Friday, November 19, 2021

How I got convinced by the Textus Receptus

 The Textus Receptus aka Received Text is the basis for the NT part of the KJV and those translations that follow its tradition.

Now, what convinced me that I should standardize on this text?

It was the NKJV!

Yes, that is what happened to me. The NKJV helped me to determine that the TR holds the orthodox teaching of early Christians.

I have heard a lot of conspiracy theories against NKJV because it has these myriad of footnotes about the text. The assertion is that these textual comments lead the reader away from the Received Text. Yet, that is not what happened to me. What happened to me was the reverse.

Many years ago, I bought a leather bound NKJV NT (nice leather actually, you cannot find this anymore, unfortunately, I believe I gave it away to a relative). 

It had of course, some footnotes, but I focus for you only the one that caused me to think.

This NKJV comment here:

NU omit - meaning the Nestle-Aland Union Greek collection omits this word or phrase or passage.

What I did was to highlight all occurrences of these comments, even using a marker.

I discovered that if you follow the said comment, you will miss out in explicit terms some orthodox teachings of Christianity.

An example of this is Mk 16:9-20 being reportedly omitted in the Nestle-Aland.

That involved a support for the Great Commission, the teaching on faith and baptism and signs and charismatic gifts which St Paul experienced.

Another is  1 John 5:13, this is a verse which powerfully supports the promise we now have eternal life for us who believe in Christ.

After this discovery, I seemed to have neglected it. I got affected with Bible translation trends and fell into considering other translations like the NASB, the NRSV and ESV. I used the NRSV a lot. Funny but I got into these translations because the pastor who had an influence on me used the RSV. We should really double check the person we look up to and respect, for after all they are like us, human beings too.

Some maybe 10 years ago, I read that you can re-construct the TR passages from the quotation of the Church Fathers.

This fact and my discovery experience with NKJV led me to conclude - I should stick to the TR. I still have these other translations, as a reference, but I do not use them for my personal Bible Study or personal devotion.

That is what happened.