Posted by: proregno | November 16, 2020

Bronne oor ‘n Gereformeerde presupposionele Goddelike bewaring van die Woord vs die modernistiese (evolusionistiese?) benadering tot tekskritiek

Bronne oor ‘n Gereformeerde presupposionele vs

die modernistiese (evolusionistiese?) benadering tot tekskritiek

Julle mag by die woord wat ek julle beveel, niks byvoeg nie, en julle mag daar niks van weglaat nie; sodat julle die gebooie van die Here julle God mag onderhou, wat ek julle beveel.Want ek betuig aan elkeen wat die woorde van die profesie van hierdie boek hoor: As iemand by hierdie dinge byvoeg, dan sal God oor hom die plae byvoeg waarvan in hierdie boek geskrywe is.” (Re 22:18)” (Deut 4:2; Op. 22:18)

“Ons bely dat hierdie Woord van God nie deur die wil van ‘n mens gestuur of voortgebring is nie, maar die heilige mense van God het dit, deur die Heilige Gees gedrywe, gespreek, soos die heilige Petrus sê. Daarna het God deur sy besondere sorg vir ons en ons saligheid sy knegte (profete en apostels) beveel om sy geopenbaarde Woord op skrif te stel en Hy self het met sy vinger die twee tafels van die wet geskrywe. Daarom noem ons sulke geskrifte die heilige en Goddelike Skrif.” (Nederlandse Geloofsbelydenis artikel 3, Die geskrewe Woord van God)

“Die Ou Testament in Hebreeus (wat die moedertaal van God se volk in die ou tyd was) en die Nuwe Testament in Grieks (die taal wat algemeen bekend was aan die volkere toe dit geskryf is), is onmiddellik deur God geïnspireer en deur sy buitengewone sorg en voorsienigheid in alle eeue
suiwer bewaar en is daarom betroubaar
; sodat in alle godsdiensgeskille die Kerk hom uiteindelik daarop sal beroep. Maar omdat die ganse volk van God nie almal die oorspronklike tale ken nie, wat reg het op en belang het by die Skrifte en wat beveel word om hulle in die vrees van God te lees en te ondersoek, daarom moet hulle vertaal word in die volkstaal van elke nasie tot wie dit kom, dat die Woord van God oorvloediglik in almal kan woon en hulle Hom op geskikte wyse mag dien, en deur die volharding en vertroosting van die Skrifte hoop kan hê.” (Die Westminster Konfessie, hoofstuk 1.8, Oor die Heilige Skrif)

“God, die hoogste regter, het nie net gesorg dat sy Woord, wat die ‘krag van God (is) tot redding is vir elkeen wat glo’, deur Moses, die profete en die apostels neergeskryf is nie, maar het ook toegesien en dit gekoester met sy vaderlike sorg vandat dit neergeskryf is tot die huidige tyd, sodat dit nie deur Satan se geslepenheid of bedrog van die mens korrup kon word nie. Daarom skryf die kerk dit tereg toe aan Sy unieke genade en goedheid wat sy het en tot aan die einde van die wêreld sal hê, ‘n ‘profetiese woord wat baie vas is’ en die ‘Heilige Skrif’ waarvan, al sal die hemel en aarde vergaan, sal nie een uit een, hoewel hemel en aarde vergaan, ‘sa; nie een jota of titteltjie’ ooit verbygaan nie.” (The Formula Consensus Helvetica 1675, Canon 1)

“Vraag 123: Wat is die tweede bede? Antwoord: Laat u koninkryk kom. Dit is: Regeer ons so deur u Woord en Gees dat ons ons hoe langer hoe meer aan U onderwerp. Bewaar u kerk en laat dit groei. Vernietig die werke van die duiwel, elke mag wat teen U opstaan, en alle kwaadwillige planne wat teen u heilige Woord bedink word totdat die volkomenheid van u ryk kom waarin U alles in almal sal wees.” (Die Heidelbergse Kategismus, Sondag 48)

(Nota: U moet asb die vorige artikel as inleiding op die grond/brontekste debat van die 2020 vertaling en baie ander vertalings wat met mekaar verskil, eers lees voordat u hierdie opvolg artikel lees.)

Inleiding

Vir elke kind van God, vir die ware kerke deur die eeue, vir alle gelowiges, ook ons as gereformeerde gelowiges, wat bewe vir sy Woord (Jes. 66:2), is ‘wat’ presies die Woord is, dus, waaruit die Woord bestaan, ‘n saak van groot erns. Die verse hierbo waarsku ons ook om nie by die Woord by te voeg nie, of weg te neem nie, dit het groot gevolge, die plae van God kan ons tref.

Tot en met die einde van die 19de eeu, was die kerk, ten minste die gereformeerde kerke basies eens oor dit wat ons hierbo bely, in navolging van die Skrif, naamlik, dat:

1. nie net dat die oorspronklike geskrifte (autographa) van die Ou en die Nuwe Testament, wat dus direk deur die profete, apostels, ens. geskryf (insluitende Paulus) is, onfeilbaar goddelik direk geinspireer is nie (maar nou nie meer bestaan nie), maar baie belangrik ook:

2. dat die afskrifte (apographa) wat daarvan gemaak is deur die eeue, ook genoem ‘manuskripte’ (‘hand-geskrewe’, Jordaan, G.J.C. 1998. Tekskritiek van die Griekse Nuwe Testament. ‘n Eerste Ontmoeting. Ongepubliseerde klasdiktaat. Potchefstroom: TSP., bl. 1), deur God se voorsienigheid en besonder sorg bewaar gebly het deur alle eeue vir sy kerk, vandat dit opgeteken is die eerste keer oorspronklik (eerste eeu nC, wat die NT betref), daarna kopieë/afskrifte gemaak is, en dit oorgelewer is deur alle eeue deur ‘n verskeidenheid afskrifte, tot vandag toe.

Dus, ons ‘het’ die Woord van God in die afskrifte deur al die eeue, ons soek dit nie nog nie, ons moet dit nie nog ‘vasstel’ deur ‘nuwe ontdekkings’ of die ‘besondere gawe of amp van moderne tekskritici’ nie.

Dr. John Robinson in sy doktorale tesis, ‘The Doctrine of Scripture in the Seventeenh Century Reformed Theology‘ (1971) some dit as volg op wat die gereformeerde standpunt is volgens die gereformeerde belydenisskrifte van die 16de en 17de eeue in navolging van die ‘presupposisies’ (veronderstellings) vanuit die Skrif:

“Reformed theologians were not arguing for the obvious authenticity of the no longer extant autographs. Instead, they were claiming authenticity for the received texts which they referred to as the ‘authentic sources,’ the ‘first editions,’ the ‘Greek and Hebrew originals,’ the ‘original texts.’ The authenticity of the Greek and Hebrew ‘sources’ was held to be absolute both in form and content . . . In summary, the Reformed theologians held that only the received Hebrew text of the Old Testament and the Greek text of the New Testament were authentic, authoritative editions of the Scriptures.”

Dr. David Allen vat dit as volg saam:

“In other words,
• They did not appeal to non-extant autographa. They appealed to the Greek and Hebrew texts that they knew, and devoted themselves to translating them into modern languages to give the Word of God to the people; and they used these translations as the Word of God with divine, and infallible authority.
• No one at the time of the Reformation was so foolhardy as to affirm that the ‘Canon of Scripture is . . . solely and alone in the original autographs of the inspired authors, which have not one of them been in the possession of the Church since the second century A.D. It is altogether irrational to take the position that the inerrant Bible is solely and alone in the original autographs which no one has seen since the Church had a Canon, and which no one can ever see.”

Hierdie belydenis deur die geloof in God se voorsienige bewaring van sy Woord ook in die afskrifte deur die eeue, vanaf die eerste eeue en daarna, het aan die einde van die 19de eeu onder groot aanval gekom, in so ‘n mate, dat onder gelowiges oor die algemeen, maar ook gereformeerdes onderling, erg verdeeld ontstaan het en vandag nog voortduur, sodat ons vanaf die 20ste eeu sit met baie vertalings wat by heelwat tekste met mekaar verskil, dat sekere verse weggelaat is of nie te vinde is in die nuwe moderne vertalings nie (bv. NAV, BDV, NIV, NASB, ESV) teenoor die ouer vertalings wat daardie verse nog steeds het (bv. KJV, Statevertaling, OAV).

Prof. Barry Gritters (PRCA), vat die groot verandering wat plaasgevind het as volg saam, in sy insiggewende artikel, A Critical Analysis of the KJV and Some Modern English Translations (2011):

“The issue here regards which old manuscripts (copies of the Hebrew and Greek originals) are used to make the English translation. There are differences in the old copies of the Hebrew and Greek texts and it must be determined which is the proper manuscript to use.

About 120 years ago, to oversimplify this, two very old Greek manuscripts were found—one in Egypt and one in the Vatican—that differed fairly significantly from the copies that were used to translate the Bible both for centuries before and centuries after the Reformation; differed from the manuscripts used to translate the KJV. These old manuscripts are centuries older than the others that had been known since the early church era.

To oversimplify the debate, the modern assumption is that “if it is older it must be better.” In the prefaces of the new translations may be heard the claim that the KJV translators did not have the advantage of modern research—that is, the advantage of textual criticism based on these older manuscripts.

There are many good books written on the subject of the original manuscripts of the Bible. My recommendation would be to start with reading Wilbur Pickering, Jakob VanBruggen, or Edward F. Hills.

Suffice it to say that “older is better” is a fallacy, answered well in the scholarly books written about these manuscripts. To go further than the works of the three authors listed above, one may consult the library of Theodore Letis, and the works of Letis himself, who specialized on this question of manuscripts.

Second, there is good reason to believe the argument of the providential preservation of God’s Word, that is, that God preserved His Word in its original integrity, and would not have allowed it to be lost for almost 2000 years. The argument includes a point that rings true to this writer: God would not allow His church to hold the Scriptures without the church having any confidence that what she holds is indeed the Word of God; or, worse, that the only way to be confident that it is the Word of God is to hear experts, textual critics, say so.”

So, sedert die twee ou manuskripte ontdek is (genaamd Codex Vaticanus en Codex Sinaiticus), wat heelwat verskil met die bestaande Textus Receptus en Bisantynse tekstradisies, het basies twee of drie verskillende ‘tekskritiese’ tradisies of standpunte ook ontwikkel (daar is natuurlik ook baie variasies tussen die verskillende groepe en verskillende benaderings). Dit kan as volg opgesom word soos verwoord in hierdie artikel, The Ecclesiastical Text:

“Regarding the preservation of the Greek New Testament, there are two main schools of thought: (1) the Critical Texts, and (2) the Ecclesiastical (or, Traditional, Byzantine, Majority, etc.) Texts.

(1) Three or so Critical Texts were discovered in the 1800′s in Egypt.  Most Bible versions are based off of them today.  They disagree with 8% of the text of scripture that had been preserved in the Ecclesiastical Texts that the Church had been using for 1800 years.  This significantly affects the Doctrine of Inspiration, as many verses you learned in Sunday School, according to the Critical Texts, are not the Word of God. 

(2) The Ecclesiastical (Majority, Byzantine, etc) Texts comprise about 5,000 manuscripts from across the world, and have been the traditional text that the Church has always used.  The King James Version (Textus Receptus) comes from this tradition.  The reformers and puritans were universally agreed in their affirmation of the Ecclesiastical Text, not for circumstantial reasons, but because of scriptural reasons.  Below are resources that defend the majority, Church history view.”

(nota: die twee standpunte word ook soms genoem die ‘Bisantynse Tekstradisie [Ekklesiastiese/Oorgelewerde/Aanvaarde teks] v die Alexandrynse Tekstradisie [Kritiese teks/NA-UBS teks])

 Dit bring my uiteindelik by die groot doel van hierdie artikel van my:

Om bronne aan te beveel oor ‘n Gereformeerde (vantilliaanse?) presupposionele benadering en standpunt oor moderne tekskritiek en opnuut te vra wat is die wesentlike presupposisies/veronderstellings wat onderlliggend is aan hierdie twee benaderings tot die Teks van die Woord, spesifiek die NT waarop ons artikel fokus.

Ek is van mening, dat ons hier in Suid-Afrika hoofsaaklik en oordonderend, soos in die res van die wêreld, veral vanaf die 20ste eeu meestal net blootgestel is aan die eenkant van die debat, veral soos Bruce Metzger dit gepopuliseer het en dit basies omtrent deur alle gereformeerde kerke en teologiese skole gevolg is. Ja, die Kritiese Teks standpunt het die ‘textus receptus’ (aanvaarde tekssiening) van ons tyd geword, en weë jou as jy daarmee verskil, jy word uitgekryt as ‘onwetenskaplik, outyds, kjv-only, onkundig, ens. deur sommige ‘moderne tekskritici’, wat baie seker is oor hul nuwe ontdekkings en ‘wetenskaplike gereedskap’ teenoor die of ‘korrupte en/of ‘onkundige’ standpunt van ons gereformeerde konfessies en voorvaders van die verlede oor die Teks van God se Woord.

Ja, daar is baie wat nederig die standpunt van die Kritiese Teks bevorder en aanhang, maar baie se standpunt is eenvoudig: die Teks wat die kerk deur die eeue gehad het, veral die Textus Receptus as onder-afdeling van die Meerderheidsteks (die Oorgelewerde Teks) is op baie plekke korrup, en nou is dit die taak van die ‘moderne tekskritiek’ om die Woord ‘so na as moontlik aan die oorspronklike te herstel’ (Jordaan, 1998: 2).

So, wat die moderne tekskritiek bely, na my mening in stryd met dit wat die gereformeerde belydenis bely, is dat die kerk van die Here het nie vir 1500-1800 die ‘oorspronklike’ Woord gehad nie, of ten minste die ‘hele’ Woord nie, daar is volgens hulle dele bygevoeg of weggelaat. Die oorspronklike, of ‘nader aan die oorspronklike'(?), is dus eers herontdek met die twee ouer manuskripte.

Die geweldige rewolusionêre presupposisie en voorveronderstelling met hierdie standpunt, as die moderne tekskritici konsekwent is, is dan moet hul erken, dat in die toekoms kan ons dalk nog manuskripte ontdek (uit die 2de eeu nC?) wat vir ons wys dat bv. Joh. 3:16 of Op. 22: 18 was nie deel van die oorspronklike nie, en dan moet dit ook uit of wegverklaar word in ‘n voetnota?

Met ander woorde, die kerk van die Here (evolueer?) al meer na die ‘oorspronklike’ Woord van God, ons ‘het’ nie God se finale volle of hele Woord nie, is die wesentlike veronderstelling van die moderne tekskritici, waaronder ook baie regsinnige (ortodokse) gereformeerde gelowiges tel.

Sien die bronne wat hierbo en onder vermeld gaan word, om te sien hoe ‘n regsinnige calvinistiese teoloog soos BB Warfield ‘n groot paradigmaskuif bevorder het toe hy ‘kritiekloos’ die Kritiese Teks benadering omhels het, en omtrent die hele gereformeerde wêreld het gevolg, waaronder die ‘gereformeerde baptis’, James White, een van die grootste verdedigers en aanhangers is van hierdie benadering. Sien sy (soms spottende) opmerkings oor die gereformeerde belydenis en teoloë se standpunt hier:

The Ecclesiastical Text Movement

Ek stem saam met White oor die (vanselfsprekende) siening dat geen hervormer, kerktradisie, belydenis, ens. volmaak of onfeilbaar is nie (sien NGB art. 7), maar dit is duidelik dat sy benadering is bloot die teenoorgestelde van hul wat met hom verskil, nl. hy aanvaar bloot die ‘Moderne textus receptus’ van ons tyd as die norm, die Kritiekse Teks, dat ‘ouer’ (twee manuskripte) is vanselfsprekend beter as die ‘oorweldigend baie’ (van die Oorgelewerde, Aanvaarde of Ekklesiastiese Teks), sonder om enige begronding te gee wat mens oortuig dit is so.

Ek stem ook saam dat oor en weer in die debat karikature van mekaar se argumente gemaak kan word, bv.

Nie almal wat ten gunste is van die Oorgelewerde Teks is ‘KJV Only’ nie, daar moet ‘n duidelike onderskeid gemaak word tussen om te sê, bv. “ek glo die KJV of die OAV is die beste mees betroubare vertaling van die Bybel”, en hulle wat meen ‘n sekere vertaling is onfeilbaar en kan nie verbeter word nie.

Aan die anderkant, ‘almal’ wat ten gunste van die Kritiese Teks is, is nie on-ortodoks of ongereformeerd nie, dalk inkonsekwent, maar ‘hulle’ verwerp nie almal die Triniteit nie, of Jesus se Godheid nie, dit is bloot nie waar nie. Daar is baie regsinnige gereformeerde broers wat die Kritiese Teks benadering volg (of sommige noem dit ook ‘n ‘eklektiese’ benadering tussen al die tekstradisies), omdat hul heel waarskynlik glo dat die Here in sy voorsienigheid en sorg ook die twee manuskripte later in die geskiedenis gegee het, om ons juis te help om die Woord te herstel weg van die ‘korrupte teks’ oorlewering wat in die geskiedenis plaasgevind het. Amper so iets soos Josia wat eeue later die wet ‘herontdek’ het?

Vergelyk ook bv. Joh. 1:18 in die OAV en die Direkte Vertaling, die laaste vertaling is gebaseer op die Kritiese Teks en het die woorde ‘self God’ met verwysing na Jesus as God, terwyl die Oorgelewerde Teks, die Textus Receptus dit nie het nie. Beteken dit nou die OAV is ‘anti-trinitaries’, nee, natuurlik nie, dit is ‘n verskillende lesing op grond van verskillende tekstradisie.

Ja, daar was en kan sommige ketters wees wat deur die eeue doelbewus God se Woord wou korrupteer, die aanslag op Jesus se Godheid, die leer van die Drie-eenheid (sien NGB artikels 8-11), die historiese werklikheid van kwade planne teen God se Woord waarteen ons in Sondag 48 van die HK (sien hierbo) bid, en dalk was dit die poging met die herontdekking van die 2 manuskripte. Maar ek is self nie heeltemal oortuig daarvan nie, dalk is ek inkonsekwent of nog te onkundig oor die onderwerp, mag die Here my vergewe as ek te verdraagsaam is oor die opkoms van die Kritiese Tekstradisie en Moderne Teksritiek beweging, maar my eie standpunt is nog steeds wat ek reeds in hierdie artikel meer volledig verduidelik het:

God se voorsienigheid, die kanon en die grond/bronteks

Samevattend stel ek dit soos volg:

1 Ons glo dat God in sy voorsienigheid vir ons 66 boeke gegee het, wat die kerk deur sy Gees ontvang het in die geskiedenis.

Implikasie: daar sal nie deur die geskiedenis ‘n 67ste boek wees om by die kanon te voeg nie (al ontdek ons dalk nog een van bv. Paulus se ander Korinthiërs briewe).

2 Ons glo dat God in sy Voorsienigheid reeds deur die eeue betroubare manuskripte gegee het van die oorspronklike. Ons soek nie nog ‘beter’ of ‘oudste’ of die ‘beste manuskripte’ om by die ‘ware Woord’ uit te kom nie.

Implikasie: daar sal nie deur die geskiedenis vir ons manuskripte gegee word wat die voriges verbeter in die sin dat dit sekere dele weglaat of byvoeg nie (die waarskuwing van Deut. 4:2 en Op. 22:18 word ter harte geneem).

3 Tekskritiek en vertalingsimplikasie: die ouer manuskripte wat die kerke deur die eeue gehad het (Aanvaarde of Oorgelewerde Teks) is die grondteks wat gebruik behoort te word vir vertalings (ook die nuwer vertaling wat nou aan gewerk word deur die Bybelgenootskap. Nota nou bygevoeg: die BDV of 2020 vertaling het dit ongelukkig nie gedoen nie, hul volg die Kritiese Teks benadering), terwyl daar wel in voetnotas bloot vermeld kan word dat manuskripte wat later ontdek is, wel hierdie of daardie vers in het of nie in het nie, sonder om ‘n waarde-oordeel of uitspraak oor die vaste kanon/manuskripte te maak, in navolging van die Skrif, soos ons dit bely in NGB artikel 2-7 (asook die ander gereformeerde belydenisskrifte hierbo).

Die gras verdor, die blom verwelk; maar die woord van onse God hou stand in ewigheid. – Jesaja 40:8″

Ons kort dus ‘n Afrikaanse vertaling in die toekoms wat uit die Meerderheidsteks gemaak word (waarvan die Textus Receptus ‘n deel is, wat wel in sekere plekke verskil, maar oorweldigend oorteenstem. Die Kritiese Teks verskil baie met hierdie twee tekstradisies), en bloot in die voetnotas vermeld watter verskillende lesings daar is in ander tekstradisies/manuskripte (die NKJV is so ‘n voorbeeld van ‘neutrale’ teksnota benadering, sien ook die verskillende ‘Majority Text‘ uitgawes en benaderings wat dit navolg).

Ek glo hierdie benadering laat dit toe dat God se voorsienige bewaring en sorg oor alle eeue strek, dus nie net tot die 18de eeu nie, ook nie net vanaf die 18de eeue nie, maar geld vir alle eeue tot die laaste dag.

Ekself stem daarom meer saam met Douglas Wilson, ‘n voorstaander van die Ekklesiastiese/Bisantynse Teks, se versigtige benadering:

Byzantine or Alexandrian Text?

What do you make of the errors of the KJV?

Wat belangrik is, is dat almal wat bewe voor sy Woord, albei standpunte en tradisies deeglik sal bestudeer in die lig van die Skrif (Hand. 17:11) se ‘presupposisies’ aangaande die Here se Woord, biddend.

Soos hierbo genoem, is die Kritiese Teks (Westcott-Hort en later Nestle-Aland uitgawes van die ‘Alexandrianse Tekstipe en tradisie) vandag die hedendaagse ‘textus receptus’, die Aanvaarde teks en standpunt wat in 90 persent gevalle gevolg word in alle moderne vertalings. Daarom wil ek graag lesers aanbeveel om die anderkant te bestudeer en te lees, veral die gereformeerde skrywers wat ek hier vermeld, wat ook doktorsgrade het in tekskritiek en ander belangrike terreine.

Moet u nie laat afskrik deur sommige (nie almal nie!) se hoon en spot van die Ekklesiastiese Teks tradisie soos bely in ons geformeerde belydenisskrifte nie. Soos u hierdie bronne lees gaan u ook baie mites (veral oor Erasmus) hoor en hoe dit reeds weerlê is, misverstande oor sekere standpunte, wat is wesentlik op die spel oor hierdie saak, opnuut leer oor verskillende standpunte, opnuut ons gereformeerde vaders se goeie stryd waardeer vir die suwere bewaring van God se Woord, ens.

‘n Saak het altyd twee kante, bestudeer opnuut albei kante, lees nie net Metzger, die vader van moderne tekskritiek nie, maar lees ook wat sy gereformeerd-konfessionele tydsgenoot, ook ‘n beoefenaar van tekskritiek, ook ‘n gekwalifseerde teoloog geskryf het oor die saak, EF Hills. Moet nie net glo wat Westcott en Hort geskryf het nie, lees ook hul tydgenoot, JW Burgon, wat met hulle verskil het. Lees en luister nie net na James White nie (Kritiese Teks), maar ook na sy tydgenoot, die gereformeerde Theodore Letis, asook dr. Jacob van Bruggen, gereformeerde Nuwe Testamentikus, en baie andere wat nie bloot met die hoofstroom tekskritiek saamgaan nie.

En baie belangrik, lees die oorspronklike bronne self, nie die (ongelukkig) baie karikature wat sommiges van mekaar se standpunte maak oor en weer nie, sien HK Sondag 43, wat vir ons almal geld, ongeag watter kant van die debat ons staan.

Hier is die verskillende gereformeerde bronne om te raadpleeg, wat duidelik wys dat die pro-textus receptus, pro-bisantynse teks standpunt geensins net ‘n onderwerp is van ‘n klomp ‘fundamentalistiese baptiste en amerikaners’ was of is nie, maar van geleerde godsvresende gereformeerde teoloë en akademici:

DR. JACOB VAN BRUGGEN: De ballingschap van de Byzantijnse tekst

“For more than a century the Byzantine Text-type has been in exile. Meanwhile, endeavours to re-establish the original text o f the New Testament have not succeeded. The question thus arises whether it is necessary to keep the banished text silent forever. This article describes the revival of a plea for listening also to the Byzantine Text-type in restoring the ancient text. Arguments against this text in exile are evaluated. Two points in favour of the banished text are introduced: I. Its readings are nearly always supported by one or more o f the other text-types: why should the accomplices go scot-free? 2. Its readings have more than once the flavour of
authenticity: why should we leave innocent readings in exile?”

Sien ook dr. van Bruggen se ‘The Ancient Text of the New Testament

“There is plenty of work for Reformed textual criticism. She, how​ever, directs her attention to defining a conviction and does not lose her​self, like the modern textual criticism, in a quest for the unknown. How many people will still wish to present themselves in the 20th century for this work on the preservation of the text of the New Testament? How many will still have interest in this work? This question can not easily be answered by people, we can only conclude with the absolute certainty, that the ancient text of God’s inspired Word both now and in the future will remain an object of God’s special care.

This certainty creates for us the obligation to treat the text that has been handed down to us with great care. This obligation lies in the confession of the Reformation (Westminster Confession chapter 1, 8):

“The Old Testament in Hebrew (which was the native Language of the People of God of old), and the NewTestament in Greek (which at the time of writing of it was most generally known to the Nations), being immediately, inspired by God, and by his singular Care and Providence kept pure in all Ages, are therefore authentical: so as in all Contro​versies of Religion, the Church is finally to appeal into them.”

DR. THEODORE LETIS RESOURCES: Articles, Lectures and Books

  1. Chapter 1:  B. B. Warfield, Common-Sense Philosophy & Biblical Criticism
  2. Chapter 2:  The Protestant Dogmaticians and the Late Princeton School on the Status of the Sacred Apographa
  3. Chapter 6: The Reformation and the Philosophy of Vernacular Translations of the Bible

Video lesings van dr. Letis

1. The Quest for the Historical Text, The ESV, and The Jesus Seminar

Hierdie lesing is fundamenteel om te verstaan dat ‘moderne tekskritiek nie ‘n neutrale vakgebied is nie. Net soos beide skeppingsleerders en evolusioniste beide dieselfde ‘bewyse’ bestudeer, is dit hul veronderstellings (presupposisies) wat die groot verskil is en maak in elkeen se ‘bevindings’. Dieselfde is die geval met ‘tekskritiek’, almal bestudeer dieselfde manuskripte, maar hul vertekpunte van en oor die Bybel bepaal hul ‘tekskritiese’ bevindinge en gevolgtrekkinge.

2. John William Burgon Rescued, Resuscitated, and Reconsidered

3. Edward Freer Hills: The Life and Legacy of a 20th Century Burgonian
Wie van ons weet iets van dr. Hills, hy was ‘n gereformeerd konfessionele man wat onder van die beste van gereformeerde teoloë en apologete gestudeer het, soos ‘n Grecham Machen en Cornelius van Til. Hierdie lesing gee ‘n goeie inleiding en oorsig oor die belang van dr. Hills vir ons gereformeerde siening van tekskritiek.

DR. CORNELIUS VAN TIL and the Textus Receptus

“Having been taught this before I took my first course in Greek NT, I walked into class wearing the spectacles of faith; believing that God had promised to preserve his words (Psalm 12:6-7, 119:89-91; Matt. 5:17-18, etc.) and presupposing that he had actually done that through his singular care and providence [WCF I.8]. Since the modern text-critical model of reasoned eclecticism assumed corruption instead of preservation, it appeared to me as out-of-accord with reality (i.e., as defined by biblical revelation).

I was, of course, not the first man to discover this perceived inconsistency. As I researched the matter, I discovered the writings of Dr. E.F. Hills who was a student of Van Til and well-studied in the field of textual criticism. Having approached and examined the extant manuscript evidence from a vigorously Van Tillian perspective, Hills came to prefer the Textus Receptus over the modern critical text.”

Dr. EF HILLS SOURCES

Edward Freer Hills (1912-1981): Forgotten Pilgrim of the Orthodox Presbyterian Church

Edward F. Hills studied under such OPC pillars as Dr. Machen, Dr. Van Til, Dr. Murray, and Dr. Stonehouse (a time when giants roamed the earth) and he graduated from Westminster Theological Seminary. He went on to become a credentialed text critic who would eventually hold four degrees, two of which were from Ivy League institutions (Yale and Harvard), including a doctorate, and with graduate studies at the University of Chicago.

Hier is die inleiding op sy twee belangrikste werke:

“Edward F. Hills (1912-1981) was born and raised in Oak Park, Illinois. After graduating from high school he attended Yale University where he excelled in the Latin classics and was a Phi Beta Kappa graduating summa cum laude in 1938.

From Yale he entered Westminster Seminary in Philadelphia where he studied under the famous J. Grescham Machen and other well known scholars.

Under the tutelage of Dr. N. B. Stonehouse, he was introduced to the new Greek New Testament of Westcott and Hort, Greek rival of the old Textus Receptus. Hills became exceedingly troubled concerning the significant differences between the two Greek texts. “Had not God inspired His Word?  Had not God promised to preserve it?  How could this newly edited 19th century text displace the one used for centuries by the Church?”

In this same class, however, he also learned that among scholars in England there had been one loud, dissenting voice to this newly praised text, John William Burgon, an Oxford scholar who had opposed Westcott and Hort in the revision committee.

Unfamiliar with this name, Hills wondered, “Who was this Burgon and what was his vociferous objection?” He determined to study this issue himself.

After he obtained the Th.B. Degree from Westminster, he studied at Columbia Seminary in Atlanta, Georgia where he earned the Th.M. From there, he studied at the University of Chicago for two years and transferred to Harvard University where he earned his Th.D. in New Testament text criticism.  

His years of intense research have resulted in two significant books:  The King James Version Defended and Believing Bible Study.  Edward F. Hills has been called the Father of the 20th century renewal of the Textus Receptus.

The King James Defended (aanlyn beskikbaar by die PRCA se webblad)

“Moreover, the time has now come for this present edition to make its unique contribution felt. Unique in that, while Hills was the only recognized, published New Testament text critic to advocate the primacy of the Byzantine text either in his day or in the present, no one since has been more innovative than he was in attempting to integrate his confessional, theological perspective with the discipline of New Testament text criticism.

This is a taboo that even the recent Majority Text advocates have attempted
not to transgress, preferring to work from within a purely scientific framework. But Hills’ training under J. Gresham Machen, John Murray, R. B. Kuiper and most especially, Cornelius Van Til, would not allow him to rest content with the neutral method to which he had been initiated at the University of Chicago and Harvard. Kuiper recognized the value of this integrational approach to a highly specialized discipline, in which few
confessing evangelicals had ever distinguished themselves …..

It is evident that Dr. Hills is entitled to a hearing because of his scholarship. I think it no less evident that he deserves a respectful hearing because of his theological convictions. This is not just another book on New Testament Textual Criticism. On the contrary, its approach to that theme is decidedly unique. Dr. Hills founds his criticism of the New Testament text squarely and solidly on the historic doctrines of the divine inspiration and providential preservation of Holy Scripture, and it is his firm conviction that this is the only proper approach. Hence, he not only differs radically with those critics who have a lower evaluation of the Bible, but is also sharply critical of those scholars whose evaluation of the Bible is similar to his but who have, in his estimation, been persuaded that they ought not to stress the orthodox view of Scripture in their study of the New Testament text.

Underlying this position taken by Dr. Hills is a philosophy of truth. God is truth. Because God is one, truth exists as unity. And as God is the author of all diversity, truth also exists as diversity. In a word, there is the truth, and there are also truths. By reason, which is a precious gift of the common grace of God, the unbeliever can, and actually does, grasp many truths. But for the proper integration of truths and knowledge of the truth, faith in God, as He has revealed Himself in Holy Scriptures, is indispensable. Hence, in every department of learning the conclusions of reason must be governed and controlled by the truth which is revealed in God’s Word and is perceived by faith. Any so-called neutral science which seems equally acceptable to the faithful and faithless but sustains no conscious relationship to the Scriptures is by that very token headed in the wrong direction.”

PROTESTANT REFORMED THEOLOGICAL JOURNAL (400th Anniversary of the KJV)

“The Protestant Reformed Churches join those who are celebrating the 400th anniversary of the publication of the King James Version of the Bible. Our celebration of the KJV’s quatercentenary is a thankful celebration; we are thankful to God. We celebrate the King James Bible because it is the version that these churches use in public worship, in the seminary, for family and personal devotions, in our schools, on the mission field, and at consistory meetings, classis, and synod, and so many other functions.

In that respect our celebration of the 400th anniversary of the KJV differs from so many other celebrations. There are many celebrations that have taken place, and some that will yet take place, at which the King James Bible is praised for its literary and historical value. The KJV and Shakespeare’s plays are often regarded as the twin pillars of the ‘golden age’ of English literature. It is pointed out that they have done more to develop the English language than anything written after them. Together they added hundreds of words and expressions to the English language. Many fine things are said about the KJV. It is acclaimed as the ‘noblest monument of English prose.’

But these celebrations—not all of them, but many of them—are a bit like the
building of the tombs of the prophets and the garnishing of the sepulchers of the righteous by the scribes and Pharisees of Jesus’ day. For these are the same people who have jettisoned the KJV from their churches, who have harsh things to say about the practical usefulness of the KJV, and who years ago already have replaced the KJV with one or more of the modern versions.

The Protestant Reformed Churches and the Protestant Reformed Seminary celebrate the anniversary of the publication of the King James Bible because we are genuinely thankful to God for this Bible, because we use this Bible, and because we regard this Bible as the best translation of the Bible in the English language.”

THE ECCLESIASTICAL TEXT

“While no primary doctrine of Christianity is lost in the Critical Texts, many secondary and tertiary doctrines are significantly altered.  See here for a list of 40 Doctrinally Significant Variants. … Thus the doctrine of inspiration, of what is the inspired Word of God, is very much affected.  God places a curse upon those who either cut out or add to the Word of God (Rev. 22:18-19).”

DR. DAVID ALLEN (TBS): THE PRESERVATION OF THE TEXT OF SCRIPTURE

Hierdie is ‘n goeie oorsigtelike en baie leersame lesing van dr. David Allen, aangebied by die ‘British Reformed Fellowship se konferensie (‘The Word of God for our generation’). Aanlyn hier beskikbaar, die teks van die lesing is hier beskikbaar.

Inhoud:

I want us to consider four things:

  1. The Current “Evangelical” Position
  2. The Biblical Doctrine of Preservation
  3. The Historic Reformed Understanding of the Doctrine of Preservation
  4. The Process of Divine Preservation

“Conclusion: Fundamentally there are only two Bibles, and they are based upon two streams of manuscripts. The first stream began with the apostles and the early church and has continued down through the centuries, based upon the precious Hebrew manuscripts and the traditional text of the Greek New Testament. This first stream appears, with very little change, in the Protestant Bibles of many languages, and in the Authorised Version or King James Bible. These manuscripts constitute 96% of all the available Greek manuscripts in existence!

The second stream consists of a very small number of Greek manuscripts (Vaticanus, Sinaiticus, Alexandrine, Ephraim, and Bezae); four of these were rejected by the Reformers, and there is no question that they would have rejected Sinaiticus.

Learned textual critics have concocted a Darwinian myth, namely, that the NT text was lost for more than 1,500 years and then began to be restored by Westcott & Hort, and eventually through the process of textual criticism will evolve a true copy of the original autographs!

Theodore Letis writes, “Warfield, . . . felt the need to shift the locus of authority away from extant editions to a theoretical autographic exemplar, that is, exclusively to the original text of Scripture.” And Warfield echoed the words of Dr. Hodge, “We do not assert that the common text, but only that the original autographic text was inspired.” He abandoned the sacred text of the Church for a future, unobtainable, scientific text reconstructed by the textual experts. One need only look today at the NIV – the product of Warfield’s evangelical, inerrancy-advocating heirs – as one tangible result of Warfield’s theory! Here Mark’s account of the resurrection is treated as non-canonical Dean Burgon writes, “The Church, remember, hath been from the beginning the ‘Witness and Keeper of Holy Writ.” Did not the Divine Author pour out upon her in largest measure, ‘the Spirit of truth,’ and pledge Himself that it should be that Spirit’s special function to ‘guide his children into all truth’? . . . That by a perpetual miracle, Sacred Manuscripts would be protected all down the ages against the depraving influences of whatever sort. . . . But the Church, in her collective capacity hath been perpetually purging herself of those shamefully depraved copies which once everywhere abounded in her pale. . . . Never, however, up to the present hour, hath there been any complete eradication of all traces of the attempted mischief – any absolute getting rid of every depraved copy extant. A few such copies linger on to the present day, ‘What in the
meantime, is to be thought of those blind guides – those deluded ones – who would now, if they could, persuade us to go back to those same codices of which the Church hath already purged herself?”

Bishop Thompson, “Those who from deep conviction of the Traditional Text and the Authorised Version of the Bible, are considered a nuisance, incomprehensible and cranks. But those who stand in the ‘old paths’ (Jer. 6.16) of morality and of evangelical religion are content to bear reproach, confident that the Protestant Reformed theology, built upon the Textus Receptus and the King James Version, will yet be vindicated at the throne of
God.”

PRO REGNO TYDSKRIF: GRONDTEKSTE VAN DIE BYBEL

Inhoud:

  • Oorspronklike manuskripte, die Meerderheidsteks en vertalings, W.G. Crampton
  • God se voorsienigheid, die kanon en die grondteks, S. Le Cornu

“Skrif Alleen: Ons sien weereens hoe belangrik die Hervorming se sola Scriptura leerstuk is, in hierdie geval het dit te doen met hoe ons moet oordeel oor watter vertalings die beste is. Hier is die twee grootste leringe die verbale en die volkome inspirasie van die autographa (manuskripte) en die voorsienige bewaring van die geïnspireerde woorde (Einwechter, 1996:512, 44). Dit is, God het nie net die oorspronklike skrifte “onmiddelik geïnspireer” nie, maar Hy het ook die apographa (afskrifte) “deur alle eeue suiwer gehou” sodat hulle “eg” is.

Volgens die Woord van God –soos in die Westminister Geloofsbelydenis (14:2 xii) opgesom– deur verlossende geloof, “glo ‘n Christen dat wat ookal in die Woord geopenbaar word, op grond van die gesag van God wat sélf daarin spreek, waar is”. In sy Woord vertel God ons dat Hy sy Woord vir alle geslagte voorsienig sal bewaar. Die saak aangaande die egtheid van die geïnspireerde teks, op grond van ‘n meerderheid van die Hebreeuse en Griekse afskrifte, is nie ‘n opsie nie. Die Aleksandrynse Teks, wat dit onvoorwaardelik ontken, moet verwerp word en die Ontvangde Teks moet aanvaar word, soos verklaar word deur E.F. Hills (1956:133):

“Want die Hervorming se Teks (Textus Receptus) is die ware teks van die Griekse Nuwe Testament, dit sal altyd deur die spesiale voorsienigheid van God behoue bly en deur daardie Christene wat wel konsekwent dink hoog geëer word”.”

DEBAT OOR DIE MEES BETROUBARE GRIEKSE NT TEKSFAMILIES: ALEXANDRYNSE VERSUS DIE BISANTYNSE TEKSFAMILIE

“Ons insiens gee die feit dat die Bisantynse familie van manuskripte oor ‘n tydperk van meer as duisend jaar gevind is (400 nC – 1600 nC) en waarvan dit duidelik is dat die akkuraatheid en gehalte van die teks grootliks bewaar is, aan ons die versekering volgens ons geloof in God wat deur sy genadige beskikking en voorsienigheid,[26] die suiwerste vorm van sy Woord vir ons bewaar het.  Dit is nie iets wat ons (afgesien van die feite in hierdie artikel genoem) kan bewys nie, maar wat ons glo.  Daar is logies gesien, geen rede waarom enige iemand kan beweer dat die tradisie van ‘n hoë standaard van reproduksie van die Bybel (400 – 1600 nC), nie ook in die vorige 300 jaar ( 100 – 400 nC) sou gegeld het nie.  Belangrik om weer eens uit te wys, dat selfs Westcott en Hort saamstem dat die Bisantynse manuskripte baie min van mekaar verskil, dws dat die noukeurige bewaring hiervan oor ‘n lang tydperk wetenskaplik aanvaar en erken word.”

GW MILNE: HAS THE BIBLE BEEN KEPT PURE?

“In this book, Garnet Milne brings to us the documented information needful to assess both (1) the historic Protestant and Reformation view of the Holy Scriptures and their purity as we presently possess them; and also (2) how this view has degenerated among the professed heirs of the Protestant Reformation.  Because the Reformed confessions, and especially the Westminster Confession of Faith received by Presbyterians, include creedal / confession statements about this matter, it is important that we understand the meaning intended, and hold one another accountable to prevent any deviation from the biblical doctrine of the Scripture’s Preservation.  The men raised up by the Lord in times of Reformation, and for contributing to the work of the Westminster Assembly during the Second Reformation, did not fail to leave a testimony for us, with substantiated reasons, about this matter.  Author by Author, Controversy by Controversy, Garnet Milne offers us the details.”

Resensies van hierdie belangrike boek:

Garnet Howard Milne’s “Has the Bible Been Kept Pure?”

THE PRESERVATION OF SCRIPTURE

Sien hierdie artikel om te verstaan waar Hodge en Warfield afgedwaal het die van die gereformeerde konfessionele benadering tot die bewaring van die Skrif:

“Richard Muller notes that modern theologians, following Hodge and Warfield, have altered the doctrine of preservation so that inerrancy would only refer to the non-extant original manuscripts and not also the faithful copies we possess today:

“By ‘original and authentic‘ text, the Protestant orthodox do not mean the autographa which no one can possess but the apographa in the original tongue which are the source of all versions. The Jews throughout history and the church in the time of Christ regarded the Hebrew of the Old Testament as authentic and for nearly six centuries after Christ, the Greek of the New Testament was viewed as authentic without dispute (Leigh, Treatise, I.vi; c.f. Owen, Divine Original, in Works vol. 16, pg. 300-301). It is important to note that the Reformed orthodox insistence on the identification of the Hebrew and Greek texts as alone authentic does not demand direct reference to autographa in those languages; the ‘original and authentic text‘ of Scripture means, beyond the autograph copies, the legitimate tradition of Hebrew and Greek apographa. The case for Scripture as an infallible rule of faith and practice and the separate arguments for a received text free from major (i.e., non-scribal) errors rests on an examination of apographa and does not seek the infinite regress of the lost autographa as a prop for textual infallibility.

“A rather sharp contrast must be drawn, therefore, between the Protestant orthodox arguments concerning the autographa and the views of Archibald Alexander Hodge and Benjamin Breckinridge Warfield. This issue must be raised because of the tendency in many recent essays to confuse the two views. Like virtually all exegetes and theologians before and after them, they recognized that the text of Scripture as we now have it contains contradictory and historically problematic statements. They also recognized the futility of harmonizations of the text—but they insisted that all such difficult or erroneous passages ought to be understood as the result of scribal errors. Those who claim an errant text, against the orthodox consensus to the contrary, must prove their case. To claim errors in the scribal copies, the apographa, is hardly a proof: the claim must be proven true of the autographa. The point made by Hodge and Warfield is a logical trap, a rhetorical flourish, a conundrum designed to confound the critics—who can only prove their case for genuine errancy by recourse to a text they do not (and surely cannot) have.”

‘We … receive the Scripture in these languages only [i.e., Hebrew and Greek] as canonical and authentic. And what is more, not only the Autographa, which for many reasons belonging to the most wise counsel of divine providence, were allowed to perish: but in the Apographa as well‘ (Mastricht, Theologia Theoretico-Practica I.ii.10).

Muller, Richard A., Post Reformation Reformed Dogmatics, vol. 2, pg. 414.

This is nothing but an evasive tactic invented to sidestep liberal critics. If the Bible, as it exists today and in our possession, is not infallible, then the foundation of our faith is shaky and the critics have prevailed against us. It’s meaningless to argue for the theoretical infallibility of the non-extant autographa. We must argue for the infallibility for the Bible in our possession.”

GEREFORMEERDE BIJBELSTICHTING: BIJBELVERTALING

“Onder invloed van vondsten van bijbelhandschriften die op belangrijke punten afweken van de textus receptus, zijn geleerden eind negentiende eeuw begonnen aan de reconstructie van een nieuwe grondtekst van het Nieuwe Testament. Hoewel die arbeid nog steeds voortduurt, gaan de meeste nieuwe vertalingen uit van deze kritische tekst (zie een overzicht van de verschillen).

De GBS meent dat er goede redenen zijn om vast te houden aan de textus receptus en wijst alleen al om die reden elke vertaling van het Nieuwe Testament af die gebaseerd is op de kritische tekst. Wij geloven dat de Heere Zelf heeft zorg gedragen voor een getrouw bewaren van Zijn Woord door de eeuwen heen.”

TRINITY BIBLE SOCIETY: TRANSLATIONS

“Today we have over 5,000 manuscripts containing various portions of the New Testament writings. Whereas we have an Old Testament text based upon the standardising work of the Masoretes, we know the New Testament from the great quantity of manuscripts available today. The best and most faithful representation of this text is the Textus Receptus, also known as the
Traditional or Received Text.”

MONERGISM: THE PRESERVATION OF SCRIPTURE

Verskillende standpunte vanuit beide the Oorgelewerde en Kritiese Teks standpunt word weergegee.

CONFESSIONAL BIBLIOLOGY: PRESERVATIONIST TEXTUAL CRITICISM

“The purpose of this site is to promote the view of Scripture set forth in the historic Reformed Confessions and specifically in Chapter 1 of the WCF/2LBCF. This is done through providing resources, blog posts, links to audios, etc.  The site also has a library in which many of the older books can be found for free.

Over the past 200 yrs this view has been abandoned in favor of the modern view originating during the counter-reformation with the Roman Catholic priest, Richard Simon. The Reformers identified the texts that they considered authentic and the final judge in all controversies in their writings. (WCF/2LBCF 1.8)

Many myths have sprung up about Erasmus, the nature of the authentic Greek text which is called the Textus Receptus, the Authorized Version translators, etc. Here you will find resources demonstrating why such claims are without merit.”

DIALOGUE BETWEEN TRADITIONAL TEXT ADVOCATE AND CRITICAL TEXT ADVOCATE

While the following excerpt is over a hundred years old, the substance of its criticisms remains highly relevant today. The modern Nestle-Aland and United Bible Societies texts continue to follow the flawed text critical assumptions and methodologies of Westcott and Hort. As D. A. Carson recently stated: “The theories of Westcott and Hort… [are] almost universally accepted today…. Subsequent textual critical work accepted the theories of Westcott and Hort. The vast majority of evangelical scholars hold that the basic textual theories of Westcott and Hort were right and that the church stands greatly in their debt.” (The King James Version Debate, p. 75).”

WAS THE TEXTUS RECEPTUS BASED ON JUST A FEW MANUSCRIPTS?

“The Greek Textus Receptus underlying the KJV was first edited by Desiderius Erasmus and published in 1516. Erasmus had before him a half-dozen manuscripts during the editing process. Critics are quick to seize upon this “flaw” of the Textus Receptus to deride the KJV. However, these criticisms are unjustified.”

VERKLARENDE STUDIEBYBEL: VERTALERSNOTAS

Hierdie nuwe studiebybel is gebaseer op die OAV, wat in die Textus Receptus tradisie staan. Die vertalersnotas wys dan in voetnotas waar die TR lesing verskil van die NU-teks (Nestle/Aland en UBS teks) en die MT-teks (Meerderheidsteks). Wat jammer is van hierdie poging, is dat ongeag die edele voorneme in die voorwoord dat hul nie in die vertalersnotas krities gaan wees en ‘waardeoordele’ uitspreek met woorde soos ‘die beste manuskripte…’ of ‘mees betroubare manuskripte…’ nie (wat die NAV en BDV wel doen, met sulke soort kritiese uitsprake) word dit tog gedoen, maar dan in verklarende artikels wat juis dit doen wat hul beloof het hul sal nie doen nie, naamlik waardeoordele uitspreek tussen die verskillende bron/grondtekste. Sien hier een voorbeeld:

“Markus se eienaardige slot: Markus 16:9-20”, waar die verklaarder beweer, “…wat met groot mate van sekerheid gesê kan word is dat die huidige verse 9-20 nie van Markus self kom nie, maar deur latere kopieerders saamgestel is uit gegewens van die ander Evangelies”

Die Verklarende Studiebybel is ‘n ‘mixed bag’ van goeie notas en hulpmiddels, dit help om te sien wat die variante lesings is in die NT, is gebaseer op die OAV ten minste, maar daar is ook liberale en afvallige notas, sien bv die notas by 1 Tim. 2:11-14, wat ‘n duidelike ‘n feministiese tydsgees inlees in the teks is, en baie misleidend is. Ek kry die gevoel dat daar nie ‘n mooi eenheid en samehorigheid is tussen verklarende notas, vertalersnotas en artikels se ‘teologie en belydenis’ nie.


Responses

  1. Dankie vir hierdie Slabbert. Dis ‘n groot seën. Hier is nog ‘n bron wat ek dink jy van waarde sal vind.

    • Dankie Josef, watter bron?


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