Georgios Babiniotis affirms heavenly witnesses, with nod to Eugenius Voulgaris

Steven Avery

Administrator
This is the post as put in tonight by Nick Sayers, who made the connection with learned and esteemed Greek linguist.

The part from Nick about contra challenges is secondary, as the fundamental issues are now completed.

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

Facebook - Textus Receptus Academy
Nick Sayers
Sept 3, 2020
https://www.facebook.com/groups/467217787457422/permalink/720761625436369/

Voulgaris vindicated by leading Greek expert.

Most critical text proponents don't even engage in the grammatical issues surrounding the Johannine Comma, and those who do, such as Barry Hoffstetter, or James White, only reveal that they are not adequately informed about this issue.

In an email discussion with Professor Georgios Babiniotis a few months ago, I asked him about validity of the claims of legendary Greek professor Eugenius Voulgaris concerning the Johannine Comma. Those familiar with the grammatical arguments made by Voulgaris will be pleased to know that Babiniotis, who is probably one of the most important Greek linguists alive today, said that not only was Voulgaris correct to say we need to keep the Comma for grammatical reasons, and he also took it a step further by pointing out that verse 7 justifies verse 8 because of the “syntactic parallelism” of these two verses.

Babiniotis is a Greek linguist and philologist who has written several books about Greek grammar, etymology, and other Greek language related topics. He is the former Minister of Education and Religious Affairs of Greece, and previously served as rector of Athens University.

As David Crystal is to English speaking people, so Georgios Babiniotis is to the Greek speaker. Here are some of the books he has written here: https://babiniotis.gr/ergografia/vivlia. You may know of Babiniotis from his Greek dictionary which is often simply called the "Babiniotis" dictionary.

In May he wrote the following and attached a word doc:

“...Dear Mr Sayers,

I apologize that only now I can answer your kind letter about the N.T. passage discussed by Ευγένιος Βούλγαρης.

Here is my opinion as a linguist, not as an expert in theology.

Γ. Μπαμπινιώτης...”

===

(Word Doc)
I will not discuss the opinion of the really great theologist and scholar (yet not a linguist) bishop Ευγένιος Βούλγαρης as I do not know on what conditions it was formulated. However, linguistically —though with another explanation— Ευγένιος Βούλγαρης is right to consider verse 5.7 obligatory for the existence of verse 5.8.

What you are asking has two aspects: a theological and a linguistic one. I can only say my own opinion on the linguistic aspect of the specific text within the frame of what is quite often used in regard to the Greek language and passages of New Testament Greek.

The use of masculine gender and not neuter on 5.8.

«καὶ τρεῖς εἰσιν οἱ μαρτυροῦντες ἐν τῇ γῇ,
τὸ Πνεῦμα καὶ τὸ ὕδωρ καὶ τὸ αἷμα
καὶ οἱ τρεῖς εἰς τὸ ἕν εἰσιν»


is linguistically justified on the pattern of “syntactic parallelism”, i.e. on the ground that it makes a pattern completely the same (“parallel”) in structure with that of 5.7.

ὅτι τρεῖς εἰσιν οἱ μαρτυροῦντες ἐν τῷ οὐρανῷ,
ὁ Πατήρ, ὁ Λόγος καὶ τὸ Ἅγιον Πνεῦμα
καὶ οὗτοι οἱ τρεῖς ἕν είσι


So for Modern Linguistic analysis what is important is not the mere grammatical “gender agreement rule” (which would lead to the usage of neuter gender : «καὶ τρία εἰσὶ τὰ μαρτυροῦντα ἐν τῇ γῇ…»), but the overruling schema of “syntactic parallelism” which is much more stronger than a simple gender agreement rule.

Conclusion. The issue we refer to has more to do with the linguistic style of the passage; it is the result of a stylistic selection which is far beyond the usage of a grammatical/syntactic rule that would lead to neuter gender and which furthermore would eliminate verse 5.7.
===
(End of word doc)

George later said in an email:

“...I have given you my own linguistic explanation which is to keep verse 5.7. which justifies verse 5.8. It is grammatical and mainly “syntactic parallelism” of these two verses...”

So I hereby challenge those of the Anglo Sanhedrin who desire to delete the Comma, such as James White, Dan Wallace, Barry Hoffstetter, James Snapp Jr, Stephen Boyce, Bill Brown, Bart Ehrman, Elijah Hixson, etc, to refute the claims of this top Greek linguist, who has basically just confirmed that the Greek grammatical argumentation that myself (Nick Sayers), Steven Avery, Will Kinney, Edward Hill, Jack Moorman, and many other TR/KJV people hold to, is not only correct, but that the Comma is also linguistically justified on the pattern of “syntactic parallelism”.

(I will upload the word doc to the Textus Receptus Academy page.)
 
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Steven Avery

Administrator
Steven Avery:

This is a wonderful note.
Notice the deep respect for the historic world-class Greek scholar Eugenius Bulgaris (Voulgaris.)

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

1 John 5:7-8 (AV)

For there are three that bear record in heaven,
the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost:
and these three are one.

And there are three that bear witness in earth,
the spirit, and the water, and the blood:
and these three agree in one

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

It has been a wild ride watching the contras jump from one false argument to other fake arguments, and using obviously irrelevant analogy verses (even Hofstetter who should have known better), always sneering.

It might limit Georgios Babiniotis to use the David Crystal comparison. While Crystal is a wonderful academic, and has even been of help on AV issues, my understanding is that Babiniotis is a central figure in Greek language and culture.

Personally, I have talked of this parallelism for years, how the two verses are one grammatical unit, it is nice to see such a high-level explanation (and vindication :)).

When Frederick Nolan used the phrase "figure attraction", referencing the Port Royal grammar, the sense was meant to be similar, but the term itself was not so clear. It has always been clear that the two verses, in parallel, act as one grammatical unit. Thus the short text is a bald solecism and the majestic full heavenly and earthly witnesses is majestic, strong and true.

Kudos to Nick Sayers for making the connection with Georgios Babiniotis.
 
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Steven Avery

Administrator
Also mirrored here in the easy-read:

Pure Bible Forum
Georgios Babiniotis affirms heavenly witnesses, with nod to Eugenius Voulgaris
https://www.purebibleforum.com/inde...enly-witnesses-else-short-text-solecism.1472/

Plus, a whole research section on the topic! The last two years or so, it became much clearer to me how central is this wonderful grammar evidence.

Pure Bible Forum
solecism in the abbreviated Critical Text
https://www.purebibleforum.com/index.php?forums/solecism-in-the-abbreviated-critical-text.72/
 

Steven Avery

Administrator
Here is where the Facebook discussion has been taking place.
Emphasis on the first four is supportive, the next two is combative, with the Barry Hofstetter cliques involved.

Facebook - Textus Receptus Academy
Nick Sayers
Sept 3, 2020
https://www.facebook.com/groups/467217787457422/permalink/720761625436369/

Facebook - Nick Sayers

Facebook - PureBible
https://www.facebook.com/groups/purebible/permalink/3284449251646941/

Facebook - Steven Avery

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

Facebook - New Testament Greek Study
https://www.facebook.com/groups/354690344628879/permalink/3060527580711795/

Facebook - Biblical Greek Studies of the New Testament
Sept 8, 2020
https://www.facebook.com/groups/biblicalgreekstudies/permalink/2051081548348955/
George Panayiotou
I fully agree with the view expressed by Prof. Georgios Babiniotis that the stylistic and structural device of "syntactic parallelism" argues convincingly and irrefutably in favor of the authenticity of the Johannine Comma (=1 John 5.7)!

Facebook - Nerdy Theology Majors (small discussion)
https://www.facebook.com/groups/NerdyTheologyMajors/permalink/3283784841714901/
 
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Steven Avery

Administrator
Blog post, good for forums:

Voulgaris Vindicated by Leading Greek Expert
https://johanninecomma.blogspot.com/2020/09/voulgaris-vindicated-by-leading-greek.html

while this page is:

Pure Bible Forum
Georgios Babiniotis affirms heavenly witnesses, with nod to Eugenius Voulgaris
https://www.purebibleforum.com/inde...enly-witnesses-else-short-text-solecism.1472/
 

Steven Avery

Administrator
On the Evangelical Textual Criticism Board
https://evangelicaltextualcriticism...howComment=1600283550601#c6053894579453112780


9/17/2020 1:46 pm
I have a problem with the logic of using Babiniotis's grammatical argument text-critically.

Babiniotis has given a good explanation for the masculine participle in the longer version of 1 John 5:8, as a syntactical parallel for the masculine participle in the longer version of v. 7, in a text that has those longer readings.

However, this comes from the starting point of a text with those longer readings, which is precisely the point in dispute.

What is needed is to address the grammatical peculiarity of the masculine participle in the shorter version, where the argument of syntactical parallelism would not apply.

Is Babiniotis really saying that the shorter version is linguistically impossible? That no other explanation for the masculine participle aside from syntactical parallelism can possibly be given? His use of the word "obligatory" in the above quote implies this. But I doubt that he could possibly mean something that extreme. Of course there are possible explanations for the masculine participle in the shorter text. There may not be any that are obvious enough to say, "This one explanation is certainly the reason the author used the masculine form." But possible explanations exist. For example, perhaps the author's choice was prompted more by the sense of the participle μαρτυροῦντες, which personified the following nouns as a group of men who bore witness to something, than it was by those nouns themselves. But whether that be the explanation or not, disagreements in gender are not unprecedented in the Greek NT, nor in other Greek literature, nor in other writings in any other languages that use gendered words. Whatever grammatical rules we come up with, we'll find people breaking them.

Suffice it to say, the grammar of the shorter text, peculiar though it may be, is not so jarring that a Greek reader who reads it will have no choice but to say to themselves, "This grammar is wrong. There must have originally been another clause before this one which has been omitted from my copy and which obliged John to use a masculine participle for the sake of syntactical parallelism."

After all, we know that the shorter version of the text is the only one that was read by most if not all native Greek speakers for many centuries up until printed Greek Bibles added the longer version, with only very few and very late exceptions. They read it, and the tolerated the grammar.

If we accept Babiniotis' argument as decisive here, would we then be justified in correcting every other example of gender disagreement in the NT by adding words to the text now 2000 years after it was written that will provide better explanations for the grammar than the explanations that are permissible with the shorter more original text, and then pretend that our grammatically improved versions are more original on account of the grammatical improvements?
Eric
"Is Babiniotis really saying that the shorter version is linguistically impossible? "

Steven
He is saying that it is solecistic. He is probably aware that liberals with a low view of the text do not mind a solecistic Johannine text.

Eric
"the author's choice was prompted more by the sense of the participle μαρτυροῦντες, which personified the following nouns as a group of men who bore witness to something,"

Steven
Trying to mind-read the shorter text, if it were from John, to a "group of men" is very difficult. And to try to make this case, Barry Hofstetter has offered absurd analogy verses, that have no relevance to the heavenly and earthly witnesses grammar.

Eric
"disagreements in gender are not unprecedented in the Greek NT, nor in other Greek literature"

Steven
True, and as Eugenius Bulgaris points out, the inverse discordance would not be a problem. Masculine or feminine nouns with neuter grammar. However, neuter nouns with masculine (or feminine) grammar is a bald and grating solecism. It is a standard misunderstanding, or even a trick, to try to pretend that the issue is a vague question of 'gender discordance.'

Eric
"Whatever grammatical rules we come up with, we'll find people breaking them."

Steven
Not according to two world-class Greek scholars, Eugenius Bulgaris c. 1780 and Georgios Babiniotis. What they share should be highly respected.

Eric
"the grammar of the shorter text, peculiar though it may be, is not so jarring that a Greek reader"

Steven
True, to an American seminarian-trained Critical Text Greek reader. Not true according to these world-class scholars who are truly and fully fluent in the Biblical, modern and ancient Greek dialect. They do in fact declare: "This grammar is wrong."

Eric
"After all, we know that the shorter version of the text is the only one that was read by most if not all native Greek speakers for many centuries"

Steven
And one manuscript tried to explain the awkward grammar by the Trinity. Another very difficult mind-reading. The Macedonians pointed out the grammatical problem to Gregory Nazianzen. Erasmus referred to "torquebit grammaticos". Beyond that, in the Critical Text omission theory, the Greek grammar was 'fixed' by a Latin interpolation which created a beautiful syntactic parallelism, a truly amazing Ockham event.

Eric
"If we accept Babiniotis' argument as decisive here, would we then be justified in correcting every other example of gender disagreement in the NT "

Steven
Again, this is incorrect. It is a very specific, grating gender discordance, neuter noun substantives with masculine (or feminine) grammar. Please read Eugenius Bulgaris. Afaik, nobody has found another example of this discordance in the NT.

Lee van Cliff
9/17/2020 5:59 am
A few things here Nick,

1.) The primary evidence for the acceptance and establishment of the CJ (or any passage) should be the hard external evidence. In this case your position is found wanting, and is instead leaning heavily upon the internal (as well as secondary and subjective) evidences.

2.) Syntax and grammar is flexible and can change over time. It's also secondary to language and common usage; it's an after thought to some degree. Besides, it's not always cookie cutter correct in the Greek NT.

3.) Although an argument from silence--it is very difficult to fathom that the early Church fathers of the Nicean age did not heavily interact with this passage if extant and readily available. It would be expected that most should/would have commented exhaustively on the CJ if available, would it not?

And lastly, the true reason for your support of this passage is it's inclusion within the A.V. 1611 and nothing else. No, not because of Greek grammar, not because it's found within some editions of the TR, and definitely not because it's the traditional or common reading within the Greek manuscript tradition (which it is not).

So the game is up, and it's probably time for grown Christian men to check their biases at the door, instead of allowing them to distort proper judgement. Emotions, nostalgia, pride and strong opinions have very little place in giving a fair verdict, indeed, they generally blind!
#1 - the external evidence for the heavenly witnesses is extremely strong, including the Ante-Nicene usage of Tertullian and Cyprian, the textual pronouncement of Jerome, and the special declaration at the Council of Carthage of 484 AD, between orthodox and 'Arians'. Plus the Old Latin and Vulgate text lines. While those enmeshed in textual criticism
 
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Steven Avery

Administrator
Approved.
Hi Eric,

You raise some interesting points, and I would like to respond to them one by one.

Eric
"Is Babiniotis really saying that the shorter version is linguistically impossible? "

Steven
He is saying that it is solecistic. He may be aware that liberals with a low view of the text do not mind a solecistic Johannine text. He is concerned with proper Greek.

=====

Eric
"the author's choice was prompted more by the sense of the participle μαρτυροῦντες, which personified the following nouns as a group of men who bore witness to something,"

Steven
Trying to mind-read the shorter text, if it were from John, to a "group of men" is very difficult. And to try to make this case, Barry Hofstetter has offered absurd analogy verses, that have no relevance to the heavenly and earthly witnesses grammar.

=====

Eric
"disagreements in gender are not unprecedented in the Greek NT, nor in other Greek literature"

Steven
True, and as Eugenius Bulgaris points out, the inverse discordance would not be a problem. Masculine or feminine nouns with neuter grammar. However, neuter nouns with masculine (or feminine) grammar is a bald and grating solecism. It is a standard misunderstanding, or even a trick, to try to pretend that the issue is a vague question of 'gender discordance.'

=====

Eric
"Whatever grammatical rules we come up with, we'll find people breaking them."

Steven
Not according to two world-class Greek scholars, Eugenius Bulgaris c. 1780 and Georgios Babiniotis. What they share should be highly respected.

=====

Eric
"the grammar of the shorter text, peculiar though it may be, is not so jarring that a Greek reader"

Steven
True, to an American seminarian-trained Critical Text Greek reader. Not true according to these world-class scholars who are truly and fully fluent in the Biblical, modern and ancient Greek dialect. They do in fact declare: "This grammar is wrong."

=====

Eric
"After all, we know that the shorter version of the text is the only one that was read by most if not all native Greek speakers for many centuries"

Steven
And one manuscript tried to explain the awkward grammar by the Trinity. Another very difficult mind-reading. The Macedonians pointed out the grammatical problem to Gregory Nazianzen. Erasmus referred to "torquebit grammaticos". Beyond that, in the Critical Text omission theory, the Greek grammar was 'fixed' by a Latin interpolation which created a beautiful syntactic parallelism, a truly amazing Ockham event.

=====

Eric
"If we accept Babiniotis' argument as decisive here, would we then be justified in correcting every other example of gender disagreement in the NT "

Steven
Again, this is incorrect. It is a very specific, grating gender discordance, neuter noun substantives with masculine (or feminine) grammar. Please read Eugenius Bulgaris. Afaik, nobody has found another example of this discordance in the NT.

=====

Steven Avery
Dutchess County, NY, USA
 
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Steven Avery

Administrator
Lee van Cliff9/17/2020 5:59 am
A few things here Nick,

1.) The primary evidence for the acceptance and establishment of the CJ (or any passage) should be the hard external evidence. In this case your position is found wanting, and is instead leaning heavily upon the internal (as well as secondary and subjective) evidences.

2.) Syntax and grammar is flexible and can change over time. It's also secondary to language and common usage; it's an after thought to some degree. Besides, it's not always cookie cutter correct in the Greek NT.

3.) Although an argument from silence--it is very difficult to fathom that the early Church fathers of the Nicean age did not heavily interact with this passage if extant and readily available. It would be expected that most should/would have commented exhaustively on the CJ if available, would it not?

And lastly, the true reason for your support of this passage is it's inclusion within the A.V. 1611 and nothing else. No, not because of Greek grammar, not because it's found within some editions of the TR, and definitely not because it's the traditional or common reading within the Greek manuscript tradition (which it is not).

So the game is up, and it's probably time for grown Christian men to check their biases at the door, instead of allowing them to distort proper judgement. Emotions, nostalgia, pride and strong opinions have very little place in giving a fair verdict, indeed, they generally blind!

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

Lee
"1.) The primary evidence for the acceptance and establishment of the CJ (or any passage) should be the hard external evidence."

Steven
The external evidence for the heavenly witnesses is extremely strong, including the Ante-Nicene usage of Tertullian and Cyprian, the textual pronouncement of Jerome in the Vulgate Prologue which related the scribal tendency to omit the verse, and the special declaration at the Council of Carthage of 484 AD, between orthodox and 'Arians', many hundreds asserting the verse from John as a primary text. Plus the Old Latin and Vulgate text lines. While those enmeshed in modern scientific textual criticism may wring their hands in Greek ms. angst, they should try to see the overall picture. And the grammatical and Johannine style and 'internal' elements fit in perfectly.

=====

Lee
"2.) Syntax and grammar is flexible and can change over time."

Steven
We are discussing two world-class Greek scholars, familiar with ancient, modern and Biblical Greek.
Their analysis stands very strong.

=====

Lee
"the early Church fathers of the Nicean age"

Steven
It is very likely that the split line occurred early, even during the Sabellian controversies.
Some would not know the verse, some would be hesitate to use the heavenly witnesses.
Eusebius shows an aversion to the verse.
The Disputatio contra Arium is one of a number of Greek evidences.
Latin evidences span from the 200s to the 500s and later.

=====

Lee
"the true reason for your support of this passage is it's inclusion within the A.V. 1611"

Steven
This psycho-babble argument really dishonors the attempt to defend the short, solecism, corruption text.

=====

Lee
"they generally blind!"

Steven
A good description of many of the defenders of the text with only the earthly witnesses.

=====
 
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