Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Watchtower Review of the Concordant Literal New Testament

The Concordant New Testament

Our readers will be glad to know that there is under way a careful edition of the New Testament which purports to give not only the best available Greek text in the style of characters used when the original manuscripts were written, but also an interlinear which shows the exact meaning of the component parts of each Greek word - as also an arranged English reading or version.

Our friends have long been familiar with the Emphatic Diaglott and have found it an incalculable help in determining the meaning of a Greek word without looking it up in a lexicon, a process which not all can emply with ease and satisfaction. The Diaglott is unquestionably the best complete thing of its kind in circulation: but pratically all the work on it was done before the Sinaitic Manuscript was available for reference, though it was to some extent in the Revelation. More than once the Society has considered the feasibility and advisability of revising and resetting the Diaglott: but it would require not less than three years time and constant work, and other things have seemed to be more immediately pressing.

The Lord seems to have put it into the hearts of some devoted friends of his Word to give themselves to the work of research and collation necessary to a publication of what may be properly described as a diaglott, but which is in reality "The Concordant Version of the Sacred Scriptures"...However, the work is only partly done at this time. Only the book of Revelation (called more literally 'The Unveiling') is in circulation in brochure form, but work is progressing quite well on the remainder of the New Testament. The Revelation is peculiarly difficult because of the fact that of the three oldest manuscripts only two contain this book - the Alexandrian and the Sinaitic. In order to maintain three witnesses, recourse was had to another Vatican manuscript of later date without, we think, adding anything of value to the English product. The work is conscientously amd carefully done, without any noticeable effort to please anyone.

The peculiar value and excellence of the Concordant sublinear (i.e. the literal word-for-word and syllable-for syllable rendering under the Greek), as compared with the Diaglott, lies in its uniform rendering of each Greek word so that the English reader's dependence on the opinion of the translator is reduced to a minimum. where the Diaglott renders the word SOUL sometimes 'soul' and sometimes 'life', the Concordant does not mix these important terms. The Greek and English student gets at the Greek and knows that every time a given English correspondent is used the Greek word which it represents is always in the text.

Recent and repeated tests have shown that the footnotes of the Tischendorf New Testament, which we have relied on for information regarding the Sinaitic MS., are not altogether accurate. Those notes are based not on the manuscript itself but on Dr. Tischendorf's edition, which sometimes follows the original scribe and more often the correctors and proofreaders, and even inserts what is found neither in the text nor in the corrections. An instance is the entire omission from the Sinaitic MS. of the tribes of Gad and Simeon from the in the list of twelve tribes, but which important fact is not noted at all in Tischendorf's notes, Tauschnitz Edition. The Concordant collection shows how the original text was and what each corrector added, down to the very minute details; hence may be relied on for the facts.

...Because the sublinear is so literal that those accustomed to linguistic work might find it difficult at times to get the real meaning without the special analytical concordance on which the interlinear is built, we have rather encouraged the publishers to get out the whole New Testament and the concordance before it is pushed in a large way. When such is done, the evidence now available goes to show that it will be the most valuable textual work extant for the English-reading Bible student. Watchtower, 1920, pp. 190-191

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