21.1 Conflation of readings.
5. Conflation of readings.
When a scribe was confronted with two or more possibilities in manuscripts before him, he would rather include all than make a wrong choice and leave out the authentic reading.
According to the oldest Greek manuscript we have of Luke (p75 ±200 A.D.) as well as three other Greek manuscripts, two Syrian translations, two Coptic (old Egyptian) and a Georgian translation, all dating before 500 A.D. Luke ended his gospel with: (NIV): “And they stayed continually at the temple, praising God .“ (4+5)
One Greek manuscript ±550 A.D. and three old Latin translations dating before 500 A.D. say that they “lauded” God. (0+3)
A combination of these two words is found in one Greek manuscript, a Syrian translation, an Armenian translation as well as one manuscript of the Vulgate dating before 500 A.D. (1+3) and from there on in most manuscripts including the MKJV: “And they were continually in the temple, praising and blessing God. Amen .”
|Someone could ask: “What is the point? Isn’t this trivial?”
In essence this makes no difference at all, but to me it emphasizes a few things: 1. God included man in his plan; humans with all their frailty and mistakes, even you and me! 2. Scribes went to great lengths not to drop one authentic word, and would therefore rather combine and inflate his copy. What God intended to be written, really never got lost. 3. Because we are privileged to have all surviving copies of manuscripts as well as translations and quotes from the church fathers to our avail, we can reconstruct with virtual 100% certainty the original autographs, and thus determine the true word of God. 4. We can honestly trust the work of the Bible Societies when they at present deviate from the absolute meagre documents Erasmus had to his disposal when he compiled his first printed edition in 1516. For so many centuries his work, though lacking much, helped our forefathers to have a Bible in their home language, helping to bring down faith and truth even to us. 5. No essential truth had ever been in the balance by any omission or inclusion found in the different manuscripts or versions of the Bible.
According to Mark (13:11) Jesus ordered his disciples: “Whenever you are arrested and brought to trial, do not worry beforehand about what to say.“ In Luke’s version of this incident (Luk.21:14), he used the expression not to premeditate. These two were combined in later copies to the form found in the KJV: “…take no thought beforehand what ye shall speak, neither do ye premeditate.” In modern versions this phrase is changed to represent the original (Like NIV. And Good News Bible. )
None of the additions or interpolations that were added to the original text are necessary, either for understanding the text, or for enhancing our faith. Instead they tend to blur the original scope of the text.
What God gave us, is sufficient and no tampering is needed.