Psalm 12 - thou shalt keep them ... thou shalt preserve them

Steven Avery



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organize and move out of private section - has Psalm 12 super-thread material


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Steven Avery

NT Textual Criticism

Add Psalm 12

Grammar and the Textual Analysis History

Here are a few of many examples of verses where the Greek or Hebrew grammar battleground is a major question in translational discussions:

1 John 5:20 (AV)
And we know that the Son of God is come,
and hath given us an understanding,
that we may know him that is true,
and we are in him that is true,
even in his Son Jesus Christ.
This is the true God, and eternal life.
What is the "this"? You can see other translations try to answer that for you, and there are at least 3 alternative answers.
Here are the Granville Sharp Rule main two battleground grammatical-translational verses today (earlier ones included Ephesians 5:5):
2 Peter 1:1
Simon Peter, a servant and an apostle of Jesus Christ,
to them that have obtained like precious faith with us through the righteousness of God and our Saviour Jesus Christ:
Titus 2:13
Looking for that blessed hope,
and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;
Even the famous question of "faith in Christ" and "faith of Christ" has a grammatical battleground element.
Likely, dozens of examples could be given.
Now this forum emphasizes textual issues.
So, how about grammatical components being a major factor in the historical debate on Bible verses from the perspective of which Bible text is autographic?
Included is the factor of whether the word of God would have grammatical manglings, where evangelicals may differ from liberals and skeptics.
Four examples quickly leap to mind.
1 Timothy 3:16
And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness:
God was manifest in the flesh,
justified in the Spirit,
seen of angels,
preached unto the Gentiles,
believed on in the world,
received up into glory.
The Timothy verse has a fascinating component that a hymn theory was fabricated in order to seek to bypass the grammatical problem. The issues swirl around the awkward relative pronoun (two textual possibilities there, as alternatives to the TR text ) and thus an appropriate gender-match subject.
1 John 5:7
For there are three that bear record in heaven,
the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost:
and these three are one.
There are at least two grammatical issues, the more studied one being the grammatical mismatch without the heavenly witnesses. Plenty of additional style and context "internal" issues too.
Mark 7:19
Because it entereth not into his heart,
but into the belly,
and goeth out into the draught,
purging all meats?
Two variants, one of which virtually forces creative translation.
Mark 16:8
And they went out quickly,
and fled from the sepulchre;
for they trembled and were amazed:
neither said they any thing to any man;
for they were afraid.
Whether the grammar of the verse is a sensible Greek sentence to end a book, or if it calls for continuing text.


Key Question:
What other significant verses can you suggest where the grammar is an integral part of the textual variant debate?
And do we find the four above fascinating and important discussions?


Probably the most significant example in the OT of an interlink between grammar and text determination is:

Psalms 22:16
For dogs have compassed me:
the assembly of the wicked have inclosed me:
they pierced my hands and my feet.


I trying not to consider issues that are more style and textual flow, like you have with the Pericope Adulterae. Although that line may be at times thin.
Steven Avery