The art/science of textual criticism attempts to reconstruct the oldest or original wording of a given text.

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Acts 3:19-20: Accuracy of Greek Text and Reference of “the four-hundred and fifty” in Codex Sinaiticus

The Received Text on Acts 3:19-20 differs from such MSS as the Codex Sinaiticus (א), Alexandrinus (A), and the Codex Vaticanus (B). Questions: Is it possible that the Received Text is accurate? ...
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“In A Beginning” vs. “In THE beginning”? Different implications?

Possibly the most famous phrase in the Hebrew Bible is: "In the beginning." Anyone can recite it without ever having read the Hebrew Bible. But is that the accurate translation? With a background in ...
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On what basis do some modern Bible manuscripts omit Matt. 17:21?

According to Constantin Tischendorf's critical apparatus (p. 103, footnote for. v. 21) of Matt. 17:21, ϛ Ln Ti τοῦτο δὲ το γένος (aethppl et talis) οὐκ ἐκπορεύεται (אbG εκβαλλετ. , ti2 al15 ...
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What is the evidence that Daniel was composed entirely in Aramaic?

Another question asked why a section running from Ch. 2 - Ch. 7 of Daniel is written in Aramaic rather than in Hebrew like the rest of the book. One of the answers pointed out that some have theorized ...
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Genesis Flood Compared/Contrasted with Atrahasis & Gilgamesh? [duplicate]

Being the theologians that you are, I'm sure many of you are very well aware of the extra-biblical accounts pertaining to the Great Deluge. It's quite fascinating to read these other ancient sources ...
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Did the New Testament Writers Rely on the Hebrew Text?

Related: - Re. The Passover: Why do Christians Assert the Calendar Day Began at Sunset? 1. Question - a Reference Request Are there any textual evidences, (in the New Testament, and contemporary ...
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Who receives shame in 1 Corinthians 11:4?

1 Corinthians 11:3 Khabouris Codex ܨܒܐ ܐܢܐ ܕܝܢ ܕܬܕܥܘܢ ܕܟܠ ܓܒܪ ܪܫܗ ܡܫܝܚܐ ܗܘ ܘܪܫܗ ܕܐܢܬܬܐ ܓܒܪܐ ܗܘ ܘܪܫܗ ܕܡܫܝܚܐ ܐܠܗܐ ܗܘ Build 1 (What I find from real life) But I will understand ...
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Might “son of Barachiah” be a scribal addition in Matthew 23:35?

The apparently confused identification of "Zechariah the son of Barachiah" in Matthew 23:35 is well known.* Therefore I send you prophets and wise men and scribes, some of whom you will kill and ...
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How do the traditions of the LXX and MT versions of Jeremiah relate?

Concerning Jeremiah: does the lengthier text tradition found in the MT represent an expansion of the tradition that backed the LXX? Or does the tradition behind the LXX represent an abridgment of the ...
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Interpreting “psyche” as “soul”

In the New Testament the Greek term "psyche" often, if not always, gets translated as "soul." Would the original author using that term have meant "psyche" like we mean it today? Or, more precisely, ...
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In 1 Corinthians 2:1, which variant is more likely: «μαρτύριον» v. «μυστήριον»?

The Greek text of 1 Cor. 2:1 according to the Textus Receptus states, Αʹ Κἀγὼ ἐλθὼν πρὸς ὑμᾶς ἀδελφοί ἦλθον οὐ καθ᾽ ὑπεροχὴν λόγου ἢ σοφίας καταγγέλλων ὑμῖν τὸ μαρτύριον τοῦ θεοῦ TR, 1550 The ...
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Omission of 'fasting' in Mark 9:29

I would like to know why some versions feel it apt to omit the word "fasting" from Mark 9:29. Is this because it was not concurrent with the correct translation/ meaning of this verse? For example. ...
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Should Genesis 8:10 read “he waited” or “he waited anxiously”?

In Genesis 8:10 the first word in the MT is ויחל. The Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia (BHS) suggests emending to וייחל. Everyone seems to accept the BHS and translate this as "waited" just as if the ...
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“His love never ceases” vs. “we are not consumed” in Lamentations 3:22

Lamentations 3:22a חַֽסְדֵ֤י יְהוָה֙ כִּ֣י לֹא־תָ֔מְנוּ The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases... (ESV) ESV footnote: Syriac, Targum; Hebrew Because of the steadfast love of the LORD, ...
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Did God say that Adam will die on the same day he ate the fruit?

but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.” (Genesis 2:17, NKJV) but you must not eat from the tree of the ...
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What are the translations of the Greek word μονογενής in Ancient Versions?Is it “only” or “only-begotten”?

What are the translations of the Greek word μονογενής in Ancient Versions? What are the rendering of μονογενής into Ancient Versions of the *NT passages? Hebrew Arabic: Ethiopic: Syriac (Aramaic):...
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Should John 1:18 read “the only begotten God”?

I was reading my New King James version of the Bible and found a footnote for this verse: John 1:18 (NKJV) No one has seen God at any time. The only begotten Son,[a] who is in the bosom of the ...
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Why is the Septuagint (LXX) significant?

What is the LXX and why is it so noteworthy that there is a Greek translation of the OT? Wouldn't it be better to directly reference manuscripts in the original languages?
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Is it corruption of the LXX for adding Deut 32:43 or of the Masoretic for lacking it as quoted in Hebrews 1:6?

What passage is the author of "To the Hebrews" quoting in Hebrews 1:6?: Heb 1:6 And again, when he reintroduces the firstbegotten into the populated lands, he says, "And let all the angels of ...
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Who stood before who in Genesis 18:22?

The NIV of Genesis 18:22 reads: The men turned away and went toward Sodom, but Abraham remained standing before the Lord. However, the NIV also adds a footnote: Masoretic Text; an ancient ...
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Where was Jesus when he said “He who believes in me believes not in me…”

In John 12 Jesus is talking with a crowd and then he disappears. Then the narrator provides an explanation for why "the Jews" could not believe in Jesus. However after it ends, Jesus is talking again. ...
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Was Barabbas' given name Jesus?

The ESV is typical in it's rendering of Barabbas' name: Now at the feast the governor was accustomed to release for the crowd any one prisoner whom they wanted. And they had then a notorious ...
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How can we understand differences between the NWT and Latin/Hebrew/Greek on Zechariah 12:10?

Is there any early manuscript that shows a word translatable as "the one" (3rd person) in Zechariah 12:10? When looking at Zechariah 12:10, this is how it reads in: New World Translation (NWT) ...
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Is Joshua 21:36-37 authentic or an addition?

These two verses are not found in the NJPS: and out of the tribe of Reuben, Bezer with its pasturelands, Jahaz with its pasturelands, Kedemoth with its pasturelands, and Mephaath with its ...
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Are the three distinctive Hebrew terms, translated “breath of life,” suggesting there was a different mankind at creation than there was at the flood?

The same English phrase, "breath of life," is used to describe three distinct Hebrew phrases. "Neshamah chay" is in Genesis 2:7 (creation). "Ruwach chay" is in Genesis 6:17 (intention for death at ...
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Do any scholars argue a textual theory where the NT text was edited to make the autographa? [closed]

One Textual Creation/Transmission Theory Michael A. Grisanti in "Inspiration, Inerrancy, and the OT Canon: The Place of Textual Updating in an Inerrant View of Scripture," Journal of the Evangelical ...
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Not keep silent or to make silent in Job 41:12?

Job 41:4 (MT; v. 12 in English versions): NRSV: I will not keep silence concerning its limbs ... ESV: I will not keep silence concerning his limbs ... NASB: I will not keep silence concerning ...
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Hope or no hope in Job 13:15?

Job 13:15a NRSV: See, he will kill me; I have no hope ... ESV: Though he slay me, I will hope in him ... BHS: הֵן יִקְטְלֵנִי לֹא [לוֹ] אֲיַחֵל The difference rests on whether to prefer the ...
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What factors bear on the authenticity of Matthew 23:14?

Modern translations of the New Testament omit some verses found in the King James Bible (missing verses). The reason for the differences is that modern translations use the Nestle-Aland edition of the ...
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By what Name did God reveal Himself to Abraham?

God is on several accounts called the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. (Even by Jesus himself and by his apostles he is called their God. e.g. Mk 12:26 /Acts 3:3 I quote from this answer (from http:...
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Whose faith is the subject of Hebrews 11:11?

Πίστει καὶ αὐτὴ Σάρρα δύναμιν εἰς καταβολὴν σπέρματος ἔλαβεν καὶ παρὰ καιρὸν ἡλικίας, ἐπεὶ πιστὸν ἡγήσατο τὸν ἐπαγγειλάμενον (Hebrews 11:11, Westcott and Hort) The traditional translation of Hebrews ...
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Understanding Jesus' apparent lie in John 7:8

John 7:8: "...You go to the festival. I am not[a] going up to this festival, because my time has not yet fully come." The all important footnote: [a] John 7:8 Some manuscripts not yet It ...
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394 views

Earliest attestation to Luke's gospel

What is the earliest convincing attestation to the gospel of Luke? I believe that Justin Martyr quotes from Luke's gospel ca.150. Is that generally considered unassailable? Are there other earlier ...
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640 views

Why are the Dead Sea Scrolls (DSS) significant?

Is there anything that the Dead Sea Scrolls made clearer regarding the texts of the Old Testament? Did their discovery change the way we view the development of the Tanakh?
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What are higher and lower criticism?

What is historical criticism (also known as higher criticism)? What is textual criticism (also known as lower criticism)? How can they help us understand the scriptures? How can they interefere with ...
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What role should textual (lower) criticism play in biblical hermeneutics (if any)?

A recent comment on another question demonstrated a common perspective, namely that textual criticism is usually a bad thing when interpreting scripture (some would even go so far as to say that it is ...
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Based on recent manuscript discoveries, is the LXX more reliable than the MT?

Based on recent manuscript discoveries such as the Dead Sea Scrolls, is the text of the LXX more reliable than the MT?
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How reliable are the Dead Sea Scrolls as a base to compare against the Masoretic text and the LXX?

I often find people comparing other manuscripts (e.g., Masoretic text, LXX) against the Dead Sea Scrolls in order to determine their accuracy. For example, this thread asked how reliable the LXX was ...
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How does a Bible translator know if it is a poem?

Let's take 1 Tim 3:16 as an example among many others, where Paul wrote or quoted (ESV): Great indeed, we confess, is the mystery of godliness: He was manifested in the flesh, vindicated by the ...
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What has changed in Biblical scholarship since the Jerusalem Bible (1966) was published?

I have been reading through the Jerusalem Bible, published by the Roman Catholic Church, and have found a lot of pleasure in the copious footnotes and the surprisingly readable text. Obviously the ...
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Coherence-Based Genealogical Method vs. Local Text-Types Theory

The NA28 text marks a departure from the traditional methodology of textual criticism. As described by Jeff Kloha in the Concordia Theology Journal, Previous generations learned to classify ...
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Nestle-Aland equivalent critical apparatus for early New Testament translations

As an amateur textual critic, I've become very interested in the early translations of the New Testament, and I found this page listing a number of critical editions of NT translations. At least in ...
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Where Could One Find Introductory Material On Structural Analysis Of Text?

I realize this is a broad question and if you want to close it I understand entirely but I can't think of a better place to ask. From my own reading, I believe there are statistical methods which can ...
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How can one detect when there is a “community” behind a text?

With an epistle like Galatians, it is rather transparent that there is some sort of community to whom the letter is written. But scholars (e.g. Raymond Brown) have also been known to talk about a "...
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Best Septuagint, Masoretic, and Aramaic texts into one English version?

Is there an English version Bible that has the best and oldest translations of the Septuagint and the Masoretic and the Aramaic texts all combined into one translation?
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Matt. 5:28: αὐτὴν or αὐτῆς as the object of τὸ ἐπιθυμῆσαι?

The Textus Receptus (1550, Estienne) has the pronoun αὐτῆς as the object of the infinitive τὸ ἐπιθυμῆσαι, while the NA28 has αὐτὴν. Grammatically, which is the preferred reading? Which manuscripts ...
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Why does the Peshitta use the word ‘baptism’ for ‘enlightened’ in Hebrews 6:4?

In Hebrews it talks about certain apostates that can’t be renewed to repentance because they have undergone certain things, which they have then rejected, signifying something terribly wrong and ...
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“Blessed be the glory of the LORD from its place”

Ezekiel 3:12-13a (BHS | ESV): וַתִּשָּׂאֵ֣נִי ר֔וּחַ וָאֶשְׁמַ֣ע אַחֲרַ֔י ק֖וֹל רַ֣עַשׁ גָּד֑וֹל בָּר֥וּךְ כְּבוֹד־יְהוָ֖ה מִמְּקוֹמֽוֹ׃ וְק֣וֹל ׀ כַּנְפֵ֣י הַחַיּ֗וֹת מַשִּׁיקוֹת֙ אִשָּׁ֣ה אֶל־...
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510 views

2 Cor 5:20: “be reconciled to God” translation

I heard somewhere that in 2 Corinthians 5:20 Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech [you] by us: we pray [you] in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God because of ...
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When was the Hebrew Bible's exact text/spelling synchronized globally?

The Hebrew Bible is essentially identical in all Jewish communities, despite significant differences in spellings and wordings from the Septuagint or texts in the Dead Sea Scrolls, or even from quoted ...