THE GLORIOUS ACHIEVEMENTS OF MODERN
NEW TESTAMENT SCHOLARSHIP
I love me job teaching at Northern.. I'm here because, more
than 30 years ago I went through an early mid-life crisis. I
asked myself what I *really* wanted to do in life, and figured out
that, what I really wanted to do was spend my life studying and talking
about the great ideas, important works like Herodotus' history, Plato's
diaglogues, and the plays of Aeschylus, Sophocles, and Euripides.
And, most of all, I wanted to be able to study and talk about the books
of the Bible.
Well, that's what I get to do--and it's a joy. But it's
sometimes frustrating as well. "The writing of many books is
endless," says Ecclesiastes, "and much study is a weariness of the
flesh." Paul warns about those who are "every learning and never
able to come to the knowlege of the truth." But, most troubling
of all, Paul's warning about those who, while professing themselves
wise, become fools. Unfortunately, that's a description of a fair
portion of the academic community, particularly those of us who deal
with the New Testament.
Probably no books have been studied by more scholars than the books
of the New Testament, particularly the
four gospels. Year after year, there are hundreds of scholarly
books published that deal with about aspects of the gospels. Has
this led to a better and better
understanding of these books?
To more and more certainty? No! Almost reverse! New
Testament scholars can't seem to come to any consensus at all.
When it comes to the gospel of Luke, for instance, we've got some
writers (e.g., Conzelmann) claiming that Luke's gospel is essentially a
pro-Roman apology, a gospel intended to show that Christianity
was no threat to the governmental structure of Rome. There
are others (e.g., Cassidy) who claim that Luke intends to show
Jesus was as a revolutionary figure, a man whose teaches challenge
aspect of Roman society. There are writers (e.g., me!) who talk about
as Luke as intended primarily for a gentile audience, while others
argue that Luke was written mostly for Jews, or (at least)f for Jewish
Why do we have such different in interpretation? Because there
truth? Because it's impossible to figure out Luke's
Not at all. Partly, scholars differ because there is so much in
every time you come to them you find something else. So we are
proverbial blind man with elephant:
THE BLIND MEN AND THE ELEPHANT.
A HINDOO FABLE.
IT was six men of Indostan
To learning much inclined,
Who went to see the Elephant
(Though all of them were blind),
That each by observation
Might satisfy his mind.
The First approached the
And happening to fall
Against his broad and sturdy side,
At once began to bawl:
"God bless me!—but the Elephant
Is very like a wall!"
The Second, feeling of the tusk,
Cried:"Ho!—what have we here
So very round and smooth and sharp?
To me 't is mighty clear
This wonder of an Elephant
Is very like a spear!"
The Third approached the animal,
And happening to take
The squirming trunk within his hands,
Thus boldly up and spake:
"I see," quoth he, "the Elephant
Is very like a snake!"
The Fourth reached out his eager
And felt about the knee.
"What most this wondrous beast is like
Is mighty plain," quoth he;
"'T is clear enough the Elephant
Is very like a tree!"
The Fifth, who chanced to touch
Said: "E'en the blindest man
Can tell what this resembles most;
Deny the fact who can,
This marvel of an Elephant
Is very like a fan!"
The Sixth no sooner had begun
About the beast to grope,
Than, seizing on the swinging tail
That fell within his scope,
"I see," quoth he, "the Elephant
Is very like a rope!"
And so these men of Indostan
Disputed loud and long,
Each in his own opinion
Exceeding stiff and strong,
Though each was partly in the right,
And all were in the wrong!
Former NSU United Campus Ministries leader Jim Reeves was working on a book on Luke that pointed to a quite obvious solution to the Blind Man/Elephant problem when it came to Luke. His ideas was that the Gospel was partly written to gentiles, but also partly addressed to Jews. It's partly critical of Rome, but partly written to show where Roman government and Christianity can be compatible.
But Jim's rather obvious-when-you-think-about-it, common sense approach to the New Testament is rarer than it should be. But it's not just because of the tendency to miss the forest for the trees that has limited the usefulness of scholarly study in clarifying things. Scholars, beginning in the 18th century, and even more in the 19th and 20th centuries, made a series of fundamental mistakes in their approach to the Bible. And, particularly, they made some serious mistakes in their approach to the gospels.
The problem with scholarly mistakes is that, rather than being
corrected, they tend to be amplified. Being a scholar means
having to admit you're wrong no matter how wrong you are. It also
you don't have to listen to people who don't have your credentials,
they are obviously ignorant. Be not called Rabbi, Rabbi. .
Now when it comese to details, scholars can and do accept correction
fairly easily. But where they often won't even consider
alternative ideas is in their overall paradigms, the models they use to
organize their materials.
Having a good paradigm is exceedingly useful. For my History
121 class, for instance, the Parkes civilization recipe (civilizations
need to provide physical security, ethical guidance, and emotional
fulfillment) works really well. But a faulty paradigm can lead to
all sorts of problems, and it can make it harder to find the truth
rather than easier.
One particularly harmful paradigm in the Hegelian model of human progress. His dialectic (the thesis vs. antithesis leading to synthesis as the core mechanism of human progress) led to some hugely destructive political movements. Both the Nazis and Communists based their thinking on Hegel.
In Biblical studies too, Hegel's followers made a mess of
things. F.C. Bauer and those who followed his thinking, tried to
use the Hegelian model to explain Christian history. Bauer argued
that, when Jesus began his teaching, the dominant idea (the thesis) was
that salvation came through following the law. The antithesis,
well expressed by Paul, was that salvation came by Grace through
faith. Anything in the Christian tradition that showed pure
salvation by grace through faith theology was (therefore) early.
Anything that showed a blending of works and faith was late.
Galatians? Early, and genuinely Pauline. Romans?
Early and genuinely Pauline. Philipians? No--too many
specific instructions. The law creeping in again: probably not
Pauline. The Pastorals (I and II Timothy and Titus)? Too
much emphasis on the specifics of Christian conduct. Definitely
Any evidence for this? None at all. But The Bauer
paradigm somehow got adopted by a great many New Testament scholars,
and, once adopted, it became very difficult to break. Gradually,
more conservative scholars have won back ground for the Pauline
writings, and a majority of scholars would now admit that books like
Colossians and Philippians are Paul's. But there's still a lot of
resistance to accepting the pastorals as Pauline despite the lack of
any real evidence that they are not. When asked why he didn't
think Paul wrote the pastorals, one very prominent Bible scholar simply
replied, "No scholar with a recognized chair in New Testament studies
believes Paul wrote
To which the very appropriate reply is, "What has that got to do
As far as the Gospels are concerned, the Bauer paradigm has created
some problems, but there are some worse paradigm problems.
The early 19th century was rather skeptical of just about all the
ancient writers, and the Bible in particular was, for many, a
problematic book. The miracles in particular seemed to much of
the scholarly world stories that had to be dismissed as mere
superstition. But portion of the Biblical texts were still
acceptable. Many scholars loved the idea of Jesus, not as a
miracle worker, but as a great teacher. There were a whole series
of what we call the "liberal lives of Jesus," books that admired Jesus,
but rejected the stories of miracles and the idea that Jesus was
somehow the incarnate son of God.
But what rational basis could there be for such picking and choosing
of gospel material? We view as genuine what we like and reject
what we don't? That's not very scholarly. Johannes Weiss
and Albert Schweitzer championed a different paradigm, the consistent
eschatology paradigm. This paradigm argued that the early
Christians, wrongly, believed that Jesus was going to come back to this
earth right away. When that didn't happen, there was a great
disappointment at the delay of the parousia [the
fancy scholarly name for Christ's return]. Christians
had to somehow rationalize a situation that they hadn't
anticipated. The consistent eschatology paradgm says that any
portion off the New Testament that suggests Christ is coming back right
away reflects the actual earliest teaching of the church.
Anything that suggests a delay to the parousia and prepares Christians
for an extended period on this earth before the coming of Christ's
kingdom is late.
Now, once again, there
was no evidence for this. It's just a model, but, like the Bauer
paradigm, it caught on to such an extent that it still lingers
everywhere--despite considerable scholarly work that shows that
consistent eschatology is a bad was of trying to understand the church.
first of all ignores the likelihood that early Christians differed in
their end-time views. Christians today are all over the place,
some believing Christ will return in their lifetimes, others thinking
Christ's return may be delayed for centuries. Why should we not
think early Christians also differed in how soon they expected the
return? Further, what makes us think that the passages in the New
Testament that associate first century conditions with the "last days"
are wrong? The Christians today who believe in the soon return of
Christ believe they are living "in the last days." But most of
them think that there will be a rapture of the church, a seven year
tribulation, and a 1000 year kingdom before the general resurrection
and they day of judgment. So the "last days" they speak of aren't
really "last" at all. Likewise, when the early Christians talked
of living in the "last days," isn't their plenty of evidence to show
that they did in fact live in what, from the traditional Jewish
perspective, were the "last" days, the times when the gentiles would
begin to accept the Gospel. The prophet Joel talks about the
"last days" as the time when God would "pour his spirit on all flesh,"
e.g., not just the Jews. Isn't that what happened? Oh, yes,
other days followed: but the advent of Christianity did mean a radical
change. E.R. Dodd's argues that early Christians had what he
calls a "realized" eschatology. They believed that end-times
prophecy was fulilled in the life of Christ and in the growth of the
church. They weren't at all "disappointed in the delay of the
parousia"--Christ was present in the church!
scholarship seemingly got on sounder footing during the early years of
the 20th century with the rise of source criticism. The source
critics argued that comparing the gospels, especially the synoptics,
one to another was a valuable tool for understanding their basic
messages. It was especially important to figure out which of the
gospel writers borrowed from the others and what it was they borrowed.
The source critics
argued that the similaritie of the synoptics were so great that they
couldn't possibly be simply separate accounts of the same story.
The verbal similarites of so many passages make it clear that someone
was copying someone else. But who copied from
B.F. Streeter wrote a great book, The Four Gospels, in which he persuasively argues what comes to be called the four-document hypothesis. Streeter's picture is basically this:
Now all this is fun, I suppose, but form criticism is based on
hypothtical phenomenon that can't be demonstrated to have occured
anywhere at anytime. No
classical scholar would dream of using such a technique in approaching
other works from the ancient world. Very odd to develop a
scholarly technique that applies to only one book!
Further, the form-critical approach tends to treat the Gospels as
strings of beads: and this they are clearly not. As we've seen with
Matthew and Luke, the gospels are well-structured books with
every line working in harmony with the authors overall message. Form
criticism tends to overlook the big picture: we're missing the forest,
not for the trees, but because we're only looking at the leaves.
The next major 20th century fad in Gospel studies was redaction
criticism. Redaction criticsm assumes that the 4-document
hypothesis is basically correct. If so, say the redaction
critics, we should carfully divide the Marcan source material in
Matthew and Luke from the "redaction" material, Matthew and Luke's
additions. Want to know what Matthew and Luke are up to?
Look at how they've changed the Marcan stories. One can also look
at the changes Matthew and Luke have made to Q. And you can even
do source criticism with Mark! If you're clever enough, you can
divided Mark also into source and redaction material and figure out
Mark's meaning by looking at what he's added to his original
Redaction criticism was the way to make your mark in NT
in the 1960's and 1970's, but in the 80's a significant number of
began to question the basis for the whole thing. Redaction
tries to explain the theology of Matthew or Luke by alleged changes
have made in Mark. But what if Mark isn't first? The whole
thing collapses--and, indeed, the weight of evidence now is that Mark
First of all, what limited evidence we have from the ancient world
points to Matthew's gospel af the first written. Eusebius of
Caesarea records a tradition that Matthew wrote in Hebrew and that the
other apostles used his wrtten material and "interpreted" (translated?)
as they would. Voltaire, a shrewed literary critic, but (also) a
skeptic who had no particular reason to favor church tradition, thought
that Matthew was first. Griesbach, one of the finest of the 19th
century textual critics and the man who originally popularized the term
synoptic, likewise thought that Matthew wrote first. Intiaially, the
main reaons for insisting that Mark was first had nothing to do with
evidence. The 19th century liberal interpretation of the life of
Christ insisted on a more human Jesus--and, to a large extent, Mark's
Jesus does seem more human than the the Jesus of Matthew and Luke. 19th
century writers thought that it was the church that later turned the
great teacher into the divine son of God. So: Mark first--again,
a paradigm-driven choice.
So which gospel really did come first? Some modern scholars
have moved back to
the Griesbach hypothesis, the old view that said Mark simply combined
and Luke. Some others have defended the view that the gospels are
independent: there's no literary connection at all! Well, that I
find hard to believe: too much verbal similarity. But I find even
harder to believe in Marcan priority. Look through the opening
chapters of Mark and you'll see the difficulties.
Mark begins with the words, "The beginning of the Gospel of Jesus
Christ, the son of God. As it is written in the
prophet...." Now this is a *very* abrupt
beginning. It sure looks to me like an attempt to shorten Matthew
up. Get rid of the genealogy and cut to the chase. As it
turns out, Mark is the one gospel that is comfortable to read aloud at
one sitting. Not too many years ago, there was a very successful
one-man-show version of the Gospel of Mark. I can't imagine an
audience sitting through a one-man show version of Matthew or
Luke! As we go a bit further, we see Mark saying that, after
Jesus was baptized, he goes into the wilderness and is tempted by
Satan. That's it. Both Luke and Matthew give us longer
stories. So where did they get the information to fill this
tantalizing gap? Well, from Q. But wait: Luke and Matthew
tell the story differently. So they must have had different
versions of Q, Q1 and Q2. But this is a problem. The four
document hypothesis is plausible because it's the simplest explanation
that accounts for the facts. But if you have to posit two
different version of Q, it's not such a simple solution anymore.
Look also at Mark 1:22, "And he taught as one having authority and
not as the scribes." Well, we've seen that verse in
Matthew. Where? Well, at the end of the Sermon on the Mount
where it makes an awful lot of sense. Why would Mark bother to
say this? As a summary, it makes sense: as an original? Not
so much. Similarly, Mark 4:2 says that Jesus taught them
many things by parables--and gives one, the Parable of the Sower.
Matthew has a whole series of parables. Mark looks like he's
So Matthew is first? Well, it doesn't always look like
that. There are places where Mark's version of the story looks
like the original, and other places where Luke's version would seem to
be first. No wonder the scholars are confused!
Behind all this, an odd blindness--a refusal of most scholars
even to consider the most probable relationship among the gospels.
Quite a number of years ago, I taught at a little Christian school
in California. The headmaster had an idea for a Christmas
play. He shared his idea with Mary Hesser (thd drama teacher) and
me. He asked Mary to write two acts of the play, and me to write
two others. As I wrote my part of the play, I borrowed some
material from a friend of mine had written on a different
occassion. The whole thing came together exceptionally well.
A years later, we had all gone our separate ways. I ran into
Frank, the headmaster, and he talked about how great the play had
been. He thought we ought to put together the script and submit
it for publication. But nobody had a complete copy of the script:
there had never been one! Now at this point, I had the play
pretty much in my head as did Mary and many of our young student
actors. I could have written a version of the play. So
could Mary. So could Frank. Now if all three had done that,
I don't think *anyone* could have told you the relationship between the
scripts. What came from Mary? What from me? What from
Frank? What parts were stolen from my friend Michael?
Something like this, I think, is what happens in the case of the gospels. Biographical evidence from the New Testament letters puts Paul, Peter, Luke, Timothy, and Mark in Rome in the 60's. Paul specifically instructs Timothy to bring "the books, but especially the parchments. Paul also makes a specific request that Mark come "for he is profitable to me in the ministry." Almost certainly, this is the period in which the written gospels are coming together: perhaps not quite in final form, but close to it. Paul and Peter both know they are likely going to be martyred, and they take steps to preserve the gospel message.
Note how well this scenario explains the phenomena we see among the
gospels. The writers are all authritative figures, and that give
them the flexibility to share and adapt among themselves: Matthew,
Luke, Mark free to tell stories in different
ways. But there's no one else with authority to challenge there
accounts later, no one, for instance, who dares tamper with the
received texts to try to harmonize the different accounts.
This idea, that gospels are the products of cooperative effort of Peter, Paul, Luke, Mark almost never even considered by scholars, though it accts for all the evidence and does this in the simplest way possible. It certainly passes the Ockham's razor test!.
Why is it that the most obvious possiblity is seldom even considered? The scholarly community has a deep-seated disbelief in Jesus portrayed in Gospels, and is consequently always trying to find an alternative Jesus, a "historical" Jesus. They claim to be telling us what Jesus really like: in recent years, he's been portrayed as a magician, a political revolutionary, a social reformer, a Galilean peasant, a proto-pharisee, and an essene: but never as the figure the gospels portray him to be.
The clue that something is wrong is that the "Jesus" who
from each of these studies is almost always philosophical agreement
scholar doing study. What happens generally is that each "new"
Jesus gets tremendous acclaim in the media who is always looking for an
alternative to the Biblical Jesus. But, since there's no real
evidence, a revival scholar will soon come up with "new" historical
Jesus, and the process starts all over.
What would be amusing if it weren't so sad is the way the Jesus
Project scholars have approached the "historical Jesus" question.
A bunch of New Testament scholars got together and systematically went
through the New Testament. With each passage, they voted: Jesus
probably said this, Jesus may or may not have said this, Jesus didn't
This isn't as silly as it sounds. It's sillier.
And sad, too.
I look at the work of John Dominic Crossan--a meticiulous scholar
who has bombed through all sorts of Jesus material. He's got a
book where he carefully assembles all the evidence, putting it into
"strata," with each of four layers indicating his view as to the
reliablility of the material. The first strata has in it
hypothetical documents (Q), lost documents we know next to nothing
about, and material from some of the gnostic gospels: heretical works
invented to provide proof for ideas not in the canonical new
testament. John's gospel? Much of it relegated to the 4th
strata, not reliable at all.
Now all of this is a waste of time. It's pretty easy to show
that the only source material worth looking at for the life of Jesus:
the cannonical gospels. One can believe or disbelieve their
accounts of Jesus, but there's just no other evidence worth
considering--though it's easy to make a ton of money pretending there
By the way, much of the above work goes under the name "higher"
criticism. Those who deal with hypothetical source construction
think their methods somehow deeper and more profound than the more
typical approach to the New Testament, taking the text as it stands and
trying to see what it meant to its original auidience.
But while, in my opinion, the so-called higher critics have only
been darkening council by words without wisdom, other New Testament
scholars have made remarkable progress. Among the most impressive
achievements of modern New Testament scholars, their work in textual
One of the problems with ancient writings is that, over time, texts
tend to be corrupted. It is nearly impossible to hand-copy a text
permanently. Scribes misread (or mishear) their original.
They may have to work from a defective texts. If you've ever
played the "gossip" game, you know how easily an original message can
Now that doesn't mean scribes don't do their best. In good
times, those that trancribed religious texts would go so far as to use
the numberical value of words as a kind of double-check on their
work. But not all times are good. There are ages
when copying books is expensive or when books are destroyed by
govenment authorities--or when people simply don't care about a
particular book enough to make the sacrifice to preserve it. Much
fine literature from the ancient world has disappeared, and many works
survives only in incomplete manuscripts. Much of Tacitus, for
instance, survives only in a single manuscript that is (very
unfortunately) missing some of the material we'd most like to see.
The books of the New Testament faced some particular
difficulties. Roman authorities confiscated and burned Christian
books again and again, and many Christians had to give their lives to
protect their copies of the scripture. When persecution finally
ended during the reign of Constantine, things got much better.
There were subsidies for producing beautiful editions of the
Bible. But already (c. 325) there was a bit of a problem.
The copies of Biblical books were not precisely the same. What
exactly was the original text?
In the eastern Roman empire, scholars got to work, and came to
something of a consensus. We have a Byzantine manuscript
tradition that consists of the best educated guesses of the Byzantine
But with the invention of the printing press 1000 years later, all
of a sudden technology made it possible to print many, many, identical
copies of the Greek New Testament. So the question becomes: what
should be the model that we reproduce over and over and over
again? Initially, the published editions of Erasmus, Stephanus,
etc. followed pretty much the Byzantine manuscript tradition.
This standardized Greek text came to be called the Textus Receptus, the
"received" text. It's certainly a good text, and some
conservative scholars still think it's the best text to work from.
But in the 19th century, scholars were disatisfed. Maybe they
could get closer to the original texts.
Now this kind of work had been going on since the Renaissance, the
work of textual criticism, trying to get as close as possible to the
original author's text. But, usually, there aren't enough sources
to be really sure. Even with the plays of Shakespeare, textual
critics have it rough. Do you take the Folio reading or the
Quarto reading? Not always easy to decide.
In the case of the New Testament, though, there were hundreds of
manuscripts. This made the text critics work both harder and
easier. Easier, because there was a lot more material to work
with. Harder, because there were a lot more alternative to
At first, the textual critics thought the best they could do was
recreate the equivalent of a 4th century New Testament text. We
can know pretty much exactly what the New Testament books would have
looked like in the time of Constantine, but that's about it. But,
little by little, the textual critics perfected their techniques.
New manuscripts turned up, and fragments of papyrus rolls turned
up--some of them dating back to the early 2nd century AD.
The ultimate result? The Nestle-Aland editions of the New
Testament. The textual critics haven gotten us more closely to the
text of the NT than anyone would have thought possible 200 years
ago. For no other works from the anicent world do we have such an
accurate and reliable text. [In
class, I pass out a page of the United Bible Socities' Greek New
Testament and the Metzger commentary that goes with it.]
Now note the painstaking work of these critics, the immense amount
of work they went through just to figure out whether Paul's
introduction says "hemin" (to us) or "humin" (to you).
But after figure out as much as possible exactly what Matthew, Mark,
Luke, John, Paul, etc. wrote, what do we do with this
wonderful text Well, we translate it. As accurately as
Now for a long, long time, the KJV of the Bible reigned supreme in English-speaking churches. But toward the beginning of the 20th century, scholars claimed the KJV wasn't accurate enough. The KJV translators didn’t have as accurate a text to work with as we do, so they thought they could do a better job than the KJV translators. And they certainly tried!
In the early 20th century, translators used the Westcott and Hort edition of the Greek NT. They produced Revised Version and the American Standard translations of the Bible. But these translations, since they were literal, weren’t any easier to understand that the KJV, and much of the beauty of the language was lost. They didn’t really catch on very well. In 1952 or so, translators came up with a new translation, the RSV. But this translation, because it was literal, was hard, and much of the beauty of the language was lost. Besides, there were translation choices that really offended conservatives, and so this version didn’t really catch on either.
In the early 1970's, we got one more translation: NASV. NASV was a literal translation, and hard–though actually fairly good at capturing the beauty of the language.
And then we got–well then we got an tidal wave of translations: every time one looks around, there’s new translation. Are they any good? For the most part, no.
I wrote a conference paper several years ago called “Why Johnny can’t translate”–I’ll summarize briefly for you what’s wrong with modern translations. Essentially, my argument is that modern translations tend to be poor because *none* of them has editors who understand language.
There’s a little book by Arthur Quinn (Figures of Speech) that lists ways of using language effectively. Quinn gives lots of examples–most frequently, Shakespeare and the KJV of the Bible. Here are some of them:
Polysyndeton involves repeating conjunctions, e.g., starting every sentence with an "and." Quinn says this “creates an air of mystery, and, done properly, it has a hypnotizing power.” Here's the KJV:
Now look at what the NIV does to this passage:
When they reached the place God had told him about, Abraham built an
altar there and arranged the wood on it. He bound his son Isaac and
laid him on the altar, on top of the wood. Then he reached out his hand
and took the knife to slay his son. But the angel of the Lord called
out to him from heaven, “Abraham!
Abraham!”“Here I am,” he replied. “Do not lay a hand on the boy,” he
said. “Do not do anything to him.
Now I know that you fear God, because you have not withheld from me
your son, your only son.”
Look at Matthew 23:5-11 and check your version to see what it's done.
Asyndeton is the leaving out of an expected conjunction. It suggests
a faster pace, or, perhaps a deeper kind of unity, e.g., Linncoln's "of
the people, by the people, for the people."
The KJV of Exodus 15:9 is a good example:
The enemy said, I will pursue, I will overtake, I will divide the spoil; my lust shall be satisfied upon them; I will draw my sword, my hand shall destroy them.
Here's the NIV version:
“The enemy boasted, ‘I will pursue, I will overtake them. I will divide the spoils;
I will gorge myself on them. I will draw my sword and my hand will destroy them.’
Here's the KJV of I Corinthians 13:13:
And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these [is] charity.
And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.
Parenthesis involves taking time out in mid-thought for a different
thought. A good example is the KJV of Ezekiel 16:23-24:
And it came to pass after all thy wickedness, (woe, woe unto thee! saith the Lord GOD;) [That] thou hast also built unto thee an eminent place, and hast made thee an high place in every street.
Polyptoton is the seemingly unnecessary repetition of a word.
The KJV of Colossians 2:20 is a good example:
If ye be dead with Christ from the rudiments of the world, why as though living in the world…
Repetition of repetition. Here's the KJV of Genesis 5:9 and
Cursed be Canaan, a servant of servants…
He lead captitivity capitive