Introduction

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The doctrine of the divine preservation of the Scriptures is, indeed, taught in the Bible.  In addition, divine preservation is accompanied by historical acts of men.  One of these acts in our times is the development of Manuscript Hermeneutics.  We note that the “modern” Bibles have no manuscript hermeneutics and no other methodical and reliable approach to identifying the true text of the Bible in the languages in which it was first written.

Manuscript Hermeneutics is:

The simplified science of determining the true text of the Bible in the languages in which the Bible was first written.

Manuscript Hermeneutics is based on the complex science of Biblical Textual Calculus, which has its roots in the science of Biblical Textual Criticism.  Manuscript Hermeneutics was developed by Dr. Michael J. Bisconti over a period of more than forty years, building on the aforementioned sciences and on the works of past and present scholars and scholar scientists.

Principles of Manuscript Hermeneutics

The private scholar (a person who masters a field of study without attaining professional status) can use Manuscript Hermeneutics to identify what original language text is the true original language text for any verse of Scripture.  The cumulative weight of the application of all of the principles determines the true text and not the individual weight of a single principle.  The number following a principle indicates the priority it is to be given among the principles listed.  A principle followed by an “S” is a doctrinal principle accepted by all Christians.  However, the true text can be identified without the “S Principles.”  In this case, the identification process will require the application of more principles.  The true text for most verses will be identified without the need for the application of all of the principles of Manuscript Hermeneutics.

Caution:  If your application of the principles of Manuscript Hermeneutics results in a text that is not in perfect agreement with MT9-TR-CSR9, the text used by the King James Bible Translators, you have made a mistake in applying the principles of Manuscript Hermeneutics.

I.  Accessibility Principle (1)

It is not beyond the ability of the private scholar (a person who masters a field of study without attaining professional status) to understand the principles for determining the true text of the Bible in the languages in which the Bible was first written.

II.  Age Principle (2)

A young manuscript might be a reliable copy of an old manuscript and an old manuscript might be an unreliable copy of an old manuscript.  This leads to the following principle:

The age of a manuscript has no bearing on its correctness.

III.  Later Majority Principle (3)

If there are fewer older copies of a manuscript, it is because such copies did not survive usage.  On the other hand, if there are more, older copies of a manuscript, it is because such copies were not used or not used as much.  This leads to the following principle:

The text supported by the greater number of later manuscripts is the reliable text.

IV.  Quotation Principle (4)

If there are fewer copies of older writings that quote a manuscript, it is because such writings did not survive usage.  On the other hand, if there are more, older copies of writings quoting a manuscript, it is because they were not used or not used as much.  This leads to the following principle:

The text supported by the lesser number of older writings that quote the text is the reliable text.

V.  Gospel Principle (5, S)

The manuscript that teaches the death, burial, and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ is the correct manuscript.

VI.  Gospel Consistency Principle (6, S)

The manuscript that teaches doctrine consistent with the death, burial, and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ is the correct manuscript.

VII.  Probability Principle (7)

A probability of truth is always to be rejected because it leaves the scholar with a conclusion that has no certainty.

VIII.  Style Consistency Principle (8)

The manuscript that is consistent with the style of writing of the author is the reliable text.

IX.  Culture Consistency Principle (9)

The manuscript that is consistent with the style of writing of the culture is the reliable text.

Advanced Principles

  • Morality Principle
  • Value Principle
  • Logic Principle
  • Truth Principle
  • History Principle
  • Contradiction Principle
  • Fusion Principle
  • Greek Standard Principle
  • Hebrew Standard Principle
  • Psychological Principle
  • Modernity Principle
  • Evidentiary Principle
  • Aramaic Standard Principle