Jesus' plea for the Father's forgiveness from the cross - question.

SovereignGrace

Active member
"Father forgive them, for they know not what they do."

Christ prayed this from the cross over people who were actively killing Him and who were not the least bit repentant about it.

In light of this, I have two questions for consideration:

1. Do you believe that the Father answered Jesus' prayer? I know the text doesn't say; but what do you think?

2. How should it inform our soteriology (if at all), by the fact that (at least on this one occasion) Christ used ignorance as a basis for which the Father ought to forgive sin?
A little FYI. IIRC, there are some early mss that do not possess that verse that has Him saying that. Can there be true forgiveness w/o attrition from those who are being forgiven? I wouldn’t think so. True forgiveness of sin comes from God, and when that is given, the recipient would show some attrition, IMO. So, if the Father truly forgave those soldiers, they would also show some attrition, and we don’t have any record if any of them were forgiven or not. To aver one way or the other would be conjecture at best.
 

SovereignGrace

Active member
There are nine early mss that exclude that saying from them. There are more mss that have it, but I don’t know how many are later and how many early. The Greek mss experts on here will have to tell you that.
 
Greetings Cynthia and En Hakkore:


While we seem to have two experts on the job, perhaps you could comment on the accuracy of a very old list from Barnes’ Notes. I have copied the following from Bible Hub. I have been interested in OT quotations in the NT, especially from Isaiah.

Section 6. Quotations of Isaiah in the New Testament
{I have clipped nearly every item as they would not Post in a full copy, please refer to Barnes' Notes}
Isaiah refers [clipped] arrangement, I am mainly indebted to Horne. Introduction vol. ii. p. 343ff:

I. Quotations agreeing exactly with the Hebrew text:

II. Quotations nearly agreeing with the Hebrew text:

III. Quotations agreeing with the Hebrew in sense, but not in words:

IV. Quotations which give the general sense, but which abridge, or add to it:

V. Quotations which are taken from several different places:

VI. Quotations differing from the Hebrew text, but agreeing with the Septuagint text:

VII. Quotations in which there is reason to suspect a different reading in the Hebrew text, or that the words were understood in a sense different from that expressed in our Lexicons:

VIII. Allusion to a passage in Isaiah:

IX. Quotations made from the Septuagint: Many of the passages above referred to are made also from the Septuagint, when that version agrees with the Hebrew. I refer here to a few passages which have not been noted before. The apostles wrote in the Greek language and for the use of those among whom the Septuagint was extensively used. Occasionally, however, they quoted directly from the Hebrew, that is, made a translation themselves, or quoted according to the general sense. All the quotations that are in accordance with the Septuagint, or that vary from it, may be seen in Horne's Introduction, vol. ii. pp. 387, 428. Isaiah 49:6 quoted in Acts 13:47 Isaiah 65:1-2 quoted in Romans 10:20-21 Isaiah 52:15 quoted in Romans 5:21 Isaiah 49:8 quoted in 2 Corinthians 6:2 Isaiah 29:13 quoted in Matthew 15:8-9 Isaiah 55:3 quoted in Acts 13:34 Isaiah 53:12 quoted in Mark 15:28; Luke 22:37

X. Quotations which differ from the Hebrew, and the Septuagint, and which were perhaps taken from some version or paraphrase, or which were so rendered by the sacred writers themselves: Isaiah 9:1-2 quoted in Matthew 4:15-16 Isaiah 42:1, Isaiah 42:4 quoted in Matthew 12:18, Matthew 12:21

Kind regards
Trevor
Hi Trevor... thanks for your post and interest in this topic. I located the full text of these notes and saved a copy for the purpose of further discussion. What kind of format for dialogue would you like? Did you want to work our way through each section, assessing the validity (or not) of the various classifications? Or something else perhaps? Once we determine a mutually-agreeable format and Cynthia has had a chance to chime in with her thoughts and intentions with respect to participation, I would recommend starting a new thread for the topic. I look forward to an interesting and educational exploration...

Kind regards,
Jonathan
 
There are nine early mss that exclude that saying from them. There are more mss that have it, but I don’t know how many are later and how many early. The Greek mss experts on here will have to tell you that.
I'll repost the manuscript evidence I provided earlier in the thread (post 15) and insert their generally-accepted dates for those who may be interested. This list is not exhaustive, but includes the key witnesses and versions... the Coptic manuscripts are not specified in NA28, but all are relatively late, 5th century at the earliest for Luke and most of them many centuries later:

the text itself is unstable in the manuscript tradition, presented in NA28 within double square brackets. It is missing from a number of key Greek witnesses such as Papyrus 75 [175-225 CE], Codices Vaticanus [4th century], Washingtonianus [late 4th-early 5th century] and Koridethi [9th century], as well as the Sinaitic Syriac [4th century] and numerous Coptic manuscripts. It was originally absent in Codices Sinaiticus [4th century] and Bezae [5th century], but added by correctors in both cases.

These dates are sourced from Metzger's and Ehrman's joint work on the text of the New Testament [1]. To reiterate my own position, I believe the saying to have been original to Luke's gospel and later excised, which is also the position of Ehrman [2]. Metzger, on the other hand, considers it to have been a logion added early in the transmission history of the gospel [3].

Kind regards,
Jonathan


References:
[1] Bruce M. Metzger and Bart D. Ehrman, The Text of the New Testament: Its Transmission, Corruption, and Restoration. Fourth Edition. Oxford University Press, 2005, pp. 58, 62, 68, 70, 80, 83, 96, 110-15.
[2] Ehrman, "The Text of the Gospels at the End of the Second Century" in Codex Bezae: Studies from the Lunel Colloquium, June 1994, ed. D.C. Parker and C.-B. Amphoux. New Testament Tools and Studies 22. E.J. Brill, 1996, pp. 111-13.
[3] Metzger, A Textual Commentary on the Greek New Testament. United Bible Societies, 1971, pg. 180.
 

TrevorL

Member
Greetings again En Hakkore,
Hi Trevor... thanks for your post and interest in this topic. I located the full text of these notes and saved a copy for the purpose of further discussion. What kind of format for dialogue would you like? Did you want to work our way through each section, assessing the validity (or not) of the various classifications? Or something else perhaps?
I appreciate your response. Yes, I am interested but I suggest that I am not in a position to help much in the project. My problem is that I do not read Hebrew or Greek apart from a few reference books. My level of interest in the past was attending a Young People’s Class in my youth and we were given a list of where many Isaiah verses were quoted in the NT. It was suggested that we colour and underline these references in the OT and NT by using the x-reference in the centre margin. This done, then it was not until I listened to a thorough exposition series on Isaiah over many Bible Classes that my interest was aroused again, as the speaker often referred to the NT quotation of the Isaiah passage and showed and explained the contexts in both OT and NT. I also came across the list in Barnes’ Notes.

Then my interest has been aroused in Isaiah 6:9-10 and the 5 times or more it is quoted in the NT. In my personal study I have tried to understand the significance of the NT application of this, mainly the three different applications in Matthew 13, John 12 and Acts 28. More recently I purchased the book “Commentary on the NT use of the OT” GK Beale and DA Carson and from memory it states that the Matthew 13 quotation is closer to the LXX meaning, while the John 12 reference is closer to the Hebrew meaning of Isaiah 6:9-10 (or the other way around).

I have not progressed any further. I have not reconciled my original list from the Young People’s Class with Barnes’ list. I have not made a new or expanded list from my Bible Classes, and I have not examined many of the references in the NT/OT Commentary.

If you start a thread I would like to take a copy and add some detail to my electronic Bible marking, but I feel that I would not be able to make any worthwhile contribution.

On another subject I was able to keep a copy of a CARM forum discussion that you and others had with “elpis” over 16 years ago on his suggestion concerning the Ehyeh / Yahweh Name as best represented by “I will be” / "He will be" or "He who will be". Again this was on a higher language skill level and I am not sure if with your additional studies whether you continue to agree with his conclusion. This subject has been of interest to me.

Kind regards
Trevor
 
"Father forgive them, for they know not what they do."

Christ prayed this from the cross over people who were actively killing Him and who were not the least bit repentant about it.

In light of this, I have two questions for consideration:

1. Do you believe that the Father answered Jesus' prayer? I know the text doesn't say; but what do you think?

2. How should it inform our soteriology (if at all), by the fact that (at least on this one occasion) Christ used ignorance as a basis for which the Father ought to forgive sin?

Why bother asking the Father? Why didn't God the Son just forgive them?

After all, "who can forgive sins but God alone?"
 
Yes, I am interested but I suggest that I am not in a position to help much in the project. My problem is that I do not read Hebrew or Greek apart from a few reference books.
I think you would be able to help quite a bit... you have already helped in the project's genesis, provided a good place to start (Isa 6:9-10) and, as we go along, your interactions can help steer it in those directions you and others without a reading knowledge of the languages would find most beneficial. While I think references to the Hebrew and Greek will be important throughout, they should always be accompanied by English and sufficient explanation. Do you have an English translation of the Septuagint such as NETS available to you?

On another subject I was able to keep a copy of a CARM forum discussion that you and others had with “elpis” over 16 years ago on his suggestion concerning the Ehyeh / Yahweh Name as best represented by “I will be” / "He will be" or "He who will be". Again this was on a higher language skill level and I am not sure if with your additional studies whether you continue to agree with his conclusion. This subject has been of interest to me.
Wow, I do remember elpis! While the specifics of our discussions are hazy, I remember him in general to have been a knowledgeable and courteous dialogue partner. The subject you mention does sound familiar, though I couldn't say exactly what I argued for at the time... my beliefs were in a state of flux during that period and stabilized only about twelve years ago. Thanks for the reminder of earlier years here at CARM (I first started posting in 2001) and obviously you've been around these parts about as long if not longer!

Kind regards,
Jonathan
 

TrevorL

Member
Greetings again Jonathan (En Hakkore),
I think you would be able to help quite a bit... you have already helped in the project's genesis, provided a good place to start (Isa 6:9-10) and, as we go along, your interactions can help steer it in those directions you and others without a reading knowledge of the languages would find most beneficial.
I would be interested in observing, and depending if it is very technical it will be mainly observation. I would be especially interested in any comments on Isaiah 6:9-10.
While I think references to the Hebrew and Greek will be important throughout, they should always be accompanied by English and sufficient explanation. Do you have an English translation of the Septuagint such as NETS available to you?
I have numerous word reference books, print and electronic. I have a print LXX with English and Brenton LXX is available on Bible Hub.
Wow, I do remember elpis! While the specifics of our discussions are hazy, I remember him in general to have been a knowledgeable and courteous dialogue partner. The subject you mention does sound familiar, though I couldn't say exactly what I argued for at the time... my beliefs were in a state of flux during that period and stabilized only about twelve years ago. Thanks for the reminder of earlier years here at CARM (I first started posting in 2001) and obviously you've been around these parts about as long if not longer!
Yes, that thread caught my attention when I first joined CARM in April 2004. The thread had been running from December 2003 and finished in June 2004 with 141 posts. As stated before he was mainly advocating “I will be” for Exodus 3:14 on that thread.

Possibly relevant to your discussion with Cynthia, the LXX of Exodus 3:14 was briefly discussed.
Exodus 3:14 (LXX Brenton): And God spoke to Moses, saying, I am THE BEING; and he said, Thus shall ye say to the children of Israel, THE BEING has sent me to you.
“elpis” suggested that LXX here was a poor translation from the Hebrew. Even the KJV is significantly different here to the LXX.

I have also been interested in the difference between the KJV and modern translations. The KJV seems to have carefully considered the translation of Psalm 8:5 in the LXX, and I agree that this is to be preferred to the modern translations even though the Hebrew has “Elohim”. The LXX is similar to Hebrews 2:7.
Psalm 8:5 (LXX Brenton): Thou madest him a little less than angels, thou hast crowned him with glory and honour;

Another interesting LXX translation is the following, and is significantly different to the Hebrew. Again the LXX is similar to Hebrews 10:5, and there has been much discussion on the difference between the Hebrew and LXX.
Psalm 40:6 (LXX Brenton): Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not; but a body hast thou prepared me: whole-burnt-offering and sacrifice for sin thou didst not require.

Kind regards
Trevor
 
I would be interested in observing, and depending if it is very technical it will be mainly observation. I would be especially interested in any comments on Isaiah 6:9-10.
Sounds good, I will try to kick off the thread on this same forum over the weekend.

I have numerous word reference books, print and electronic. I have a print LXX with English and Brenton LXX is available on Bible Hub.
You should be well-equipped to observe and, I hope, engage with me and any other who wish to contribute throughout.

Yes, that thread caught my attention when I first joined CARM in April 2004. The thread had been running from December 2003 and finished in June 2004 with 141 posts. As stated before he was mainly advocating “I will be” for Exodus 3:14 on that thread.
I would concur that is a good translation of the Hebrew ehyeh.

Possibly relevant to your discussion with Cynthia, the LXX of Exodus 3:14 was briefly discussed.
Exodus 3:14 (LXX Brenton): And God spoke to Moses, saying, I am THE BEING; and he said, Thus shall ye say to the children of Israel, THE BEING has sent me to you.
“elpis” suggested that LXX here was a poor translation from the Hebrew.
I would also concur with that evaluation.

Kind regards,
Jonathan
 

Cynthia

Member
Hi Trevor... thanks for your post and interest in this topic. I located the full text of these notes and saved a copy for the purpose of further discussion. What kind of format for dialogue would you like? Did you want to work our way through each section, assessing the validity (or not) of the various classifications? Or something else perhaps? Once we determine a mutually-agreeable format and Cynthia has had a chance to chime in with her thoughts and intentions with respect to participation, I would recommend starting a new thread for the topic. I look forward to an interesting and educational exploration...

Kind regards,
Jonathan
Hello Jonathan and Trevor

I am not in a position to accept 'homework' at this time. I responded to this OP because it involved a single passage.

I have been writing a book since retirement 10 years ago. I have had several interruptions due to my own health issues and my husbands health issues. I much desire to have it copyrighted in 2020, and have been editing and cleaning up charts that were in draft format furiously! I still hope to make my own imposed deadline, but it may not happen as several events occurred this week that have prevented me from spending more than an hour or so on the recently rediscovered CARM discussion forums at any one time.

Trevor, Jonathan is more than capable, more so than I, to respond to your inquiry. I will in my free time, read what he has provided but may not comment. Although Jonathan and I may have different opinions on the primacy of the Septuagint, or different opinions on textual evidence and of commentaries pertaining to textual criticism, we can both agree on which passages have been singled out by textual critics as suspect or at least inconsistent in mss.

Blessings

ps my book is a comparison of the Masoretic Text and the Septuagint versions available in English pertaining to chronology. It has been a labor of love to sustain me through my own cancer and liver disease, and my husbands encroaching blindness due to Glaucoma and diabetes.
 

SovereignGrace

Active member
This reference point is debatable and the text itself is unstable in the manuscript tradition, presented in NA28 within double square brackets. It is missing from a number of key Greek witnesses such as Papyrus 75, Codices Vaticanus, Washingtonianus and Koridethi, as well as the Sinaitic Syriac and numerous Coptic manuscripts. It was originally absent in Codices Sinaiticus and Bezae, but added by correctors in both cases.

Its presence or absence probably hinges on who the 'them' is understood to be. If one follows the text beginning at 23:13 through to the passage in question (23:34), the agents of the crucifixion are not Roman soldiers, but the chief priests, leaders and the people. There is no explicit change of subject at the critical juncture in 23:25-26 --- Pilate hands Jesus over to their will and they lead him away, they place the cross on Simon of Cyrene, they crucify Jesus and the two criminals upon arriving at the place of execution. Soldiers are not introduced into the text until 23:36. At best Luke is ambiguous about their involvement, the real culprits in his gospel are the Jewish leaders and the mob. This is consistent with the indictment found in Acts 3:15 when Peter, addressing Israelite men, is narrated to say "you killed the author of life" and adds later that they and their leaders acted out of ignorance (3:17). It is important to note, in light of the OP's claim that those for whom Jesus' petitions for forgiveness are unrepentant, that Luke narrates that some of those listening believed Peter's preaching and were added to the number of believers (4:4), presumably repenting of their involvement in Jesus' death.

Returning to the disputed passage, my position is that it is original to Luke's gospel and was removed by scribes working in the second and third centuries during the time that the schism between Jews and Christians intensified, the deletions being part of the period's anti-Jewish polemics.

Kind regards,
Jonathan
So, are you saying you think it was in the original ms then removed and then later reinserted? I ask only for clarification. Plus, that’s the first I heard about it first not being in Bezae’s work initially.
 
Can you be specific please in your question?
I was just hoping for clarity on both your terse "Good grief" and acknowledgement that you have Tov's book that I referenced. In terms of the latter, would you concur that he does not embrace LXX as being, one the whole, representative of a putative Hebrew base earlier than MT, but assesses such things on a case-to-case basis?

Kind regards,
Jonathan
 

Cynthia

Member
I was just hoping for clarity on both your terse "Good grief" and acknowledgement that you have Tov's book that I referenced. In terms of the latter, would you concur that he does not embrace LXX as being, one the whole, representative of a putative Hebrew base earlier than MT, but assesses such things on a case-to-case basis?

Kind regards,
Jonathan


'Good grief' was an obvious exclamation of exasperation. I will not get drawn into a discussion of anything in that book.

I have a preference for opinions of those textual critics who are devout Christians. For example, I side with Metzger, you with Ehrman.
Ehrman is not trustworthy, as witnessed by our mutual friend Mark Dumdei, as he was in the audience where Ehrman was speaking, and showed him up to be misrepresenting a great many things during the Q&A.

Let's see, Tov is based in Jerusalem, at the Hebrew University. Hmmmm. No bias there in championing the MT.
Beside that fact, his 8 year old book is not his latest research on the LXX. Academia has regular uploads from Tov, and might be a better source of his latest opinions on the the LXX and the DSS. I am not willing or able to discuss much of what he writes, for several reasons.
 
So, are you saying you think it was in the original ms then removed and then later reinserted? I ask only for clarification.
The transmission history of the New Testament texts is unfortunately not linear in nature, which is why age of manuscript cannot be taken on its own as an indicator of priority. To clarify my position, I believe the text in question is original to Luke's gospel as it is consistent with the motif of ignorance later found in Acts (see 3:17). At some point, a scribe or perhaps scribes working independently, excised the sentence because he/they considered the inference of forgiveness for those responsible for Jesus' execution untenable. As later scribes had access to different manuscripts for purposes of comparison, they often 'corrected' the copies on which they worked by adding or deleting the sentence. At this point, it is impossible to determine whether those manuscripts that contain the full verse go back to the original archetype or to a corrected manuscript. Hope this helps clarify...

Plus, that’s the first I heard about it first not being in Bezae’s work initially.
Yes, Bezae is listed in the NA28 critical apparatus with an asterisks (D*), which indicates this is an original reading that was subsequently corrected. Later in the apparatus for this verse, when it lists those manuscripts that contain the sentence, the siglum D3 appears, which means that the third identifiable scribal hand on the manuscript was responsible for adding the sentence. Because this addition is secondary (ie. the same scribe who wrote the manuscript was not the corrector in this case), many scholars will not get bogged down in the technicalities and say that Bezae lacks the verse... see for example Ehrman: "Codex Bezae is one of our earliest manuscripts to omit the prayer of Jesus from the cross in Luke 23:34..." ("The Text of the Gospels at the End of the Second Century" in Codex Bezae: Studies from the Lunel Colloquium, June 1994, ed. D.C. Parker and C.-B. Amphoux. New Testament Tools and Studies 22. E.J. Brill, 1996, pg 111). Hope this also helps clarify...

Kind regards,
Jonathan

Kind regards,
Jonathan
 
'Good grief' was an obvious exclamation of exasperation. I will not get drawn into a discussion of anything in that book.
It is not clear whether you mean Law's book or Tov's book. In any case, your other commitments expressed elsewhere in the thread are sufficient explanation for not wanting any drawn-out discussion.

I have a preference for opinions of those textual critics who are devout Christians. For example, I side with Metzger, you with Ehrman.
That was specific to Ehrman's decision about Luke 23:34. It hardly implies a wholesale embrace of his text-critical decisions. I disagree with him, for example, on his adjudication of the variant in Luke 24:51 --- I view the longer text as original to Luke's gospel whereas Ehrman takes the opposite position.

Ehrman is not trustworthy, as witnessed by our mutual friend Mark Dumdei, as he was in the audience where Ehrman was speaking, and showed him up to be misrepresenting a great many things during the Q&A.
Your initial claim here reflects a recurring pattern of black and white, all or nothing thinking that pervades your articulated positions both specifically here and concerning LXX generally. Several years ago here on CARM I evaluated Ehrman's debate with Daniel Wallace on the reliability of the New Testament and voiced criticisms about some of Ehrman's claims. I find no justification, however, to dismiss the man's text-critical work wholesale on this basis... perhaps you don't either, but that seems implied by your comments. Scholars, like everyone else, are mixed bags and I can agree with some things Ehrman says and not others without making the kind of sweeping judgment you have about him.

Let's see, Tov is based in Jerusalem, at the Hebrew University. Hmmmm. No bias there in championing the MT.
Further evidence of the pattern noted above. Where do you get Tov championing the MT out of his work? Tov's position on some secondary elements in the putative Hebrew source for LXX does not mean he therefore 'champions' MT. The citations I provided already demonstrate this with reference to some readings of LXX being superior or more ancient than MT. Lower down on pg 136 he refers to valuable variants that can be reconstructed from LXX, particularly so in 1-2 Samuel "because its M version is often faulty." It is not all or nothing here... Tov (and text-critical scholars generally) do not embrace any particular version as superior wholesale in the manner you appear to do with LXX --- such a position is not supported by the evidence.

Beside that fact, his 8 year old book is not his latest research on the LXX. Academia has regular uploads from Tov, and might be a better source of his latest opinions on the the LXX and the DSS.
I am not aware of any radical shifts in Tov's position germane to this discussion. If you have something specific you are thinking of, please cite it and I'll review it... otherwise this is an irrelevant point.

Kind regards,
Jonathan


[1] Bart D. Ehrman, The Orthodox Corruption of Scripture: The Effect of Early Christological Controversies on the Text of the New Testament. Updated and with a New Afterword. Oxford University Press, 2011, 266-71.
 
my book is a comparison of the Masoretic Text and the Septuagint versions available in English pertaining to chronology.
I would be interested in reading your 'labor of love' when it is finished. The genealogical information in Genesis 5 and 11 are obvious points of divergence between the two. Do you also get into the different synchronisms in 1-2 Kings vs. 3-4 Reigns?

Kind regards,
Jonathan
 
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