The Majority Greek Text


The text used for these epistles is the Majority Greek Text. There are two to choose from: the first is the 1985 2nd edition of Zane C. Hodges and Arthur L. Farstad, and the second is that of Maurice A. Robinson and William G. Pierpont, 1991. I utilized the first for this work. You can find a collation of textual variants between them at: www.bible-researcher.com/robinson-hodges.html There are a total of 5,765 extant Greek manuscripts available for consultation. The truly oldest and best attested Greek text is not derived from the oldest extant manuscripts archaeologically discovered and unearthed as of late. Those dusty manuscripts merely survived because of the ideal Egyptian climate and they were not much used, having been set aside early on due to their many inherent defects. For example, two nearly complete, uncial, fourth century, MSS, Aleph Sinaiticus and B Vaticanus, the two most prominent of the Alexandrian text-type, contradict each other in over 3,000 places. The truly oldest and best attested Greek text is that one which came from manuscripts which were worn out because of so much love and use that no old copies were left remaining to survive. Further, the truly oldest and best attested Greek text came from original manuscripts so old that they had the longest amount of reproductive time necessary for generating the greater number of witnessing descendants resembling themselves. These, rather than the current manuscripts mistakenly termed, “the oldest and best,” are truly the oldest and best. So, rather than relying upon a mere 45 relatively recent manuscripts of the Alexandrian text-type, which have been so edited and corrupted by early copyists that the texts are now unable to textually agree amongst themselves more than 85% of the time — texts so bad that they have required a century of misguided research based on the false assumption that the so-called “oldest surviving manuscripts” represent the originals — we ought to be relying upon the 5120 Byzantine text-type manuscripts that textually agree 95% of the time amongst themselves. Furthermore, there are 2,400 early lectionary witnesses for the Byzantine text-type manuscripts as well, whereas the Alexandrian text-type manuscripts have no lectionary witnesses at all. This proves that the early Church utilized the Byzantine text-type, and not the Alexandrian text-type. The more witnesses, the older the text.

We no longer have the original manuscripts; and all of the surviving ones that we do have, share some variations. This fact by itself renders infallibility, inerrancy and divine preservation dead issues. There would not be a whit of difference between any of the manuscripts if these things were indeed true today. Comparatively, very few people can read and understand Koine Greek now anyway, let alone Aramaic. In light of this, no translation in particular is infallible, inerrant and divinely preserved in the truest sense and usage of those terms today. Therefore, dishonestly raising the false specters of inerrancy, infallibility and divine preservation to support any particular version tends toward needless division. When these three issues are illegitimately pressed concerning the Bible, one can safely respond, ‘Which version? They are all called the word of God, yet they are all different.’ The best Bible is the one which people will read — no matter what the version. The obvious fact we should not miss is that according to stated prophetic truth (Matthew 24:35; Mark 13:31; Luke 21:33) Jesus’ words generally have not passed away, regardless of the language — so lets not be too picky — most all of us cannot speak ancient Aramaic today anyway, let alone Koine Greek, for these for the most part have passed from common usage. Let us be glad we have the word of God in any version. The goal of textual research is to approximate the originals as best we can through the science of textual criticism. The collated and enhanced Synoptics aside, this book furnishes one more step in that direction.

Moreover, there are factually eight full pages less of Greek text total in the UBS4/NA28 Critical (Alexandrian) Greek Text than there is in the Majority (Byzantine) Greek Text. You must decide for yourself whether or not it was all edited in or all edited out. We could possibly admit for a minute that both texts represent the originals, but since both text-types are not the same, we cannot have it both ways. We must decide in 1st Timothy 3:16, for example, whether the “Os” is correct in the UN, or the “Theos” is correct in the MT. In the absence of any other determinative criteria, it is more logical to believe that the testimony of 5,120 total textual witnesses outweighs the testimony of a mere 45 textual witnesses — or even 12 textual witnesses regarding the Textus Receptus. It is a numerical approach, but that is all that we have to run with. Again, the oldest/earliest text is the one that has had the most time to reproduce the most descendants resembling itself. Now I would be remiss if I did not point you towards today's translations of the statistical Majority Greek Text. The reason for this is that no single manuscript reflects the strange early textual findings of the Alexandrian, critical, eclectic text-type used for most all modern versions today. That text-type has never existed in the history of the Church, with no future attestation beyond the sixth century. It is more likely that the early church fathers chose the best texts to copy for future use, thus the preponderance of Byzantine manuscripts. So, in this spirit, a list of Majority Text translations is in order to fill the void. The first is The World English Bible by Michael Paul Johnson. It is a public domain revision of the 1901 American Standard Version edited to be made conformable to the Majority Greek Text of 1982. It is a very good formal equivalent translation of the Biblia Hebraica Stutgartensa Old Testament, and the Greek Majority Text New Testament. It can be found at: https://ebible.org/ It can also be purchased in paperback https://www.amazon.com/World-English-Bible-Domain-Publishing/dp/1530857651/ref=asc_df_1530857651/?tag=bingshoppinga-20&linkCode=df0&hvadid={creative}&hvpos={adposition}&hvnetw=o&hvrand={random}&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvqmt=e&hvdev=c&hvdvcmdl={devicemodel}&hvlocint=&hvlocphy=&hvtargid=pla-4583726540873388&psc=1 Another is the Orthodox New Testament by Dormition Skete, ISBN-13: 978-0944359259, translated from the 1912 Byzantine Text, paying extra special attention to the proper use of Greek grammar, therefore making it a really good and accurate rendering. Another is the 2009 English Majority Text Version by Paul W. Esposito Th.D. http://www.majoritytext.com/ Also by Dr. Esposito is a 2007 paperback version titled: The Byzantine Majority New Testament ISBN-13: 978-1-4357-2273-6. Another is the 2004 paperback printing of Young's Literal Translation of the Bible by Robert Young, 1862, ISBN-13 978-0965307833. This is translated in the KJV tradition utilizing both the Textus Receptus and the Majority Greek Text available at that time. There are modern-day reprints of this available. Then, of course there is this present volume, however short.


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