I don’t expect friends of Daniel Wallace to be happy about this series. So far, I’ve only been lectured about tone and style with him. Others have guessed that this is personal with me—that either Daniel Wallace or his supporters haven’t treated me very well, so I'm lashing out. They haven’t been nice and I haven't lashed out, but that has nothing to do with this. I’ve enjoyed a lot about Wallace and have said that repeatedly. I think it ironic that those who fixate on tone overlook their own. It makes that whole line of criticism to be a big red herring. Meanwhile, no one has refuted any of the points of the article.
Inspiration and Preservation
In the fourth paragraph of his introduction, Wallace writes this:
I wish to address an argument that has been used by TR/MT advocates—an argument which is especially persuasive among laymen. The argument is unashamedly theological in nature: inspiration and preservation are intrinsically linked to one another and both are intrinsically linked to the TR/MT.Those keen on looking at style should have spotted the pejorative Wallace uses toward “laymen.” He says these exegetical arguments used by preservationists work well with the laymen, i.e., they’re overly simplistic, because that's what the corn-pone lay people will need. “Only the scholars or academics can really do the intellectual heavy-lifting.” So much for the Holy Spirit and the discernment He gives His church. He also assumes with his language that we’re supposed to be ashamed of using a theological argument, something like silly sole scriptura and sole fide.
So are inspiration and preservation intrinsically linked to one another? According to Wallace, I should feel ashamed of myself, but let’s go ahead and look at 2 Timothy 3:16-17 anyway:
All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.Those two verses tie the inspiration of “all scripture,” “every writing,” to the future sufficiency of Scripture. "May be" is present subjunctive. A. T. Robertson writes in his grammar (p. 926):
[T]he only fundamental idea always present in the subjunctive is that of futurity and . . . this is the primitive meaning from idiom of Homer.There is the assumption of the future with God's Word continuing (present tense) to fulfill its sufficiency. Every God-breathed writing will be able to continue to throughly furnish the man of God. Doing everything that God wants us to do is tied into the inspiration of every Word. The verse implies that without every Word of God we would not be guaranteed the sufficiency described here. We can see an intrinsic connection between inspiration and preservation. What this asks is: what difference does it make if God gave us all His Words if we don’t have all of them in our possession?
Wallace further insults first in the first paragraph of the next section when he calls TR-advocates “fundamentalist pamphleteers.” Then he attempts to trace the preservation position back to the work of the recent Seventh Day Adventist Jasper James Ray. And not much later he writes this clause concerning the work of Baptist pastor, David Otis Fuller: “dressed in more scholarly garb.” In other words, it isn’t scholarly; just adorned as such.
Wallace then makes a Latin translation argument that doesn’t recognize the historic doctrine of preservation, original language preservation, which is stated in the Westminster and London Baptist Confessions. His following argument reads:
If the TR equals the original text, then the editor must have been just as inspired as the original writers, for he not only selected what readings were to go in this first published edition, but he also created some of the readings.Wallace is referring in this quote to the common assertion among textual critics that Erasmus missed one leaf in his manuscript of Revelation, so he back-translated that portion from the Latin Vulgate. Wallace can’t locate preservation in Scripture, easy as it is to see, but he’s sure he knows that none of the editions of the TR had Greek manuscripts with all the original Words of the book of Revelation. The Latin also varies from the TR, so it doesn't look like he was using that either. Textual scholar Herman C. Hoskier argued that Erasmus did not go Latin to Greek. Instead, he suggests that Erasmus used other Greek manuscripts such as 2049 (which Hoskier calls 141), and the evidence seems to support this position. Hoskier collated all the manuscripts for the book of Revelation. Manuscript 2049 contains the reading found in the Textus Receptus including the textual variant of Revelation 22:19. To this we can also add the Greek manuscript evidence of 296, and the margin of 2067 (Herman C. Hoskier, Concerning the Text of the Apocalypse, vol. 2 (London: Bernard Quaritch, Ltd., 1929, p. 644).
Wallace's Theological Argument
I never intended to show every error in the Wallace article. I wanted you to see that it does not disprove the Scriptural doctrine of preservation. I’ve written many articles laying out the doctrine of preservation, including editing an entire book about this subject. As we skip down to look for something that would treat that specific proposition, about all that’s left is a theological argument that Wallace ironically makes on this issue. He spends a lengthy chunk of space to parallel preservationists with Marcionites. In order to be one of these unbelieving heretics, however, the preservation-believer must fulfill so many criteria that it only applies to a group of men whom I have never met and may not exist. That makes it another straw man. It would only debunk people who would say that the Old Testament was not preserved like the New Testament. It really is a pathetic attempt at a very nasty smear on Bible believing people. It hardly serves as an argument against the doctrine of preservation of Scripture.
One reason why preservation of the Old and New Testaments differ somewhat in the means they were accomplished is because there is one Israel but several churches. Lots of copies were made for many churches. We see preservation in the majority of the manuscripts. Nonetheless, no one is saying that God said every Word would be kept in the majority of the manuscripts.
At the end of his introduction, Wallace wrote:
If inspiration and preservation can legitimately be linked to the text of the New Testament in this way, then the (new) KJV NT is the most accurate translation and those who engage in an expository ministry should use this text alone and encourage their audiences to do the same.Scripture does say we'll have every Word and all the Words available to every generation of believer. We have a basis biblically for believing in a settled and perfect text of Scripture. We have legitimate linkage of the doctrine of preservation with the textus receptus. We know it was preserved and available for hundreds of years when nothing else was. The churches used it, viewed it as the very Words of God. Based on Wallace's above statement, we wait for him and others to join us in the Scriptural position.