Monday, December 08, 2008

Standard Conversation Between Multiple Versionist with Perfect Preservationist

So that I don't reinvent the wheel, here is a very typical argumentation from an eclectic text person or non-preservation person (to whom I'll refer as NP, Non-Preservation Person). I'm Kent.

Kent: God preserved all His Words in the language in which they were written and they were generally accessible to every generation of believers. The King James Version comes from those Words that God preserved for every generation of believers.

NP: Did you know that you actually aren't reading the 1611 King James, because it was revised several times after that? And that you are actually reading the 1769 Blayney revision of the King James?

Kent: What does that have to do with what I just said? I said God preserved all His Words in the language in which they were written.

NP: Even the King James translators in their preface said that no translation of Scripture could be said to be perfect. They believed that other translations could be called the Word of God, so you are going way beyond what even the translators intended.

Kent: I've not said anything about the translation except that the King James Version comes from preserved Greek and Hebrew words. The translators said nothing about that in their preface to the King James.

NP: Did you know that the defense of the King James only started with a Seventh Day Adventist, Benjamin Wilkinson? Almost all the arguments used by King James only proponents come from Wilkinson, a Seventh Day Adventist?

Kent: I've never read Wilkinson's book, but the position I take is actually the same one found in the Westminster Confession of Faith of 1646, the London Baptist Confession of 1689, and that which you can read from men in the 17th century. It wasn't invented by Wilkinson in the 20th century. I don't even know what Wilkinson believed. Actually, it is your position, the one that says that God didn't preserve every Word for every generation, that is the new position, dating back only to the mid to late 19th century. You won't find a no-perfect-preservation position, except from liberals, before the 19th century.

NP: So what you're saying is that everyone has always had a perfect copy of Scripture to read?

Kent: No, what I'm saying is that all of the Words of the Old and New Testament have been generally accessible to every generation of believers. I base that, like godly men through history, upon scriptural presuppositions about God's preservation of Scripture.

NP: If God perfectly preserved His Word, then why isn't there one single hand-copy of the New Testament identical to another?

Kent: First, I haven't compared every single one of the manuscripts to see if any are identical to another. I don't think there is anyone who has, but, second, from what I've read, there are a few manuscript fragments, which are mainly what we have---we don't have many old complete hand copies of the New Testament---so, like I was saying, there are a few manuscript fragments that are identical to one another. Third, there are very few differences between the hand copies (manuscripts) that were a basis for the textus receptus. Fourth, of those copies, based on scriptural presuppositions we believe that every one of the Words were available, and then, fifth, that believers agreed on those Words during the period which those hand written words were amalgamated into one printed edition. The Bible teaches a settled text.

NP: But didn't you know that no edition of the textus receptus was identical to the other?

Kent: Yes, I know that, but there were very few differences, and all of the Words were there. And by the end of that period, believers agreed on what the Words were. The Christians of the seventeenth century believed that they had a text identical to the originals in their printed edition. We know that by what they wrote.

NP: But even if there was one word that was wrong or missing, you can't claim that there was a perfect text.

Kent: What I claim is that there was perfect preservation of every Word. All the Words were there and then the churches, guided by the Holy Spirit were led to a perfect text, so I don't believe that there was one wrong or missing word, and that is based upon scriptural presuppositions.

NP: So you too believe in textual criticism, because that's exactly what they were doing in the sixteenth century. That's what Erasmus was doing.

Kent: To read textual criticism into the sixteenth century really is revisionist history. Textual criticism is completely rationalistic and long post-dates the sixteenth century. Actual textual criticism is not based upon any theological or biblical presuppositions. Textual critics, in fact, reject the use of scriptural presuppositions. The basis of textual criticism, as it is explained by the textual critics themselves historically, is ongoing, never settled, and based upon literary criteria that are the same rules applied to secular literature. The sixteenth century men responsible for the various editions of the textus receptus weren't applying these criteria to the copies of the New Testament they possessed. And those manuscripts were very uniform compared to the manuscripts relied upon by textual criticism, which were not generally accessible until the 19th century.

NP: But didn't Erasmus back translate portions of Revelation from the Latin Vulgate? Isn't it true that some parts of the textus receptus have no basis in any copy of the Greek New Testament?

Kent: What I have found to be the case is that advocates of the eclectic or critical text have a strong belief in the preservation of historical data, including what they read about Erasmus, even greater trust in information God didn't promise to preserve than in the Words of God that the Lord did promise to preserve. First, we don't know all that Erasmus had as a basis for that first printed edition of the textus receptus. Second, Erasmus very likely was relying on manuscripts that had the Words he included in his printed edition of the book of Revelation in the Greek. Third, the churches didn't settle on Erasmus' edition of the textus receptus anyway, making this all a moot point.

NP: So then what is the perfect edition of the textus receptus? Which one is it?

Kent: It is the Greek text that is the basis of the King James Version of the Bible.

NP: When was that text printed?

Kent: We can buy a copy of it today from various sources. However, again, the scriptural position is that all the Words of God were generally accessible to every generation of Christian. The Words behind the King James Version come primarily from the textus receptus edition of Bezae in 1598 and those of Stephanus in 1550 and 1551. The number of differences between those three editions are very, very small. Christians settled on the Words behind the King James Version. Those are the ones that a large majority of believers, led and guided by the Holy Spirit, agreed upon. The Greek Words behind the KJV NT were printed in a single edition in 1894 posthumously by F. H. A. Scrivener. However, all of the Words in Scrivener were agreed upon by believers and churches. We can read sermons from preachers and pastors of the 16th and 17th century and see that the textus receptus was the text used by the churches. The men of God of the 17th century believed they had every single Word accessible to them. That is the historic Christian position.

NP: So it's obvious that the text that you believe is perfect wasn't available until the late 19th century, which isn't anything different than the text of Westcott and Hort.

Kent: No, the Words were available and relied upon in the 16th and 17th centuries. Our position, the scriptural one, is that the Words were preserved and generally accessible. Those men that preached the King James in the 17th century were relying on the Greek Words behind the New Testament of the King James Version.

NP: So you believe that there was a second act of inspiration that took place in 1611 when the King James translators did their translation?

Kent: I don't believe at all that it was a second act of inspiration. That idea didn't come about, as far as I know, until Peter Ruckman is credited with espousing it in the mid to late 20th century. I don't believe in double inspiration. What I'm talking about is providential preservation. God providentially worked to ensure that we would have every Word of God generally accessible during every generation.

NP: But what you are claiming is that a miracle took place, which is different than providence. A miracle utilizes primary supernatural causation and providence only secondarily.

Kent: I do believe that preservation has been supernatural. And we haven't differentiated providence in the past as unmiraculous. Historically, providence was considered to be a miracle. James Orr in The Fundamentals in the chapter on "Science and the Christian Faith" writes of what theologians call "'providential' miracles, in which, so far as one can see, natural agencies under divine direction suffice to produce the result." So whether God uses natural agencies or completely transcends those laws, it is a miracle. That is the historic understanding of providence. Inspiration itself is a miracle in which God uses natural agencies. He used men to write down scripture without error. If we can't believe in preservation because of the natural agencies that God used, then we can't believe in inspiration either.

NP: But God nowhere said that He would preserve His Word in a particular text type.

Kent: That isn't the position that I take either. I believe He preserved all His Words and that they were generally accessible to every generation of believers. The Bible also teaches a perfect and a settled text. So do you believe that the Bible teaches the preservation of Scripture?

NP: Yes.

Kent: Where do you believe it teaches it? What is it that Scripture teaches about the preservation of Scripture?

NP: I don't know. I haven't really studied it out. But I believe God has preserved His Word.

Kent: So when you say that God preserved His Word, what do you believe that He preserved?

NP: I believe that we have enough of the Words to give us all the doctrines we need to be obedient to God. I believe He preserved His Word in general and that there are not enough errors to change doctrine.

Kent: And what is your scriptural basis for that?

NP: I guess I can't believe that God did some sort of miracle at some point in time to make sure that all of the Words were in one place at one time.

Kent: But you believe all the books are there, all sixty-six, no more or no less?

NP: Yes, but that's different. We have enough historical evidence to demonstrate that we have sixty-six books. It's way different than believing that we have every single Word, especially since the manuscripts themselves don't agree with each other. I'm sorry, but I can't go that far. I don't think it should be an issue that we should divide over and that is what King James people do. They are divisive about it, and I don't think that's right.

Kent: Do you think that errors in the Bible should be a separating issue?

NP: Errors in the original maybe.

HHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH

I'm not going to keep going. There are more arguments, I'm sure, that the eclectic text people think are brilliant, and that they have on their side, such as their "Septuagint argument" and their "Beza's conjectural emendation in Revelation 16:5" argument. What I do want to do is to point out the manner of operation of the eclectic text/no preservation side of this argument.

First, they don't present a position themselves. They question yours only.

Second, they don't listen to your position. They normally start arguing with a Ruckmanite or English preservationist, even if you're not, and then they keep doing that after you have told them several times. On many occasions, I've found they will still come back to their arguments against these other groups long after you've corrected them several times.

Third, when their point is debunked or defeated, they don't admit that you're right in any way. They move on to the next point they want to make. This shows a closed mind and that they're not interested in the truth, only in winning the argument. They like to argue from history ("Look! Hand copies vary!"), but when they find out that they have no historic basis for their position, that doesn't matter to them at all. They don't seem to care at all that their position was not what was believed or taught before the 19th century.

Fourth, they don't rely at all on Scripture. On this one doctrine, they look away from the Bible to find out what they believe.

Fifth, their quest is a gotcha-game. They want to catch you in an error. They want to prove mistakes in Scripture. That will justify their use of the modern versions.

Sixth, even though they say they believe in the preservation of Scripture, they are trying to show how that God didn't preserve it.

Seventh, when they ask questions, they expect answers, acting is if the burden of proof is upon our side. When we ask questions, they don't give answers and they don't think they have to do that. The burden of proof should be on the people who say that what actually happened is something different than what Scripture promised would happen. What's difficult about that, of course, is that they would need to show the original manuscripts to prove that point.

These multiple version, no preservation people provide the foundation for postmodern uncertainty. If we don't even know what the words are, then how can we be expected to know the meaning?

50 comments:

Jason said...

"No preservation people"?! Honestly mate. Now you've thrown even the facade of objectivity off.

Kent Brandenburg said...

Hi Jason. You could just try to prove otherwise, as opposed to saying, "You're not objective!" Well, show me that I'm wrong, that you do represent a historic position on preservation, one with something written on it from 1600-1800. And show me scripture for your belief. I've been waiting for that for years, but I get articles on how that Scripture doesn't teach preservation, which would show, well, exactly what I'm saying.

Jason said...

I have no intention of trying to change your mind on verbal, plenary accessibility. But to call us "no preservation people" is a label that no one in the category would agree represents them accurately. In other words, it's an inflammatory label which makes a dig every time you use it.

I believe and preach wholeheartedly in the preservation of God's Word and find it a great cause of rejoicing. I just don't accept the doctrine of verbal, plenary accessibility which you are promoting.

Titus Quinctius Cincinnatus said...

Bro. Brandenburg,

Your forgot one argument used by non-preserved text people: King James might have been gay, which totally invalidates the King James Bible.

I've always found that one to be particularly persuasive. Not.

Kent Brandenburg said...

OK, so you are giving me a little light on your position without showing it is scriptural. Your position is that God's Words haven't always been accessible to believers generally. Believers haven't had all the words to live by, which God requires (Mt. 4:4). God allowed some of the Words to be lost or buried for centuries. Your understanding of "preserved" is that the Words were preserved, as in preserved somewhere inaccessible (a cave, a monastery basement, a Vatican library cubby, etc.). Could you show me that position in Scripture?

That position doesn't sound like actual preservation. It would be like me collecting old pennies. I have twelve old ones but I lost four of them. However, since those four are somewhere in the universe where I can't get them or find them, they are still preserved. No one would say that they are preserved or that idea represents preservation. Preservation means that I still have them. Preservation implies accessibility.

Jason said...

Not planning to argue the point for sake of time. I will say that God's Word is the best selling book in the world in 2008. I believe in preservation and am so thankful for it.

DT said...

You would admit you are generalizing. . .right? Because just as there are different kinds of KJVO-ists, there certainly are different kinds of NEATOEOOROOSCATOTBIEE-ists (that's "non-exclusive-allegiance-to-one-edition-of-one-revision-of-one-seventeeth-century-anglican-translation-of-the-bible-into-elizabethean-english")
And so I assume when you say things like "they don't rely at all on scripture" and "they don't present a position" and such it's evident that we all don't go that route. If experience is the basis for this kind of thing, I can equally say it's been my experience that when I or someone else present an argument it's usually diminished from being one. For example, we would say that we do believe in preservation and then explain what that means and then the KJVO would usually accuse us NEATO (hereafter) of denying preservation altogether. So I don't deny that the conversation you've presented hasn't happened or can't happen - it just isn't speaking for all of us.

I find your position interesting. God preserved all His words in the language in which they were written and were generally accessible to every generation of believers. I assume the "Every generation" comes from Psalm 12, which can be argued for not referring to the words, as you're aware. But even if your interpretation is correct, how can you define "generally"? This seems to go against the grain of the majority of KJVO material. They hate generality. They want something specific. That's why the Rev 16:5 and Septuagint arguments are good arguments. But if you say the words were generally accessible, why do some of the variant readings in the KJV seem only "obscurely, if even" accessible the further back we go? Since Cyprian seems to allude to I John 5:7 in the (3rd?) century, does that mean the comman johanuem was "generally" accessible? I think a lot of your position rides on how you define words like this.

I wonder how the conversation would go prior to 1611. Oh, and. . .which one in the picture represents whom?

Kent Brandenburg said...

Jason, An interesting thought came to me when you mentioned that God's Word was the bestselling book of 2008. If I were to purchase Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain, there would be only one Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain. I believe the same thing about God's Word, that there is one Bible. I can't call something that is 7% different the same book. No one will do that.

DT,

Thanks for chiming in. I was pretty transparent here, I think you can see. I laid the arguments out there. I have found that this is about how it goes when I argue with someone. And then I ask the same type of question that I asked Jason, that is, "So what do you believe Scripture says about this?" And I get no answer.

Regarding the second half of the comment, I'll come back to you later. I've got to take my son to trombone.

Jason said...

Whoa Kent... give me a break. I've certainly taken the months to lay out a biblical position. I just have time to do it again right here right now. Especially with the guy who wrote the book. lol

You comment about only one Tom Sawyer could be taken a lot of ways. For instance, Pilgrims Progress has been updated with modernised language. Do we still consider the modernised language book Pilgrims Progress? What about Calvin's Institutes which have been translated several times. Do we consider each of those translations to be the same book?

Kent Brandenburg said...

Titus,

I'm sorry I passed right over your comment. As a CT proponent might say as part of his defense, I get a big laugh out of that homosexuality charge on KJV. I've read the history on that and it was completely fabricated by one of his political enemies in a book AFTER his death. Those who use it now, selectively quote from the political enemy without a living KJ to defend himself. Real good. Of course, the point is moot anyway since preservation doesn't depend on him.

Jason,

You miss it here, and I would think you want to take a step back with your last comment. I'm not talking about a translation of Scripture, as you made a point of a translation of Calvin or of Bunyan. We're talking about God here and you don't get to tinker with His Words to get it to fit how you want it to read for your own convenience. He gave the Words and they should stay that way. If we change it 7% after it has been accepted for hundreds of years, we should reject that. I stand by my Tom Sawyer point---we're not talking about a translation into the Spanish and an improvement of the translation effort (even a modernizing). Are you suggesting a modernization of the Greek NT and Hebrew OT?


You should care about two things:
1) You have a historic scriptural position on preservation.
2) That you have a problem if you can't find your position in history.

If you had one quote to show me your position was historic, I would have heard it by now. From my perspective, if I can't find historic basis for a theological position, then I want to have a lot of Bible to overturn it. In your case, you don't have the history, nor the Bible for it.

And Jason, this isn't meant to be harsh or unloving. It's the truth.

Kent Brandenburg said...

DT,

I'm back. General accessibility takes into account what we read in Colossians 4 about the passing around of the copies of Scripture. Not every church had every book right away during the hand copying period. We waited awhile for the entire canon to come together, even after it has all been finished. We didn't have UPS or fedex. However, they received what was Scripture and that's what they copied. I see it for believers too---God gave Scripture to His people. And believers who wanted it, could get to it. I do say general accessibility because of those factors.

What "KJVO material" are you talking about? That's a serious question. I haven't read much of it. I've read one Waite book, because it was about 80 pages. I read Dean Burgon's Revision Revised. I read Sorenson's book. I read Hill's book. Surrett's little book. I read Evaluating NT Versions by Fowler. I read as many CT books---Mind of God to the Mind of Man, Only One Bible? God's Word Preserved by Sproul, God's Word in our Hands. I've read a lot of Kutilek material. He reminds me of reading a CT version of Peter Ruckman.

The Rev. 16:5 and Septuagint arguments are arguments against,not arguments for a position. What exactly are they saying about your position? I make a lot of arguments for mine and then answer attacks, but I don't get answers when I make my attacks on the other side. I get conceitedness mostly---no answer---and then the personal attacks come, nothing that holds up. If you read any debate I've had online, that's how it's gone. They just go after my position and provide nothing.

Revelation 16:5 goes after one word essentially, yes. And that one word is enough to drive a whole history of textual criticism through and an acceptance of a Sinaticus and Vaticanus? That is a problem in light of what Scripture teaches on separation. I think you have to harmonize your view with a Biblical Theology of Scripture. I don't get that from the other side today. It was all over the place in the 16th and 17th century. Men like to wrap themselves in the WC and LBC and the NHBC, but ignore this doctrine they believed. The Septuagint argument is a huge slippery slope for your side. It says Jesus used an extremely corrupt OT and so that's our standard, a corrupted text. That clashes with a lot of doctrine all over Scripture. I don't believe it's the case and I've given very suitable arguments to harmonize with a scriptural presupposition. And yet a man like Wallace says we SHOULD NOT use Scripture for our textual criticism.

That's it for now.

Jason said...

My comment that God's Word is the best selling book in 2008 was obviously in the context of translations, not just the originals. That is the context in which I read your response and responded (re: Sawyer, etc.).

For those who have not done much homework, your confident statements about the historicity of your position will probably remove any doubts they might have had. But I've done enough homework to know that the facts simply don't stack up.

Meanwhile, there are battles to be fought and the gospel to be preached. I am thankful that I don't have to doubt God's Word but can instead preach it with confidence. Even from the ESV.

I am sorry that I have to watch my back while I fight the real enemy because of brothers who are making verbal, plenary accessibility out to be a fundamental doctrine.

DT said...

welcome back. I was waiting by the computer for hours. my head hurts.

OK, as far as general accessibility is concerned, I see what you're saying. But how does this apply to the time after the canon and before the KJV? Knowing that no Bible totally agreed with the KJV, does it apply that those who had Bibles or manuscripts of some sort still had the Word of God because it was generally accessible to them? IF this is so, my argument would be that we should accept the same for today. The Word of God is generally accessible and contained in a variety of versions and translations. If the hundreds of thousands of textual variants still maintained a general accessibility during the past, then the "7%" (could be debated whether it's 2% or 7%) difference between NT texts now should do the same.

The KJVO material to which I referred was indeed Waite, as well as Cloud, Burton, Daniels, Chick, Gipp, and most of the stuff I find on the net. Granted, they probably don't represent your position - that's fine. I'm also sure Hills and Burgon wouldn't necessarily agree, for Burgon has been documented as calling for revision of the TR. But modern KJVO proponents will say something like "In one verse, the word 'me' is taken out, so when Jesus says, 'believe in me', they make it, 'believe.' Believe in what? Mickey Mouse?" As if the context isn't talking specifically about Jesus. In their minds, one word is capable of throwing the whole thing out. So that was my point - they hate generality, they want specifics, and many of their "scholars" have attempted to prove that there were KJV's all throughout history.

Again this is why Rev 16:5 is so powerful. If all the evidence proves that a certain reading hadn't come into being until Beza'a 5th edition of the TR (1598?), what do we do? The Ruckmanite would gladly say God put it there, even if He hadn't earlier in history. But someone like you who actually believes in history and scripture and textual studies has a big problem. Perhaps we can admit that no translation is perfect.

The Septuagint argument is also a powerful one. And it certainly does argue for a position. It argues for the position that says that where the message that God has revealed is, the Word of God is, even if the words are not exactly the same. This is the position of most modern versions users, no? I can hold an ESV, NASB, NKJV and say this is the word of God. These are the scriptures. Jesus had no problem calling the Septuagint "the scriptures" and it is clear He read directly from it and it is clear what He read was the same message of the Hebrew version, but it is equally clear that what He read was slightly different in wording. If exclusive allegiance to one version were true, certainly Christ and the apostles would have been. If the Bible version issue were a matter of orthodoxy, certainly the NT would admonish us about it.

You replied to another commenter and asked him to consider that he has a problem if he can't find his position throughout history. What do we do with dispensational pretribulationalism, then?

As far as Wallace and others saying we don't use scriptural presuppositions for TC, I think it has some merit. I find it absolutely amazing that one can scrutinize the Bible through the normal means of TC and yet it comes out to be the most reliable book of its age every produced.

Finally, as far as who's arguing against who here, I'd say that most people on the modern version side are only arguing because they're the ones being attacked. We're told we have "non-inspired versions" (sometimes called "Satan's masterpiece), and that we don't have Bibles. Millions of Christians are told they don't have Bibles by the KJVO crowd! And seminars and books and articles are written about the heresies contained therein; interestingly those who actually read those Bibles never picked up on the heresy. I really believe this is a worthy argument because too many people are being carried away. If you want to believe in the superiority of the Byzantine platform, be cautious about textual criticism, and out of your love for God's word, be hesitant about embracing new versions, I'm absolutely ok with that. I don't know of any prominent modern version supporter who would disagree with your decicion. Even Wallace and White have great things to say about the KJV. But, perhaps, brother Kent, you're not doing thing, but for all those in the KJVO crowd that want to undermine the reliability of every other Bible, there has to be counter arguments.

Kent Brandenburg said...

Jason,

You may not want to argue and that isn't my point, but again, Scripture shows original language preservation and you use a translation analogy. That was a major aspect of my whole post, that is, the other side doesn't listen. But it proves my point. We don't fiddle with the text of a human book and still call it that book, at least without saying something like, "condensed" or "paraphrased" or "revised" on it. But imagine men revising Scripture---think about that.

You say the facts don't stack up and then you give me nothing. Nothing. You are in good company, because Daniel Wallace gave me nothing too, except he was willing to admit he has nothing. He freely admits his position isn't historical.

Why is the gospel preached, Jason? To glorify God. How did Jesus glorify God? By obedience to the will of the Father. How do we obey the Father? By obeying His Words. You can't separate the gospel or glorifying God from the Words.

Are KJV supporters keeping you from preaching the gospel in Australia?

DT,

"Historic material" seems to be what trips you up. That is also what trips up Bart Ehrman. I know some would just call this epistemology. How do we know? We've got promises of preservation in Scripture. That's one way of knowing things. That's how I know justification, Trinity, and all my other doctrines. And I see it as sufficient. And then we've a note written by Bezae next to Revelation 16:5 about conjectural emendation. You gravitate to that note. Of course, it is true. The promises are less true than that experience of Bezae. Well, I believe the promises, so when I read Bezae, I hear this:
1) We're talking about one Greek word. Yes, that's important (you call it "powerful." Powerful? Why isn't the fact that the critical text leaves out "Lord" in Rev. 16:5, powerful? Tyndale and the TR and the KJV and the Geneva Bible all say "Lord," but the NASV leaves it out completely. Is that powerful?). Part of the explanation of the emendation is that the manuscript was worn, faded, difficult to read. Hosios and esomenos look very much like each other. He sees esomenos to fit the context of the verse and of Revelation. A present participle of eimi, a kai, an imperfect participle of eimi, a kai, and then a future participle of eimi---as opposed to, present, imperfect, and then out of nowhere, an adjective, hosios. It's only conjectural because the physical copy itself was worn and difficult to read.
2) He has Latin that backs up esomenos. I don't discount translations.
3) The KJV translators had who knows what in the way of manuscripts. We don't know. They believe that esomenos is correct.
4) The churches used and preached 'eseomenos,' the future, masculine, singular, participle of eimi. That is powerful that they accepted that. Just like it was powerful that they accepted the 66 books.

This is where I stand right now on Rev. 16:5. If I work a little harder, I believe it will become more clear to me.

You use the word "textual studies"---I just want you to know that by that word, I interpret that as studying the original language text.

"The Septuagint" argument isn't powerful. Why?
1) We don't know "the Septuagint" existed then. All we've got is the letter of Aristeas, one copy of one letter that says some Greek Jews were translating the OT into Greek. Karen Jobes and Moises Silva in their standard book on the Septuagint (2000) write concerning the letter of Aristeas: "Even though the authenticity of the letter should be rejected...."
2) We don't even know today what "the Septuagint" is. There are many editions that all differ in their text---there is no "the Septuagint." Again Jobes and Silva write: "Strictly speaking, there is no such thing as the Septuagint." And, "The reader is cautioned, therefore, that there is really no such thing as the Septuagint." Ernst Wurthwein in The Text of the OT, p. 61, writes: "None of the various surviving forms of the text has preserved the original
form of the version."
3) A feasible explanation, and one made by Silva is that Christians, out of respect for Christ, wrote Greek quotations of Jesus into their OT copies of the Greek OT. That's why they look similar in so many places.
4) Whatever version of the Septuagint is a very corrupt OT text by anyone's standard and so should be rejected as valid for this purpose. If you want to use the Septuagint for certain types of study, which I won't elaborate here, that is fine. I use it for that purpose.
5) A Septuagint argument is not a position on preservation. It isn't a statement of biblical theology. I do have a heavy problem with that epistemology. Nowhere does Scripture say that God would preserve a translation of Scripture. You are sounding like a Ruckmanite a little at this point.

The side being attacked is the perfect preservation side, because that is in the Bible. It is also historic. The Johnny come lately critical text/eclectic text/rationalistic side is where the attack is. This is a defense of Scripture, DT.

I've got to run now. But notice I answer your questions.

Dave Mallinak said...

Kent said,
"What I have found to be the case is that advocates of the eclectic or critical text have a strong belief in the preservation of historical data, including what they read about Erasmus, even greater trust in information God didn't promise to preserve than in the Words of God that the Lord did promise to preserve."

I thought that this was an outstanding statement. And, having been in more than a few debates of the sort outlined above, I will further state that it is a very true point.

The textual critic presupposes the correctness of his arguments and of his historical interpretations. So, once again we find that this is a battle of presuppositions.

DT said...

actually, you failed to answer the question about which person in the picture represents whom :)

take that.

Bill Hardecker said...

"eclectic" seems like a powerful word. But when I looked up the definition, it reminded me of the furniture in my living room...now that is eclectic.

Kent Brandenburg said...

DT,

I didn't. Grandpa, of course, is the TR guy and John Boy is CT, especially after going to that liberal university in the big city.

Bill,

Very funny. I think I caught both jokes, including the word "powerful" used tongue in cheek.

You might call your furniture "Early Postmodern."

Jerry Bouey said...

Bro. Kent, I think you are right on. They are "no preservation" people - because they don't believe preservation as the Bible teaches: the preservation of the literal words, of every word. They redefine it, and then say they still believe it. That would be like someone saying, "I believe in the God of the Bible - but my god is named Allah, and Mohammed is his prophet, and Jesus was just a man, and the Koran is the inspired Scriptures, and ..." Then they show they don't believe what the Bible teaches in that regard, no matter how much they mouth that they do.

nate said...

You believe that there is one Bible - I presume by that you mean the KJV. So you believe that the English translations before it are not the Bible? Or did they stop being the Bible when the KJV was published? On what do you base this reasoning? Or do you believe that only the original Greek and Hebrew as used by the KJV are the Bible? In which case, does that make all prior and subsequent editions of the TR not the Bible? The Westminster Confession says the final authority is the original languages, not a translation - is that what you believe?

Kent Brandenburg said...

Nate,

Thanks for commenting. You obviously didn't read the actual post. If you did, your questions were answered there. I'd love to answer your questions, but please read the post. Read it and then please comment. You also are a perfect illustration of the post.

CD-Host said...

In general I think most of your polemic is reasonable. The problem is you are debating who 90% agree with you on theology using texts written by people who 60% agree with you on theology. Were you to debate the people in the United Bible Society who wrote the NA they certainly could not fall under this heading.

1) They take positive positions regarding scripture. The committee itself varies on those positions but the members do have them.

2) The difficulty with the KJV positioned being listened to is definitional, and that is getting cleared up:

KJV-onlyist: Word of God seems to the bible as generally available

Evangelical - NP: Word of God is the original word for word versions of the letters / gospels as written by their original author.

Moderate - NP: Word of God is shorthand for the text as compiled and revised in the late 3rd century not including later redactions.

So I think a great deal of the problem is this base term is being defined in radically different ways. And this applies to other terms.

3) Your absolutely correct that their view in conservative Protestant Christianity is recent. But Protestantism isn't that old. You can find midevil authors that held a low view of preservation and going back further the view becomes very common.

4) Absolutely every critical texter must assume lower criticism is correct since this is how the the NA is compiled.

7) The USB publishes tremendous amounts of evidence. You want the evidence for the NA with a thorough discussion of the manuscripts buy a copy of NIGTC.

nate said...

I read your post; twice now. It does not answer my questions. Please let me reduce the number of questions and attempt to phrase things in a better manner:

A) The Westminster Confession says that the original languages are the final authority.
B) No copy of the original languages "generally available" at the writing of the Westminster Confession (that is, the many editions produced by Erasmus, B├Ęza, and Elziver) match the KJV precisely.
C) Therefore, according to the Westminster Confession (and you), the KJV does not precisely match the originals.

Is this what you believe?

Please explain how I am a perfect illustration of the post. I have not defended the "eclectic text" in any way, nor have I questioned "preservation." In fact, you do not know any of my opinions, for I have not stated any of them.

By your reasoning, it should be no problem to say that that Tyndale's, Matthew's, and Coverdale's Bibles, the Great Bible, the Geneva Bible, the Bishops' Bible, the KJV (in all its editions), Webster's Bible, and the NKJV all "[come] from those Words that God preserved."

Jerry Bouey said...

Nate, for the sake of the argument, it is worthy noting that the NKJV does not solely come from the same manuscripts. In its Preface, this is admitted (ie. that they also used other manuscripts); therefore it is wrong to state that it is a TR-based (ie. preserved text) translation. It is a half-truth which leaves out some important information.

Kent Brandenburg said...

Hi Nate,

The reason you perfectly illustrated the post is because I believe that all the Words were preserved in the language in which they were written and canonized by the churches. You immediately said this: "So you believe that the English translations before it are not the Bible? Or did they stop being the Bible when the KJV was published? On what do you base this reasoning?" No one who read the post would ask those questions. Don't be upset with me for kindly stating the obvious.

Where you fall short with the Westminster Confession is in one word "copy." Scripture doesn't teach the preservation of a copy. If you read the Westminster divines, what they wrote, they didn't argue for the preservation of a copy, but the preservation of the Words, because that is what the Bible teaches. That took a presuppositional approach to this issue.

I do believe that the Greek text behind the KJV matches with the originals.

I don't really think of my position as my reasoning. It is scripturally defensible and historic. I'm certainly more in line with the translations that you mentioned in your last paragraph, but since I believe in perfect preservation and since the churches settled on the Words behind the KJV, I believe the KJV is superior to everything up to the Webster's. I have translational reasons for not advocating the Webster's and the NKJV.

And to CD Host,

I agree with a lot of what you said. You're, it seems, explaining where the separation seems to be. Regarding medieval men who didn't take the same position as the WC, you are talking about Roman Catholics. That would explain a false view.

Kent Brandenburg said...

Jerry,

It is true that the NKJV doesn't use the same text of the Old Testament, but that text differs only in a very few places, and where it does, from reading some of the members of the translation committee, they relied on the Ben Chayyim 1524-25 in those few places, so that the words are actually identical. I checked out some of the places and this was true. Thanks for commenting though.

Jerry Bouey said...

The Preface also states that the Septuagint (I think that was the manuscript referred to) was also used in part for the OT. As far as the NT goes, it is obvious that the NKJV does not solely use the TR, as there are various readings that are in line with the Critical Text. The NKJV is basically the middle ground between the KJV and the mvs.

Kent Brandenburg said...

Jerry,

I very sincerely and happily would love to have you show me the precise places that the text behind the KJV differs from that of the NKJV.

Here's what the preface says about the OT:

For the New King James Version the text used was the 1967/1977 Stuttgart edition of the Biblia Hebraica, with frequent comparisons being made with the Bomberg edition of 1524—25. The Septuagint (Greek) Version of the Old Testament and the Latin Vulgate also were consulted. In addition to referring to a variety of ancient versions of the Hebrew Scriptures, the New King James Version draws on the resources of relevant manuscripts from the Dead Sea caves. In the few places where the Hebrew was so obscure that the 1611 King James was compelled to follow one of the versions, but where information is now available to resolve the problems, the New King James Version follows the Hebrew text. Significant variations are recorded in footnotes.

And that is enough to reject it if they used another text. I long said the same thing you're saying, having read that part of the preface. However, I have been told and did some checking out to see if it is true, that the words are the same.

I'm not a NKJV supporter, because of:
1) A less formal equivalence in translation.
2) The translators didn't believe in perfect preservation.
3) It wasn't agreed upon by the churches.
4) The footnotes question the text.

Jerry Bouey said...

I am not debating the underlying texts, just pointing out what you quoted here. The fact that the English text of the NKJV differs in meaning in many places from the KJV is enough for me to reject that version - even if they were supposedly from the exact same texts - though as the quote you gave shows, they are not completely from the same texts. The differences in meaning, the parts omitted, the New Age terms used, the making of salvation an ongoing process, the removal of references to Hell, etc. all give me reason to reject this counterfeit (NKJV).

nate said...

The "text behind the KJV" does not exist, or at the very least it did not exist until over 250 years after the KJV was first printed. I suppose you could say it existing in the cosmic sense, much as I and you and everyone else alive existed by the foreknowledge of God, but it was not available to the writers of the Westminster Confession!

Therefore, either, A) the writers of the confession did not have all of the original words that they pointed to, or B) the KJV is not based on all of the original words.

You cannot have it both ways. If the KJV matches the originals, the originals no longer exist, and only those who understand English have access to every word.

Kent Brandenburg said...

Nate,

One interesting point about you is that you haven't admitted when you are wrong. You go right along as if nothing happened. Twice you've been wrong here. You make an accusation. It's wrong. I correct it. And you say nothing. What do you think of that? Just because you use a question, a leading one, doesn't mean it isn't an accusation.

Now to your comment. If there was no text behind the KJV, what did they translate from? Of course they were translating from a text. That's why it is called a translation. "Cosmic sense?" I guess that's a joke.

When you say 'not available until 250 years afterwards,' you are talking about Scrivener's edition, I suppose. Again, the WC position and mine, is one of words. They agreed on all of the words.

As far as what the WC divines used as a text for the NT, we can go only by what they write. They regularly referred to a text. And it happened to be a text identical to the KJV. If you do a study of the specific words of the text behind the KJV and see if they were the ones being used by men who we still can read in print from those days, they were using the text behind the KJV. What else can you go by historically than that?

So your last two paragraphs don't work, which are essentially restating the same thing, one negative and the other positive. They had the words. I can go into this in more detail, and we probably will in a book that will be a sequel to Thou Shalt Keep Them. The KJV is based on those words.

Who are you, Nate?

CD-Host said...

Kent --

OK good I'm glad we agree on where the problem is. So let me push it a step further. Lets call our NA27 supporter who actually is willing to defend his position NP2. Now NP2 clearly is willing to defend his positions. So lets start over:

Kent: God preserved all His Words in the language in which they were written and they were generally accessible to every generation of believers. The King James Version comes from those Words that God preserved for every generation of believers.

NP2: Lets not discuss "God's words" since that term doesn't share a common meaning. Discussions of preservation are NT book specific (I'll deal with the NT first since this is the currently fashionable dividing line) Moreover, the evidence is pretty clear for some of these books there may not even have been wasn't a single text to "preserve" at all. That is given the multiple layers of authorship what "preserve" would mean. However, even if we assume it were the case that their is an original Greek text and that it had been preserved and that the TR was the preserved text, that still doesn't defend the KJV as a translation of the TR. The KJV is, by modern standards, as a translation, a not terribly good translation of the TR.

And so a further level of faith is being called for in asserting that for the reasons scholars would attack the KJV's translation of the TR that they are wrong.

So in arguing for preservation I think you need to either:

1) Explain the how God's word being preserved is consistent with documentary record we actually have.

2) Assert that some sort of further revelation came with the creation of the KJV.

3) Assert that God's word exists independent of its expression in particular languages. That is there is an underlying meaning which is robust to minor shifts in language and details are unimportant.

____________

OK now in my mind that's a real response that an NA27 author could give, somewhere between a Metzger and an Erhmann. Is that sufficiently positive? Ultimately they disagree with you at all 4 points in the case which is what makes the argument confusing.

Kent Brandenburg said...

CD,

Your "God's Words" not actually being "words" is a common view among the NP. They say that "Word" is something conceptual.

I think that the KJV is a good translation even by modern standards. Certain English words have changed, but they did a fine job.

I don't make the translation a point of preservation. God preserved what He wrote.

I believe you are missing a point about preservation and that is agreement of true churches as seen in usage. The KJV was a standard for centuries.

When you talk about God's Word preserved being consistent with documentary record, I think you are talking about laws of textual criticism. What I look for is "were those words available?" If they were, and the churches agreed on them, then they are God's Words. This very much akin to how we know how many books of Scripture we have too. We can't say they were or are preserved if they are not generally accessible.

CD-Host said...

Your "God's Words" not actually being "words" is a common view among the NP. They say that "Word" is something conceptual.

I wasn't actually saying that that came during the NP2 response citing possible defenses. To be honest I thought you did believe 3. So now I don't actually don't know what you mean by "God's words". What are God's words to you? So when you say "God preserved what he wrote" which documents are what he wrote?

I believe you are missing a point about preservation and that is agreement of true churches as seen in usage. The KJV was a standard for centuries.

Let me repeat the claim back to you organized slightly differently help clarify it. Indicate where you want to be more specific.

1) There are a distinguished collection of churches called "true churches" which are identifiable in some way. These types of churches have existed for centuries.

2) This collection of churches uses particular bibles.

3) Those bibles are the preserved versions of God's word, regardless of their textual genealogy.

This very much akin to how we know how many books of Scripture we have too.

I agree this is a good analogy, though frankly a much simpler case. But I would argue though that if one were to use that standard we have 75 books. There were people like Jerome who didn't think the 9 apocryphal should be part of scripture. But when he lost the debate and the Vulgate came out with the 9 apocryphal books over (406) they were accepted by the church almost without dissent until the movement to translate again from the Hebrew, in particular Luther. Then they are seen by many Protestants as being of slightly lower status but it isn't really until 1826, when the British bible society stopped publishing the apocrypha, that Protestants considered them definitely not part of the bible.

So I'd argue your example shows the opposite of what you are trying to prove. There hasn't been preservation there. And that is really a backward looking glance, what turned out to be true. Real time it was harder to tell. For example, many groups in the ancient world continued to use the Diatessaron rather than having 4 distinct gospels. This tradition died out completely around the 9th century so today we don't look at this as a viable option, but even the issue of what books should be in the bible doesn't strike me as preservation as much as an emerging consensus.

And finally of note if we were to go back to the 2nd and 3rd centuries this issue would have been a total free for all. A Christian in 150, wouldn't be clear at all what was Christian canon and what wasn't. His particular community would have books and the other communities he was familiar with would have had different books, perhaps radically different books.

Sam said...

Kent is right about his view being the most Biblical and Historical. Even the enemies of the KJV agree:

Kurt Aland the principal editor of the Nestle-Aland edition of Novum Testamentum Graece writes,
“Finally it is undisputed that from the 16th to the 18th century orthodoxy’s doctrine of verbal inspiration assumed this Textus Receptus. It was the only Greek text they knew, and they regarded it as the ‘original text.’” Barbara Aland writes, “Every Theologian of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries (and not just the exegetical scholars) worked from an Edition of the Greek Text of the New Testament which was regarded as the ‘revealed text.’ This idea of verbal inspiration (i.e. literal and inerrant inspiration of the text) ….was applied to the Textus Receptus” and “We can appreciate better the struggle for freedom from the dominance of the Textus Receptus when we remember that in this period it was regarded as preserving even to the last detail the inspired and infallible Word of God Himself. ”Another critic, Merrill M. Parvis states, “The Textus Receptus is not the ‘true’ text of the New Testament,” but concedes, “It [the TR] was the Scripture of many centuries of the Church's life. ... The Textus Receptus is the text of the Church. It is that form of text which represents the sum total and the end product of all the textual decisions which were made by the Church and her Fathers over a period of more than a thousand years.” The liberal historian, Jonathan Sheehan accepts, “There was, for Medieval Christians (and for many modern ones as well) essentially no reason to suppose that the text of their Bible was anything but identical with the Bible itself.” Another, E. C. Colwell has admitted that those who are committed to the absolute authority of preservation will ultimately reject textual criticism,"It is often assumed by the ignorant and uninformed – even on a university campus – that textual criticism of the New Testament is supported by a superstitious faith in the Bible as a book dictated in miraculous fashion by God. That is not true. Textual criticism has never existed for those whose New Testament is one of miracle, mystery, and authority. A New Testament created under those auspices would have been handed down under them and would have no need of textual criticism ."

Johannes Andreas Quenstedt (1617 - 1688) the German Lutheran dogmatician argued,
"We believe, as is our duty, that the providential care of God has always watched over the original and primitive texts of the canonical Scriptures in such a way that we can be certain that the sacred codices which we now have in our hands are those which existed at the time of Jerome and Augustine, nay at the time of Christ Himself and His apostles."

In the preface to the 1633 Elzevir publication of the Greek NT it states records, “Textum ergo habes, nunc ab omnibus receptum: in quo nihil immutatum aut corruptum damu” (“What you have here then is the text universally recognized: we offer it free of alterations and corruptions”).
Despite the proud claims for the antiquity of the manuscripts used in the 1881 Revision such as Vaticanus, Bishop C. J. Ellicott, chairman of the 1881 Revision Committee, issued a pamphlet in that same year in which he significantly conceded that the Received Text was as ancient as the Vaticanus B,
The manuscripts which Erasmus used differ, for the most part, only in small and insignificant details from the bulk of the cursive (Byzantine) manuscripts. The general character of their text is the same. By this observation the pedigree of the Received Text is carried up beyond the individual manuscripts used by Erasmus ... That pedigree stretches back to a remote antiquity. The first ancestor of the Received Text was at least contemporary with the oldest of our extant manuscripts (i.e., Codices B, Aleph, A, C, and D), if not older that any one of them .

Kent's position can be ascertained by simply searching on google books. Also archive.org has many old classic books containg many historic quotes on I John 5:7, preservation etc.

Sam said...

When challenged to prove inspiration the anti-KJV critic usually cite 2 Timothy 3:16 (“All scripture is given by inspiration of God...”), but this passage says nothing about the “original autographs,” it refers to “scripture.” 2 Timothy 3:15 gives us the interpretation of this word “scripture” as it tells us that Timothy “from a child hast known the holy scriptures.” No anti-KJV critic would argue that Timothy (or Paul, the Bereans, or even Christ) was in possession of the autographs, yet Paul calls the copies they possessed, “scripture” and that it was “all” inspired. It is inconceivable that in the middle of an exhortation to cling to his copies that Paul would suddenly change topic and start talking about the originals. As Jack Moorman comments, “Therefore, it is the work of past inspiration which makes the Scriptures profitable in the present. And conversely, the Scriptures cannot be profitable in the present if the manifold blessings of inspiration have not been preserved .” Clearly, Paul was not an anti-KJV critic who argued that inspiration and preservation were in the “autographs only.” Dr. Nathaniel West when referring to 2 Timothy 3:16 which he renders in his own translation, “Every Scripture is inspired of God,” adds, "The distributive word “Every” is used not only to particularize each individual Scripture of the Canon that Timothy had studied from his youth, but also to include, along with the Old Testament the New Testament Scriptures extant in Paul's day, and any others, such as those that John wrote after him." As Elmer Towns writes, “If an all-powerful God cannot control the vehicle of His self-revelation, then His power and nature can be questioned.” Dean Burgon once wrote, “There exists no reason for supposing that the Divine Agent, who in the first instance thus gave to mankind the Scriptures of Truth, immediately abdicated His office and took no further care of His work; that He abandoned those precious writings.”

Even the contemporary agnostic textual critic, Bart Ehrman accepts the KJVO advocates are the only consistent group on preservation,"One cannot read the literature produced by the various advocates of the Majority text without being impressed by a remarkable theological concurrence. To one degree or another, they all (to my knowledge, without exception) affirm that God’s inspiration of an inerrant Bible required [emphasis added] His preservation of its text."

Ehrman also accepts the fallacious logic of those who are argue that God was involved in preservation but this was just “general,” as he argue, “If one affirms God’s involvement in the transmission process in any way at all, is it anything but high handed to claim that He was generally, but not fully involved?” Dr. Henry Liddon (1829-1890), Canon of St. Paul’s also said:"For Christians it will be enough to know that our Lord Jesus Christ set the seal of His infallible sanction on the whole of the Old Testament. He found the Hebrew canon as we have it in our hands to-day, and He treated it as an authority which was above discussion. Nay, more; He went out of His way if we may reverently speak thus to sanction not a few portions of it which modern skepticism rejects."

The brilliant Puritan scholar, Thomas Cartwright of whom Beza said, “The sun does not shine on a greater scholar than Cartwright” observed,"Woe unto the churches, if the Scriptures, the charters and records of heaven be destroyed, falsified, or corrupted. These divine charters were safely kept in one nation of the Jews; and though they were sometimes unfaithful, yet they kept the keys of the Lord’s library: but now, when many nations have the keys, it is altogether incredible that any such corruptions should enter in, as the adversaries unwisely suppose. If the Lord preserved the book of Leviticus, with the account of the ancient ceremonies, which were afterward abolished, how much more may we conclude that his providence has watched over other books of Scripture which properly belong to our times and to our salvation? Will not the Scriptures bear witness to the perpetuity of their own authority? “Secret things belong to God;” but things revealed belong to us, and to our children forever. Jesus Christ said, “Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my word shall not pass away.” Notwithstanding the sacred writings were disregarded, and even hated by most persons, they had been preserved entire as they were the first day they were given to the church of God. More than fifteen hundred years had elapsed, during which not any one book, nor part of any book, of canonical Scripture had been lost: and it was evident not only that the matter of the Scripture, but also the words; not only the sense and meaning, but also the manner and form of speech in them remained unaltered."

Bishop of Rochester, Francis Atterbury (1663 – 1732) is typical of those defending the KJV,"The best translation extant is that of the Bible. It is a scrupulous literal version; yet in its plainest parts maintains the perspicuity of the original, and the height of it in the loftiest. It was performed in King James's days, and yet the English is now as fresh as if it had been a work of yesterday."

Sam said...

On the Revision Committee of the RV was a Unitarian, G. Vance Smith (1816-1902), minister of St. Saviours Gate Unitarian Chapel, York, who was invited by Westcott to a communion service for the translators be held at Westminster Abbey before the beginning of revision. Smith boasted after this service in a letter was published in The Times (July 11, 1870) that “he received the Sacrament on this occasion without ‘joining in reciting the Nicene Creed,’ and without ‘compromise’ (as he had expressed it) of his principles as a Unitarian .” In his writings Smith even claims Christ made mistakes, "it is not to be questioned, many errors, chiefly of the intellectual kind, attached to the early preaching of the Gospel, and some certainly did to the words of Christ himself; just as very much of human ignorance and prejudice has since and continually been involved in the ideas prevailing as to the character and purposes of his religion…In Christ’s own teachings and those of the Apostles, as time has amply shown, erroneous ideas were not wanting."

Smith later admits of the Revision Committee, “nor is there anything improbable in the supposition that they may have been influenced by the bias of their own theological opinions. It was at least natural, perhaps it was inevitable, that they should have been so.” Smith boasted of some of these examples with the most devastating admission to those who promote the Westcott and Hort doctrine,
Since the publication of the revised New Testament,

"it has been frequently said that the changes of translation which the work contains are of little importance from a doctrinal point of view; — in other words, that the great doctrines of popular theology remain unaffected, untouched by the results of the revision. How far this assertion is correct, the careful reader of the foregoing pages will be able to judge for himself. To the writer any such statement appears to be in the most substantial sense contrary to the facts of the case, for the following reasons:

(1) The only passage in the New Testament which seemed like a statement of the doctrine of the Trinity, has been removed by the revisers as spurious.

(2) The sole Deity of the Father has been re-affirmed in a remarkable case in which the authorised version had singularly misrepresented the original words. 'The only God ' of John v. 44, affords evidence equally strong and clear with that of John xvii. 3, that the writer of this Gospel could not have intended to represent Jesus, the Christ, or Messiah, or even the Logos in him, as God in the same high sense of Infinite and Eternal Being in which He is so.

(3) The character of the baptismal formula is greatly altered by the simple substitution of the word 'into' for 'in' shewing us that there could never have been, as people have commonly supposed, any ecclesiastical magic in the phrase 'In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost,' seeing that this phrase is not to be found in the New Testament at all, and that the words simply express a change of mind, on the part of the convert, from disbelief or denial to the profession of the allegiance which constituted discipleship.

(4) One remarkable instance in which the epithet ' God ' was given to Christ (1 Tim. iii. 16) has been excluded from the text, and others of similar kind are admitted by the Revision to be uncertain.

(5) The only instance in the New Testament in which the religious worship or adoration of Christ was apparently implied, has been altered by the Revision: `At the name of Jesus every knee shall bow,' [Philippians 2:10] is now to be read `in the name.' Moreover, no alteration of text or of translation will be found anywhere to make up for this loss; as indeed it is well understood that the New Testament contains neither precept nor example which really sanctions the religious worship of Jesus Christ

(6) The word “Atonement” disappears from the New Testament, and so do the connected phrases, ‘faith in his blood,’ and ‘for Christ's sake.’ These so commonly used expressions are shewn to be misrepresentations of the force of the original words, such alterations evidently throwing the most serious doubt upon the important popular doctrine of which they have hitherto been amain or indispensable support."

In 1745, the Unitarian William Whiston published a New Testament deliberately altered to purge it of the “unholy Trinity” to restore it to the “plain doctrine of the original .” This attack failed, but Vance Smith’s effort over a century later succeeded. Interestingly, the contemporary leading textual critic, Bart Ehrman accepts that doctrine has been affected by these variant readings,"Let me make one further comment about this whole matter of different manuscript readings…. [I]n no case is any doctrine of the Christian faith affected by any of these variant readings. The textual problems we have examined affect the interpretation of many of the familiar and historically significant passages of the New Testament: the birth narratives of Matthew and Luke, the prologue of the Fourth Gospel, the baptismal accounts of the Synoptics, the passion narratives, and other familiar passages in Acts, Paul, Hebrews, and the Catholic epistles. In some instances, the interpretations of these passages were understood by scribes who “read” their interpretations not only out of the text but actually into it, as they modified the words in accordance with what they were taken to mean…. Naturally, the same data relate to the basic doctrinal concerns of early Christians—theologians and, presumably, laypersons alike: Was Jesus the Messiah, predicted in the Old Testament? Was Joseph his father? Was Jesus born as a human? Was he tempted? Was he able to sin? Was he adopted to be the Son of God at his baptism? At his resurrection? Or was he himself God? Was Jesus one person or two persons? Did he have a physical body after his resurrection? And many others. The ways scribes answered these questions affected the way they transcribed their texts. And the way they transcribed their texts has affected, to some degree, the way modern exegetes and theologians have answered these questions."

Kent Brandenburg said...

Sam,

Hi! Hey, thanks for all this material! Pretty devastating. I appreciate all the work that you did and for your support of God's Word. I know that drives the other side crazy, when I say you "support God's Word," implying that others do not, but I can't see it another way.

Thanks again Sam!!

Sam said...

Thanks Kent,

I would advise anyone to simply search using these quotes on google books or "textual criticism" and "liberalism" etc on archive.org and you will be amazed how much truth has been buried by the Neo-Fundamentalist and Neo-Evangelical writers. I will put more on over time, but it looks like you can more than handle the critics.

As Dr. A. J. Gordon once correctly observed, “To deny that the Holy Spirit speaks in Scripture is an intelligible proposition, but to admit that He speaks, it is impossible to know what He says except as we have His Words. ”

God Bless.

Charles Hammond writes in 1884, "There have been other critics who seem to regard a deviation from the Textus Receptus as little else than a heresy, and assume that the cursive MSS., on which it is based, are the representatives of other early correct codices, now lost, of a different type from those early ones that now exist, but more worthy of consideration."

Textual critics agree that it is impossible for us to have in our hand the Words of God today. Wilbur Pickering explains that as long the textual materials are handled in this way “we will never be sure about the precise wording of the Greek text” because,
Even where there is unanimous testimony for the wording of the text, the canons of internal evidence do not preclude the possibility that that unanimous testimony might be wrong. Once internal evidence is accepted as the way to determine the text there is no basis in principle for objecting to conjectural emendation. Hence no part of the Text is safe. (Even if it is required that a proposed reading be attested by at least one manuscript, a new Papyrus may come to light tomorrow with new variants to challenge the unanimous witness of the rest, and so on .

Rendel Harris in 1908 who declared that the New Testament text was, “More than ever, and perhaps finally, unsettled .” In 1910 Conybeare states that “the ultimate (New Testament) text, if there ever was one that deserves to be so called, is forever irrecoverable. ” Another critic, Merrill M. Parvis admits, “Each one of the critical texts differ quite markedly from all the others. This fact certainly suggests that it is very difficult, if not impossible, to recover the original text of the New Testament .” In 1941 Kirsopp Lake, after a life time spent in the study of the New Testament text, argues, “In spite of the claims of Westcott and Hort and of von Soden, we do not know the original form of the Gospels, and it is quite likely that we never shall .” Bart Ehrman states, “there is always a degree of doubt, an element of subjectivity.” Kurt Aland declares that the latest Text of the United Bible Societies is “not a static entity” and “every change in it is open to challenge. ” Robert M. Grant, a well-known critical scholar, says,"The primary goal of New Testament textual study remains the recovery of what the New Testament writers wrote. We have already suggested that to achieve this goal is well-nigh impossible. Therefore we must be content with what Reinhold Niebuhr and others have called, in other contexts, an ‘impossible possibility. ”

K.W. Clark now accepts, "The textual history that the Westcott-Hort text represents is no longer tenable in the light of newer discoveries and fuller textual analysis. In the effort to construct a congruent history, our failure suggests that we have lost the way, that we have reached a dead end, and that only a new and different insight will enable us to break through."

Sam said...

The shift against the KJV and a new position of inerrancy in the autographs only came about during the defense against Liberalism by men like B.B. Warfield. After being given a letter of introduction by Philip Schaff, Warfield entered the University of Leipzig in 1876 for a year’s study, where he embraced German Textual criticism. He returned to America determined to weave its pre-suppositions with the historic view of verbal inspiration. The first and longest chapter in the Westminster Confession is On the Holy Scriptures, as the Divines deliberately placed the Church under the authority of the Bible alone. Liberals wanted a revision of the Westminster Confession and were ultimately successful. The battle for the Bible was linked in Presbyterian circles with a battle for the authority of the Westminster Confession. The Westminster Assembly had declared that the texts of the Bible, “being immediately inspired by God, and, by His singular care and providence, kept pure in all ages, are therefore authentical” (I:8). As a Presbyterian history text by Gary North explains,"How pure is pure? If there are errors in the existing texts, then this statement by the Confession regarding their preservation in history is called into question. At the very least, defining "pure" becomes mandatory. But if the historical texts were copied faithfully, and errors have nevertheless been found, this calls into question the meaning of “immediately inspired.” Inspiration no longer means absolutely accurate, and without absolute accuracy, the judicial authority of the Bible is undermined. This moves the source of law away from the Bible as God's authoritative word to man and his authoritative word. This is where higher critics of the Bible want to move it."

Warfield needed to relegate the Westminster Confession’s unambiguous position on inspiration to the “inscrutable autographs” instead of the received text. In effect, he sought to “demythologize” the Confession to fit in with modern views of higher criticism. This would result in a text today that was in reality merely partially and occasionally inspired. Warfield utilized the Common Sense Realism pre-suppositions that flourished in Scotland in the late 18th and early 19th centuries to show that the understanding of Scripture was simply a matter of observation and inductive reasoning from the facts. He also argued that we should be thankful that, “such has been the providence of God in preserving for His Church in each and every age a competently exact text of the Scriptures, with only “comparatively infrequent blemishes…its wonderful approximation to its autograph .” Preus, however, argues that “it is as needless and foolish to suppose that we must have the autographa today as to think that we need the cup from which Christ drank before the Eucharist can be rightly celebrated."
Warfield argues that textual criticism is the methodology to determine the true text, “So far from the Bible being less subject to criticism than other books, we are bound to submit its unique claims to a criticism of unique rigor. Criticism is the mode of procedure by which we assure ourselves that it is what it claims to be.” He also seeks to comfort his readers by citing the Unitarian Scholar, Ezra Abbott’s assurance,"Dr. Ezra Abbot was accustomed to say that about nineteen-twentieths of them have so little support that, although they are various readings, no one would think of them as rival readings; and nineteen-twentieths of the remainder are of so little importance that their adoption or rejection would cause no appreciable difference in the sense of the passages where they occur."

Warfield admits that he was arguing a prevailing view of the Reformed Church,"Reverence for the Word of God, perversely but not unnaturally exercised, erected the standard or received text into the norm of a true text; and although preparations for critical editions began very early, and were seriously undertaken by the editors of Walton’s “Polyglot” (1657), yet many years passed away before the hardening bondage to the received text could be shaken, and it was not until 1831 that it was entirely broken by the issue of Lachmann's first edition."

Incredibly, Warfield also accepts that the Revised Version was more in line with the Romanist Douay Bible,"I have been surprised, in comparing the Revised Testament with other versions, to find how many of the changes, which are important and valuable, have been anticipated by the Rhemish (Roman Catholic) translation, which now forms a part of what is known as the Douay Bible. ... And yet a careful comparison of these new translations with the Rhemish Testament, shows them, in many instances to be simply a return to this old version, and leads us to think that possibly there were as finished scholars three hundred years ago as now, and nearly as good apparatus for the proper rendering of the original text."

It is interesting to note that the latest United Bible Societies Text descended from the Westcott and Hort family boasts, “the new text is a reality, and as the text distributed by the United Bible Societies and by the corresponding office of the Roman Catholic Church (an inconceivable situation until quite recently) it has rapidly become the commonly accepted text for research and study in universities and church .” The United Bible Societies Vice President is Roman Catholic Cardinal Onitsha of Nigeria. On the executive committee is Roman Catholic Bishop Alilona of Italy and among the editors is Roman Catholic Cardinal Martini of Milan. Patrick Henry happily claims, “Catholics should work together with Protestants in the fundamental task of Biblical translation…[They can] work very well together and have the same approach and interpretation . . [This] signals a new age in the church .” In 1943 the Papal encyclical Divino Afflante Spiritu encouraged a new ecumenically translated Bible as it said, “These translations [should] be produced in cooperation with separated brothers.” Indeed, the Introduction in that Catholic Bible says,"In general, Nestle’s-Aland’s Novum Testamentum Graece (25th edition, 1963) was followed. Additional help was derived from The Greek New Testament (editors Aland, Black, Metzger, Wikgren) produced for the use of translators by the United Bible Societies in 1966." Today, we have now the same Ecumenical Greek Text for the modernist, liberal and Romanist Bibles. Yet sadly so many Fundamentalists have embraced such as corrupted source as their “infallible rule of faith.” What a tragedy!

The liberal writer, McCabe writing in 1897 agrees that the Westminster divines had assumes providential preservation of all the words,"Until the seventeenth century divines had assumed that Providence had miraculously guarded its inspired books. From this torpid belief they were at length roused by the controversies on the date and origin of the vowel points of the Hebrew text between the Buxtorfs and Morinus and Cappell, and by the discovery of a vast number of variations in the manuscripts and printed books of Scripture Kennicott s Hebrew Bible, published from 1776 to 1790, gave 200,000 variations. Thus a door was opened to a certain reverent kind of criticism."

The Formula Consensus Helvetica (1675) is also very clear that we have all the Words of God perfectly preserved for us today,
CANONS
I. God, the Supreme Judge, not only took care to have His word, which is the “power of God unto salvation to everyone that believeth “(Rom. 1:16), committed to writing by Moses, the Prophets, and the Apostles, but has also watched and cherished it with paternal care ever since it was written up to the present time, so that it could not be corrupted by craft of Satan or fraud of man. Therefore the Church justly ascribes it to His singular grace and goodness that she has, and will have to the end of the world, a “sure word of prophecy” and “Holy Scriptures” (2 Tim. 3:15), from which, though heaven and earth perish, “one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass”(Matt. 5:18).
II. But, in particular, the Hebrew Original of the Old Testament, which we have received and to this day do retain as handed down by the Jewish Church, unto whom formerly “were committed the oracles of God” (Rom. 3:2), is, not only in its consonants, but in its vowels—either the vowel points themselves, or at least the power of the points—not only in its matter, but in its words, inspired of God, thus forming, together with the Original of the New Testament, the sole and complete rule of our faith and life; and to its standard, as to a Lydian stone, all extant versions, oriental and occidental, ought to be applied, and where ever they differ, be conformed.
III. Therefore we can by no means approve the opinion of those who declare that the text which the Hebrew Original exhibits was determined by man’s will alone, and do not scruple at all to remodel a Hebrew reading which they consider unsuitable, and amend it from the Greek Versions of the LXX and others, the Samaritan Pentateuch, the Chaldee Targums, or even from other sources, yea, sometimes from their own reason alone; and furthermore, they do not acknowledge any other reading to be genuine except that which can be educed by the critical power of the human judgment from the collation of editions with each other and with the various readings of the Hebrew Original itself—which, they maintain, has been corrupted in various ways; and finally, they affirm that besides the Hebrew edition of the present time, there are in the Versions of the ancient interpreters which differ from our Hebrew context other Hebrew Originals, since these Versions are also indicative of ancient Hebrew Originals differing from each other. Thus they bring the foundation of our faith and its inviolable authority into perilous hazard.

Francis Turretin (1623–1687) expounded on the early confessional doctrine of Biblical preservation and understood it to mean “entire preservation,” as he said "Nor can we readily believe that God, who dictated and inspired each and every word to these inspired men, would not take care of their entire preservation."

The Baptist New Hampshire Confession (1833) states:

We believe that the Holy Bible was written by men divinely inspired, and is an infallible and inerrant treasure of heavenly instruction; that it has God for its author, salvation for its end, and truth, without any mixture of error, for its matter … and therefore is, and shall remain to the end of the world, the true centre of Christian union, and the supreme standard by which all human conduct, creeds, and opinions should be tried.

Theodore P. Letis, contends that Warfield’s importation of critical methodology to Princeton ultimately backfired, leading to an increasing historical skepticism,"It is my conviction that Warfield himself represents a paradigm shift at Princeton,away from the tradition of Archibald Alexander and Charles Hodge....Warfield's wholly new paradigm, which relegated final authority to the autographa, rather than to the apographa, left Princeton vulnerable to the fragmenting efforts of the early twentieth century Biblical criticism. Warfield probably never foresaw that his quest for the historical text (for it is here where he would find inerrancy) would evolve into the quest for the historical Jesus at Princeton, just as it did in Britain in the eighteenth century and in Germany in the nineteenth century."

Warfield gave himself to studying textual criticism in his graduate studies and felt that these tools were “neutral.” Letis accuses him of being influenced by “the Enlightenment," because this approach “demanded that Scripture be approached ‘as any other literature,’ and it legitimized the use of the radical technique of conjectural emendation - the very foundation of the higher critical method.”

Warfield admits in his book on Textual Criticism that “the current New Testament text must be adjudged, in comparison with a well-printed modern book, extremely corrupt” but he argues this can be overcome for “if we compare the present state of the New Testament text with that of any other ancient writing, we must render the opposite verdict and declare it to be marvelously correct.” After warmly welcoming B. F. Westcott and F. J. A. Hort’s Theory in The New Testament in the Original Greek, Warfield soon began to assert that textual critical methodology clearly demonstrates the inspiration of one of the resurrection accounts ( Mark 16:9-20) as “no part of the word of God. We are not then to ascribe to these verses the authority due to God’s word.” By this action, Warfield unwittingly opened the door to destructive higher criticism, as the history of Princeton delineates. A secular historian, Harriet A. Harris writing on Fundamentalism correctly observed the historic shift by Princeton, "A few groups still insist on the Authorized Version, but the official doctrine of most fundamentalists and evangelicals has been influenced by the Princeton doctrine of inerrancy, according to which only the original autographs are fully inspired and inerrant."

Warfield became bolder and soon claimed that opponents of Westcott and Hort such as Dean Burgeon, will now “pass quietly away and leave no successors .” By 1911, the sons of the 19th century N.T. scholar W.F. Moulton, who had himself worked on the revision committee of the Revised Version of 1881, boasted in their book The History of the English Bible, "Intelligent people are familiar with its rendering, and ignorant prejudice against its more startling changes of text in the New Testament seems to have died away. In the matter of text, indeed, an epoch was marked by the British and Foreign Bible Society’s centenary publication of Nestle’s edition of the Greek Testament which was almost an official registration of the decrease of the “Received Text.” Dean Burgon’s thunder rolls no more, and no scholar of any reputation remains to plead for his views. This fact alone, of course, disposes of the only serious attack upon the Revised New Testament."

A. A. Hodge also was caught up in revising the traditional interpretation of the Confession by now arguing in his commentary in 1874 that “pure in all ages” now meant “a state of essential purity” where “the essential integrity of our text is established” as he says,"That the original sacred text has come down to us in a state of essential purity. That the Scriptures should be translated into the vernacular languages of all people, and copies put into the hands of all capable of reading them.

The true text of the ancient Scriptures is ascertained by means of a careful collation and comparison of the…Ancient manuscripts. The oldest existing Hebrew manuscripts date from the ninth or tenth century. The oldest Greek manuscripts date from the fourth to the sixth century. Many hundreds of these have been collated by eminent scholars in forming the text of modern Hebrew and Greek Testaments. The differences are found to be unimportant, and the essential integrity of our text is established."

Since the Enlightenment, Protestantism had granted science increasingly independent authority and surrendering the Bible’s authority whenever any supposed conflict arose between the two. This superficial accommodation would give a temporary respite as Science and Scripture were now thought to be once more in harmony. The fruits of importing evidence from outside the Bible into the exegesis of biblical texts to “compartmentalize” inspiration and preservation soon led Princeton to make at least two crucial compromises in other areas. Warfield, following his philosophical mentor, James McCosh, was now also open to the possibility of theistic evolution. Even the more reserved Princeton theologian, Charles Hodge sought to find a compromise with “science” and posited a day-age theory concerning the opening chapters of Genesis . Hodge did at least stand against Theistic evolution and said,"It is conceded that a man may be an evolutionist and yet not be an atheist and may admit of design in nature. But we cannot see how the theory of evolution can be reconciled with the declarations of the Scriptures. Others may see it, and be able to reconcile their allegiance to science with their allegiance to the Bible….It is a fact, so far as our limited knowledge extends, that no one is willing to acknowledge himself, not simply an evolutionist, but an evolutionist of the Darwinian school, who is not either a Materialist by profession, or a disciple of Herbert Spencer, or an advocate of the philosophy of Hume."

The literal six day Creation doctrine was upheld by Luther, Calvin, and Francis Turretin. Luther stated, “We assert that Moses spoke in the literal sense, not allegorically or figuratively, i.e., that the world, with all its creatures, was created within six days, as the words read.” Soon, Princeton theologians would take this logic to its conclusion and declare that the independent scientific evidence made it irrational to believe in a universal Flood, miracles, the virgin birth, the resurrection, and the ascension. Within one generation, Princeton was then infiltrated with liberalism and ultimately destroyed.

Edward F Hills comments of Warfield’s influence,"Dr. Warfield's treatment of the New Testament text illustrates this cleavage in his thinking. In the realm of dogmatics he agreed with the Westminster Confession that the New Testament text had been “kept pure in all ages” by God’s “singular care and providence,” but in the realm of New Testament textual criticism he agreed with Westcott and Hort in ignoring God's providence and even went so far as to assert that the same methods were to be applied to the text of the New Testament that would be applied to the text of a morning newspaper. It was to bridge the gap between his dogmatics and his New Testament textual criticism that he suggested that God had worked providentially through Tischendorf, Tregelles, and Westcott and Hort to preserve the New Testament text. But this suggestion leads to conclusions which are extremely bizarre and inconsistent. It would have us believe that during the manuscript period orthodox Christians corrupted the New Testament text, that the text used by the Protestant Reformers was the worst of all, and that the True Text was not restored until the 19th century, when Tregelles brought it forth out of the Pope's library, when Tischendorf rescued it from a waste basket on Mt. Sinai, and when Westcott and Hort were providentially guided to construct a theory of it which ignores God's special providence and treats the text of the New Testament like the text of any other ancient book. But if the True New Testament Text was lost for 1500 years, how can we be sure that it has ever been found again?"

Others were as weak as Warfield at this time. A. T. Pierson commented in 1910, "Inspiration is affirmed, of course, only of the original documents, now no longer extant. Many mistakes may have been made by copyists, and some interpolations by officious scribes and translators are fallible. It is the part of reverent criticism to seek, by careful examination and comparison of all existing documents, to detect errors and restore as far as possible the Scriptures in their original purity."

G. Campbell Morgan said, “You ask me which is the best translation of the New Testament. I do not hesitate to say that it is the American Revision.” Fortunately his successor, Martyn Lloyd Jones replaced the Revised Version pew Bible in Westminster Chapel with the KJV. Even in the original The Fundamentals; A Testimony to the Truth (1917) Sir Robert Anderson says in his article “Christ and Criticism,”If a personal word may be pardoned in conclusion, the writer would appeal to every book he has written in proof that he is no champion of a rigid, traditional “orthodoxy.” With a single limitation, he would advocate full and free criticism of Holy Scripture. And that one limitation is that the words of the Lord Jesus Christ shall be deemed a bar to criticism and “an end of controversy” on every subject expressly dealt with in His teaching."

Some of the early fundamentalist leaders such as James Gray ironically saw the dangers of liberal attacks on the Bible’s words but seemed blind to the dangers of Warfield’s position,
"Does not competent scholarship today affirm that as to the New Testament at least, we have in nine hundred and ninety-nine cases out of every thousand the very word of that original text?.....Can even God Himself give a thought to man without the words that clothe it? Are not the two inseparable, as much so “as a sum and its figures, or a tune and its notes?” Has any case been known in human history where a healthy mind has been able to create ideas without expressing them to its own perception?"

The slide did not go unchecked completely. Men such as Robert L. Dabney (1820-1898) the noted American Presbyterian scholar boldly opposed the rationalistic background of modern textual criticism. He warned that those who accepted the critical text were adopting it from “the mint of infidel rationalism.” He went on to argue,"We call these the opinions now fashionable; for those who watch the course of this art are aware that there is as truly a fashion in it, infecting its votaries, as in ladies’ bonnets, medicines or cravats [neck scarves]. ... The minds for which criticism retains its fascination are usually of that peculiar and ‘crotchety’ type found among antiquarians. The intelligent reader is, therefore, not surprised to find, along with much labor and learning, a ‘plentiful lack’ of sober and convincing common sense. ... We shall find them continually varying, each one obnoxious to grave objections, and the question still unsettled. ... Their common traits may be said to be an almost contemptuous dismissal of the received text, as unworthy not only of confidence, but almost of notice.”

N. M. Wheeler, a professor of Lawrence University, pertinently observed in the very next issue of the Sunday School Times, “we must ask the critics every morning what is the latest conclusion in order to know what is that Scripture inspired of God.” The liberal American historian, Preserved Smith (1847-1927) also wrote,"Warfield in an article in the Presbyterian Review stated the doctrine [inerrancy] is not concerned with the accuracy of our present Bible, but interests itself in affirming a perfection of the original autographs which has in some cases at least been lost in transmission…None the less does the new theory depart widely from the confessional doctrine? That the Word of God as we now have it in Scripture is infallible…this is the affirmation of the Confesssion."

CD-Host said...

Sam forgive me for having trouble following this as explicating Kent's position. I don't see much similarity to your position and Kent's at all. Kent' is a defense of the KJV via some sort of supernatural effect, which I'm trying to understand yours is a defense of the TR (feels like David Cloud so far). That being the case I'm not quite following you.

1) You mention medieval scholars with respect to the TR? It did not exist during the middle ages.

2) The first major critique of the accuracy of the TR was Mill in the 17th century who found 30,000 variants between the TR and the ancient fathers. So no it was well known from the start that the TR was not a perfect text. It was not the case until 200 years later that the first people came forward and argued that the TR was so fundamentally flawed in method that an entirely different approach was needed, but the idea that it was flawless was never the opinion among scholars. The evidence was overwhelming from the start it was not.

3) Evan assuming a flawless TR that does not prove much about the KJV.

4) I'll be happy to use Burt Erhammn as an agreed source. You'll notice he is one of the authors of the NA27, and if fact one of the strongest advocates for many of the NA27 variants being accepted as the preferred reading. That is he is a ferocious critic of the TR as being remotely faithful to the bible of the 3rd century.

CD-Host said...

Sam --

To the best of my knowledge so far this conversation has involved lower criticism not higher, so I'm not sure why the extensive commentary on higher criticism. We may get there we may not but the NA vs. TR debate has nothing to do with higher criticism. There is some higher criticism (but very little) in evangelical translation issues. Really it comes up is application not translation.

Your quotes regarding lower criticism and from the 1880s-1940s are biased and hostile regarding the status of the critical texts during those time periods. Today's critical texts are substantially better. The use of databases for example has allowed for a degree of accuracy and cross reference that simply did not exist. The reason evangelicals, NIV, TNIV, ESV... now feel comfortable using the UBS/NA series is that the text has stabilized much more than those quotes would indicate. I think you need to look at more recent assessments. We really do have a good idea of the breadth of bibles used in Catholic churches in the 3rd century. We know what textual issues remain, and we know where the current evidence points. 100 years ago that analysis was not complete.

The major focus now is to try and peer back further, into variants from the 2nd century.

Sam said...

CD Host,

My position is identical to Kent's save for the caveat that I do not believe it was immersed churches only that God used to preserve and receive the Words handed down.

Let me deal with your points:

(1) The TR as a printed text did not exist in the Middle Ages - the words did according to the Biblical promises e.g Isa 59:21, Matt 4:4 etc. We readily admit that we do not have all the answers as to how God preserved His Words in every generation. By pre-suppositional faith in the promises of God, we can be sure that He has preserved His Word and that is enough. The truth is we do not have the original manuscripts, the first copies of the original manuscripts, and even many of the actual copies from which the KJV translators worked. Jesus Christ and teh Apostle Paul did not have these either yet they never talked about "inerrant the autographs only." There were periods in church history, in which Rome destroyed the records and texts of believers, such as the Albigensians and the Waldensians. The best that most textual historians can do today is essentially speculate on what is the history of the transmission of the text throughout this period. We cannot prove everything that we believe historically happened with tangible evidence, but enough to satisfy someone who is willing to believe Scripture. After all none of us have seen creation, a worldwide flood or the ark, but we accept the Genesis account of this. We simply cannot assert that this God has revealed Himself in the pages of a book without at the same time implying that such a revelation is necessary to us. Archbishop Whately once observed that we are not obliged to clear away every difficulty about a doctrine in order to believe it, provided that the Biblical pre-suppositions on which it rests are clear. This is even more so where the rejection of a doctrine involves greater difficulties than its belief, as it does with preservation here.

(2) If you do your research you will find that there were many attempts to undermine the TR's standing in the 17-19th century but the true Church rejected them. The onslaught of rationalism, evolution, higher criticism and mysticism was now ready for the ultimate assault on the citadel of Scripture in nineteenth century. Joseph McCabe in 1897 admits, “there is no province of thought in which the active Rationalistic spirit of this century has effected a stranger and more significant revolution than in its criticism of the Bible.” Just as evolution was rejected at the beginning of the 19th century but was accepted in 1859 the same climate change welcomed the new critical approach. The parallels can be seen in Charles Hodge’s observation,

"When the theory of evolution was propounded in 1844 in the “Vestiges of Creation,” it was universally rejected; when proposed by Mr. Darwin, less than twenty years afterward, it was received with acclamation. Why is this?… the natural conclusion is, that the change is in the audience and not in the drama."

However, what cannot be denied is that the KJV translators and Westminster Divines (incidentally, only time Dissenters, Independents and Anglicans were united in English history so reflected the whole Church)were men of brilliant theological intellects. If they had wanted to say "essentially pure" they would have done so but the fact remains and Warfield and AA Hodge can write till their hearts content THEY DELIBERATELY CHOOSE "pure in all ages." This should not suprise any discerning historian as they were responding to the Council of Trent's claim that the Latin Vulgate was the "authentica" and "pure" text. The Divines simply responded by pointing to the Received Text and declaring it as "pure."

(3) I am not positing a pure KJV (although I have not found any proven translation mistakes despite 400 years of attempts by self styled scholars)but a pure text settled upon by the Church that was handed down. Yes, I believe God did this as He guided the Church with the canon. Same principles and same method. Can I prove there are 66 books and all the words are in the underlying KJV text? No. Can you prove your position? No.

If this Neo-Fundamentalist position is true and we do not have all of the Words of God perfectly preserved in the underlying texts of the KJV, then they are in effect arguing that the Holy Spirit is bearing witness in our hearts with a perfect Word that is different from the imperfectly preserved Bible we have in our hands. This position is dangerously close to the heretical views of the Neo-Orthodox writers such as Karl Barth that the Bible is “the word of God” but not “the words of God” so it is only when one reads the text that it existentially, “becomes the word of God” to him. However, the Reformation was predicated upon the pre-supposition that we are to appeal to the Bible as our “final authority.” How do the anti-KJV critics know for certain that John 3:16 and Ephesians 2:8-9 are not just the error or corruption of some first century scribe?

What these Neo-Fundamentalists really mean is that the “message” or “central concepts” have been preserved, independent from the specific words of God’s revelation. However, there are no such things as wordless concepts and repeatedly we are warned against adding or taking away from the Words (not concepts or ideas) of the Bible (e.g. Deut 4:2; Prov. 30:5-6; Rev. 22:18-19). The very idea that God in a laissez-faire manner did something imperfectly either through lack of attention, desire, or power is akin to blasphemy. What passage do they base this on? What verses guide them to take this view? None! These Neo-Fundamentalists clearly have an unbiblical limited belief in providence. They claim to accept that a Sovereign God elects them, keeps them secure despite their sins, that God inspired Scripture despite 40-45 authors over 1,500 years, and that our Biblical canon has been perfected providentially. Somehow the Holy Spirit could perform a miracle of providence in guiding us exactly to sixty-six books, but He could not do it with Words despite the fact that Scripture promises to preserve “words,” but does not say “books.” As John Richardson wrote in 1701 the books “were either wrote or confirmed by the Apostles of our Saviour , and we believe they were so wrote or confirmed by them, not upon the Testimonies of One or Two Fathers only, but of the whole primitive Church.”

(4) I cite Ehrman and other textual critics as they are the key source material of Detroit Baptist, BJU, Central Baptist etc in their Book bibliographies. However, the "Fundamentalists" such as Bauder want to cherry pick their research and try and pretend that you can come to different conclusions. The fact is that Ehrman et al are correct that the only two logical positions is that it is TR only or "the Quest for the Historical Text." They all accept that the latter is a Utopian pipe dream that can never be realized. In my next post I will probably deal with the subjectivity of modern textual criticism that can NEVER produce a certain text.Despite copious writings and resolutions, the sad reality of the position they vehemently argue for results in a Bible text that at best can only be a never-ending work of approximation as we do not have the originals with which to make a comparison. However few the discrepancies they claim are there, we are still left with a Bible that is in part the work of man and so is uncertain and not entirely reliable. It certainly makes redundant the test, “to the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them” (Isaiah 8:20). Ironically, a leading KJV critic from Detroit Baptist Seminary attacks the Neo-Evangelicals, blind to the fact that he is in the same situation,

"It will be seen that the leaders of the new evangelicalism in fifty years have abandoned the sense of an absolute and infallible religious authority, and today the evangelical movement is groping to find some kind of a basis or an authority to meet a rootless, non-absolutist, relativist culture on the culture’s own terms with the claims of the living and true God."

Sam said...

CD Host

You cannot distinguish now between higher critical methods and lower ones for determining the text when the higher critical methodology has delivered you the text!! Westcott and Hort's basic pre-suppositions are the mother and root of all "new texts" today.So dominant have the Westcott and Hort theory become today that H. Greenlee’s statement is representative, “The textual theory of Westcott and Hort underlies virtually all subsequent work in NT textual criticism."

It is a nonsense to try and pretend that we now work on "scientific neutral critical methods." Here is what the "experts" you are pinning your hopes on in your "quest for the historical text,"

Fellow of Exeter College, Oxford Charles Edward Hammond admits that textual criticism cannot be certain as he says “Its office is to indicate the limits within which the truth is to be found; to select the witnesses most likely to speak the truth; and then, by cross-examining them and comparing their testimony, to determine what is most probably the true text.” He also admits,"Experience has brought about some change in my convictions with regard to the application of canons of subjective criticism to the consensus of ancient MSS. In proportion as I have been led severely to examine how far we can safely depend on such subjective considerations, I confess that the limits of their applicability have become narrowed. In very many cases they may be made to tell with equal force either way…. The facts which we are about to discuss will show us that while we are warranted in refusing any authority to the Textus Receptus, we are led with reasonable certainty towards a new text, somewhat different from the old one, and with some few points still undetermined."

Textual critic, Bruce Metzger explains the modern eclectic editor “follows now one and now another set of witnesses in accord with what is deemed to be the author's style or the exigencies of transcriptional hazards.” Another textual critic, E. C. Colwell candidly accepts, “Today textual criticism turns for its final validation to the appraisal of individual readings, in a way that involves subjective judgment.” Bart Ehrman states, “there is always a degree of doubt, an element of subjectivity.”

It is axiomatic to even the most ardent critic of the KJV that the recovery of the “autograph text” is outside the possibility of recovery simply by a neutral Textual scientific methodology. Even the leading exponents of textual criticism candidly concede this. By eliminating God’s work of preservation, they have left the church disarmed, vulnerable and in total confusion. However, those who posit this position do not use a single verse of Scripture to prove this theory that we cannot have certainty as to the Words of God. The obvious reason is because the Bible does not teach this! God promises in Proverbs 1:23 the exact opposite, “I will pour out My Spirit unto you, I will make known My Words unto you.” By their own clever rationalising words, they have “logically” reasoned themselves into unbelief.

TEXTUAL CRITICS

You may ignore the influence of Higher Criticism on the text you dabble at in your study but you are ignoring the very words of those who gave you it. A good example of the mentality of these people was Joseph Stevens Buckminster, who in 1809 persuaded Harvard to publish an American edition of Johann Jakob Griesbach’s critical Greek New Testament as “a most powerful weapon to be used against the supporters of verbal inspiration.” The Jewish scholar, Dr. Abraham Kuenen also candidly wrote concerning higher criticism in the Jewish Quarterly Review in July, 1892,"It was an attempt of singular boldness and vigor to shake the tradition of Christian piety free from every trace of supernaturalism and implied exclusiveness. It involved the absolute surrender of the orthodox dogmatics, of the authority of the Scriptures, of the divine character of the Church as an external institution, and, of course, it based the claims of Jesus of Nazareth to our affection and gratitude solely upon what history could show that he, as a man, had been and had done for men."

A historian Francis Cornish, sympathetic to the Revisers, admitted the influence of Biblical criticism, "The need of a general revision of the Authorised Version of the Bible had been long felt, and was acknowledged by Marsh in 1810, by Scholefield in 1832, and Raeraesvilionr by Selwyn in 1856. Portions of the New Testament in a revised translation were published by Ellicott, Moberly, and others. The question came into prominence in consequence of the development of biblical criticism in the first half of the century, and the close examination of texts both in England and in Germany."

By 1885 the German higher criticism was so in the ascendancy that the future Dean of Canterbury, F W. Farrar in the Bampton lecturer of 1885 was able to boast,"Fifty years ago the Shibboleth of popular orthodoxy was the indiscriminate anathema of “German theology.” If in later days the Church of England has made an immense advance, the progress is perhaps more due to Samuel Taylor Coleridge than to any ordained or professional theologian. He helped to deliver English Churchmen from their ignorance of German literature, and their terror of German speculation."

You argue "what textual issues remain, and we know where the current evidence points" - sorry you don't and those at the cutting edge of this "quest" as I have cited above acknowledge you will never get there. You only have the choice of certainty of perfect preservation or perpetual uncertainty!The reality is that you are posturing a textual position that does not exist, and you know it didn’t exist when you said it! The irony in this is the anti-KJV critics have the audacity to accuse us of holding a false premise on which to bases our conclusions! We, who believe God meant what He said about preserving His Words, are repeatedly slandered as being ignorant fanatics and heretics, while those who deny we have the infallible, inerrant Words of God today are looked upon as a great scholar!As a consequence, we have lost the certainty of a sacred text and have substituted it for the a la carte, “Bible of your choice.”

The perfect preservation as a priori view of preservation held sway until the nineteenth century when the sadly successful attempt was made to accommodate rationalist textual criticism with belief in inspiration due to the attack of liberals. This new position was a faith-based pre-supposition but this time it was not in God but in man’s rationalistic abilities to let science tell us what the text probably is. As a consequence, all of the Bible translations produced during the Reformation and post-Reformation eras were translations of this Received Text, not some hypothetical reconstruction of lost original autographs. KJV critics attack preservationists today by equating heresy with faith in an inerrant Bible. The facts of history are that Rome accused Protestants of having a “paper pope” by judging all matters religious with the Scripture. Ironically, five hundred years ago a man positing this kind of accusation would be called a Romanist heretic but today he is called an enlightened fundamentalist!

CD-Host said...

Hi Sam --

Looks like we are criss crossing. Thank you for the 4 answers.

The TR as a printed text did not exist in the Middle Ages - the words did according to the Biblical promises e.g Isa 59:21, Matt 4:4 etc.

Let me get this clear. Are you asserting that if I were to pick up a middle ages bible that it would be word for word identical the TR as constructed by Erasmus? In other words Erasmus worked hard to construct a text that just so happened to be the text that everyone already had? Also how does this address the regional differences between the Latin Rite and the Orthodox Catholic church (i.e. between MT and TR)? What about the Syriac versions?

That is I'm having some trouble seeing how the TR is a "preservation" in any sense that the NA is not. It just seems to me that they are similarly constructed and the NA has the advantage of a larger data set and greater linguistic knowledge.

We readily admit that we do not have all the answers as to how God preserved His Words in every generation. By pre-suppositional faith in the promises of God, we can be sure that He has preserved His Word and that is enough.

Well thank you for admitting that.

Three follow up questions:
1) Would you agree that for people who don't share that presupposition the evidence is heavily against the TR? And if not why not?

2) How do you deal with the differences between the Vulgate and the TR? One would think that if God is making a bible available to each generation that the Vulgate is the most important bible to keep accurate?


3) How do you deal with the differences in how the TR was translated between the Geneva and the KJV?


There were periods in church history, in which Rome destroyed the records and texts of believers, such as the Albigensians and the Waldensians.

I'd love to discuss the idea of baptist descent from the Cathars (seriously, more than this even). I think it would take us to far afield. Do you want me to setup a thread on my blog?

We cannot prove everything that we believe historically happened with tangible evidence, but enough to satisfy someone who is willing to believe Scripture.

What tangible evidence? Can you give me any tangible evidence supporting divine preservation?

After all none of us have seen creation, a worldwide flood or the ark, but we accept the Genesis account of this.

I think that is a reasonable analogy. I'm not so sure most of the people who support the NA support a worldwide flood either. If you want to say the evidence for the TR is similar to the evidence for a worldwide flood then we may not be disagreeing.

"When the theory of evolution was propounded in 1844 in the “Vestiges of Creation,” it was universally rejected; when proposed by Mr. Darwin, less than twenty years afterward, it was received with acclamation. Why is this?… the natural conclusion is, that the change is in the audience and not in the drama."

I'd argue that what Darwin did was propose a mechanism for evolution not really a theory of evolution. So what changed was the weight of evidence, for the first time people who believed in evolution had a mechanism and this mechanism was verifiable experimentally. So the level of acceptance rose.

This should not suprise any discerning historian as they were responding to the Council of Trent's claim that the Latin Vulgate was the "authentica" and "pure" text. The Divines simply responded by pointing to the Received Text and declaring it as "pure."

What is this passage evidence for?

(3) I am not positing a pure KJV (although I have not found any proven translation mistakes despite 400 years of attempts by self styled scholars)

If you are rejecting naturalistic methods how would one prove a mistake?


Can you prove your position? No.

Actually I would say yes, I can prove my position regarding the NA27. The NA27 accurately documents the state of textual knowledge in 2008 based on a consensus of quality scholars as appointed by the UBS. What point about that would you care for me to prove?

However, the Reformation was predicated upon the pre-supposition that we are to appeal to the Bible as our “final authority.” How do the anti-KJV critics know for certain that John 3:16 and Ephesians 2:8-9 are not just the error or corruption of some first century scribe?

They don't. You are absolutely right that lower criticism starts to undermine the absolute faith in the bible that the reformation fathers spoke about. Like I've said before evangelicals didn't accept this position because they liked it.


Somehow the Holy Spirit could perform a miracle of providence in guiding us exactly to sixty-six books, but He could not do it with Words despite the fact that Scripture promises to preserve “words,” but does not say “books.”

Couldn't or didn't? I'd say the claim is didn't not couldn't.

The fact is that Ehrman et al are correct that the only two logical positions is that it is TR only or "the Quest for the Historical Text."

I doubt Ehrman considers the first position logical. :-) My guess is that he only supports one position.


They all accept that the latter is a Utopian pipe dream that can never be realized. In my next post I will probably deal with the subjectivity of modern textual criticism that can NEVER produce a certain text.

That is not a point of dispute. Particularly if you certain you mean "can never by evidence" rather than "fits the available evidence well". But the NA itself is not a certain text. They make long lists of alternatives all over the place. The essentially official NA27 variants list is Textual Commentary on the Greek New Testament. So in other words you are accusing the NA crowd of something they freely admit.

"It will be seen that the leaders of the new evangelicalism in fifty years have abandoned the sense of an absolute and infallible religious authority, and today the evangelical movement is groping to find some kind of a basis or an authority to meet a rootless, non-absolutist, relativist culture on the culture’s own terms with the claims of the living and true God."

Yep.

CD-Host said...

Sam --

Can you give me one verse in the NA27 which would be different if they didn't accept higher criticism? I certainly agree that most people on the UBS committee support higher criticism, but at least AFAIK they use lower critical methods only in constructing the text.

. KJV critics attack preservationists today by equating heresy with faith in an inerrant Bible.

As far as I understand it the major accusation of heresy is not the belief in inerrancy but the beliefs that:

1) The KJV is a perfect translation of the TR.

2) The TR is a perfect reconstruction of the original autographs.

There is a simple syllogism that concerns them:

Prop 1: The bible indicates the KJV is perfect

Prop 2: The evidence is overwhelming that the KJV is flawed

Conclusion: The overwhelming evidence is that the bible is wrong

They want to avoid the conclusion so they need to either reject Prop 1 or Prop 2. You are avoiding prop 2 by arguing that we should avoid naturalistic analysis. If on the other hand you want to keep naturalistic analysis it seems more natural to avoid prop 1. Liberals just accept the conclusion.

Jerry Bouey said...

CD-Host said: "To the best of my knowledge so far this conversation has involved lower criticism not higher, so I'm not sure why the extensive commentary on higher criticism. We may get there we may not but the NA vs. TR debate has nothing to do with higher criticism. There is some higher criticism (but very little) in evangelical translation issues. Really it comes up is application not translation. Your quotes regarding lower criticism and from the 1880s-1940s are biased and hostile regarding the status of the critical texts during those time periods. Today's critical texts are substantially better."

You're dreaming the NU Text was put together by Higher Criticism. It is ever-changing because the whims of higher critics keep changing. The text incorporates all the changes from the 19th century, plus various new ones from this century. The text has gotten worse - more watered-down, more corrupt - not better.

Sam said...

CD Host

I will try to reply to all your points without missing any.

I am not asserting that all extant Middle Ages Bibles reflect the TR. History has proven that Rome and time destroyed much of the Bibles at that time. The destruction of the Waldenses’ records by Rome began around 600 under Pope Gregory I and persecution continued past the great massacre of 1655. For the those who claim that the Waldensians used the Critical Text they whould note what the the preface to this Rheims translation expressly states its purpose,"It is almost three hundred years since James Archbishop of Genoa, is said to have translated the Bible into Italian. More than two hundred years ago, in the days of Charles V the French king, was it put forth faithfully in French, the sooner to shake out of the deceived people’s hands, the false heretical translations of a sect called Waldenses."

Queen Elizabeth was so concerned of the threat to English unity by the Jesuit Bible that she sent to Beza for assistance to refute this perversion of the Received Text. It is recorded that he told her “that one of her Majesty’s own subjects was far better qualified to defend the protestant cause against the Rhemists; and this person, he said, was Thomas Cartwright.” It was said of Thomas Cartwright, that he regarded the Vulgate as, “the Version adapted by the Rhemists, Mr. Cartwright observed that all the soap and nitre they could collect would be insufficient to cleanse the Vulgate from the filth of blood in which it was originally conceived and had since collected in passing so long through the hands of unlearned monks, from which the Greek copies had altogether escaped.”

Benjamin Brook records that,"Mr. Cartwright defended the holy Scriptures against the accusation of corruption, and maintained that the Old and New Testaments written in the original languages were preserved uncorrupted. They constituted the word of God, whose works are all perfect, then must his word continue unimpaired; and, since it was written for our instruction, admonition, and consolation, he concluded that, unless God was deceived and disappointed in his purpose, it must perform these friendly offices for the church of God to the end of the world. If the authority of the authentic copies in Hebrew, Chaldee, and Greek were lost, or given up, or corrupted, or the sense changed, there would be no high court of appeal to put an end to disputes; so that the exhortation to have recourse to the law, the prophets, and the New Testament would be of very little effect. In this case our state would be worse than theirs under the law, and in the time of Christ; yea than those who lived some hundred years after Christ, when the ancient fathers exhorted the people to try all controversies by the Scriptures. Their own Gratian directs us, in deciding differences, not to the old translation, but to the originals of the Hebrew in the Old Testament, and of the Greek in the New."

Cartwright himself said in his conclusion to the Jesuits,"The principal reason why you have taken up arms against the Greek copies is that you are not of God, and therefore cannot abide God’s word. As the old translation is further from the word of God, it suits you better than the Greek copies. You may sooner get water out of flint than any advantage to your cause from the Greek copies: yet, if it were possible for truth to help to maintain an untruth, it would be impossible for you to like it; therefore you had great advantage to your own cause from the Vulgate, but none from the Greek. We know that you had a further object in preferring the handmaid to the mistress; and that was to undermine and overthrow the authority of the word of God, and establish the pope's decrees, which cannot be admitted, so long as the authority of the holy Scriptures remaineth. If it be as you say, that the Greek serveth your cause better than the Vulgate, you undesignedly bear us witness that the small estimation which we have for your Vulgate proceeds not from any fear that it would hurt our cause."

William Fulke also writes of the Jesuit translation,"They leave the pure fountain of the original verity to follow the crooked stream of their barbarous Latin translation, and which beside other manifest corruptions, is pestered with many annotations both false and undutiful, by which they seek to infect the minds of credulous readers with heretical and superstitious opinions."

So successful was the Authorised Version and Cartwright’s rebuttal of some eight hundred pages that the devil was forced to change his strategy and attack not by the Latin but by the Greek. This would come centuries later in the Revised Version.

Also, we know that God used oral tradition to preserve His Words in this period. Interestingly, Faber cites Reinerius that the Cathari claimed, “Among the priests, he will remark, you can scarcely find a single doctor, who is able to repeat by heart three chapters of the New Testament: but, among us, you can scarcely find either a man or a woman, who knows not how to recite the whole text in the vulgar tongue ” Faber comments that they “had well nigh the entire New Testament by heart, and who, I shall venture to believe, were reasonably well acquainted with the Old Testament to boot .” He also records how the Cathari rejected an alleged Scripture quotation by Bernard of Clairveux from his corrupted translation as they “received not a text which he had professed to cite against them from the Proverbs .” The ubiquity of the Scriptures throughout the Middle Ages among these remnant groups is evident. According to the testimony of Peter Siculus, the Paulicians, even before they emigrated from Armenia, both possessed and so familiarly read the greater part of the New Testament, that even females were accustomed to its perusal (Petr. Sic. Hist, in Bibl. Patr. vol. iz. par. post. p. 31, 38). The sacred volume, confessedly altogether uncorrupted, they brought with them into the West (Cedren. Hist. Compend. vol. i. p. 341). And, so early as the year 1017, we find a branch of them, the converts of a woman, charged with reading both the Old and the New Testament only to deny the truth of their contents (Rodulph. Glab. Hist. lib. iii. c. 8). Hence we need not be surprised at the statement of Reinerius, that, in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, most of those who were called heretics, were so familiar with their translation of Scripture, that they could even say the entire New Testament by heart.

Those are the facts. Just as today Chinese Christians have retained the Scripture under persecution by oral tradition so I believe this was one of the methods God used in the Middle Ages.

The Geneva Bible question is not relevant. It was an edition of the same text. However, just as it took time for the Canon to be finally settled on by the Church the Words took time and 1611 was the culmination of the whole spectrum of the true Church settling on those Words. These Words were all there and available to the Geneva translators.

Cathari - I am not a IFB Baptist but you will be surprised what the 17-18th century historians attest to the orthodoxy of these remnant groups. I do not want to put on a long list of quotes here, but there is great unanimity that these people groups represented primitive Christianity.

Tangible evidence - I have just listed quote after quote from TR critics that the TR goes right back to antiquity of earliest extant manuscripts. What do you want me to do - put photocopies on here of these manuscripts?

Darwin - Darwin was not the first to posit evolution. He did not succeed because he came up with new evidence but because the climate was right. Those who lived through this period attest this so why do you believe your position is now right?

WCF - just study the writings of the Divines. Read Thomas Cartwright's monumental work (archive.org) on the Rhemish Version to see what was the battle. All historians accept that the WCF were reacting directly to the claims of Trent when of whom Catholic priest, Paolo Sarpi (1552-1623) in his History of the Council of Trent recalls,"On the contrary, the major part of the Divines said, that it had been necessary to account that translation, which formerly hath been read in all the churches [Latin Vulgate], and used in the schools, to be divine and authentical, otherwise they should yield the cause to the Lutherans, and open a gate to innumerable heresies…The Inquisitors will not be able to proceed against the Lutherans, in case they know not Hebrew and Greek, because they will suddenly answer, “the text is not so,” and “that translation is false." Now, compare the words used in the WCF with the Council of Trent and you may find the answer to why the Divines used this particular terminology.

Settled Text - thank you for being honest that you will never have a settled text. You do not have a single Bible verse to back this up I also note. Your reasoning for this is purely based upon speculations of man. That should tell you all you need to know.

You cannot say that the UBS text is proven. Its own translators deny they are even certain as I have cited above. As Michael Maynard, in his work A History of the Debate Over I John 5:7-8 observes, “Received Text advocates are still waiting for the fundamentalists minority text advocates to explain why they trust four liberals and a Jesuit, who is in line to become the next pope, with the identity of the New Testament.”

Doctrinal Changes in UBS - see George Vance Smith's list in my post above. I think that is self-evident. Smith's writings are all downloadable on the net in the original such as "Christianity and Modern Thought" and "Texts and Margins of the Revised New Testament Affecting Theological Doctrine Briefly Reviewed." Read especially the latter on p45-47 and tell me no doctrine was affected by Higher Criticism!Please do not be so foolish as to argue that the UBS Text is not taken from the RV Text - they themselves proudly claim their Hortian heretical roots!

CD-Host said...

Hi Sam -

I am not asserting that all extant Middle Ages Bibles reflect the TR.

Are you asserting that the majority are closer to the TR than the MT?

History has proven that Rome and time destroyed much of the Bibles at that time. The destruction of the Waldenses’ records by Rome began around 600 under Pope Gregory I

Waldenses in 600? Are you saying you believe the Waldenses had a TR prior to Erasmus and that Erasmus wasn't the one who constructed it. Don't worry about providing evidence for now I just am looking for a clear statement of the thesis.

Queen Elizabeth was so concerned of the threat to English unity by the Jesuit Bible that she sent to Beza for assistance to refute this perversion of the Received Text.

The Rheims is a translation from the Latin not Greek. How can it be a perversion of the Greek?

So successful was the Authorised Version and Cartwright’s rebuttal of some eight hundred pages that the devil was forced to change his strategy and attack not by the Latin but by the Greek. This would come centuries later in the Revised Version.

OK obviously there is no way to argue one way or another about the devil did. I'll grant the focus shifted from Latin vs. Greek to which Greek.

Also, we know that God used oral tradition to preserve His Words in this period. Interestingly, Faber cites Reinerius that the Cathari claimed,

Are you in agreement with Cathari theology? For example total rejection of the old testament, male and female priests, vegetarianism....?

Those are the facts. Just as today Chinese Christians have retained the Scripture under persecution by oral tradition so I believe this was one of the methods God used in the Middle Ages.

But Cathars didn't speak Greek on average. Also they wrote why would they use an oral tradition different from their written? Certainly it is reasonable they had some middle french version but there is no reason to suspect it was any different than other NT translations floating around the middle ages.

The Geneva Bible question is not relevant. It was an edition of the same text.

The relevance is translational differences. If you are asserting the TR is correct and the KJV translation of the TR is correct than the Geneva must be wrong in its translations.


Cathari - I am not a IFB Baptist but you will be surprised what the 17-18th century historians attest to the orthodoxy of these remnant groups. I do not want to put on a long list of quotes here, but there is great unanimity that these people groups represented primitive Christianity.

I don't deny the Cathari may be more authentic to early Christianity than the Catholics. I'm just trying to get clarity on what you believe regarding them.

Tangible evidence - I have just listed quote after quote from TR critics that the TR goes right back to antiquity of earliest extant manuscripts. What do you want me to do - put photocopies on here of these manuscripts?

You can just name early manuscripts, you don't need to photocopy. Just a specific claim like XYZ manuscript at library ABC is a TR from year DEF. If you can find a single TR that predates Erasmus you prove the claim that he didn't construct it. So all I'm looking for is one manuscript.

Darwin - Darwin was not the first to posit evolution. He did not succeed because he came up with new evidence but because the climate was right. Those who lived through this period attest this so why do you believe your position is now right?

We are disagreeing that he didn't present new evidence. He presented a mechanism for evolution, and he presented another example with the finches. Why I think I'm write is because people were struck by the evidence.

Settled Text - thank you for being honest that you will never have a settled text. You do not have a single Bible verse to back this up I also note. Your reasoning for this is purely based upon speculations of man.

Yes. I'm basing my argument completely on naturalistic evidence.

(more to follow later)

The Puritan said...

Sam wrote:

>"Cathari - I am not a IFB Baptist but you will be surprised what the 17-18th century historians attest to the orthodoxy of these remnant groups. I do not want to put on a long list of quotes here, but there is great unanimity that these people groups represented primitive Christianity."

It's true, modern Critical Text champions adopt Roman Catholic and Romanist-leaning academic Protestant sources on such historical groups as the Cathars and Waldensians. Just as they enthusiastically adopt Roman Catholic sources when they need to smear King James I.

For a quote that not many people know of since it was not translated from the Latin until recently here is 17th century theologian John Owen from his Biblical Theology:

"I will pass over other similar monstrous lies with the simple comment that they all pale into insignificance in comparison with the slanders that the Roman pontiffs have dreamed up against the Albigenses [Cathars], the Waldenses, and other faithful servants of Christ." pg. 147, Biblical Theology