Monday, September 29, 2014

Paul Wegner Views the Old Testament as Reliable


Anonymous said...

Looks like an interesting book and relatively short, which is good for me. Added to my Amazon wish list
Thanks. One quick question - who is Paul Wegner? His name is not on front of book?

Duncan said...


Is this the author of this quotation?

Duncan said...

In "A Student's Guide to Textual Criticism of the Bible: Its History, Methods & Results" He quotes Jerome & this is the REAL issue at hand which also encompasses the vowel pointing issue.

“Translation is a difficult, almost impossible art, to master. Languages vary so in their order of words, in their individual metaphors, and in their native idioms. The translator is thus faced with a choice between a literal, word-for-word rendering (which is certain to sound absurd and so be a travesty of the original) and something very much freer (in which case he is liable to be accused of being unfaithful).”

As regards to an understanding of 1 Timothy 6:4 the Interpreters Bible, Volume XI, "Philippians, Colossians, Thessalonians, Pastoral Epistles", (Introduction and Exegesis by Fred D. Gealy), Philemon, Hebrews 1955 XI p. 383


"What is most baffling in the letters is that they do not adequately define either the orthodoxy which they champion or the heterodoxy which they combat."

So where do we go from here when looking at the "original" words or manuscript branch - Does shear quantity of manuscripts in a particular tradition make them automatically the truth?

I have already demonstrated to a small degree the divergence of great Isaiah from MT Isaiah. It is of significance & not how many scholars claim that it is minimal. So there were many competing branches - there still are.

If quantity is significant then why did the KJV later drop the apocrypha after 1600+ years and a late division of authority by Jerome when some of the books were not canonical since no witness in Hebrew existed? We know at least two of these books have now emerged in Hebrew among the DSS collection.

Duncan said...

** This is off topic **

Hello Again Edgar,

Something you might be able to help me with is the translation of Matthew 24:7 as "earthquakes" - using LXX for comparison (quoting ABP+) for quake:-

Jer_10:22 [3a soundG5456 4of a reportG189 1BeholdG2400 2there comes],G2064 andG2532 [2quakeG4578 1a great]G3173 from out ofG1537 the landG1093 of the north,G1005 G3588 to orderG5021 theG3588 citiesG4172 of JudahG* forG1519 extinction,G854 andG2532 a bedG2845 for ostriches.G4765.1
Jer_47:3 fromG575 the soundG5456 of his thrust,G3730 G1473 fromG575 theG3588 hoofsG3694.1 G3588 of his feet,G4228 G1473 andG2532 fromG575 the quakeG4578 G3588 of his chariots,G716 G1473 the soundG2279 of his wheels.G5164 G1473 [2did notG3756 3turnG1994 1Fathers]G3962 untoG1909 their sonsG5207 G1473 because ofG575 the feeblenessG1589.3 of their hands,G5495 G1473
Eze_3:12 AndG2532 [2took me upG353 G1473 1spirit],G4151 andG2532 I heardG191 from behindG2733.5 meG1473 a soundG5456 [2quakeG4578 1of a great], saying ,G3173 Blessed be G2127 theG3588 gloryG1391 of the lord G2962 from out ofG1537 G3588 his place.G5117 G1473
Eze_3:13 AndG2532 I heardG191 a soundG5456 of theG3588 wingsG4420 of theG3588 living creaturesG2226 flappingG4420.1 one G2087 toG4314 theG3588 other;G2087 andG2532 the soundG5456 of theG3588 wheelsG5164 next toG2192 them,G1473 andG2532 the soundG5456 of theG3588 [2quakeG4578 1great].G3173
Eze_37:7 AndG2532 I prophesiedG4395 asG2531 he gave chargeG1781 to me.G1473 AndG2532 came to passG1096 a soundG5456 inG1722 G3588 myG1473 prophesying,G4395 and G2532 behold,G2400 a quake;G4578 andG2532 came forwardG4317 theG3588 bonesG3747 toG4314 boneG3747 toG4314 G3588 its joint.G718.1 G1473
Eze_38:19 AndG2532 G3588 my zealG2205 G1473 inG1722 fireG4442 G3588 of my angerG3709 I spoke.G2980 Assuredly,G2229 inG1722 G3588 that dayG2250 G1473 there will beG1510.8.3 [2quakeG4578 1a great]G3173 uponG1909 the landG1093 of Israel.G*


Job_41:29 [3asG5613 4stubbleG2562 2are consideredG3049 1hammers];G4973.1 and he ridiculesG2606 G1161 the quakingG4578 of a fire-bearer.G4450.3
Isa_15:5 TheG3588 heartG2588 of theG3588 land of MoabG* yellsG994 inG1722 herG1473 untoG2193 Zoar;G* [4heiferG1151 1forG1063 2it is as G1510.2.3 3a three years old].G5147.2 But uponG1909 G1161 theG3588 ascentG306.1 of LuhithG* [2toG4314 3youG1473 4weepingG2799 1they shall ascend];G305 by theG3588 wayG3598 of HoronaimG* she yells,G994 DefeatG4938 andG2532 quaking.G4578
Jer_23:19 Behold,G2400 a quakingG4578 byG3844 the lord ,G2962 andG2532 angerG3709 shall go forthG1607 inG1519 a rumbling.G4952.2 [2contractingG4962 3uponG1909 4theG3588 5impiousG765 1It shall come].G2240
Nah_3:2 The soundG5456 of whips,G3148 andG2532 the soundG5456 of quakingG4578 of wheels,G5164 andG2532 [2horseG2462 1 the pursuing],G1377 andG2532 the chariotG716 stirring up,G311.1
Mat_8:24 AndG2532 behold,G2400 [2quakingG4578 1a great]G3173 took placeG1096 onG1722 theG3588 sea,G2281 so as toG5620 G3588 [2 the boatG4143 1cover]G2572 underG5259 theG3588 waves;G2949 but heG1473 G1161 was sleeping.G2518

and in light of :-

On page 1 this states that in Greek (not sure about koine) the term seismos tes ges would mean an earthquake.

in this document:-

it does not state the same but it does state that a tremor would be kinaseos ges.

Now looking at the OT translations of seismos it does appear to me to have a very similar usage to Quake in modern English where normally we would prefix with earth.

So what is a good argument for translating it as earthquake when the context around it all seems to be concerned with populations. Should this not be a shaking of peoples?

Thanks again for any time you can spare on this.

How authoritative do you think BDAG really is. Would It give me a comprehensive overview of the term & its usage. Does it mention the LXX usages?

If it is worthwhile I will purchase a copy but I do not what to do it on a whim considering the cost.

Edgar Foster said...


The book is a multiauthored work. The chapters differ in quality depending on the author writing, and they are short. But some of those writing for this project are first-rate scholars.

Edgar Foster said...


on your question about Mt 24:7 (etc), I believe that earthquake is a good translation in some cases where the context allows it, because of how seismos came to be used in Greek writers. But we must examine the context in each case.

For example, NWT renders Jer 10:22: "Listen! A report! It is coming! A great pounding from the land of the north, To make the cities of Judah desolate, a lair of jackals."

The NETS LXX says: "A sound of a report! Behold, it is coming--and a great commotion from a land of
the north, to make the cities of Iouda an annihilation and a nesting place for sparrows."

The translation is fitting since seismos possibly denotes a commotion, a shaking, even a tempest or it can denote an earthquake.

BDAG is the major lexicon for NT Greek studies. While it does help with the LXX, there are other tools for the "seventy" that might be more helpful. You really have to consider whether you'll be using BDAG regularly in view of the price tag. LSJ is a good work for classical Greek. See for reasons why seismos might be rendered "earthquake" at times.

Edgar Foster said...

Justg to make clear what I'm saying about BDAG. It's the authoritative lexicon for GNT work. But it's only worth buying if you'll use the work regularly.

Duncan said...

Yes in Mat 27:54 it is fairly obvious & also at Acts 16:26.

This is an interesting subject, how seismos was used by Greek writers since the philosophy of the time linked it to πνεῦμα as the exhalation that initiated it (the wind under the ground - compare John 3:8 Rev 6:12,13 8:5 for similarities in thought regarding wind, thunders & seismos).

So where is the context around Mat 24:7 since it seems to be all about the responses of people/populations?

Edgar Foster said...


BDAG has some interesting reasoning on Mt 24:7 and other verses which I'll try to post later today. However, not only does context have to be considered, but also the idioms used to express certain thoughts. In 24:7, other apocalyptic events are mentioned along with earthquakes; for earthquakes, we have the Greek σεισμοὶ κατὰ τόπους. The prepositional phrase along with the fact that seismos came to bea term particularly used to denote earthquakes indicates that's how it should be rendered in 24:7.

Edgar Foster said...

Here is something from Bob Utley as he comments on Mt 8:24. I agree with the substance of the following remarks although I do not accept what the source asserts regarding divine intervention:

The NIDOTTE, vol. 3, p. 557, has an interesting comment about the term seismos (" storm").

"The other eleven occurrences of seismos in the NT all refer to earthquakes, and always as divine interventions: at the moment of Jesus' death (Matt. 27:54); at the resurrection, where it is linked with the rolling back of the stone; and at Philippi, as Paul and Silas sing God's praises in prison (Acts 16:26). Earthquakes are one of the eschatological signs (Matt. 24:7; Mark 13:8; Luke 21:11; Rev. 6:12; 8:5; 11:13,19; 16:18)."


Duncan said...


Seismos "down in [various] places (or: districts)"

All other descriptions in this verse are also plural.

"there will be famines [later MSS +: plagues (or: troublesome times)]"

Wars, plague & quaking for people in diverse places and ethnic groups.

I suppose that this is the kind of perspective that I am driving at:-

Duncan said...


The perspective I am driving at does have a certain merit since for example new evidence has been opened up on har-meggido.

Where wars were fought but they were an artifact of a critical trade route.

I believe that the concept of "har" is still evident today in the term "peak".


The peak of the world systems driven by high energy of oil are now.

I can even go as far as to say that WW1 was an artifact of oil. It would not have been possible without it.

Global oil production increased at about 25% per year (exponential) from 1907 to 1914.

Germany invaded Romania ( Treaty of Bucharest) "The Germans were able to repair the oil fields around Ploiești and by the end of the war had pumped a million tons of oil." (Approximately 7200000 barrels)!
An oil field high in toluene the critical component of TNT (trinitrotoluene)
So oil did not just manufacture the weapons it was the weapons.

On the allies side the book quotes a historian:-

"the company became integral to the Allies' war effort; in effect, Shell acted as the quartermaster general for oil, acquiring and organizing supplies around the world for British forces and the entire war effort and ensuring the delivery of the required products from Borneo, Sumatra and the United States to the rail-heads and airfields in France. Shell, thus, was central to Britain's prosecution of the war."

This does drive my perspective shift on "har" and also Revelation 6:5, 6 "and do not harm the oil and the alcohol."

So coming back to Seismos, I have already demonstrated that is can be translated as terms other than earth quake. It can have a similar usage as our term "quake" - a person can quake, societies can quake, and of course the earth can quake. I do understand that Koine applies many usages to a limited number of terms but to limit it's definition across a collection of writings to a single definition (of many) seems very blinkered.

Duncan said...


Looking at this again with regard to τόπος - at a spacial place from which comes the term topology. I see that but what in the grammar makes it a quaking of the place as opposed to a quaking at the place? (a subtle difference)

Am I making sense?