Thursday, 1 September 2016

Beza Vindicated

James White said in his book The King James Only Controversy:

“Beza did introduce... “conjectural emendations,” that is, changes made to the text without any evidence from the manuscripts. A few of these changes made it into the KJV, the most famous being Revelation 16:5, “O Lord, which art, and wast, and shalt be” rather than the actual reading, “who art and who wast, O Holy one.”
Well Mr James White, it looks like Theodore Beza wasn't the first to have and shalt be (G. ἐσόμενος; L. eris) at Revelation 16:5!

Revelation 16:5 in the 1549 Ethiopic (Geez) Bible

Brian Walton (1600 – 1661) was an English priest, divine and scholar. He published a massive polyglot between 1654 and 1657 in nine languages: Hebrew, Chaldee, Samaritan, Syriac, Arabic, Persian, Ethiopic, Greek and Latin. Among his collaborators were James Ussher, John Lightfoot and Edward Pococke, Edmund Castell, Abraham Wheelocke and Patrick Young, Thomas Hyde and Thomas Greaves. It has been considered as the last and most scholarly ever printed.

Walton's Polyglot

In Revelation 16:5 his 1549 Ethiopian (Known today as Amharic, and formerly as Ge'ez) version has a Latin translation with the words:

Justus es Domine, et rectus qui fuisti et eris,..
Eris is a Latin Verb that is the second-person singular future active indicative of sum "you will be"

The Latin translation in the Polyglot says et eris - shalt be!

Herman Hoskier also noted this. So in addition to the early commentaries on the book of Revelation in Latin, the reading found in Revelation 16:5 "and shalt be" is also that of the Ethiopian Version. The early 20th century textual critic Herman Hoskier cited the Ethiopic version as containing the phrase "and shalt be" in Revelation 16:5. This information is found in Hoskier's 'Concerning the Text of the Apocalypse: Collation of All Existing Available Greek Documents with the Standard Text of Stephen's Third Edition Together with the Testimony of the Versions, Commentaries and Fathers', 2 volumes, London: Bernard Quaritch, 1929.

Hoskier mentions Justus es, Domine, et Rectus qui fuisti et eris

The Ethiopic version as cited by Herman Hoskier in Latin:

  • "...Justus es, Domine, et Rectus qui fuisti et eris".

Translation of Ethiopic from Latin =

  • "Just thou art, and Righteous that was and will be".:

King James Version

  • "Thou art righteous, O Lord, which art, and wast, and shalt be..."

For more information see the Textus Receptus website on Revelation 16:5.

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