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Performing such searches manually would have slowed the whole team down waiting for some result. All these lexicons were fully searchable for words or verses on any word meaning issue that we were looking at. For more complete word studies lexical information was coupled with concordance search analysis.

For comparison purposes we also had access to all the major English translations, new and old as well as major foreign languages , that could easily be laid out in Accordance in parallel columns next to original language texts. In the Synoptic Gospels we used gospel harmonies in Accordance to help ensure that similar Greek phrases were rendered the same while differences were also noted and treated as such.

Bible dictionaries such as the Anchor Bible Dictionary and Hebrew and Greek Grammars were also used as research and evaluative tools. Unique Analysis: Computer Bible programs in general have been a tremendous asset to all translations done in the past decade or so, but Accordance was used in one more critical way that probably gave us a significant edge in developing a new translation.

As the translation was getting underway, Dr. Later, I trained another team member to help do this. So as each book of the Bible was sent in or revised I could convert the work into a usable draft edition module of the HCSB that our team could install in its Accordance programs. In this way, we could check and revise our own work for accuracy and consistency in the developmental stage of the translation.

This proved to be a very powerful tool in making the HCSB the translation that it is today. Lastly, I would say that Accordance made the HCSB translation process much more enjoyable than it would have been if we would not have had it. Were you aware that Accordance played such a pivotal role in the development of the HCSB translation? CHAT My Account. A Jewish scholar, with probably little or no concern for the controversy, Elias Levita, published Massoreth Ha-Massoreth claiming that the written vowel points and accent marks of the Masoretic Text were added after the Talmud yet, he thought the Masoretic tradition preserved the reading of Moses and Ezra.

Cappellus agreed with Levita that the vowels points and accents marks as written were added recently. As for the vowels and accents as spoken in the synagogue for centuries, all agreed—Levita, Buxtorf, and Cappellus—that they were the authentic vowels and accents preserved from the time of Ezra or earlier.

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The Protestants were horrified. Meanwhile in England, Brian Walton with the help of many traditional Protestants published a Polyglot Bible that unexpectedly renewed the controversy, this time between Walton and John Owen. First, they disagreed about the vowel points as written. Owen believed that they were written at least from the time of Ezra; Walton believed that the Masoretes invented them centuries after the time of Christ.

Walton, of course, was correct. Owen believed that they dated to Ezra; Walton to pre- and post-Talmudic times. Owen used the ancient versions only to aid in interpretation; 14 Walton also used them to correct scribal errors in the Masoretic Text. For Owen, this was too close to Cappellus.

Although they differed, they actually agreed on the core issues. Both agreed that God had preserved the Scriptures without essential defect, rejecting the Catholic and Cappellian views of Scriptural corruption. The dispute between Owen and Walton was, in some ways, regrettable. This made Owen suspicious of Walton. Finally, the dispute concluded with the last Protestant symbol of the era: the Helvetic Consensus Formula. The three canons of the Formula on the Scriptures affirm the preservation of the Scriptures and the verbal inspiration of the Scriptures in the first two canons, and condemn the text-critical method of Cappellus in the third canon.

The consensus did not last long, perhaps fifty to a hundred years. Cappellus had won the day. The Scriptures were now regarded as corrupted, obscure and, to many, out of date. A human criticism of Scripture now replaced the Catholic magisterium and the Protestant doctrine of Scripture. Of course, the influences and philosophies behind these criticisms were purely naturalistic and hostile to the inspiration of Scripture.

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These criticisms have impacted Evangelicals. Many evangelicals have also discarded the traditional Protestant view of textual criticism that corrects only scribal slips of the pen and that resists emending the text based on the ancient versions or conjectures. Moreover, most evangelicals have abandoned the traditional Protestant belief in the divine authority of the vowel points and accents.

They are most important help, which ought not to be slighted; and though they may be departed from in case of evident necessity, they should be adhered to unless there are very good reasons for not doing so. Ray Clendenen and David K. Thus the marks vowel points and accents marks are not canonical, but they are indicative of how the best Hebrew scholars of the day understood the venerable oral tradition and the semantic structure of the verse.

We are all Cappellian now. Although critical scholarship abandoned the traditional Protestant view of Scripture completely, and evangelical scholarship abandoned it in particulars, the traditional Protestants were correct in their core assertions, especially in three areas. There are over 6, Masoretic manuscripts along with about manuscripts from Qumran and many translations in other languages from earlier Hebrew manuscripts. The 17 th century Protestants had no idea of these statistics since most manuscripts were discovered later. And more will undoubtedly come. More manuscripts, of course, means more variant readings, but the Protestant doctrine rightfully emphasized the quality of the manuscripts, not the quantity, in their creeds.

For the New Testament, Vaticanus, with copyist errors noted, virtually reproduces the New Testament as given by the Apostles. The same could be said for the other famous uncials and papyri manuscripts. For the Old Testament, the two great Masoretic manuscripts, unknown to the 17 th century Protestants, have come to light: Aleppo and Leningrad.


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Although missing parts due to anti-Jewish riots in , Aleppo, the most important Masoretic manuscript, was produced by the greatest Masorete, Aaron ben Asher. Leningrad, a complete Old Testament manuscript, was carefully corrected to conform to Aleppo. The only possible changes will be if new sections of Aleppo resurface as they have in the past. Such is, at least, the claim of Aaron ben Asher.

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He asserted that the Prophets, the Sopherim Scribes , with Ezra and the wise men of the Great Synagogue originated the vowel points and accentual system. And he was not alone. But this is more than Jewish tradition or opinion. History also confirms this. The Old Testament quoted in the Babylonian Talmud conforms closely to the Masoretic tradition of Tiberias, as does earlier Rabbinic literature.

The Greek revisions to the Septuagint are corrected to the Masoretic Text instead of the original Septuagint. The Samaritan Pentateuch, minus its theological changes and interpretive expansions, follows the Masoretic Text. History, time and again, confirms that the Masoretic Text is the dominate and authoritative tradition for the Old Testament. The New Testament also follows the Masoretic Text frequently, though it follows the Septuagint as well since Greek was the language for gentile Christians. The Masoretic tradition was the Old Testament text of first century Judaism, including of Jesus and his disciples.

And Jesus and the writers of the New Testament clearly believed that the Old Testament was kept pure in their age. They never hinted at a corrupted or uncertain text. Jesus is not talking about a corrupted version of Moses and the Prophets. They have Moses and the Prophets, pure and entire. But if you do not believe his writings, how will you believe My words.

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They were not talking about the Scriptures theoretically or about the original autographs, but they were talking about the Scriptures of their day. To Jesus and the apostles, the original autographs and the Scriptures of their day were the same. The past clearly confirms the Masoretic tradition. And the present confirms it as well. It is, and will be, the Old Testament. The verdict of history is clear, and the future of the Masoretic Text is certain.

Secondly, the Protestants were correct in their doctrine of verbal inspiration. For the Hebrew Old Testament, however, a complication arises. The autographs were written with consonants, the vowels and accents being assumed. The vowels and accents, to be sure, are anything but details. The vowels breathe life into the consonants to form words.

The accents group words to establish the meaning of sentences. We would do well to keep in mind that the same tradition that preserves the consonants also preserves the vowel points and accent marks. It is one tradition. If the vowels and accents are not regarded as representing the inspired text, why should the consonants be regarded as representing the inspired text? A middle course will not do. Most of the same arguments used against receiving the vowels and accents as inspired—particularly, the alternate readings of the ancient versions—can be used against the inspiration of the consonants as well.

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RAY CLENDENEN office, nbsp;nbsp;nbsp;nbsp;nbsp;nbsp;nbsp;nbsp; cell, nbsp;nbsp;nbsp;nbsp;nbsp;nbsp;nbsp;nbsp;nbsp;nbsp;nbsp;nbsp;nbsp; ray. Instructor in Bible, Philadelphia College of Bible, Andreas J. Bibliography for Old Testament Studies. Self-published on academia.