Representing "The "fextH in Pacific Bible Translations

Introduction 1

The aim of this eS$:ay is to take a look at the way in which Pacific Bible trsnsla tions reptesen t the na ture of the Biblical tcx r, By 'na ture" I mean (ill this context) the trxt's. his to ric a [ origins, which leads us to iii consideration of textual criticism and, to some extent, canon formation. To keep this topic 'Within workable limits, considering the nature of a journal article, J will concentrate on the text and canon of the Second ,r C:9 tam en t only- In :spi te 0 f certain, important sirnilarities, there are quite fundamental differences between First and Second Testament textual criticism (let alone the problem of the canon of the First Testament, whim is even more complex). Discussing both would unduly cunfus e mat ters in a short article such as thi~ :l Yet r believe that the basic conclosions drawn from my discussion of the Second Testameru are also valid for the First Testament.

Dr. S 'Z1}!jMJ .r ~tlied IhMllJ)}J' in Gemtmry and S (Jlllb Ajr'i(d, fflJ{_l,ht Bibb J tNtIits 111 S (j~th A/n,((1 (f J9()~19,g) (mn ~t th~ fuc;fir TlNoJo,gi~~1 CJJ/itS/ (1998 ·l001 j. (HId als» dlrutfd rJu EdJulJfi~7f byE~ft"Ji~" "flit 1" PTe (2Of)()- 200' ), H~ is ~o.a' THffJr in Eih1~ Stsdin 01 Iht RaJI A~'~pt ~IinJ.tIllf'iol T"'~l1i'tg C(l1Jn~ iJf CambriJg~j UK

A s an aside, I should note here my preference ' for the terminology of "Second Testament' instead of ":Ne'U,· Testament", and 'PilSt Testament' inste-ad of 'Old Testamen r', a terminological change due: to progress in the J ewish -Christian dialo gue. ~ All 0 f th ese terms have their peculiar problems, of course. To avoid confusion among readers who may not be familiar with these terms,

Sen'"s II.IMue 25 2001 . ~1

I will occasionally still use "New / Old Testament'.'

discipline of Second Testament Studies.

Textual criticism is not usually high on the agenda of exegetical methodology classes, wherever they may take place. This i~ beginning to be reflected in textbooks on exegetical methods, some of which do not have a chapter on textual criticism any longer.' There seems to be an unspoken assumption among many that the text of the Bible itself is somehow not a theological and exegetical issue (anymorer), and that textual criticism therefore need not clutter our courses already brimful with a multitude of methods of biblical exegesis, from standard historical-critical to newer methods like narrative or social-science criticism, let alone various kinds of 'contextual exegesis'," I hope that re aders 0 f thi s es 8 a y wh 0 persevere to the end will realis e how problematic such an assumption is.

Yet what is frequently ignored in all this is that all Bible readers rely on the results of textual criticism, as 1 will demonstrate below. I contend in this essay that the lack of interest shown in textual criticism has a dangerous theological side effect.This is perhaps most serious for the ordinary Bible reader for she cannot even get advice from the average theologically trained pastor. While textual criticism may be regarded as an esoteric discipline, the ordinary person can see its results, or at least the rip of the iceberg, in Bible translations available today.

In the following, I wish to explore the extent to which Pacific Bible translations indicate to their readers something about the state of the text of the New Testament. To make this task manageable, I need to restrict myself to a small sample of "pacific Bible translations drawn from the plethora of those available in print. Before 1 can begin this discussion, though, it would se em opportune to provide a brief introduction to the p~oble.m of Second Testamen t textual criticism and the forma cion of the canon. This will a f necessity be very brief sometimes simplifiying matters, and yetperhaps confusing to those who have never heard of it I must refer to the standard works on textual criticism in this respect," To save space" I will also make use of a number of common

a bbreviations lis ted in the endn otes .. ICl .

Most students who obtain a degree and even postgraduate qualifications in theology today are quite ignorant of textual criticism 'and canon history .. Indeed, such lack of quite basic knowledge seems commonplace on a global scale; at least this is suggested by anecdotal evidence from other continents. For example; the North American textual critic Batt Ehrman complained in 1997 that doctoral candidates in the graduate schools of that continent hardly know how to work ·V:ith the textual apparatus of the standard critical edition of the text of the Second Testament, known as "Nestle-Aland'.' This appalling state of affairs, however, should hardly makes us feel complacent in the Pacific. .

Of course, there are quite a few 'good' reasons for this widespread neglect of textual criticism, however exasperating the resulting ignorance among further generations of trained theologians may be, There is the simple fact that the printed text offered in both standard editions of the Greek Nevi Tcstamen t has basically not changed since 1979. ~ Perhaps most importantly, anyone who has laboured tllrough the standard works on tex tual criticism will rea dily agree that this is a 'dry'" rna tter (certainly to begin with). It is also true that textual criticism has become particularly prone to a high level of specialisation on the part of scholars. Indeed, textual criticism is often seen as a bit of an 'esoteric} subject within the

Textual Criticism and the History of. the New Tes tamen t

Everyone who reads or listens to the Second Testament benefits from the results of textual criticism, for it can be argued that without textual criticism, there would be no Second Testament (certainly no printed one). Put differently, whatever copy of a Bible translation we may hold in our hands today, it is always the result of textual criticism in some form. Or, to put it in yet another way, of all the methods of interpretation, textual criticism cannot be rejected out of hand for ideological reasons: even it if is ignored, if only ~ut of sheer ignorance,

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every Bible reader still depends on the results of textual criticism.

consensus because decisions abou t the canonical status of particular writings tended to take place in recognition of what was effectively already foil (1(4vmpii in different communities (churches), However, the process of canon formation ~s also sometimes a contested matter: beginning with Marcion, canon formation was at times spurred on by controversies within the church, which compelled sectors of the church to re .. examine the early Chris tian writings they regarded as valid.'! Also, different regions developed somewhat different canons, and it took time to harmonise these. The process of dev-eloping a Second Testament canon of sacred scripture (ie a canon in addition to the First Testament, usually used by the church in the form of the ancient Greek translation known as the Septuagint, LXX}, slowly came to its fast conclusion during the fourth and fifth cen tury, ~ 5

How can I make such a claim? To answer that question, we need to look at the historical origins of the New Testament text. Put simply, the New Testament consists of 27 distinct writings; from Matthew up to Revelation. 11 Each of these was originally written separately; there is no evidence that the authors themselves envisaged a collection of these writings (leaving aside for the moment the connection between the Gospel according to Luke and the Acts of the Apostles) .. 12 The material on which these 'books' were written was not very durable, especially in the climatic conditions of the Mediterranean. As a resultthey had to be copied by hand, not only to distribute them to other communities of Christians, but also to preserve them. The writings we call the New (Second) Testament were copied over and over again un~ the printing press developed in Europe some fourteen hundred years later, But the ancient Greek manuscripts (rosS)13 used to construct the text of the Second Testament which we find in our convenient printed Greek Testament copies today exhibit one common feature: not a single one of them is exactly like another. Every single one of these more than 5.000 New Testament mss (or fragments thereof) differs from each other.

Before I move on, though, it is perhaps useful to recall the old distinction between 'scripture' and 'canon"." For we. are perhaps so used to conceptualising the two in such close proximity, such close connection, that they tend to be read as virtually one: when we talk of 'Scripture') we tend to iden tifv tills

with the cano~ of A 'canon' in a religious context is a body of

revered wri tings literature regarded as 'scripture 'Ji such canons

known as the Bible. Yet have a tendence to be seen as 'closed' 'scripture' and 'canon' .

are really distinct concepts which in other periods of the history of christianity have not been so closely related+ In general 'scripture' can be roughly defined as literature that is regarded as religiously significant, or authoritative.'? A "canon' in a religious context is a body of literature regarded as 'scripture'; such canons have a. tendency to be seen as 'closed' .. Hence, while a canon implies scripture, this is not the case vice versa. NeitherJudaism not Christianity had a canon proper in. the first century, but they certainly had writings regarded as scripture.

"[he vast majority of these differences are of course due to simple mistakes, or changes in orthography, and so on. Such differences are perfectly natural considering the long hist?ry of copying these manuscripts by hand, and it is relatively easy for the experienced textual critic to identify such 'unintentional changes' to the text. Far more difficult and fundamentally theologically challengin-g are what textual critics refer t.o as 'intentional changes'; we will return to them a little later. For no\.\~ a few more words have to be said about the process of forming the canon of the New Testament.

The collection of works that is now commonly referred to as the New (Second) Testament only came about after a long and complex process of canon formation. This canon formation was both com.munityconsensus driven and a contested process. It was driven by community

For f1t~t-centu.ry .Christians, to put it very simply, "Scripture' was roughly what is now called the First (Old) Testament. This is quite clear in the writings of the Second Testament themselves: when Matthew or Paul say "it is written", they refer to writings in what Christians now call the

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First (Old) Testament. There is no doubt that other 'witnesses" were crucial in the life of the early church at the same time, especially oral tradition (such as the 'words of the Lord', as is evidenced for instance in the letters of Paul; eg. 1 Cor 7:10-16, 7:25, 9: 14). I t seems that already during the second century, most Christian communities regarded certain Chris tian wri tings (s uch as the letters of Paul, or ce rtain gas pels) as comparable to that Scripture (ie most of the LXX): they cited them reverently in their own letters and books, and read portions from them in their worship. However) it was not until the end of the fourth century that the church on the whole agreed on the precise content of the 'Second Testament', and even then there were exceptions in some geographical areas; or with regard to certain Second Testament writings (cg. Revelation; Hebrews). After all, there were many other early Christian writings than we now ha-ve in the Second Testament: there were other gospels and related writings (cg the Gospel according to Thomas; or T a tiarrs Diatessarony; th ere were other I etters (eg~ the Epi stles 0 f Clement; or Paul's supposed Third Letter to the Corinthians), and yet other works in circulation for many centuries (eg. the Shepherd of Hetmas;Didache) .. Many of these writings were, at different times and in different places, accorded the same or similar status (as revered scriptures) as the writings we now find in our printed copies of the Second Testament. It is no accident that some of these writings found their place in some of the oldes t an d m os t relia ble New Testarnen t m SS \l.,. ... e s till have today, such as codex Vaticanus (4th century)."

a long and .very complex process- In some ways~ the canon only came to -a close at a very late stage in the history of the church+ For instance, the question of what scriptures ought to be considered canonical was a. matter of discussion again at the time of the Reformation. In some ways, the question persists today, as Protestant, Roman Catholic, and Orthodox church traditions use different forms of the canon.

The theological conception of textual inviolability also changed with the emergence of relatively ch eap, printed Bibles from the 16th century onward .. For the first time in history) the Biblical text \VaS now available in comparatively large quantities, in exactly the same shape and form. One and the same text form could now be reproduced thousands of times withoul a1!_)1 t"hange wbatsoeoer - quite in contrast to rnss copied by hand, where this was practically impossible. This revolutionary technological development arguably changed the way in which Scripture and its 'authority) was perceivedr" clearly, technology / material life had a serious effect on the development of faith and belief, both popular and academic.

The notion of scripture as inviolate, which is today so easily assumed in the church, must not be presupposed in the same way for the first few generations of Christians. Certainly, some early Christian writings were revered already in the first two centuries after J eSTIS' des th - that was ~ after all, a major reason for preserving them. But exactly when an? haw the early Chri s han believers then be gao to. ascribe to these particular Christian writings the same sacred status as they did to the writings we call the First Testament, is not entirely cleat. Actually, even the precise function of the First Testament in the theology and practice of the early church is rather complicated." Canon formation and the theological development of a sense of scripture appears to have been

In the t:ase of the Greek Testament, this belief in the inviolability of the text developed particularly in respect of the first printed Greek text edited (one might say= . created) by Erasmus of Rotterdam in the early 16th cenrury. Erasmus had published his printed Greek text on the basis of a few medieval manuscripts. Eventually called the textus reeptus (the 'received text'; hereafter: TR) by the publishers, this 16th / 17th century attempt at presenting' a printed text of the Greek Testament soon achieved total dominance in most Protestant churches of Europe over a period of more than 300 years." It is essentially this text form which was used in the famous AV I KJV of 1611 ~ 12 and in turn this strongly influenced so-called Third World' translations . .23 For example, the influential British and Foreign Bible Society (BFBS) only changed its policy in res pee t of pre scribing the TR b asis for new Bible transla tions in 1904.2~ The fundamental problem of the TR is that it is based on very late and (from a modem text-critical point of view) quite unreliable manuscripts, As a result, modern translations of the New Testament have not only thousands of subtle differences with the Greek textual

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basis of the AV / KjV, barely noticeable to the reader of a translation, but also many very obvious ones which have an immediate effect on any translation (see, for instance, Acts 8:37; Mk 16:9-20;Jo 7:53 - 8:11) .. 25

The task ~f textual criticism, then, to bring this section to a. close, is to do two things~ firstly, by studying the data available from all extant mss to establish the oldest form of the text; and secondly, to explain variation; to the text which o.ccurred during the long manual copying process. Most results of this fundamental task of textual criticism are not immediately obvious even to the attentive reader of a modern translation because they ~re only apparent at the level of the Greek text. However, t~e most Ob~lOllS results of textual criticism ate clear in any modern BIble translation, especially in comparison with the text of the AV / KjV. A glance at common modern translations into English is sufficient to show the most obvious features; the alert reader will notice that there are a number of cases where the translated text appears to have verses (or parts) mysteriously 'missing'. Such a reader may distinguish at least four separate types of problems:"

Finally, we have to return for a moment to the history of the Second Testament writings in the first few centuries. The fact that the writings of the Second Testament did not immediately acquire the same status as th e (Firs t Tes tam en t' had at least one signifi can t implication: it allowed the Christian scribes who copied the Second Testament a certain degree of freedom in making deliberate changes to the text, For in addition to the great number of inadvertent, accidental errors which crept into the process of copying the early Christian witnesses by hand, there is a large number of deliberate alterations of the text of the Second Testament. Most of these deliberate alterations occurred very early in the his tory of transmission" in the fl1'S t 200 to 300 years. 26 Such deliberate changes ranged from relatively 'innocent) attempts to harmonize the gospels, to deliberate alterations to the text to suit the theological views of the scribe and his or her community." Such deliberate changes due to theological reasons were not just undertaken by those declared heretical, but especially by early Chris tian scribes. wh 0 wrote in the service of the emerging 'orthodox' Cmainline') church and its theologians,"

(1) large hl.ocks of texts that appear to be in doubt" or 'disappear' from the text printed, such as Mk 16:9-20 (the different endings of Mark) or In 7:53 - 8;11 (known as the pericop« aduJlerae);

(2) texts which are supposedly important for theological reasons, such as 1 J n 5:7- 8 (the so-called comma j()hallnellm)

(3) texts that involve supernatural events or miracles, such as In 5:4;

A good deal of the freedom that scribes felt in relation to the text seems to derive from this unsettled status of the New Testament. One should not regard this as unfaithfulness on the part of these Christian scribes: they were not bound by our own dogmatic strictures but theirs, or rather, their concerns were their own dogmatic a.nd social struggles .. In the end, what mattered most in the early church was the risen Christ, the presence of the Holy Spirit in their midst. In a way) the precise 'letters' of the early Christian writings we call the Second ~ew) Testament were of secondary importance to them. This was coupled with a generally ambiguous attitude in Mediterranean antiquity to the written word and its reliability as opposed to the word spoken in true spirit," In a society in which the literacy rate was a s low as 5 -10%,. 3(~ manual copying notorious for its unreliability, and indeed pseudepigraphy a common phenomenon, such suspicion is hardly surprising ..

(4) texts which are of ritual significance in the church, such as Lk 22; 19b- 20~

Mo s t modern rex tual critics agree that in all likelihood these text portions were not part of the oldest form of the text (with the exception of the last ex~mple, which is disputed)j32 In recognition of this, modern translations in major Europea~ languages deal with this in a varietv of ways. Most translations tend to place footnotes or other text-criti~a1 indicato~s near the versers) in question, usually with some sort of explanation, however opaque~ as to why they did that."

Series It Issue 26 2001


An Analysis of some

Pacific Bible Translations"

In this section I am interested in the way in which. certain Pacific Bible translations represent the results of New Testament textual criticism. For the ordinary reader, this is typic-ally only apparent in two aspects of

. a published teansla tiom firstly, the foreword, preface, or introductory material, and secondly) text-critical indications in the translated text itself

. (usually in the form of footnotes). For the purpose of this article, only a limited number of translations could be discussed, although I have analysed a much larger number .. ·'~ However, considering the uniformity of the basic results and th e strikingly similar state 0 f affairs in tran sla tions into other languages, 3~) I suggest that the evidence below is strongly indicative for the whole range of Pacific Island Bible translations. I should like to stress that I have selected the translations discussed below not because they are particularly ~good' or 'bad' but rather be~a~se they seem to me to be representative of certain trends evidenced by a much larger num her of Bible translations.f If a particular translation is characterised as problematic from the point of view of its representation of textual criticism, this is to be· seen as merely one example among

many others.

copied. In comparison with older Pacific translations, this also affects the text base; most obviously by (but by no means limited to) excluding certain verses printed in the TR:o since the GNB essentially follows todays standard Greek text offered in the UBSGNT. This gives rise to the common problem of modern Bible translations: how does one indicate such text-critical decisions to the reader? How is one, for instance, to deal with the fact that the verse numbering sometimes seems to indicate tha t a verse has been 'skipped' (eg./Acts 8: 37)_?

Translations of the Second Testament into the languages of the Pacific, though numbering still few ill the first half of the century, were well under way and quite numerous 'already during the second half." Such older translations of the Second Testament almost invariably used the lextHJ receptus as it s Greek te xt base, fo II owing es ta blis h ed procedure laid down by the British and Foreign Bible Society. As one would expect, there is therefore no indication of a text-critical nature ill such translations, neither in introductions nor in any kind of notes+ This state of affairs appears to have continued well intu the 1960's. .

By and large, recent translations of the Second Testament or the whole Bible in the numer?us languages of the Pacific provide neither any introductory comments (certainly not on matters relating to the textual state of affairs), nor do they give any text-critical footnotes. In fact, in a few instances, the te~·tJ.lj rtt'tptUS·vta5 apparently still in use quite recently. A case in point is the 1975 edition of the Second Testament in Tahitian." It has no introduction and no notes of any kind: texts like 11k 16:9-20~ J n 7:53 - 8:11 and S:3b-4~ Acts 8:37 and 1 J n 5:7b etc. are translated and

printed without any indication of their problematic textual status, Today, as in 1975) scholars almost unanimously recognise that these parts of the texts cannot be regarded as part of the 'original text) of the Second Testament but are later additions to the text made by the Christian scribes who copied the rnss of the Bible for many centuries, until the invention of the printing press. As a result, the 1975 Tahitian New Testament represents one side of the spectrum of Pacific Bible translations in respect of their representation of the text: that side of the spectrum which is characterised by the absence of any text-critical indications, and in fact the reproduction of the text»: receptus (ie, a text outdated by more than a century)."

More recent translation projects tend to follow prominent features of the Good News Bible / Tcday's English Version, which, I understand, is encouraged by the UBS: from section headings and parallel text citations to maps arid illustrations) the format of the GNB is basically

But let us move to the other side of the spectrum of Pacific Bible translations .. Perhaps the most extensive number of text-critical indicators can be found in the 1968 revision of the 1930 N ew Testarnent translation into Rotuman . .J' There is no introduction of any sort. However, a fairly large number of text .. critical indicators occur in the printed text, all in the same format. Translated into English, these footnotes invariably state: "some books omit", or "some books have instead ... :~"J as for

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instance in Acts 8:37, which is printed normally in the text, but with a footnote .of this kind. This is particularly obvious. in the case of the ending of Mark and the pericope adulterae; where the relevant texts are also spab·ally separated from the rest of the text by a larger par.agraph gap. It is not clear what system is followed in the selection of textcritical problems though it is possible that the first edition of the UBSGNT influenced decisions already here: while the textus rtteplllJ is effectively reproduced, notes indicate the problematic status of some parts of the textl·

is, verse 21 . + .. t!l (and this is then followed by a translation of that particular verse). A significant problem here is that the construction involving the word here translated as 'copy' (ata), appears to be quite ambiguo~s. Milner'~ Samoan- English dictionary indicates quite a range of ~eanlngs for this word, from <shadow' to <reflection', or 'copy I duplicate' to 'film' and 'photograph'," I asked three Samoan graduate theology students separately to explain 'these footnotes to me. In each case, .it took at least ten minutes before the student was able to make any sense of this, and then only beca use I a ffered a short crash course in textual criticism;· Again, how is the ordinary reader supposed to understand all this?

Although this translation provides comparatively much information, it is extremely doubtful that a reader who is. not trained in textual criticism would be able to understand the c~mmen~s that are provided. As I said, there is no introduction, and the comments themselves ate ste.reotypically phrased, The operative word used in the notes,puk!l would be understood by a Rotuman speaker as a reference to 'English books', namely English translations. But just what is a reader to, make of it, for in stance, when she is told that 'some English versions of the NT do not .

.have the story of the suspected adulteress'? \Vhat is the reader to make of it when he notices the larger paragraph gaps in the case of Mk 16:9- 20 and In 7:53 - 8:11?

. .

More recent Pacific Bible translations tend to offer a Biblical text along

similar lines) providing very little information for the re~der~ In some cases, however, they off~~ 'absolutely no text-critical commenrs or indicators of any kind, and in some instances th'~y seem to return once more, at [east in part, to the (fX/US m-eptN! Greek textb~se.One example of such an approach is the 1987 revision of'the N~w Testament in Fijian .. ~5 which was apparently translated on the basis of the GNB /

. TEV-l6 There is no introduction of any kind; there are no notes of any sort. Squat? brackets are used for a limited number of texts of dubious textual nature (such as Mk 16:9-20). To make matters even more . c~nfusing,roun~bracket5 are used in. other places .:_ but as a syn tactic

aid (eg Mt·24:1J, 27:33). .. r , • •••• •

. .

A similar type of translation from this point of v~ew is the.1969 revision

of the Samoan translation of the NT.~"2 A·g~!, there is-no introduction reflecting on the textual state of affairs. However, footnotes are· employed in some cases, namely where verses are apparently 'left oue. of the text (such as In· 5:3b .. 4, 7:53-8:11;· Acts 8:37, or Rom 16~24). An exception is theend of Mk, where vv. 9-20· are printed normally. There is no footnote but only a significant space between vv. 8 and 9; no such space occurs in any other place." In contrast to the Rotuman translation" the text offered in the main body of print no longer follows the TRI

The selection of texts ptaced in square brackets may be partially based on the UBSGNT, where such problematic texts are either .removerl from the body of the text or placed in single or double square brackets .:

. Yet. ~ other places, such as Acts. 8:37~ which the UBSGNT / NestleAland text offers only in the footnotes) the dubious verses are moved back into the text, albeit in square brackets. (By comparison. the GNB I mv does not print this text in the body of the text but only in a footnote.) Once more; no comments or notes of any kind are offer~d

in the Fijian NT to explain the text or the double brackets. Surprisingly enough, in ret other cases of text-critical changes since the days of the textus recep!zu and the AV / KjV, such as 1 In 5:7-8 (the Comma ]ohannellm),

Where text-critical footnotes are printed in the Samoan translation" they read virtually the. same in all instances. For example, in the case of Mt 17:21, an English translation of the footnote would read as follows:

"This is found in other copies of this book in the Greek language, that

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the 1987 Fijian NT revision does not prin t the extended text a f the textus re,~epIIlJ just" like the GNB / TEV does not (in contrast to the previous Fijian NT version of 1901~ which doe! print the long text)." Just what system was used (if any) to decide which text to translate and print remains unclear. In fact, what kind of text the publishers thought they are presenting is a myster}~

Some Reflections on

Publishing Bible Translations

Of course, there are a number of issues involved in Bible translations which have a bearing on the perceived usefulness of having text-critical inclicat~rs in p~blis~ed Bible transliuions. For instance, contemporary t~nslatlon projects In the Pacific and elsewhere frequently have to deal With the fact that they are producing a text for a largely oral culture. Producing a translation in such a context is a challenge in itself. -I') But how does one represent textual criticism in such a translation? \Xlhat effect does it have in such a context. for example, that a Bible transla cion tries to in~cate. why c~rtai~ verses are printed or not? How is this going to be received m a pnmarily oral society? Perhaps more difficult is the question: at what point do we stop doing this? Should a revised translation into Samoan, Pohnpeian, or Fijian, be permanently based on the assumption of an oral culture as if such cultures remained constant with~~t change., at ~ .times? Finally. what are the the~logical consequence~ of ratsmg (or not raising) these questions in precisely this context?

Much of this (with the exception of the strange choice of what text to print) appears to be in line with" the GNB 'short version' without notes. The GNB short version, however, at least states in the foreword that verses. enclosed in square brackets "are not found in the oldest and best manuscripts of the New Testament". The Fijian NT does nothing of the sort. No explanation of any kind is given for these square brackets. Inevitably, some attentive readers will wonder what those brackets are there for. Perhaps they are printing errors? Or are they perhaps simply brackets like the round brackets - indicating somewhat independent text segments which do not quite fit into the structure of the sentence?

In sum, the representation of the results of textual criticism in Pacific Bible translations is, right across the spectrum" woefully inadequate. Of course, this is not surprising, since for instance English translations do not do much better," and the same case could be made for French or German translations that this author is familiar with. Leaving aside those translations which ate still essentially of 19th century provenance, one could say without exaggeration that what Pacific Bible transla tions 0 ffer their readers in respect of textual criticism and the textual 5 tate of affairs is, at best, a 'watered-down' version of major European language translations which are already quite problematic (eg. the 1968 Rotuman or the 1969 Samoan translation); at worst, it is simply lack of in forma tion, coupled with a strange choice ?f te~{.t to print, which can only be interpreted as a. text produced by translators who do not understand textual criticism at all (eg. the 1987 Fijian NT).

!here is ~S<i the diffi~~lt task of choosing an adequate way of offering information on text-critical results. The standard option in major English

trnnslations is to print an introduction, and to provide text-critical foo~otes. Yet who reads such introductions and footilotes? Perhaps too little research has been done on how ordinary readers ill difftrent cuitural contexts acrually read the Bible, and also what they read --. and do not read. The fact that many trained and ordained ministers never seem to have asked themselves the question what these strange text-critical footnotes in (English and other) Bible translations mean should warn us about the adequacy of such a standard approach to communicating text-critical results. ~n addition, perhal?S it should also warn us about the quality of theolOgIcal education.

A relate~ issue is the problem as to what kind of text-critical problems to mention from the thousands of variations that exist; how does one select the appropriate kind of textual problem to discuss? Sometimes one gets the impression that modem Bible translations ate mostly guided

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by differences with the older, TR lAY te~t for~: put simply, when~v~ a verse appears to be 'missing) in compans0.n W1t~ the!R I AV, t~lS 15 indicated. Should the same principle be used m Pacific Bible tta~slatlons when revisions are done these days? For instance, on what basts ought the Fijian revision of the New Testaro~t to have s.elected text-~tical indicators? In relation to common English translations? In relation to the earlier Fijian translation. of 1901?· .

There ate also other, often quite mundane· aspects of Bible translation pu blication which are of concern" such as. financial ~ery page added for comments of this kind will increase the costs, In a context of cash-strapped people, churches and Bible Societies, taking the te~t of the Bible seriously in this sense may be seen as too cos dy. But ~erhaps all it needs is some creativity in finding solutions that do not mcrease the page numbers unduly; in an age of increasing ease and sophistication on the basis of easy-to-learn desktop publishing software, .

. this should not be a serious concern any longer. . .

Wbat is important here, and indeed deeply troubling, is that.Engli~h translations (and for that matter. French as well! available and 1~ ~~e in the Pacific are hardly better in their representation of textual c_nt1~m. Even in 'high end' translations such as the.NRSV or REB (which. were not written in 'simple English' which can beund:rstood at prunary school level), . the ordinary reader is left very much ~ the dark .as far as the state of the NT text is concerned. In these English translations, the

. text selected for printing may be more in line with .the current state of . the (text-critical) art, and the footnotes. mor~ consistent, but the te~tcritical indicators are usually quite appallingly inadequate from the p~1ttt of view of the ordinary reader." For the Bible reader in th~ Pa~fic. this means effectively that even consulting a Frenc~ or ~nglish Bible translation in addition to the local language Bible IS of little use: the ordinary reader who wants to find out wh~t these odd square bra~kets

. or mysterious footnotes actually mean. or w~Y c~rtatn. ve~ses are printed in some Bible translations and not in others, 1S still left without any help; for neither any available translations nor the theologically trained pas~ors are equipped or trained to be of much help in this respect

The Pacific Joumal of Theo'ogy

Some Theological Considerations

I shall never forget an incident some ·years ago when teaching a class on a rural South African universlty campus. After going through the usual historical-critical methods (as the first part of an exegetical method course), we reviewed what we had done so far and discussed problematic issues. The very first problem that came up was textual en ticism..a . theology student insisted that he "did not like it" because it made him

. O<doubt the Bible". I was a littl~ startled: I had expected. and previously encountered, that very response in respect 'of form criticism, or some of the other historical methods, but never in connection with textual criticism. I wassurprised because textual criticism is so basic to the kind of exegesis I had been taught myself ("you have to have a text before you can interpret it!") that the thought that this might constitute a faith

. ..

problem simply never occurred to me (and neitherwould I have thought

of writing an essay like thisl). .

. .

It was only in reflecting on both the student's and my own reaction that . the first ideas for this paper

arose, For in the end, I realised that my student was quite . correct ~ certain types of

. theology are indeed deeply challenged by textual criticism. However, ] should like to think that it would be preferable jf that sense of anxiety were to be channelled and utilised rather than swept under the carpet. Lack of theological education in this area, as well as inadequate Bible tran sla tion s~ are not th e answer;

.. ,;, certain types Of theology are indeed decp(y challenged I:Y textual criticism

.. . .

Tex.tual critics have developed at least two 'standard' arguments to deal

with the kind ·of worried question that my student asked+ I contend that these standard arguments are inadequate and, certainly today, in some ways inappropriately focussed.

1. Today) so the first argument goes, scholars have access to more than . 5.000 ancient Greek mss containing the Second Testament o.t parts thereof,

not to mention ancient versions (old translations into Latin, Syriac. Coptic.,

Series tilssue 20· 2001

and so on) and the scriptural quotations of the church fathers .. All of these help the textual critic in the task of reconstructing the oldest form of the text of the Second Testament. While the majority of these .mss is of late, medieval origin, many are much older, some dating back to the second to fift11 century. There are virtually complete New Testament copies in our possession today which are as old as the fourth cen~ry .. In contrast, for certain important ancient writings like some of Tacitus (Roman historian) or Plato (Greek philosopher), we have only a handful ()f very late medie~l mss, In this sense, so the standard argument claims, we are at an incomparable advantage to any other ancient document or set of documents (save perhaps the Hebrew Bible) in tespec~ of the mass of data at our disposal."

difficult to re-construct a text older than the second or third century. Furthermore, recent scholarship is increasingly asking whether there really was a single 'original text' for each of the 'books' of the New Testament. In the case of Paul's letters, for example, if David Trobisch's provocative thesis men tioned earlier is correct, Paul himself edi ted the first co llecti a n of his letters, adapting their 'original wording' to the needs of the collection." This raises a number of questions, such as: which form ·of the text of, sa.y,. Romans, ought one consider as Scripture toda}:? A .reconstructed 'original' letter of Paul to the Romans?Or the version of

'Romans' as edited (perhaps by Paul himself) for the earliest collection of Pauline letters which was later included in the Second Testament?

The Gospel according to Mark and especially the Acts of the Apostles are perhaps better known cases where it is probably not possible anymor~ to speak of a single 'original. text' since differen,t 'editions' of t~e~e writings have gone into the making of the canonical.text as we have It in the mss available today. In the case of Acts, for instance, there are two distinct types of text apparent in .the . manuscript tradition, co~monly referred to as the Western and the Alexandrian text form of Acts. The

. .. former is. ·about 8(Vo longer· than the latter." Which one is 'original'?

~ch one ought to be considered "canonical' today? There are no clear- .. cut answers to these questions anymore, i:.(j David Parker pointedly speaks

a.bout the gospels as a <living text' which the early church developed ~~d . Ii~d with, since text preserVation was invariably coupled with inurpretation .. ~1

\Xfhile the 'facts ~ of this argument are not incorrect in themselves, it is problematic because it ignores ·or plays down other aspects of the New Testament text. In particular, it fails to. take ser_i~usly the fa~t that the earliest mss we have access to are several stages of copying removed from the origiflals (the autographs). Textual critics might try and develop arguments to show t~at some of these 2nd to 5th .. cen~ "7ss m~st. havoc 'been based on very early mss, perhaps .even the autographs, but these are once more typical historical arguments based on probability -- and therefore very much open to debate. For as I pointed out above, it is precisely ·this earliest phase of copying the text of the. NT that is seen by many textual critics as the ~ost.·~free' ·in the sense that the Christian scribes were not bound by (our) dogmatic considerations to copy the text e~,<a.tb;as they found it in the manuscript they were cop~ng. It is precisely in this .early phase of copying that ~ost of the serious deliberate changes to the text occurred." Hence the large number of relatively old mss is not as great a text-critical advantage as it was once thought.

2.· It is routinely asserted that no text-critical variations affec~ doctrine; in that sense, Christian faith is not undermined by textual criticism. Hence, say~ an Anglican like myself, may continue to a.sse~t With the Thirty-Nine

. Articles ·that sacra S(;riptura coniine: omnia quae ad JaiNlem SUitt necessaria C'H91y Scripture contains. all [things] necessary to salvation"), and that these. 'things' are not threatenedby .the textual state of affairs~·~8

In fact, it is for this (and other) reasons that some NT textual critics today find.! t i~cIe asi n gly difficult to speak of the task 0 f tex mal en ti cis m as one of reconstructing the ~orginal text'.i~ Rather, what textual critics

can hope to recover, given the state of our data, is ~e ofde/~ f6rm(s~ ~f the text, Given the da ta at our disposal, this means in pract1ce thatit IS

The basic problem with this sort of argument is that it depends quite heavily on certain a priori dogmatic considerations. It is true, of course, 'that very few text-critical problems concern passages usually used to base central doctrines on:5~ there are indeed no textual-variations which


3St The Pacific Journal of Theology

Series ti.tssue 26 2001 .


imply that the resurrection did not happen, or such like. But that isonly . one aspect of the problem. There are at least two lines of tho.ught that fundamentally challenge the standard argument.

Firstly, there are a few instances where text-critical. findings do not perhaps denv certain doctrines, but at least challenge the exclusive claims of

" orthodox doctrine. For instance,

FirstlY, there are a jew instances picking up on the observation that where text-endea/findings do not Luke-Acts never describes the death of Jesu~ "for our sins" (ie perhaps deny certain doctrines, but as. atonement for human

at least challenge the exclssite claims transgression) except in the "words . . of orthodox doctrine of institution' in Lk 22:19-21/'11

Ehrman .has argued ~ety

persuasively on text-critical grounds that ~ven this passage, which most scholars read as part of Luke, ought not to be read as part of the Lukan Gospel but as a later. scribal addition. Effectively, this implies that Luke-Acts simply does not say anything about the death of Jesus as

. atonement for human sins. ·I~ fact, Ehrman and others take the argument. furthet and suggest that this is quite deliberate on the side of the author . of Luke-Acts." The consequences of such a view are. quite obvious: there is at least one NT witness which does not stress the common expiatory view of ]e·sus's death. Perhaps, ~hen, this .allows us more theological space to return to the concerning the meaning of Jesus' death, which has been problematic in modern theol~gy· for some


Se.conrlly" the claim that 'faith' is. not undermined by textual criticism underestimates the reality of the student's fears I mentioned above" It ignores the pervasive power of basic conservative theological doctrine ~ which is, let us face it" wide-spr~d. Taking textual criticism seriously constitutes a considerable problem for mariy Christians brought up on a. standard diet of conservative evangelical~ charismatic 0.[ fundamentalist doctrine. One of my syst~matic theology professors in. Germany used to say that. his first argument with fundamentalists who insist on the literal inerrancy of Scripture was to take out his Greek Testament, point



40 J .The Pacific Joumal of Theology

. .

to the text-critical 'apparatus" listing the most common variations in the

text of the Greek New Testament manuscripts, and ask: "so which of these texts I variations. is inerrant?" This .is a -good point to .make, though by itself, it" will of course not convince any hardline fundamentalist (but then, what does?).

It is not at all impossible, of course, to deal with the issue of textual criticism within an evangelical or even fundamentalist frame of mind 1(12·

. In fact, there is ~omething of. a growth industry in· textual criticism among conservative theologians, partially because .it is generally recognised as academic, and yet does not neces sarily involve other, potentially threatening historical-critical methods of interpreting scripture, The more radical theologians of such conservative persuasion argue for a return to the TR I AV text base." Other conservatives stick to the methods at work behind the standard critical editions of the Greek

. .

text (UBSGNT·j .N estle-Aland) which most modem translations .are

based on; theirendeavour is a kind of search for the ipsissima veroa:..not Qf the words of Jesus, but" of the autographs. %en the doyen of 201" cen~ry· Bible translation theory, Eugene. Nida~ made his final comment . in his ,e.ssay The New Testament Greek Text in the Third World', he may have been too optinUsti~~(w.. .

. . .

Hopefully, the day is past. when people. willthink that any translation or

even any Greek text contains the verba ip.r_irsima of the original autographs.

Both sides of .. the conservative debate develop complex theological arguments which try to: explain that in spite of the possibility of .confusion and indeed great difficulty of finding 'the original text', one

. can always rely on God and the Holy Spirit to guide things in the right direction ('"'surely the Holy Sp.irit would not allow something bad to happen to the divine word"), The trouble with the'Holy Spirit argument'

. is that it explains every~ing, and therefore nothIng: if one argues that t~e .Holy Spirit "surely" would not allow confusion and abuse to take place, one very quickly g~ts on the slippery slope towards arguing for some. sort of divine justice in the crusades, the Holocaust, Rwanda's genocide, and so on. While superficially tempting as a simplistic

Series I/Jssue 26 2001


,. .

conclusion drawn from the ancient doctrine of God S omnipotence, it

is a theologically obscene ,argument best left well behind in the dusty

chambers of theological rhetoric.

projects on the TR~ Efforts such as Moulton's apparently remained in vain;" the pressure to conform was overwhelming and resulted in the present state of affairs .. I have no doubt that this call to take textual criticism more seriously will not be the last call either, Old habits are hard to overcome, and so are many real and imagined obstacles on the way ..

To sum up, then: the theological implications of not sho,,-?ng the re~der of modern Bible translations (including those produced m the Pacific) anything about the nature of the text, sh~uld ?ot be, u~derestimated, By withholding hints as to the nature and historical o~s of .the. text. the publishers of Bible translations are effectively makin~ a choice In faV?UI of conservative christian.doctrine, Presumably that 15 what some BIble translation publishers wish to do, but then this should be mad: appare~t. If Bible publishers do notwish to make such an overt theologl~ choice (which essentially robs their readers of the chance to make informed theological choices themselves). they will have to t~ke .the nature of ~he text more seriously; and represent it accordingly+ Qmte simplj, attemp~ng to deal with textual criticism in Bible translations properly, responsibly, and in an informed manner, is a long overdue necessity to help 'level

the playing field>.

Nevertheless. where can we go from here? In principle, there are two choices: to carryon as before, or to take up the challenge. To carryon as before means effectively that we will continue to rely on the 'culture of silence' in the congregations." No doubt this will be convenient as a means of ensuring that ministers of the church may continue to avoid questions their training has not enabled them to respond to .. But will that work in (at least in some Pacific countries) increasingly better educated congregations? And is it ultimately truthful, and in accordance with the Gospel, to withhold basic information about the nature of the Bible from the faithful?

Concluding Remarks

This essay is not the first call in the Pacific to take texrualcriacism seriou,sly. Some years ago, for instance, a young MTh student at the Pacific Theological College wrote his thesis on the need, for a new San:~an Bible translation, and in that regard also raised the issue of text-Cr1t1~al matters in such a new translation. I wonder whether he was heard. ()~

In practice, however, Bible translations themselves are perhaps not the bestfirst step on the road to taking the nature and history of the Biblical text seriously: effective theological training is a prior req uiremen r, For no matter how well future.translation projects might be able to convey the state of the Biblical text (and this is admittedly a very difficult taskl), it will raise questions in the congregations, and the trained leaders of the congregations need to be able to answer such questions. (~ little learning . is a dangerous thing", wrote Alexander Pope,"? and this is certainly true for textual criticism and canon processes .. As the example of the student I referred to earlier shows, simplistic thinking migh t result in abandoning allJr sort of authority to the Scriptures simply because of variations in the mss, Almost 300 years ago, Jonathan Swift, the satirical writer and Dean of St .. Patrick's, Dublin, famous for his GuDivers Trasels, conjured up this very scenario with the striking image of a man who had heard of a text brough t for proof of the Trinity, which in an ancient manuscript was differently read; he thereupon immediately took the hint, and by a sudden deduction ... most logically concluded: ~c\X!hy,. if it is as you say, I ma.y safely whore and drink on; and defy the parson .. H70

Neither are text-critical decisions as radical as the REB editors' decision to place J n 7:53 - 8: 11 in an appendix all that new in the ~aci~c. Accor~ to Rickards; James E. Moulton did practically the same thing already in 1880 (l) by placing this pericope in a footnote to the text of the T?ngan translation published by the Wesleyan Church of !onga.66 Moulton was influenced by the famous Greek text offered by Westcott & Hort in the late 19th cen tury - a landmark in text-critical work, reflecting late 19th century academic efforts to overcome the dominance of the textus recept»: in the church. Consequently" t~e BF~S refused to supP?rt Moulton's Tongan translation, because of its policy to bas~ all translation

The Pacific Joumal of Theology


••• 11

. :~


~ :





.... III ..

effective theological training is a prior requirement

••• tt simplz~stic thinking might result in abandoning a'!} sort of ~uthon7ry to the S criptures simplY because of variations in the mass

rests inter alia on a v~y narrow, limited, and exclusivist notion of what scrip ture is,73 and as

long ·as such views are widespread in mainline churches themselves, there is li ttle reason for people not to switch allegiance to

essentia~y fundamentalist 'new churches' in the Pacific" especially if they offer a lively and attractive (face' (fot instance, in their worship). -

..... if the rsainlaine churches and their leadership are' reallY serious about resisting the growth of fundamentalist (and charismatic) churches in tbe Pacific, such a task of theological discussion and education is vital

. .

Those who may be alarmed by. the more radical aspects of. the ~iews

on the Second Testament text I expressed above (ie the discussion of the 'original text.' question) need not be unduly concerned: one does not h~v:e to agree to those aspects in order to. support this plea. for textcrltJc~l. awareness. and information in Bible translations and theological ed~cat1on. Some of· those who hold decidedly more moderate or even qUite conservative views concerning the aims and results of textual. criticism than I do agree that the connection between Bible translation :md te~tualcciticism ough( to be made more apparent.l" There is an inCreaSJng agreement today that textual criticism cannot be divorced

from in~erp.retation a~d indeed from theology; neither can we separate theological in terpreta tion from translation."

·A further barrier to the acceptance of a more accurate Greek NT text resulted from the teaching of the Bible. a.s 'the Word 0 f God' in the

sense of being essentially 'the words of God'. .

. Swift's biting satire notwithstanding, it can hardly be denied that lack of proper theological training-1night still quite easily lead to such half-baked

thinking; hence good training at seminaries and colleg~s is vital. At the same time, teaching the basics .of textual criticisll)· and canon formation (even without Greek or Hebrew) may be used very

profitably across ·a range of disciplines! namely to instill critical. skills of historical inquiry among students of the .Bible; to discuss the history and theology of the early

. church; to raise the issue of the function and significance of Scripture in .. our theoJogitaJ endeavours; and ultimately also in discussing the ritual millistryof the church.Indeed, the ques tion of the s tate a f the Biblical text raises the problem of· the ·status of Bible in theology. Some twenty years ago, Nida warned translators about this issue: a simplistic theological notion of 'scripture' may easily lead to what amounts to a veneration of a particular translation an2r its text form, and in turn result in fierce resistance to any attempts, however well argued, to change such a translation in order to take account of

20th century textual research. But not only that, charges Nida:7l. ,

It is true ~a~, may~e more than any other method of interpretation, text~a~. crl~c~sm. will always remain a discipline for highly trained

specialists: domg It pro~er1y demands the luxury of long years of training ~at few can affor~. S~nous language training in several ancient languages is. merely the begmntng. Yet the basics may be grasped without such highly specialised training, as long as care is taken, and sufficient classroomtime a given" However, I must confess that at times, I am myself in doubt whether this should be a priority in my teaching in the Pacific: as a christian, socialist who teaches Second Testament Studies, I am torn ~e~een· emphasising skills that are more immediately and obviously liberatory (1 avoid the temptation of trying to define what that means

. .

Raising the issue of textual criticism and the process of canon formation

inevitably leads us. to a theological interroga tion of what we really. mean

. ..

by 'scripture', and how i~ ought to function in our theology. %ile such

~ debate may ~e seen as threatening by some~ it is ultimately healthy for the development of christian faith and reflection. Finally,. if the mainline churches and their leadership are really serious about resis ring the growth of fundamentalist (and charismatic) churches in the Pacific,71 such a. task of theological discussion and education is vital. Fundamentalism

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Series IIt/~sue 26 2001


here), and those issues which require more extensive 'background' training, and which may upset old dogmas .. After ail" there is so much else that should also be part of a liberating, contextual-theological curriculum; the disgraceful performance 9£ most churches . and. church leaders in Fiji since the May 2000 coup is an apt reminder in this respect. Nevertheless, I also believe that developing a contexual, liberating reading praxis in an academic setting ultimately benefits feom an informed faith"

. not a sheltered one. It is not in anyone's interest to contribute to a "fundamentalism of the left", to use Assman)s phrase." Therefore" from whichever theological perspective we may look at it (except" perhaps.a fundamentalist one), teaching and discussing the basics of the nature of the New Testament text should become part of our theological agenda in the Pacific.

Tht()/alJ in this respect.

5. Eg McKeo7ie, S L & Ha ynes~ S R (eds)~ To Bath II! OWII MIOIIillg.· All I","uINction to BibliUlJ CritirismJ and Tbeir ApPfjlt1tiOIl~ Louisville: Westminster / John Knox, 1993.

6. In this sense, we seem to have come full circle with the nor-so-helpful 19th century concepts of ~higher' and "lower' craicism, where the latter refer ted to lex tual criticism w hie h was con si de red the firs t step prior to ex egesis and hence 'theology proper'.

7. See Ehrman, B D~ 'The Neglect of the Firstborn in New Testament Studies' (Presidential Lecture, Society of Biblical Literature South Eastern Region; March

. 1997), [ extras/ ehrman-pres.htrnl] t accessed February 2. 2001; see also Ehr man, B D~ 'Text and T mdition: The Role of New Testament Manuscripts in Early Christian Studies' (The Kenneth W. Clark Lectures, Duke Divinity School, 1997. Lecture T WO~ Tex t and Transmission: The Historical Significance of the ~Aitcrtd~ Text.), TC 5 (2000) [http!/ /purlorg/TC} accessed

Sep t. 9 ~ 2000. ~ Per haps one of the few places where textual c riticism, ~ r least in its basic forms, is still routinely taught, are German universities, Yet one my former New Tc stamen t pro fessors is p to ba bl ~ dgh t when he says that this rou ti ne basic training in tcx~al criticism is rather seen as 'a necessary [yet} nasty thing' ,I=ein . no twen diges Ubel t'') by mo s ~ stu dents; I-I a2 cker ~ K~ N 'NJ~$latIJ~ft tlirhd W itteflsehtifJ.· 1j!i", Einjilhrullg i 11 FragtIfrliRnten 111"{ Mtthi; de«, Wu ppertal: Brockhaus, 1.98 1 ~ P: 12.

8 - I am re f erring here to th e tex t 0 f the rwo :S ran d ard (:0 tical edition s, namely the United Bible Societies' Gfttk New -T'Jtnmntt (from the 3rd edition onward: cf.. . Aland) B.,J al [eds], The Crr,;" ~ew T~fiPl1ltntfJ 4th ed., Stuttgart: Deutsche Bibelgesellschafe & United Bible Societies, 1993) and the so-called ~estle-Aland; .. text issued by the German Bible Society (from the 26 t h edition 0 nward: cf Aland, B It al [eds], N(JfIHIlI T eJ'cJI!'l~~_I~ Gra«r, 27th ed., Stuttgart Deutsche

Bibelgesellsc ha ft~ 1993), \While the U .:B5 ed ition iss u pposedly de signed fo r Bible translators, with a limited appaPltus listing textual variations, N,stl,-Alalld is seen as 3 en tical edi tion f~r scaolars w~ th m ore ex tensi ve textual in form 3. tion.

9. For serious students of the. £e cond T estarnent, the stand ard ·wor ks are Aland, B & Aland, K, T~ Text oj fbi New TtJI(ffJItnt: All I n.,rod,JI.ct1()!I t» Ih, Critico! Ediri_tJRS and to fbi Thlory ~ri Prarli(t of Mod~r1f Teaua! CrititiJl!J> 2nd ed., Grand Rapids: . Eerdmans, Leiden! Brill; 1989; Metzger, B M, Tht Tlxt oj Ih~ Ntw Tt.SllIIJ'ffnt: II! Tral1.!IIJission~ Co1TNpti(JlJ,. and Reltorolio/tt 3Id ed., Oxford: Oxford U nivers.ity Press, 1992. Less detailed but also useful are: Greenlee, J I~! Intromit/ion /(J Ne» Testamm:

Ttxhll~l Critiamr~· Rev. ed. Peabody: Hendrickson, 1995; y'2.gan-ay) L & Arnphoux, C-B, An I1t/~dudi(JII J(J N,w TtJltIJ1I,,j, T,xhtai Crih."dJm, 2nd ed., Cambridge:

Cambridge University. Press, 1991. The re used to be quite useful introductions to such matters for non-specialists (ie not presupposing knowledge of Greek), such as Bruce, F F~ T ht Booj,j aftd tht ParrhmenJ.!: S tJme Chopleri of· J h~ r rrlMmi!SIO n rJj Jht BibIt, Paperback rev. ed. J London: Pickering & Inglis, 1971; or Moulton, I-I K~ Papyf"Ms. Ptmhflltnt tmd Ptilll.~ Th, Siory of HOJlJ JIu N,u; UJldlltl.flf Tl"xllMr RrO(httl Us,. London. Lutte:rwo[~h~ 1967. Unfortunately) they are outdated and out of print. More .


. .

I. This essay is a development of certain. parts of somewhat different papers

presented to the Fiji Biblical Aseociaeion (Suva, May 1999) and to. the Bible Translation Group of the Society of Biblical Literature (Boston, November 1999). I tbank aU those who commented in these mee rings ~ especially Dr Eugene N ida.

2. For a standard introduction to textual criticism of the Hebrew Bible, see Toy, E,. Texhfa/ en'ba!11I of tb« Helmw Bihlt, Minneapolis: Fortress Press, Assen: Van

G orcum, 1992. For a comp anson of textual cri tic is rn of the Hebrew Bible with the Second Testament) see Adair, ] R, 'Old and NeW in Textual Criticism:

Similari tie s ~ IJi fferen ces, and Pros pe c ts for Cooperation I t ~C 1 (1· 9 9 6) [h ttp: / I accessed Sept. 19, 2000. J_~ fairly conventional history of the Christian canon of Scriptures is presented by Bruce, F F~ Tb« Canoff of Smpmn. Leicester, Inter'Varsity Press, 19.88. A recent provocative discussion of the history of the canon of the Hebrew Bible I Old Testament is Davies, P R" Smius fI"d SduH'JIs: Tb« Canonizatio1l rif tb« H,brtlll Scriphtrts,. Louisville: Westminster John Knox, 1998+

. J. The debate about what tenus are most appropriate is quite substantial. For a . basic argument in favour of 'First I Second Testament', the reader may be referred to J~A. Sanders' essay 'First Testament and Second'. Bib/j,a! TlmlDgy ]3l1U~ti" 17 (1987) 47 ... 49. One of the arguments fot such a terminological change, namely that 'old J and "n ew' have pre] om rive con nota tions ~ i ~ of course culturally biased, or

s ho ul dIs ay, takes on di ff erent shade s of meaning in differen t cui tur es.

4. 1 appreciAte the 2.dvlct of the editorial com mi ttee of the Podftt JONrnal of

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recently, Muir tried to Write such an introduction again, which was completed by Elliott after his death but as yet I have not been able to sec it myself FJliott~ J K & M oir, I, M anNJmpIJ ond fbi Text cif tbi N tIP TIJIi1m,nl.~ AnI Rtrodudio 11 for E/Jgfish Rtad~rs ~ Edin bu rgh: C lar k, 1995+ . .

1 O. Th c following coram on a b brevia tions art used in this c ssa y ~ U BS = U nited Bible Societies; UBSGNT :; Aland, B II at (eds), Grille NIIIJ Ttstament, 4th ed., N C 8 tle- Alan d :::: Alan d!F B It til. (eds) ~ NoPNllt T'lf(1l1lt1fhim Grl1lCl, 27 th ed, j J \. V = ~.\ u thorized \' e rs ion (== K J V, 'Ki 0 g J ames v C(S ion j; N I \' . = New In t ernatio nsl Version; REB = Revised I·~nglit;h Bible; NRSV = New Revised Standard Version; C T~ V = Con temp orary English V ersion; rns S ;: manu scrip ts.

11 r Sc ho1a rs wh 0 use historical-cri tical m ethods are llkely to inert asc t his n urn ber further since many argue that certain NT writings (cg 2 C=or~·. Phil) arc. actually composites of originally separate writing~. Sec standard "I ntroductions" to the Second Testament such as Kummel, W G~ InlrDdurtiolt to tb« N,JV Testam,,,t, Rev. ed., Nashville Abdingdon, 1975, or perhaps Brown, R J~::t An IntmmutioN to ~ht Ne» T~sf(Jme"l:J New York: Doubleday, 1997-

12. One exception may be Paul. Whi1e most scholars suggest that the "Pauline school' (followers of Paul after his death) ~egatl collecting his letters, eventually

t esu 1 ting in the col lee tion wh ich f ou nd its way in to th e canon uf the Second Testament, David Trobisch recently argued that it may have been .Pau.l himself who began this proce5~: see his book PaNts UII« C()ntcri~n.~ Trm:ing the OrigjtJJ;I

Min neapo lis: Fo rtre sa P ress, 1994, .

13. I n ad d i lion to the ancient Ci tee k m ss of the Seco nd T cstame n t, t ex tual critics also make use of ancient translations of the New Testament "(uvcrsions'~) as well as the NI' citations in the writings or the Church fathers, .

14. 00 the struggle between what is usually seen as 'orthodoxy' and 'heresy', set the still useful classic work of Bauer, W" OrlhodrJX_Y and H,,..,V in Earli,sl ChriJJianity. Philadelphia; Fortress Press. ·1971. (German origina1~ 1934); fo·t a discussion of the validity of iu; basic thesis} and references to recent literature, see Ehrmann, B D· The 0 rfhD&;x C (}mljJti()~ oj S cripture ~ the Effie! of 1m E miy Cbristia» T beo bJgI cal Contreversies on tb« Text o] Ihi N~w T~!t(lfllent~ New York: Oxford Universny Press,

t 993" pp 7~9, .. . .

15. Sec the usual discussions of the origins of the New 'Testament canon. Good examples arc the classic discussion in Kummcl's tex tboo k. (In/ffJdllction, pp 475~51.l)i the lengthy and theologically moderately conservative treatment by Metzger, R Mt TJu C(JINJn of Iht NJW T'stallHtlt: IJJ On!jIlJ D,vtbJpmell~ ofl.d Sigmj('1J1Jtt:. Oxford:

Clarendon, 1987; or the short and instructive book by Gamble, II Y, TbeNe»

T ntallllllf as Ctmo~: Its Making and Mtt1mll& Philadelphia: Fortress, 1985~ Still useful, though somc\\oThat outdated!! is the broader study by tlans von Campenhausen, Th~ FON1toh'on of the ChriJliafJ Bibk~ Lundon~ Blackt 1972. ~\l~o imp9rmnt is: Heckwid'l) R~ Tht Old r,slof/Jtnt Conon of IhI NI1IJ T~sltmJ'llt ChMnh ond iJs BOI:kgoun.d in Ear{} jutidi.!lf'I, l..ondon: SPCK, 1985. The entries on die canon in th~ AII(/u;r Bible

D irlJ'o nary by J. A~ Sanders and J -{. y: G a.m b Ie (Vol. 1, New YOlk: I?ou bled ay, 19 92~ pp. 837-861) are veiy h cip fu t as an in trod u ction~

The Pacific Joumal of Theology

16. Sec, for instance, Gamble's Anchor Bibft Dkh'o·lIory entry on '(:3.non: New Testamcnr', cited above; also useful as an introductory text J~ Tuckett, C, &tJm'ng !ht Nelli Tt stamen/; It! Ithods" i;f I 11 tlrpretation~ J..( )O.dOfl: Sl) (: K" ·198 7 ~ pp s- 20.

17. This is, of course, not limited to judaism and (:hn~tianity. ().cfining more

closel y 'W hat 'Sc ri ptu rc' is tu rns n II t to be a father com (ll ex proced u re; see Srn i t h, \X' D, Who! is Scrip1Nfl? A Comporono, ApproQ,iJ~ London: SC~{., 1993.

18. Sec especially Gamble, Ntw Ttstom'flJ as ·COhO,,; Metzger, CallQIJ of llu lVtW

TtJIi1m~"I. ( .

t 19. Se e Campen hausen ~ FtlrmdliDlI of the Chn't Jitllt Bib" ~

1- . 20~ Parker, 1) C, The Living T1XI oj (he G()Sp,lt1 Cambridge: (;ambridgc Unlvcr~ity .

: Pte~S1> 1997, pp 29 .~Ol .. 213. ..

I 21. Actually, the hi~t<JfY of the textes rertpfl/s is quite a bit more complicated. and

~ my brief notes on this section prc!;~nt a simplifying overview. The ClLCJy ~diti()n of

I Erasmus was popularised by Robert Esticnne (known a.~ Srcphanus), Thcodor of i· R~~ta. and others in the 16tb and 17th century, but there arc only relatively ~mall

l dlffc~enccs b:~cen t?t: se editions that even tuall y acquired the n arne ltx hiS rttrphl;

·l due to advertising chums of the publishers Elzcvier. For a. brief but useful

I treatment of the history of the printed text, see. Kummel,"n, pp. 540-546 ..

r See also the standard works on textual criticism: Aland & ~\Jnnd, Ttxl r;f Ih~ Ntw

~ TtJtamt1JI, and Metzger, The Tr..:( tif tm Ntw Testament .. lherc is an exccllent : ..

! overview of the historical issues in William W. Com bs' article 'Er~mu·~ and the

. r

'. . 'Iextus Rcceptus', Detroit & S ~miHary ]ou.,.,,{//1 (1996) 35-53.

I .. 22, The attentive reader of the original AV I I\JV Pnjal'e will notice of Cl)UI'llC that

~ the rran sla tors m au e use of mote th an one (; re ck rex t, but th c IrxfNJ f'l'¢tUJ ~a-s .

~ dearly predominant. My summary of.rhis process inevitably simplifies much.

i 23. ,\ brief and useful discussion of this issue .:is provided ·by Nida, '",: r\, 'The New ~. Testament Greek Text in the Third World", in: 1.1:JlP~ l~: J & Fee, G [) (eds) New ..

TtJ/amell/ Textua! ~riti(iJm - ill Sti.ntficona f(Jr EXtAtSif: EJJ~.f ill H'UI0"f' 6f Brnce M. M!J~f)r~ Oxford: Clarend().~jII 1981~ pp 375~80. .

24. Aland & £\land, Text of tb« New Ttlinment, p. t9.

~ 25. For more details, see r\lllnd & Aland, The T,xJ ~f Ih(! Ntw T,stameill, or Metzgc·rJo

t TIN Ttxt·oJ tbe Ntw TeJlo",,"t.· . . .

! 26. Once more. s~e Aland & Aland, The Text riftlH Ntw Tes/amtlll, ~r· Metzger, The

;. TIXI of lJu Nt., Teltc1NJtllt. . . .

27r ~i1e most Christian scribes were p~obably male, it is most likely that there

1 were female scribes as well. See the argument of Kim J~Iaine~-I~it~t~ -in her article

) '''(;~I~ T~i~cd in Beautiful Writing": Female Scribes in Roman Antiquity and Eatly .) Christianity, Jf)J.lf'n~1 of Eor(y ChristiaJ1 S/"tfi~s 6 (1998) 629 ... 646. f am grateful ro the , author f(u kindly sending me an· offp.rint of he"! article .. - For an overview of the

Utie of scribe~ in antiquity, and posslble infert~nces fur the study of the Sc·cond

.. }l'estamcnt, Sec Richard~t E R, Th_t S,mlmy in IhI UIt"1 of PaIIll\ibingen: Mohr (Sicbcck) i 1989.

i 28. See Eh rma n, T hi Orthodox C~mrp1ioJl. .

! 29. Sec Botha;r l~ J J t ~] ..ivin~ Voice :and 11 f ele s s ] ,t; llescrve toward s Wri ti ng in

~ ...





Series JI)/ssue 26 2001


the Graeco-Rornan Worldt~ H,rwrmN Ytf/ingilSt SJNditJ 49 (1993) 742~59; but gee also II Y Gamble's critical comments in his important book, B(JQk/ (JIlt! Rtadm in Jju Eor9 ChJl,th: A HiJtory oj Barry Chri.ftltm T'Xl!~ Nf.'"W Haven; Yale University Press, 1995., chapter 1 <I

30. Sec Harris, W. A"d,lJf Littroq. Cambridge: I -farvard U nlvcrsity Press, 1989. 31.. This list basically follows N ida's classification; see liN ew Testament Greek

Text', p.378r .

32. The reader will find 'convenient discussions of these text-critical problems in the usual historical-critical commentaries, but see also Metzger, B M, A TlXlNai COOl!.1Untary 011 tIM Gntk Ntw TeJtamt"t~ 2n.d ed., Stuttgart! United Bible Societies, 1994.

33. Sec my paper 'Textual Criticism and the Publication of Bible: Translations' (Paper re-ad 10 at the Annual Mccting~ Society for Biblical Literature, Bible Translation Section, Boston, USA, November 21t 1999)~ (http:// .

wUlW.geocities. com/bolgerszesnar/ 1999s bloralpresentation.pdf] accessed Dec. 11. 1999. Time permitting, I hope to publish further work relating to English .Bible translations elsewhere in the near future.

34. I should like to indicate my .sincere appreciation for the assistance given by several PTC students. and some faculty colleagues in analysing a number of Pacific

Bible translations, In particular, I would HIre to t~ank Revsr Mataere Muaroro, I

S-emisi Nimo, Levesi Afutiti, Kiriona Mafaufau, and Ms Tilisi Bryce. Without their help in translating certain phrases in a number of Pacific Bible translations, I would .! not have been able [0 presen t this overview. However, none of the views I

expound in this article should necessarily be attributed to them..

35. I must note a certain arbitrariness in my selection which is due to me limits imposed by the rather haphazard collection of Pacific Bible translations held ~t the George Knight Library of the Pacific Theological College} SUV3~ Fiji Islands.

36. For common English translations, see my paper cited above, 'Textual


37. I do not speak any of the languages in which the Bible translations here discussed are written, Obviously, thi~ IS not a preferable state ·of affairs. However, the fact· is that critical analysis of Pacific Bible translations (certainly in the literature] is quite rare. As long as there are not sufficient numbers of indigenous translators and exegetes adequately trained and. also willing to analyse Pacific Bible translations critically, outsiders like myself will be. forced to stumble 00. However. considering the basic nature 0 f the analysis of Pact fie Bible translations needed for . this overview-es sa y}" Pacific language skills we re not crucial-

38. See Rickards, R, In Their Own Tongllts: Tb« Bikk ilJ. ih, Pacijicl Suva: Bible Society

in the South Pacific, Canberra; Bible Society lfi Australia, 1996. .

39. Tt Fall/att Api a '6 ti1t~14 FaIN, " ora a les» Mt.1iQ R4 (Tahitian New Testament), Wellington: Bible Society in New Zealand, 1975. This seems to be a reprint of the 1884 translation (the fifth and final revision), .. gain reproduced in 1978 by the. Bible Society in Wellington? Te Bibilio MQ'd Rn (Tahitian Bible). The history of Tahitian tmnsJations is discussed in detail by Nicolet J~ All P,~td de LJErri~Nrt: Hi!/(Jul

The Pacific Joumal of Theology

J -: ...

. .

. . .

. .. . ','

l·~ .: !


·V'·· ::


t i




dt ~ ! rodl/diM dt la DiM til T ahilitll, ThO diss. La.u sannc, PlI.peetc: Haere Po No

Tahiti, 1988~ .

40. Nicole, ..4N .Pitd rk L'Ecrillin (pa.uim) mentions the: problem of the iahts "'(!PtNt ~.veral tunes, and notes the rrn ... only policy' of the BFBS which su orted

the Tarn nan tran sla tion in the 19 th century. pp

41. Fm'!g ~aiptJrakiag FO'9N I';~ 'Os GaU!i_a_ Ko A MdNtigt fislI KmiS11I (!'he New

Testament in .Ro~m:m)' Wellmgton: British and Foreign Bible Society, 1963.

42 0 U TIIs: POlO (1 he Holy Bible in Samoan) Rev. ed. WeIr t . B ~ . h d

1] , Bibl S . "J lng on: nus an

rorer gn :l Ie oClety~ t 9 69,

43. 111 this .regard, see also also the brief discussion in Mafaufau. K, A ProP'Jai for Iht Trou./Qhfl1r Dj Ib, Greek NIIII TesttJIIItJlI ill/() SPltllXllf, MTh thesis: Pacific Theol~_g1ca1 College, Suva, Fiji, 1992~ pp 76-78.. -

44. Mil~er. G B, SCII1IOlJlI Dtclio1l4IJ: SdJII(}lJl1 • English, English. Satn9011, Auckland:

Polynesian Press, 1966 (Reprint 1993}.

45. ~; V(}/a Ni ~t;a4Ja/~1i V~N I Jim KariJi/o (fhe New Testament in Fijian,

RevlSed)~ Suva: BIble SOCIety m the South Pacific, 1987, .

46. Anecdotal,i~fon~a~on. I should like to note here that the Tuvalu New

Testament exhibits sunilar features. According to a recent 9.-~ Iy sis b C

d .. . I II..'ii..l S Y my rormer

Ii~ ent, Rev Sernisi Nuno, all but Mk was translated on the basis of the GNB I

~V rather than the Greek text. (Texr-crirical indicators ate also absenr.) See NlI11o, S. Tin Car, for.a &tJi.fio~ if t~t TUNIn Nt., TtJ/(1lNmf: A Crilien/ Analysis (}f S'kd~ T,xlr, B.D ~rolect, ~aClfic Theological College, Suva, Fiji Islands, 2000. - 4:. At ~/I11"!t J(e9ulpa/alT Vo~ [ fUN Ktlrin/fJ (Fij~n NeW Testament), Wellington:

BlbleSoaety In the South Pacific, 1973 (reprint of 1901). .

48. Once more, I refer the reader to my paper cited above, 'Tutulll.criticism'.

49. For .some com~ents on t~e ~ocio-linguistic implications, see De Vries, L, 'Bible ; TranslatJQn and Primary Orality, Bibk TrIJNi/at(JI' 51 (2000) 101-114.

50. Once mOl'e~ see my paper cited above, Textual Criticism'. .

I 51. For all example of this sort of argumenr gee Jun.ack K 'Th R I' bil · f h

N . 'r ~ - ~ , J e e la Ity 0 t e

; ew Iestarnent Text from the Perspective of Textual Criticism~ Bibk"" ,I_~ 29

~ (1978) 128~40. ~ l rt1lUm"r;f

t .

! 52. Se~ Aland & ~and, Text oj 11)1 New TtJlaml7lt, and Koester, H, 'The Text of the

\ Synoptic Gospels m the Second CenturyJ jn Petersen W L f,ed) Gn~ " ...... ,J:J..- -

I . lhi S ..... - ' :, \,' ,. .,_r' 1. TOUluons t n

i· . ,crmri C'lI'fliry. OI7J11lJ, Rum .. stons, Text, mrd TronsmtsJJotJ, Notre Dame: University

~ of Notre Dame Ptess~ 1989~ pp 19-37. .

53. Eg. E~p-, ~ J" 'The Multivalenc.e of the Term 'Original Tnt' in New Testamem Tex~al. CrttICISm > HarVQrd Thtolo!l(p/ Rt1litw 92 (1999) 24HH; AdaiI, 'Old and

New; Parker) D C, ~Scripture is Tradition'· The9loDiJ 94 (1991) 11-17 d n..... k '

b k r:· ..,.,. ~ 0' t an c ar er s

00 ~ J....Jvtl't.g .c ~xt,

54. Trobisch, P(Jui'J ut", C"'ltaiDllr

;i~tOt a brief discussion of the issue, see Mettger, TlXlNal C(}l!IlNt1ltary. pp 222.


r ~6.· See Epp, 'Multivalence~+·

57 ~ Parker, Living TtX/4

Series I~ Issue 26 2001


J 1



58. This \)r)!;umcnt wall alrcauy quc~ri()ncd by (_:lark almost half ~. cl:~tur~ ago? altlmu~h the stare of textual criticism today nll:;CS even more ;":rlou:; t~c.(}~(~~cal

. . I h. ould irn ~tJ'in e at the tim c. ~cc Clsrk, K"\X.; ll:x tu al ( ... 11 tiers m an U

qu~~uoO~ T,tan ~ ~ c ) .,.." ' ~ l ~ 5 ilia PaltlillO: til H,no,.,m

l)octrinc', in: Scvcnslcr, J N & \ an Unnik, W C (eds), /1J _

f aiJl1nUIJ Z jp/IQII, 5eptlf<7!:.",a'; i. Il:J.a rI em: Kuhn, 19 53. P ~ 5~- 65... .. . . 5<) This i~ of COUf$C denied by those ultra-cnnt'icrvatIYc :>ch"lar:; (r_not>rly In the

, ., f h· \\r I KJ V t t on the basis of th c lextJlJ

l" S \) who au "ocate Ihc tl:'tcnnun (") t c .. . ex .' . . t

.. . .. I' ~'1 'b d ... il' modern tc~tual cnncum .. Ilo! a.

, sand wh o ~ orne nme S lJ U rtc :I terai Y C CVl . . .:

. rtt"~r II , ... R· ,1 f moderate or conservative

rebuttal of the at_gumct1t~ of such I auv{)cateto= rom a ,. ~ " ,.

, I' ( .. I) "I'he t\.ia.tority Text and the (}nglnal Icxr of the New

pcnc.pcc:tt vc, .~ c ~CC, I... '- L , ., ,~

T .stamcnt' Bi/;'~ T ,ollsla/or 31 (t 980) 101-118; and Wall ace, D B. '1 heMal onty

T~xt Theo;y: l Iisrory, Methods, and Critique', in Ehrman, B D & Holmet;,.M ": (cd~). T/]8 Ttxt tJj tht New Testament ill CfUlilmjJfJrory R::seorch: E~Jay! ~" tb« Sta.tu~ .

( ) . , ~ 1.-1 T .fo· I'lftitt ,'". HOff Dr of Bru« Af M~ttger), Grand Itaptd~: l_~efdman~, 199;t

ucs ti orns 1../"1 ,j,r" ~""~ r,J .

"' .

pr·· 297~3-20. . . . .. h· D tb ifJin Lskan

60, 14'or 'some of the debate, sec SyLva, 1) (ed), R~lmagtnJJ e IQ D. .

J,!Uj~ t'rankfu[t~ l Iain, 1990. .. . " . .' I) h .

s ' , Ii h an H ·1) ~rhe Cup, the B~cad_, and the Sal vific h.ffcct. of Je~u~ eat !'

61 ~ .. CC J r m . ' ~." . ~ ,( + t: J U 1 991 S em: "Iff .

. . in 1 .uke-Acts', In 1 .ovcnng, Ii .. I I «(,_~) S Oct,!! oJ Blb~~(a (traIN!"' :

Pnptri ,\tlanta: Scholars Press, 1991, pp 576-591. . . .. I

62. S;c, for instance: Brooks, J A, <The Tc~t of the New ·.I'cstllm~n~ Il~d,~!~al J

,\uthority', SOllthwmerlJ ]oil,nol of ThtDmD :)4 (1 (92) 13·21, !?ykC5,. • > •. II

C()mmcnt~ upon the Concept of lncrmncy and the Manuscript Varta~ts In the .

Gn:ck New 'Icstarncot', n.d. Ihttp;! / uzcrwcb.hght:;pecd.tlet!yhwh3ml ( .

somc.htrn], accessed Sept. ~. 2000;w"ulacc, D B, 'Inspiration, Ptel'c1'vatton. and \ .

N tOW Testarnc nt TeK rnal C riticis m' G mrt Th~I)I(Jgifdl Jf} IIrna/12 (1991) 21 ~50. I t?an k i

my former Kilmmiiit(JII' Matth~a~ G m;~e.l for sending m~ a photocopy of Brooke II· .!

IJ, rtic I c f.rum th e 1 ib [ary of P nne eton 1 he ol~cru S em! n~ry.. 'I •. . i

63. [,'or instance, Fuller. D 0, Whit·h Biblt?, Grand Rafllds: errand RarHd: .

1 . 1 l'ub\lC' at·lon~ 1970 Of course thete arc also other, n()fi-t!,!xtual I

ntenlatioua. 1O't!l ,.., ~ ,. . , 1 I KJV .

factClr'S that go into ~uch conslIicratlOflS liS to whethcr·to rC:ll1fl th~ A~ , ,.

vcro(ion. FOf. a critique of Fune('~ (ami othe1~') work, sec I'cc, Ma~ortty 1ext,. an;6t i

Wallace, 'Maiority Te:ott 'i'heory', in addition to the standard work:; of Metzger. i

Text of tb, N_~" Tt:t~~,nt, and ,'.land & Ala.nd, The T,xf uj thl NIJII. Trstnmtnt., .].

64~ NJdat ~(_1fcek I ext., p 380. . t .

65. MafaufauJ Proposal for the T ranjJatio 11 , .. .. t

66 Ricka[d~ III Th,jr Own TonlPt:J~ "pp. 196-t 97. ··k d·' 1

67: I have n;)t becn able to consult Moulton's transla~on of 1880. If .}~c a[ S lS

'ct, Moulton'f. daring :;tep was ~oon eliminated, smcc the 1884 edmon of. the

cor rc .. 8 11 11· th t any notes (KDe Tohl T ohM

• fonga n tran 51 a.tion· pnn U. J n 7: 53"! ~ no r~a y~ W1 ,'U . ~

Kmoa 1958 (reprint 1884]). . )~. '! k in .\

68. l"he term 'cu~ture of ~ilencc' hel'e derives from 1 aulo 1 (.tires wo~ . i

developing a libcr:uof)' p:u:dagogy in Larin America; see particularly hili l ,. i

groundbrcaking study P,dagfJgy OJ ,b, OppmfftJ, NcwYork: Herder, t 970. Peop C In ;

The Paofie Joumal of Theology


various cultures tl n )UllU the world have found this a useful concept ro work withFor some apprnrliatluns in Pacific Island conrex ts, sec Hrctani--Shafcr to N, A

T htoreh(d! AnatysiJ of P(1N/lJ Fr,ir, j UI,rnry Af tldt/ in T .fi, ~ of tb« Chal1lafro S oaoCHI/llro/ C(J11Itx/~ Ph D diss, University of Oregon .. US~-\,. t 989; ~i C(), J " DtlJtIIJPi'lj tI . Lilnrl1uoll Edllcdlt-on lr.-l"d,1 for lhe ·Afelhodisl Tht%gi(1I1 C:olkg iIi lilt Fyi Islands .. II:Jl)· diss., Vanderbilt UniVCf$ity .. N ashville, Tenn. ~ llS~ \ .. 1989~ Siu~f\-laJikn~ i\1 ,\" Townms nH BdMcattotlol PIYJr4ss.jor EmjJoJllffllllnl with Rtftrtfl(f ,,, 1m Au- Uso of IhI l\I,thddisl Glmrth in SQlhO(l"r M'Ih thesis. Pacific Theological (:olle~c~ Suva, lii;i Islands,

69. The famous quore i~ part of hls anunyrnously published poetic es~ay entitled An Eutry in Critir/J~" published in 1711 by LCWl$ in J .ondon (facsimile ed. by Scolar Press, . 1970).

7 Or lJ u otcd ] n M l:"t~~cr.. T 'b« Te.'\:J fIj J/,; i\! t JjJ .1"t It t1111t n!~ p. 1 08 n, 2~ ~ f ct X~t r J~ tl·S not

. discuss which rnss (i f any) Swi ft. might h ave been rC(l~.rring to when he- published . .. this essay in 1708~ perhaps he simply made ·it up. Nevertheless, it n'i~ht have been 1 'rim 3:16: l lcrc the 'IR reads "God lthiosl was mani{c~i in (h~ flesh" (,\\J)~ Hut· modern research in textual criticism shows that the reading c)f the relative pn }l1C·)U n hoJ l~ much more likely as the oldest text form ('he who was manifest in the flesh'). The pa~s~w: and this change in w()rding ~ight nor strike U~ as 11 vita] ar.h'Umcnt

. concerning the rriniry, but in 17 30~ johann Jacdb Wtttst~in was actually dl~mt~t-tl'd from his r()~t as a minister in Ha~(;i, Switzerland, because he had publ ishcd a .(.; r~ck New Testament text. which $ug~t:~tl;d jnt~r dlia that the tl).:IUJ m'P,H,1 W3~ incorrect at that very point; ~L~ I laackcr, NeNltstament'it"ht 1l?'tSJ,1I.Ifhnfi~ p 32,

71 .. N ida, ~cw Testament (ircck Text', p. 377.

.7:2. Sec J ~rn:;t 1\1 !I TIM Roll ~ SOt~',,1 Chang' III tbe Rift and DnJtlopmtllf €!f Ne» ..

!Vligi'.~J .Group! in tlJ, Pddjit /J/atuh .. Hamburg: J .ir \"crlag, 1996. .

. 73.'"()n fundamentalism, sec for instance: Hart, J~ FlllldaitieI1/oli.I1I11· J ,4,·)ooon: S( .M,

. .

1977; Rawer" Ii, SIena".!, ]tJHS: How FUNdamentalism Betr'!).i ChriJhaniry .. New York:

<:rown,. 1997; Hoonc~ K (: ... TIM Bib}t T,II.J Thtllt So,, .fbi DiJttJNY!t 0/ ProteL~tr11J1 .

FtlNd(JJ1lentali!}Jt~ ] .tlntion: S( :i\f, ·1990; }irouwcr~ S~ (~i ff('r~t P &; l{oNc~ S 1), ·E~'Porti1{~ fbt Ambitr:111 G()sptl" Ghbal Christian Fl0Irfam,,,/a!isl1t,, ] ~ond()n: Routh.-dgt\ ·,996,

74. 1·'Of some hinu in thi~ ~i[c,tio~" ~(.:c .. \ri~hca:l I) (:,. ." J 'aking ·t'hcology Seriously in t~c 'l'ransla~~)l? la~k' ~ . Bibl, Tfdll!htor 33 (1 98~) 309-316; J ~Uin~or~h~ p,. . . . '~14hcological Reflections nn the ~11ex.tual (=~tici~m of the Hibl~'~ BiW, Trails/a/or 46 (1995) 119-125; S~anlin!l } I p~ 'Hibl~ ·"1'ranslation as a ~1cans of Communicatinp; New ~lcstamcnt '-rcxtu~1 (;riticism to, the Publi~J, ·Bi~1t TraoJiatar.39 (1988) 101 ~

113. . .

~ .

. 75: ()nc ca~ take thiN i~H~UC one ~tep further and ar~c that Bible transl'il.tor~ mu~t

consc io u sly ~ m brace tht.; thcol (>g1c al ~n~ incJcc d;(,.l ()gicai na tu ~ () r their ta s k. 1 n thi~ sense~ J ~-\ Sandcr~ ha~ called for more ~x.pHcit .aw.arcncs~ ·with reference to the· anti-JcwUth usc of -certain tel. t~ of the .Bible: t'w~ ~~()u1d {~ffer hi~ lorically dynamic uan~lati()ns Of we s h f)U ld P rin t in ban nc [ head lin l~ acro~s· th c tor {) f the u ~ual f{Jrmal equivaJcncc traoslation~ ()f the· gospcl~ arl~ '\Ch:; that they were wf5ttcn

d L~adl! ~ after th c events cecoun ted 1n a G u i t~ d i fferc nt ~ i tu a rio n with regard t () .

(: hri~ tla ni ty's J ew~h ()righl~. ~ I ~h . .c pte:; en t fal~c hood ~ w ~ t h all th c pain ~nd dam age it

t I

.,... ... ..

. .


~ ....



Series Il,Js.sue 26 2001


hl\~ for ce nturies CIlU!Sed bath Chruaun!!i and J ews, cannot in good conscience be permitted ro cod unue," C me Hermeneutics of Translation', Expkr-JtW"J.- Rtth,!',rtki7.1g &!alio ,,;hip; 8I.IrOn.& PrtJt~sriJJJr! Gdholir; dlUi Jnvs. 12.2 l j 996l 1). Similarly, in :l Pad fil; contcx t! Doloreii: Yil .. buw has raised me iss ue of t:rnn~hting tht Biblical texts

d clibe ~tdy to subvert the t-lUpp ression of women's voices (vramp~rin~ with H-ible Translation in Yap', S'm~iq 76 {19961 pp 21-38).

7~. Assman, H:> TIJ~o&D for a Nommi Chmrh! t.-b,ryknoU: O!bis., p 104-

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