mss, the Old Latin, which on the left is "Latin Bibles" and the Vulgate, which is put as Jerome 382. (Actual year is 383 for the Gospels, later for the rest.)

    These two lines often intermixed in the manuscript lines. They both often support the pure Bible readings, having contributed to the Received Text. And often support the corruptions in the Vaticanus Alexandrian text (both are fine on the two 12-verse major omissions.) Thus, they are somewhere in the middle, however that is not what the chart is looking for. And the great majority of the time the Old Latin Bibles and the Vulgate agree (which is not surprising, since the Vulgate was an update of the Old Latin.)

    If you have specific questions about any blocks in the chart, or how the ideas behind the chart developed, or the claims of MartialApologist above, or what is a better conceptual way to look at the development of the pure Reformation Bible, I would be happy to address any such specifics. #27 In this case, even Steven Avery admits that the two-streams argument does not hold up and is not sound.
    There is nothing to "admit". It is a happy acknowledgement, and I never used two streams theory. As the proper understanding shows that the Reformation Bible drew from the fountainhead Greek and historic Latin lines. The two streams theory fudges that history.

    By cleaning up the problems in the two streams theory (whether it is maintained in a modified form or not) it becomes much easier to understand the superb textual work of Erasmus, Stephanus and Beza, that brought forth pure English Bibles like the Tyndale and Geneva, and then the most excellent, the AV.
    Facebook - Textus Receptus Defense - June, 2015 s=4&comment_tracking={tn%3AR0}

    While the colors are nice, and the theory is interesting, the facts simply do not match up. Trying to put the Old Latin and the Vulgate on opposite sides of a divide simply does not match the evidences. The Vulgate made a solid contribution to the Reformation Bible. The Vaticanus text is far more corrupt than the Vulgate or Old Latin. The so-called Old Syriac is ultra-corrupt, the Peshitta is the better Syriac text. The Ethiopic is Alexandrian. The Bohemian is essentially from the Vulgate.

    The basic problem, the textual paradigm is wrong, it was passed down from Benjamin Wilkinson, it is flawed, it has elements of truth and large elements of error when so presented, and overall, is better discarded. The alternatives is really understanding the dynamic of the development of the Reformation Bible and its purity, excellence and majesty, (As well as the Westcott-Hort Vaticanus primacy critical text corruption.) It is true that the rcc has embraced that textus corruptus now as its plan B, after the Reformation Bible defeated the Vulgate in the 1500s-->1700 Battle of the Bible.
    Active discussion here:

    King James Bible Debate May, 2017

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    Some historical references.
    The starting point of two lines theory.

    Authorized Bible Vindicated (1930)
    Benjamin G. Wilkinson

    “Fundamentally, there are only two streams of Bibles."
    Next, how he mangled Frederick Nolan.
    Others who followed this lead, directly or through Fuller.

    Dr. Nolan, who had already acquired fame for his Greek and Latin scholarship, and researches into Egyptian chronology, and was a lecturer of note, spent twenty-eight years to trace back the Received Text to its apostolic origin. He was powerfully impressed to examine the history of the Waldensian Bible. He felt certain that researches in this direction would demonstrate that the Italic New Testament, or the New Testament of those primitive Christians of northern Italy whose lineal descendants the Waldenses were, would turn out to be the Received Text. He says:

    "The author perceived, without any labor of inquiry, that it derived its name from that diocese, which has been termed the Italick, as contradistinguished from the Roman. This is a supposition, which receives a sufficient confirmation from the fact, that the principal copies of that version have been preserved in that diocese, the metropolitan church of which was situated in Milan. The circumstance is at present mentioned, as the author thence formed a hope, that some remains of the primitive Italick version might be found in the early translations made by the Waldenses, who were the lineal descendants of the Italick Church; and who have asserted their independence against the usurpation of the Church of Rome, and have ever enjoyed the free use of the Scriptures. In the search to which these considerations have led the author, his fondest expectations have been fully realized. It has furnished him with abundant proof on that point to which his inquiry was chiefly directed; as it has supplied him with the unequivocal testimony of a truly apostolical branch of the primitive church, that the celebrated text of the heavenly witnesses was adopted in the version which prevailed in the Latin Church, previously to the introduction of the modern Vulgate."f52

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