Talk:Novum Testamentum Graece

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Corrections Needed[edit]

"every textual variant . . . is meticulously noted in the apparatus"

This is simply incorrect. Major variants are noted, but it is not possible to note every divergent reading of a single manuscript. Willy Arnold 14:31, 23 October 2006 (UTC)

"the 'critical text'. That is, the oldest fragments of New Testament texts that have been found."

This is inaccurate as well. The critical text is not simply a collection of the oldest texts, but is an eclectic text decided upon by a translation committee. The age of a given text is only one of a number of factors that are considered. Willy Arnold 14:47, 23 October 2006 (UTC)

The table under the heading "Accuracy of the New Testament" seems to have errors for 2 Corinthians and Jude; either the percentage or the verse counts are incorrect. roarsk 13:34, 14 August 2009 (UTC)

Minuscules vs. Unicals[edit]

"Other scholars claim that the minuscule texts more accurately reflect what was originally penned."

This is so weasely as to beg deletion. Any examples of real, published scholars and SBL members who hold this view? I'm sure they exist, but my impression is the TR position is a fringe one associated with fundie "King James only" types. Correct me if I'm wrong. Otherwise, I'm deleting those statements. Josh 16:57, 10 November 2006 (UTC)

Well for the most part, yes. But there are a very small handful of people who, while primarily are theologians or non-sholars, do a fairly well job at outside scholarship (maybe along the lines of G.A. Wells), namely Zane C. Hodges, Arthur L. Farstad, Maurice A. Robinson and William G. Pierpont (well really, just two books dealing with the majority text). I agree that this sentence is weasely. However, I do not agree it should be removed. It should be qualified and contextualized. I suggest saying "A some theologians suggest..." or something similar. "Some authors outside of the field of textual criticism suggest". --Andrew c 17:24, 10 November 2006 (UTC)
Sounds good. I'll edit it along those lines and see if it flies. Josh 17:39, 10 November 2006 (UTC)

Publishing Date[edit]

See page 44 of NTG27, Introduction - the first date published was 1898 by Wurttemburg Bible Society. 1913 is the date of death for Eberhard Nestle. I will make the correction. Sean Mills.

Missing source[edit]

The book The Comprehensive New Testament is listed as the primary source of the "Influence" section of the article. I have been unable to locate the book. It is not found on either Amazon or Barnes & Noble, even though it is listed with a 2007 publication date. It is not found with a Bookfinder search, and not listed anywhere in a Google search except in this article. So can anyone provide a clue to this source? --Blainster 23:30, 21 February 2007 (UTC)

Thanks for your note. The book is being published by Cornerstone. I have a prepublication copy and got permission to use material from it, but it shouldn't be available on Amazon until the summer. Tim 13:33, 22 February 2007 (UTC)

Thanks for your response. The forthcoming book looks to be very interesting. I do not question the information you present, but I urge you to consider the usefulness (not to mention consideration of Wikipedia guidelines) of using unpublished references that cannot be checked. I admit that it is enticing to use whatever you have in hand, but until it is generally available, it leaves the rest of us at a disadvantage. I tried to look up Cornerstone to see when the book might be expected, but there are a number of publishing concerns using that name. Could you be more specific about which one it is? --Blainster 17:52, 22 February 2007 (UTC)

I hadn't considered the gap between now and when it's public. Should I remove the information until it's more commercially available? The company is Cornerstone Publications, in Clewiston Florida. There is another source I know online that lists "translatable" differences in the different texts. I could either 1) leave the information in with as much linkage to other sources as I can locate, or 2) remove the information until the book hits Amazon. Suggestion? Tim 20:17, 22 February 2007 (UTC)

Usually these questions arise over disputes between two editors, one of whom is challenging the reliability or veracity of a particular source, but that is not the case here. So I will leave it up to your judgment. Here are the Wikipedia policy and guideline resources which may help: WP guidelines on citation state one of the reasons for using them is to assist users not only in checking content but also in finding other information. There is also a policy page covering statements on future events which may enter into the equation. --Blainster 18:26, 24 February 2007 (UTC)

Thanks. I'll give them a thorough read this weekend. Unless I'm convinced otherwise by what I read, I'll probably remove the section tomorrow (Sunday) until the book hits Amazon. If it's good information today, it will be good information in a few months. And there are other things from public sources that I have on hand that would be helpful to expand here. I can always add them in the meantime. I appreciate your help! Tim
Okay, I just read the guidelines, and you're right -- the information has to be something that can be cross checked by anyone here. I'll remove the text until I see the book listed on Amazon. Thanks again. Tim 00:59, 25 February 2007 (UTC)


I made some big changes to the "editions" section. I separated it into "current" and "historic." Current includes the two editions mentioned previously as well as several diglots of interest to English-speaking readers. Historic editions includes a summary of the most important editions derived from the introduction to Novum Testamentum Graece et Latine 27 (probably identical to the introduction to NA27 proper).

Potential improvements: Do we really need both the ABS and Hendrickson "editions" listed? We could probably get away with mentioning that there are several NA publishers, there is some variety to ISBN numbers, but the text is the same. We could also mention the difference between editions and printings; i.e. more recent printings have been updated to reflect papyri that were not available for the first printing of NA27. (At least, that is what I'm getting from the copyright page.)--VAcharon 22:30, 20 August 2007 (UTC)

Is this article about Nestle-Aland's Novum Testamentum Graece, or all printed/published editions of the Greek NT? I ask because if the answer is the latter, then we will need to add the history of other printed/published Greek NTs and not just the recent ones. Joshuajohnson555 (talk) 02:40, 7 January 2012 (UTC)

P45 readings in Novum Testamentum Graece[edit]

Kenyon's edition of the Greek text of the Chester Beatty Papyrus 45 gives in Acts 7:58, 9:24, 11:30 and 13:7 the indeclinable form of the apostle's name σαουλ' instead of forms of σαυλος, as in later manuscripts (e.g., σαουλ']σαυλου cett.). However, I cannot find these readings in the Novum Testamentum Graece apparatus. I would greatly appreciate if someone could advise me on this matter: whether the readings are actually given in NA27, or not considered valid anymore, or something else is the case?--Constantine Sergeev (talk) 18:41, 2 January 2008 (UTC)

I'll check when I get home tonight. Bear in mind that even the NA27 is not comprehensive. It's hard to do in a single volume.Tim (talk) 19:07, 2 January 2008 (UTC)
Yes, certainly, it's not comprehensive, but P45 is, as far as I know, the earliest known manuscript of Acts, deserving thus special attention, and the reading itself seems to be important taking into account its implications for the Saul/Paul problem.--Constantine Sergeev (talk) 19:14, 3 January 2008 (UTC)
My edition (NA26) definitely doesn't have those variants. Given that P45 is one of the 'constant witnesses' for Acts, any variants at all should have appeared in the apparatus. (I did double-check the verses you cite in the table of contents of the codices in the back of the book.) The conclusion would be that there are no variants known to the editors in those places (which appears to contradict what you've just cited). This is probably a case where you should consult Metzger's Textual Commentary to see if he has anything to say. -- BPMullins | Talk 19:30, 3 January 2008 (UTC)
I apologize for the delay. I wasn't able to get to this last night, but I definitely intend to do so.Tim (talk) 19:43, 3 January 2008 (UTC)

Constantine -- a thousand apologies for the delay. Yes, these variants are not in the NA27. There is no explanation given. My suspicion is that they will be in the Edito Critica Maior. The NA27 is about as compact as can be done in a single volume.Tim (talk) 14:10, 13 January 2008 (UTC)

Thanks! I'll try to get the Editio Critica Maior.--Constantine Sergeev (talk) 20:23, 13 January 2008 (UTC)

You're welcome! But you may have to wait a bit for Acts to come out. Right now they only have the Catholic Epistles published. NA28 and UBS5 will eventually incorporate the changes in the ECM. Also, I just realized that Codex Bezae may be crowding out P45 in Acts because of the volume of changes in the narrative. Even the Comprehensive New Testament translation -- with its 15,000 variant readings -- didn't cover every permutation in Acts. Metzger's commentary devotes a third of the entire text to that one book alone.Tim (talk) 21:02, 13 January 2008 (UTC)

Brian E Wilson's comment about ciphers[edit]

A quick question: in, Brian E Wilson states: "P75 represents the number twelve in cipher format in Lk 8:42, 8:43, 9:1m 9:12)..."

In consulting Nesle on this point, there is a reference to P75 at 8:42, but the words 'sine acc' are near it.

If this means 'without the accent' is that why the alphabetic numeral form wasn't listed in the apparatus - if "sine acc" was indeed referring to the number, not having the stroke above it? Do other verses have the 'sine acc' written as sa? Is this why P75 is listed with the absurd exclamation mark in sources? Finally, if this is all true, and it is true that nearly 50% of numbers in Luke of p75 are ciphers, is this the case with any other papyri?

Thanks Notpayingthepsychiatrist (talk) 17:12, 10 January 2008 (UTC)

I think (in better light) that the apparatus don't refer to the number twelve, which makes it even more mysterious to me why p75 isn't cited? Does the 7,12! refer to the seventh word?

Notpayingthepsychiatrist (talk) 18:50, 11 January 2008 (UTC)

Also, does the abbrevieate form of Kyros with the line above it, appear in any text in Luke 4:19?

Notpayingthepsychiatrist (talk) 20:02, 11 January 2008 (UTC)

This link seems to say that Nestle spells out numbers, for ex 666, whereas they are numerals in the manuscripts.

See par starting with 'it should be remembered'. Notpayingthepsychiatrist (talk) 23:43, 12 January 2008 (UTC)

I've had a chance to look at Lk 8:42. Here are a few answers (as I see them!)
The apparatus in NA is very condensed. A close reading of the explanatory matter is necessary.
The verse in question has three different variations pointed out in the apparatus. They are separated by a vertical bar. P75 is cited for the third variant, for the word αυτη. A series of mss. are grouped by parentheses with the comment sine acc. so that the comment applies to all those sources.
P75, along with several other early sources, is identified with the exclamation mark to indicate its importance, "because they were written before the III/IV century, and therefore belong to the period before the rise of the major text types." (From the Introduction to NA26.)
The marginal comments don't refer to the text, but are pointers to parallel passages. Here, you're being referred to Luke 7:12. The ! tells you that further references are in the margin at that verse.
Revalation 13:18 does indeed spell out the Number in the principal NA text. (εξακοσιοι εξεκοντα εξ -- you'll have to imagine the breathing mark.) The Greek numerals (χξς') are noted as appearing in the majority of the minuscule manuscripts, as well as the very early P47. The numbers are spelled out in Codex Sinaiticus, with a minor variation in spelling. This looks to me like an editorial decision, probably with the thought that reading Greek numerals isn't necessary to reading the NT text.
Hope this helps. I think that if you want to follow up on the issue further, you'll have to talk to an NT expert, or find out at a university library how to get a microfilm of the manuscript in question. -- BPMullins | Talk 01:00, 14 January 2008 (UTC)

Misleading title[edit]

The title is "Novum Testamentum Graece", what is described here though is the Nestle-Aland only! But the Novum Testamentum Graece has a very long history, starting with Erasmus! Either the title should be changed into Nestle-Aland, or the article has to be expanded considerably. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Harnack (talkcontribs) 18:57, 12 July 2008 (UTC)

Please help expand it. Nestle-Aland is already redirecting here.Tim (talk) 02:17, 13 July 2008 (UTC)

The 1910 edition of Alexander Souter with this title is a good example. Not all Nova Testamenta Graece are N-A! (talk) 00:14, 25 April 2012 (UTC)

Concerns about the "Influence" Section[edit]

The "Influence" section says that most modern translations differ from NA at 16-32% of 15000 readings. Specifically, it claims that the NRSV differs on 18%, or about 2400 places. However this is in contrast to the NRSV preface, which says, "Only in very rare instances have we replaced the text or the punctuation of the Bible Societies’ edition by an alternative that seemed to us to be superior.".[1]. Or have I misunderstood what that section is claiming? Peter Ballard (talk) 11:50, 8 May 2009 (UTC)

I have a copy of the study in question, and it does document all the deviations -- in explicit detail. On page vii of the preface it gives this explanation:
"Accuracy is calculated in several stages:
  • The first stage is to translate textual differences in ancient manuscripts into English.
  • Ignoring brackets, italics, and footnotes, we compare the base text in each translation to the variants and ask a single question: which variation is closer to this translation? If there is no clear answer, we mark the translation with a tilde. A match does not necessarily mean that the translators of that version actually use the variant. It only means that their chosen words are closer to the variant than to the Nestle-Aland. As can be seen by the nature of the variants, many, if not most, are stylistic differences. Ancient copyists faced the same pressures for clarity and style that translators face, and their results will often parallel.
  • Finally, we divide the total number of times each translation is mapped to a variant by the total number of notes, and subtract the results from 100%."
Looking at the examples, a typical instance will be something like (I'm opening the book at random) -- James "5:20 Alx/Byz[let him know or he must know], Minor[you must know (JNT, NIV, NLT, NRS, REB, TEV, ~TLB)]" The tilde for the Living Bible (~TLB) marks a paraphrase. I just checked the NRS and it actually says "you should know." In this case it looks like the Comprehensive NT is linking the NRS neutral gender "you should" instead of a more literal imperative present active third person singular.
The NRS has a few mandates that would prevent it from agreeing with the Nestle-Aland in this random instance -- most notably that of neutral gender inclusiveness. There really isn't an exact way to do this in English. "Let him know" is probably as close as you can get, only because "he" is the English neutral gender third personal singular pronoun (at least for now).
Any translation's judgment of itself can become self serving. The translators pick certain conventions that they regard as no deviation, while other translators would disagree. I remember reading someone from the NRS committee claim that they only deviated in 5 places -- but I learned in grad school what a whopper that was. The NIV claims about 270 I think. Instead of absolutes, it may be better to regard this list in terms of ranking rather than absolute percentages. The percentages seem to establish the rank in an objective quantifiable way, but only the rank itself is important. The rest is a judgment call.EGMichaels (talk) 16:05, 10 May 2009 (UTC)
If the James 5:20 example you offer is typical, then the methodology of The Comprehensive New Testament (TCNT) is flawed. I am pretty sure that the NRSV did not use the Minor MSS for James 5:20. They would have used the NA Greek, and then translated it in a gender neutral way. Similarly, doing a gender neutral translation would not preclude the NRSV from following NA. Gender neutrality is how the text is rendered in English, irrespective of whether or not the Greek is gender neutral.
In addition to the NRSV, I've found that the TEV (Good News Bible) also claims to almost exclusively use NA (TEV claims to deviate "in a few instances"). In contrast, TCNT claims that each deviates in thousands of places. While I'm all for independent analysis of Bible translations, the book being used (TCNT) has very few Google hits, indicating it is not very widely known, and hence not widely verified. And it is making a pretty bold claim, contradicting what the NRSV and TEV prefaces say. It may be right, but if we're to contradict the prefaces of at least two major bible translations, our source had better be good. So I think we need to pare back that section, reducing its reliance on a little-verified source (TCNT). Peter Ballard (talk) 12:45, 12 May 2009 (UTC)
Peter -- we're not communicating very well here, and I'll assume it's my fault. The CNT is not claiming that the NRS is following the Minority reading here, but only that it's chosen wording happens to agree with it. It includes both textual and stylistic choices for the following reasons (now I'm quoting page ii of the preface): "It is impossible for one translator to judge another's labor and decide every case that is a textual critical choice and every case that is a stylistic choice. Instead, our text and notes show all possible differences that can be translated into English. When we list a translation, we do so as an aid to the reader to see the differences in ancient texts and their modern translations, and not as a crtiticism of any single work. That being said, our notes can be helpful in comparing translations with each other. As the charts on the back cover show, the New American Standard Bible agrees with the Nestle-Aland far more than the New King James Bible does. The New American Standard Bible, then, is a more accurate reflection of the Nestle-Aland than the New King James Bible. And in fact, the New King James Bible does not use the Nestle-Aland text, but instead uses the Textus Receptus..."
In other words, the numbers are for either textual or stylistic agreement. They aren't absolute, but relative ranking data. The CNT is actually recommending the NAS as an accurate reflection of the Nestle-Aland, and not criticising it. Should we just give the relative rank instead of the source data used in those rankings? If you're getting an impression the book doesn't intend, then others may also, and then the fault would be ours for improperly representing the book.
I just reviewed the chart on book and the chart in the article. Honestly, I can't see anything controversial here. If anything, the ranking is pretty mundane. The only difference is that the study backs up everyone's claimed accuracy ranking with actual data.EGMichaels (talk) 13:18, 12 May 2009 (UTC)
OK, I see that the TCNT is not claiming that the NRSV deviates from NA reading 2400 times. In that case, the table should be removed or rewritten, because as it stands it is misleading. (And I think you agree with me there).
But I would go further: because the vast majority of differences (more than 90%, perhaps more than 99%) are stylistic rather than textual, then the TCNT rankings table is meaningless as a measure of NA usage. The stylistic variations are the vast majority, and the differences that arise from textual choices are so few that they are in the noise. Or to take an example: the top ranking for the NASB (84% compared to 82% for NRSV etc) does not mean the NASB uses NA more than the NRSV does. It is far more likely that the higher ranking is because it is a more literal translation, but that is irrelevant to an article on the NA Greek text. Peter Ballard (talk) 12:33, 13 May 2009 (UTC)
A stylistic deviation is still a deviation. It doesn't mean that the deviation follows another text, but it does mean that it either agrees with another text or is paraphrased. A literal translation is considered more "literal" because it doesn't deviate as much as a less literal translation. In the end, it doesn't matter how or why one deviates; only that they do. The CNT can't say why another person crosses the street to the left or right, only that they do. They are either following a sign that says to cross the street (i.e. another text) or they just think the other side is sunnier or has a better breeze (i.e. stylistic). All the CNT does is note how many translations are on one side or another at any given time and add up the total. Do literal translations get a little extra accuracy because they are literal? Well, we should sure hope so!
But I completely agree with you that if you got that impression, then others will as well. I'll change the numbers to a rank as a compromise. Please let me know what you think.EGMichaels (talk) 14:23, 13 May 2009 (UTC)
The article section is about "Influence of NA". That means who used NA, not how literally they translated it. There is a place for ranking how literal translations are, but it's not here. And if we are to rank literalness (if that's a word), there are better recognised authorities to use than TCNT. Peter Ballard (talk) 07:35, 14 May 2009 (UTC)
Peter -- this measure is how faithful each translation is to the Nestle-Aland. The CNT has a separate chart to rank formal equivalence on page iii of its preface.
  • In faithfulness to the Nestle-Aland, the NKJ and KJV are in 19th and 20th place.
  • In formal equivalence the KJV and NKJ are in 4th and 5th place. These are inversed in the two measures.
  • In the CNT formal equivalence ranking the RSV is 7th and the NRS is 10th.
  • In the CNT accuracy to the Nestle-Aland ranking the NRS is 7th and the RSV is 9th. These are inversed in the two measures.
  • In formal equivalence the ASV is 1st and the NAU is 2nd.
  • In accuracy to the Nestle-Aland the NAU is 1st and the ASV 2nd. These are inversed in the two measures.
These aren't the same measures at all. Does formal equivalence give a slight boost? Sure -- because a paraphrase means a translation is being influenced by something other than the text. But it's only a slight boost until you get down to the level of the Living Bible, which is neither literal nor accurate to the Nestle-Aland, because it didn't follow any Greek text at all.
These rankings are basically what everyone advertises, and the CNT just supplies documentation, for 20 translations in 15,000 variations. The only thing I've seen other than this is a sample done by the Master's Seminary for formal equivalence (to ANY textform) of about ten translations. That study used about a hundred sample verses, and didn't measure it against the Nestle-Aland. If you know of another study, I'd like to know about it. I'll purchase it! In the meantime, this appears to be the most notable measure of this kind. The only thing novel about this particular resource is the extent of its documentation, not the rankings in its findings.EGMichaels (talk) 08:55, 14 May 2009 (UTC)

Formal Equivalence versus Textbase Agreement[edit]

(I thought a section break would give us some room here; feel free to reindent if you don't approve my unindenting your note)EGMichaels (talk) 13:28, 14 May 2009 (UTC)

Thomas (The Master's Seminary link) ranks "literalness" (or "formal equivalence"). I have no problem with that, though it doesn't belong in this particular article. But... aside from texts which didn't use NA at all (KJV and NKJV), how is the TCNT's "formal equivalence" measurement different from its "faithfulness to NA" measurement? Peter Ballard (talk) 12:10, 14 May 2009 (UTC)

I agree that the Master's Seminary study didn't belong here. It measures formal equivalence regardless of textform. The CNT does that as well, but it adds the step of differentiating the textforms. If a rendering is ambiguous, hybridized, or paraphrased, it won't match a single textform and will be marked with a tilde.
Now you have me digging through the notes...
Matthew 5:27, for instance, reads "it was said" in both the Nestle-Aland and the Pierpont Robinson Majority Text, while the 1904 Patriarchal Byzantine reading adds "to those of old." Okay, it marks the Revised English Bible with a tilde in the note... Pulling an REB from the shelf I read... "they were told."
That looks right for a free reading here. It almost implies the Byzantine reading but isn't clear, so it got a tilde. The others were clearly one way or the other.
Now back to the preface... Page iii "When a translation does not completely agree with any of the readings listed in our notes, we mark that translation with a tilde. Tildes offer an additional measure which has historically been difficult to quantify: paraphrase. Just how literal is one translation in relation to another? By examining each textual variant and measuring translations by the certainty of their textual bases, we have been able to identify the degree of textual ambiguity translators have introduced in order to present a more readable text -- as well as the degree in which ambiguity in the original Greek has been resolved in favor of one possible meaning instead of another." Now from page vii, "Formal equivalence is calculated by dividing the total number of tildes a translation receives by the total number of notes, and subtracting the result from 100%."
It lists the ranking from 99% formal equivalence (the ASV) all the way down to a paraphased 81% (the Living Bible). Again, I think the relative ranking is all that's important.
The Master's Seminary used a slightly different method that included word order. Let me compare the ranking they both do (I'll list only those translations ranked in both studies):
Translations appearing in both studies Master's Seminary relative rank CNT relative rank
American Standard Version 1 1
King James Version 2 3
New King James Version 3 4
New American Standard Bible 4 2 (1995 update is slightly less literal)
New American Bible 5 6
Revised Standard Version 6 5
New International Version 7 7
Good News Bible 8 8
The Living Bible 9 9
Looks like they are pretty much in agreement except for whether the King James Version or the New American Standard are more literal. I can see why that would be different based on the way the Master's Seminary did their measure of concordance and word order. While the New American Standard may have (slightly) less ambiguity, the word order in the King James Version seems more Greekish. Of course, no one could touch the ASV (Spurgeon called its ERV predecessor "Strong in Greek; weak in English").
So, to compare the CNT Nestle-Aland equivalence rank to the CNT Formal Equivalence rank you get two entirely different lists. Each rank seems in line with what other people have written. The only thing the CNT really adds is the documentation of all of their data (which is what I like about it).EGMichaels (talk) 13:28, 14 May 2009 (UTC)
I see the difference, but I don't see how it really helps. It is just another way of highlighting "diversions" - it's now a 3-way test instead of a 2-way test at each point - but it still (mostly) can't distinguish translation differences from textual differences (the choice of whether or not to follow NA). You said above, "In the end, it doesn't matter how or why one deviates; only that they do", and from my POV that is our main point of our difference: I do think it matters, you don't. I think I can see your POV and I hope you can see mine; we seem to have reached an impasse (hopefully a friendly one!) and I'm not sure how to proceed. Peter Ballard (talk) 04:22, 15 May 2009 (UTC)
Hi Peter -- thanks for your note, and I do see your point. I think your concern is for the possibility of an outlier in the ranking. Of course, even something so (seemingly) simple as literalness will give outliers. In the formal equivalence comparison between the Master's Seminary and the CNT the New American Standard was an outlier (i.e. more than one unit of measure different). Since both studies explained their methodology it wasn't that big of a deal. The only real outlier I can see in the CNT's "Accuracy to Nestle-Aland 27" measure is the ASV, and again it's pretty obvious why that would be so. Translators are
  1. influenced by the Greek text,
  2. influenced by other Greek texts (e.g. the NET translators seemed to revel in ways they could disagree with the Nestle-Aland and advertised their reasons why on every page of footnotes),
  3. influenced by church sentiment (e.g. the Holman Christian Standard throws every sentimental passage they can't live without into double brackets and puts it back into the text, like the doxology in the Lord's Prayer),
  4. influenced by cultural mandates (e.g. the KJV's "all who pisseth upon the wall" is in most modern translations "all men"), and
  5. influenced by English syntax (e.g. the ERV's "to us-ward" is in most other translations "toward us" or even "for us").
In the case of the ASV the influence from other Greek texts was less significant than the lack of influence from English syntax. The texts the ASV was based on were closer to the Nestle-Aland than the syntax of the ASV was to English! :-)
The CNT actually color codes these translations on their chart as well. Green being high accuracy, red low, and yellow in between. The green (accurate to Nestle-Aland) translations are NAS, ASV, NAU, NAB, ESV, HCS, and NRS. The yellow are NET, RSV, NIV, NJB, REB, JNT. The red are TEV, NLT, DRA, TLB, MRD, NKJ, and KJV.
I think you and I probably agree that the ASV got an extra kick from its (strong in Greek; weak in English) aspect, and that the NRS had a slight handicap from its choice to follow a cultural mandate above the Greek text. The ASV was under-influenced by English; the NRS was over-influenced by cultural niceties. Breaking to yellow at the NET level makes sense to me as well, since the NET boldly advertises their textual-critical differences from the Nestle-Aland. I personally would have put the JNT (Jewish New Testament) into red because of the Yiddishisms. I think the CNT explained that they found the (seemingly accidental) Peshitta parallels from the JNT of interest -- it falls in line with Murdock's Peshitta translation (MRD) a lot of times in the notes. So, DRA, MRD, and TLB weren't even translated from Greek (definitely red there), and the NKJ and KJV used the Textus Receptus. That just leaves the TEV and the NLT. For all its protestations, the NLT is a revision of a paraphrase. It's not going to be accurate even if they did reference the Greek text. You can't revise a paraphrase that way. You need to start from scratch.
So that just leaves the TEV as a possible outlier. Is it accurate to the Nestle-Aland? Well, no. It's a good read but a bad study. But was it influenced by the Nestle-Aland? Well, yes and no. Nida was influenced by his own theories. He wanted to take the Nestle-Aland concepts and translate them into English concepts, instead of Greek words into English words (I'm over simplifying, of course). The TEV seems almost a proof of concept for dynamic equivalence, even to the point of lapsing into semi paraphrases on occasion.
In any case, if I were doing my own Green/Yellow/Red off the top of my head, I'd reverse the NET and RSV and make the RSV green, and reverse the JNT and TEV to make the JNT red and the TEV yellow. But that's probably my own bias in favor of proof of concept above inserted yiddishisms.
We could probably write a whole book on why we thought translations deviated here or there, but in the end we'd just be guessing. You can't really reverse engineer someone's brain. You can only look at his results. That seems to be what the CNT did, and they seemed to go to great pains to say that this was not a criticism of other works, but a comparison of their features. They also had a Coleman-Liau Readability chart, showing that easy to read and easy to study did not often coincide. Only the ESV got a double green between accuracy and readability -- but I have my own concerns with the ESV.
I think what I'm trying to say is that I don't know how a "why did they" analysis could be empirically measured. It would be fascinating, but I'm not sure it would qualify for a Wikipedia source, since it looks like a "why did they" study would be a lot of guessing.
But I also think that if we put our heads together we could make sure the wording (and even title) of the influence section could appease any caveats or avoid any misdirection. It's a useful metric, but I would agree with you that the ASV is a couple of spots high because of syntax (just like the NAS was a couple of spots low on the Master's Study for the same reason). Any thoughts on rewording?EGMichaels (talk) 12:59, 15 May 2009 (UTC)