Saturday, November 26, 2011

Translations in a Nutshell

Sometimes a picture is worth a thousand words...

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Kittel's AntiSemitism and O.T. Sabotage (cont.)

Gerhard Kittel: Nazi Racial Propagandist

We here follow up with an epitome of the important discussion of Gerhard Kittel and his distortion of the O.T. text (adopted to this day by modern versions). Here are important excerpts from R. P. Ericksen's Theologians under Hitler (Yale U. Press, 1985), Chapter II:
"One clue is that [Kittel] was a National Socialist.  ...Kittel was a charter member [of the Nat. Inst. for the History of the New Germany], and he gave his expertise and reputation to the [Research Section on the Jewish Question] from 1936 onward.
In 1947...J.R. Porter (Theology) praises Kittel's "profound biblical scholarship" with no reference at all to his unseemly politics.  ... German historians have shown little interest in Kittel.  [But] his self-proclaimed role as theological expert on the 'Jewish Question' make him an important figure, especially under [the Nazi] regime.
...[Historian] L. Siegele-Wenschkewitz (1978) makes several mistakes; discuss 'Gerhard Kittel and the Jewish Question' and ignore his increasingly harsh work after 1933 is at best misleading. ...[she] also ignores much of the harshness of Die Judenfrage, harshness which Kittel himself acknowledged and justified, pleading with [German] Christians not to become sentimental or soft.
  She says, 'From a sympathizer of the presumably moderate Fuhrer, he became an opponent of the National Socialist politics of destruction.'  ...It seems clear that after a short time Kittel saw the error of his ways.  she concludes that Kittel's chief error was to misunderstand Hitler and his real attitude towards Christianity.  [Yet] there is very little evidence that Kittel experienced a change of heart prior to 1945, despite the abundant evidence [available to him] to correct his misunderstanding.
Kittel produced a body of work between 1933 and 1944 filled with hatred and slander towards Jews and warmly supportive  of National Socialist anti-Jewish policies (Siegle-Wenschkewitz has acknowledged this more recently).
...He took an evil stance.  It may or may not have been proper to try, convict and imprison Kittel in 1945. ... But it is relatively easier to conclude that Kittel was wrong, whether or not he was criminally guilty.  ...
He was linked to the single most objectionable aspect of Hitler's reign, the Jewish policy.  On both counts Kittel was singularly and distinctly wrong. ...
(Ericksen, p. 28-31)

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Shopping for a NT Text-Critical Theory

Imagine if you will, a world where sound collides with color, where the boundaries of time and space are blurred, and where the improbable and impossible thrive, and coexist side by side.    Yet this is no dreamworld... its the everyday world of the New Testament Textual Critic.  Of course you knew that already.

But now let us suppose an even more fantastic occurrence: truth in advertising.  Imagine all the glitz and packaging has been stripped away;  the misdirection, the sleight of hand, the magician's banter, the sexy assistant, the clever lighting, all removed, leaving all offerings naked and vulnerable, their ugly secrets exposed.

In such a world, open to the sunshine, the 'goods' dangle lamely, completely transparent to the buyer.  Let us enter, and find what proposals await the Christian who searches for the normally elusive and difficult to identify 'word of God', in its purest and most direct form.


 Door # 1The Traditional Text.
It is called the "Textus Receptus" (TR), the Byzantine Text-type (Byz.), the Majority Text, the Traditional Text, the Antiochian, the "Syrian", the Lucian Recension, and the 'Late text', almost interchangeably, depending upon who is talking and when. 1

Even most of its detractors will admit that this NT text has been used by Christians throughout Europe from Spain to Russia, for at least a thousand years, from the 9th century to the 19th, with very little variation.   It has been used by Greek Orthodox, by Roman Catholics in Latin translation, and even accepted by Protestants for some 400 years from 1500 to 1900.   It is admitted to be the text found in most of the 5,000 surviving handwritten Greek copies, and 20,000 Latin copies, spanning this period.    

But it has its problems:

(1)  There is no complete copy of this text older than the 4th century.  Most of its 'readings' can be traced back to the 2nd century, through papyri, 'Versions' (early translations) and early Christian writers (ECWs), but there is no complete copy for this text in its entirety.   Earlier witnesses seem to show instead wild 'mixed texts' with individual readings coexisting alongside rival readings of other text-types.

(2)  A few standard verses lack the support of a majority of witnesses.  For instance, the infamous Johannine Comma (1st Jn 5:7-8) and a verse or two in Acts have little support from any Greek manuscripts.

(3)  The Traditional Text has some secondary features.  The text appears to have evolved slightly, with grammatical and stylistic changes reflecting the Greek language as it was later used.  This places a 'layer' over the text, and distances it from the presumed 'original'.   Spelling and syntax have been standardized over time, removing some of the idiosyncrasies of individual writers and early form, making it somewhat 'artificial'.   Possibly even a few readings have been harmonized with parallel passages.


 Door # 2The Critical Text.
 Also known as the "Alexandrian", Egyptian, Uncial, or 'Neutral' text.  This text has been constructed mainly or almost exclusively from favorite 4th century Uncial manuscripts (the oldest available in the 19th century), notably, Codex B (Vatican 1209) and codex א (Sinaiticus).  The theory was, older was better, and closer to the original.

The main problems with this text are:

(1)  The 'critical' text ignores the text contained in 95% of manuscripts. All the later copies are dismissed as 'secondary' and ignored.  This in effect forms a claim against the NT used by the majority of Christians throughout history.  The presumption is that the original text was interpolated and altered so badly that it was essentially 'lost', preserved only in a few unused documents.   For extreme Protestants, marginalized sects, and even atheists, this is not so hard to swallow.  The NT supposedly suffered the same fate as ordinary books that were hand-copied.  But to buy this, one must abandon any distinct doctrine of Providential Preservation or Divine guidance granted by God to Christians.  The 'originals' are presumed lost, and any text now reconstructed is neither original nor 'inspired'.   The critical text is a conscious rejection of the traditional text (see above).   It necessarily involves limiting 'divine inspiration' to the (now lost) autographs, and downgrading the authority of currently printed Bibles of every type.

(2)  The 'critical' text is riddled with errors.  There is little doubt that critics have succeeded in collecting together many common readings from the 2nd to 4th centuries.  Unfortunately, many of these, while legitimately reflecting earlier texts, are quite obviously scribal blunders.  Critics have not so much reconstructed 'the early text', as they have compiled a catalog of genealogically propagated boners.  The main principle used, "Prefer the Shorter Reading", was supposed to be based on scribal habits, but it is now known that scribes tended to accidentally omit lines 2 to 10 times as often as they 'interpolated'.

(3) The 'critical' text ignores the earliest evidence.  Subsequent discoveries in the last century have provided many early papyri and fragments, averaging 100 or more years earlier than 4th century Uncial copies.  If the same principles were applied today (i.e., use only the oldest MSS, prefer the shorter reading) we would have a quite different 'critical text'.  The new text however would still be basically an Egyptian text, because all the papyri come from Egypt.  The early evidence is simply too narrow geographically.

(4)  There is no reason for Christians to switch to the critical text.  Since the critical text cannot be shown to be 'better' in any significant way than the traditional text, there is no reason to prefer it over the text that Christians have used for nearly a thousand years.  Nevertheless, most 'modern' translations are based on this poorly constructed and now outdated text.


 Door # 3Make Your Own Text.

Since the first two options above are really the only game in town, the only third option for the savvy shopper is to reconstruct his own text.  This is not impossible, but one may wonder what kind of result will follow.

Here are the Problems with Option 3:

(1)  The Individual becomes Judge over the text.  The obvious danger and temptation is for the individual to simply pick and choose readings he or she likes, and reject unpopular readings.  The NT becomes a 'salad bar', and each individual creates his own 'Bible'.   One can see that even if relatively well-done, the text is being filtered through individual bias and ignorance.

(2)  The Authority of the Text is eroded.  Its hard not to see that the very nature of what a 'Bible' is will change, if individuals are allowed to customize their own texts to any great extent.  'Heed the word of the Lord' becomes now 'Choose what you will heed from the Lord.'

(3)  The Nature of Faith and Belief is Altered.  One's belief about the Bible would be fundamentally changed.  One now must adopt a belief that 'the Bible' is more like a quest, an archaeological dig, or a treasure-hunt.  One no longer believes in a publicly delivered clear and common message from God to all.  It is now something akin to 'cat and mouse', with a personalized individual message, differing from person to person.

Welcome, to ...the Twilight Zone.

"Walk while ye have the light, 
lest darkness come upon you:
..while ye have light, 
believe in the light,
that ye may be the children of light." (John 12:35-36)

1. To be fair, many will meticulously document distinctions between these terms, both in specific readings, and in real or imagined histories and pedigrees. But when all is said and done, every permutation and edition, every 'version' of this text, is to all intents and purposes virtually identical in content. Even with some 6,000 variants between manuscripts, even with a few stunning differences (e.g., 1st Jn 5:7-8), a person would be hard-pressed to come up with a really critically important difference among the witnesses and editions of this text. Most variants don't significantly affect actual translation, and the few that do amount to a mere handful of minor disputes. 

Sunday, September 25, 2011

The NAZIs and the NIV (New International Version)

Kittle, Nazi Theologian

The following excerpt is from a U.S. Christian Bible site:

Is the NIV really the Nazi Inspired Version...?

So what is the Nazi connection with the NIV?
If you look in the introduction and preface of the NIV so called Bible, you will see a reference to Kittels Theological dictionary.

Kittel's Theological greek dictionary is a standard of the modernist liberal Bible seminarys.

Kittel was a Nazi under Hitler.
Kittel was a friend of Hitler and a member of the Nazi party!
To Join the Nazi party you had to swear allegiance to Adolf Hitler. (I prefer Jesus thank you)
Kittel was an early member of the Nazi party and was jailed for war crimes at the Nuremberg war crimes tribunal after WWII.

Perhaps Your Pastor uses this nazi for his Theological dictionary to tell him what greek words mean in the new testament...

The watchtower society (Jehovah's Witnesses) uses the same exact manuscripts to give them " NEW LIGHT " I guess the light they see is from the angel of light that fell from heaven...
so would you trust the jehovah's witnesses for your Bible -  their founder and the watchtower used to rely upon the KJV until they decided the Nazi Bible was better....

Do you trust a fiend, oops friend of Hitler to define the words of the Bible...?

This is serious!
Look in the intro and preface to your NIV (Nazi Inspired Version) and see Kittel's name as a source.

Book Review and Documentation

Theologians Under Hitler:
Gerhard Kittel, Paul Althaus, and Emmanuel Hirsch
By Robert P. Ericksen
New Haven, Yale University Press, 1985. 245 pp. .00.
ASIN: 0300029268

(This book is also acknowledged as historically accurate by the ADL)
- this is too well documented to be false!

Ericksen here presents his interpretation of the work and thought of three of Germany's great Protestant theological thinkers who supported Adolf Hitler. It is a most revealing study. He attempts throughout the work to understand how these three could have lent support to Hitler. He reviews the social setting of the Weimar Republic, deals with what he calls the crisis of modernity, and offers an interpretation of Protestant theological developments prior to and during Hitler's rise. Then he proceeds to study the three in turn.
Ericksen is concerned to show that there is, in a certain sense, intellectual integrity in the positions held by the three scholars, a point that for him seems to raise fundamental questions about Christian theology as such.

How can a persons theology be sound and still enable one to support the monstrous thought of Adolf Hitler?

The answer to this question is not too satisfactory. There appears to this reviewer to be some lack of clarity in the very statement of the thesis. How can one separate theological thought entirely from the political, social, and cultural setting and consequences of the thought?

Christianity is claimed by Ericksen to contain strains at once anti-Jewish and anti-modern. But some of the German theologians with whom he deals (Barth, Tillich, even Bultmann in most respects) have theological constructions neither anti-Jewish nor anti-modern.

Still, this work is immensely important and instructive. We have lengthy chapters, richly documented, dealing with the three theologians. Ericksen is not himself a trained theologian, I believe, but he has reviewed theological developments prior to and during the lifetime of these three theologians and has offered his own assessment of strengths and limitations in these developments. It is most interesting to hear and ponder his evaluations, for they are sensitive and discerning over and again.

Theologians Under Hitler: Gerhard Kittel, Paul Althaus, and Emmanuel Hirsch

Gerhard Kittel, perhaps the best known of the three because of his editorship of the massive
(Theological Dictionary of the New Testament)
Hardcover: 1392 pages ; Dimensions (in inches): 2.64 x 9.84 x 7.14
Publisher: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.; Abridged edition (October 1986)
ISBN: 0802824048   
Theologisches word buch zum Neuen Testament, now available in English translation,
Kittel  knew ancient Judaism very well and spent much of his life polemicizing against Jewish thought.  He was in support of a Christianity freed of Jewish elements. He always claimed not to be anti-Semitic, but simply to be doing scholarly work that revealed the sharp contrasts between Judaism and Christianity. Many scholars in Germany have also drawn the contrast too sharply, but Kittel cannot be freed of the charge of having found support in his scholarship for his Nazi position with regard to the Jews.

Emmanuel Hirsch, immensely learned in Protestant theology and a thoroughgoing apologist for Nazism, accomplished feats of scholarly work, especially in the history of Protestant thought. It is easy enough to spot the points where his Nazi views appear, but much of his work continues to be of great value.

Paul Althaus
is perhaps the most tragic of the three figures. Long associated with the Erlangen approach to theology and a great interpreter of Martin Luther, his constructive theological work aimed at showing how important the community was for an understanding of Christianity, and how central this notion of peoplehood had been for ancient Israel and was for the early Christian community-points well recognized and underscored today. But he was able to wring from this understanding a contemporary viewpoint in support of Hitler's call for peoplehood, racial purity, and land. A fine and discerning theological emphasis was perverted into a position that accommodated the Hitler movement. After the late 1930s, it appears, Althaus wrote nothing further that could easily be used for political-propagandistic purposes by the Nazis.

One reads such a study with a sense of deep sadness as well as with frequent outbursts of anger. One need not share the view of the author that any one of the three theologians under review actually made Nazism intellectually respectable. One can hardly escape the author's conclusion, however: we all have much to learn from a careful review of the life and work of the three, for such aberrations, alongside Nazism's unspeakable accompanying deeds, could occur again.

Reviewed by:

Walter Harrelson,

Vanderbilt Divinity School
Nashville, Tennessee

Thursday, September 8, 2011

How the Germans perverted the Bible

I'm reposting this short article on Kittle, because to this day modern translations use his text of the Hebrew O.T. as a basis for the Protestant Bible, including his translational suggestions through his "Hebrew Lexicon":

Monday, April 4, 2011 (Elizabeth K. Best, PhD)

Kittel a 'Minor Nazi'? Think Again: Kittel as the 'author' of 'Alien Status' for the Jews.

In Robert Ericksen's book, Theologians Under Hitler part of his delineation of Gerhard Kittel's role in the war and assessment of culpability in war crimes is his role in establishing the concept in National Socialist policy/law of the status of 'guest-citizenship' or 'alien-status'. While many in holocaust education are aware of the 'guest status' of the Jews in German Society from 1933 on, ,many are not aware of its doctrinal or theological underpinnings, nor that it was Gerhard Kittel, the editor of the Theological Dictionary of the New Testament, who founded doctrinal anti-Semitism in the Third Reich, who was primarily responsible for the theological basis of 'alien status' for the Jews.

The reason Kittel's role in the establishment of 'guest-citizenship' is important is
1. It establishes Kittel's primary role as a Nazi Theologian and not just a bystander.
2. It establishes Kittel's culpability in war crimes, in subterfuge and sedition against the German Church,
3. It establishes Kittel's ideological commitment to Nazism and not merely perfunctory party membership.
4. It demonstrates the extent of doctrinal anti-Semitism which was vital to Reich Policy, and
5. It establishes at least part of the war upon the Jews as clearly doctrinal and ideological.
That it is important to establish Kittel as a loyal Nazi and not merely among the thousands who joined the ranks to keep the peace or their employment, can be seen in the role of Kittel during and following the war: though arrested at the end of the war and imprisoned for war crimes, Kittel's Dictionary of the New Testament and his father Rudolf's Biblia Hebraica, have established themselves as the primary ground for translation of all modern English bibles.To believe that translations made with the Old Testament and the accompanying lexicon by ardent anti-Semites would not produce a tainted text, with at least underpinnings of the broad stream of dejudification, would seem far more ludicrous than to take the stand of most modern bible translators, that Kittel either wasn't a Nazi, or that it had no affect on his scholarly work. That aside, though, one need consider the 'exegesis' of the platform of guest-citizenship which Kittel refers in his writing to as 'alien status' to understand that the war against the Jews was indeed a religious and ideological one and not merely a political one as many scholars would prefer to avoid being labeled 'reactionary'.

The Concept of Guest Citizenship (Alien Status).

To understand why there would even be a question of 'guest citizenship' necessitates understanding the concept of the 'Volk', the concept of 'blut und boden' or 'blood and soil' and the construct of national identities and a 'nation within a nation'.

The Volk was the German concept of the 'gestalt' or whole of the people, the german people, consisting of the conglomerate 'soul' of the people, their culture, religion, politics, society, etc as something that was a sum of the parts and yet greater than the parts. 'Volk' may be translated akin to 'folk' or people, and the concept was used throughout Nazi policy and thought. It was not a group of individuals, but the 'Volk' that would rebuild Germany and lead it to a new day and age,; it was the 'volk' that would triumph victoriously over other nations which had left Germany desolate, it was the 'Volk' which would see a restored Germany, with they as her people.

The idea of 'blut und boden' or 'blood and soil' was that a people to be a people belonged in a real and mystical sense to the land from which they hailed and in which their ancestors had lived. The tie between the German people and their land or soil was foundational in much of the thought that pervaded influential belief systems such as those of armarten society tying Germans to lineage and the land, or the 'oceanic' views of such as Gobineau and other racial scientists in which certain evolved peoples lived in certain regions: he posited that nations bordering the oceans had certain characteristics, while even Nietzsche in his formulations of the the 'Hyperboreans' posited that more evolved or racially superior peoples lived 'above Boreas' or rather in the winter climes. (Taha) Kittel would use this theme of a people and a land prominently in several writings.

The third concept is that of a 'national identity' or a nation within a nation. This is somewhat more complex than merely the concept of the 'Volk' because it entails the nature of persons of multiple nationalities living together 'under one roof', so to speak. Today, that is not a great difficulty to many, especially in the US and Great Britain as many nations have become multicultural, with those of many nationalities living side by side. The National Socialists though saw the Jews, as a separate nation, living within their nation, although many Jews, especially more liberal Jews saw themselves as German citizens, and Jews. This conflict was the issue that Kittel would take and make 'theologically acceptable' as he had with other aspects of anti-Semitism.

Kittel and 'Alien Status'

Kittel based his writings on a doctrinal treatise he had proposed even before the war. He saw the Jews as also a people characterized by 'blut und boden' and he built a biblical argument: since the Bible clearly shows God as designating the Jews as 'chosen' and 'Israel' as their promised homeland (there are a multitude of passages), the Jews, ergo, are tied to Israel. They are a people with a land, and they are so 'identity-bound' to Israel that the two are inseparable, and remained inseparable in the various exiles (e.g. the Babylonian/Assyrian exile, or the dispersion in 70ad, with a minor reign of Babylon of 8 years in Judges).
Likewise, Kittel argues, the German people are 'bound' to the 'Deutschland' , the 'Fatherland' and are not entirely the same people without being there, so that even in "Lebensraum" as Germans were sent out to 'colonize' occupied territories, they carried with them their music, culture, food, customs etc like soil in the coffin.

Kittel also argued though, that the 'Volk' and the 'Jews' could never share the same citizenship, so bound up was citizenship in their thinking with 'native land'. Kittel attempted to place the Jews as bound to Israel, and claimed later that it was a tolerant attitude, but the application was clear that it was a clever but sinister exegetical foundation for the Jews having 'alien-status' which would rob them of their German Citizenship, allowing deportation, denial of the court system, education benefits, and even already paid retirement funds and pensions. They were argued as a 'nation' within a nation, and an 'alien' one at that. While the argument bore some biblical foundation, i.e. the Jews with Israel as their homeland, it was cleverly used to create a doctrinal reason tied to other Reich philosophies which allowed the segregation, robbery, deportation and later mass killing of the Jews. It also indicates Kittel's eminent role.

Martin Buber the foremost Jewish theologian of the Shoah years, took his colleague to task over his vile rendering of the policy of 'alien status' for the Jews. The following letter shows Buber's rebuke of Kittel:

An Open Letter to Gerhard Kittel
Martin Buber

You have sent me your essay on the Jewish question, werser Herr Kollege. From the accompanying letter and from the text itself I conclude that you believe yourself to be in agreement with me; not to be sure, on your specific judgments about Judaism and your suggestions on how to treat it but on the essential issue: our basic religious commitment.
Since your statements were made publicly, I must contradict them publicly.
I need say nothing of your judgments an demands; they are the prevailing ones. I learned from your essay that which I neither knew nor suspected: that they are yours as well: that you maintain that “a member of a foreign people” has “no business in German literature.” That “if he wants to be a writer,” he should “work in a literature which is clearly marked as Jewish and which is intended for his coreligionists and Volksgenossen:” that “if his book is of general literary value and transcends that particular Volkstum,” there would be “nothing to prevent its being read by Germans in the same way that Swedish and French literature is translated and read by us.” You and the public will, I hope, understand that I have nothing to say to this or to anything of this sort in your essay: especially since you make your intention of “lending a Christian meaning to the struggle against Judaism” clear in your introduction.

Yet it is incumbent upon me to object, especially since you welcome in this lending the participation of Jews, namely those Jews who, as I, look forward to a religious renewal of Judaism. According to you the problem is whether it will be possible to arouse a living religion in that part of Jewry which says yes to alien status” The “authentic alien status”. But what you understand by “alien status” is clarified by the answer to the question of what should happen to Jewry. There you have stated that one should “resolutely and consciously preserve the historical fact” of “alien status” among nations. You explained your understanding of this in this fashion: the “right of the guest” must be sharply set off from that of the citizen; the Jew must give up “all claims to civil equality.” If he proves a “decent guest, “ “there may then come a time” when he appears only “relatively unequal” and no longer “absolutely inferior.” You take “obedience under alien status,” which according to you belongs to a pious Jewish attitude to mean that discrimination against and defamation of Judaism must be accepted in faith; that it must therefore be viewed as God’s just dispensation and as the just action of men. Hence you presuppose the identity of that which you mean by alien status with that which God, to whom we owe obedience, means by alien status with that which God, to whom we owe obedience, means by alien status, But this is not so.
That which the God of the Bible means by alien status, more correctly guest status (a ger is one who is a guest in a land), can be learned from the Pentateuch. In an extraordinary appeal, the community is admonished (Num. 15:16; Lev 24:22) “Congregation”! There shall be one law for you and for the resident guest; it shall be a law for all times throughout the generations. You and the guest shall be alike before YHVH (the LORD); the same instruction and the same rule shall apply to you and to the guest who resides among you.” Thus no discrimination! But it is not only a question of law; it is a question of love. “When a guest resides with you in your land, you shall not wrong him. The guest who resides with you shall be to you as one of your citizens. You shall love him as yourself for you were guests in the land of Egypt” (Lev. 19.33f.). In Deuteronomy, with even greater emphasis, love is not only found with the dative [showing love to him] but with the accusative [loving him] in a way at once holy and paradoxical. “For YHVH your God is the God of gods and the Lord of lords, the great, the mighty, the awesome God, who shows no favor and takes no bribe but upholds the cause of the fatherless and the widow, who loves the guest and gives him food and clothing. You too must love the guest for you were guests in the land of Egypt” (Deut. 10:17ff.). Love of the guest is an aspect of biblical imitation Dei: As God loves the unprotected, so must you love him! The acceptance of this stance has consequences which extend to redemption and a mystery that unties all. It is said of the peace-offering which is offered by the community because of an error (Num. 15:26): “The whole Israelite community and the guest residing among them shall be forgiven for it happened to the entire people through error.”
Yet, Herr Kollege, although you quote a passage from Deuteronomy in which we read that one may not subvert the rights of the alien [Deut. 24:17] , you quote none of those passages in which we read that this right of the alien is not separate from that of the natives of the land but that both rights are the “same right.” Only if you start from this Magna Carta of biblical faith, which should be binding not only upon Israel but upon all nations among whom guests reside (or is it your belief that God no longer asks this justice and love from nations), and only if you believe that this was not abrogated by the New Testament (for how could the gospel intend a diminishing of justice and love between nation and nation?). , only then is it possible to talk in an attitude of faith of an “alien status” and of an “obedience under alien status.” However, if one does this in the seriousness of faith as a believer among the nations, then surely one must first of all inquire into the obedience of the nations.
However, an obedience under alien status as you understand it (but as God does not understand it) God does not order us to give. It does not become us to rebel against it but it does not become us either to yield to the will of a Volk as if it were the will of God. Psalm after psalm of our Book, adopted by the Church, utters an appeal to the liberator from oppression. Psalm after psalm would be blasphemy if God not only demanded of us that we should endure, but also that we resign ourselves without appeal to whatever He has ordained. We pray today as well,. The “enemy” against which the psalmist inveighs means, as we utter the psalm in prayer, not men of human powers but the original tempter, who hinders redemption in history.
“Authentic Jewry,” as you say, “remains faithful to the symbol of the restless and homeless alien who wanders the earth.” Judaism does not know of any such symbol. The “wandering Jew” is a figure of Christian legend, not a Jewish figure. Authentic Jewry is ever aware that in the very next moment the promise may be fulfilled and its wandering may end. It does not believe that is its ordered to affirm the dispersion but believes that it must prepare itself in the dispersion for the ingathering. It knows of no “tragedy willed by God” which it must needs recognize but knows only the mercy which calls man to His work.
History is no throne speech of God but His dialogue with humanity. He who does not wish to miss everything must be mindful to discern the voice of the Partner. The “historical fact” of “alien status,” the reinstatement of which you, Herr Kollege, hold to be the “solution of the Jewish question,”* is partly the question itself---God’s question to the nations and to Israel which He poses in history; partly it is the lack of an answer. TO be sure, emancipation as it took place was not the true answer either. But it does not follow from this that one must go back to that lack.

July 1933
Of the other three “attempts at solution” which you mention, extermination, assimilation and Zionism, we wish to touch upon the last only. The arguments which you put forward against Zionism are partly exaggerated. (As one who has constantly fought for a more serious consideration of Arab claims. I have the right to say that there is no ground for speaking of a “frightful violation of the fellahin) Partly they are false. I am hardly able to understand how you can hold “unemployment and need” to be prevalent in Palestine of today or how you can see in residential and agricultural cooperatives----a witnessing to collectivity and sacrifice---communistic tendencies which reflect back into “lands of culture and which wish to penetrate and poison those countries.” Finally, the the growing reality of faith within Zionism is totally unknown to you. [MARTIN BUBER]
1. In a later reply to Kittel, Buber observed that the failure of emancipations was that Jews were emancipated individually but not collectively (F.E.T.)

From: Talmadge, F.E. Disputations and Dialogue: readings in the Jewish-Christian Encounter, (1978) KTAV Publishing House,
The grave rebuke by Buber is both poignant and ironical, in that he rebukes Kittel based upon the tenets of Christ and Christianity: he holds that it is a sinister twisting of the Holy Scriptures, both the Old and New Testament. Buber could see from the outset the path the reasoning of Kittel would follow, and hence targeted Kittel as the 'theologian that made anti-Semitism theologically acceptable'.

Guest Citizenship and the Jews

While this discussion and others seems rather 'theological' or philosophical, the effect of the status 'guest citizen' had very real consequences for the German citizens who were Jews. A narrative of one account is of a retired man and his wife who had juvenile delinquents damage portions of his property during the Reich. The man was a war veteran of WWI in Germany, and had retired from university teaching. After changes were made, he called the local police who would do nothing about the incident and was bewildered. The police informed him that since he was no longer considered 'of aryan descent', he had no citizenship rights, and therefore they did not have to respond to his call at all. When he sought remedy in the courts, he found that the courts had the right to refuse the case, and that after years of work and loyalty to Germany, his mortgage and property ownership were also in question, as only aryans could own property. They were forced to flee the Berlin area. But 'guest-citizen' or 'alien-status' had other dire consequences: soon no Jewish child could attend an aryan school. No Jewish attorneys or physicians could treat any but Jewish clients. Geographical restrictions were levied and soon no Jewish person could sit on park benches or even frequent public parks. Bus riding became prohibited for all but those employed in the armaments industry, and pet ownership, and the hiring of maids and cooks was forbidden. As time wore on, there were even odd restrictions such as not allowing women to attend hairdressing salons partly in an effort to increase the separation between Jew and gentile, and partly to keep the Jews from appearing groomed and therefore appealing to their counterparts. If Jews wished to leave Germany, they had to receive permission from police departments now largely staffed by Gestapo and National Socialist party members. Church congregates who had converted to Catholicism and Protestantism from Judaism were not allowed to receive communion at the same time, and large 'tarriffs' were levied allowing the Jews to carry out of the country only about 10-15% of earnings and savings, the rest going to the Reich. In short, the 'doctrinal' base for the Reich policy turned into civil rights violations for the Jews, and untold suffering and humiliation, even before deporation to work and death camps. This is why Kittel was found guilty of war crimes, in that he had aided in the 'production' and strategy of war as well as undermining of the institution not only of the church but of the courts, universities, theological schools and other mainstays of German life.
The doctrinal argument for the Jews tied to Israel not Germany, the Jews with a different God (Marcionism), the Jewish OT scriptures as foreign and unnecessary for Christian study and practice, gave the Nazis inroads into the church on the back of one of their most notable theology professors. Kittel was clearly guilty of the subterfuge of both the citizenship rights of the Jews and of Church doctrine using it as servant to the expulsion of the Jews and denial of their civil rights. His role as a doctrinal juggernaut in the exegesis of Nazi policy cannot be denied-it lay dormant for many years as many of Kittel's writings remained unavailable and in German while his lexicon and his fathers Hebrew Bible sold worldwide.

Kittel would go on later to defend other social/political platforms of the Nazis with a doctrinal base. His integration of racial science with biblical and theological concepts would eventually come forefront. His dismissal with others of a requirement in theological education for Hebrew, placing it instead with other ancient languages, undergirds his lack of regard for anything Jewish. While Kittel argued that his was a 'non-vulgar' anti-Semitism (he held himself distinct from the type of Rosenberg and Spreicher) (Eriksen), he nonetheless provided an intellectual platform for the 'Judenrein' of Germany. The arguments that Kittel was not an ideological Nazi should fall on deaf ears, as any lay person, much less any scholar upon reading Kittel, will eventually find him to be anything but objective where the Jews are concerned.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Sinaiticus may really be a forgery after all...

  The following has been excerpted from Dr. E. K. Best's blog,

 The Jews, The Shoah, & Modern Bible Translations


Constantine Simonides: KJV Fact of the Day

Doctored quote of the day: "Do you mind if I take that rubbish with me?" Tischendorf ________________________________________ 
Around the time of Tischendorf, another paleographer was on the scene who at the time was widely known in Bible text and Antiquities circles, but today, is hardly known at all. The man was Constantine Simonides (1805 - 1867). He was described by a colleague as brooding , dark, sporting a unkempt beard and while academically very active, kept to himself, making his living off the sales of old documents and manuscripts, but never interested in great wealth. What makes him unique and of interest in the KJV Controversy is that at the time of Tischendorf's 'discovery' after many visits to the Monastery of St. Katherine at Sinai  (and later Mt. Athos), Simonides claimed that the Sinaiticus, one of the three main pillars of modern Bible translations was a forgery, and he should know, as he claimed the deed to have been done by himself. For the past 130 years, this rumor drifted around odd corners of christendom, mostly among Bible Historians and those in textual criticism but was never given more than a mere mention because it was always followed with a statement to the effect that later the manuscript was found to be legitimate. Recently though, more information about this infamous fellow has come to light giving more credibility to his claim.
"Tischendorf was only the senior of Simonides by 5 years, and in the science of Paleography had neither his knowledge nor his experience."--Farrar, 1907 Forgeries
The man who discounted his finds was Henry Bradshaw, a great influence on the future Eugenicist, Karl Pearson. However, another paleographer, Henry Octavius Coxe, detected a forgery of Simonides. When I first began to read about Simonides the few finds remarked that he was somewhat of a scoundrel, but early books from around that time up to the turn of the century portray him more as an ardent scholar, more interested in authentic texts than forgery. What some called 'forgery' may have been his admitted attempts, which may have been for scholarship sake, or may have been 'repairs' or 'palimpsests', where ancient unreadable texts were inked over or documents which had first one set of writings which were scraped or otherwise erased for a second set. What Simonides' motivations were is unclear, but at least one possibility is that for whatever reason, he did not respect Tischendorf or his 'scholarship' in detecting authentic antiquities, and could have been trying to prove his point. This has not yet been proved, but can be added to speculation. A few facts about Simonides are essential:
1. He lived on Mt. Athos at the abbeys near and around where several Codices Tischendorf and Tregelles used showed up, right before and during the time Tischendorf was there.

2. He claimed to be there because of a 'guardianship' of his Uncle Benedict, a monk, because his father had passed away, but years later, letters between him and his father were found dated as late as 1862.

3. Issues of forgeries came up involving a student he employed who reported his suspicions named Lycurgurs, who became a scholar in his own right in the Greek church, who reported his concern to the well respected Dindorf, although Dindorf shook off the allegations as unfounded.

4. The charge of forgery was better known at the time than most know: there was a newspaper quarrel regarding the charge of the Sinaiticus and the Uranius forgery between Tischendorf and Lepsius.  A letter appeared in the "Guardian" claiming that the  Sinaiticus find was forged by himself, Simonides in 1839.  Bradshaw immediately disputed the claim in the press, but Simonides did not back down.  (Note an important fact which has caused some confusion:  Mt. Athos which produced several manuscripts for Tischendorf,  has an abbey called St. Katherine, which is different than the abbey of St. Katherine at Sinai.  A curious historical note, is that St. Gregory in the 1200s is noted as bringing some texts from Sinai to Mt. Athos.  However most of the codices from Athos were found in the abbey of Laura.  (See Sinaiticus online)

5. Simonides had no real reason to lie about the forgery because it hurt his reputation ultimately. He had the skills using old parchments to accurately produce hard to detect forgeries.

6. Simonides died very soon after the allegation in 1867.
Constantine Simonides: Papers Relating to the Codex Sinaiticus, ca. 1856-1863 One formidable resource for documents on Simonides: (other viable resources are books on Paleography, manuscript evidence, Tischendorf, "Uranius", Dindorf, Lycurgus, and Mt. Athos for direct and indirect evidence. Two texts on Forgeries of the time particularly helpful including one by Ferrar listed in quote at the beginning. " RLIN ID No. NYGG01-A18 Creator Simonides, Constantine, 1820-1867. Title Papers relating to the Codex Sinaiticus, probably forged by Constantine Simonides, ca. 1856-1863. Physical Description 1 box (.25 linear ft.) Historical/Biographical Note Constantine Simonides was an exceptionally skillful calligrapher who is alleged to have sold spurious documents (as well as possibly some that were genuine) in England in the 1850s and 1860s. Among his clients were Sir Frederick Madden at the British Museum and Sir Thomas Phillipps. Simonides resided in the monasteries on Mount Athos between 1839 and 1841 and again in 1852, during which time he may have acquired or sold some of the manuscripts that he later sold. He was in England between 1853 and 1855 and then in France and Germany. In 1862 Simonides published in English journals his claim to have written the Codex Sinaiticus, which the scholar Constantine von Tischendorf had discovered at Mount Sinai some years earlier and maintained had been be written during the 4th century C.E. Scope and Contents Papers relating to Codex Sinaiticus and Constantine Simonides’ assertion that he had forged it. Includes manuscript letters dated 1856-1863. Facsimile (?) of manuscript. Letter to A.N.L. Munby from Andreas Mayor at Sothebys regarding the Codex. Includes offprints about Simonides and the manuscript. Names Mayor, Andreas. Correspondence. Munby, A. N. L. (Alan Noel Latimer), 1913-1974. Correspondence. Subjects Simonides, Constantine, 1820-1867. Bible. Greek. Codex sinaiticus. Forgeries. Forgery of manuscripts. Location Grolier Club, 47 East 60th Street, New York, N.Y. 10022-1098. Text/Archive info from

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

NASA's confirmed 2012 prediction - Deterioration of Earth's Magnetosphere during Sun's Polar shift in 2012 :

have now accepted that the intersection of 2 problems - the
deterioration of Earth's Magnetosphere during the Sun's Polar shift in
2012 (as recently discussed) will be the real concern as we approach
2012 :

Now here's the reason why: 
have found two large leaks in Earth's magnetosphere, the region around
our planet that shields us from severe solar storms. Now in 2012 t
he suns poles will reverse (not the earths as wrongly said on many 2012 sites - see below!) , during this time a massive solar storm will reck havoc
on earth - usually this is no problem - but now due to the 'cracks' in
it, Earth's protective Magnetosphere may fail us,  so the
violent solar and electromagnetic radiation will make it through and
cause many problems to life as we know it (eg: disabling communication satellites, mobile phones, effective sleep patterns,  & radiation poisoning

of humans) Also as earth has to absorb extra radiation & energy
this will cause possible changes within the earth's core - with energy
being re-dissipated from the earth with new volcanoes formed and crust movement.

As mentioned in the Video below -
The leaks are defying many of scientists' previous ideas on how the
interaction between Earth's magnetosphere and solar wind occurs:
The leaks are in an unexpected location, let in solar particles in faster than expected and the whole interaction works in a manner that is completely the opposite of what scientists had thought:

Important Note:  many websites say Earths Poles will shift during 2012 but this is not true. According to NASA, Planet pole reversals (not suns - which like ours can reverse poles quickly in a few years)  take a few thousand years to complete, and during that time--contrary to popular belief--the magnetic field does not vanish - "It just gets more complicated"  -so this is probably why our  Magnetosphere is going weird at the moment. (Another controversial idea is that the Earth's magnetosphere could be
influenced temporarily by our current position in the solar system in
the Milky way as we past by a big black hole, however theories of the
2012 galactic plane alignment are heavy disputed at the moment )  -
Either way

its true that Earths Magnetosphere is very weak at the moment and
yes this is a sign of initial pole shifting but not complete pole
reversal of Earth - this won't happen in 2012 as its a slow process and
is predicted to take another 1200 years to complete. What is of major
concern overall is how strong
Magnetosphere will be during the solar storms of 2012.

NASA Themis Confirms Massive breach of Earth's Magnetosphere detected:

NASA Extends mission - worried about 2012?
On May 19, 2008 the Space Sciences Laboratory at Berkeley announced NASA had extended theTHEMIS mission to the year 2012 (strange co-incidence right?). In addition a new mission that would send twoTHEMIS probes into lunar orbits was provisionally approved by NASA, pending a technical review before February 2009

rated 4.3 by 68 people [?]

Monday, August 22, 2011

Why the UBS Text is a Prejudiced Fail


An excellent analysis of the actual textual-critical method used to construct the Nestle/Aland (NA/UBS) Greek NT text is given by Dennis Kenaga, (.pdf) in 'Skeptical Trends in New Testament Textual Criticism: Inside the Alexandrian Priority School...'
This analysis reveals that the method used is so constructed as to 'fix' the voting in favor of the Alexandrian text-type, meaning in practical terms, the text of Westcott/Hort, reconstructed from Codex Vaticanus and Codex Sinaiticus (B and א).  Basically, the 'method' is a transparent fraud, designed to continue promoting the W/H text.

Here is an excerpt:

"10. The External Criteria, Stage 3

Aland’s seven critical rules are particular to NU editing and are often highly disputed. Metzger calls them criteria or evidence. He also calls them probabilities, since the probability of their being applied in any given variant set is unpredictable except that they need to support an Alexandrian reading. They are divided into four external and three internal rules (or criteria or probabilities). It is immediately evident that the external criteria come before the internal criteria generally and involve the age of the manuscript and text types. The text types that Aland identifies are Alexandrian, Western and Byzantine.
Metzger states:
“In general, earlier manuscripts are more likely to be free from those errors that arise from repeated copying. Of even greater importance, however, than the age of the document itself are the date and character of the type of text that it embodies, as well as the degree of care taken by the copyist while producing the manuscript.”
As we saw before and will see more so later, Metzger’s claim that the earlier texts are more error-free is not true, and is contradicted by Aland’s categories and by the NU selections themselves. Metzger himself is aware that most of the older papyri are not as good as the later Alexandrian uncials. But it is clear that in the Alexandrian priority text types, not age per se, are the determining fact of external evidence. Instead of text types, Aland usually uses the term categories, which is similar to text type but not identical.
Exactly how the text types or categories are applied to select variants, neither Aland nor Metzger reveals explicitly. The reader needs to gather this information inductively by examining the descriptions and the results. We get our first clue from Aland Rule 6: variants are to be “weighed, not counted.” A little reading and observation of the choices shows that this means that the Byzantine text, which Aland also calls the Imperial text, is eliminated from the candidate pool for selection. We get a hint of the Byzantines’ fate when Aland states: “They are all irrelevant for textual criticism, at least for establishing the original....” (10) If the thousands of later Byzantine manuscripts each counted as equal votes, they would swamp the few, older

Alexandrian ones, and the present NU would be just a quaint reconstruction of a long-discontinued regional artifact. So the Byzantine elimination solves a central problem for the Alexandrian priority by axing the teeming Byzantine hoards with one stroke.

The word “weigh” also does not mean to assign a measure or weighting factor to each manuscript, as it would imply. There is no table of weights. It is not individual readings or manuscripts that are weighed.
Rather it is the five NU categories (11) that are weighed. The categories span a continuum of text types from Category I (mainly Alexandrian) to Category V (mainly Byzantine) with Categories II and III in between and Category IV belonging to the “Western” codex Bezae and its allies. The Category V weight is zero. Metzger linked the external evidence to “the degree of care taken by the copyist while producing the manuscript.” Besides the text types, NU classifies the papyri by Aland fidelity categories: strict, normal, free, paraphrastic. Free means fast and loose, relatively speaking. The scribe takes liberties and makes mistakes.

11. The A-list (an Alexandrian subset) and the Mechanical Vote

TCGNT often mentions external and internal evidence and gives witness lists for selected and rejected variants, but does not mention categories or give a hint about the selection mechanics. Aland also does not disclose the selection mechanics. So the reader is left to deduce them from the results. In a particular case we picture several variants presented for election in a vote with qualifications for candidates and voters.
Some variants, such as singular and Byzantine variants, are eliminated—disqualified as voters or candidates. Some variants can vote but not run. Some votes count more than others.  The qualifications are based on the Aland categories. All of this is behind the scenes.
The TCGNT reader, distracted by a sideshow of internal evidence, reads only vague reports of the voting process.  It becomes clear from observation that the effective, though unspoken, weighing rule of NU selection is that the text must come from the small aristocracy of Category I uncials, the A-list, which Aland calls “presumably the original text.” (12) The A-list always includes Vaticanus and Sinaiticus, and possibly one or two other Alexandrian uncials. 

Strict papyri theoretically also belong to the A-list, but P75 is the only strict papyrus of substantial size (parts of John and Luke). For pro-Alexandrians it is the crown jewel of papyri. It is closest to Vaticanus. The bulk of the papyri are classed as free and do not qualify as candidates, although the older ones can vote. There is usually only one papyrus for a given passage and sometimes none, although in John there are usually two. Older papyri are more like the Alexandrian than Byzantine. Category IV uncial Bezae and its papyri may vote among the candidates but may not run as candidates even if they are older. When the vote is tied, candidates are ranked with Vaticanus first and Sinaiticus second. The Category II uncials may vote on rare occasion. The other 90% of the Category V and III manuscripts and minuscules never vote or serve as candidates, though they may appear in TCGNT witness lists and in apparatuses as if they had some influence.

The vote will overwhelmingly go to Vaticanus if it finds support from some other voters, and next to Sinaiticus. Non-normalized spelling is not admitted to the edition, but does not disqualify a voter. The A-list vote usually settles the matter at the external stage and makes the internal probabilities superfluous. Although internal probabilities occasionally override the A-list vote, their frequency and application are unpredictable. One problem with the external criteria as described is that they are based on an imaginary text history, which makes them invalid even when they are applied objectively.

12. Type Vote Is Determinative, Not Internal Probabilities: Evidence

First Corinthians was chosen as a moderate-sized text to test the methodology described above to see how well it would match the NU edit selections. Vaticanus, Sinaiticus and Alexandrinus are the only three Category I uncials (candidates) for 1 Corinthians.  P46 generally is the only old papyrus. So with the Western Codex Beza, there are five qualified voters for 1 Corinthians. Let us pause to examine the voter composition.  Ninety-nine per-cent of the manuscripts are disqualified, including the Byzantine and minuscules. The three A-list manuscripts dominate the vote. At first glance it does not appear entirely rigged because two non A-list voters are included.  In practice, however, they are only there to help choose between Vaticanus or Sinaiticus when those two differ. First, P46 and Bezae are the least aligned of the five, so they cannot gang up. Second, if one voter is singular or missing and the vote becomes two against two, the A-list wins because they outrank the others. Non A-list can only win the A-list vote if all the A-list are singular or missing.
First Corinthians contains over 6800 words. About 1100 words required normalization in at least one of the witnesses, so that was the most frequent editing.   After normalization, about 1030 words (15%) had some variation in the five witnesses but NU only decided on 1009 of these (the rest are in square brackets). About 65% of these 1009 disputed words were settled by eliminating 'singular' readings. The reading was “selected” in the sense that there was no more contest or vote needed. About 85% of these selection votes went to Vaticanus. When Vaticanus was singular, it went to Sinaiticus. This concluded standard editing.

The 353 words not settled in the singular elimination (stage 2) were put to the A-list vote (stage 3 or the external criteria). Three-hundred ten of the votes (88%) matched the NU selections. In other words, all but 43 of the 1009 disputed words were correctly predicted by singular elimination and the mechanical A-list program, without resorting to internal criteria. Apparently, the 43 words (4% of the 1009 words in question), required the NU internal probabilities to settle. Some of these were settled by common sense, not requiring any particular internal criteria like lectio brevior. Others were settled by some internal evidence. The rules for settling others were not recognizable. Even when some internal criterion was invoked to settle the case, the reason for picking the particular criterion over a variety of others was unpredictable. In general, the area of internal evidence is quite small, secondary and subjective.

The one result that was perfectly clear from the examination of the 1009 words was that the Alexandrian uncials won a landslide victory: 1006 words matched Alexandrian (99.7%) and 3 words did not; 891 matched Vaticanus; 110 of the remaining matched Sinaiticus. Five remaining matched Alexandrinus, one remaining matched P46 and the last two were witnessed by Bezae alone. The landslide victory in favor of Alexandrian uncials could only result from the A-list, not from merely following the internal criteria. As we will see later, the internal evidence, if not overridden by the external vote, would often result in Byzantine victories. The Corinthians vote results are almost as lopsided as a Byzantine majority text victory based on a one-manuscript-one- vote rule. To summarize, we have a 96% predictability rate of the selected reading with singular elimination and a straight A-list vote. And we have a 99.7% predictability that the winner will be  Alexandrian. The 99.7% Alexandrian rate is an independent fact while the 96% prediction rate for the particular manuscript depends on a hypothetical A-list method. A method that cranks out such results causes an Alexandrian NT but is not defensible.   ...'
10 Aland, 142.
11 Ibid., 108.
12 Ibid., 335.


Sunday, August 21, 2011

Majority Text: (XVII) - Marvin Vincent's confusion (Pt 1)

By the late 1890s, many important and outspoken opponents of the Lachmann/Hort approach had articulated and published their criticisms.  This did not derail the tampering of the NT text, but split textual critics and interested Christians of all denominations into two groups:
(1) Those who went with the new 'scientific' theories, preferring the critical texts, and
(2) those who were unconvinced, and held to the Traditional Text.

At this juncture, apologists like Marvin Vincent attempted to review the history of textual criticism itself, and distill out advances in knowledge and scientific progress.  In his book, A History of the Textual Criticism of the New Testament (Macmillan, 1903), Vincent advances what he considers to be the development of TC and current state of affairs.  He sums up the First Period of recent Textual Criticism as follows (p. 93-95):
'The First Period Reviewed
A review of the First Period (1516-1770) exhibits, in the beginning, a scarcity of documentary sources, an arbitrary determination of the text on a false and narrow basis, and a general ignorance of the comparative value of  documents. The small number of manuscripts accessible (1) or used was only one of the obstacles which opposed the purification of the text(2)  Scholars were  unable to make the best choice from among those actually at hand, or were not accurate in comparing them, or estimated the value of readings according to their number. (3)  
"In consequence of the astonishing number of copies which appeared at the very beginning, (4)  in a long series of manual editions, mostly from one and the same recension, the idea grew up spontaneously very early that in the manuscripts also the text was tolerably uniform, and that any thorough revision of it was unnecessary and impertinent. The Oriental Versions were closed to most; the importance of the Church Fathers was scarcely suspected; but the greatest lack of all for the purification of the text (2)  was the indispensable knowledge of the process of its corruption" (5)  (Reuss).  

The Purist Controversy

Moreover, the beginning of the seventeenth century was marked by the rise of the Purist controversy. The Purists maintained that to deny that God gave the NT in anything but pure classical Greek was to imperil the doctrine of inspiration. The Wittemberg Faculty, in 1638, decreed that to speak of barbarisms or solecisms in the NT was blasphemy against the Holy Ghost. Hence, a correct conception of the peculiar idiom of the Apostles was impossible, and the estimate of different readings was seriously affected by this cause.  (6)
Readings of existing editions were arbitrarily mingled, the manuscripts employed and the sources of variants adopted were not properly specified, and a full survey of the apparatus was impossible. (7)   

The number of uncial sources [MSS], (1)  however, gradually increased; the existence of various readings was recognized, but they were merely registered, and not applied to the construction of a purer text. (2)  There began to be signs of revolt against the authority of the Textus Receptus, and [also] attempts to restore the text (2) on the evidence of manuscript readings. (8)
Signs of Improvement
There arose a growing distrust of the numerical basis of evidence.  Manuscripts began to be weighed instead of counted. (9)  There was a dawning recognition of the value of ancient documents and a corresponding effort to formulate principles of classification. A large mass of material relating to MSS, Fathers and Versions was collected, which awaited thorough sifting  and arrangement, and the doctrine of families of texts was broached. Through all this the Received Text substantially maintained its supremacy, (10) though its pretensions were boldly challenged by individual critics; its chain (2)  was rudely shaken and more than once broken, and its authority began to be visibly weakened. (11)
The superstitious hesitancy (2) about departing from the Received Text still prevailed, and the critical valuation of the older uncials was suffering seriously from Wetstein's sweeping charge of latinisation (1751).' (12)  (Vincent, p.93-95)
 Those already inclined in the Lachmann-to-Hort direction might find Vincent's banter satisfactory, as he attempts to build a platform to support the W/H critical text.  But others who differ from this view will note some serious flaws and distortions in the presentation, exposing Vincent's bias.

(1)  Vincent claims the period begins with only a 'small number of MSS', but this is patently untrue.  Even Erasmus (1516), who made use of only a handful for his first edition, had already collated dozens of MSS in England and Europe for his fresh Latin translation.    Early editors quickly gained access to dozens more independent copies, and Vincent seems oblivious to the contradiction here brought in by his own quotation of Reuss [!]:  "the astonishing number of copies which appeared at the very beginning," ...

(2)  Vincent begins liberally using suggestive language ("purification of the text" etc.) that begs the question regarding the relative purity and value of the TR in comparison to subsequently reconstructed 'critical texts' cobbled together from Uncial readings.  It has yet to be established that the TR is "impure" in any significant way, even if one or two readings are legitimately open to challenge, such as 1st John 5:7 etc.  The suggestion of course is that the Traditional Text (TR) is in desperate need of 'restoration', but convincing case has yet been made.

(3)  Of course scholars indeed rightly 'estimated the value of readings according to their number', since this is a legitimate indicator of the spread and antiquity of a reading.   It was never the only criterion, as review of the period literature (Mill, Bengel, Wetstein, Michaelis) shows.  Vincent implies that this was an incorrect methodology, or that it was naively applied and led to bad results, but this has never been shown.  Indeed, the very same criterion is applied enthusiastically without qualification to passages like 1st John 5:7 etc. by the same critics who avoid the criterion in other cases.  This inconsistency is far more glaring in the W/H position (with its rejection of countless majority readings) than in the TR position, which with few exceptions values this criterion.  In no case can estimating readings by MS count be found as the sole or main methodology anywhere in the literature of the period, or subsequently up until the 1880s.  Even Burgon and Miller did not articulate or elevate such a criterion to preference over all other considerations.

(4)  Here 'the astonishing number of copies' (Reuss) refers in the main to later cursive (minuscule) copies, ranging from the 8th century to the 15th.  It appears that Vincent's contradiction can be traced to the fact that he only considers Uncial MSS to be of any value for textual reconstruction.

(5)  It is true that 'knowledge of the process of corruption' is indispensable.  The majority of variants are in fact accidental errors, or minor linguistic updates.  However, understanding this process better in the 20th century has resulted in the reversal of TC canons taken for granted in the 17th to 19th centuries, such as "Prefer the Shorter Reading" (Griesbach, 1805).  But such knowledge remained virtually unknown in Vincent's day, or else was wilfully ignored (e.g., Westcott/Hort).

(6) The Purists did not influence 17th century textual criticism, at least as significantly as claimed here.  Very few important variants turn on questions of classical vs. Koine grammar, or new knowledge from a study of the papyri.  This controversy had more relevance to translational issues and  interpretation.   Few textual critics can be shown to have made errors in judgment because of a lack of knowledge of 1st century Greek.  The concern is unsubstantiated.

(7)  Access to the basic apparatus was hardly 'impossible'.  Between John Mill, Bengel, and Wetstein, one had a very clear picture of what had been collated by the end of the 17th century, and also access to quite thorough discussions of most important variants.   Michaelis considered Mill and Wetstein indispensable, but certainly adequate for purposes of research.  Even after many more MSS were collated, as accomplished later by Griesbach and Scholz, most experts acknowledged that the textual situation had not greatly been altered.  It was more of the same.

(8)  Here Vincent implies that all the texts so far published (Erasmus, Mill, Wetstein, Griesbach) were somehow not constructed on the basis of MSS evidence.  But this is ridiculous.   Every textual critic was concerned with the same question, and used the same approach: MSS readings.

(9)  No distrust of the weight of numerical evidence for this period can really be shown.  What instead appears is rather a lack of a solid grasp of the value of any criterion or aspect which could be used to evaluate readings.  Textual critics of the period were making guesstimates, and trying to construct a methodology.  They confronted a complex situation, but had no solid grounds or technique for weighing conflicting evidences. 

(10)  As Vincent here confesses, most critics understood well the preliminary stage they were in, and exercised due caution as to any alterations in the traditional text at hand.   He calls this reasonable caution a 'superstitious hesitancy', but this is an anachronistic back-projection, due to his impatience with earlier scholarship. 

(11)  The essential text, the 'Received Text' continued to 'prevail', well into the 1870s, almost a hundred years beyond Vincent's suggestion as to when it was 'visibly weakened'.  The subsequent critical texts of Griesbach and Scholz continued well into the 19th century, and are essentially the same as the TR.  What is visibly weakened, is Vincent's credibility as a historian, due to his bias in favor of the W/H type text.

(12)  Wetstein did make some strong statements against using the early Uncials, which he had observed were alarmingly at variance with both the Traditional Text, and each other.  He also was highly suspicious of key Uncial readings which conformed to the Latin Vulgate.  But the prevalent opinion (cf. Michaelis and others), was that here Wetstein was acting in an overly paranoid fashion toward both the Latin text(s) and Uncials sourced from Roman Catholics.  It seems clear that Wetstein's views here actually had in fact very little influence upon other textual critics of the period.  Like the opinions of the "Purists" 100 years earlier, Wetstein was hardly able to affect the progress of TC.   Such claims appear to be  ad hoc  but inadequate explanations for why most textual critics up until 1830 (Lachmann) strongly disagree with the results of modern TC.