The purpose of Thou Shalt Keep Them (TSKT) was to exegete passages on preservation of scripture, like one would exegete passages on salvation for a book on salvation or passages on the Trinity for a book on the Trinity. That's what we did. The main criticism of the book has been about the lacking manuscript evidence. I plead, can we please consider first if the Bible teaches its own preservation? What does the Bible say about its own preservation? When that doesn't seem to matter or just doesn't matter to people, even those who call themselves professing Christians, I wonder about their approach to anything.
Excerpts of TSKT were posted twice at SharperIron (here and here), and I assessed 18 comments out of what were 39 and now 45. This will cover the rest. In general, those commenting didn't interact with the actual posts written, didn't show how that a passage wasn't saying what I wrote that it did. They didn't address the actual post in the comment section (until the last few comments, someone finally did).
Dave Barnhart commented again, and said that his big problem with my argument was that he needed to know what the Bible was before he could believe what it said. There wasn't this kind of doubt in the first century. Saints received scripture as the Word of God. This continued to be true until textual criticism proceeded from unbelieving doubt about the Bible. Nevertheless, none of the preservation passages were affected by textual variants. When it comes to the Genesis account, would Barnhart say, "I'm not sure I have Genesis, so I don't know if I can believe the account, until I know that it is Genesis?" Unlikely. This is the same.
J. Ng uses the LXX argument, which says that Jesus quoted from a corrupted Septuagint, an argument that has arisen for the critical text in defense of no scriptural bibliology. I've written extensively here on this subject (here, here, and here), and take the same position as John Owen did, who wrote about it in his biblical theology. The conclusion, if you agree with Ng, is that the individual words didn't matter to Jesus, just the overall message. This flies in the face of what the Bible (and Jesus) says about itself.
For Aaron Blumer's next comment, a question that arises from reading what the Bible teaches on its own preservation is, should we expect word-for-word preservation? What percentage of exactness would we expect based on biblical promises? Once we are settled on what the Bible teaches, we adjust our view to that. Blumer seems to be saying that we adjust what the Bible says to our observations of the history of textual transmission.
JBL says he hasn't heard a credible rebuttal to the lack of evidence there ever has been a word-for-word preservation in church history. Actually, we've had to answer that again and again here and have written whole posts on the history of the doctrine. Saints believed that the words of the text they possessed were identical to the originals. Where errors were made in one copy, they were corrected in another.
Tyler speaks to the LXX argument again (which I addressed above to J Ng) and gives a partial answer to himself. The LXX is corrupt and Jesus wouldn't have treated it like it was trustworthy.
Contrary to Bob Hayton, the TSKT position in the book or otherwise, is not buttressed by our local only ecclesiology, which again is why Reformed and Presbyterians take the same position with a different ecclesiology. What he's saying is false, but that doesn't matter at SI. It goes unrefuted, except I write here. John Owen didn't have the same ecclesiology and we take his position on this. It seems par for the course though. Regarding his unrelated issue of the inspiration of the Hebrew vowel points, read Thomas Ross's article.
What seems to be crucial in an attack (from Bob in his comment) on the scriptural doctrine of preservation is the criticism of Erasmus's TR edition, whether there is manuscript evidence for wording in a few passages. This does not proceed from a study of the Bible on preservation. As well, the "which TR" question doesn't change what scripture says about its own preservation. That's got to be dealt with first. We shouldn't invent a new way to deal with biblical doctrine that starts outside of the Bible, just because of so-called manuscript evidence.
Aaron comes in to support Bob Hayton by saying that TSKT relies on history instead of scripture, but he doesn't give a scintilla of proof for that. I can only assume that he means that in looking for a fulfillment of what the Bible teaches, the authors accept what had been preserved and was available as preserved and available. When Daniel's prophecies were fulfilled, it wasn't relying on history in saying that Daniel's prophecies were fulfilled. Promises of God are fulfilled in real time outside of scripture, but they are dependent on scripture, not history. His comment ended the commentary on the first post.
Starting comments on the second post, Josh P says that I'm saying that Christians should believe God preserved His Words in my preferred text. He says I'm snide because of that. Men jumped to my defense, because of name-calling. Not. No foul called. Just the opposite, presuppositions based upon scriptural exegesis lead me to my position. Whatever doesn't fit the biblical presupposition, I reject. I do the same thing with my Christology. Are people who do that with other doctrines, snide too?
Bert Perry says that I want words of scripture to be preserved so I look for that in the passages on preservation to guide what they mean. He uses Matthew 5:18 as an example even though the post was on Matthew 24:35, typical of the comment section. When Jesus said, "Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled," I think that teaches preservation of jots and tittles because I want it to say that. He then says, lost in that, is the real debate, which is the meaning of logos. Is logos the actual words or the message? That is the real debate lost in this jot and tittle meaning. I'm struggling taking Bert's comment seriously.
Mr. Bean says that the reason we wrote the book was because it provided another reason to separate. That too was left unrefuted. Mr. Bean is a nice man. He's very funny too. He should do stand-up for critical text fundamentalists or evangelicals, whichever he is, because he would pack it out with his material.
Tyler engages Bert's comment about logos, and says it is a legitimate comment, because the meaning of logos depends on the context. Context would mean, however, that you are looking at scripture for your position, wouldn't it? In Matthew 24:35, the yet to be addressed theme of the post, it is plural, "words." When it says, "words" (logoi), is that "the message"? It's easy to see in 1 Peter 1:23-25 that logos and rhema are used interchangeably. That is a point worth noting too. In the end, what does it matter if I'm assuming the meaning based on my desire for word perfect preservation, what Bert says is my real motive and manner of operation?
T Howard chimes in, "Not so fast!" He writes, "The text in context only teaches the authority and validity of Jesus's words as being God's words." We should applaud that T Howard is the first man to comment on the post. However, not so fast, what about the words passing away? Are words passing away or not? Words not passing away means that they can't lose their authority and validity? That seems to be what T Howard is writing. I need a little more information, and I'm saying that very slowly.
Skipping Jim Peet's link to my post, Thomas Overmiller provides links to Aaron's series on TSKT. Look at the sidebar, because I answered Aaron Blumer's series then too. You can find those posts there. Regarding his public apology, he doesn't actually say that he does anything wrong. Look for yourself. He hadn't read the book by his own admission and he misrepresents the book. It is a classic non-apology apology. I apologize if I did anything wrong (which you all know that I didn't, because it's just a disagreement). The one thing he doesn't do is interact with the posts or Matthew 24:35. He writes a lot of words saying he disagrees conscientiously, because he doesn't believe the passages teach what I'm saying they do. What do they teach? Overmiller silence. Not helpful.
Jay doesn't talk about the post either. He can't remember, but he thinks Kent used a Psalm passage to say that God preserved the KJV, a passage that only the KJV interprets that way, and it's humorous. First, I don't believe in English preservation, so maybe it wasn't me. I don't teach that God preserved the KJV. Second, the teaching that "them" are God's Words in Psalm 12:7 (read here), which he doesn't mention, goes back very far (read here). Other translations say the same thing, including the Jewish Tanak. Webster's translation in 1833 is identical.
Thomas Overmiller links to and then pastes part of an article by Fred Butler in which Butler depends on a Douglas Kutilek article. The article is an attack on me. Butler quotes articles and commentaries, but he doesn't deal with the crucial component that is missed by the men he quotes. Their chief argument is that "words" cannot be the antecedent to "them" because of gender discordance. That is thoroughly debunked by the fact that all over the Old Testament the masculine pronoun refers to feminine "words." This is also found in multiple Hebrew grammars. Butler quotes John Gill and Gill himself missed that point, so his commentary is wrong. Overmiller makes no mention of that point. Kutilek's article totally depends on the falsehood that Hebrew pronouns must agree with their antecedents. It's false. Overmiller just throws the Butler post out there for whatever reason, as if Butler dealt with what I actually wrote.
Jay refers to a Fred Butler statement pasted in Overmiller's comment and then uses it to mock people. I won't counter the typical scorn coming from Jay, except to say that TSKT isn't intended as a defense of a single translation. Most of the exegesis comes from the original languages, not the KJV. Josh P then defends Jay by saying that "the whole matter" is that I want an exegetical response, when there is no relationship between the TSKT exegesis and my position. The TSKT position actually does come from its exegesis and Josh P doesn't show how it doesn't. That's not a necessary burden for him or the others who comment at SI. Tyler, however, in the next comment tries to get someone to comment on Matthew 24:35.
I'll ignore Bert Perry's comment, where he says that people such as myself are authoritarian leaders, Jim Peet's announcement that he's buying TSKT, and Jay's statement about heresy. JBL says some truth about Matthew 24:35, someone who finally interacts with the actual post. Bob Hayton gives a plug for a booklet that is essentially a hatchet job on our book. It is called the Doctrine of Scripture, but you will find that it is not. It takes some of what we wrote in TSKT and attacks it, in an unconvincing way. Bob links to a post I wrote about it, since the book said that we believe that someone can only be saved through the KJV, which we refute in TSKT. In other words, it's a purposeful lie, a smear. The book is not any kind of organized presentation on preservation or bibliology period. It's not what myself or anyone wants from the critical text side, that is, laid out the scriptural presuppositions for their position. It doesn't do that at all, contrary to what Bob says.
In answer to Bert Perry's comment, the part about my not knowing logic. I took it in college and have taught it three different times, so I have an interest in logic. I like thinking about the logic of the conclusion that people are not saved who heard the gospel from the critical text. To be saved, that person is receiving God's Words. Most of the critical text is God's Words (at least 93% of the NT). A person is not saved through a rejection of God's Words, like we see in Acts 2:41. All over scripture, rejection of God's Words is not characteristic of a saved people. Deuteronomy does make that point. When Jesus is Lord, you don't pick and choose what you'll do and not do. I'm not going to go through all the Bible to show that, but that is not the same thing as saying that you are saved only through the King James Version, like the book is smearing, and Bert Perry wishes to latch on to.
I want to say that I feel sorry for what Bert Perry has experienced in what he describes at his church in the next comment. I do. What we said was that Pickering did do collation of manuscripts and he saw that some of them were identical to each other and he mentions which ones. We said that debunked the legend that not one manuscript was identical to another. I happen to like Pickering's position better than a critical text one, for numerous reasons, and his work is helpful. That Pickering prefers a majority text position to the TR doesn't debunk anything we wrote (I'm skipping Tyler's next comment). There is some missing logic there coming from Bert, to refer back to his reference to logic before.
To address Bert's next comment, first, Pickering gives evidence of identical manuscripts, which we referenced only in refutation of the assertion that no manuscript was identical. That shouldn't be said, or it should be retracted, because it's not true. I understand people not retracting. They would be admitting they are wrong, and that just can't happen.
TSKT, contrary to T Howard's next comment, doesn't assert that the Bible teaches that God preserves His Words in a particular text family. No one has said that, so it is a falsehood or a strawman. As to words not passing away just meaning authority and validity, quoting Constable is not sufficient basis for believing that. How does that relate to heaven and earth passing away? Do heaven and earth have less authority and validity?
Even though Jay is on the right track in his next comment, he descends to the falsehood or strawman that we see Jesus promising the preservation of a text family. That is inserting language of textual criticism. If it is a promise that His Words would be available, like heaven and earth is presently available, then we would ask, what has been available and received by God's people? The trajectory starts from the teaching of the passage and works out, not the reverse.
I have to applaud Andy Efting's actual interaction with Matthew 24:35. However, his conclusion does not proceed from the text, unlike where JBL earlier was taking it. He says, "not pass away" means, "dependable." Scripture is more dependable because it won't pass away. However, He says, "my words shall not pass away." You don't want to take from Jesus promise less than what He says. He is saying more than they are dependable.
Differing from JBL's next comment, accessibility is more than an inference. It is stated by Jesus. It is explicit.
Josh P refers to an article on preservation not by Compton, but by Combs at DBTS journal. I'm not going to critique Combs article, so this, my friends, is where I stop assessing comments.
I appreciate those who chose to interact at least a little with the article. I didn't like the name calling and scorn, but I've found it usually will occur. I don't think anyone got into the depth necessary to overturn the exegetical work of my chapter on Matthew 24:35.