I appreciate your statement that our academic debate:
…is not meant in any way to be a personal attack upon James Trimm.
This is a scholarly dispute, and I am determined to discuss these issues
in a scholarly manner.
I do find the title of your blog “The Gospel according to Trimm” to be a little more personal than academic, but lets move on.
Andrew Roth and I have an academic dispute within Aramaic Primacy which is roughly equivalent to a dispute within Greek Primacy.
Andrew argues in favor of the Aramaic “Received Text” (i.e. the Peshitta) or Majority Text as the most original (which is of the Byzantine Text Type).
In my book The Hebrew and Aramaic Origin of the New Testament (http://www.lulu.com/nazarene). I argue (conclusively I believe) that the oldest, best text type is the Western Text Type and that the Old Syriac is in general, the oldest, best Aramaic text. This theory is known as the Critical Text Theory and holds that the most original Aramaic text is to be arrived at by examining the readings of the Old Syriac and Peshitta manuscripts and applying objective rules of textual criticism to determine which readings are most likely to be the most original.
A parallel debate exists in Greek Primacy circles in which one group maintains support for the Majority Text which favors the Byzantine Type of text and is reflected in the Greek Textus Receptus. While another group argues that more weight should be given to the oldest Greek manuscripts and these argue for a “Critical Text”.
One major difference is that the majority of the Greek Primacy “Critical Text” scholars support the Alexandrian Text type over the Western Text type. (There are three basic text types (regardless of language): Alexandrian, Western and Byzantine – for the most part the oldest manuscripts are Alexandrian and Western and later manuscripts are Byzantine, but since most manuscripts are later, the Byzantine represents the Majority Text).
Also the Critical Theory tends to also allow more room for Hebrew Matthew and Hebrew Hebrews which Roth tends to regard as medieval compositions.
I know of no doctrinal disagreements that hang in the balance among Nazarenes between the Majority Text (Peshitta Primacy) view and the Critical Text (leaning toward Old Syriac) view. There certainly should be room for friendly academic debate on this issue.
I will prepare an academic response to Roth’s blog, but I wanted to clarify this. So if your eyes are not glazed over yet there will be more academic debate coming soon.
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