Tag Archives: Biblical Criticism

Wallace: Fifteen Myths about Bible Translation

Prof. Daniel B. Wallace discusses “Fifteen Myths about Bible Translation.” Wallace is a well known and respected scholar dealing with issues pertaining to the Greek language and Textual Criticism.

Wallace says,

Perhaps the number one myth about Bible translation is that a word-for-word translation is the best kind.

Whatever your current level of knowledge about Bible translations, you are sure to learn something from these “Fifteen Myths” even if you don’t agree with all of them.

Read the full article here.

HT: BibleX

More famous Sinopeans

In addition to Diogenes and Serapis, Sinop in Pontus was the home of several other well known people in early church history.

Aquila. (Not the Aquila of Acts 18:2.) This Aquila, a native of Sinop in Pontus, is said to have been a relative of the Emperor Hadrian (A.D. 117-138). He was converted to Christianity during a visit to Jerusalem, but was rejected because he refused to give up his studies of astronomy. Later he became a proselyte to Judaism.

Having become a disciple of the Rabbis, from whom he learned Hebrew and the rabbinical method of exegesis, he used his knowledge to make a revision of the Septuagint, bringing it into line with the official Hebrew text. It was soon adopted by Greek speaking Jews in preference to the LXX, which was used by the Christians. His translation, which was finished probably c. 140, was extremely literal, attempting to reproduce individual Hebrew words and phrases exactly. This procedure frequently obscured the sense; but the fidelity of Aquila’s version to the Hebrew original was admitted by the Fathers most competent to judge, such as Origen and Jerome. (Dictionary of the Christian Church, ed. Cross & Livingstone, 94).

Tower and wall on the Black Sea at Sinop, Turkey. Photo by Ferrell Jenkins.

Tower and wall on the Black Sea at Sinop, Turkey. Photo by Ferrell Jenkins.

Marcion (died c. 160 A.D.). We rarely read or hear the name Marcion without the word heretic attached to it. None of his writings have survived, but his success can be seen by the many early Fathers who spoke of him. (For a list of these see Bercot, ed., A Dictionary of Early Christian Beliefs.) This influential ship master of Pontus rejected the God of the Old Testament who he described as evil and vengeful. According to him, the Christian gospel was a message of love, and the Father of Jesus was not the God of the Old Testament. Many of his views were similar to those of Gnosticism. Marcion accepted only the Gospel of Luke among the Gospels, and the writings of Paul.

Marcion went to Rome about A.D. 140, but within 4 years he was excommunicated from the church. From Rome he spread his teachings all over the Empire.

Phocas (Phokas). Phocas was martyred at Sinop in A.D. 117 during the reign of the Roman Emperor Trajan.

According to the Dictionary of the Christian Church (1282), a different man named Phocas “the Gardener” was martyred  during the persecution by the Roman Emperor Diocletian in A.D. 303. I haven’t determined if he was associated with the port city of Sinop. Wilson seems to confuse these two persons (Biblical Turkey, 342).

The Sinop Gospels is not a person, but should be mentioned in connection with the Black Sea port of Turkey. This parchment document was dyed purple and written in gold ink. The uncial manuscript 023 contains 43 pages of the gospel of Matthew. The manuscript was discovered in Sinop in the late 19th century is thought to have originated in Syria or Mesopotamia in the 6th century A.D. It is now in the Bibliothèque Nationale in Paris.

A brief description in French, and a small image of two pages of the manuscript may be found here. The manuscript features small drawings to illustrate the biblical text. The displayed page shows Jesus healing a blind man.

Monday meandering — August 1

My upgrade to BibleWorks 9 arrived about a week ago. I am enjoying getting acquainted with some of the new features and resources. For information see here.

Bible Works 9

Mark Hoffman has given a sort of pre-review at his Biblical Studies and Technology Tools website here. Hoffman was a beta tester for the new version.

Hoffman also talks about Logos for Android here. As a user of Logos (Libronix) I was delighted to see this beta app for the Android. I am enjoying access to many of the Logos books and have downloaded a couple of significant volumes.

Carl Rasmussen, author of Zondervan’s Atlas of the Bible, recently visited a well preserved portion of the Caesarea aqueduct. But it is not the portion of the aqueduct that most tourists see immediately north of Caesarea. This portion is about 3 miles north-northwest of Caesarea. Nice photos included on his HolyLandsPhoto blog here.

Carl also reports that a new paved road now goes directly to Yodfat (Jotapata). This is an improvement over the hour long walk to the site. See here. He visited Qumran, caves 1 and 11. See here.

Since I wrote the two paragraphs above there is a new post about the Middle Bronze I Age tombs (2200-2000 B.C.) located about 16 miles northeast of Jerusalem at Dhahr Mirzbaneh (east of Ein Samiya). Click here.

These three posts by Prof. Rasmussen include photos with a link to additional photos at his Holy Land Photos site.

The Center for the Study of New Testament Manuscripts (CSNTM) announces that they have added Free Audio and Video at iTunes U.

The Center for the Study of New Testament Manuscripts (CSNTM) has always been committed to helping others understand the reliability of our New Testaments, the history of translations, the study of the text, and significant figures who have made this possible.

Beginning today, CSNTM is making a series of videos concerning New Testament manuscripts, textual criticism, history of the New Testament, and expert commentary on key verses available as a free download on iTunes U.

Featured in the videos are interviews and footage shot around the world of important people involved in the work of the Center. Dr. Daniel B. Wallace will also be featured as he explains important aspects in the study of the text of the New Testament.

CSNTM homepage is here. The direct link to the series on Biblical Criticism at iTunes U is here. Inexpensive way to get a great education. Daniel Wallace does a superb job with these presentations. Take some time to listen and study.

Dr. Wallace will debate Bart D. Ehrman at SMU in Dallas Saturday October 1 on the subject Can We Trust the Text of the New Testament? There is a charge for admission, but perhaps this material will be available later on audio/video. Info here.

The Book of Kells and the Scottish connection

Last week I visited the Trinity College Library in Dublin, Ireland, to take another look at the Book of Kells which dates to about A.D. 800.

Entrance to Trinity College Library. Photo by Ferrell Jenkins.

Entrance to Trinity College Library and the Book of Kells. Photo by Ferrell Jenkins.

Two volumes of the famous illuminated Gospels in Latin were on display in a special case. One showed the first words of Luke 4.
And Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit in the wilderness. (Luke 4:1, ESV)

Two full pages were used for these words and the associated drawings. Another volume was open to John 7:31-40.

The Book of Kells is famous for its drawings showing the The Four Evangelists, that is, the four writers of the Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John). Souvenirs may be seen in shops throughout Ireland with these images imprinted on them. Here is a plate depicting John as an eagle.

John as an Eagle. Photo by Ferrell Jenkins.

John as an Eagle. Photo by Ferrell Jenkins.

In A.D. 597 Saint Columba went from Ireland to Iona, an island near the coast of Scotland, to teach Christianity. The famous Book of Kells, an illuminated Gospels, was likely prepared by the monks of Iona about A.D. 800.

It is not certain that anything remains on the island of Iona from the time of Columba, but there are numerous medieval ruins. Here is a photo I made a couple of years on the island.

Columns on the Isle of Iona, Scotland. Photo by Ferrell Jenkins.

Columns on the Isle of Iona, Scotland. Photo by Ferrell Jenkins.

Eventually the Book of Kells was brought to the Abbey of Kells, a monastery that had been founded by Columba, about 40 miles north of Dublin.

Trinity College was founded in in 1592 under a charter of  Queen Elizabeth. The oldest remaining buildings date to the early 1700s. Visitors are allowed to visit the Long Room of the Old Library. This room, almost 200 feet long, is impressive to anyone who loves books.

The Long Room of Trinity College Library

The Long Room of Trinity College Library. Photo by Ferrell Jenkins.