Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Assessing Comments on Thou Shalt Keep Them, part two

Part One

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.


Andy Efting said...

FWIW, I actually said it meant two things:

"What I see is (1) the eternality of God’s Word and (2) the absolute faithfulness and dependability of God’s Word – more dependable than even the continued existence of heaven and earth!"

I'm not saying less than what Jesus said and I agree that they are more than dependable. I'm just taking "will not pass away" a different way than you are. The eternality of Jesus' words do not depend on them being physically indestructible. In fact, what Jesus said was verbal. His words were not even committed to paper via inspiration until several years later. Did his words pass away until the time they were breathed out as part of Scripture? No, they didn't exist on paper anywhere but they had not passed away, either.

Kent Brandenburg said...


I linked to your comment. I read your comment. I'm saying your are short shrifting it on dependability. It's not dependable if it passes away. It's saying it won't pass away. Why not admit that?

Pretty typical of those who don't want this to say or mean what it says, then they go into something like you do, that it isn't actually a physical copy, like heaven and earth are physical. No it's out there in some other way. This is not how believers have understood this promise. You don't have it if you don't have a physical copy and then it isn't dependable.

I've been preaching through John very slowly now for a few years on Sun AM, and I'm in John 16 right now. When Jesus said that the disciples would be guided into all truth, do you think it meant intangible truth, truth out there in the ether, or was that the New Testament?

The Old Covenant came with a written Testament. The New Covenant is assumed to come with writing. We know writing came. They came with writing. What were the words that didn't pass away in light of all of Jesus' teaching? They were written.

Where are the words they are depending on, Andy?

I do see this argument, the ethereal words in the mist are dependable, because I can't say that we have them, we possess them in a physical way. When has something passed away if we're not talking about something anyone has?

What Jesus said was verbal in John 16 and 17 too. You can't have it both ways.

Kent Brandenburg said...


If you are reading, I want to do my best to deal with a couple of questions. There might be more. I can honestly say that I have no issue here except, what does the Bible say, what does God say in other words, and then what does that mean to my expectations? I have to live the same with justification by faith. Justification by faith is in the real world since it was written in scripture. We start with scripture, then we expect it to happen---that's faith. Don't look into conspiracy theories, tin foiled hat-wearers out there. I don't have money in a "textual family" or even a school to which I must condescend. You can interview my racially diverse congregation to see if I am authoritarian. They believe the same way I do because they start with scripture like I do. I was a biblical language major and have taught 1st, 2nd, 3rd year Greek.

Two things.

Regarding the spiritual ethereal words of Jesus view in Matthew 24:35. Matthew 24:35 is axiomatic. The words of Jesus that don't pass away are all His Words. There is logic to this too. In John 16:13, you can see in the surrounding context, and this is theological, that Jesus' Words are the Father's Words and the Holy Spirit's Words. That means that Old Testament Words are Jesus' Words. The Words in John 16:13 are written Words, and as you move along into John 17, they are the Words for everyone who Jesus prays for there, because all the promises of John 14-16 are applied to all. Jesus Words will not pass away, not Word, but Words, plural. Earlier, when Jesus said scripture cannot be broken, He made an argument from a single Word, and He was saying that He could make that argument because scripture continued.

If words in John 16-17 are scripture, then they are in Matthew 24:35. You can't separate those.

Two, the LXX. People look at "the" LXX, when there is no "the LXX." Someone's going to have a problem either way if he says that Jesus quoted the Septuagint, because it wouldn't be uniform. Owen says concerning the places where there is agreement, "Christian users and copiers of the Septuagint would naturally adapt their quotations to those given in the New Testament." A high view of inspiration and preservation says that Christian translators and copyists took the New Testament quotes and adapted the Old Testament passages to them. Jesus was speaking in Greek and targumming. I've written a lot about these, but Bert Perry counts linking to articles as avoiding the question.

KJB1611 said...

Dear Andy,

How do you know that nobody--not one of the Apostles or of the thousands of people who heard Him--took notes on the sermons of the One they thought was the Messiah and Son of God when they heard Him preach the Words of life, and say that His Words were the standard in the day of judgment, so that those words did not exist anywhere on paper (papyrus) until years later? This would seem to involve a great deal of very difficult to obtain knowledge of what took place in the 1st century, and also a view about the absence of written records for the gospels that seems rather different from texts such as Luke 1:1-4.


Baptist Believer said...

Hi Kent,
I have been closely following your commentary. I do own your book and it has been beneficial to me. Once question I have is which specific OT and NT manuscripts do you believe contain the perfect words of God? I wanted to check out copies of those manuscripts. I believe you have mentioned it in the past but I have been unable to find it. Thanks.

David Barnhart said...


I completely get that TSKT is dealing with what scripture says, and not external evidence, and you just mentioned that believers just receive the text on faith. So please answer me this: if I am a new believer, who just believed on Christ from a witness given out of an ESV Bible, start attending an independent Baptist church using the ESV, grow in my faith, read the preservation passages (which are all the same as in another text), and accept on faith that I have the Bible God providentially provided and attested to through the church, what *internal* evidence (not looking into the history of the texts, etc.) is available to me on the pages of scripture itself to tell me that the Bible I'm reading is not the text that God preserved?

James Bronsveld said...

Dave Barnhart,

You asked this same question (albeit worded differently) a couple years ago on this blog and to my knowledge, it was answered back then without a rebuttal or response of any kind from you. However, to answer yet again...the hypothetical convert of which you speak has only to look at the numerous marginal notes in his ESV to see repeated doubt cast upon numerous texts and whether they belong in Scripture. Additionally, depending on the edition of the ESV he has before him, he might find himself wondering at the mysterious ellipsis marks in a passage like I Sam 13:1. Of course, strangely enough, the editors of the ESV decided after the 2011 edition that it was not in the interests of the reading public to continually come out with newer, revised editions of their translation. I wonder why.

I might add that your framing of the question, "...the Bible I'm reading is not the text..." suggests a continued misunderstanding of the preservation issue. I have not read either here or in my copy of TSKT, anyone advocating the view that the KJV is the "text that God preserved." But again, it seems to me that the only way the TR position is typically assaulted is by mischaracterizing it as a manuscript-preservation position, or a preserved-English-translation position.

David Barnhart said...

I guess I'm still not seeing the answer to the question I'm trying to ask. I suppose I need to go look up the question/answer you are referring to. I remember discussing this issue before, but not the specifics.

First, I would say the marginal notes are not in the actual text, and I've certainly seen pew-type ESVs that don't have them (or don't have any I noticed on a quick flip through). But even if they are present, notes are, by definition, external to the words of God.

Second, I was using shorthand when speaking of the preserved text from the ESV. Obviously I understand that it's not a preserved English translation issue. On the other side, though, not many non-theology students read Greek (I certainly can't), so we are going based on what our English Bibles say. So let's assume for the moment that I can read Greek directly, and can read out of a NA text (or TR). What is telling me from the words I'm reading (not editor's notes) whether or not I have the actual preserved text in front of me?

I'm trying to get to the core of how the text itself will distinguish between the actual words, and a fairly close copy that has changes. I still don't see how I can know (unless you are talking about some mystical influence from the leading of the Holy Spirit, and knowing you, I don't think that's what you mean) from the text itself if it has been corrupted in any way. If I accept the text on faith, without external evidence, I still need to trust that it's the actual words of God.

Kent Brandenburg said...


Sometimes the critical-text, God-didn't-preserve-His-Words people, you can tell, have passed some tipping point. Case in point is the following comment at SI, just written:

Earlier he quoted one commentary as a basis for not accepting that Mt. 24:35 teaches the preservation of Words, but instead was teaching authority and validity.

For me, exegesis is looking at the text, but for some, like the Pharisees, who quoted experts, it means counting commentaries. OK, let's say it is that. If you're going to quote them, then at least understand what they are saying. Here are from the quotes he provides:

Blomberg -- "His words will endure even longer than the universe itself, which will be destroyed and re-created."

M. Henry -- "Heaven and earth shall pass away; they continue this day indeed, according to God’s ordinance, but they shall not continue for ever (Ps. 102:25, 26; 2 Pt. 3:10); but my words shall not pass away. Note, The word of Christ is more sure and lasting than heaven and earth."

Edwards -- "For Jesus to assert that his words will outlive heaven and earth is a remarkable claim of authority."

Francis -- "Jesus’ λόγοι are thus put on a par with the Torah in terms of authority and permanence."

Stein -- "Heaven and earth will one day pass away (cf. Ps. 102:25–27; Isa. 40:6–8; 51:6; Matt. 5:18; Luke 16:17; 2 Pet. 3:7, 10; Rev. 20:11; 21:1), but Jesus’s words will never pass away. The words of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, are more enduring than creation itself."

It reads like France is just copying Carson, which is typical I've found with commentaries, the latter 1984 and the former 1992. With the 2 remaining commentaries that aren't saying what I am saying, they in the quotes themselves at least imply preservation, "continuance... Jesus’ words will always have validity." They aren't continuing and aren't always having validity if they aren't preserved.

Kent Brandenburg said...

Pulpit Commentary -- "Christ adds a solemn assurance that his words have in them a vitality and endurance which the mightiest works of nature do not possess."

Preacher's Homiletic Commentary -- "It is approaching towards two thousand years since the days of Christ's three years' ministry on earth.—Though no magic was impressed on the syllables which flowed from the lips of the Redeemer to arrest their natural passing away, still it is true and certain that they have not passed away, and cannot pass away while the world stands. For one thing, they have not passed away, in this sense—that when they were spoken the simple narrative of the Evangelists took and perpetuated them; and in these four Gospels we have the words of Christ preserved. But it is a little thing to say that Christ's words were perpetuated on paper.—We should not set much store by the fact that upon printed pages by millions and millions the words of our Redeemer have outlived the storms and the wear of ages"

Church Pulpit Commentary -- "We see the copies fly from the presses of the Bible Society at the rate of a Bible per minute, and when we see that God’s Word is being distributed to the ends of the earth, we see how, in God’s marvellous providence, it is being fulfilled that His words are not passing away."

JIM CAMP said...

Dave Barnhart
James responded with this answer....
".the hypothetical convert of which you speak has only to look at the numerous marginal notes in his ESV to see repeated doubt cast upon numerous texts and whether they belong in Scripture."

A personal friend of mine was converted in a SBC church 30 years ago as a teen, was very devout, later went to an SBC Bible college to train for the ministry. As a teen, while reading an NIV for personal devotion time, he noticed the footnotes casting doubt on this word, or this verse, etc. He decided that the Word of God was complete & preserved, not partial & in question; & began using a KJV exclusively.

He was in a liberal church, had never heard of the preservation debate, & had no outside influence leading him to a position. He simply believed the Bible to be complete & preserved.

I know this does not answer your question, & personal illustrations do not form doctrinal truth. I'm simply saying that there are people who see preservation from the text, & it leads them away from the CT position. My personal growth on the issue was similar.

Andy Efting said...

We’ve gone around and round on this issue many times over the years. To me, I think you guys are reading your perspective into the text. God’s word is eternal because of the character of God and that is true if it was written down or not. It simply isn’t the case that “if you don’t have a physical copy and then it isn’t dependable.” Just as an example, I say things all the time to my wife, my kids, co-workers – none of it is written down but it stands and is dependable, at least as far as I am dependable. We all understand that type of thing. I don’t need a physical copy of God’s word in my hand to be sustained by it or encouraged by it or rebuked by it. I need to know it but that could be through memory, direct verbal communication (like Jesus to the disciples), or indirect through preaching or someone reminding me of what was said. None of what was spoken passes away if the written record is destroyed…because God is eternal.

When Jehoiakim burned the scroll in Jeremiah 36, did those words of God pass away? Was the king able to make those words of none effect? Did it change the dependability or truthfulness or faithfulness or force of those words?

The main point Jesus is making in Matt 24:35 is that you can count on what he is saying to come true. I don’t think he had physical copies of the Bible in mind when he said that, or that it required someone to be taking notes at the time.

Anyway, I think I have said my peace on this, at least for now. I know you disagree.

Kent Brandenburg said...


I made a very developed scriptural argument from John 16, where that does not say written words either, but I'm guessing you think that is the whole New Testament and canonicity, etc. When we wrote TSKT, I went into it with the thought first with the possibility that when exegeted, these passages didn't teach preservation, but I left the project with greater faith they did, based on scripture.

Your position doesn't make any sense to me. I know that's not the test of what it says, but I'd just be rewriting my chapter if I explained it. What you say to your kids stands, you're saying is the same kind of thing Jesus was saying, that you are reading in Matthew, not just having the jist of it passed down. So you have, say, an 8 year old, you say something to him, and when he's 47, what you said on one particular day, it doesn't pass away for him, because you said it, and it continues standing. I don't get it.

Who says, heaven and earth shall pass away, actual physical things, and things that are quite permanent and stable, and not really comprehended as passing away, but they shall. On the other hand, Jesus' words will not. One thing will disappear. The other will not disappear. Words. Not the message, not the jist of what He said. Words. That teaches preservation. If it was all the BIble said, it would be strong, but you combine that with all the other passages, and it is airtight, which is why Christians have believed it. It's also why despite the attack from so many on it, which takes away people's trust in the Bible, most rank-and-file-Christians still think this way. It's also why so many people still use the KJV despite being discouraged from doing so.

Of the 89% of U.S. adults who own at least one Bible, 67% own a King James. 82% of those who read their Bibles at least once a month, read the KJV.

Anonymous said...

Here is what happened to the words of the scroll that was burned:

"Take thee again another roll, and write in it all the former words that were in the first roll, which Jehoiakim the king of Judah hath burned." (Jeremiah 36:28)

Mat Dvorachek

Tyler Robbins said...


Why do you prefer the TR to the Byzantine?

Kent Brandenburg said...

Hi Tyler,

Believers received the TR. The Byzantine position and the so-called Majority Text view (we don't know what the Majority Text is, because not all the manuscripts have been collated) are recent innovations.

Earlier a person with the label, Bible Believer, or something like that asked what the exact words are, and I say Hebrew Masoretic OT essentially Beza 1598 NT. I take the same view as Edward Hills.

To everyone, as I say that, please don't remind me that Beza 1598 and Scrivener are not identical. I have an annotated Scrivener, which shows the differences. All I'm saying is that the trajectory of preservation moves forward, not backward. I'm also not saying there was one perfect manuscript that moved it's way through, but that every word and all of them made their way through. They were always accessible.

Tyler Robbins said...

Got it. Thanks.

Kent Brandenburg said...


Maybe you can ask T. Howard what he thinks exegesis is. Does he think exegesis is quoting exegetical commentaries? First, all those commentaries are not exegetical that he's quoting, so he doesn't perhaps know what an exegetical commentary is. The commentaries he is quoting and many others say the same thing I'm saying about Matthew 24:35.

Kent Brandenburg said...


Trajectory forward. What does this means? God inspired His Word and then it was preserved. You don't start in the 19th century and move backward. Whatever was preserved in accessible in the 16th century are the Words of God. Scripture was written in Hebrew and Greek, so it is Hebrew and Greek moving forward. A translation moves backward, so we're not talking about a translation. Two parts to this as well. 1) Something "found" in the 20th century, unavailable for 500 years isn't scripture. That's working backwards. 2) Preservation didn't occur in 1881 with Scrivener's. I reject both of these, 1) and 2). I've explained these many times before.

Second part, again. You can line up commentaries behind whatever issue, and that can work for historical theology, but exegesis is dealing with the meaning of words, their usage in scripture, their usage in the context, the pre, internal, and post context of the passage, the greater context of all of scripture, the grammar and syntax of the verse, etc. Exegesis isn't, Constable said (one sentence, excluding any exegesis). That sounds like I listened. I just don't believe it is exegesis.

Third part, we made one point from Pickering, debunking one statement, that is, no identical manuscripts. A vast majority of manuscripts are not complete copies of the entire NT. Very few of those. Pickering examined manuscripts and found some identical, so that statement, that there are none identical, is false. That's all, that's all we were refuting with that. I'd be happy if someone could say that he understands the point, but it will be move on to obstruction of justice, no admission that there is no collusion, if you get my point. I can admit if I got something wrong, but I'm not seeing it so far, and I've got a lot of experience answering these questions. The no-admission-of-wrong is coming from one side on this.

For instance, even if T. Howard doesn't understand exegesis, he also doesn't see or admit that the very commentaries he quotes actually are saying the same thing I am.

Tyler Robbins said...

I understand your point with Pickering. I am disappointed he didn't elaborate in his book.

For example, a few years back Dan Wallace, in a debate with Bart Ehrman, claimed a new manuscript of John from the first century had been found, and it would be published soon. If so, this would be extraordinary. The oldest we have is 2nd century. Only problem, it hasn't been published yet . . . years later.

It's not that I think Wallace was lying; it's just that I'll reserve judgment until I see the thing. Same with Pickering. I never heard the claim for perfectly identical manuscripts anywhere else, and he doesn't identify anything about these identical manuscripts. How long are they? If they run from 1 Tim 1:1 - 1 Tim 1:6, then I'm not very impressed! How old are they? Were they done by the same scribe at the same time? What family are they from? What are the mss. numbers, so we can look at 'em for ourselves?

But, yes, I get your point with Pickering - he says some manuscripts are identical, so the claim identical mss. don't exist is untrue. Got it. But, I'll remain skeptical until he produces more evidence. If he's been more explicit somewhere else in his book (beyond fn. #4, pg. 209), then please let me know.

Andy Efting said...

"But, yes, I get your point with Pickering - he says some manuscripts are identical, so the claim identical mss. don't exist is untrue."

Tyler, I haven't seen anything posted that suggests this. Only thing I've seen is that portions of two manuscripts are identical but not complete manuscripts.