The Sermon On The Mount: What Its Textual Transformation Discloses Concerning The Historicity Of The Book Of Mormon -- By: Stan Larson
TrinJ 7:1 (Spring 1986) p. 23
The Sermon On The Mount:
What Its Textual Transformation Discloses
Concerning The Historicity Of The Book Of Mormon
Marriott Library, University Of Utah
This study will focus attention on the textual transformation of the sermon on the mount from the Textus Receptus to today in order to establish what was originally written by Matthew, and eliminate any later additions and alterations. After carefully establishing the original text in eleven passages from the sermon on the mount, the paper compares the version of the sermon on the mount in the Book of Mormon (3 Nephi 12:1–14:27) with a view to crediting or discrediting the historicity of its claims to have been delivered in the new world by the resurrected Christ.
The very first printed Greek NT was completed in January of 1514 as the fifth volume of the massive Complutensian Polyglot under the direction of Cardinal Ximenes, but due to the delay in receiving approval from Pope Leo X it was not actually published until about 1522. It had little effect on the early printed text of the Greek NT. The reason for this is that there was another edition that was the first published Greek NT, even though it was printed two years later. This was the 1516 Novum Instrumentum of the Dutch humanist scholar, Desiderius Erasmus. For the sermon on the mount, the printer set type directly from the twelfth century minuscule 2, to which Erasmus added some corrections from the fifteenth century minuscule 817 (which consists of Theophylact’s commentary on the gospels) and a few more corrections from the extremely valuable (but little used) text of the twelfth century minuscule 1. Erasmus issued subsequent editions in 1519, 1522, 1527 and 1535 with the traditional title Novum Testamentum. This popular printed text crystallized for posterity that particular form of the Greek text found in the Erasmian MSS, or rather, in the MSS which Erasmus actually used. The sumptuously printed third edition of Robert Stephanus in 1550 had the text of Erasmus along with the first critical apparatus of selected variant readings in the inner margin. Numerous folio and octavo editions were published by Theodore Beza from 1565 to 1604. The 1611 King James Version (hereinafter KJV) was primarily based on Beza’s 1598 edition of the Greek NT. The printers Bonaventure and Abraham Elzevir published Greek NT editions in 1624 and 1633. It is this last edition which first employed the term Textus Receptus (hereinafter TR), meaning “Received Text.” Since the text in these various editions is substantially the same, and since for the sermon on the mount there are no differences between Stephanus 1550 and Elzevir 1633,1 one can use the term TR to
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