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

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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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135 views

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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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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2answers
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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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65 views

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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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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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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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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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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475 views

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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1answer
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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 ...
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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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127 views

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 ...
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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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361 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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2answers
626 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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2answers
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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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361 views

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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480 views

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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362 views

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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411 views

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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173 views

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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2answers
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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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571 views

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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90 views

“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 ...
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What passage is the author of “To the Hebrews” quoting 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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5answers
485 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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132 views

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 ...
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Isaiah 3:12: ‘…women rule over them.'

Isaiah 3:12a: My people — infants are their oppressors,      and women rule over them. (ESV) עַמִּי נֹגְשָׂיו מְעוֹלֵל וְנָשִׁים מָשְׁלוּ בוֹ (WLC) ...
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What is the proper translation of Hosea 11:12?

I have been researching Hosea 11:12 and have come to realize that it is translated differently in many differing translations of the Bible. It is sometimes translated that Judah walked (or ruled) with ...
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Bart D. Ehrman - respected critic? [closed]

I found Misquoting Jesus: The Story Behind Who Changed the Bible and Why troublesome to my understanding of the translation process of the bible. It has made me review my understanding of the bible. ...
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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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How many days until Nineveh will be overthrown?

When Jonah declares the destruction of Nineveh to its inhabitants, his only words are (3:4b): עוֹד אַרְבָּעִ֣ים י֔וֹם וְנִֽינְוֵ֖ה נֶהְפָּֽכֶת׃ (BHS) Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be ...
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268 views

Could saying that Melchizedek was “without beginning of days or end of life” possibly be a textual error?

Few mysteries of the Bible have attracted more interest than the mystery of the identity of Melchizedek. He is mentioned in Genesis 14:14-20; Psalm 110:4; Hebrews 5:6, 10, 6:20, 7:1-17; but Hebrews ...
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255 views

Who are “the sons of disobedience” in Colossians 3:6?

If this variant represents the original text, then who are "the sons of disobedience" (τοὺς υἱοὺς τῆς ἀπειθείας, tous huious tēs apeitheias) in Colossians 3:6? NA28: δι᾿ ἃ ἔρχεται ἡ ὀργὴ τοῦ ...
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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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Are there any major contestants to the transmissional accuracy of the NT? [closed]

I've been doing some research on how reliable the reconstructed Greek NTs are (I would suppose the Nestle-Aland and UBS). One paper I see cited more than any other is Clay Jones' paper to the ...
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Is John 7:53-8:11 original to John's gospel?

I've read several recent commentaries on John 8 and all agree that the story of the woman caught in adultery almost certainly wasn't there in the original manuscript. Is it original?
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Is the ending of the Gospel of Mark (16:9-20) original?

Some scholars believe that the ending of Mark is unoriginal due to it appearing to have a different style and the fact that it's missing from some key manuscripts. At the same time, several early ...
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1answer
158 views

What is the correct translation and meaning of Matt. 11:19?

Matt. 11:19 says,(KJV) " The Son of man came eating and drinking, and they say, Behold a man gluttonous, and a winebibber, a friend of publicans and sinners. But wisdom is justified of her ...
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767 views

What is the original Number of the Beast?

Seems trivial question, because 666 had been widely accepted as the original. However if you investigate further different early versions of the Book of Revelation, they gave different Numbers of the ...
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1answer
66 views

Were New Testament Books Written to be Historical Documents?

Question Did New Testament Authors, (such as Luke), employ extant "copying" techniques used by Scribes to ensure that content would be preserved, and that copies could be authenticated? For Example: ...
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Two Jozabad's in 1 Chronicles 12:20?

I found this interesting and wondered if anyone had anything to say about it. 1 Chronicles 12 20 As he went to Ziklag, there fell to him of Manasseh, Adnah, and Jozabad, and Jediael, and ...